50 iphoto ’08: the missing manual
Some compact cameras include an Underwater scene mode that improves the color
balance and exposure when shooting beneath the surface. It’s worth checking before
you take the plunge.
Oh, and don’t try to change the batteries while you’re down there.
Digital cameras are perfect vacation companions. Memory cards are easy to pack,
there’s no ﬁlm for airport X-rays to wash out, and when the day is done, you can
review all of your images on the camera’s LCD screen, on your laptop, or on the
hotel room TV.
Shooting on the road presents unique photo opportunities that simply aren’t available
at home—like museums, fjords, and Cinderella’s Castle. Here’s how to master those
moments and add a little spice to your vacation slideshow.
Digital cameras may be small and compact, but they’re often accompanied by just as
much accessory junk as ﬁlm cameras. Here’s a packing checklist (Figure 3-12):
•Batteries.The laws of photography dictate that you’ll run out of juice at the precise
moment the perfect shot appears. If your camera comes with its own proprietary,
rechargeable battery, consider buying a second one. Charge both batteries every
night, and take them both with you during the day. (Pack the charger, too.)
You can buy an underwater
housing for your digital cam-
era for as little as $100. Olym-
pus and Canon make housings
for nearly all of their compact
cameras. Other manufacturers
offer underwater gear, too.
chapter 3: beyond the simple snapshot 51
If your camera accepts AA-type batteries instead, you have much more ﬂexibility.
Bring your set of NiMH rechargeables, as described on page 15, and their charger.
Also pack an emergency set of disposables, like alkaline AAs or Duracell CRV3
lithium disposables, if your camera accepts them.
•Memorycards.Nobody ever said, “Oh, I wish I’d bought a smaller memory card.”
In general, ﬁgure that you’ll wind up keeping 50 shots a day (not including the
ones that you delete right off the camera). If you have a 6-megapixel camera, a 512
MB card might be enough for one day of shooting. If you brought a laptop on the
trip, you can rush back to the hotel room each night and ofﬂoad the pictures into
iPhoto, freeing up the card for the next day’s shooting.
If you don’t plan to take a laptop along, buy a much bigger memory card (or sev-
eral). It’s generally cheaper to buy two 1 GB cards than one 2 GB card, but shop
around to get the best deal possible (www.shopper.com, for example).
And if you plan to use the movie mode to capture video snippets of your adven-
tures, then add one or two 2 GB cards to your kit. Memory-card prices are well
below nosebleed territory these days; you can buy 2 GB cards for less than $50.
•Camerabag.If your camera didn’t come with a case, get one for it. Not only will
it protect your camera, but it will keep your batteries, cards, and cables together.
Tip: If you can ﬁnd a camera bag that doesn’t look like a camera bag, it’s less likely to be ripped off. An
insulated beverage bag does nicely, for example.
•Tripod. Nobody likes to lug a tripod across Europe—or across town, for that matter.
But if you’re a serious photographer, or aspire to be one, you’ll occasionally need
a way to steady your camera.
Being prepared for travel
means packing extra memory
and batteries. And don’t for-
get the charger!