digital cameras

Old Jul 27th, 2000, 07:18 PM
  #1  
harzer
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digital cameras

I am thinking of upgrading to a digital camera for my next trip, and am looking for advice from any forum members who have used one for their travel shots.

I am after high resolution with good color saturation and contrast, ability to perform in light-shade situations and facility for using with a tripod.

One question I am unsure of regarding their use is this. While they appear to have a manual control setting, that can override the automatic, does this enable you to manipulate the image in the viewfinder to get a particular result that may not be provided automatically.

I have checked out the PC magaizne recommendations on the Net, and for 'family' use the Canon 350 is recommended. Has anyone used this model. Did you buy it duty-free, where, and at what price. It seems to have a $500 retail price tag in the US. Did it satisfy your requirements?

Thanks for any help.
Harzer
 
Old Jul 27th, 2000, 08:19 PM
  #2  
chris
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I recommend you consider several factors before traveling with a digital camera. I recently did this, so I will pass on my observations.

First, your digital camera will allow you to store pics at several levels of resolution. You indicate that you are seeking high resolution.

This leads to several issues. First, high resolution takes substantially more storage on your memory cards, which can be expensive. Second, the length of your trip will be a factor since you may need many memory cards to complete your trip.

To keep down the cost of memory cards and to verify I had all the shots I wanted, on my last trip, I took a laptop with me for a nightly download of my camera pics into the computer. This became tiresome.

Digital cameras go through batteries like kids through a water sprinkler on a hot day (quickly and continuously).

Another factor is: what do you plan to do with your pics when you arrive home? If you simply want to e-mail them around or store them on computer your digital is fine. However, if you want to produce a holdable print, you may need a very high quality laser printer to produce pics to your satisfaction level.

I think digital cameras are fun and very good in quality. However, in my opinion, I believe other camera types make better travel cameras.
 
Old Jul 27th, 2000, 11:17 PM
  #3  
harzer
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Thanks for your input, Chris. I will tread carefully, as it looks like an expensive exercise and maybe a faddish one.
 
Old Jul 28th, 2000, 05:57 AM
  #4  
Paul
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A friend of mine with whom I went to Italy last year had a Sony Mavica with him. The advantage of this particular camera for travellers is that it uses floppy disks for media storage - lightweight to pack, and available in most places.

I will continue to travel with my Nikon & glass lenses. Yeah, it's heavy, but IMHO, the digital cameras just can't come close to that level of resolution (yet....).

That being said, I did buy a Mavica for my girlfriend last Christmas (at her request), and she will bring it along with us this year!
 
Old Jul 28th, 2000, 06:07 AM
  #5  
dan woodlief
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I wouldn't call it a fad, Harzer. I have a feeling digital cameras may be the cutting edge eventually, but they are just not there yet. Some of the best consumer printers for digital photos only cost around 300-500 USD. Epson is one of the top brands (I use one for prints from scans). I don't know what you are upgrading from, but I have to concur with others that if you want high quality resolution, wait on the digital. There are digital cameras out there that probably deliver on this, but top models now run several (and I mean several) thousand dollars.
 
Old Jul 28th, 2000, 11:49 AM
  #6  
Donna Spencer
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I work for a camera store (Ritz), and all I have to say is, while on vacation, you can never go wrong with a regular point and shoot 35mm. Digitals are nice, but hardly anyone takes them on trips. They're expensive, delicate, and the battery dies really fast. also, if something should happen to ur camera and battery, most places can not replace or repair it - digital cameras are fairly new, even in the U.S.

Save yourself the added headache, and leave the digital for home, and the 35mm for trips!
 
Old Jul 28th, 2000, 12:14 PM
  #7  
Beth Anderson
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Hi,

my $.02:

I got one for Xmas - a Leica digilux zoom. It is really teeny tiny. 8 ounces, and maybe a little bigger than a pack of cigarettes. But it is about 1.7 megapixels which is pretty good, res-wise. I think it is great, and great fun, but there are limitations.

The biggest one is that I LOVE to blow up my pictures when I get home, if I really like them (and there are always at least SOME I think are worth enlarging to at least an 8 x 12.. and, as was posted earlier, unless you really plan on spending the bucks, the technology out there now is great for emailing and websites, but not as good for the real, hold-in-your-hand or put on the wall, photo.

Plus I am also the type who likes to hover while people are looking at my photos, so I can jump in with an explanation if one is wanted. It is hard to hover over a website or an email.

