As I contemplate the next steps in my photographic journey, I find myself doing a lot of research and planning. The next four years are going to be particularly crucial. Why? There are two big things looming on the horizon: equipment upgrade and going to Rio for the 2-16 Summer Olympics. Obviously, I’m planning on upgrading first, but international travel is something that requires careful thought. Most tourists would probably stock up on memory cards and batteries. For even hobby picture takers, the planning goes beyond that, especially when space becomes a huge priority.
For those of you who haven’t heard, I’m planning on getting a D5100 within the next couple years. It has enough features to be versatile without being overwhelming. It’s also reasonably priced and will fit well in my hands. I have smallish hands and skinny fingers, so the camera’s weight and dimensions can make a difference, especially since I’m jumping over from an advanced point and shoot to DSLR. That said, I’ll probably bite the bullet with the lenses right away. My biggest priority is getting a good telephoto lens, especially with the Rio trip in the cards. I’d also like to get a good ultra wide angle lens and have even considered a micro. My focus, though, is on the telephoto, and I plan on getting a sturdy lens that might be a little more money but can be used on higher level bodies in the even that I decide on a DSLR upgrade in the future.
My next big purchase has less to do with taking pictures and revolves around storage/backup. My husband and I have lots of travel plans, and I’m strongly considering getting a tablet so I can upload my files to online storage or even a cloud drive. The key is going to be speed, as I’ll be uploading big files (hence skipping over netbooks altogether). I’ll also need a tablet that works well internationally. I’ll most likely forgo a 3/4G connection that is increasingly common stateside unless the market explodes in Brazil. Even then, different countries will operate on different frequencies, depending on how they build their networks. Preliminary research for international use and customization point to an Android tablet, especially the Samsung Galaxy. It’s a bit pricey right now, but I should be able to pick one up on the resale market before 2016.
The other thing about the Android tablets is the capacity for expandable storage, which can help reduce the amount of gear I’d have to carry. When looking at the iPad, I realize there was no SD card slot, which means I’d have to pack a card reader. The card reader I have is pretty light, but I’d rather not have to pack it if I have a choice. Now tests could find that I’d have to pack one, anyway. What kind if tests? Well, the Android tablets only have slots for micro SD cards, which wouldn’t work for typical SD cards for my cameras. Since adapters are cheap (and I already have one for my smartphone’s card), I can test using a microSD card with an adapter in my cameras to see how it works. If it works, I’ll end up buying a couple microSD cards. I considered buying a single 32GB card but then realized that if I lost that one I’d be up the creek. Two or three 16 GB cards will be more money but allows me to have ample backup, an absolute must for traveling.
Yes, I’ve put a lot of thought into my upgrade plans, and chances are I’ll be thinking about it some more. Aside from going to Rio, I anticipate spending a lot of time in Canada and meandering throughout the Americas. Plus, if I’m really lucky I’ll be able to go to the Pacific Rim for my 40th birthday. That would be nice. 🙂 So good photography gear is paramount since I anticipate being on the go a lot for the next decade or so.