RE: Digital Cameras in Technical Communication

Subject: RE: Digital Cameras in Technical Communication
From: "Dan Hall" <dhall -at- san-carlos -dot- rms -dot- slb -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001 08:06:16 -0500


I just finished researching digital cameras for our group's use and
bought one yesterday, so your post caught my eye.

We were also concerned about a number of the issues you raised.

JPEG is a lossy format, so cameras saving images to JPG are going
to lose some definition. RAM can also be an issue, as can transfer
from the camera to the computer. These issues, plus a need for macro
capability, lead us to a specific camera.

Our solution: A Sony MVC-300 Mavica.

The camera has a 3.1 megapixel CCD, so image quality is crisp,
even at 1600 x 1200.

Images can be saved as JPEG or TIFF (which is lossless)

Images are saved on CD-R or CD-RW disks. The camera has an
integrated mini CDR drive, that takes standard "pocket"
CD-Rs (3") that fit in the inner indentation of a standard
CD drive. They hold 185 MB of data, and cost about .60
per disk in quantity.

The flash provides a "preview" light, that allows you to see
where any glare/reflection will be in the final image,
so you can adjust before snapping the shot.

It's got a lot of other fancy-dancy features we'll never use
here at work - movie recording, sound recording, timer,
all the bells and whistles.

While a digital image won't match an actual photograph for quality, at
standard print and copy resolutions (many of our manuals are printed
on a Xerox DocuTech machine) they are satisfactory. Since we mix
"overview" and "close-up" shots in the manuals, we don't have much of
a problem with losing detail at distance.

In fact, my current standard resolution is 1024 x 768, and the
artifacts that you mention aren't readily perceived at print/screen
resolutions. Frankly, I've never had an instance of a customer
complaining that the pics were bad when zoomed to 1000%.

You might want to keep looking. There are some good digital cameras
out there. And honestly, I wouldn't go back to cut-and-paste for
anything. Well... almost anything :)


(Who has no connection with Sony, other than owning
one of their cameras)

Dan Hall
Sr. Technical Writer
SchlumbergerSema RTEMS

All the opinions, errors, sarcasm, and wit (if any) expressed in this
e-mail are solely mine. SchlumbergerSema takes neither credit nor blame


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Digital Cameras in Technical Communication: From: F Cameron Sipston

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