Next Sunday I leave for two weeks in France, and the camera bag is already packed. That is, save for one last item.
To laptop or not? Traditionally, I always bring my MacBook Pro with me wherever I go, but then, I usually do road trips, where weight isn’t an issue. Do I want to lug a $2,000 machine with me overseas and risk theft?
Pros: Easier to write with, import photos and videos into and back them up while on the road. Lose the phone, lose the images.
Cons: Potential theft and weight.
Workaround: I can do newsletter posts on my phone (easier on laptop, but doable) and use SmugMug’s app to automatically back up every image snapped on my phone, provided that I have good wifi.
My question: would you leave for Europe without your Mac? Or just leave it at home and reunite with it in two weeks?
Just hit reply and let me know your thoughts!
It’s a vacation. Leave it behind. To be fair, I would usually take an iPad (with keyboard cover) just in case.
I would never leave my laptop! I don’t even leave it at home when I go to the grocery store. Although, I bought an Air to travel with and leave the Pro at home. I do keep all new client work (past year) on a cloud server in case a client needs a photo while I’m gone. If it’s over a year, they just have to wait till I’m back.
I always travel with my “portable brain”- an iPad Pro with a Bluetooth keyboard and a USB-C camera card reader. I could use Airdrop to transfer some files but it’s slow for larger video files. I use a Nikon DSLR with WiFi and the Nikon app on the iPad to transfer smaller jpeg files to preview, and the card reader if I want to work on a particular RAW file. Since I use the Adobe suite for file management and editing, with the apps on the iPad I can do much of what I can at home. I’m also clumsy so I tend to use a Pelican hard case for the cameras.
I brought my iPad on a trip recently and bought this amazing keyboard that is super lightweight. Works for iphones too. It’s a Logitech “Keys-To-Go” ultra slim Bluetooth keyboard. Made traveling so much more easier and I was able to work on my iPad. Have a great trip! Can’t wait to see the PhotoWalks!
Lighten the load- leave the laptop at home. One (expensive) item less to be concerned with. Enjoy your trip, looking forward to your images.
Since you’ve been extolling the virtues of the iPhone camera, wouldn’t it be easier to leave the laptop and camera bag (heresy, I know) at home and just take the phone, backup batteries, iXpand, and multiple adapters? Unless you’re on assignment, this way you could enjoy the time with Ruth without worrying about the equipment
Leave the laptop. Pick up one of those wifi backup drives and back up your SD card to it, connect it to wifi and upload when you can. They are much smaller and cheaper if something were to happent to them. It wasn't perfectly feasible the last time I traveled for an extended period (wow, that was 2016) but it is now!
When I'm looking to go really light, I'll take an iPad that has USB-C port, along with an Acasis USB hub that also contains a SSD enclosure. I think they sell now for $100, and you can add whatever NVMe SSD you'd like. Not tools, just pop them in and out, so if needed you can pick up another one anywhere along the way. The hub has and SD slot, micro SD, ethernet, USBc and a couple USB A ports, HDMI, audio jack, etc... System works really well. With the big iPad Pro, if you have the keyboard (which is really nice, but pricey) it has a passthrough USB-C port so you can plug into it to charge and plug the hub into the one on the iPad. But that setup is about as heavy, and the same size as a small laptop. But the mini makes for a super compact system. Works great when I don't want to carry around a MacBook Pro, or on important gigs it makes for a good backup system. Oh - the hub is small, but if you don't need the ports, you could just carry any small USB-C SSD drive. The Samsung T5's and T7 work great and are tiny.
I bring my iPad mini. It’s fast and has a great screen. I have a mini-sized Kay board that’s admittedly smaller than a normal keyboard but it does me well when I’m away. It also gives me a bigger platform to work with than my iPhone. So, for 2 weeks, you could get away with it, edit images, and write posts.
I would take the laptop, especially if you plan to do any newsletter work. But why do you need 6 cameras?
Yeah I would probably take a tablet. Took the laptop a couple times, hardly used it. To be fair I wasn’t trying to reach an audience but I would probably leave it at home anyway.
If theft is your concern, you don’t have to worry about it in France. I feel safe there. I visited twice this year. I live in the Bay Area so I understand your concerns about theft! It’s not like it at all in France. That leaves you with the decision about weight.
Leave it at home and just do a couple of wifi backup drives. If your laptop is like mine, it's a heavy monster and not worth the worry of losing it or getting it stolen or LUGGING it around. Have a safe and fun trip. I'm off to Europe at the end of November.