January 2004 COBA Meeting

It’s hard to believe that this is the start of the third year for Camera Owners of the Bay Area! I had the idea for the user group back in December 2001, when I was talking with David and Richard H. at Keeble and Shuchat in Palo Alto. A month later, we held the inaugural COBA meeting in the Mountain View City Hall, where Jim Rose demonstrated the EOS-1D.

Two years later, COBA’s still meeting and the new cameras are still coming out. Right now, rumors are rampant on what Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and others DSLR manufacturers are going to announce/release at PMA in February. I’ve heard that there are some exciting new products in the pipeline, and I can’t wait to see them. With the Summer Olympics in Athens in just a few months, my Canon bet is on an EOS-1D replacement. We already know that Nikon will be releasing the low-cost D70, but rumor has it they have another camera to announce, perhaps the D1X replacement. Another rumor says that Olympus will be upping the resolution on their E-1 camera. Everything will be revealed shortly!

Tonight, John Spicer gave a demonstration of the Nikon D2H. The D2H is a 4 megapixel, 8 frames and second camera that’s aimed at the photojournalist market. The D2H is John’s first digital camera; previously, he was shooting film with a Nikon F100. He was fairly exhaustive in detailing the new features of the D2H. I’m astounded by the excellent battery life on the camera. Some reports say that the D2H’s battery can last for several thousand images! After over 2 years, my 1D’s batteries barely last me 125 shots! At MacWorld, I had a chance to test out the 802.11b wireless adapter for the D2H, and it looked sweet.

After John’s presentation, I spoke about metadata and image annotation. As I’ve mentioned before on this web site, I’m in the process of annotating my entire photo collection. From October, 1998 to January, 2004, I’ve amassed nearly 60,000 images! Beginning in December of last year, I had 0 of those images annotated with metadata such as location, city, state, country, people, keywords, and caption. Today, after countless hours sitting in front of iView on my Mac, I’ve annotated over 33,000 of those images. Only 27,000 images to go!

Though the process is time-consuming, annotating your images is really useful and ultimately essential. The adage that a picture is worth 1,000 words is only valid if you can find the image! Having metadata attached to the image and in a database allows you to search through your images for particular people, locations, and keywords. Want to find all the images of you at Moscone Center in San Francisco or on the Stanford campus? It’s easy if you’ve annotated your images, hard and time-consuming if you haven’t! Get in a habit of annotating your images the minute after downloading them. It doesn’t take that much time and the benefits are multiplied each time you do it!

A number of people expressed an interest to see my presentation online so here it is. I hope you find the information useful!

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