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Photography

Our camera gear

We probably tend to be a bit excessive with the photography gear that we carry on proper holidays now! We have our fantastic Canon EOS 400D digital SLR, two compact digital cameras (one for snorkelling!) and a camcorder. Add in all of the chargers and extra batteries and you need a good camera bag to keep it all in, but basically that's my hand luggage for the flights sorted!

The 10.1MP EOS 400D is the first digital SLR we've had and, with an extra 75-300mm lens on top of the standard 18-55mm lens kit, it gives us pretty much all the flexibility we need. We got it back in July 2007 and Canon has since released an upgraded version - the EOS 450D.





For the underwater camera, we went for a 7.2MP Sony DSC-W70 a couple of years ago - purely because of the price of the underwater case (Sony Sports Pack Marine W Series DSC SPK-WA), which can often be rediculously expensive. It does also have a really clear and decent size LCD though, which is essential underwater.

We picked both of these up on Ebay before our trip to Mauritius in 2007, having used a throw away film camera in the Cook Islands a couple of years before. Taking pictures underwater is a challenge, so being able to take as many as you like and check them over before you get home is pretty much essential!

The other snap camera is a 7.2MP Casio Exilim EX-Z750 - this time mainly because of the quick startup speed - at just one second - and again for the decent 2.5" LCD display. We've had this one a couple of years now and it's proved itself time and time again, although there's obviously a number of 10MP compact cameras out there now.

We've found batteries and memory cards relatively expensive in the UK, so tend to get them from Hong Kong based Ebayers - which is fine as long as you plan ahead! If you've left it a late for that, MyMemory and Pic Stop are not too expensive.

For the bag, we've got a Lowepro Slingshot 100AW. These are brilliant, if a little expensive, because they have a number of pockets, enough space to fit all that gear, a hidden waterproof cover and a way of swinging from on your shoulder to on your chest to help when changing lenses, etc. I'd definitely recommend one!





Doing cool things with the photos

We've always tried to keep albums of the best photos, because they are so much nicer to look back on that way. Over the past couple of years though, good quality photo books have become affordable and they are just brilliant.

In the past, we've used Kodak Gallery and Blurb, but another option is My Photo Book.

Aside from prints and books, you can get photos put on canvas, mugs, calendars, t-shirts and all sorts these days. Snapfish do some pretty good deals, as do Foto.com, SmugMug and Pixum .

Digital photo frames took a while to catch on, but we've seen a few up close now and we're finally convinced. There's a good selection of at Digital Frames Direct - including some under £40.

Keeping your photos safe

Everyone knows someone who's lost some of their digital photos when a PC failed and they hadn't been backed up. We've got too many important memories to lose, so I was really pleased to find an online backup that offered unlimited storage and didn't cost the earth.

With Carbonite running in the background, you just download the photos onto your computer as normal and it does the backup for you - sending them over the internet to Carbonite's encrypted servers. Although they are based in the US, I have never noticed any speed issues.

Carbonite offers unlimited online backup for only $49.95 per year. Click here to try it for free!

BT offer a similar service, but we found it too expensive when you have large amounts of data to backup - and we're at 46GB and counting!

If you've only got a few pictures, both Mozy and Diino offer free online backup space to get you started.




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