Magazine Article


CD-R is Dead? Digicams Too?

CD-R is Dead? Digicams Too?

PMA 2001 Posed Many a Digital Question

By Don Sutherland

April 2001

"You mean to say," said Slats, "that you're saying writable CDs are dead?"

What I said was, times have changed and we're getting something better.

"And you mean to say," he continued, his faith in his interpretation of my remarks unshakable, "that the digital camera is a thing of the past?"

What I said was, various forces have gathered which make film and film cameras more viable than ever in the digital age.

"Enough of your evasions!" grumbled Slats. "I may be paraphrasing your exact wording, but I'm paraphrasing verbatim. If something better than CD-R is coming along, if film and film cameras are on the rise in digital photography, then you must be saying that their predecessors are dead!"

Not dead. Just working-out a new and different relationship to the world at large.

"I'll say it's new and different. Aren't you the one who once said the CD-R was the medium that made digital photography possible in the first place?"

I am.

"And aren't you the one who said that the digicam's best uses are on the Internet, which as we all know is growing like the broad side of a barn?"

I am.

"And aren't you the one who said that CD-R and digicams together complement each other, and form the whole backbone of the digital deal?"

I am.

"And aren't you the one who's been saying such things since 1990?"

I am.

"Well, if this backbone of CD-Rs and digicams is through, that must mean you're saying now that digital photography itself is dead."

I am not.

"And that must mean you're really happy, because digital is dead and you're the down-on-digital digital dude.

I am not.

"Well then, explain yourself. Feel free to use your own words."

Our author plays alphabet soup with the best of them this month - throwing around his feelings on CD-R, DVD, DVD-RW and DVD+RW.

Ultimately, all he's really worried about is helping folks figure out how and where they are going to store all their digital image files. PMA 2001 provided some interesting possibilities.

650 Megabytes Too Little?
I did that the first time, and you turned them into your own words.

"I did not."

Why don't you let me clarify your confusion?

"I'm not confused. You did say a CD-R has too small a capacity for today's digital photographer."

For many photographers and videographers, the 650Mb capacity of CD-R now instills claustrophobia. "You said a single digicam can hold more than a CD-R can."

If it's got a one-gigabyte Microdrive in it, yes. It would take two CD-Rs to download such a drive. And although it might take a thousand exposures to fill a gigabyte, it's hardly unheard-of that professionals on assignment and citizens on vacation shoot that many pix over a short time.

"So? What's wrong with using two CD-Rs?"

Sometimes a photographer wants to preserve all the original camera archives and the adjusted final pictures together, in a single file. It's a convenience and efficiency thing. Or maybe a school portrait photographer wants to keep all the students from one school on one disc. Or maybe Joe and Jane Foto, after years of fascinating travels, want to combine all their vacation snapshots on one medium. It makes everything easier to find.

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