"Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8, iPhone Unlock" - Digital Photography Podcast 340

I've been waiting for a professional zoom lens to complement the Olympus OM-D, and thanks to Panasonic's new 12-35mm f/2.8, I have one. At 2.9" long and less than 11 ounces in weight, this 14-element zoom allows me to tackle the most demanding of assignments. I share my initial impressions of the 12-35mm in the first segment of this week's show.

In the second story I share how AT&T kindly unlocked my iPhone 3GS so I could take it to Germany and use a local SIM card there. Will make life much easier on the road. And finally, I cover the iPad Smart Case. It protects the entire unit, not just the front. All of this and more in this week's podcast.

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Looking forward to listening to this Ep. I recently made the decision to get a "Nimble" kit as international travel with my 5D2 kit didn't seem welcome with the airlines.

I have gone for the OM-D EM5 kit and have probably got a bit carried away buying lenses going for the Zuiko 45mm, 9-18mm, 40-150mm and Lumix 20mm & 12-35mm. The kit zoom is nice to use but I really wanted to replicate my 5D 24-70f2.8 combo so it will probably stay at home. I have been really impressed with my early results with the 12-35.

I just need find a nimble bag now that will swallow all the above plus a 11" MBA & iPad.


We unlocked our 3GS when we went to the UK this summer. It worked very well.

We bought a SIM card from O2 for about £20 ($30), which lasted us a month. So it saved us about $50 compared with AT&T's international plan, and we didn't have to worry about going over our limit. And our previous experience with the international plan was it always cost us a lot more than we planned.

I have had a chance to listen now and I am in full agreement on the 12-35.

I was interested in your iPhone story but living in the UK I have the opposite problem. I bought my phones without contract from the Apple store and that means they are already unlocked. However, I have not found a good short term way of buying a data enabled SIM in the US. The closest I have come is to get a Virgin MiFi personal hotspot which I could top up with an allowance for data. It works well but it is another device to carry and recharge. Any advice for visitors to the US as I will be back over at the end of the month?


Your carrier doesn't normally unlock your phones on request? Backward.
Here in Oz the carriers will usually unlock the phones on request after 6 months. Because I have a business plan I'm able to get them to unlock them immediately after purchase. Anyway...

Last July I did a similar thing for a trip to Norway. I used a local Telenor prepaid SIM in my old 3G. I didn't have a SIM cutter with me on that trip to convert it for the iPhone4. However, being only able to access the network via 3G/GSM on that device was a bit frustrating, especially as the iPhone3G's camera is a long way behind the 4's. Setting up tethering on iPhones outside your home carrier's network can be problematic also.

Now I have a micro-SIM cutter and adapters so I can put the micro-SIMs in the old devices. So later last year in Kenya I moved my "home" SIM to the 3G, and put a local prepaid SIM in my 4. Now I at least had all my usual software network-connected.

But this year for a trip around Europe I left the iPhone4 with the home SIM, and just disabled cellular data. In each country we visited I bought a local prepaid SIM (researched ahead of time) and put that in an unlocked Huawei 3G Wifi device (like the "MiFi" devices). That way we could use our phones/laptops/iPads as normal, without being restricted to just what one network-unlocked device can do.
By the way, a cheap unlocked Android handset provides an alternate option for a WiFi hotspot.