Can anyone recommend a fairly simple but GOOD 35mm digital for the trip to Italy? Also, any suggestions for downloading pics to disk to clear the memory cards, and portable photo printers?
I have a Panasonic Lumix FX01. It was <$200, it's tiny and lightweight, it has many great features typical of digitals and a great quality reputation. What I really like about it is that it has a wide angle (28-102 mm), which is great for tourist-scenery pictures. Wide angle lenses include more scenery in a picture.
Whatever you get, make sure you buy a memory card that is at least 1 gig (usually an upgrade, but not very expensive). That means you can store all of the pics you take on your trip without ever having to download to free up space.
If you want to download pics during your trip, you can go into any photo shop in Europe, and they'll download the pics onto a CD for you. You can also get prints. Or you can take the cable that comes with the camera, plug it into a PC in an internet cafe, and upload pics to a website (snapfish is one example). But, you have to have access to the USB port on a PC, and you don't always have in those places.
I bought this one and love it for its size. It has tons of features similar to our larger digital but fits in your pocket. I am not an expert, but this one does what I need.
I don't think that link worked. Here is the info:
Pentax Optio A30 10.0MP Ultra-Compact Digital Camera
Sleek and stylish, the Optio A30 digital camera fits easily in your pocket or travel bag so you can snap super shots just about anywhere. Its 10.0 megapixel resolution ensures images that are crisp and bright. A 2.5" diagonal TFT color LCD display offers a clear view, whether you're setting up a scene, capturing your subject, or reviewing your results. From Pentax.
Includes camera, USB cable, A/V cable, lithium-ion battery, battery charger, AC plug cord, photo-editing software CD-ROM, and strap
3X optical zoom
5.4X digital zoom
16.3X total zoom
22MB internal memory
2.5" diagonal TFT color LCD display with bright mode
Image stabilization technology
Five-point TTL auto focus system
AF assist lamp
Macro/super macro focus
+/-2 EV exposure compensation
White balance control
Auto ISO sensitivity
Multiple capture modes
I have a small 3x optical 5 meg sony that I have taken all over Europe. I love the 2.5" LCD, the quick shot time, and the batteries. Make sure that you get a camera that uses AA's, or re-charges really fast. I use a quick charger that re-charges my AA NiMH fast, anywhere in the world, and I keep spares with me thoughout the day. A 1 meg card is also a must.
BUT, I would NEVER buy only a 3X optical camera again....can't capture a lot of the far away stuff....next time I want at least 6X, in a camera that will fit in my pocket.
THis may be a bit more than you want - but Id HIGHLY recommend a Nikon D40. Its so light - but has so much of the DSLR big-brother features. I was amazed how light it was with the 18-55mm lens. Its not that big either - unless you want a super compact one. The nice thing is it works with many other lenses so your "investment" will last and allow you to expand/grow if thats what you want. If you want a cheaper-300$ range - then go to Best Buy or Costco and look around (some have decent help there). Also - get a 2gb card (or 2) they hold a lot! If you have a newer Ipod already - there is a $30 adapter that allows you to download from many cameras to the Ipod as if it were a PC. (this way you have 30-80GB of space and dont need to worry about CDs or too many cards!
Here's a good website if you want to spend some time making a decision that fits you best.
If not I have the following advice:
1. Most digital cameras are pretty good and it’s hard to make a bad selection if you chose a well known brand name so avoid the cheapest.
2. The higher the pixels the bigger the image can be if you chose to enlarge or use software to crop. Over 3 mg is preferred.
3. Buy a camera which uses SD add-on memory. My local Wal-mart is selling a 1 gig add-on chip for $14.88. I bought 7 for my trip. Therefore with one chip you can have a capacity of 500-2,000 pictures.
4. Buy a camera which uses 2AA rechargeable batteries (brand does not matter). Wal-mart has recharger with 4 batteries for less than $20. Higher price buys you nothing.
5. Use your flash on almost every picture where the subject is less than 25 feet (it costs nothing).
6. LCD 2" or larger is +
I use a Nikon Coolpix L6 & a Panasonic LZ2.
What's the difference between taking regular pictures and wide-screen (16:9 ratio)? I keep reading that wide-screen is better for traveling and taking scenery pictures. I ask because I have a nice digital camera with awesome 12x optical zoom, but no wide-screen. However, my mom has a newer model that has 6x optical zoom but has 16:9 capability. Should I borrow my mom's for my trip? Is the 16:9 capability more important than zoom?
I have the Canon Digital Rebel. It is FABULOUS for travel. I also have a good telephoto lense for it. Rather than trying to download it or print it while traveling, I have three cards for it - two 512 megs and one full gig.
Three good batteries fully charged gets me through 1200+ photos (I take lots of photos) without recharging.
I also carry a small point and shoot Olympus D-520 zoom. It is getting a little old but still works great.
What do you mean by "35mm digital"?
A 35mm camera is a film camera. A digital is a digital. My first thought was that you meant a dSLR (the type of camera that takes interchangeable lenses, etc...). But lots of responses seem to be recommending small cameras of the point & shoot variety along with dSLR's.
Are you the type who is most interested in getting the best shot, even if it means lugging around a camera pack with multiple lenses, etc... or are you happy with something that's a little more "automatic" that won't require too much fiddling, which means you'll be holding up your travel group to get just "the right" shot?
Debra, regarding the 16x9, I think that's for those who view their photos on high-def plasma televisions. They will fill the screen better, but with the shorter/wider aspect ratio, they may be good for wide landscape views. But a well framed shot in high resolution in a typical ratio can be cropped. You just need to have enough image to crop.
I bought a Bell & Howell 35 mm camera at Walmart. It was around $120.00. Best investment I made. It takes clear, crisp, sharp pictures.
Steve - thanks for correcting my original posting. I DID mean the d-slr with interchangable lenses, and yes I am willing to lug around a heavier camera with an extra lens or two. Good news though: since I have no patience with anyone holding up an entire group for any personal purpose, I'd be one of the courteous ones! Although most replies referred to the smaller digitals, I was happy to have made the initial posting since I am sure there are others out there looking for that small, compact, sharp camera.
Thanks to all of you and if there are d-slr folks out there happy with their camera, I hope to hear from you. What lenses would you recommend? THANKS!
My Canon Digital Rebel is an SLR. ($900 for base camera) It is not that heavy = compared to my film SLR!!! It weighs about 5 pounds - including lense. The telephoto is a bit heavier - but I lug it all in a backpack that I've fitted for camera gear.
Ideally, I would suggest both a telephoto and a wide-angle lense. If I had to choose one of those 2, I would go with the wide-angle. Mine is 28mm and it's been the best. With the wide-angle, you can get a lot into one photo. Granted, things look smaller with the wide-angle, but it's not been a problem for me. There have been times when I've just left the wide-angle on for hours at a time.