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A New Home for dpFWIW
dpFWIW finally outgrew its original host, www.cliffshade.com.
Thanks to the generosity of National Directory
Information Services, LLC, dpFWIW now resides at http://www.dpfwiw.com/.
Please update your bookmarks by replacing
"www.cliffshade.com/dpfwiw/" with "www.dpfwiw.com/" in the
URL. (The original dpFWIW subdirectory structure below
"www.cliffshade.com/dpfwiw/" has been preserved.) For example, you'll now find the
exposure article previously at "www.cliffshade.com/dpfwiw/exposure.htm"
We'll continue to redirect traffic from "www.cliffshade.com/dpfwiw"
through May, 2004. After that, such URLs will fail.
This user-to-user (U2U) online digital photography resource humbly
offers practical, experience-based information to fellow
digital photographers. All of the observations and opinions
and most of the photos published here are those of the dpFWIW
contributors. We've done our best to present accurate and timely factual material.
We've received no inducements or considerations for any of the products mentioned here; nor do we
have a stake in them. We just call 'em like we see 'em.
Our pages now include a few relatively unobtrusive Google ads to help defray costs, but user-to-user donations remain an important source of funding. If you find dpFWIW useful,
please consider a donation of US$2.00 (or any amount you deem fit over US$0.30).
Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for your continuing generosity.
hits since 10-01-2000
dpFWIW Article Index
Digital Photography Articles of General Interest
Articles with an Olympus Slant
These articles focus on Oly C-series digital rangefinders
(including the C-2100UZ) but also contain a good bit of information of general digital
Use the links in the table below to go directly to the newest or most
recently updated dpFWIW
sections and articles.
The newest updates are on top. Changes too diffuse to link
effectively aren't chronicled here. Nor are the many small but potentially
important tweaks made on a frequent basis, as
For a complete listing of dpFWIW
articles, please see the Article Index. If
you're looking for something in particular, try the keyword search.
||More updates and rewrites as experience with
the C-5050Z unfolds.
||Updates and rewrites throughout the site following
acquisition of and initial experiences with a new Oly C-5050Z camera and Oly
WCON-07 0.7x wide-angle conversion lens, most notably in the exposure,
IR and C-series
||Updates and rewrites (for greater clarity and
reduced verbiage) throughout the site.
|| 800x600 image file sizes
reduced throughout the site via increased JPEG
compression (now at 65% quality) to reduce hosting costs related to bandwidth consumption.
Full-sized images should load much faster now.
||Improved (read "less convoluted")
explanations of EV and EC
and how they differ.
||New intelligence on IR work with Canon
DSLRs from Chris
||Added donation button
in hopes of reducing out-of-pocket hosting expenses.
||Updated the external
flash article for broader applicability for both Oly and non-Oly users.
||An unusually stimulating discussion on RPD
inspired the a new section entitled Editorial:
The Proper Role For Rules at the end of the Exposure
facelift in progress: Things may be a bit unsettled as I seek out a
new garish color scheme for dpFWIW. I'm monitoring e-mail at
again on a sporadic basis, so if you see something you
or really hate, feel free to drop me a line there—particularly if you're
one of those Mac/Netscape types who kept complaining (and rightly so) about
barely visible text.
||Added material on blurring the background at
the scene and in
post-processing in Exposure
||Expanded generic discussion on mounting
and sizing filters on digital cameras in Filters
options for digital cameras.
||Eating Crow Department: I hereby
acknowledge that near IR contamination can
produce visible artifacts in digital visible light photographs, and that
my long-abandoned Heliopan 8125 "Digital"
UV/IR cut filter may turn out to be useful after all—in some very
unusual situations, at least. However, I still contend that the 8125 offers no visible
benefit in outdoor work.
||In the new Filter
and Saturation section in the Filter
options for digital cameras article, I photographed a standard color
input target with 6 ostensibly neutral filters and no filter at all
under strong incandescent lighting. I found the results a little surprising with
regard to both color bias and saturation.
||Updates to the section on neutral
||Updates to the image
retrieval article, particularly with regard to archival
image formats and retrieval
||The spammers finally stumbled onto dpFWIW.
Don't bother sending e-mail.
||Getting started with unsharp
||New reciprocal link
policy statement. The short answer: All links here are strictly
first-time digital camera usersa
new article inspired by the ever-growing Christmas rush on RPD
||A new understanding
of the false colors seen in color
digital photographs taken through infrared filters
||New illustrations and text enhancing previous
discussions of teleconverter-filter
synergies and the joys of infrared photography
||Novel uses for digital
cameras—a new article full of useful and amusing things to do with
your camera between masterpieces, from the clever folks at RPD
Flash to the Rescue—a new external
flash section detailing how to get the most from bounce flash and bounce
||Shooting the Moon—an
extensive update inspired by a recent RPD discussion on
the moon as part of a landscape.
||Whence the IR Look—a
renamed and extensively rewritten section based on new information about
why digital infrared images look the way they do.
||Ever wonder why it's red-eye
in humans and green-eye or blue-eye or
yellow-eye in dogs and other animals? Well, wonder
||A simple way to remember whether your extra battery
sets are charged or discharged.
||Miscellaneous corrections and updates (mostly
related to batteries, filter
mounting and limited C-x040Z information) accumulated over the 5 month
hiatus surrounding our move to Colorado.
||Revised the polarizer article
in the never-ending quest to write more clearly about this challenging
the Armor section in the Camedia tips
and tricks article to include my new hip
post-processing article, still a modest attempt at a potentially huge
cleaning section in the Oly
auxiliary lens article. I've mended my gritty ways.
