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Old 01-13-05, 03:20 PM   #1
Netcelt
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For those who travel with a digital camera....

Yesterday I took the dive into the digital camera world and got a small 4 megapixel Kodak camera. I want to take it with me on bike trips and tours. Up until now I have been bringing a 30-year old rangefinder and I haven't had any problems with it. Are there any particular precautions I need to take with a digital camera? The old rangefinder was kept in a ziploc bag and resided in my trunk pack which has a padded base. Thanks
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Old 01-13-05, 03:33 PM   #2
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The only problem I can think of is batteries. An old rangefinder probably runs forever off of a button battery, whereas digital cameras suck up a lof of power. But I'm sure you already know to bring extra batteries. And maybe an extra memory card.


I carried my Nikon 5400 digital camera in my handlebar bag last fall during a 500+ mile ride on a gravel trail. It never rained, but the camera was not bothered by the bumps and dust.
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Old 01-13-05, 03:35 PM   #3
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what about a solar recharger?
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Old 01-13-05, 03:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordOpie
what about a solar recharger?
I brought along extra charged-up re-chargeable batteries, and made sure the flash was turned off unless I needed it. If you stop at motels, B&B, etc., you can also use a portable recharger.

Don't know about solar rechargers.
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Old 01-13-05, 03:44 PM   #5
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I guess that's another thing to look at is the type of charger to get. It takes 2 AA batteries. Walmart had a set of rechargable batteries with plug-in charger for $7. I imagine a solar charger would be expensive but I haven't seen one.
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Old 01-13-05, 03:58 PM   #6
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don't shop at wal-mart!

Get 2000mAh NiMH or higher batteries.

If you're staying in a hotel or something, yeah, don't bother with the solar, but if you camping, then it'd be way cool to have the solar cells attached to the top of your panniers or trailer.
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Old 01-13-05, 04:35 PM   #7
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I have a Minolta Dimage and it can take quite a few pictures, at least 150-200 I'd estimate, before I need to swap out the 2 AA batteries.

The main consumption of power in a digital camera anyway is the LCD screen. If you just turn it on, snap the pic(s), and turn it off right away, you can get many more pics out of it than if you oogle over each pic in the LCD etc etc. Some cameras have an option to just use the (old style) viewfinder and leave the LCD off . . . I imagine this would be really great on power, never tried it though.

Duracell Ultras work great also IMO
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Old 01-13-05, 04:37 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info. Another question...has anyone ever had a problem with cards being damaged by airport screening machines? I have heard of rumors of this. It has the SD cards.
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Old 01-13-05, 05:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Netcelt
Thanks for the info. Another question...has anyone ever had a problem with cards being damaged by airport screening machines? I have heard of rumors of this. It has the SD cards.
There should be no problems. I have not had any problems with my CF cards.

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Digital Camera Media Safe In Both Carry-On And Checked Baggage, According To Tests By Imaging Industry And Transportation Security Administration
Source and additional info.
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Old 01-13-05, 05:06 PM   #10
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If you pass towns with camera stores or computer stores, they can copy the pictures onto a CD, which you can then mail home. Then you can start taking pictures again with an empty SD card.
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Old 01-13-05, 05:09 PM   #11
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Two friends went to Australia recently. Both went thru the same x-ray machines... the one with the digital camera had no issues. The one with the traditional 35mm camera lost more than half the pictures.
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Old 01-13-05, 05:16 PM   #12
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My digital camera has about 2000 miles mounted on a handlebar mount. Then I got tired of straight ahead pictures. Maybe another 1000 miles in a case velcroed to my stem and used like a holster, so I can shoot in all directions while riding. It's easy to even shoot backwards, just upside down under your arm then turn the picture around in the computer. Just delete the photos you don't like. I have hundreds on cd's. I had an old computer crash and lost 350 pictures. So I back them up on a cd.
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Old 01-13-05, 05:18 PM   #13
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This is not a bike touring and camera issue, but just a flash memory issue. Flash memory cards are not immune to directory corruption. Doesn't happen often, and may be the source of rumors about xray machines, but it does happen (I speak from experience). Picture Rescure (for the Mac)(prosofteng.com) is a file recovery program designed to work with Flash Memory cards. PCs have comparable programs, I just don't know any names. You don't need to own it, now, but be aware this type of software exists should you need it.

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Old 01-13-05, 10:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordOpie

Get 2000mAh NiMH or higher batteries.

If you're staying in a hotel or something, yeah, don't bother with the solar, but if you camping, then it'd be way cool to have the solar cells attached to the top of your panniers or trailer.
1800 mAh NiMH rechargables are working great(didn't know of the differences). I'll take 3 extra sets along.
Been researching solar rechargers, still kinda pricey for me.
Picked up a cheap padded generic camera case and packed it inside a pannier, pannier popped off over a large (high speed) bump, camera & contents unscathed!
Also picked up a back packing type tri-pod, has about 4 inch legs and can be velcroed to poles, tree branches ect. Got it from Campmor.com. Real handy.
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Old 01-14-05, 12:26 AM   #15
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You can save alot of battery juice by NOT using the LCD screen to frame your shots. Use the viewfinder instead. Many cameras also have a adjustable time limit for screening the shot you just took. (0-10 secs?). You can do close inspection reviews of you photos later at a restaraunt or motel then recharge the batteries. Then again, you could take several sets of AAs and use the LCD all u want! u At the very least get a NiMH 4 AA fast charger at Radioshack or Walmart. Solar chargers are overkill. Get a small case 1-2 extra flash cards. Everything in a ziplock.

