A Site for Photographers by Photographers

Community > Forums > Travel > Australasia - New Zealand > how many compact flash cards

how many compact flash cards

Kevin Cherney , Jan 20, 2009; 08:54 a.m.

I will be travelling to New Zealand and roratonga for three weeks in March. I am new to digital (have been using film for over 15 years. I am trying to fiqure out how many cards or memory I should bring with me. I do not use a laptop or a portable hard drive to take the images off.
Can anyone give me some indication on how many cards or amount of memory they would bring for a three week trip.
As a side note, all photographs will be done in Jpeg and RAW.
with thanks


    1   |   2     Next    Last

Colin Carron , Jan 20, 2009; 09:05 a.m.

I depends to some extent what camera you have. The larger the pixel count on your camera the fewer shots you can get on your card. It also depnds on how trigger happy you are. I tend to bracket shots quite a bit especially if I think it looks good.
Taking large jpg and RAW I would expect to fill 2GB to 4GB a day on average using my 12 MP Canon 5D.

David Henderson , Jan 20, 2009; 09:20 a.m.

Until you've wandered round somewhere like Mexico looking for CF cards, or spent part of every evening looking for pictures to delete to create a bit of space the daftness of taking a risk in this area does not become truly apparent. I actually use about 1GB per day with my 5D, but I travel with twice that.

Luis G , Jan 20, 2009; 09:29 a.m.

To be on the safe side, on a trip like that, I'd take at least 10-12 8gb cards. I do wonder why the aversion to using a portable HD (or 2) to download as you go?

Edward Ingold , Jan 20, 2009; 09:53 a.m.

Make your best estimate based on your previous travel shooting and double it. Actually, triple or quadruple it. People tend to get carried away with digital, being free from traveling with 100 rolls of film and changing rolls every 36 exposures (and having the wrong film at the wrong time). Find out how many images you can get per gigabyte and go from there.

I see no point in shooting both JPEG and RAW files. If this is a place you won't get back to soon, stick with RAW only - you'll get a better percentage and don't have to worry about white balance.

You also might also reconsider your aversion to laptops and hard drives. I shoot 200 to 400 frames a day when traveling, which would require a lot of cards over 15 days. In fact, I carry four cards, a laptop and DVD burner, and back everything up nightly to HDD and DVD. You could buy a couple of laptops for the price of 30 8G cards.

Joseph Braun , Jan 20, 2009; 10:57 a.m.

you could also buy a HD-reader device, and just bring a few flash cards.

virginia sustarsic , Jan 20, 2009; 01:00 p.m.

Sometimes in an unusual place, I suprise myself with the number of images I expose. I use 4G cards because that's what will fit on one dvd with leaving a little free space, and sometimes have used two in a day, but usually one is enough.

Larry Warfield , Jan 20, 2009; 02:16 p.m.

When we went to New Zealand 3 years ago there were plenty of places where you could get CF cards transferred to CD's for a reasonable price. Still take plenty of cards. We did but were soon glad we could dump them to CD. We ended up doing that every 3-4 days,

One of our neighbors who had gone says, "New Zealand is so beautiful that at every turn in the road you will want to stop & take a picture." She's right. When we returned. We agreed, but told her that she forgot to say how twisty, turny the roads were!"

What are you planning to visit? How long will you be there? Enjoy - I'm getting nostalgic & jealous.

Bruce Margolis , Jan 20, 2009; 02:17 p.m.

"I am trying to fiqure out how many cards or memory I should bring with me."

The short answer is simple. It's only a matter of how many photos you will take multiplied by the size of your files.

The long answer is........ it depends. On a slow travel day, I might get off only 200 shots. On a real exciting photogenic day, it could be 1,000. Since you have no idea how many photos you will take, consider at least picking up a portable HD to back up your data. This assumes you will be somewhere that has a computer you can access. If there is no computer available, something like the Epson P-6000 is excellent but costs as much as a laptop.

Jean Spector , Jan 21, 2009; 05:18 p.m.

No one will be able to estimate the amount of images YOU will take. Probably coming from film you won't be pressing the shutter button every second, but then when the weather changes you might prefer to take a lot of images - not to mention HDR that (when used correctly) can be amazing.
If you will consider a portable HDD - they can backup memory cards w/o a laptop, there're some enclosures that can be had for $20-30 (sans HDD) - doesn't even scratch the price of a laptop and is quite compact. Bring enough cards to last a very busy day (8GB in any combination will suffice unless you're shooting sports/wildlife) and dump the cards' content to both drives in the evening (just pop the card in the slot and press the [Backup] button, can even be done on the way back to your hotel if you carry the drives with you). I tend to carry one with me at all times and leave the other in the hotel when possible.

    1   |   2     Next    Last

Back to top

Notify me of Responses