Magazine article Newsweek

Technology: Getting Pixel Perfect

Magazine article Newsweek

Technology: Getting Pixel Perfect

Article excerpt

Byline: N'Gai Croal

Whether it's music, movies or photography, everything seems to be going digital in a hurry. According to the research firm IDC, digital- camera sales will surpass 35mm-camera sales in the United States this year. And by 2005, digital cameras will outpace their film counterparts around the world. But for all the great things digital photography offers (you can make prints at home, e-mail them to friends, stop worrying about running out of film), it can bring headaches as well. Organization, for starters. Just keeping track of the ever-increasing number of digital pictures stored on your PC with cryptic file names like DSC1974 in folders like jnbday21 can strain even the most wired mind.

Fortunately, there's a host of software programs aimed at helping ordinary point-and-shooters make sense of their digital memories. Most of them let you view your pictures not only by their file names but also by date, captions or titles, and even allow you to tag pics with keywords like "friends" and "vacations." Since most of us are used to arranging our pictures into albums, many programs are relying on the album metaphor. Ulead's PhotoImpact 8 (ulead.com; $89.95 in stores, $79.95 via download) is one. A thin strip going down the left side of the screen lists each of your albums, leaving the rest of the screen free to display thumbnails of the individual photographs contained in whichever album you've currently highlighted. In addition to the standard search terms, PhotoImpact lets you arrange your pictures by resolution, which is extremely helpful

for, say, getting the two or three pictures of the grandkids that are suitable for 8 x 10 or larger prints. …

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