Believe me, once you go digital, you'll probably never use film again!
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Old 01-14-05, 02:54 AM   #16
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i always turn the screen off and when i go to sleep i take the battery out, a single battery can last for more than a week this way. but you need to know where goes into the photo and where doesnīt because thereīs a slight difference bewteen the LCD and the viewfinder, some practice before hand would bee useful and less regret when getting home. i have only one 250 mb memory card, but would probably carry another on as a backup.

Last edited by Schumius; 01-18-05 at 10:24 AM. Reason: correction
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Old 01-18-05, 10:17 AM   #17
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My thanks to all who answered my questions. You gave me lots of good ideas. I did go out and get some rechargable batteries and charger. I figure I can recharge at campgounds, city park gazebos and the odd motel I stop at. The camera I bought (Kodak cx 7430) has the lcd screen off by default so battery comsumption should be minimal while taking pictures. I also decided to get two extra memory cards instead of one big one incase there was a card failure. The camera came with 16mb internal memory and a 128 mb card. I ordered 2 256 mb cards. This gives me about 500 pictures at the best setting. I got a little padded case and will keep that inside the ziploc bag just like my old rangefinder. It looks like I'm going to be very happy with my choice to go digital. Thanks again.
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Old 01-18-05, 10:25 AM   #18
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I only have one thing to add. If you shoot on the move, you may want to consider setting the camera up for continuous shooting and just hold down the shutter release for maybe a half-dozen snaps rather than trying to meticulously frame and compose the shots. Switch off the LCD display to save batteries while doing this too. Digital has its advantages and this is one of them. You can later go through and delete the stuff you don't like. A high-capacity memory card also helps in this situation.
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Old 01-18-05, 10:43 AM   #19
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i wouldnīt go back to films because digital is much better in many ways, but i do wonder how itīs going to perform in cold temperature, say, 40C minus 0?
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Old 01-18-05, 11:00 AM   #20
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Quote:
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i wouldnīt go back to films because digital is much better in many ways, but i do wonder how itīs going to perform in cold temperature, say, 40C minus 0?
You might get some lag. However, bear in mind that cold temperatures effect chemical photographic media moreso than they would digital. Extreme cold temps tend to reduce the effective film speed and colour balance will probably be skewed as well. Additionally, film can become very brittle and crack or break in the camera. And then of course you face the probability of the mechanical parts of a traditional camera binding or siezing up. I tend to think that digital photography is actually more robust in such harsher conditions.
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Old 01-18-05, 01:17 PM   #21
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What about storage of pictures? I am planning a long trip through China-Tibet-Nepal and plan to go digital on this one. I could probably find power to charge the batteries, but would feel more secure if I could duplicate the files on the flashcards untill I could get to a internet cafe and burn them on CD's / DVD's. Would you guys use something like an Ipod, portable hard drive, portable cd writer maybe...., or one of those picture storage devices that also has an LCD screen to sort. Any good/bad experiences out there? Thanks,
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Old 01-18-05, 01:37 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khuon
You might get some lag.
Maybe so, even up to a couple years ago.....
Even going digital 5 years ago, I thought I would never abandon my complete 30 year old F system because I had complete creative freedom using film which I could not achieve unless dishing out 20 grand on digital equipment. I recently dumped my entire F system piece by piece on Ebay as prices of digital cameras have come down considerably, including SLR's. Even with inexpensive point and shoot digicams, with the right software, it's amazing what you can do....

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Old 01-19-05, 04:06 AM   #23
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A couple things to think about with digital (that I have not resolved for myself) -- how to you share them and preserve them?

Slide shows with digital images require a rather expensive multimedia projector. Most printers do not use inks with long life times (and, where to you get archival quality paper for your printer? And, file formats may change in a decade. Could you use the old format 10 or 15 years from now? Or, if you have no hard drive back up strategy and lose your hard drive and everything on it? Or, if that CD-ROM becomes unreadable.

We have prints and slides from 30 years ago, and some family photos from 90 years ago. Will digital images last as long?

All this said, I shoot VERY little film, these days.

Mike
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Old 01-19-05, 04:20 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sakarias
A couple things to think about with digital (that I have not resolved for myself) -- how to you share them and preserve them?
One of the beauties of digital storage is that it can be replicated in a lossless fashion. Modern archival systems can preserve digital images indefinately. Linus Torvald was once heard to say that the best backup mechanism is to publish it on the Internet. If you're really concerned about protecting your data, then adopt industrial strength archival mechanisms. This includes things like multi-site backups. Now one can go overboard with this sort of thing. Many people have theorised that the point of diminishing returns in backup systems is three levels.

It is true that printed media does degrade. Yes, we still have photos from 90 years ago but will photos 90 years from now survive without degredation. I think not. While a printed copy from a digital image generated on some inkjet printer may not last very long, its original will without degredation and thus a copy of the same can be made if the first print copy fades, discolours, etc. Additionally, professional photographic print from digital storage is available if you want. This will yield the same print qualities as from chemical film photography... including print lifespan... since the final image processing is identical.

After all is said and done however, the resolution, colour depthness and other image qualities of even today's most sophisticated 20MP professional quality cameras are just now reaching that of film. It will get there eventually and really not all too far in the near future. And for all but the most extreme requirements, digital imaging today is more than capable of fullfilling the needs.
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Old 01-19-05, 06:05 AM   #25
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i am totally agree with khuon. preservation has never occured to me as too big a problem neither does the print. you can make as many copies as you want and store them in different places in case one fails or you delete it accidently.
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