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Old 02-16-2003, 11:32 PM   #1
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I'm leaving in two weeks for a five month backpack trip to pretty much most of Europe and I was thinking about stopping at Costco to load up on film before I go. The only thing I am worried about though is whether the X-Ray machines at the airport (especially the new checked luggage X-Ray machines in the US) will damage film or not. I've never had problems before carrying film in checked baggage but has anyone recently put their film through the new X-Ray machines? Also is it safe to mail home used film from Europe to the States?

How much more expensive is it to buy film in Europe? Is it even worth it to stock up in the States and use up the valuable backpack space?

Anyway, any advice would be apreciated.
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Old 02-17-2003, 07:20 AM   #2
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Not sure about the x-ray machines.

Film, I can only speak about Advantix film as thats the camera that I have, is roughly the same price in Western Europe from what I can recall. In Madrid, it´s about the same price as in the states. Of course Costco will be cheaper in the long run.

Not sure on how many photos you plan on taking, but you can do a combination of both buying some at Costco and when you run out, you can buy them as you need them in Europe.

Another option, and this will probably be cheaper in the long run, is buying a nice digital camera. NO MORE FILM.

For example: If you buy 10 roles of film for about $6 a piece (give or take a buck), that´s $60. Then, developing will cost on the average of $10 (again, give or take a few bucks depending on if you want double prints, extra copies for the family, larger pictures of the chicks you meet on your trip, etc...) that´s about $100, give or take. So now, you´ve just spent about $160 for 10 roles that you´ve got to worry about losing, or damaging through heat or the x-rays machines at the airports. Furthermore, if you want to take more photos, you have to buy more film and the cycle starts all over again.

Look at this-
It´s a Fuji digital camera with software and a 16mb smart card. Means that you can take, depending on the quality that you choose, several hundred photos all on this little tiny card that insert into your camera. On the back of these digital cameras are colored screens so that you can see the picture that you just took and you can choose to erase it and take another if you wish.

With the free software that comes with every camera(a program on a disc), you can upload your photos to any computer in the world and email them or create an online photo album for free (like this one- to email to all of your friends, etc...

If you ever need hard copies of your photos, you can take your smart card into a photo shop and they can transfer that onto a CD(or you can do that at home if you have a CD burner in your computer), or they can make hard copies of any photos you want.

Just a note about Costco. Costco has a policy that you can return merchandise, if you have the receipt, for a full refund, no questions asked. I bought a mini digital camcorder for $399 and used it to film a short movie and all kinds of other crap for 7 months. I then decided that I wanted another minidv camera somewhere else so I took back the original camera to Costco, with my receipt, they looked in the box to see if everything was there, then handed me my $399 plus tax, back, all cash!

Suggestion: Buy a digital camera, or camcorder, at Costco. Learn how to use it. Take it on your trip. Upload all your photos online or burn copies on cd´s, then when you return from your trip, if you´re not completely satisfied with your camera, you can take it back for a full refund at Costco (save your receipt!) B)
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