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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys

Some of you may recall in another thread I mentioned I am planning a month long tour with my Buell-riding son Ted in May. I would like some ideas on the best way to document this significant trip.

My longest tour to date was last summer, when Ted and I went on a 9 day soujourn along the Ocoee, across the Cherohola Scenic Skyway, through the Tail of the Dragon, down scenice 441 into Cherokee, up the Blue Ridge Parkway, over to the Eastern Seaboard, the Outer Banks, Cape Hattarras, ferry to Ocrakoke Island, back into North Georgia to Helen, Lake Lanier, and home. I documented the trip pretty well with a cheap digital camera.

On this coming up trip I am waffling between buying a couple of extra cards for the same digital camera, using my small 35mm regular camera (shock and waterproof) and using regular film, or investing in a helmet cam and counting on my ability to convert to stills. I saw a link in this same forum for the VholdR and it looks pretty good.

Any more experience tourists care to voice an opinion? Thanks in advance.
 

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video stills != good stills

If you want good still images (and especially if you want to be able to print them), I wouldn't rely on a video camera, particularly not a little lipstick cam. Keep in mind that even pro-level HD video image size is only about 2 megapixels, which is a much smaller image than even a bargain still camera gives you.

If you really want video and print-quality stills but don't want to mess with 2 different cameras, there are a number of compact miniDV cameras that can also capture still images on a memory card.
 

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Unless you want to travel like Charlie Boorman and Ewan McGregor with a two SUV support crew forget the video idea.
Take your camera, take as many still photos as you can and regularly get rid of the images. You get rid of the images by going into an Internet cafe or similar and burning the images from the memory card to TWO CD's or DVD's then keeping one with you and mailing the other one home or you go into the aforementioned cafe and upload your images to a web hosting site like Flickr or Smugmug although that may take too long.
Most small P&S cameras take acceptable video so take the odd short movie when riding through particularly attractive scenery but don't try to video the entire trip, you will spend the next 6 months in front of your PC editing or you will never edit which is actually worse.
Take a diary or notebook and RELIGIOUSLY write your thoughts and the days happenings EVERY night as soon as you stop the bikes. It will only take 15 minutes or so but leave it two or three nights and you may as well forget the whole exercise.
 

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Last summer I went for a 23 days ride in the US and Canada.

To keep track of my trip I used :

Camera : an old 2 Mega Pixel Fuji camera, taking picture at maximum quality (which was 1600x1280). For a couple of shots, I would have liked to have a 3X Optical Zoom.

Laptop :
1) Upload my picture on smugmug !
2) Write a daily journal on blogger for my family.
3) Update my Google Map current position (used http://www.mapchannels.com/ to show my map on my web page.)

When I came back, I corrected all my texts and created a web page about the trip.

Doing that every nights after 7-8 hours of riding is really time consuming and takes a lot of determination. Some people prefer to do that on some forum (AdvRider) but answering the comments would have been too much for me. If you only jump 1 night, it difficult to catch on.

You can see my adventure there (sorry in French :( I don't have to courage to write it again in English) : http://www.xaqc.org/america2007/

I am planning a new trip for this summer and I will take the same kind of setup with me, but I will try to change both camera and laptop, to have better performance so that it takes less time each night.
 

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If you're gonna do a cheap digital camera, you might as well do a cheap digital HD movie camera while you're at it. This one is $139: Aiptek

My daughter has one. It's hard to argue with anything about it considering the price. The only thing keeping me from buying one is it's hard to work the thing with gloves on.
 

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If you have a GPS:

You can download and save the tracks on your GPS. If you have a Garmin, you can then easily look at the track you took on Google Earth and save it. You can attach pictures to points of interest along the way.

..Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the tips guys. And also for sharing your adventure, xaqc. Those were some outstanding images. As a rank novice in photography, the more I contemplate the issues raised above, the more I think I'm going to go back to analog for this trip and just use my 35mm Canon Elf Sport. It's small, simple to operate, waterproof, shockproof, and takes very good pictures. Then it will be easy to get new film if needed, and the little spend cannisters will store easily in my luggage in a waterproof baggy.
 

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Just wanted to add a recommendation for the Panasonoic Lumix digital cameras - they, like many, have image stabilization. I shoot at oil refineries where we climb the stacks to do testing. It's always windy or the stack is vibrating and I can still take great images.

Used one are plentiful - I have the LZ5 with a 10X/24X optical/digital zoom - and bought it as a closeout for just $169. Simple interface and operation. Just wanted to mention that...
 
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