safari memory pangs

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Nov 13th, 2005, 07:24 AM
  #1
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safari memory pangs

Well, I got the camera (Fz30) as I've already announced. Now I'm practicing and realizing more and more how many memory cards I will need to bring for 3 1/2 weeks of shots - probably $300. USD worth. Very wastefull. I've perused other messages regarding memory storage devices and would like your thoughts on these. I don't want to lug my toshiba laptop or anything quite so big. I know one of you at least has a epson 2000 which is more than I'd like to pay - 1000.USD. I've checked out various websites and have become more confused - some have a harddrives, some don't, some say that what they're reading from may be obsolete soon, some play music as well or so I think. Can anyone give me some guidance or recommend a good fairly inexpensive device 300. or less - please.
Also, do you think it's just better to suck it up and just buy more cards.
Mucho Thanks ahead;
Sherry
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Nov 13th, 2005, 07:39 AM
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Cybor,

What does your itinerary look like?

More and more safari lodges are starting to offer computer access. Perhaps all you will need to bring along is a memory card reader and a few CD's and you will be able to download your images in order to free up memory card space.

Also, last I checked the Epson P2000 was retailing for $499.

If you do not bring along anything at all and you are shooting at the full 8 Megapixel capacity, then I would think you would need to spend far more than the $499 that will buy you the Epson P2000. Minimum, you will probably use 3 Gigabytes for each week, so with 3.5 weeks of shots, you are looking at 10 Gigs of required memory if you don't have a way of downloading your images.

Definitely find out if you will have the chance to download your images at any of the lodges/camps you are visiting and make an educated decision from there whether you need an Epson P2000 or similar or whether you only need to bring along a card reader and some CD's/DVD's to download your images at one of your camps/lodges.

Personally, I went out and bought a somewhat lightweight (5 lbs.) Compaq Presario with 80 Gigs of memory for my recently completed safari. It worked out wonderful and I was able to download my photos and watch & share them within five minutes after my game drive was completed. Had I known the first thing about Photoshop at the time, I would have been able to completely edit my photos while still on safari and on the flights home. Instead, nearly two months later, I still haven't had a chance to edit all of my photos, so that should probably be one more consideration. If you don't yet own Photoshop, I strongly recommend that you go out and get it in order to more fully realize the potential of your digital images. Photoshop Elements 3.0 is very good and the 4.0 version has just been released. 3.0 was only about $100 so 4.0 probably won't be more than $150...well worth the investment.

Good luck.
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Nov 13th, 2005, 08:08 AM
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Hi Rocco,
Thanks. It doesn't sound like I will be in places to download - it's a wonderful idea and really would solve my dilemma. We will mostly be in permanent and mobile camps in Tanzania. Kikoti, Kisima Ngeda, Mobile in Serengeti and one night at the Ngorongoro Wildlife lodge which doesn't stike me as a place that would have too many extras. We will then stay at the Karen Blixen Cottages in Nairobi then 2 nights at the Sunset beach Hotel in Mahe and then on a catamaran for a week in the Seychelles back to the Sunset and US.
I don't think I'd want another laptop to download stuff, although it's a great way to go. Also, I know if I have a choice of sitting outside sipping or sitting in a tent editing (no matter how luxurious they claim) I will be outside. I will be escaping the New England winter and will want to be outside as much as I can. So whatever I end up doing to download I would like it to be as quick and hassle free as possible.
Appreciate your input;
Sherry
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Nov 13th, 2005, 08:23 AM
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cybor,

I was thinking more of editing while outside the tent, in a nice comfortable reclined position, soaking in the sun and keeping one eye on the wildlife while sipping on something cold.

I see that you are also going to the Seychelles. I would love to hear more about that, even if just a website I could go to get more information.

Seeing that you are on safari for about two weeks, I would recommend a minimum of about 6 gigabytes. You won't shoot 1/4 as much while you are in the Seychelles as while you are on your safari. Even if you decide to go with the Epson P2000 or similar, 2 Gigs would still be the way to go, in my opinion.
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Nov 13th, 2005, 09:30 AM
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Cear Cybor....relax! Really. We are on safari in Kenya for 24 days beginning 1/17/06 and have done lots and lots of reserach on your very concern. Here is our final decision. Sure hope it helps you out...

