Photography in Europe: 2004
Which cameras, film, and gadgets work best for your travel photography. Any tips on getting the best shots? Carry a big 35mm camera or a point 'n shoot? Is a camcorder worth the trouble? What about digital cameras and flash cards?
I take a small camera that fits in my pocket & a couple of panaramoic disposable cameras. If you want to be in a picture, stand 4 feet in front of the camera then stand back and see what you want to take. I got all of Westerminster Abby, all of a cadthedral in Salsbury, and the picture of me is clear & idenfiable. Then I ask some one to take my picture. It works every time, Please explain to the person what you want in the picture before they snap. You may get some funny looks but they are usually very obliging. I had to stand across the street in order to get some of these great shots. I also got the Madderhorn, with me up real close, like 3 feet. Great shots this way.
When I take the film out and return it to a canister I write on it the town, date & site, so I won't forget what it is. If you want to get rid of the canister, for weight reasons, bring some lables, write on them and tape it to the film. Another tip is: I write this information on the developing envelope when I get home. Another tip is: a used film has the flap inside the roll. An Unused film has a flap outside of the roll. I use one of those film foil packs that are suspose to allow film not to be ruined by exray machines. I haven't lost any film yet. Another tip: put a new battery in your camera before you leave and bring a couple of backup batteries with you. Another Tip: If you're not sure how to use your camera, Photo copy the instrustions in your language and leave the book home. You don't need 6 different languages do you?
No tips for digital cameras, I don't have one yet.
Happier photo memories with these tips, Mary
Beverly, NJ USA Wed 12/22/2004
I just got back from two and half weeks in Italy--one week on Rick's Best of Rome tour--and here's what I either learned or reminded myself of: Look up at buildings. I would see fresco-like pictures and other interesting things above doors and windows, near the roof. You may not be at the just right position to get a perfect picture, but it's worth a try. Look at doors. The old-fashioned, huge door knockers make interesting gifts, too. Look at shop windows. If you can avoid the glare, they can make lovely pictures. I also got a couple of shots of artisans at work in their shops--it probably helps to have bought something there, but at least be careful to get permission and only photograph the person at work and not the whole shop. The artisans want to sell their work, not see people leave with free souvenir snapshots. If you are new to digital photography, as I was, learn the features on your camera that will drain the battery--especially live view--and use them sparingly. Bring batteries. The dollar is in horrendous shape in Europe and batteries are especially expensive. Dial down the picture quality setting to increase storage space on your card, or bring bring spare cards. You can have pictures transferred to CD, but as the dollar is weak ...
Chicago, IL USA Wed 12/22/2004
sharing your pics
I used my Canon S400 on my last trip--it worked great since it is a 4MP but still very small. Canon digitals take fabulous pictures! If you want to share your pictures with friend, Yahoo! Photos (http://photos.yahoo.com)offers unlimited storage and you can also order prints from them for only $.19 each.
Seattle, WA USA Sat 12/18/2004
xd memory cards - CARLOS
Looks like they moved your question to the photography section, hope you find the answer since you didnt' leave an email address. Costco has xd memory, they only carry the 256 in stock at $46.99 You can buy a 512mg at Costco.com for $89.99 plus tax and shipping. Or look on ebay. Lots of people have them for sale, and there are several "buy it now" listing for right around the $89.99 price and only shipping added. Make sure you check their feedback if you are new to ebay. If the are new, with less than 50 feedback, I'd maybe let them go and look for someone with good SELLING feedback, not just buying feedback.You might also do a websearch on google, there are other online dealers. The cheapest I've seen 512 (the biggest xd card made) is $89 or $90. Perhaps after they;ve been on the market a while longer, the prices will come down. Good Luck!
