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Messages - miah

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Software & Accessories / Re: JPEG as a travel alternative
« on: September 01, 2013, 11:00:29 AM »
Honestly, I would stock up on CF cards and get a backup drive that reads straight from the card.  (Colorspace makes a nice one). 

I would leave the laptop at home unless you absolutely need to edit images while on the trip (You mentioned you might not have much electricity) Go light and get souvenirs and meet people.

When you get home you can take a week and just go through images.  Spend your time on the road making images and enjoying your trip.  Save the editing for when you get back home.

I have to have a laptop too, which is why I carry the smallest one out there (11-in MacBook Air), because I write travel stories and design/post web pages from the road. This means doing basic sorting and image editing both for my website and for a newspaper I freelance for. I also upload my GPS tracks to LR4 on the laptop, so that I can encode each image with location data. I've been doing this for years and have developed an efficient workflow, so it doesn't draw much time away from the more important travel experience. In fact, spending so many months alone on the road, often not speaking the local language and confined to my tent at night (rain, bugs, middle of nowhere, etc.), I find looking through the day's catch enhances the experience and helps me learn what to do/not do the next day, with regards to photographic technique.

Oh, and there's not one cubic centimeter of space available for souvenirs--so my photos serve that purpose.

Software & Accessories / Re: JPEG as a travel alternative
« on: August 31, 2013, 10:32:49 PM »
Small portable solar panel to trickle charge your devices? Then you don't need to worry about power consumption.

I've looked into these, but the ones that put out adequate power are quite bulky and heavy. I can, depending on which bike I'm riding, charge a camera battery off of the engine while moving, but it's awkward and again, only possible on certain bikes.

Software & Accessories / Re: JPEG as a travel alternative
« on: August 31, 2013, 08:59:42 PM »
Enjoy the trip - where's the next one?

Thanks for the tips, Frodo; always good to hear from a fellow traveler/motorcyclist. I'm heading back (my second trip) to SE Asia in Nov for 3-4 months. Most of my travels are off-road, camping in tiny villages or in the backcountry, hence the lack of amenities--like electrons.

wockawocka. My largest CF is a 1000X 32GB Lexar, but like you say, it wouldn't hurt to get either more cards or larger capacity cards. I'm just uneasy about having a full, 128 GB card go south on me; that's a lot of lost images. And to answer your question, yes, I do quite a bit of time lapse using a Satechi intervalometer.

Software & Accessories / Re: JPEG as a travel alternative
« on: August 31, 2013, 01:17:42 PM »
Another idea:
I don't travel with a notebook, I look at my "harvest" at home.
In other words: what about leaving the notebook at home and carry some more CF and/or SD cards?
Mail and social contacts every smartphone could do.

On shorter trips I do just that, but when I'm out for months I need the notebook (an exceedingly diminutive 11-inch MacBook Air) to write and post to the web. I don't carry any sort of phone. Carrying extra CF cards is a good idea, for it would allow me to keep the computer/HDD turned off for a longer period of time. Thanks.

Software & Accessories / Re: JPEG as a travel alternative
« on: August 31, 2013, 10:15:35 AM »
hgraf Thanks for your input. I've heard and read competing information with regards to drive speed. It seems a friend showed me some tests where the power draw of a 7200 vs 5400 RPM HDD was disproportionately small compared to the additional speed of delivery. I don't claim to know that much about it, but the article he showed me seemed to make sense. My objective is to speed the entire through-put, not because I'm impatient, but because every second the computer is on the battery is going south. There are times when I must make one charge last a week or more with daily use.

shashinkaman Yes, it's true: I'm an amateur photographer. So, what's your point? As I said, I travel alone and on foot or by motorcycle, so every cubic centimeter and every gram of weight matter a lot. And as for quantity of shots taken, I certainly take a lot more than I ultimately keep. Sorting, storing and processing the keepers is why I have to carry a computer and hard drives when in the field, since my excursions are typically multiple months at a time.

pwp Thanks for the heads-up on the Sanho device; it's nice to hear you and Don Haines have had good luck with them. I'll take a closer look online as my Nexto battery now lasts maybe 5 minutes and cannot be replaced (in my model).

I also appreciate everyone's kick in the butt to stick with RAW. I guess I was just hoping for an easy way out...

