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Old 06-20-2004, 06:57 AM   #1
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Ok, i've decided this morning that i need to get a digital camera for my trip in sept. and that i should get the camera NOW so i can get used to taking pics with it and what not. so here's my set of questions.

1) camera reccomendations: manufacturer and or models that have held up battery wise, travel wise, ease of use, etc. anything to help me choose a camera that wont make me mad 2 weeks into the trip

2) I got up at 3am this morning to watch the sunrise over the harbor and while there another girl also came to wach. she asked if i wanted to compare pictures and i realized that her pictures were far mor amazing then mine would ever be on my disposable camera. Not only because she had a 10x zoom and a really fancy digital camera, but because she actually knew what she was doing. Any one have advice on where i can get a better idea on picture taking, good books, ways to pratice, etc. i dont want to take a class bcs i'm trying to save money

3) Batteries: do i get throw away batteries? do i get rechargeable? i know the batteries go fast, especially w/ a flash. how would i recharge batteries in europe? is it hard to find a free outlet when you need it? is it hard to buy replacement batteries?

Tell me your experiences, any and all advice is a help!
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Old 06-20-2004, 02:12 PM   #2
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1) I'm going to have to go with Cannon. Generally they are a bit more pricey but they are awsome cameras. If you have an extra dollar sitting in your pocket I'd go with Cannon. If not maybe a Sony....

2) Most cameras come with a user manual, make sure you read this. I know its like reading a text book, but you'll learn alot about how to use the camera. After that its just trial and error. Try different shutter speeds, apature settings etc then compare photos

3) I have a digi camera that takes disposable batteries (AA) but I bought recharable batteries (AA) for it (cuts down on battery cost). Usually cameras that take disposable batteries (AA) are a little bit bigger then cameras that have the little battery pack, so thats another thing to consider. Do you want a larger camera? I never had a problem charging my ipod or my batteries in hostels, just be careful where you leave them. I decided to buy a camera that takes AA b/c I go on so many camping trips where I can't charge anything.

So the choice is up to you dude, or dudette. Hope I helped!

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Old 06-20-2004, 02:54 PM   #3
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As someone who takes assloads of digital pics, I'll ditto what Pinion said...

Can't go wrong with Canon & Sony (check DPreview.com for in-depth reviews/comparisons/samples)

Study your user manual, and before you go o your trip, take a bunch of pictures in various lighting/distance/etc. conditions to see what works best. There's no substitute for learning your particular camera inside/out!

You can pretty much charge your batteries at any hostel - although some I've read about (very few) don't have power outlets in the room. I've been all over with my camera charger, iPod, cell phone, and 220V hair dryer, so I don't think you'll run into any problems. DO buy spare batteries, though, and keep them charged, as you'll go through them faster than you think. (That goes for memory cards, as well!)
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Old 06-20-2004, 04:05 PM   #4
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Ugh, memory cards. i checked out prices today, talk about getting expensive!
Right now the cannon a75 seems to top the list. anyone else have it?

What do you reccommend on memory size? i wanted 512 (almost more then the camera $$ wise). will that be enough though? i figure i'll probably either take 10 pictures or 10,000. and of course, any reccomendations on sites to buy cheap flash memory??

How are internet cafe's with transfering pic over to a home computer or web server? they don't put any type of blocks on things like a college lab computer so i can't do things i'd like do they?

one more question, what's a good way to safely carry the camera so it wont get stolen? how do you guys carry yours??
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Old 06-20-2004, 05:53 PM   #5
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Memory cards: 512mb lasts me about 2 weeks, selectively taking pictures (and sometimes deleting them). This burn rate includes tons of siteseeing, whipping out the camera whilst drunk to get party pics (leading to more deleting), and taking multiple angles of the same thing (more deleting!)...

There are numerous internet cafes that will let you download your pics - in fact, many have CD burners and you can transfer your stuff to a CD-ROM - probably faster than uploading to a server. I haven't tried this yet, but I plan on doing it on the next trek to Europe if I run out of memory space. Should cost under $10.

