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JamCam Review and Tutorial

JamCam Review and MS PictureIt Tutorial

The JamCam is not a GREAT camera. But, for what it does and how it can be used, it is a good camera. If you are just getting into the world of digital photography or even have been around for a while, you will enjoy this nice little toy. This is a camera that can take pictures at an office party or a picnic. With this camera you won't be afraid to hand it to a 5 year old. There are disadvantages to it, but it is low cost and it's available almost anywhere.

Pan-A.jpg
320x240
Pan-B.jpg
320x240
One problem is.. I have noticed a
difference in color (hue) from one
image to the next. These images were taken within seconds of each other
and are of almost the same exact
view. But the "hue" of the unprocessed images are very different.

On the up side this camera has only 2  buttons. The yellow one on the back turns it on and the one on top (where it should be) to take the picture. If you hold the yellow button down you can chose different resolutions or cycle all the way through and clear all the pictures taken. (Hopefully after you have downloaded all the images you want to keep.)

If you understand the products limitations then you know what it is, and is not, good for. You must also know that from time to time digital products lose their data. This happens with everything. Even human error can contribute to the lose of data. Don't worry about it, it's like spilled milk, sometimes it happes, clean it up and go on.

One of the problems is that the images are the wrong color. But they make up for that by including Microsoft's Picture It!. Now I'm not one to sing the praises of Microsoft, but this is a decent piece of software that does the job. Here are some of the original images straight from the camera, and images processed with Microsoft Picture it!.

(click on images to view full 640x480)

640x480monitorClean.jpg
640x480

640x480monitorRaw.jpg
640x480


It has a fixed focus lense not unlike a cheap disposable camera. It could also be that my skills as a photographer are some what lacking.
NewMB-A-clean.jpg
640x480
NewMB-A-Raw.jpg
640x480

It takes a few tries to get it right, but off color dark images clean up pretty good.
Wes-Clean.jpg
320x240
Wes-Raw.jpg
320x240
You may notice there is a blue band at the bottom of this image.
Doug-Clean.jpg
320x240
Doug-Raw.jpg
320x240
Cleaning up a washed out image doesn't seem to help much but the original is not too bad.
Kimberly-Clean.jpg
320x240
Kimberly-Raw.jpg
320x240
You can also see there is a blue band on this one too. It seems to come up only in dark areas.

As you can see sometimes the MS Picture it!99 does a better job than others but overall you have some good easy to make choices. You can also see that for the level of quality (especially at 320x240) it is acceptable for use as content on the web or in email.

It can store 8 Images at 640x480
It can store 26 Images at 320x240
It can store 48 Images at 240x180

UsbSerial-Small.jpg
type b interface
It comes with a USB type b interface cable. And a serial cable. I had no trouble getting it to work with the USB on a Win 98. I had some trouble getting it to work on a Win 95 system. But after going to their site and reading their FAQs I had my resolution. If you are using Win 95 you must use the serial cable. First I had to download the updated driver from KbGear/support and I had to get the replacement file from FAQ 20. According to them "The easiest way to update your JamCam Twain software is to replace the current jamcamex.ds file with the new version which you can download here.


How to "Fix" a picture with MS PictureIt!
(which is included with the camera)

When I'm cleaning up a picture in MS Picture It, I start by going to "Touchup" and then "Quick Touchup". Then I choose "Correct Tint". Just click on something that is supposed to be white in the picture and it adjusts automatically. Then click "Done".

To adjust the brightness click "Brightness and Contrast" and then click
"Smart Task Fix" and "Done". Then "Done" one more time and you are done. Now you can save it any way you like. Some times it helps to process your pictures more than once.

The tutorials that come built in to MS PictureIt!99 require the CD but are suprisingly good. The pictures sometimes have a visable blue band at the top and bottom of the image but it seems to happen mostly when there is not enough light or if its just a dark area.
I have asked KBGear about this and they said they are working on a fix and a fix for their occaisonal color problem.

OverAll:
I like the camera, and I recommend it as long as you understand the
limitations of a low cost digital camera. If you want truly amazing quality then expect to pay a truly amazing price.

Bottom Line:
I give this product 5 spaceships out of a possible 10.
(ok, I haven't come up with a rating system yet.)

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