Multimedia Workshop 



Mar 28, 2000

Clik! drive for temporary storage, Cyclovision panoramic lens

Q: I am looking at buying a megapixel digital camera. I am looking at the Olympus 2020 or the 3030. I will be going to a conference for my company and will need to take about 500 pictures. I will not have access to a computer to DL my pictures to. I don't really want to spend a fortune buying dozens of smart cards. A salesman told me today I could buy a digital wallet to download the pictures to and keep shooting. I have never heard of a digital wallet. Can you tell me more about them or point me in the right direction to find out more?

A: There was a company selling a "digital wallet" called MGVision; the digital wallet was essentially a portable hard drive that you could hook up to the camera and download images to, then when you got back to your computer you could hook the drive up to the computer and transfer the images. The limitation was the size of the hard disk, and also it used a serial connection which was slow. I think they have gone out of business; certainly their web page no longer works.

Instead you might want to look at the Iomega Clik! drive. You can buy it in a "digital camera" configuration that includes a card reader that will read CompactFlash and SmartMedia cards directly and save the images onto it's removable disk cartridges. The disk cartridges hold 40MB. Of course, you may need to buy a lot of 40 MB disks, but a ten pack is $99 i.e. ten dollars for 40MB, which is cheaper than buying memory cards.

The drive itself can be battery powered, so you can take it with you, transfer the card contents to disk(s) as you go. Then you can attach the drive to your PC (it doesn't work with a Mac) when you get home and transfer the images to your machine.

Check out Iomega's web site for more information:



Q: I just bought a Cyclovision Parashot lens. It works great, however, I cannot get any one from Cyclovision to email or call me back. I need to purchase at least 5 more of these types of lenses. Do you know of anyone else who makes a similar product?

A: That's Interesting. I remember I emailed them a while back and never heard anything from them. Maybe that's just how they are...

The Cyclovision lets you take one picture that covers 360 degrees. The only other company I know of with a similar kind of product is BeHere ( They had a parabolic lens that was really expensive; about $5,000.

Now they seem to have switched to a different system which they are selling for video immersive stuff, though I assume it works for still images...I don't know what the cost is.

I found a web page that has some interesting info about the Parashot; it shows how the editing tool works and has some example pictures. The author makes note that Cyclovision recently increased their prices. The page also mentions distributors, but the two that I looked at no longer had the Cyclovision listed. Good luck!


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