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2005年NPR美国国家公共电台四月-A Buyer's Guide to Digital Cameras

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On Mondays, the Business Report examines Technology.

People used to say that "A picture was worth a thousand words." In the digital age, that works up to several million pixels. Digital cameras are getting smaller, better, and cheaper, as we learned from David Pogue. He's a technology writer for the New York Times.

David: You can get a little pocketable digital camera that takes really good pictures, not suitable for giant prints, but suitable for four-by-sixes for 150 dollars.

Reporter: Now you just made an interesting distinction there between whether it's suitable for giant prints or suitable for something smaller. That's one of the challenges for digital photography, right?

D: Exactly. With zoom1 cameras, you take a piece of film, you make any size enlargement you want, you never think about it. But on a digital camera, the number of color dots it memorizes when you press the shutter2 determines how big an enlargement you can make without being able to see the individual dots. That's the so-called megapixels of a camera.

R: And depending on the camera you have, you may have control of that even within the camera you can put on different settings.

D: Exactly, if you have an eight-megapixel camera, you can always dial it back to four or two, and you might say, well, why would you ever wanna do that. And this is my own pep, if already my veins3 are standing4 out from my faces, I talk about this. Consumers tend to think "Well, megapixels means bigger prints, so I'll just buy the camera with the most megapixels I can." More megapixels also means each picture you snap is a bigger file, which means it takes longer to take another picture after the first one. It takes longer to transfer those pictures to your computer, longer to edit them, longer to e-mail them, and so on. So megapixels is good up to a point. I happen to think for most consumers about four is the sweet spot.

R: There are now some digital cameras that will take a little video. There are of course, video cameras that will take a still photo. Is there any camera or video camera for that matter which can do both well?

D: No, every consumer has this question "Why do I have to buy two gadgets6 and pack two things on my trips?" The details of why you can't do that are pretty technical. It turns out that both the lens and the circuitry inside the gadget5 are different for these two different purposes. So there are very few that can do both well. The one interesting thing I've seen comes from Samsung. And it is sorta the weirdest-looking gadget.It actually has two lens barrels stacked, one for videos and one for still pictures, and it actually works.

R: They basically just took the two things and duct-taped them together.

D: (laugh) They had a little more elegance7 than that, but yes, that's the idea.

R: You mentioned one mistake that some consumers may make which is just buying too many megapixels more than they would really want and in fact they will get in the way. Are there other pitfalls8 people should avoid when they are deciding how to equip themselves?

D: Well it's worth pointing out just a couple of tradeoffs, and tradeoff number one is, you can't have both size and style, and great photos. So the cameras these days are unbelievablly good-looking. They have ones that are literally9 the size of a credit card and less than half an inch thick. We are talking you could put six of them in your shirt pocket, and the pictures they take are pretty good, but you are not going to get really spectacular magazine-worthy pictures, until you get into bigger and heavier. And number two is that megapixel issue. You can't have everything in a camera both price and a high megapixel rating. There are companies, if you can believe it, that sell five-megapixel cameras for two hundred dollars. But the pictures are terrible, and you say "Why? It has five megapixels!" And the answer is there's so much more to a good digital picture, especially the lens quality and the circuitry inside. So there is a lot of factors and the best way to shop is really to look online at these camera comparison web sites, like steves-digicams.com where these guys actually test the cameras and put up sample photos.

David Pogue, technology columnist10 for the New York Times. Thanks very much.

Thanks Steve.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 zoom VenzWT     
n.急速上升;v.突然扩大,急速上升
参考例句:
  • The airplane's zoom carried it above the clouds.飞机的陡直上升使它飞到云层之上。
  • I live near an airport and the zoom of passing planes can be heard night and day.我住在一个飞机场附近,昼夜都能听到飞机飞过的嗡嗡声。
2 shutter qEpy6     
n.百叶窗;(照相机)快门;关闭装置
参考例句:
  • The camera has a shutter speed of one-sixtieth of a second.这架照像机的快门速度达六十分之一秒。
  • The shutter rattled in the wind.百叶窗在风中发出嘎嘎声。
3 veins 65827206226d9e2d78ea2bfe697c6329     
n.纹理;矿脉( vein的名词复数 );静脉;叶脉;纹理
参考例句:
  • The blood flows from the capillaries back into the veins. 血从毛细血管流回静脉。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • I felt a pleasant glow in all my veins from the wine. 喝过酒后我浑身的血都热烘烘的,感到很舒服。 来自《简明英汉词典》
4 standing 2hCzgo     
n.持续,地位;adj.永久的,不动的,直立的,不流动的
参考例句:
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
5 gadget Hffz0     
n.小巧的机械,精巧的装置,小玩意儿
参考例句:
  • This gadget isn't much good.这小机械没什么用处。
  • She has invented a nifty little gadget for undoing stubborn nuts and bolts.她发明了一种灵巧的小工具用来松开紧固的螺母和螺栓。
6 gadgets 7239f3f3f78d7b7d8bbb906e62f300b4     
n.小机械,小器具( gadget的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • Certainly. The idea is not to have a house full of gadgets. 当然。设想是房屋不再充满小配件。 来自超越目标英语 第4册
  • This meant more gadgets and more experiments. 这意味着要设计出更多的装置,做更多的实验。 来自英汉非文学 - 科学史
7 elegance QjPzj     
n.优雅;优美,雅致;精致,巧妙
参考例句:
  • The furnishings in the room imparted an air of elegance.这个房间的家具带给这房间一种优雅的气氛。
  • John has been known for his sartorial elegance.约翰因为衣着讲究而出名。
8 pitfalls 0382b30a08349985c214a648cf92ca3c     
(捕猎野兽用的)陷阱( pitfall的名词复数 ); 意想不到的困难,易犯的错误
参考例句:
  • the potential pitfalls of buying a house 购买房屋可能遇到的圈套
  • Several pitfalls remain in the way of an agreement. 在达成协议的进程中还有几个隐藏的困难。
9 literally 28Wzv     
adv.照字面意义,逐字地;确实
参考例句:
  • He translated the passage literally.他逐字逐句地翻译这段文字。
  • Sometimes she would not sit down till she was literally faint.有时候,她不走到真正要昏厥了,决不肯坐下来。
10 columnist XwwzUQ     
n.专栏作家
参考例句:
  • The host was interviewing a local columnist.节目主持人正在同一位当地的专栏作家交谈。
  • She's a columnist for USA Today.她是《今日美国报》的专栏作家。
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TAG标签:   npr  公共电台  guide  digital  camera
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