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Community Forums › General › General Discussion Groups › Use of a digital camera for records

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Use of a digital camera for records
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lilbees
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:53 pm    Post subject: Use of a digital camera for records Reply with quote

I would like to use my digital camera for the records I am reviewing at the LDS. The microfilm is the smaller size and not easy to read. I have made a few attempts to photograph the records but with bad results. Usually blank. Sad

Does anyone have some kind of instructions in order to photograph the records or indexes I locate?

I have a HP Photosmart m415 5.2 megapixel digital camera. It does have a flash as well.

Thank you so much.

lilbees

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charliemis
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Use of a digital camera for records Reply with quote

I tried to do this a few years ago with an older digital camera that I owned at the time and my results were very poor....I tried both with and without the flash using the large flatbed type reader (standard reader) vs. the other type with box type viewer which my FHC also has....the pictures were either too dark or were distorted when I tried using the flash -- the camera was a Konica point and shoot 5.0 megapixel camera. I now own a DSLR but I have never tried this as I now use the PC/Scanner to save any record I need to keep instead.

There is a woman on another Genealogy Site who has been doing this for years and she has been copying her whole town(s) with a lot of success.....I am pretty sure that she uses a small tripod and somehow gets it to work very well. So it can be done.

If no one else has any advise, I can try to put you in touch with this lady, she is very helpful and I am sure she would give you some advice.

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nuccia
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Use of a digital camera for records Reply with quote

I tried with my camera, and with my cell phone but I didn't have great results with either. Honestly, I would invest in a USB Flash (you can get them for 10 bucks or so) and it would be soooooooo much easier. Then again, I think Liz uses a camera so you may want to ask her opinion.

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lilbees
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:36 am    Post subject: Re: Use of a digital camera for records Reply with quote

Nuccia, a USB flash? Charlie, I could use all the help I can get. Refer me if you know someone who is successful.

By the way, the film is okay to try and read but when I try to scan it, I am told because of the digital scanner they have, the scans come out so dark and almost impossible to read and any flaws are enhanced.

At least with the film itself it is so much lighter (mostly).

Again, any help is appreciated.

lilbees

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nuccia
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Use of a digital camera for records Reply with quote

Yes, USB Flash drives are portable "pens" that may look like this:



You plug that into the image viewer/scanner (the FHC doesn't charge you anything for it although they will have to format the drive by using a CD..its very quick). You scan the image and save it to the USB and then take it home, plug it into your own computer and you will be able to view the images at home and save them to your computer or print them from there. It's perfect..I love my USB!

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Emmy
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 3:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Use of a digital camera for records Reply with quote

You are all very lucky over there with all the facilities you have at your FHC I cant scan anything from the films or plug in a USB or get anything on a CD The only time I can get a CD copy is from films of my own local area. For the films I have of Italy all I can do is take a digital photograph with the flash off and this only works on one of the machines. Grr Wish you could send some of the equipment over here!!
Emmy

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lilbees
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 4:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Use of a digital camera for records Reply with quote

Thanks Nuccia. I have several Flash drives. Sorry I misunderstood you.

Even with those, they have to do a scan first then save it to the flash. Still a poor copy. That is why I want to see if I can do a better job with the camera. Besides. at our center, we are charged for each scan no matter where we save it or copy it.

That is not the issue but wanting to have a clearer image. I thought more success could be achieved with the camera. Still don't even know if a flash should be used or not.

lilbees

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nuccia
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 8:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Use of a digital camera for records Reply with quote

Have you tried scanning it at a higher resolution and adjusting the lens to make the image clearer? At my center, there are two lenses. One is for the 16 mm films (which mine are) and the other are for the American records. I change the lens for mine, adjust it to make it larger, and to make the image clearer. Then when I open the image program, I set the resolution to 400 (600 is better but mine slows down too much if I put it on that) and I keep it as a TIFF because I can resize it and change it to a JPG at home..And then I scan it and save it to a cd or to my flash. I tried with my camera and my old one was ok but the image was blurry..and I haven't tried it with this one. I am surprised they charge you by the scan. Mine charges per copy or only for the CD (usually a dollar) and nothing more.

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lilbees
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:49 am    Post subject: Re: Use of a digital camera for records Reply with quote

Nuccia, at out center you cannot do any adjustments to anything when scanning. It is all done for you. No one can scan by themselves. You can sit with them but it is strictly hands off. You get what they decide is okay. Frustrating! By the way, the cost of each scan is 25 cents.

That is why I am willing to try to do more with the camera, it is not because of the money but because of the quality of what I am getting.

lilbees

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BillieDeKid
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:13 am    Post subject: Re: Use of a digital camera for records Reply with quote

Lilbees

Give me the number of your films and I'll see if they are on perm. loan at my center. If they are I'll be happy to scan and email them to you. The center, doing the scanning for patrons, doesn't sound right and then charging 25 cents a scan doesn't sound right either. Maybe forum members that volunteer or have volunteered at the FHC's can shed some light on the issue.

Anyway, if you can post a list of your films that you're looking at someone here might be able to help you out.

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lilbees
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:43 am    Post subject: Re: Use of a digital camera for records Reply with quote

Thanks Elizabeth. The reasoning I am given about the digital scanner is it is very expensive and the scan cost helps to defray any maintenance issues, etc.

lilbees

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:59 am    Post subject: Re: Use of a digital camera for records Reply with quote

Elizabeth, the films I am needing copies from is as follows:

Lercara Friddi, Palermo FHL Intl film Nascite, 1848-1852 #1618816, 1852-1854 #1618817, 1854-1857 # 1618818 Birth of Francesco Catalano abt 1848, Giuseppa Catalano 1850, Angela Catalano - 11 Sep 1855 and any other siblings
Lercara Friddi, Palermo " Matromoni 1845-1847, 1851-1855 #1618822 Marriage of Francesco Catalano and Caternina Magro abt 1847
Lercara Friddi, Palermo " Allegati 1871-1873 # 2016074 Marriage of Antonio Rescigno and Angela Catalano, 30 Sep 1872
Carlentini, Sircusa " Nascite, Marie Rescigno (Angela Maria Rescigno) abt. 1876

Let me know if you have any of these films available to you.

Thanks,
lilbees

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BillieDeKid
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:51 am    Post subject: Re: Use of a digital camera for records Reply with quote

Film numbers

1618818
1618822
206074

The current list I have doesn't include any of these films but I will be going to my center in two weeks and will check further. Maybe other members that happen to be going to their centers can check also.

Sorry I didn't have better news for you. I'll let you know if I find anything in a couple of weeks.

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joannsalvo
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Use of a digital camera for records Reply with quote

I heard about a camera mount for the microfilm reader.
I have not reseached it myself as of yet but I plan to.

My FHC has a scanner the patrons can use on their own.
Copying to the flash drive is free.
CD's are $1.00 each
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Eleven
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 4:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Use of a digital camera for records Reply with quote

Geeze, and James suggested I do my whole towns and make a website, rather than volunteering to key records for ancestry and the fhl...lol I dont even know if the one by me has a scanner and what their rules are..but, I cringe at the thought of even going there to find out..lol
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