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Old Jun 30, 2005, 3:45 AM   #1
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I don't like the idea of taking my computer tower and 19" CRT around to show prints (although someone at one time had an interesting idea...)

So, it basically comes down to one of two things.

should I spend several hundred $$, and get a few thousand prints made?

if I do it this way, should I do it at a store, or send several DVDs to an online place and have them ship me a truckload (or however much it'd be) of photo albums?

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should I get a photo viewer device (to display the pictures) and a portable printer (if someone asks me for a print I could do it on the spot)?

Features I'd be looking for in the photo viewer device include:
multiple memory card slots
USB 2.0 interface
at least a 3x4" 640x480 pixel LCD screen (or something similar/comparable/reasonable)
plenty of storage (let me divert for a sec to talk about that...)

I'd either want a good sized hard drive:
at least 40 GB or more


Basically the HD needs to be able to survive VERY rough treatment WHILE it is being operated!! (i.e. drops to hard floors, etc... - basically if my CD player or CF card can survive it, the HD needs to be able to survive it. I had a 4GB microdrive once and it got dropped maybe 1/2 inch onto carpet, and no longer works. )

In lieu of a hard drive (if it's not built like a tank), I would like it to have
a DVD +/- RW writer. Dual layer recording capability is not required, but dual layer playback might be nice. Also preferably not too slow. I could probably live with 4x or 2x MAYBE, but 8x write speed for DVD would be nice.

other features of the PVD:
audio, video, and photo playback capability (needs to be able to recognize pretty much every major format (including RAW, JPG, BMP, PSD, AVI, MJPEG, MOV, RM, MP3, OGG, etc) in use today)
audio recording capability (via line-in port(s) - mp3 and/or wav)
video / photo recording capability (no, it doesn't need to have a built-in lens, so long as I can hook my camera up to it and stream the data to use this as the storage instead of the camera's memory card)

As far as the printer goes, this would be mainly used in case someone wants to have a print of a picture that's on the photo viewer.

I would probably mostly be printing 4x6 shots (or whatever the equivalent 4:3 paper size is)
I don't know if I'd do 5x7's or 8x10's. Anything larger (11x14 up to wall size / museum size / (btw what are they - 24x36 inches or something like that?) prints) would be taken somewhere and done professionally.
good quality prints (of course)
able to hook up camera / memory card / photo viewer directly without a computer required.

The combined price for the photo viewer plus printer (not including paper / ink - unless I factor in maybe several dozen to a hundred or two prints at first) should be preferably less than the cost of having 3000 or 4000 so prints done at a kiosk or photo finisher or somewhere.

So, which should I do?

I personally like the photo viewer plus photo printer idea, but is the cost at this point such that it'd be cheaper (and more portable) to do that, or should I still get the few thousand prints made?
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Old Jul 5, 2005, 3:24 PM   #2
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laptop computer for about $500
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Old Jul 5, 2005, 11:28 PM   #3
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I really would prefer something quite a bit smaller.
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Old Jul 6, 2005, 8:24 AM   #4
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The hard drives that are in the portable picture viewers you talk about, are the same hard drives that are in laptop computers.

While they are rugged and quite reliable, I would not say they are built like a tank. They can take a reasonable amount of shocks and abuse. But the bigger problem would be the LCD displays used in these devices. LCD's are made of GLASS and as such are quite fragile, so dropping and other hard knocks are really NOT ADVISED.

I think you need to just learn to take better care of your equipment and then look seriously at a good laptop. The display qualities of just about any laptop is head and shoulders ahead of the portable viewers.

There are some very nice smallish laptops available. Check out the Sony VAIO line and the Fujitsu P series. These both have a model that is less than 4 lbs and has a 10.5 inch LCD high resolution ( 1280x768 ) display.

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Old Jul 10, 2005, 12:51 PM   #5
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Take a look at the Epson P-2000.
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