Subject: Re: laptops and digital camaras

You mentioned that you are looking for a laptop and digital camera. These are my thoughts.

I travel with a Sony Vaio. The model I have (the V505) is quite compact and light coming in at just under 3kilograms I chose this one because it has good conneciton facilities (providing network/internet connection) via ethernet cable, wireless LAN or modem. Additionally, a CD-RW and DVD ROM is provided plus USB connections. Disk space is 60GB. However, the models above this one provides all of this plus DVD- Burners, Infra-Red, Bluetooth and various other gizmos as well has more disk space.

The real plus on this machine is the battery life. Normally a laptop of this size has a battery life of around 3 to 4 hours. Battery life on the V505 can reach a whopping 6 and a bit hours, which is very useful if, like me, you spend an hour or two at an airport before you board a boring flight and have a train ride at the other end!! Oh, and it's light for all of this too...........

I have found the Vaio to be reliable, plenty of features for the price and, in this case, light as well.

In terms of digital cameras there is plenty of choice out there. My preference is the Minolta range of cameras. The one I carry, which doesn't fulfil your shove-in-pocketable criteria though, is the the excellent Minolta A1. It is a 5MP camera using compact flash media and Lithium Ion rechargeable battery. The real seller of this camera is the AntiShake (AS) feature. Canon call this Image Stabilisation (IS) and Nikon call it Vibration Reducation (VR) Minolta are so far the only people to integrate AS into prosumer cameras (it is available on the A1, A2 and (please check) on the ZX cameras.) Basically, this works by moving the CCD within the camera when it detects shake. What this means is that it is much easier for you to take pictures inside or in lower light conditions. To my knowledge Canon and Nikon do not offer this feature in their range of consumer or prosumer digital cameras and are unlikely to do so, IMHO, as many of their lenses have IS or VR built into them.

In terms of getting your digital camera and laptop to work together check that your laptop has a cardreader for the type of media that your digital camera uses or that both camera and laptop have a USB connection. Both is a bonus, but it is worth checking that the two can talk to each other! ---- Mark Sukhija, in Cordoba