We are taking two digital cameras: Canon PowerShot A40 and Cannon ZR200 Digital Camcorder. We purchased three 1GB flash cards from Costco for $69 each. You can get them on line as well. And www.frye.com (a great electronic store in southern Calif) has them as well for about the same price. For our camcorder we purchased a pack of mini-cassettes (5 for $59) at Circuit City. That gives us ten hours as LP, 20 hours as SLP. Our camcorder will also record about 6 hours on the flash drive. We are taking ten CDRs with us and plan to purchase ten more when we arrive in Nairobi should a local camera store recommend a different format ($15 at any computer store). We will be camping mostly with stops every four days at lodges. All of the lodges we are staying at and the ones we looked at and didn't book have computer stations with CDRW drives. Take a universal flash card, memory card reader with you with a USB input ($20 at any computer store) and you are set. When you get to a lodge, download all of your memory cards on to CDs, (make a second copy just in case) and you are ready to go. We plan on shooting at least 3000 photos and loads of tape, all at high resolution, so this is our solution to the "memory pangs."

Now here's where the bucks really start to add up. You will want a lens attachment for your camers that will double or triple your zoom...the animals dont' stand at the side of the road waiting for you, no matter how much the Kenyan and Tanzanian governments pay them. When you arrive purchase an aerosol air duster. The dust in relentless and even the best lens cloth will eventually sratch your lenses. Use your lens cover constantly and here's a great time someone shared with us. When you are not using the camera keep it in a ziploc bag.

All of this is the rewards of online chats so enjoy the free advice and have a wonderful trip.
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Nov 13th, 2005, 01:20 PM
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Thanks for your responses t19. You've raised some good points. I don't think that I'll be around places to download as we'll be in camps. I will check to see if I can download at the Karen Blixen Cottages but that won't be until 12 days into my trip. As for a lense, I'm hoping that my telephoto on my fz30 400mm+ will be enough.

Rocco:
Your style of editing does sound good - I should haved realized that you would turn it into an enjoyable activity of sorts - no hiding in dark tents for you whilst missing out. I'll see what else I can dig up for you for websites etc. on the Seychelles - there's not alot, at least that I know about. I started with the Michelin book on Reunion, Mauritas and Seychelles - ok but kind of limited. Insight pocket guide of Seychelles - nice overview. USA division of Seychelles tourism N.Y. 212 687 -9766 - never used them. Also google VPM yacht charterers for crewed and uncrewed yacht charters.

As for memory, I'd still like if possible, to hear about some good memory storage devices if anyone has info. I don't think I want to buy another laptop and I'm still not enthused about buying so many cards prior.
Thanks;
Sherry
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Nov 13th, 2005, 01:22 PM
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We bought the epson p-2000, We took two 1 gig cards with us.

The epson sells for $499. It has a great screen and is very easy to use. It is light and compact to carry. We were very happy with it and it is great now -- we can put a slide show on it and take it to show friends etc easily. It can also be plugged into a tv to view as a slide show. I think it is more useful than just as a storage device.
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Nov 13th, 2005, 03:56 PM
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On our recent safari - 16-days Tanzania, Zanzibar and Kenya, I had less than 1Gb (1/256Kb and 1/512KB) while my friend had about 512GB total. Between the two of us we had plenty of room for editing and no need to download anything until we arrived home.

Considering that I posted an album of over 600 photos, can't imagine having to need near 1Gb for either of us. Just going through the combined photos between us was time consuming... hate to think what those who have thousands go through.

As to the Seychelles, while not comparing to your photo ops while on safari, you'll still find plenty you'll want to capture, especially during your time in Mahe. The greenery is magnificent as are the birds and those tortoises.

Guess, to each their own... but the price mounts with each "added" chip, battery, lense, and on and on and on.....
 
