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  • #2195056

    Digital Camera downloading pictures


    by onbliss

    I am not even sure if I should be posting this at TR. But I thought we all being so techie :-)), some of you definitely would have some valuable suggestions. And I trust you guys more than the Best Buy Sales staff (hmmm am I comparing Apples to Oranges?).

    Anyway, the point is I will be going on a vacation, and I think I would be taking plenty of pictures each day using my Digital Camera (Canon for the curious). At the end of each day, I would like to download the pictures to a “device” so that my memory stick is ready for action the next day. Once back home, I should be able to download the pictures from this “device” to my home PC.

    I considered taking my laptop, but I will not be able to do take it. So my options are to buy:
    1) 2-3 more of memory sticks.
    2) The magical “device” (that you guys are going to suggest).

    Guys help me with your valuable suggestions.

All Comments

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    • #3106071


      by stargazerr

      In reply to Digital Camera downloading pictures

      If you dont want to take your laptop and will have access to a public computer … you can consider putting the pictures online and later downloading them when you get home …

      The only other option is, if you have a printer that accepts memory cards and has either a built in CD recorder, or a USB port that accepts external drives.

      Edited to add: Another thing you could do is set your camera on a lower setting so you can fit more pictures 馃榾


    • #3106054

      Memory sticks

      by old guy

      In reply to Digital Camera downloading pictures

      Kind of inline with Star, I bought a 512MB stick and I have a 256MB in my case. Are you planning on taking over a thousand pictures during your trip? If so, then the public PC might be good for you.

      • #3106035


        by onbliss

        In reply to Memory sticks

        …I am not sure how many pictures I will end up taking. To just give you an idea, when we went to Alaska and Hawaii…I ended up using 11+ rolls of films (on a 35mm). With a digital camera one tends to get little whacky and snap in more pictures (thinking that one will somehow find the time to delete the bad/unnecessary ones later)

        As kids will be travelling with us, I probably would just go crazy take more than the necessary pictures.

        • #3105975

          Kids travelling

          by old guy

          In reply to Dunno…

          Well, that’s what you’re supposed to do. Yes, you’ll probably take over a thousand. Buy more sticks.

          Post edited due to a wrong letter. Oh, my, how could I have done that??? :O

        • #3105936

          Kids everywhere…

          by onbliss

          In reply to Kids travelling

          …yeah thats what we do 馃檪 I would’nt just be able to travel without the kids. Neither would my wife. My eldest son (7yr old) loves travelling and going to places just as much as we do. We took him to Alaska, Hawaii, Rushmore when he was far younger.

        • #3105854

          why delete?

          by dr dij

          In reply to Dunno…

          I’ve got infinite storage for trips. i.e. more storage on 3″ dvd’s for megapixel stills than I can take pictures. This lets me not have to think if I should skip a good picture.

          On trails I get pix of everything.. This helps you enjoy too as you’re looking more closely and see more stuff. Sure there’ll be a few bad or blurry shots, so what! When I read into photo album, I delete the blurry ones.

    • #3106047


      by jkaras

      In reply to Digital Camera downloading pictures

      WHy cant you bring your laptop? That would be the best solution and it wouldnt cost you anything. Basically you need some sort of computer. At most hotels they have a computer to use for internet. I was just at a Radisson that was rather elite. They didnt even bother to use any filtering for web use. My buddy was joking and went to an adult site just to get me embarrassed. It actually went to it. I couldnt believe it as we ran out of there. Mostly they lock them down. If they have the pc wide open I would buy either a really nice thumb drive that had a decent amount of space or an external hdd. here are a few examples if you have the money
      There are more external hdds on Newegg that are larger in space and size requiring power that are just as expensive. To me I would buy a decent external hdd with good space. It will be more handy than an expensive thumb drive, but I can understand constraints of space when traveling. Newegg is a really good site to buy from. Some brands I dont know or fully trust, but their return policy is quite good and easy.

      • #3106029

        Reason for not taking laptop….

        by onbliss

        In reply to hmm…

        …I put into lots of money into my laptop Dell Inspiron 9300($2600) (17″ wide display and what not, and geared towards programming, also it is kind of bulky for travels).

        I do not want to take this out of the country. I will be travelling to Mexico…and just don’t want to get into any kind of hassle or end up damaging my laptop.

        If I can buy a cheap laptop ($200 bucks) in the next couple of days, then I would be willing to take that.

    • #3106046

      get the sticks

      by jdclyde

      In reply to Digital Camera downloading pictures

      if you watch the sales as well as places like you can find HUGE cards for little coin. They are small, and you can fit several in your camera case and never even notice they are there.

      I would number them so you don’t have to search through to see which ones you used already.

      As for if you should post it here, of course you should. I have gone much further than this on TR, and even got through a succesful divorce thanks to the GREAT people that come here. 馃榾

      I think of it more of a place techs go, not a place for tech. Anything that a tech deals with should be fair game. Just put it in the correct section. Matter of fact, the top three discussions of all time here are IE, my divorce, and a GWB discussion, in that order. All very non-tech related.

      • #3106022

        ishtick :-)

        by onbliss

        In reply to get the sticks

        Based on the replies so far, looks like I will end up buying some memory sticks.

        I thought, I had seen some gadgets that allows one to download the pics from the camera. But then considering that it might be an extra thing to carry along, it might be easy to carry few more 512Mb sticks.

        Yeah…I did see your divorce discussion. I wish TR splits the long discussions into pages. Some of those long discussions take time to load in firefox (I did not check it in IE). And, I too come here because of this “being a place where techs go” :-))

    • #3106044

      There is a device to download pix from

      by dr dij

      In reply to Digital Camera downloading pictures

      It’s a portable hard disk with memory stick slot just for this purpose, to upload your pix from memory cards.

      Can’t remember where I saw it but was just recently. CDW catalog? Dell catalog? You can probably find this but not sure how, amazon search, googling, digital camera site..

      I’m an inveterate picture taker. I can easily take about 1000 pix in a day (one day at Huntington Gardens, which was open from 12-4:30 took 1100 pix. This is up to two 1gig memory sticks equivalent PER DAY. To buy a weeks worth would be ridiculously expensive.

      However I have the ‘vacation solution’ camera: Sony 3megapixel video/still dvd cam. It writes to 3″ dvd’s which cost $3, (the +RW variety DOESN’T need to be finalized), these store 800 to 1000 pix at highest resolution + quality, 8000 or more at lower res tho not sure why someone would lower quality or resolution.

      It has ‘snap on’ lithium ion batteries, the largest size (which is pretty small) powers cam for 3 hours. 3 of these and you can shoot all day. chances are you’ll have power at nite so can recharge them.

      Alternately, if you’re going on a 5day backpack or canoe trip without electricity to recharge them, take about 5 of these along and with reasonable use should last a week.

      Take a pack of 5 to 10 disks along and you can even grab some full dvd quality video clips (they are 30min each video, or any mix of video and pictures on one disk)

      I was visiting my mom in Texas, and while she has a phone, has no internet provider so would have had to bring a portable along which I didn’t want to do if I couldn’t store them all.

      • #3106019

        Problem with my Sony camcorder…

        by onbliss

        In reply to There is a device to download pix from

        …is that it does not have a flash :-). So when I take the “still” pictures using that in low lights. The pictures come really bad to my disliking.
        I have a Sony TR11 that writes to a mini-DV. I tried fiddling with it, then decided I need a digital camera to accompany my TR11 馃檪

        I am just going on a 4/5 day trip to Cancun, Mexico. So I will be able to charge my AA rechargeable batteries at the Hotel.

        • #3106006

          Mine has 3 lights

          by dr dij

          In reply to Problem with my Sony camcorder…

          my old PC-10 DV cam didn’t have flash. My new dvd-403 does. Also I have the 3watt video light that plugs into the smart-shoe on top. & I have a separate 10w / 20w switchable sony self powered video light. I just hold this in other hand and shine on object I’m taking pix of.

          I use this mostly for stills, as it allows you to see what you’re taking pix of in dark areas and brings out the colors of plants, etc. and for closer than about 3 feet, the flash is useless, as it over-exposes the item. So video light required for closeups / macros. (and the sony’s allow macro to within 1cm of an item!)

          the sony self powered video light has a standard show mount (not the smart shoe on later cameras) if needed but draws power from the 12 or 15 hour lithium – ion (Lion for short) batteries.

          These only last 2 to 3 hours using the video light on 10watts with occastional 20watt use for dark items. However this is much better than ni-mh battery same size, which powers my older Sima light for 30 min max.

          There are LED video lights available from camera shops with much better battery life of course due to lower power of LEDs. And SOME regular LED lights could be used for photography.

          What you have to find tho is a light with an even light pattern. If there are any rings or differences of brightness it is useless for pictures. An even circle of light should be seen on a flat surface.

          Surprisingly, an LED headlamp I bought has a very even light circle, even if it is not as wide as the video light’s illumination.

    • #3106014


      by onbliss

      In reply to Digital Camera downloading pictures

      …so more sticks it is going to be. I will just hop to the friendly neighborhood Walmart and buy some 512MB sticks.


    • #3106003

      You mention the manufacturer, but not model.

      by ni70

      In reply to Digital Camera downloading pictures

      I’d look for the larger memory card available for your model. I recently purchased a Konica-Minolta Maxxum 5D with a 4GB memory card and a rechargeable battery that has a battery like of about 4-6 hours. Granted the 4GB memory card wasn’t cheap, about $100+ per gig. On a fully charged battery I was able to take over 1000 pictures at the highest resolution on the camera, and about 5 hours without recharging the battery. I recharged the battery for about an hour and got another 3 hours out of it before it completely died. Again, I’d look for the largest available memory card for your particular model, and possibly buying one or more. You might also want to buy a spare rechargeable battery, if you already have one, also bring your battery charger with you.

      • #3105983

        For that price I’d have 186 gigabytes perm storage

        by dr dij

        In reply to You mention the manufacturer, but not model.

        at $3 for 1.4 gig, if I spent 400$ I’d have 133 1.4gig disks that could store 186 gigabytes of still pix or full quality video.

        I think those portable disks are probably your cheapest option, just get enuf memory sticks for one day’s shots.

        I just picked up a 300 gig seagate external disk with usb conx for $140 (at Fry’d Computers). So ones with memory card slot shouldn’t be that much more.

      • #3105952

        Canon: IS S1

        by onbliss

        In reply to You mention the manufacturer, but not model.

        ..this model uses 4 AA batteries. So I need to keep several batteries handy. Ofcourse I have rechargeable AA batteries and charger.

        I somehow feel comfortable buying more sticks with smaller capacity than one stick with huge capacity.

    • #3105997

      Memory sticks on a Canon??As far as I know, or knew, memory sticks only …

      by sleepin’dawg

      In reply to Digital Camera downloading pictures

      appear on Sony cameras. What model of Canon camera are you using??? All my Canons take compact flash cards or SD cards. The standard cards with most Canons are 16 meg on their point and shoot cameras and 32 meg on their larger more sphisticated. Using 5 megapixels as a guideline a 16 meg chip should hold 5 shots at the superfine stting 9 shot on fine and 19 shots on normal, all that at 2592 x 1944 pixels which is the highest resolution possible on this camera. However, if you had a 1 gigabyte SD card those numbers would read 380 at superfine 678 at fine and a whopping 1340 shots at normal. Kingston has 1 gig chips sellin in the $70 area.Make sure it is one that can be written to fast. 380 shots at superfine is more than the equivalent of 15 rolls of 24 exposure 35mm film. On max resolution of 2592 x1944 a superfine will consume 2503 KB a fine will take 1395 KB and a normal will only require 695 KB.

      The next thing you should be thinking of is batteries. A set of Alkalines will yield about 120 – 130 shots with the LCD monitor or electronic viewfinder on. If you are using a set of rechargeable NiMH batteries you could expect about 550 shots with the LCD monitor on and about 570 shots with the electronic viewfinder switched on. I would expect you to have more problems with batteries than memory capacity assuming you go out and buy either a 512 MB card or stick or a 1 GB card. Of course these numbers change drastically as you go up from 5 megapixels and for a 12 – 14 megapixel camera you might want to have several 1 GB cards around. Go below 5 megapixels to say 3 or 4 Mega pixels and you would not need a 1 gigabyte card and could probably live quite comfortably with a 128 ; 256 ; or 512 MB cards. My suggestion is to have two sets of NiMH and a charger and if you are somewhere without power it would be nice to have a car charger or adapter. One other thing go on line and download a copy of Picasa. It’s free, fairly powerful and an easy way to handle arranging images and making mild adjustments. It doesn’t take up a lot of disk space and has an easy interface.

      Going to Cancun??? Bring Immodium. You can be as careful as you want, somebody, somewhere is going to put ice cubes made from local tap water in one of your drinks. You don’t want to be spending your vacation driving the porcelain bus.

      Good Luck.

      [b]Dawg[/b] ]:)

      • #3105989

        EZDigiMagic portable HD backup device

        by ni70

        In reply to Memory sticks on a Canon??As far as I know, or knew, memory sticks only …

        Here’s the link for google search on that device: [url=]EZDigiMagic[/url]. The one I saw is a 20GB device. I saw a 40GB in the results too. I’d definitely go with dawg’s suggestion on the NiMH batteries. Just last night I was kicking myself in the rear for not having a spare!

      • #3105982

        I’m with the Dawg on this one

        by neilb@uk

        In reply to Memory sticks on a Canon??As far as I know, or knew, memory sticks only …

        Mostly from his recommendation, I have a 1GB SD card in my Canon (and two sets of rechargable batteries) and I can’t think of how I’ll fill it! You can also clean out the shots that are obviously badly famed or over/under exposed and free up the space immediately.

        I didn’t even have to pay him for the advice 馃榾

        Just my f2’s worth.

      • #3105953

        I would recommend a lower megapixel setting…

        by unclerob

        In reply to Memory sticks on a Canon??As far as I know, or knew, memory sticks only …

        A couple years ago a 3.2 MP digital camera was the best you could get and not everyone shot at that resolution setting either.

        Truth be told, you’ll probably do fine 1.2 or 2.0 megapixel setting, why anyone bothers to shoot at higher resolution settings like 3, 4 or 5.0 megapixels just to have 4×6 prints developed is a mystery to me. The higher megapixel settings are meant to be used for pics you plan on developing into larger than normal size prints (ie. 8×10, 16×20, wall sized prints, etc.) If you’re just shooting pics to develop as 4×6 & 5×7’s, don’t waste space on your memory sticks, compact flash, SD or whatever memory card standard you’re using.

        I personally have a newer 5.0 megapixel Sony (just a preference of mine, I’ve used other cameras but Sony digital camera’s just seem easier to use) with a great sized LCD viewing screen in the back (something like 2.5″ or 3″), shooting at 5 MP results in images that over 2-3mb in size, I’ve toned it down to 1.2 MP and never looked back. Not only do I get literally hundreds of images per memory stick, they’re easier to upload to the photolab developer site, easier to email to friends, and take up less HD space on my pc and I can fit way more on a CD or DVD.

        If I have a hankering for developing larger prints, that’s when I bump up the megapixel setting to 4 or 5. Even then I have to wonder how large a picture I could develop – I’ve developed awesome 8×10’s from the 1.2 MP setting just to test out the quality, how large a picture could I develop from a 5.0 MP setting? 2′ x 3′, 4’x6′ (that’s feet I’m referring to not inch’s).

        The megapixel number is more marketing hype than useable functionality, the problem is your average consumer doesn’t know this.

        – just my 0.02 cents cdn, feel free to agree or disagree.

        Heck I forgot the reason we’re posting this info in the first place: As far as a solution, if you’re trip destination has photolabs, they probably have the equipment that can download the images stored on your digital camera’s memory card (the photolabs in my area are all equipped with self service pc workstations that allow you to plug in your memory card into their 9 in 1 card readers, and you could have the photolab burn the images on to a cdrom for a nominal fee. The only problem is that there’s always the possibility that you damage the photo cd before you return home, to take care of this you could then find an internet cafe or some other place with pc’s & internet access and email the files from your recently created photolab backup cdrom to your personal email address or setup a yahoo mail or gmail account as they have plenty of storage space (I can’t say enough good things about my gmail account, almost at 3gb storage space now, anyone need a gmail invite?) This way you have the cd copy as your backup and another backup copy of your images stored in your email account. This is a less technical way of doing things albeit considerably more effort required to accomplish than some type of hardware device made for this function but the method I’ve come up with is probably cheaper.

        thx… rob,wpg

        • #3105940

          I am seriously going to dwell on your suggestion…

          by onbliss

          In reply to I would recommend a lower megapixel setting…

          …to take pictures at lower megapixels. Like you said, most of the time I take pictures to develop as 4×6 or 5×7.


        • #3105935

          advantage of higher pixels

          by jdclyde

          In reply to I am seriously going to dwell on your suggestion…

          sometimes you want to blow it up to make that 8×10. I have that option later on.

          sometimes there is a section I want to crop off. If I have a higher resolution, I can enlarge a section without getting grainy as quickly.

          get the bigger card and get the best you can.

          You only have one chance to get “that pic” sometimes, and if you have it in a higher resolution, you have more options available to you later on.

          The best is none too good for me! B-)

        • #3105903

          I agree

          by dr dij

          In reply to advantage of higher pixels

          and I’d never set the quality less than the max for jpegs (tho maybe I’d set as highest jpeg vs ‘RAW’ format which is huge)

          I had problem, someone took pix I had to use with nikon coolpix and at whatever setting they used, the background color (outdoors – shades were similar) but became ONE exact color, so the whole background is solid/blotchy, looked terrible!

          Of course that is because I have basically ‘infinite’ storage for pix, meaning I can take with me as many mini-dvd disks as I could ever fill with pictures in the alloted time.

        • #3286334

          just an example at 1.2 megapixel setting,

          by unclerob

          In reply to I am seriously going to dwell on your suggestion…

          I can take almost 380-400 pictures on one 256mb memory stick, at 2.0 megapixel setting, I can get almost 200 pictures on my 256mb memory stick.

          However if you do plan on making large size prints, use the higher megapixel setting on your camera, that’s it what it’s for. Otherwise for just 4×6, 5×7 pics, leave it at the lower res setting. Test it out before the trip to see the results and then make your decision.

      • #3105948

        Yeah it is SD…

        by onbliss

        In reply to Memory sticks on a Canon??As far as I know, or knew, memory sticks only …

        …I just used “memory stick” kind of losely. :-)) Yup I have sufficient AA batteries and a charger to go with it.

        Thanks for you tip regarding Immodium 馃檪 We had it in our checklist.

      • #3105944

        Once bitten…

        by onbliss

        In reply to Memory sticks on a Canon??As far as I know, or knew, memory sticks only …

        ..we were driving through Custer State Park. And we saw a good sized herd of Buffaloes coming our way. I started taking pictures as well as movie clips (on the camcorder). Imagine when the herd was very close to the road,my batteries conked out 馃檨 I can’t remember which one (camer or video camcorder) that died. I did not have any spare at that moment. Imagine my anger at myself.

