There are two steps involved with getting images from the camera to a CD: 1. camera to computer 2. computer to CD.
For step 1 (camera to computer), if you’re running a PC with Windows 2000 or XP, you won’t need any special software (provided you are going the compact flash reader route over USB). There may be some special interface between the camera and the computer other than USB, but until you know about the camera, you won’t know what it is. If so, the camera should be supplied with drivers to handle this.
For step 2 (computer to CD), it’s not quite as simple as “drag and drop” from the USB drive to the CD. You need a CD burner, as mentioned above, and it will more than likely come accompanied with some burning software like Roxio or Nero. These applications will walk you through the burning process (which now becomes “drag and drop” and “go”).
I don’t know of Kinko’s offers such a service, but if they do, they will no doubt charge quite a bit for it. So you have a couple alternatives:
- take enough memory (compact flash cards - or one big card) to cover the whole trip
- also bring along a means to offload those memory cards (like a notebook)
- find someplace that can offload the memory cards (like your Kinko’s idea).
I, personally, would opt for the first option: bring enough memory. Compact flash cards are going down in price. I just bought a 1 gig card from Amazon that, after rebate, will be $150.
Which gets to the how many images per memory, or rather how big will each image be. My camera is a 3 megapixel, and at the highest resolution (compressed, not raw), each image is about 1.5MB. So for 4 megapixel, I would estimate that each image would be about 2MB, and about 2.5MB for a 5 megapixel camera. So if the camera is a 5 megapixel, and you have a 128MB card, you will be able to hold approximately 50 images.
For a 4 or 5 megapixel camera, I would go for 512MB cards or larger (1 gig). Shop around, and you can find them on sale at various places. 128MB is a bit small for those images (unless you opt for smaller image sizes).
I can only speak from my experience and I’ve had good luck with Kingston, Simpletech, and Viking brands. I tend to go with what I have found on sale, and these are what I ended up with. And have had no problems with any of them.
Speaking of travel, the other thing you might look into is a spare battery. You will definitely want to bring along your battery charger (if separate from the camera). But you may also want to look into one or two spare batteries. Having enough memory for lots of images won’t do you much good if your battery’s dead !