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SNAPSHOT - PHOTO NEWS FROM BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to SnapShot, the weekly newsletter on
the art of photography from
BetterPhoto.com


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IN THIS ISSUE - Tuesday, July 15, 2003
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* SPOTLIGHT: Get Direct, Professional Feedback in an Online PhotoCourse™
* BETTERPHOTO: See The Beautiful Winners From The June Photo Contest
* BETTERPHOTO: A Summer Online PhotoCourse™? It's Not Too Late!
* BETTERPHOTO: Sell Your Images Online With Our Deluxe BetterPholio™ Image Sales Option
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Shoot The Moon / Hasselblad Beginnings
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Looking for Inspiration?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: From 35mm to Digital Purchase Advice
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: How to work my Yashica Fx-1
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Thanks!!
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Telephoto Lens for Nikon D1H
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Ideas For Shooting a Large Family Group
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: What About Proofs?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Is There a Big Difference Between f/1.4 & 1.8??
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: Buying an EOS
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Matte or Glossy Paper


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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Get Direct, Professional Feedback in an Online PhotoCourse™
Make this summer a special adventure by joining a photography course! Improve your picture-taking skills while having a great time enjoying the summer months. Each class is focused on teaching you how to improve your understanding of photography through exciting weekly assignments and helpful critiques direct from the instructor. Learn more about our excellent courses at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp


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WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 122nd issue of SnapShot!

Hi

The June contest winners have been posted to the site! What a wonderful array of award-winning images - from powerful seascapes to colorful abstracts to a charming photo of a kid about to squash a bug... you have got to see it for yourself. Browse the winners for a fun mid-day break.

Also, the Deluxe BetterPholios™ have a whole assortment of cool new features - not the least of which is an Image Sales option which allows you to accept orders via your Deluxe BetterPholio™.

The courses are underway and we are already having a fantastic time. But it is not too late to sign up. The first assignment is not due until the Sunday. If you would like to join the fun, select your favorite course and sign up today!

Have a great week!
Jim Miotke
http://www.betterphoto.com/MG.asp?ID=124


*****
See The Beautiful Winners From The June Photo Contest
We have posted the June photo contest winners - what an amazing assortment of great photos. Congratulations to Warren Ishii with his Grand Prize photo of the crashing surf in Hawaii - it is so good it makes me want to get on a plane to visit the islands. Also a big round of applause goes to all of the photographers who placed as First Place, Second Place, or Finalist. Check out the links below or the BetterPhoto home page to see these excellent award-winning photos:
http://www.betterphoto.com/contest/winners/0306.asp

Browse all of the contest finalists here:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=904

Also, Grand Prize for the July contest is your choice of a Deluxe BetterPholio™ or "Creating Visual Impact", the exciting photo course by Brenda Tharp. Learn more about the course or sign up at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/BRN01.asp


*****
A Summer Online PhotoCourse™? It's Not Too Late!
We invite you to join our fun online photography courses - there is still room in several of the courses. The first assignment is due July 20th - this coming Sunday. That means you still have plenty of time to join the excitement! But act quick... several of the courses are already filled to the brim.

Enroll in Jim Zuckerman's "Eight Steps to More Dramatic Photography" for a great survey of the techniques you need to know to get truly stunning images:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/JZK01.asp

Kerry Drager is quickly becoming a favorite at BetterPhoto for his helpful critiques and friendly, step-by-step guidance. Join his "Beyond Snapshots" to learn how to handle your camera and various pieces of equipment:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/KRD01.asp

If you are thinking about taking a vacation, prepare to shoot your best photos with "Beyond the Postcard" by Brenda Tharp. In this course, you'll learn the ins and outs of travel photography - from a tried and true professional:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/BRN02.asp

Select from any of our summer session online courses at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp


*****
Sell Your Images Online With Our Deluxe BetterPholio™ Image Sales Option
They say that over 88% of all sales via the Web are done with a credit card. We now offer an easy option which allows you to take such payments from customers who want to buy your photos. Our system works with PayPal and is streamlined to make the process as easy as it can possibly be.

What's more, it costs very little - the price for this additional service is only an additional $60/year. That's only an extra $5 per month to sell your photos online.

