A Week in Cuba and the Gear I Carried

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I spent last week in Havana Cuba touring the city, listening to lectures, and doing some good as we visited with Havana’s Jewish community and shared the medical supplies we’d brought. While there, certain key pieces of tech came in rather handy; I thought I would run down just a few of them.

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First and foremost, my Canon T3i DSLR and iPad were great for taking and manipulating pictures on the fly. Using the two devices in tandem let me take pictures like this one from Hemingway’s house.

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And this one from his garden.

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And this one of his typewriter.

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And this one taken in a rundown theater as we watched a new Cuban Dance Company perform.

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Yes, taking pictures with a good camera is pretty amazing, and having an iPad to edit and manipulate them on was even more remarkable. (I’ll have a post about the photo apps I used on the go, soon!) It let me do this…

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And this…

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Of course, I needed to get my pictures from my camera to the iPad. I’ve used an Eye-Fi card for years, but have found it to be rather buggy as of late. Instead I simply used Apple’s camera connection kit. I pulled the SD card out of the camera and upload pictures to the iPad. This became handy when others traveling with their cameras and iPads discovered they could use my card reader and do the same thing. Apple’s little (and overpriced) accessory was a huge hit. And with an iPad mini and an updated iPad on the way, I’ll soon have to update my set to work with the new connector.

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Of course I needed to carry my camera. The amazing CarrySpeed Shoulder strap I reviewed last week came in quite handy. Here’s the review. Here is the video…

And when I wasn’t actually shooting pictures (which was rather rare), I needed a place to protect the camera. I debated which bag to bring, Indecisive as usual, I ultimately brought two camera bags; I’m glad I did because both served me well with each serving a different purpose at different times.

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The Lowepro Urban Photo Sling 250 came in quite handy when I wanted my camera, my iPad and just a few other small items. It was with me most of the time. I did find that the strap on the bag would often slide off my shoulder if I wasn’t careful. It was an annoyance but was easily fixed by using the built-in waist strap. Find our review here. The video is here.

I also brought the Tenba Messenger: Small Photo/Laptop Bag.

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On days that looked to be longer and required a bit more gear it served quite nicely. You can read the review here and watch the video here.

At the end of the day, however, the real gadget winner for me was the Pivothead Durango Video Recording Eyewear.

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First there was the “awesome” factor of them. The people traveling with me couldn’t believe that these sunglasses were able to shoot video. And the quality of the video I shot was rather impressive. The glasses have 8 GB storage. That was enough to record up to an hour of HD video at a time. And while I could have done that, I frequently connected the glasses to my iPad using the USB connection from the camera kit and moved new videos over to my iPad, which guaranteed I had free space to shoot more. I’ll share some of those videos shortly. In the meantime, read the review here. Here’s our video look.

My time in Cuba was pretty amazing. We saw a lot, did a lot, and learned a lot. In addition, we saw the most amazing collection of American cars from the 1950s. That post is coming shortly.

Our thanks to Carry Speed, Lowepro, Tenba and Pivothead for the review samples.

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.

1 Comment on "A Week in Cuba and the Gear I Carried"

  1. Dan, you’ve reviewed luggage in the past, but what luggage did you actually bring with you for this trip, both for carryon and for checkin?
    Basically, what made the cut, when you actually had to take a trip?

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