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This is our MM "Computer" SECTION. Each month we will feature Ed Buy (The Computer Guy). Ed has been writing a computer Q & A column for over 2 years which is now syndicated in 37 newspapers.

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By Ed Buy (The Computer Guy)

 

"Freeze Frame"

(Reprinted with the permission of the publisher from The Press Publications)

 

Dear Ed: About six months ago I decided to purchase my first digital camera. I have had no problems when using it outside. It has a maximum resolution of 640 X 480. I am a Realtor, and our office has a color printer and desktop publishing software, so that we can create our own flyers if we want to.

What I do not like is the slow shutter speed. Moving subjects blur easily. Sometimes I get a redeye problem, and I took some group pictures at a wedding last week, and the built-in flash just could not kick out enough light for me.

I am ready to invest about a thousand dollars in a new camera. What do you recommend? - Jim D.

 

Dear Jim: You are in luck because I am very up on digital cameras, and I have personally gone through three generations of digital photography. I used to do a monthly newsletter for a computer users group, and I was not satisfied with the results I was getting from scanning photos.

That is when I started using Kodak Photo CD technology to process my pictures. (The picture of me up top was taken with a 35 mm camera, using Kodak film. I sent the film in to Kodak for processing onto a "Photo CD"). The typical fee for creating a 24 exposure CD is about $30.00. You also need to purchase the Kodak software for about $30.00. What I did not like about this procedure was the long turnaround time and the cost. It usually takes about two weeks.

I too purchased a digital camera which was convenient to use, but had a 640 X 480 resolution. I design web sites, and the flash was OK for close-ups, but did not work well past a distance of seven feet.

The camera I finally purchased after doing several hours of research was an Olympus D-600L. I soon discovered the fantastic difference in quality between a cheeper "low-resolution" camera and the D-600L.


Here is an example of a picture (Hughes Painting) taken with my old Sony digital camera, with a maximum resolution of 640 X 480:

Click on Kent's picture to go to his web site.


Here is one taken for a restaurant review I am doing on Maggiano's in Schaumburg, Illinois. It was taken on-site with my Olympus at a resolution of 1280 X 1024:

 Click on the picture to go to MAGGIANOS.COM


Both pictures were taken with the camera's built-in flash from a distance of seven feet. I highly recommend you spend the extra few hundred or so dollars for the Olympus. One accessory you should order (as I did) is the $100.00 optional "Flash Path" diskette adapter:

Ninety percent of the pictures at this web site were taken with the Olympus camera. I highly recommend it. As a matter of fact, they just came out with a new model, and redeye reduction is standard:

Here are some specs - 

True 1.4 million pixel resolution, a 3X zoom lens, and external flash sync support in a convenient ZLRTM (Zoom Lens Reflex) design.

The Olympus D-620L combines a high-resolution CCD (1.4 megapixel 1280 x 1024), a light-weight, built-in 3X zoom lens and TTL (through the lens) viewfinder, and an external flash sync/PC connector for professional quality shots in studio settings and an innovative design inspired by the Olympus IS series 35mm ZLR cameras for a true photographic experience.  

Speed

Memory buffers allow for nearly instant consecutive shots, while not waiting for the camera to "process" the shot. The new burst mode allows photography of 3.3 frames per second in even the highest resolution of nearly 1 megabyte files. Three quick focus settings assist the user in making the camera respond to the shutter button immediately. These three features make the D-620L the first digital camera to be fast enough for action or sport subjects.

Power Management

Battery consumption is a concern for digital camera users. The D-620L addresses this with long-lasting Nickel Metal Hydride batteries and an intelligent battery recharger. The camera has a new battery saving mode that further decreases battery consumption.

What's Included?

The D-620L includes nickel metal hydride rechargeable batteries and charger, an 8MB Olympus brand SmartMedia card, strap, serial cable for Mac and/or PC, Adobe â PhotoDeluxeTM image manipulation and creation software, Enroute Imaging QuickStitchTM panorama stitching software, Olympus Camera Utility Software for downloading images from the camera, and instruction manuals. All software supports both Windows and Macintosh computer systems.


You can e-mail your computer questions to Edward Buy at:

 EdBuy@MidwestMagazine.com

 


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