Tag Archives: Photos

The iPad 2 Cameras Suck – So What? Here’s Why.

Am I extremely disappointed that the iPad 2’s cameras appear to be as sub-par (much like the iPod touch’s)? Absolutely. Is it going to keep me from selling my iPad 1 to help fund an iPad 2 “upgrade?” No, I’ll be in line somewhere on Friday to get a Black 64GB 3G unit.

I just don’t think that the camera’s quality has anything to do with the iPad 2’s value as a “tablet computer.”

So, here are my theories as to why the iPad 2’s cameras suck:

  1. Try holding the iPad still, even with two hands, at arm’s length. It ain’t comfy, and it ain’t steady. I realize the iPad 2 is slightly lighter than the first gen, but it’s still gotta be in the ballpark of “awkward.”
  2. This is a “tablet computer” with a camera, not a camera with a “tablet computer.”
  3. The primary focus (no pun intended) for the lenses is to fuel FaceTime conversations. Given that, you really don’t need to push a massive resolution down the pike.
  4. When was the last time you complained that your notebook’s / netbook’s webcam was lacking? You likely use it for simple imaging needs, not for shooting pictures or videos – and it’s certainly not your primary digital camera option.
  5. Why spend money on slightly-better optics when you don’t need to? I’m just saying that Apple was likely to keep the price point at $500, and it knows that people are going to buy it despite camera resolution. If you could sell the same amount of devices, why spend more on hardware?
  6. A lesser-quality camera in the iPod touch has not (likely) dampened sales. Just sayin’.
  7. You gotta have a solid reason to get an iPad 3, right? Lord knows I’m ready for a better camera in the next iPhone. And, speaking of, does anybody else have an odd discoloring issue and a floating dot (pronounced more in certain photos) with the iPhone 4’s videos and photos?

I wanted to do a “top ten” list, but couldn’t get past seven points without jumping into extreme conspiratorial territory. Plus, 7 is my favorite number. Maybe you have other realistic ideas as to why Apple decided to ship the iPad 2 with lackluster imaging devices?

Or, let me guess – this is what you wanted the iPad 2 to be:

iPad 2 Release

What Will Twitter Do With Your Photos?

I know you use Twitter as much as I do. Even if you aren’t a fan of the new layout, you have to admit that it’s nice having photos and videos in-line. Twitter has announced that they will begin hosting your pictures themselves in the near future.

Have you read the Terms of Service, though? Particularly disturbing is what they plan to DO with the snapshots: “You agree that this license includes the right for Twitter to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals who partner with Twitter for the syndication, broadcast, distribution or publication of such Content on other media and services, subject to our terms and conditions for such Content use.”

Wait… what? If I snap a picture and upload it to Twitter, they can turn around and sell it to CNN or Fox News without giving me a cut of the profits? I think not, my friends. That’s something I’m not willing to allow, and I’m betting you won’t, either.

What are your thoughts?

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Google Introduces Picnik on Your Picasa Albums

Beginning today, Picasa users can choose to edit their photos in-line using Picnik. You no longer have to leave the site to edit your pics using your favorite (and mine!) photo editor. Simply choose “Edit” on any picture in your album, and choose “Edit in Picnik.” This announcement comes just a few short months after Google purchased the popular photo-editing giant, and is one that many of us have been waiting for.

When you save your edited photo back to your PWA album, you can either replace the old image or save a new copy. If you’re not a fan or user of Picasa, never fear! Picnik “will retain its own branding and web presence.” The application remains free to use. However, subscribers who pay a small fee will receive access to more advanced editing tools and additional stickers, fonts and photo effects. Picasa will automatically detect whether a user is a subscriber or free user. Your capabilities will adjust accordingly – without your having to do anything.

It will be interesting to see what else Google has in store for Picnik. Will we be seeing this integration on other Google-owned properties?

Resize Photos With Shrink O'Matic


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BWOne has done several screencasts for us in the past, with great success. He’s been busy uploading CES videos to his own channel lately, but took a break to create another screencast for all of you. Today, Bowman is going to show you how to easily reduce the size of your pictures using Adobe Air’s Shrink O’Matic!

Shrink O’Matic is an AIR application to easily (batch) resize (shrink) images. It handles JPGs, GIFs and PNGs. Simply drag and drop images and they’ll be resized as you wish! Options allow you to choose the output sizes, names and formats. Make sure you specify the output folder (and format), or else it will save over your original by default.

The program allows you to define the pixel length and width, compression ratio, how to name your new file, and the new format. You don’t have to resize photos one at a time anymore, either. Shrink O’Matic allows you to run a batch of several pictures all at once!

Shrink O’Matic works on both Mac and Windows. Even though it only has a limited number of formats it can work with, it should be perfect for most user’s needs!

Thanks, Bowman, for another excellent tutorial!

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Picnik


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I recently attended the WTIA Fast Pitch Forum & Technology Showcase. The conference featured two dozen of the of the hottest technology companies in Washington presenting their business in a competition for “Best In Show”. Picnik makes your photos fabulous with easy to use yet powerful editing tools. Tweak to your heart’s content, then get creative with oodles of effects, fonts, shapes, and frames.

If you already use Flickr for your photos (here’s what I do with mine), you’re only a click away from taking a Picnik. That’s how I discovered it, and it’s worked fairly well for me to this point.

An added note is that Yahoo has rolled out some new services recently, to hopefully cut down on the number of additional sites that patrons will ever need to visit. One of these is called Edit Photos by Picnik. This app provides users with a quick way to crop, touch up, add effects and more to any of the photos located in their inbox or online. How much easier can it get?

Picnik is a great service, one that I myself use frequently. If you haven’t checked it out – you’re absolutely missing out!