THAT SAID: I always take at least 2, and sometimes 3 cameras (but I do pack light, really I do! I just wear less.

the SLR with 28-80 wide angle zoom (weight saving - versatile & you don't need 3 heavy lenses) is for the ones I wanna keep/blow up/show off in a photo album. I typically would take a point and shoot for evening/going out on the town shots, because my flash for my SLR is big and too much extra weight to lug around. now, I take the point and shoot but end up carrying the digicam for the evening/going out with friends photos.

Those are the ones you typically want to email to your friends, anyway. The personal ones, which aren't going to be the "works of art" you'll plan on blowing up & framing (necessarily).

Seems like a good system, and it has worked well for me.

anecdote: One trip, this past February, I went to London and I took the biggie and the new digicam and decided one day to just take the little one & leave the anvil at my friend's home. It was a glorious sunny day... we went to Oxford, I took a FANTASTIC shot of Christchurch, through the arch, about an hour or so before sunset. The lighting was magnificent, the foreground/framing by the arch was perfect, it was maybe one of the best shots I think I have taken. BUT, it was with my digicam - so while it makes STUPENDOUS wallpaper for my computer, I cannot blow it up and show it to anyone, or frame it and hang it on a wall. truly a bummer. but, oh well. I could have worse things to complain about I guess.

but you could also look at it like this: the little digicam took a truly kick-ass shot - I just can't do anything with it. So, they do calibrate the metering & everything else really well - you just gotta wait a few years for the resolution price to come down.

hope any of the above helps...

Beth
 
Old Jul 28th, 2000, 02:54 PM
  #8  
Frank
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This has little or nothing to do with travel, but I'd love to get some advice from some of you cognoscenti (I've just returned from Italy, you see) who have researched digital cameras about which to buy, and why. I have an adult daughter who has dropped some fairly pointed hints lately about her desire for one, and you know how fathers like to spoil their daughters. (But she's an especially deserving daughter, really she is.) Anyhow, can anyone point me to a Consumer Reports-type analysis of them, or the PC Magazine article that Harzer referred to? Since this may not interest most readers of the forum, feel free to reply to me privately -- the e-mail address above is, unlike some, real.
 
Old Jul 28th, 2000, 06:09 PM
  #9  
Beth Anderson
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Hi Frank,

check out

www.cnet.com - you can look up most anything about digicams or other electronic equipment here.

www.leica.com

and, in my searches:

www.silverace.com/dottyspotty/

this photographer explains several camera (digital and analog) related issues...

good luck! I would get her the Leica, personally, but that is me...


Beth
 
Old Jul 28th, 2000, 11:54 PM
  #10  
jt
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Digital cameras will never make as good prints as film, because it is an electronic process, rather than a chemical one. You can buy one of those throw away cameras with 100 asa, support it well when photographing in a well lit situation, and beat the pants of a digital costing hundreds. That said, digitals are great for speedy processing and delivering--pro news photogs etc need this. You also don't need to buy film, and don't need to process. You can read all about pixels and such, if you have interest, it is all available on the net, but the thing for me was the ability to have aperture control, shutter speed and attach a real flash, not one of those little built in things only. For this, the Nikon coolpic series wins hands down. Less than a thousand, and lets you take really pro quality pics in most situations. If you just want snap shots, some of the other cheaper ones available are just as good.
 
Old Jul 29th, 2000, 12:18 AM
  #11  
jt
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Oh, by the way, the smart card can fit in a pcmcia card thingy for your laptop, so this is just as simple as a floppy. I agree though that a digital is pretty much useless on a trip without at least a 30 meg card or a laptop to store pics on.
 
Old Jul 29th, 2000, 12:23 AM
  #12  
harzer
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Thanks everyone for your comments. I am going to get a monopod to go with my old Pentax Espio 140 and see if that helps get sharper shots. My travelling companion has the 160 version of my camera and gets better color and resolution and I wonder why.

I found a great site at www.shortcourses.com for a rundown on all aspects of digital photography. But I think my level of need doesn't warrant spending thousands of $$$ to upgrade at this time.
 
Old Jul 29th, 2000, 12:38 AM
  #13  
jt
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Are you using the same film? Really, a camera is just a black box that allows in light. You can control two things, shutter speed and aperture, everything else has to do with lens quality and film. So simple, yet so difficult.
 
Old Aug 1st, 2000, 05:32 AM
  #14  
christina
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hi harzer!

we bought in these days the Canon MV30 digital camera and we are testing it like crazy! it's a lot of fun, pictures are superclear and for me it seems really great stuff. how it works on travel trips? francly i don't know it... but the handling is so easy and to do with one hand only that i think it would be great to have it with me when travelling.

sorry that i couldn't gave you more infos. just a hint.

christina
 

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