The IMAGING RESOURCE DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY
NEWSLETTER


Volume 10, Number 1 4 January 2008

Copyright 2008, The Imaging Resource. All rights reserved.

Welcome to the 218th edition of the Imaging Resource Newsletter. We continue our Microtek M1 story with a look at film scanning before News Editor Michael R. Tomkins reviews an affordable Canon long zoom digicam. Then we extend the thank you note concept to pictures with a couple of inspiring examples before we take a look at a recent copyright case that has ruffled more than feathers. Finally, welcome to our new subscribers fresh from the site surveys!


TOPICS

SPONSORS
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Are you in the digital photo business? This newsletter is read by approximately 55,000 combined direct and pass-along subscribers, all with a passion for digital photography. For information on how you can reach them, contact us at editor@imaging-resource.com.

Feature: Scanning Film on the M1

(Excerpted from the illustrated review posted at http://www.imaging-resource.com/SCAN/M1/M1B.HTM on the Web site.)

When you look at a flatbed scanner, you can't help but think of scanning prints. But the Microtek ArtixScan M1 is different from your ordinary flatbed scanner. It was designed to scan film.

There are certainly many flatbeds that pretend to be able to scan film. With a lamp built into the cover, they offer resolutions that exceed reflective requirements. But they generally suffer two problems: 1) an insufficient density range to capture detail in the shadows and highlights of film and 2) that plate of glass on the scanning bed that sits right in the middle of the optical path.

Beyond those two common pitfalls, none of them can autofocus. And with film -- which does not always lay down flat in the holder and is usually enlarged substantially -- fighting for focus is a real productivity killer. It usually means making miniscule and time-consuming adjustments to the height of the film holder on the glass bed.

THE MICROTEK DIFFERENCE

The M1, however, is different. Designed to do the heavy lifting film requires, it has an optical resolution of 4800 dpi, the equivalent in pixels to an image from a 30 megapixel dSLR.

Resolution. Scanning continuous tone (rather than line art) originals requires, at most, 300 dpi resolution at final size. A 2400 dpi scan resolution provides 800 percent enlargement at 300 dpi, quite enough for reflective art. It even provides at least a 200 percent enlargement of line art.

Where higher scan resolution matters, then, is with film, particularly 35mm film. The 1x1.5 inch film frame has to be enlarged substantially even to provide 300 dpi for a 4x6 print. That 400 percent enlargement with 300 dpi requires scanning the 35mm film frame at 1200 dpi. To make an 8x10, the 800 percent enlargement requires 2400 dpi. The M1's 4800 provides enough headroom to turn that 35mm frame into a 16x24 poster at 300 dpi.

Autofocus. Autofocus is clearly an advantage in a camera where the subject could be anywhere. But in a scanner, you'd think the distances between the sensor and the original would be fixed values. And that is, for the most part, true. Which is why flatbeds have not had autofocus.

But film scanners do provide autofocus. The focus plane for film varies with each format. Slide holders accommodate mounted slides whose cardboard mounts suspend the film in the mount. And larger formats like the 120 film format often have a curl that must be tensioned but still can be problematic.

On a flatbed film scanner like the Epson V700/V750, the holder itself provides feet that can be positioned in three different ways to provide three different elevations from the glass bed. Third-party holders (http://www.betterscanning.com) offer feet with screw mechanisms that, when turned evenly, accomplish the same thing with more flexibility.

But the problem cries out for autofocus technology. And the M1 offers it. It's supported both by the company's ScanWizard pro technology and the included SilverFast Ai products. You can turn it off (saving about a minute and a half per scan once you've established focus), set it to auto focus from the center of the scan or set a manual point to look for focus.

So, in short, the software provides complete control of the feature.

Dual Bed Design. Microtek calls their dual bed design Emulsion Direct Imaging Technology. Other flatbeds scan through their glass bed when scanning film. But the M1 (like the i900 before it) has a drawer under the optics to load film holders. The sensor scans the film directly, avoiding the glass plate completely, much like a dedicated film scanner.

This has always been a big deal to us because it not only eliminates the optical interference of the glass (and the expense of coated glass to minimize reflections) but also two more surfaces that can fog and attract dust. The promise of emulsion-direct scanning is that if you clean the film, you'll get a clean scan.

