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Re: Family photos

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  • Charlie Hansen
    Hi Linda and others, ... This topic has come up at some the beginners sessions of our Genealogical Computing Group (AKA Computer SIG). You have actually asked
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 27, 2004
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      Hi Linda and others,

      On 25 Jun 2004 at 15:09, you wrote:

      > Sorry to be a bit off topic. In preparation for a family reunion in
      > August, I would like to put some of my Mom's old slides from the 60's
      > and 70's onto DVD. Does anyone have a recommendation?

      This topic has come up at some the beginners sessions of our
      Genealogical Computing Group (AKA Computer SIG).

      You have actually asked several questions without telling us what
      equipment you have or have available to use. Do you have a scanner with a
      slide or transparency feature or adapter? What resolution does it have?
      Do you expect to have to do any touch-ups or editing of the slide images?
      Do you have a CD burner or a DVD recorder? Why do you want to distribute
      a DVD instead of a CD? How many copies of your CD or DVD? What final
      format and resolution do you need? That is, will the CD or DVD images be
      just for viewing on a standard TV or do you want the quality to be
      suitable for printing and in what size?

      My old scanner has an OPTICAL resolution of 1200 dpi [dots(pixels) per
      inch] and maximum of 42 bits colour depth. On a 35 mm slide this gives
      about 1800 pixels. My old printer will use 300 dpi so will print an image
      up to 6 inches wide. With newer photo printers with the a higher dpi
      rating the image would be smaller if high quality settings were used. A
      slide would be about 1800 x 1200 pixels times 3 bytes (one per colour)
      for a total memory requirement of about 6.5 MB per slide in raw or
      bitmapped mode. (Twice as much if you can use 42 bit colour depth)

      Computer monitors have from 640 to 1280 horizontal pixels, so a scanner
      resolution of from about 400 to 800 dpi would give a full screen image on
      a monitor. Standard TVs have even less display resolution.

      I have not scanned very many of my slides for several reasons:
      1) My software used only 24 bits of colour depth so I had difficulty
      achieving good colour matching. There may also have been other
      2) The transparency feature on my scanner does not have any way to
      accurately locate successive slides in exactly the same position, so
      either cropping or rotation or both was required for every slide.
      3) It just took too long with the equipment that I have.

      Once you have the digital versions of your slides saved to your hard
      drive, "burning" a CD is relatively straight forward with a reasonably
      new writer and software. You should have either enough RAM to hold the
      slides that you want to copy to your CD or a fast hard drive although
      newer CD burner programs do provide protection from under-run.

      Her are a couple of URLs for some information on scanning slides.



      Unless you really want to do it all yourself, so that you can add titles
      or notes, I would suggest that you use a commercial firm to do this work.
      They will typically scan at 2000dpi and you will get some touch-up
      included in the price. If you have a reasonable quantity, I think you
      should be able to find someone to do the job for between $0.50 and $1.00
      per slide. This is comparable to getting a duplicate slide.

      Some more suggestions in addition to those provided by Bill Mumford and
      Xenia Stanford are:

      The University of Calgary offers a scanning and writing to CD service and
      will do small quantities, but are quite pricy:


      Nova Photo Centre:


      I hope this explanation of the process and problems helps with your plans
      for your reunion.



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