Software & Accessories / Re: JPEG as a travel alternative
« on: August 30, 2013, 11:01:45 PM »
Thanks for the link, MSP, I was unaware that they had pushed to 2TBs in the 2-1/2" drive format. Unfortunately neither Newegg nor WD list the speed of this drive. I'll bet it's 5400 RPM, but prefer 7200 RPM drives. There are 1TB 2-1/2" drives that rotate at the higher speed, but as you say, they hold half as much data. Do you have one of these drives and can you tell me what its rotational speed is?

Software & Accessories / Re: JPEG as a travel alternative
« on: August 30, 2013, 10:51:33 PM »
Have you thought about those automatic CF-copy-devices, can't remember the name/models, but the simple device where you stick your CF / SD card and it automatically copies it to the internal hard drive. If you want mirroring, get two of them. That way you don't need to haul your laptop around so much.

The Nexto HDD enclosure I mentioned is such a device. The problem is that it's internal battery is worthless and cannot be replaced/upgraded. That means that I have to plug it into my MacBook Air with its USB cable to get power as well as to view the files on it. This rapidly degrades the MacBook's battery.

Software & Accessories / Re: JPEG as a travel alternative
« on: August 30, 2013, 09:35:05 PM »
Thanks for the feedback, guys.

OK, to make my objectives clearer, I could go on this 3-4 month trip with my current computer and HDD enclosures and shoot RAW, but I risk filling the HDDs too soon and slowing down my whole operation due to the size of the files. I'm often without electricity, so slow file transfers eat lots of battery.

I could solve the transfer time and get a more efficient battery by purchasing the latest MacBook Air, which has USB 3.0 plus a better battery, but this costs a lot of money (new computer plus one new HDD enclosure). Alternatively, I thought, maybe I could get by shooting JPEGs to squeeze more shots onto each drive and speed the transfer time (thus gaining power efficiency).

My current two external drives are a NEXTO Extreme (USB 2.0 + eSATA) 500 GB and a LaCie Rugged Mini (USB 2.0-3.0) 500GB. I attach both to my current MacBook Air using USB 2.0 which is very slow. Both drives are presently full, so either way I have to buy two, new 1TB drives to put in the existing enclosures. And to answer the question as to whether I could fill 1 TB in 3-4 months the answer is definitely yes, especially if shooting the 5D3 in RAW (the second terabyte simply mirrors the first, so I don't have 2 TBs of space--just one).

The 128GB SSD in my MacBook Air barely holds my system and apps, so all photo files are saved to the HDDs.

Buying new FW800 drives for an older computer and carrying a Thunderbolt adapter makes no sense, since Firewire is dead (they'll be obsolete once I do get a new computer). I don't think there is an adapter to convert eSata to Thunderbolt for my Nexto drive; at least there wasn't the last time I checked. Carrying more CF cards won't work for a trip of this duration. And uploading anything to the cloud is out of the question due to infrequent and extremely slow internet connections.

Sporgon's comments are along the lines of what I've always thought; RAW gives you a lot of PP options that might help rescue that once-in-a-lifetime shot. But I have to be practical. I can't physically carry more than one drive, plus one back-up drive. I have to preserve my Mac's battery during transfers, because I often have no access to electricity. Sometimes I nail 'em in-camera, but it's the rare shot that needs no PP.

Maybe, as some of you suggested, it's best to split the difference and shoot JPEGs in good light and RAW when it's dodgy. This would give me more PP possibilities for shots in poor light or low contrast, but still preserve CF/HDD space and transfer-speed/battery-life by shooting lots of JPEGs.

Software & Accessories / JPEG as a travel alternative
« on: August 30, 2013, 04:36:51 PM »
Like probably most of the folks on this forum I shoot RAW, but I'm considering switching to large-format JPEG and would like some feedback.

I travel. A lot. I do so either on foot or by motorcycle, so space and weight are critical. In November of last year I swallowed hard and purchased a 5D3 to "replace" my T3i, knowing that this body and L lenses would be quite a bit larger and heavier than what I was accustomed to carrying. I did so because my desire for better IQ eventually trumped my desire to minimize weight/bulk. Here's a quick comparison of my old set-up vs new:

OLD: T3i + EF-S 15-85 + EF 70-300DO
NEW: 5D3 + EF 24-105 + EF 70-300L

I presently own a 2011, 11-inch MacBook Air equipped with USB 2.0. The new 2013 MacBook Air is equipped with USB 3.0. The latter would make transferring files between CF cards and computer much more rapid/convenient, though it would also require upgrading to all new USB 3.0 hard drives, as well (I carry 2, 1TB mirrors).

