What tech to pack when photographing in India

 In April 2014 I went to India to photograph the Holi festival in Mathura, three hours south of Delhi. Being a keen photographer and general tech nut I was faced with a number of decisions. How much to pack, given that I would have to carry it all in my camera bag and what did I really need for a week or so in Uttar Pradesh.

Taking the phone was a naturally a non-brainier but my Galaxy Note II eats batteries at an alarming rate if you watch video, so I looked into external battery cases. I found the ZeroLemon case that looks like a house brick but gives you at least 2 full days heavy use. It was a revelation and so good that I kept it on even after I got back from the trip. Charge it overnight and then all your battery issues vanish. Highly recommended.

Next up was the Kindle Paperwhite. this proved to be the best technology I packed for the trip. The battery lasts for ages, way longer than the trip itself and even when I ran out of books jumping on the hotel wifi made grabbing some more a piece of cake. Interesting I had absolutely no problem getting online in India at the various hotels I was staying at. Sometimes I needed to set up my portable hotspot to grab the hotel Ethernet and at others I connected via wifi. I wish the same could be said of my phone connection which was terrible. I couldn’t use SMS at all and I managed to do some limited Skyping when on wifi. 

The last bit of kit I took was the largest and most disappointing. A Cromebook, in this case a Samsung but the limitations hold for all of them. My plan was to get back from a day’s photography and at least plug in a memory stick and review my Jpegs. I shot both RAW and JPEG just to be able to do this. 

Sadly, the lack or horsepower on the Cromebook and the number of files I was trying to view made it unusable. I think the Cromebook is a fantastic product and I’m writing this on one as I type but for anything more complex than email or web browsing it is far too underpowered. If you are planning to do even semi-serious photography work take a real laptop. 

So my winning tech was

Kindle Paperwhite for faultless reliability and excellent battery life

Galaxy Note II (with LemonZero battery back) for multimedia and staying power

A very distant third for the Cromebook for being light at least. 



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