Digital newbie needs memory card suggestions

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Sep 21st, 2005, 08:29 PM
  #1
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Digital newbie needs memory card suggestions

I just joined the digital camera world and chose the Canon S2 IS. Bought a 1GB SD card, battery charger with an extra set of batteries plus another set of Lithium batteries as a backup.

For sure I will need more memory but how much more? I don't plan on enlarging photos more than 8 x10. I won't be downloading, just taking memory cards for 11 days.

Does anyone recall previous threads, they are not popping up on my search.

Thanks for all the great advice that has been helping me with my upcoming trip.

Carla
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Sep 22nd, 2005, 03:08 AM
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Carla,

My wife's the digital expert in this family, and while not familiar with your camera, says you should be OK with 5 Gb...maybe 2 twos and a one or a couple of 512s. Personally, being a cautious type not willing to take chances, I'd add another 2 Gb to that. Even if you are a very conservative shooter, you should have more than two cards, because they can be damaged, lost or corrupted pretty easily. It's better to take more than you think you'll need.

Digital fans make much of their equipment's review/delete function to best use their storage space, but you can't really judge the quality of an image on a camera's small screen. You can certainly pick the rubbish most of the time, but you can also quite easily delete stuff that would prove worth keeping or save images that end up not being worth the trouble. For that reason, my wife took her laptop on our recent safari, downloaded daily and reviewed her images on a good-sized screen. She also took a very portable little wallet as a downloading back-up, but didn't have to use it. In all, she had 100 Gb of storage space available, but used only about 40 percent of it in 12 days.

Understandably, you're not planning such a complex operation or even some simple downloading, but I can't emphasise enough the importance of taking more memory cards than you think or somebody else suggests you'll need. You won't regret it.

cheers
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Sep 22nd, 2005, 04:02 AM
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Hello,

Since you are not planning on making very large enlargements, you should be fine with high-quality JPEG files. I'm not sure how many MP your camera is, but on my first safari with a 4.3MP camera I used about 512MB a day (on my most recent trip, I used less even with a 5MP camera, but if it's your first trip you'll take more pictures). I used the largest picture setting and highest quality JPEG setting for most of the pictures.

If you put 'storage device' into the search engine you should find some threads on the pluses and minuses of digital storage devices. I used an iPod Photo on my last trip, which worked very well -- it took about 25 minutes to download a 1GB card, and I could download about 3GB of material before the batteries on the iPod needed recharging. SD cards are much faster to download than CF cards for some reason -- a lot of the complaints about the iPod's 'slow' download speeds are from users of CF cards. For the price of a couple of 1GB cards, you could buy an iPod and camera connector, and have an MP3 player to enjoy both during and after the trip. The iPod's little screen is not great for viewing pictures, but was fine for verifying that they had transferred. The Epson P2000 has a much nicer screen, but is larger, heavier, more expensive and only serves one function -- when you're packing light for air transfers, all of those are minuses in my book, as I don't do any editing on the road and just wanted a place to back my pictures up.

Cheers,
Julian

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Sep 22nd, 2005, 04:03 AM
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Hello,

Since you are not planning on making very large enlargements, you should be fine with high-quality JPEG files. I'm not sure how many MP your camera is, but on my first safari with a 4.3MP camera I used about 512MB a day (on my most recent trip, I used less even with a 5MP camera, but if it's your first trip you'll take more pictures). I used the largest picture setting and highest quality JPEG setting for most of the pictures.

If you put 'storage device' into the search engine you should find some threads on the pluses and minuses of digital storage devices. I used an iPod Photo on my last trip, which worked very well -- it took about 25 minutes to download a 1GB card, and I could download about 3GB of material before the batteries on the iPod needed recharging. SD cards are much faster to download than CF cards for some reason -- a lot of the complaints about the iPod's 'slow' download speeds are from users of CF cards. For the price of a couple of 1GB cards, you could buy an iPod and camera connector, and have an MP3 player to enjoy both during and after the trip. The iPod's little screen is not great for viewing pictures, but was fine for verifying that they had transferred. The Epson P2000 has a much nicer screen, but is larger, heavier, more expensive and only serves one function -- when you're packing light for air transfers, all of those are minuses in my book, as I don't do any editing on the road and just wanted a place to back my pictures up.

Cheers,
Julian
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Sep 22nd, 2005, 04:10 AM
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Sorry for the double post -- something odd happened to the Fodors site so I thought it hadn't posted, but it turned out that it did.

