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mmaarten 20 Dec 2001 13:21

Again..... Digital Questions
 
Hai,

I'm thinking of buying a digital compact camera, but......
I am worried about the download time's etc..
Let's say 1 picture is 1 Mb and I have 50 picture's to send home.. in an average internet-cafe downtown swahilonesia witch has a 50 K connection.... I guess you don't need a calculator to figure it out.. it won't work.
So, my question is actualy: Does an avarage Internet-cafe (in swahilionesia or burminiastan etc..) have a cd-burner ? And.. if yes.. Do I have to bring my own CD's or do they have them ?

The awnser to this question enable's me to decide.

Any experiance?... thanks.

Maarten

dagjen 20 Dec 2001 16:54

I wouldn't bet on it, and will they let you connect your card reader, install driver for it and then use the potential cd-burner which sits in the manager's machine? I met people who had not been able to unload their digicams in weeks and months(South America), and hence carried a useless camera with them.

A much better option though, is the digital wallet, a pocket harddisk that reads compact flash cards and the like and stores up to 20GB of information. Do a search on the web and you'll find it sold everywhere.

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Dag
http://RocinantesTravels.com

mmaarten 21 Dec 2001 13:43

Unfortunatly... A digital wallet costs about 500 euro (if you get a good deal). If I add this to the cost of the digicam I could buy a Sony MVC witch has a build in CD-rewriter.
It is a dificult disicion (talk about a luxury problem) witch started with the need for a wireless remote controll (so I can take action-photo's of myself).
I just don't want to spend to much monye on it, and for the cost of a digital wallet I can live like a king in Azie for 2 months.
So... still hoping for sugestions or awnsers.

Maarten

Photog Rob 21 Dec 2001 17:44

Maarten,

I think you've just answered yourself with the MVC and its CD-RW. Right now, Dcam image quality is not a problem anymore, but battery life and storage are. Of course, stacking up on those little mini-cd's ain't no joke either...

Roberto.

PanEuropean 5 Jan 2002 13:02

A more practical solution might be to purchase one of the older generation Sony Mavica's that writes the pictures onto a 3½ inch floppy disc. I owned one of these several years ago, and it took fine pictures - mine was 1.3 megapixels resolution.

Not only would that save you quite a bit of money on the purchase cost (you could get it used for probably US$ 200), it would completely solve the problem of media and data transfer - no matter how primitive the computer you find in a backwoods internet cafe is, you can be assured it will have a slot for a floppy disc. This will avoid all the hassle of cables, connectors, memory sticks, consumable CD-ROM media, etc.

That leaves only the problem of charging up the camera. Batteries degrade over time, so you might want to buy a fresh battery for the unit before you leave, to ensure you get the maximum amount of photos out of each charge. When my battery was new, I got about 100 pictures out of each charge. After a year of use, it only took about 30 pictures before it needed recharging.

[This message has been edited by PanEuropean (edited 05 January 2002).]

mmaarten 6 Jan 2002 16:18

Hai,

I don't think this is an option. I thought about it for about 5 seconds but considering the fact that a good quality photo is about 1 Mb and the fact that a floppy can contain 1,44 Mb... that makes for a big suitcase filled with floppy's.
Anyway.. the older digi's have more problem's. The delay between pressing the button and the actual taking of the photo is way to long. Even the modern one's are tricky with this.
Furthermore the 1.3 megapixel is not enaugh to replace a chemical (or analog http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/smile.gif) picture.
So.. I am still thinking and thinking, but I am afriad that it will be the good old celuloid...

Maarten

PanEuropean 7 Jan 2002 04:24

I guess it depends a lot on what quality of picture you need.

I replaced my original Sony Mavica (the one that wrote to the floppy) with a Sony DSC-P1 that writes to a memory stick. I was surprised to find that a photo that took about 150kb of space on the floppy now took up 800kb of space on the memory stick - same size, same resolution, same quality.

On further investigation, I found that the older camera processed the JPEG image a bit before writing it, to achieve better compression. The newer camera didn't bother to do that, because it had more storage space to work with. Photo quality was the same.

I could fit about 12 to 14 reasonably good quality photos onto one floppy disk with the old camera. Not good enough to make prints bigger than 4 by 6 inches, but certainly good enough for viewing on a computer screen, or using in a PowerPoint presentation, or a web site.

dagjen 7 Jan 2002 22:27

Photo quality is not the same from the two cameras. Your old camera compressed the files more, which is equivalent to reducing quality, even though the pixel size stays the same. Jpeg compression is about finding similar areas in a photo and store that as a simplified object. When you increase the compression you increase the tolerance of what is "similar". Larger files means (by default at least) better quality, simply because there is more information in the file.


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Dag
http://RocinantesTravels.com

Jeremy Andrews 8 Jan 2002 19:16

Hi Maarten ,

Faced the same situation myself actually. Based on the assumption that no Internet Cafe will let you load the required software to read your smart card, or floppy disk adapter for a smart card or whatever ( yes they all need the appropriate driver software on a PC in order to read the assorted media ) , I chose the Sony Mavica CD option.

