Canon EOS-1D Mark III – yes, please!

Wow. Canon updated the EOS-1D to Mark III. 10MP. 10fps. 3" LCD.Dual Digic III processors. Integrated sensor cleaner. ISO 6400.

Now I just need $3,999 US. Anyone need a kidney?

 

Wow. Canon updated the EOS-1D to Mark III. 10MP. 10fps. 3" LCD.Dual Digic III processors. Integrated sensor cleaner. ISO 6400.

Now I just need $3,999 US. Anyone need a kidney?

 

Canon 75-300mm USM Lens

Lawrie switched from a Canon SLR to Panasonic DSLR body over Christmas, and was looking to sell off his old Canon EF lenses. I picked up his Canon 75-300mm f4-5.6 USM Mark II for a good price.

It’s not the best lens ever made, and the optics aren’t much (any?) better than the kit lens, but it sure is long. I wanted something with a good reach, and this sucker has that in spades. At 300mm, the visible area is about 6? across (if I hold my arm out in front of me, with my hand up and fingers together, it’s about 3 fingers across).

There is noticeable chromatic aberration, especially in bright photos with high contrast. But, for a lens to grab a mountain from over 100km away, it ain’t half bad at all. It’s certainly no worse than the kit lens.

It’s not a fast lens, either, meaning that I’ll need to use a monopod or tripod in low light scenarios, even moreso at the 300mm end of the lens. But, that’s not bad since I have a handy dandy monopod.

The lens is far too long to be a regular walking-around lens, but will definitely come in handy for shooting far-away things, and has a decent macro at 1.5m, so I can take nice closeups of stuff without cramming the lens into whatever the subject is. It doesn’t come close to the 28-135mm USM IS lens, which has a more normal range and much nicer optics (and I’m still saving up for that one, too).

I’ve taken a bunch of test photos to see how it behaves at the extreme ends of the range.

Here are some samples of a scene from my back door. The first shot was taken at 300mm on the new lens, the next at 75mm (the wide end of the lens), and the last one taken at 18mm using the kit lens.

No Dogs Sign @ 300mm
No Dogs Sign @ 75mm
Backyard Greenness

Lawrie switched from a Canon SLR to Panasonic DSLR body over Christmas, and was looking to sell off his old Canon EF lenses. I picked up his Canon 75-300mm f4-5.6 USM Mark II for a good price.

It’s not the best lens ever made, and the optics aren’t much (any?) better than the kit lens, but it sure is long. I wanted something with a good reach, and this sucker has that in spades. At 300mm, the visible area is about 6? across (if I hold my arm out in front of me, with my hand up and fingers together, it’s about 3 fingers across).

There is noticeable chromatic aberration, especially in bright photos with high contrast. But, for a lens to grab a mountain from over 100km away, it ain’t half bad at all. It’s certainly no worse than the kit lens.

It’s not a fast lens, either, meaning that I’ll need to use a monopod or tripod in low light scenarios, even moreso at the 300mm end of the lens. But, that’s not bad since I have a handy dandy monopod.

The lens is far too long to be a regular walking-around lens, but will definitely come in handy for shooting far-away things, and has a decent macro at 1.5m, so I can take nice closeups of stuff without cramming the lens into whatever the subject is. It doesn’t come close to the 28-135mm USM IS lens, which has a more normal range and much nicer optics (and I’m still saving up for that one, too).

I’ve taken a bunch of test photos to see how it behaves at the extreme ends of the range.

Here are some samples of a scene from my back door. The first shot was taken at 300mm on the new lens, the next at 75mm (the wide end of the lens), and the last one taken at 18mm using the kit lens.

No Dogs Sign @ 300mm
No Dogs Sign @ 75mm
Backyard Greenness

New Camera Toys

The Teaching & Learning Centre picked up a new Canon Digital Rebel XTi and 28-135mm USM IS lens, primarily to better photograph events and workshops. I took a quick walk around this side of campus to try it out. Man, do I love the new lens. The XTi is a pretty nice upgrade, too. I’m still really happy with my (now obsolete) XT, but the XTi is nice. The LCD feels HUGE. The 9-point focus is good (although I have my XT set to center focus only, so the extra 8 points would be wasted).

I posted a bunch of my test photos – sets of two, taken at each end of the lenses’ range.

ST Hallway @ 28mmST Hallway @ 135mm

ST Hallway @ 300mm

I’ll try to make some time to test out the new rig over the next week or so. And of course, now I need to save up to buy my own 28-135mm USM IS lens. Dayum, that’s nice.

Update: I added a sample of the same shot taken with a 75-300mm EF USM MkII at 300mm for comparison. It’s a bit blurry because that lens is not IS, and I didn’t have a tri- or monopod handy. Hand-holding at 300mm in lowish light is not recommended…

The Teaching & Learning Centre picked up a new Canon Digital Rebel XTi and 28-135mm USM IS lens, primarily to better photograph events and workshops. I took a quick walk around this side of campus to try it out. Man, do I love the new lens. The XTi is a pretty nice upgrade, too. I’m still really happy with my (now obsolete) XT, but the XTi is nice. The LCD feels HUGE. The 9-point focus is good (although I have my XT set to center focus only, so the extra 8 points would be wasted).

