October 2010
ApplePickers Main Meeting
October
We usually meet the second Wednesday of each
month, 6:30-7:00 p.m. social time, main meeting
7:00-8:45 p.m. at the Fishers Library. 5 Municipal Dr.
just north of 116th St. in Fishers. Visitors are always
welcome to come and join us.
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Upcoming Meetings
June
ay
sd
Wedne
13th
Business Meetings are now
Virtual (See Forums)
Main Meeting
Wednesday, October 13th
Quick Find Index
General club information
Lumix DMC-FP3 Camera
IPEVO Point 2 USB Doc camera
Samsung Color Laser Printer
MacAlly Bluetooth Keyboard
AKVIS Sketch
Forms
Auction items
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ApplePickers Business Meeting
Mac The business meeting is held via the ApplePickers
“Virtual Business Meeting” forum topic. Any member
is welcome to post in that topic stating their opinions
on what the club should be doing.
Mac ProSIG
Each month, Apple Representative Greg Willmore
hosts the Mac Programmer’s SIG. You should email
Greg at willmore@apple.com for specific information.
Location varies.
Final Cut Pro User Group
The INDYFCPUG meets the fourth Tuesday of each
month from 7:00-9:30 p.m. Since the location may
vary, please be sure to check their website.
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ApplePickers Officers
President
Public Relations
Past President
Secretary
Treasurer
WebMaster
Vacant
Gareth Souders
Bob Carpenter
Irv Haas
Ron Beechler
Steve Johnson
president@applepickers.org
pr@applepickers.org
bobc@applepickers.org
irv@applepickers.org
ronb@applepickers.org
webmaster@applepickers.org
Newsletter Production
Editor this month
Editor next month
The Review Guru
Bob van Lier
Randy Marcy
Irv Haas
About the ApplePickers
bobv@applepickers.org
randy@applepickers.org
irv@applepickers.org
Newsletter Information
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Page 2
REVIEW: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP3 Digital Camera
By Irv Haas
The Review Guru
I
f you are in the market for a small but powerful
14MP digital camera with a 3” touch-screen, look
no further than the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP3 Digital
Camera.
31.3X zoom equivalent to a 273mm lens on a 35mm
camera. The FP3 uses a Lumix lens, not a Leica lens
common on many Panasonic models.
This camera demonstrates how far camera technology has come in both features and pricing. This
camera is a 14 megapixel (MP) compact camera that
measures only 3.88” (w) x 2.32” (h) x ¾” (w). Pricing
is as low as $150 or as much as $200, depending on
where you shop. The average price is around $180.
Memory
Basic Features
The MP resolution of 14 is amazing for a camera this
small. This is
not an important concern
for most
enthusiasts
unless you are
into making
large prints.
Like most digital camera, the FP3 uses memory cards
to store photos. This Panasonic uses the standard SD
cards or the newer SDHC (High Capacity) cards for
storing photos. The FP3 comes with 40MB of internal storage that will yield 9-40 photos depending on
resolution.
With an SD card, you can expect up to 1530 photos
on one 2GB card. With larger capacity SD cards, your
number could go up to 12,350.
The LCD
screen size of
3” is huge for
a camera of
this size. You
won’t have
any problems
viewing your
images on this screen. On most cameras of this size,
with such a large screen, they offer small control buttons. Panasonic has corrected this with larger buttons that are spaced wide enough apart not to get
confused.
This camera uses a 4X optical zoom. The Extra
Optical Zoom™ function uses the center part of the
CCD to extend this 4X zoom ration to an amazing
8.4X. The 35mm equivalent is 35-140mm. Added
to the 4X digital zoom, you can achieve a whopping
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Technology Features
Panasonic has provided a lot of
technology in the FP3. Check
out some of these Intelligent
Auto Mode features to prevent
shooting errors:
l
Touch Screen Operation provides
easy control of settings & operations with its large 3” LCD screen
l
Sonic Speed AF rapidly estimates
focus in as little as .33 sec.
lHD Movie Recording lets you record motion images in HD (1280 x 720 pixels) in Motion JPEG
format
l4X Optical Zoom/Up to 8.4 Extra Optical Zoom to get
even closer to your subjects. See explanation
above.
lVenus Engine 4 is an advanced image processing engine to give you beautifully images
even when the sensitivity is high.
lExtended Battery Life gives you longer battery
life while reducing the size of the battery to
fit into smaller cameras. You can expect 300
shots on a single charge.
