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Digital Cameras for Food Photography


Rachel Perlow
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I can't stress enough how cool GIMP is. Its Open Source and runs on Windows, Linux and even Mac.

Here's a link to download a Windows version:

http://www2.arnes.si/~sopjsimo/gimp/stable.html

Linux? Really? That is very good to know. You wouldn't happen to have a link for that? :wub:

Edited by Behemoth (log)
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I can't stress enough how cool GIMP is. Its Open Source and runs on Windows, Linux and even Mac.

Here's a link to download a Windows version:

http://www2.arnes.si/~sopjsimo/gimp/stable.html

Linux? Really? That is very good to know. Can I download the Linux version off the same place? I guess I can check it out. Thanks! :wub:

Actually, GIMP comes with most Linux distributions, but 2.0 was released only a few months ago and thus 1.2 is still probably what comes with most.

Fedora Core 2 (Free) comes with 2.0, as does the latest Mandrake (commercial) and the latest SuSE (commercial). Its also in the Debian "testing" feed if you want to try it with Xandros (which now has a free version you can install -- if you are new to Linux and want something easy to install, I highly recommend it -- Fat Guy himself is using it.)

http://www.xandros.com/products/home/deskt...k_oc_intro.html

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Thanks for the info. We use Sun workstations at the department, and I use my more techie half's PC at home. I am planning to buy a laptop in the next year but was getting a headache as everything I use for work (LaTex, emacs, Macaulay...) is easier to find for Unix, and everything I use for fun is easier to find for PC. It helps to know out what's out there. (I may be a nerd but I am a low tech nerd -- pencil, paper and a brick wall to hit my head against is all I need, most of the time... :wink: )

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Wow, thanks for all the thoughtful, in-depth replies.

I am going to keep on keeping on with GIMP, as I sense that I have just sort of scratched the surface of what it can do.

In re: Paint Shop Pro, I just made a happy discovery. If you go to the publisher's web site (JASC Software) you can download, for free, a 60-day evaluation version of PSP 8. It's a big download--55MB, thank God for broadband--but you can get it, along with other resources like plug-ins and a very complete documentation set, for free and try it out for two months.

I guess these folks come out of the shareware tradition. Very nice. A two-month trial period is quite generous, and for the price PSP is looking like a huge bargain in the world of commercial graphics software.

I've been playing with PSP for about an hour and really like it. Great interface, great built-in photo tools.

(Note also, JASC has a new product called Paint Shop Photo Album, priced at $45, that seems like a decent tool for storing, organizing and doing light editing of digital photos. I may download and check it out next.)

enrevanche <http://enrevanche.blogspot.com>

Greenwich Village, NYC

The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not.

- Mark Twain

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Thanks for the info. We use Sun workstations at the department, and I use my more techie half's PC at home. I am planning to buy a laptop in the next year but was getting a headache as everything I use for work (LaTex, emacs, Macaulay...) is easier to find for Unix, and everything I use for fun is easier to find for PC.  It helps to know out what's out there. (I may be a nerd but I am a low tech nerd -- pencil, paper and a brick wall to hit my head against is all I need, most of the time...  :wink: )

at the GIMP.ORG website you should be able to download the source code and recompile it on Solaris if you want to use it at work. Same goes for your existing Linux boxes at home. But it has a lot of dependencies like the latest GTK+ toolkit and the latest GCC.

As I understand it Solaris 10 x86 is supposed to come with every GTK and Open Source program you can think of, including GIMP. Its going to be totally Linuxified.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Thanks for the info. We use Sun workstations at the department, and I use my more techie half's PC at home. I am planning to buy a laptop in the next year but was getting a headache as everything I use for work (LaTex, emacs, Macaulay...) is easier to find for Unix, and everything I use for fun is easier to find for PC.  It helps to know out what's out there. (I may be a nerd but I am a low tech nerd -- pencil, paper and a brick wall to hit my head against is all I need, most of the time...  :wink: )

at the GIMP.ORG website you should be able to download the source code and recompile it on Solaris if you want to use it at work. Same goes for your existing Linux boxes at home. But it has a lot of dependencies like the latest GTK+ toolkit and the latest GCC.

As I understand it Solaris 10 x86 is supposed to come with every GTK and Open Source program you can think of, including GIMP. Its going to be totally Linuxified.