Those who currently own a Deluxe BetterPholio™, sign in to your Deluxe Update Center for an easy way to add this new feature.

If you do not already have a Deluxe BetterPholio™, simply check the "Image Sales" option when you sign up to take advantage of this excellent option:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/deluxeWebsites.asp

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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
What kind of cameras might one find on the moon? How many and why are they there?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Chris Howarthis:
There are 12 Hasselblads on the moon. Only the film backs were taken home to earth by the Apollo missions of 1969 to 1972 due to the weight of the cameras and the need to bring back scientific samples (space and weight constraints). A very famous story!

[Editor: my source says there are 13 up there... but close enough.]

See Chris's Premium BetterPholio™:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/dynoMG.asp?memberID=20515

To see all answers to this question, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/trivia.asp?stat=PRV

And Now... This Week's Photo Trivia Question - Hasselblad Beginnings - entered by BetterPhoto member Jim Miotke

Hasselblad cameras were originally produced for who and for what purpose? When did the company first start making cameras for the general public?

Submit your own answer to this question by visiting:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/trivia.asp

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THIS WEEK'S PHOTO TIP
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Looking for Inspiration?
If you love photography but can't seem to find anything to shoot, try looking for ideas in magazines, stock catalogs, and photography-related Web sites. When you find an image that inspires you or causes you to wonder how it was created, study it. Try to figure out what makes it work and how you might go about making your own version of the image. Don't worry about plagiarizing; odds are likely that you will end up changing the images to meet the needs of your own personal expression.

Top Ten Tips:
http://www.betterphoto.com/exploring/tips.asp

All Tips:
http://www.betterphoto.com/exploring/allTips.asp

Add Your Own Tip:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/login.asp?category=tip&inputType=tip

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ADVERTISEMENT
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Absolute Beginner's Guide to Taking Great Photos
My new book guides you away from the point-and-pray method of taking pictures to shooting with confidence. In this simple and clear how-to book, you will learn:

  • How to compose your picture with a more artful eye
  • The top qualities that winning photos exhibit
  • Tips and secrets for consistently getting better results... and much more.
You can order this book online, call our toll-free order processing number 1-888-927-9992, or simply send a check or money order for USD $16.90 (or USD$18.90 if shipping to Canada or USD$24.90 to other international addresses) to:

BetterPhoto.com
P.O. Box 2781
Redmond, WA 98073-2781 USA

To order online, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/product/ourProductDetail.asp?productID=1096


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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - NEW THIS WEEK
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NEW QUESTION 1: From 35mm to Digital Purchase Advice
My choices in order of interest so far are (unless you have a recommendation): Sony F717, or Canon G3 or Nikon 5400.

I use my camera for closeups, florals, nature photography, fun candid shots, and reference for illustrations and watercolors. I need good detail and crisp quality for botanical illustrations. So you see, it must be somewhat versitile. Thankyou.
- Sandy Mitman

ANSWER 1:
I got the sony F717 in March. This my first digital, and I LOVE it. My husband talked me into getting a 5mp or plus camera, and I am glad I did. After several months of comparing and shopping I choose the Sony, and have not regetted my choice.

Good Luck
- Linda Smith

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6222

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6222

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*****


NEW QUESTION 2: How to work my Yashica Fx-1
Hi,

I just bought a Yashica Fx-1, it was at a flea market and it didn't come with a manual. I have no clue how to run it, it's so different from my Pentax K-1000.

I figured out it needed a battery to run, but even with that, I can't get the thing to budge in any matter, to advance the film ect. Can you help me figure out this camera, where could I get a manual for it?

Thanks for any help.
- Wendy L. Becker

See Wendy's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
Try manuals2go.com. He'll send you one as a pdf file or mail it on a CD. Let a camera shop have a look at it, though, before you spend any money. An overhaul and repair, if needed, will be about $150.
If you can get it to work, it can use Contax lenses, among the very best in the world. They're not the cheapest, though. The 50-mm f1.7 is a good buy. If it has a Contax lens on it, and the camera is shot, look for another Yashica or buy a new or used Contax Aria. Or sell the lens on eBay and put the money toward a new camera.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6215