I've been playing with it over the last couple of months, and it's a fantastic piece of kit. At 3.3 Mega pixels, it will shoot a 1.2 MB jpeg shot on high resolution, or even an 8 MB Tiff shot if you don't fancy any compression.

Knowing that todays Digital Minilabs such as Fuji's frontier or Agfa's d-lab can produce excellent results from a 1.2 MB file, I believe the CD-R's or the more expensive CD-RW's are just the ticket. At 1.2 MB , you can expect approx 150 shots per CD , or a significant amount more if you chose a lower resolution. Both of the above Minilabs offer a print resolution 0f 400 ppi regardless of print size thanks to thier laser paper exposure technology, producing a print that is very crisp and sharp.

Sure, the 3.3 Megapixel camera from Sony is expensive, but those little disks can be aquired for as little as 1 USD per piece. That's real cheap storage, and as a CD which slots directly into any PC's CD drive without the need for any software, the perfect option for the traveller who might be wanting to upload pictures to a web site using Internet Cafes.

See www. panamerica.co.uk for examples. ( Even animated giff files which can be dumped straight into your site.

Cheers

Jeremy

[This message has been edited by Jeremy Andrews (edited 08 January 2002).]

[This message has been edited by Jeremy Andrews (edited 08 January 2002).]

PanEuropean 12 Jan 2002 09:48

Dag:

I disagree with your disagreement with me (wow, that's complex).

My current camera takes a JPEG picture, and it occupies 800 kb on the memory stick. If I open that JPEG in Adobe Photoshop, then do a 'save as' at the highest possible quality setting within Photoshop, the image size drops to between 140 and 200 kb, depending on the content of the image.

The old camera took JPEG's that occupied, at the same resolution, size and quality, about 200 kb per photo.

My conclusion is that the new camera is not doing any form of compression (according to JPEG specifications) at all. Even a photo of a pure white piece of paper, taken with the new camera, yields a 800 kb image.

dagjen 25 Jan 2002 13:02

I don't understand this, but it goes against what I thought I knew about Jpeg compression. Who knows, maybe the camera is varying the compression from photo to photo to always get the same size? Sounds odd though.


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Dag
http://RocinantesTravels.com

mmaarten 25 Jan 2002 16:03

Actually all file-format's use a form of compression.

If you would have a digital picture with a resolution of 1800 X 2400 (not unusual in a digital camera) and a 32 bit's colour-dept (true colours) you would have a bitmap of 32 X (1800 X 2400) = 138.240.000 bit's or aprox. 16 Mb.

By various forms of compression this can be redused to about 1 Mb without loosing any quality. Further compression is alway's possible, but it also reduces the quality. The first steps are hardly noticable (we all have bad eye's) but at a certain point the pictire becomes really bad. A big problem is the fact one can never tell where this point lies, it depends very much on the composition.

But... I still have not decided... digital or chemical... At the moment I lean towards chemical becourse of the robust, small, high quality Olympus compact all weather camera I already have. (I won't take the Minolta i7000, it's to heavy and bulky)

decisions... decisions... decisions....

Maarten

tomrsewell 5 Feb 2002 09:54

heres what i do now, scrambling peaks in the us and canadian rockies, trekking in Nepal, and plan to do on my KLR ride down the Andes later; i got me an olympus digcam D490, 2.1. with a big size card deal that can hold like 100 pix. on my ride i'll get another card or two. i use it mostly for people/ city/ vehicle shots. then i carry my old trusty oly om1 film camera with 35-70 lens and 70-200 zoom, then i carry my sony hi8 video cam. sure its lotsa weight/expense/hassel but at least i know one of them will always work. the film cam fills my photo album, the digcam fills my pc, and the videos are like my diary to watch around the woodstove when i'm old.

mmaarten 13 Feb 2002 14:15

Well, I have made a disicion. I got myself a Sony Mavica CD200. (the cheap one)
It happened when I made a picture of a minor modification on the bike for some one.. when I got the film developed the pictire was no good at all. There was a diagonal border between sun and shade, I can't believe I did not see it when I took the picture. http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/redface.gif Anyway, in the shade there was not enaugh detail for the picture to be usefull.
That's when I decided.

I got it through mail-order. In this case I can "play" with it for a few day's and if it's no good at all, I can return it.

I did notice an other great digi-cam: from Minolta. It's almost like there SLR's and has a build in "micro-drive" It can hold a micro-disk up to 1 Gb (!!!), has 4 or 5 Mpix!! and it's in the same price-catagory as the Sony.
Only drawback is ofcourse... how to get the picture's out of there in zimbabolonie. (so I choose the Sony)

Maarten

Maniac28 14 Feb 2002 03:07

I recently bought the olympus camedia 3020 zoom -- 3.3 megapixels with 3x optical zoom. It doesnt replace my canon eos setup, but it takes very nice very large pics that only take up about 500kb of space on my comp at full 3.3 pixel resolution. i get 85 pics on one 64meg card at that res. you can get a lot of storage on those small cards nowadays. If you have the cash - get a digital slr - oh boy they are so nice.


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