Help me with digital camera stuff

matt85

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ive never been one for understanding fancy tech stuff like digital cameras or smart phones but ive found myself wanting a decent camera for Africa.

im currently looking at the Panasonic ZS40K, I can currently get one for $350 and the features seem good for a small pocket camera.

my question is, how much memory should I buy? the cards on amazon range from 8gb to 128gp with all sorts of different brands claiming stuff I don't understand about (im seriously behind times). any special I should be looking for in a memory card?

thanks!
-matt
 

KWALATA SAFARIS

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BRICKBURN!
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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Agreed, @BRICKBURN needs to chime in here. I don't know the model camera you're looking at from any other, but a few general thoughts:

1. Don't get too swayed with the megapixels. More doesn't always mean better, sometimes it's just more. Do your research on this.

2. No need to buy a huge memory card. Large format pics from my Canon SLR take up a few MB of memory. So an 8GB card will hold thousands of pictures. It's not likely you'll take thousands of pics while hunting, you just don't have the time. So a card with say 16GB should be fine. And, take a backup card, they do sometimes fail.

3. Backup, backup, backup! When I go to Africa, I take my laptop and download my pics every night. As mentioned, memory cards occasionally fail. If you don't backup the pics in some manner, you're putting faith that the card will be fine when you do finally download it. If your card takes a dump at that time, you'll be just a tad upset.
 
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Ridge Top Ranch

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Agree on back up. We downloaded every night to computer and also copied to flash drive as well. AND take pictures of everything from trophies to scenery to trees to bugs! Take close ups and take pics of everything and everyone in camp. You can always sort through them later.
 

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You bring up a good point here Phil with the computer. I was think of bringing mine but was hesitant incase customs on either side gave me any crap about it.
 

James.Grage

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Look at B & H

http://www.bhphotovideo.com

Call the Photo department at 1-800-947-7785

Camera wise i use Sony and Nikon, all are able to make movies clips if i want to go this route. And i have a Sony movie camera i take along that can be used as a camera also.

Memory cards, i tend to stay with 16 or 32GB (all but 2 cards are this) - I stay with the best, so i use Lexar Professional.

Obtain a Lexar card reader for quick up loading of your data.

For my trips to Africa, i take 3 cameras, i large body, i pocket size and one Sony movie for back up.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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You bring up a good point here Phil with the computer. I was think of bringing mine but was hesitant incase customs on either side gave me any crap about it.

I've done it twice with no problems. But, it would be worth putting it on your 4457 in case some clown at U.S. Customs things you went to Africa to buy a computer!
 

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Thanks. That's exactly what I was wondering. I think I might go ahead and take mine then as well as my back up equipment. I plan on taking several cameras.
 

BRICKBURN

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James has suggested a decent site for a review of the camera itself if you have any concerns.
There are a few things that would give me pause personally. Format/Operating System, etc. because I run on Apple.

Take a demo camera out and give it a spin, if you can. See how it fits, feels and operates. My grippers are huge and holding a big SLR is no issue for me. Those little pocket cameras are hard for me to operate. Just check it out before you buy it.

Memory: Highest quality you can afford. LEXAR or SANDISK are good quality. Skip the professional priced ones. You are not going to be operating at 30 below, etc.

Stick to smaller sized cards (not 1 TB size), relatively and switch them out.
Insurance against failure. It does happen. Having extras won't hurt.
If you are deadly serious about keeping your photos safe bring a backup device for storage. I bring a computer AND a rugged hard drive everywhere. There are always two copies of everything, every day or even half day if I break for lunch.

In a memory card there used to be issues about compatibility with different cameras. Speed mostly.
Image processing in the camera faster/slower than the card could record the information.
Obviously a card that was too slow for the camera caused most issues.
Think of them like mini hard drives.
Flash memory changed everything.

Your proposed camera has built in memory and can use the following format cards:
SD
SDHC
SDXC
Here is SANDISKS explanation of the different formats of the cards.
You'll likely want the SDHC cards.

http://kb.sandisk.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2520/~/sd/sdhc/sdxc-specifications-and-compatibility

If you want to hurt your head a bit and read about it go to this link.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/hands-review/fastest-memory-cards-money-can-buy

CAPACITY
SD-Capacity.jpg


BURST SPEED
UHS.jpg


SPEED CLASS
SPEED-CLASS_0.jpg




Now that you are back to being confused and scared of all this crap.

You DO NOT NEED THE FASTEST, BIGGEST card on the planet. HONEST.
Your selected camera can not even come close to using this cards power. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY.

