Digital Camera - a plethura of questions

May 16th, 2002, 05:22 PM
  #1  
KAM
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Digital Camera - a plethura of questions

Greetings! I will be taking a 14 day honeymoon to Italy in June and have questions for those of you who use digital cameras...
1. Do you also bring an 'old fashioned' 35MM camera?

2. Do you use a digital wallet or internet cafes or a laptop for storage while on your trip? (I KNOW I won't lug my laptop)

3. Did you invest in a telephoto lens? Other gadgetry?

4. When you return home, how do you make prints??? This is our true dilemma and why I want to use a 35MM camera... Prices on digital pictures still are too high to make an album to show off and save for posterity.

Suggestions/resources PLEASE?!? Thanks in advance...

PS - quick specs on our camera in case that helps - It is a 3.3 megapixel Canon G3
 
May 16th, 2002, 06:07 PM
  #2  
Steve
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Kam,
Go to digital photography review forums there for your answers.

www.dpreview.com

Also, Canon goes not make a G3. There latest G series is the G2 and is 4.1 megapixels.
 
May 16th, 2002, 06:51 PM
  #3  
Alec
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I'm a recent convert to digicams and don't bother taking film cameras any more. I get a couple of large-capacity (128MB min) memory cards, which will take around 200 pictures at highest resolution. Then I take them to a local photo service shop (they are everywhere in Europe) and get them to burn images on CD. I look for at least 3x optical zoom (digital zoom is usually a waste of time). I print them out on photo inkjet printer, having downloaded the images on Photoshop or Photo Deluxe through a card reader (much faster than connecting camera via USB) or take memory cards to a photo shop and specify which pictures I want developed. I did this in Japan recently and they printed out in less than an hour for around 20 cents each.
 
May 16th, 2002, 06:54 PM
  #4  
xxx
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I used to take my my regular camera; now I take only my digital. It is SO much easier! What else do you need to know?
 
May 16th, 2002, 07:12 PM
  #5  
Dave
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1. No. My digital gives me MUCH better pictures than my 35mm Nikon P&S did. My film camera hasn't been out of the closet for a year now.

This doesn't mean your results will be satisfactory; as with film, even the best digital camera can produce garbage in the wrong hands. Hopefully you will have a chance to get used to your camera before it really matters.

2a. Buying enough memory is part of the cost of going digital. If this bothers you, you may have made a mistake in buying a digital camera. Memory cards are quite cheap now (CompactFlash costs less than US$0.50/MB). Just think about the cost of all that film you don't have to buy and develop anymore.

2b. Digital wallets can be useful, but reliability is an issue. CompactFlash cards are very reliable, with no moving parts to worry about. If you download photos to a digital wallet every day and then erase your memory card, you're essentially putting all your eggs in a relatively fragile basket. You'll have to do your own risk analysis to determine if that's acceptable to you.

2c. I personally don't want to waste valuable vacation time searching for an internet cafe or photo/computer store that will store my photos on CD. I spend too much time looking for laundromats as it is. Plus, uploading 3MP photos to the internet will take a LONG time.

3. If you have to ask, you don't need them. Just make sure you have a universal adapter/charger and enough batteries for your type of usage. Using the optical viewfinder and turning off the LCD GREATLY increases battery life.

4. Prices on digital pictures are still too high?? I can't imagine how you justify that statement!

I print my own photos on a US$130 HP printer, using paper that costs $20 for 200 sheets. I've printed several hundred since buying this printer - including ink, paper and the capital cost of the printer, an 8x10 page of photos probably costs me about $0.25. Compared to 35mm development I'm saving a bundle.

Not only is this cheaper, but I control the print quality. I also can make my own 8x10 enlargements for $0.25/page, instead of seveal dollars from the lab. Plus, assuming one knows what one is doing, it's a relatively easy process.

I'm sorry if this post comes across as harsh or sarcastic, but there have been a number of posts on this forum lately from people who bought digital cameras for no apparent reason. Entering the world of digital photography can be wonderful and economical if you know how, and more importantly WHY to do so. Just plopping down a few hundred bucks because it's the cool thing to do, and then wondering what's next isn't really the way to go.

I hope you have a wonderful honeymoon, and come back with great pictures of Italy.
 
May 16th, 2002, 07:24 PM
  #6  
Jim Tardio
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I have nothing against digital cameras, and I believe they will one day overtake film cameras both in quality and sales.

I just don't agree that it's an easier way to go. Just look through the digital camera threads here on Fodors, and you'll get an idea of the added hassle involved.

