The IMAGING RESOURCE DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY
NEWSLETTER


Volume 1, Number 8 31 December 1999

Copyright 1999, The Imaging Resource. All rights reserved.

Welcome to the eighth edition of the Imaging Resource Newsletter -- and the last of the twentieth century! May your future be so bright you don't need flash.


TOPICS

SPONSORS
This issue of The Imaging Resource News is sponsored in part by the following companies. Please tell them you saw their ad here. And now a word from our sponsors:

Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com

Ofoto.com http://www.ofoto.com


Are you in the digital photo business? This newsletter is read by nearly 40,000 U.S. readers, all with a passion for digital photography. For information on how you can reach them, contact us at editor@imaging-resource.com.

Feature: Breaking in Your New Camera

To tell the truth, more than breaking in your new camera, your new camera has to break you in. There are two ways: the hard way and the easy way.

The hard way is known to appear to take longer and not be very exciting. The easy way promises to instantly gratify every expectation you ever had while thrilling you to your bones. Which is where regrets come in -- right after you've indulged in the easy way only to find out things aren't quite that simple.

But does the hard way have to be quite so hard? Here are a few tips to make the hard way as easy as possible:

TIP: Read the Free Manual (RTFM)

OK, it isn't "free." You paid. And it may not even be easy to read. But no matter how unpleasant, difficult, annoying or ridiculous it may seem, reading your camera's manual(s) will add years to your life, reduce cellulite and grow hair.

Well, it will seem like it.

Manuals do vary tremendously. Some are printed in multiple languages and illustrated profusely with an index as thorough as the table of contents was tidy. Some include a fold out map of the camera's features, some a quick start guide, some a CD with Adobe PDFs of everything in print but full-text searchable and linked to make it easy to jump from one topic to another.

And some seem translated from machine code by a robotic device on dead batteries. Still, it pays to read them.

But don't suffer unnecessarily.

First skim through the manual so you have a sense of what's in them. If a topic leaps out at you, indulge yourself. But skipping things entirely -- particularly if you think you already know them -- can spoil the fun. Buried in those unlikely places are often real gems.

Can't think of any off-hand though.

And that's the other advantage of familiarizing yourself with the documentation: you don't have to remember any of it. Just look it up when you need to know. Metering modes, focusing modes, flash modes. You can go nuts trying to remember everything some of these cameras can do. But gradually, as you use the camera in different situations, you'll learn more and more and it will become second nature. Until then, rely on your manual to remember what your camera can do.

TIP: Send in the Registration ... Eventually

There's a card in there somewhere. Or a Web site address to make it easy to register your equipment. And no doubt, there's some strong advice in Helvetica Black to fill the thing out and send it in right away, before you forget.

You won't forget.

The time to fill out the card and send it in is after you've confirmed the manufacturer hasn't been in the lemon fields too long. Confirm that everything is included that should be included. That everything works. And you've seen the quality of the pictures your camera takes and you like what you see.

In short, don't send the stuff in until you know you've got a keeper.

Why? Because some stores won't accept a return without all the original material.

But do register. Not only the hardware, but any software included in the bundle.

Sure, this can (if you're not careful) merely put you on a few marketing lists, but it also can start a flow of useful information your way. Like recalls, or special offers, or other ways companies try to be nice to their customers (like free upgrades). Just look for the little checkbox to turn off marketing materials if you don't want any.

TIP: Populate Your Bookmarks

You're dying to install the software and see your pictures ... but wait.

It's worth a few minutes on the Web to bookmark the sites of your camera manufacturer and the software companies. While you're there you may find a few tips and even a later version of the software or an upgrade or patch or who knows.

Keep an eye out for user forums, too. It can save a lot of head scratching to read what problems other people are having with your model. And what work-arounds and solutions they've found. You'll become an instant expert.

If you can't find a forum on the manufacturer's site, try usenet. One of the easiest ways to see if there's a list dedicated to your equipment is to drop by http://www.remarq.com and use the search form. Try a generic word (like "photo") or the manufacturer's name to hit all the discussion groups that may be relevant.

