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Resizing Images On The Road


Jamie Z
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You may already know that I have an upcoming roadtrip. During this trip, I'd like to be able to upload and email pictures. Trouble is, the images from my camera are too big for this, and I won't be carrying a laptop to be doing any manipulation.

 

I shoot a Canon G3 4mp camera. I set it at the highest quality .jpg setting available on my camera, which returns images in the one- to two-meg size range. Shooting at a lower quality is unacceptable.

 

The camera uses a CF card, and I have a 1Gb card.

 

How can I, in the absence of my home computer, make these images small enough for emailing and uploading to a website (100-200k is my goal)?

 

I've had several ideas and suggestions:

 

Bring my camera to a photofinisher who can put the images on CD. Question. Can/Will a photofinisher resize them all for me? Could I request all 640x480 images? How much would this service cost?

 

I could carry my CF card reader and use library computers. I generally use libraries to send email, but I could also use the computers to manipulate my images. Two problems come with that. Would the library allow me to connect my CF card reader, and would it work without drivers (I have a SanDisk ImageMate CF/SD dual card reader.)? And then how do I reduce my images? I thought about carrying a copy of Irfanview on the CF card. Would that work?

 

Does anyone else have thoughts or suggestions that might work for me? The help is greatly appreciated.

 

Jamie

Edited by Jamie Z
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Librarys will not let you plug in a CF card reader and they will not let you run your own software. At least not one I've ever seen. To much potential for viruses and abuse. Depending on the library though you might be able to get a way with it. I use to use librarys for email when traveling but most of them are banning email, chatting, and any type of message boards or newsgroups. Depending on the library though its almost impossible for them to stop you unless they stand over your shoulder.

 

The simple thing to do is to set your camera to a lower resolution. The next best thing would be a cheap laptop.

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I'm not sure how rural the road trip is, but my son and I were in London in March without a computer and a 5mp camera and memory cards. Every two days, we went to a Korean Internet cafe that had CD burners, uploaded them on the desktop and burned them to CDs. The computers in the cafe were set to erase all new files after reboot.

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If the libraries will let you plug your CF card reader in you could use these websites.
TL, Great sites. Those might just be what I'm looking for.

 

I use to use librarys for email when traveling but most of them are banning email, chatting, and any type of message boards or newsgroups.

The simple thing to do is to set your camera to a lower resolution. The next best thing would be a cheap laptop.

I've used libraries all over the country and I've never run into this. I hope it's not true.

 

As I said, lower resolution simply isn't an optoion. Then my pics would be little good for anything but posting on a webpage, and aside from the financial cost, a laptop is too heavy for me to be carrying. Thanks for the suggestions, though.

 

my son and I were in London in March without a computer and a 5mp camera and memory cards. Every two days, we went to a Korean Internet cafe that had CD burners, uploaded them on the desktop and burned them to CDs. The computers in the cafe were set to erase all new files after reboot.
Then I'm still stuck with 1.5meg images though. I like the idea of getting them on CD, then perhaps I could utilize one of the wesite suggested by Lightfoot.

 

The real answer is to take one photo at a much lower resolution. Just take two shots of each item, changing the resolution between shots. It will take a minute but you won't have to do any post-processing.
Despite this being rather cumbersome, I like this idea. Further, I wouldn't have to double up each shot, but only those I wanted to upload. I'd still like it to be automatic, though.

 

my Sony has an option to automatically create "email" images at the same time it creates the hi-res images. These images are somewhat smaller than you are looking for, as they tend to average around 20K. Perhaps your camera has something similar burried deap in it's setup menus
This is a great thought. So good that I thought of it too. I was thinking my camera had this, but I went through the manual and don't see anything about that. Man would that be useful.

 

Ideally I'd have a laptop that didn't weigh much. I can't afford to do that though. I'm thinking I'll try the library thing and send them through the websites suggested by Lightfoot.

 

Jamie

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I like reading about your particular needs and ideas about solving them, Jamie. They get the creative juices flowing.

 

I like this last option best, too. Lacking your own laptop for processing and storage, trying to use web-based services seems like an ideal solution on the road (do you have online storage capability? I know there are sites that offer that, too). I would expect that most computers would easily accept a plug-in USB card reader; you aren't really installing any new software if you merely are uploading files to the internet.

 

I can see why libraries might in some cases be hesitant. You might phone ahead to a few along your route to sound them out. Internet cafes might present other options. If your reader has a short cord on it, you might want to bring a USB extension cord to facilitate connecting.

 

Another idea that occured to me was using a PDA that could read your card to do the resizing. I'm not certain the available software can *do* that, you still may have a storage problem, and I know that's outside your budget, too. But, it's another thought.

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my Sony has an option to automatically create "email" images at the same time it creates the hi-res images. These images are somewhat smaller than you are looking for, as they tend to average around 20K. Perhaps your camera has something similar burried deap in it's setup menus
This is a great thought. So good that I thought of it too. I was thinking my camera had this, but I went through the manual and don't see anything about that. Man would that be useful.

Look for this to be inclusive of RAW format photos. I don't know if the G3 does it, but my S45, when set to RAW, will take the RAW and bundle a 640x480 jpg along with it as the thumbnail.

 

How about finding a cheap PocketPC with a CF slot?

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Even if libraries won't let you use their computers, there is a chance that local geocachers will..

I like that idea, too. So much that I've posted two threads in the appropriate regional forums asking about local cachers.

 

I didn't specifically mention my photographic need, but instead asked about nabbing some caches together or acting as my host for the day.

 

While I've gotten some great response, it's not enough to make photo uploads a regular thing.

 

Clint, I'll look into the RAW format. I rarely shoot in RAW, but if it created an associated 640x480, then that might be my solution. The problem with that is that I'll probably take several hundred photos. I'd hate to have to post-process all of them.

 

Jamie

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Clint,

 

Made a few test images in RAW format. Sure enough, it also added a thumbnail which was recognized by my imaging program as a jpg (although it wasn't saved as such). The problem is that this thumbnail is just that. It's only 9k or something. I didn't note the dimensions, but it was in the 200x150 pixels range. Too small for website display.

 

Maybe this thumbnail size can be altered, but I doubt it. I'll take a moment tomorrow to look through my manual once more.

 

Jamie

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You might also want to look into a micro-drive. Hitachi, IBM and others make some for attaching to cameras. Relatively inexpensive and roomy at 2GB. I just read a forum reference where some folks installed a 1 inch micro drive into their Canon and had good success. However, there is one guy that did something a little different. The website he referenced is MyDigitalDiscount.com. I just checked and they have some solutions there you might be interested in. He bought a standalone 20GB drive that was capable of transferring from memory cards without the use of a PC. The cost is around $200. There are currently 4 being advertised right at the top of the page.

 

Here's more info on the Vosonic palm-sized drive.

Edited by TotemLake
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