|Volume 3, Number 25||14 December 2001|
Welcome to the 61st edition of the Imaging Resource Newsletter. All of us at Imaging Resource wish you the Happiest of Holidays!
And thanks to those who've responded to our appeal for help supporting this publication by visiting http://www.imaging-resource.com/cgi-bin/pl/pl.cgi?prnl to get 25 free enlargements (worth up to $75) plus Printroom's Shoot & Share [W] software for just $9.99 (half of which goes to this newsletter). Cash donations may be made at http://www.imaging-resource.com/buynow.htm if you prefer.
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:
Are you in the digital photo business? This newsletter is read by over 43,400 readers, all with a passion for digital photography. For information on how you can reach them, contact us at email@example.com.
It was just after Thanksgiving dinner. We leaned back in our chair. Too experienced to actually tilt it back on its hind legs we just slumped and, as Billy Collins the poet says, "the lion of contentment ... placed a warm, heavy paw on my chest." Big smile and nobody to take our picture.
But it doesn't take long for that lion to stir. About the time it takes coffee to brew, actually.
"Cream? Sugar?" our adorable sister-in-law asked.
"Black," we tried to thwart her. "Hey, let me do the dishes," we despaired.
You know what we were avoiding. Promising pictures. We like to see our shots on our monitor, but when it comes to sharing, there's only one chair.
According to the market research firm InfoTrends, the median number of prints made at home per month is just 10. For two reasons. It isn't automatic or quick. And with only three percent of consumers using retailers to process prints, according to the Photo Marketing Association, dropping your images off for photo finishing isn't the solution either.
With the holidays upon us, what's to save us from the lions?
As long as we've been doing this digitally (1998), we've only known two ways out.
The first is a circus act. You put on a CD (it was Louis Prima belting out "Please No Squeeza Da Banana" this time) and run a slide show on the TV or your laptop. Enlarge certain noses. Linger on embarrassing moments. Once is usually enough to scare everybody off. Especially when they realize there are 128 pictures (or so), not to mention movies.
But the best way to handle this (for everybody) is to outsource it. Online photo sharing, we mean, where you upload images and interested parties view them and order their own prints without ever having to bug you about them. And that isn't a secret (as we wrote a year ago last June when we were attending graduations every weekend).
So we're a little surprised online photo sharing hasn't turned into a way of life. In fact, we can count on a couple of knuckles the family members who indulge. Far more of them email their pictures to us -- which requires rescheduling the rest of our day while we wait for the download. One of them intermittently puts up images on a personal Web site, but that's a chore for the weekend (after all the other chores).
"Uncle Mike!" came a cry from the living room from the resident MP3 importer. "Can we upload your pix to Club Photo?"
"Bless you," we blubbered or something as sentimental. "But, Joey, why don't you show everybody how easy it is?" Teach a man to fish and he won't bother you at Thanksgiving.
Subscriber Karen Pierce recently shared an interesting chart comparing online photofinishers (http://www.andromeda.com/people/ddyer/photo/albums.html) at the Andromeda site. There are quite a few to choose from.
And they tend to resemble each other in just how you make use of them. To distinguish them, we recommend you pay attention to print quality (which you can judge for yourself with their free offers) and extra services.
It would be, well, injudicious to try to tour all of them now (like wine tastings, come to think of it), so we'll just take the Club Photo tour. We like Club Photo for its very clean interface and its incomparable output options (which include jewelry and baked goods). They also let you keep an email address book online. Look for the HTML version of this tutorial at http://www.imaging-resource.com/NEW1.HTM for screen shots.
So bring your camera over here and let's do it.
SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST
Once you've copied your images from your camera (or scanned them) to your Web-enabled computer (which you do all the time anyway), you're ready for step one. You can also send film to Club Photo for processing and digitizing.
Decide which images you want to, well, publish.
Yes, publish. You're sending these babies out into the world for other people to have printed. So choose carefully. This isn't a roll of film, after all. You get to apply a little intelligence. Skip the bad ones.
Once you know what you want to put online, take a second look at them. Any red-eye? Would a crop save the image?
Don't get too picky here because you're really into mass production, assembly-line photo finishing. If you have a special image, certainly do give it the time it deserves, but don't think you have to edit every single shot.