Centennial, CO USA Wed 12/15/2004
The Best of Both Worlds
My sister and I recently returned from a two-week trip to Tuscany. After months of deliberation, we decided to pack our film cameras and leave our digital cameras home. We took our Minolta and Olympus 35mm cameras and shot about 20 rolls of film between the two of us. When we returned, we got double-prints and a CD for each roll of film. We used Costco developing and it cost about $10 per roll. We have absolutely no regrets. We each got a copy of every print and copies of all the photos in JPG format. It really is the best of both worlds: the gratification of having all the prints in your hand and the advantage of sharing the images in digital form, too.By the way, the quality of the photo images on the CD was great.
Tacoma, WA USA Wed 12/15/2004
MEMOR Y CARDS
Where can I buy xd memory cards for my Fujifilm digital camera at a discount?
DALLAS, TX USA Wed 12/15/2004
I take both film and digital. I love the look of Kodak Tri-X whick is difficult to achieve by converting digital from color to b&w. I will be taking my trusty Nikons (F100 and D100) along with plenty of Tri-X and two 512Meg cards and an Adorama 40gig portable hard drive to do downloads. On digital I always shoot in raw to have the maximum data I can get then I Photoshop the files before submissions. Digital SLRs are preferable to point&shoots for me because of shutter lag times.
Panama City Beach, FL USA Fri 11/19/2004
I switched from film to digital a few years ago and would never go back. Get at least two memory cards because Murphy is alive and well. You will fill one just when there is a great photo op and there will not be time to download or burn a CD. You will want a spare memory card to use right then. Again, since Murphy is still around, a spare battery is a must.Bob SheldonPhoto Galleries at: www.bobsheldon.com
Reading, PA USA Wed 11/17/2004
only digital - sure
Ellen, obviously practice alot before going on your trip...get a big card - 1 gig maybe, holds maybe 300 photos, you can always make a cd or two while you are there, then start fresh - go to google and search for cheapest price on memory, you may want to consider a spare battery - maybe not - do not use your flash, only when needed. Take alot of photos, enjoy.
Los Alamitos, CA USA Wed 11/17/2004
Going totally digital?? I'm not sure!
I just bought a new Olympus C7000, 7mg digital camera. I've always traveled with my 35mm and gotten fantastic pictures, but I'm tired of the size. BUT - I'm totally afraid to go just digital. I need advise from you great Rick readers. Please let me know if I'm dumb to not take the 35mm with me. I've taken my Olympus 3mg digital before, but didn't take many pictures - just a few to email when I got home. I felt like a higher mg camera was the answer, so I just bought one in anticipation of our bike trip to Italy (again) next May.
Since we do bike trips, space is important, the new Olympus is very small (worried about blurry images now)I guess I'm just so scared to give up my film.Please, please convince me it's OK to just go digital (or not?) I've read almost all the postings on this site, can someone address my concern to make me feel safe with just digital?
CO USA Tue 11/16/2004
What photo equipment
When I was working (retired newspaper photog) I carried two Olymput OM1s, 28mm, 28mm to 200mm zoom and a 300mm along with a 283 flash unit and a table top tripod with a total weight of some 40lb.
Now that I'm not working a had used a Olympus Stylus Epic with a fixed 35mm f2.8 lens and 20 to 30 rolls of ASA 400 film.
Then I finally got a Kodak DX7440 digital with two 258mb cards and an extra battery. Thats all I use now and the 7440 does fit into my pocket. I don't feel bogged down anymore. What a way to travel and the pics are great. the 7440 has a zoom from 33mm to 135mm and you can run it on auto or manual where you set the lens openings and the shutter speed and you can also change the ISO settings. Try it, you will love it. Willard
Largo, Fl USA Sat 11/06/2004
How I take photos & what equipment I have
Well - I have a Minolta G500, 3 gigs ( 1 - 1 gig & 4 - 512 mb cards of memory, an add-on filter set, a cd burner. In 5 meg resolution (fine) mode - a 1 gig card holds 440 photos - a 512 meg card = 220, etc...when I travel - I take photos of wherever I am and whatever I want. Usually with flash off - I think on it is intrusive.
