Digital Camera/Memory Card/ Issues

Feb 18th, 2004, 08:21 AM
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Digital Camera/Memory Card/ Issues

I am leaving for Paris in about 3 weeks. I have one last decision to make. I need your advice.

Pictures to me are the most important part of my trip. I do not have enough money to buy several memory cards for my digital camera. I want to take my laptop with me so I can burn them onto a CD every night. Should I take my laptop with me or hope that I find an Internet Cafe that will allow me to plug my USB cable into and upload them to

What would you do?
college_travelers is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 08:27 AM
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There were quite a few internet cafes around Paris-especially near the universities...
swalter518 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 08:30 AM
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How many pictures do you plan on taking? Standard flash cards hold about 256mb of memory, which can be up to 30-60 pictures. If you are bringing your laptop as well, just store them on the hard drive (assuming its a relatively new laptop with a HD of 20GB or so)

Just empty the memory card onto your hard drive and refill. Repeat.
robkoval is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 08:40 AM
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I'll be taking around 60 photos per day. I have a re-burnable CD which works really well. I have a 60G HD on my HP laptop. Space isn't an issue. I will burn my images just as a backup.

college_travelers is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 08:53 AM
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When I was in Paris a year ago, most internet cafes had removed all USB ports from their public computers, and others had signs up indicating they would be removed soon, for security reasons. I'm guessing you'd be hard pressed to find an internet cafe where you can upload your pictures.

That said, there was a recommendation I read on here on the same topic - take your card to a camera/photography shop and see if they can burn to a cd for you. Of course, this will probably be significantly more costly than taking your laptop and some cds, but if you want to avoid the hassle of lugging the laptop, it might be a decent alternative.
Feb 18th, 2004, 08:53 AM
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If space isn't an issue take your laptop. Burning your images to CD is the best way to save your images. I'd ditch the re-writeable CD and just use the regular ones. Burn two copies and keep them in different locations just to be safe. I know photographers who mail copies of their images home while they travel.

You don't want to waste your vacation time hunting for an Internet Cafe.
Jim_Tardio is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 09:17 AM
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I would just save them to my hard drive on the laptop. If you really feel you need the insurance, then make a copy on a CD. You seem to take as many pictures as I do when I am on vacation. I have a desk top computer and to me buying extra memory cards was less expensive than a laptop.

Good photographs don't just happen. You have to shoot a lot and learn from you mistakes. Before I got my digital camera I felt if I got one good shot from a roll of 36 exp. 35mm film I was doing good. The good thing about having your laptop with you is that if you have time you can look at what you have shot, learn from your mistakes while you are there and if you feel it is necessary you can go back and re-shoot to get the shot you hoped for. If you have your photo editing software on your laptop you can also see if you can "save" a poorly taken photograph. But, then, your on vacation. Do you want to spend your time like that.
Randy is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 01:21 PM
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I do my best to avoid camera queries on this forum but, to answer your question, this is what I do:

I take my MAC Powerbook G4 (I find the 15" model ideal) and I load everything into I-Photo each time I come in from shooting. I also like having Photoshop CS with me at all times. I also take my La Cie 80GB pocket drive and use this to back-up. I don't bother with CD's and burning on-the-road.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 02:00 PM
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Belkin makes a card reader for the I-Pod, it is about the same dimensions as an I-Pod. You can empty your compact flash, memory stick,or secure digital right onto the I-Pod, It takes up no space at all in my carry on, and I don't have to lug my PowerBook all over the place.
cyberUK is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 02:40 PM
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Have a look at a portable storage device, see:
Garfield is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 04:48 PM
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Burning CDs is your safest method. The small image tanks or pocket drives are susceptible to failure...especially the Ipod.

The photo forums I frequent are filled with horror stories about these devices.

I know some of you have used them with success, but I'm just relating the information I have.

If you're carrying a laptop anyway, it's not much effort of time to bburn a CD for insurance.
Jim_Tardio is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 07:50 PM
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I shoot between 300 and 400 photos a day. In the evening (usually before dinner) I transfer them from the memory card to my laptop. Then I burn a CD. That way they are on the hard drive and on the CD. It doesn't take very long to burn the CD so I don't think it would "waste" your vacation time. The CDs are inexpensive and you can pop them right in your computer when you get home.

I am on vacation so I don't edit photos until we return home. If one is ghastly, I simply delete it. Of course, mine are just family memories, not anything anyone else would see so I don't take it too seriously. It's just fun. Lots of fun.

