TOW Digital Photography

Ken K
Fri, 20 Dec 2002 20:36:51 PST
I've been monitoring this very interesting thread for a while, but
have been unable to respond until today.

I use a Casio QV300EX, which delivers a 2048 x 1536 image. These are
automatically JPEG compressed to approximately 1.4 mb each, and are
stored on an onboard 360 Megabyte IBM MicroDrive, which fits into the
same slot as the memory modules. This allows storage of 240 images in
the camera - very handy for nursery-hopping road trips. MicroDrives up
to 1 gigabyte are now available for the newer Casio models, and are
also able to be retrofitted to the QV3000EX via a user installable
firmware upgrade. Image transfer to the base computer is via USB, and
the Casio software mounts the drive into the Windows explorer just
like any other removable drive. There is a way to force images to the
TIFF format, however I have never had noticeable artifacts, so I do
not use it.

A couple of features which are missing (or inadequate) from the Casio
and many other digicams, and which I feel are essential for any kind
of close-up photography, are manual overrides for focus and exposure.
Automatic cameras tend to focus on whatever is in the center of the
viewfinder, and if that happens to be either the background or a set
of stamens, then the petals will be out of focus. For exposure, meters
tend to differ widely, and will often take the color of the subject
into account. This is why many colors are hard to capture accurately -
violets and purples tend to show up as red unless they are manually
under-exposed a bit. For a starting point, I use a neutral 50% gray
card, or the palm of my hand.

For managing images, I use ACDSee, which allows me to browse and
rename files and folders. When I have enough to fill a disk, the
images are then burned onto CD-ROM, and the CDs are catalogued with
'WhereIsIt', my favorite disk cataloging app. If the images are named
with a useful keyword scheme, fast and effective searches using
'WhereIsIt' are easy.

Ken Kehl
East S.F. Bay Area, Ca.
USDA Zone 9
-2°C to 38°C

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