Laptop for digital photography

  ChrisP 23:50 18 Feb 2003

As a recent convert to digital photography, I am interested in acquiring a laptop for downloading pictures from my camera on a daily basis as I travel around. Can anyone advise me about the necessary specification for a laptop? I don't need any other functions so the size of the hard disk is probably not much of a limitation (2GB? minimum). Do I need a processor above, say, 300Mhz? Ideally I would buy a laptop at auction, so really do need to know what to look for.

All comments welcome. Thanks for all help.

  jazzypop 00:57 19 Feb 2003

If it is purely for storage, all you need is as large a hard disk as you can find, and (presumably) a USB port to connect to your camera.

You may, however, find it cheaper just to buy a selection of 64 or 128MB cards, and use them until you can get back to your desktop.

Obviously, I cannot know what amount of storage you need, but I prefer to carry 3 or 4 memory cards than a laptop when travelling with my digital camera :)

There are also dedicated devices that are (essentially) a combined multi-card reader and hard disk, which sound ideal for your stated purpose.

  tbh72 01:10 19 Feb 2003

Yes, if it's just for storage then a laptop seem's extreme & expensive by comparison to extra media.....

click here

If your interested I have found the above company both reliable & cost effective for printing of digital images? Just thought I would share. It helps if you have ADSL though.

  temp003 06:28 19 Feb 2003

If you're talking about a temporary storage of 2GB minimum (but no other computer needs), then jazzypop's suggestion of a portable digital storage is the better way to go.

You can store the pictures from the memory card without using a computer. Then back home, transfer them to the computer via USB (1 or 2) or firewire. Some come with a small LCD as well for you to look at the pictures (more expensive).

They don't come cheap, but should still work out better than a few IBM Microdrives, and saves you the trouble of having to look after and keep track of numerous smaller capacity memory cards.

Haven't used one before, but the names I can remember are Vosonic, Nixvue, and there's one called the Digital Wallet I think, with options for different hard disk capacities.

If you can get a cheap 2nd hand laptop and don't mind carrying it in addition to your camera gear, your requirements are minimal. Either (1) if you’re connecting the camera to the laptop directly, then a USB port on the laptop and an operating system supported by the camera (usually Windows 98 or later will do, preferably 98 second edition); or (2) a laptop with a PC card slot so that you can insert an adaptor for your type of memory card (to be bought separately) for the laptop to read directly from the memory card. CPU and memory not that important just for transferring files, though naturally the higher specs the better, but 300MHz is fine. But do you want to buy an old low-specs laptop which can’t do much else?

Compare the costs and see what works out best. You might even decide just to get more memory cards.

  temp003 07:05 19 Feb 2003

For a quick look at some available portable digital storage, click here but do visit the websites of the manufacturers as you’ll see more options.

Vosonic click here

Nixvue click here

Mindsatwork click here

  hssutton 09:31 19 Feb 2003

I used a 300Mhz laptop with a 4Gb h/drive, for exactly the same reason. I sold it just prior to Xmas. The reasons, far to heavy, battery life, but the main reason it was far to slow. My image files are approx 2.5Mb each, and these took a liftime to download. Digital Wallets and the like are an option, but at a price. I settled for more memory cards. With regards to large storage methods and mainly with photography in mind, I tend to think of the old saying about to "many eggs in one basket"

  ChrisP 09:52 19 Feb 2003

Many thanks to all - very useful suggestions. More cards may be the best option after all.

  anchor 13:27 19 Feb 2003

I get my camera memory cards from 7dayshop. Quality is fine, service good, and prices excellent.

click here

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