Category: Tech

Road Tested! Is The DJI Mavic Pro Still Worth Buying In 2018?

Since it was introduced in last 2016, the market has shifted DJI’s Mavic Pro from tiny drone to a middle of the pack device. The release of the DJI Spark and more recently Mavic Air are a sign of things to come, yet the Mavic Pro still has superior battery life and video quality. So, is the DJI Mavic Pro still worth buying in 2018?

dji mavic  DJI Mavic Pro Fly More Combo: Foldable Propeller Quadcopter Drone

amazon button

After 18 months, a few crashes, and over a hundred of hours of flight time, I answer that question in the video above.

SwissGear Scansmart 1900 Backpack Review: Lots Of Pockets For Little Gadgets

The SwissGear Scansmart 1900 is a durable backpack with a lot of benefits for most travelers that leads to one big drawback for everyone else. One of the most popular travel backpacks, especially for people who carry a lot of electronics, the Scansmart 1900 has pockets for just about everything.

scansmart 1900  SwissGear Travel Gear ScanSmart Backpack 1900

amazon buy now

Plentiful pockets is not surprising for a brand associated with functionality, but the Scansmart’s dividers rob it of a large main storage compartment, meaning it’s a great backpack if you only use 75% of it.

Durable Unlike Most Others

The SwissGear line of backpacks are designed to last – I used the Synergy for over 10 years – and have been using the 1900 as my primary electronics backpack for the past 18 months or so. (I switched because I needed a larger bag to carry this stuff.) The 1900 has held up very well over the extreme amount of travel I’ve done, though there are small indications of imperfection I never noticed on the Synergy.

swissgear scansmart 1900

A slightly loose plastic logo on the handle and a few errant strings in the stitching are things I wouldn’t even mention for other backpacks but SwissGear have set their own bar very high. Still, the Scansmart will last, despite my constant over-stuffing of this bag, the seams have held strong and survived where many other backpacks I’ve reviewed wouldn’t.

Divided On Pockets

Originally I moved to the Scansmart 1900 when I picked up a Mavic Pro drone. I organized the drone, as well as my Panasonic Lumix G85, in two SwissGear toiletry kits. They fit perfectly into the front main compartment of the 1900 but two additional dividers in that compartment steal space if they’re not used. In other words, a notebook, cable organizer, and some other small items would fit well; it’s when you stuff the main compartment those dividers force the bag into an awkward, uncomfortable shape. Sure, the Scansmart 1900 can handle it, though your back might be slightly sore after a long journey.

swissgear scansmart 1900

Then, there’s the biggest complaint I have about the 1900: the thick dividers between the laptop compartment, tablet compartment, and main compartments. Those dividers take up space, again, which is fine if you’re not going to really fill the main compartment. Using the laptop and tablet compartments push those bulky dividers forward into the main compartment and if you try to fill it up too much your backpack will look like a water balloon ready to burst.

The Size Of Your Stuff

Alternatively, the North Face Recon I’ve previously reviewed, has roughly the same internal capacity though allocates much more space to the main compartment. It’s got one roomy laptop pocket in the main compartment without cutting it up into smaller sections. For travelers with a lot of small items, the Scansmart 1900 might be a better backpack, because it’s designed not to be filled anywhere near capacity.

The Recon on the other hand, has a large main compartment that can easily fit a DSLR, small drone, or otherwise be jammed with clothes when you don’t feel like packing properly. The Scansmart 1900 is a large backpack designed for small things, best compared to the Dell Premier backpack, if you’re not planning on pushing your bags limits.

How Good Is The Panasonic Lumix G85 Macro?

A few months ago I reviewed the best travel cameras under $1000 and recently you asked me how well one of those cameras, the Panasonic Lumix G85, is with close up video. In the video above I’ll show you the answer, as well as the focus stacking and post focus features which can really take your macro shots to another level. For those of you who photograph or video a lot of flowers, plants, bugs, or other small objects when you travel, the G85 might make a good overall camera to carry on your next trip.

lumix g85 kit  Panasonic LUMIX G85MK 4K Mirrorless Camera Kit

buy from amazon

The Rode VideoMicro Compact Microphone Will Significantly Improve Your Travel Video Audio

More and more of you are adding travel videos to your trip collections as phones of the past 2 years have made major jumps in video quality. As cameras and mobiles get better at taking video, they still suck at audio. The small microphones in cameras (and particularly phones) are designed to pick up sound from sources that are especially close up, without much protection from ambient noise. (Try having a call outside, the slightest breeze can ruin a conversation.) For video with any kind of intelligible speaking in it, a microphone can go a long way.

rode videomicroRode VideoMicro Compact On-Camera Microphone

buy from amazon

The Rode VideoMicro is a compact, durable microphone under $60 that dramatically improves audio in any video. It’s compatible with cameras and phones (that still have a headphone jack). You can watch my full review of the Rode VideoMicro in the video above.

