SNEAKER.NET

Q.
I’m buying a digital camera to take photos for the newsletter circulated at my
office. Which camera should I get?


A. Any model with megapixel resolution will do. Megapixel means 1 million pixels or
more. If a camera can capture a 1,024- by 768-pixel image, or 786,432 pixels,
it’s close to the megapixel range. If it can capture 1,280 by 1,024, you’re
getting 1.3 million pixels.


To figure out how the pixels will play on paper requires a calculator. If you use an
image-editing application such as Adobe Photoshop, convert the file to 300-dot-per-inch
resolution, which is normal for most laser printers.


The 1,024- by 768-pixel image then becomes a 3.4- by 2.5-inch photo in print (1,024
divided by 300 is 3.413 and so on). A 1.3-megapixel image will produce a 4.3- by 3.4-inch
photo.


As for brands, I have had good results with cameras from Epson America Inc., Fuji Photo
Film USA Inc., Eastman Kodak Co. and Olympus Image Systems Inc., listed in no particular
order.


Consider these factors, too:


Q. Should I use .gif or .jpg images on a Web site?


A. If you produce photos, I recommend the Joint Photographic Experts Group format.


If it’s artwork, Graphics Interchange Formats are better. gif lets you precisely
control the number of encoded colors, shrinking file size significantly. A .gif file uses
a maximum of 256 colors. The fewer the colors, the smaller the file.


A .jpg file can have millions of colors.


Q. Should I buy one of the new, low-cost flat-panel monitors or stick with the
mammoth I have on my desk now?


A. Generally speaking, you’re going to be happier with a good-quality cathode-ray
tube than with a liquid crystal display.


CRT monitors look brighter because they create images directly with light, whereas an
LCD must shine light through a layer of liquid crystals that deflect the rays to make
different colors.


Flat panels consume a lot less energy and a lot less space. But they cost a whole lot
more.


Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer a CRT on my desktop.


The Sneaker Sleuth is on the case. Got a baffling bug? Sneaker.Net’s author,
GCN Lab manager Michael Cheek, will answer questions about computer problems. Send your
query to sneaker@gcn.com. If your question appears, you’ll receive a GCN T-shirt.

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