1 month country hopping setup?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by aboutthat, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. aboutthat macrumors regular

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    #1
    So after I graduate from college in less than a month and a half (!), two friends and I will be spending almost a month in Europe, traveling from Prague, Salzburg, Vienna, Rome, Florence, Southern France, Germany, etc. Lots of traveling, you get the point. My problem is this: I only have a 35mm film SLR (fully manual) that I shoot with and a rather underpowered 2.1 megapixel Nikon coolpix that has been used for P&S stuff when I don't feel like lugging around a bit bag.

    So here are my two questions:

    -Should I upgrade to something like a D50 with a stock lens or a more capable P&S? I haven't been on the market for awhile so I'm not quite sure what's good out there.

    -What's the best way to store my pictures while traveling? I'm hesitant to lug around my 15"PB all the time...would an investment in a new iPod and pick up a camera connector work or is there a better way?

    Thanks so much for your advice :D
     
  2. Nuc macrumors 6502a

    Nuc

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    #2
    I think you should get a new camera, 2.1 is ok but not great, especially if you take a great picture and want to enlarge it.

    Yes I would get an new iPod video that way you can hook it up to a TV so you can look at the pics you took that day. Also I would have extra cards (not sure what the D50 uses...flash?) that way you can have backups on your ipod and cards.

    Nuc

    PS have fun on your trip.
     
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #3
    Get a D50 if you want this to be a great excuse for getting into dSLRs, but if you don't really care and you're perfectly content with your film SLR, then just get a point and shoot. The kit lense of most of these dSLRs, whether it's the D50, an Olympus, Canon, or Pentax, isn't gonna be great (although much much better than your 2.1 MP and any point-and-shoot), so I'd recommend picking up a lens like the 18-200 mm VR-II (vibration reduction) Nikkor lens at some point after buying a DSLR (don't know in American prices..... it might cost $500 USD) , but since you probably don't want to spend much money BEFORE your trip, either get the D50 or Olympus dSLR with the kit lens, or get a better point and shoot where the lens covers a greater range of focal lengths, like one of the Olympus big zoom cameras. Those Olympus and Panasonic offerings are really a big deal in the market.
     
  4. Linkjeniero macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I made a similar trip just a month ago, and let me tell you, there's nothing like having a dSLR. I started the trip with a Sony P&S, and bought the D50 while in France; the difference is amazing. For a trip like this, very few times you'll find yourself needing another lens, so the kit should be fine. Try to get a small tripod though, for those night shots... You can go without, but if you like to take nice, sharp and illuminated night shots, you're gonna need it.

    About the storage: don't trust you'll find some other way to store your pictures in your trip... Take what you need yourself, or you'll regret it at some point. I took both my iPod video with camera connector and TV out and my Powerbook (the 12" though); and I'm happy I took my PB... even though it was a few extra pounds in my backpack, being able to put the pictures in iPhoto every night, check them, delete the bad ones, back them up in CD and send some by email was well worth it. Don't go spending your money on an iPod for this; better get yourself a good camera and some flash cards with the money (even if you don't take your PB, the $300 you'd spend on the iPod will buy you 3 or more 2GB SD cards... more than enough storage, I think). Oh, and about the TV output: I was in 10 countries, more hotels, and a found ZERO TVs with RCA inputs, so getting the cable was a waste of money and space. Don't do it.

    I hope this helps... have fun! (And if you go to Budapest, you HAVE to take the night boat trip in the Danube... it was one of the best parts of my trip).
     
  5. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    #5
    Why not get several large memory cards? Probably cheaper than a new iPod. You may have to cull your photos every so often. For $200-250, you could get 4GB of cards and probably not have to worry about it. That's over 1000 pics, even on a high MP camera.
     
  6. aboutthat thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    The memory card thing isn't a bad idea of course, but my original mentality had been "well, if I'm going to be spending a lot of money, why not get a new iPod out of it?"

    I'd kind of like to bring along a laptop, but there's a part of me that freaks out about it getting stolen. I think I'd be a bit more inclined if I had a 12" as opposed to a 15"...maybe I could find a friend with a 12" PB and just trade hard drives for a month!

    Not having done a terrible amount of traveling, how's the d50 for toting around on a daily basis? Just a little worried about bulk...

    I'm thinking my upcoming tax rebate will be very useful in this whole investment :p
     
  7. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #7
    Better than using an iPod would be Epson's P-2000, which is a 40 GB storage device specifically for photos. It has a memory card slot at the top and you simply download your images into it, then can review them on the beautiful large LCD. This device is small -- it's bigger than an iPod, but significantly smaller than a PB, and it will stash neatly into your luggage. It works with both batteries and AC power.

    Aside from that, yes, I'd buy several good-sized memory cards and use those, as that would take up much less space in your luggage than even the P-2000.

    Camera recommendation? The D50 is your best bet, and then stick the 18-200mm VR lens on it and you're good to go. The D50 is lighter weight and smaller than Nikon's other bodies and everyone who has one seems to be very happy with their choice.
     
