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So many cameras -which ones provide the capabilities needed by tourists?  We survey the field and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various types of cameras. 


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Travel Advice - Cameras for vacation, what you need to know

Mobile phone cameras have taken the travel world by storm because they provide the quality, convenience and utility that most travelers are looking for in vacation photos.  Whether it's snapshots of landmarks, "selfies", or video, it is hard to beat the versatility of the cameras in most of today's mobile phones.

The ability to post your phones photos to social media sites, or email them to close friends adds to the versatility of the camera phone. For most travelers, the camera in your mobile phone will be all that you need to "memorialize" your vacation.

However, there are a few areas where mobile phone cameras do not excel and for those interested in a wider range of photographic activities (sports/action photography, wildlife photography, large print creation, etc.) the stand- alone digital camera, particularly a digital DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex), offers additional flexibility, at the expense of bulk, the need to carry one or more lens, the need for more batteries, an additional charger and, perhaps, a flash,

Stand-alone digital cameras store images on memory cards that capture a picture in a numeric format representing the image characteristics as captured by the camera's image sensor.  Most modern sensors are quite good and the differences between cameras are mainly in image resolution and imaging features.

  • Memory Cards are available in different capacities and speed. Memory cards come in a variety of formats and you must purchase the format used by your camera to store images.  16,32 and 64 gigabyte cards are now the standard sizes uses by many photographers.
  • Cards with more memory cost more than cards with lower capacity, but store more images and often do so at a higher rate of speed.
  • The number of images that can be stored on a card is a function of the image sensor size, the resolution that you choose when setting your camera to capture images and the storage capacity of the card you are using
  • Software (usually supplied with your camera) is used to transfer the images from the card to a computer or another storage device.  Once the images have been transferred and erased. other images can be stored on the card.  In other words, memory cards are reusable.

High-resolution images gulp space on memory cards and you should decided the desired size and resolution of your photographs before you leave on the trip.

  • Most cameras display the number of images that can be fit on the memory card being used based on the choices that you make related to image size and resolution.
    • Make sure that you understand this relationship and take enough memory cards to capture the number of images that you might take during the vacation.
    • The images remain on the card until transferred to a computer or otherwise erased.
    • If you travel with a portable PC, you can transfer the images to the PC and clear the memory card.  An alternative strategy is to connect a portable hard drive to your portable computer and, also, save the images there for additional safety.
    • If not, you might be able to find an Internet Café and Transfer the images for storage at one of the many Internet sites specializing in digital photo services.
    • Some Internet Cafes have the ability to write your images onto a CD.
    • Alternatively, you can simplify the issue by carrying  extra memory cards.

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Be sure to carry an extra battery for you digital camera since it depends on electric power for all camera functions.  If you have a charger, take it with, but remember to take a power adapter, unless the charger is engineered to work with multiple power sources.

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