Costa Rica camera question

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Costa Rica camera question

Postby Rec_Randy » Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:01 pm

I am taking the Costa Rica Adventure trip on February 21, 2008 and had a couple of camera questions. I have a Nikon D80 with 70 -300mm lense.
First of all, I have read a bunch of articles and they recommend that I bring a hairdryer to dry out my camera bag. Is this really necessary to have a hairdryer? Secondly, about how many pictures did people take on your trip? I am trying to figure out if I have enough memory cards. Also, is it easy to find places to burn your pictures to DVD’s? Third, I interesting in taking lots of wildlife and plant pictures and was wonder if I need an extra flash unit for my hotshoe or if the flash unit on your camera was enough. If you any other ideas on equipment that should bring along on this trip would be a help. I already have a tripod and camera rain covers. Thanks for the help.
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Postby thetravelingbee » Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:32 pm

Hi Randy. I haven't been to Costa Rica, but I have traveled to some equally humid and wet destinations and would never have thought to bring a hairdryer for my camera bag...so my feeling would be no, you shouldn't bother. If you've got good camera equipment, then I'm sure you also know how to care for it as well! My camera bag is waterproof and I have separate waterproof bags for my DSLR and any additional lenses I carry. Oh, and I ALWAYS travel with a microfiber towel to dry my equipment off if it does get sprayed - those things are fantastic. Not sure of your location, but I know in US I can pick up a whole pack of them at Costco for just a few bucks.

Hope that helps! Good luck and have a great time!
"Not all those who wander are lost."
- J.R.R Tolkein

http://www.thewriterbee.com
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Humid

Postby Rec_Randy » Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:54 am

Any advise about dealing with the humid conditions. This will be my first trip into a very humid climate and I am not sure how to best protect my camera. I am used to RH of around 20% and RH in Costa Rica should be a lot higher.Thanks for the help.
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CRA Camera

Postby eric » Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:29 pm

Hi,

I did CRA December before last, DSLR + Lenses. Didn't rain often / too hard, camera was ok. But here in UK I think they sell some "disposable" plastic bags that go over a long lens & camera. Could be usefull if you think you will be in a rainy season.

My problem was with the flash. Particularly photographing on night walks at Rara Avis. DSLR took a long time to focus on something small (eg tarantula) in complete darkness - One hand on the camera, another holding a flash light (torch)... since then I've come up with a solution at home:
A standard flash extension bar, about 9 inches long, screws to camera base. Instead of it sideways across the camera & a (camera) flash fitted, point it forward, under the lens. With 2 rubber bands a small flash light (torch) can be fastened under the bar. Gives enough light for camera to quickly focus on a small object say an inch or so across, a foot or 2 infront of lens, BOTH hands on camera.

If you have problems with auto focus with spiders inside holes:
Switch to manual focus. Get a nice sharp focus on the outside of the hole.
Then move camera say 2 ins forward, take picture. (At night the flashlight suggestion essential for this).

To be honest, the point & shoot did quite a good job in these places compared to DSLR, don't forget it.

I took approx 2,000 photos say 10gb. Not sure you will find many opportunities to transfer pictures to CD etc on CRA.

I would recommend having at least 1 spare set of batteries for the DSLR.
Think the DSLR built in flash should be sufficient, can't think of any time I regretted leaving a big flash unit at home.

Regards
Eric / London / England
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Postby thecakeisalie » Fri Feb 08, 2008 3:07 pm

With regards to the humidity, just remember that going from an air conditioned room to the outdoors will most likely fog up your lens. So if you're in a cool hotel room/car and run outside to shoot some monkeys or whatever, you may have to wait for the camera body and lens to reach the ambient temp./humidity. Other than that the camera will not be severely affected by humidity. To protect my camera from rain, I usually just grab the laundry bags from the hotel (or any plastic bag) and wrap my camera in it when not in use. Pretty simple, and works great. As suggested before, you will want something to wipe the lens clear of inevitable water spots/spray, etc.
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Costa Rica Photos

Postby eric » Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:23 am

Forgot to say, when you are with a group you often don't have much time to get the ideal shot, I recomend the following:
1) Set the camera to a high ISO speed, start thinking of 800 ASA.
2) Set the "mode" or what ever its called on your camera to "Sports" or "Action". I find the auto focus makes up its mind much quicker for this, even (particularly) for the small bugs etc in darkish places.
3) Set the camera to auto bracket, ie 3 shots, 1 correct exposure,2nd 1/2 under expose, 3rd 1/2 over expose.

Well give it a try...

Regards

Eric / London / England
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