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Thread: Newbie needs basic help/advice!

  1. #1
    geronimo
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    Default Newbie needs basic help/advice!

    Hi, I'm a newbie getting my first digicam...would really appreciate any advice given....

    am looking at either the Canon A70 (most prob.) or A60....(if the budget doesn't allow)

    What are the bare/basic essentials and accessories (I'm on a REALLY tight budget, <$650 for everything!) needed if it is mainly going to be utilised on a 4-month overseas work/travel to US/Europe?

    I basically have in mind the accessories that i'll be getting:

    1) Tripod (prolly Digipod at Carrefour cos it suits my budget and looks good enough for my use)

    2) Battery Charger with 8XAA Rechargeable Batteries ( any idea about the compatibility issues with regards to US/Europe plug or voltage type?) (Just got the Ripvan Charger n Sony batteries from Eastgear actually)

    3) Compact Flash Card (Looking at 256MB...i've a few questions/considerations regarding this:
    - I'll need to have access to a pc or laptop in order to upload the photos right? It might be a prob esp. when travelling overseas esp. to certain rural parts with no internet/pc access...

    - I can't seem to find links whereby info. is provided on how many photos 256MB can take(considering 3.2MP or 2MP and normal resolution and everything)

    - Is it better for me to get 2 128MB cards or 4 64MB cards or just one 256MB card is there no difference?!?)


    That's all i have in mind. Don't really see the need for stuffs like UV filter, Cir Polariser (whatever that is! cos i'm a newbie). How important is a camera bag and/or a dry box for someone like me? (Cos i don't plan to get them) If it is, any recommendations?

    Any other special considerations which i'll have to take into account for an overseas trip too? Am planning to learn more about photography (prolly after my trip) as the posts and topics i've read so far in here and hardwarezone is pretty interesting!

    Thanks and any replies/post would be most certainly Welcomed!

  2. #2
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    1) Tripod ... try to get a better one not digipod ... you might want to try SLIK ($55-95)

    2) CF, up to individual ... you might just want to get 1 256MB so that you don't have to keep track of additional accessories (1 more CF).

    3) Dry box ... just get 1 from Carrefour AMpro with silica gel.
    ($35)

    4) Why don't you get a X-drive but that well add to your cost.

  3. #3
    geronimo
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    hrm...is a Digipod that bad?!? I"ve looked at what my friend has and it seems pretty ok.....don't know whether will use it much also cos it's pretty troublesome to pull out a tripod everywhere you go if u know what i mean...Heard of the SLIK series but that's way beyond my budget....Thanks anyway....Btw, what's an X-Drive?

  4. #4
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    Use the forum search on the X-Drive. As for tripod ... up to individual but stability matters if you are doing long exposures. . . You can try to get a second-hand SLIK for $40 here ...

  5. #5
    geronimo
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    Thanks, will look out for the second-hand SLIK! How important is a dry box (any different if i just store it in a ziplog bag or something?!?Sorry, i'm on a really tight budget and any amount saved goes a long way)

    And what about a camera bag and lens cleaner? Read somewhere that a LCD protector is useful to get too....any comments from anybody?!?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Newbie needs basic help/advice!

    Originally posted by geronimo

    2) Battery Charger with 8XAA Rechargeable Batteries ( any idea about the compatibility issues with regards to US/Europe plug or voltage type?) (Just got the Ripvan Charger n Sony batteries from Eastgear actually)
    i think US uses 115V, 60 Hz (may be wrong). but it would be good to buy one that can accept both 115V and 230V.

  7. #7
    geronimo
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    Thanks. Anybody has any idea as to the specs. in Europe then? ( do i need a special adapter or a 2 to 3-pin converter or somethign?!!)

  8. #8
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    europe uses 230V. you need a 3 pin to 2 pin adapter.
    there was a post on this subject but i can't find it.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Newbie needs basic help/advice!

    Originally posted by geronimo
    I basically have in mind the accessories that i'll be getting:

    1) Tripod (prolly Digipod at Carrefour cos it suits my budget and looks good enough for my use)

    3) Compact Flash Card (Looking at 256MB...i've a few questions/considerations regarding this:

    - I can't seem to find links whereby info. is provided on how many photos 256MB can take(considering 3.2MP or 2MP and normal resolution and everything)

    - Is it better for me to get 2 128MB cards or 4 64MB cards or just one 256MB card is there no difference?!?)


    That's all i have in mind. Don't really see the need for stuffs like UV filter, Cir Polariser (whatever that is! cos i'm a newbie). How important is a camera bag and/or a dry box for someone like me? (Cos i don't plan to get them) If it is, any recommendations?
    1) Digipod is light, cheap and has all the basic features of a good tripod. But the drawback is it is not sturdy and takes a while to setup (mine has to loosen 3 leg locks before I can fully extend the legs, and the centre column movement is not as fluid as other more expensive ones). It's better to invest into something better now rather than to upgrade your equipment later, since the latter option costs more

    3) Getting a few CF cards lower the risk of dependency on one card, just in case that card decides to take a break Of course, you'll have more trouble organising, storing and changing your cards if you lug a few around. The choice is yours.

    A 128mb CF can store 128 photos at 1600 x 1200 resolution.

    Do at least get a UV filter. It'll protect your lens and sharpen your pics a little You can get one for less than $20. Camera bags with proper padding protect your camera when you bring it out, and a drybox prevents fungus growing on your lens if you're storing it away for some time...

