DIGITAL digest 3-01

Bassinger believes the image quality of digital cameras has reached the point were it can meet or exceed that of film. His contention is backed up by the GATF survey results, with 84 percent of respondents saying digital systems produce “equal or better quality” compared to film.

According to the report, more than 14 percent of printers surveyed now offer some form of digital photography service, which is up from 9 percent last year. Catalog printers continue to represent the largest user community.

Strictly as a personal observation, Bassinger says he is surprised the study didn’t find greater use of, and potential buyer interest in, multifunction cameras. Such devices are designed to offer greater flexibility by providing the option to capture an image in a single shot, for speed, or in a series of shots, if a higher resolution is required.

Howie Fenton, GATF senior technical consultant/digital technology, says he brought the opposite perspective—that of a skeptic—to his role in researching remote proofing.

Fenton reveals that he bet fellow staff member Jim Workman that he couldn’t find even five companies that were using remote proofing in a printing workflow.

Workman was able to come up with six names from the recently released GATF “Digital Proofing Study, Part VI,” so Fenton was assigned the remote proofing study.

This workflow concept had been a “hot” topic for some years based on the idea of locating a hard-copy color output device in a customer site and sending files over telecommunication lines, Fenton notes.

The GATF consultant currently sees greater potential in remote soft (on-screen) proofing, since there are fewer barriers to its adoption. The concept is benefiting from ongoing improvements in monitor technology, the decreasing cost and wider availability of high-speed data lines, and new technology innovations, according to Fenton.

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