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Archiver > ROOTS > 2003-03 > 1048350793

From: "Kith-n-Kin" <>
Subject: RE: [ROOTS-L] Cameras for Copying Documents
Date: Sat, 22 Mar 2003 09:33:13 -0700
In-Reply-To: <>

I have an Olympus Camedia E-10 (which is now superseded by at least an E-20), which has 4 megapixels. I
have used it many times for this purpose and would recommend a good digital with macro capability over a
35mm anytime for this purpose. I would not try this with the lower megapixel cameras. The results are
spectacular. I'd send an attachment, but the list won't accept it.

1: Light: this digital requires much less light than a 35mm, so you can take pics in less than ideal
conditions such as basements of county courthouses.
2. You can look at the images immediately, delete the bad ones and take more.
3. The date, etc., is embedded in the "metadeta", so you don't have to rely on your memory so much.
4. When you get done, you can download immediately to your computer, do your file management, print out,
etc., without having to wait. You can also do a mass entry of documentation, such as location, family
name, etc. if you use a program such as Adobe Photoshop Album. When you get thousands of these, you'll be
glad you did. Then, for really important docs, you can take (or e-mail) the image to your photo developer
to be printed on the best paper.
5. While your memory is sharp, you can use one of the good photo-management packages, such as Adobe
Photoshop Elements or Album, to enhance the color. Some of mine came out really yellow, rather than the
buff color they should have. A quick click of a button fixed that!

I took my camera on a three state and six county trip last summer. I was able to photograph my
gggreat-grandfather's naturalization document in Mercer County, PA, as well as marriage documents for two
other ggg+ grandparents in Garrard Co., KY, land documents in Garrard and West Virginia. Of course, these
were courthouses. I left a donation in the kitty to make up for the amount I would have spent if I'd used
their copiers. I should point out that either of these - 35mm or digital - are less damaging to old
documents than the intense light from a copier. The digital being generally better because you can use
room light most of the time, instead of a flash.

I am trying to work with some of the libraries and archives to get them to change policies allowing
digital cameras to be used. When you see the broken spines of books that have been mashed to go on a
copier, and the faded writing on other documents, it is a "given" that digital cameras are better.
Unfortunately, these places operate to some degree on the "profit" - small though it is - from use of the
machines. I have offered to give, and in fact where allowed, have given, an amount equal to or exceeding
the per copy amount they would charge.

I'm getting a portable copy stand to make this even easier.

I should point out that before I bought the camera I tried it out on some miscellaneous forms, manuals,
signs, etc., that were in the camera store. I would suggest that anyone wanting to do this try that as

Have to admit, at home I use my HP scanner for anything that will fit on the face. When I get the copy
stand I may change this too. The less light the better, I say.

Good luck.

Pat (in Tucson)

-----Original Message-----
From: [mailto:] On Behalf Of
Sent: Friday, March 21, 2003 16:07
Subject: [ROOTS-L] Cameras for Copying Documents

There have been several interesting postings recently on how to use a 35mm
camera to copy documents. Has anyone used one of the digital cameras? What
were the results?


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