I’ve given a lot of thought to what I’m bringing on this trip to Cancun, Mexico. I’m going to do some technology experiments in addition to photography so it’s making the gear selection even more challenging. I’m spending some quality time with the family and taking loads of photographs, of course, but for the first time in a while, I’m not taking my computer.
I use a 15″ MacBook Pro as my main computer. I take it with me on trips, certainly for work, but also on vacations so I have somewhere to back up my photographs and do some blogging. This time, I’m trying an experiment by not bringing it. Between the computer, the power adapter and cables, I save nearly 7 pounds of weight. Ironically, while I’ve downsized the cameras by going mirrorless, the backend post-processing infrastructure has remained the same.
My long-term goal is the continue to slim down the computer and the backup mechanisms so that I can travel as lightly as possible. This trip is the first step in figuring all this out. I will certainly blog about what I’m doing and how well it works, just in case you want to do the same.
Originally, I was going to bring only two cameras. I’m taking the Olympus TG-2, of course, that I mentioned yesterday. This is my new waterproof camera and I’m going to use by the pool and beachside — it should be a carefree way to take photos, in a harsh environment. My high quality camera is going to be the Olympus E-PM2. I’ll have the Panasonic 14mm f2.5 lens plus wide-angle adapter for my urban landscapes. I’m also bringing the Olympus 14 – 42 kit lens for versatility and the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 for low light situations.
After a test packing, I decided to add the Olympus E-P3 too. I wanted to have a back up high quality camera, and these Olympus cameras are so small, I can easily find space for another. The E-PM2 and E-P3 share the same batteries so I need only one charger. The E-PM2 will be for wide-angles and the E-P3 will have the 20mm attached. This way, I also minimize changing lenses.
The iPad Mini is going to be the post-processing computer. I’m going to use it to backup photos was well as do image processing and even some blogging — if it all works out. I bought this gadget that I think will make it all possible. I’ve done some tests and things look doable. But, I’m worried. I take a lot of photos and I’m concerned that this infrastructure, while good for an average number of photos, would collapse under the volume that I shoot.
After much thought, I’ve decided to hedge my bets. I got permission from my wife to take her lightweight MacBook Air. It still weighs about 3 pounds but I save half the weight compared to my 15″ MacBook Pro. I’m still going to use the iPad Mini as the primary device — run the experiment as planned — the Air is there just in case. After all, it’s counter productive to stress about the technology during a vacation.
So I’m taking bold steps to reduce the weight, but with a backup plan. I’m curious if it will work. Regardless, at least I’ll have more to talk about on the blog. And if the WiFi works in Cancun, I might post even some updates along the way. See you soon.
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