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I Forge Iron

Digital cameras

Steve K

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Steve, look at the pic of the finished knife I made. I took that with the same vivicam camera as the pics at the top of the page. Just following Glenn and Rich's advice on background, lighting and such made a huge difference in picture quality. Also, please post a pic of one of your chainsaw chain knives. I would really like to see them. :wink:

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Steve, I use a Kodak cx6200. wife got it for safety prize last year so waddn't terribly expensive. not a lotta bells and whistles but no big deal to me on that. I'm happy with it. I try to keep lithium batteries for it but you got to sign for them these days. They seem to last quite a while.

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Digital Cameras are neat tools. For the internet 480 x 640 x 72 dpi is usually all that is needed. To make a photographic paper print, you need all the megapixels you can get.

When looking for a camera, look for one that is easy to use, has OPTICAL zoom, a built in flash, close focus capibilities, and you can EASILY get the image out of the camera and into the computer.

* IF it is easy to use, you will use it, if it is NOT easy to use, you will NOT use it. If it is small enough to carry with you, you will carry it, otherwise you are going to leave it at home.

* Optical zoom is the lens doing the work, not the software. IF you do not have the information captured and stored (optical zoom), you can not recreate it with software (digital zoom).

* Built in flash will add light where it is needed for a better photograph. Without the flash, you are limited to daylight, or situations where there is a light bright enough to illuminate the subject.

* Close focus is needed for showing details. Usually a close focus and using the zoom will get you the photograph you want.

* If you can not easily get the photograph out of the camera and into the computer, you will not use the camera. It will just be too much trouble. The sales person has practiced making it "look" easy, but it needs to BE EASY FOR YOU to use with YOUR computer. USB connections and direct entry of the media card (stick or whatever) into the computer or printer is worth considering.

Like any tool, a camera can be very useful. The easier it is to use, the more you will use it. The faster it is to get the photograph out of the camera and into the computer, the more you will use it. Remember that 36 exposure roll of film that had Christmas photos, Easter, 4th of July, the fall leaves, Thanksgiving, the new years big snow, and the kids birthday in May all on the same roll? AND you had 3 exposures left before you could take it to have it processed? You want to be able to take ONE (1) photo and be able to put it into the computer now, today, so you can send it email to your friend before they have to log off.

There are a bunch of good cameras out there in the 3-4 megapixel range that will do a good job. I see no use for an image that takes up megs and megs of storage per EACH IMAGE to have to reduce it to 10k so it can be sent across the internet. But if your going to enlarge and print that image on digital photographic paper (not computer paper at $2.00 per 500 sheets) then you need all the megs you can get.

You want to consider the batteries and the storage media of any camera you purchase. At some point the camera WILL run out of juice to power it and need the battery replaced. If it only takes the recharable battery from the manufacture, you will need spares. If it takes a dedicated size battery, where are you going to find that one after hours and on the weekend? You need to carry spares. Before you believe the salesman, call the local drug store or grocery store and ask if they carry that battery - in stock.

The storage media is an important consideration. The mega-giga-drive "will be all you need" cause it stores everything - till there are problems. This is where several media storage devices are better. One fails and you can still function by using another one. Or use one for the main subject (the event, party, vacation) and pop in the second one for all the iron work, and interesting details, on the gate you found.

Digital cameras are great tools to learn photography and become the best photographer you can be. Taking 500 images, sorting through them and saying "WOW, I GOT ONE!" is fine as long as you delete the other 499. Next trip out try to get two images that are keepers from that 500. Next trip try to get three that are keepers, etc. Keep the good ones and delete the junk.

You just showed me 6 GREAT PHOTOGRAPHS that were all keepers! And WOW do they look good !! Excellent work.

The others - what others ??

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Glenn is dead on about memory and batteries. I have a 256meg compact flash card, and I have never run out of memory, I ALWAYS run out of battery first... :-) I have a Canon PS200 ELPH it is a nice little camera, and my only complaint is that I only have one battery pack and no car charger. Having a couple extra storage cards are nice, I have the 8meg CF card that the camera came with that I use to transfer pics to the printer/scanner/copier/fax machine from the computer across the room.

Getting good pics of pattern from patternwelded steel is tough, I would try softer lighting and slightly longer exposure time, but I am not a camera guru to say the least:-) But that would be what I would try first, No flash, and careful about your angle to the light, because a good knife will likely reflect a lot of light back at the camera... Good luck:-)

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