Please help "digital photo newbie" mom !!!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by barbara, Jan 25, 2004.

  1. barbara

    barbara Guest

    I normally would spend at least a month reading the google archives
    for info before posting - but I just don't have that kind of time this
    time - so I hope you'll forgive me!

    My 19yo daughter just got the opportunity to go to So Africa for a 12
    week rotation beginning March 7 doing volunteer conservation/wildlife
    management. She LOVES to take pictures and will put me in the
    poorhouse with regular film, so I'm considering getting her an fairly
    inexpensive digital camera (at least 3mp). However - the logistics of
    digital storage came up and I'm sure she could find a way to break the
    bank there as well if I had to buy enough cards to last her - plus
    then there is the loss risk.

    So what I am considering now is - buying her an inexpensive Dell
    Inspiron 1100 laptop for her to download her pictures into that she
    could then burn 2 cd's - one to send home to keep mom & dad up to date
    and one to keep separate from her laptop in case is was damaged or
    stolen. I considered just having her go to an internet cafe, but don't
    know how far from town her placements will be and don't really want
    her to have to spend her free time and money hunting one down. If she
    had her own laptop she could also keep a travel diary and such on it.

    So - can someone please give me some hints as to what to look for as
    far as
    - camera
    - laptop config
    - programs to download into, burn cd and possibly email some home. Is
    there a good and fairly simple "photo album" type program you could
    recommend?

    It really needs to be pretty straightforward for her so it doesn't
    take too much time on the road - we can edit and make them pretty at
    home.

    I appreciate everyones help - my head is really swimming since this
    came up to fast!

    Barbara
     
    barbara, Jan 25, 2004
    #1
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  2. barbara

    Ken Weitzel Guest

    Hi...

    barbara wrote:
    > I normally would spend at least a month reading the google archives
    > for info before posting - but I just don't have that kind of time this
    > time - so I hope you'll forgive me!
    > Barbara


    <snip>

    I'm *far* from the experienced help that you want; but have
    a couple of perhaps helpful ideas...

    Choose a camera that uses AA cells, rather than proprietary
    battery packs. Worse comes to worst she should be able
    to find those anywhere in the world. Mind, if she has to
    buy and use alkalines they'll quickly bankrupt her, so...

    Buy her 3 or 4 sets of NiMh's... along with a charger
    that will work in South Africa. If the budget permits,
    make it a quick charger that will work on the SA
    electrical system as well as in a vehicle with the
    cigarette lighter socket.

    As for the laptop/burner... a couple of years ago we
    stumbled across one that had a cracked screen. That made
    it not worth repair, but because we wanted it only for
    storage it's burner and 4 gig drive were perfect for us.
    And we got it for next to nothing. :) Now whenever
    any of our family/neighbors take a photo type trip
    (usually only to the USA though) they take it with
    them. It's paid for itself hundreds of time over.

    Make sure the laptop you do choose has at least one
    or two extra batteries, *and* is capable of being
    recharged over there.

    Make sure the laptop you choose has a usb port.
    Maybe consider sending her off with a card
    reader to plug into it.

    If there's dollars left; buy her at least 3 or 4 cards;
    keep them separate so if anything happens to one she'll
    still have some left.

    Buy her a good size pack of blank CD's. Reduce the size
    for travel by packing them (indivually) in those little
    zipper closure type sandwich bags.

    Finally, prepare yourself. Old retired electrical
    engineer grand father warning you that the day she
    leaves, particularly if she's your only or last, will
    be the worst day of your life. Don't plan on sleeping
    'till she's back home :)

    Take care.

    Ken
     
    Ken Weitzel, Jan 25, 2004
    #2
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  3. barbara

    phillean Guest

    I haven' been where your daughter is going but I have travelled

    A laptop sounds like a good idea, but, check the voltage where your daughter
    is going and make sure an adapter is available.

    Also check the security in the area, a laptop and a digital camera might be
    too high a risk to manage (and attract too much attention). A film camera
    might be simpler in the end.

    phil

    "barbara" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I normally would spend at least a month reading the google archives
    > for info before posting - but I just don't have that kind of time this
    > time - so I hope you'll forgive me!
    >
    > My 19yo daughter just got the opportunity to go to So Africa for a 12
    > week rotation beginning March 7 doing volunteer conservation/wildlife
    > management. She LOVES to take pictures and will put me in the
    > poorhouse with regular film, so I'm considering getting her an fairly
    > inexpensive digital camera (at least 3mp). However - the logistics of
    > digital storage came up and I'm sure she could find a way to break the
    > bank there as well if I had to buy enough cards to last her - plus
    > then there is the loss risk.
    >
    > So what I am considering now is - buying her an inexpensive Dell
    > Inspiron 1100 laptop for her to download her pictures into that she
    > could then burn 2 cd's - one to send home to keep mom & dad up to date
    > and one to keep separate from her laptop in case is was damaged or
    > stolen. I considered just having her go to an internet cafe, but don't
    > know how far from town her placements will be and don't really want
    > her to have to spend her free time and money hunting one down. If she
    > had her own laptop she could also keep a travel diary and such on it.
    >
    > So - can someone please give me some hints as to what to look for as
    > far as
    > - camera
    > - laptop config
    > - programs to download into, burn cd and possibly email some home. Is
    > there a good and fairly simple "photo album" type program you could
    > recommend?
    >
    > It really needs to be pretty straightforward for her so it doesn't
    > take too much time on the road - we can edit and make them pretty at
    > home.
    >
    > I appreciate everyones help - my head is really swimming since this
    > came up to fast!
    >
    > Barbara
     
    phillean, Jan 25, 2004
    #3
  4. A laptop computer is useful on a business trip, but is a fool's baggage for
    any other travels. Worry over theft or damage will ruin good times; might
    as well stay home.

