Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Keeping connected in Europe

We're planning to spend a few months this year travelling Europe before returning to NZ for the medium term future, after 7 years of living in the UK.

To keep 'connected' while we're away, I've been looking into 3G data plans, so we can jam a 3G USB stick into either the MacBook or the husbands new Dell Mini 9 'netbook', and upload photos, email, and skype family and friends. Sadly, the only slightly decent option I can see, is via Vodafone UK, who have a £15/month plan (3G allowance), and a 'capped' roaming charge at around £8.50 (tho I can't find it anywhere on their site, so this is just rumor!) /day in certian countries. That *might* be OK, but it's only on a 24 month plan... which is crazy money :(

A lot of hotels in France and other western European countries have free wifi, but I have a feeling we won't be staying in hotels with that many star ratings for most of the trip!

I've tried to have a look around Vodafone sites in other countries, to see if we can get a 3G prepay sim, but as soon as you switch to English language, all you get is info on roaming in their country.

The EU has been working on lowering roaming costs in member states, but if you don't pick up a 12 or 24 month contract, it doesn't apply, so I'm not too sure of our options!

If anyone has any tips on staying connected around Western and possibly parts of Eastern Europe without using dodgy cyber-cafes with their malware laden PC's, or getting totally ripped off using my iPhone as a modem at £3/MB in EU states, and £6/MB anywhere else (need to pwn the phone also to get that working which I haven't got around to yet), let me know in comments.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

My MkII is here!

I ordered my 5D MK II last Tuesday from Calumet, and as promised it turned up (body only) on Friday. No waiting!

Weather has been a bit grim, and I was working on Saturday, so only a few shots so far at Richmond Park. What is dissapointing (or a blessing in disguise?!) is that my white Macbook can't play back the H264 video it shoots, so it looks like an upgrade is going to be on the books if I want to shoot much video.

JPG file size is pretty crazy - biggest one is 11MB at the moment. Couldn't imagine how much storage you'd need shooting RAW every day! Lightroom is having a bit of trouble rendering the images, so I think I need a new macbook with the GPU rendering stuff.

Full frame is cool tho, the 17-40L lens looks sooooo wide! And the viewfinder is HUGE compared to the 350D.