Nice -- I will definitely check that out. I will have to see if I am allowed to install it on our department machines, but our computer tech guys tend to be pretty nice. (Being one of the few women in the dept of course also helps...) In any case, v. useful if I go for a Linux-based home machine.

Edited by Behemoth (log)
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Linux? Really? That is very good to know. You wouldn't happen to have a link for that? :wub:

The GIMP (main site)

GIMP for Unix/Linux distros

GIMP source code (compile it yourself)

enrevanche <http://enrevanche.blogspot.com>

Greenwich Village, NYC

The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not.

- Mark Twain

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About a week and a half ago I lost (or had stolen) my Canon G5. Really liked that camera. My only complaint was the size. I take a lot of candid pics for my site and the G5 stands out too much as a camera.

Last week I replaced it with the relatively new Nikon Coolpix 5200. 5 Megapixels, loaded with features, much faster start up and time between pics than the G5 and the size of a pack of playing cards. Fits the hand beautifully. Can shoot much closer without having to switch to macro. And after a weekend of shooting around Rhode Island, great quality and far less conspicuous than the G5.

I've got a new favorite camera.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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I am just getting into PhotoShop Elements. It seems to be pretty intuitive and I can get things done with it. It was recommended to me be a graphic designer that uses all of the packages that you have mentioned. So far, I am pretty happy with it. It will certainly do anything I would ever want to do.

I also got PhotoShop Album, the organizational software companion. The jury is still out on that one though. I haven't spent a lot of time with it but some things don't seem quite as intuitive to me. Maybe if I went through the tutorial stuff... you know... read the directions? NAAAAAHH! My main reason for getting album was for putting together collections on DVD's to share with family and friends. Besides, I think it would be really cool to have a slide show running on the big TV when guests are over. (You know... Shots from Hawaii Botanical Garden running with some island music in the background, not shots of Aunt Millie. :wink: )

That kind of thing is why I asked the question above about the really cool cameras and what file size, not image size, you get with an 8 MP image. (I still don't know.)

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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PhotoShop Elements is like $99 now and its gotten some really good reviews.

Would you believe about half that price (with rebate) right now on Amazon?

eGullet link to Adobe Photoshop Elements

 

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Tim Oliver

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There is no set file size for a given image size. It varies with settings and image parameters. For example on an 8 megapixel camera I believe you can expect RAW mode images to be 12 megabytes each and TIFFs to be 23 megabytes each. For JPEGs you will I think have 3 choices of compression, ranging from 1:4 to 1:16, So your images will run anywhere from approximately 3 megabytes to less than 1 megabyte each, plus or minus depending on how information-rich the image itself is (a JPEG of a solid blue wall takes up far less memory than a JPEG of a page of a book). With any of these 5 megapixel or above cameras you will be well served by a 512 megabyte or 1 gigabyte flash card.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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There is no set file size for a given image size. It varies with settings and image parameters. For example on an 8 megapixel camera I believe you can expect RAW mode images to be 12 megabytes each and TIFFs to be 23 megabytes each. For JPEGs you will I think have 3 choices of compression, ranging from 1:4 to 1:16, So your images will run anywhere from approximately 3 megabytes to less than 1 megabyte each, plus or minus depending on how information-rich the image itself is (a JPEG of a solid blue wall takes up far less memory than a JPEG of a page of a book). With any of these 5 megapixel or above cameras you will be well served by a 512 megabyte or 1 gigabyte flash card.

Gee thanks FG! :raz:

Somehow, I knew it wouldn't be that simple. I think I am getting a headache.

Actually, I am just watching those cameras for now. I am deliriously happy with my Sony Mavica and its wonderful little CDs, for now. But, I know that in a couple of years I will be wanting a new toy. Maybe, by then, they will come up with the "ultimate" in storage options.

BTW... That megapixel.net site is pretty cool. :cool:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I knew you'd like it, Fifi. There are at least 8 megapixels of information on megapixel.net...LOL.

I'm getting closer to buying a new camera. I've accosted everyone I see around town (we get a lot of tourists) with a digital camera in their hands and I've asked a zillion questions. What amazes me the most is that people don't seem to know what their cameras will do other than point-and-shoot.

So far I'm still on track with the Minolta A1. The learning curve scares me, though. I'd hate to spend nearly $1000 and not be able to figure the thing out.

I picked up Photoshop Elements and Album today, speaking of learning curve. As Behemoth said, now I just need some time off to figure it all out.

What's new at Mexico Cooks!?

