What’s in the bag? #mojoconedc

Glen Mulcahy’s MojoCon – that’s the mobile journalism conference – is running a very cool competition in the build-up to the event, asking journalists to show the contents of their mobile kit.

Now, some of the rigs being shown are seriously impressive, with thousands in gear – but here’s what I get by on as a digital scribbler on a personal budget.

Bag contents, numbered for reference
Bag contents, numbered for reference.

Basically, I’m not a professional TV broadcast journalist, so my bag needs to cover web production – basic photo, video, audio, copy-filing, internet and call recording.

Not pictured is my photo equipment – except for the tripod, which I only lug around when I know I’ll need it.

What’s all this, then?

1 – iPad: Self explanatory, really. I don’t carry a laptop, as an iPad weighs far less. I sold my MacBook Pro after I built a custom media / gaming PC a few years ago, and I haven’t missed it. Unless you need to use specific software mandated by work, tablets can do almost everything for you on the go.

2 – Incase Origami and wireless keyboard: The Incase is beautiful. It’s a cover for the official Apple bluetooth keyboard that folds into a stand, transforming the iPad into a great writing device. But it can be left behind when you know you won’t need to write.

3 – iPad charger: Handily also charges the iPhone with a lightning connector, meaning I only need to carry one.

4 – Microfibre cloth: For lenses, screens, and the glasses on my head.

5 – Shoulderpod S1: A brand new addition, but I already love it. The Shoulderpod is a smartphone mount for any phone that acts as a tripod attachment, desk stand, and a handy freehand filming rig with wrist strap. Very well designed.

6 – iPhone 6: The heart of the operation. A much-needed upgrade from the 4S, encased in an Otterbox Commuter case.

7 – Olympus WS-650S and TP-8 pickup: This ageing warrior has been with me since college. I’d love to upgrade to a better audio recorder, but with its stereo microphone, this guy does just fine in most situations for recording external audio for video, or just for notes.

The TP-8 in-ear pickup is great for phone conversations, too – recording both sides of any call when placed in the ear.

8 – Victorinox ‘climber’ model: Because having a pocket knife is really darn handy.

9 – Pen and paper: Again – handy. The Pilot G2 is a damn good pen, by the way.

10 – Slik Able 300 DX tripod: Extremely optional. This tripod comes from my DSLR photo gear, and it’s not very mobile. It only gets carried over the shoulder when I know I’ll need it – when I’m specifically going out to do video or photo work. I really need to get around to buying a lightweight gorillapod etc.

My other photo gear isn’t really brought out that often – a Nikon D80 (anicent, I know) SB-800 speedlight, 18-135mm, 50mm 1.8, and 70-300 VR.

The point is, I may not own a huge amount of expensive gear, but this small bag covers everything I might need to do well enough. Minimalism is important!

PS – taking a photo of your own smartphone is a bit of a logistical problem.

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Dave Molloy

Journalist - Ireland, Cork / Dublin, technology, politics, news. Follow me on Twitter @davemolloy.

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