Friday, May 15, 2009

Z1485 IS. Replace Kodak Easyshare with Picasa

Had another go round with photo management software. First thing was trying out the memory card slot on the front of my Compaq Presario. Wonder of wonders. Pull the memory card out of the camera and stick it in the slot. Presto, Windows Explorer can see the card pretending to be a plug in disk drive. Just drag and drop the .jpg files off the memory card into the disk folder of your choice. Even cleverer. In Windows Explorer set View to "Thumbnails" and instead of random number file names you see thumbnail pictures. With that turned on, the odds of finding the pix you want are greatly improved, and sorting the photos into file folders (e.q. graduation, wedding, party, children, cat, model trains) is trivial.
So, using the memory card slot completely replaces the need for Kodak's Easyshare.
I then downloaded Google's freeware photo management tool Picasa. It will resize, crop, do slide shows, red eye reduction and other simple photo edit tasks. It has excellent instructions and help functions, it's only 6 megabytes. Loads in a flash. Only uses 38 megs of Ram. Whereas plump Easyshare eats up 150 megs of disk and 500 megs of Ram and takes for ever to load or do anything.
Big breakthru in Picasa. It supports disk folders. You can sort your pictures into folders using Explorer or Picasa. It sticks. You can back up a disk folder to CD with your ordinary CD burner.
EasyShare only supported "albums" and the albums are internal to EasyShare. Moving a picture into an EasyShare album doesn't move it on disk. Backup of the photo folders does not retain the "album" information. You can sort your pix in Easyshare, but all that sorting is lost when you roll in the backup CD to a new machine.
With Picasa, the sorting happens into real windows disk folders which can then by backed up, copied, emailed, whatever using ordinary Windows tools like Explorer.
And, Picasa can download photos from the Z1485 camera over the USB cable, should your computer lack the handy memory card slot.
My recommendation. throw away the Easyshare CD that comes with the Z1485. Download and use Picasa. It's faster, more dependable and less aggravating.

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