Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ryobi's New Tool Is A Camera

Ryobi Tek4 Durashot

Now, you can find your new camera at Home Depot. Ryobi has long been known as a power hand tool maker, and one of the most innovative around. You can find their tools at Home Depot, alongside a new camera, the Ryobi Tek4 Durashot, or RP4200.

I've used Ryobi tools for over 20 years, generally with great satisfaction. I was skeptical but curious when I heard of the Durashot. It is designed for people who are apt to knock it around more than the average point and shoot user: there's a protective cover over the lens, and much rubber-like covering over the rest. It appears to be exceptionally well-sealed for a P&S, though I didn't leave it out in the rain or toss it in the tub to test. I also didn't test their one meter impact resistance. Water protection is supposedly good to a meter as well. At least partly because of the lens protector, it is most definitely not a pocket camera.

I haven't asked a Ryobi rep, but my guess is that the camera is directed at builders, contractors, DIYers and others who want a rugged camera to bump around a job site or a shop, something that can be tossed on a pick-up seat without worrying about scuffing and scarring and too easy breakage.

It feels fine in the hand, though it's close to twice the size of my wife's Canon A460 S&P. It's also almost twice the weight, at about 12.5 ounces versus just under 7 ounces for the little Canon.

For me, handling the larger camera is easier. For others, it won't be.

The directional arrows on the back have been moved off the OK button for easier operation. That works nicely. All of the controls work well. The control ergonomics appear well thought out, though after using a Pentax DSLR for more than half a decade, I had some fun getting used to--as I did with the A460, though.

The menu is simple and easy to follow. The LCD is 2.5 inches. There are eight effective mega pixels (8MP).

The camera comes with a battery and a charger, plus a one gig SD card, and a case. The battery is a lithium ion four volt, designed specifically for a line of small tools Ryobi is now manufacturing--items like the Tek4 Laser Distance Measure, Tek 4 Audio Plus noise suppression headphones (I'm really ready to try 'em an attempt to retain what's left of my hearing), and a self-leveling plumb & cross laser. All come with a battery charger and battery, but for fast charges, there is a dual battery 36 minute charger available. There's also a neat, small flashlight that's going in my camera bag.

Various scene modes are easy to use. I dislike the camera's dropping to the default setting whenever it is turned off. I have no idea what the default setting is, though it seems to work for many scenes.

Effectively, the lens, a 3X optical zoom, starts at 38mm (in 35mm terms)and screams outwards to 152mm (actually, it's 6.75mm-27mm). Digital zoom brings the total to 18X, with its 4.5 multiplier--my suggestion is that you forget about the digital zoom and just crop the photos. Same thing.

The macro setting works decently, as the license plate logo shows. Fastest aperture is f/3.5, dropping to f/5.15 fully racked out in telephoto.

In a few days, I'll post some more photos. At the moment, my lack of experience with P&S cameras is showing: almost everything is at least mildly blurred from movement. It would be unfair to post that as a sign of what this handy little camera can, or will, do. The sensor is a P&S, tiny at 1/2.35", but appears to be a good one. ISO ratings are Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1600. I haven't tried the two higher ranges--but I will. So far, I've never met a P&S that was any good at over ISO 400, though.

I may even try to work out the movie mode, which is claimed to give VGA resolution at 30 frames per second. Two frame modes exist: 320 x 240 and 640 x 480. With the included one gig memory card, you probably can get a decent length movie. Stick in a larger SD card for longer movies, though I doubt you'll expect to make a full length feature with the RP4200.

So far, I like the Ryobi. My biggest complaint is that the SD card doesn't pop far enough out when it's ejected. My clumsy fingers won't grab it. Otherwise, it's providing some fun, and may be useful shooting a couple of projects at other times.

More interesting features include a self-timer (2,5 and 10 second intervals) with time lapse intervals of 5 or 15 minutes, or one hour. You may also stick an audio memo on a photo if you think you'll forget some details.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


How Low Cost Are They?

My first idea, that of a $500 DSLR ready to go, faded quickly. Camera bodies are available under $500, but complete camera kits with a lens are more like $600, including the newly announced Nikon D3000.

