Share this Page URL

Digital Input Devices > Scanner - Pg. 182

Digital Lifestyle Hardware: Digital Rules, Analog Drools 182 · · · · All cameras enable you to change the resolution at which they capture images (they usually have low, medium, and high resolution settings). So the resolution of the camera is really its maximum resolution; depending on the photos that you are taking during a session, you might or might not take the highest resolution images possible. Memory capacity and format. All those pixels that a camera captures have to be stored in some form of memory. And, as with your Mac, more memory is better. In the case of a camera, having more memory available enables you to take more photos without having to download them to your Mac. Some cameras have built-in or fixed memory, but most modern cameras use some form of removable memory. There are three memory formats used in digital still cameras: Com- pactFlash, SmartMedia, and Sony's Memory Stick. These formats are similar, and you can ob- tain memory cards in various capacities, such as 128MB (which enables you to store about 120 images taken at the 3-mega pixel resolution). If you have other devices that also use such memory, it can be convenient to choose a camera that uses the same format so that you can share memory cards among your devices. Price. This factor probably goes without saying, but better cameras generally cost more. The prices of these cameras have fallen dramatically in the past year. Currently, you can obtain a good quality 2-megapixel camera for about $300 and a 3-megapixel camera for about $500. Feel factor. The physical characteristics of a camera might be one of the most important factors in your decision. If you are going to use it regularly and well, a camera must be suitable for carrying with you, and it should "feel" right in your hands. For example, the size and shape of the camera is a very important consideration. If you plan on taking plenty of photos on the move, you need a camera that is easy to carry. If portability is extremely important, you might want a camera that will fit in a pocket. Features. Digital cameras offer more features than even film-based cameras do; in fact, the sheer number of features can be overwhelming. Usually, you can limit the number of features that you have to consider by first using the other criteria (such as resolution, memory, and price) to eliminate most models from consideration. After you have a "short list" of possible models, you have to decide which features are the most important to you. You aren't likely to find a single model that offers exactly the features that you want, so you are looking for the best mix of features to best suit your needs. NOTE Just in case you are wondering, I use a Sony DCR-PC100 DV camera and a Kodak DC4800 still camera. Both of these are excellent cameras that offer great quality, lots of features, and excellent controls. Scanner A scanner enables you to capture physical images and convert them into an electronic format. In these days of digital cameras, the scanner has lost much of its usefulness. However, if you have lots of photos in hard copy or you want to continue using a film camera, a scanner can be a useful tool for your digital lifestyle projects (see Figure 7.4).