On June 22, 2009, Eastman Kodak Company announced that it would no longer manufacture the iconic photography product, KODACHROME Color Film.

Best known for its longevity and color accuracy, the KODACHROME Color Film are popular in archival and professional markets. Kodak attributed the reasons behind the decision to steadily declining sales caused by newer Kodak films and digital imaging technologies. Many had predicted the coming of this day long time ago. Nevertheless, many fans felt lost when the news broke. Perhaps there are still enough KODACHROME films around and most importantly, KODACHROME film processing business running, so people can celebrate the 75th anniversary of the iconic film that captured many well known iconic images.

To many, the tangibility of films and the intangibility of digital photos are the reason they are try to hang on to the film. For many others who have given up the film or never really got into the film photography, it is import to understand that tangibility does not equal to longevity. With proper management of your digital photos, or other digital assets, they can last longer than film and other traditional analog media with zero loss of quality.

Digital asset management (DAM) is a lot more than just backing up your files regularly. It involves complex tasks and decisions surrounding ingesting, annotating, cataloging, storage and retrieval of digital assets, such as digital photographs, animations, videos and music [Wikipedia]. Fortunately for digital photographers, you don’t need to figure this out on your own. There is an excellent book on this subject by Peter Krogh. The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management For Photographers, 2nd ED, published by O’Reilly Media, Inc, will help you establish the best practices for managing your digital photos.

Posted in Digital photography on June 28th, 2009. No Comments.

In this story, a mommy blogger got her family photo stolen and the photo ended up in an ad in a Czech Republic grocery store, advertising its quick home delivery service.

Well, something like this (or even worse) can happen to anyone who posts digital photo online in blogs, social networking sites, or photo sharing sites. Putting the note “All right reserved” next to the photo doesn’t deter people who are determined to copy your image.

There some good advices offered in the story:

  • Don’t post high resolution photo online. Use just large enough size (800×600 or less) for viewing online but not very useful for commercial use. Add watermarks on images if possible.
  • Don’t post any photo that may reveal where you live and other private information you don’t want others to know.
  • Use a unique file name for your photo so you can search periodically online to see if it has been misused.
  • Embed photos in a flash image viewer if possible. It makes it very difficult to copy.
  • Use privacy controls on photo sharing or social networking sites to control who sees your photos.

Additional reading: Stolen Picture – The story and reader comments (more than 600 of them) at http://extraordinarymommy.com/.

Posted in Legal issues, Miscellaneous on June 26th, 2009. 3 Comments.

Thom Hogan, the well known authors of many excellent Nikon camera guide books, voiced his opinion in his June 21 blog post. In the post, he called for Nikon to wake up to the threats of cameras such as the Olympus E-P1 posted to Nikon’s future market position.

In his opinion, Nikon risks losing out growth opportunities from people who are “transitioning P&S users to something with higher quality and a bit more sophistication” and who Nikon should try to “sell something to everyone you’ve already sold something to”.

It really doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Point-and-Shoot (P&S) users still dominate the digital camera user population. I knew many of them who want to get better image quality and performance in the compact size they are familiar with.

If history reflects what might happen in the future, Nikon should consider this seriously. By November 1962, Olympus sold more than 650, 000 compact Pen cameras and took 92.2% market sharing in Japan. None of the Nikon offerings in the affordable Nikkorex line at that time could match the price of Olympus Pen models.

Posted in Digital photography on June 24th, 2009. No Comments.

Do you see hot pixels in your photos? These are supposed to be bright colored spots at fixed locations in the images. Similar to the defective pixels on LCD screens, they are typically caused by defects introduced during image sensor manufacturing process but some can develop over time.

You can certainly try to touch up the hot pixels in photo editing software like what you do with dust spots but it quickly becomes impractical for more than a few images. Fortunately, there is a completely free tool called Pixel Fixer for doing the task automatically for you.

It also has some other nice features, such as dark frame subtraction, extracting embedded JPEG images from RAW, and finding the total shutter counts.

READ: Pixel Fixer

Posted in Digital photography, Software on June 21st, 2009. No Comments.

This amazing video is created by a Sydney based photographer Keith Loutit. Check out his other work on Vimeo.

Further reading

Posted in Popular Photos on June 19th, 2009. 1 Comment.

olympus10e-p1

The all new E-P1 Micro Four Thirds digital camera from Olympus received very warm welcome from several digital photography and gadget outlets. The Olympus PEN series cameras have long history dating back half a century (1959). The small body digital camera has a large sensor, supports interchangeable lenses,  but has no mirror like single-lens-reflex (SLR) cameras. At least on the paper, the Olympus EP-1 digital PEN sounds a lot better than the Sigma DP2.

Further reading

Pre-order

Posted in Photography Gadgets on June 16th, 2009. No Comments.

Are you in the market for a camera that can be taken anywhere you go or remains usable in the hands of your mighty toddler? There are many options, including the Olympus Stylus Tough-8000 and Canon PowerShot D10.

The looks are drastically different but the specs and prices are very similar. So which one is right for you? In the review posted on SPOTCOOLSTUFF, the two build-to-last digital cameras are compared in details. As expected, there is no perfect camera in the world for everyone. The Canon has better image quality and auto focus performance while the Olympus wins with its style, ease of use, toughness, and a little more optical zoom.

READ: Two Waterproof Ultra-Compact Cameras Splash Off

Posted in Photography Gadgets on June 14th, 2009. No Comments.

Responding to popular demands, a new member has been added to the Eye-Fi wireless memory card product family. The new Pro version of the 4GB SDHC card supports various RAW formats and Ad-Hoc networking so you don’t have to be close to a wireless access point or Wi-Fi hotspot for it to work. It can now directly transfer photos to a computer with a wireless networking card but not necessarily connected to the Internet. The card is now shipping for $149.99. That is a significant $50 premium you will be paying for the two new functions. In case you are not sure if this one is for you, check out the Eye-Fi card comparison chart.

If you are using cameras that take only Compact Flash (CF) memory card, a SDHC to CF adapter such as this one may work but it is not officially supported.

Further reading:

Posted in Accessories, Photography Gadgets on June 12th, 2009. No Comments.
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