  10. #10
    geronimo
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    OK, to sum it up so far,

    I'd need the following items to start off:

    1) Tripod

    2) Battery Charger with extra batteries

    3) CF Card

    Additional items to consider:

    4) UV Filter (Any specific recommendations wrt type, brand, cost, etc?!?)

    5) Dry Box with silica gel (Well, maybe not for travel but for storing) - Recommendation given by eug: Carrefour AMpro with silica gel. ($35)

    6) Camera Bag (specific brands, recommendations for a Canon A60 or A70?)

    7) A 3 to 2 pin adapter for compatibility with Europe (rather confused with this actually cos my Ripvan Charger is already 2-pin and is supposedly compliant with Singapore/US standard)


    Any more stuffs that i'd ( or any newbie) require?!?

    P.S: Thanks ChinSiong for bringing up the good point with regards to the over-reliance on just 1 CF Card ( in case it decides to take a break!)

  11. #11

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    UV filters from Hoya are pretty good. The cost depends on your thread size, and the 52mm basic one costs $8, multi-coated ones costs around $20.

    Popular Photography bags
    http://www.crumpler.com.au/public/se...otography.html

    Get from Cathay Photo. Cheapest there. Alternatively, if you need a bag just to fit your camera in, can look at the range of Digicase pouches from Carrefour. Can get one for less than $10.

  12. #12
    geronimo
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    Wow! I'm impressed to say the least, by the incredibly quick reply from the members here! This sure looks like an exciting community with many helpful and knowledgeable ppl around!

  13. #13
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    I would advise that you do give +- about $100 on your budget, this will allow you to get something better, it's an investment, I know you have a tight budget, but don't get sloppy stuffs and end up down the road having to upgrade again spending more.

    1) Tripod - I advise a SLIK Sprint Pro rather then a Digipod. I seriously am biased against Digipod that I feel it's good enough only for those webcam type of digital cam capabilities.

    For REAL digitalcams like the A60/A70 I advise good tripods

    2) Try consulting Eastgear, or http://www.eastgear.com

    3) Get a 512MB, it's relatively cheap, personally I use a 256MB x 2 CF combo myself, but I hardly expand 1 256MB during 1 day of shooting. Only once did I fully use up both. For the A70 I think 1 piece of 256MB will be more then enough. at 3.2mp, 256MB can store well over 256 images at large resolution.

    4) Bags - A common and well loved bag is the Crumpler. You can get the Crumpler Digits from Cathay, it should fit the A70 and one set of spare batteries with one extra CF card.

    5) Filters - I think for your camera to use filters like the UV/Cir Pol, you would need a lens adaptor. I think for this will have to consult the members here for more information.

    Get a simple UV filter would do, don't have to go for the HMCs one. They don't come cheap

    6) Dry Case - A simple and cheap one does it good Ziploc bag should achieve the same effect as a dry box, as it's air tight, of course a cheap solution, but hey, it works, so WHO CARES!!!

    7) LCD Screen protector - you can get from www.daproducts.com but it'll take at least 3-7 days to ship over, each at USD$12

    Hope it helps.

    Do correct me if I'm wrong.

  14. #14
    geronimo
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    Oh yeah, it sure helps a great deal! Thanks, espn for your detailed step-by-step recommendations and comments!

    Hrm, i really have to think twice with regards to the Digipod after so many members here have warned me against it....have not read a single post whereby the Digipod has served it's purpose well so far....

    Have got generally a very good idea of what i should get to start off so far thanks to you guys! still have a few things to clear up though, and would appreciate if the more senior members (which is like everyone cos i've just signed up a few days ago!) here would provide a few pointers....

    For the UV filter/Cir Polariser, would i need a Lens adapter esp. with regards to the A70?

    & can somebody tell me more about this 3 to 2 pin or 2pin -3pin adapter for compatibility with Europe (how does it look like? rather confused with this actually cos my Ripvan Charger is already 2-pin and is supposedly compliant with Singapore/US standard)

  15. #15

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    Originally posted by geronimo
    For the UV filter/Cir Polariser, would i need a Lens adapter esp. with regards to the A70?
    http://www.powershot.com/powershot2/...accessory.html

    You will need a lens adaptor. If you compare with the A40, the serial number is slightly different. OEM lens adaptors are slightly cheaper, but I'm not sure whether this is available on the market (assuming A70's adaptor is different from A40's).

  16. #16
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    Originally posted by geronimo

    & can somebody tell me more about this 3 to 2 pin or 2pin -3pin adapter for compatibility with Europe (how does it look like? rather confused with this actually cos my Ripvan Charger is already 2-pin and is supposedly compliant with Singapore/US standard)
    in that case, it shouldn't be a problem.
    you can check the socket at
    http://kropla.com/electric2.htm

  17. #17
    geronimo
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    Thanks a million! you guys were a great help! Hope to meet up and join u guys for some of your meetings/outings if possible!

  18. #18
    geronimo
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    Hi,

    have a few questions to ask:

    1) does anybody know what's the usual way of uploading pics and freeing up the memory space on the CF cards whilst travelling? (up to 4 months)

    2) Do i have to buy some webspace (webhosting thingee) or can i just upload my pics on those free websites like pbase.com?

    3) Does all the cybercafes around US and Europe have USB ports?

    4) If i'm going to a rural place without internet access, any way of freeing up the space on the CF card?

    Thanks!

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