Canon Digital Camera
Until early November, I had been using a film camera for pictures
to be put on my Porsche 912 WEB
site. The camera was a Canon EOS IX Lite body with a Sigma 28mm-80mm
Macro Zoom. This camera uses APS color negative film. Recently I have
been ordering a Kodak Photo CD with every roll. This CD provides 1580
x 1100 images at about 500 KB in size. Previous to that I used a Canon
FS2710 film scanner and occasionaly a print scanner.
Recently I have changed to a new camera and processing system that is
optimized for producing pictures on the WEB. The problem is the cost
and inconvenience of the film camera. If I am working in the garage it
is a hassle to take 4 or 5 pictures documenting a little project then
waiting until the balance of the 25 exposures are complete and then
making two trips to the photo lab for processing at a typical cost of
We have had a Canon Elph in the family for several years. It is also
an APS film camera. The advantage of these tiny cameras is they reduce
the pain of carrying a camera. The camera that is home in the drawer
takes no pictures. A more convenient camera gets used more.
Digital cameras provide the convenience I wanted but the resultion was
not good enough. The 2 mega-pixel cameras provide 1600 x 1200
resultion at either 500 KB or 1.5 MB. They are competitive in quality
with the APS - Photo CD process. The Canon Digital Elph is a similar
form factor as its APS brother.
The images are loaded into the computer using a SanDisk Compact Flash
memory module interface. Plug the flash card into the ScanDisk and the
computer is tricked into viewing this like another disk drive. Now you
can load directly into Adobe PhotoShop for processing.
My family has been taking pictures since before WW II. The boys grew
up near a photo dark room. Dad ran a commercial portrate and photo
finishing business. My first job in high school was in a University
motion picture processing lab. I put myself through college taking
pictures. I know about dark rooms. PhotoShop is a dark room in a
computer. You can do it all; crop, color balance, gamma correction,
hue, saturation, dodging, localized enhancements, etc, this program is
a marvel. My current philosophy is make it look good in PhotoShop and
it will be good on the WEB.
Sharp pictures are nice. To avoid camera movement, I use a couple of
tripods. One is a very small, able to fit under the car when it is on
Most of my WEB pictures are set to 72 dots per inch and a maximum
width of 550 pixels or a maximum height of 400 pixels. Image size and
quality is a trade off with down load time. The images are designed to
fall apart in quality if they are increased in size. I try to keep
upper size limit of the images around 40 K max. Even this is really
too large. Using a 28.8 modem, speeds of 3.6KB per second can be
achieved. A picture should load in 11 seconds. This is really too long
(8 seconds download max is a better target), but I hate to give up the
image quality. I see that many people have higher speed services. The
site supports 128 KB or 16 MB/sec. This rate would provide 3 second
downloads which is probably fine.
A technique I have using more and more is to
eliminate the background with a curved screen. The picture shows a
very simple way to do that using a piece of paper and a chair. The
whole process can take less than 15 minutes.
Here is the resulting shot from this setup. It was taken at night
using just the dinning room light as the light source. Thanks to the
tripod, the picture is acceptable.
This is a very nice handful that does not even cover a playing card. I
have been using this camera for my WEB photos since early November, 2000.
The little screen is perfect for close ups. The view finder great for
snap shots and landscapes. The 912 site currently has over 580 images,
about 1/2 are thumbnails of 100 pixels in width.
Last modified: Wed, 18-Jul-01 23:11:38 PDT