Featured, Photography, Travel Gear, Trip Prep and Planning

Go Go Gadget!

15 Comments 01 November 2012

camera gear

New gadgets!

What traveler doesn’t like gadgets and techie things? To prep for my upcoming travels – I had to do some serious tech shopping during my time in NYC. I went to the most dangerous spot in the city – B&H Camera – a place I can’t leave without dropping some serious money.

Low Light

I spent over an hour talking to the B&H expert about my lens situation and I decided to purchase 2 new lenses for my upcoming travels. First – I wanted a better low light lens so I decided upon a 28mm 1.8 lens that should give me more ability to shoot those low light situations I’m always confronted with while traveling. Even though I have a flash – it sits in my storage unit as I just don’t want to mess with it. For me I’d rather have a lens that can handle the light situations better instead of carrying a flash and batteries with me.

Zooming In

In the hopes of getting some great photos ops in Antarctica I also decided to replace my long lens that I’ve had for 7 years with something that is a bit better quality (and unfortunately for my back – heavier) I got an image stabilized 70-300 mm lens. I don’t often use a long lens so I wasn’t prepared to invest a lot – but it is much better than what I had.

Finally – A Tripod

For 6 years I’ve avoided carrying a tripod. Many times I have gone to B&H with the absolute intention to buy one – but then I start looking at them and chicken out. The thought of carrying another piece of equipment is a giant pill to swallow. I decided to sort of compromise and go with a Joby mini/flexible tripod. It’s not a full tripod size, but it’s also much more flexible as you can wrap it around poles which strangely seems like something I need. I’m excited to start to learn more about night photography now since I can actually do it!

Of course with these new gadgets come new cases, lens covers, and hoods – it’s never just one thing is it?

A Big, Exciting Phone Change

samsung galaxy s3

Samsung Galaxy S3 – Is bigger better?

One of the most exciting new gadgets I am using on this trip is a new smart phone – the Samsung Galaxy SIII. Every month that goes by I tend to use my smart phone more and more so it was finally time to retire my old illegally unlocked smart phone. Thanks to my ailing eyesight and desire to have the best camera and video capability on my smart phone – I opted to try out the Galaxy SIII. It has initially turned my world upside down as I learn a new operating essentially – but so excited to play with the image capabilities – I can suffer through the learning curve frustration. As an added bonus – the Galaxy S3 is larger than my old phone – which my degrading eyesight is happy about!

As an added bonus, my girlfriend Michaela has her share of new gadgets she’s bringing with her to Lana’i too! She just got the new GoPro Hero 3 camera so that we can get the best adventure footage possible. I can’t wait to see what she captures.

Gopro hero3

The tiny little GoPro Hero 3

Hopefully all of this will add to your visual pleasure here at Ottsworld! What new gadgets are you carrying with you on your travels?

Disclosure:  Thanks to Samsung for gifting me a Samsung Galaxy SIII.  All views expressed here are my own honest opinions and do not reflect the views of Samsung

Your Comments

15 Comments so far

  1. Lynn says:

    Nice gadgets Sherry! I’m also thinking of getting the Samsung. Did you get it with a contract or buy an unlocked one this time?

    • Sherry says:

      Lynn – I actually got it unlocked directly from Samsung. I’m working on a fun travel project for them this month! So I’m not exactly sure how the contract stuff works with the SIII. You know me – since I travel so much I prefer to have an unlocked phone. However – I can tell you that I love the larger screen and so far the camera and other features have been great. I’m just starting to use the SVoice stuff too. Lots of new things to learn!

  2. Steph says:

    Thanks for posting this. I didn’t know they made a Hero 3. Eek!

    Enjoy Antarctica. It’s one of my favourite places.

  3. Jason Baker says:

    Sherry, I’d love to know your thoughts on that Joby mini/flexible tripod after your trip. I’m currently planning a major sabbatical trip after winning an adventure tour with gAdventures that I plan to turn into a year or two long adventure working. My winnings is taking me to India for a two to four weeks. As a result, I’m on a very tight budget for the next while as I save for my trip.

    Unfortunately, as a media, tech, and social enthusiast, the list of things that I’d WANT is quite big and I’m looking for ways to obviously save money. At $40, the JOBY seems like a much more viable option than a $200 SLR tripod that is also a bit big for backpacking. My concern with smaller tripods is the lack of strength for SLRs, and in this case, the lower height disadvantage. I’d love to know what your experience with is like it.

