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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.  Whatever you do, don't forget the batteries.


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

Digital Cameras - If you don't have one, read this article.

Digital cameras are the most popular camera type due to the ease of displaying these pictures on PC’s and sending images to friends via email.  In addition, most new digital cameras can take video, as well as still, making them very popular.

Digital cameras have the advantage that you can compose a picture, take it, and immediately view the picture on the small preview screen that is part of the camera. If the picture does not meet your standards, you can erase it from the memory card  and take another picture. 

Digital cameras store images on memory cards that capture a picture in a numeric format that represents the image characteristics as captured by the cameras image sensor.  Most modern sensors are quite good and the differences between cameras are in image resolution and imaging features.

  • Memory Cards are available in different capacities and formats ranging from Megabytes to Gigabytes. Memory cards come in a variety of formats and you must purchase the format used by your camera to store images.
  •  Cards with more memory cost more than cards with lower capacity, but store more images images.
  • The number of images that can be stored on a card is a function of the image size and 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, other images can be stored on the card.  In other words, memory cards are reusable, unlike film.

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.
    • 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 (e.g. or ).
    • Some Internet Cafes have the ability to write your images onto a CD.
    • Alternatively, you can simplify the issue by carrying an extra memory card to two.

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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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