Hi, all. This is my first time on TravellersPoint! I found this forum, as I have a few questions...
I will be going on a 6 week trip to Europe, and I am debating what to bring on my trip. (And I've read a few threads on this already...)
Simple question first.
I'm definitely going to bring my Canon A80, first of all.
I'm concerned about getting the memory card uploaded when it gets full. Best course of action? I believe the camera needs a driver CD to upload, so not sure about installing them in cybercafes. However, I read that bringing a card reader is usually sufficient at cybercafes, as WinXP can handle most card readers. Is this a good way to go (bringing along a few blank CDRs)?
Lastly, the main question. Should I bring along my old manual SLR? I've only got 25mm and 50mm lenses, but really enjoy taking pictures with it. I'm backpacking, and any extra weight will be exactly that: extra weight. I'm already bringing a tripod (for night scenes), and it'll be about an extra pound or two, + film. I'm wondering if I'll be using my SLR that much, and if my A80 is enough, why bother? I was planning to mostly use my SLR for landscape/general photography, and digital mainly for shots with people in them (and when getting someone to take pics of me, so I know how it turns out). Is it worth bringing my SLR?
The main thing is weight. Simple as that.
Ooh, forgot a couple of other questions:
I'm wondering what resolution/compression mode is sufficent for printing enlarged pictures (8X10 to 11x14)? The standard mode is 4MPixels (so 2200x1700 pixels or so), low compression, giving pics of about 1 mb each. If I do want to have enlarged prints, should I go to the uncompressed mode? (about twice the size, so 2 mb or so each, but I won't be able to take as many pics).
Second question concerns the A80 being stupid with its depth of field. I guess it gets that way with it always using F2.8, reducing its focal range. Even when I take a picture of 2 rows of people, sometimes those in the back becomes blurred (at least on the computer... Haven't printed them off yet...) Any tips concerning this? (I usually take pictures using the "P" mode).
I just came back from Vietnam, which is a bit less advanced than most European countries. I have no problem having my memory cards downloaded to a CD. They charged me about 2 dollars to fill up a 700 megapixel (hundreds of pics). I brought along a few blank CDs and the card reader, but did not need them. Certainly, one can bring a lab top or one of these portable "harddrives" which runs on batteries and let you down load 20, 40 or more gigabites of your pics. But if you want to travel light, then you leave 'em at home (but carry your VISA, haha!)
I used to own a 3.2 meg camera. It took pics up to 8x10 fine. Now I have a 6.3 meg SLR, which is much sharper. However, your 4 meg Canon A80 will take portrait and landscape pics fine at the normal factory default jpeg setting, which take roughly 1.5 meg per shot. My 6.3 meg camera on regular setting uses around 3 meg per pic. Ofcourse, if I really want the best then I use RAW format, which uses 8 megapixels per pic. You might be able to use extra high resolution on your camera too. It might be uncompressed jpeg or RAW or TIFF files. One thing you need to besure is that you have enough memory between stop to the camera store or wherever you can download your pics and reuse your cards again. It is a little hasle, but compare with film, I think for an average photographer, digital has an edge over film.
I know it's extra weight, but taking your SLR in Europe will pay off when you see your pictures. Analog cameras, although more complicated, will always give you better quality pictures than digital cameras (at least at this point in technology). The quality will show itself especially when you enlarge the pics: finer grain film will enlarge better than 4Mpixel camera, because the "digitization" of colour will be more apparent. In the end, you know what kind of pictures you want to take but if you're going for convenience and the blown up pictures aren't really your focus, stick with the digital. What would be even more convenient would be a digital SLR like the one iloveflyin mentionned...
I live in the Netherlands and there are just a few cybercafés in this country. Most people have ADSL at home, so who needs a cybercafé? Amsterdam has a few.
I think that if you make some dutch friends they will be able to put the photo's on CD. Maybe even mail them to your home.