    I’m also looking at purchasing a GoPro 3, but am still uncertain how I would use it. Have you or your friend seen anyone that has attached it to their head by chance? I’m thinking of first person hiking time lapses.

    • Sherry says:

      Hi Jason – thanks for your note. I will def. let people know how the equipment works for me on the trip and beyond. My Joby cost $150 for the most heavy duty one that will hold the most weight. Wonder where you found one for $40! Regarding the GoPro3 – yes – we strapped on our head the other day to get some footage. That’s one of the best things about it since it’s so small and durable – it can go in all kinds of weird places and get great footage! We also just took it underwater too!

  4. Laura says:

    I have spent a lot of time searching for an unlocked smart phone to take with me to Kenya this month. I drooled over the new Samsung Galaxy SIII phone, but in the end it was a little out of my price range. I’ve decided to pick up a more affordable smart phone once I’m in Kenya but hope you have been enjoying it so far!

    • Larry says:

      Laura, you should look into the Nexus 4 by LG made for google. It starts at 299 and you get it from google’s Play store unlocked. It’s got really good specs.

  5. Pete says:

    I can’t wait to see what you come up with that 28mm 1.8 lens. We’ve been traveling all this time with a Joby Gorilla and love it, although we just invested in a full size tripod (albeit I still kept the Joby for long hikes and such..)

    Enjoy all the new toys!

  6. Bill Iverson says:

    The Joby tripod (at least the biggest Joby)does well for exposures of a second or maybe several. Doesn’t really work with a DSLR if you’re doing 10X long exposures of 30 seconds or so. I can usually solve the height problem by finding a vertical or horizontal surface at the height I want (column, cartop, etc.) Here’s my QUESTION: I’m planning to walk the Via de la Plata this spring, but am a bit concerned with security for an expensive DSLR and lenses in albergues. Having been thinking of (1) getting a motion alarm and some sort of lock for backpack, (2)trying to disguise camera in, e.g., dirty laundry bag. Any thoughts on whether there is a security problem and if so how to reduce risks?

    • Sherry says:

      Bill – I took my DSLR, lenses, and laptop with me and stayed at the albergues and didn’t have a problem. I simply locked anything valuable inside my backpack. I found the albergues to be very safe – but maybe I was just lucky. For the most part – people on the camino are really there for good reasons – and I didn’t hear of any theft – yet I’m sure it happens. I also frequently carry my camera with me most of the time and it was locked under my bed when I was sleeping. You may want to go out to the Camino discussion boards and get some other people’s opinions too!

      • Bill Iverson says:

        Sherry — thanks, as reassuring as anyone could reasonably expect. Have never tried to lock a backpack. Any hints for doing so (I have Osprey Atmos top-loading packs which close with a cinch cord, but would be willing to buy something more lockable).

        • Sherry says:

          Well – I honestly lock my backpack with a little padlock – and honestly it does nothing more than deter a quick thief since they could easily just cut into it or cut through the zipper ties that I lock it through. Here’s what I would recommend – I know a lot of travelers who use pacsafe products. I’ve never done it as sometimes I’d rather not bring attention to the fact that I have something to lock! But they have these great grids/nets that you can put on backpacks and they can’t be cut through thereby locking your backpack! Here’s a link with product info – http://pacsafe.com/products
          I’ve never used it myself so I don’t know how well it works – but I know many people who love them.

          • Bill Iverson says:

            You’re right, the best approach is minimal security and not advertising. But I am a little uneasy about the ViaDLP — further south, smaller albergues, horrible unemployment. Pacsafe.com is entertaining. Might buy the small wire bag for cameras to put inside my backpack, if I can rig it to force someone who cuts through an outside lock (or the pack itself!) to steal the whole bag rather than just camera/lenses. Might just annoy someone enough that they slash the entire pack to shreds (living in Washington, you learn it’s often best to give in gracefully where it’s only property being stolen).

  7. Ayngelina says:

    I use a gorillapod for my dslr, just to stabilize not to wrap around trees (seriously I have seen some people try to do it). I’m really happy with it as it doesn’t take up too much space.

  8. David M says:

    Sherry, quick question. How did that 70-300mm work out for you in Antarctica?

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Sherry traveling the world

I'm Sherry, a corporate cube dweller turned nomadic traveler. I travel to off-the-beaten-path destinations to bring you unique travel experiences and photography. But it's not just about travel, it's also about life experiences of a middle age wanderer.
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Where am I and Where am I going?

Minnesota/Wisconsin -> Nebraska

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