Most firms provide some editing tools you can use either remotely or locally, but use the tool you can always use: your image editor. What good is it to learn how to eliminate red-eye at Ofoto when you decide you really want to make chocolate squares at Club Photo? Using your own software gives you that freedom.
UPSTREAM TO SPAWN
The most difficult step in the process is uploading your images. And only because it takes a while. So multi-task. Plan something else to do while you are uploading. And remind yourself that once you've endured the tedium of uploading, you're almost finished.
To upload to Club Photo, visit the home page using this special link (http://www.imaging-resource.com/cgi-bin/nl/pl.cgi?fcp). If you're new, register. Otherwise, log in by typing your email address and password. Club Photo sets a cookie to remember you the next time you visit.
There's no cost to upload your photos for others to view, incidentally. But if you don't upgrade your membership (http://www.clubphoto.com/memberservices/premium_info.php for details), your online album will expire in 90 days. A status line accompanying each album tells you exactly how many days it will remain on the server.
Notice that you can also get an overview of the service by clicking on the Learn More button. And the Help option at the top of the screen leads you to extensive Frequently Asked Questions pages.
IN LIKE FLYNN
Once in, you'll see the My Albums page. Albums are simply folders or directories on the server in which you store your images and their thumbnails.
To create an album, click on the New Album option, give it a name and decide whether or not it should have password protection. Since a password is one more impediment to seeing your images, don't bother unless the subject matter is somehow sensitive.
Use Club Photo's Add Pictures upload page to tag your local image files for transfer to your new online album. The Browse button saves you from typing the filename.
There are many different ways to transmit images to a remote host. Most online photofinishers provide one or another alternate method for transmitting images, including Photoshop plug-ins and standalone software. Club Photo offers both.
But unless you are going to do business with just one firm, it can be counterproductive to learn proprietary software for transmitting images. Nothing is much faster, anyway and speed is the real problem. So we prefer to simply suffer with the browser method. Mac users tend not to have much choice in the matter, but Windows users can do much of their organizing off line.
Your album is what visitors will see, so give it some attention. That may involve no more than reordering images (chronologically or in family groups, for example). Club Photo makes it easy to move an image. Just select it and click on the position you want it to appear.
Rotate any images with the wrong orientation (although this is something that you should already have done).
And caption your images. A brief caption can make visitors feel at home, introducing them to people they may not know or have forgotten. Who knows, years from now your caption may be the only identification of some of the people in your shots.
Eschew fancy borders and backgrounds. The image is the thing everyone should be interested in. But you can often do better than the default font.
And, remember, nothing is final. You can always change things by clicking on the Edit Album option on your My Albums page. You can add pictures or change the album title, style or password. You can also edit the captions any time you like.
Once you've set up your album, it's time to tell everyone about it. And to tell anyone, you need their email address.
Club Photo makes it painless to import your address book from your browser or email application. It can read Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express and Yahoo Mail formats. And soon Palm Desktop, too, we're told. You can also add names one at a time.
Then just visit the Share with Family & Friends page. One simple note can be sent to everyone on the list, sparing them long downloads of emailed images.
Just fill in an individual email address or tell Club Photo to use your Address Book. Your name and email address are automatically entered. Edit the subject, if you like and add a short message describing the subject of your album.
You can also tell Club Photo to email a link to a particular photo.
THE SHOW MUST GO ON
Sites vary in how they present your album. Some use a slide show presentation. Others use a lightbox motif. Whatever they do, make sure it works. Can't tell you how many Java slide shows simply hang, frustrating everyone.
Dave has set up a couple of sample albums. Take a look at his page at: http://www.clubphoto.com/reward.php?id=132313&mid=members4_david72827&pwd=
Note that the link fits in a single line, so email programs won't break it, making it impossible for some people to use. Not all sites are as bright as Club Photo about that.
Screen display is wonderful, but it should also be easy for your visitors to get prints. After all, your album may not always be online. And, no, they can't just capture your image from their browser, which is only displaying a low-res version.
Club Photo gives you and your guests the widest range of possible print options we've ever seen. Whether you want single or multiple prints in any of several sizes, they've got it. And inexpensively. A 4x6 for 45 cents, a 5x7 for 99 cents or an 8x10 for $3.99.
