Going on the road for 2 years - need advice...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by kmaute, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. kmaute macrumors 6502

    kmaute

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #1
    Hey all,

    I'm leaving on a 2 year trip in a few months. I'm not going to have computer access at all. However, I will have access to the grid so power won't be a problem. I have a few questions...

    1) I'm thinking about taking 7-8 16Gb flash cards. I'd rather have too many pictures than not enough. Any advice on storage or set-up would be great. I plan on shooting raw exclusively.

    2) I'm looking for an advanced type of P&S. Necessities include high picture quality, fast lens for low light photography, relatively small size, excellent battery life, RAW capability. GPS would be preferred however I'm not having much luck. Subject matter will be friends and family, as well as the typical tourist shots.

    3) What's the best way to backup SD cards in the field? I've seen backup devices with sd card readers and hard drives. Any suggestions?
     
  2. jbg232 macrumors 65816

    jbg232

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    #2
    1) Not sure how many pictures you take on average, only you can answer that, but realize that the more megapixels and higher iso, the larger the image.

    2) I think a canon s95 or lumix DZ-5 would be perfect for you. You can get the S90 or DZ-3 for less and they are almost as good. Both of them has full manual controls (P, Av, Tv, M) and shoot raw with pretty impressive lenses. GPS is really not a go at this point given its drain on battery life and slow start-up. The Nikon Coolpix 6000 has it, but I'm not sure of anything newer. BTW, buy an extra battery.

    3) Not sure as I've never been in that situation, I just have two 16gb sd cards which I've never filled on any trips (<2 weeks) that I've taken with them.
     
  3. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #3
    I would probably look into a Hyperdrive device. I used to use its predecessor as a portable storage device when I couldn't access a computer. It was extremely fast and reliable. These new models add a color screen and some other nice features to the mix. They use standard 9.5mm notebook hard drives, so that will allow you to configure up to a 750GB drive.

    I would probably find a way to visit a place where I could periodically burn photos to a DVD for safekeeping.

    FWIW I have a Canon S90 and I like it a lot. It has the most photographer-centric controls I have yet to use on a compact camera. It has recently been superceded by the S95, which adds HD video. It's a tiny camera and I take it along with me on 50-75 mile bicycle rides.
     
  4. pukifloyd macrumors 6502a

    pukifloyd

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Scottsdale
    #4
    2 years is a long time. Take a macbook air with you :rolleyes:

    If you're shooting RAW, even 7-8 cards with 16 gb wont not be enough IMO. I'd suggest taking a hard drive so that you can backup the photos whenever you get an access to a computer. You can also try uploading them online.
     
  5. fcortese macrumors demi-god

    fcortese

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    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Big Sky country
    #5
    You'll definitely need a portable hard drive or three. Two years worth of RAW photos can get very large to say the least. I am not sure what you mean by "not having computer access." You may not have access to the internet, but if you have access to electricity you can use a computer and its apps. If you have Aperture of LR then you can store and catalog your photos. You would still want a backup HD. The suggestions on the P&S cameras have all been sound so I can not add anything more. Good luck.
     
  6. georgemann macrumors regular

    georgemann

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington & Siem Reap, Cambodia
    #6
    I live in Cambodia right now and have been 'traveling' for over 30 years. The thought of not having a computer for two years as a photographer, is indeed kind of strange in this day and age. If you don't want to spend the money on a MacBook Air than any netbook will do.

    As far as internet is concerned it is available in very remote areas these days. Believe me, I travel in the jungles of South East Asia all the time.
     
  7. kmaute thread starter macrumors 6502

    kmaute

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #7
    Well, I won't be able to have a computer regardless but I appreciate the comments. Money isn't a problem, it's just not a possibility. I will be working the entire time so it's not as if photography will be my only activity. I think I'll choose a camera and then buy enough flash memory with the appropriate size Hyperdrive to store 10,000 images. That should be plenty. Any other info on cameras would be great. Thanks all.
     
  8. gnd macrumors 6502a

    gnd

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Location:
    At my cat's house
    #8
    Famous last words :)
    Just for perspective, during this summer's vacation my wife and I took 9325 photos in 15 days. That's two people with 3 DSLR cameras and 186GB of raw files ...
     
  9. mlblacy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    the REAL Jersey Shore
    #9
    Get an iPad

    Get an iPad and you can offload your pics and then upload them to Flickr when you have wifi or 3G access. Buy the 64 gb one and you will have plenty of storage. I have an Air bought barely use it since I got the iPad. It is great to use while travelling, and I take it with me for business as well. The device is small, holds a charge for ever, and would let you document your travels as you go, at least visually. The camera connection kit is nice and includes both USB and a card reader. We took it with us to Canada and Maine over the summer and every night dumped off our pictures. The functionality is admittedly at a 1.0 level, but it does work. Also, the DropBox app will let you retrieve stuff from your home computer (if you still will have one).

    Two years is a long time, and I would be nervous that just keeping the pics on the cards is asking for trouble. Getting an iPad would allow the backup of both the pad itself, and also what you uploaded to someplace like Flickr. It sure would suck to have lost your two years of pics due to card corruption or damage.

    Happy travels.
    Michael
     
  10. Captpegleg macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    #10
    Good luck on editing those 10,000 photos at the end of your journey. I'm guessing it'll be a very long process and very frustrating as well. Myself, I don't have the patience to fool with last weeks images much less images from two years ago. I like to shoot em and edit within a couple of days while the purpose and thoughts of the shot are still fresh in my mind.
    What was the question again…oh, never mind.
     
