(Probably quite basic) Touring tech advice needed

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by smith4188, 8 Feb 2018.

  1. smith4188

    smith4188 Über Member

    I'm off again for another six month tour starting April and since last time all my electronics have died. What I need is something to take decent, magazine-quality photos, somewhere to write notes (a lot of notes, with the possibility of, on occasion, offline memory-stick backup) and general internet use. In the past I had a little Acer Aspire One and a clunky but decent SLR camera (10MP), both of which needed to be mains charged. I won't be staying in so many hotels this time around and so everything needs to be chargeable by solar panel (which I have already and works well, especially as I'll mostly be in sunny countries). In recent years I've sort of lost touch with what's available. All I know is that the camera on my current phone (Samsung J1) is hopeless. Is there a not-too-expensive, non-Apple phone (preferably sub-£250) that can do all the above (including the backup bit) whose battery last longer than a few hours? Or do I need a separate camera for that sort of quality? Thanks in advance for any help.
     
    Blue Hills likes this.
  2. MichaelW2

    MichaelW2 Über Member

    For publication, I would keep the camera phone as backup. DSLR is not needed when you have micro 4/3 style models. The lenses are physically smaller and lighter than DSLR and Panasonic one have amazing video. You could even use a high end compact such as Canon G series. Separate cameras have better specs, not only pixel count but dynamic range and low light capability and better lenses. They are also easier to use in difficult situation and save your phone from exposure to damage or loss and general battery usage.
     
  3. Milkfloat

    Milkfloat Veteran

    Location:
    Warwick
  4. oldwheels

    oldwheels Über Member

    I just got a Sony DSC-WX500 for a couple of hundred pounds. Amazing 30x zoom and seems to have a decent battery life. Not had it long enough to make meaningful comments but very compact. Worth looking at perhaps.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    smith4188

    smith4188 Über Member

    Thanks for all that. I also don't mind going second-hand. But if I continued to use my old hamster-powered phone for notes and bought a compact camera for pictures, would I 1) be able to back up the photos on the road without access to a computer, 2) be able to back up notes entered into the phone on to a memory stick when WiFi is out of reach. The idea of having six months of material/memories that could be smashed/nicked/lost is a bit upsetting.
     
  6. MichaelW2

    MichaelW2 Über Member

    Both of my cameras, Nikon DSLR and Canon compact, have built in wifi that connects with my android pad. It is a pretty limited form of wifi, I cant connect directly to upload to a cloud drive from the camera but it does offer wireless transfer to a portable device, from which you can upload when in wifi range of the interclouds.
    I would advise switching your sd cards around from week to week so you don't lose whole swathes of the trip should one card get lost, damaged or stolen.
     
    Gravity Aided likes this.
  7. Milkfloat

    Milkfloat Veteran

    Location:
    Warwick
    Elysian_Roads likes this.
  8. Milkfloat

    Milkfloat Veteran

    Location:
    Warwick
    More importantly - is there going to be another book. Being honest - I am not too keen on the novels.
     
  9. Crankarm

    Crankarm Guru

    Location:
    Nr Cambridge
    Splash out on a new all singing all dancing iPhone X. Upload your images to the cloud.
    Portable hard drive to transfer your images to at the end of the day.
    Macbook Air or iPad Pro 10.5 inch with wifi and cellular?
    Will you be editing images as you go, then you'll need a device that can run editing software such as Lightroom.

    The Sony RX100 IV is a great point and shoot compact camera certainly giving you magazine quality prints if your photography skills are any good. The V is nearly a grand in price so a little too rich, probably. You can probably still get the RX100 III and the II for a song.
    Also you will need a couple of power banks to keep all your electronics working. Depending where you are heading your solar panel(s) might or might not generate enough power. Dynamo hub? Or check into some accommodation every 4 or 5 days to recharge and do washing. Simples.
     
  10. Heltor Chasca

    Heltor Chasca Out-Riding the Black Dog

    Ooh. Another book coming out by any chance @smith4188 ? I’m having to reread all your others. :whistle:
     
  11. OP
    OP
    smith4188

    smith4188 Über Member

    Hopefully, yes. This year's ride should be interesting and includes a couple of edgier places to which I can't find anyone who's ever cycled there (though I'm sure they must have). And thanks for reading whatever it is you've read (and sorry about the novels) ;-)
     
    Milkfloat likes this.
  12. OP
    OP
    smith4188

    smith4188 Über Member

    :-) Thanks for the advice but I can't bring myself to use Apple for several reasons, and not only the price. I probably won't need to edit photos on the go. Some would get uploaded to FB in their natural form. Any magazine/proper web site photo requirements would be for after the ride and I can edit them at home on my laptop. I'll have a look at your camera suggestions though - thanks. And I think the solar panel should be good enough. It worked throughout Britain for six months in 2016 and if it'll work there, well...and I'm going much further south this time. Thanks again.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    smith4188

    smith4188 Über Member

    :-) Hopefully this year's ride will generate enough stuff of interest to justify another book, but it won't be out until the end of the year. And thanks for reading them the first time around (and the positive reviews!), let alone a second time. I'll try to cycle/write more quickly ;-)
     
  14. hoopdriver

    hoopdriver Veteran

    Location:
    East Sussex
    I shoot for magazines and while I normally use a DSLR, I have used Canon G-series compacts when circumstances required it and can tell you they work extremely well, especially the G1X. No trouble with quality. And if you need to shoot images of yourself on the road the Canon G-series compacts have a fully customisable self timer which you can adjust - set the delay for anything between 2 and 30 seconds and then fire off anywhere from 1 to 10 frames. Very useful, especially when you’re travelling solo.
     
    smith4188 likes this.
  15. Blue Hills

    Blue Hills Guru

    Location:
    London
    Interesting -I didn't know the tech was that good these days. Can I ask which model it was? How did you collect the charge? - with it strapped to the top of your rack as you cycled? You used it to charge a powerbank on the bike? Sorry (and more questions may follow) but kinda fair enough - you ask for advice, we folks ask it of you :smile:

    all the best,look forward to the book
     
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