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Well, I finally bought a real digital camera. It is a Nikon CoolPix 880, which is a 3.3 MegaPixel camera with some incredible close-up capabilities. I've used it for just a few days and I can already tell we're going to be very good friends.

I did a good bit of research at the following sites:

bulletDigital Camera Resource Page (DCRP)
bulletSteve's Digicams
bulletDigital Photography Review
bulletImaging Resource Page

I purchased the camera from and other than a fairly strong New York Attitude, I was satisfied with the service. I also picked up some accessories from and

I'm looking into printing and framing through online vendors such as, and . Their prices seem quite reasonable, but I have not seen the quality of the prints. Some newsgroup snooping turns up favorable reviews, plus some other companies that provide this type of service.

I have CompactFlash cards in 64Mb, 16Mb sizes. The 64Mb card holds 159 1024x768 images in Fine mode that I typically use. For web page images at 640x480, it will hold 500+.

I can connect the camera directly to my PC using a USB cable. But more commonly, I use a USB CompactFlash reader from Antec to copy the images to hard disk. From there, they are manipulated and written to CD-R for permanent archival.

Here are a few samples directly from the camera:

Waterfall & Leaves2.jpg (84793 bytes) The first image captured with my new camera on Nov. 1, 2000. It is a shot of the lowest fall into our fish pond. Even though the leaves demonstrate how badly the pond needs to be cleaned, I love the effect of the water.

Click here for a large (200k) image.

Barn & Silo - Augusta Co.jpg (58440 bytes) An image grabbed through the side window of a car travelling at 55 miles-per-hour. This was truly a grab shot, but I really like this one.
Holly Berries.jpg (37341 bytes) Close-up of some Holly berries in our front yard. I hadn't understood digital zoom at this point, so this is pure optical.
Hollie Berries 02.jpg (75999 bytes) Another perspective.
Pebbles.jpg (35498 bytes) Pea gravel from my construction pile.
Crayola.jpg (46828 bytes) One of the first images taken with the new camera. The flash doesn't fill too well on extreme close-ups. Still, the fuzz on the crayon wrapper and the texture of the wax really impresses me.
Chinese Checkers Marbles.jpg (47759 bytes) Marbles from a Chinese Checkers set. You can see the imperfections in the glass.
Seed Pods.jpg (40946 bytes) A seed pod from some weed in the garden.
DSCN0805.JPG (31908 bytes) Chrysanthemum Close-up
DSCN0803.JPG (43008 bytes) Chrysanthemum Closer-up
Ripples in a Fountain.jpg (59149 bytes) Ripples in a Fountain. An extreme close-up of an indoor fountain, the surface of the water just fascinates me.
Pond at Night 02.jpg (94280 bytes) Our pond at night. Lit by 150 watt bulb from the house and 8 second exposure. I'd like to try this with some cross-lighting and in-water lights. I also have to admit, this one was retouched -- turned up brightness and took out some blue.
Leaves - Backlit Maple.jpg (63841 bytes) Backlit Maple tree leaves. Click here for a Black & White version
Boys in Maple Tree.jpg (74786 bytes) Boys in the Trees
Boys in Maple Tree - Ethan.jpg (64171 bytes) Ethan
Boys in Maple Tree - Logan.jpg (59564 bytes) Logan