Keep these resources handy and you'll have good places to go if you need help.

TIP: Practice

You don't have to buy any film, so don't be shy. Shoot bad shoots. Lots of them. Surprise yourself. Just erase them all and start again. Try to make every mistake you can think of before you actually have to do anything important. There, we call that practice.

But my bet is that you'll find a few of those practice shots you just love, that surprise you, that get you to try things with your new gear you didn't think were possible. We call that experimenting.

OK, enough tips. Time to play. The goal is to simply to feel comfortable with your new camera, to see through it to the shot you want to take, knowing both you and the camera can handle it. Easily. That's when the fun begins.

Return to Topics.

Feature: Share Your Holiday Photos

So you've taken dozens of photos over the holiday. More than you usually do, in fact, since you didn't run out of film. And they're ready to share, too, since you don't have to wait to finish a roll to process them. You're beginning to like this digital photography game.

But what's the digital equivalent of double prints?

If you took advantage of Ofoto's test drive, you've already seen what digital photofinishing looks like. But making 4x6 copies for all your friends and family may run right through their free photo offer.

If your friends and family have email, though, Ofoto offers a quick, easy and free way to share your photos. Which is exactly what they call it: sharing.

Once you've uploaded your images to their secure server and arranged them in albums, it's not a bad idea to caption them before sharing the album (not everyone will recognize everyone else).

Then you can share the album by simply filling out the sharing form at the Ofoto site. Where you just follow these few simple steps:

That's all there is to it. You save a good deal of time over emailing separate copies to everyone and who knows, you may even sell a few prints. :)
Return to Topics.

Feature: Sony F505 -- An Ugly Duckling Becomes a Swan

By DAVE ETCHELLS
(Excerpted from the full review posted at http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/F505/F505A.HTM on the Web site.)

EXECUTIVE OVERVIEW

We really liked the design of the DSC-F505, one of our favorite aspects being the rotating lens which swings nearly 180 degrees. We also enjoyed the fact that the tripod mount was placed on the bottom of the lens instead of the camera body, meaning that you can tilt the body up and make the LCD monitor more visible. Although the lens notably prevents the camera from fitting into small pockets, the camera body itself is one of the most compact we've seen, making it quite light-weight. (And the huge lens makes it an instant attention-getter, if you're into that sort of thing...)

The only viewfinder on the DSC-F505 is the LCD monitor on the back panel, which offers brightness controls and a back light option directly beneath it. We found the LCD monitor to be somewhat difficult to see in very bright conditions (even with the back light function turned off as the manual suggests) and would like to have had an optical viewfinder for reference in those situations. That said, the LCD is much more visible in direct sunlight than most. For optics, the DSC-F505 comes with a razor-sharp 7.1 to 35.5mm Carl Zeiss 5x zoom lens (equivalent to a 38mm to 190mm lens on a 35mm camera) with apertures from f2.8 to f8.0. Focus ranges from 0.5m to infinity in wide angle and from 0.08m to infinity in macro

The DSC-F505 can digitally zoom up to 2x (for an overall zoom ratio of 10x), but keep in mind that the end result of digital zoom is a lower-resolution image. A manual focus option allows you to focus the lens as you would a standard 35mm camera by turning the notched bezel. Manual focus is especially helpful in macro mode, which on the DSC-F505 captures subjects as close as 3.25 inches (8cm) to the lens.

The DSC-F505 doesn't offer full manual exposure control, but does give you moderate exposure control with its program AE modes (Aperture Priority, Shutter Speed Priority, Twilight, Twilight Plus, Landscape and Panfocus). Aperture Priority and Shutter Speed Priority are self explanatory, letting you control the aperture or shutter speed settings. Twilight and Twilight Plus allow you to capture bright subjects with dark backgrounds. Landscape sets the focus for far away subjects and Panfocus allows you to quickly switch focus from far away to close up subjects.