The D3000 epitomizes the entry level DSLR camera: it is low cost, offers a series of settings that can totally automate the picture taking process, but still give a photographer access to a sensor that is much larger than that in a point & shoot camera, providing assurance of better photos, while still providing the utility of interchangeable lenses. The D3000 is to be introduced at $599, with one 18-55mm lens. The LCD is 3”, while shake reduction is in the lens. Like most lower cost DSLRs, it offers an array of settings that automatically do the figuring so that most photos come out fine, with little or no input from the photographer. ISO ranges from 100 to 3200, with me editorializing that you’re better off keeping it close to 800 tops, but with the good news that 800 and 1600 give useful photos, which is not the case with P&S digital cameras.

Recently, Pentax introduced its K2000 (K-M in Europe), their most recent stab at keeping some hold on the entry level camera market. It shares a sensor size with the Nikon D3000 at 10.2 MPs, and both have pentamirror viewing systems, as well as LCD backs. The lowest current price for the body alone appears to be about $440. The kit for this camera has two lenses, an 18-55mm and a 50-200mm, and comes in at $600 at a reputable mail order house. It comes with an in-body shake reduction system, plus a dust reduction system. The body is light, and compact, making it an excellent step up from a very light P&S camera. The Pentax offers the same wide range of ISO as does the Nikon, but a slightly smaller 2.7” LCD for viewing photos. The Pentax weighs only 625 grams, ready for bear—that is, with batteries and the SDHC loaded. It also has ten scene modes—night, surf & snow, pets, kids, food and on and a 3.5 frame per second burst rate, handy when shooting active children or pets or sports.

Sony presents their A230 entry level with similar features and their versions of the 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses as a package. Price is close to both above, as are features. Sony has in-body stabilization similar to that used in the Pentax, thus reducing the cost of future lenses. It also has a 2.7” LCD like that on the Pentax. It uses a pentamirror, and weighs only 490 grams with the lithium ion battery inserted. It has a 2.5 frame per second burst rate, handy when photographing action, though far from up to professional standards (none of these are, but a pro camera, at the very least, adds about $1,000 to the camera body cost).

Canon’s entry level DSLR is currently the EOS 500D, shifted out of its alphabetical spot because it is pricier than the others by nearly $200 (with an 18-55mm IS—internally stabilized) lens. That’s a significant extra swat in the wallet, so anyone wanting to move into Canon early is going to spend more at the start. Is there enough extra to warrant the cost? That’s an individual decision, but, first, the D500 has a 15.2MP sensor, so that’s one very large point in its favor. It may well be the deal maker for many people. The ISO ratings are the same. It has a pentamirror and a 3” LCD, tying it with Nikon here. The D500 also has live view, something the others do not. For some people, this is a big plus, for others a small plus. Weight is 480 grams, without a battery. It has dust reduction, but stabilization has to be built into the lens. It records movies. The D500 has the features to make its price reasonable.

If you don’t already have lenses for a Nikon, Pentax or Sony, and do have the extra couple of hundred bucks, the Canon is a great choice. Personal likes and dislikes enter the fray, so camera handling, the variety of lenses available, the way the camera handles colors in finished photos, the way it looks, how the LCD looks, regardless of its size.

These are the lowest priced DSLRs ever, with features that the costliest early DSLRs didn’t even dream about.

Keeping an eye on deals and sales, a beginning DSLR photographer can get everything needed, including a modest bag and a very good 8GB SDHC card, for under $600 in most cases. There are other models with prices below original MSRPs. Many make excellent first-time digital single lens reflex cameras, but the four listed above are specifically designed for the first time user, with many small aids built-in. Easy access to the flexibility of controls that made SLRs in general the camera of choice of millions since the mid-1950s, after the Contax S in 1949 introduced the pentaprism SLR.

Next time around, I’ll kiss the snake—take a look at used DSLRs and how to buy them for the lowest possible cost.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Looking For A DSLR?

How Much Camera Do I Really Need?

This question is useful for people who believe they may sooner or later become serious about photography. If you want snapshots of your kids, family events or vacation locations, then a good quality point and shoot is the camera for you.

I am not about to poke fun at point and shoot users, who often get more downright enjoyment out of their vacation, backyard holiday and kid pictures than any serious amateur gets from his or her best attempts. There’s no rule, law or commandment that says a P&S user is a lesser person than someone who gets serious about picture taking, thus begins to use a digital single lens reflex camera, or other more expensive picture grabbing box…and some of the digital medium format cameras are almost unbelievably costly, while the higher end full frame (35mm frame) digital SLRs aren’t far behind.

