digital photography question

May 17th, 2004, 03:02 PM
  #1  
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digital photography question

Hi everyone,

I'm hoping someone can answer a question about traveling with a digital camera.

We're going to Australia for our honeymoon...

I am a bit nervous to rely on the digital memory cards (since I just purchased the camera yesterday!) My thought was that I'd like a back-up of the photos - like putting them on the internet somehow - I have an ipod that I could store them on, but the adapter costs about $80 - ideally, I think loading them to the internet is the most cost-effective and safest way to go.... but it seems like all of the websites require specific loading software AND will I have acess to USB ports at places like hotels and internet cafes...

Any help or advice is appreciated....

Thanks so much!!!!
lrfisher is offline  
May 17th, 2004, 05:40 PM
  #2  
Les
 
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Hi.
In my opinion, the weakest link when traveling with digital cameras is the battery. Make sure you have a couple of sets, and a charger with wall plug adapter that works at the voltage of the country you're visiting.
Memory cards are fairly reliable, and not usually affected by airport X-ray machines (the machines for carry-on luggage; DON'T put the cards in checked baggage).
If you have a choice, opt for several smaller cards, rather than one large one (two 256MB cards, rather than one 512MB card). That way, you don't put all your eggs in one basket.
If you're still concerned, or if you take more pictures than your cards can hold, here are a couple of options.
You can probably go into any number of photo shops and have them download your pictures to a CD, which is pretty reliable, and frees up your cards for re-use. This shouldn't cost very much (I've heard it's around $10.00 here in the States, although I've never used the service).
Or, you can probably find an internet cafe that'll have a CD burner, and you can do it yourself.
Hope this helps a little.
Les is offline  
May 17th, 2004, 06:59 PM
  #3  
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Thanks for the suggestions and the advice about the batteries! What do you think about uploading them to the internet? Seems like you need to download site-specific software to be able to upload efficiently but I'm doubting that a computer that I'd find access for would allow me to do that... thoughts?

Thanks!
lrfisher is offline  
May 17th, 2004, 07:49 PM
  #4  
ALF
 
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The only reason why you would want to upload your photos is to show them to friends and family - and you can do that once you are home. In general, that process results in a loss of quality, as the digital image is compressed for transmission. Les is right - the way to go is to bring your memory card to a photography shop that will transfer the image files onto a CD. If you take a lot of photos, you will begin to approach the cost of that iPod adapter. $80 doesn't seem like a lot of money to me, compared to the cost of getting to, and staying in, Oz. If you are really paranoid, you could make a CD and ship it home, as well as upload your images to the iPod.
ALF is offline  
May 18th, 2004, 01:23 AM
  #5  
 
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Hi Irfisher,
Just visit a photo shop when you have a few hundred pics and ask them to drop them on CD Rom for you. It cost us around A$10 in December. The memory is then free to be wiped, just check the CD is working first, they will do that at the photo shop at the same time.
Happy snapping and have a great honeymoon

Muck
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May 18th, 2004, 09:03 AM
  #6  
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Thanks everyone!
lrfisher is offline  
May 18th, 2004, 11:56 AM
  #7  
 
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You could also upload them online without loosing quality if you have your own web space..
But transfer to CDs is the best.. Might not always be easy to find a place though, so keep that in mind too!
christellefv is offline  
May 18th, 2004, 04:21 PM
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uploading to the internet will take a very long time - think, 100+ photos, each of 1mb+, and you might have to do this every couple of days. Then you have download them again at the other end. You also have to find an internet cafe and then convince them to let you hook up your camera and download the pics to the HD.

It is a 'weakness' of digi cams that, on long holidays, you will run out of memory. Your options are:

1. burn to CD at a photo shop. Benefits: no up front costs, CDs are pretty secure. Downside: you have to find a shop (easy in a big city, not so much in the country - nonetheless, you have to search them out when your memory starts getting low). Can be expensive if you take a lot of photos.

2. by a portable hard drive (PHD). You have an ipod already, so you just need the adapter. Keep in mind that the adapter is pretty slow and you should aim to download only while the ipod is connected to the mains, as otherwise the battery might run out. Check out various ipod or digicam forums for tips on using ipod for photo storage. Or there are other PHDs on the market, but they are US$200+.

3. take a laptop

4. buy a portable CD burner. Again US$200+

5. buy more memory chips.

6. use the highest compression setting in your camera (meaning you probably cant print bigger than 4x6) and frantically sit in your hotel room deleting no so good photos every night so you have enough memory to take more the next day.

You can easily buy memory cards in Australia but they are more expensive than in the US.

The PHD option is generally 'the best' (you can do it when you want, start each day with an empty memory chip and the capacity is generally far in excess of what you will use - plus you get an MP3 player), but it does have the problem of putting all your photos in the one place. If you are the nervous type then a CD burn/backup burn might be worthwhile.
ctd02 is offline  
May 19th, 2004, 01:12 PM
  #9  
Les
 
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Just a postscript to ALF's comments.
If you live in the U.S., don't mail the CD's home. Since 911, the US Postal Service has been subjecting mail (not all of it, I suppose) to extremely strong radiation. I have seen pictures of CD's, and even processed slides, that have been destroyed this way.
Just download to a CD (2 CD's, if you're paranoid, and give one to your spouse), and pack the CD's in your carry-on luggage.
Les
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May 19th, 2004, 01:17 PM
  #10  
ALF
 
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Les, you gotta' be kidding! CDs are made by being etched with a laser beam. The kind of radiation used by the US Postal Service cannot affect those surfaces. Just to check, I found this reference:
http://www.mscience.com/radiate.html
ALF is offline  
May 19th, 2004, 01:30 PM
  #11  
Les
 
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ALF,
Nope, not kidding. I'm not talking about x-rays here. I'm talking about irradiating packages with electron beams to destroy anthrax.
The photos I saw (don't remember the URL at this time, but I suppose I could track it down - may even have it bookmarked at home) showed slides and diskettes (plastic, like CD's) blackened and twisted from the radiation. It has nothing to do with the way the data is stored on the CD.
I did a quick search, and found the following site:
http://www.nyip.com/tips/tip_break_news1201.php.
So the issue is real, and, apparently, being addressed.
Les
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May 19th, 2004, 01:39 PM
  #12  
Les
 
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ALF,
Here's where I saw the picture (obviously, this URL should all be on a single line):

http://www.smithsonianmag.si.edu/smi...lides_jpg.html

The link came from this site:

http://home.kc.rr.com/aaronphoto/xray.html#links

The site's a couple of years old, and things may have improved since then.

Les
Les is offline  
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