||New When Not to Bother with
a Polarizer section in the polarizer article.
||Much expanded UV
photography section in the generic filter
article cross-linked to a new, illustrated UV
flower photography section in the flower
||Much expanded flower
photography article, now with many annotated samples and a new UV
flower photography section.
||New properly anti-aliased text
annotation bullets courtesy of Andrzej
new dpFWIW article.
||By popular request, black
marble background removed to improve readability.
down image sizes (mostly to 800x600) to free up server space in order to
move toward a higher illustration-to-text ratio.
digital—a new dpFWIW article
celebrating black-and-white photography digital-style
Vision and Digital Imaging—expanded
Vision and Digital Imaging—a new dpFWIW article
exploring the linkages between how we see and how we photograph
Know Your Sources—an expanded look into the sources of near
IR in the digital photographer's environment.
||What a find! Light
and Color—a fabulous optics primer developed for microscopists but
fully applicable to digital photography. The Java simulations alone are
worth the trip.
new dpFWIW article to keep me out of
Moon—a new dpFWIW article
inspired by this month's spectacular full moon at perigee.
||Now an official dpFWIW
Matthews has been a big help all along.
||A new-found battery
caddy that doubles as a nifty nanobag.
and hyperfocal sections in the Exposure strategies
||New white balance
section added to the Exposure strategies
filter size option table summarizing the pros and cons of the most
common choices for the C-20x0Z and C-30x0Z.
||Facelift complete: For
better or for worse, dpFWIW has a colorful new look intended
to enhance readability. Thanks for all the feedback. Most has been
positive, but the minority opinion (that light text on a dark background
is tiring to the eye) has been duly noted.
||Updated thumbnailer information
here and here,
occasioned by an impressive new release of my old favorite, PIE.
Mode—Before the Exposure—a primer on resolution, compression,
sharpening, white balance and ISO choices.
||IR Filter Choices—updated
information based on new experience with the Wratten 87 and continued
experience with the Hoya R72
||Bagging the Armor—a
minimalist's bag for the armored
C-20x0Z and C-30x0Z
||RPD Tips—how to get
the most out of RPD (rec.photo.digital)
B-300 teleconverter—new, improved lens and filter mounting info
Zoom—Mother of All Pointless Features
Device Capacities—can yours handle 64-128MB cards?
OpticZoom 5x teleconverter—new intelligence from the front
||Suggestions wanted: How should dpFWIW
||What About the
C-30x0Z and C-2100UZ?
sections identifying salient differences in articles originally slanted toward the
C-20x0Z. BTW, information on the Oly C-2100UZ is being added throughout the
site as it
becomes available and verifiable.
||Uploading images for
slide-shows—proper filenames and Camedia Master required
and Tricks for Camedia Usersa dandy macro
trick launches this new dpFWIW article
AA-compatible digital cameras—the battery
article's been extensively rewritten, but NiMH AAs remain the answer for
and summarized pros and cons in a new at-a-glance table
information and some nagging runtime questions
much-expanded article, including a new section on tonality
||New Oly C-180 teleconverter
||New close-up lens test series
||Improved monopod technique
equipment" article—now with more C-30x0Z information
||Infrared basics for digital photographers—a
new article much expanded from a smaller IR section previously in the Filter
options for digital cameras article
and Hoodman LCD hoods
||Updated Oly 1.45x teleconverter
||Cokin A-series graduated
neutral density filters on the Camedia
lens hood for the Camedia
||Fun with reversed circular
I'm no expert in photography (digital
or otherwise), image processing or website design. (The last
should already be obvious.) Nor do I put forth this content as
fully verified and error-free, although I try very hard to make it so.
My goal here is simple—to share what I've
learned through experience and carefully cross-checked reading in
a rapidly growing and developing field still rather poorly
documented by the vendors themselves. Along the way, I've managed to enlist the
aid of several knowledgeable contributors who help
me extend dpFWIW's experience-based coverage. For more site philosophy, click here.
I've tried to stick with reliable
sources and reference them whenever feasible. Throughout this
site, you'll find the text marked with these annotation bullets and icons:
Major articles, each subdivided into
topical sections listed and linked at the top of each article.
Go with it—the paydirt,
bottom line, executive summary, action line. Material so marked comes from authoritative sources
confirmed by personal experience or otherwise verified to my satisfaction. If you don't read anything else...
Caution—unverified content that should probably be confirmed
elsewhere before acting.
Stopplease take heed
items before acting.
Skip—opportunities to cut straight to
the next short answer or action item, bypassing long-winded
discussions (one of my specialties according to my wife and kids).
material too useful to hold back. Stay tuned—the entire site evolves
endlessly, but material so marked is particularly likely to change or
expand in the near future.
Think of the
(caution) and (go) bullets as confidence
indicators. Watch out for anything marked with
bullet and (skip) icon
are navigational aids. Clicking on the
bullet in the article index on the home page will take you to the corresponding article. Clicking on
will always leapfrog you
to the next major point of interest. Clicking on icons and bullets will
you back here to review what the icon says about the text so
I consider all unmarked content
reasonably reliable but by no mean infallible.
If you spot an error and have the
right stuff on good authority, try an offered solution
that fails the test of your own experience, or have other
constructive feedback to share, I'd very much appreciate an e-mail
Please include your sources where pertinent.
Acknowledgement: Thanks to Andrzej Wrotniak for the anti-aliased bullets.
Listed below are the digital photography enthusiasts who have made major additions to dpFWIW,
roughly in temporal order of
first contribution. Their mention here is a small recognition of the expertise,
experience, time and effort they've donated to the cause of user-to-user (U2U)
digital photography help via dpFWIW.
