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View Full Version : WOOHOO! Got my camera working again!



NathanAllan
March 22nd, 2006, 06:12 AM
I never though I'd like using this crappy digital camera, but it sure beats having nothing! I though I had upgraded past its ability since I've had it since 1995 and figured it wasn't supported, but then I rechecked the drivers page (driverguide) and found that a win2k driver *had* been relseased for it, so I can now take the same quality pics as in my signature and probably won't have to buy another camera after all. It may seem like a small thing, but I got used to not havign to buy film and having picture ability readily at hand. It's not a high quality camera but it works. When I tested it I took a picture of my wife and with the flash on in a dark room, it made her look like on of the undead. :P So it's still only a daytime cam. But thanks for small favors.

Nathan

CP/M User
March 22nd, 2006, 01:49 PM
What sort of camera is it?

Well if it works that's the main thing & Win2k supports it driver wise. What sort of Resolution do you get from it?

A few years ago (2001) I brought myself a new film camera (non-SLR), but it did Panaramic shots, which I liked for those Scenic shots. Back then the camera house I got my camera from gave me a small Digital Camera - which I thought was good cause I could use it on my ol' Win95 system. I was a little disappointed by the Resolution (think it was 320x200) though it was good for people shots, Scenic shots simply had too much information for it & the pictures looked terrible.

I wondered though, if I was able to simulate/enhance the resolution if I used a magnified glass - should that improve the quality of the photos - by enlarging the detail. It's an interesting theory - perhaps I should go out & buy the biggest magnify glass I can get (well within reasonible cost) & try this out. Apart from that - I also wondered if it's possible to simulate the same effect using a computer program or something?

Cause now, I've got 4mp camera & it's just packed with stuff not bad at taking photos - but I've been using it a lot for Movie Making, I'm no expert at it - but it's been interesting playing around & seeing what it can do - guess the biggest blow is the zoom, you can't zoom while recording - while not recording you can, but not in record - guess though if you really wanted to get into that - buy yourself a proper movie camera, but it's just a small time hobby of mine & does what I really need it to do - it's even better having Sound - lots of Digital Cameras support sound now, but mine was perhaps the first line of Cameras to do this - it's nothing special, but it just makes the purpose of having informative movies much easier - otherwise if it didn't have sound - I'd be doing Silent movies, adding the script on editing, more work involved. Having Sound it's a bit tricky while outside on a windy day - the wind can be quite dominate (cause it's in Mono), closed in areas are much better.

CP/M User.

Terry Yager
March 22nd, 2006, 02:10 PM
Remember the GoodOl'Dayz, when the film makers would obsoletize our cameras by ceasing to produce the film? I found out last week that Sheila's 5-year-old camera (Toshiba) is now 'officially' obsolete. Nobody sells the memory cards (SmartMedia) for it any more (I tried 8 different stores). Ever wonder why every couple of years, a 'new' standard for flash-RAM comes around? It's the same ol' hardware, packaged on a different size/shape of card (CF, MemoryStick, SmartMedia, MMC, SD, etc.).

--T

CP/M User
March 22nd, 2006, 03:34 PM
Terry Yager wrote:

> Remember the GoodOl'Dayz, when the film makers would
> obsoletize our cameras by ceasing to produce the
> film? I found out last week that Sheila's 5-year-old
> camera (Toshiba) is now 'officially' obsolete. Nobody
> sells the memory cards (SmartMedia) for it any more
> (I tried 8 different stores). Ever wonder why every
> couple of years, a 'new' standard for flash-RAM comes
> around? It's the same ol' hardware, packaged on a
> different size/shape of card (CF, MemoryStick,
> SmartMedia, MMC, SD, etc.).

What?!? That's just great then if that's the markets answer to
moving on. By strange coincidence my computer just happens to
have a Card reader which supports the Smartmedia cards - but
then it supports just about anything.


My flashy digital camera uses the XD-Picture Card. The only
other manufacturer (that I know of) which happens to use media
is Olympus, however I believe it depends on the camera. Some
of these other cards like SD can store upto 2Gb of
Pictures/Movies I believe (the most on mine being 1Gb -
however 2 types of 1Gb cards exist - I've only got the
standard which is fine - though another one is supposed to
read/write faster, I found this out when I got my 1Gb card -
though I'm unsure if my camera supports it - since it was an
Olympus card). Certain models also have trouble with these
large cards (usually the older model cameras) & while my
camera is slightly shakey with it, I've been able to use it to
full effect (if uploading the files in the right manner on my
computer).


But yeah, I though Smartmedia was another one of those popular
cards - perhaps some shops here still stock it, I definitely
couldn't see them getting rid of it, if a number of cameras
support it.


CP/M User.

USSEnterprise
March 22nd, 2006, 05:52 PM
Look online. SmartMedia isn't common anymore because of the 128MB limit, but you can still get it from many places on the internet

NathanAllan
March 22nd, 2006, 06:27 PM
It's an Ixla Superpro 640. It has less than one megapixel, no card slot, a simple little snapshooter, adn the pics that come from it vary in size from 52-111k so far. I think I took one once that was 120-something. It's vga resolution and really quick to operate.

