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Digital Photography News Archive!
December 1998


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Thursday, December 24, 1998

December 24 - Warm best wishes to you and yours!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, December 24, 1998 - 0:00 EST)

As our thoughts turn toward faith, home, and family in this season, we're wanted to express our heartfelt appreciation to our enormous "extended family" of IR readers and friends: Your devotion, support, and enthusiasm have played a key role in making the Imaging Resource what it is today, and what it is becoming. We literally can't count the hundreds of warm, supportive comments we've received from all of you, and value more than you can imagine the appreciation so many have expressed for what we're doing! (Not to mention the ongoing feedback as to how we can make the site even better.) Thank you, and may all the blessings of the season be bestowed upon you and yours!

December 24 - Minolta 1500 Review up, other news...
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, December 24, 1998 - 0:00 EST)

- Minolta Dimage 1500EX Review is up! At long last, our monstrous review for the Minolta Dimage EX 1500 Zoom camera is up! We say "monstrous" because the darn thing ended up at over 11,000 words! There were just so many features and functions to cover that it seemed we'd never get done! Also, when shooting our test images, we ended up with something like a *hundred* images, what with the two resolutions, 4 compression settings, different "scene" options, etc. Sheesh! - We're about to formally petition the digicam makers to include fewer features - this review stuff is getting out of hand! Seriously, the 1500 took great pictures, with excellent color and resolution. Read the review for more though, we feel like we've done enough writing about the 1500 for a little while!
- New printing software review. Randy Glass of the Feather River Canyon News (FRCN) has been doing an outstanding job reviewing various utility programs for digital camera owners, making his site well worth a visit. His latest effort is a review of Easytex' Photo Assistant Light software, which sounds like a great solution to getting your digital printers out of the printer in an easy and efficient manner. Check out Randy's site, and follow the home-page link to his digital photography material!
- Ricoh will honor 3rd-party warrantees! This one is from Steve's Digicams: There's been some concern in the digicam world recently, over the apparent departure of Philips from the camera market. The word was that Philips wouldn't be supporting warrantees on cameras carrying their label, now being sold at close-out prices on various web auction sites. The cameras in question were actually manufactured by Ricoh, and Steve reports that Ricoh will be honoring all warrantees on these units. 'Way to go, Ricoh!
- Thumber update! Max Lyons just emailed us to let us know that he's just finished a minor update to his exceptionally useful "Thumber" photo file organizer & printer program. Check it out at the Thumber web site!
- New DC 260 firmware update. We thought we'd already reported this, but found it in our notes, and not on the "News" page, so here it is: (Better late than never!) Kodak has posted a new firmware update for the DC220/260 on their site. Improvements seem to be a few seconds shaved off both startup and image-processing times, and better operation with external flash units
- Kodak "Photo Mystery" sweepstakes goes live. Free trip for four to Disney World, or $10,000 in cash! We reported on this a while back, now the sweepstakes has officially gone "live," as of yesterday. Learn more than you (probably) wanted to know about Kodak products, in exchange for a shot at a juicy prize!
- Toshiba PDR-M1 gets "Best Buy" award. Toshiba's highly popular (and economical) PDR-M1 camera has been awarded a "Best Buy" by PC World magazine, and was named to Windows Magazine's "WinList"
- Any digicam a webcam? Kona Systems has announced "KonaVision(tm)", a program that provides instant delivery of digicam photos, for webcam or real-time image sharing. The package has direct support for the Nikon CoolPix 900 and Kodak DC210 digital cameras built-in, and works with other cameras via "software provided by the camera manufacturer", presumably meaning TWAIN modules. Check it out at the Kona Systems web site.
- Web-Integrated Photo-Editing from MetaCreations. MetaCreations has announced Kai's Photo Soap 2, which integrates the ability to save directly to web sites and email pictures directly from the program into a general-purpose image-editing package. Check MetaCreations' web site for more details.