The pop-up flash on the DSC-F505 works from 11.9 inches to 8.3 feet (0.3 to 2.5m) with choices of Auto (no LCD icon displayed, flash fires whenever the camera thinks it needs it), Forced (flash always fires) and Suppressed (flash never fires) modes. You can also control flash intensity via the record menu with choices of High, Normal and Low. You do have control over exposure compensation, which can be set from 1.5 to +1.5 in 0.5 EV increments through the record menu. White balance offers four modes (Auto, Indoors, Outdoors and One-Push). Auto, Indoors and Outdoors do exactly what you'd expect and balance the white value for specific lighting conditions. We enjoyed the flexibility of the One-Push mode, which adjusts the white balance according to a white value that you establish, and found it able to handle pretty extreme lighting conditions. There's also a 10 second self-timer and a spot metering option for further versatility.

In addition to standard exposure control, several picture effects let you manipulate images in the camera, both before and after recording. Negative Art reverses the color and brightness of the image. Sepia and Black & White change the image into monochromatic tones. Solarize separates the light intensities in the image, making it look more like an illustration. These are fun ways to infuse a little creativity into your shots

Probably the most exciting feature on the DSC-F505 is the ability to record short movies with sound. Movies can be recorded in lengths of 5, 10 and 15 seconds, depending on how you set it up. Two movie formats are available: Video Mail, which records at 160 x 112 pixels and Presentation, which records at 320 x 240. You can also record short sound bytes to accompany your still images. We can think of dozens of uses for this - in everything from pure image organization to documentation. Movie files are stored in the MPEG3 format

When it comes to storing images, the DSC-F505 utilizes Memory Sticks. These tiny cards (about the width of a stick of gum, but a bit shorter) come in 4MB, 8MB, 16MB and 32MB sizes and are easily write protected with a sliding lock on the card itself. (As we write this, the first 64MB memory sticks are reportedly hitting dealer shelves.) The DSC-F505 only runs on rechargeable InfoLITHIUM battery packs (S series) or the A/C adapter (which doubles as the battery charger)

US and Japanese models of the DSC-F505 come with an NTSC A/V cable for connection to a television set. (European versions presumably support the PAL standard.) Images and movies can be played back and composed using the TV as the LCD monitor. The camera also comes with USB and serial cables for downloading images to a computer. The included software CD contains PictureGear 3.2 Lite, which basically allows you to download and play back captured images. Although no photo manipulation software comes with the camera, Sony does offer ImageStation on their Web site, which offers various Internet and printing capabilities. Unfortunately for Mac users, the PictureGear software is only compatible with Windows 95, 98 and NT 4.0 (although they do provide a USB driver for Macintosh, so you should at least be able to download images).

Despite the somewhat quirky LCD and the limited software options, we really enjoyed this camera. Combine the tack-sharp rotating lens with the movie capability and good exposure-control options, and you have a very versatile, simple to operate digicam well-suited to both the average consumer and the photo enthusiast. The variety of features and the overall flexibility make the DSC-F505 handy for the office, home or anywhere. It's compact enough to be portable and feature-laden enough to tackle almost any shooting situation. We think you'll enjoy it.

IMAGE STORAGE & INTERFACE

The DSC-F505 utilizes Sony's unique (and thus far largely proprietary) Memory Stick for its image storage. A (grossly undersized) 4MB card comes with the camera and additional units are available to 8MB, 16MB and 32MB sizes. (As this review was being written in December 1999, we learned that 64MB memory sticks were just appearing on dealer's shelves in the U.S.) The Memory Stick has been the subject of some controversy within the digicam community, with many people (ourselves included) asking why on earth we need yet another memory-card format for digital cameras. It's bad enough (the argument goes) that we have to contend with the completely incompatible SmartMedia and CompactFlash standards, why must Sony introduce yet another format into the fray?

