Re: Advice on digital cameras

Subject: Re: Advice on digital cameras
From: Peter Gold <pgold -at- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 27 May 1997 08:17:55 -0700


I recently bought the Kodak DC-120 camera for a class I teach. We also
have a color QuickCam and b/w QuickCam.

The Kodak's $1000 price is not trivial, but its 1280x920 resolution is,
pricewise, worth the jump from cameras above $400 whose resolution is
significantly less, if you want pictures in the range of 5" on a side
with very good detail, and 8" on a side with reasonable detail.

There's more to it than just resolution, though. I just made a product
shot of a table, using room light and built-in flash, with Kodak's medium
resolution storage of its high-resolution image. IOW, it stored an image
like a cheaper camera, in the resolution range about 400x320. The picture
is marginal in 5"x6", partly because of the resolution, but IMO more
because of slight camera shake compounded with wide lens aperture. So,
for getting the most out of any camera's resolution, consider a tripod
and extra lighting, just as you'd need if working with film. I used to be
a photographer and I guess it's been so long since doing studio work, I
forgot how important it is to light appropriately for revealing shape,
texture, etc.

The advantages of good digital imaging equipment include:

no wasted film or processing costs
truly instant preview

The disadvantages include:

falling prices / rising quality (resolution)
you need photographer's skills (not packed with the camera)
limited storage in camera; expensive external storage
(card memory or laptop for portability)
as with all automatic cameras, film and electronic, exposure and
focus are compromises of ease over quality; you can improve
some pictures by learning to override automatic settings, if the
camera permits (DC-120 does)

__________________peter gold pgold -at- netcom -dot- com__________________
"We shape our tools; thereafter, our tools shape us.
We ape our tools; thereafter, our tools ape us."
________...Marshall McLuhan, based on Ted Carpenter's idea_____

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