Color Choices
The trend these days is to bring out cameras in various colors, similar to the iPod nano choices! The
DMC-FP3 comes in the following colors: silver, royal
blue, red and black.
Although these color choices may not be all that
significant, you will find that the different colors
have different
prices as well
depending on
demand.
I found very few problems with this camera. The
touch-screen worked perfectly. Its small size with
large LCD worked just great. The photos produced
looked fine. The only drawback is that when you
make 8 x 10 or larger prints, they don’t have the
sharpness you would expect with a DSLR camera.
But with standard-size prints, they looked excellent.
Negatives were very few. I noted above that when
downloading photos, you have an extra step by
going to the touch-screen to select where you are
outputting your photos. Most cameras automatically select this option.
The DMC-FP3 uses a Panasonic proprietary Lithium
ION battery. Finding these could be
problematic compared to standard
“AA” batteries that
other manufacturers
use. The good news
is that this battery is
fully charged in 90
minutes.
Mac Support
This Panasonic
camera technically does not
have drivers
Another drawback
that work with
is Panasonic’s omisMacs. Howevsion of a viewing lens.
er, it seemed to
Yes, the camera has a
work well with
nice 3-inch LCD, but
iPhoto and
with light changing, it
instantly downwould be nice to ocloaded its photos without installing the included CD casionally look through the viewfinder as well.
software. This camera, like those from other manufacturers, does not need Mac support, since iPhoto
makes it easy to download pictures from any camera.
Conclusion
One “problem” was noted. When you hook up the
included USB cable, it will not work until you access
the touch-screen and select between PictBridge and
PC connections. This is an extra step not required on
most cameras.
Evaluation
All cameras have pluses and minuses. You just need
to find one you can live with.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP3 is hard to beat for
someone looking for a small digital camera with
high technology features. Its ¾” thin size is a real
plus. The features of this camera, usually found in
more expensive cameras, are an added bonus.
For under $175, as a primary camera for someone
new to digital photography or as a backup camera
for an experienced photographer the DMC-FP3 is
one serious contender.
Page 4
REVIEW: IPEVO Point 2 USB Document Camera
By Bob van Lier
S
o why would you be interested in a USB camera? Your Mac already has a built-in iSight
which is perfectly functional and works with all
Mac applications. Well the IPEVO Point 2 View (P2V)
camera is not just your ordinary webcam. Although
it can double as a webcam, its value is in capturing
any small to medium sized object you place in front
of it. By being on a wire, you can point it almost
anywhere, and if you’re like me who docks your
MacBook Pro most of the time the iSight is useless
because the top of the Mac is closed, so an external
camera that can be attached to my monitor is helpful if I want to use iChat.
What’s in the Box?
The camera comes with a
3-point articulating stand
with a heavy base, so that
you can set it on a table
and point it at a piece of
paper or small object and
capture its image. Maximum resolution is 2 megapixels or 1600 X 1200 ppi
and it supports both Mac
and Windows with Plug
and Pray technology. The
application that is included
on a CD supports Mac OSX
10.6; no installer required.
There’s also a monitor clip
that allows you to hang the
P2V from your monitor to
use as a webcam.
last one is for choosing whether the focus should be
fixed or continuous; the latter being best for video.
The Application
When the application also called P2V is launched it
immediately shows what the camera is seeing with
controls at the top, on the screen itself in the lower
right, and at the left. At the top of the window are
dropdown menus to control zoom, exposure, timer
for snapping a picture after a set amount of time,
mirror, and resolution. On screen you can control the
focus, snap a picture, and see whether the camera
is set for continuous or fixed focus. At the left are
buttons to see what the camera is seeing, go into
review mode to see the
pictures you’ve taken, and
full screen mode. The P2V
is advertised to be able
to focus down to 5 inches
where images appear
larger than life-sized. If you
zoom in, the image on the
screen is not zoomed, but
the resulting snap is.
Use and Testing
The camera itself is approximately 3 ¾ inches long
by approximately ¾ inches around at it’s widest
point (the lens) and can be held like a short pencil.
There are three buttons on top. The front most is for
snapping pictures, the second one for focus, and the
In my testing, the P2V
more than lived up to my
expectations for a $70
webcam. Pictures of small
objects like a shiny dime
were okay, but you have
to play with the result in Photoshop or GraphicConverter to knock down the contrast and color correct
the image. Dim spots were bright red in the original.
