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Photography Question 

digital photography

Hi! Help me! I want to do some digital photog (am an avid b/w photographer) and am looking for advice as to the best (1 or 2) digital cameras and printers for the amateur/pro type use, with goal being primarily black and white.

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11/6/2003 5:00:17 PM

doug Nelson   The current issue of Shutterbug reviews an HP printer that is said to do unusually good black-and-white. Earlier, you had to dedicate an Epson printer, such as a 1280, to black-and-white 3rd party inks. No doubt Epson, too, has a model that prints good BW without all these complications.
You will want good optics and as much control over exposure and focus as possible. Consider a digital SLR.

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11/7/2003 3:00:52 PM

doug Nelson   I've checked a little further for you. The HP Photosmart 7960 printer was reviewed in December Shutterbug. This printer is $300, partly because it has a digital card-to-print direct interface. I don't think this feature is worth the extra money, as it bypasses the software tweaking (in Elements, Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro) that nearly any digital image needs. HP will have a less expensive model that employs the same print head and inks as the Photosmart. Go to Newer Epsons also handle BW well. Check back issues of Shutterbug for reviews.
You can shoot in digital color and convert to BW in the editing software. For me, however, my brain looks for form and texture when I shoot BW, and goes into the picture postcard mode when I know I'm in color.
At the risk of opening a can of worms for you, consider putting the money into a digital film scanner and scanning your BW negs from years back as well as new stuff. You are probably using decent optics to shoot your BW. Why give all that up for zoom lenses that are bound to compromise image quality, even if slightly? Figure in buying Silverfast scanning software, too, as I'm told it handles BW far better than the scanning software that comes with any scanner.

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11/8/2003 7:41:36 AM

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