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02-27-2007, 12:31 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Antelope Valley, SoCal
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Using the Optio W20 to photograph documents

So there I was, after my hydroclimatology class at the university, sitting in the dimly lit map library, taking notes off of a BLM (United States Bureau of Land Management) topographical quadrant map of the boundaries of a state park. The boundaries of the state parks are not easily available and the only place I found them was on a 1:100,000 quad sheet. I needed the boundaries for a map interpretation class that I teach at a local community college.

As I was feverishly writing down the Township/Range Sections that delimited the park, cognizant that the library was due to close in ten minutes, a thought occurred to me, "why not just photograph the maps and obtain the latitude and longitude coordinates on larger scale maps at home at my leisure.

Unfortunately, this was one of the rare occasions where I didn't have my trusted Pentax dSLR with me, but I did have my Optio W20, which has a permanent place in my laptop backpack...just for 'emergency' occasions such as this one. It is almost the perfect, all-weather, emergency compact camera.

Attached are two images of one of the captures. All of the captures were taken hand-held, and at a distance of about six inches above the map. Distance varied and I just tried to hold the camera steady and give it a moment to autofocus. Light was awful, and I didn't use a flash, being allergic to built-in flashes.

The first image is a full-frame shot, but reduced in size. Other than the downsizing, no post processing was accomplished. As you can see, the text came out just fine and will serve quite well as a reference "map" for use in a large-scale map. The barrel distortion is pretty bad, but the important things I need are easily readable.

The second image is a 100% resolution extract out of the above image. A little bit of manual contrast enhancement applied with a very minor USM. Nothing else.

Since the dimensions of Township/Range sections are well know, these images will give me the information needed, and information that is not easily available elsewhere.

Just posted to show the usefulness of this p&s when used in document mode. Certainly good enough in an emergency.

02-28-2007, 09:33 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: South West Germany
Posts: 14
Very good, did you use the "Print" option - is there one?

I have a W10 and the image quality is quite astonishing.

I often use a small digi camera to capture flip charts during workshops for further use, a good feature.

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