JOBY GorillaPod Focus Is A Strong, Portable Tripod Capable Of Supporting Your Heavy Camera

Making a tripod small enough to be portable but strong enough to effectively hold a DSLR or mirrorless camera with lens isn’t an easy engineering feat, particularly when the tripod legs are designed to bend. The GorillaPod series is innovative but their cost often causes people to buy a JOBY model that won’t support the camera they’ve got.

joby gorillapod focusJOBY GorillaPod 5K Kit

buy from amazon

A tripod that drops your camera will hit your wallet much harder than gravity; therefore the GorillaPod Focus is worth taking a close look at. You can see my full review of the GorillaPod Focus after a year of heavy use, in the video above.

The Cocoon Grid-It Is Cable Management For Your Backpack

Traveling with a lot of electronics means traveling with a lot of cables. Charging cords are especially difficult to manage inside a backpack and the Cocoon Grid-It is one of the few organizers that’s portable enough to be useful for travelers. The Grid-It isn’t for every backpack but for those it works for, can make frequent trips though airport security much simpler.

You can watch my full review of the Cocoon Grid-It in the video above or read on.

Grid-It Basics

The Grid-It comes in several sizes, though I found the most effective one to be the 10.5 x 7.5 inch (26.6 x 19 cm) version. That’s because the smaller the Grid-It is horizontally, the more space it takes up vertically. More on that in a bit, but first, how the Cocoon Grid-It works.

cocoon grid it

Basically the Grid-It is a flat panel with 12 elastic strips across, 6 down on one side, and two on the back. The most effective way to use the Grid-It is to coil a cable and place it under one of the bands. Longer or thicker cables should go under the longest bands and it’s important to spread out the cables as much as possible. Otherwise, you’ll only accentuate the Grid-Its main drawback.

Advantages

Once you’ve got your cables all under the gentle, but firm grip of the Grid-It, taking all of your cords in and out of your backpack is a breeze. Being able to take all of your cables out at once, organized, makes going through airport security much, much faster than pulling out of a clump of cords. Plus you won’t have to worry about losing everything else that tends to get tangled up in cord clumps as you yank it out of your bag.

cocoon grid itCocoon Grid-It CPG8BK 10.5 x 7.5-Inch Organizer (Black)

buy from amazon

It’s also worth noting it makes the job of airport security easier too and the clear view of all your cables seems to put you on their good side. Always a good thing for a frequent traveler who wants to get to the lounge or gate as quickly as possible.

Organization Costs Space

I mentioned above, the Grid-It has one major drawback: the amount of usable space it takes up inside a backpack. Although it’s excellent at organizing cables, it takes up a lot of usable backpack space to do so. The more cables you have, the larger its horizontal profile – creating a bump that can be awkward to fit inside of a tight backpack. Coiled cables also have a lot of space in them which isn’t practical to fill up.

cocoon grid-it

Sure, you can stuff as much of your other gear inside the cable coils as possible, but chances are the Grid-It is going to occupy a lot of empty space. For travelers whose backpacks are less than 80% full, the Grid-It can provide much needed cable organization. If your backpack is in need of a diet, already stuffed, the Grid-It is probably going to take up too much additional space to be useful.

Clumps of cables are ugly but more easily smashed compressed inside of a bag. Chances are if you don’t have space for a Grid-It, you need to start with some basic backpack organization first.

Loading

About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutI'm the blogger and computer security engineer who writes foXnoMad while on a journey to visit every country in the world. I'll show you the tips, tricks, and tech you can use to travel smarter. Read More


Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube

Image Map

Image Map

Recent Articles

What To Expect At Your First Creation Las Vegas Star Trek Convention

Road Tested! Is The DJI Mavic Pro Still Worth Buying In 2018?

Kayak Explore Lets You See How Much It Costs To Fly From Home To Anywhere

Get my latest posts in your inbox: