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Digital Photography in Europe, 2007

We took two Canon 350D cameras, one with a 17 to 85 mm USM IS zoom lens (35mm equivalent 27 to 135) and the other with a 70 to 300 mm USM IS zoom lens (35mm equivalent 120 to 480). With two of us taking photographs and the risks to the sensor of changing lenses we found the two bodies to be well worthwhile.

We used 4 GB camera memory cards, one in each camera. We downloaded the images to a laptop computer so we started with clean cards most days. We always shot in RAW+JPEG so each 8-megapixel image consumed a total of about 15 MB.

We used a Sony VAIO TX laptop computer. Its small and very light but a bit slow for a modern computer. The main problem was the 60 GB hard drive which was marginal by the time we had installed VISTA and the “junk” that Sony insist on including and I haven’t yet found how to clean out. We used a 160 GB external hard drive for primary image storage with a backup on the internal drive while there was space available. We have found that we don’t use the JPEG images recorded by the camera and next time, I will try shooting in RAW only, which does save a little space.

The images were imported into Photoshop Lightroom daily. Lightroom ran very well on this ultra-portable laptop and it was easy to add keywords and captions to the images, “in the field”. When we got home, it was easy to copy the images and their metadata into Lightroom (version 1.1 or later) on our desktop computer, by connecting the external hard drive to the desktop computer.

We do not delete images, either from the camera or the hard drive, unless they are a total disaster. We do not have the time to examine the photos carefully (nor a large screen – the laptop is 11 inches) and we also find that our opinion of some images changes over time. So, we bring everything home.

We took three rechargeable camera batteries and two multiple-voltage battery chargers with adapters for South American sockets. This was satisfactory.

Overall, the trio of digital camera, laptop computer, and hard drive worked, for us and our needs.

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