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Old 05-31-2004, 06:24 PM   #1
deftron
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Default How do those digital photo printing/developing machines at Wal-Mart, Costco, etc work?

It seems like the pictures come out the same machine as normal film developed pictures.

Are they exposing images somehow (lcd projector?) onto emulsion paper like developed film?

Or is it really just printing like a photo ink jet inside the photo developer machine?


If the later, I wonder why they even put it inside the same machine...
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Old 05-31-2004, 07:25 PM   #2
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Default RE: How do those digital photo printing/developing machines at Wal-Mart, Costco, etc work?

film is scanned and printed from the resulting digital file. You are correct about exposing chemical (RA-4) photographic paper, though the imaging device varies by manufacturer and model. Just about anything is possible - most likely the ones you see use DMD (fuji's favored technology) though LCD and Laser are also common. CRT has fallen out of favor but was one of the first technologies, used (a carryover from its use in film recorders, presumably), and LCD projection was only used on a couple of really craptacular printers several years back (actually I'm only aware of one - Konica, but I'm assuming the existence of others)
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Old 05-31-2004, 07:45 PM   #3
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Default RE: How do those digital photo printing/developing machines at Wal-Mart, Costco, etc work?

So you're saying that they are just printers? Develop film negatives are scanned and printed
just like native digital photos?
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Old 05-31-2004, 07:53 PM   #4
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Default How do those digital photo printing/developing machines at Wal-Mart, Costco, etc work?

Yup! Depends on whether the particular location has been upgraded yet, of course, but I suspect they all are that way by now.

Edit: if you want to check for yourself, take a sharp 35mm picture of something with straight lines in it. Look at the print under an 8x or greater loupe, and you should be able to see raster lines ("pixels")
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Old 06-01-2004, 05:33 PM   #5
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Default How do those digital photo printing/developing machines at Wal-Mart, Costco, etc work?

Can anyone else confirm this ?
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Old 06-01-2004, 06:02 PM   #6
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Default How do those digital photo printing/developing machines at Wal-Mart, Costco, etc work?

Most digital prints these days are done using conventional photographic processes.

In a conventional photo developing machine a projector is used to produce an image of the negative onto a piece of photographic paper. This is then developed to produce the final photograph. At least, was the mainstream a few years ago.

In digital photo machines, the digital file is loaded, digitally converted into a negative and then projected onto photographic paper, which is then developed in the conventional way. Multiple technologies can be used for the projection step.

Some modern systems actually use digital techniques for printing from 35mm/APS photos. Instead of using a conventional projector system, the negative is digitally scanned, enhanced digitally if necessary. and then exposed digitally in the same way as from a true digital source.
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Old 06-01-2004, 06:02 PM   #7
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Default RE: How do those digital photo printing/developing machines at Wal-Mart, Costco, etc work?

i just know the results from ofoto.com beat walmart by a long shot. kodac paper too
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