how many compact flash cards

Discussion in 'Travel' started by kevincherney, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. I will be travelling to New Zealand and roratonga for three weeks in March. I am new to digital (have been using film for over 15 years. I am trying to fiqure out how many cards or memory I should bring with me. I do not use a laptop or a portable hard drive to take the images off.
    Can anyone give me some indication on how many cards or amount of memory they would bring for a three week trip.
    As a side note, all photographs will be done in Jpeg and RAW.
    with thanks
  2. I depends to some extent what camera you have. The larger the pixel count on your camera the fewer shots you can get on your card. It also depnds on how trigger happy you are. I tend to bracket shots quite a bit especially if I think it looks good.
    Taking large jpg and RAW I would expect to fill 2GB to 4GB a day on average using my 12 MP Canon 5D.
  3. david_henderson


    Until you've wandered round somewhere like Mexico looking for CF cards, or spent part of every evening looking for pictures to delete to create a bit of space the daftness of taking a risk in this area does not become truly apparent. I actually use about 1GB per day with my 5D, but I travel with twice that.
  4. To be on the safe side, on a trip like that, I'd take at least 10-12 8gb cards. I do wonder why the aversion to using a portable HD (or 2) to download as you go?
  5. Make your best estimate based on your previous travel shooting and double it. Actually, triple or quadruple it. People tend to get carried away with digital, being free from traveling with 100 rolls of film and changing rolls every 36 exposures (and having the wrong film at the wrong time). Find out how many images you can get per gigabyte and go from there.
    I see no point in shooting both JPEG and RAW files. If this is a place you won't get back to soon, stick with RAW only - you'll get a better percentage and don't have to worry about white balance.
    You also might also reconsider your aversion to laptops and hard drives. I shoot 200 to 400 frames a day when traveling, which would require a lot of cards over 15 days. In fact, I carry four cards, a laptop and DVD burner, and back everything up nightly to HDD and DVD. You could buy a couple of laptops for the price of 30 8G cards.
  6. you could also buy a HD-reader device, and just bring a few flash cards.
  7. Sometimes in an unusual place, I suprise myself with the number of images I expose. I use 4G cards because that's what will fit on one dvd with leaving a little free space, and sometimes have used two in a day, but usually one is enough.
  8. When we went to New Zealand 3 years ago there were plenty of places where you could get CF cards transferred to CD's for a reasonable price. Still take plenty of cards. We did but were soon glad we could dump them to CD. We ended up doing that every 3-4 days,
    One of our neighbors who had gone says, "New Zealand is so beautiful that at every turn in the road you will want to stop & take a picture." She's right. When we returned. We agreed, but told her that she forgot to say how twisty, turny the roads were!"
    What are you planning to visit? How long will you be there? Enjoy - I'm getting nostalgic & jealous.
  9. "I am trying to fiqure out how many cards or memory I should bring with me."​
    The short answer is simple. It's only a matter of how many photos you will take multiplied by the size of your files.
    The long answer is........ it depends. On a slow travel day, I might get off only 200 shots. On a real exciting photogenic day, it could be 1,000. Since you have no idea how many photos you will take, consider at least picking up a portable HD to back up your data. This assumes you will be somewhere that has a computer you can access. If there is no computer available, something like the Epson P-6000 is excellent but costs as much as a laptop.
  10. No one will be able to estimate the amount of images YOU will take. Probably coming from film you won't be pressing the shutter button every second, but then when the weather changes you might prefer to take a lot of images - not to mention HDR that (when used correctly) can be amazing.
    If you will consider a portable HDD - they can backup memory cards w/o a laptop, there're some enclosures that can be had for $20-30 (sans HDD) - doesn't even scratch the price of a laptop and is quite compact. Bring enough cards to last a very busy day (8GB in any combination will suffice unless you're shooting sports/wildlife) and dump the cards' content to both drives in the evening (just pop the card in the slot and press the [Backup] button, can even be done on the way back to your hotel if you carry the drives with you). I tend to carry one with me at all times and leave the other in the hotel when possible.
  11. If you will consider a portable HDD - they can backup memory cards w/o a laptop, there're some enclosures that can be had for $20-30 (sans HDD)
    If you can't verify the results and further back them up to a durable medium (e.g., DVD), they aren't really backed up.
  12. hey,
    just spent 10 weeks around SE asia, took over 60gb of photos, i took a 16gb and 2gb cf cards and my laptop and also burnt them to DVDs as i was going as a back up.
    NZ is a bit expensive for high end cards, best option is to bring a laptop or ext HD
  13. If you're not going to download your cards each night onto a laptop or a storage device, I recommend not using really large cards. I'd stick with 2, 4 or 8 GB cards. Remember, if a card fails, you may lose all the data. Better to not lose that many frames. I play it safe with many smaller-size cards.
  14. If you are a film guy, new to digital, you could get by with one 8GB card provided you took pics like you do with film... very carefully and very few. However, you will rapidly discover that digital allows you to shoot differently... like a bow & arrow hunter who is given a machine gun and free bullets.
    Buy an Ipod 120 GB Classic for $250 and the photo link device they sell (call Apple to get the right one). This way you get to use it for photos when travelling, but then get to use it as an Ipod when at home. Also, carry the Ipod in your inner pocket, not leaving it in the car as low-life predators in NZ do target tourist carparks, despite the overall image of a safe country.
    I maxed a 60 GB Ipod in 2006 with 7,000 images JPG off a Canon 5D in six weeks. If I shot raw, it would have maxed after 2 weeks or less. In my case, because the pics were for professional use, and the loss would have been catastrophic, I carried a laptop on my back with all the pics, and every night made a copy to the Ipod that I left with my luggage in the hotel. I had one 8 GB CF card in the camera, plus a 1GB CF card in case the 8 GB broke. Did full transfer every night to the laptop, and then deleted pics not worth keeping and then made a backup on the Ipod.
    While you say you won't take a laptop, why not? TheASUS Eee PC 1000HA costs $350 with 160 HD and you can view your images and dump the ones not worth keeping.
    Alternatively, sign up with Picasa, and upload your pics at a cyber cafe every day.
  15. Hi Kevin,
    Although I'd be inclined to back up to a storage device or laptop, you can't go too far wrong even if you run out, as cards are readily available to buy in (at least) the main centres here in New Zealand. Reputable photo stores include (but are by no means limited to) Progear in Auckland, Wellington Photographic Supplies in Wellington, Photo & Video International in Christchurch and Jonathans Photo Warehouse in Dunedin.
    Enjoy your trip!

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