  8. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    #8
    When I travel abroad I refuse to bring my PowerBook. It's added weight, has chances of getting stolen and if I brought it, I might be spending my time looking for wireless networks instead of enjoying my new surroundings.

    For pictures I would recommend getting an iPod with the camera connector. This way you only have to carry around the iPod and you really will only need one camera card. An iPod might prove useful in that 7-8 hour plane ride that lies ahead of you.

    jon
     
  9. cgratti macrumors 6502a

    cgratti

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    #9
    1GB CF cards run about $45, so you can get 4GB for under $200! Never, Never, Never take only 1 card with you on a trip or out for the day, these things tend to break at the worst possible time, always have a back-up just in case....

    That's cheaper than an iPod and you can always sell 2 of the cards at a later time.
     
  10. Mr. Jones macrumors member

    Mr. Jones

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    #10
    Gig for Gig, Microdrives are the cheapest. I'd have a look into them as well. I have several Hitachi Microdrives and I've never had a problem with them.
     
  11. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

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    #11
    If you're not going to bring a laptop, get an iPod, even a 4G Photo. I did the same thing a year ago and I shot a solid 5,000 pictures over 17 days. You never know. i had my Powerbook with me and it worked great...but I would definitely bring some sort of mass storage.
     
  12. aboutthat thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    Anyone have any experience with a D50 and the camera connector? It's not listed on the website, but it's older brother, the D70, is.

    No can do on the microdrive, D50 takes SD cards (and I just remembered that I have a 512MB one sitting around my room!)...I'm thinking the most cost effective thing could be to buy cards and then sell the ones I won't need after the fact.

    We're gonna have to see what I can do finance wise...I've put away about $3K for the trip for 21 days. I actually just started making my budget (yay Excel!!! I'm such a dork btw...) so we're going to see how much cash I have and perhaps how much comes for graduation :p
     
  13. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #13

    Good to see decent advice on kit lenses. I willsecond the idea of the D50 and the 18-200VR. I love this kit.

    But for travel I am finding myself drawn to the Panasonic LX1/Leica D-LUX2 camera. I used this for my recent London/Iceland trip. There was something liberating when I went out with the LX1, as opposed to my D50/18-200VR. I may not have taken as many pictures; but the memories of the people I met will matter perhaps longer than the photographs I missed.
     
  14. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #14
    The Epson P-2000, P-4000, nd their next gen are options

    I used to travel with my laptop till I broke down and bought the P-2000. It allowed me last summer in SF to download my shoots during lunch and dinner, and gave me the opportunity to look at places I needed to revisit.

    And with Handbrake, I was able to save some movies for entertainment.
     
  15. aboutthat thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    Would love to have that kit, but I just checked amazon to get an idea of the price...yikes. The lens is about $800, which I'm thinking is out of my range. It'd be either the 28-80 of 18-55ED lens kit probably. I'm leaning more towards the ED, for quality's sake.
     
  16. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #16
    The Epson P-2000, P-4000, nd their next gen are options

     
  17. aboutthat thread starter macrumors regular

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    #17
    Yeah, I'm leaning towards not taking the laptop...I carry it around on campus enough not to particularly enjoy it for 21 days straight. Though, admittedly, it would be nice. I'm thinking more storage cards would work, but I'm still a bit apprehensive about the whole definite storage limit (3GB v. say 30GB...world of difference). It is going to be a month, after all...

    *can't wait to be finished with my recital and become a temporary ex-pat!*
     
  18. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #18

    The thing about the P-2000/4000 viewer is that it does not weigh much. And it allows for you to work on "digital" photo albums on your trip back to the States.

    The storage thing I can understand. When I was in SF last summer I shot over 1,100 images in 5 days. With my Reykjavik/London trip I "strugled" in doing about 400 images in 5 days.

    But in my first day in Reykjavik I was shown that social values were different. In Iceland I found it hard to point my camera at the people, for they made eye contact - wanting that conection to the person. In london I did much more since I was dealing with just 12 hours of a visit, rather than 24 hours due to food poisening (actual on the street time).
     
  19. aboutthat thread starter macrumors regular

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    #19
    Oddly enough, I've never done much photographing of people...perhaps stemming from my own desire not to be photographed hehe. But that's been changing lately, I'm interested in seeing what my eye is drawn to when abroad. I haven't been able to do *nearly* as much photography as I would like, primarily because of the 35MM setup. I'm usually to afraid to experiment, being a college student and all, because of the financial thing. Poor excuse I know, just the way my mind works.

    I discovered that I was taking many more pictures with even a cheap P&S digital than I usually ever did with film. Granted, the shots that I did take with film were always deliberate, which was sometime good, but I thinking limiting in the end. The lack of auto focus did certainly help my still life shots develop nicely ;)
     
  20. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #20
    I know the feeling. I would not have done as much picture taking in SF if I had to rely on film.

    But my trip to Chicago in October, and my most recent trips would not have been as much fun if I spent all of my time behind the lens. To be honest my most recent trips have been for my mind; rather than to come away with that "winning" image.
     

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