Saturday, December 19, 1998

December 19 - Buyer alert, new site, lots else...
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Saturday, December 19, 1998 - 0:00 EST)

- Slow news, slower updates: A combination of general busy-ness and fast-encroaching holiday languor means its been almost a week since our last news update. We'll post a chunk of the news today, the remainder hopefully in another day or two. No apologies, just look for a fresh camera review Real Soon Now...
- Buyer Beware! A reader wishing only to be identified "burned Bob" wrote with a tale of woe of an internet camera purchase. We'll leave out the company name involved, to avoid libel problems, but note that their name began with the word "Best", and they certainly don't seem so. Bob saw a very low price for a Canon A5 camera, of $421, and passed it along to a relative looking for the camera. When the relative ordered the price, the sales person insisted that a "connection kit" was required, for an additional $123, plus $15. *There's no such thing as a mandatory "connection kit" for this camera!* When the camera arrived, all the cables, software, memory, etc. were in the original shrink-wrapped box. The company's web site also states these items are included. Finally, the company involved now refuses to take the camera back without a 15% restocking fee! The moral of this sad tale is that you really need to know who you're dealing with on the 'web, and should be very suspicious of "required" accessories!
- Expertise needed: SmartMedia File Recovery! Reader Gerald Payne has some interesting partial results with recovering accidentally-trashed files from a SmartMedia card. - Turns out, you can (sometimes) use a card reader and standard Windows file-recovery software to retrieve files you've accidentally thrown away! But... Not always, and not all SmartMedia cards appear to be created equal. Visit the discussion forum for Gerald's report, and especially if you have any Windows file-recovery experience that might help! Other topics on the Forum this week include a question about the lifetime of SmartMedia, and Medium format film scanners, among others. Check it out!
- GREAT new digicam site! Arthur Bleich is well-known in digital photography circles, having run a well-regarded column in the webzine ZoneZero for some time. Arthur's now started his own site, at It includes information and education, including articles, reviews, contests, interactive classes, digital photo exhibits, a K-12 teacher section and more. Two things stand out about Arthur's site to us: First is Arthur himself, who has a considerable background as a professional photographer, a rare commodity in the 'web world. A second unusual offering is Arthur's online interactive classroom: The "classroom" and selected student images will be openly available on the site, while actual participants will pay a fee for an expert course in digital photography. We hope this works for Arthur, and encourage your support: Many people tend to view the web as a place where everything comes for free, but there are some things that must be paid for, and are worth the price. We believe Arthur's course will be one of these. If you do sign up with Arthur, let him know you heard about it here, and give us a report back on how it worked out for you. Best wishes, Arthur!
- Kodak returns to Mars. One of the pieces of commercial technology so successfully appropriated for the Mars Sojourner rover was the "guts" of Kodak's DC-50 consumer digital camera. Now, the Mars Polar Lander, to be launched in January 1999, and due to land on Mars in December 1999 will again tap Kodak technology, this time a 1 megapixel sensor used in several Kodak products for the scientific market. Not your typical digital camera, the Mars Color Imager (MARCI) camera system will include two sensors, one capturing data in five colors plus two ultraviolet bands, and the other in 8 different color bands. Reportedly, the biggest challenge of the mission was finding a long enough serial cable. ;-
- Review of Ring Flash on DCRP. This from our friends at the DC Resource page: Their reader Tom Beardmore has prepared a full length review of the SR Electronics Ring Flash We mentioned SR Electronics digicam-adapted flash units below. This unit is a "ring" flash, used for taking very evenly-lit close-up shots. Pricey, at $250, but if you need really good lighting for macro photography, this is clearly the way to go! (Thanks, Jeff)
- Iomega ships Clik! After one of the longest gestation periods in the computer business, Iomega has finally shipped their Clik! Mobile Drive, a unit based on Iomega's tiny 40MB removable-media Clik! drives. The "digital photo bundle" includes a drive, a spare disk, and an adapter that reads both SmartMedia and CompactFlash cards from digital cameras. The concept here is that you can dump one or more flash-memory cards onto an inexpensive Clik! disk, freeing up the expensive solid-state media for another round of picture-taking. At an estimated street price of $249, the Clik! mobile drive looks like an interesting solution for digicam owners on vacation: Additional 40MB disks cost only $9.95 each, making image storage for an extended trip affordable, without lugging along the laptop. We spoke with Iomega at Comdex, and they promised us a review unit, so look for more information here, hopefully soon. Stay tuned for more news in the near future, as Iomega has announced agreements with camera manufacturers! ;-).

