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Photo Forum Everything on Travel Photography, from what kind of equipment to how to light a subject, moderated by Stuart (Reggie) Martindale, a pro English photographer
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Old 10 Nov 2002
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 23
Is my gear too basic?

I've read a lot of the below posts and found them very useful. However, no one thread covered everything specific for me. I guess I am an average user of technology, not a professional but I want gear that is reliable.

Here is my situation:

I will be in a 4WD. It is specially kitted out for long term travel. Lots of lockable storage. I want to take the following gear on a long (up to 2 years) journey which will cover asia, ME, Africa...

* laptop (HP model, new, not too expensive, used for writing and storing some pics, but mainly for me to format web pages which I will upload at web cafes)
* digital camera (Kodak with one of those docking bays for transfer of pics to computer)
* SLR (Canon EOS 500N with 2 x canon lenses (28-80, 75-300mm). This camera has been across Africa and I've had it for 7-8 years. Goes well, no probs ever, (will get it professionally serviced/cleaned soon)
* music system (probably mini disc player with speakers)

I will have good power source from solar panels and backup batteries, so recharging batteries and running gear is not a problem.

Thing is, my gear is a hotch potch of stuff I have bought over the past few years. I have a system that works for me. I can get my info onto the net in my tried and tested manner. I really don't want to fork out for more gear but reading through this forum I can see that technology has advanced somewhat and that there are more efficient options for storing pics and uploading to the net.

What do you all think, considering that space, weight, power is not an issue? I like the sound of those Pelican cases and I think I'll get a few to keep the gear safe.

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Old 13 Nov 2002
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Porsgrunn, Norway
Posts: 48
If you read too much on the web, your gear will quickly feel outdated and you'll slowly gather a lust for more, fueled by all the "latest and hottest equipment"-news. I know...

To me it seems you have a good setup. It works and doesn't cost a dime, since it's already yours and payed for, and upgrading will be expensive. Keep it and you'll have more funds for travelling and less valuables to worry about.

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Old 14 Nov 2002
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Cairo, Egypt
Posts: 456
Actually your setup sound good. I would add to that list and extra Cannon body as backup. Spares for the notebook: a replacement HD, power supply and 2 batteries, a CDW for back up and actually use it.

I would personally go for a CD based MP3 player rather than mini disc. Burn your music on CDs and you can make more CD as you go alone the trip.
OasisPhoto.com – Images from the Magical Sahara.
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Old 15 Nov 2002
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 23
A.B. - tell me about the MP3 player. How does it work? Where do I get my music from? Do I have to burn all my CDs then upload them in some way? I'm not at al lfamiliar with the gadget...
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Old 16 Nov 2002
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Cairo, Egypt
Posts: 456
The Format:
MP3 is a format to store music in digital form. Once music is saved in this format you can play it from the computer, portable player or in dash car stereo that has mp3 playing capabilities.

MP3 compresses the music file sizes dramatically and still maintains a great sound quality comparable to that of music CD. You can compress a whole music CD, which originally contains 650 MB of data, into something like 30 MB. So you can compress say 20 music CD into MP3 and then store them all onto one MP3 CD. Neat don’t you think . If you have a collection of 150 music CD that you want to take along you can compress them into 7 or 8 MP3 CD

A computer is essential in handling MP3 music.

Making MP3 files:
There are free software available to download from the internet that can help you convert your music CDs to MP3. The process is called ripping. It reads your CD and saves the music into MP3 files on your computer.

You can also download almost any music from the web if you have a good Internet connection.

Playing MP3:
You can play MP3 directly from your computer if you prefer but while on the road it would be better to have a dedicated mp3 player.

Every player comes with some sort of cable (sometimes optional) to connect to the computer to download the music to the unit. Once the music in on the unit you can listen to it with headphones or hook it up to the car stereo.

Memory card based players:
These use memory cards to store music. These are great if you’re going jogging or something since the memory cards’ storage is limited. Maybe only an hour or two worth of music can be stored. Not practical for our type of travel.

CD based players:
If you burn your MP3 files on CDs, you can just inset the MP3 CD in one of those players and instantly have access to 20 or so albums. Since your music is already stored on CD you won’t need to upload new music onto the player. Just change the MP3 CD like regular music CD units only each mp3 CD contains so much more music. This is my recommended player in terms of convenience.

Hard disk bases players:
These players contain a small and somewhat large hard disk to store your music on. With a big enough hard disk you can store your entire music collection and never have to upload anything again.
Car MP3 players:
These are regular in-dash car stereos that can handle MP3. They are usually CD or hard disk based.

Hope this helps to get a general idea. Let us know if you need any more help.

Check www.mp3.com for more info.


OasisPhoto.com – Images from the Magical Sahara.
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OasisPhoto.com – Images from the Magical Sahara.
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