At night I back the photos up to cd and reformat the SD cards. I also have 3 batteries for this camera and two battery rechargers. My camera is always in my pocket. Then I am ready for the next day.
It seems like a lot but the Minolta G500 camera is awesome, small as a pack of cigs...now there is a G600, on the Internet for under $300 delivered. My next camera is a Minolta A200 or a A2 - under $500. I have taken 20,000 pics in the last year all over the world and California. Taking photos relaxes me and I like people reactions. Thanks for letting me express myself.
Los Alamitos, CA USA Tue 10/19/2004
My husband was smart, and got himself the Olympus Stylus 300. It's a small digital camera that slips in his pocket. We like to travel very lightly, and so it's nice not to have anything hanging on your back or shoulder.
I on the other hand wanted more than a point and shoot, and ended up with a model slightly smaller than a film SLR. I debated long and hard on what kind of bag for the camera, since it wouldn't fit in a pocket. I also didn't want a camera bag because I didn't want to be pinpointed for any theft. I ended up making my own.
If you have use of a sewing machine I highly recommend it. My design was a sling type bag, and this I also recommend. Instead of a backpack that one has to take off to get to the camera, I can simply swing the compartment from my back to front, zip out the camera, shoot, and have it in the bag again in no time. I can also swing the bag to my front if I'm worried about theft, but since I designed a lock loop into the bag, I'm never worried about thieves. Inside the bag I designed a pocket on the back of the bag with a velcro closure to keep the camera in. This makes sure the camera is not sitting on the bottom of the back or jiggling around. I also added a small pocket above the camera for filters and batteries. Below the camera is space enough for a snack and literature.
If you don't want to design the whole bag, I recommend buying a sling bag (backpack with one strap over the chest) and adding a padded camera pocket. I used the bag in England and it was great. I recently went on a trip to Disneyland, and even in the hot weather, the bag was perfect. Although the pocket camera is ideal in size, a sling stlye bag for something larger is a much better option than a backpack, and safer than a camera bag. I think they make an actual camera bag in the sling bag style, but they are pretty expensive. Mine cost me under 10 dollars to make. Even if you were to buy the sling bag and sew in a camera compartment and a lock loop, it still would be pretty inexpensive.
Shelton, WA USA Tue 09/28/2004
Digital picture storage
We just got back from a 2 week trip in Italy. I did camera tests before I left at different resolutions and storage research and decided to shoot at the highest resolution I had (4.1 Megapixel). I bought a 512 MB memory stick (sony 256 x 2 actually - it has two 256 MB chips on it with an A/B switch.) That combined with my smaller backup stick that came with camera would be fine.
I then bought a 30 gig, portable, digital storage hard drive on Ebay (Drive ll - Model VP-2060). It has slots for memory cards. It has an on/off button and a "copy" button. That's it. Put the memory card in, press copy, watch it work and then beep. Worked great. Emptied my memory stick every night when I got back to my room. Advice: shoot as hi res as you can. You may never be there again. After I got back from Italy. I was so glad I shot hi resolution. Buy the equipment you need for great picks and then sell it on Ebay when you get back if you want. It's then a small investment to make...:)
McHenry, IL USA Sat 09/25/2004
Digital camera memory back up
We have found the DiscSteno by Apacer (www.apacer.com)available in good camera stores. It allows backing up all memory cards to CD's ..it's not much bigger than a CD hard drive, kind of looks like a portable player. Works on battery but also charger (with adapter).. Sure saved alot of extra space of extra memory, and we came home with 8 to 10 CD's from a 2 week trip of Paris and Italy with the family... and never worried about running out of memory, for those wonderful trips!
Bradenton, FL USA Fri 09/24/2004
256MB should do it
I posted here a few months ago before going on a 3 week trip. I did all my photography using a 3 megapixel Cybershot camera, and I'm very satisfied with the result (see http://photos.yahoo.com/jaramecium ). What's more, I managed to get all my images on one 256MB memory stick! 300 images in total, including a few monster-sized video clips.