I think I got it in 2000, when they were really expensive still and not that great. I bought it as a medium quality camera for $50 online, and now you can get em for a token price of $10+shipping. But yeah, it works and that's the main thing. I was thinking about getting one of those Kodaks that you can get a dock for but not really willing to pay that much yet.

The Ixla has a tripod mount screw-hole in the bottom of it that I really like. I got a little flixible tripod that is great. And it has a timer and a neat rubber grip. It's super light, though, and tends to shake when you press the button, and the tripod works great as a small handle for that. I thought of a way to weigh it down so it wouldn't move as much when you snap, but haven't made it yet. A counter-weight, if you will. Somehting to stabilize it just that much more. Easy. Cheap. That's why I like it. :)

I have a couple of smartmedia cards, and it sux that they discontinued them. I even have the pcmcia adapter for the laptop. I like them a lot, but now they don't fit anything. The adapter makes it like a hdd, just not bootable.

CP/M User
March 22nd, 2006, 09:02 PM
NathanAllan wrote:

> It's an Ixla Superpro 640. It has less than one
> megapixel, no card slot, a simple little snapshooter,
> adn the pics that come from it vary in size from 52-
> 111k so far. I think I took one once that was 120-
> something. It's vga resolution and really quick to
> operate.

It sounds far more impressive than my Snap Shot camera (I
think it might of been designed for Passport Photos). Just
played around with it again - it's limited to 256x256. Unsure
as to just how many colours it's limited too. I thought it
might of been 256 - but it really struggles in shaded areas
(which makes me think that surely 256 would been plentiful).
Even the human eye (well mine anyway) can struggle with the
256 colours it can offer.
I reckon if you can do a 800x600 that would make for a good
quality photo - might be pushing the grains in if it's a 6x4
or something like that, but for simple reasonible sized images
- it's a pretty good one in terms of size & quality.

Unfortunately, JPEG is really showing it's age now with all
these new cameras which support high Megapixels. My main
Camera is 4MP & JPEG files can occasionally be over a Megabyte
in size. Sure the image is still compressed compared with
Bitmap files, but the files are getting quite big to handle.
Thought it would be time to develop a new compression
algorithm which'll just be as good, though further compression
techniques perhaps?

> I think I got it in 2000, when they were really
> expensive still and not that great. I bought it as a
> medium quality camera for $50 online, and now you can
> get em for a token price of $10+shipping. But yeah,
> it works and that's the main thing. I was thinking
> about getting one of those Kodaks that you can get a
> dock for but not really willing to pay that much yet.

I paid 10 times the amount for my Camera & now I see the
latest model of the line of Fuji Cameras (based on the one I
have) has even more Megapixels & it's $100 cheaper than the
one I got. Not that I'm really fussed with Megapixels -
perhaps if the new model had a 800x600 movie resolution as
opposed to the 640x480 high res on mine I maybe slightly
tempted to get one - though it's been a process of using it
with SVCD which is 480x576 (in PAL) so it works out better
perhaps to stay with what I've got! ;-)

> The Ixla has a tripod mount screw-hole in the bottom
> of it that I really like. I got a little flixible
> tripod that is great. And it has a timer and a neat
> rubber grip. It's super light, though, and tends to
> shake when you press the button, and the tripod works
> great as a small handle for that. I thought of a way
> to weigh it down so it wouldn't move as much when you
> snap, but haven't made it yet. A counter-weight, if
> you will. Somehting to stabilize it just that much
> more. Easy. Cheap. That's why I like it. :)

I'm suprised to hear that it's light, some of those early
Digital Cameras I remember seeing were like Bricks - perhaps
for the cheaper cameras that was the case, a upper class
camera of it's day simply be well build for comfort. Anyway
yeah a bit of weight certainally helps.

Cheers.

carlsson
March 23rd, 2006, 03:12 AM
But does flash memory cards wear out, so over time you need to get a fresh one? I gather Compact Flash, or at least the first generation of it, is also obsoleted. Parameters like size, speed, cost and licensing for companies who make the products probably determine which media survive longer. Today it is most about mini-SD (w/ SD adapter) and xD, I believe. My four-in-one card reader does SD, CF, SM and MS. The two latter I have only heard about, never had the need to handle.

carlsson
March 23rd, 2006, 03:22 AM
Unfortunately, JPEG is really showing it's age now with all these new cameras which support high Megapixels. [..] Thought it would be time to develop a new compression algorithm which'll just be as good, though further compression techniques perhaps?
I am quite sure that new compression algorithms are constantly evaluated. JPEG can also come with different variations about how it detects which pixels to save and which can be omitted. I suppose the future will hold the JPEG equivalent to variable bit-rate MP3, so parts of the picture will be more compressed than other. On the other hand, few people have the need to work with 4+ megapixel pictures, unless you're printing it for a magzine. I see the benefit of a sensor with many megapixel, so when you resample it to a smaller size, the program has more to work with. The images on their own should probably never extend 1024x768 if published on the web. At least not until 21 inch monitors become everyone's standard.

