THL Toolbox > Equipment > Photography
Most people these days use digital cameras for their ease of use. However, if you are aiming to take high quality photos for longterm use, then you need to keep a number of issues in mind.
Firstly, you can roughly divided cameras into two types: (i) consumer cameras which typically are cheaper, small, light weigh, have a fixed lens, take smaller storage size photos, and will only save images in the lower quality JPEG format, and (ii) prosumer and professional cameras which more expensive, large, relatively heavy, have replaceable lens, take larger storage size photos, and can save images in the high quality and flexible RAW format. If you have the funds, you may want to have one of each because the former is great to carry with you at all times to be able to catch the opportune moment, while the latter creates superior images for long term use.
Secondly, unless you are on a very short trip, or don't plan to make many photos, you will need to have a way to transfer your images from your camera's storage card so that you can keep using the card to take new pictures once it has initially filled up. The most obvious solution is to travel with your computer and simply transfer the images to it. If that is your plan, make sure your camera has an input bay for the type of card you are using, or purchase a cheap USB device that can accept the storage cards. If you don't want to travel with a computer, then you must have an alternative type of storage device which you can transfer your images to - such as an IPOD or portable self-contained hard drive often called a "digital wallet".
Thirdly, regardless of what type of camera you have, it is the storage media that will determine how many photos you can take before you must empty the card off onto a separate storage device. You should note that there are many different types of storage formats, though the main ones are SD (secure digital), CF (compact flash), and Sony memory sticks. Cameras usually take one or the other, so you have to purchase storage media that work in the camera which you have. The larger size you have, the more pictures you can take without having to access a computer or portable storage device to empty it. We recommend that you take at least two such cards with you, which mean you can keep shooting when one is filled, and that you also have a backup in case a card goes bad while traveling in places where purchasing a new card is not viable.
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