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esperanza... I just dove into Photoshop and have not had a whole lot of frustration. My learning curve is more a problem of learning the new terminology. Years ago I did a lot of 35mm SLR stuff and the digital world is Greek to me. I am finally trying to remember to hit the help button instead of getting frustrated poking around. They did a pretty good job on the help stuff. I don't know a lot about all of this, but I think some of the automatic tweaking that you can select is pretty darn good. I don't do a lot of that, maybe mess with brightness and contrast a little, but I like the way it works.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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What amazes me the most is that people don't seem to know what their cameras will do other than point-and-shoot.

One difference between film and digital is that point and shoot works most of the time because so much can be done with a photo editor. It's still fun to fine tune, but when I'm shooting for my site, other than turning on or off the flash, point and shoot is all I usually need. Used to be one had to be an ace in the dark room. Now all it takes is being computer compatible.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

Twitter

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Heh... Actually, I am a real control freak about some things.

One thing I like about the higher end cameras is the control you have over the shot. I never have gotten used to the "point and shoot" approach. Even when that is what I am actually doing, I think about the shot a lot before I make it. And, I am just starting to learn what the digital will do.

Then, with PhotoShop, I have all of that control in "the dark room".

Control freak heaven, I tell ya.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Looking for some basic background information on EXIF for a post on the shutterbug thread I stumbled across a comprehensive review of Paint Shop Pro 8 on Cnet by David English. The review is particularly helpful in comparing Paint Shop to PhotoShop although I think there is one version of PhotoShop that is newer than the review.

http://reviews.cnet.com/Jasc_Paint_Shop_Pr...-2.html?tag=top

I also noticed as a link on the review pages that there is an offer from BuyCheapSoftware.com (which Cnet rates highly) to get Paint Shop Pro 8 for $46 after a $30 manufacturer's rebate:

http://www.buycheapsoftware.com/details.as...ctID=1260&cid=9

Ellen Shapiro

www.byellen.com

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Looking for some basic background information on EXIF for a post on the shutterbug thread I stumbled across a comprehensive review of Paint Shop Pro 8 on Cnet by David English. The review is particularly helpful in comparing Paint Shop to PhotoShop although I think there is one version of PhotoShop that is newer than the review...

I'm not familiar with Paint Shop Pro - and I have to admit that I am probably using only about 5% of what Photoshop Elements can do. But - since they're both in the same price range - I think people should probably take a look at both before they buy. Robyn

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Oh frabjous day! Calloo! Callay!

I did it, I bought the camera--finally! I did get the Minolta A1. It will be in the mail tomorrow morning. I got the camera, a 256MB card, a couple of lens filters, and a card reader for $585--not too shabby. :biggrin:

Unless it arrives at my friend's house in California by Friday morning (when she leaves to come visit me), I probably won't get to play with it until I go to the States on August 1.

I know what I'll be singing from now till Friday: "Oh Mr. Postman look and see, is there a PACKAGE, a package for me?"

What's new at Mexico Cooks!?

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I've downloaded GIMP for Windows. It starts fine and seems very powerful, but the HELP system doesn't work. I've tried setting my default web browser, which the HELP system uses, both to Mozilla and to IE6. No luck. Nor does there seem to be any GIMP documentation online -- all the places that the site points you for documentation are broken. Too bad, because it looks like a terrific piece of software; but if there's no way to learn how to use it, it's useless.

Jonathan Day

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le go�t de ce qu'elles sont."

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I've downloaded GIMP for Windows. It starts fine and seems very powerful, but the HELP system doesn't work. I've tried setting my default web browser, which the HELP system uses, both to Mozilla and to IE6. No luck. Nor does there seem to be any GIMP documentation online -- all the places that the site points you for documentation are broken. Too bad, because it looks like a terrific piece of software; but if there's no way to learn how to use it, it's useless.

Jonathan, the Help stuff has to be downloaded and installed as a separate package. There are three d/l files you need for GIMP: the main binaries, the GTK (toolkit) runtime environment, and the Help files.

You can get everything you need here.

Some useful tutorial and doc packages (I've checked the links; they all work):

Introduction to the GIMP interface

GIMP User Group - great tutorials here, also useful discussion forums for both new and experienced users

Tutorials at the gimp.org site

enrevanche <http://enrevanche.blogspot.com>

Greenwich Village, NYC

The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not.

- Mark Twain

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