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Old Apr 20, 2007, 3:35 PM   #1
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I was on the HP website today and saw that they have a camera -- the HP Photosmart R837 -- that has a pet eye fix tool. This tool will correct the glowing eyes that pets often have in pictures. Are there any other cameras on the market that have this feature? I would prefer to buy a Canon.
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Old Apr 21, 2007, 2:03 AM   #2
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Many digital cameras feature a similar tool, usually called "red eye reduction". If the digital camera has a built-in flash, chances are that it will have a red eye reduction mode.
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Old Apr 21, 2007, 12:19 PM   #3
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There are two ways red-eye reduction works. One is to use a single or series of pre flashes to close down the iris of the eye and actually reduce the red reflected from the subject. You end up with a lot of squints and closed eyes. It is great for little kids who always smile after the flash, but otherwise I think most people eventually turn it off. It often doesn't work well and would probably be nearly useless for animals with reflectors in the back of the eye to get the most use from available light.

The other is software or firmware that finds the red eyes and eliminates the red. This works well in some cameras. It would not work for most pet and animal eye reflections because it is looking specifically for red. The same is true for most one click red-eye fix included in software. Some software has an animal eye fix, but I'm not familiar with any in-camera animal eye fix other than HP.

A third way to eliminate red-eye is to get a camera not prone to causing it due to placement of the flash. External flash helps even more. But most small cameras with the flash near the lens cause a lot of red eye.

If you just get the occasional eye reflection from animals I would find software that fixes it rather than limit my camera choice. Read up on the HP fix. You have to move a box over the eye and have it fix that eye. Then move the box over the other eye and fix that. If you take a lot of flash photos of animals and insist on having them come from the camera ready to use, the HP system is probably your only choice. I personally prefer to do stuff like that on a big computer screen rather than a small camera LCD.

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Old Apr 21, 2007, 4:49 PM   #4
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You are quite right that the reflection from the eyes of animals varies. The reason is that most animals besides man have a layer in the retina called the "tapetum" lying behind the sensory cells, which is reflective. Other animals see better in the dark than we do because this tapetum reflects the light back, giving the rods and cones in the retina a second chance at detecting the light. Our eyes are red in red-eye problems because, without the tapetum, we see the blood vessels in the retina.

The tapetum varies a great deal in color, not only between species, but also between individuals within species, - I am a veterinarian and have seen a whole bunch of retinas in 25 years of practice and no two have been alike.I would not be the one to design the software to detect and correct it, because it varies so widely.
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