ONE PROBLEM

That's important because the M1 does not do infrared scanning. Infrared scanning is essential for tools like Kodak's Digital ICE and SilverFast's iSDR (infrared Software Removal of Defects). The infrared scan provides a picture of the physical imperfections on the emulsion, which is then used to create a mask. That's also why it doesn't work with black and white film, whose emulsion does not have a uniform surface.

Interestingly enough, the Microtek ArtixScan F1, which is not sold in North America, does include infrared scanning and Digital ICE. Licensing issues prevented the inclusion of the technology on the M1, sold in North America.

IN PRACTICE

To see how well the M1 scans film, we loaded a few of our favorite high-contrast Ektachrome and Kodachrome slides in the 35mm film holder.

The 35mmm holder is essentially the same design as the i900 holder with some small refinements. The shelf that each slide sits on is narrower and the tension finger is thinner. Just slip the slide onto the shelf and push it against the finger. Then drop it fully onto the shelf and let the finger push it back against the back stops. It holds the mounted slide securely.

The holder has a silk-screened icon to show you how to orient the emulsion and top side of the 35mm slide. There's also an icon to show you which corner of the holder to put in which corner of the drawer's holder slot. Very simple and clear.

As we pointed out in our first diary entry, we decided to work with the SilverFast software rather than ScanWizard. So we launched SilverFast and got to work.

TROUBLE IN PARADISE

One of the advantages of this diary format is getting you the story quickly. But the disadvantage is that the details can be messy. If we have trouble, you hear about it.

And we did have trouble.

We couldn't achieve a sharp scan. That surprised us since we had autofocus enabled and were just scanning a single slide. In this case, it was some bright yellow wildflowers on blue stems (something like Daisy Miller) against a dark background. Viewed with a loupe the image was very sharp but the scans appeared soft at best. On closer examination, there actually appeared to be some misregistration of the scan channels.

Fearing a hardware failure, we sent a crop of the scan to Parker Plaisted, the M1 product manager.

He diagnosed the problem right away. "It looks like you are using the SilverFast multi-exposure feature."

Indeed we were. That feature takes two scans of the image, one calibrated to capture shadow detail and the other to capture highlight detail. The two scans are then merged into one image, yielding the highest possible dynamic range from the scanner. It's a neat trick SilverFast alone can do.

Parker told us he had seen this on some multi-exposure scans but not on others. "We will work with LaserSoft Imaging to investigate this further," he promised.

Meanwhile, he suggested as a workaround (other than use ScanWizard), we use SilverFast's multi-sampling. You don't get the same extension of dynamic range as multi-exposure but by taking multiple samples as the scan head moves across the image, you reduce noise in the shadows.

"Some film falls within the dynamic range of the scanner and I see no benefits from the multi-exposure feature," Parker observed. "The film image has to be really dark for you to see the benefits of the multi-exposure feature."

We tried that and the misregistration disappeared. We also set autofocus manually on the yellow flowers and got a much sharper image, if still not quite as sharp as we'd hoped from looking at the image under the loupe. That was improved quite a bit, however, by sharpening the image.

BIT DEPTH

We had another issue that baffled us when we tried to scan a 1955 Maserati. Again, under the loupe, we had a good exposure, plenty of detail in the shadows and highlights.

But our 48->24 bit color scan wasn't doing the image justice. There was no detail in the shadows and the highlights, too, were disappointing.

The trick was to switch scanning modes to 48-bit color, period. Rather than let the scanner decide which 24 bits we wanted to see, we told it to give us everything the M1 could capture and we'd fool around in Photoshop to get the best tonal curve. Essentially, we were working with raw scanner data as you might work with a Raw image file format from your digital camera rather than a JPEG.

That did the trick.

Color was more accurate to begin with. The red matched the Maserati paint. And we had detail in the dark side panels and the white placard that had been lost in the 24-bit scan.

Both the wildflowers and the Maserati were 3204x2073 pixel images, a 19-MB 8-bit channel, RGB file when uncompressed. We weren't really tapping into the full resolution of the M1 yet. But sufficient for a 6.9x10.6 image at 300 dpi.