That doesn't mean that contributors endorse material other than their own.
Throughout dpFWIW, you'll find many other contributors cited by name on the fly.
They've all helped dpFWIW extend its experience-based
coverage. Special thanks go to Don Ellis, who volunteered to tidy up the dpFWIW logo
for a black background, and to Andrzej Wrotniak, who provided properly anti-aliased
contributions large and small are greatly appreciated. If you have
pertinent material to share, please drop me an e-line at dpFWIW@cliffshade.com.
Editor and Primary Author
|Contributions: All material except as noted below.
As editor and primary author of dpFWIW,
the buck stops with me for all the material presented here. Brevity is not one
of my long suits, as you'll no doubt see, but a taste for detail can be a
virtue now and then, especially when it comes to photography.
My credentials? I'm just an avid amateur with a passion for nature, science,
jazz and digital
photography. I enjoy digging to get the story straight and trying things out to find
the kinks. I also enjoy writing. (In fact, the writing often drives the learning.) My day job
as a physician designing
and interpreting medical imaging studies and performing imaging-based
interventions to help others return to health is another manifestation of all the same penchants. It also allows me to
"play" with some pretty amazing medical "digital cameras"
making images of the body using physical phenomena as diverse as x-rays, nuclear magnetic resonance,
ultrasound and positron emission, among other exciting technologies.
I currently use
an Oly C-5050Z for most purposes, but my C-2020Z is still my infrared
camera of choice, and my 7-year-old D-340L rides in the car at all
times. My next camera has yet to
Resistance is futile. You will be
|Ocean kayaking in Monterey Bay, CA
See About dpFWIW and Limited Warranty for further insights into
the philosophy and terminology behind the content and presentation.
Contributions: Post-processing outdoor photos
Despite his steadfast devotion to film photography, Paul drops by RPD now and then. His
extensive experience with the digital post-processing of
photographs comes primarily by way of scanning 35 mm slides. Be sure to visit Paul's Wilderness Wales
website to see the spectacular Welsh landscapes he's produced
from scanned 35 mm slides using precisely the post-processing
techniques detailed in his article, Post-processing outdoor photos.
lens tube info and C-2020Z intelligence scattered throughout this
Mike traded up from an Oly C-2000Z to the C-2020Z soon after the latter became
available. His careful testing and manual reading originally supplied many of the C-2020Z details found here.
For more digital photography info, stop by Mike's Coastal
post-processing techniques in Abode PhotoDeluxe, circular
vs. linear polarizers with the C-20x0Z and infrared
A programmer by trade, Jay shares with us (among many other
things) his simple
and elegant adaptation of two of CCD astronomers' best tricks—dark field
subtraction and image averaging—using Adobe PhotoDeluxe
3.0, the modest but
capable image processor bundled with many a digital camera. Jay currently uses an Oly C-2020Z. Lately, he's been taken
photography, and his IR observations—both on this
site and on his own—are worthwhile
for anyone exploring this fascinating corner of digital photography. His hobbies include artificial intelligence and writing
satire; you'll find both on his site.
AC adapter, Oly
C-210 teleconverter, and Raynox lens tube intelligence;
frequent voice of fact and reason on RPD
A Compaq engineer from Massachusetts, Dave's a frequent and valued
contributor to RPD. In fact, if there were a Croix du RPD medal, I'd nominate
Dave without hesitation. Look for his thoughtful and factual
posts over the "/daytripper" handle. I've certainly learned a lot from
them. After bravely
pioneering the DigiPower AC
adapter and the Oly C-210 1.9X teleconverter for the rest of us C-20x0Z owners,
he was kind enough to share his gleanings here.
Robert first posted the material for CD-R
basics on RPD, where it stood out as an example of user-to-user help
at its best. He was kind enough to allow it to be reproduced nearly verbatim
here. Robert's PC-Reviews
website provides in-depth on-line reviews of quite a few PC-related
products. Of particular interest is his detailed
review of Total Training's 20-tape Total PhotoShop video training
square filter and Oly C-2020Z
external flash intelligence
Ilkka writes "I'm a 31-year-old dairy farmer in Finland who earns a
little extra as a freelance writer. Recently I have written mostly about using
computers and accessories (including digicams) in agriculture and small
businesses. Photography has been my hobby for about 14 years. Some of my photos
have been published with my articles, some elsewhere."
Carl Schofield, Contributor
Contributions: Digital IR photography
intelligence and samples
In Carl's own words, "I retired from Cornell University (fisheries
research scientist) five years ago and have since renewed my long term interest
in photography. I used to do a lot of traditional B&W landscape photography
using 35 mm and medium format cameras, but never explored the infrared. After
seeing Eric Cheng's
digital infrared work, I started experimenting with infrared filters on my
Nikon 950 and soon became hooked on this new way of viewing the landscape."
Carl's unquestionable talent as a landscape photographer comes through loud and
clear on his own gorgeous and informative Beyond
Red... IR site. His newer Digital
Grey gallery is a tribute to B&W digital photography and the power of tonality.
Tom Lackamp, Contributor
Contributions: Advanced exposure
considerations , Oly 1.45x
teleconverter intelligence and much-valued general photographic advice to
I've been tapping Tom's extensive experience as a 35 mm film photographer on
a regular basis ever since we met on RPD. After all, digital and film
photography have much more in common than in opposition. In fact, the saying,
"The more things change, the more they stay the same."
applies in spades to digital photography. Photographers (like me) with
experience mostly on the digital side would do well to learn what we can from
experienced film-based colleagues like Tom.
