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Thursday, September 03, 2009


Dad's advice for buying a camera 6

Hi Dad,
Thinking I might go for the canon because a little extra weight isn't really an issue for me. When buying the SD card do I need ultra 11 or standard. Do I need an LCD screen protector?

Love Mel

Hi Mel

I think that's a good choice then. Just make sure the price you pay is a good saving on what they are charging for the new model otherwise you might as well buy the new one. I assume it's better but I haven't really checked it out.

Is there a card that comes with the camera? What sort? How much memory? When I've been looking at cameras in Aust in the past they tend to give you a card with a piddly memory so you have to put out extra for one and you buy one that suits you. In Malaysia the shops were generally offering 1GB cards included as an incentive to buy the camera. But they are standard. When I asked about Ultra, they didn't want to know about it. So, I got my 1GB standard and I shopped around and found another shop where I could get a good deal on an Ultra but I only got a 500 MB. I use that as my main card and use the 1GB standard as a back up. Don't get to use it often. The batteries usually run out first.

BTW, if your new camera is 10MP it will fill up a card twice as fast as a 5 MP (or maybe it's four times as fast). So, maybe a 1GB card is a good idea. Depends how many photos you can take in a day. It's rare that I will fill up both my 1GB and 500 MB. But that's a really interesting day.

Anyway, to answer your question. For taking pics, 90% of the time it doesn't matter. For downloading to your computer the Ultra is quicker. The other time it is useful is if you get into the habit of taking burst photos. (I rarely do—mainly because I don't think of it but it is a good idea.) For example, if Iz is running across the soccer field you can point the camera, focus once and hold the button down. It will take maybe five photos per second without refocusing (assuming he stays about the same distance). Not sure but maybe you'll get one or two more per second with the Ultra.

I don't have an LCD screen protector but if it is cheap or free go for it. If it's exxy I don't see the point unless, of course, little boys like to point at it with grubby fingers. Anyway, it's more important to keep their fingers off the lens. One of the problems with big lens is that they can collect fingerprints. You allow someone to look at the LCD and if they don't know better they wrap their fingers around the camera right onto the lens. I try to avoid letting anyone hold my camera for this reason.

I think I mentioned about batteries. Not sure what sort Canon uses. Some use standard batteries. Which is handy but they're bigger. Panasonic use special ones. I can't even swap them between my Panasonic cameras. It's good to have a backup and in the case of Panasonic I found that cheap Chinese copies are just not worth it even though they're a fraction of the price. Panasonic ones are exxy but worth the difference. Unfortunately their Thai website doesn't answer service enquiries and the shops don't stock them. They miss out on a sale and I'm not too well off for batteries. The point is, if I had my time over, I'd buy two (or maybe even three) of the genuine ones when I bought my camera.

The other problem I'm having with mine at the moment is downloading. The cable is something that is interchangeable, at least between my Panasonic cameras. But I threw the spare one away so that I'd have less to carry. Now, the fz20 won't download direct to either my Mac or my work PC. Thought it might be the cable but with the fx3 is OK. Not a big deal. I bought a card reader for about $A3, I take the card out of the camera and put it in the reader in the computer. If you have two cards and you are taking photos at home, you can put one in the reader and keep on taking photos with the other.

Anyway, have fun. Look forward to seeing the photos. And remember, the biggest fault most people make is including huge amounts of irrelevant background. You have a good zoom. Use it to get in close.



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