Digital or film camera

Travel Forums Travel Photography Digital or film camera

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1. Posted by Clarabell (Travel Guru 1696 posts) 19y Star this if you like it!

Hi Camera experts!

I am going travelling in the new year for about 10 months round SouthEast Asia, OZ and NZ and maybe India too and wondering whther to get a digital camera or stick with my film camera.

Don't know anything much about photography but obviously want some good pics.

I'm keen on digital cos would like to be able to send pics along the way and/or get them put on a cd, rather than just waiting till i get back and sticking them in a photo album where only i can see them etc. If any are really fantastic i might stick em on t'internet. Not that I'd have a clue how.

And also I don't like how with a film camera you don't know you've messed a photo up until its too late and you get them all back with fingers in the way or shaky hands or whatever.

Plus I'm never sure what you do with your film, does your used film get ruined in your bag or do you send it home and risk it going missing etc?

However- I'm quite put off by the fact that they get through batteries so quick and you have to be able to recharge them. How much of a problem do people find this?

And also I already have quite a decent film camera, nothing expensive but it takes good pics.

And if I do get one can anyone recommend a decent digital camera for a beginner at under about £130?

Questions Questions Questions!

Its just I don't really know where to start with this!
Thanks folks

2. Posted by BeckyR (Full Member 174 posts) 19y Star this if you like it!


1 - Using digital is really simple whilst you are travelling, since you can either upload as you go, or transfer them on to CD. Really cheap to do the latter, especially in Oz.
2 - I am aware some travellers take huge memory cards and just keep going, which is chepar and easy, but the risk is that if you lose the card or camera you have lost all your photo's in one swoop, so suggest more than one card.
3 - Film versus digital, having recently gone across to digital . .I think it is much better and enables you to check out your photo's and make sure you get the great shot you are after . .rather than getting back home and realising it is not as great as it was in person.
4 - I sent back my CDs as I went, which a) ensure photo's were safe and b) keep weight down in bag.
5 - Whatever camera you buy, great shots depend on having a good lens. Having a high number of pixels does help, but if the lens is cheap then your photo's will never be as good as they could be. You need to go for the highest possible optical you can. mine is 10x and consequently shots are brilliant. So if your film camera has a good lens and your budget is only £130, then stick with it rather than tranferring to a digital with a poor lens. Very few digital cameras around £130 will have a good lens.

Hope this is helpful


3. Posted by rogerb (Full Member 50 posts) 19y Star this if you like it!

Hi Lil Liz,

I’m afraid I must beg to differ with Becky on her last point re picture quality with ‘cheap’ digital cameras…. I have a very cheap AGFA Easy Pix SP2 camera - It cost me £35, 1/2 price special offer from Dixons (Now £69.89)

Take a look at my Photo Gallery……. Not bad pics?

PLUS a 256MB memory card at £19.48 (inc. p&p) - Or two smaller ones.

For security get your pics transferred to a CD-R along the way, and e-mail them to yourself or friends for safe keeping!

The camera slips into your pocket and if you loose it you have not lost ‘the earth’!

Have a great trip!


[ Edit: fixed links to improve rendering ]

4. Posted by rogerb (Full Member 50 posts) 19y Star this if you like it!

This is a good site for digital cameras too......

5. Posted by Clarabell (Travel Guru 1696 posts) 19y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for this...

I still hear mixed things about whether its possible to get decent photos from a digital camera of around £130. A lot of people say you can and some don't.

My film camera is a canon sureshot something or other (don't know precise spec) but it was only around £50. When I say it takes good pics i mean, for someone who isn't much of a photographer!

But I liked your pics Roger- seems you've got a bargain!

Still, the convenience of digital is the big attraction. At the moment all my photos are sat in boxes at home, and I had a few good ones from Croatia, especially Hvar which I'd have put on this site. I just won a mini custody battle with the ex over the those photos which wouldn't have happened if I'd had a digital camera!

Its interesting to know that the lens is so important. Mind you the good pics I got from Hvar were from a very cheap old film camera with no zoom.

So I guess its six and two threes.

6. Posted by georgep (Respected Member 201 posts) 19y Star this if you like it!

First of all.

It's a verry personal what works best for you.

But here is some pointer to think about.

