Digital Imaging Options
A scanner such as a flatbed or hand held is an alternative to a digital camera, but it is not portable, and often involves more steps in getting a digital image. But if you digitize few images and have a scanner, it is a reasonable option.
There are low cost digital cameras that are tethered to a computer. Cameras such as the QuickCam must be physically connected to a computer to work. If you only need to take pictures within sight of a computer, these cameras would work well. These cameras are also useful for computer video conferencing and can make short digital video files.
Inexpensive video digitizers, such as the QuickClip and Snappy, can convert a signal from a VCR or video camera and then digitize the image as stills or motion video. Also many new computers today have video cards built into them which can take a direct video feed and may allow image capturing
Some of the new video cameras can capture digital still images. They use a flash memory card to store the image, meaning that you will need a card reader to access the images. Some cameras are using smart media cards, which have a floppy disk adaptor. The cost of these hybrid cameras is a bit more than just a video camera, but you get a built in digital camera.
Digital video cameras can take digital stills. The still images are recorded onto the digital camera's tape and when you play back your tape you can access the still images. Digital video cameras today are still relatively expensive but the price is dropping.
If you have lots of standard slides and photos and you need to digitize them, you can have the pictures processed to a Photo CD. The processing costs to make a Photo CD can be high (over a dollar an image). Most photo labs can now develop your pictures and produce digital copies on CD-ROM or floppies or can send you your images by e-mail.
© 2006 Drs.Cavanaugh