So here's my thought: I could forego upgrading my computer and hard drives, thus saving money that could be spent on traveling instead, and still maintain speed/convenience, if I switch from RAW to shooting JPEG for this trip. JPEG files are so much more compact than RAW that I wouldn't need larger HDDs or USB 3.0 to push the files around.

I'd love to hear some pros and cons while I still have time to exercise either option. Oh, and I use LR4 and Photoshop CS6 to edit my photos. I mention this because I've had good luck in the past when faced with editing the occasional JPEG file.

Thanks in advance for any input you can offer.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
« on: July 28, 2013, 11:36:42 AM »
Water damage is highly unpredictable and can cause errors, as Neuro said, a long time after it was exposed to water.
Sometimes that high unpredictability works in your favor, too. In 2007 I went over my motorcycle's handlebars into a pit of quicksand in the Amazon. My DSLR was safe in my waterproof panniers, but my Powershot S80 was strapped to my waist in a completely porous little belt-pack. By the time I finally extracted myself from the mess, and pulled the S80 out of my belt-pack, disgusting, muddy water was running out of every orifice. I pulled the battery, let it dry out for several days (exposed to more Amazon-level humidity, all day, everyday), put the battery back in--and it worked!

When I got back to the states, I played dumb and sent it into Canon for "cleaning." They subsequently sent me a photo of what it looked like on the inside: filthy. There letter explained that the camera had obvious water damage and offered me the chance to upgrade to another camera (at a discount). I passed, and am still using that S80 almost every day to this day, 6 years later (it just returned from Thailand, where my wife used it without fail, everyday for 7 weeks).

Now, I don't know whether to chalk this incident up to quality or luck or both, but regardless, I didn't lose a single shot from my trip.

Lenses / Re: 400mm f5.6 - Why ?
« on: July 14, 2013, 11:10:26 PM »
I was in a similar predicament a few months ago. With a 5D3 and a 70-300L, I felt that getting to 400 with a 100-400 was simply too redundant--especially because I love the results I get with my 70-300. I also liked the idea of the 400 f/5.6's lower weight, faster AF and sharper IQ. So, I sprung for the 400 and haven't regretted my purchase one bit. Even with a 1.4X, images are sharp. The AF is very fast. And though it's a bit long in the backpack, it's smaller diameter and lighter weight make for an easy carry. In short, if I had to do it all over again, I would buy these same two lenses.

Footnote: Though I do not own a 100-400, I have borrowed one from a friend of mine on a number of occasions. It's a very nice lens, especially if you only want to carry one. But in concert with my beloved 70-300L, the 400 f/5.6 just made more sense.

Street & City / Egyptian photojournalist captured his own death
« on: July 12, 2013, 02:51:02 PM »
This CNN video is a powerful story about an Egyptian photog who felt his weapon was mightier than the sword. May he RIP.


Lenses / Re: Alaskan Cruise - 70-300L/Crop Sensor?
« on: June 20, 2013, 08:43:20 AM »
I concur. I took a T1i + 15-85 and 70-300 on the Alaska Ferry from Bellingham to Haines. It was great for dolphins and whales and a lot of landscapes that were a fair distance from the ship. A polarizer can really help out on the water to cut glare, but you take a big hit on aperture on an already slowish lens. I'd leave the 200 at home unless weight/bulk isn't a problem and you can pack the whole kit.

Software & Accessories / Re: Advice: Black Rapid shoulderstrap
« on: June 14, 2013, 09:59:16 PM »

Take the FastenR-3 that comes with the strap, and use Loctite Blue 242 to attach it to a Kirk QRC-1 clamp.

OK, that looks like a good solution. Thanks!

Software & Accessories / Re: Advice: Black Rapid shoulderstrap
« on: June 14, 2013, 08:42:46 PM »
All my carriers are set up for Arca Swiss plates (which are on my camera/lenses).  For the BR straps, I use a Kirk 1" clamp on the lugs, and I have the Spider Arca Clamp.

Neuro, I'm also looking at a BR strap, but am confused by statements on their website. I want to keep my Induro Arca Swiss plates mounted to my camera/lenses, so I can pop them off the BR strap and attach them to my ballhead at a moments notice, but it says the FastenR Tripod (FR-T1) will only work with the Manfrotto RC2 Quick Release Plate. From your description, quoted above, I'm unclear as to what you found that works. Thanks.

Here's the BR page I'm referring to:


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