You can even have it framed and shipped anywhere you like.
And if you want to outsource your custom gift making, they can put your image on clothing, jewelry, office products like mouse pads and even baked goods.
As the owner of your album you have one special privilege not granted ordinary mortals. You can order an Archive CD.
Your high-resolution images, their thumbnails and album pages (including album descriptions and image captions) are all stored on the CD, organizing your images for quick retrieval long after your online album expires. And just in case you don't have any other offsite backup.
A WIDER AUDIENCE
Club Photo also encourages album creators to publish their work in their Gallery. Drop by the Gallery to see what other digital imagers are doing these days.
So upload, organize, email and in a day or two your inbox will be full of thank you notes for making your wonderful pictures available. And you can tilt back in your chair and purr like that lion of contentment yourself.
By DAVE ETCHELLS(Excerpted from the full review posted at http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/A101/A11A.HTM on the Web site.)
Fuji has one of the broadest lines of digicams in the industry, with models reaching from entry level models to a high-end professional SLR. At the low end of their line, Fuji delivers excellent value and good image quality from simple, stylish cameras. One of their latest, the 1.3 megapixel FinePix A101, represents about the minimum investment you can make in a digicam and still expect to get good picture quality.
The FinePix A101 is a palm-size, point-and-shoot digital camera small enough to go just about anywhere you want. The durable plastic casing is lightweight, scratch-resistant with a sliding lens cover making it ideal for stashing in a shirt pocket or small purse. The focus-free lens provides a wide-angle view perfect for small group snapshots, local scenery, landscapes and (well-lit) indoor activities and the 1.31-megapixel resolution is more than adequate for making sharp 4x6-inch prints or acceptable 5x7 prints.
Its fixed-focal-length lens, equivalent to a 36mm lens on a 35mm film camera, covers approximately 2.6 feet to infinity in normal shooting mode. A Macro switch next to the lens allows you to focus on subjects as close as 3 inches. A fixed focal length lens is somewhat limiting in people photography, since its wide-angle view causes distortion in close-up face shots (an effect you can see in our "Close-Up Portrait" test image) and it also prevents you from zooming in on faraway subjects, like individual players on a large soccer field. The A101 does provide a "digital zoom," but it doesn't provide the quality magnification of a true "optical zoom" lens.
An On/Off switch on top of the camera opens the lens cover in both capture and review modes whenever the camera is turned on, while the Mode dial next to the switch allows you to choose between Still Record, Playback and Movie modes. The fixed-focus lens makes it very quick on the draw, with virtually no shutter lag from the time you press down on the Shutter button to the time the shutter actually fires. The result is a camera that's much more responsive to the shutter button than many more expensive models. Aperture and shutter speed are automatically determined, but the user can choose from two file sizes (1-MB at 1280x960 pixels and VGA at 640x480 pixels) and three file compression settings (Fine, Normal and Basic). Minor exposure adjustments can compensate for unusual lighting conditions. The A101's built-in flash includes a forced flash, suppressed flash, slow synchro and red-eye reduction setting.
The exposure system is very straightforward, with an Auto Program mode that makes all of the shooting decisions and a Manual mode with three image adjustment options controlled through the on-screen menu: Flash (also available in Auto mode), Exposure Compensation (to lighten or darken an image) and White Balance (to adjust the color balance). There's also an Option Set menu that allows you to adjust the LCD brightness, select image quality and choose between Auto and Manual exposure modes. A Set-Up submenu allows you to set specific camera functions such as language, date and time and USB mode.
Along with simplicity and portability, the A101 also offers some creative options. You can record short QuickTime movies (approximately 20 seconds, without sound). In Auto mode, you can use the camera's Self-Timer mode to trigger a 10-second delayed exposure. Finally, the A101 can be used as a PC video-cam for videoconferencing over the Internet.
The A101 uses 3.3v SmartMedia cards and comes with an 8-MB card. It also comes with two AA alkaline batteries, but can also use NiMH, lithium or NiCd batteries, as well as a CR-V3 rechargeable battery pack (sold as an accessory). The optional AC adapter is recommended for time-consuming tasks such downloading images to a computer.