As noted, we've been strongly in the "oh no, not another memory format" camp ourselves. We were rather surprised then, by how appealing we found the Memory Sticks themselves. Of all the memory formats we've played with to date, we actually found ourselves liking the Memory Stick the most. (!?!) We're still not keen to see yet another memory format muddying the waters for consumers, but have to admit that there's a lot to like about the Memory Stick form factor. Relative to SmartMedia, it feels more rugged, and doesn't expose it's electrical contacts to the environment quite as much. Since insertion travel is much less, it should also be less subject to rubbing wear of the plating on the contacts, something we've observed with SmartMedia. Relative to CompactFlash, it's a fair bit more compact, and doesn't have the dozens of pins that CF requires. (We're firmly of the opinion that the fewer connections there are, the less chances there are for something to go wrong with one of them.) We also like the way the Memory Stick cards can be write-protected by sliding a tiny switch on their back. (CF cards have no such physical write-protection available, and SmartMedia cards require the use of expendable conductive foil dots that are also subject to failure due to dirt or fingerprints.) While we don't expect the rest of the world to jump onboard the Memory Stick bandwagon anytime soon, we do feel that it's at least a viable and useful solution within the Sony product line.

CONCLUSION

With the DSC-F505's unique rotating lens and its movie recording capabilities, you get a fun camera that takes great pictures too. The sharpness of the Carl Zeiss optics show in the final images, and we really like the "real camera" manual-focus option. The full 5x optical zoom is a big plus that we wish more manufacturers would adopt. While not going quite all the way to full manual exposure control (another feature we keep pushing for), the F505 provides a range of options, including both aperture and shutter-priority exposure programs, spot metering, and an optional preset white-balance setting. Overall, a razor-sharp performer for the camera buff, but easy enough for beginners to use in full-auto mode.

Return to Topics.

New on the Site

Drop by the site (http://www.imaging-resource.com/DIGCAM01.HTM) to keep up with us. The new year will see the site on a new server, too. Dave's been busy setting it up.

And we hope, shortly, to have a page on the site devoted to this newsletter, where you can easily access automated subscriber services (like changing your address), look articles up in an index, download past issues and search for subjects using a new full-text feature.

Return to Topics.

Beginners Flash: Diopters

If you're among those with less than perfect vision, being able to frame your shot with an LCD instead of by peeking through a tiny little viewfinder may seem like the brightest idea since baked bread (a much bigger deal than sliced).

But there are times (dark ones) when you do have to peek through that little viewfinder to see what the lens is looking at. And when those times come, you may not be able to see the full frame if you have to put your glasses on to look through it.

To solve that annoying little problem, some viewfinders have a small thumbwheel nearby that let's you adjust the focus of the viewfinder itself. It's called a diopter adjustment.

Prepare yourself by looking at something in shooting range, raise the camera's viewfinder to your eye and adjust the thumbwheel until the scene is sharp. That's all it takes to make a diopter adjustment for your vision.

Sounds easier than it is, however, because your eye is very accommodating. It will focus and refocus. Remember the goal is to be able to move the camera to your eye after seeing your shot without seeing a blur.

Where'd it get that ridiculous name? Diopter is simply the name of a unit of measurement for expressing the power of a lens (equal to the reciprocal of its focal length in meters, actually). A one-meter lens is half as strong as a half-meter lens. The half-meter lens has, we'd say, a refractive power of 2 diopters.

Return to Topics.

Advanced Mode: Red Eye

It isn't pretty. But it happens to every photographer. Red-eye. And what's worse is it can make your subjects see red when they look at your pictures of them.

But it isn't entirely your fault. They're partly to blame, too.

Red eye is simply a great reproduction of the inside back wall of your subject's eyes, the retina. You see it in your pictures because:

Professional press photographers prevent this problem by using a strobe flash mounted off the camera and directed toward a little white card or piece of plastic to bounce a soft light toward the subject. But they get paid to haul all that gear around. And sometimes it beats elbows for making enough room for the shot.

Since the flash is away from the lens the retina doesn't get illuminated. And with a bounce, the shadows are softer, too, but that's another topic.

