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A couple years ago, I began an interest in photography using digital cameras. What I liked about them is the use of computers to store and edit the pictures taken. This open many possibilities artistically speaking.  My knowledge of digital cameras is little, so I did some limited research to find what would serve my need. I am not a expert photographer by all means, but exploring the possibilities and having fun doing it is the reward. Well last year for my holidays I manage to get my hands on an OLYMPUS C series with 3.3-megapixels capable of 2048x1536 pixels, I don't remember the exact model. I found this camera to be a good starting point to produce reasonable clear images to play with. These are some pictures I was able to take with it on my holiday.




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What I liked about the OLYMPUS C is it was simple to learn and use. In my research, I wanted to learn more about what qualities in a digital camera would deliver a respectable picture. I found out that the ability to capture the light is based on the size of lens and the aperture speed. This is all new jargon for me still, however with this camera the manual provide me with basic understanding of how it works, and playing with I discovered this camera has a moderate balance in delivering the desired effects.

My goal

What I was really looking for in a digital camera is ability to take a series of pictures in sequence like a short movie, then select the one still frame that capture the moment best. e.g. My son is into skateboarding and is getting pretty good at it. I wanted to take pictures of him doing some of his tricks, but I can not ask him to stand still while he is performing a trick, so this is why taking several pictures while in motion I might be able to get what I was looking for. The OLYMPUS C has something close to this but, the timing of the multi picture capturing was somewhat awkward due to the speed it required to run. I was able to get only 1/3 of the pictures and usually not the one's intended.


Learning this lesson I concluded that a camcorder is more suitable for this job. My first study I borrowed a JVC GR-DVP3U a compact mini DV camcorder, this was out of my price range $2500 but it is loaded with options for editing. Although it provided more features than I really needed it was a great experience in discovering the requirement I was searching for. Being a fully digital camcorder meant it would be compatible with editing on the computer. I discovered early on that there where limitations. the software was not fully supported in the transfer of video to a computer making my goal impossible, however I discovered that I was able to transfer a still picture to the memory stick taken form the video while playing it back, thereby capturing the moment to memory. Now I was able to transfer this to my computer to my photo album. My conclusion is this was to expensive to merely capture a precise moment to disk.

Later that summer I purchased what I thought was a compromise and affordable a JVC GR-SXM536 camcorder. This is a Compact Super VHS format with the ability to take 640x480 digital stills. Over time, this camcorder prove not a good candidate for my goals. It is not a bad camcorder as a camcorder but did not achieve my goals.

Recently I purchased a new camcorder truly more on target for my goals. JVC DVL920 all digital with 3 mode digital stills 1280x960 pixels, 1024x768 pixels, and 640x480 pixels. The still can be captured from the video to memory stick, and the software is compatible with my computer. Also moving images are recordable to the memory stick as MPEG4. To transfer stills and video clips from memory stick a USB cable is provided along with the software. To transfer video to computer's hard drive a fire wire adapters is requires for about $100.00 this adaptor comes with an editing software and allows me to transfer my movies to hard drive.

With this new tool I was able to produce documentation on the construction of the Bench Buddy. The process began by filming the whole construction  process while building the Bench Buddy, then I transferred the film to my hard drive on my computer where I plan to edit and coordinate still pictures with the document.


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