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Video Review


The Belkin VideoBus written about in this review has been made obsolete for D30 owners by the introduction of CRW Bridge ‹ a shareware program that allows instant on-screen viewing of full frame RAW files. The review that follows is being retained here for historical interest. I no longer recommend this solution as the software approach is less expensive and more convenient.

If you own a D30 and have not yet used the provided cable to review your pictures on a TV monitor, you're in for quite a surprise. The quality is superb. While thumbnails reviewed on the camera's LCD or in ZoomBrowser are limited in their usability because of their small size and reduced resolution, image output to a monitor is remarkably sharp and clear. As far as I'm concerned this is the way to initially review your work, saving a huge amount of time, particularly if you work exclusively in RAW mode for maximum image quality, as I do.

The Belkin USB VideoBus

If one is working at home or the studio then using Canon's provided video cable to connect to your TV/monitor or VCR video-in connector is a straightforward way of reviewing. But what to do on the road? A few hotels have TV's with monitor inputs or an available VCR, but in most cases not.

If like me you travel with a notebook computer there is a simple solution, the USB VideoBus from Belkin. This is a $99.00 device that allows you to feed video from your D30 directly into your laptop. The image size is much larger than the tiny thumbnails possible in Zoombrowser or the Photoshop TWAIN plug-in, particularly if you use the provided MGI PhotoSuite software which lets you view images at full VGA (640X480) resolution.

To set this software up properly use Edit / Get Photo From / Select Source and set the source to Nogatech USB Twain Device

Then to review images use Edit / Get Photo From / Camera Scanner. This will give you live thumbnails and you can use the D30's thumbwheel to scroll through your camera's contents. When you want to see an image at full VGA resolution click on Capture Still Image. Loading is instantaneous. 

Most online equipment resellers have it in stock or you can buy directly from Belkin.

Don't leave home without it.

A Built-In Alternative

If spending $100 for the Belkin USB VideoBus seems an expensive solution, there's an alternative. If you're using Canon's TWAIN driver to load RAW files into Photoshop try right clicking on the thumbnail you're interested in and select Set Raw Param. This will display a largish thumbnail in about 5 seconds ‹ a lot faster than the 40 seconds or so needed to load a RAW file for evaluation purposes.

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Concepts: Raw image format, Digital camera, Graphic design, Video Graphics Array, Camera, Display resolution, Computer graphics, Photography

Entities: Belkin, Canon, CRW Bridge, Michael Reichmann

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