As you remember, there are some difficulties with the current digital camera setup.
I have done extensive research and feel that the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-V1 is best suited to our needs at PACT. The DSC-V1 is a top of the line “prosumer” (middle ground between “casual consumer” and “Professional” ) camera which offers the optimal ratio of cost to quality, along with features which are especially suited to our uses, such as infrared focus (allowing automatic focus in unusual lighting conditions) as well as highly accurate color control (meaning that digital noise caused by taking pictures in low/uneven light conditions shows up as a more even spread of the primary colors instead of showing up as something else. This is a problem that comes up often. I could show you what I’m talking about if you’re interested.) The Camera has rechargeable batteries rated at approximately 3 hours of activation time. It has a start-up time of approximately 3.4 seconds, as well as a very fast write time, meaning reduced waiting time between pictures.
The camera is priced at about $600-$700 depending on the store.
If you are interested in seeing some reviews on it, here they be:
To complement the camera a new memory card should be purchased. There is a 32megabyte card supplied with the camera, but this would hold less than 10 photos on the lowest quality setting suitable for printing. Because the camera is a SONY, it uses SONY’s own special memory cards, called the “SONY memory STICK”. Memory Sticks come in various capacities, but I would recommend nothing less than 128Megabytes, as that would allow for a reasonable amount of pictures on medium quality, and enough on the highest quality to work with. The next biggest Capacity is 256 Megabytes followed by 512Megabytes. Cards larger than this exist, (I think the current largest is 1Gigabyte ) but those are a slightly different technology (although still compatible with the DSC-V1) know as the “Memory Stick PRO”. At this point I don’t see any reason to go beyond 256Megabytes, unless you are planning on taking pictures for several days with no access to the computers.
Here are two links to two different sizes of Memory sticks.
I think it is pertinent to point out that the SONY memory stick is a different technology than the current digital camera, which uses a memory card technology called “Compact Flash.” This means that we would not be able to use the Old camera’s 64Megabyte memory card with the SONY DSC-V1 camera. HOWEVER, the video cameras do support the SONY memory stick technology, so would be able to use the SONY memory cards in those video cameras as well.
This does not mean that the old camera is completely obsolete. It is true that the camera has crippling problems when trying to connect it to the computer, a it can’t take picture of high enough quality to be printed without significant manipulation. However, the camera is still functional for taking various pictures of non-critical things (such as people at parties) and the problem with picture corruption is a fault of the connection between the CAMERA and the computer. It can be avoided by using a card-reader, which is basically a disk drive for the memory cards that Digital cameras and other electronics use. By purchasing a card reader such as the “ATECH PRO 9 USB 2.0 Memory Card Reader” (Here’s a link to it: http://shop1.outpost.com/product/3672165 and http://www.bjorn3d.com/_preview.php?articleID=341 ) we would be able to easily read the pictures off of the old camera no problem, as well as any other person’s camera or any camera purchased in the future. In addition, by accessing the memory card with a card reader, it saves the camera’s batter life, as being a much faster and efficient method.
So that’s the rundown on my camera research. I talked to Rich a little bit about utilizing the current digital camera more effectively, but there’s only so much that can be done at this point. If you guys desperately need to take pictures in the next couple of days, I STRONGLY recommend purchasing the “ATECH PRO 9 USB 2.0 Memory Card Reader”. It costs a little under $40 and is an incredibly useful piece of hardware which will not become obsolete for at least 5 years. If you wish to contact me, feel free to call my cell phone ( 650 861-0694 ) or Instant message me (Zerobatsu) or e-mail me at (firstname.lastname@example.org). MY cell phone is working again, so I will receive messages from the answering service.
In the future I will have some concrete research on possible scanning or printing improvements now that I have a good understanding of what we need out of the technology. I will be in on Friday if you wish to discuss more.