SHARPNESS

One of the more misunderstood aspects of scanning is sharpness. A raw scan will always look softer than the original. It's no fault of the scanner. As Taz Tally explains the phenomenon in his excellent SilverFast: the Official Guide (0782141978), "Because a scanner does not capture all of the available image data but rather samples an image and averages the values, it tends to slightly lower contrast along high-contrast edges and smooth out the image."

The solution to this has always been to apply some sharpening to the scan. You can specify the amount of brightness to add to the edge pixels, the brightness difference to define an edge and how wide a border to be affected. In most Unsharp Masking dialogs those are Amount/Intensity, Threshold and Radius settings.

But in sharpening a scan (rather than a digital photograph), you'll want to affect higher contrast edges more than lower contrast edges. To avoid adding grain or noise to the low contrast areas of your scan, you'll want to increase the Threshold dramatically.

SilverFast offers an Expert mode with even more settings to control sharpening. We tapped into them for our rhododendron scan. Sharpen Up To using tonal values to mask out the effect. By setting this to 90 percent, we prohibited sharpening in the darkest 10 percent of the image. Light Contour and Dark Contour can emphasize one side or the other of an edge. At 50 percent each, they're balanced, but we set them slighting in favor of the light contour because our subject (the flowers) are light. The Shadows Soft checkbox tells SilverFast to try to prevent noise in the shadows.

We always advise sharpening for output. That makes sharpening the last step in image editing. Sharpening scans is really no different, except it can be disappointing to work with the soft scan.

RESULTS

Our sample images here, consequently, are all manipulated. They've been sharpened. Color and tone have been adjusted and reduced from 48-bit to a displayable 24 bits. And they've been JPEGed (at a high quality level of 9 on a scale of 1 to 12. But they also represent real world results.

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Feature: Canon PowerShot SX100 IS -- A Pleasure

By MICHAEL R. TOMKINS, News Editor
(Excerpted from the full review posted at http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/SX100IS/SX100ISA.HTM on the Web site.)

Attractive and nicely made, the $300 Canon PowerShot SX100 IS isn't exactly pocket friendly, but is not unreasonably large for a camera with a 10x optical zoom lens. The SX100 should still fit nicely in coat pockets or larger purses, with dimensions of 4.3x2.8x1.8 inches. It's reasonably light at 9.4 ounces, but with a flash card and two AA batteries loaded, the PowerShot SX100 IS feels reassuringly weighty, with a nice balance to it. The camera fit my large hands reasonably well, although I personally found the sculpted grip rather uncomfortable. With only limited purchase for my fingers, I had to tuck a finger or two underneath the camera rather than around the grip, steadying it but making it more tiring to hold.

The SX100 is nicely designed for shooting one-handed, with no sensors, microphones or flash strobes to accidentally cover with a finger and most important controls within easy reach. An included wrist strap offers peace of mind and connects to an eyelet on the camera's right side that protrudes just slightly from the surrounding body -- nicely positioned to allow single-handed shooting with your wrist through the strap. Given its weight though, shooting double-handed generally makes for less camera shake, although I found that when I did so my fingers tended to cover the speaker grille on the top of the camera.

The control layout is simple and intuitive. The Mode dial falls under your right thumb, adjacent to a nicely recessed Power button and a Zoom rocker with central Shutter button. The Mode dial has deep notches that make it easy to grip and turn, a reassuringly firm click as it moves to a new position and has just enough resistance to ensure it won't be accidentally bumped during a shoot. When the dial is turned, an intuitive animation on the LCD indicates the change, showing the available modes scrolling past with the current selection highlighted.

The scroll wheel also acts as a four-way arrow pad, detecting presses at top, bottom, left or right. The wheel itself clicks softly as it turns and has a very smooth action -- but I found it rather too easy to accidentally bump, given its position. This isn't a problem in some modes where the wheel has no function, but in other modes it could lead to accidentally changed settings.