Carrying film arround on your trips could be a risk.
Film is sencitive to the xray at the airport. So NEVER put film in your luggage. And even then some handluggage scanners can even cause problems (most times not).

Then any where in the world you can get extra memory cards for you camera. So that is a worry less.

Then if you want a digital camera take one with atleast 3.2 megapixels and i would advice a desent brand Like Canon, Olympus or Nikon.

Just go to a store an play with them and see how it feels to you.

I most times carry my Digital SLR camera arround but also for some trips i still use my Normal film slr.

George Paulussen

7. Posted by Girlaway (Budding Member 11 posts) 19y Star this if you like it!

I would definetly take a digital camera and upload them at I don't know if you already have a yahoo account but if you don't i would recommand opening one
after opening you just go to yahoo photos and can upload as many pics as you want and they won't get lost and you can organize them in albums and authorize certain people to see certain albums by mailing them

well whatever you choose have a great time !!


ps I'd recommand canon

8. Posted by mugen (Inactive 50 posts) 19y Star this if you like it!

Hi there,

I have a digital camera and am undecided whether or not to take it to south america with me.

I am confused, can i just upload photos to any computer - would i have to take my fujifilm software cd and instal that every time i wanted to do so??? and would internet places let me do that?

Meg ;)

9. Posted by redastra01 (Budding Member 5 posts) 19y Star this if you like it!

Hi there,

I too am off to South America in the New Year and have had the same dilema.
I read somewhere that windows XP should recognise a camera and photos can be downloaded on to a computer without the camera software. Also it depends on what your going to do with them after that, burn them on a CD or upload them to the internet?
I've been uploading photos recently to online photo albums (if you do this you need to make sure they are kept in Hi-resolution to enable printing later on) however 256mb has been taking 1.5-2hrs!
I'm not sure if any sites will do this any quicker, I've tried two so far.
I know that internet cafes are progressing in SA but I'm usure as to the capabilites of them or if photos can be burnt onto a CD in a shop (like elsewhere in the world).

What I have done is purchased the apacer CP 100

You can inset most memeory cards into this and copy the photos to a CD. This retail price is £150 but I bought mine off ebay for £80.
I'm taking CDR's with me and will mail them home or keep them with me, not quite decided.
May seem excessive but I've jugled with film which is far more susceptible to temperature and humdity problems and decided the little extra weight is worth it to ensure my photos are safe.
You can also get a small portable hardrive, there's lots on the market that will also take a memory card and store the photos.

Hope this helps

10. Posted by haddadb (Budding Member 4 posts) 19y Star this if you like it!

I'd say go with digital for a number of reasons.

1) you can get a really small digital camera that won't take up as much room as a film camera, and since you're not carrying film, thats even less room and weight being taken up.

2) like you said, you can see your picture right after you take it, so you can make sure that it was a good one, and if you need to retake it, you can.

3) in the long run, its cheaper and easier to get a good digital camera and a big photocard than it is to buy all the film your gonna need, then get it developed, etc. And you won't end up with tons of crap pictures, because if something sucks, you can just delete it and not have to carry it around with you filling up space. Also, since you know that you can just delete later, and that you're not wasting money on film by maybe shooting stupid stuff, you can just snap away freely at anything that may strike your fancy. You may end up with some really cool pictures you wouldn't have taken otherwise. And if you don't....well, you haven't wasted any money and you can just delete them.

4) if you've got a big memory card, you can just keep shooting away and not have to stop and change film all the time. What's roll film standard? 36 frames? So you have to change film every 36 frames. With my card I get 1000 pictures before I have to change cards or download. Major difference.

5) as for battery life, true, you have to recharge them from time to time. But some have really good battery life. I took my Canon G5 and an extra battery to Thailand for 2 weeks, but I forgot my charger. Still, I made it the full two weeks without recharging, and I shot a lot.

anyway, I'm a pro photographer, and I love film. But more for the fun artwork of using it in the darkroom. In terms of shear practicality and convenience, its digital all the way. Just make sure you get a camera with a good Lense (Canon, Nikon, or any of the cameras that use Carl Zeiss lenses, like Sony have good lenses) Get an extra battery if you're worried about running out of power, get a big card, and make sure that you have enough megapixels to blow it up as big as you want. I'd say at least 4 if you wanna make it 8x10.