DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY offers terrific picture
quality and unprecedented convenience, such as being able to see the picture right after taking it, storing
hundreds of photos on a reusable memory card and
sharing pictures via e-mail with anyone in the world.
But the digital revolution has complicated one
part of the equation: how to print photos. After all,
no one wants to hunch over a computer screen to
see a snapshot of your kids playing at the beach.
A number of solutions exist in and outside the
home. Here’s a quick look at five different ways to
print your digital photos, including the pros and
cons for each. And guess what—you won’t even
need a PC for any of the following options.
The easiest way to print photos is to do it your- contributes to more than three dozen promi-
self at home with a computer printer. Try to look for nent publications, appears on radio and TV,
one that has memory-card slots so that you can sim- and is the author of
ply pop the card out of your camera and insert it
into the correct slot. Most photo printers have little
LCD screens so you can see the photo before press- are basically upright computer terminals that let you
ing the print button. They are easy to use, but it will insert your digital camera’s memory card or, in some
cost you the price of the printer, photo ink(s) and cases, pop in a CD with the images on it. After you
special glossy or matte paper. make your selections on the touch-screen monitor,
4-by-6-inch photos spit out of the machine every
Printers with PictBridge few seconds. The advantage is the relatively low cost
Many home and portable printers support (and you don’t waste your own ink and paper); the
PictBridge technology, an industry standard that downside is that you must seek out these machines,
allows photos to be printed directly from a digital and they require some level of technical know-how
camera by connecting the two via a USB cable. It’s a so you don’t make a mistake in your selections.
simple “camera-to-printer” solution that doesn’t
require a computer, plus it doesn’t matter what On-line photo services
brand of camera or printer you use. While you can The newest trend is to e-mail photos to an on-
do this quickly, remember that you’ll need to buy the line service and have them print and mail them to
printer, photo paper and ink, which can get expen- you. There are a dozen or more of these services,
sive—especially if you like to print a lot of photos. such as Yahoo! Canada Photos (
Once you register (which usually takes about five
Photo centres minutes), you upload your shots to a virtual photo
If you want to print a lot of photos (say, two album (you can do this from home) and wait for
dozen), it’s a good idea to drop off your memory them to arrive at your door in paper format. Prices
card at a photo centre so they can do all the work for are pretty good—more than a photo centre would
you. Not only is it an affordable solution, but they charge, but less than printing many images yourself.
can typically print large photos, such as a poster-size Some technical savoir-faire is required, even more
13-by-19-inch image. The quality is as good as the than for a photo kiosk, and you’ll have to wait a few
latest home photo printers, but the downside is that days before seeing your photos. C
you have to leave the house and wait for your shots
to be processed, just like
the old days.
The Costco Connection
Many retail centres
have photo kiosks, which
Members will find printers with memory-card slots and PictBridge
technology, as well as a Photo Centre and photo kiosks, photo paper
and ink, at their local Costco.
Q: I hear you can get
free map information
and satellite photos of
Where do I start?
A: Aside from the popular Mapquest (www.
mapquest.com), a free
Web site that helps you
get from point A to point
B, there are two recommended services that
are both free and easy
to use. One is a clever
program called NASA
World Wind ( www.
a downloadable 3-D tool
that lets you zoom in on
Earth from outer space
and soar down to ground
level to see streets,
houses, parks and other
nearby landmarks, in any
city in the world. The
other service, Google
google.com), is a terrific
on-line resource that
allows you to type in any
city, then see or print
maps or view satellite
imagery. You can also
use the search window
to find a business or
AMY CAN TRELL
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Ottawa, ON K2E 1C5
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