It's your vacation. Do you want to lug a laptop computer around Italy? Spend your precious time searching for an internet cafe?? Spend more time editing photos deciding which ones to keep?? Recharging batteries everynight hoping the power conversion doesn't fry your charger??

Do you want to buy even more gadgets...a digital wallet. etc..? Worst of all, the shutter delay of most consumer digitals is so bad that you're guaranteed to lose shots because you were ready but the camera wasn't.

The upside...you save money on film and processing, and that's about it.

To answer your question, you can bring your storage cards to Ritz or Wolfe photo and they will make prints just like they do with a roll of film, for roughly he same price. It's actually cheaper for them this way because they're not paying for chemicals.

My advice is to take film. You'll get sharper, more saturated pictures. Best of all you'll have a negative or slide that won't be destroyed if you accidentally hit the delete button.

I don't mean to be a spoiler here, but I make a portion of my living as a photographer. All you're doing is exchanging one set of problems for another...and the results aren't as good yet.

Lots of photos here: http://www.jimtardio.com
 
May 17th, 2002, 03:05 AM
  #7  
ann
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Digital is the way to go in my opinion. My trusty Nikon is bored and lonely in it's closet while my Olympus C2100 digital camera is seeing lots of action. Above posters are right about media cards coming way down in price. If you only want to shoot a few hundred shots you could probably get by with just a couple of 128mb cards. I tend to shoot more than that on trips so I have a digital wallet. The poster who said you are putting all your shots in one basket so to speak is correct but my digital wallet does seem to work (I took it to Paris is March and have been test driving it alot at home and although it doesn't always download the first time, it always does download after a couple of tries. Digital wallets have also come down in price, I think under $200 now). As for the prints, I print on a fairly cheap hewlett packard with Adobe photoshop but the software that comes with the printer is really adequate for minor adjustments. You only print the shots you want so in the end it saves lots of money. Don't know where the poster who gets 200 sheets of paper for $25 gets his stuff, photo quality paper at Best Buy, etc is under 50 cents a sheet but not that cheap. Still, in the end its cheaper and you can print exactly what you want, crop it etc. So many advantages. The quality is the same as film except for enlargements over 5x7 and even then most average people can't tell the difference.
 
May 17th, 2002, 04:14 AM
  #8  
Dave
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Ann,

I use RoyalBrites brand paper from Sam's Club for "album" prints (This week it was 200 sheets for $15 !!). For framing, I still use HP brand paper because it's a heavier stock, but to be honest the RoyalBrites produces images almost indistinguishable from various HP, Kodak and Epson photo papers I've tried. And so far, fading hasn't been a problem (going on a year now). But not all cheap paper is created equal - another type of Royal Brites photo paper I tried doesn't work well at all.

Jim,
After a year of digital photography, I can't recall ONE photo op I lost due to shutter lag. Shutter lag might be a serious issue for Sports Illustrated photojournalists, but most people on this forum will be taking pictures of subjects that haven't moved more than a couple of inches in the past few centuries. I probably couldn't capture a Grand Prix, but my camera is more than fast enough for people, animals, and cathedrals.

Sure, my Kodak DC4800 won't produce images as nice as an SLR with quality glass, but that's hardly a fair comparison. It DOES consistently produce better images than the two (Canon and Nikon) P&S 35mm cameras I used in the past. Plus, avoiding film and development cost has allowed me to take 4000 digital photos in the past year, making me a much better photographer.

It would be very easy to use a poor digital camera badly and come up with terrible photos that were a hassle to capture, but it's not that hard to find a good camera, learn to use it well, and create a great photographic experience that produces excellent results.
 
May 17th, 2002, 08:49 AM
  #9  
steve
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Jim,
I must disagree with your added hastle comment earlier. If anything, my digital is much less of a hassle than any 35mm camera you may have. I have a 1 gig microdrive that will allow me to store 359 photos at the highest quality level. I never have to stop shooting to load and unload the camera. This level of quality is equivalent in appearance up to 11X13 when compared to a 35mm.

Also, when I get home I can crop adjust color, remove other tourists that just happened to jump into the picture at the last minute.
 
May 17th, 2002, 01:40 PM
  #10  
KAM
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Hey all,

Thanks for the discussion! And yes, I am a novice but my fiancee is quite knowledgeable on this topic. That is where the lapse is, I don't have the knowledge and therefore want to bring a 35 MM camera as well as his digital.