Have a great trip.
SalB is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 04:22 AM
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I've uploaded some pictures to, and even with a cable modem at home, it takes a while.

I have a 128 meg memory card, and set at 2 mega pixels, I can get around 300 photos on it. I don't understand a 256 meg memory card getting only 30-60???

I total concur with the advise you've been given to download them to your hard drive on your laptop and then burn them to a CD. That shouldn't take more than a few minutes.
Budman is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 04:49 AM
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Maybe I'm missing something here - why not just take some extra memory cards instead of lugging a laptop? You can burn the CD's when you get back. A 256 meg chip, which should hold 200 pictures at 3.2 meg, runs about $50.
zootsi is online now  
Feb 19th, 2004, 06:15 AM
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I keep chiming in on these types of posts. Maybe Zootsi or someone else can tell me how reliable the memory cards are. I'm assuming they are similar to a floppy disk (not in size or shape, but in reliability), such that the loss of info is unlikely. I'm also assuming??? that the cards need to be protected from magnetic forces?? Any other special care.
Bitter is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 11:58 AM
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There are portable hard-drives that can be operated with a computer. I have not used one, but one example is the BusLink Photobank. 20GB, about $230.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 12:10 PM
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I'm with you. The memory cards take up zero room and you don't waste any time downloading. I can take over 300 picture on a 256 meg card with my Olympus.
I've had no problems with memory cards. I have some that are three years old and I've used them over and over again.
JoeG is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 12:39 PM
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college travelers,

Listen to zootsi and JoeG. I can't imagine lugging and worrying a laptop around Europe. (I'd take a camcorder instead; sound and motion.) But you're on a budget, so...

Three important things about memory card management:

(1) Take the trouble and read your camera's manual about file sizes. There will be an option that increases the image compression ("Standard" instead of "Fine") and reduces the file size without significantly affecting the resolution. Selecting this will effectively double the size of the memory card -- i.e., a 3 MP camera can now store four or five hundred shots on a 256 MB card.

(2) Review and edit your pictures every few days. You'll end up deleting over half of them, freeing up plenty of space.

(3) Shop around and buy an extra memory card before you leave. They're twice as expensive in Europe.
metlc is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 01:38 PM
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and an extra battery... I don't want to carry a charger/transformer...So, one 256mg card and an extra battery should do it for me . . .
Travelnut is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 01:44 PM
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I can't stay off of this one any longer. What works for one does not necessarily work for all! This is just as important with digital cameras as it is with itinerary planning.

College_travelers, Please -- be sure that you use the resolution that works for what you want or need and that you have enough storage for your needs. You made the statement in your original post: "Pictures to me are the most important part of my trip." Based on this, although I would think taking a laptop on vacation is not something I would normally recommend, I think it is the right solution for you. You apparently already have the laptop computer. And while you could purchase an extra memory card or two (they are fairly inexpensive for 256MB cards now days), you said you take around 60 photos per day and will be gone 3 weeks -- 60 X 21 = 1260. You want to maximize the available resolution your camera is capable of.

Pictures are important to me also. But, I didn't think it through when, on my trip to Paris 3 years ago, my first with a digital camera, I took over 700 photos in a week -- but I took them all at 640X480! I have several photos from that trip which are the best I have ever taken , but I'm broken hearted because the resolution is too low for anything except snapshots; they don't even make good screensavers or wallpaper for my computer and can't print decently larger than 4X6. You should see the one of the flowering trees in Luxemborg Gardens -- but it's only good as a snapshot. And I've never been able to recapture that exact shot and never will.

One thing which has been said which I agree with -- read your camera manual before you go. As far as whether you should use the compression mode to be able to fit more photos on the card, well, you need to decide how you use them. Some say that you do loose something in quality when you use maximum compression. I am an amateur, not a professional, but I don't use max compression on mine. On a 64MB card, My camera @ 1600X1200(2MP) will take 128 or 45 or 11 photos, depending on resolution. I normally choose the SHQ mode which is 45 photos.

The posters who said that they could only get 30-60 on a 256MB card and the one who said they get 300 on 128MB card are probably both correct but are not taking the pictures at the same resolution and compression. Since pictures are important to you, determine what resolution and compression works for you.

Do I personally take a laptop computer with me? No. I have a device called a Digital Wallet by MindStor to which I can copy the contents of my media cards. But I think they went out of business and if I didn't have it, I would take my laptop.

This article gives some info on memory cards:

Another article on resolution and print size:
carrolldf is offline  

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