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6215

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*****


NEW QUESTION 3: Thanks!!
I just want to thank BetterPhoto.com for the information that has helped me win again at our local county fair. Last year I won three first and a best in show. This year with many more entries I took home nine firsts, five seconds, four thirds and a best in class. No best in show this year, but I am well pleased with my wins. Thanks again for the wealth of info and help.
- Linda Smith

ANSWER 1:
Thank you! And congratulations on the multiple wins. Way to go!!! :)
- Jim at BetterPhoto.com

See Jim Miotke's Premium BetterPholio™
Visit Jim Miotke's Deluxe BetterPholio™ - Miotke.com

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Jim Miotke:
Jim Miotke's Online Photography Courses

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6202

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6202

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*****


NEW QUESTION 4: Telephoto Lens for Nikon D1H
I have a Nikon D1H and want to get a telephoto lens. (I have the 24-85mm.) I want to be able to take pictures of figure skaters, so I need one that takes action. Also, they skate indoors, so the lighting is awful and I can't use flashes during the competitions. I don't want one of the huge lenses- the lighter the better. The camera itself is heavy enought! What do you suggest?
- Elizabeth Davison

ANSWER 1:
With a digital SLR, you get the bonus of a 1.4x factor, giving you more telephoto than the focal length of the lens. You might consider a 70-200 zoom in the widest aperture you can afford. The skater might be close in at times, but on the other side of the rink for other shots. Tokina ATX lenses have a decent reputation. Check keh.com for used ones.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6193

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6193

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*****


NEW QUESTION 5: Ideas For Shooting a Large Family Group
I have to shoot a family of twenty people, nine adults and eleven children. It will be outside in a yard, shaded by trees. I would like some ideas for posing possibilities. Any help would be appreciated. Also I am in search of a wide angle lens to go with this shoot for my Minolta Maxxum, any ideas on which one I should go with?
- Sarah

ANSWER 1:
As for posing, try to get people on different levels. Use chairs or benches to seat some. Think about building triangles with faces. If you can keep people on a similar plane it will help with focussing. With a long line of people you want to form it so that they form an arc. IOW, the end people are a bit closer to you than the middle people. If you have to "stack" people it helps to shoot from a higher vantage point so that you can get the film plane more parallel to the people's faces. This helps get everyone in focus.

As for the lens, I would avoid a wide angle lens. Wide angle lenses cause distortion at the edges and the people on the ends might not appreciate the way they end up looking. Use a lens in the normal to short telephoto length. Something like a 50mm up to an 85mm depending upon how much room you have.
- Jeff S. Kennedy

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6192

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6192

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*****


NEW QUESTION 6: What About Proofs?
I was wondering what you pro's are doing nowdays about sending out proofs of poitraits you have taken? How do you cover your copyright if they leave the studio for "desision making". With scanners and these photo machines and such, people can put a deposit for the proofs, take them out, have them copied, enlarged, whatever and back to you in a couple of days. I am looking into doing some freelance work and am wondering how to handle this area.
- Tonya Cozart

ANSWER 1:
One way to handle this is to not allow the proofs to leave the studio. This is my preferred approach and I haven't had anyone really resist. The photographer who shot my own wedding did the same thing and we really didn't question it either (before I got into photography myself and came to learn of copyright issues).

Another approach is to have proofs textured by your lab. This generally limits the ability to scan or copy the proofs and make decent prints in return.

Hope this helps.
- Laljit S. Sidhu

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6191

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6191

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*****


NEW QUESTION 7: Is There a Big Difference Between f/1.4 & 1.8??
I am wanting to purchase a 50mm lens and wonder if I will see a big difference between f/1.4 and f/1.8.... My use for this lens would be shots of children using available light. Thanks.
- America A. Block

ANSWER 1:
Dear America:
It's not vital to know this, but perhaps helpful- which brand of camera do you have?
- Maynard McKillen

ANSWER 2:
I have a Canon D60 & also a Canon 10D, I would interchange the lens between the two. Thank you in advance for your help and opinion.
- America A. Block