Sunday, December 13, 1998

December 13(!) - Bogged 'droid, lots of news...
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Sunday, December 13, 1998 - 0:00 EST)

- AWOL web droid returns! After egregious neglect, we're finally updating the news again! We've been extraordinarily busy, with three different digicams in for review, on tight schedules. We hope to make up for the slow news by having the full review of the Minolta Dimage EX 1500 Zoom completed by the end of this week, and the Agfa ePhoto 1680 and Olympus D-620L following closely on its heels. Things are looking up: We now have Paul the tech-writer working part-time to help with the review overload, and Mike the news-hound should be picking up his duties on the News/Deals/Tips pages "Real Soon Now." Meanwhile, there's actually quite a lot to report, particularly given that we're supposed to be in a new-product lag after Comdex…
- This week in the forum. We've seen this on other sites, and decided to start doing it here as well: There's a lot of discussion in our forum that might interest more readers, if they were only aware of it. Henceforth, we'll highlight a few of the current topics in our news feed, so everyone will know what's going on. This week, discussion topics include:

    - Lighting for small-product photography

    - Waterproofing inkjet prints

    - Why aren't digicams as good at low light as camcorders?

Go to the discussion forum to check out these and other topics!
- Whither Philips? Comments have been circulating on, to the effect that Philips may be exiting the digicam business. Much of the impetus for this rumor is that Philips-branded digicams, including the ESP-80 (a re-branded Ricoh RDC-4300) have appeared on the OnSale on-site auction site for VERY low prices. There have been claims of Philips stating they won't honor warrantees for these units, but so far it all seems to be smoke and rumors. If anyone out there has any actual information on this, please write! (We'll try to do a little sniffing around on our own as well.
- New Toshiba Model? This seems to be the week for rumors (see also the next item)! Because we're under non-disclosure with many of the digital camera manufacturers, we generally can't share anything that we know about new digicam models. We're always happy to pass along rumors originated by others though! (And for those that are real, you'll find reviews of the cameras involved here before anywhere else!) One of the latest was reported by our friends over at the DCRP: Toshiba is reported to be readying a newer version of the hugely successful PDR-M1 1.5 megapixel camera, tentatively referred to as the PDR-M3. The main differences are reported to be a smaller case size, and a 3x optical zoom. No price has been set, and the release date cited was Spring PMA, in mid-February. (Thanks, Jeff!)
- New Agfa Model? Continuing our unabashed rumor-mongering, Steve's Digicams broke news of a new Agfa camera, due to be released at CES in January. The putative CL-30 will supposedly have a resolution of 1152 x 864 pixels, ship with a 4 MB CompactFlash card (the first non-SmartMedia unit from Agfa), and support both USB and RS-232. SRP is projected at $399. Steve even has a photo of the new model up on his site. (Thanks, Steve!)
- A Panoply of Picture Sites: (Well, three anyway: Here's the first). There seems to be a lot going on these days in the share-your-photos-online arena: Club Photo has a new version of their Living Album 99 software available for free download at their web site. You can also sign up for a free personal photo web site to use either the Living Album software, or their web-based photo Album manager to publish and share your photo memories. The software tools let you create, manage, and share photo album pages over the world wide web, on your own personal photo web site. Two features seem key here: First, you can upload images directly from your web browser (although I think you need the 4.0 versions of Explorer or Navigator to do this), without resorting to an FTP program. Second, the Living Album software lets you upload directly to your web site directly from the application, without the need for either FTP or web browser. - This is a big boost in usability for on-line sharing. Check it out!
- ArcSoft Launches PhotoIsland Site. ArcSoft has long been a behind-the-scenes developer of imaging software for device manufacturers. Now, they've not only gone "public," but have announced a web site called PhotoIsland. Features include a monthly news column (ignore that though ;-), a PostCard Hut, where you can send a free email postcard with your favorite image, a Gifts area, where you can order photo-personalized gifts, and a products area where you can order a variety of imaging-related products from several manufacturers affiliated with the ArcSoft "family." Most interesting is the PhotoMontage area, where you can order a poster-size montage based upon a favorite image you upload. The final poster is assembled from literally hundreds of tiny image, creating a mosaic depicting your original picture. (This is a pretty cool thing, based upon ArcSoft's PhotoMontage application program, which we hope to review very soon!)