    Get a pocket digital camera and a few memory cards. Your daughter will be
    able to have the cards written to compact disks at camera shops she finds
    during her trip.

    In a pinch she can buy a disposable camera and have the film scanned later.
     
    Common Sense Should Prevail, Jan 25, 2004
    #4
  5. barbara

    Mark Herring Guest

    On 25 Jan 2004 12:40:00 -0800, (barbara) wrote:

    >I normally would spend at least a month reading the google archives


    >
    >So - can someone please give me some hints as to what to look for as
    >far as
    >- camera
    >- laptop config
    >- programs to download into, burn cd and possibly email some home. Is
    >there a good and fairly simple "photo album" type program you could
    >recommend?
    >
    >
    >Barbara


    Laptop---anything with at least 40GB hard drive, Make sure it has
    universal (ie 110/220) power supply (and of course a CD writer). Get
    at least one extra battery.

    Camera: I am partial to the Canon Powerhsot series. A70 and A80 are
    both affordable. If you will not be doing large prints, the A70
    (3Mpixel ) is plenty

    Ditto the comment about something that uses AA batteries.

    I travel with 3 sets of batteries (NiMH), and 1 Gigabyte of CF cards.
    I would get these in increments of 128Mbytes---less stuff to lose if
    one fails.

    Good album SW is ACDSee

    CD-burning SW wiil come with the drive.

    Consider a wireless card (802.11b) in case she gets in a place where
    she can e-maill things to you, and they have no place to plug in.
    (more and more places in the US are "wireless-enabled")

    The last word is BACKUP: ASAP, each day, get the images onto the
    hard drive AND onto a CD. At home, I have AT LEAST 3 copies of all
    images at any given time.
    **************************
    Mark Herring, Pasadena, Calif.
    Private e-mail: Just say no to "No".
     
    Mark Herring, Jan 25, 2004
    #5
  6. barbara

    SeaShel Guest

    You could also consider a FlashTrax:
    http://www.dpreview.com/news/0303/03030217smartdiskflashtrax.asp

    The advantages over a laptop are its much smaller size and lower price
    ($400-$700, depending upon storage capacity), plus the ability to view
    pictures play MP3 files. It holds 30GB, quite a bit.

    It may not suit your purposes as its there is no ability to burn CDs, no
    backup if it is stolen or lost, and it won't do TIFF files. It also,
    obviously, won't do all the other computer-ing.


    --
    Michelle
    (SeaShel)

    free the fish to reply
     
    SeaShel, Jan 26, 2004
    #6
  7. barbara

    Mark Herring Guest

    On Sun, 25 Jan 2004 15:30:43 -0900, "SeaShel"
    <> wrote:

    >You could also consider a FlashTrax:
    >http://www.dpreview.com/news/0303/03030217smartdiskflashtrax.asp
    >
    >The advantages over a laptop are its much smaller size and lower price
    >($400-$700, depending upon storage capacity), plus the ability to view
    >pictures play MP3 files. It holds 30GB, quite a bit.
    >
    >It may not suit your purposes as its there is no ability to burn CDs, no
    >backup if it is stolen or lost, and it won't do TIFF files. It also,
    >obviously, won't do all the other computer-ing.

    There's also the Roadstor: combo CD burner, DVD player, music CD
    player. Plug in your Flash card, and burn a CD
    **************************
    Mark Herring, Pasadena, Calif.
    Private e-mail: Just say no to "No".
     
    Mark Herring, Jan 26, 2004
    #7
  8. "barbara" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I normally would spend at least a month reading the google archives
    > for info before posting - but I just don't have that kind of time

    this
    > time - so I hope you'll forgive me!
    >
    > My 19yo daughter just got the opportunity to go to So Africa for a

    12
    > week rotation beginning March 7 doing volunteer

    conservation/wildlife
    > management. She LOVES to take pictures and will put me in the
    > poorhouse with regular film, so I'm considering getting her an

    fairly
    > inexpensive digital camera (at least 3mp). However - the logistics

    of
    > digital storage came up and I'm sure she could find a way to break

    the
    > bank there as well if I had to buy enough cards to last her - plus
    > then there is the loss risk.
    >
    > So what I am considering now is - buying her an inexpensive Dell
    > Inspiron 1100 laptop for her to download her pictures into that she
    > could then burn 2 cd's - one to send home to keep mom & dad up to

    date
    > and one to keep separate from her laptop in case is was damaged or
    > stolen. I considered just having her go to an internet cafe, but

    don't
    > know how far from town her placements will be and don't really want
    > her to have to spend her free time and money hunting one down. If

    she
    > had her own laptop she could also keep a travel diary and such on

    it.
    >
    > So - can someone please give me some hints as to what to look for as
    > far as
    > - camera
    > - laptop config
    > - programs to download into, burn cd and possibly email some home.