Rick Matthews, Contributor
Contributions: Focal Length vs. CCD Resolution
basis, But It's So Away! quote, Raynox
lens tube intelligence
Professor and chair of the Department of Physics at Wake Forest University,
Rick started in digital photography with a Kodak DC-120, then fell in love when
he moved up to an Oly C-2020Z (home) and a C-3030Z (work). His regular and well-grounded
contributions to RPD have inspired or informed
many a dpFWIW section beyond those listed above.
Physics lies at the very heart of photography but is never far
below the surface. Rick's expertise in that arena is especially welcome. Rick's own digital imaging web pages can be accessed through his Miscellaneous
Tips and Topics page.
|This user-to-user (U2U) help site is
nothing more than an informal collection of useful digital
photography tidbits and recommendations gleaned from the personal
experience and carefully cross-checked reading of its contributors.
(Ronald Reagan's "trust but verify" doctrine proved that he
couldn't be wrong about everything.)
This growing site remains a work
in progress subject to change without notice and offered strictly on an FWIW (for what it's worth)
The solutions offered here are to
be taken strictly as examples of things that work—at least for dpFWIW
contributors. No doubt many visitors will find
wholly unsuited to their needs—in which case they'll at
least have come away some ideas on what not to do.
Topics are chosen primarily for
their practical value and for the frequency with which they arise
in the DP-related discussions and newsgroups I encounter. Useful
information we've found difficult to come by will also appear here.
Since some of the material on this site will be specific to my own equipment, at least in part,
you should know that I have direct experience with only 4 digital cameras:
The handy, rugged and surprisingly
competent 1.3 MP Olympus D-340L point-and-shoot. The D-340L's
still going at 6 years and counting. Now it rides in my car, on the ready
for unexpected photo ops.
The versatile 2.1 MP Olympus C-2000Z with
3x (35-105 mm EFL) zoom
and many other advanced features for its time, including aperture-
and shutter-priority exposure control and a lens bezel
mounting thread allowing adaptation of a wide variety of
filters and auxiliary lenses.
The 2.1 MP Olympus C-2020Z
upgrade of the C-2000Z adding fully manual exposure and focus, grayscale
recording, explicit external flash support and a much-improved user
interface with many, many small but welcome enhancements. Oly really
listened on this one. The C-2020Z remains among the best choices for digital
The finely-honed Olympus C-5050Z, with
a fast f/1.8 version of Oly's crisp 3x zoom lens. The C-5050Z offers
consummate control over every aspect of digital photography. Once again, Oly's
been listening to its user base.
I also do my
best to cover similar Oly C-series cameras like the C-2040Z, C-30x0Z,
C-4040Z and the C-2100UZ, but I make no attempt to cover other Oly offerings
like the C-7xx series and digital
SLRs like the E-10, E-20 and E-1. I know
very little about the specifics of other digital camera makes and models and plan to keep it that way. The other dpFWIW
contributors are mostly Oly users as well. Nevertheless, there's much here of general digital
photographic interest, even in the articles slanted toward Oly cameras.
I deeply appreciate the many kind e-words that come my way
regarding dpFWIW. As with most labors of love, I've had little
choice in the matter, but it still pleases me to hear that digital photographers
find the material here useful.
Regrettably, since early April, 2002, the dpFWIW mailbox has
been targeted with daily floods of spam. Before the onslaught, I read every legitimate
e-mail dpFWIW generated. Now, I'm only checking dpFWIW
sporadically and responding even less. (This is still largely a non-commercial site,
after all. Family and work
come first, and frankly, most
of what I know has already been covered here in adequate detail.) Corrections, contributions
and updates are always appreciated (after all, that's what U2U help is all
about), but at this point, they're likely to get lost in the flood.
Poking around a bit more here or
elsewhere on the Usenet or Internet will be
your best bet for answers to your questions.
Use the dpFWIW keyword search page
to zero in on material of interest within this site. The search page generates links to
other dpFWIW pages with text matching your search string. Once on a matching page, use
your browser's Find function (Ctrl-F in Internet Explorer) to drill down on your keywords.
You'll find related material heavily
cross-linked throughout dpFWIW.
If your search on dpFWIW comes up empty-handed, I strongly recommend taking your questions
public on the digital photography newsgroup rec.photo.digital, or RPD
for short. You'll benefit from seeing your issue from more than one angle, and
other RPD readers will benefit from the answers you receive. RPD welcomes questions at all levels.
If current threads don't address your topic, search the RPD archives via groups.google.com.
Please note that I'm usually quite ignorant about equipment not explicitly mentioned on dpFWIW,
and that goes in spades
for non-Olympus cameras. You'll
find it much more productive to float questions regarding other brands and models
on RPD or on the appropriate brand-specific forum at Digital
Sorry, dpFWIW does not engage in reciprocal link arrangements.
Nor do we post link-related commercial logos. A few Google ads aside, the links in this largely non-commercial site are
strictly content-driven and will remain so as long as the current funding arrangement holds out. That said, sites wishing to link dpFWIW are welcome to do so.
Sorry, We Don't Carry
What you won't find here:
Glitz at the expense of content (in fact, you'll be hard pressed to find
any glitz on this site)
In-your-face ads (as long as donations
Camera reviews (sorry, not my bag)
"Why didn't they" rants and
whines (chances are, "they" had their reasons)
"My camera's better than your camera" neener-neeners (the root of all evil lurks here)
- Attempts to save the souls of
those still using and enjoying film cameras (they have a
You can easily get your fill of all
that and more on the big commercial sites and in newsgroups like rec.photo.digital (RPD).
This growing site remains a work
in progress subject to change without notice.
