Digital Newbie: Capacity of Memory Cards?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jpryor, May 4, 2004.

  1. jpryor

    jpryor Guest

    I'm considering the purchase of a Nikon D70 for a 3-week trip to South
    America. I'm trying to figure out how to store the photos I expect to
    take, probably roughly 2000 pictures. I am NOT going to be able to get
    additional memory cards while travelling. As I understand the situation,
    there are a couple of obvious options:
    1) Buy multiple large memory cards. When 1 fills up, put an empty one
    in, and store the used one until I get home.
    2) Buy a device (I know they exist but don't know the name) that reads
    memory card and burns a cd.

    Any other good options I'm missing?

    So, to figure out the cost trade-offs, how many 6 megapixel shots does
    it take to fill a 1 gig memory card? I can't quite make the calculation
    (pixels into bytes?). For the sake of argument, let's say I would use
    either JPEG at max quality or possibly tiff.

    I'm also looking at the amount of gear and weight I'll need to take,
    including lenses, battery charger, etc. Advice from photographers who
    travel would be welcomed. I'm not backpacking, but the weight is still
    an issue.

    Can y'all help me?


    jpryor, May 4, 2004
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  2. jpryor

    i80 Guest

    i80, May 4, 2004
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  3. jpryor

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Certainly the weight problem leads toward buying more memory cards. If
    space is a concern, then JPEG is the clear winner for the storage format
    as .tiff files can be quite large. A 6 mp picture will be 1-3 megabytes
    with the highest quality. In compression, the original picture data
    greatly affects the final file size. If you buy 1 gigabyte cards, then
    3 or 4 of them should store enough pictures. You might consider
    shooting at reduced resolution for inside shots, and for 'around the
    campfire' and other pictures you probably won't crop, or enlarge if
    space becomes a problem.
    Ron Hunter, May 4, 2004
  4. on my 1GB microdrive I can fit 200 RAW images, from my experience, a RAW
    image takes about 5MB with the D70 (beware that this is dependant on the
    image content...)
    the best quality jpeg on the D70 takes about 2.5MB I believe, I have
    never used it though...
    Tiff is not possible with the D70 (and would probably be bigger then the
    RAW format too).


    Yves Deweerdt, May 4, 2004
  5. Two suggestions, John, which not everyone will agree with....

    - why take a DSLR? OK, if you already have the lenses, but if not then
    something like the Nikon Coolpix 5700 or 8700 would be a lot less to carry
    around, and would have none the problems of the DSLR (dust etc.). Of
    course, the picture quality might not be quite as good, but unless you are
    making huge prints that may not matter.

    - if you do go the 5700 route, try all the available JPEG compressions
    before you go. We did comparitive tests on the Nikon 990, and for our
    purposes (no giant prints) the Basic JPEG quality was quite adeqaute, and
    allowed twice as many pictures per card. Repeating the test on the 5700
    gave the same result - it seems that Nikon are very careful in their
    choice of compression levels (and the parameters that are used in the JPEG
    algorithm) so that even Basic compression gives a really good quality. On
    a recent trip to Norway I took about 2500 pictures on 3 x 512MB cards.
    Average file size was around 600KB (2560 x 1920 pixels). Try this for
    yourself, using typical subjects and displays or printing. Perhaps you
    don't need Fine after all. Perhaps not. Try it and see.

    David J Taylor, May 4, 2004
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