I shoot professionally, primarily for magazines, but the thought of spending $4,000 to $8,000 for a camera body, plus many more thousands for a set of lenses to use, makes my Scots-Irish blood pressure scream upwards. Such cameras are excellent for the box photographer—that’s the pro captured in a small box with 20 to 50 other shooters trying to get the same action shots at the same time at football games, baseball games and similar tightly confined events.

My high speed shots are usually confined to racing automobiles or motorcycles. That kind of shooting always leaves enough space to wander, so you’re not rubbing elbows with other pros. Amateurs can’t get through the access gates to get close to the track, but even shooting from outside the fence, most of today’s DSLRs will render unto you some mighty fine photographs.

At this point, there’s not a whole lot of sense in spending more than $1,500 for a DSLR and a couple of lenses to get you started in high end digital photography. It’s quite possible to get a start shooting less demanding subjects for under $500, including a single lens. This is for new gear.

The $500 DSLR/Lens Combo

Nikon’s D40 with an 18-55mm zoom lens has an MSRP of $500 with a $50 instant rebate applicable (at least at one camera store). Olympus E520, with a 14-42mm lens is on the rolls for $460 at the same store. Pentax’s K2000 with an 18-55mm lens sells for $480 at that store. The closest Canon comes is with the Rebel XS, selling for $530.

The cameras and lens listed above are not the only ones available under $500, but generally are noted as useful for less demanding photographic situations and events. That means that the shutters will probably last for aout 40,000 actuations, and the other features of the bodies are sufficient to allow a good bit of photographic learning, though there are also plenty of step-up features to make it easier for those just graduating from point and shoot cameras.


If you want to guess how long 40,000 shutter clicks might last, think of how many rolls of film you shot in the past decade. If you shot more than 1,112 thirty-six exposure rolls of film, you need to move up a camera grade.

Understand that materials in these cameras are not quite the quality you’ll find even in $750 cameras, and that some features are not available. We can step through the features of two cameras to see the differences. I use a Pentax K20D in my work. It’s not the best camera available, but when I bought it, the price was $800, delivered. Today, that price is about $675. The Pentax K2000 is a beginner’s camera with enough features to keep most users quite happy for years. It will do most of what my K20D will do, but it won’t last as long, nor will it do as well in some more difficult arenas. The photo you see above is of my K10D, which I used last year, but turned in on a K20D.

$500 Camera Features

The K2000D offers shake reduction, a five area focus, a pop-up flash with a guide number of 11 at ISO 100, CCD shake dust reduction, a 10.2 MP sensor, 2.7” LCD, 3.5 frames for 5 frames continuous shooting in best JPEG, 4 frames for raw (because of the larger files). With batteries and SDHC card, it weighs only 22 ounces. It uses AA batteries, giving as many as 1,600 shots per set of lithium batteries, and can accept rechargeable AAs. This provides the ability to shoot all you want anywhere in the world, because AA batteries are a standard, and available almost everywhere. The K2000 is plastic over a stainless steel chassis. It is not weather-sealed. The viewfinder provides information on AF frame, spot AF frame, shake reduction, flash status, shutter speed, aperture, focus indicator, manual focus, EV compensation, AE lock indicator, ISO warning. The LCD monitor at 2.7” wide has 230,000 pixels.

If you want the camera to give you settings, there are scene modes for Night Scene, Surf & Snow, Food, Sunset, Kids, Pet, Candlelight, Museum, Stage Lighting, Night Snap. There are a host of other settings, many of which you can quickly glean at http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/pentaxk2000/, in my view the current champ of camera reviews and other tech info for digital photography.

Compared to...

The Pentax K20D is a high end amateur/low cost pro camera that offers many more features than the basic K2000, or, until the K-7 came out, than any other Pentax camera. As a start, there’s a 14.6 megapixel CMOS sensor, live view mode (not the best, though), 2.7 inch 230,000 dot LCD, burst mode, allows 21fps shooting at 1.6MP resolution (up to 115 frames, dynamic range expansion mode, X-sync flash socket, image parameter settings (Custom image), color adjustable LCD monitor, compare mode in playback,32x zoom in playback, adjustable levels of high ISO noise reduction, sensitivities up to ISO 3200 (can be extended to 6400), rather than ISO 1600, dust alert for locating particles on the sensor pixel mapping to identify and correct for dead pixels, AF fine-tuning for as many as 20 chosen lenses. The K20D offers two dials on its right side, front and rear, for much more complete control of commands. It does not offer scene modes.

