Digital Photography Takes Off
A New Leaf
The linear array is not the only game in town. The area array, or matrix, sensor has emerged more slowly than the linear array, but now has cleared the way for faster, cleaner image capture and made digital photography an economical possibility for a greater variety of workflows.
Interwest tested and considered the available three-shot and single-shot area array digital cameras and decided against the single-shot options. “Although (they) will allow you to shoot live subjects ... and are getting very good ... the multi-shot cameras still have an edge as far as image quality, and they capture more detail,” explains Doug Orgill, studio manager for Interwest/Rastar.
They chose the Leaf Volare three-shot camera by Scitex, Bedford, MA, and lighting and peripheral equipment from Sinar Bron, Edison, NJ, the exclusive distributor of the Scitex photographic technology. The Leaf Volare is a professional-level digital camera back designed for quality still-life, studio work that has allowed Despain to switch from defense to offense. And so far, Interwest has scored. “Speed, productivity and predictability ... we gained over (our) old digital gear,” he notes. “We ... have been awarded several large catalog projects that we did not expect to gain.” However, Interwest will work cooperatively, not competitively, with photographers: Pooling expertise and technology, he opines, can be mutually beneficial.
The New Generation
More recent adopters of digital photography may have skipped the early camera backs entirely. Richard Salas has been a photographer for 20 years, mostly for the catalog industry. Three years ago, when Salas purchased his first digital camera, he considered the requirements of the work he was producing. Since the majority of his shots print no larger than the trim size of a magazine cover, he had no need for the image data gathering capability of a linear array-type camera. Thus, he chose the T2 three-shot area array CCD camera from MegaVision, Santa Barbara, CA. In 1998, Salas reports, he shot film only two or three times. “ Since I’ve been shooting digital, my business has increased 200 to 300 percent.”