Get the picture, however you want it
June 24, 1999
by Yardena Arar
(IDG) -- I got a Nikon camera, I love to take a photograph/So mama, don't take my Kodachrome away --Paul Simon
Sorry, Paul, but even Kodak is going digital these days: At PC Expo, Eastman Kodak and Intel jointly announced the national rollout of the Kodak Picture CD service for people who still use old-fashioned film cameras.
When you drop your 35mm or APS film off for developing and check the Picture CD box on the film-processing envelope, you'll get back a CD-ROM of not only the digitized images but basic photo editing, organizing, and sharing software.
Adobe Systems, developer of the popular PhotoDeluxe image-editing software included with many scanners and digital cameras, created the software interface, but Kodak and Intel say the actual software on the CDs will vary periodically. Cost should run between $9 and $11 per CD (on top of usual developing and printing costs).
Web at Your Service
Meanwhile, a number of Web-based services are popping up to serve the rapidly expanding digital photography market.
PhotoHighway.com, which launches this week, styles itself as the first portal for photo hobbyists. It will offer everything from news, product reviews, and chat rooms to an extensive photo library from the Corbis Collection and facilities for uploading your photos to the Web for sharing and printing.
Club Photo focuses exclusively on photo sharing. You can upload photos and create a very basic Web-based album using your browser, or download the free 5.7MB Living Album program for more sophisticated effects. Either way, your friends and relatives can browse the results simply by entering your e-mail address or Club Photo alias. If they see something they like, they can order prints (or mugs, T-shirts, and the like) directly from Club Photo.
Visit EZ Prints if you'd like inexpensive paper copies of the pictures you took with your digital camera without having to leave your home or office. You must first download a free 1.4MB application that uploads your photos to EZ Prints' Web site. Then you can choose the photos you wish to have printed. EZ Prints promises a two-day turnaround. Cost is 49 cents per print; shipping runs from $2 for first-class mail to $15 for overnight delivery. EZ Prints says it delivers 35mm-quality prints for less than you'd pay for the paper and ink to produce them on a good photo printer.
If you prefer to print your own digital photos, Polaroid's PhotoMax WebPrinter promises exceptional ease of use, at a premium price. Due later this summer, this small $200 color printer comes with software that allows one-click printing of images from the Web on Polaroid's Spectra instant film. The package also includes a toggle switch, so you can have your photo printer and a more conventional laser or ink jet printer, too.
If you're going to take my Kodachrome away, at least I'll have lots of alternatives.
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