The A101 did a nice job with color and image quality throughout our testing. The camera's White Balance system handled most of our test lighting well, though we often noticed slight warm casts with some of our studio shots. Skin tones in our Outdoor and Indoor portraits had strong magenta tints. The camera also had a hard time with the incandescent lighting of our Indoor Portrait (without flash), producing a strong magenta cast. Still, not a bad job overall.
The A101's full automatic exposure control limited its low-light shooting capability a great deal. Color looked good, however, though the overall color balance was slightly magenta. On a good note, images showed low image noise.
Despite the limitations of the A101's full automatic exposure control, we were still pleased with the camera's performance during our testing. Though low-light capabilities were somewhat weak and resolution was only moderately high at best, the A101 produced nice, clean exposures in our other test setups.
The FinePix A101 is clearly aimed at the entry-level, point-and-shoot user. As such it does a good job of delivering good-quality, color-correct images when shooting outdoors (or with the on-camera flash), but doesn't perform well in low-light situations, including indoor available light. It mostly meets the needs of entry-level users, includes decent exposure controls, plus it offers an extra bonus with the Movie and PC-Cam modes, all at a very affordable price. All in all, an excellent choice for someone looking for a rock-bottom entry-level camera with good picture quality.
At http://www.imaging-resource.com/NEW1.HTM you can keep track of what's new on our main site. Among the highlights since the last issue:
- Test Photo Suite: production model Nikon Coolpix 5000 (http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/C5000/C5PICS.HTM).
- Reviewed: Canon EOS-1D (http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/EOS1D2/E1DA.HTM).
- "Ask Dave" (http://www.photo-forums.com/WebX?14@@.ee87f8e). Dave will try to answer your questions daily but you're on your honor to either purchase through one of our advertisers or make a small donation to support the site.
A digital image is not an image at all. It is a file of bits grouped into bytes which themselves are organized into kinds of data that image editing and slide show programs know how to read and display.
A bit is nothing more than an on/off switch. A byte nothing more than a group of bits (usually eight). But they're the heart of a digital image or bitmap. The file "maps" each particular byte's data to a particular spot on your screen.
That spot is known as a pixel (from picture element).
Each pixel in a black and white image needs one byte of eight bits to do its job.
In a bitmap, pixels are the basic building block of the image. They are what makes one image look like a lamp and another look like a statue.
But how successful they are depends on how many of them you have.
You could certainly take a picture of the Washington Monument using only four bytes. In that case you would have two light pixels in the top row and two darker ones in the bottom row. And it would pretty much resemble every other tower (and every other landscape) you might shoot that way.
To represent a scene, you need enough pixels to capture detail.
For a close-up, that may be just 640x480 pixels. For a landscape, five megapixels wouldn't entirely satisfy some people. Just think of the detail you are "summarizing" in a landscape compared to a close-up. We call that summarization "sampling."
Scanners provide some flexibility in the number of pixels they sample. Digicams offer a tiny bit, too, but nothing like the range a scanner provides.
After crossing the resolution threshold for a recognizable image, the most important information your file must contain is tonality.
By turning on or off each bit in the eight-bit byte for each pixel, you can record a value from 0 to 255. Zero, all bits off (00000000), indicates black or the absence of reflected light, while 255 or all bits on (11111111), indicates white.
This brightness information is recorded by a sensor element in either your scanner or digicam. There's one sensor element for each pixel. The sensor elements are grouped in rows and columns. Your scanner won't have nearly as many rows as your digicam because it can sweep down the page, taking its time, while your digicam has to do the job in a fraction of a second.
These sensors are all found on the CCD (charged coupled device) in your digicam or scanner.
So, to summarize, the sensors on a CCD capture luminance and enough of them provide detail, yielding a recognizable image. Great, but what about color?
Color in a digital image is acquired by filtering each sensor, so it only records the luminance of a certain color. Same 256 values, but now they are values of red, green or blue light. Put those three together and you have color.
Here scanners and digicams diverge.
A scanner will record three values for every sample it takes of your original as it slowly passes over it. One row of sensors may record red, the next row may record green and the next blue as the three rows follow each other down the image.
But a camera has to stop action. So each filtered sensor sits next to sensors filtered in different colors (and at least one the same). A red-filtered sensor by itself needs the blue-filtered data from a neighboring sensor and the green-filtered data from yet another neighboring sensor to acquire the three eight-bit bytes of filtered luminance values required to represent color information.
