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Old Dec 23, 2004, 5:52 PM   #11
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Wow! That's a great trip! Great! Great! Great! Are you staying in Prague? I'll echo-no problem with electricity. Nearly all chargers are automatic dual voltage, and you can buy an inexpensive adaptor ($1).

No need for a laptop to store pics. Photo shops can put them on CD, even in Eastern Europe.

You might consider a Wide Angle lens-Sometimes you just can't take a step back. The camera: the smaller, the better. Many places don't allow cameras, yet people shoot anyway-you can't resist. The idiots shooting flash the length of the Cathedral will draw attention away from you.

The silly proprietary batteries (or Sony memory cards) will be a problem there when you need to replace a defective pack. You can always buy AA's. CRV3 (for two AA) are readily available in Prague.

Take Spark's suggestion of the A75. It takes AA's (or CRV3's), a common card, and is inexpensive now. An adaptor and a wide angle lens are available ($120). It's small-easy to carry-will be great for the Charles Bridge or for snaps of you and friends hoisting a few in the U Fleku. My fiancé's A80 does shoot fine in the dark (With Tripod).

You'd die lugging around a SLR. And you couldn't take a ‘film' of the Glockenspiel-like clock.:evil:

What a great trip! Let me know if you have any questions, I was just there!

(old 2 Mega pixel digital camera cropped shot)
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Old Dec 23, 2004, 5:53 PM   #12
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I used to shoot 35mm slr, but go so tired of carrying that much bulk/weight around that when my old Minolta met an untimely fate, I decided not to replace it. Since then I have been happy with a small 35mm camera when traveling, and now I use a digital instead.

Unless you need to make very large prints, or are seriously into photography (doesn't sound like it), I think you will be happier with a small but high-quality digital camera. For just a few hundred dollars you can get a camera with zoom and enough megapixels to make 8x10 prints, yet willeasily fitinyour pants pocket. For a bit more you can get a great camera with a megazoom lens. My Panasonic FZ3, which has an image stabilised 12x zoom lens, takes up about the same amount of room as did my old 80-200 zoom lens for the 35mm slr.

As mentioned, don't worry too much about adaptors and the like. While in the airport, look for the correct electical outlet adaptor in the gift shops. Many of the hotels that cater to international travelers will have them as well. Just make sure you buy a large memory card (or two).


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Old Dec 23, 2004, 6:25 PM   #13
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The most important rule (regardless of the format of your camera) is NOT to go on an important, 'once in a lifetime' photo opportunity with a new camera. You need time to get to know the ins and outs of the new gear.

So, whatever you end up buying, make sure you get it a month (or more) before your trip and get to know how to use it. Then, when you get to the CZ, you won't be looking through the manual to find out how to do something.

Now, how to decide? We can break it down into managable pieces.

1) Point and Shoot vs SLR: Do you want something small and pocketable (and easier to conceal from would-be thieves) but with limited photographic options or do you want something with lots of flexibility but is big, bulky and heavy.

If size is the most important feature then you are looking at a point and shoot (with a reasonable zoom) or if photographic flexibility is most important then an SLR with either 2-3 excellent fixed focal length lenses or a good (not a cheap) zoom is the way to go.

2) Weight: An SLR will be heavier and bulkier to carry around on vacation then a point and shoot. You will have to have a camera bag to carry it (and any accessories...lenses, flash, battery packs, etc) in. You will always have to be aware of where the bag is since it can be tempting to thieves if they think there is expensive camera equipment inside it.

Here is where the first difference between digital and analog (film) comes into play. Digital has many more accessories that you have to bring along. A film camera can run for weeks on a single battery and all you would need is a spare in your pocket to pretty well guarantee that you will make it through your holiday. Digital is much harder on batteries and so you will HAVE to make sure you bring a charger (that is compatible with the local electrical requirements)Battery packs for DSLRs are HUGE compared to the batterys in a film SLR! You may also need to have an off-camera storage system (which ALSO needs batteries and power) to empty your memory card. (Even if you have a Gigbyte memory card, it eventually fills up!) and ALL of these accessories have cables etc. With film cameras, you carry a few rolls of film and make sure you stow away your exposed rolls and you're done. You can also be reasonably assured of being able to buy more film in any tourist area even if the you know you will be paying 'tourist prices'.