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Ontela


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I recently attended the WTIA Fast Pitch Forum & Technology Showcase. The conference featured two dozen of the of the hottest technology companies in Washington presenting their business in a competition for “Best In Show”. Ontela makes it easy for wireless customers to save their camera phone pictures. Ontela automatically saves each picture to e-mail, your PC and / or your web photo albums.

Onetla builds simple platforms for a much better user experience. Their technology helps wireless carriers and the image hosting companies bring new value to their customers. What Ontela does is to bridge the gap between the two, making it so simple and fast for you to save all of those pictures you snap on the go with your phone.

You don’t want to lose your pictures. You don’t want to have a huge hassle when trying to extract them from your phone and save them or upload them. Check out Ontela, and save yourself a headache!

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The Best Free Way to Share Files, Photos, Music Online


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You probably have hundreds – if not thousands – of photos on your computer. You likely also have tons of other files sitting there, as well. How do you share those files with others? Let’s kick it up a notch, and say you have a calendar, tasks and contacts to keep in sync. How do you keep all this data in sync with each other? The answer is software – which is sadly usually expensive.

I have an all-in-one workspace solution for you! Tonido is an open personal web application platform that runs on your desktop which safeguards your privacy and online freedom. It allows you to run your own personal web applications on your desktop and form your own private Tonido network. Applications and data are always local.

I may not pronounce the name right, but I will tell you this is completely awesome. It’s easy to set up, and it’s cross-platform. It’s also open source! This isn’t interesting to you if you’re off in your own little world and never interact with anyone else. But the moment you need to share a document or picture with someone else… BAM! Tonido saves the day.

I’m a little excited, yes. I’ve been waiting for something like this to appear. It’s one thing to share a file… but it’s a step beyond when you can share contacts, calendars and more as well! Normally, something like this would be hard to use and expensive. But this – is – NOT!

Try it. Love it. Live it!

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How to Find Files and Geotag Photos


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It doesn’t matter how you say “Houdah,” the developer of this series of utilities for Mac OS X just wants you remember it. In my experience, HoudahSpot makes for an amazing (power user’s) extension to the already-powerful Spotlight.

HoudahSpot is Houdah Software’s bestselling file search tool for the Mac. Unleash the full power of Spotlight to find, manage and clean up your files.

  • Fast – The search starts only at your command.
  • Precise – Pinpoint files using a myriad of criteria.
  • Detailed – Show any number of columns.
  • Customizable – Set your preferred criteria, columns and sort order.
  • BlitzSearch – The convenience of Spotlight, the power of HoudahSpot.

HoudaGeo adds another dimension to your photos, to boot. With HoudahGeo you may “pin” photos to locations where they were taken. Just like an expensive GPS camera, HoudahGeo may store latitude, longitude and altitude information right within the image file – invisibly with no loss of quality. HoudahGeo offers you many ways of geocoding your favorite photos:

  • Automatic – Matches photos to GPS track logs and waypoints.
  • Using a Google Earth – Point to the desired location.
  • Using a map – Pick locations using the built-in map.
  • Precision – Attach photos to GPS waypoints.
  • Manual – Enter coordinates found on Google Earth, Wikipedia and more!

Remember, before buying this or any other software, be sure to check with me. I may just have a coupon you can use.

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Are Your Photos Boring?


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The biggest problem I have with my digital photos is that they’re not fun enough. Maybe you’re in the same quandary. You want to make your photos more fun. We’ve talked before about Websites and software in the past that can make your photos more fun, including this one I want to show you today.

Primps allows you to have fun with your pictures. Upload your picture (or link to it from somewhere on the Web), add some text bubbles and crazy objects, then save your image. There’s nothing to sign up for, nor pay for. You don’t need to create a login, nor even use your email address. There are several different things you can tweak and play with to edit your image, and make it be the best it can be.

Now you know where you can go to do some quick text additions to a photo. Yeah, you could load it into your image editor. However, it’s easier to just go to Primps and save it out. I just showed you how easy it is. It doesn’t get simpler than this. What more do you want? Seriously… I want to know. Email me. Tell me about other cool websites that others haven’t heard of yet. Pass it along, and I’ll show the rest of the community.

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What Software do you use for Digital Photos?


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Believe it or not, I have been accused of never talking about Windows. That’s an illusion. Apparently, there’s just not a lot of interesting Windows software out there anymore. If there is… you’re not telling me about it. How can I let everyone know about cool programs like this one if you don’t point me towards them? Send me links to the cool stuff you find, and I’ll be happy to talk about it.

PictoMio is more than just a digital photo manager. It happens to be a full-on suite of tools to help you clean up and organize your digital photos and videos. You can think of this as the way Picasa should be. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been using Picasa for years. But, Picasa has kind of fallen flat. They kind of stopped developing it. And now, along comes the free PictoMio, available for Windows only.

Pictomio easily manages thousands of media intensive image and video archives and groups your media according to orientation, time, type, size, rating, etc. Finally a tool to directly manage your videos. Along with viewing Thumbnails you can also rotate and zoom video. With the Library you can display photos by the date taken and EXIF values (e.g. type of camera) as well as sorted by category and album. With the integrated EXIF editor (Exchangeable image file format) you can see, edit and save the meta data of JPEG files.

Albums and categories are virtual folders which you can use to arrange your pictures regardless of their location on the hard drive. Example album: “My best vacation pictures” Browse through your pictures With the visually engaging 3D picture Carousel. The direction of motion can be controlled by the mouse. Pictomio simplifies the production of slide shows for you by using a drag-and-drop interface. By Using the capabilities of 3D graphics cards you can also integrate elaborate page transitions.

PictoMio is excellent software. It helps you work with your files to effectively and easily manage all of your digital files.

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