Too Cool for Internet Explorer

Saturday, March 6, 2004

Now, Just Make One That Works With Most Any Digital Camera

It’s great enough that digital photography has improved so much in so little time that a news photographer can shoot an event and, in the space of an hour or less, transfer a bunch of photos to a computer and upload them to their office where a writer can put the finishing touches on a story and post it to the web immediately. Digital photos are also of more than sufficient quality for good-sized commercial printing.

But imagine now, with this 802.11b add-on, a photographer can set up a computer with an internet connection and walk away up to almost 100 feet (or almost 500 feet with an antenna attachment), snap pictures, and have them instantly and wirelessly transfer to the computer where someone can, for example, post the images online! They no longer even have to wait for the photographer to walk back, attach his camera to the computer, and download everything at once.

Another good use for this thing would be when you’re working to make a photo directory of a huge number of people attending some event. They’d all just queue through and smile then walk to a neighboring computer that has just received their portrait where an operator assigns your name to it.

Unfortunately, this attachment is currently only for the Nikon D2H, a high-end SLR-style camera with a $3,500 MSRP and just above a $3,000 street price.

I would like to see a more universal device. I realize, of course, that the camera’s firmware is going to have to have the code to work the same way the D2H works, so a universal version of this thing may not be possible, but I have an alternative.

We all know that Mac OS X’s Image Capture application can pretty much pull the images off virtually any popular camera. A device like I’m talking about could do the same. So, what would happen is, you attach a device to your camera’s USB port. Since various cameras have different styles of connectors, you would attach the add-on using your camera’s own USB cable. When you were ready, you switch your camera to playback mode and the device automatically downloads images and wirelessly FTPs them to a computer in the same way the D2H’s add-on does. Ideally, it would even be intelligent enough to pull only the new images since the last time you transferred them. Sure, it’s a little extra work and not as nice as having each shot transfer right after it was taken, but it would still be a great product.

» Posted by ALBj at 09:36 PM (ET)
Category: Cool Technology

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