I think digital watermarking and means of picture copy protection are also on the agenda.

Terry Yager
March 23rd, 2006, 10:47 AM
All of the stores I went to used to carry thr SmartMedia, but none of them do now. Funny, all of them had CF cards, which is one of the oldest, and SD, which is more recent. All had an assortment of more exotic newer types, but no SM. I'm pretty sure I can find them online somewhere, but when I needed one *right now* there were none to be found.

--T

CP/M User
March 23rd, 2006, 11:57 AM
Terry Yager wrote:

> All of the stores I went to used to carry thr
> SmartMedia, but none of them do now. Funny, all of
> them had CF cards, which is one of the oldest, and
> SD, which is more recent. All had an assortment of
> more exotic newer types, but no SM. I'm pretty sure I
> can find them online somewhere, but when I needed one
> *right now* there were none to be found.

The funny thing was when I first got my new digital camera &
went out to get some xD-Picture Card, none of the camera
stores had them. Then I generally found out that they only
stocked as low as 64mb picture card. The funny thing was
everybody had been to the camera stores to get the cards -
however, when I went down to the local chemist - I was lucky
to get one there.

CP/M User.

CP/M User
March 23rd, 2006, 12:04 PM
carlsson wrote:

> But does flash memory cards wear out, so over time
> you need to get a fresh one? I gather Compact Flash,
> or at least the first generation of it, is also
> obsoleted. Parameters like size, speed, cost and
> licensing for companies who make the products
> probably determine which media survive longer. Today
> it is most about mini-SD (w/ SD adapter) and xD, I
> believe. My four-in-one card reader does SD, CF, SM
> and MS. The two latter I have only heard about, never
> had the need to handle.

Not really much to say about the xD cards - I can plug them
into my card reader & they work pretty much like a tiny Hard
Disk - a bit slower than one though, the 1Gb card which can
read/write quicker is perhaps much closer to the speed of a HD
- though I wouldn't expect them to run as fast!

Not sure about the cards wearning out - I read somewhere in
order to keep the cards clean to format them (after uploading
the photos onto a CD or computer) - could it still be a
problem even after Formatting them - or could it be more
relevant for some of the older cameras with Media Cards?

CP/M User.

CP/M User
March 23rd, 2006, 12:18 PM
NathanAllan wrote:

> I was thinking about getting one of those Kodaks that
> you can get a dock for but not really willing to pay
> that much yet.

Just on that issue, the only problem I have with those Kodaks
cameras & their print dock is they seemed to be designed for
each other - okay their great if you don't want a computer to
deal with it. The alternative which my camera uses (along with
a number of other brand named cameras) is the PictBridge. Same
deal - no need for a computer & you hook up your camera to a
PictBridge compatable printer. The good thing about the
Printer is it can be used with a computer. But watchout though
cause there's other Digital Cameras which can be connected to
printers which use their own system (like Kodak) & like the
printer Dock - doesn't support PictBridge. But PictBridge I
guess is the mainstream one.

Unfortunately the downside to PictBridge is perhaps the cost
for the Printers & maybe a camera could be the same deal.
Kodak printer docks were expensive when they came out, but are
a bit cheaper now.

CP/M User.

carlsson
March 24th, 2006, 02:33 AM
For the record, I yet haven't purchased any memory card to my digital camera, bought at the Christmas sale. Until now, I didn't have the needs to take more pictures in a session than the 32 MB internal memory can hold, but I also lowered the default resolution from 5 to 2 megapixel, to give room for more pictures. I'll buy a SD card any day soon - I went as far as comparing different brands and models to see which one claims the highest transfer ratio for the least money. I'm not sure how reliable the figures are, but these were some of the figures I found:

Kingston SD (regular): read 5 MB/s, write 1.5 MB/s
Kingston mini-SD: read 7.85, write 5.5
Kingston SD Elite Pro: read 8.2, write 7.7
Lexar SD regular: read 12 (?), write 4.8 (?)
Lexar SD 40X: read ??, write 6
Sandisk SD regular 45X: read 7.7 (?), write 6.8 (?)
Sandisk SD gaming: ??
Sandisk SD Ultra-II+: read 10, write 9
Sandisk SD Ultra-X: read 6, write 4.8
Viking SD regular: read 10, write 1.2
Viking SD High Speed: read 10, write 3-10

I've figured that 1X equals 0.15 MB/s in SD memory terms. Out of these various memory cards, the Viking SD High Speed was very inexpensive compared to its specs, which makes me doubt how reliable the figures are. Of course, if the camera or card reader doesn't support high speed cards, there is no use in buying one. I've read that not all SD devices are able to take advantage of higher transfer speeds anyway.