In the spring of 2011, my husband and I took a 5 week trip to SE Asia. Now some women agonize over what clothes and jewelry to take. I, on the other hand, agonize over what technology to take! Specifically, which camera, what computer, and what about our phones?
These are the choices we made based on our priorities, options in each category and the advantages and disadvantages of each option. In making your decision, I suggest that you start out by likewise listing your priorities, options and the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
Of course we could have bought a new camera, but took a careful look at what we already had first and were able to make a good choice.
Option #1 – Canon 30D SLR with multiple lenses
Option #2 – Canon G12 Point and Shoot
Based on this analysis, it was really a no brainer to take the G12. Afterwards, I can say that, yes, there were a few times that I wished I had my big gun, but hey, we weren’t shooting magazine covers here, and the many advantages certainly played out as outlined.
A few accessories that we added were a little lens adapter extender that enabled us to use a polarizer filter, a small tripod (especially handy for shots of ourselves and when shooting HDR). We also took our big Canon Speedlite 580EX II flash, but in fact, ended up not carrying it around every day, and essentially not using it. In retrospect, we probably should have.
Here are some links for more details about the G12 from Amazon if you are interested:
Canon G12 10MP Digital Camera w/ 5x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom & 2.8 inch Vari-Angle LCD W HD Video Super Bundle With 16GB Secure Digital High-Capacity Memory Card, DigPro Deluxe Case, Hi-Speed SD USB 2.0 Card Reader, BP-7L 1150mah Battery Pack & More
Canon G12 Accessories
This was a tough one too. I already had a nice 15 inch laptop fully loaded, but in the end, the choice was clear.
Option #1 – 15″ HP Laptop
Option #2 – Acer Aspire One Netbook
The little Acer netbook worked great – I did upgrade the memory to 2GB which helped a lot when running Lightroom. I didn’t do much image editing, but was able to cull out the bad ones, do some cropping/straightening, add keywords, backup our images onto thumb drives, and organize them into catalogs with no problem – a huge help on return home with 3000+ images and videos.
Here’s more info about the Acer Aspire if you are interested
One last note – a lot of people ask me why I’m not a Mac person, being a photographer and all… Indeed I know many Mac addicts, and know that there are great choices on that platform that would also work for regular use and travel. For me personally, I’ve just used PC’s so long, have all the PC software, train on PC’s so need to use them, and frankly have a heck of a time trying to do things on Macs that are simple for me on a PC (like finding my image files!). Plus I hate paying so much extra for them when I can do everything I want on a PC, have no problems with them that I don’t hear Mac people likewise having (hard drive failures etc). So, a PC with good anti-virus is likely how I’ll be for a long time.
So hard to imagine being without a phone after having one in hand practically 24/7.
Option #1 – use our existing phones
We use Verizon as our local phone provider. I have a Droid with all the bells and whistles (not surprising eh?) and my husband has a simple flip phone.
Option #2 – Buy a simple phone and use locally purchased SIMM cards
We picked up a small basic phone for $30 in Bangkok, along with a SIMM card for 100 minutes which was plenty. This card worked only in Thailand – when we went to Viet Nam, we got another SIMM card (very easy to buy at the ubiquitous 7-11 stores or other convenience store) for another 100 minutes that would work only in Viet Nam (about $2.50 USD). Then when we went back to Thailand, we just switched back to the first card. This does change your phone number to switch cards, but that wasn’t really a problem as most of our calls were outgoing and if someone needed our number, we just made sure to give them both numbers.
All of these choices are very personal decisions, and likely yours will be different from ours. Bottom line, use the procedure we did – outlining the priorities, options, disadvantages and advantages – and you’ll come up with what will work best for you!
Have a great trip!