Occupying much of the rear panel is a reasonably generous 2.5-inch LCD display. Fortunately, given that it is the sole method of framing images, the display is bright and colorful and fairly easy to see in most lighting conditions. I did find that in direct sunlight it tended to wash out somewhat, however and the extremely glossy plastic panel that offers protection for the LCD is prone to reflections. Both of these can be solved by shading the display with your left hand, though. Perhaps more of an issue is that the display has only a relatively narrow viewing angle, with the look of the image changing fairly radically when viewed from an angle.

The SX100's standout feature is undoubtedly its 36-360mm equivalent 10x optical zoom lens. The range of the zoom lets you get pictures that feel close to the action, even when you can't be physically so. In much the same way as you feel somehow freer moving from a fixed focal length camera to a 3x zoom, stepping up to a 10x zoom unleashes your creative juices as you start finding new photo opportunities you might never have noticed otherwise. I did find myself wishing for a little more at wide-angle however, particularly when shooting indoors.

Canon opted to include a true optical image stabilization system in the SX100 IS, helping to combat camera shake by moving lens elements to counteract camera motion. Usefully, you can opt to have the system function only when the shutter is tripped, helping extend the already noteworthy battery life. There's also a panning mode that makes the stabilization function more useful for sports photography, where you often have to track a fast-moving subject at a significant distance.

The zoom was quick to respond and generally quite accurate, although it does sometimes zoom back in a little when you let off the zoom lever while zooming out. Maximum aperture varies from a bright f2.8 at wide-angle to f4.3 at telephoto. The lens does display quite a bit of chromatic aberration at both ends of the zoom range and this does extend far into the image. However, the SX100 is really no worse than its long-zoom rivals in this regard. Perhaps more importantly, distortion is quite well controlled and the lens is quite sharp across the zoom range. The SX100's lens has one more hidden surprise as well, in the form of very good macro performance. In fact, it lets you get so close that it can be a little challenging to get any light around the lens to your subject!

Digital zoom is somewhat soft as you might expect, but not unusually so; and with digicams in the mainstream these days, it could certainly prove useful for those who make prints straight out of the camera and don't want to edit their photos on a PC.

Focusing is very fast and pretty accurate as well, yielding few out-of-focus images and seldom refusing to achieve a focus lock. Manual focusing is possible and a sophisticated Face Detection AF system locates up to nine faces in an image, automatically prioritizing the dominant subject and using the faces to set focus and, if in evaluative mode, exposure of the image. If the camera doesn't recognize a face in the scene it defaults to center focusing, which you can also manually set as the default. A powerful AF assist lamp helps the camera achieve a focus lock in poor light and a Safety Manual Focus mode lets you focus manually and then performs an autofocus fine-tuning of your manual setting to ensure accurate focus in the final image. Whenever focusing manually, you can opt to have the center of the frame magnified to aid in confirmation of focus.

Face detection might be everywhere these days, but Canon has implemented it very nicely -- particularly with the playback mode "Face Detect" function, which can take a few minutes to learn, but quickly becomes second nature and makes short work of checking group portraits for poor focus or exposure or that one person that always blinks or pulls a funny face as the shutter is tripped.

SHOOTING

I have to admit, I greatly enjoyed my time with the SX100. For a camera with as many features as this (and yet relatively few external controls), I found it fairly easy to come to grips with. Partly, this is because Canon has done a great job of making its various digital camera products feel like a coherent group with sufficient sharing of user interface elements that as you learn what to expect of one Canon camera, much of that knowledge can be shared with the company's other models. This was my first personal experience of Canon's face detection system and although I did need to crack the manual open to get the full benefit of that, particularly in Record mode when selecting faces, it quickly became second nature.

Outdoors, I was generally satisfied with the LCD display. In all but direct sunlight it was easily bright enough to make framing easy and on the rare occasions it wasn't up to the task, it was easy enough to shade the LCD with one hand. Checking focus was equally easy and in playback mode the histogram made it a snap to check exposure. It would have been nice to have a histogram in Record mode, too, though. I greatly enjoyed the Face Select function in Playback, quickly learning to page through the faces in portrait photos; although sadly I can't provide photos, as my friends aren't keen on becoming Internet celebrities. ;-)

I was quite happy with image quality on the SX100, except I'd personally trade some sensor resolution for better high ISO performance. Canon shouldn't be unfairly singled out for this though. The digital camera industry as a whole really needs to move on from letting consumers obsess over megapixel ratings, when the image quality story involves so much more.... Images were generally sharp, with good color and white balance in most situations and minimal distortion. As is common with long-zoom digicams, there was a fair amount of chromatic aberration extending well into the image at both ends of the zoom range, but most users will happily accept this for the versatility that extra zoom range brings to your photography.

