A few weeks ago I ran across a huge structure fire. Traffic was backed up because it was near the intersection of two major roads. I parked about a half mile away and walked to a parking lot across from the fire. Only a few fire trucks were there, and the police hadn’t arrived yet to cordon off the area. My plan was to get some early shots and get out.
The first part of the plan worked perfectly. The second caused all sorts of problems. I had already called the photo desk of the local paper, and was cleared to send my pictures. But I only had my camera and phone. I didn’t like the way the phone pictures were coming out, and knew the DSLR pictures would be the good ones. The problem was that my laptop was at home. So by the time I walked back to the car, fought through traffic, took the long way around the traffic, got home and sent the pictures, the photographer from the paper had his pictures uploaded already.
Getting scooped is like getting punched. It hurts even if you’re expecting it. So I decided that putting together a “emergency transmit kit” would help prevent this in the future.
Thankfully it’s not hard to connect my decrepit old iPhone 5 to my cameras. A small kit with cables and adapters fits nicely into a portable hard drive case. I’ll post the Amazon links to everything in my kit below.
First up is a generic hard drive case. It’s nothing special, except for being the right size.
Everything fits, and I should probably add some index cards and a pen.
Here’s the heart of the kit. The Apple cable and the matching USB cables for my cameras. I’ve also thrown in a few ways to power everything because I had the room.
Left to right:
- USB car adapter, mine’s from the Sprint store, but any small one should work. For example, Anker 12W Dual USB Car Charger
- Square card reader
- StarTech.com Micro USB to Mini USB 2.0 Adapter
- Compact flash card case, from the junk drawer
- Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter (MD821AM/A), buy this from Apple due to reseller markup and counterfeit risk.
- 18” Star Power Original USB 3.0 PC Power Charger Data Transfer Cable
- Dodocool 2-in-1 lighting to usb cable + Micro USB Charging Data Cable in white because the black one is currently unavailable.
- RAVPower Portable Charger 3200mAh External Battery Pack, currently unavailable, try TROND Atom 3200mAh Portable Charger Power Bank because it also has a flashlight
- Apple 5W USB power adapter, also buy this from Apple, most third party vendors are selling counterfeits
- Cosmos Red EVA Hard Protection Case, if this isn’t available the AmazonBasics External Hard Drive Case should work.
The Apple adapter plugs into my iPhone then I use the USB-A to USB Mini-B 3.0 cable to connect to my Canon 7D Mark II. If I need to connect to my Canon SL1, I use the Lightning/Micro USB cable with the USB mini-to-micro adapter.
Once connected I can import my selected photos to the iPhone’s camera roll, and then email them from there. So if I have mobile data or wifi, I can transmit from anywhere.
Ever since the iOS 9.1 update, iPhones have been able to use this adapter just like iPads.
Power adapters: to charge the backup battery and phone from either the wall or a car. Having power is also a great way to meet people and make friends.
Backup battery: for when there’s not a wall outlet or car around. I like this one because it has a flashlight built in. Always have light.
Square credit card reader: it’s here mostly because it fits. But there are times when being able to take a payment on the spot comes in handy.
Compact flash card case: to safely store a filled camera card or other small items. I might toss a Exacto knife blade in this to have sharp edge handy. I don’t keep an extra card here because those stay with the cameras.
The Lightning/Micro USB cable (along with the mini-USB adapter) fits just about everything. Plus it’s a charge cable for the backup battery.
Overall I’m happy with my “oh sh!t gotta transmit” kit. It’s not much more to carry and it solves a multitude of problems.