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Rome and Memory Cards

I’m in Rome at the moment for a short break even if being here is a good excuse for gathering material and photographs for Italy Chronicles.

Rome, I have discovered, it extremely photogenic. Italy’s towns, cities and villages are generally worthy of plenty of photographs, and Rome is no exception.

Compared to other Italian cities, such as Milan where I live, Rome is huge and there is a lot of everything here, including, of course, the Vatican. I visited the Vatican museum last Saturday and found it incredible. Photographic opportunities are everywhere. I just about filled my 8 gigabyte memory card on the first day! Problem.

The digital camera I have is a Canon 7d DSLR which I recently upgraded to from my trusty Canon 40d – also a digital SLR, only the 40d is not quite as memory hungry as the 7d so memory cards lasted for enough images for a day trip – not the 7d. The 7d, which takes 30 megabyte photographs in RAW, eats memory at an alarming rate!

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Solving the memory problem did not turn out to be that simple as I could not find a shop selling memory cards, or at least I did not pass any until Sunday evening. Instead of buying a memory card or two, paying Rome prices for them and having to choose a not so ideal specification of memory card (for the 7d, get the fastest CF card you can), I opted for a memory card reader, as I had left mine at home. Anyway, with the memory card reader I was able to take the photos off the camera’s memory card and put them on my handy little Samsung netbook. Problem solved and I could even see the photos I’d been taking via Google Picasa software which reads Canon RAW images.

Moral of the story: When coming to Rome, bring plenty of memory cards for your camera – especially if that camera can shoot in the RAW format or if you were tempted into buying a camera with zillions of megapixels, as you will need all that memory. To save yourself from spending all your vacation cash on memory cards, bring a small PC or Mac and a memory card reader. Many newer PCs and Macs already have SD card readers built in so you don’t even need to bring a memory card reader unless you have a DSLR which uses Compact Flash cards. In the evenings, move the day’s photos onto the computer and you’ll be good to go for the next day.

Believe me, if you do come to Rome, you’ll find plenty to attract your attention and to photograph.

Rome is a fascinating city, by the way, but it ain’t cheap.

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