Ok, so I think I managed to tell EVERYONE that I went on a big long trip to Asia for a month and took loads of pics.
Here's what I learned and what might help you on the road if you do something similar.
1. You can do this. I was a bit concerned that editing and processing on the road was going to prove simply impossible in practise. It certainly wasnt. In fact, I think I'll continue to process in this fashion even when home.
My kit was:
Ipad 2 and camera connection kit.
Lowepro bag (smallest one that would take the iPad)
50Mm lens (though I recommend it)
USB to Mini USB cable
All of the above with the exception of the Netbook fitted into my Lowepro (with a little encouragement) which made it very portable and handy.
The Netbook was my backup solution because I knew my 16gb Ipad wouldnt be able for everything I was going to shoot. In the end it almost was, for reasons I'll explain, but it was handy to simply dump everything onto the netbook as a secondary storage.
Shoot a full days stuff and at night transfer everything to the Netbook. I had the external HDD just in case I exceeded the NB's capacity but I didnt come close. You might if you are shooting huge raws, so consider that.
Then I would transfer almost everything to the iPad (excluding any shots that looked b0rked beyond repair). Then I'd pass through them picking the shots from the inevitable "I'll take 6 of this, just to be sure" repetitions.
On to apps. I downloaded a bunch of app to process pics. I was looking for something quick but powerful and the ability to export to Flickr was a plus.
I tried a variety but I'll save you the hassle. Get Snapseed. Its the best imho. Eventually I stopped using anything else. I did have a soft spot for PhotoToaster because of its preview of filters, but in the end, Snapseed fulfilled exactly what I was looking for.
WARNING: I dont pixel pushing so if you are looking for some that goes to the pixel level and will do things like clone, heal, smudge etc... then you need to look elsewhere. Start with FilterStorm which at least supports layers.
Word of caution, when I was travelling I had intended on doing bulk backups to something like DropBox but the connectivity on my travels (Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China) was pretty poor in terms of broadness of band
It took too long to bulk backup (hours) so I dumped to Netbook as a fall back.
Getting photos OFF the iPad isnt the easiest either without a computer.
The good news is that I found editing with Snapseed on the iPad a dream (once you get used to the slightly quirky interface). I literally prefer editing on it now then on something like Photoshop which now seems very laborious in comparison.
Even with a load of pro cameras I love the 550d for out and about shooting, great synopsis on travel photography. If you were to do it again would you change the lens/es you would bring? What about a polariser, did you bring one of these?
I brought a polariser and basically never took it off the 17-85.
The lens performed admirably and felt solid and sturdy. It has a half decent zoom level along with a reasonably wide FOV. I wont say that I didnt occasionally wish for more of each but it wasnt often. For the money I spent on it (200e second hand) I was really happy with it, my only complaint might be that at F4.0 the DoF still seemed really sharp and it meant that for some shots I had to switch to the 50mm.
I cant think of a better lens for the money and the general utility.
Speaking of the Nifty Fifty... it still rules my world for the up close and personal shots. Its so small and light, I cant imagine travelling without it. Its bang-for-buck/kilo is very very high imho
I bought a HD8 darkener on the road too, which proved handy. I used it for the 25 second exposure in China.
So, Apple release a much upgraded iPhoto juuust when I get home and it looks like its much better than the standard Photos. Great. Highly recommend it because the original is good but a bit mickey mouse when you have large numbers and want to quickly edit and share.
i'm just back from the south of france & northern spain myself.. i brought my ipad with connection kit and my D80 with sigma 10-20 & 50mm. was quite pleased with it all. didn't upload all pics to ipad, just a few. i played around with filterstorm, which i thought was a cool app! love how crisp the photos look on the ipad!
couldn't bring much gear though, as i was flying carry-on only with ryan air! so no tripod
Would think a new 64gb ipad with iphoto would do most of what you want on the road and in a very nice small solution. If i was doing much traveling it would defo be what I'd get.