|Subject: Re: Lightweight Digital Cameras|
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I've got feet on both sides of the fence when it comes to film and digital cameras. Prior to last year, I travelled exclusively with my big 35mm. Last year, I bought a digital (Olympus 240Z) and took both. Once I upgrade to a higher resolution digital (4 megapixels or higher), the digital may be my only companion.
The digitals are generally lighter and you get to check the image on the spot. If you like it, you keep it. If not, you delete it. With film, you really don't know what you've got until you have the film processed.
Of the cameras currently available, my favorites are the Sony S85 and the Fuji 6900. Both are toward the higher end of the resolution range, which means that the images will compare well with film unless you're enlarging considerably. Up to 8x10 or so should be fine, which is about the limit of what most inkjet printers can do anyway.
When using a digital, it's essential that you keep at least two sets of rechargeable batteries with you since these cameras tend to be power hungry. I got a fast charger with batteries from http://www.thomas-distributing.com Not cheap, but reliable and I always had enough power to keep my camera going. You'll also need an extra high- capacity storage medium, either Smart Media, Compact Flash or Memory Stick, depending upon the brand of camera you buy. Most of these are available through mass merchandisers. Best advice is to buy the highest capacity card you can afford, usually 64MB or 128MB.
For all those old slides, a reasonable solution is a film/slide scanner. Decent models run about $150 (HP4470cx, PrimeFilm1800) and they will convert the image to digital which you can then print from your computer. You can, of course, send your slides out for conversion, but if you have a sizable inventory, the scanner will prove to be far more cost-effective.
Hope these thoughts are useful.
Regards, Russell from Connecticut