On my trip to Argentina last year, I was lucky enough to be able to try out some new gadgets and see how they faired on the road. This is what was in my technology bag for the trip with The Big Blog Exchange.
Macbook Air – I love new technology and I am one of those slaves to Apple. I love my MacBook Pro I have at home, but it is getting a bit old now, and it weighs a ton which isn’t great when travelling, so I’ve been thinking about upgrading for a while. I’ve been toying between sticking with Apple and going with the Air or switching to a Windows based machine.
I loved the MacBook Air for the fact that it was lightweight, small and easy to carry. It was fast and I could download my images from my camera easily. Carrying it around and using it whilst on the road was a breezes and I definitely didn’t get sore arms carrying it around like I do with my current MacBook Pro
Major issue I found is no CD/DVD drive – apparently even the MacBook Pro’s don’t have them anymore. Was annoying as I love buying local music on CD when I’m travelling and copying it to my iTunes so I can listen to it on the road. I couldn’t do this with this machine, and couldn’t buy the music iTunes either, so had to get a friend to use his machine, and then copy it over using a hard drive! -Not easy! Also was a pain in the butt when getting things like Photoshop on my machine – I have the CD for the programme but had to spend hours and tons of data, downloading it from Adobe instead!
I’m wondering if I should try out the Windows Surface for on the road, and then have a Mac Desktop for when at home? What would your suggestions be?
iPad Mini – I have lusted after one of these for ages so was thrilled to be able to test drive one.
It’s light weight, easy to carry around. Loved reading books on it and catching up or posting on social media. Long battery life which was good when on the road as I could use it on long bus journeys and would still have juice left at the end.
The major downside is that there is no USB port. I couldn’t copy photos from my camera or iPhone onto the iPad. Even with the adapter thing it wouldn’t let me as couldn’t supply enough power or something? Was not easy to blog on WordPress. Wasn’t easy to stream movies, or watch movies off a hard drive using VLC.
iPhone 5 – I got my first iPhone when the 4 came out and haven’t looked back since. I love the iPhone and couldn’t imagine using anything else these days. I’ve tried the Samsung Galaxy, and Sony Xperia Z but so far I’m still leaning firmly towards the iPhone.
It’s so easy to use. The camera is great (I used it for most of my trip instead of my DSLR), takes great videos, can download all kinds of weird and wonderful apps, easy to share stuff and stay connected on the go.
Nikon D7000 – I love Nikon and have been using the brand for nearly 10 years now. I used to be a Canon girl but I never seemed to really get on with their cameras and so made the switch and have never looked back.
Small, lightweight for a DSLR, 16.1MP, Double SD Card Reader slot so you can put in 2 SD cards & take more photos on the road, In Camera Editing, HD Video, Up to ISO 25600 equivalent, Large 3″ screen and Live View Settings. This isn’t full frame which is a pain, also the kit lens that comes with camera is ok but not great. In future will be looking for a camera that I can upload photos straight to my phone or laptop. Would make it much easier for posting on my website or social media when on the road.
Nikkor 50mm 1.8G Lens – I love this lens – It’s great for portraits and fantastic in low light situations. I do wish I had got the 30mm instead though but have added that to the list for next time!
Nikkor 18-105mm Lens (3.5-5.6G) – This is the kit lens that comes with the D7000. It’s not a bad lens, a good general all rounder especially when on the road, but I think I prefer the Tamron 18-270mm or the Sigma 18-250mm for a travel lens as more of a range.
Pro Master XC522 Tripod – This is a fantastic tripod. It’s light weight for a tripod in it’s class. It folds down really small (12″ long) which is great for travelling. You can also detach one of the legs and use it as a monopod which is awesome. I love the hook in the middle which means I can hang my bag on it to weight it down in bad weather too. The main plus point though is it’s height. It’s great for those of us who are above 5”5 tall! No more back breaking bending all the time.
Seagate 1TB Portable Hard Drive – I find these essential on the road. Yes I downloaded everything onto the MacBook Air, but I also copied to the hard drive too just in case. I love Seagate and have never had an issue with their hard drives unlike other brands.
Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones (MDR-NC8) – I need music when on the road. And also a decent set of headphones to drown out the sounds of airplanes and background noise. These headphones are ok, but not excellent. They do fold down fairly small, but I kept thinking I was going to snap something off them when I put them in my bag. I also found my ears got really hot after a while, and the noise cancelling isn’t great. I really need to find a pair though so if you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments below. I’ve been looking for ages and have yet to find the perfect pair!
So what would your suggestions be for things to take on the road with me? I always love to hear about new gadgets and suggestions on things you love.