1030992_2.jpg



Image format changes the size of your files immensely. RAW and LJPEG take up space. You are not likely going to be doing photos to blow up to the size of a wall mural. So JPEG will do just fine.
Your camera can shoot RAW. Just know it will use up memory. If you think you are going to get an urge to buy Photoshop Pro and screw with the images later, shoot in RAW. Buy more cards.

If you are doing simple snap shots to chronicle a trip then you are likely going to set the camera on auto and just go.
You'll be in JPEG mode and will have lots of space.

Have a safe storage area for your cards when not in the camera. Dust, water, sand, feet, sun will do them in.


Although many people don't take a thousand pictures, I do. Take lots, practice and chronicle everything. You'll be amazed at all the things you do not recall until you see the picture.


Have fun. Take lots of pictures and share them here. :)
 

Divernhunter

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I took lots of photos.
I would take 2-3+ of the same thing. I can delete the ones I do not like later. I used 32GB cards mostly. I brought home over 2000 photos and would have brought more if I would have thought about starting to take photos sooner than I did.
I had a good pocket cameras and bought a Nikon 3200 at Costco with carrying case and 2 lenses. I also took a digital movie camera but never used it. I also did not use the movie setting on the Nikon. Next time I will try to use the movie camera. Take extra cards. I took 8 and gave one to the PH when his got filled so he would not have to delete any photos.
Take extra batteries or if the camera uses a rechargeable get an extra and do not forget your rechargers and power adapter. I got mine at Tmart.com and they were cheap. Most of the time I just recharged the factory battery pack but it was nice to have a back-up which I did use when I forgot to charge the factory one.

My 2 Cents
 

ArmyGrunt

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Nikon D40X DSLR, Samsung Galaxy pocket camera. I took several SD cards, but only used the first one in either camera. I ended up with about 2400 photos, and neither of my 16 GB cards were remotely close to being full. I took photos off a boatload of stuff. I think my PH was getting annoyed at me at times, but he just let me carry on. I had an extra battery for the DSLR in my camelback just in case. The other one I made sure to charge nightly. I had too much crap in my pack to take the laptop, but my faith in technology paid off without any failure.
 

matt85

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BRICKBURN

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You can ask the camera dealer straight up.
Panasonic suggests that you use Panasonic cards . LOL
That SanDisk will be more than enough for your camera.


Make the guy at the store explain it to you. That is their job. Honest.
 

ActionBob

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So Matt :P Rambo: to permanently fix this dilemma:E Pissed: your going to have to cut down on :D Booze:and :K Playboy:. Find a nice young lady:S Boobs: :P Gorgeous: :K Flirting: and get married :K Kissy:, then produce a child :K Over 18: :P Baby: and with in a few short years :S Hbd: you will have a resident electronics expert!

Of course that won't help on this trip.... But if you find a nice young lady who knows electronics and photography:A Photo:, it would make one damned impressive date :K Flowers: and you could go from there.:K Crazy Love:
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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You know @matt85, @ActionBob makes a good point here. Thanks to the cold that was passed to me in Vegas, I'm not sure what that is, and I'm also equally sure there is some sort of snarky big bore joke here that would apply......but I'll be durned if I can come up with one.......:E Doh:
 

matt85

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id be happy if i could find a woman that would even be neutral on the issue of sport hunting. here in WA about 99% of the people think im a monster for killing critters for fun. i swear i live in the wrong state... way too many bunny humpers here.

brickburn, ill just buy that ScanDisk card and hope for the best. going to an electronics store is rather tough with my scheduel. if it doesnt work then im out $14 and its not a big deal.

-matt
 

ActionBob

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.......way too many bunny humpers here.

I wanted to be a bunny humper at one point ;) :K Playboy: Or are you talking different "bunnys"?
 

James.Grage

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If you like some free lessons in using your camera.

Go to Digital Camera and sigh up for their e mails.

Also some other companies offer free on line classes. If you like i could post the web link for the classes...
 

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I have learned a lot by just going to a dedicated camera/photo shop. The big box stores have better prices but the specialty shops typically have better knowledge in my opinion. I bought a Canon DSLR and love it. I have two lenses and it all rides along in my pack in protective cases while I hunt. I have shot both HD video and some really awesome photos with it. I was really over whelmed when I bought the camera and just shot all photos in auto mode at first. It just takes time to read about photography and experiment with the camera to obtain awesome photos. As far as memory cards, my advice is that if you use your camera for video (especially HD) get bigger and faster cards. If you only shoot photos the smaller cards work just fine. Do some research and set realistic expectations on what you want your camera to do and buy a camera that fits those needs.
Dave
 

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