General Camera/Laptop Question

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General Camera/Laptop Question

Postby scarl » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:32 pm

Hi All,

I haven't decided between Egypt and Mexico yet, but I have a couple equipment questions either way. I plan on taking my camcorder on trips and would need to offload AVCHD footage at least every few days. To that end, I was initially planning on taking a small laptop and an external hard drive, but I started wondering about Internet cafe's and hotel computers. Is it possible to visit a pay-to-use computer every few days while on a GAP tour in either country? If so, I could dispense with the laptop and a few kg of weight. What do other people do in the same situation?

I also was wondering about the use of monopods with cameras/camcorders. I read that one needs special permits from Mexico city to use tripods around the Mayan ruins (which I am not likely to be able to get)... but does that carry over to the use of a monopod? They are quite handy, and I would hate to lug it on a trip only to find out it was banned everywhere I would want to use it. How about Egypt, any restrictions there on the use of monopods there?

Thanks much!

Stephen
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Re: General Camera/Laptop Question

Postby ballu » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:11 pm

You shouldn't have a problem finding internet cafes wherever you go. The only thing I'd be weary of is internet speeds in other areas of the world can be painfully slow compared to what you use at home, so if you're uploading it could take a very long time.
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Re: General Camera/Laptop Question

Postby sinecure » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:24 pm

I think your monopod millage will vary greatly depending on who the security guard is and their level of understanding. More often than not I've been told no monopod at most sites.
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Re: General Camera/Laptop Question

Postby scarl » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:35 pm

Thanks guys!

I wouldn't be uploading video while on the trip (maybe a few photos to facebook or something), the computer would just be used to movie raw video from the camera to a portable hard drive (I think I'd be recording 50-100 gig a day in videos).

That sucks about the monopod... but I guess it is to be expected. Any other ideas regarding something to help steady a camcorder would be really welcome! :-)
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Re: General Camera/Laptop Question

Postby IncaTrail50 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:17 pm

Have you seen Gorillapods? They are short tripods (fixed length) but flexible so you can wrap them around whatever is handy and the right height. They come in various sizes for different camera weights. I LOVE mine! You can find them here: http://joby.com/gorillapod
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Re: General Camera/Laptop Question

Postby scarl » Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:52 pm

The gorillapod would definitely be an option, thanks for the idea! :-)
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Re: General Camera/Laptop Question

Postby roofie » Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:50 pm

scarl wrote:The gorillapod would definitely be an option, thanks for the idea! :-)


they're nice in a pinch but quite unsteady. I'd suggest getting one of the larger ones. You can find a ton of cheap chinese copies on ebay.

As for photo/video backup: get a nexto or hyperdrive. They're fast and while they may cost as much as a small netbook, they're much much smaller and easier to travel with.
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Re: General Camera/Laptop Question

Postby scarl » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:05 pm

roofie wrote:As for photo/video backup: get a nexto or hyperdrive. They're fast and while they may cost as much as a small netbook, they're much much smaller and easier to travel with.


That is awesome! I had no idea these products existed! I've looked at both and am now looking at options for purchasing these in Canada. Thanks much, roofie!!
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Re: General Camera/Laptop Question

Postby roofie » Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:21 pm

scarl wrote:
roofie wrote:As for photo/video backup: get a nexto or hyperdrive. They're fast and while they may cost as much as a small netbook, they're much much smaller and easier to travel with.


That is awesome! I had no idea these products existed! I've looked at both and am now looking at options for purchasing these in Canada. Thanks much, roofie!!


no worries. They're a bit tricky to find in stores though. Got the nextodi (2700 I think). With the new (year or so old) firmware it's also got "incremental backup" like the latest hyperdrives, which saves alot of space but it doesn't quite work 100% of the time if you use several cards. Made my life a lot easier though on my latest trip.
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Re: General Camera/Laptop Question

Postby jmclatchie » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:00 pm

Another portable storage device is the Wolverine. I also live in Canada and I couldn't find it here. So I ordered it from BH Photo and had UPS deliver it.
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Re: General Camera/Laptop Question

Postby electrakate » Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:13 pm

Re: internet
I'm bringing my netbook to Egypt with me, and I believe you can buy wireless internet sticks from Vodafone, for internet on the go. I have no idea what the connection will be like, but I thought I'd give it a try.
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Re: General Camera/Laptop Question

Postby scarl » Sat Feb 20, 2010 12:39 am

Given the price of the portable photo backup systems, I think I am better off going to go with a netbook and a portable external drive. It also opens up the possibility of using Internet, writing notes, or perhaps watching a movie if I am laid up for a day at the hotel.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions!!
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Re: General Camera/Laptop Question

Postby nox » Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:26 pm

jmclatchie wrote:Another portable storage device is the Wolverine. I also live in Canada and I couldn't find it here. So I ordered it from BH Photo and had UPS deliver it.


Wolverines are good, I had one for the last 3 years, but the Hyperdrives are way better imho. The main thing is they are the fastest thing you can buy for stand alone portable drives. When I moved up to my new camera which has 22 MB raw files, my Wolverine would take longer than the battery would last to download a 16 GB CF card. I don't think they're that much more expensive either.
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Re: General Camera/Laptop Question

Postby scarl » Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:51 pm

I can see how these devices would be great for photographers, especially since several of them can act as a viewer as well. I've done a lot of research, thanks to the suggestions in this thread, and it looks like my best bets are either a netbook/external or the largest HyperDrive COLORSPACE with USB "on the go".

I need a device that can act as a USB host (so I can plug the video camera directly to it... not use flash cards to do the transfers) and that can store a huge amout of video. In an afternoon of casual use, I can generate 60 gigabytes of video, so I need to budget at least 500-600 gig of storage for a two week trip.... which is doable with the largest HyperDrive or a bulkier netbook/external combo.

Thanks again to everyone who posted suggestions!
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Re: General Camera/Laptop Question

Postby roofie » Sun Feb 28, 2010 2:43 pm

I'd say that a hyperdrive would be a great choice. Don't know how much they can back up on one battery, but my nexto can handle 4*16gig cards with data verification on one charge.

oh, and while you can access almost any camera, or other storage device from a nexto/hyperdrive, trying to backup or copy to an external harddrive via USB-OTG might be tricky.
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