Travel Advice - Bring extra memory cards and batteries
Digital Camera needs
If you carry a stand-alone digital camera, you need to consider whether your
memory cards will be sufficient for the number of pictures that you might
want to take while on vacation. In addition, photography and
viewing your pictures will eat up the camera's electrical power,
so consider the recommendations below:
- See our article on
or the owner's manual for your camera to be sure you understand the
amount of storage your digital images require for photos taken at the
resolution (and size) that you prefer.
Memory Cards and Image Storage
- Bring multiple memory cards, the number should be based on their
capacity and the number of images you think you will take while on
- If you are serious about your photography, you may want to carry a
portable computer equipped with a card reader so you can transfer your
photos from the memory card to the hard disk of your computer and then
re-use the memory card for capturing new images.
- Be sure to buy the correct memory card for your camera.
- In addition, if you are going to take movies, you will need a memory
card that is rated for the capture of video.
- Read your camera guide to determine the requirements for your
- We advise bringing an external hard disk for your computer and using
it as a secondary backup for your images. Yes, this is a case of
belts and suspenders, but how often will you take that trip of a
- You can transfer images from your PC using to online storage
services like Dropbox, but uploading a large number of images can be
prohibitively expensive, at least based on the Wi-Fi costs we have
experienced at many hotels around the world.
- In addition, most hotel data networks are very slow and you might
not have enough time to upload your images before you move on, if, for
example, you capture hundreds each day.
- Be sure to buy a second rechargeable battery designed for use with
your digital camera and always take a matched battery charger on your
vacation. Charge your camera's batteries overnight so you are ready for
the next day.
- Professional photographers usually take several batteries with them
while on assignment.
- Proper battery management requires that you let the battery
completely discharge at least once a month (use it until it no longer
works, then recharge it.)
- If your destination is international, and your camera is not
designed to work with common international voltages, carry a power
converter kit so that you can recharge the camera's battery.
- If your camera's recharger is one that works internationally, you
may need to buy an adapter plug that fits the power receptacles of the
countries you plan to visit. (See our
article on power converters and
power plugs and another on
On a recent river tour from Budapest to Amsterdam, a good friend of
ours took an expensive digital SLR (DLSR) camera to capture the wonders of
river travel in Europe. Unfortunately, the camera's system board failed
three-days into the trip due to exposure to rain. The rest of the
trip was memorialized using a simple point an shoot camera, which
was certainly better than no pictures at all.
We advise all travelers to take at least two cameras, just in case
one fails. Point and shoots are small and quite reasonably priced.
Of course, you could always use your camera phone in a pinch, but we
think you might get better results with a dedicated device.
But what to do about damp weather? If you have a DLSR, you need
to protect it from the rain. You can buy camera raincoats as one
form of protection.
Unfortunately, a common cause of camera failure is moving the device
between cold and warm environments which produces condensation on and in
the camera. One method of trying to avoid this is when returning
to your room place the camera in a Ziploc bag and add a packet or two of
silica gel (available from many electric supply companies). The
silica will help to absorb the water and may protect your camera,
although there are no guarantees.
If you need to find information about Destinations or other Things
Travelers Need To Know, try Googling ThereArePlaces.
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