Carrying the camera: I keep mine in my front pocket. I have a couple of pants with zippered pockets, which is handy, but even if I just tuck them in a pair of jeans, I've never had anyone try to steal it from me - maybe my jeans are too tight! Anytime I'm using the camera, I put the loop around my wrist - especially since I have a thing for taking pics out of windows, off of ledges - you get the idea...
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Old 06-20-2004, 08:31 PM   #6
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I don't know your price range, but for $250 US dollars I was able to get a Minolta DImage XT with 3.2 megapixels. It does have a rechargeable battery which is good for around 70-80 pictures. The resolution is great on high quality and still pretty good on economic standard. It also has a movie mode which is pretty good and the camera is very small, it can fit in a pocket. The only problem I have had with it is sometimes pictures at night are hit and miss, but since it is a digital, you can just keep shooting it until you get the pic you want.
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Old 06-21-2004, 06:12 AM   #7
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psypher, I'll add my humble opinions.

1. Choose Canon and you'll be sweet. I took a S400 then S500 (S400 was stolen in Barcelona) around Europe with me and it took some great shots. Check out this site for some of my photos:

Europe Photos

2. Practice is the key to taking good shots. The more you use your camera the more you know what it is capable of doing. Reading the manual is a must also.

3. It depends on the camera. I beleive the A75 uses AA batteries, in which case you won't have a problem getting replacements. The S44/500 uses a rechargable so I took 2 and never had a problem running out of juice for the camera.

As for the memory card issue, I took 2 512mb cards and a portable hard drive that worked a treat. Here's a link to the model I took but there's plenty others if you're interested:

X's Drive Pro VP300

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Old 06-21-2004, 09:45 AM   #8
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Just a footnote to Cliffo's post: If you're in the US, the X's drive is marketed under the "I/O Magic" name...
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Old 06-21-2004, 10:40 AM   #9
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I'm another Canon fan, and I know voyd has one too. You can't go wrong!

The PowerShot A75 is a great camera. I have the A60, which is almost identical except it's only 2 megapixels (I couldn't afford the a75 and still get my railpass, so... compromise is necessary sometimes.) The software that comes bundled with it is surprisingly good too.

Make sure you get a dual-currency battery charger. Mine was about $30. And try to get at least 2000 mHz rechargable NiMH batteries, preferably 2100. There is a BIG difference in how long those will hold a charge vs. 1800 mHz ones!

Memory Cards:

This is going to depend on where you get them and when. Prices seem to fluctuate on memory cards, with no rhyme or reason to it. Sometimes it's a far better deal to get two 256's than one 512; also, somewhere around here is a thread about a guy who worked at a digital camera lab and said that cards of 256 & above (regardless of type) were *frequently* corrupted with pictures lost, he recommended getting a few different smaller cards instead of one big one. That's something to consider. I took two 256's and one 128 with me for my five week trip, and I only had to dump the images to a cd twice. I shot around 1300 images.
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Old 06-21-2004, 10:58 AM   #10
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There's a good Flash memory comparison engine at dealram.com:

http://dealram.com/prices/19/512MB.html

Click around to find what you need...
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Old 06-21-2004, 07:19 PM   #11
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man, you guys have all the info i need!

lets see. cliffo, how did your camera get stole. I'd like to avoid that situation? was it a mistake or did a theif find a good way to outsmart you?

I htink i've decided on the a75 but i'm wondering how it will fit in my pocket. doesn't look like it will do too well in that area. But i'm also wondering how often it'll be in my pocket? did you guys have it on your wrist or around you neck most of the time? how annoying will a camera be in your pocket while backpacking through europe??

Thanks for the memory review omisan, obviously the bestbuy salesman was not much help in the way of memory... or anything
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Old 06-21-2004, 07:59 PM   #12
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Yeah, Cliffo - do tell about the theft in Barcelona. Now I'm all paranoid!

Psypher - unless I'm ready to shoot, I keep my camera in my pocket most of the time. I'm sure I look like a tourist anyway, but I don't want to look like an easy mark by having it hanging off my neck or arm the whole day.