ANSWER 3:
Dear America:
Perhaps you've noticed a slight difference in price between the two? It may reflect the fact that the EF50mm f/1.4 is a bit more challenging to manufacture well, and is likely made in smaller quantities than the EF50mm f1.8.
The EF50mm f/1.4, with its slightly larger maximum f/stop, is slightly better at shooting in available-light-only situations than the EF50mm f/1.8, given that you use each lens at its' maximum aperture. By letting in slightly more light at maxumum aperture, you will sometimes be allowed to shoot at a slightly higher shutter speed with the f/1.4 lens than you would with an f1.8 at its maximum aperture. This can make it slightly easier to get a sharp photo when you handhold the camera and when your subjects are less than completely still.
The slightly larger maximum aperture on the f/1.4 will produce a slightly brighter image on the focusing screen, too, making it slightly easier to compose your photo in low light.
Do you know anyone who will loan you one or both lenses? Can you rent one locally? Other contributors may have leads on the technical specs of each lens, or reviews and testimonials.
- Maynard McKillen

ANSWER 4:
Quite a price difference is the reason I was inquiring. It seems to me that I would be happy with the f/1.8 as I am getting by with f/3.5 now. My only reason for wanting a lense with a larger aperture is to gain shutter speed with photographing my children. Unfortunately, I live in SD(woohoo!!) so nothing local. I thank you very much for your halp on this matter, Maynard. Take care, America.
- America A. Block

ANSWER 5:
I'm getting ready to buy a 50mm and I'm going for the f1.4. It never hurts to have more speed. I am going to use it on my 10D for a portrait lens (it will be equivalent to an 80mm f1.4) and I like to shoot portraits wide open to keep the DOF as short as possible. The f1.4 will be great for that. There's a comparison on Photo.net between the two lenses that you might find interesting.
- Jeff S. Kennedy

ANSWER 6:
Thanks, Jeff, for the info. I will definetely check out the comparison on Photo.net. I'm cheap, what can I say, there is like a $200 difference between the 2 and that's a lot of money to me so that's why I inquired. I think I may just hold out for the 1.4 per your recommendation. Thanks again, America.
- America A. Block

ANSWER 7:
You should note that I shoot for money so I will almost always go for speed. If you just shoot for a hobby the 1.8 may be all you need. When I bought my 85mm I had a choice between the f1.8 and f1.4 and opted for the f1.8 because of the huge price discrepency. And the quality of the f1.8 is excellent. But it will be really nice to have an even faster lens in my arsenal in the 50mm f1.4.
- Jeff S. Kennedy

ANSWER 8:
Thanks Jeff.
- America A. Block

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6190

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6190

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*****


NEW QUESTION 8: Buying an EOS
I'm interested in the Canon Rebel Ti. Is it a good camera for a beginner? And what does EOS stand for? I'm just getting into photography and know next to nothing about cameras. Any help is greatly appreciated :)
- Amanda Allen

ANSWER 1:
EOS: Electro Optical System
This designation refers to the auto-focus capability, its lens mount on the camera bodies and distinguishes it from its manual focus predecessor with "FD" lens mounts.

It is an acceptable "consumer grade" camera body for beginners and the general photography they're most likely to be doing. I am, however, completely underwhelmed by the zoom lens they are bundled with. Not that Canon is alone in this regard. I'm equally underwhelmed by the equivalent zooms found bundled with consumer level Minolta, Nikon and Pentax SLR's. IMHO, you would do better to buy the camera body and the 50mm f/1.4 standard focal length lens. If that lens "breaks the budget," then the 50mm f/1.8 lens would still be a better choice over the zoom.

While some of the features may differ slightly, it is no better or worse than the "entry level" SLR's from Minolta, Nikon, or Pentax.

Two things are important in choosing a camera body:
(a) How much of a camera system do you ultimately intend to build? The answer to this may influence which system you begin buying. Canon and Nikon have the most extensive 35mm SLR systems.
(b) How the camera body feels in your hands. Are the controls naturally placed for your fingers to fall on and operate them without feeling awkward? No camera body fits everyone's hands the same way.
- John A. Lind

See John's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Hi,
Since you are in the Canon Camp, I would suggest to try out the Canon Elan.

Adv: Depth of field preview button
Faster shutter speed
Better grip and more focussing points.

