April 11, 2011

Vacationing with a Laptop and a Digital Camera

Everyone loves digital cameras and the ease of operating without film, but storing all the images can be an issue.  At home I like to store them on my laptop and back them up to CDs.

Nikon COOLPIX L24 14 MP Digital Camera with 3.6x NIKKOR Optical Zoom Lens and 3-Inch LCD (Red)If you are going on vacation for a week and expect taking many pictures, you should know how many images you can you store on your laptop.

Most consumers shoot in compressed JPEG mode, and the images are between 250k bytes and perhaps 1.4M bytes.  A 1 GB CF will hold as many as a thousand or more images.  If you are like me it is easy these days to shoot a lot of pictures in a very short time.  You could buy another CF or transfer the images to your laptop.

Laptops do not hold all that much data.  How many gigs of disk capacity do you have left on your personal laptop?  The newer ones will come with 40 or even 100 GB drives, but most people don't have ones that new, and many also have a bunch of stuff loaded already. So, check out the size of your HD and see how much space is left for your photos.  If your laptop has a CD burner bring extra blank CDs so you can burn the photos.  A great little back tool is http://www.secondcopy.com.  You could also back them up to your ISPs server.

Another option might be to buy a portable hard drive.  You can find them the size of good-sized glasses case.  You stick your CF in a slot, turn the gadget on, and dump the CF into the gadget's storage. These range from 20GB to 60GB+ and are $100+.

Sony 50CRM80RS CD-R Audio (50 pk Spindle)Stand-alone burners can burn CDs & DVDs, and some will also play DVD movies, audio CDs, etc as well so you can bring your movies and music along while traveling.

If you have a new laptop it might have a fast firewire connection, if not you will need to use the USB connection to transfer the photos.

So, taking a few precautions and planning ahead a little will insure that you get to keep all the photos that you took as a reminder of that wonderful, long ago vacation.

Nikon Coolpix L110 12.1MP Digital Camera with 15x Optical Vibration Reduction (VR) Zoom and 3.0-Inch LCD (Black)

Polaroid CIA-1237RC 12MP CCD Digital Camera with 2.7-Inch LCD Display (Red)

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