This time around, I've got those convertible cargo pants/shorts deaies with zippered pockets that seem to hold quite a bit, so I doubt I'll be too uncomfortable!

If you do insist on wearing it around your neck with a large strap, put it over your head and across your chest, which is the most secure.
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Old 06-22-2004, 06:09 AM   #13
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Mmmm...the camera being stolen. omisan...be careful with keeping the camera in the cargo pants pocket....i thought mine was safe there too

Well I have no idea how it happened only to say that the guy (??) was a pro. I was on the metro heading from the train station to Catalunya station on La Ramblas. The train was packed and I had people all around me so i thought i'd play it safe and put my day pack over the pocket where my camera was...not that that saved it from being stolen

When I got out of the station at Catalunya I reached for my camera to take a photo only to discover... .... no camera. Now the pocket the camera was in I thought was impossible to have anytihng stolen without me feeling it...even i had trouble getting the camera in and out with any ease.

Whoever stole it was obviously quite skilled in the art (for lack of a better word) of pick pocketing. If only i had felt something

Anyway I reported it to the police and got a report for insurance purposes but other than that there wasn't anything that couldbe done. Lessoned learnt - the replacement camera always stayed in my locked daypack which was a pain when i wanted the camera but at least it was safely tucked away.

As for your questions psypher, I had my camera in my pocket all the time until it was stolen as I was taking heaps of photos and could just reach down and grab it. The camera was hardly noticeable in my pocket either, weightwise, and didn't bother me with walking around and stuff.

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Old 06-22-2004, 07:05 AM   #14
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i'd recommend the canon a series as well. the a10 was my first digital and it did me amazingly well for a cople of years (I use a minolta dimage 7hi now, but wouldn't recommend it for a novice photographer).
for memory cards...well, 256 meg cards are dirt cheap right now. pick up a bunch and you'll be fine.
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Old 06-22-2004, 09:32 AM   #15
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Graciès for the Barcelona story, Cliffo! Yeah, I've heard nasty things about the metro. I have one of those shoulder sling daypacks that I put everything on and swing to the front when I ride trains... I'll be sure to do that! I shall NOT put all my faith in zippered cargos then
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Old 06-22-2004, 10:11 AM   #16
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psypher, my canon A60 is exactly the same body as the a75. It will fit perfectly fine in a pocket, but it is a little bit bulky. You may just want to keep it in your day pack during times of transportation. It's not like you're going to be running from one spot to the other, you'll have time to take it out of your pack and shoot some pics. For a lot of the time I kept mine in my jacket pocket (I seem to always travel in early spring time), with my hand in the pocket holding the camera and I had the strap around my wrist. No one was getting that thing out of there, believe me. But I usually just kept it in my day bag until I needed it.

The other thing I highly recommend is always put the wrist strap on whenever you use your camera! Maybe it's just me but I am prone to dropping things, so I was extra paranoid about that.
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Old 06-22-2004, 10:41 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by space virgin@Jun 22 2004, 10:11 AM
I highly recommend is always put the wrist strap on whenever you use your camera!* Maybe it's just me but I am prone to dropping things, so I was extra paranoid about that.
great adivce with the wrist strap! I always use it. I try to get other people who use my camera to use it too, I feel a bit dorky but if my camera took a tumble I'd probably cry

Then I'd have to kick some ass
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Old 06-22-2004, 11:05 AM   #18
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^I actually have a funny story about the *one* time having the wrist strap almost backfire. I was sitting on a bench in Valencia, minding my own business, when I scooted back for some reason (I was straddling the bench) and ended up on my ass on the ground. I had misjudged how long the bench was and sat there blinking in the dust. I had my camera around my wrist at the time and it fell with me, but fortunately its impact on the ground was minimal because the bench wasn't very high to begin with.
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Old 06-22-2004, 03:01 PM   #19
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and the moral of the story is to never misjudge how long something is when you stradle it






but I'm glad to hear both you and the camera survived the fall
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Old 06-22-2004, 03:51 PM   #20
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yeah, well... I guess there's not really anything else to say about that, is there?

good one, pinion!
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