for techie geeks, mostly

Notes from Rob:

editor's note: Holy crap, is this stuff outdated by now. But I'm too lazy to edit it.

All of the photos on this site (as of its initial posting) were taken with my Olympus D220-L digital camera, which I bought just before we left for Korea (October 1998) for about US$300. Since I shopped long and hard for a camera, I thought I'd post this stuff for the benefit of other shoppers who might be searching the web.

The camera records pictures onto its included 2MB flash memory SmartCard, which is becoming a common standard for digital cameras. The 2MB card holds 80 photos in standard-quality mode (resolution of 320 x 240 pixels), 20 pictures in high-quality mode (resolution of 640 x 480 pixels), or an appropriate combination of standard- and high-quality pics. All photos are in JPEG format.

The D220-L includes features that are uncommon in other cameras in its price range: auto flash with manual control options, LCD screen, macro mode for close-ups, and a special 9-shot autosequence for capturing tricky shots or fast-moving subjects.

Because the best resolution it offers is 640 x 480, I can't recommend this camera for folks who want to print their photos onto glossy paper--the quality isn't quite good enough. However, the this camera is ideal for people who mostly want digital photos for ease of web publishing or photo albums kept on floppy disk or CD-ROM. Pictures taken in the high-quality mode look great on a computer screen. I was a little disappointed with the standard-quality setting once I downloaded my first batch of photos to a hard disk, so I'd recommend using HQ mode all the time and putting up with the lower storage capacity.

Unfortunately, almost all of the photos in that aforementioned first batch were standard-quality, so that accounts for most of the photos throughout this site. For examples of HQ's crispness, see the pic of Cheris and my brother on the journey page (scaled down to 400 x 300), or the picture of the Expo bridge at the top of the funky bridge page (full 640 x 480 size).

The included software for transfer from camera to computer is Adobe's PhotoDeluxe, a dumbed-down version of the king of graphics apps, Photoshop. It's fast and easy to download your pictures, make minor adjustments, and add special effects. It also includes the serial cable you'll need for transfers, just make sure your computer has a available serial port.

Extras aren't such a bad idea. Olympus now offers the FlashPath floppy disk adapter, which lets you plug the SmartCard right into a floppy disk shell, and the disk shell into your computer, allowing even faster transfer of pics from camera to computer. Plus, flash memory technology is increasing very rapidly, so much that whopping 32MB SmartCards are now available: with the D220-L, one of those would hold 320 high-quality images! 64MB cards will probably be on sale by mid-1999.

So all told, for computer enthusiasts and hobby web developers, I'd recommend the Olympus D220-L as a great buy. Its bigger brother, the D320-L, offers higher resolution and other nice features, so keep and eye on falling prices as new technology emerges. By the time you're ready to buy, a camera with 800 x 600 or better resolution could be dirt cheap.

And read the manual before you start snapping away. The D220-L's focusing ability is tricky to learn, as evidenced by these pictures (the first three I took with the camera). Apologies to my wonderful family members for making them look so bad!

nice ladies
Aunt Kathy, Mom, Grandma, Cheris

The Carpentiers
The Carpentiers:
Jim, Uncle Rob, Aunt Kathy, Jill
home sweet home
Rob's folks' house:
Nesconset, NY, USA

the Kwangju Chronicles