Amateurs usually rely on a flash mode called red-eye reduction. Key word? Right, reduction. It works by flashing the strobe a few times before actually taking the picture in synch with the flash. That's supposed to fool all the pupils looking at your flash into closing down a bit. You're still illuminating the retina, but you've shut the pupil down so the red is smaller. Yippee.

That's also the principle behind asking your subject to stare at a bright light just before you take the shot. Blinded is better.

Of course, with a digital camera you don't have to worry about prevention or reduction. You can shoot upside down and still get the shot (if you rotate the image 180 degrees in your image editing program).

You just have to know how to eliminate it using your preferred image editing software.

We'll speak generically about this. Some programs have all the bells and whistles and others have some cute dedicated functions, but if you keep your eye on the ball, you can accomplish red-eye reduction with just about anything.

What we usually want to do is neutralize the red retina. Let it go back to being the unilluminated body part it really is. Don't lose the sparkling little highlight near it (at the center). Several generations of the Peale family became portrait painters famous for dotting the eyes of their subjects (like George Washington) with a touch of titanium white just to get the translucent effect of that catchlight. Keep the tradition alive.

What you may want to do instead, however (and this is perfectly within the bounds of good taste, particularly if the subject has light-colored eyes) is extend the iris as if it had closed down the pupil.

And naturally each of these goals requires different techniques.

But they both start with a selection of the retina (both of them). This, like in any surgery, prevents you from damaging perfectly innocent body parts that just happen to be nearby.

There are many ways to make the selection.

You can use an oval selection tool most of the time, or the freehand tool, or the color picker (or magic wand) set at not too small a tolerance. Use whatever you are comfortable with and don't worry about including a few pixels of the iris or the highlight. Worry about missing any red ones.

If you want to neutralize, use the tool that lets you change saturation (a sponge is nice), set the opacity (if you can) to something like 50 percent and swipe away with a brush size at least the size of the selection until the red turns gray. A couple of windshield wipes later you'll be done.

You can, if you prefer, use any other tool (say, Curves) to neutralize the red. Adjusting the Red curve down in the highlights and midtones takes care of the problem nicely. You probably won't need more than two points, but you can have them with Curves if you like.

If you want to colorize, use the tool that clones a part of the image. You want a color sample large enough to include several pixels. If you don't have enough color in one eye, set the color from the other. Pick the sample and using a small brush, paint over the red.

Yes, it would be terrific if somebody wrote software smart enough to find eyes all by itself, knew that humans do not come in red eyes, and desaturated or colorized based on the iris color. It would also be terrific if CCDs were so sensitive you never needed flash.

On the other hand, if everyone would just learn to blink whenever the photographer said, "Smile!" we could eradicate red eye from the face of photography.

Return to Topics.

Just for Fun: Are You Still There?

The twentieth century was the most photographed century in history. But it won't take more than 100 years for the twenty-first century to challenge for the title. If everyone crossed over the mythical Y2K divide.

Did you make it? Now's a good time to check.

If you've missed all the warnings (or been misled by the uncomprehending), the Y2K problem is caused by the assumption that dates belong only to the twentieth century. This had its virtues (saving a two bytes of precious RAM for every date) if you didn't expect to live beyond 1999, but for those of us who expected to survive, it became good practice long ago to include the century in our dates. Add 1 to 99 and it becomes 00, turning over just like an odometer, and confusing whatever calculations may be based on the date. And then where are you? Well, no one was quite sure until Jan. 1.

What exposure does digital imaging have to the Y2K problem?

Your printer has no strong opinions on the time of day, so as long as you have paper and supplies like cartridges or ribbons handy, consider your printer Y2K compliant. Same goes for your scanner, except you can skip the supplies.

Thought we'd start off easy.

And continuing in that vein we'll skip your computer system entirely. If you're reading this you aren't entirely disabled by the century change. And if you aren't reading this, we'll send a search party out for you. Just promise not to unsubscribe.

Image editing software is not typically date sensitive -- unless it's a 30-day trial version or has a built-in (and usually hidden) expiration date. Not a bad idea to launch or boot it and see what happens. Even better, visit the developer's site to read their Y2K compliance page.

