Richard Fisher

New York, travelling light.

We decided to push the boat out this year (well aeroplane) and spend a week in New York for out annual holiday. This was a first for us on many counts, first time we booked a holiday ten months in advance, first time our Son flew, first time we took a city break.

I knew we were in for a lot of walking, we actually did a hell of a lot of walking! The New York subway is great if you are traveling north and south, not so good east to west, this was mostly by foot (we wanted to avoid to many cabs), knowing this we wanted to travel light during the day. When I am on business trips and on previous holidays I typically travel with my Nikon DSLR, a couple of lens, a laptop, a suitable sized bag and all the associated chargers, mice, card readers, cables and so on. Lugging all this kit around on business is both required and usually not a problem as most travelling is not by foot. Expecting warm weather and lots of walking I made the decision to travel light.

This is what I ended up with:-

  • A small cheap bag from Amazon.
  • A Nikon J2 with a couple of lenses. This is one of Nikons small mirror less cameras, not as good as my main camera but the J2 and two lenses takes up as much space as my DLSR body alone. It’s only 10M pixels but does seem to cope quite well in most conditions and takes some cracking photos. The charger is quite big but not much we can do about that.
  • Spare camera batteries.
  • An 8GB EyeFi card and lots of SD cards.
  • My iPad mini, a good spec with 3G and lots of memory.
  • Photosync app.
  • Documents app.
  • iPhones (we each have an iPhone on ThreeUK).
  • Ipad SD card reader.
  • A couple of New York apps.
  • USB charger and assorted cables.
  • A plastic poncho, just in case.
  • Minions.

I have the photo sync app on the ipad, this is a great little application that allows you to updoad any pictures on your iOS device to a number of different storage services (google drive, Dropbox etc), photo services (Flickr, smugmug etc) and several blogging platforms.

How did we do?

In a word ‘good!’, it was the right decision to make. With the exception of the plastic poncho everything that was carried around was used and at no time did I think “I wish I had brought…..”  How did each item get along?

The bag. The bag was never a problem, being small I could not cram loads of unnecessary stuff into it and there for it always reaming light and comfortable to carry.

The Camera. I love this fun little camera. Is it as good as a DSLR – no but its small, light and easy easy to carry, it takes pretty good pictures – even in low light! Whereas the DSLR will take a good picture on auto or program the J2 had to be nudged in the right direction a couple of times. Sometimes this was to force the ISO setting lower, sometimes to fix the focus, sometimes just to tweak the exposure. Have a look at my Flickr page to see what was possible (these are a mixture of the J2, a Panasonic GF5 and iPhone pictures).

Spare camera batteries. Yup, used them!

EyeFi and SD cards. Being only a 10M pixel camera and shooting mostly in Jpeg I didn’t manage to fill the EyeFi card so didn’t use the extra SD cards. I did use the EyeFi wireless to my iPad a couple of times, mostly while out and about if I wanted to post an image there and then.

iPad mini, SD reader, Photosync  app. Essential on so many levels. Keeping up with social media, posting images to friends and family. The EyeFi was only used a couple of times the rest of the time the SD card reader was used to transfer the images from the cameras to the iPad, this worked great for both images and movies and is extremely fast! The photos end up in your camera roll and on the more recent iOS versions all apps can get at these images. As well as incorporating images into social media I used the Photosync app to upload my images to Flickr and then back them up on Smugmug and google drive (better safe than sorry!), I also transferred the image from my iPhone to the iPad using Photosync. The only issue was with the syncing was the speed of the hotels WiFi connection, not brilliant!

New York apps. We loaded a couple of New York apps onto our iOS devices but apart from using the subway app a couple of times there were not used much.

Documents app. A potential life saver. We installed the documents app on all our iOS devises, created a folder structure within it and synced it between all devices using dropbox – it worked great. It is possible to secure Documents so anything stored inside is secure. What is Documents? Documents is a great app that stores documents on you iOS device. We stored all the travel documents, attractions tickets, maps, passport details and anything else important or relevant. We used this a number of times and it just works!

iPhones. We all had iPhones and enabled find my friends, loaded with maps, installed Documents to help on out trip – oh – we also used them as phones a couple of times as well!

Plastic poncho. A small pocketable rain mac, just in case! Didn’t need it, it only rained while we were on the Subway so as far as we were concerned it did not rain on our holiday!

Minions. To do something a little odd we took our pair of minions for suitable photo opportunities! Didn’t manage to use them everywhere, not always possible or appropriate or just forgot!

Other stuff…..

ThreeUK. We are all on the Three network (iPhones and iPad) and the USA is covered by their ‘feels at home’ that basically extends your home contract to 11 other countries around the world. This meant  we could use our kit for both voice, text and data without running up silly roaming charges, so we did – great. One of the most used apps was the maps (Apple and Google) to guide us around the city.