Before going on the trip, I did some experiments and realized I could keep about 10 full-sized, high-quality images a day. I ended up taking about 50 pictures a day at various image sizes and at various jpeg compression (therefore, smaller file sizes). When I saw something truly spectacular (sunset over Vernazza), I didn't skimp on image quality, but for purely reference photos (SmartCar in Paris) I used 2MP or less, and a more compressed image. Scaling down certain images made all the difference in the world.
At the end of each day I had some fun going over the pictures from the day and editing: either deleted the images that were redundant (over half my images), or occasionally resized them so they'd take up less room. When the trip was over I still had a lot of full-size images, but by being frugal with the memory, and knowing WHY I was taking a picture, I was able to get everything I wanted on one memory stick! Jeremy
Hamilton, Ont. Canada Mon 09/20/2004
Camera and sales
I brought a Panasonic Lumix with 15x zoom and image stabilization. I took 1600 pictures in 1 weeks. I brought 5 512 MB cards and burned two to CD's at an Internet Cafe and a Kodak store. After I got home, it 12 days to put 1098 of those pictures on my website which costs about $800 a year. I used Irfan View batch processing to shrink all pictures down to 1/3 size and I did a second round to create thumbnails. The output directories were different from the source directory -- those pictures don't change. From there, I used software I wrote myself to send a list of pictures to a text file. I used Notepad to grade the pictures and write notes about them while using Irfanview to view them. Some pictures had to be edited or rotated. I ran another program I wrote to convert the notepad file to html which I uploaded t
surulere, lagos nigeria Sat 09/11/2004
Camera and Website
I brought a Panasonic Lumix with 12x zoom and image stabilization. I took 1600 pictures in 2 weeks. I brought 3 512 MB cards and burned two to CD's at an Internet Cafe and a Kodak store.
After I got home, it 12 days to put 1098 of those pictures on my website which costs about $80 a year.
I used Irfan View batch processing to shrink all pictures down to 1/3 size and I did a second round to create thumbnails. The output directories were different from the source directory -- those pictures don't change.
From there, I used software I wrote myself to send a list of pictures to a text file. I used Notepad to grade the pictures and write notes about them while using Irfanview to view them. Some pictures had to be edited or rotated. I ran another program I wrote to convert the notepad file to html which I uploaded to my website. http://www.apuma.com/europe.htm
San Diego, CA USA Thu 08/19/2004
Digital Camera are Worth Taking Too
I am a venetian born postgrad student who has been based in London for 9 years, and who has seen most of Europe, but especially my home country through a lens. My advise if you want a good coverage of shots is by all means take your SLR but for musuems, churchs, candid shots of streetlife and passersby take a small digital Camera (which can be up 6+ megapixel and very good quality themselves) with you too. You won't regret it and will be given more leeway by museum custodians/church wardens than a SLR wielding pro. Have a look at my website (www.macchinafotografica.net) if you want comparison examples of what SLR and digital photography in Europe look like.
London (for now!), UK Thu 08/12/2004
Judging by the number of digital cameras we saw in Italy, I felt like the last person still using film. I used ASA400, 36-exposure film. That film speed worked well except in the darker churches. I used 36 exposure rolls to minimize the number of rolls of film and film changes (we used 12 rolls). I could not find ASA400 in 36 exposure at Target, WalMart or Walgreens. I had to order it over the Internet. It was readily available at tourist stands in Italy, however.
Bringing extra batteries for you camera is smart. Leaving the batteries in your hotel is dumb.
The TSA web site has useful information about transporting film through the airport security gates.
Cupertino, CA USA Sun 07/18/2004
A few camera notes
I will be going on my third "digital" film tour of europe. I started with an Olympus Camedia 3040, 3.1 mp ran on 4 AA's, great pics but too heavy. Next I took a Minolta Dimage XT 3.1 mp, proprietory battery but only need two, good pics, small but almost too small and small LCD and not the greatest with low light. Just bought a Casio QVR-51 5.0 mp, 2.0" LCD and runs on 2 AA batteries. So far I am still on the first set of batteries that I put in the camera--I am impressed. As far as batteries/power is concerned, I just make sure I have rechargeable batteries and charger. I really like the "assurance" of digital. I use 2-3 256mb SD cards for a month trip.