And how about your digital camera?

If you ever had to enter the date on your camera, take a look at the date now. Did it join us in 2000 or is it still wandering around in the twentieth century? If it's lost, only an upgrade will help.

You might think you could ignore the camera's date but your images are merely files, and their time/date stamp is subject to your operating system's whims. Copy the file and it may get a new date.

Only the date in the file's JPEG header may remain unedited (unless you follow the instructions on editing it in the Imaging Resource Newsletter, volume 1 number 5, Nov. 20), and therefore reliable. And only your camera sets that. So it's worth confirming.

And not a bad time to set a reminder in any calendar or reminder program you rely on to change the camera time to account for daylight savings time.

If you plan to be around then, that is.

Return to Topics.

Dave's Deals

Trial downloads of the (excellent) PhotoGenetics imaging program are still available. If you decide to purchase PhotoGenetics, be sure to come back through this URL (http://www.q-res.com/php3/downloads.php3?refid=imgresource) to receive the special $5-off deal for Imaging Resource readers!

For readers who may have missed Dave's review, PhotoGenetics provides powerful photo editing without requiring a degree in advanced mathematics or a friend who can discuss color theory until 2 a.m. Or as PhotoGenetics puts it the program will "enhance image quality simply and efficiently without requiring any technical knowledge about image processing."

According to PhotoGenetics, "An image looks best when you think it looks best! But, no computer can know what you think unless you find a way to communicate your preferences. PhotoGenetics is based on this principle. The easiest way for you to communicate your preferences is by comparing two images and telling the computer whether the second image looks better than the first one, and if so, by how much."

The company offers a time-limited demo with full documentation in HTML at the site.

Return to Topics.

We Have Mail

You can email us at editor@imaging-resource.com. We received a lot of thank-you email for the Ofoto.com offer of free prints, which has been extended to 100 6x4 inch prints if you sign up by Jan. 15.

RE: Ofoto Offer

As a recent entrant to the world of digital imaging I subscribed to your excellent newsletter to learn something about the subject.

A week ago I saw the offer from Ofoto for free prints in exchange for testing the beta version of the Web site. With a great deal of skepticism I logged on to the Ofoto URL, and uploaded 20 images.

In an amazing display of efficiency and quality the company had the capacity to handle the JPEG uploads in minimum time, acknowledged the order and gave me an order receipt. Five days later the prints were in my mailbox!

The quality of the prints is excellent, which leads me to think that maybe Ofoto has some equipment that enhances the admittedly marginal level of my 1,024 x 768 pixel camera. I just want you to know that this is the first time in 15 years of using computers that something that looked like "vaporware" delivered what it promised and more! Please tell my fellow subscribers that Ofoto may be something that they'll want to check out.

Thanks for your excellent informative epublication.

-- Peter Sokolowski

(Thanks for the kind words, Peter. We're delighted to hear you were pleased with the prints. They do indeed have some special equipment. Top secret, you might say. -- Editor)
Return to Topics.

Editor's Notes

Can't get a cab? Veteran New York City cabbie Clever DaSilva decided to mount a digital camera on his dashboard and turn his yellow cab into an e-business where anyone can get a ride (as long as they stay on the Internet). The recently relaunched NY-Taxi.com at http://www.NY-Taxi.com received a 6.5 million hits in its first month from curious Web surfers around the world interested in seeing where the Internet Cab happened to be driving. The most popular feature of the site, the "Cab-Cam," transmits images live from the streets of New York City to a secure server in Syracuse, New York.


Fuji is encouraging everyone to "Get The Picture" and post it on Fujifilm's Web site to celebrate the millennium, by running an online "Celebrate Your Millennium" sweepstakes. Consumers who register and upload their favorite pictures to the new "Picture Your Life" section of the company's Web site at www.fujifilm.com are automatically eligible for a random drawing to win a Fujifilm MX-1700 ZOOM digital camera. The sweepstakes ends Jan. 20, 2000.