My knowledge and resources
keep evolving right along with digital photography, which itself evolves at a particularly
daunting pace. It's easy enough to date the occasional entirely new article or
section, but in reality, most of the site's changes come in dribs and drabs.
Many of the articles here see small additions and refinements on a monthly
basis. Not infrequently, new insights, syntheses and organizing concepts come
along and set off cascades of changes affecting scattered portions of many articles. Some small
changes might potentially be quite important to certain users, but I'm afraid
that signaling all these updates in a timely and thorough manner would take
nearly as much time and text as the articles themselves.
This site functions in part as an unofficial reference for my favorite digital imaging newsgroup,
news://rec.photo.digital, or "RPD" for short. RPD is an unusually friendly and well-informed bastion of U2U
worth frequent visits for any digital photographer. I'm greatly indebted to
the many RPD contributors who have enriched dpFWIW indirectly
through the expertise, experiences, comments and insights they've volunteered on
On RPD, you have access to the collective experience and wisdom of many other
digital photographers of all levels and backgrounds. Everyone benefits
from the open discussion, and you're likely to see more of the angles on issues
that turn out to be controversial. RPD welcomes questions at all levels, but see
below before firing off questions likely to have come up
many times before.
Of course, all newsgroups require a healthy
dose of skepticism and even a thick skin at times, but no website I've seen
offers the breadth and depth of DP experience to be mined at RPD, especially
when it comes to specific products and techniques.
It's worth repeating explicitly that on RPD,
Even sincere, well-meaning responses may not be as authoritative as
My wisest professor once said, "Two-thirds of everything you know is
crap—you just don't know which two-thirds." Judging from RPD, he may have
been a bit optimistic.
serves as an extension of RPD in some ways, it's no substitute for the open public forum RPD
With the meteoric rise of digital photography, RPD has more than its fair
share of frequently-asked questions (FAQ). Chris Friesen's thorough and beautifully compiled FAQ
for RPD is an invaluable resource on recurring issues. Erica Sadun
frequently posts a very helpful mini-FAQ (search the "from" fields for "Sadun")
which also resides on the
I've nevertheless elected to develop
my own parallel FAQ material on dpFWIW out of
a strong desire to help out on RPD where I can,
an equally strong distaste for typing out the
same RPD responses over and over, and
- an awareness that I learn best through
However, the FAQ
for RPD is far greater in scope than this site. If you don't find what
you're after here, the FAQ should be your next stop.
The Usenet is an invaluable self-help tool. And as with any tool, knowing how to use it
gets the best results, particularly on high-traffic newsgroups like RPD. You may never get a
scolding for straying from the guidelines below, but you may never get a reply,
either. These tips will substantially improve your chances of getting
what you came for—reliable help, instructive dialogue and perhaps even a sense
To get the most out of the
material already available on RPD,
Check the FAQ first. However new it may
seem to you, your issue has probably come up before—often many times
before. Your shortest path to a reliable answer will usually be Chris
Friesen's comprehensive FAQ
for RPD or Erica Sadun's mini-FAQ. (The articles on this site address
many of the FAQs as well.) Look for the frequently-posted message pointing
to the FAQ and bookmark the link for future reference. Many RPD regulars
also include a link to the FAQ in their replies. Please check the
FAQ or dpFWIW before posting questions to RPD. If these resources
don't fully address your issue...
Check for pertinent messages on RPD before starting a new thread. If your
topic's been hashed out recently—and chances are, it has—your post may be
ignored if those in the know have tired of writing about it. Sort and scroll
through the subject lines if you like, but you'll generally find it much
more effective to...
Drill down on pertinent keywords or phrases using your news reader's
message search or "Find" feature. You'll save yourself lots of time,
you'll substantially improve your chances of locating the best answers
to your questions, and you'll improve RPD's signal-to-noise ratio by sparing this high-volume group many a redundant
post. Note that the most apt keywords sometimes appear only in the
subject field or only in the message body, so be sure to search both. With a
little practice, you'll be crafting message searches that are neither overly
specific nor overly broad in no time. And to
maximize the potential yield of your search...
Max out the number of message headers your
news client downloads at one time to capture more of the traffic. Some
news servers retain posts longer than others, so catch them while you can,
especially if you're an infrequent visitor. But don't despair if a keyword
search of your news server's current stock of messages comes up
empty-handed. Old posts never die—they're just waiting for you to...
Search a Usenet archive like groups.google.com
for pertinent RPD messages past and present. Chances are, the very best
answer to your question has already scrolled off your news server, but don't
let that get in your way. Todd's Walker's well-illustrated introduction
to Google Groups should be required reading for all new visitors to RPD.
Don't stop at the first promising thread you find. Popular topics
like batteries and printing are often the subject of several different
active threads on this high-traffic newsgroup. Some are more helpful than
Watch for trolls. Some folks like to post inflammatory, rude,
abusive or even misleading messages just to watch the fur fly. Resist the
urge to reply. Ignore them and they'll go
- Cross-check everything you learn on RPD before betting the farm on it.
Misinformation abounds, however well-meaning, and it can come in very
Posting to RPD
newsgroups go, RPD is both friendlier and busier than most. We welcome
contributions, but to keep the signal-to-noise ratio reasonable, we strongly
encourage visitors to take full advantage of the resources outlined above
before posting questions. Redundant questions ultimately work to
everyone's detriment, but if you have useful input, or a question that covers new
ground, by all means post it.
To post effectively to RPD,
Post only plain text—no images or HTML.
Out of valid
bandwidth and security concerns, RPD is a text-only group by charter.
