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Old Mar 4, 2007, 2:20 PM   #1
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It's an FZ7 , the title got cut when I was posting.

This is my first digicam, and I'm still shooting in auto mode, but I 'm hoping to read up some on the flight over and practice. I'm getting ready to put in my order for memory(It's going to be a friday - sunday 9 day trip) So I figure I need at least one 2 gb stick, how important is speed for this camera? I'm putting in a computer order through newegg.com, so if I can find it there thats probably where I am ordering from.

I also need a bag for the camera, newegg suggests this one


I was also going to buy an extra battery there,


What else do I need? What are your thoughts on that case. Should I be getting polarizing filters etc. I've heard recommendations of getting a 52 - 55mm adapter and then leaving a filter on at all times to keep the lens clean. Do I need a lens cleaning kit? A small mini-tripod? It will mostly be for vacation photos right now, I expect to run across a lot of beautiful scenery/landscapes. I'm also going to be in Dublin for the St.Patricks festival. What do I need to do if it is raining - just don't shoot?

Please help if you can, I'm going to try getting everything ordered today so it will be here by thursday.

Thanks a lot!
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Old Mar 4, 2007, 6:30 PM   #2
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Congratulations on the camera and the trip. I don't know what you will be taking with you but make sure you have a voltage converter with you. I think the voltage is around 220 and you may need to adapt the plugs on your equipment to theirs. Also your shaver and anything else.

As far as the camera bag is concerned I just bought the Lowepro SlingShot 200 AW. It is like a backpack with only one strap that goes over one sholder and around your front. You just slide the pack from your back around and it is right in front of you for fast access. It also has a built in rain coat sort of that is attached to the bag. It allows you to pull the weather cover out when you need it to cover the bag and gear. Here is a link to where I bought mine and a little more info about it.
There are others on ebay that also sell this bag at a "buy it now" with "free shipping". I would contact them to see how fast they can get it to you if you deside it's what you want. I like my bag but I am starting to outgrow it already. They do make a 300 that is a little bigger but may be too big for you now.

When I was in China last year for 3 months I could have used a wide angle lens and an external flash. I have the FZ20 so I had enough zoom for most things. The Sunpak 383 Super is a very popular flash for around $85. I don't know if your camera has TTL (through the lens) for the flash or not. Maybe someone else can jump in here and help you out with some flash units that might be good for your FZ7.

Some like to protect their lens with a UV filter and some don't. I thought it was cheap protection to keep the lens clean and help protect it from damage. One of the most popular filters is the Polarizer filter. The polarizer comes in two styles, a Linear or a Circular filter. For my camera I used the Linear filter. I don't know which one is right for your camera. Again maybe someone will jump in here and answer this.

You can buy the batteries on ebay cheaper then Newegg. I like newegg but sometimes their pricing is not the best and they charge shipping per item which can add up quickly. You will also want some memory cards. Yes speed does make a difference. There are some counterfiet cards out there so be carefull, avoid ebay for these items. The Sandisk 2GB Extreme III SD cards seem to be very popular. I have heard that you can get them from Costco at a good price. Costco has one of the best return policies of any company. Another company that is very good to buy from is B&H Photo. If you get an external flash make sure you have extra batteries or can get them there.

I again don't know your camera but most likely you will need to get a lens adapter so you can add filters and lenses and also hoods. I don't know who makes the adapters for your camera but I am sure there are some good ones out there. I would suggest one made from aluminum and not plastic. More important if you add a heavy lens later. Hoods help protect the camera lens from being hit but also help keep the sun and bright lights out of the lens. There are some nice hoods that are made of rubber that are collapsable (Hama and Adorama).

I don't know how you will be traveling but if you can get a good light weight tripod by all means do it. I found that for me carring a tripod would have been a little difficult. I was on public transportation most of the time, "busses" and just not always easy to carry, but the busses in China were often over packed. Because you are on such short notice I would try a local camera store if you have one close to you.

This is just a quick reply and I hope it helps. One week to get ready is not much time. Good luck and enjoy your trip.

PS, it might help if we knew where you live. May be able to recommend some places close to you to buy and receive quickly.

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Old Mar 4, 2007, 6:38 PM   #3
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I use this bag. The picture in this site makes it look ugly but it a very nice bag. Its well padded and doesnt look like a camera bag.


All I carry with me is 2 extra batterys. 2 extra memory cards with 2gigs of memory a cloth for cleaning the UV filter I always keep on the camera. And all that fits in my compact camera bag. That why I love these superzooms over a DSRL. Just dont have to carry much. Owe and get a lens cap holder so you dont lose it somewhere.

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Old Mar 4, 2007, 7:10 PM   #4
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Take me with you!

I can carry your camera in my case plus let you use some of my memory.


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Old Mar 5, 2007, 1:04 PM   #5
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Am sure you don't want to start out like this, I actually have 3 different bags for my FZ30:

1. small one fits the camera, plus extra battery and aa couple of SD cards only.

2. A midsize case, Lowepro Nova 3AW. Fits camera, Tcon17, extra sd cards, extra battery, flash and a few assorted bits & bobs

3. a Camera backpack - fits all the camera gearI own, plus room for a spot of lunch and a drink.

I vary the bag depending on the day's requirements - what I will need and how much trekking it will involve.

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Old Mar 5, 2007, 4:04 PM   #6
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I don't center vacations around getting photos. I like to bring home nice pictures, but there is no way I would carry a camera bag around.

I do like mebareit's suggestion for something small that hangs on your back and is easily accessible. And waterproof is nice in Ireland. You seldom get heavy rain but it drizzles often. I don't think I would expose the camera directly to heavy rain, but drizzle shouldn't be a big problem if you wipe it dry after you use it.

I prefer fanny packs that I can wear in the front and have instant access to my camera. You can slide it around to the small of your back in situations where it is in the way. I modified one from the flea market but this should work well: http://cgi.ebay.com/Lowepro-ORION-MI...QQcmdZViewItem

You don't have an external flash option with that camera.

Polarizers are good for making the sky bluer in certain directions and for reducing reflections. I find it easier and much more consistent to get the sky I want with an image editor. I lived in Ireland for seven years and didn't see blue sky that often anyway. I don't find reflections to be enough of a problem to carry and mess with a polarizer with digital cameras. I always had one with film, but didn't have the advantage of easy computer editing.

Studying the manual on the trip over and learning to use the camera on your vacation is a bad idea IMO. If you are pretty familiar with auto operation and don't have time to see the results of other modes before you leave, I would shoot in auto on your vacation. Maybe play with spot metering in auto before you go so you can handle unusual lighting conditions.

A lens hood is a good idea. Even the collapsible rubber thingies are better than nothing.

I prefer not having an extra two air/glass surfaces in a filter to protect the lens. Lens coatings aren't as fragile as some people seem to think. You can clean them as easily as you can clean a filter. I have a pair of Nikon sunglasses with a multiple lens coating on the inside. They've been cleaned almost every day for a couple of years with soft soap and paper towels. The lens coating is still perfect. I've never damaged a camera lens coating by cleaning. A lens hood offers some protection against dings if you use one.

A panorama with the camera held with the long side up can give you a 4:3 shot equivalent to about 26mm with a 36mm equivalent lens. The best way to do that is in manual exposure and white balance. You can also do it in slow continuous as that fixes all of the shooting parameters with the first shot, but you would have to practice that some before the trip. A wide angle adapter is easier to use, but it is something else to carry and mess with.

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