  11. fcortese macrumors demi-god

    fcortese

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    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Big Sky country
    #11
    Michael's advice makes a lot of sense. I for one would not trust memory sticks alone. And I agree with Captpegleg, part of my OCD wants to get the pictures I've taken uploaded and organized ASAP. But that's me. As for P&S (forgive me if some of these are repeats) but look at some of what are considered "professional" P&Ss-Panasonic Lumix5,Canon G12 or S95 or Nikon's CoolPix P7000. Safe travels and good luck.
     
  12. TheNewDude macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    #12
    Well i don't know what your deal with the computer is, but here are some pointers on the camera....


    The S95 is an AWESOME camera and that's the P&S I would carry alongside my 7D.

    Another suggestion would be the Canon G12. It's basically the older brother of the S95. It has the same 10MP CMOS sensor. The G11 will also give you more zoom, a swivel screen and easily accessible controls. But it is also a bit bigger than the S95.

    What I would suggest is that you give these cameras a try at a store. See which one fits you better. Check out the functionality and see which one is more intuitive for you.
     
  13. OatmealRocks macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    #13
    OP.

    I'm kind of confused. You do not want or have access to a computer in '2 YEARS' because you will be busy working? Do you not have any downtime? or Do you NOT want to touch a computer?

    Going with this logic, why do you require RAW files? Will you be editing these pics after the 2 years? Is this even wise? Editing 2 years of photos when you are back home is insane. If this is the case having so many SD cards is the wrong approach. You didn't mention redundancy. I mean if you are willing to buy so many SD cards, want specific specifications on yoru camera than there is some value in the pictures you will be collecting. 2 Years of picture is insane and I think you need to think of a better way to collect your photos. Hate to say this but depending on 8 SD cards for 2 years is a recipe for disaster on so many levels.

    Ignoring your 'no computer' rule I would have start off with 2 external HD with a netbook/notebook. The 2 external HD would be mirror of each other and stored separately and buy new HDs as your capacity requires it.

    Following your 'no computer' rule, like others have suggested cloud your pictures. However you will still need a computer to use (internet cafe?) Buy dropbox account(s) and get the largest size available if you want RAW retention or Flickr which I am not totally familiar with but beware people will have access to your pictures before you will be able to edit them (can you make pictures private? what is hte max size you can upload?) OR DUAL HyperDrive for the redundancy.
     
  14. ronjon10 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    #14
    Now we're all curious about what you might be doing. I'm going to assume some sort of top secret cia/military thing. Good luck with whatever it is.

    Sounds like you've got a plan for your images. I'd definitely try and get them backed up to the cloud or to redundant disks if you ever get the opportunity.
     
  15. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    #15
    Another vote for hyperdrive here, I have used an HD80 for 5+ years and it has never let me down (that thing has been on safari, up mountains, on canoe trips, at concerts, weddings etc. and just keeps working).

    Personally I wouldn't want to have both copies of two years of pictures on me. I would backup to the hyperdrive and then mail the cards to someone, they could either keep the cards or copy them for you and mail them back.
     
  16. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #16
    It might be easier to find a shop (photo kiosk maybe?) to burn them to a DVD, then mail those off to friends and family, but other than that your point is well taken.

    The OP is being rather coy about the circumstances of this trip. Unless he's going to Antarctica or somewhere similar, it should be possible to find some reasonable level of technology, at least in a major city.
     
  17. kmaute thread starter macrumors 6502

    kmaute

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    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #17
    Not trying to be coy, there's just some limitations on the trip. It's work with a non-profit and I have to play by the rules. I'm selling my MBP and iPhone prior to the trip, I'll buy whatever is out when I come back. I figure I'll have the rest of my life to work on editing the photos.

    I see that the HyperDrive Colorspace has the capability to sync with an external drive. I think this is the way I'm going to go. Leaving the SD cards full, I'll have data on the Hyperdrive and External - triple redundancy. Works for me.

    I'm not leaving for a couple of months so I'll keep my eye out for updated cameras. I really want GPS tagging but I'm not impressed with any of the current offerings. Thanks all.
     
  18. mlblacy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    the REAL Jersey Shore
    #18
    I was going to make a joke...

    About going "off the grid"' and suggest you cover your body with mud at night and sleep beneath a deep forest canopy... But didn't want to appear TOO snarky, lol.

    Also, asking most of us for advice on how to spend two years away from a computer is a really hard task. Most of us can't go a mere two hours, and obviously will try to change your mind on that, myself included.
    Cheers
     
  19. wheezy macrumors 65816

    wheezy

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    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Alpine, UT
    #19
    I went off the computer grid for two years for a non-profit to Japan, where are you going?
     
  20. kmaute thread starter macrumors 6502

    kmaute

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #20
    I haven't received my assignment yet. It could be state side or out of the country. Who knows...
     
  21. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    TX
    #21
    Well, this all sounds incredibly sketchy.

    Have you considered film? If you stick with 35mm you'll find it's readily available worldwide. Mail your spent rolls to a friend who puts them in a box for you. Or establish a relationship with a pro lab who will develop for you as the rolls come in.

    Although I doubt you want to throw so much money at the issue, the Leica MP requires absolutely nothing but film. No battery; of course, no meter either. Everything MUST be manual with that camera.

    This is admittedly probably the most expensive option per frame--however, it provides simplicity and safety.
     
  22. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #22
    I'd take two cameras. If you don't have access to any sort of store then you need a backup.

    Something like the Canon s95 would be good, and maybe one of the small Panasonic cameras as a backup.

    6 x 16G isn't a lot, especially when shooting RAW. I've shot 16G of stills in less than 4 hours (admittedly with 21mpix RAW files). You could always set off taking RAW, then judge how you're going after filling a card and maybe switch down to jpg.

    Shame you don't have any internet cafe type access. Dropbox would have been ideal for selected backups.
     

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