Approaching Grand Central Station in the Rain

My Sprint 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot is Pretty Crappy

So, I was going to either get the Verizon MiFi or this Sprint 4G Mobile Hotspot thing… I needed a fast mobile connection that I could use on the road instead of depending on coffee shops or hotel rooms. I could not decide which one to get, and in the end, I opted for the Sprint one because I thought the 3G would be equal to the MiFi but the 4G would be better where I had coverage. What I’ve learned (briefly):

  • The 4G is better if the area has 4G.  Austin does, so that is nice.
  • I’ve since traveled to Plano, Dallas, and Orlando, none of which could pick up a 4G signal
  • So, instead it connects at 3G – it is glacially slow!
    • It says “3G”, but I think it is lying… because it seems 10x slower than my iPhone alone
    • I have run it on many times.  Half the time, it is to slow to even load the site, much less measure it!  When it does run, it shows about 0.09 mb/s.  I might as well be on Prodigy
    • Don’t believe anything can be that slow?  See this Speed Screenshot from!
    • Before, I had used Cali Lewis’ MiFi and it was very fast – must faster than this Sprint black hole of bandwidth
  • It gets very hot.  Very very hot.
  • The battery only lasts about 2 hours.  That is pretty lame, really.  Even when you have it plugged in via USB, it appears to drain faster than it charges.
  • When I use it for a few hours, the Internet stops working…  It requires a reboot of the device.  This has happened to me 4 times now.

Photo-Posting While Travelling Tip

As you know, I put up a new photo every day here on the blog. This is hard both from a processing standpoint, since these can take anywhere from 20 mins to several hours to produce. It’s also hard logistically because I’ve got to get everything uploaded and into its place before posting!

So, I’ve taken to uploading 10-20 photos to SmugMug (see my SmugMug Review) at a time before a trip. I go in an “Hide” the photos. That way, I can just go online and “Unhide” them when I get ready to make the daily post. This seems to be a good solution.

Daily Photo – Approaching Grand Central Station in the Rain

Rainy nights in cities pose a tough problem. Really, in many ways, you have to fight against every natural human instinct to go out into the rain on purpose. It’s so easy just to want to stay inside, make a hot cocoa (or, a think Aztec Drinking Chocolate in my case), watch a movie, be all cozy, etc etc. But the little photographer inside of you also knows how interesting things are out there!

So, I tend to compromise, and force myself to go outside half the time and stay inside half the time. This occasion in New York City was obviously one of the times I went out in the rain.

You can see I am approaching Grand Central Station — and that is the famous Chrysler Building in the background. This was shot with the Nikon 14-24 Lens (See my Nikon 14-24 Review). It’s an expensive lens, so if you are looking for something cheaper that also takes great wide-angle shots, check out the Sigma 10-20mm (Review coming some day when I mysteriously get more time).


  • I love the squared up lines and how the reflection seems to bend the building 90 degrees. Really great composition and colors – your shots make me want to visit all these great locations! Makes me wonder how many wonderful scenes I miss that you would discover here in Portland.

  • Nice! Like I said before, it’s the shots of ordinary things that are special.

    How do you care for your camera when it rains, Trey? I’ve been told to never never never never (I’m sure there were a few more nevers there) take my camera out in the rain. I use a very low end one, a canon eos 450d. Is it simply the case that more expensive cameras are waterproof, or do you dress the camera in something?

  • like you, I am very curious what’s going on out there in the rain. My problem is: I’m really scared that the camera and lens gets damaged, obviously because of the humidity. Does your camera create some kind of protective aura around itself, do you use an umbrella or how do you work?

  • Anthony Cáceres

    Trey, here you use 3 photos or just one RAW? Thanks

  • Great shot as usual! Did you mean the 10-24 or the 14-24? If it’s the 10-24, which camera did you shoot with? For DX I would highly recommend the Sigma 8-16 that recently came out:

  • Lyle

    I have that sprint overdrive 3G/4G thingy too, you described it exactly. about time you NEED it, it’s dead in the water it’s connection drains the battery faster than it can be recharged so ya just gotta wait until it recharges again. However the 3G around here in NC is pretty fast.

  • Al


    I am not from the U.S.A. so can’t be positive but I travel a lot and have heard that Verizon has a world wide service for a flat fee of about $70.00 per month. Might work for you as you travel a lot too.

    P.S. How were you able to post while on your South American trek. I am just putting the finishing touches on my travel blog and still marvel at how you took us all along on that trip

  • I’m using Pirate English on facebook, so we’ll see how this post turns out, lol. Great photo, Trey!!! Love this city photo in the rain and the Chrysler Building in the background. Very pretty!!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Great stuff!!! I love it!

  • Bianca

    We just got the Verizon MiFi a couple weeks ago. Same issues here, the battery only lasts 2 hours and I have to reboot often too. Doesn’t get hot though…

  • Thanks all!

    Chris – I will be in Portland for a VERY short time at the end of August – hope to grab a few quick shots!

    David, Iwantnext – the D3X is pretty water-resistant. But there are also clear bags you can put over them… with an opening for the lens and the other side for the camera. I’ve used those and they are sold a lot of places.

    Anthony – this is 5 photo-hdr

    Deron – 14-24 I will fix that – thx

    And thanks everyone else for your 4g/3g feedback – interesting to hear.

  • I love this shot! This is the street was always walk down heading back to GCT!

  • casusan

    Wonderful shot – love how everything just glows!

  • Wow this is cool, I’m going to new your in July for a week, so hopefully i Can get some god shots. how do they react to tripods? I have heard bad things.

  • Man thats a bummer about the Sprint card. I use the sprint 4G USB card for work all the time and I HATE the stupid thing. As you say it gets unbelievably hot, its very unreliable, and the software they provide to use it with is slow and often causes the computer to crash. Anyway, i cant vouch for the Verizon card but I hope it works better for you.
    Awesome shots as always!

  • Pete Wragg

    Trey – great shot! When you mention the Sigma 10-24, I presume you really mean the 10-20mm, much beloved by landscape photographers. And of course, as someone already mentioned, the new Sigma 8-16mm is also supposedly very good according to

    As a user of Pentax (I have a couple of K20D cameras) these are all weather sealed very well, and the Pentax DA* lenses are also weather sealed. Good kit. 🙂

    I’m a recent add-on to your blog and email list – I’m impressed. Keep up the good work 🙂

  • Roger

    Why is this tagged D3x and yet you used a DX lens? I’m confused.

  • Thanks all – yes Pete I did mean the 10-20 mm my bad!

    Roger – I used the 14-24 – that is not a dx lens

  • Roger

    That’s what I thought Trey. Thanks! I was confused since the post says, “You can see I am approaching Grand Central Station — and that is the famous Chrysler Building in the background. This was shot with the Nikon 10-24 Lens.”

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