Add all those bits together and you'll see why we talk so much about 24-bit color. Eight each for red, green and blue is enough information to represent true, photographic color.
Getting color information from adjacent elements (called "interpolation") may seem like a shortcoming of digital photography. In fact, color information or "chrominance" tends to vary much more smoothly than luminance.
That factoid makes it possible to compress a digital image file significantly.
Rare is the digital image that is not compressed. A Tagged Image File Format or TIFF image represents the header and 24-bit values of the image as your device recorded it. That's some 9-MB for a 3.3-megapixel camera.
But (in part) by representing color information separately from luminance, JPEG compression can store the image with no noticeable loss of quality in just 600K-700K. Which makes digital images practical.
JPEG compression is often misunderstood as a "lossy" compression technique. Were your image file a database, this misunderstanding would be right on target. But your image file is a digital representation of analog data. The conversion to digital (on/off signals) from analog (waves) is itself lossy.
But more importantly, JPEG compression is intelligent. It analyzes the data to remove only what won't be missed when reconstituted. Using it at its higher quality settings (7 and above in an image editor or Fine in a digicam), you won't perceive any "loss" of quality.
A digital image can be displayed in many different ways.
Your monitor can adjust its red, green and blue guns for any particular pixel on your screen to represent the values of each pixel in your image. Your monitor using a 24-bit video system (common these days) will often be the best print you'll see of your images.
But to get a paper print of your image, the digital image data must be converted by a print driver into the droplets of ink in various colors (from four to six). Except in the case of dye sublimation printers (which can vary the amount of color any spot on the paper receives), this involves one or another screening technique.
And that, in a nutshell, is what a digital image is. In just about a thousand words, too!
Holidays (and happy ones to you) are, for many, preceded by anxiety and followed by depression. This is no less true of digicamers traveling for the holidays who try to solve the problem of storage capacity.
No, you can't just run into the local drug store for another roll of film.
And, yes, we've discussed this before. It seems to elude our magical powers.
Our wagon-train approach to the problem has been to travel with enough camera storage (CompactFlash, SmartMedia, Memory Stick, etc.) to cover any session. A 64-MB card for 3-megapixel images seems to suffice quite nicely.
But only for one session. Then we're glad to have brought along the laptop to copy images from the card to its hard disk -- and then to a removable SyQuest cartridge (we bring two for each week we're away) so we have two copies of our images on two different media.
Only then do we erase the card -- and only in the camera.
But this is nuts so we've been looking for a better approach that gives up none of the safeguards (we've never lost a road trip image).
Two competing approaches are getting more and more affordable. We're keeping our eye on them.
We're particularly enamored of the light laptop approach. Machines like the Sony Vaio, Fujitsu Lifebook and Macintosh PowerBook and iBook are as much trouble to pack as a magazine. And you can bring your image editing and slide show software along without packing a single extra pound.
But we really like their FireWire/IEEE-1394 capability. With the right Oxford 911 bridge, 2.5-inch external drive, you can have from 5-MB to 48-MB of external storage the size of a deck of cards. With no power brick!
And with their plug-n-play portability between systems, you can even hook up to a host's computer to burn a CD or two before you leave.
But that's not the cheapest solution.
So in comes the cavalry: lower prices for removable camera storage. There are advantages to the more expensive faster cards in high-end cameras, but for replacing a SyQuest a handful of inexpensive CompactFlash cards is hard to beat.
Ritz now has a private-labeled line of flash cards at good prices. We can't mention the provider but they're known for fast cards with built-in USB. Visit http://www.imaging-resource.com/cgi-bin/nl/pl.cgi?ritzmem for more info.
The landscape for the traveling digicamer is changing. We'll let you know how we resolve the problem for ourselves in the months to come. Stay tuned.