- Family Photo Album debuts. VirSys software has released their Family Photo Album software designed to let you create polished-looking digital photo albums easily. The tightly-integrated set of tools includes a preview tool, photo editing tool, and the photo album itself. The software runs under Windows 95/98/NT, and is being released at an introductory price of less than $25. You can pick up a downloadable demo version and more info at VirSys' web site
- New Sony DSC-D700 web pages. Frank van der Pol has a Sony DSC-D700 web page up, discussing features and showing sample images taken with the new camera. (We hope to have a review of this amazing unit here soon, and are aggressively working Sony to that end!) (Thanks to Steve's Digicams for this link!)
- New Digi-Slave Flash. If you've tried using a conventional slave flash trigger with most digicams, you've likely been disappointed with the results: Most digital cameras us a "pre-flash" for metering, with the main flash following afterward. This fools most slave triggers, which pop on the pre-flash, instead of for the main event. SR Electronics has several cleverly-designed slave flashes and triggers though, that can count the flashes, and trigger when they're supposed to! They've just announced a new "Pro" unit, with a guide-number of 120! Check it out at their web site.
- DIG vets FlashPix. The Digital Imaging Group, keepers of the FlashPix flame have announced an Interoperability Test Suite (IOTS) for software manufacturers to test compatibility of their wares with the official FlashPix standard. Interested parties can request a free copy of the test suite by visiting the DIG's digs on the web, at (We applaud the decision to make the IOTS available freely, which is likely to encourage grass-roots developers to support FlashPix.)
- Linux does photos. This one is from Steve's Digicams also: gPhoto (GNU Photo) is the first free GUI-based application for Linux that handles downloading, indexing, printing, saving etc. of images from a variety of digital cameras. Using the photoPC library from Eugene Crosser, it supports cameras from Agfa, Epson, Olympus, Sanyo, and Nikon. The pre-release beta is available now on the gPhoto home page, but a more stable release with new features is said to be right around the corner. (Thanks, Steve!)
- Big Bucks for FlashPoint! FlashPoint Technology, Inc, the creators of the Digita digital-camera operating environment (currently used by Kodak and Minolta in their high-end models, as well as by Epson in the PT-100 digital photo printer not yet available in this country) has announced the closing of a $12 million investment from Brentwood Venture Capital and Oak Investment Partners.
- Goodbye to Switchboxes? For those of us struggling with innumerable devices vying for our parallel ports, hope may be in sight. The IEEE has approved a standard for attaching multiple devices to a parallel printer port and resolving contention between them. We won't venture to guess how long it will take the new IEEE 1284.3 standard to actually have an impact on the parallel-port logjam though…
- IPIX finds apps! Interactive Pictures has for a while had some pretty impressive technology for assembling 360 degree immersive images, using only two fisheye shots to do so. Their business model has been a little unusual though, charging per 360-degree image created, rather than a normal purchase price for the software. Privately, we've always wondered a little at how you'd commercialize this nifty technology. Now, Interactive has announced two partnerships that do much to remove our doubts. On the one hand, they've partnered with leading real estate web services firm HOMES.COM to use the technology to create immersive home tours for realtors. They also announced a partnership with BellSouth to create digital stadium tours for 18 colleges and universities in the Athletic Coast Conference (ACC) and Southeastern Conference (SEC). The new stadium tours will let students, alumni, and parents see exactly what the view of the field is like from various points around the stadium, via the web. This strikes us as a truly useful application of immersive imaging, practically applying it to a situation in which the "being there" experience is critically important to the viewers. Visit the IPIX site for more details on this interesting technology.

Tuesday, December 8, 1998

December 8 - Better CCDs soon, Photo Mystery contest...
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, December 8, 1998 - 0:00 EST)

