Digital Storage Device


May 22nd, 2005, 06:00 PM
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Digital Storage Device

I went to go get an Epson P2000 digital storage device but CompUSA, one of the few distributors, was sold out.

While at CompUSA, however, I started looking at laptop computers. My wife has a laptop, but it does not have DVD capabilities and I suspect that it has limited memory.

Rather than buying an Epson P2000, and a nice portable DVD player that my wife wants for the trip, spending a combined $800+, I started wondering why I should not just buy a nice compact laptop (14" or 15") with 60 - 80 megabytes? of memory. She would have a much better DVD player, since the screens on the portable DVD players are only about 7", while I would also have my digital storage device?

What would I be sacrificing by just getting a nice laptop for about $1,300 rather than the Epson P2000 and the portable DVD player?

Would there be a huge difference, for example, in how fast I would be able to download my photos?

Roccco is offline  
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May 22nd, 2005, 07:12 PM
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You would be sacrificing some money and perhaps gain weight. Your cards will download to a computer more quickly and you can see the photos and delete them on the spot -- a 14 inch screen will show you the detail much better than a 3.8 inch one. People purchase the Epson to avoid taking the larger computer with them but the larger computer will have more capabilities.

One more thing -- your wife may lose the ability to use the dvd because you will want to spend all the spare time using the computer to see the photos you took. If you can get access to an internet line, you could send us photos while on safari.
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May 22nd, 2005, 07:44 PM
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Believe it or not, my wife will likely only do half the game activities, leaving her plenty of time to still enjoy the DVD player on the laptop.

I figure that I would start downloading each night right before dinner or as we went to sleep.

I don't mind a little extra weight as I may be chartering my flights if it is not much more so I can avoid any hassle. As stupid as it may sound, I am considering three camera bodies so that I do not need to change lenses, but I will have at least two camera bodies.

If I were to go with three bodies, it would be two Canon 20D's, and a Canon Digital Rebel XT. The 20D's would carry the bigger lenses (Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 and Sigma 80-400mm OS f/4.5-5.6) while the XT would carry the smaller Canon 17-85mm IS lens.

With two camera bodies, I would more than likely keep the bigger lenses attached, and just use my smaller lens when we parked next to a lion pride or were within 20 feet of a leopard, or if I am so lucky, a wild dog pack!

Really, I think two bodies would be good enough because other than the landscape type shots that would be taken during sundowners or from camp or at a rest stop during walking safaris, I cannot see too much use for the 17-85mm length.

With the 1.6x conversion factor, the 70-200mm lens will, in effect, be a 112-320mm lens at f/2.8. The 80-400mm lens will have an incredible reach, in effect, of 640mm, but at a f/5.6.

My biggest fear remains canoeing...last year with the cheapie camera I had...who cares? But, this time around, although the odds are probably 1000 to 1 of an incident occuring, the thought is certainly there, not to far in the back of my mind.

Whew...glad I didn't just spend $800 on the Epson P2000 and a portable DVD player. Besides on safari, these two items would not see much use but a laptop will see use almost daily! Plus, it will help me keep notes along the way and allow me to type my trip report as I go, rather than rely on my memory a few weeks later. Waking up at 5:30AM every morning, sundowners, drinks w/ dinner, passing out from exhaustion each night (although the wine and sundowners certainly earn an assist)...a month later, who would remember half of the things that happened? wife and I will celebrate our 5th anniversary this week...what a great anniversary present a brand new laptop computer would be!
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May 22nd, 2005, 09:43 PM
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Remember my little tale of a few weeks ago? My wife had an $1,800 Sony laptop that I downloaded into each day. We had a great time looking at the pics on the nice big 15 inch screen. At the very end of our trip, while visiting friends in England, she spilled a full cup of hot coffee on the keyboard. Instant death to the laptop. All those pics gone, unless some super special service could salvage them from the hard drive. But wait!!! I had also downloaded all the pics into an Archos AV320.
Make up your own "moral to the story".
Here is mine - if you get a laptop get one that can burn DVDs. Download into the laptop for fun and also burn a DVD.
BTW, we are going to Africa first time this Sept, 4 nights at Nsefu Zambia, then 1 night at Victoria Falls, then 4 nights at Kwhai River Lodge Botswana, then 4 nights at Mala Mala. Counting the days
cary999 is offline  
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May 23rd, 2005, 01:55 AM
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If you get a laptop, take an extra battery pack. Its not often it happens on short trips, but if you plan on using it extensively, they have been known to fail. I have had 3 on a toshiba fail on me, but over a year period in the bush and on the road. And have known people with similar experiences on safari. I was told the heat is a major factor by toshiba.
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May 23rd, 2005, 02:49 AM
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We have either taken TWO X Drive devices (copying all images taken onto both) OR a laptop (that can burn onto DVD) AND one X Drive.

Paranoid? Yes.
Lost any images? No.
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May 23rd, 2005, 06:31 AM
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Great choice in lodges.

Nsefu is in a very beautiful area, Khwai River Lodge has a reputation for being in an excellent game area and Mala Mala should provide you with some incredible up close encounters with leopards and lions.

Kavey & Luangwablondes...thanks for the feedback. An extra battery pack and a laptop capable of burning DVD's is definitely on the shopping list.
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May 23rd, 2005, 06:59 AM
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Roccco - be careful when you go computer shopping that they don't "oversell" you. Once a computer salesman gets a hold of you it will be hard to keep your purchase at a reasonable price.

And definitely DO NOT get a third camera body. Either take your old camera for "camp shots" or change the lenses. Really, it's not a big deal to change lenses and your old camera did a great job for you and there isn't anything wrong with using it even tho you have dslr now. I bought a p&s digital cameral to use when we went to NYC even though we had the 20D with us.
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