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Nov 13th, 2005, 05:07 PM
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i agree with sandi. i took around 1200 pics on an 11 day trip to zambia and got by on about 1g + 1-256 card. what will you ever do with thousands of pics? it is overwhelming! and one in awhile, you do have to come up for air and actually watch the animals through your own eyes, not the viewfinder.
dennis
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Nov 13th, 2005, 05:38 PM
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It also depends on your camera. Our camera takes 245 photos on a 1 gig card but it is an 8 megapixel camera.

We spent 13 nights on safari and took 2000-2500 photos. Two of us shared the camera.
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Nov 13th, 2005, 06:45 PM
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true mpkp, my camera is only 3+ megapixel and on large size, superfine quality, still fits 700 pics on a 1g card. so that is something to look at cybor.
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Nov 14th, 2005, 03:32 AM
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Dennis -

Through one's own eyes, rather than a viewfinder. Right-on! One of our favorite photos is of my friend just looking out on the Mara plains taking in the beauty of it all. One of the few moments she didn't have a camera in her hands.
 
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Nov 14th, 2005, 04:23 AM
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I shot several 'movies' on my FZ5 (.mov files) -- would I be able to store those on the Epson P2000?
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Nov 14th, 2005, 04:58 AM
  #14
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Thanks for all your valuable insights. Please keep the good ideas coming. Your dialog is definitely all good food for thought.
Most Appreciative;
Sherry
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Nov 14th, 2005, 05:27 AM
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p.s. My camera is a 8 mega pix. Cyn (who owns the same camera) says that the file sizes are 1.2 - 4.0 mb. So should I take that to mean that if I use a 1gb card whilst in the 4.0mb mode that I will get 250 photos - sounds low. Somone else suggested using the jpeg mode for condensing.
Thanks;
Sherry
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Nov 14th, 2005, 09:20 PM
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We just returned from 14 days in Kenya and Tanzania -- we had two digital cameras (one 12x optical zoom and one 4x optical zoom) and a wonderful pair of binoculars with a freeze feature. Once you focus on a long view (say a pair of lions) the freeze feature holds the image in the binoculars sharp; it was the best view we had. The idea about the ziplock bags is totally correct. We had a 1 GB disk for the 12x and a 512 disk for the 4x. It would have been great to just double that storage capacity, since each evening we went through the pictures and deleted the bad ones. We did not need to download or save to a CD -- keep it simple. We were also able to save several videos (the rare male Ostrich mating dance, for example) which take up lots of storage, and still have great shots. We bought the storage cards on eBay and saved lots of money.
And you will LOVE Kisema Ngeda.
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Nov 15th, 2005, 02:06 AM
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We did not put movies on the epson p2000 but I understand you could do that -- I beleive you can put a movie on it and watch that also -- like a dvd only it would have to be on the hard drive.

As for the 250 photos on a 1 gig card with 8 .2 mg -- that is correct. We did get that on the canon 20d in jpeg high resolution. That may seem low to you but that is what we got. You could get more saving it on a lower resolution but you could not effectively enlarge those photos. For 4x6 it would be fine.
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Nov 15th, 2005, 06:02 AM
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St Louis:
How was your 4x? What brand binoculars?
Thanks.
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Nov 16th, 2005, 05:17 AM
  #19
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Thanks for your valuable info. everyone. I guess I know that I'm too cheap to put out $500. for the epson storage device, as I'll probably never use it again after my trip. I have seen a few other devices online that are half the price and under - is anyone familiar with these?
Otherwise, I'll probably just get a bunch of memory cards. I really can't imagine that I'll be wanting to make too many 8x10's - maybe a few of somethings that are extraordinary to get framed. This leads me to my next question - what is a good resolution size for 4x6 photos and if I use the lower resolution settings will my photos be decent enough to view on TV? Should I selectively adjust my camera resolution size as I see something that I think will be an amazing must have 8x10 or just shoot everything on a high resolution format or visa versa? I have to say that I really hate having to take the time out to shrink giant pics. down by bringing the pix sizes down when developing.
Hope this makes sense.
Thanks for any input;
Sherry
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Nov 16th, 2005, 08:23 AM
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One more thing - sorry. Someone had mentioned getting high speed memory cards. I'm wondering why - I'm assuming that the camera would read faster and use less space, perhaps. Would this affect the quality of the picture?
Thanks;
Sherry
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