Look to dpreview.com for detail information on almost all cameras.

You have to select between models (and there are many), as well as brands, which is really all that makes the selection complex. I’ll trek further into the forest of lower cost DSLR cameras next time around.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Bagging It

An ideal camera bag is something all photographers search for; so far, mine is hiding. A recent on-line question brought some ideas forward, though. I've currently got six camera bags, only two of which get extensive use. Both are shoulder bags, one fairly small Lowepro worn as described below, and one medium-sized Tenba for times when more lenses are needed. The Tenba is a well-made bag, but the strap is not changeable and is too short for cross body use.

One that doesn't get much use is a sling bag, with a sling that's too short and another is a backpack, which I dislike intensely. The rest are shoulder bags, with a cheap Lowepro seeing the most use, as I like its features more than the rest, though it has its faults. The Lowepro meets many of the below specs quite nicely, including a shoulder strap long enough to be used as a cross-body strap.

Age As A Factor

As I get older, I find less desire to carry a lot of gear when I have to walk. In the past, when I was shooting in the field, I'd have two bodies and five lenses, plus a fairly large pile of film canisters, filter wrenches, filters, and similar accessories. Today, on a race course or similar venue, I prefer to leave any back-up body and lenses in a bag in my vehicle, and carry two or three lenses and one body. Lighter is better.

Less Bulk Today

Of course, film is no longer a bulky item, as a 16GB SDHC card gives me about 700 frames of shooting on my Pentax K20D's raw setting. That's equivalent to about 20 36 exposure rolls of film, and sufficient for most days. I carry one more 16GB card and three 8GB cards for weekend assignments, and just in case something interesting happens. The five cards, in their cases, take up about as much space as a single film box used to take, while letting me collect almost 2,500 images, about 70 rolls of film worth.

For a personal bag design, I'd completely lose the backpack idea. Shoulder bags allow more utility, or so I think. Add a cross-body strap instead of a standard shoulder strap, and you've solved the single worst shoulder bag problem: strap slippage. The primary differences are strap length and the shape of shoulder pad.

I started hating backpacks more than 50 years ago, at Parris Island. I've since come to believe that carrying expensive photo gear on one's back in certain areas of the world is a great way to enrage your insurance company. It's also hard to get to when you're shooting ever-changing action.

Materials & Color

Neutral colors are best, nothing bright so olive drab, dark gray, dark khaki, dark green are all good. Blaze orange isn't, nor is light blue, pink or similar light colors that show dirt and attract attention from the wrong types. Some photographers go so far as to use diaper bags for their gear, but I'm not interested in that kind of misdirection--I do not let my bag out of my sight; it's usually not far out of my reach.

Use good, heavyweight Cordura nylon for the exterior, with a lightweight water proof inner liner. Some bags have stowed plastic/nylon rain covers that work well.

Give the lid a quick access zipper for travel and a resin-based snap fitting for in-the-field use, so it's easy to open, but stays closed and keeps gear inside.

Sizing The Bag

A photographer who uses shorter lenses than I do will like the bag designed to take a medium sized DSLR, with a 24-875mm or similar lens mounted, and room for extra lenses, maybe two, plus a flash and some small accessories.

I normally carry an f/2.8 50-150mm lens. I'd also like room for three additional lenses, including a 70-200mm f/2.8, so I'd like a version sized for that use.

Add a couple of internal compartments and two external end pockets (flash, batteries, that sort of gear).

Reinforce the bottom with abrasion resistant outside, but soft surfaced so it won't scrape vehicle or other finished surfaces.

Internal mesh pockets for CF Cards / SD Cards, filters, cleaning cloths.

A comfortable shoulder pad, shaped correctly, is essential. It might help to make several pad shapes and thicknesses available.

Some photographers like loops to attach a medium sized tripod. That might be an option.

A cell phone pocket either permanently attached or snap-off, on the shoulder strap is handy.

