A couple of newbie questions

Discussion in 'Photography' started by mike bishop, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. mike bishop

    mike bishop Guest

    Since I'm curious about photography, I'm thinking of buying a digital
    camera. Perhaps photographing nature will turn into a hobby; I'm not sure.
    The idea just sounds interesting to me. I have a couple of questions:

    1) Assuming I buy a camera of about £300, how much hard disc space (on
    a laptop) would each image take up, roughly?

    2) What if I buy this camera to use for years and years, and at some
    point in the future there's no operating system that supports it? Is
    this likely to happen ever, and if so what can be done?

    mike bishop, Apr 25, 2007
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  2. mike bishop

    banjo`s Guest

    X-No-Archive: yes

    1) depends on the camera

    2) who can say where computors will end up with future technology..
    banjo`s, Apr 25, 2007
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  3. mike bishop

    Frank Arthur Guest

    I'll answer your second question.
    With great certainty that over time at the rate of technilogical changes you
    most likely
    will not be able to use your current media in future operating systems.
    Think of the 5 1/4 inch floppies and the fact that few new computers even
    accept floppies at all.
    People who use CD's now are switching to DVD's. Imagine, if you will, the
    next media disc, tube,
    pellet or whatever held 10,000 Gigabytes and would fit in a button. Would
    you still keep your then
    ancient DVD's? And what of 3d images, sound, greatly superior images etc.
    If you buy a computer today plan on replacing it in several years.
    Frank Arthur, Apr 25, 2007
  4. mike bishop

    ray Guest

    That's easy. Somewhere between about 300kb and 30mb. It will vary greatly
    according to the following:

    1) MP of the image. Also, you don't always have to use max resolution.

    2) raw, jpeg or tiff - if jpeg, fine,standard,basic several cameras will
    save all three formats.
    Basically, operating systems don't need to support cameras. Most cameras
    today have the option of working as a mass storage device, so if the
    computer does USB you're in business. Most users get a USB card reader as
    one of their first extras - they are much more convenient and don't drain
    the battery.

    Since you're just starting out, I'd recommend AGAINST buying a camera that
    expensive. I think you'd be much better served looking for something at
    about 1/3 that price. It won't be a DSLR, but IMHO if you do that
    you're going to be overwhelmed. I would suggest you look at a nice camera,
    possibly an EVF (electronic viewfinder model) with a number of options -
    and figure out where you want to go. I would suggest you look at something
    like a Kodak P or Z series as they are quite flexible. The P series has
    most of the functionality of a higher end dslr at a fraction of the price.
    I've had good experience with refurb equipment on the Kodak web store. Of
    course there are other cameras with similar features and modest cost. I
    really think you'll be happier in the long run if you buy a less expensive
    camera first and experiment. Find out what you want to do and what you
    need to do it.

    There are free programs to do imaged editing, as well. There is no real
    need to spend a bunch of money on photoshop. Examples: gimp, irfanview,
    ray, Apr 25, 2007
  5. mike bishop

    ray Guest

    Current media will be supported as long as USB survives; possibly firewire
    as well. You can always keep an 'old' computer to do conversions and
    transfer to latest technology. This is really a very very low risk
    consideration. I still use the same compact flash cards I been using for
    about seven years - an eternity in the computer area.
    ray, Apr 25, 2007
  6. mike bishop

    mike bishop Guest

    Just to clarify:

    What I intended to say above is that I'm concerned that at some point in
    the future I might no longer be able to transfer the images from the camera
    to the computer. I suppose that the drivers won't always be supported.

    Thanks for the advice.
    mike bishop, Apr 25, 2007
  7. mike bishop

    Steve B Guest

    Some of the memory cards are going into obsolescence. But they are still
    available on ebay, as readers are. And if, by then, you haven't transferred
    everything in your memory cards to a hard drive, that's another issue you
    need to look at.

    Everything is in a state of movement. I don't know why they don't come up
    with a standardized memory card, and stick with it. My Sony sticks are
    already being phased out, having now to have an adapter with it.

    Nothing lasts forever, but you will still be able to buy things on ebay for
    a long time. For five times what they cost new.

    Steve B, Apr 25, 2007
  8. mike bishop

    Al K Guest

    I have been a photographer since 1946 and have had no problem in finding a
    way to keep my work available with current tecknowledgy. I have gone from B
    & W, color negative, color slides to digital and can access all my work in
    some way. I now use a scanner to convert my oldest work to digital.

    Al K
    Al K, Apr 25, 2007
  9. mike bishop

    ray Guest

    What drivers? You plug in a USB card reader and it mounts the device as an
    external disk. 30 years down the road you might have to transition to
    something else, but for the next 10 years there is zero problem.
    ray, Apr 25, 2007
  10. mike bishop

    ray Guest

    An example in the case of floppy disks: there was never a point when you
    could not read 'old' style floppies and convert them to a newer format.
    There was never a point when you could not read floppies - if you have
    3.5" floppies now and a computer without a floppy drive you simply use a
    USB floppy drive to move them to external usb hard drive, internal
    storage, CD, DVD or what have you.
    ray, Apr 25, 2007
  11. mike bishop