In terms of performance, shutter lag was very good, ranging from 0.53 second at wide-angle to 0.48 second at telephoto. Pre-focused it drops to only 0.088 second, very fast indeed. Startup and shutdown are decent if not spectacular, at 1.9 and 1.8 seconds respectively. Cycle times are only average at a little under two seconds in single-shot modes, improving to 1.08 frames per second in continuous mode. Even in relatively low light, focusing was generally fairly quick and accurate, especially if the AF assist light was within range of subjects. Full-power flash recycle time was quite slow at 12 seconds and flash power was only average. Download speed was quite good at some 1,746 KB/second.

IMAGE QUALITY

The SX100 yields pretty nice photos, showing quite good color without the oversaturation common in entry-level cameras and generally accurate exposures as well. There's a little hue shift of yellows toward green and oranges toward yellow, plus the usual cyan toward blue that most digicams do (we think to get good-looking sky colors). The SX100 holds onto strong highlight detail pretty well even under harsh sunlight, but setting the camera to low contrast yields even better results. Contrast control is very good overall, but I found the saturation adjustment to be just a little coarse-grained for my tastes.

Detail is quite good at low ISOs and with plenty of light, the SX100 does a good job of holding onto subtle subject detail. At higher ISOs though, it tends to throw away a lot of detail in areas of subtle contrast, although the average user may well not pick up on this. Still, we really do lament the extent to which manufacturers are having to give up subject detail at high ISOs -- the result of cramming more and more pixels onto the tiny sensor chips these cameras use. It's an issue across the entire industry, but one we particularly lament with Canon's digicams simply because their earlier, lower-resolution designs were particularly good in this regard. It's hard to see Canon's image quality suffer due to a frankly rather pointless Mp race.

At low ISOs, there's plenty of detail for nice-looking 13x19 inch prints. At ISO 400 under daylight conditions, 8x10 inch prints will be soft-looking in places, with subtle details blurred, but I suspect most users would be quite happy with the prints at that size and ISO setting. Under incandescent lighting, you're likely to lose a lot more detail in hair and other subtle textures, but even so, I think most consumers would still find 8x10 inch prints acceptable. At ISO 800, maximum print size is probably 5x7 inches, while you'll find yourself limited to 4x6 inch prints at ISO 1600 unless you're very forgiving of image noise.

One further noise-related note was noted early in the review process by IR lab tech Rob Murray. While performing our usual in-depth battery of tests, Rob found that the cycle times really increase when you shoot at higher ISOs -- something which seems likely to be due to the extra work needed in performing the noise processing. Other than these noise-related issues, the 8.0-Mp CCD image sensor offers excellent image quality overall.

CONCLUSION

The Canon PowerShot SX100IS offers a great value in a feature-rich long zoom digital camera that's user friendly and still reasonably compact. With an 8.0-Mp CCD image sensor, it has great image quality so long as there's plenty of light. Things get a little rougher in poor lighting but no worse than most of the competition in this respect. The combination of full auto for beginners and and full manual for the more experienced photographer, plus a really powerful zoom lens that has minimal distortion and great sharpness, combine to let you get in touch with your creative side. The lens is not perfect, to be sure. We'd like to see better control of chromatic aberration and a little more on the wide-angle end (even if that means sacrificing some telephoto performance), but overall it's easily the equal of long zoom lenses from competitors at this price point. While the SX100's performance is not quite up to Canon's claims in all areas, it is still a fairly responsive camera and its Burst mode is likely to be plenty for most users shopping at this price point. It's a really enjoyable camera to use and if you're looking for a long-zoom, fairly compact digital camera that lets you roll your sleeves up and tweak each photo to your satisfaction, it is definitely worthy of a place on your shortlist and worthy of a Dave's Pick.

