A look at the technological reasons that should underlie your choice.
Photo Review tips section
Outstanding storage capacity for the price plus above-average shock resistance for microdrive products.Seagate, a leading developer of hard drives, has a new range of “Photo Hard Drives” that boast higher resistance to vibration and impact shock and are compatible with most DSLR cameras with CF slots. The new Seagate Photo Hard Drives are available in 4GB and 8GB capacities and both require a CompactFlash Type II card slot. The company claims it has used a new drive architecture that maintains data integrity and protects the drive against drops or falls.
The smallest, lightest – and most elegant – portable backup device we’ve reviewed to date.It may not be the cheapest 320GB portable HDD around, but the new Western Digital (WD) My Passport Elite drive is the smallest and most elegant drive we’ve reviewed. On a cost/gigabyte basis, it’s also excellent value for money. Available in either bronze or titanium (gunmetal grey), it has a ‘soft touch’ finish that is very comfortable to hold and resistant to finger-marking.
A slim, lightweight portable backup device for photographers who travel with a notebook computer.The portable storage devices market has mushroomed lately, with many new products that will appeal to photographers-on-the-move. Weighing less than 200 grams and small enough to fit in a shirt pocket, Verbatim’s SmartDisk 120GB portable hard drive is one of the smallest and lightest in its category, thanks to its tough, magnesium alloy housing.
If you mislay the CD that came with your printer and need to re-load the driver for a particular printer (for example, when you replace a computer), you can usually download the necessary driver from the website of the manufacturer of your printer. You may also require a new driver when you upgrade your computer’s operating system. Drivers are usually found on the Support page.
If you are forced to print with an uncalibrated monitor and rely on a non-colour-managed workflow, you can waste a lot of ink and paper. However, there’s an easy way to minimise the amount of paper you use to check the image will print correctly: make test strips. Here’s how to go about it.
The printing heads in inkjet printers are precision-engineered to perform a specific function: placing thousands of tiny ink droplets accurately on a sheet of paper to create a photo print. Ink is a critical component in the system. Each printer manufacturer formulates inks to meet the needs of the print heads in printers in their range. In some cases there is a different set of inks for each individual printer; in others, one ink set can be used with several models in the range.
In an ideal world, you would be able to point your digital camera at a subject, take the photo and then make prints that either match reality or improve upon it. But, in the real world, your camera must communicate with your computer which, in turn has to ‘talk’ with your printer. In this process, colour information is passed along a chain and re-interpreted by each device. This chain is known as a ‘workflow’.
If you own a digital SLR (DSLR) camera – or a high-end compact digicam – you will find it provides two file format settings: JPEG and raw (often shown as RAW). When you shoot a JPEG image, the camera’s image processor with adjust the contrast, sharpness, colour saturation and white balance BEFORE the image is saved to the memory card. When you shoot a raw image, this processing is deferred until the file is opened in a computer.