8 December 2004

What's so great about PictBridge?

pictbridge_logoDigicam manufacturers all rave about how their latest cameras are 'PictBridge' enabled. Yup, you can print directly from your camera to your PB enabled printer without turning on your computer for a single solitary moment, not even a little bit. Sure my computer's on all the time anyway. Sure, I am completely opposed to plugging cables into my expensive digicam because once you stuff up the weedy little connectors your entire camera becomes a paperweight. PictBridge is really exciting technology, right?

Maybe not. In reality, most prints I have seen using PictBridge, frankly, SUCK! Colour accuracy is atrocious and the output is usually slower. And I seem not to be alone in this observation. The Winter 2005 edition (Hey, isn't it still 2004?) of the esteemed photo mag Popular Photography and Imaging tests 6" x 4" colour printers and finds, surprise, surprise, that PictBridge "colour accuracy was noticeably lower in comparison with prints made using a computer connection".

Consider also that most digicam owners probably have a computer, so they don't really need direct printing anyway, and we seem to be looking at a technology that's as useful as the proverbial ashtray on a motorbike, or perhaps the digital zoom!

That being the case, why are camera and printer manufacturers plugging PB so much? And why does the very same copy of Popular Photography, in its group test of 8 Megapixel cameras, list PictBridge compatibility in the list of 'hot' features for every single camera in the test? Anyone buying an 8 Megapixel camera is surely interested in quality, and PB compatibility would therefore be a low priority. Mind you, buyers of 8 MP cameras should generally be buying digital SLRs anyway, but that's another blog.Go to eebahgum!

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