Posts containing embedded images or HTML code tend to draw little more
than reprimands, if that. Worse yet, if someone complains to your
ISP about such posts, your ISP may terminate your account summarily. To
share an image, put it up on a web page and then post a link (URL) to it on
Please keep it civil. Rude posts serve no one and are likely to sidetrack
otherwise productive threads. Entitled demands for help ("OK, help me
out here, folks...") are seldom answered, and rightly so: You'll find
us happy to help, but keep in mind that no one on RPD owes you anything. RPD
denizens and flies have little in common, but the old sugar vs. vinegar
adage certainly applies.
Craft an informative subject line to
attract those in the know. Opaque subjects like "help!!!" and
"camera question" tend to get skimmed over. Subjects like
"Oly B-300 Lens Mounting Glitch" and "Canon G1 RAW Files
Compatible with PhotoShop?" are much more likely to draw useful
Type Your Subject Line in Title Case. See
how this one header stands out among all the others? Messages with
subject lines in Title Case (like the title of a book) are much easier to skim
and tend to draw more responses. Subjects in all lower case tend to escape
notice in a busy group like RPD, and those in ALL CAPS tend to get actively
ignored—probably because many experienced Internet users take all caps as
Repeat your subject in the body of your
message. Don't depend on the
subject line to carry the freight here. Some news clients display only the first so many
characters of the subject line without user intervention, and some news
readers never return to the subject line once they've opened your message.
State your question or reply as clearly and specifically as
you can to help
keep the thread on track and avoid misunderstandings. Things have a way of spiraling off into the
ionosphere on the Usenet, even when there are specifics to constrain the
discussion. Well-crafted questions generally get better answers, and
well-crafted answers require less defending.
When you're guessing, speculating or
extrapolating, please say so. Guesses have contributed to many a
breakthrough on RPD, but less informed readers may well act upon guesses
stated as fact. Remember, bad guesses can have real consequences.
Don't ask for private e-mail replies.
They have a way of saddling the respondent with the full burden of helping
you from that point forward. Worse yet, they deprive the group of the
benefit of any ensuing exchange. Good donated help is worth coming back for.
The civility bit is both a tip and a heartfelt plea from an RPD regular. Digital photography is
complicated stuff. Stop and recite the "6 blind men and the elephant" fable 10
times before calling someone a moron over an elephant part you can't feel.
Acknowledgements: Many thanks to Andrew Colfelt for the link to
the Geoffrey Saxe poem recounting this mother of all fables. Thanks also to Bill
Paire of RPD for pointing me to the RPD charter and a host of
other Usenet references.
Olympus Camera Terminology and
In the fast-moving world of digital photography, camera models multiply
rabbits. To keep up with the proliferation of the Olympus C-series rangefinders
featured on dpFWIW, I use the shorthand camera notations below.
||Olympus Camedia C-2000Z, C-2020Z
|2.1MP rangefinders with 3x zoom lenses
||Olympus Camedia 2.1 megapixel
SLR sporting Canon's widely-acclaimed image-stabilized 10x zoom lens
||Olympus Camedia C-3000Z,
| 3.3MP rangefinders with 3x zoom lenses
||Olympus Camedia C-4000Z, C-4040Z
rangefinders with 3x zoom lens
||Olympus Camedia C-5000Z,
|5.2MP rangefinderss with 3-4x zoom lenses
||Olympus Camedia C-8080WZ
|8MP rangefinder with 4x zoom lens
||All of the above
||All of the above cameras, but by
no means all Olympus Camedia camera offerings*
I'll try to address at least the deltas pertinent to other similar Olympus
digital offerings as experience-based end-user information becomes available.
* Note: I make no effort to cover the C-211Z, C-7x0UZ, E-10, E-20 and E-100RS
Camedias or the new 4/3 E-1. They're different enough that I simply can't do them
justice, but a good bit of the Oly-specific and generic info presented on this
site will apply to them as well.
Years ago on a hike in Pinnacles National Monument, California, I came across
a trailside plaque discussing some fairly ordinary-looking but apparently rare
plants clinging to the north wall of a slot canyon known as Condor Gulch. The
plants were apparently found only beneath overhangs casting just the right
amount of cliffshade onto otherwise sun-baked vertical rock faces with
southern exposures. The term resonated strongly with me for reasons I've never
fully divined, but I know I like the way it sounds.
I hope you find dpFWIW helpful in your
digital photography pursuits. Thanks
for stopping by.
Among the many digital photography
(DP) resources I've encountered on the Internet, those below are still very much
worthwhile. Here's a quick index into the links and references in this section:
Additional materials are listed in the References section found at the end of
each dpFWIW article.
DP in Depth
Reviews, industry news, tips, tricks, FAQs,
links, downloads and ads, these major, broad-spectrum DP sites have
Landscape—Michael Reichmann's masterful site bills itself as "the
web's most comprehensive site devoted to the art of landscape and nature
photography using digital imaging techniques." I couldn't agree
more. Scanned film images are the usual raw materials here, but from there
on, it's pure DP gold—especially the PhotoShop tutorials, which can
usually be ported to any competent editor. Michael's Instant
PhotoShop tutorial is an invaluable leg-up for anyone contemplating
digital photo editing, but be sure to continue on to Miles Hecker's tone
curves tutorial. Since November, 2000, Michael's been teaming up
his enviable collection of high-end EOS lenses with the widely acclaimed Canon
EOS D-series digital bodies.
Photography ReviewPhil Askey's comprehensive, easily-navigated one-stop sponsored DP
site has also been around since day one. The side-by-side camera comparison pages
are a godsend
for serious camera shoppers. The how-to articles and user forums are well
worth bookmarking. Oly users will find a wealth of practical information
on the Digital
Photography Review Oly Talk Forum.