I'm set to go with the above, if I ever find it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Shrinking mailing numbers

Earlier today, I stopped at a small local post office branch to mail a couple of magazines. The magazines contained an article I'd photographed and written; the magazines went to the current owner of the car photographed, and the guy who did the restoration. Cars & parts July issue, 1930 Ford four door phaeton.

I mentioned that the envelopes contained magazines. I was informed that I couldn't use media mail, then. That struck me as asinine, because, as I told the clerk, I'd been sending periodicals by media mail for 50 years or so with no problems whatsoever. She said, "You've been lucky, then, because it has always been this way."


According to the clerk, our beloved U.S.P.S. is now opening mail which they suspect contains magazines and, supposedly, returning the mail (any bets on the return?). No wonder postal rates keep rising. All of this takes time, which is why so many small and medium sized branches have only one person manning the desk when lines wrap nearly round the building, I'd guess. Making sure no one mails a magazine media mail is much more important than selling stamps, money orders and passports.

I'd recently run into another example of asininity when I mailed out about a dozen copies of my latest book to people who had let me photograph their woodworking shops for the book. I mailed all but three through a local post office branch. There were no problems. I stuck two up in my mailbox for pick-up. Both of those were returned to me because they weighed more than 13 ounces.

Any package that weighs more than 13 ounces must be presented in person, by the mailer, at a post office branch. Then you're asked if it contains anything fragile, explosive, or hazardous, all during which the clerk looks anywhere but at you.

That truly must contribute to our safety, giving a statement to a person totally untrained in explosives or reading personalities.

One book disappeared completely. That was sent through the Philadelphia P.O. to a friend who lives just outside Philly. I got a note back saying that the enclosed wrapper was all that they could find; I was to contact the Atlanta branch to see if anyone anywhere had located the book.

Yes. Sure. Really. There was no wrapper enclosed. The book sells for about 20 bucks. Postage was $2.58. I mailed Tom another book, Priority Mail, and it made it through. Yup. Total mailing cost for one book, $27.53.

But wait. I mailed those books against U.S.P.S. rules.

Out of curiosity, I checked the last four books I'd written, and discovered every single one of them carried at least one page of advertising for the publishers' other books.

To make sure this wasn't a new phenomenon for publishers, I checked a book I'd written in '77. The back cover of the book listed about 40-50 other titles from that publisher. Ohmigawd! An ad.

Back in March of 1959, when I arrived at Kaneohe Bay MCAS, I made it into Honolulu fairly quickly, where I grabbed a newspaper or two. After reading them, I stuck them in a manila envelope and mailed them to my mother in New York, using media mail, something I'd just discovered, at the ripe old age of 20. Actually, I was all set to pay Parcel Post or even First Class, but the clerk at the Honolulu Post Office informed me that media mail was for just such mailings, plus books and magazines and manuscripts. At the time, I was an avionics tech, so manuscript mailings weren't of interest.

Now, in 2009, a postal clerk informs me that such use has always been against the rules because newspapers carry ads.

She showed me a rule sheet from '99. Well, OK, but a decade doesn't seem anywhere near "always", to me, so one fine day I'll see what kind of history media mail has, and what its intent was. I seem to recall a founding statement for the P.O. itself that involved "dissemination of information." Another recollection, quite possibly inaccurate, involves media mail making it cheaper for Joe and Jane Average to ship books, newspapers and similar material around the country.

Thomas Paine would weep.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What Makes A Photographer?

My wife's statement that I had already shot photos of several scenes got me wondering how the photographer's mind may differ from the minds of most other people.

We were looking over a valley in the Blue Ridge Mountains at the time, but my first thought was about the possibilities in smaller scenes. Photographers do see the world a bit differently, as do other creative types who train, or are trained, in different ways...artists, engineers and similar people. My mind brings larger sites into view as a solid whole, producing the scene I want to show. Obviously, this doesn't always work for any of a variety of reasons, but when it clicks, the results are often quite viewable.

Somewhere in my head, the many years of shooting film and digital mesh to produce the scene, with subconscious consideration of light intensity and direction, and color of that light when I look at a scene.

Only a photographer can look at a rusty hinge and see a composition of interest that appeals to a number of people. Storm gratings become geometric patterns of varying appearance as the light angle and intensity varies. Barn siding creates a visual tone poem with its different colors and textures.

Those are close-ups available in most places where I live, with echoes around the world.