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New on the Site

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:

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Beginners Flash: Making Thank You Pictures

There are two parts to a great gift. One is the gift itself -- and that's why we work so hard around here to come up with our annual Gift Guides. But that only gets you halfway there.

The other half of a great gift is the recipient. You have to match a good gift to your recipient if you expect it to be especially appreciated. And there's nothing appreciated quite so much as a gift that reflects your own appreciation for the recipient's interests.

Now let's just say you've received such a gift and you want to say thanks. What do you do?

That's just what happened to us. And we came up with a solution we liked so much, we thought we'd share it. We call it a Thank You Picture.

Nobody (including us) likes writing thank you notes. Our handwriting is harder to break than a WPA password and you can't call or email, either. So what happens?

Well, you put it off, first of all. Until the heavy burden of guilt presses down upon you so hard that you have to scratch out from under it.

You know the drill. Or the formula. "Thank you for the lovely [insert gift]. [Say something about the gift to prove you have seen it.] It will remind me of you whenever I use it. Thanks so much."

You apply the formula. "Thank you for the stunning tie with the hand painted fluorescent cat. I really like the way the cat's eyes sparkle in the dark. Only you could have found a treasure like this! I'll think about you whenever I knot it up!"

Strangling who you need not say.

But forget the thank you note. Go straight to the thank you picture! Tie the tie, put on a silly hat, grab your digicam and zoom out to wide angle. Hold the camera down at your waist and take a shot emphasizing that brilliant cat with your beaming face behind it. Email to your benefactor.

That's what we did when our niece gave us an irreverent T-shirt this year. We put it on, added our Santa hat, stood in front of the tree she hadn't seen (living in another city) and took the shot. But we didn't stop there. We opened it in our image editing software and brushed a redder nose on Uncle Rudolph. Irreverence begets irreverence.

Our sister-in-law sent a gorgeous glass hummingbird feeder. We happen to think of hummingbirds as love birds. They're always around and they get used to us sitting on the patio reading photography books about a foot away from the planter. So she sent us that feeder. Good idea.

Unfortunately, it turns out that feeding hummingbirds is, uh, work. You have to boil water, toss in sugar, let it cool, store it, fill the feeder, empty the feeder in a day or two, clean it out, refill it. And you can't take this lightly because if the nectar you've brewed goes bad, you can poison the birds.

Then again there are those 90 mile-an-hour winds that blow off the ocean every year. They just love hanging glass vessels.

So we hung the feeder in the dining room (true to it's spirit) and snagged a hummingbird ornament off our tree. We suspended it just above the feeder, took the shot, erased the string hanging from the hummingbird and emailed it to her, proving we'd put it to work (with artificial birds).

In both cases, we resized the final images to just 450 pixels on the longest dimension and sharpened them up a little with the unsharp mask filter. That's our usual routine.

Somehow thinking up a funny picture is easier that writing a credible thank you note. And it's more fun, too. For everybody!

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Advanced Mode: Hartwell, Richter Scales Copyright Dispute

Photoshop Product Manager John Nack has posted a roundup (http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/2007/12/borrow_from_fli.html) of the recent dispute between Lane Hartwell, a professional photographer, and the Richter Scales, a not-for-profit singing group. It's a comprehensive look at an important issue on which there's little agreement.

The facts of the case are not in dispute. The group had used an image copyrighted by Hartwell for use in its video Here Comes Another Bubble. When Hartwell saw the video on YouTube, she emailed the group explaining the image was copyrighted, all rights reserved.

The parties exchanged email for three days when the Richter Scales suggested a three day cooling off period. Hartwell instead filed a takedown notice with YouTube, which resulted in the removal of the video.

The group subsequently reposted the video without her image, although it still included a copyrighted image by photographer Ramona Rosales.

Nack links to Stephen Shankland's CNET interview with Hartwell, in which they discuss everything from how the case evolved to the problem of protecting digital images published on the Internet.

But Nack doesn't stop there.

He also includes a link to Stanford professor Lawrence Lessig's Ted Talk on user-generated content discussing "John Philip Sousa, celestial rights, and the 'ASCAP cartel' to build a case for creative freedom" (http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/187).