- Better CCDs from IBM. IBM announced yesterday the availability of new 1.3 and 2.0 megapixel CCD chips. The new chips appear to incorporate several features that will improve image quality, including a greater light-sensitive area in each pixel, extremely low "dark current", for improved low-light performance, and the use of "pastel" color filters (pioneered by Polaroid Corp) to further improve light transmission. No mention was made of price, but there's no reason to expect them to be any more expensive than existing units. (Actually, prices should be lower, since the new chips are produced on a very efficient production line, handling 8-inch silicon wafers and using 0.5-0.35 micron technology.)
- Better CCDs Soon! In a related item, Sound Vision announced that their "Clarity 2.0" digital imaging hardward and software system will support the new IBM sensor chip from the get-go. This is very good news for digicam consumers, since the Clarity system gives digicam manufacturers a very fast, easy, and relatively inexpensive way to incorporate the new CCDs into working camera designs. (Reading between the lines here, and peering into the crystal ball a bit, expect 1.3-2.0 megapixel digital cameras to get real cheap by next summer!)
- FireWire Heats Up! (I just love writing these corny headlines!) "FireWire" is a very high-speed and simple interconnect technology developed by Apple Computer years ago (in the early 1990s), but that was never successfully brought to market by them. That's a shame, since it truly is an incredible system, with data rates faster than SCSI, but a plug & play operability better than serial ports. FireWire may be about to rise from obscurity though: Sony Corporation has incorporated it into a range of computer and digital video products, and Apple just announced the licensing of FireWire to Japanese giant Matsushita. Also, there are very strong rumors that Apple's new machines due in early Spring will incorporate FireWire ports. We suspect that this activity will focus on digital video, but expect to see some high-end (studio) digital cameras incorporating FireWire before long, too
- New Windows Organizer. (Sorry, only for your photos!) Our friends over at the DCRP turned this one up: A new photo organizer & printing application for Windows, from Prince Digital. Looks like a handy program, at $30 US, purchased over the internet.
- Kodak Photo Mystery Sweepstakes! The PR guys are revving this one up a bit in advance: Kodak is running a "photo mystery" sweepstakes on their web site, and the lucky winner will receive a trip to Disney World, or $10,000 in cash and prizes! The contest will run through Feb 22, 1999. Note that this is more than just an "enter and forget" deal: There's apparently an elaborate game behind it, and you get points the more questions you can answer correctly. (Expect to learn WAY more about Kodak products than you ever thought you'd want to!) Check it out!
- More Sony DSC-D700 info. This one from our friend Steve, over at Steve's Digicams: regular Frank van der Pol posted some highly cogent comments about his new DSC-D700 on the newsgroup. Steve kindly collected these onto a web page on his site to make it easy for others to read. Frank's comments are very interesting, particularly the evolution he went through regarding image quality, in the first few days he owned the camera. Visit Steve's news page, or go directly to the DSC-D700 review here.
- T-Mount Adapter for Nikon 900. Another one from the peripatetic Steve: Tom Malzacher and the crew at CKC Power are now offering a T-mount adapter ring for the Nikon CoolPix 900/900s cameras. This will let you attach these cameras to high-power spotter scopes and telescopes, just in case your 2x Raynox isn't doing the job for you!

Sunday, December 6, 1998

December 6 (Late) - Casio QV-7000SX review posted
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Sunday, December 6, 1998 - 0:00 EST)

- It looks like the perpetual logjam of reviews is starting to break loose: We've added some writing talent to help crank out the thousands of words that make up a typical review, and should have a dedicated news editor starting in another week or two to manage the News, Deals, and Tips pages full-time. Meanwhile, we've completed the review for the Casio QV-7000SX, and have it posted, along with a full complement of sample images, which are also represented in the Comparometer(tm). We found the QV-7000SX to be a somewhat surprising unit, in that it incorporates "real photography" features that many of the major players are only slowly adding, such as "spot" metering and aperture priority autoexposure, plus a swiveling optical zoom lens. Overall, Casio appears to be making solid inroads on the photographic marketplace, an impressive feat, given their solid consumer-electronic background. At the same time though, the QV-7000SX leaves behind none of the consumer-electronic gadgetry that has satisfied so many customers in the past. Check it out! With the additional writing horsepower, you should see reviews appearing at a much more rapid pace over the next couple of months...
- Slow news: We got a little bogged down, getting the QV-7000SX review out, particularly so close on the heels of the Nikon LS-2000 scanner review. As a result, we don't have a news update for you today (check back Tuesday AM). Do expect digicam news to be slow for the next month though, due to the holiday season, and the blow-out of Comdex. (The next big show will be CES, in early January -- about which we can say nothing! ;-)

Thursday, December 3, 1998

December 3 (Late) - Full Nikon Super Coolscan 2000 review posted!
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, December 3, 1998 - 0:00 EST)