Sanders' superb full-service sponsored DP site has been a pioneering
resource in the DP arena. Reading the thoughtful and candid full-length camera reviews here will get you up to speed on your camera faster than
reading the manual! Steve also reviews and illustrates many valuable
Etchells' excellent full-service sponsored site offers DP news, reviews
and tests, but it's particularly notable for its many superb how-to
General DP Help
The DP in depth links listed above offer lots of help
on all DP fronts, but the Web abounds with DP learning resources. Below are the
best I've found, but these are just the beginning.
Guide to Better Pictures—an online version of the authoritative and
comprehensive Kodak Professional Photoguide available from amazon.com.
The online guide covers 35 mm film photography, but much of translates
directly to DP as well. Phil
Greenspun of photo.net says
of the hardcopy version, "Buy one and keep it in your camera bag
forever." The last page of the paper version is an 18% gray card for
Kodak Digital Learning Centera well-organized
wealth of DP information.
photo.net— Phil Greenspun's
non-commercial site dedicated to sharing knowledge about photography, both
technical and practical.
Short Coursesthe on-line source for
Dennis Curtin's in-depth book-style guides on digital photography, camera batteries and
on many different digital cameras, including the Oly Camedias. Check out
Dennis' free Digital
Camera Pocket Guides—handy, thorough, well-indexed, printable online
mini-manuals for all the Oly Camedias (the C-20x0Z, the C-2100UZ and
C-30x0Z) among many other cameras.
Camera BasicsPart of the much larger Digital Photo Corner
sponsored site offering lots of valuable DP material,
Arthur Bleich's beginning-to-intermediate on-line course
offers insightful discussions of camera resolution and
printing issues, among many others.
Camera Resource Page FAQsJeff Keller's beginner-to-intermediate
FAQs (frequently asked questions) are part of
comprehensive and growing sponsored site featuring many
Houghton's image sizing primer—an excellent introduction to downsampling,
cropping and other pre-print manipulations and to the sometimes confusing issues they
Tony's Digifotoinfo—A growing non-commercial user-to-user DP site posted by Tony
Collins, a frequent and valued contributor to RPD.
Be sure to check out Tony's beautifully illustrated material on depth of
Resource Central—John Peters has collected and organized an
impressive array of resources devoted to B&W photography, digital and
Wright's DP siteanother worthwhile user-to-user
site, this time with a slant toward the Oly digitals and
surrounding hardware choices. Mike also offers a very slick
method for removing purple-fringing from your images.
Digital Imaging—another non-commercial user-to-user website by Randy Glass with helpful
lessons and lots of post-processing software reviews.
astrophotography site—a wealth of C-20x0Z
information pertinent to astrophotography but also often of general
Dawson's DP sitea non-commercial site with some very insightful
essays on practical issues in digital photography.
Monaghan's medium format site—don't let the title fool you— you'll
find a wealth of general photographic information here, much of it fully
applicable to digital photography.
and Color—a fabulous optics primer developed for microscopists but
fully applicable to digital photography. The Java simulations alone are
worth the trip.
Complete Color Manager—Linocolor's five-star online treatise
explaining color gamuts, Lab color, and everything else you've ever wanted
to know about color.
Handbook—Alex Ryer's thorough, well-illustrated, surprisingly readable
on-line technical treatise on the properties, behavior and measurement of light.
Cameras Work—this HowStuffWorks
article on digital cameras by Karim Nice and Gerald Gurevich is
beautifully explained and illustrated and very thorough.
resource on human vision.
I don't claim to have tested all these titles
thoroughly, but I've poked around with most of them enough to comment.
PIE (Picture Information Extractor)
sharewareHolger Jungk's indispensable DP utility deftly
manages camera-to-PC image transfers
with on-the-fly file renaming to insure a unique file name for every
image. Among many other valuable features, PIE offers single-image and
whole-folder thumbnailing (the latter new with v.3.0), lossless image rotations and
flips, and EXIF information display and image file management—all via a familiar Windows Explorer-like interface. My
description does it little justice, however. You'll understand just how
handy PIE can be only when you try it, so download the free
15-day demo version and see for
yourself. Holger now offers a nicely-done companion print layout utility
sold separately as Picture
PrintStation or integrated with PIE under the name PIE
Studio. Support has been sketchy in the past, but I still consider PIE
the best $19 investment you can make in
DP software, period. Click here for
more PIE details on this site.
ThumbsPlus sharewareCerious Software's superb thumbnail-based
image management and editing application is notable for its fast and
flexible thumbnailing, powerful batch processing, solid intermediate image
editing facilities (including a superb general enhancement function),
off-line volume support for management of images archived on removable media,
keyword-based image management, and a handy web page wizard for
constructing thumbnailed image link tables. Starting with v. 4.10, ThumbsPlus
also offers EXIF data access among many other enhancements. Version 5 is
even more impressive. ThumbsPlus is
much more expensive and slower to load than PIE,
but it's far more versatile overall. I continue to use both at different
times and for different reasons, more often PIE.
Click here for more ThumbsPlus
details on this site.
shareware—ACD Systems' fast, feature-packed thumbnailing digital image
browser offers many different ways to view and work with images. ACDSee
supports zillions of image formats, allows manual and automated image
enhancements, generates text file lists, makes contact sheets and HTML
albums, performs lossless JPEG transformations, presents folder-based
slide shows and much, much more. After exploring its many corners for 90
days, I allowed my demo to lapse, but my overall
quite favorable. That said, PIE does a much
better job at image transfer automation—at least from my ancient FlashPath floppy
adapter. I'm a little
leery of the "supported mode" for privacy reasons, but the
90-day free trial period is generous, and the $50 purchase price for v.