(He swears the G3 exists, it just isn't well known.)

And I hadn't even considered the option of printing the photos myself, I was looking at the services that do it for $.50 per 4x6, which I thought was outrageous!

I'm still not convinced, I want a great album of pics to show to my friends and family - I'm not sure I want the hassle of sorting through my 2 wks worth of pics before deciding what to print, but the comments on cost effectiveness (by doing it yourself) are well taken.

Thanks and keep posting to convince me!
- Kristy
 
May 17th, 2002, 04:26 PM
  #11  
xxx
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Kristy -

We have a digital camera and a photo-quality printer, but even without the printer I would still go for digital. OK, the prints are expensive, but you print out only the ones you want, so even at commercial rates, that works out not too bad (do your friends want to see more than 50 photos from one vacation?). Also, there is no problem with emailing photos to friends and family (don't send them at high resolution if you want them to stay friends), and you can arrange them in albums on your computer, for later printing.
 
May 17th, 2002, 04:30 PM
  #12  
JAD
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I usually bring my digital camera and a small Canon Elf. Buy scandisks cards to keep your photos on -- the 128 mg ones hold 200-300 photos...you don't need to download until you get home.You can upload your prints to ofoto.coma and get prints -- and share them with others. Prices are cheap.
 
May 18th, 2002, 12:33 PM
  #13  
Jim Tardio
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Not to start a war here, but you can easily read here what you need to do to go digital.

You need, batteries, chargers, large capacity cards, the time and equipment to upload or download, paper to print on (which by the way will fade much more quickly than conventional prints, unless you buy archival), photo manipulation software and the ability to use it, etc...

Or, you can just take your film camera, shoot a roll, and drop it off at your favorite one-hour processor.

As I said, digital is great, and I look forward to the day when it works for me. But for someone who just wants some snapshots of a vacation, film is easier.

If you enjoy the photographic process, enjoy trying different techniques and equipment, digital is fun. If photography & computers are hobbies for you, than you'll enjoy the whole process.

But if you're like the countless vacationers who just want some memories of their trip, digital is not worth the hassle. Don't buy into the marketing.

Of course this is just my opinion, and the folks here who advise going digital have valid points also.

 
May 18th, 2002, 02:08 PM
  #14  
nevcharlie
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Several arguments in favour of film, A pocketful of 35mm film equals several gigs of storage, with none of the hassle with charging, expensive memory etc.
Most processing labs will put your pix onto a CD with a selection of resolutions for use on your computer for a very reasonable cost, so you have film negatives for archive, CD for emailing your friends, and paper prints for your album, which, as a previous poster has said are far more durable.
 
May 18th, 2002, 11:26 PM
  #15  
Simon
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There is a relatively inexpensive online photo service for making prints which you can try: www.colormailer.com
 
May 21st, 2002, 03:18 PM
  #16  
ron
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Another site you might try is dotphoto.com. The standard cost of a 4x6 is $0.29, but if you purchase a bulk package you can get them for $0.17 each. I have used them for about 6 months and the quality of the prints is excellent.

Good luck.
 
May 22nd, 2002, 03:38 PM
  #17  
keshav
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I am an amateur photographer who has
struggled with the question in this thread and havent gone digital. Call me old-fashioned but ... I love slides and always take a camera that holds slide pics (I dont have money to have a camera that has inter-changeable backs)
I am off to switzerland and am contemplating buying a Canon S40+1GB Microdrive. But sure as heck I am going to take my Nikon loaded with slides. Like Jim said...most folks want a record. You wont believe the enjoyment in a slide show esp if the scenery is great. Thats something the digicam folks cannot have an answer to. But havind said all that I am tired of storing my 20 or so fat albums of my kids pics. I am not yet organized to get negatives converted to CDs. How much do they cost anyway?
Thanks for reading my post.
 
Dec 6th, 2002, 12:31 PM
  #18  
tt
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more photo questions!!
 
Dec 6th, 2002, 01:59 PM
  #19  
Whaaaa????
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Someone on this post says he doesn't agree that digital is easier and I cannot understand why. My, mother, bless her heart might have said that, but she was not at all computer literate.

I take pictures, point-and-shoot style, plug my camera into my computer and the images are THERE! It can't get any easier. My camera also has aperature or shutter priority control, flash, zoom, and other great features that my Nikkormat doesn't have.

Wake up and step into the 21st century. Any non-professional, travel photographer is goofy in the extreme for not investing in a digital camera.
 

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