Alaskan Cruise Shot Statistics

For my two week trip out to the North West and Alaska I took over 8,500 pictures. I took two camera bodies (Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 5D Mark II), three lenses (Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS, and Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS), and one point-n-shoot (Canon S100). But how much did I use each piece of equipment? Well here I’m going to give you the breakdown of the shot statistics of how much I used each piece on the trip.

First let’s look at the number of shots I took with each camera and break it down to Alaska and pre-Alaska.

Number of Shots Per Camera

Alaska North West
Canon 5D Mark III 4,725 2,312
Canon 5D Mark II 1,519 0
Canon S100 37 32

As you can see, I took the most pictures with the 5D3.  That’s to be expected, it’s AF system is so much better then the one in the 5D2 that if I had to pick one body to use it was going to be the 5D3.  But I still used the 5D2 a good amount on the trip – 1,500 pictures is still a lot!  The S100 I didn’t use as much as I would have thought, but afterwards thinking back it makes sense.  Walking around in the North West I would always have the 5D3 and 24-105mm with me, so no real need to use the S100.  On the Alaska cruise it was the same, walking around the boat I would always carry the 5D3.  And when we docked it was the same.


Number of Shots Per Lens

Alaska North West
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS 3,895 2,281
Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS 1,998 0
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II 274 31

The Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS is the clear winner here when you total up both parts of the trip.  For just the Alaskan cruise it still comes out on top.  You could actually go on a trip like this and just take the 24-105mm and nothing else.  But you wouldn’t get any nice close-up shots of the local wildlife either.


Number of Shots per Camera per Lens

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II
Canon 5D Mark III Alaska  3,898 553 274
North West  2,281 0 31
Canon 5D Mark II Alaska  74 1,445 0
North West  0 0 0

Most of the time I had the 24-105mm on the 5D3 and the 100-400mm on the 5D2.  I know it might seem odd to have the 5D2 paired with the 100-400mm when above I said that the 5D3 has such a better AF system.  But most of the pictures I took with the 5D2 and 100-400mm combination were of static objects, so there wasn’t a concern of anything moving on me.  They were also at a distance and at that much distance even f/5.6 has a good depth of field (for example, subject 200ft away shot at f/5.6 has a depth of field of 25ft).


Number of Shots Per Focal Length Taken in Alaska

Graph of the number of shots taken at different focal lengths in Alaska

Should be pretty obvious from the graph that most of the time I was using the two “ends” of both zoom lenses.  This is kinda the case with most zooms.  The 24-105mm I used between 24 and 105, but for the 100-400mm, I didn’t use a lot less then 400mm!  I would also say that most of the shots taken at 200mm were from the 70-200mm and not from the 100-400mm.



As you can see from the breakdown, the “ends” of the focal length were used the most.  When I used the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at the 24mm end it was mostly for stuff around town or on the cruise ship. But once I got out on excursions (whale watching, dog sledding, glaciers) it was mostly used at the 105mm end. The Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS was almost exclusively used at the 400mm end and I could have used more!  Overall though I think these two lenses made a great combination to take on an Alaskan cruise.  You get to cover a large focal range with only two lenses.  If you have two bodies to use, it’s even better because you don’t have to change lenses at all.


The software used to make the graph was ExposurePlot which is freeware.  A nice little program to analyze your shots and see lots of statistics about them.

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