        Ever since, I make it a point to carry extra batteries, mini-DVs, film rolls etc.

    • #3285962

      Here is a good device at a good price

      by zlitocook

      In reply to Digital Camera downloading pictures
      And go to for alot of other cool stuff, I just bought $200 looking for what you wanted:(

      • #3285748

        USB Bridge

        by onbliss

        In reply to Here is a good device at a good price

        It looks like I would still need an output device that I have to connect to the USB Bridge to store the pictures. It means I would have to get some USB flash drives or some other portable storage device.

        • #3286253

          EZDigiMagic doesn’t need a bridge or PC…

          by ni70

          In reply to USB Bridge

          to transfer your images from the memory card to the portable hard drive. Don’t know if cost is a factor, but this device runs about $245.00.

          [url=] EZDigiMagic DM180[/url]

          * EZDigiMagic? DM180 20 Gigabyte Backup Device by EZPnP is the perfect portable storage drive device to download flash memory cards, back up HDDs, or transport and store data safely.
          * This tiny backup drive offers one-touch copy from flash memory card to 1.8 20GB hard disk, no PC needed.
          * Compact, stylish palm-size design uses built-in rechargeable Li-ion batteries.
          * EZDigiMagic DM180 portable drive supports most digital camera flash memory cards.
          * High speed data transfer rate, USB 2.0 speed up to 480 Mb/s.
          * Large back-lit LCM display for user-friendly interface and data access.
          * EZDigiMagic DM180 is fully compatible with USB 1.1 specifications.
          * Versatile design lets you use EZDigiMagic DM180 as an external hard drive and flash memory card reader.
          * Able to recharge internal batteries from powered USB port.
          * EZDigiMagic DM180 provides memory card compatibility with Compact Flash? Type I and II, MicroDrive?, Multi Media Card?, SD Secure Digital?, Memory Stick?, Memory Stick Pro? and xD? Cards.
          * Interface: USB 2.0 interface port (Backward compatibility with USB 1.1).
          * OS Support: Windows XP?, Windows ME?, Windows 98SE?, Windows 2000 SP3?.
          * Portable drive dimensions: 3.2 W x 3.6 H x 1.25 L inches/82W x 92L x 32H mm.
          * EZDigiMagic 20GB DM180 Palm-Sized Backup Drive weighs 6.4 oz./192g. [/b]

          [i][b]Disclaimer[/b]: I have no affilation with EZPnP[/i]

        • #3286220

          seems there’s a whole bunch of these

          by dr dij

          In reply to EZDigiMagic doesn’t need a bridge or PC…

          jobo, 40gig, $179, usb 2.0 to transfer to computer when you get home, plus all the memory card type slots to fit any memory card to move them to this device.

          epson p2000, 40gig, $449, in addition to above, has color lcd screen for viewing pix. (lovely wiz-bang gadget 馃檪

          I think both are battery powered
          and there’s probably other brands.

 has these both, and you can probably find them on amazon.

          creative, of soundblaster fame, has one that is solid state and mp3 player also!

          it has color oled screen, under $250, takes memory cards of some type in photo mode

    • #3105428

      Downloading device

      by dhedgpeth

      In reply to Digital Camera downloading pictures

      I use a digital wallet. These units have a CF reader built in, battery (can charge using car 12vand/or 110v)and mine holds 30 GB of data. You can but them on eBay for around $100 US. They are small, easy to pack, and use a USB to hookup to a computer. If you fill yp the digital wallet, you can go to a Kinko’s and download it to a free photo site or on-line storage site until you get home.

      • #3264427

        Maybe you

        by dr dij

        In reply to Downloading device

        have a brand, model that you use that you could tell us?

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