Just an abstract.
Given that I want to do some photography while I'm away, I've been looking for a means of protecting my camera from rain and snow. Equally it'd be nice to have a method of protecting it from the sea spray and sand around here.
After reading the opinions of people who know what they're talking about - nature photographers with backpacks full of glass worth more than most people's black-market body organs - I bought the Australian-made AquaTech Sport Shield. They're expensive, but cheap insurance considering how much the lenses cost. It's sort of like a "camera jacket" made out of a similar material to Gortex - breathable and yet water resistant. It has several neoprene patches that allow stretching around things like the hotshoe, eyecup and the lens hood, forming water-tight seals, as well as transparent windows to view the LCDs and mode dials.
As if on queue, today saw almost non-stop rain and freezing wind, the perfect test environment! I took it out and it performed beautifully - not even a hint of moisture inside. Meanwhile, I was wet and shivering. After using it even for just a few hours I can honestly say it's worth every cent, and I now have no concerns about taking photos in the rain - except catching a cold.
Similarly I've decided it's about time I got a Speedlight. Not being able to remotely trigger a flash as a fill has been really frustrating. The internal flash is also hopeless for bounce fills or large wide angle shots and telephotos, primarily because the lenses get in the way! The latest Nikon flashes natively include intelligent automatic remote triggering, too. You just place the flash where you want it and it'll fire when you take the shot, automatically adjusting to the lighting conditions. The D70 and D2X also interface specially with the new Speedlights to relate lens and lighting condition information. For example, it automatically zooms to match the focal length you're using - smart! Hopefully it'll arrive next week.
I've booked my flights and in a little over two weeks' time I'll be heading to Falls Creek. Getting flights from here was a little tricky: as all flights from here take off in the afternoon it made it difficult to find connecting flights to get closer to the Victorian Alps that left late enough to allow time for the luggage transfer and check-in.
Eventually I found two flights that should work... from here at 15:30 arriving in Sydney at 17:15, then departing again on a non-connecting flight from Sydney at 18:55 and arriving in Albury at 20:15, where a friend is going to pick me up and take me to Mount Beauty (which will be my base for accessing Falls Creek).
I haven't yet determined a way back (there are no return flights that line up properly), but it's getting there that's the important part ;)