P2000 vs PDA image quality, etc.

Started Aug 17, 2005 | Discussions thread
Bruce M. Contributing Member • Posts: 532
Re: P2000 vs PDA image quality, etc.

Its amazing to me that the ideal (using what was available) PDA viewer WITH transfer storage onboard is STILL what I put together three years ago and can't be bested still!

Inspired by the info at Glasslantern.com I put together an iPaq 3955 (fast and great screen) with the dual slot sleeve for CF card insert and 5GB PCMCIA hard drive in 2nd slot to receive transfers. The sleeve has a double power auxiliarary battery for actual 8 hours run times. A nice custom case makes the "brick" nice in the hand, transfers work perfectly, AND one can actually open and display the transferred files for 100% confirmation. The tiny PCMCIA hard drives can be swapped for more transfers and stored safety separate from tempting gear. Stick the hard drive in laptop's PCMCIA slot for no wires transfers.

Downside? Oh yeah. The transfer to hard drive, even using cool Pixer (nearly automates the transfers from CF with a few taps and with total detailed progress input on the process, no blinking dots here.) software is really, really slow by PDX70 standards. About 12 minutes for 1GB CF card. But, shooting with the second 1GB card, does the transfer time matter? Pixfer even will shut down the PDA when finished, so it can be totally unattended.

PocketLoupe is incredible viewing software, lightning fast seeks and display, 100% scrollable detail with a stylus tap. I've never seen anything even close. Full screen to 100% is literally instantaneous. Next image as fast as one can swipe the stylus. First to last image in a second.

The 320x240 resolution is entirely adequate for its field viewer use. Not to slide show color tweaked up snaps, but to review critical expressions, details, sharpness (at 100%) in business use. I have side-by-side compared the 3955 displaying the same image on a good laptop and the closeness of reproduction is amazing, even those greyscale and Macbeth acid tests. Not perfect, but close enough to make intelligent field decisions. Remember, the Leaf 1st generation digital backs used the very same iPaq 3900 for their choice of captures review displayer. At those prices the PDA had to be the best available (at the time two years ago).

And, my iPaq has dozens of other incredible applications, PDA functions, games, library of books, makes a great MP3 player with superb audio reproduction, the 1GB SD card holds hours of music, plays MPEG videos all with a very stable and fast OS with instant navigation running eevrything. Pocket PC 2003 is a very good little OS.

If one doesn't mind being retro-chic the 3955/dual sleeve/PCMCIA hard drive combo still can't be bested yet. 3955's go for well under $200 used now, the rare dual sleeves still command a premium $100 and the 5GB PCMCIA drives (never got bigger sizes offered) run $100 new with a Google. So for well under $400 (plus the really needed glasslantern.com software to make the process a pleasure to do instead of clunky, slow and aggravating) the sort of ideal viewer/transfer portable can be had. I still love mine, even though a PDX70 tempts. But I'm so used to actually opening transferred files I'm not sure the smiley icon would suffice before erasing the CF.

Good deals/good people for used Pocket PC's and accessories at For Sale forum at http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com

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