Professional Image Processing
  |  First Published: June 2010

In last month’s issue I pointed out the advantages of carrying the ultra compact Panasonic Lumix FT2 camera in the pocket when fishing. It was a trout fishing expedition to the New England area that saw the little Lumix being used to record catches and then, when the article was published, revealing just how good a job it had done when a photo sat side by side with one taken by my Nikon SLR.

The outcome of the exercise was not overly surprising: I bought my own Lumix FT2 and it’s now ready to use in the boat, the bush, wherever I can use this very compact but efficient camera to take a good photo.

Digital photos are a brilliant concept when we look at the catch and release aspect of the images we capture but what happens to those few really good photos we like to keep and display? The answer is it all depends on the processing undertaken.

When buying the Lumix from Photo Continental I arranged to use the in-store processing, it’s also available on line, to process and enlarge a few selected shots as keepsakes.

For the record, however, I would also mention that Photo Continental still do film and colour slide processing given that there is still a demand for these services. Their film processing systems are of professional quality so users can have ample confidence in the end product. Note, too, that colour prints and slides can be put onto a CD or into a photo book is so desired.

In giving the system a trial I found it could not be easier. With the camera’s card in one of the machines available it’s simply a matter of following the prompts to edit, select, and identify those images required for processing. At the ‘go’ command a docket given to processing staff then allows them to complete the job with normal turnaround time being around four hours.

Prints, on glossy or lustre paper, are available in sizes from standard right up to 12 by 18 and for the exercise I selected a couple of the larger ones for myself. Note that full sized posters are also available but will take a couple of days extra. An ongoing offer comes as a bonus. If a frame is bought for one of the 12 x 18 prints, prints from within the run that enlargement will be free. Note that small imperfections (dates showing, perhaps) can be removed during processing for a small fee.

Here’s the exciting part. DIY processing. Connecting to the Photo Continental website allows a customer to be virtually in-store while at home. With the camera attached or a card inserted in the user’s computer the website is then brought on line with the processing section selected. Prints are identified for processing and the prompts followed in the normal manner as if the person is in store at the time. Photo Continental will then contact the customer regarding payment method and, finally, the prints are then posted to the customer’s address or may be picked up in-store upon completion. Now that’s convenience.

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