Renton, WA USA Tue 07/06/2004
I would highly suggest that whatever camera you take, put your name and address either on the camera or in the case. I was in Gimmewald (as per Rick's suggestion) taking the train up to the top of the Alps and accidentally left my camera on the seat. I realized it after the door to the train closed and spent the rest of the day at the stations looking for it. I lost 3 weeks of pictures (Rothenburg, Munich, Romantic Road tour, boat trip down the Rhine, Rheinfel's castle, Neuschwenstein's castle, Alps) and was devastated. I still get upset every time I think about it.
By the way, if anyone has been to these places and would be willing to email or slow mail me some of their digital pictures, I would greatly appreciate it. I could recapture some of the memories I lost.
USA Fri 07/02/2004
Best batteries for digital camera
Purchase a digital camera that takes regular AA batteries! I travel to Europe an average of once per month (usually for business) and always take a camera. When I went shopping for a digital camera, my number one requirement was that it took AA batteries because: 1) no battery charger to drag along, 2) it is very hard to find correct lithium or nickel photo batteries (and expensive!) in Europe, and, 3) you can get AA's anywhere. Boy has this proved to be a life-saver ... I have had the batteries die in Italy, Belgium, Germany and Norway - and was up and running with AAs purchased in the nearest shop within 5 minutes.
Norfolk, VA USA Mon 06/28/2004
Know your camera before you go!
Learn how to manually turn off the flash of your camera before you go. Flash photograhy is banned and even enforced (!) in many museums and churches.
Also, I took the battery recharger unit, a multiple-headed extention cord, and a plug/power converter. I could take the battery out of the camera to recharge it under my hostel bunk each night while the camera was secured in a less open location. I could even share the converted voltage if needed.
Stillwater, OK USA Thu 06/24/2004
My first all digital trip. Canon Rebel 300D. Without the film cost to worry about I took 1500 pictures in and around London in a week. Nightly downloaded images to my 30gb Media X-Change 2.0 from Kanguru Takes all size cards). Now to sort & discard . . .
Milwaukee, WI USA Thu 06/10/2004
Transferring from Memory Card to CD
I burned CDs from my memory cards in both London and Paris.
It was fairly easy to find a place to do it, but harder in places like Bayuex where they close for lunch and roll up the sidewalks early!
In Paris I did it at a photo studio on Rue Cler. Took about 10 minutes and cost 10 Euros.
In London, Boots will do it for you in an hour. They are EVERYWHERE and it only cost about 3 pounds a CD.
I took my IPOD and used it as a back up so most photos are on both CDs and the IPOD.
Nashville, TN USA Wed 06/02/2004
i use a olympus 740 ultra digital camera with XD cards since only 16mb comes with it (about 2o photos) I bought a 256 mb card and then in paris at FNAC store was able to get a 32 mb one for less than in us....they are very small and easy to load and format......we edited out phots each night that were blurred or just dumb and had over 350 photos to remember a wonderful trip
going back this fall again to paris and taking same camera......we dont often ask people to take our photos....unless we have been chating or its a waiter in a cafe or restaurant ( we always leave small change and tend to go to same places daily so they get to know us......
all i know is this camera is great uses 4 aa batteries that you get anywhere cheap so no problems carrying chargers or worrying about that...
just back about two 12 batterry packs to start (we each take cd players for the plane ride since it is so long....)
love that camera....gets great photos hardly ever have to use flash on it.