Still the picture was not what I can do with my Nikon
D90 and a macro lens, but you can’t expect that.
Page 5
Larger objects like the starfish work well and image clarity is fine for video or as a teaching aide. I’m
sure the P2V would be great for showing an iPad
screen to a group because the iPad video output
itself is limited to only a few apps. It even works with
Delicious Library 2 as an input device to read UPC
codes on books or CDs.
As a webcam, the P2V works well. Just fire up iChat
making sure the iSight is off and iChat will see the
P2V as a video camera. You’ll have to use something
else for a microphone because there is no mic built
into the P2V. In iChat the image will be reversed
horizontally, and this is a known problem with external webcams. iChat does not have a horizontal flip
setting and there’s no way to do this on the camera
itself. However if you have iGlasses from eCamm
Network as a plug-in, it will automatically flip the image when the P2V is detected in iChat. iGlasses has
a number of other features for optimizing webcam
video, so check it out.
The P2V can also work as a document camera for
videoconferencing with your Mac. Text is quite readable, and it has plenty of resolution, but you’ll likely
have to move the paper up and down a bit because
you can’t capture a full 8 ½ X 11 inch sheet when the
camera is on it’s stand and sitting on the same table
as your document. Still the P2V is a lot cheaper than
a real document camera.
Continued on Page 10
Page 6
REVIEW: Samsung Color Laser Printer CLP-315
By Irv Haas
The Review Guru
W
hy would you want to buy a color laser
printer now when they have been around
for some time? Two reasons come to mind:
speed and cost.
Previously, if you wanted a color laser, you needed to
be very patient since speeds were around 4-8 ppm
(pages-per-minute). Not too many years ago you
needed to plan on spending $1000 or upwards for
the benefit of color.
Samsung has now come out
with one of the smallest footprint color laser
printers ever in the Samsung Color Laser Printer CLP315. They have overcome
the two biggest issues in
the color laser market—
speed and cost. Let’s address each one separately.
Speed
While the Samsung is not the
fastest printer in the market, it certainly is better than those of just a few
years ago. Samsumg rates this printer at
17 ppm (pages per minute) for black and 4 ppm for
color.
But in the real world, let’s look at actual printing
speeds:
l Black one-page Word letter – 25 seconds
l Color one-page Internet document: 32 seconds.
l Black database 3 page document: 57 seconds
As you can see, these printing times are very respectable, probably comparable to a fast inkjet.
Cost
When color laser printers first hit the market they
were typically around $1000. Now they are typically
in the $250-400 range. The CLP-315 beats them all
with a MSRP of $199.99. This printer can be found
on the Internet for around $150, making it look even
better. If you require a wireless version of this printer, that will cost an extra $50 in the CLP-315W.
The down side of the cost equation is that
toner cartridges can override any printer
cost considerations. A set of cartridges for the CLP-315 will
cost you well over $200, more
than the actual cost of the
printer itself!
But the real awakening comes
in the cost per page. With Samsung cartridges for this printer,
the black cartridge toner has
enough ink for 1500 pages while
each of the color cartridges have
enough toner for 1000 pages. If
you do the math, the cost is probably comparable to an inkjet printer.
This is so frustrating since one of the main
benefits of a laser printer is to lower your cost per
page below that of an inkjet!
If you note in the photo, these cartridges are small
and narrow so as not to take up much room inside
the printer. The printer itself comes with pre-installed starter cartridges of 1000 pages for black and
700 pages for each color cartridge.
“No Nois” Technology
Samsung has developed its No Nois technology in
order to make their laser printers quieter. Although
this was a welcome feature, I did not notice much
difference when comparing the CLP-315 to other
printers in its class.
Page 7
Setup
This was a very simple process:
when I printed a photo, I noticed that the Samsung
color scale was slightly off. But when you consider
the cost of this printer, it is a small difference.
1) Unpack printer
Negatives
2) Plug in AC power cord
3) Insert drivers on CD
4) Plug in cable(s)
5) Follow instructions from the CD
Although these steps are
very easy, I did
have a minor
problem.
Many of the
print jobs
started to
print and
stalled after
17% or 72%
of loading. I
solved this
problem
by removing
the
USB
cable
from my powered
hub and plugging it in directly to my Mac.
With such an inexpensive color laser printer, there
are bound to be some drawbacks. One of the prime
ones is that you are limited to a 150-sheet paper tray.
That may not be a problem if you do limited quantity
printing.
