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Photos, Imaging

Question: Have you any info on formatting the memory chip for a camera after deleting all the photos? I tried to make an 8x10 enlargement of our family photo.

The film developer recommended using a higher resolution. I figure it doesn't get much better than a D50 so I asked the clerk what to do. She said that if a memory chip is emptied but not reformatted, the photo (that was deleted) is actually still there and can bleed onto the new photo taking it's space.

Do you have any input on this? The photo is great but if you look close, it definitely could use better resolution.

Answer: This question has been heroically rescued from the Open Questions forum by Greg Woosley. You can view his reply below, and stop by his website at http://codenoter.blogspot.com/ for some useful tips on "tricky geek things he's figured out once and doesn't want to figure out again later".

Question: Do you have any software programs that you recommend - preferably free - for converting images and photos into other file format? I have some pictures that are in bitmap format (.bmp file extension) and I'd like to convert them to gif or jpg.

Developing your photos online is an easy way to convert your digital photos into actual printed photos. All you need is a web browser and a fast internet connection (DSL or cable), and you'll be able to upload your photos and received your developed prints within a couple of days. You can also upload photos to your local Walmart or Target store and go pick them up in an hour, or share them online free of charge.

Digital photos can be stored on numerous devices such as a camera, cell phone, flash drive, CDROM, DVD, and even your hard drive. I have thousands of pictures on my hard drive that I've taken with our Nikon D50, my daughter's Nikon Coolpix, and my Razr cell phone. I used to have to take a flash drive or CDROM over to Costco or Target to have them developed, but now I can just upload them online to one of the photo development services listed below.

Here are a few online photo processing services worth looking at, along with my recommendation on which one is the best to use:

  • Target Photo Center

    Target Photo CenterI'll start with my favorite online photo processing service - the Target Photo Center. There's a Target in almost every major city and many smaller cities, and there happens to be one about 5 minutes from my home. I can upload prints to Target from my computer and go pick them up in about an hour, and this is the option I usually use.

    Target provides free unlimited online photo storage and sharing, so I can upload my prints and then send a link to my friends. They can view my pictures securely online and then purchase the prints they want to keep. You can even create a slideshow and email the slideshow link to your friends - a very slick feature.

Digital cameras have been on the market for several years and have come a long way in features and quality, but the one drawback still remains - the slight delay when you take the picture. It's not as bad as it used to be, but even a half second is far too long to capture the perfect facial expression or snap a shot of your child scoring the winning goal.

Digital SLR cameras eliminate this delay completely, and also provide an auto-shoot feature that lets you snap a few shots each second.

I highly recommend the Nikon D50 DSLR camera, which I have owned for about a year. It's available at Buy.com for about $500 (and here's a coupon link to save $15 on any camera purchase at Buy.com).

I also bought a SanDisk Ultra II SD 2GB Card that holds about 1100 pictures, and took the D50 to Disneyland with my family last year. We took hundreds of priceless shots with this camera, and never had to worry about timing the shot to account for a delay - because there is absolutely no delay. The D50 instantly captured the shot every time.

Yes, I think Digital SLR cameras are very much worth the extra cost! :)

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