December 21, 2010

Kim Komando answers your Web, photo questions

OSKALOOSA — Q. I’m interesting in buying a Kindle. I heard that it has a built-in Web browser. How usable is it for Web-surfing?

A. The Kindle’s Web browser is based on the same engine as Google’s Chrome. But it lacks tabbed browsing and flash support. It is also black and white only. You will want to use it primarily for text-based Websites. But, it can also access sites like Google Maps. Additionally, you can check Webmail from Yahoo! and Gmail. Just keep it mind that it may not always be stable. When you use it, do so over Wi-Fi connection. The Kindle does have 3G, but Amazon prefers that be used for book downloads only.

Q. I want to upload photos to share with friends and families. What is a good online photo-sharing service? I also want to have the option to order printed photos later.

A. For basic sharing, Facebook is likely your best bet. It’s likely that your friends and family are on Facebook anyway. And Facebook has recently upgraded its photo-hosting capabilities. Plus, it integrates with the popular Flickr photo sharing service. For sharing and printing, Google’s Picasa is a good bet. It is easy to create shareable Web albums. Additionally, Google has an excellent, free desktop photo organizer. It integrates closely with the Web version of Picasa. Picasa lets you print photos using a number of popular printing services.

Q. I just got my first digital camera. And I want to take pictures of upcoming family gatherings. Should I be shooting in RAW format? I hear it is better quality.

A. The RAW photo format is like a film negative; it’s an unprocessed image. This gives you more information to edit. And that allows you to make a better-looking final image. However, shooting in RAW format doesn’t guarantee a better image. And RAW files can be difficult to work with. Few programs can edit or view them. And they will need to be converted before sharing with others. For beginning photographers I don’t recommend shooting in RAW format. Focus on building your skills; worry about RAW format when image quality becomes an issue.

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