Help! Camera Idiots!

Sep 4th, 2003, 08:42 PM
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Help! Camera Idiots!

My husband and I are camera illiterates and we are getting ready to leave for Italy in two weeks. We have an APS camera and don't know whether to use 200 or 400 film for scenery and countryside shots (often with people in them). Also thinking of taking a few disposables in case we screw up with the other camera. Please don't suggest a new camera - we're on a budget! Can you help us??
WendyLee is offline  
Sep 4th, 2003, 08:51 PM
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Reading the operating manual for your brand of camera (whatever that might be -- hard to tell from your post) might be helpful.
PhilF24 is offline  
Sep 4th, 2003, 09:19 PM
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Depending on the type of weather and time of day, you can use both.

If it is bright sunshine, you can use 200 film, if it cloudy and/or towards dusk, you would probably want to switch to 400.

lyb is offline  
Sep 4th, 2003, 11:21 PM
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I would use 200 for outdoors, if it's bright even 100 would work. Probably better with 400 indoors but not optimal.
fun4u is offline  
Sep 4th, 2003, 11:27 PM
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I would suggest sticking with only 400. The latest 400 speed films are pretty good and only using one film prevents you from having the "wrong" film in the camera at the time. I realize that many APS cameras can change mid-roll, but I think that would be a pain if you're going from outdoors to indoors quite often. (You'd also have to track with rolls are partially exposed and which are done.) Also, some lower end cameras can't tell between 200 and 100, so using 200 would result in setting it to 100. (Really not a big deal, but if the camera thinks it's 100, you might as well use the better quality 100.)

The most important thing you can do is to now, before you go, head out and take a roll or two (with a variety of types of shots) to make sure you're familiar with the camera (assuming it's been a while since you've used it) and that it's working okay. You might try both speeds and compare directly.

Also, a hint for many landscape with people shots. You may have noticed how sometimes the people come out too dark on a bright day; force the camera to use the flash (most cameras can do this) as this will lighten the people without affecting the scenery.

Enjoy your trip,
sanschag is offline  
Sep 5th, 2003, 12:10 AM
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Some of the best advice I came across for novices was right off the Fodors home page. If you haven't already, click onto "Travel Photography Made Easy" under Advice. Click on the link stating "nearly 100 easy-to-follow tips" which will take you to a straight-forward menu system offering easy to understand tips.
bluefan is offline  
Sep 5th, 2003, 02:52 AM
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200 will give you the best color -- and you can use flash for your indoor shots. The disposables work great too --very simple to use and no worry if lost (other than those great shots you just took!)
babette is offline  
Sep 5th, 2003, 05:08 AM
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I only use 200, though occasionally have borrowed a roll of 400. Those shot with 200 come out the best.

Don't forget extra batteries for camera.

And yes it is a good idea to have some disposables if you don't have a second camera. I've seen situations where cameras jam, rolls of film rewinding mid-way and other bugs. You don't want to be without, so the disposables are good to have.
Sep 5th, 2003, 07:46 AM
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ask a simple question.........

between 200 and 400, 200 will work best "for scenery and countryside shots."
Sep 5th, 2003, 08:08 AM
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Let me confuse things a bit...I have recently been using only 800 and quite happy with it. Seems to be good all-round film.
Curt is offline  
Sep 5th, 2003, 08:12 AM
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I'll confirm what others have said. I used about 12 rolls of film on my recent European trip -- mostly on outdoor shots, mountains, etc. I had an almost new roll of 200 in the camera when I started and had one other roll of 200. All the rest I bought and used was 400. Clearly the first roll and one other roll (which has to be the 200) have by far better color than the ones I did with the 400.
Patrick is offline  
Sep 5th, 2003, 08:20 AM
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I presume you have one of those compact camera with a tiny lense? My recommendation is to take the 400. I have a Canon ELF and having experimented with films 100 thru 400, I only use Fuji 400 unless I can be so sure I take nothing but pictures under the sunny sky.
In Europe, I found more need to take pictures indoors. Those old buildings usually don't have sky light windows nor flood lights. Even places that allow pictures ofthen do not allow FLASH, so more compelling reason to use the faster film.
Since you still have two weeks, you can still experiment with various films and see the results.
And oh yes, for APS, the photo lab matters alot. My favorite place is Costco one hour service, cheap and good result.
nickn is offline  
Sep 5th, 2003, 09:22 AM
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a good reason to not take Curt's advice is that the faster the film (the higher the film speed), the greater the risk of the film being damaged in airport security. stick with 200 or 400; you should get good results with either.
Sep 5th, 2003, 09:33 AM
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I would second what Curt said ... for Point&Shoot or APS cameras I believe 800 film from Kodak or Fuji is best all around. The modern 800 emulsions have astoundingly low grain/good sharpness, and good color saturation.

Pls don't use the "off brand" house brand films (eg Walmart brand) ... they frequently ARE poorer than Kodak or Fuji.

Here's why 800 is likely to produce better results:
All P/S and APS camera have have very small lens apertures (that's why they are so compact). Depending on the camera and/or zoom setting, the camera may be using as small as f/8 or f/11 lens aperture.

If the lighting is dim or overcast, and if using the slower 200 or 400 film, the camera will select a slow shutter speed.

A slow shutter speed increases the chance of a blurry, out-of-focus picture.

All else being equal, the "faster" 800 film will use a faster shutter speed, thereby reducing risk of blurry photo.

For most people most of the time, 800 film is a better choice in a P/S or APS camera.
tom_h is offline  
Sep 5th, 2003, 09:49 AM
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Follow this link:

This is a very good 400 speed film, and you won't find a better price anywhere for 40 exposures. I'd just stay with 400 speed film. You're not really gaining anything by using 200 speed, especially with an APS camera.

Lots of photos on my site at:
Jim_Tardio is offline  
Sep 5th, 2003, 09:54 AM
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Forget the film APS and take a digital camera. Even a 3 megapixel digital point and shoot will give you better results than an APS.
MarkY is offline  
Sep 5th, 2003, 10:12 AM
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I second Paul's advice. I use nothing but Fuji 400 and my photos are great! If you're on a budget, 800 film will be more costly. And yes, bring extra batteries!
Bashaw is offline  
Sep 5th, 2003, 02:17 PM
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MarkY -

They're on a budget. Don't start in on a digital camera - this thread will never end. Besides, I've been disappointed in the quality of many digitals from 3 and below and the learning curve can be a horror. Point-n-shoot is the best bet in this situation.

Wendy - Forget the 800 and go with either 200* or 400, extra batteries and a few disposables and you'll be just fine.
Have a great trip.

* I used 200 without flash in a rain forest and got the most amazing photos or birds, animals and plant life.
Sep 5th, 2003, 02:27 PM
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200 is the best overall. The average tourist can not change from 100 to 200 to 400 without wasting a lot of film and processing costs.

jor is offline  
Sep 5th, 2003, 02:31 PM
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I'm convinced both from reading a lot of what the "experts" have to say and from personal experience that there really isn't one "right" answer to the question! Just reading this postings on this thread proves my point!
I thought I had the answer on my last trip when I decided to use 400 instead of my usual 200, based on a lot of advice here and elsehwere that 400 was the most versatile. While I got good shots, I thought that the overall quality of photographs from previous recent trips where I used 200 was better. So, I think I'll go back to using 200 in one camera and 800 in the least for now!
HowardR is offline  

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