3) Cost: Assuming that you have no gear at all, a film solution will cost at least 1/4 of what an equivalent digital solution will cost you. or, to put it another way...for what you spend on an ordinary digital SLR you could buy one of the best film cameras on the market. Look at the price for the Digital Rebel body versus the cost of the best film Rebel body. (Digital Rebel 300D = @$780 vs the 35mm Rebel GII = @$115. You could almost get a Canon EOS 3 body @$875 for the cost of the lower level dRebel).

Point and shoots are more difficult to evaluate equivalent cameras but consider the popular Olympus Stylus series. The film Stylus Epic Zoom 115 costs $125 but the digital Stylus 410 costs twice as much @$254.(without a memory card)

In the end, you are going to come back with pictures no matter what format you choose.
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Old Dec 23, 2004, 7:40 PM   #14
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And the camera and software would be ... ?
I have no idea what she wants to spend. I think I might get a Pentax 750Z. Small package with a 5X zoom and articulated LCD so you can take pictures without aiming a camera at people. Another good choice might be a Canon G6 because of the f2 lens and hot shoe – also has an articulated LCD but is a bit larger and heavier. Yet another is the Canon S60 or S70 with a wide angle lens for vistas.

An inexpensive alternative to digital is the Konica Lexio 70. It is a 28-70mm zoom and has a very fast f3.4 lens at wide (fast for a pocket 35mm). It is well over an f-stop faster than the Stylus 80 I had carried until I got the Lexio. The data window is easy to see and lights. I carried one for 3 years and my only complaint was that it doesn't have a spot meter. The wide angle capability was great after the little Oly. Olympus does make a wide angle Stylus zoom, but it is larger and not as fast. You generally have to use higher ISO film in small cameras like that, so the shots weren't as smooth as those with my SLR, but you can't see the grain unless you blow it up. http://www.tristatecamera.com/LookAt...tore.php3.html

I also have no idea whether she wants to get into the digital darkroom. I have used Neat Image for quite a while and like it, but others seem to also like Noise Ninja. Neat Image Pro works as a Photoshop plug-in.

I have yet to stay in a hotel room anywhere in the world without an electrical outlet. The camera can charge at night and the chargers that come with most cameras are tiny and light as well as dual voltage. It is a little more of a problem with cameras that come with AAs as the 4AA chargers are a bit larger, but still not enough to notice in your suitcase. Power with most digitals just isn't a problem unless the vacation includes a week in the forest sleeping in tents.

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Old Dec 24, 2004, 12:30 AM   #15
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I concur with most of the points raised.

1. She is on holiday, and lugging an SLR, digital or film, would be a nightmare.

2. Get it a month before and get used to it.

3. Get a camera with manual override, since if you know photography already, you'll need it, or if you grow into it, you'll want it.

4. IMHO, a Canon G6 or for portability an S70, or perhaps an Olympus 8080.

5. Get a 1mb memory card and snap away to your hearts content.

6. On returning home, learn to use Paintshop or Adobe and have a lot of fun post processing!

Whatever, I hope you enjoy your choice of camera and above all your holiday. It is a truly beautiful city.
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Old Dec 24, 2004, 9:44 PM   #16
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Grinder wrote:
Simple answer - Digital SLR - get a Nikon D70 - get a 2nd set of batteries ($20). three 512K memory cards and your set.

You can take 1000 shots, batteries will never run out. No need for different film for different light. No need for a dozen filters for White Balance.

Case Closed

Why would u prefer Nikon D70 over Canon EOS 20d. May i ask
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Old Dec 24, 2004, 9:47 PM   #17
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If u chooose digital look into panasonic fz20, fz3 or fz15 all have long zoom range, relatively compact and offer various program features. i believe it is possible to get FZ20 at around $500. I think this would be v cost effective.

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