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Old 10-04-2008, 09:07 AM   #1
brookman
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reader for manga and books

hello everybody!
this is my fist post here and i have never owned, seen or used any ebook reader.

i have been thinking about buying an ebook reader for some time and i started to read the specifications and information about several models.
the main application for me would be to read manga (jpg or png) and of course ebooks (pdf).

until now the sony 505 seems to be the best choice. i tried to downsize manga pages to 800x600 and decreasing the color depth to 8, in my opinion 4 colors is too low. of course it would be much more comfortable if the resolution was higher too.

i'm kind of confused about the new sony 700, because in some news sources they talk about it only having 4 colors. but i think it's too expensive anyway. plus i don't need a touch screen.

it would be nice if someone could share his/her opinions and experience about reading manga on ebook readers. i still have some doubts and questions:
  • isn't one second a little bit too long for a page to turn? when reading manga on the pc i only look at one page about 2-5 seconds and the page turn is only some milliseconds. for ebooks this isn't a problem i think.
  • is it even necessary to scale down and reduce the color level of the pictures before displaying them? (not that it would be much of a problem with a batch tool)
  • if yes, what tool do you use to get the smoothest and most readable downscale results? i use irfan view atm, but i'm not too happy with the quality. photoshop offers several algorithms like "nearest neighbor", "bilinear" and "bicubic". which one is the best, and does it matter if i scale them down first and then decrease the color depth or the other way round?
  • where can i buy the sony ebook readers the cheapest online (i live in switzerland).
  • or should i even wait with buying for the devices to get better resolution/speed?

thank you very much for your help!

brookman
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Old 10-04-2008, 10:05 AM   #2
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Don't use PDF if you can possibly help it. PDF was never designed to be an eBook format, and it's not very good at all for the task. The problem is that most PDFs are formatted for an A4 or US Letter page, and there's just no good way to display them on a device with a screen 1/6th the area of A4.
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Old 10-04-2008, 10:30 AM   #3
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Don't use PDF if you can possibly help it. PDF was never designed to be an eBook format, and it's not very good at all for the task. The problem is that most PDFs are formatted for an A4 or US Letter page, and there's just no good way to display them on a device with a screen 1/6th the area of A4.
I would rather say: for manga use PDF. For ebooks, use PDF if you can have a PDF that's the right size for the screen only.

There's already several tools capable of creating a PDF or ePub manga for the PRS-505, and they all handle things such as resizing the page, conversion to 8 colors etc...

Honestly, reading a manga on the 505 is a nice experience and you don't have to wait that much for the next page to be displayed. Scaling down the image is necessary, changing the color depth is not. If you're in switzerland, now that the 505 is available in the UK it might be a better deal than from the US.
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Old 10-04-2008, 10:38 AM   #4
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You really don't need to turn down the number of colors for the 505. Just going to 256 gray scale and letting the 505 do the dithering works quite well. The dithering routine(s) in the 505 do a very nice job with the 8 native shades.
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Old 10-04-2008, 01:06 PM   #5
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thanks for your answers and advices!
it would be cool, if somebody could give me a link to an example how a converted manga in a pdf for sony 505 looks like.

i have been looking around and found the device at amazon for about 280$. what do you think? do you know a cheaper offer?
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Old 10-04-2008, 05:29 PM   #6
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thanks for your answers and advices!
it would be cool, if somebody could give me a link to an example how a converted manga in a pdf for sony 505 looks like.

i have been looking around and found the device at amazon for about 280$. what do you think? do you know a cheaper offer?
Fry's has it cheaper. They have the cheapest price I have seen anywhere.

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Old 10-04-2008, 08:11 PM   #7
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Fry's has it cheaper. They have the cheapest price I have seen anywhere.

Dale
fry's?
do you mean frys.com? i can only find it there for 299$ and it's sold out too. do they even ship to europe?
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Old 10-04-2008, 10:14 PM   #8
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BHPhotovideo.com ships to Europe and their price is USD275. You can also get the lightwedge (light cover) from them at the same time.

I'm also at the point of almost getting the 505 subject to a few more details and availability on the 700.

I really hope that calibre will support the 700 but that's an unknown right now.
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Old 10-05-2008, 05:16 AM   #9
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Fry's has it cheaper. They have the cheapest price I have seen anywhere.

Dale
... but they don't sell internationally.
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Old 10-06-2008, 02:55 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by brookman View Post
thanks for your answers and advices!
it would be cool, if somebody could give me a link to an example how a converted manga in a pdf for sony 505 looks like.

i have been looking around and found the device at amazon for about 280$. what do you think? do you know a cheaper offer?
I regularly read manga on my PRS-505. I'd say that the clarity really depends on your source materials. The best scanlations to convert would be those that are clear and most importantly, have large fonts. Not all manga can be read on the sony reader, but for those that are suitable, the experience is not that much different as compared to reading from paper.

I'd take some pics to show you once I finish work later.
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Old 10-06-2008, 11:27 AM   #11
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I regularly read manga on my PRS-505. I'd say that the clarity really depends on your source materials. The best scanlations to convert would be those that are clear and most importantly, have large fonts. Not all manga can be read on the sony reader, but for those that are suitable, the experience is not that much different as compared to reading from paper.

I'd take some pics to show you once I finish work later.
that would be nice!
do you think something like that is readable?


Last edited by brookman; 10-06-2008 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 10-06-2008, 02:18 PM   #12
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Some pictures taken from my PRS-505 ... my room is kind of dim, so the image might be somewhat dark.

Conversion was done using comic2lrf, which is part of calibre. I might try with your images later, but it's pretty late now.
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Old 10-06-2008, 02:26 PM   #13
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that would be nice!
do you think something like that is readable?

I read manga on my iLiad. The screen is a bit larger than on the Sony models, but I find it quite readable. I converted the CBZ files to PDF sized for the iLiad screen with manga2pdf (see the iLiad forum), then use Acrobat 7 to reduce the filesize. This compresses the images somewhat, but I still find the pages readable.
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Old 10-06-2008, 02:36 PM   #14
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I'm probably the manga-expert around here.

I've been using the PRS500 and now am using PRS505 to read manga, but I convert my manga completely to LRF. Although the reader can read pictures and pdf, both formats are not so good for the reader.
Using pictures, it's hard to navigate.
Using PDF, the size is a problem.

Converting PDFs to LRF, that would negate all problems. If you use a tool like rasterfarian, the contrast will be increased compared to normal pics. And the generated LRF will be a fraction of the PDF file.

It's a bit outdated, but this review will give you a headstart: http://hightech.afmag.net/reading-ma...ve-review.html


Oh, nekokami, I've created manga2pdf for the sony reader actually, so you can find it in the sony reader's forum. (I've chosen PDF as an intermediate format, because IF I ever buy another reader, I can easily reconvert the pdf to the correct fileformat)
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Old 10-06-2008, 02:42 PM   #15
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athlonkmf, I thought manga2Ebook was yours, and manga2pdf was IceHand's?

Anyway, manga2pdf (the utility I was talking about) is here: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12790
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