Visit the Imaging Resource discussion forums at http://www.photo-forums.com to find out what people are saying about the latest digicams, hard-to-find accessories, friendly suppliers, clever techniques, you name it! Recent hot topics include:
Discuss the Nikon 5000 production model at: http://www.photo-forums.com/WebX?13@@.ee88889
Compare Olympus camera prices at http://www.photo-forums.com/WebX?13@@.ee860fe
Pye asks about panorama software at http://www.photo-forums.com/WebX?50@@.ee885f8
David asks about working with downloaded images at http://www.photo-forums.com/WebX?50@@.ee88a89
Visit the Techniques Forum at http://www.photo-forums.com/WebX?14@@.ee6b325
One of the great drawbacks of digital photography is that those pleasurable hours spent mixing chemicals at precise temperatures, stirring crystals into solubility and inhaling the festive fumes of glacial acetic acid are lost.
Taking pity on us as we wandered up and down the hallway in our old darkroom apron, a kind soul steered us into the kitchen one holiday and put us to work. It turned out to be a satisfactory substitute.
So herewith is what we serve our family on Christmas Eve as they wander in from all over. It's simple enough for kids to make (Niece Mia made an excellent variation to celebrate the Millennium) and only takes half an hour (which dovetails nicely into one or another halftime show). You can be as precise as you like with the measurements and even an unmitigated disaster tastes great.
Here's what you need for eight goblet-sized servings. Bowls work, too, but we can't emphasize the importance of using clear glass. Because it isn't that important, frankly.
- 8 oz. white chocolate (that's 120 grams)
- 4 egg whites (at room temperature)
- 1 cup heavy cream (500 ml, room temperature, too)
- 8 Maraschino cherries (for good luck, we buy a fresh jar each year)
- A sprig of fresh mint
Melt the white chocolate in a $150 double boiler. Or do what Great Grandmother did before Williams-Sonoma: just boil some water in a sauce pan and hold another pan above it (and out of the water) so the heat melts the chocolate without boiling it.
When the white chocolate has melted, let it cool a bit, then stir in 2-1/2 Tablespoons (uh, 40 ml) of the not-cold heavy cream.
Let that cool.
Meanwhile beat the egg whites until they're stiff (but not dry).
Then fold the chocolate-cream mixture into the beaten egg whites. Fold? The untechnical term is mix-by-lumping. Put a spatula under the mix, lift and turn over. Points for elegance if you spin the bowl and lift the mixture from the edge, turning it over itself toward the middle. The more carefully you fold, the lighter the mousse will be. Same [indecipherable] calories, though.
Whip the remaining cream, until soft peaks form. It's legal to stop the beater to see if they've formed yet. And it's OK to use a whisk, too, but add three hours to the prep time. Great Grandmother notwithstanding.
Fold the egg whites-chocolate mixture into the whipped cream. Again, the more air you preserve by folding carefully, the lighter the mousse.
Line up your spotless glassware like a seasoned bartender and carefully spoon the mixture into each one. Drops and spills can be erased in Photoshop (well, if you take pictures) but use a paper napkin.
Finish off with a cherry nestled in a decorative sprig of mint right on the top and chill for about two hours. Drain each cherry on a napkin or towel so the syrup doesn't bleed into the snow-white mousse.
By using your champagne flutes, you'll save a fortune in champagne for the party, but one more item is even more critical to the success of the dish. Spoons. Use large spoons if your guests never know when to leave, smaller spoons to delay the inevitable end of a wonderful evening.
If you were here with us, we're sure it would be small spoons.
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Your Editor's Note about Takeshi Mizuguchi's birthday images stopped my brain, sending it to a land I call Elsewhere. While there, I thought about two seemingly disparate things: death and aborigines. The first is obvious and expected, but the "aborigine" part occurred because some (it may have been our own American Indian) didn't want their picture taken for fear it would capture their soul.
Isn't that what's happened here? This boy's body was never recovered, but his soul will live on in his photos -- an extreme example of where most of photography's value lies: the immortality it lends to people, places and ways of life.
-- Barbara Coultry(Ah, beautifully said! -- Editor)
RE: More Feedback on Printroom
Thank you so much for the great deal you arranged for your Digital Photo Newsletter readers. I got the Shoot & Share software and soon started to order beautiful 8x10 photos -- and the free 25 photos up to 8x10 is really a steal! Mahalo! I've checked a few online photofinishers and Printroom's prints are among the best I've seen. The prices are competitive and the 4x6s are the cheapest I've found for real photos from digital files, so I decided to order my photo holiday cards from Printroom.
