Ok, I’ve got my passport, I’ve got my boarding pass and the camera is in my bag. We may be stuck in rush-hour traffic, but I’ve made it from the office to the cab and, at this point, success or failure is out of my hands. I’m on holiday (or vacation, depending on how you look at it).
If only I’d remembered to grab the charger and spare battery that I’d left charging. Without USB charging, this means I’ve got maybe one day’s worth of battery for a two week trip.
|Taken towards the end of my holiday. If I’d not bought myself a universal charger upon landing in London, I wouldn’t have been able to take this shot.|
This got me thinking about the needs of photographer while traveling and how they differ from the kinds of photography I usually do.
Context is all
So, while we’ve long considered USB charging to be a ‘Pro’ in our camera reviews, it’s rarely felt as essential is it did in this moment. And although my particular circumstances brought it into especially tight focus, even for the less harried and forgetful traveler, it’s still an immensely useful feature to have. The plane I traveled on had US plug sockets, then I spent several days in the UK before heading for mainland Europe: the only socket I regularly encountered was USB. So, while USB charging is a feature I rarely feel strongly about in my day-to-day photography, it matters a lot in this particular use-case.
And, as it happens, use-cases like this are going to play an increasing role in our reviews. Most people buy cameras to fulfill a specific requirement, rather than deciding ‘I really want a single-dial, mid-level → continue…