    Is
    > there a good and fairly simple "photo album" type program you could
    > recommend?
    >
    > It really needs to be pretty straightforward for her so it doesn't
    > take too much time on the road - we can edit and make them pretty at
    > home.
    >
    > I appreciate everyones help - my head is really swimming since this
    > came up to fast!
    >
    > Barbara



    Consider an image storing device like an Xs-Drive, Image Tank, or
    Tripper. Check www.mydigitaldiscount.com, they carry these devices
    and my experience in dealing with them has been excellent. I carry
    two flash cards (one as a spare) and a Tripper which gives me all the
    space I need. My Tripper holds 40 GB of space and costs far less than
    an inexpensive laptop, plus I can carry the Tripper with me when I
    take photos which I wouldn't do with a laptop.
     
    Peter A. Stavrakoglou, Jan 26, 2004
    #8
  9. barbara

    cal Guest

    At first the laptop idea seems sound. Then someone advises of the
    security problem due to its value. This gave me pause.

    Whatever you do in the end, if it's burning CD's, be sure to learn the
    software thouroughly that does the burning. Otherwise you may be
    burning coffee table coasters which contain no images that can be
    gotten off them. Been there, done that... with data, not with photos
    (yet). By all means, burn a few CDs and try to read them with a
    computer other than the one used to burn them... before you go on the
    trip!

    Check the economics of each of your alternatives. You can buy a lot
    of CF storage for what a laptop with the features you require would
    cost.

    Hope this helps.

    cal
     
    cal, Jan 26, 2004
    #9
  10. barbara

    barbara Guest

    Thank you so much Ken! Of course your last bit of advise made me cry
    because yes - she is my youngest! I'm already waking up every morning
    thinking "What did I do!!!"

    You had some great advise - especially about the camera batteries -
    hadn't even thought about that! If we can swing it financially I would
    really like her to have a laptop - not only will it be good for this
    trip but she can use it for school after. Have to talk with her
    program manager to make sure her housing placement makes it feasible.

    If that doesn't work out - I also really liked the suggestion for the
    Roadstor. Again - not only will it serve the purpose of burning cds to
    send home, but after her trip we could use it to watch DVDs on the
    bedroom tv. The laptop would still be my first choice because she
    could view it on screen to make sure the cds burned correctly, but
    this seems to be a great alternative - and not something that would
    just gather dust in between trips.

    You guys are great!






    Ken Weitzel <> wrote in message news:<>...
    > Hi...
    >
    > barbara wrote:
    > > I normally would spend at least a month reading the google archives
    > > for info before posting - but I just don't have that kind of time this
    > > time - so I hope you'll forgive me!
    > > Barbara

    >
    > <snip>
    >
    > I'm *far* from the experienced help that you want; but have
    > a couple of perhaps helpful ideas...
    >
    > Choose a camera that uses AA cells, rather than proprietary
    > battery packs. Worse comes to worst she should be able
    > to find those anywhere in the world. Mind, if she has to
    > buy and use alkalines they'll quickly bankrupt her, so...
    >
    > Buy her 3 or 4 sets of NiMh's... along with a charger
    > that will work in South Africa. If the budget permits,
    > make it a quick charger that will work on the SA
    > electrical system as well as in a vehicle with the
    > cigarette lighter socket.
    >
    > As for the laptop/burner... a couple of years ago we
    > stumbled across one that had a cracked screen. That made
    > it not worth repair, but because we wanted it only for
    > storage it's burner and 4 gig drive were perfect for us.
    > And we got it for next to nothing. :) Now whenever
    > any of our family/neighbors take a photo type trip
    > (usually only to the USA though) they take it with
    > them. It's paid for itself hundreds of time over.
    >
    > Make sure the laptop you do choose has at least one
    > or two extra batteries, *and* is capable of being
    > recharged over there.
    >
    > Make sure the laptop you choose has a usb port.
    > Maybe consider sending her off with a card
    > reader to plug into it.
    >
    > If there's dollars left; buy her at least 3 or 4 cards;
    > keep them separate so if anything happens to one she'll
    > still have some left.
    >
    > Buy her a good size pack of blank CD's. Reduce the size
    > for travel by packing them (indivually) in those little
    > zipper closure type sandwich bags.
    >
    > Finally, prepare yourself. Old retired electrical
    > engineer grand father warning you that the day she
    > leaves, particularly if she's your only or last, will
    > be the worst day of your life. Don't plan on sleeping
    > 'till she's back home :)
    >
    > Take care.
    >
    > Ken
     
    barbara, Jan 26, 2004
    #10
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