CA USA Sun 05/30/2004
AA BATTERY CHARGER for TRAVEL
I just found a nifty device at Radio Shack - a multi-voltage (no cenverter needed!) combination battery charger (charges four nickle-metal-hydride AA size batteries) and AC-adapter. It can even be set up to work as a portable power supply with all four charged batteries in it. It is quite light; I am planning t bring it to Europe keep AA's for my digital camera charged up.
Berkeley, CA USA Sat 05/29/2004
For those looking for a lot of storage on the cheap (and use a cf card) check out the archos gmini 220 ($260). I just got one to go to europe. Here is a review of someone who used it for a trip to thialand.
iowa city, ia USA Mon 05/10/2004
Burning Digital Images to a CD
I do not know how long you are going to be gone, but I know when I was in Europe I shot 256mb of photos in 2 days (with a 5 megapixiel camera, so you may go 3 days). A second card is a must. You will end up somewhere that you absolutely want photos of and your card will be full. There may not be an internet cafe handy or the subject may not be there when you get back. A second card gives you the time to locate an internet cafe at a convienent time. I have not used internet cafes so I can not offer any advice on locating them.
Reading, PA USA Sun 05/09/2004
Burning digital images to CD
I'm planning to take my digital camera (Sony Cybershot DSC-P72) on my first trip to Europe this month.(!) While travelling I plan to burn the contents of my 256MB memory stick onto CD at internet cafes. I figure since I'll only do it once or twice it would be be cheaper than buying another $100 memory stick. My question is: Has anyone had any compatibility issues when they brought their CDs home to North America? If anyone has any advice surrounding this issue, or if you've done this successfully, I'd like to hear it!
Also, if you can recommend a good internet cafe in Venice, Florence, or Rome, email me.
Lastly I want to say thanks to everyone who contributes to these graffiti boards. Big help!
Hamilton, ON CAN Sat 05/08/2004
I travelled around the world for six months in 2000 and returned home with 62 rolls of film in 2 lead bags. I had no problems with fogging. I've never put film in checked bags on any of my trips. My best friend put her film in her checked bag returning from Heathrow and all the rolls were ruined. As far as carrying around my Nikon SLR and one extra lens I just tried to put them on top of my sweater/jacket in my daypack so they wouldn't get bounced around too much. Hopefully I'll have some extra pennies for one of the photo daypacks before my next trip.
Hamilton, ON Canada Thu 04/22/2004
webhosting for pictures
Web sites (like snapfish or shutterfly) don't require software to upload, but you will need to save your photos to files first. Whether that requires software, depends on your camera and the programs it requires for the memory card. Also, those sites tend to shrink the file down to fit their little window, which results in a loss of quality, and you can't recover the original from the site later. This is ok if you intend to burn the photos to a cd and just want a safety, or want to share your pics with friends/family back home while you are on the trip. But I wouldn't recommend it for saving your "real" trip photos.
Try the site out before you leave and see if you like the results. Since these picture sites are free, there's no risk in signing up to see if you like that method.
USA Tue 04/13/2004
Pack a disposable camera
When traveling, you want a few pictures of your whole group so along with my nice digital camera, I also carry a cheap disposable camera to hand to a stranger for taking group photos. It's not likely he/she will want to steal it and if they did, you'd lose your priceless photos but not a nice camera!
Almere, NL Thu 04/08/2004
webhosting for pictures
Has anyone had any experience uploading to a website from Europe? I'm studying abroad this summer and was hoping to upload to something like snapfish.com instead of taking lots of memory cards. My concern is that the software will be a problem over there? Not sure--haven't ever been to Europe. Advice?
Lawrence, KS USA Tue 04/06/2004
Digital Memory problem solved
I have just come back from a month long trip of Germany, Switzerland, and Czech Republic. I brought a small canon digital elph and a 35mm slr. I only used the slr a few times, but the elph was easier to pull out at the decisive moment and much less invasive. I brought the ipod with belkin's memory card reader. It was perfect. I never had to make the decision whether a picture was worth the memory space. It is a little expensive and you must bring the charging cable and adaper and the reader, but it is small enough to fit in a typical backpack pouch and is much cheaper than buying countless memory cards. Your storage space is virtually unlimited. I can store a lifetime of pictures on that thing.