    Frank Arthur Guest

    Oh no you can't. Try using your Photoshop CS work on pre Microsoft XP
    They won't work. You would need to start accumulating a number of old
    eventally a closet full, if you wanted to run some of the ancient computers
    of the past
    20 years you might need several. And where would you find 5 1/4" floppies?
    I once had a collection of Engineering Drawings made using Hewlett Packard
    software and HP proprietary software. It cannot run on anything else. Would
    you keep
    one of those dinosaurs even if one was capable of running? And if it fails.
    Frank Arthur, Apr 25, 2007
  12. mike bishop

    ray Guest

    Sure - it's best to stay away from proprietary media: sony sticks and xd
    for fuji and olympus being the best examples. Beyond that - compact flash
    has had it's day in the limelight, but is still available, works, and is
    viable. SD seems to be the going thing right now.
    ray, Apr 25, 2007
  13. mike bishop

    ray Guest

    I don't understand your comment - you're talking about going back, we're
    talking about going into the future. Why would you want to take something
    you've already processed on a current system and attempt to move it back?
    The point I was trying to make was: if all your stuff had been on 5 1/4"
    floppies: there was a transition period when everyone was shipping
    computers with 5 1/4" and 3 1/2" floppies - during which you would have
    copied over to 3 1/2" - so no more need for 5 1/4". Floppies are now
    becoming more rare on new systems - so if you have a bunch of stuff on 3
    1/2" floppies - you should be copying to CD or DVD. When CD/DVD becomes
    obsolete, there will be another transition period - during which you can
    copy to the latest technology.

    As far as images: jpg is jpg. It does not matter whether you processed it
    using an old version of PS or not. RAW are the only files that really need
    'conversion' - and if you keep the RAW files you should be able to convert
    them in the future. It is certainly not wise to keep things in a software
    proprietary format - i.e. PS - it would be dumb to do so.
    ray, Apr 25, 2007
  14. mike bishop

    dadiOH Guest

    Depends on the number of pixels used by the camera and format (file
    type)....bmp takes more space than jpg...
    Once on your computer it is data. Data is not OS dependent and can
    always be transferred to some other media.

    What *might* happen is that the data was stored as a filetype that
    became archaic and there is nothing that can read/display it; however,
    something like that would not happen overnight and for years there
    would be programs to convert from old to new file type.

    IOW, don't worry about it.



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    dadiOH, Apr 25, 2007
  15. Depends on the pixel count and JPEG compression of each photo.

    Take, for instance, the Canon PowerShot G7 (£300 from Amazon). My 10MPx photos
    using this are between 2 and 3MB each.

    If you get a camera with a smaller pixel count, say 6Mpx, then the pictures
    will be smaller. There are many other factors, not least the content of the
    photos themselves, but these are the sizes of my snapshots.

    Just one point: don't rely on the computer's hard disk to store your photos.
    Find somewhere to back them up to, whether it be online storage, recordable
    DVDs, tape, whatever. When, and I do mean when, the hard disk fails you'll
    thank me for advising you to back up.

    Stick to the major brands. Truth be told, (almost) all digital cameras use a
    removable memory card (usually CF or SD) which can be accessed like a drive
    using either a built-in or external reader on modern computers.

    The cameras (almost) always have a USB interface that can behave just like any
    other USB storage exactly as above.

    So as long as USB-attached storage volumes are supported you'll be OK. This is
    a well established standard and is likely to be around for at least the next 5
    years, probably a lot longer.

    You don't *need* any special software on most computers.
    Richard Polhill, Apr 26, 2007
  16. the price has no bearing on H/D space, I it is the megapixels you need to be
    concerned with... if you buy a 6mp camera each pix will be 6megs... I am not
    sure about your second question, the canon programs and Photoshop all work
    on my xp machine... good luck and happy pix... kk
    www.kevinkienlein.com, Apr 26, 2007
  17. mike bishop

    mike bishop Guest

    Ah, I see. I was thinking that the only way of transferring images to the
    computer was by connecting the camera to it and then, from the computer's
    perspective, downloading from the camera using the software that came with
    the camera. The above sounds handy.

    Thanks, all, for the info!
    mike bishop, Apr 26, 2007
  18. I think you misunderstand.

    A 6Mpx camera, at 8-bit RGB (24-bit colour) will have pictures of 6000000 x 3
    bytes (24 bits = 3 bytes) = 18MB RAW images.

    But few £300 cameras offer RAW, most cameras and most people will be using
    jpeg images which will be significantly smaller than the RAW images.

    How small exactly? 10% is a good ballpark figure but you can adjust jpeg
    compression ratios between uncompressed and unrecognizable.

    If you assume 10% of the RAW image size (3 x pixel count) you'll probably
    overestimate which is a good thing.

    Richard Polhill, Apr 26, 2007
  19. mike bishop

    Alex Monro Guest

    Most RAW formats are highly proprietary. I believe there are already
    some RAW formats which cannot be handled by software capable of running
    on currently available versions of Windows. If you're concerned about
    future compatibility, get a Pentax K10D, Samsung GX-10 or Leica M8 -
    these use the DNG format which although still proprietary in some senses
    is an open format and likely to be supported by many software providers
    for some time to come.

    See http://www.openraw.org/
    Alex Monro, Apr 26, 2007
  20. mike bishop

    ray Guest

    There is a difference between using a raw proprietary format and using a
    proprietary format for doing your photo processing. ufraw (based on dcraw)
    adds new raw formats very quickly. Usually by the time you would consider
    buying a camera it is already supported. You can always use the
    manufacturers software to convert. If you're using a proprietary photoshop
    or other software format then you may indeed be dead when the next version
    arrives. Bottom line: keep raw, tif, jpeg files and you're in good shape.
    ray, Apr 26, 2007
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