I am also considering setting up an online shop with Printroom Pro and again, the special discount you got for us is very reasonable. And the flexibility to set up our own prices and password-protect galleries are also great ideas.
I would also like to congratulate you for putting together such a neat newsletter. I enjoy receiving each issue. And you are celebrating the 60th issue, that's quite an accomplishment!
Keep up with the good work. Aloha!
-- Fabio Moretzsohn(Thanks for the great feedback, Fabio! -- Editor)
I responded to your urgent plea for contributions by ordering the software and am currently waiting for my test 25 prints with a few 11x14's added. Since I am a very, very visual person, I need to "see" the results and make sure the procedures for ordering are easy enough for my particular clientele. If all works out and I'm sure it will, you and they can count on my going Pro Studio.
Carlton was just super with his advice, as I shoot with an E-10 and wanted to optimize resolution vs. print size. He simply said to send my 2.5-MBish files with 9 or 8 compression resulting in somewhere about 1.5 to 1.9-MB. So, I've done a test and am awaiting the results.
Keep up the good work, I read every newsletter and print out several reviews a month.
-- Frank(Thanks -- and let me know how it all turns out. I think Pro Studio is a pretty neat offering. It certainly ought to make things easier for pros like yourself. (Personally, I just shot a mess of photos at a high school musical for my sons, I'm thinking I may just upload a bunch to Pro Studio for the parents!) Glad to hear your contact with them was so pleasant. Carlton's really a remarkably nice guy to deal with and his bizdev guy Jude is great too. Hope it works well for you. -- Dave)
I get a lot of good information from your newsletter and would love to try Printroom's Shoot & Share software. But I'm a Mac user. Will this software be available for the Mac?
-- Vern Uchtman(Shoot & Share is Windows only, but Mac users do get the same 25 enlargements and a, uh, Shoot & Share "coaster." The real value of the deal, though, is the $75 worth of prints for $9.99. And you can order those through your Web browser. -- Editor)
RE: E-10 Slide Duplication?
I have an Olympus E-10 and would like to know how to digitize 35mm slides with it. I looked at the fine Happenstance copier for the Nikon 900 series cameras but it does not appear to be adaptable to my E-10.
-- Dean Schepis(The E-10 focuses down to 8 inches but does take an Olympus macro extension lens (MCON-35). I don't see anything in the literature on that, though. And certainly no slide adapter.... The Nikon has an unusual built-in macro capability. Not only is it able to focus about an inch from the front element, but the field is flat, so there's little distortion.... I'll see if Dave has any bright ideas. -- Editor)(Sorry, but no brilliant ideas from Dave on this one. A stack of closeup lenses (get the multi-element ones, to minimize distortion and corner softness) and a light box. -- Dave)
Regarding this same issue, our morning paper advertises a Minolta Dimage Scan Dual II for $399 but I can't seem to locate any reviews of this model. Any suggestions?
-- Dean Schepis(Wow, that's very cheap for a fairly decent little slide scanner, way better than a flatbed with trans adapter. I reviewed the original a while back (http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/DSD/DSDA.HTM) so I'd expect performance to be the same or better. It will deliver a lot more resolution than a digicam and see a lot more detail in the shadows. And make it a lot easier to get decent color from negatives. But the camera approach will be a lot faster. -- Dave)
RE: Lasting Prints
I have an HP 952 printer. Is there an ink and photo paper I can use to make long-lasting prints? I went to Best Buy and they couldn't help me. Maybe you can?
-- Frank(Well, Frank, this is one of those issues that can drive you nuts. To see just how nuts, visit http://www.wilhelm-research.com/ (the leading authorities).... There are three kinds of ink: dyes, pigments and hybrids. Pigments can last hundreds of years but have a narrower color gamut than dyes and don't print very well on photo glossy paper. Dyes last longer on uncoated papers than on photo glossy. Or so they say.... Putting them behind glass (but not in contact with the glass) certainly helps. And keeping them out of direct sunlight does, too.... But the day your print does fade, just take a minute to reprint it <g>. That's the real secret to longevity. -- Editor)
RE: The More Things Change ...
Is it possible that you could change my subscription to ...? Hate to change but couldn't pass on the broadband. Your Nov. 30 newsletter is excellent. I may spend a whole day exploring all the links, etc.