Philadelphia, PA USA Tue 04/06/2004
Bring your own batteries
On a recent trip to Italy I neglected to bring additional batters with me for my digital camera. Finding a lithium-ion or nickel metal hydride battery in the correct size for my camera turned out to be more difficult than I would have guessed. Even in Florence, I was not able to find the right battey and had to rely on standard AAA batteries designed for digital cameras, which, well really are not much better than standard batteries. As luck would have it, I was able to finally find the right battery in a small shop in a quiet corner of Sienna. So, the moral of the story is bring an extra battery or two from home - they weigh next to nothing and can save you a lot of time and aggravation.
Avon, IN USA Sun 04/04/2004
I rode the London Eye twice, once during the day and once at night to get some pictures. The domed windows can create some bad reflections. Luckily I had a circular polarizer filter. It was worth its weight in gold. I could adjust it to remove the glare. If your camera allows the usage of filters, consider buying a circular polarizer. It useful in many situations where reflections are unwanted, like shooting through glass windows and certain water shots.
Reno, Nv USA Fri 04/02/2004
Cool Walker from Nikon
Where is the best place to pick up a cool walker from Nikon? I can't seem to find it for sale on the web yet.
Seattle, WA USA Sat 03/27/2004
Memory for Digital Pics
I am planning a six week trip to Europe and want to use my digital camera. The biggest problem I was encountering was having enough memory. I didnt want to purchase a number of memory cards, especially because I wouldnt need them much after the trip (my 128 card is fine for any weekend trip). And I didnt want to burn my pictures to cd in internet cafes in case they were broken later on. The solution... many new mp3 players will store photo images. I purchased the apple ipod, along with the belkin memory reader (you just insert your memory stick into the reader, which is attached to the ipod, and your pictures transfer). This is slightly more expensive, but there is *tons* of room on the ipod, I can use it for listening to music and audio books on the flight and train trips, and I will continue to use it when I get home. The downfall is the price and all of the cords needed, but this was the best solution for my digital needs.
HI USA Wed 03/24/2004
Seems like everyone has a problem storing things on vacations on CD's? not having enough space?...please check out the Coolwalker from Nikon with 30GB of storage and a 2.5in monitor it's a USB 2.0 and will be able to store your CF or IBM microdrive pictures... Do I sound like a comercial? Well, I love mine! great for not carrying around lots of CFs and great for storing large files!
Edmonds, WA USA Wed 03/10/2004
Burning digital photo's to CD's
My Wife and I are in Bath, England right now, at the start of a 7 month journey. We brought a digital camera with 3 memory cards (128MB, 128MB, and 258MB). We had planned on stopping in at photo labs or stores to burn the images to CDs then continue to reuse the cards. Turns out that you are only able to burn 1 memory card to each CD. This looks to be quite expensive here in England where each CD burning runs ?2.50 to ?5.00. I'd suggest bringing fewer, larger cards, such as 258MB to 516MB so you don't have to burn CD's as often. Also, check out internet cafes to burn CD's. We found one that was able to help, it was a bit cheaper and we were able to burn all the cards to one CD, but it required the USB cable for our camera and it was slower than the photo places.
Bellingham, WA USA Mon 03/08/2004
Forget using lead-lined bags to protect film
A few words re supposedly protecting your film from airport X-rays by using lead-lined bags: Rather than asking for hand inspection for the multi-rolls of film I carried on a January trip to the Caribbean, I elected to put all into a heavy-duty lead-lined bag specifically designed to protect film from X-rays. I put that bag into my roller carry-on and let it go through security X-ray at Houston and Newark airports.
I was amazed to discover that no security agent showed the least interest in seeing what was in that supposedly X-ray proof bag. What if it contained a gun?
