ELECTRONIC STUFF

Camera.  A DSLR is not an option for me – they are way too bulky and heavy to carry on a moto. So I started out with a small Canon Power Shot SX260HS – GPS, x20 zoom, lots of programmability and good quality photos… for a compact. Now I am writing magazine articles, I have upgraded to an Olympus Stylus 1 – for all intents and purposes a mini DSLR. I love it and it has taken my photography experience to a whole new level. I choose it over its Canon, Nikon and Fujifilm competitors primarily for it 300mm equivalent, f2.8 aperture lens. With subjects ranging from landscape paroramas to portraits of locals in the market, I wanted the zoom. It also records video in HD1080. It is a bit bulkier than a point-and-shoot compact, but still fits unobtrusively into my tank bag.

Helmet Camera.  I’m using the Go Pro Hero 3+ Black.  It comes with the wifi remote control, which is essential for recording on the go and easily attaches the handlebars with a velcro strap.  The advantage of this model over the lower spec models is that it can record in HD1080 at 16×9 aspect ratio at 50fps – essential for smooth video when riding on rough ground.  I haven’t got the additional screen, instead using the Go Pro phone app to view the picture when I set the camera up.

IT. I started out with an 11 inch MacBook Air. A long-term fan of Apple, the MacBook Air with a hard shell and neoprene case was the best option for a lightweight laptop – but it still isn’t that light and small. After someone liberated it from me in Santiago, I switched to a 64Gb iPad Mini with a Logitech keyboard – super compact and lightweight, chargeable of the USB 12V socket on my bike, and perfectly capable for browsing, storing photos, emailing and writing documents. However, at the end of the day it is still a tablet and lacks some of the capabilities of a laptop, such as sophisticated photo editing. I may bite the bullet and go back to a 11 inch MacBook Air.

Charging of a USB.  In an ideal world, I would have all my electronics charging of USB.   That way, I can charge them off the 12V socket on the bike when on the move, with the item in question in my tank bag.  (Believe me, this is a big plus – many hostels I’ve stayed in don’t have working electricity.) They can also be charged in a hostel room with a USB mains plug.  Currently I charge my Go Pro, phone, and iPad via USB.  I intend to find a charger for my Olymus with a USB cable.

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