This is a USB-only printer. If you need a network connection, this is not the printer
for you!
Reports on the Web indicated that
the CL-315 did not operate under
drivers working under Leopard or
Snow Leopard (10.5 or 10.6) operating
systems. Note that my Mac is running
10.6 and I discovered no printer driver
issues.
Dimensions
Check out these specs and
you can see how small a
color laser can be:
Size: 15.3” x 12.3” x 9.6” (w x d h)
Weight: 24.3 lbs
All in all, this was one of the easiest printers to set up.
The printer came with a foldout sheet giving you the
Conclusion
basics. If you needed more information, the CD had
a 107-page manual with more instructions.
Color laser printers have markedly come down in
price. The Samsung CLP-315 is a perfect example of
this reduction. If you have wanted a laser printer,
Quality of Printouts
yet have a small monthly volume, this printer could
be the perfect one for you.
I compared the printouts of both the HP LaserJet
2025dn and HP Officejet 6500 to see what were the
Like everything else, buying a color laser printer is a
plusses and minuses of each. For sharp text printpersonal decision. Only you can weigh the pros and
outs, the laser cannot be beat. However for excellent cons of such a purchase. However, with the price of
photographic reproduction, the Photosmart was
color lasers coming down, a printer like the CLP-315
better.
looks more attractive than those beasts of just a few
years ago.
The Samsung color printouts from the Web were
comparable to the inkjet and HP laser. However
Page 8
REVIEW: Macally BTkey Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard for Mac
by Irv Haas
The Review Guru
I
f you read last month’s review of the Microsoft
Bluetooth® Mobile Keyboard 6000, you read
that although I was impressed with much of the
keyboard, there were several things which I found
disappointing.
One of the nicer touches of the BTkey keyboard is
that it offers latches underneath to raise the keyboard from flat to about a 20º slant. This makes a
more comfortable typing position. Even Apple does
not offer this feature.
These have been mostly eliminated with the Macally
BTkey Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard for Mac. This keyboard
uses the newer scissor-key switches for an extremely
responsive touch.
The most basic feature is that this keyboard is designed specifically for Macs and not a Mac afterthought like the Microsoft keyboard. It works perfectly for Macs right out of the box. Its white color is
a perfect complement for iMacs.
Compared to wireless USB, are there any advantages
to Bluetooth? Both are wireless and easy to install.
Let’s check out the differences:
USB: Uses a small dongle to connect to your Mac via
a USB port. The connection is instant. Plug in your
dongle (transceiver) and your connection is instant.
Bluetooth: Eliminates the dongle/USB port and makes
a wireless connection as well. But an extra step is
necessary: you need to pair your device to your Mac
by going to (1) Bluetooth icon in the menu bar or (2)
Bluetooth section of System Preferences. Think of it
as shaking hands between your Mac and your keyboard!
Microsoft 6000 vs. Macally Keyboard
One of the basic differences is its price. The Microsoft keyboard lists for $90 with discounts around
$60. The Macally keyboard lists for $70 with discounts around $40.
For $20 less what do you get? Check out the table
below:
Function Keys
Keypad
Color
On/Off Switch
Bluetooth Pairing Light
Caps Lock Light
Keyboard Orientation
Low Battery Light
MSRP
Why Bluetooth?
MACALLY BTKEY
15
Attached
White
Yes
Yes
Yes
Rectangular
Yes
$69.99
Both keyboards feature a light touch keypad as well
as a thin design. The Macally keyboard is 3/8” thin
like Apple’s own keyboard compared to the Microsoft’s ½”.
Although wireless USB is technically faster than Bluetooth (480 Mbps vs. 1-2 Mbps), you are unlikely to
see any real world
MICROSOFT 6000
performance differ12
ences.
Removable
Black
Yes
Yes
Installation
No
Curved
Yes
$89.95
Keyboard installation is usually
an easy process and the Macally keyboard was no
exception:
Page 9
Conclusion
1) Install the 2 included AAA batteries
2) Go to the Bluetooth® menu in the menu bar
and click on Set Up Bluetooth Device.
3) Input the 8 digit number code and you’re set!
Range
Being a Bluetooth device, both the keyboard and
keypad have a range beyond a point that they will
no longer work, although I could not find anything
in the documentation. However, when I tried operating the keyboard
20 feet from my Mac,
it worked just fine.
