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Cupcake's Photo System

I used a Nikon Coolpix 885:

It was a great camera for the trip. The full skinny is at Steve's DigiCams.


-3.1 megapixels
-Good zoom lens with macro capabilities
-38-114mm 35mm equivalency focal length
-10 oz. with battery

I added a 256MB CompactFlash card. I never ran out of space with periodic downloads to my laptop. Including 12 movies at 102MB, I took 1,339 images which take 634MB to store. I took a lot of photos, so perhaps two 256MB CF cards would work if you did not have a laptop, especially if you delete the bad images along the way. (Notes on bouncing a laptop.)

I used two rechargeable batteries and bounced the recharger. For long sections, I also carried an extra disposable battery. (I never ran out of juice.) I used the flash for most pictures of people.

For most images, I used the Auto mode, but switched to the Macro "Scene" mode for close ups. I really, REALLY liked the macro features.

I glued a 1" diameter blue foam pad to the lens cap to help protect it. I carried the camera in a hip pocket. The first was a Slide-on Waist Pouch by Moletracks, the second by REI. I stripped off the straps and added a D-shaped blue foam bottom to the Moletracks for more cushioning. I attached the pouch to my pack with a mini carabiner. I think the waist pouch zipper would have held if I hadn't tried to stuff my Minidisk in there as well. Moletracks replaced it for free.

I love this camera and would take it on another thru-hike. It's small, lightweight, has a good lens, and helps me take great pictures.

It works with Windows 98. With any Windows OS, the CF card becomes an external hard drive via the cable, so you can use Windows Explorer to view and transfer files. It's really easy. It also ships with Nikon software which I don't use.

Nikon's latest model with the same shape/features, but with 4 megapixel resolution, is the Nikon Coolpix 4300. It's about $500.

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