Get it All

OK, sure.  I work for Kodak, now.  I suppose I can perhaps be accused of being partial, but then again, if you’re from Rochester and you’re not partial to Kodak, what does that make you?

I’ve had the opportunity to check out Kodak’s new product lines for the digital market since working for the company, and I have to say, I’m quite impressed.  I am equally disappointed in our local media for not doing a better job of covering technology news, which might perhaps assuage some of the cynicism about the company and focus the public’s attention on keeping them here in Rochester rather than joking about their imminent departure.

The most exiting one I’ve found thus far (and the one I plan on purchasing immediately upon getting my first paycheck) is the new  EasyShare line of All-in-One printers.  Perhaps with Kodak’s help, the days of getting “prison love” in the pursuit of those pricey ink cartridges will be a thing of the past:

Printers With a Thrifty Eye Toward the Cost of Replacement Ink – New York Times

Kodak has been all about color for decades, but right now they want you to think about green — as in money. The company is introducing a line of EasyShare all-in-one inkjet printers and selling replacement ink at a price that it says will cut the cost of printing supplies up to 50 percent, without compromising on quality or speed.

The secret here is that, with normal printer cartridges, the print head is built into the cartridge.  That’s expensive.  With the new Kodak line, the ink cartridge is just that: an ink container, nothing more.  I presume that the reason previous incarnations kept the two together was largely to avoid spillage, and I further presume that Kodak has found a way around this problem.  Let us hope, but I have not seen any reviews of note, yet.

But there’s more features than just a cheap cartridge (although that’s enough, as far as I’m concerned).  For example, even the cheapest model in the series, the 5100, is compatible with BlueTooth.  That’s a handy little option for you, eh?  They also all support PTP/IP connections.  That means you could potentially print out pictures directly from your BlueTooth- or PTP/IP-enabled camera, from a distance of up to 100 yards!

OK, so you may have very little reason to use these particular technologies, right now.  But don’t you feel better (and just a weencie-bit more manly) knowing you have the option?

The 5300 (why do companies insist on odd-numbered models?) goes one step further by adding the option to print directly off a camera’s mem card.  It offers a handy little 3-inch window for just such occasions, so you can easily crop the image before printing.  Finally, the 5500 offers a feed bed and faxing capabilities, for those of you who have a need (or a perceived need.  You da man) to fax files from time to time.

The camera lines are getting pretty interesting, too.  Especially the Z-series, which feature extra zooming capabilities with a killer Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon lens.  Curiously, however, the model with the highest zoom in the series has the lowest pixel resolution.  Still, the prices of the Kodak cameras is comparable to my Canon camera, which along with what I hope is a still-respected name, should serve Kodak well in the months ahead.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

powered by performancing firefox

The Beast HerselfI am so psyched about this new toy of mine! Since I do the DragonFlyEye.Net thing as a primary website, and since I’ve recently seen the need for interviews (I have an interview with Ellie Phillips of Zellies setup, another one with Eric Massa potentially on the way, and Wednesday I go to meet with Elliot Spitzer where I might be able to grab a quick bit of audio), I decided that I really needed a DVR (Digital Voice Recorder). Well, in truth, I really just wanted one!

Still, what a sweet little toy I got in this Olympus job! I didn’t want to shell out a whole lot of money for the fancy ones since I only want to do a bit of dictation and some interview-audio capture, and anyway, the more expensive models really just had a bit more room or possibly a removable storage type like SD or SmartMedia. Neither of those really mattered when I saw this dillio.

The VN-480 holds a maximum of 8 hours of audio in as many as four different folders, not counting the ones dedicated to scheduled recording. “Scheduled recording?” you ask. Yes, it does that along with voice-activated recording so I can do like those guys on Ghost Hunters. I’m gonna catch me some ghosts, or at least capture my African Grey parrot saying some cool stuff when we’re not around.

The PC interface for this little devil is pretty sweet, also. Rather than adding in a bunch of features you won’t want, or shoving QuickTime or some other nonsense down your gullet, this is a nice clean interface that works well and looks great. I hate flashy: I bought a tool, not a toy, so just give me what I need. As you can see from the inserted graphic, Olympus has come up with something as staid and boring as I am:The Control Set

So as you can see, there is very little fanfare for this tool, not even a very exiting splash screen, but everything you need is right there in front of your eyes. The one thing that is not in any of the documentation for this app that definitely should be is the “Transfer Date/Time” option under the “Transfer” menu. This allows you to synchronize the date and time of your DVR to what your system says. Nice touch for those times when you run out of batteries, eh?

The audio folder shown at the top of the left side-bar refers to a location in your My Documents folder. Here is at least one option I might have preferred the option to change. My Documents is OK, but I tend to prefer more specific locations for my transfers ~ for example, one that is with the rest of my web development stuff so it is regularly backed up ~ and so far, I have not found the option to do this. The “Transfer Options” window is surprisingly bare, and the Olympus website appears devoid of software updates for this application.

Still and all, this does not prevent the VN-480PC from being a nice little gadget to add to the arsenal of blogging/reporting tools at my disposal. I recommend it to anyone looking for a good balance of features and low-cost!