3.1 seems reasonable. Click here
for more ACDSee details on this site.
Qimage sharewareMike Chaney's powerful and
versatile DP utility package features a thumbnailed
interface, batch processing, flexible and efficient image resizing, red-eye removal
perhaps best of all, complete print layout control with savable page layouts.
Qimage also offers noise filtering (including dark
current noise), lossless JPEG rotations and flips, and EXIF data
access. The rather inscrutable user
interface still drives me crazy, but Qimage remains a steal at ~$30, and
more than pays for its keep when it comes time to print multiple images on
one sheet of expensive photo paper. Click here for more Qimage
details on this site.
experts rank this professional-level photo editor on a par with PhotoShop
in terms of capabilities, but it tends to get better marks for ease of use
and sells for a fraction of the cost — the exact fraction depending on
whether it's purchased by itself (1/5) or with Corel Draw Graphics Suite
does objects (layers), lenses (adjustment layers), tone curves and VBA scripting, among many, many
other powerful features.
Elements—For well under $100, this affordable subset of Adobe's much-celebrated but
industrial-strength PhotoShop image editor offers many of the same editing
tools, including layers, plug-in support and the infamous
user interface. However, its lack of essential tools like tone
curves, Lab color editing and channel
mixing make it a poor choice for anyone aspiring to intermediate
editing skills. I find Adobe's
Photoshop vs. Elements feature comparison PDF is misleading in this
Paint Shop Prothis very popular and affordable all-purpose
image editing powerhouse is also used by many pros. Some users claim that
it doubles as a good viewer. I've never used Paint Shop Pro
and know little about it, but I do know that it does layers and enjoys a strong
CAME freewareTsuruZoh Tachibanaya's compact utility
offers PC-controlled camera configuration,
image transfers and even automated picture-taking, all
via your camera's serial cable connection. CAME supports most current
freeware—Max Lyons' handy utility mines the wealth of useful information
stored in the raw EXIF image files produced by most current digital
cameras, including exposure data and the camera's
Printing and Other Technical Issues
- rec.photo.digital (RPD)there's
often more heat than
light released here, but the light's usually worth the
trip. Be sure to check out Chris Friesen's FAQ
for RPD—a beautifully compiled and invaluable resource dealing with
the many important DP issues the come up with some frequency on RPD.
Elsewhere, I offer some tips on getting the most
out of RPD.
TidbitsMulti-talented physicist and photographer Andrzej
Wrotniak offers up a fascinating and decidedly eclectic mix of technical
articles and insightful camera and equipment reviews. The former include
excellent pieces on digital
depth of field, hyperfocal
technique and infrared
photography, while the latter cover the Oly
C-5050Z and C-5060WZ rangefinders, the Oly
E-10 and E-20 DSLRs, several other popular Oly digitals and a few film
cameras as well.
Alfred Molon's C-4040Z,
and C-8080WZ camera pagesAlfred
Molon's superb travel photography galleries
cover the globe. His equally superb camera pages thoroughly document
several of Oly's most recent C-series offerings, but none of them are
linked on his home (gallery) page. Among Alfred's many valuable
contributions are a convincing demonstration of the virtues
of RAW recording with the C-5050Z, and a well-designed C-5050Z
vs. C-4040Z vs. C-2020Z noise comparison. Where others are content to
report hearsay, Alfred rolls up his sleeves and digs for empirical data.
Wish I had Alfred's travel and photography budget.
Roesner's digital IR site—still under development but already brimming
with valuable practical information on IR work with Oly digitals and the Minolta
Olympus digital camerasOlympus America's official site, with good information on Oly
cameras but still very skimpy on workable accessories.
Olympus downloadslimited software and driver
offerings, mostly related to hardware and software
bundled with Oly digital cameras.
Oly iS-series data sheet—for the adventurous, a useful, well-illustrated
resource on Oly's IS-series 35 mm film cameras. Converters and other accessories
made for the IS series can in some cases be adapted very successfully to the Oly
Photography Review Oly Talk Forum—an active discussion group devoted to
Oly non-SLR digitals.
Books and Printed
Blacklock, Craig and Nadine, Photographing
Wildflowers, Voyageur Press, 1987.
Covington, Michael, Astrophotography
for Amateurs, 2nd edition, Cambridge University Press, 1999—a
deservedly best-selling and widely- acclaimed book covering all aspects of
astrophotography. There's much to be learned about photography and
post-processing in general here.
Feynman, RP, Leighton, RB, Sands, M, The Feynman Lectures
on Physics, Vol. 1, Addison-Wesley Publishing
Company, Reading, MA 1963—for a review of physical optics.
Hunter, Fil and Fuqua, Paul, Light
— Science & Magic, Focal Press, 1997—a classic text on
photographic lighting focusing on the application of principles rather than on
the following of recipes.
Peterson, Bryan, Learning to See Creatively—How
to Compose Great Photographs, AMPHOTO, New York, 1988.
Prochnaw, Dave, "In the Zone", digitalFOTO, vol. 1,
no. 3 (August, 2000), pp. 38-47—an excellent article proposing a
modified zone system for black and white photography with digital cameras.
Rowell, Galen, Mountain Light,
2nd ed., Yolla Bolly Press, Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, 1995—to many,
the bible of landscape photography.
Shaw, John, Closeups in Nature, AMPHOTO, New York, 1987.
Shaw, John, Landscape Photography, AMPHOTO, New York, 1994.
Unless explicitly attributed to another contributor, all content on this
site © Jeremy McCreary
Comments and corrections to Jeremy McCreary at dpFWIW@cliffshade.com, but please see here