By Paul D. Warner
Have you ever considered using a digital camera? I recently experimented with one and used it to design some Internet applications. It is also useful for capturing audit evidence, for example buildings under construction, inventory, and items for which descriptive evidence is insufficient. The following is a description of the camera I used, Olympus America Inc.'s D-620L.
This digital camera has a 1.4 million pixel resolution CCD (charge coupled device), a 3x zoom lens, and external flash sync support in a convenient ZLR (zoom lens reflex) design inspired by the popular Olympus IS series of 35mm ZLR cameras. The D-620L sells for about $1,000.
The Olympus D-620L provides both photo-quality results and speedy performance. It has a TTL (through the lens) viewfinder and an external flash sync/PC connector for professional quality shots in a studio setting.
The D-620L digital camera overcomes major issues of earlier digital cameras: speed and battery consumption. It is also extendable as part of a photo system through a variety of lens attachments and third-party flash options.
Memory buffers allow for nearly instant consecutive shots, with no waiting for the camera to "process" the shot. There is also a new burst mode, which allows photography of 3.3 frames per second at even the highest resolution. Focusing speed also has been improved. Three quick focus settings (1.3 feet, 8 feet, and infinity) assist the user in making the camera respond to the shutter button immediately. These enhancements make the D-620L fast enough for action or sport subjects.
Power Management. Battery consumption is a concern for digital camera users. The D-620L addresses this with long-lasting nickel metal hydride batteries and an intelligent battery recharger. Nickel metal hydride batteries were selected because they do not experience the memory issues associated with nickel cadmium batteries. The camera has a new battery- saving mode that further decreases battery consumption.
External Flash. The D-620L incorporates a new flash system. It includes an external flash connector that enables third- party flash systems to be connected to it. The built-in pop-up flash works up to 15.7 feet, and with the external sync, it now provides six modes: auto low light/back light, red-eye, fill-in, forced off, fill-in with external flash, and external flash only.
Lens Attachments. The D-620L has a 43mm threaded barrel that accepts a variety of lens accessories, including the Olympus wide angle (28mm effective), telephoto (150mm effective), and macro lenses and filters.
The 3x zoom lens features a seven element aspherical all-glass f2.85.6 design with an equivalent focal length of 36110mm and macro capabilities.
A 1.8-inch LCD panel is provided for viewing, deleting, and tagging images for easy printing to the Olympus direct-print, photo-quality P-330 personal photo printer. The menu system provides a new easy-to-use interface. With it, any feature may be selected with the maximum of two menu choices. The operating menu allows the D-620L to interface and control the Olympus P-330 printer (see below for more information on the P-330 printer).
An 8 MB SmartMedia removable card is included with the camera, and additional 2, 4, 8 or 16 MB cards can be used. The included Olympus 8 MB SmartMedia card can be erased after images have been saved or printed and can be reused thousands of times. The D-620L provides three modes of image capture: SQ (standard quality), HQ (high quality), and SHQ (super high quality). This allows the user flexibility for selecting both image resolution and level of compression. (See the Exhibit.)
The D-620L includes Adobe PhotoDeluxe image manipulation and creation software, Enroute Imaging QuickStitch panorama stitching software, Olympus Camera Utility Software for downloading images from the camera, and instruction manuals. All software supports both Windows and Macintosh systems.
P-330 Digital Home Photo Printer
The P-330 Digital Home Photo Printer (photo dye-sublimation) uses the memory card from any SmartMedia digital camera. You can preview the images on a TV, select the ones to be printed and the number of prints and photos per page, press a button, and out they come. You can also print stills from a videotape and use the printer to sharpen, mask, or crop the image before you print. The P-330 can be connected to a computer to enhance and manipulate images electronically or print any computer-generated image, even images downloaded from the Internet.
The P-330 prints 1, 4, 9, or 16 photos per sheet in single or multiple copies on photo paper or labels, or as thermal transfers for printing on photo mugs and other items.
The images can be transferred directly from the camera by removing the SmartMedia card and inserting it into the printer. Images can also be printed from a computer through the serial (Macintosh) or parallel port (Windows) for users that want to retouch their photos before printing. The P-330 printer provides three-pass capability for fast and economical printing and four-pass printing with a UV overcoat protection for extra image longevity. It prints a
4" x 5.5" page in 24-bit, true color in about 2 minutes. The P-330 printer sells for about $400.
For more information, contact Olympus America, Digital & Imaging Systems Group, Two Corporate Center Dr., Melville, NY 11747-3157, (516) 844-5000 or (800) 347-4027, fax (516) 844-5262, or www.olympus.com. *
Paul D. Warner, PhD, CPA, is a technology editor of The CPA Journal and a professor and chair of the accounting and business law department at Hofstra University.
Paul D. Warner, PhD, CPA
L. Murphy Smith, DBA, CPA
Texas A&M University
OLYMPUS D-620L SPECIFICATIONS
* 1.4 megapixel progressive scan We " CCD, 1280 x 1024 image resolution
* 3x optical zoom lens, 361l0mm equivalent
* f/2.85.6 all glass aspherical lens with TTL autofocus and macro mode
* 3 quick focus settings: 1.3 feet, 8 feet, and infinity for focus speed
* 43mm threaded barrel will accept a variety of accessories including Olympus wide angle lens, telephoto lens, macro lens, and filters
* Nickel metal hydride rechargeable batteries and charger
* Floppy disk compatible media with optional adapter
* 8 MB SmartMedia card (compatible with 2, 4, 8, and 16 MB)
* Through-the-lens white balance and six step manual override control
* Burst mode: up to five images in eQ second intervals in any recording mode
* Rapid-fire capabilities in normal shooting mode, even with flash on
* External flash sync/PC connector yielding six-mode intelligent flash system with
* auto in low light/backlight
* red-eye reduction
* forced off
* fill-in with external flash
* external flash only
* Battery-saving mode
* Through-the-lens (TTL) viewing and auto focus
* Qr 10,0001 sec electronic shutter
* Auto exposure with +/3 step EV compensation in one-step increments
* Center weighted and spot metering systems
* Dioptric corrector for viewfinder sharpness
* Full functionality with direct connect digital photo printer, including
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