Memory cards for camera

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Apr 13th, 2014, 07:07 PM
  #1
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Memory cards for camera

Will be in Kenya on a two week safari. Everyone says to take more memory cards for my camera than I think I will need.....but I don't know how much I think I will need! Can someone give me some idea of how much to take? Thanks.
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Apr 13th, 2014, 08:09 PM
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Plan on at least 500 photos a day and that should do it.

It also depends if you plan on downloading the photos each day to a device. Then you'd need less memory because you could reuse the cards. Although some people never delete the card and just keep the photos on the card even after downloading.

I personally keep the photos on the memory cards until I get home and then download, delete, edit.

On my last trip of 9 days I had about 4200. I kept about 6% of them.
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Apr 14th, 2014, 01:20 AM
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What size, how many bytes is each of the pictures (jpg)? I'm guessing 2MB, that is, 2 million bytes. If so, how many pics per 1GB? Because cards are sold in GB sizes, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB etc. Anyway at 2MB per pic that would be 500 pics per 1GB (2MB times 500 is 1,000MB, which is 1GB). Or, one 8GB card for 8 days shooting. Cards are cheap, 8GB card is $7. 16GB card $10. Two week safari, 14 days, means 16GB of pics. But I'd take two 16GB cards. Or maybe four 8Gb cards. Four cards give you some bit of safety against losing a card (16GB) with half, or all, your pics on it. Of course you could also get four 16GB cards and only use about half of each card.

Or one card for each day of shooting, makes some things simpler. Especially if you will shoot any amount of video.

So, how about video? Any plans for video? Video can chew up a lot of bytes. If you could be taking video every day, test shoot some now and see how many MB are needed per minute of video. Figure on 10 minutes of video a day. Then do some math for card usage. 1,000MB equals 1GB.

And a reminder. Take an extra camera battery and be sure you take the charger. And do NOT put any of it in checked luggage, hand carry it on plane.

regards - tom
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Apr 16th, 2014, 12:12 PM
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I had lunch yesterday with one guy who is going to Africa this year on a photo safari and another who just got back. While the subject of memory cards did not come up, two related topics did: first, the absolute necessity (in their opinions) of taking a spare camera in case something happens to your primary one and, second, the importance of glass with sufficient reach to capture the images you will have spent so much money to capture.

I was glad to be a part of the conversation since this trip in on my list as well. The guy who had been there indicated that he took a 70-300mm (Nikkor) lens and felt that was sufficient. I think I would prefer something longer.

Again, memory cards didn't come up, but since they are so cheap, I would tend to over-buy and keep them since they are always useful.
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Apr 16th, 2014, 04:49 PM
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Spare camera--agreed. I've needed the spare 3 times and thought I needed it a fourth time, but it was me not camera. So glad I had at least one backup each time. Less disappointment and less stress. Sometimes I've given the extra camera to the guide to shoot with and have gotten some unique keeper shots.

With good Image Stabilized, Superzoom P&S bridge cameras, that extra camera insurance costs a few hundred USDs.

I also always take more than one charger and more than one adapter. If something happens to charger or adapter you can be out of luck. It's a case of "For want of a nail the shoe was lost..." You might accidentally leave the charger/adapter behind its charging if the plug is in an out-of-the-way spot. Or with everybody charging in the same power strip (which is the case at many accommodations) someone might take yours by accident.

I also take 3-4 batteries. Make sure to check the batteries in your camera before leaving home to make sure they are the right ones. One woman on a group trip I did had brought the wrong batteries (and no charger). Fortunately the rest of us sent her photos.

I do the four 8-GBs. Never use anywhere near that much. Always check your cards before leaving home. I was with a guide who opened a brand new memory card and put it in his camera. Kept getting errors. I looked at it too. The brand new card was defective.
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Apr 16th, 2014, 05:28 PM
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Well, how many cameras and which type and how much associated kit you take depends on how "serious" you are about photography.

If you are serious about photography on safari, there are two other things that are more important than the camera(s). First is your ranger/guide, he is the one that finds the wildlife. Second is being permitted to go off road with your game drive vehicle. The position of you, the scene, and the light is critical for good photography and can only be properly arranged by going off road. And back to importance of your ranger/guide, he must understand this. Most do not, some do.

regards - tom
ps - never take anything new in the box. Test it at home first.
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Apr 16th, 2014, 09:33 PM
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There is a lot one needs to know to answer your question. What kind of camera are you using? What size are your jpg or RAW files when you download them from your camera? Do you tend to shoot one frame at a time? Or multiple shots?

I have been on three short safari trips and was surprised at how many photos I took. I shoot RAW files so that I have more latitude in processing them in Lightroom and Photoshop. And these files tend to be large.

In a few months, I will be going to Masai Mara again. I am planning to take 2 camera bodies this time and my husband will have another camera. I will take multiple 16GB memory cards and some 32GB cards with me. (I have tried downloading photos while traveling but I'd rather do this to back up photos if I have time rather than have it be a necessity.)

I had trouble with a memory card during my one opportunity to photograph the sunrise at Maroon Bells this past summer. I managed to get it working but wasn't sure until I got home whether I would be able to access the files.

