Camera Crisis

FTLComm - Tisdale - May 28, 2000

The rugged and trustly little 1997 Epson Photo PC 500 bit the dust today after producing such an amazing volume of pictures for Ensign and other web sites.

This is actually the second camera we have used of this type, the first one suffered a fall from its case to the floor in a Winnipeg MacDonalds during the flood a few years back and though it worked partially it was sent back to Epson who replaced it. This one has soldiered on click after click and also endured a fall from its case damaging its battery door. The door was replace and it has performed remarkably well.

Yesterday afternoon while getting out the van its strap slipped from my hands and it took an eighteen inch fall but that appears to be all that was needed to disable it. Digital cameras are essentially computer technology with a lens. This unit consists of a mother board with four componet boards plugged in, one for power supply, one for the flash and another controlling exposure. Assembled in Korea for Sekotia mostly out of "Sony" parts these devices are susceptible to damage through impact.

It is amazing how this form of technology has taken off. This is the second generation of cameras and there are now three levels of development since then. This 1997 version produces pictures 640 x 480 size at 144dpi which means that reasonable looking 8 x 10 images can be printed off. The newer versions move up in size to 1024 x 800 images while two of the newest types actually produce images of greater then a million pixels per picture are produced. These "mega" pixel cameras are becoming the standard while two and three megapixel cameras are already on the market and rival photographic film in their ability to capture images while still remaining just over a thousand dollars.

Commerical cameras with very large CCD (image sensors) have been available for some time but are priced in the tens of thousands of dollar range.

For the next while you are going to have suffer with video images until this camera can be repaired or replaced.