It's possible to look at a barn, and see a thousand close-ups of interest, isolating a half dozen or fewer for capture. Looking at the entire scene, glancing around to note the position of the sun and the variety of cloud formations gives me an idea of what a building, or car, or motorcycle, or person--though I'm not a good people photographer--might look like in a half hour or two hours or the next day when light rain or heavy mist is predicted.

Other drivers on the road have to worry about distractions from cell phones, children in the vehicle, coffee in the lap, or a hamburger sliding out of a bun as they drive. I worry about the distractions I get from changing scenes, the realization that what I'm seeing will change forever before I can return and catch it in a photo to share the effect. This is not just a distraction while driving, though. It's a distraction on a walk, or just sitting in the front yard, hearing a hummingbird living up to its name, and wondering why I left my camera indoors, watching a leaf falling from a tree, see a power line fuse that I hadn't noticed in more than 20 years in the same house.

In essence, the photographer sees the same postcard effect, the overall scene, that others do, but with a mind that breaks that scene down into its elements, then rebuilds it quickly, so that much more is available.

Whether that photographic mind is good, bad or indifferent is up to the viewer. It does seem to be different.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Digital Photography: Good Or Bad?

Web sites for pro photographers brim with posts from worried business people who see their livelihoods threatened by the influx of digital cameras.

It’s possible any pros in a craft that becomes easier may be threatened if the general public realizes that Uncle Mike can actually catch the same images, or close to them, as the far more costly pro. It’s also not probable that Uncle Mike is going to do that consistently. Consistent excellence is what the pro gets paid for, creativity added to sweeten the mix.

The pro photographers problems extend across the craft, starting with wedding shooters, moving on portraitists, and from there to landscape artists and others who sell their prints to the general public. It has crept in photojournalism, too, though its presence there is nothing new: the guy with the 35mm point and shoot has long provided free or low cost photos for newspapers and TV. PJs aren’t able to be everywhere there’s a breaking story.

On a personal note, I’m a pro photographer in part—half my work is words, half is the photos that illustrate those words. The photography has certainly gotten easier, and in some ways less costly, since the onset of the digital era.

There is some impingement on my income that is not directly related to the current recession, though. Amateur photographers, some of whom are truly excellent, often supply shots and facts for articles in the magazines for which I write and shoot. That simply cannot be helped. It was always there. The bite coming out of my work, and the work of others in my field, is a bit larger, because currently editors are looking for lower cost material. I think—hope?—that bite will shrink, at least in proportion, as the recession ebbs.

The people hurting the most are the people who make their livings based on locally based photography, weddings, portraits, senior photos and what I call rites of passage shots, bar mitzvahs, graduations, and similar events.

For some of the work I do, the automatic features of even the best cameras can defeat the aims of the photographer. Shooting races, no matter what kind, is not easy, regardless of camera type, though it is definitely easier that it was in film days. Let’s face it: blasting away at 3 to 6 frames per second allows a lot of leeway, producing shots where it is more likely even the unskilled will catch a great piece of the action. That’s especially true if a camera allows 40 or 50 frames before the camera’s buffer fills and it slows down, or stops. Huge flash memory cards can hold an awful lot of images. My 14.6 megapixel sensor shooting in one type of file can store more than 2000 frames with a 16 gigabyte flash memory card. Even at the largest file size, it still holds onto more than 700 files.

Sure, it’s easier, and it is going to create some pain for all pro photographers. But this type of technological change is not new: medium format took over from large format view cameras, which themselves had taken over from glass plate negatives and so on back. Classic 35mm was a miniature format when first introduced, and wasn’t accepted as worthwhile in editorial terms until well into the ‘50s, with some magazines demanding medium format or larger negatives or transparencies right into the 1990s.

Photographers will adapt. Amateurs may pick up a few more dollars to allow them to buy another lens or better camera body, while professionals learn to change their marketing emphases, so that a larger group of customers can be reached, those who want the real, but sometimes elusive, difference that a real pro can make to a portrait or wedding series or senior shots.

All in all, digital photography seems to me a good thing, maybe even great. The appreciation of good photography of all types of photography can now reach a wider audience, at lower cost, than ever before.

***For other old people who learn slowly, do NOT attempt to write your blog in Word, for copy and paste to Blogger. I've spent over an hour trying to straighten this HTML out, with damnall for results.***