Sousa had argued that "talking machines" would ruin artistic development of music because playing music would replace performing it. He feared, Lessig says, we would become a read-only culture. Property rights that extended without limit to the air above your land, it was argued, meant air traffic over your plot is trespassing. "Common sense revolts at the idea," Chief Justice William O. Douglas wrote in ruling against that argument. Broadcasting technology, Lessig continues, engendered the ASCAP confrontation with BMI, which broke ASCAP.

Lessig suggests today's user-generated content restores the read-write nature of culture Souza celebrated. And he's got a few amusing remix examples to prove it. The technology that makes this new read-write culture possible is, he says, like those airplanes flying over your property.

Is this a new culture or trespassing on copyright? Technology and the law are at odds, Lessig says. He proposes legalizing "what it means to be young" by 1) artists adopting Creative Commons licensing to permit derivative use and 2) businesses embracing this technology of free use rather than shun it.

If that makes you wish the writer's strike was over so Boston Legal's Alan Shore could respond in (a copyrighted) rebuttal, you're not young any more.

To prove it, Nack links to New York Times columnist David Pogue's experience before an audience of 500 college students. He asked them for a show of hands if they felt one or another copying scenario was wrong. He wasn't getting much of a reaction so he tried this one: "You want a movie or an album. You don't want to pay for it. So you download it." Two hands went up (apparently different people). Pogue was blown away.

Who's right? What's the solution?

Well, you have Lessig's suggestion that photographers stop reserving all rights, at least for some images, so kids can play with them.

For copyrighted material, Nack points to Derek Powazek's "Rule 1 for Collaborative Media." That may be summed up simply as, "Ask Permission First." That may not be as efficient as asking forgiveness, but the high ground has always been higher. And it beats getting invoiced, taken down or sued.

This debate reminded us of the Scott Sherman interview on The Digital Photography Show (http://www.thedigitalphotographyshow.com) with Carolyn Wright, an attorney and photographer, on 10 common misconceptions of the law for photographers. Carolyn is the author of Photographer's Legal Guide (http://www.photoattorney.com/products.html). We wondered what she had to say on all this.

In her blog (http://www.photoattorney.com), Wright suggests the moral of the Hartwell tale is simple. "Infringements are only going to increase. And nobody is going to protect your rights unless you do."

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In the Forums

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:

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We Have Mail

You can email us at editor@imaging-resource.com. You can read our Letters policy at http://www.imaging-resource.com/IRNEWS in the FAQ.

RE: M1

I am a professional photographer in NYC (magazines and advertising). I have the Epson Expression 1640XL (it's about seven years old). I have my lab get a print (11x14) to where I want it and then scan it (11x14) and print out on the Epson R2400. I was told by my computer tech that the Epson V700 is way better. My question is: given that the V700 can only scan a surface of 8.5 by 11.7, can I still get great quality by selecting the target size in Epson scan mode to 11x14. Does this scanner simply by evolution in technology blow away my $2500 dinosaur?

-- Bobby

(Good question. We appreciate your tech's enthusiasm for the V700 but have to say no, it doesn't obsolete your 1640XL. Primarily because you're only doing 300 dpi reflective scans on a scanner with an optical resolution of 1600 dpi. The V700 adds nothing there, although to get the equivalent 300 dpi file, you'd have to scan at a higher resolution (a tad too early in the morning here for me to do that math <g>). So neither the resolution nor the image size matter.... While the V700 beats your 1640XL in Dmax (4.0 to 3.6), when scanning prints youonly need about a 2.0 range. Reflective material has far less dynamic range than film. So for what you're doing right now (scanning prints), we don't think you'd see any appreciable difference. -- Editor)

I want to scan using the oil mounting technique, which has given good results in different reviews of the Epson V750. I wonder if this is possible to do with the Microtek M1. Would that be to big a hassle compare to the Epson scanner? I will be scanning mostly 4x5 and 8x10.

-- Soren Lindqvist

(The technique is called fluid mounting and is used to eliminate Newton rings that can be caused by sandwiching your film in a glass carrier. On the M1 there's no glass in contact with your film, no Newton rings and therefore no need for fluid mounting. That's the beauty of the dual bed design. -- Editor)

RE: V700

I read your review of the Epson's V700 flatbed scanner. You did not mention the 8x10 capabilities much. I am interested in scanning 4x5, 5x7 and 8x10 glass plate negatives. Do you have any comments on this? Would this be an adequate scanner for the money to scan the glass negatives?