Whatever you decide to buy, please buy a good lens. Most first time buyers don't concentrate on it. Don't buy the bundles with the 28-90mm USM lens. The replacement is 28-105mm USM. It will save you a lot of irritated moments of hunting for focus. And believe me this lens will cover most of the req.
- Photoking

ANSWER 3:
Thank you so much. I just have one more question on the lenses. If a lens is autofocus, can I still focus it manually in manual mode on my camera? Finding a good lens is a bit more overwhelming than I thought :)
- Amanda Allen

ANSWER 4:
Amanda,
I completely sympathize with you on the whole lense buying scenario! I am not an expert but have looked at a lot of lenses and I'm pretty sure that all AF lenses give you the option to focus manually. Best of luck to you!! :)
- America A. Block

ANSWER 5:
Dear Amanda:
I don't know how everyone held back from telling you that Eos was the ancient Greek Goddess of the dawn (tee hee!)...
- Maynard McKillen

ANSWER 6:
Greek Goddess of the dawn.... think she'll help me take good morning picure? :^) Thank you everybody for all your help. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it!
- Amanda Allen

ANSWER 7:
One more point, Amanda, and this may be quite the obvious... so forgive me if it is.

You mentioned autofocus and the manual mode on your camera. Do not confuse the autofocus vs manual focus with the manual *exposure* mode on your camera. You are correct to assume that you can switch it into manual focus if you want to - you do this by changing a switch on the lens itself and then turning a manual focusing ring. The exposure, on the other hand, is changed via a mode on the camera body.

Hope this helps - have fun with the new set-up!
- Jim at BetterPhoto.com

See Jim Miotke's Premium BetterPholio™
Visit Jim Miotke's Deluxe BetterPholio™ - Miotke.com

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with Jim Miotke:
Jim Miotke's Online Photography Courses

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6186

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6186

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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - CONTINUING FROM PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER
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CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Matte or Glossy Paper
I want to print my photographs from my computer on to my ink jet printer but which paper should I use? Matte or glossy and why?
- Lisamarie Busch

ANSWER 1:
Use only your printer manufacturer's paper to begin. There may be some off brand that will work, but you'll burn up a lot of time and money trying to find one. The glossy is best for some subjects, while the matte is best for others. Keep a package of both handy. I use matte for old retouch portraits when I give the customer an inkjet print. I use glossy for family snapshots and some landscapes. For me, the glossy renders fine detail better.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Thank you so much Doug. That was very helpful.
- Lisamarie Busch

ANSWER 3:
I use a Lexmark 5150, which is ink jet. After trying a number of brands, I have found the HP premium glossy to be the best for sharpness and color. I am sure there are others that also work well, but I have not come across any. I have not used the matte finish as yet, but the weight and quality of the hp premium is just like enlargements I have ordered in the past from photo shops. I agree with Doug about the glossy rendering fine detail.
- Bonita A. Dubil

ANSWER 4:
Thanks Bonnie.
I was originally going to have someone print out my pics for me so I needed to know what kind of paper to use but I don't have a cd burner to give them a cd for their computer. So now I'm looking into a printer for myself. Thanks for the advice.
- Lisamarie Busch

ANSWER 5:
Lisamaria, If you are looking at getting a photo printer, I would highly suggest the Lexmark 5150. It gives you studio like prints, and is also a scanner, and fax machine. All this for about $149 at Office Max. Sometimes they have sales, or rebates. I got mine for $20 off. I looked around before it bought it, and found out that this particular model has won a number of awards for it's performance. Good luck
- Bonita A. Dubil

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=6134

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=6134

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ASK YOUR OWN QUESTION ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY
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Ask a question or answer a few from your fellow photographers:
http://www.betterphoto.com/qnaTOC.asp


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READ PAST ISSUES OF THE SNAPSHOT NEWSLETTER
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Read previous issues of SnapShot in the BetterPhoto archives:
http://www.betterphoto.com/snapshots.asp


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SIGN UP TO PHOTOFLASH AND THE DIGITAL PICTURE
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Join the fun and master the arts of traditional or digital photography! Participate or follow along as we discuss topics & lessons, practice assignments, and offer feedback on each others' work. Subscribe to our other two free newsletters - PhotoFlash and the Digital Picture - at:
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Until next week, happy shooting!

Thank you,
Jim Miotke
BetterPhoto.com

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