Technology

Ready in a snap

Vacation photographers often don't get a second chance to capture a special moment, so the more prepared you are, the better your images will be.

Besides, who wants to spend precious vacation time searching for extra film or a forgotten memory card in an overpriced souvenir shop?

At the very least, your camera bag should always contain extra media cards; batteries; a trash bag in the event of unexpected rain; a lock to secure your equipment in a suitcase in a hotel room; and a lens-cleaning kit.

Here's what else we recommend taking on the road:

CAMERA BAG

The Lowepro SlingShot 100 camera bag is well-designed; it's well-padded to provide comfort for you and protection for your equipment. You can easily rotate the bag from your back to the front, where pouches open easily for quick access. It includes these built-in features: a memory card holder, raincoat to cover the bag, monopod holder and straps, and clips to wear the bag as a fanny pack.

Price: $69.95

Available at: Wolf Camera & Video, Best Buy

Web site: www.lowepro.com

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RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES

Newer cameras come with rechargeable batteries, but some cameras and flashes take AA batteries. If you have one of those, and if you travel with a laptop, try the rechargeable USBcell AA batteries from Moxia Energy. They have a cap that pops off to reveal a USB connector. From there, just plug them into any computer, keyboard or monitor to begin charging.

There is no need for a USB cable or an AC charger for the batteries, but if a USB connection is unavailable, the batteries can charge in a standard AA battery charger.

Price: $20 for package of two

Web site: www.usbcell.com

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MEDIA CARD STORAGE

How many times have you rifled through your bag, looking for that extra memory card? Keep them all in one place with this compact, lightweight, water-resistant case from PC Card Packaging. They are made with interchangeable soft custom liners to hold many combinations of cards and even batteries.

Price: $7.99

Web site: www.pccardpackaging.com

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CAMERA PROTECTION

The silicone cover by One Cover Products Group protects the entire camera_lens to LCD screen_while not in use. It takes seconds to put the case on, and still allows access to all camera functions. It comes in six fashionable colors, so photographers might choose to leave it on at all times. This doesn't make the camera waterproof, but it will help somewhat when you're caught in rain.

Price: $24.95 to $29.95

Web site: www.unisyl.com

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TRIPOD EXTENDER

Tired of coming back from vacation with photos of everybody but yourself?

Put yourself in the picture with the Quick Pod. Attach a compact still or video camera to one end, where there's a standard tripod socket. Then, just set the camera to the self-timer, extend the pod up to 18 inches and smile.

A built-in self-positioning mirror helps position the subjects in each shot.

Price: $24.99

Available at: Wolf Camera

Web site: www.quikpod.com

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TRIPOD

For all those places where there's no room to set up a standard tripod, the Joby Gorillapod tripod is just the thing. The three flexible legs can firmly grip anything, including tree branches, railings, car doors_even your arm. It's available in various sizes to accommodate the weight of different types of cameras, and it has a timer so the photographer can pose, too.

Price: $24.99

Available at: Best Buy

Web site: www.joby.com

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