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Micro Key Chain Cameras
Key Chain mini cameras
Mini Digital Camera's- Getting Back to Photography Basic's
By Steve Robson
Small key chain digital cameras have been out for a few years now. They offer the need to have a camera around at all times. They have become a cult camera of sorts because of the grainy picture quality they produce. How do they compare to to the larger cameras used with many more features? I will be looking into the mini digital cameras I own and pass on what I have gotten out of the amazing little devices.
I bought my first mini digital camera in the winter of 2004. My cousin bought one for my dad and I wanted to see just how well they worked. There is very little to these cameras. They are very small in size, about the size of match box. On the ones I have, they are only two bottoms on the camera. One is the shutter while the other is a on/ off/ mode set button. The shutter button is also used to help the camera change its settings. The camera came be used as a still camera, a video camera (very limited use) and a web cam. The web cam can also double as a still camera when you use the video capture feature. It takes some time to get used to the camera but used in it's most basic set-up, it is very simple to just turn it one, point and shoot. In many ways it is like the original "mouse trap" cameras built in the 1834. Instead of using chemiclly treated paper, the medium used Talbot camera, the CCD senser is the light senistive capture on the mini digi-cam. Without using any other other features found on more expensive cameras, the camera is in some ways like a film camera. You have to down load the camera before you see want you get. Since there is no view fider of sorts (there is a very simple pop-up view finder) so the best method of using the camera is to aim it as best as possible at the subject you are taking a picture of. The original mouse trap cameras had to used in the same way.
I have read various reviews on the web about peolpe having problems down loading software need to run the camera. Without this software, the camera will not work. I did have problems loading the drivers for the camera on to mine girlfriends tower computer to get the cameras I have back up and running. From this, I can understand where these people are coming from. It just makes the camera you bought a waste of money. I managed to install the driver software on to my Acer notebook lap top compter. This small computer type makes great sense when using the mini digital cameras. You can take both units out into the field and down load images and free up the camera for more picture taking. I can imagine that kids would love to see there pictures come up on the screen minutes after the final pictures have been taken.
One problem I was running into on the last rounds of installing software was after it was put on to the computers hard drive, the cameras images came up but failed to down load. After playing around a bit I found that down loading the images on to a remote memory stick allowed the down loaded pictures to happen. At this point, I was back in busness creating images from these little cameras. You willl need to set-up file folders in advance of set-up the picture down loads to make the transferr from the camera to te computer easier. This does not do it automaticlly for you. Make sure that you do not down load a set of pictures into another set-up file having pictures taken by the same mini camera by mistake. You will over write the pictures that where in there and replace them with the newer ones. The old pictures will be lost.
The article includes sample imagines I have taken with my mini cameras over time. One note I will bring up is the fact that unlike other cameras that time and date stamp thee images, the cameras I use lack this feature. The only thing that will tell the date is the day the image was down loaded and put on to the computer hard drive. There is no camera name, at least my pictures I have taken. The best way of giving you a time of day that the pictures where taken is to place a file name and date the pictures where taken on a master file. Images can be copied out of these files into whatever use the picture will end up as. The images themselve will have a very nice look to them. They are grainy and at times you get pictures that have surprising looks to them. These are the ones I look forward to seeing! You can never tell what the image will look like of even it it will be any good at all. Other models of small key chain cameras may allow time stamping as I have seen them on pictures posted on Flickr.
The camera can be set into different number of pictures that can be taken on the micro-chip. The best results come from the highest settings. As you set the camera into lower pixal settings, the images become very grainy. In saying this, something intersting happens. The pictures themselve become useless as meaning full pictures but by using cropping tools in imaging software, you can dig into these pictures and create some very striking graphic images. I did this and find that the camera becomes a great tool for creating graphic pattern design.
These little wonders do a great job of creating images that you can not get on a more expensive camera. This on of the reasons why these keychain cameras have gotten a cult following. It is the faults in the image that make the images work. It reminds us that we are just looking a view of reality. The faults can alter the way the scene was really like and creates a dream like view of the world.
Shop around and find out where the best buy is for these cameras. Also, do your homework aas to what models are made and there image quality is. Flickr is a great site to look up other peoples work. Contacting the users of the cameras can help you out in getting the best out of anything are interested in buying. This is the key to getting a product that will work for you. I like the very cheap models like the Vivitar model pictured on this article. I bought a Magnanvox keychain camera as well and placed a Merkury Optics 2 times converter lens on it. It uses a magnetic ring that glued on to the camera body allowing the converter to be placed over the lens. It adds to the fun of using the camera.
Unlike the original mousetrap camera, these newer breed of simple digital cameras allow many more pictures on to the memory chip. The amount of time needed down load and see the pictures far faster then anything the fathers of photography could even imagine! They are in some ways more like the new version on the cheap 110 film cameras. They share the same rough, grainy image that on learns to like. With a little imagiation, one can get a lot out of a simple package. Have fun using one!