Writing about travel is great fun, but as we are always keen to make our posts look and sound good too, it can get a bit complicated! We don’t have a great deal of tech equipment, relying on our usual camera (a Panisonic Lumix) and iPhone to take pictures and make our videos. We sometimes use an iPad too, and we crave a GoPro to make it all look that bit more exciting!
As it’s Christmas we decided to look at some technological extras which might help us improve what we offer – and have fun. It’s crucial that any kit is lightweight and easy to transport so we limited ourselves to items we thought might help us and not cause travel headaches! Here are some items we’d either highly recommend or would love to have! Jess has tested most of them out and if you click on the links you can find out more about them. We think they’d probably help anyone who likes to blog or just take pictures and make videos (and we’re still hoping for that GoPro!)…
Mikey is a “Premium Studio Microphone” that connects right to your iPhone or iPad, and delivers fantastic sound quality. This microphone allows us to change the sound quality from “quiet” to “auto” to “loud” and swivels easily, letting us to record sound coming from any direction. The microphone works with most audio and video recording apps, and I think it’s really cool to hear the difference with the mic. The first few times I used the Mikey I could not hear a difference, however when it finally worked I was amazed – everything sounded brilliant! This microphone is small and excellent for travelling, and even comes with a bag to carry it in.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/181961307″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
Nova Flash is an off-camera flash that wirelessly connects to your iPhone, and is controllable from an app. When taking normal pictures, our phone’s flash makes the photos look unrealistic and our skin ridiculously white, but this all changes with the Nova. It was easy to charge and connect it to my device, and the free app is simple to use and even lets us edit your photos! The difference that the Nova makes to our photos is incredible and you are even able to choose the type of flash you want – options range from “cool” to “warm”, and “gentle” to “bright”. There is even a custom option, which enables you to personalise the flash. Furthermore, the Nova is small and thin enough to fit pretty much anywhere, such as a wallet or even your pocket.
We have been using Joby’s GripTight Gorilla Pod Stand for a year, and I love it! Its extendable grip holds our phone perfectly, and its flexible legs can attach to almost any surface. In the past year, this tripod has been wrapped around benches in Austria, the wall of a school in Jamaica and the top of a bridge in the House of Correction in Folkingham! You can see the difference this tripod has made in videos by watching our Paris video, which is unbelievably shaky… Next came our incredible trip to Beaches Negril in Jamaica, where our video is a lot stiller and therefore much more aesthetically pleasing! Sadly, parts of the legs can come off and although they can be put back on, it makes it much harder to wrap them around objects. This has happened to two of the three legs so far, however the product is still great and easy to use. As an added bonus, the tripod is tiny enough to carry around in a bag.
Although we do not (yet!) own an iPhone 5/5S, The Naztech Power Case looks brilliant – it has a built-in battery that nearly doubles the usage time of your phone. The case looks slim and easy to hold, and comes with three coloured frames to change the colour. There is a built in kickstand and LEDs on the back to tell you how much battery life you have left, which is something that sounds amazing to me. If I ever get an iPhone (hint, hint mum) this looks like the case I would choose; it is both useful and stylish!
What items of kit would you recommend? We’d love to know. We’re hoping that our pics and videos improve with some of the new technology we’re trying out…
Disclosure: We were sent the Mikey microphone and Nova flash to try out for this blog. As usual, however, all the opinions contained here are our own.