-- gp(Thanks, Gordon! We run about 50 unique links in each issue. So fasten your seat belt! Now about that new address. We need both the old and new email addresses. But you can do this yourself at http://www.imaging-resource.com/IRNEWS/ from Subscriber Services (which will also give you both instant feedback and email confirmation. -- Editor)
RE: This Is Your Life
Dave, I've been a fan of and subscriber to your newsletter for some time. In addition, I have a subscription to Digital Camera magazine. My question is two-fold: a) are you a contributor to that magazine; and b) are you aware that their camera reviews in the September 2001 issue (that I just received!) utilizes the same blonde model with the same blunt haircut holding the same bouquet of silk flowers?
Coincidence? Only you can say. But your 5000 review and their reviews for Kyocera Finecam S3, Nikon 995, Kodak DX3600 and Sony PC110 feature this model.
Thank you for clearing up this "related" issue!
-- Sherr(Aha! Yes, that's my wife Marti, "the most photographed woman in digital photography." I work with Digital Camera magazine, let them use my test results and some photos. -- Dave)
Thanks for your great and informative newsletter. I have been a subscriber for quite a while. I have purchased several items from your sponsors and have always found value. Keep up the good work, I will continue to patronize.
-- Michael Monroe(Thanks, Michael! Things often seem like a circus around here, but we do try to stay on top of the horse. -- Editor)
International Color Consortium has revised its ICC specification with over 15 significant changes. The proposed specification (http://www.color.org/upload/ICC_Final_Major_Revision_Nov29_2001.pdf) is available for review until Feb. 6, 2002.
Lemke Software (http://graphicconverter.net/) has released version of GraphicConverter [M]. It now can display images side-by-side, limit slideshows to a single folder and handle additional file formats.
LAJ Design (http://www.joyenvironmental.com/lajdesign/quickie.html) has released Quickie Web Albums 1.7.1 [MW] for $23 to automate building Web pages of image files.
Hamrick Software (http://www.hamrick.com) has released version 7.3.1 of VueScan. The new version sports an enhanced two-panel interface and a fix for the Minolta Scan Multi slide feeder.
Sapphire Innovations (http://www.sapphire-innovations.com) has released Sapphire Brushes vol 10 [MW] for Photoshop 6/Elements with 450 new brush strokes. Sapphire also released Sapphire Paper Textures vol 1-6 [MW], a collection of paper grain textures.
Pixologic (http://pixologic.com) has announced the editors of MacWorld Magazine have awarded ZBrush the Eddy Award for Best Illustration Software. ZBrush is a painting, modeling and texturing application equally at home in both 2D and 3D environments.
Pictographics (http://www.picto.com) has released a $39 home version of iCorrect, a powerful yet easy-to-use color correction program for digital images. iCorrect is available as either a standalone application [W] or as an Adobe plug-in [MW]. See Dave's Deals for ordering information.
Extensis (http://www.extensis.com) is taking 50 percent off all products in its online store through Dec. 31. Portfolio 5 Desktop Edition for $49.98, PhotoTools 3.0 for $74.98, Mask Pro 2.0 and Intellihance Pro 4.0 for $99.98 each, Beyond Press 4.0 for $149.98 and more.
Andromeda (http://www.andromeda.com) a Photographic Tools and Lens Effects bundle for $289 with ScatterLight Lenses (Feb. 2002 release), Series 1, VariFocus, Perspective and LensDoc filters. Call (800) 547-0055 to order.
Olympus (http://www.olympusamerica.com) has reduced the price of its D-40 Zoom and C-4040 Zoom digicams by $100 each.
iView (http://www.iview-multimedia.com) MediaPro 1.3 [M] now supports Canon EOS-D30 RAW files.
Canto (http://www.canto.com) has released QXP AssetStore [M] for all Cumulus 5 Editions to archive, manage and search QuarkXPress documents.
For just $150 an insertion you can list your URL or 800 number here (up to a maximum of 70 text characters).
Get PhotoGenetics at http://www.qbeo.com/?dlink=/php3/pgenspl.php3?pcode=223
Lockergnome's Free Digital Media Newsletter: http://www.lockergnome.com
That's it for now, but between issues 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
Mike Pasini, Editor
Dave Etchells, Publisher