All About Images Blog

Selfie2015_no text-33

Apparently, stupid selfies are not restricted to Russia. Yes, that is right. The United States needs its own public service campaign. In case you missed the story, Alex Gomez, 36, from Lake Elsinore, CA was bitten by a rattlesnake he picked up to take a selfie with.

In the interest of public safety, I have developed the “No Selfie with Rattlesnakes” sign above. Feel free to post this sign wherever rattlesnakes may be present.

Fortunately, I live near Minneapolis, and we don’t have rattlesnakes here.

MemoryMaker

MK_TSTHEATERDCHAR_7427742119_edit_cropThis year it was time for a family trip to Disney World. I had been there many times growing up, since my grandparents lived nearby, but had never taken the family. Disney has expanded significantly since then with two new theme parks and many updated attractions. Disney also has a new Memory Maker service where they take photos throughout your visit and provide you with the resulting photos online. Memory Maker costs $199 or $169, if purchased in advance.

Here is my summary of the Memory Maker service:

  • Lots of group photos and some photos taken while on the rides. Disney photographers are all around the parks and you can ask them for a photo at any time. They scan your wristband and the photos magically appear online in your  Disney account. It’s even easier on the rides. The ride knows who you are, takes your photo, and puts it in your account. You don’t need to do a thing.
  • ezgif.com-gif-maker_35Don’t give up your photo editing software. The exposure and cropping is good but not perfect. Some of the photos are too dark and others are too light. A little photo editing works magic. By the way, Disney would benefit from a relationship with Perfectly Clear. They really shouldn’t be giving customers flawed photos.
  • Inconsistent photos and videos. Some of the photographers included frames and additional graphics in their photos; others did not. You really don’t know which rides will take your photos and which ones will not. I would also like to see a lot more videos. The three videos I received (two from rides and one that was taken by one of the professional photographers) really don’t provide enough material to put together a decent video of the trip.

edit_AK_RPWROVER_7426278708_cropFor $169, I received 123 professional taken photos of the family ($1.37 per photo) and three videos. Many of the photos included me, which would not have been the case if I had taken the photos. Overall, Memory Maker is a good value, and I highly recommend it if you are planning a trip to Disney World.

Note: The animated gif above was created online from Disney’s mp4 video file using EzGif.

product_et-2500_335x220_edit

Epson has announced a line of EcoTank printers for the North American marketplace, with availability scheduled for August 24, 2015. These printers are high priced, ranging from $380 for the ET-2500 to $1200 for the WF-R4640. Even the lowest cost printer includes wireless technology and the ability to copy and scan. The big selling point is that these printers have the ability to use low-cost bulk ink from Epson.

Does Epson know something I don’t? The economics make sense, but unfortunately this strategy has led to failure every time it has been tried. Most recently, Kodak’s inkjet printers were originally sold at high prices, with the benefit of low-cost refills. Kodak soon found out that consumers were unwilling to pay high prices for printers. They were forced to discount their printers and eventually exited the business.

Epson does have some information that I don’t have. Similar printers have been sold in Europe and Latin America for the past year, and perhaps they were successful. Perhaps consumers have changed their behavior and are now willing to pay more for their printer. Perhaps, but I doubt it. The appeal of the $99 printer is simply compelling.

Now for printer performance. I have no doubt that the EcoTank printers produce high-quality prints. Epson is a well-respected company, and they produce high-quality printers. EcoTank printers do not, however, produce durable, long-lasting prints. Henry Wilhelm has tested the related L355 and L800 printers and found “…the dye inks supplied with the printers have poor light stability and also have very poor resistance to atmospheric ozone. When used with plain papers, the waterfastness of the inks is very poor and is far inferior to the waterfastness of Epson DuraBrite pigment inks.”

I think I’ll stick with my HP Office Jet Pro 8100 for the time being.

For more on the Epson EcoTank printers see Finally, a Printer That Ends the Nightmare of Ink Refills and New Epson EcoTank Printers “Loaded & Ready With Up to 2 year of Ink”.

Note: I reached out to Epson for their comment for this post but did not receive a reply.

Canon MH20F-SH_crop

Canon has introduced the new MH20F-SH camera designed specifically for taking photos in closets. With an ISO rating of 4,000,000, this camera is capable of shooting in near total darkness. According to Canon’s Director of Marketing, I. C. Hu, “Customers have an overwhelming desire to know what is going on in closets. Now they can take photos.”

Costco

Last week hackers compromised the photo processing service behind Costco, Sam’s Club, CVS, and other photo sites, shutting them down until early August. Fortunately, I do not have an urgent need for photo prints before then.

This ability to shut down a major component of multiple companies highlights how vulnerable we have become to malicious online actions as well as the need to protect our files. I use Costco and have many photos stored on their site, but I also backup my photos; consequently, I am not too worried, and if I really need prints there is always the home inkjet printer.

For more on this incident see Costco and Sam’s Club Shut Down Photo Sites After Hackers Break In.

Disclaimer

All opinions expressed in this blog are mine, not HID Global's.

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