We were both struck by the lack of adaptability in early digital cameras (and even with today's more advanced units) such as:
- Very limited zoom capabilites (typically 1-3x, sometimes augmented by so-called "digital zoom")
- No lens barrel threads for the addition of external lenses and filters
- "See-through" viewfinders that often don't frame the image accurately, coupled with LCD displays that are difficult to use while composing images, especially in bright light
- No provisions for taking pictures with devices like microscopes and telescopes
photosolve and the Xtend-a-System were born to address these needs. Our very first product was the original Xtend-a-Lens, built by hand from Home Depot plastic pipe and one of Phil's film camera filters. It fit snugly around the lens barrel of the Kodak DC260 digital camera, and allowed us to use other lenses and filters for much greater flexibility. The Xtend-a-Scope and DigiMount systems soon followed, opening up the world of digital astrophotography and microphotography.
As our early customers used these products, they told us that they were increasingly relying on their cameras' LCD displays, since the see-through viewfinders didn't display the images they were composing. But they were unhappy with the small size and limited brightness of those displays. From this feedback came the Xtend-a-View family of LCD viewers. They allow you to bring the LCD to your eye and take full advantage of it for composing images.
Customer feedback also led us to the topic of slide and fim conversion. Many people had boxes (sometimes closets!) full of 35mm slides, film and film negatives, and wanted a cost-effective way to convert them into digital images. The Xtend-a-Slide addresses this need.
From these beginnings, we've enhanced each of these products and added other fine products to our line-up. These include both products developed and manufactured by Photosolve, as well as other products that meet our standards for quality and usefulness. And as our product volumes have grown, we've moved key products to a manufacturing facility in Oroville, California in the Sierra foothills north of Sacramento.