FlashPoint Technology Inc., creators of Digita(tm), the industry's only standardized software platform for digital imaging appliances, has announced two new in-camera software applications: Digita Presents and Digita File. The applications extend and enhance the capabilities of Digita-enabled digital cameras.

Digita Presents enables users to turn a camera into a portable image sharing and slide show presentation device. Digita File provides full management of all camera system files including images and Digita Scripts(tm), and adds basic operating system commands, including the ability to copy images, without the need for a computer. The in-camera software is available at www.flashpoint.com.

Stephen D. Saylor, FlashPoint executive vice president and general manager, Products Division stated, "Because Digita is a common software platform, it creates a new opportunity for developers to create specialized applications for consumer, business, and verticals markets. The Digita operating environment gives the digital camera user an unprecedented degree of control over the photographic experience."

Digita Presents, he added, is a powerful tool for professionals on the go. The user can modify the presentation order of stored photos, choose among 10 transitions, and set options like image quality or resolution in the slide show, time allotted to each slide and, if desired, play a sound bite as each slide displays. Multiple slide shows can be saved for later playback, for different audiences, such as a short or a long version created from the same set of images.

Other features of Digita Presents include random display order, automatic or manual advancement, and looping of images. Options such as display time and associated sound can be set for all slides at once or for individual slides in the show. Finished presentations can be displayed by connecting the camera to a television using the video out port, or can be exported to HTML format for use in a Web page.

Digita File makes sharing and managing pictures and camera system files easy, Saylor said. Options include: formatting CompactFlash cards; renaming files; viewing details about the installed card; and reading stored picture information. It can also delete all image files while maintaining the system folders and files. Additionally, images can be sorted by date, category or group filters as determined by the user. Digita File is bundled with the new Kodak DC290 digital camera.

Digita Presents is available for Kodak DC290 camera by download from FlashPoint for $19.95. The latest version of Digita File for the Kodak DC290 camera can be downloaded from www.flashpoint.com at no cost. Both programs require Digita version 1.0.3, with a minimum 8MB CompactFlash card and 2MB free.

Currently, FlashPoint said it has over 3,000 registered developers writing Digita applications, including MetaCreations, Digitella, Techlogix, PictureWorks and Image Software. The new Digita Application Software Development Kit allows deeper access to camera control systems for more powerful and feature-rich camera applications.


Agfa has announced today they will extend rebate programs on several digital cameras and desktop scanners. Each of the following mail-in rebates will be extended to March 31, 2000: $20 off the SnapScan 1212p, $20 off the SnapScan 1236u, $50 off the ePhoto CL30 Clik! digital camera, $50 off the ePhoto CL50 digital camera and $50 off the ePhoto CL30 digital camera. In addition, Agfa will extend the $20 off the SnapScan 1212u (off-white only) to May 31, 2000.

Return to Topics.

Next Issue

We're already working on the next issue, which will feature a report from the floor of Macworld Expo in San Francisco. We'll crawl around the various exhibits disguised as a Y2K bug if that's what it takes to get the story.

Our editorial plans for the year ahead are already in gear. Although we've been focusing on how to use your gear in our first few issues, we'll be devoting a lot of space to the digital darkroom, covering image editing products and techniques.

Return to Topics.

Signoff

That's it for now, but look for our next issue in about two weeks. Meanwhile, visit our site for the latest news, reviews, or to have your questions answered in our free discussion forum. Here are the links to our most popular pages:

Daily News: http://www.imaging-resource.com/NEWS.HTM
New on Site: http://www.imaging-resource.com/NEW1.HTM
Digicam index: http://www.imaging-resource.com/DIGCAM01.HTM
Q&A Forum: http://www.imaging-resource.com/FORUM.HTM
Newsletter Forum: http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a.tcl?topic=irnews
Tips: http://www.imaging-resource.com/TIPS.HTM

Happy snapping!

Mike Pasini, Editor
editor@imaging-resource.com
Dave Etchells, Publisher
web@imaging-resource.com

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