Finally, after clearing X-ray at Newark on the way home I asked to see the supervisor. I explained that I had been sending my film through X-ray in this lead-lined bag which should have showed up as a big black hunk on the X-ray, a very suspicious package. Yet it was never inspected. Could the X-ray indeed see inside the bag? He and I then ran an experiment. We took out my film, inserted a pair of pliers, and sent it through the X-ray again. A precise picture of the pliers appeared on the X-ray screen.
So -- if you think those lead-linied bags protect your film from X-rays -- think again.
FYI: All of my film was 100 ISO and none was fogged by the three passes through security. However, some rolls went back into the freezer for another time, so the possibility of cumulative damage remains.
Montgomery, TX USA Sat 02/28/2004
1) Take a gallon size ziploc bag and sew several lines just wider than the film from bottom to top. This allows the film to be put in without all of it bunching up at the bottom of the bag and it can be sorted by ISO or whatever. At a glance you can see what film you have.
2) I bring along some colored stickers (like price tag stickers for rummage sales). I keep a few in the front of my bag (or my pants pocket). When I finish a roll of film I put a sticker on it and toss it into my bag. When I have time I write the date on the sticker. Or if I'm really ambitious I write a number on the sticker and jot the number down in my notebook with a quick description of what I shot.
3) I use keychain carabiners to keep prying fingers out of my bag. At outdoor stores you can get little carabiners that lock closed with a twist mechanism. No combination to remember, they are small enough to go through the zipper pulls and keep the zipper closed except for about 1-2", and they weigh next to nothing and don't cost much so I can carry spares for all the zippers on my bag.
4) Even with the carabiners someone could concievably get their hand into my bag so in really crowded areas (where I won't have to get into my bag), I put on nylon quick tights (from the hardware store). These will close my bag as tight as possible when I slip them thru the zipper pull connection. When I'm away from the crowd I just cut open the quick tight with a knife (I always carry a small one) or scissors.
5) I have many camera bags but don't want to advertise to thieves so I bought a backpack with inside compartments for CDs, etc. I modified it with some foam and velcro straps etc. for the cameras I carry. For extra protection I wrap my camera in a piece of thin neoprene (available at some fabric stores) when it's in my bag. All of my cameras fit easily in my bag but none of them sit on the bottom of the bag where they could fall out if the bag is cut or ripped. Smaller cameras are kept in camera bags which attach to the inside of the pack on the velcro straps.
One word of caution. Be sure
to load up the pack with everything in it to see how it rides on your
back, It took a couple of alterations before I had it comfortable enough
to carry for several hours at a time. I try to keep a close eye on my
equipment but am often busy taking pictures or shopping. When my camera
is out I always have a hand on it but taking the precautions above makes
sure my equipment is reasonably safe even when it's in a pack on my back.
The first two suggestions just make it a lot easier to travel with film.
Minneapolis, MN USA Tue 01/27/2004
Disposable Cameras - Easy, Quick, Cheap!
I've been to Amsterdam twice, the latter trip for Queen's Day in April. Having friends over there made it special and convenient. Being in my mid-twenties, the nights were spent partying with the locals. I didn't want to carry around a camera, but some of the best pictures are when everyone is truly enjoying themselves. I've discovered that disposable cameras are excellent in quality and portability. I always have one in my back pocket and if I need a new one, it's as close as the corner store. And if you lose it while partying, who cares?
Houston, TX USA Fri 01/23/2004
Taking film through x-ray ...
Film with an ISO/speed under 800 can be x-rayed without any damage to the film but over 800 should be hand checked or placed in an all lead bag (check B&H.com or other photo site) and packed in your suitcase or carry on. I have asked for hand inspections at many airports and generally get them if I am polite and tell them it is proffesional film/job. The major US and international airports are more difficult due to stricter rules and less time. I advise seperating your film into a bag of under 800 and over and only asking for hand inspection of the 800 bag. Or Ideally just bring under 800 speed film. or go digital.
Brooklyn, NY USA Sat 01/10/2004