In recent years, viewing home snapshots and vacation pictures on television sets has increased in popularity.
At first, the easiest way to get your pictures on your television screen was to have your slides or prints transferred to a videotape by a photofinisher. Sears and Fotomat still offer this service.Then, several manufacturers introduced optical devices that attached to the front of a video camcorder let you photograph your images - slides, prints and even home movies. Adorama in New York City (1-800-223-2500) still offers several of these transfer units.
About two years ago, Kodalux introduced a service that transfers slides and prints to a Photo CD, which enables you to view your images on a TV set, as well as on a home computer equipped with a CD-ROM drive. This service is still available at stores that offer Kodalux processing.
At the fall Photo Marketing Association Show, Fuji introduced a device that adds something extra to the art of image transfer. It's called the Fujix Photo-Video Imager FV-7, and it can record slides, prints or virtually anything on paper and even small three-dimensional objects. Here is how it works:
The unit, about the size of a stereo Walkman, comes complete with a stand and two minilights. The unit is positioned over the image or subject, while the lights provide enough illumination for exposure. Now, you preview what you see on your television set or in the viewfinder of your camcorder, and then record the image or subject for as long as you like.
With the capability of three-dimensional recording, you can make interesting and entertaining home videotapes. For example, if you spend a week vacationing at a beach resort, you can record your vacation photos, local postcards and even seashells. You could even place your wrist under the unit and record the time and date shown on your watch.
If you don't want to invest in a still image-to-video transfer unit, there's another way to see your pictures on your TV screen - if you own a camcorder.
Simply project your slides on a screen or set up your pictures on a flat surface, put your camcorder on a tripod, properly frame the image in the viewfinder and shoot.
This process may not produce the fine image quality of the aforementioned products or services, and it may require more set-up time, but if you want to save money, it's a practical alternative to purchasing new equipment.