This keyboard worked perfectly as advertised with
easy setup and operation. There was very little to
criticize. Macally has made a technically advanced
Mac keyboard for most of us at a very reasonable
price. Although Apple and Macally have the same
list price on their keyboards, try and find a discount
on Apple’s!
The light touch of its keyboard and raised latches
were a real plus especially when compared to other
keyboards. Since keyboards are so personal, you
owe it to yourself to check
out this keyboard and see
how it compares to what
you are used to. You’ll
probably find a lot to like.
Batteries
Since most Bluetooth devices do not
get their power from
a USB port, batteries are a normal way
of life. The Macally
uses 2 AAA batteries
(included). Macally
promises 2 months of use with these batteries.
IPEVO 2 Continued
Conclusions
All tolled, the IPEVO Point 2 View is a neat device
because of its multiple potential uses. It does not
have the resolution of some of the newer webcams
from Logitech, but the included stand, wide focusing range and macro capability can’t be found in any
other USB camera for the price. Although normally
selling for $69.95 the P2V is featured in the MUG
specials for 10% off list.
Page 10
AKVIS Sketch
By Linda Cameron
Mid-Columbia Macintosh User Group editor
W
hen I was a kid, I used to like to draw all
the time. I wanted to become a cartoonist. I even made some of my own comic
books (sort of fan fiction) Batman and Robin stories,
Superman, Supergirl and so on. Back then, I never
imagined having a computer sitting on my desktop
at home. Even less, did I ever imagine that I could
take a digital picture and easily turn it into a sketch
or comic digitally.
Most of what I learned then is probably obsolete
now. Why would we need them if we can simply use
our computers? The best thing about that is we can
feel more free to experiment with our artwork on a
computer because if you hate the result, you can go
back and UNDO parts of it or start over. You don’t
waste any expensive art supplies. Everything is on
your screen until you decide to print it or do something else with it.
AKVIS Sketch can be used as a Photoshop plug-in
(works with Photoshop Elements too) or you can
use the stand-alone version. Just
open any image in AKVIS Sketch
and play with the various control
settings to get the desired affect.
I don’t know if it is just because I always enjoyed
drawing, but AKVIS Sketch is one of my favorite software applications. I prefer the plug-in
to the stand-alone version because I
have Photoshop and can use layers to
add even more effects. It is great that
you can turn Layers on and off and
use different opacities to get specific
effects. To me it is just fun, fun, fun! If
there were any improvements I could
think of for AKVIS Sketch, I wouldn’t
mind if it had some tools that would
allow even more fine tuning of each
image. For example, I wish there were
brushes that would allow me to brush
away percentages of opacity in places
I choose. Or brushes that would blur
parts of the image and some that
would increase the color. I can do all
of that in Photoshop, but it would be
great to be able to do it within AKVIS Sketch.
The controls consist of making
it look like a black and white
sketch, a charcoal sketch, a watercolor painting, colored pencil
with different degrees of strokes,
cross hatching, or colorization.
Did you ever see the old Jack
Lemmon movie called How To
Murder Your Wife? He plays a
cartoonist who writes a daily cartoon strip for the newspaper of
an action hero. In the movie, you
see him dressing up for the part
of his comic hero with a few helpers taking photos
and acting out roles. When he gets back home, he
uses the photos to sketch out the scenes more accurately. I took a couple of years of Commercial Art at
Burnley in Seattle when I was 19-20. That was before
we had personal computers. We were taught to use
tracing paper to accurately draw items from photos,
then use carbon paper to transfer them to the final
paper or posterboard, which we could then fill in by
hand with inks, pastels or whatever. You probably
thought all that was done by hand!
If I were to start my own comic book again, I would
use AKVIS Sketch on photos I take or have someone
help me to get the scenes. Then I would probably
also use a Wacom Tablet to add a few hand-drawn
strokes over parts of it. You can download a trial
version and try it out any time you want. It costs
from $72 to $89 depending on if you want both the
plug-in and stand-alone version. http://akvis.com/
en/sketch/ System requirements: Intel/G4, 1 Gb RAM,
100 Mb HDD; screen resolution 1024x768 or higher
Page 11
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The ability to place a free ad every
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The ability to participate in all club
raffles and auctions
Up for Auction:
1) Panasonic DMC-FP3
Digital camera
2) Samsung Color Laser
Printer CLP-315W
3) Macally BTKey
Bluetooth Keyboard
4)IPEVO Point 2 USB
Camera
Page 12