-- Thom Hindle

(We don't have any 8x10 film to test with, Thom, so we don't report on that format <g>. If you're going to do this on the V700, however, we suggest you look into the 8x10 anti-Newton ring glass insert at betterscanning.com. -- Editor)

RE: Pet Peeve

You wrote, "But one of our pet peeves about the [Kodak EasyShare] printhead installation process is just how hard you have to press the delicate printhead to get it seated in the printer. How come is that? Again, it's a hedge against the high velocity at which the head will be traveling. It's secure, no doubt about it."

How come is that?

Was the editor asleep at the wheel or is this a phrase I've never heard of before? :o)

Otherwise keep up the good work.

-- Andy

(Hey, that is the good work. Vernacular disbelief expressed with unremitting humility <g>. -- Editor)
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Editor's Notes

Do Adobe apps spy on you? Launch a CS3 application and it visits the Web. What's it doing? Some suspicious characters think it's sending your serial number to the Great Scrooge in the Sky. But Adobe engineer Tobias Hoellrich explains what's going on in a post on his blog (http://www.kahunaburger.com/2008/01/02/the-adobe-spying-debacle). It turns out Adobe relies on a firm called Omniture to track how its Web pages are being used so it can optimize site content and navigation. Tobias steps through the HTTP requests CS3 apps make when you launch them. That serial number? Oh, it's just a time stamp.


Kodak (http://www.kodak.com) has released updated software drivers and firmware for its EasyShare All-in-One printers. Details of the updates are not available. The 4.3-MB firmware update to the 5100, 5300 and 5500 models takes those models to firmware version 71.650829. A Macintosh firmware updater (version 1.0.08) was released simultaneously with the Windows updater.


Kepmad (http://www.kepmad.com) has updated ImageBuddy [M], its $19 digital photo software, twice recently. The Leopard-compatible version introduces crop and resize functions outside Manual mode, improved auto image orientation and rotation with Skipping Ahead in its Dec. 29 v3.5.5 release. Two bug fixes were added for the Dec. 30 v3.5.6 release.


ATP (http://www.atpinc.com) has introduced GPS Photo Finder, a portable photo accessory to geotag digital photos taken by any digital camera. Plug a memory card into the Photo Finder's built-in card reader or USB port and it automatically finds and tags your images without any additional software or hardware. Pictures can currently be viewed using software like Picasa and Google Earth that support geotagging.


O'Reilly Media (http://www.oreillynet.com) has published Mikkel Aaland's Photoshop CS3 Raw, which focuses on Camera Raw's new retouching tools, expanded controls and ramped up sharpening features. It's available via the Imaging Resource Amazon affiliate program at a 34 percent discount (http://www.amazon.com/dp/0596510527/?tag=theimagingres-20).


Digital Foci (http://www.digitalfoci.com) has announced three new Image Moments digital frames. Image Moments 15 has a 15-inch screen with 16.2 million colors. Image Moments 8 has an 8-inch screen with LED backlight technology. Image Moments 6 has a 5.7-inch screen and the highest pixel density currently available. The frames all feature 200-MB of internal memory and built-in memory card slots.


Dennis Hays (http://www.photonewstoday.com) has published his $13.95 How2Buy a Digital Camera, the first of three ebooks in his series for first time buyers. Managing a digital collection and making simple corrections will follow, Dennis says.


Non-destructive editing got you spinning like a Photoshop Twirl filter? O'Reilly author Peter Krogh explains all in his 31-page PDF Non-Destructive Imaging: An Evolution of Rendering Technology, available at no charge (http://www.adobe.com/digitalimag/pdfs/non_destructive_imaging.pdf).

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Next Issue

Before we next publish, we'll be on assignment at the Consumer Electronics Show and Macworld. You can catch those reports on our news page (http://www.imaging-resource.com/NEWS.HTM) but we'll have a wrap-up for both shows in the next issue, too.
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Signoff

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
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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