Cheers,
Julian
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Sep 22nd, 2005, 04:27 AM
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africagalah,
Your wife and I think alike. I too am always amazed when people delete images directly from the camera, judging only on the basis of a tiny preview image. It's hard to really even judge focus sometimes let alone small details such as catchlights and so on.
I tend not to worry about deleting whilst on the trip - if I take a laptop then chances are I will review and delete some - usually I wait till I get home to do that task.
I always take a portable storage device to which i empty cards - one if i also have the laptop, 2 if i don't (all cards being copied to both devices before the card is reformatted and reused)
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Sep 22nd, 2005, 01:09 PM
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Actually Kavey, Yvonne and I think alike on just about everything except film v digital. I can't stand not having a strip of film to hold up to the light. Then, after I've done the high quality scans, I've got the best of both worlds

Anyway, a portable storage device would certainly be the way to go for Carla, even though she wouldn't be shooting RAW as Y does. Carla, do you think you'll change your mind about downloading? A friend who was with us on our recent trip used a semi-pro 10D and got through using only memory cards, but I think he was rationing himself towards the end. Mind you, it probably didn't matter because he's been to Africa so many times and has seen it all.
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Sep 22nd, 2005, 01:26 PM
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My Canon is 5MP Julian. There is just so much to learn and it worries me to have to consider another object (storage device)to figure out in just 9 weeks. This is getting to risky for me and I will surely be disappointed if I don't have nice photos from my trip. Also if I borrow memory cards how do you know if they are compatible. How can these get corrupted? Another thing I know nothing about. I like the idea of buying memory cards and being able to return the un-used ones, but having them there, just in case would be good.
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Sep 22nd, 2005, 01:42 PM
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I looked up your camera to see the specs - it's a 5 mp/12x optical zoom machine (same as my Lumix). That means at a high quality .jpg setting (fine for 8 x 10s) your stored image size will be in the range of 2.5mb per snap, thus a 1gb SD card will hold around 400 images tops.

Snapping madly, my spouse and I took around 1700 images during our 19 days in Africa recently ended; that would equate to roughly 5gb in storage capacity. I only had one 1gb chip, because I also brought along a laptop, and got into the nightly routine of downloading pix, tossing the junk, and cataloging them while the camera batteries recharged. If you don't want to go through schlepping some storage device along, then I'd recommend 5gb of storage.

One of the benefits of the 5mp/12x zoom is you won't be needing to crop and enlarge small segments of the image in order to get the detail you want. If you wanted 8 x 10s and only had 3x zoom, then you'd need to shoot at the highest resolution possible since you'd only be blowing up a section of the image, with consequent loss of resolution. That would make your file sizes larger, hence require more storage capacity.

FWIW we really enjoyed having a laptop along - play music, watch movies on the planes, keep a diary... I updated our blog (http://home.comcast.net/~gardyloo) regularly - that is, when I could get connectivity. There are some small and very lightweight laptops around in the $800 range; might be worth considering even if you're averse to taking electronic stuff on your holiday.
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Sep 22nd, 2005, 02:18 PM
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Hi Carla,

Any SD card will work in your camera -- personally, I use Sandisk because they are known to be very reliable, and they make some types of cards with increased speed which is nice for continuous shooting. Memory cards can get corrupted by things like moisture, exposure to extreme temperatures, and physical damage (dropping/stepping on them). If you keep them in a case they should be fine.

I'm not very technically orientated, and I found the iPod very easy to use -- just plug the camera into the adaptor and go have a cup of tea or a swim whilst it transfers your photos. Like all things Mac, it's designed with the non-techie in mind. If you live in a big city, you can go to an Apple Store and play with one there to see if you like it -- bring your camera and the Mac people will show you how to hook it up to the iPod.

Personally, I'd much rather put an iPod in my pocket than lug around even the lightest laptop -- even if weight wasn't an issue, I wouldn't want to be worrying about its security or how it was tolerating the heat, dust, and bouncing around it would encounter on safari. If you are in East Africa, the weight issue is probably less important -- I was in Botswana and had a 12kg luggage limit, so every bit helped.

I did meet a father and son who brought a little iBook with them -- whilst it was certainly nice to be able to look at the photos on the big screen, they seemed to spend more time sitting with the computer than they did enjoying being in Africa, which was a shame. There will be plenty of time to edit your photos when you get home -- for me, spending time editing them now brings back lots of happy memories.

Cheers,
Julian
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Sep 23rd, 2005, 09:25 AM
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TTT
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Oct 10th, 2005, 06:30 PM
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Julian,
Can you walk me thru using an i-pod photo. What accessories will I need, and is an i-pod compatible w/all digital cameras? I just purchased a Konica-Minolta z6 w/6mp and 12x. Thus far I have only purchased a 1 gb card and know I will need further storage. The i-pod interests me. Thankyou in advance.
Teri
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Oct 11th, 2005, 04:24 AM
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I used 512MB Kingmax high-speed cards from newegg.com, and I was very pleased with their speed. I would not use anything smaller than 512, especially if you might take movies. (Incidentally, the quality of the movies using the FZ5 exceeded all my expectations.) I used about 1.5 cards/day, though I would have used more if I'd known how good the movies turned out.

If you'll be in a city or large town between safari stops, you will be able to find a photo store that can transfer the pictures on an SD card to a CD. Still, given the costs of a safari and the $40 or so for a 512MB card, I'd rather have more cards than I plan to use.
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