If you are going on a two week safari - a trip of a lifetime - I would suggest figuring out how large your picture files are and then guesstimate how many photos you might take each day. My husband might take about 300-500 a day and I generally take 500-800. But I am just as likely to try to capture some landscape shots - especially at sunrise and sunset - and not just focus on birds and animals.

Let us know how it goes, OK? Hope you have a fabulous time!
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Apr 17th, 2014, 09:32 AM
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As a committed photographer, I'd like to add what is always a struggle for me. To put the camera down. I've traveled for much of the last decade and feel I've benefitted greatly from all the pictures I've decided not to take with the camera but have stored in my own memory. It's a wonderful thing to have the pictures but after looking at things through a camera lens for years, I'm finding I like the view better without it. I still take pictures but far fewer. Sometimes now I even forget to take them and consider it personal progress.

If this is a "trip of a lifetime" , keep in mind the good advice above but also think about seeing it in a way you don't have to look at the pictures to remember.
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Apr 17th, 2014, 12:54 PM
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As I recall, the higher the mg per pic, (marked on the camera) the more memory required on those cards. When I first started camera was about 8mg, and my cards were maybe 2GB and I had quite a few of these. Now cameras are way up there with # of Mg, believe 12mg or more, thus you can't get away with 2GB if you can even find these anymore.

Unless you plan to have your eyes glued to the viewfinder (don't as seeing with your eyes is often better even if missing a particular sight), as I recall taking all of a friend's cameras away so she could see on her own which she did appreciate.

Still comes down to type of camera, mg and if RAW.

Memory cards are relatively inexpensive, so I have lots of different sizes, also just in case a card is damaged and as others noted a back-up camera even if not as good as my primary. You never know when something might go wrong.

Though I've never taken two (2) battery chargers, I did on one trip blow my charger first day.... ooops! Thankfully had lots of extra batteries and at each stop asked if they had a matching charger for my needs. Sadly, none did. However, at one camp and still with sufficient batteries, the manager took my charger to his little workshop in the rear of camp and returned with a working charger and charged any batteries that needed to be. Managed to get thru balance of trip with no further issues. Sure lucked out that time.

Now, always travel with a 2nd camera, extra batteries and have a 2nd charger. And though I no longer take near as many pics as years ago, One just never knows.
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Apr 17th, 2014, 04:30 PM
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It's amazing what comes out of those little workshops!
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Apr 18th, 2014, 08:10 AM
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Yes, lynn - amazing.

Recall visit at one camp, believe it was Olonana (in the Mara) that had in their office a wall of various model chargers for most any type battery. A surprise and a very smart idea I'd say. Though I brought my own charger for them to handle my battery/ies, since they had one that did match, they had no need for it.

I've suggested this set-up at other camps, but to-date haven't noticed any taking me up on this. Shame.
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Apr 18th, 2014, 09:04 PM
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As Sandi, I've often wonder why camps don't offer loaner charges for guests. Sure they would need 20 different chargers, but so what? No big deal. Cost maybe $1,000, peanuts in a camp's operating budget. And many guests would be most grateful. And might give a good camp review or even come back!!! When once I loaned my charger to a guest who had forgotten hers, she gave me a kiss!!!! (Well, actually, I demanded a kiss as payment).

regards - tom
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Apr 20th, 2014, 06:45 AM
  #13
 
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If using after-market batteries, make sure they actually work in your camera. A fellow traveler found that, once in Africa, her camera wouldn't connect with the battery, even though it was labeled for use in that camera. On another safari, a fellow traveler found that the lens she brought was actually a wide-angle, not the zoom lens she meant to pack. I was able to lend her my 28 - 200 mm lens for the safari. I also second the idea do having a second camera or camera body along. I had that 28 - 200 lens on a second body for landscapes, and a longer zoom on another camera body for wildlife. You can usually get a refurbished body that fairly inexpensive. I now just use a small "super zoom" camera, but still carry a second camera with me. Check out all your gear before you leave, charge your batteries, and take lots of memory cards. They are cheap and take up almost no space or weight.
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Apr 30th, 2014, 09:01 AM
  #14
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Hi
i'd like to add a point not mentioned: Speed
i've seen slow cards slowing down the camera writing, thus missing some very good moments / frames...
when taking 5/6/8 FPS (frames per second) - depending on camera - you need a fast card
[e.g. when a leopard climbs or decends a tree thats the time for bursts]
Now you have to check carefully what is written and what it means. example: look at Lexar professional 1000X whuch is equal to 150 Mb/s but this is reading speed and not writing speed!
thus, Sandisk Extreme Pro 100 Mb/s writes faster!!

another thing to consider: UDMA (7) - does your camera support UDMA (and your card reader?)

i don't have with me now all the info, but these are points to check
& you find out that such cards are not that cheap...
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Apr 30th, 2014, 09:02 AM
  #15
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and "sky is the limit"
3333X
http://www.popphoto.com/gear/2014/01...3333x-cfast-20

is any camera fast enough for this card?
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May 1st, 2014, 04:04 AM
  #16
TC
 
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As others have said, memory cards are cheap. Take a lot. We take more cards, smaller size. That way we don't have all our photos on one card. If something happens to that one card, all is lost. Suggest rotating the cards from drive to drive, so you have something of your memories if one were to get lost or malfunction.

"Don't put all your eggs in one basket"
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