Digital photography has so much going for it right now.
I’m hooked on direct printing from cameras to portable dye sub printers, which actually makes printing fun again! Kodak has just announced a wireless EasyShare camera that lets you transfer pictures and video via WiFi. That’s cool. And the new Photoshop Elements 3 is a fabulous image editor for less than $90.
With all of these wonders, you’d think that digital photographers would be dancing in the streets. But we’re not. Because we still don’t have the one thing that many of us want.
I want a device about the size of an iPod that I can insert my digital camera memory card in to, transfer the pictures, then put the card back in the camera and reuse it. It would be nice if I could review the pictures I’ve uploaded on a small screen, but not necessary. I should be able to recharge it with the same charger I use for my camera. It should have USB2 or FireWire connectivity to my computer. Everything should work fast. And I want this device to cost less than $250. That’s right, I want reliable, portable storage for my images on the road, that I can connect to my PowerBook when I get home.
Don’t get me wrong, I really like my PowerBook, but when I’m on vacation I don’t want to take it with me. That’s not really “getting away from it all.” I want to take my cell phone, digital camera, and this new storage device — that’s it. There’s this thing called “human interaction” that I hear is really fun. I figure if I leave the laptop at home I can try it.
I’ve had many disappointments while waiting for my savior. Epson produces the lovely P-2000, which would be perfect if it were half the size and half the price. Kodak just announced the EasyShare Picture Viewer for $150. I got very excited about this until I realized you had to hook it up to your computer to transfer the images. What the heck?
Apple provided the same disappointment with the iPod photo. Guys, listen to me. We don’t need another device to show snapshots of the kids. I can do that with my Sony Ericsson T637. What I want to do is empty my memory card on the road and keep shooting. I’ll get to the computer when I return home. (And don’t talk to me about the Belkin adapter for the iPod because I could run home and transfer my pictures directly to the computer, then run back, before the Belkin was finished doing its thing.)
I thought this year’s CES show would finally provide me with the device I’ve been waiting for. But apparently not. If it exists, and I’ve missed it, will you post a talkback? Otherwise, I’m asking those in the imaging industry to please give photographers what they really want. Just for once, let us leave the computer at home.