What’s in our bag for IFA 2014: Pocketnow Insider

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When it comes to trade shows, we at Pocketnow keep it low-key. As we discussed in detail on a recent episode of the Pocketnow Weekly podcast, we don’t have all the resources of a major media corporation, so we’re often called upon to do a lot with a little. That’s been the case with the last few trade shows we attended, and IFA 2014 is no different.

Taylor Martin and I will be the guys on the ground for this show, alternating duties as cameraman and host, backed up by the rest of the Pocketnow team who’ll be supporting us remotely from five different time zones. The work itself –bringing you the best early look at mobile technology– will be facilitated by other technology: some mobile, some not, but most of it familiar from our past excursions.

The cameras

camera

This is the first IFA in quite some time where we’ll be without the help of our fearless lion-tamer Anton D. Nagy, and so we’ll also be making do without his Sony HDR-SR11 Handycam. That’s a little concerning –press events are notoriously poorly-lit no matter where they’re hosted, and the Handycam does a better job in those environments than most cameras– but the units we’re using offer a wider array of options for both video and still shots, and they carry the bonus of not making us look like mid-1990s tourists in the middle of the show floor.

Taylor will be carrying a Sony NEX-5N to augment my own NEX-F3 (both our primary cameras for office shooting as well), with both kit and special macro lenses in the bag alongside them. We’ll be mounting those on a pair of tripods: a SunPak Ultra 7000TM for the low-key stuff, and a Benro A38TBS2 video monopod with twist-lock legs, S2 head and 3-leg base for portable setups. These will serve as our primary cameras for video and still photography, and we’ll back them up with the occasional high-end smartphone in a pinch: my own Lumia 1020 will shoulder the majority of this burden.

The mobile devices

z-ultra

Speaking of smartphones: we’ll be traveling with a bevy of mobile devices, which will serve two purposes. Some of them will help us with the day-to-day tasks of note-taking, scheduling, and communicating with one another and the rest of the team; others we’re bringing along simply as comparison devices, for the purposes of the show-floor faceoff videos that have become a noisy staple of trade shows of years past.

Our personal daily drivers, as usual, will number several per man. Taylor will rotate between an HTC One M8 (Android edition), an iPhone 5 with a Mophie Juice Pack, and that Google Play edition Sony Xperia Z Ultra he won’t shut up about. He’s running CM11 on the latter.

lumia 1020 camera grip case pocketnow

For my part, I’m sticking with the aforementioned Lumia 1020 (with Nokia Camera Grip) as my photographic companion, backed up by an LG G Flex on loan from AT&T. The latter was slated for a (since delayed) After The Buzz episode earlier this week, and in the midst of my reacquaintance with the device I realized it could be the perfect trade show smartphone with its massive screen, self-healing coating, and most importantly, its huge battery. Of course, like any good Starfleet engineer, I wouldn’t want to go without a secondary backup … so occupying the third-string spot will be the trusty Nexus 5 I bought on Swappa a few weeks back. How I’ll fit all these into the LDWest Original holster pictured in the title image is, as yet, a mystery.

On the tablet and comparison side, we’re rolling with a smorgasbord of devices, ranging from an iPad mini to a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 on the large side, down to a Moto X on the smaller end of the spectrum, just in case Motorola decides to change its mind and fly a few X+1s from Chicago to meet us in Berlin. (Hey, we can dream, right?)

The mobile office

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It’ll all be supported from the mobile Pocketnow office (that swanky party pad of techno-fun) with a range of more powerful, more specialized equipment.

On the computing side, we’re looking at a 2012 Macbook Pro with Retina Display coming from Taylor’s Charlotte offices to augment the 2012 Macbook Air flying in from my Boston booth. Since we’ll be recording an episode of the Pocketnow Weekly podcast on-site in Berlin (with a special guest!) on Saturday the 6th, we’re also bringing along a Blue Yeti microphone and a Samson mic for backup, with Sennheiser and Audio Technica ATH-M50s headphones for maximum podcasting comfort.

The other stuff

power-packs

We won’t always be near the office to juice up our mobile devices of course, so Taylor and I will be weighed down with a variety of power packs to keep our pocket communicators happy. I expect him to come prepared with his duo of myCharge Peak 6000s, which will be fortunate indeed since I’ve somehow misplaced the xStorm 11000 mAh pack Tony lent me the last time we covered a show together. To compensate for this, I’ll bring along my Zagg Sparq 3100 along with all the adapters that’ll allow it to fit into those fancy European plugs I’ve missed so much.

My absent-mindedness also means I’ve misplaced the charging cradle to my Gear Live (yayy proprietary chargers!) so the Martian Notifier we reviewed a few weeks back will take the place of my usual Android Wear adornment for this show. Taylor should arrive sporting his usual Pebble Steel. None of these are long for our wrists anyway, since, if rumors are to be believed, we’ll land in Berlin very soon after Moto 360 preorders open up. There’s always something new on the horizon, after all – and we’re looking forward to bringing the best of it to you straight from Berlin, starting next week. Stay tuned!

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About The Author
Michael Fisher
Michael Fisher has followed the world of mobile technology for over ten years as hobbyist, retailer, and reviewer. A lengthy stint as a Sprint Nextel employee and a long-time devotion to webOS have cemented his love for the underdog platforms of the world. In addition to serving as Pocketnow's Reviews Editor, Michael is a stage, screen, and voice actor, as well as co-founder of a profitable YouTube-based business. He lives in Boston, MA.Read more about Michael Fisher!