Sony is popular for its video and image capturing devices. The DSC-D700 is no exception in a successful
line of still image cameras. This lightweight camera can be a valuable supplement for increasing multimedia and Web activities in educational institutions.
The DSC-D700 offers a high-resolution (1344 x 1024 pixels) and a lower-resolution (640 x 480 pixels) option. Another feature is the three-level compression rate: images are saved in JPEG format, ready to be posted on the Web. The uncompressed images (approximately 1 MB) are saved in a TIFF format. This ensures that the captured image is of a high quality, allowing for easier manipulation with image-processing software such as PhotoShop.
A limited number of uncompressed shots can be stored in the cameras memory before they are uploaded to a PC. The camera comes with a memory card of only 8 MB, upgradeable to 16 or 32 MB. Uploading, in contrast to other Sony digital still cameras (e.g. Mavica with its floppy disk upload), is accomplished solely through a proprietary PC card parallel port adapter. The software installation is fast and easy. However, the adapters occasional refusal to recognize the card can necessitate restarting the computer. This, along with Macintosh incompatibility, can turn the upload into a painstaking and cumbersome ordeal.
On the positive side, the cameras filters do a great job capturing natural colors. With a wide range for aperture (F2.4-F13.2) and shutter speeds (4 seconds to 1/2000 second), the camera takes quality pictures in a variety of situations: from fast-moving objects to still images.
The flash is small and useful only for close distances, yet a hot sh'e provides the option to add an external flash. In addition, the camera offers other features: a long-lasting rechargeable battery, a color LCD screen, options for manual and automatic focus, zoom, ISO rating (choice for indoor and outdoor lighting), a self-timer and a remote control. The camera is relatively light and comfortably hand-held. However, for a fast-speed, low-light situation, a tripod is recommended. The exact specifications are available at http://www.ita.sel.sony.com/products/imaging/dscd700.html.
The camera has built-in review and processing options that prepare images to be uploaded directly to the Internet. However, further correction and development with image processing software is recommended.
The DSC-D700 can be of great value for teacher and instructor presentations of any kind. Taking a picture with the camera and incorporating it in a PowerPoint or Web presentation can take just a few minutes. Taking superb pictures with the camera, instead of choosing among general collections of images, can add an important personal touch in a multimedia presentation and bring the presentation closer to the audience. In addition, the high-resolution option allows the camera output to be applied successfully to hard-copy newsletters, handouts, and presentations. In short, a beginner will not find the camera complex and will quickly learn to utilize its capabilities without compromising a great image output.
This article originally appeared in the 05/01/2000 issue of THE Journal.