- Finally! We posted very extensive comments along with the test images in early November, but finally got the full presentation for the incredible Nikon Super Coolscan 2000 slide/film scanner on-line. We have to say, this is an amazing unit! It has a host of features that truly make it a professional-quality "production machine," but the real jaw-dropper is its "Digital ICE" automatic defect correction. Proof positive of the saying by Arthur C. Clarke (thanks to reader Jack Ryder for the correct attribution of this quote!) that "Any sufficiently advanced technology will be indistinguishable from magic!" We tested the technology with a severely damaged piece of color-negative film, and it's this sort of demonstration that has garnered most of the coverage in the press. We're convinced though, that the real benefit of this technology is not in recovering damaged film, but in simply and efficiently removing the routine dust specks and lint fibers that normally add 10-20 minutes of manual "spotting" onto every professional scan. There are few technologies that you can truly say will "pay for themselves in the first month," but this is one of them! Check it out!

December 3 - Sony DSC-D700 news, fast chips ...
By Michael Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, December 3, 1998 - 0:00 EST)

- Official Sony D700 page up! This one courtesy of the DC Resource Page: Sony has finally posted the official web page for their extraordinary new DSC-D700 digicam. The DCRP and others have focused on the resolution of the new unit, which at 1344 x 1024, doesn't seem to justify the $1900 retail price. To our minds though, the "big news" of this camera is the incredible flexibility it brings to the digital picture-taking process. With the FULL complement of exposure modes, including aperture priority, shutter priority, and full manual, not to mention the excellent optics and SLR viewing, this is truly a photographer's digital camera. Keep your fingers crossed: We're working on Sony to let us review it, and I think they're weakening! (Note to Dan and Neal: You are, aren't you? ;-)
- Nice job on Oly upgrade! Taking advantage of our pre-planned Comdex absence from the office, we shipped our workhorse Olympus D-600L back to Oly, to take advantage of their eminently reasonable 16 MB SmartMedia-compatibility upgrade program. They say to allow 10 days for turnaround, so imagine our surprise when we found it waiting upon our return! Talk about great service!! We said it before, but it bears repeating: Oly really deserves a big round of applause for the way they stood behind their customers when the 16 MB SmartMedia compatibility issue hit the fan: It was a problem not of their own making, but they really went above and beyond to support their previous customers. With the upgrade done, we're now happily using the camera with the new 16MB card, which in "High Quality" mode seems bottomless. (We've always maintained that Oly's "High Quality" JPEG is good enough that the "Super High Quality" is rarely necessary.) While we're talking about SmartMedia, we'll point out that IR advertiser EPC-Online has some great deals on SmartMedia this month!)
- REALLY fast cameras ahead?: The trend to large amounts of "buffer RAM" in new digicam models (like the Olympus D-620L, and the Minolta Dimage EX 1500) does a lot to improve the shot-to-shot responsiveness of digital cameras. Now though, there's word that new processing chips designed for the "guts" of the cameras will provide much faster performance, regardless of how much RAM is present. Sierra Imaging Inc. has just announced a new DSP chip set for digital cameras that they claim is 10x faster than previous versions, providing throughput rates up to 3.3 Megapixels/second for fully-processed JPEG images(!) Their architecture is optimized for sensor sizes as large as 8 million pixels, but can support CCDs as large as 16 million pixels. - Looks like there's lots more good things to come. (Now, when can I have that 8 megapixel, 5x optical zoom-equipped digicam for under $300? :-)
- New drivers for Lexar SmartMedia Reader: Since this seems to be the day for SmartMedia news, we'll pass along here (as well as on the "Tips" page) that Lexar has announced a driver-software upgrade for their external SmartMedia reader that clears up some problems the device had been having with 16MB cards. Visit their web site at to download the updated driver.



AOL Alert: Several readers connecting via AOL have complained of poor image quality when using the AOL web browser. This is caused by a setting called "compress images" in the browser that causes it to completely mangle images in the interest of faster transmission. You should turn this setting OFF before viewing any of the comparison images on this site.

  • FLASH: Thanks to reader Lynn Mannan, here's an explanation of how to make the correct settings adjustments (at least in AOL 4.0 for PCs):
    • I opened the "My AOL" preferences screen in the toolbar across the top. Then I clicked on WWW icon and selected the "web graphics" tab where I unchecked the "compressed graphics" choice and clicked on the Apply button at the bottom. Now the scanner test pictures are gorgeous. The pictures take a long time to load. But they are worth waiting for. Thank you, Lynn!