I posted a bunch of my test photos – sets of two, taken at each end of the lenses’ range.

ST Hallway @ 28mmST Hallway @ 135mm

ST Hallway @ 300mm

I’ll try to make some time to test out the new rig over the next week or so. And of course, now I need to save up to buy my own 28-135mm USM IS lens. Dayum, that’s nice.

Update: I added a sample of the same shot taken with a 75-300mm EF USM MkII at 300mm for comparison. It’s a bit blurry because that lens is not IS, and I didn’t have a tri- or monopod handy. Hand-holding at 300mm in lowish light is not recommended…

eMate 300 has arrived

The eMate 300 I ordered on eBay finally arrived this afternoon – the mailperson decided to leave the package on my front step in the rain/snow.

I fired it up, and aside from the battery being dead (it’s only a decade old), it works great! The previous owner left it in Classroom Mode so I had to perform the ber-hard reset (hold down the power key, tap the reset button on the bottom, and keep holding until the reset prompts come on screen). That got it back to factory condition – but I lost the installed copy of Works, and there were no install CDs provided. Doh. Off to unna.org…

I have to say – Newton OS 2.1 is pretty darned sweet. The thing just hums along nicely, and everything just seems to work as expected. The handwriting/printing recognition is nearly flawless – and when it has problems, it’s obviously a result of my less-than-legible printing.

The form factor is pretty sweet, too. It’s slightly smaller than a 12″ iBook, with a shorter screen. The built in keyboard is pretty nice, and would make long writing sessions (or just correcting the occasional recognition error) go quicker. The backlight is nice, too. My MP120 doesn’t have one, and it makes it nearly unusable when not in a very brightly lit room.

It must have been pretty sweet to have a classroom full of these puppies, with the classroom dock and charging station, and each student having their own eMate (and private account on it, too). I haven’t seen anything quite as well thought out since. That’s a bit of a shame in and of itself.

I’ll post some pics to Flickr when I get the chance – probably after installing some apps on it to show what it looks like. Evan’s going to LOVE this thing, since he can draw on it, as well as practicing his new letters. That should be fun. And it’s supposed to be rather ruggedized, so it might survive more than 30 seconds with The Boy.

Playing with Newton OS 2.1 has me wanting a full MessagePad 2100, though. Man, that would be sweet. 10x faster than the eMate, in a hand-held form factor for easier handwriting. Slap in an 802.11b card and you’re online, too. I’ve got to start rummaging through my couch cushions for some spare twonies for eBay…

This post is brought to you by the words “pretty” and “sweet”, apparently. Man, do I need a Reader’s Digest subscription. Ways to Enrich Your Word Power, anyone?

The eMate 300 I ordered on eBay finally arrived this afternoon – the mailperson decided to leave the package on my front step in the rain/snow.

I fired it up, and aside from the battery being dead (it’s only a decade old), it works great! The previous owner left it in Classroom Mode so I had to perform the ber-hard reset (hold down the power key, tap the reset button on the bottom, and keep holding until the reset prompts come on screen). That got it back to factory condition – but I lost the installed copy of Works, and there were no install CDs provided. Doh. Off to unna.org…

I have to say – Newton OS 2.1 is pretty darned sweet. The thing just hums along nicely, and everything just seems to work as expected. The handwriting/printing recognition is nearly flawless – and when it has problems, it’s obviously a result of my less-than-legible printing.

The form factor is pretty sweet, too. It’s slightly smaller than a 12″ iBook, with a shorter screen. The built in keyboard is pretty nice, and would make long writing sessions (or just correcting the occasional recognition error) go quicker. The backlight is nice, too. My MP120 doesn’t have one, and it makes it nearly unusable when not in a very brightly lit room.

It must have been pretty sweet to have a classroom full of these puppies, with the classroom dock and charging station, and each student having their own eMate (and private account on it, too). I haven’t seen anything quite as well thought out since. That’s a bit of a shame in and of itself.

I’ll post some pics to Flickr when I get the chance – probably after installing some apps on it to show what it looks like. Evan’s going to LOVE this thing, since he can draw on it, as well as practicing his new letters. That should be fun. And it’s supposed to be rather ruggedized, so it might survive more than 30 seconds with The Boy.

Playing with Newton OS 2.1 has me wanting a full MessagePad 2100, though. Man, that would be sweet. 10x faster than the eMate, in a hand-held form factor for easier handwriting. Slap in an 802.11b card and you’re online, too. I’ve got to start rummaging through my couch cushions for some spare twonies for eBay…

This post is brought to you by the words “pretty” and “sweet”, apparently. Man, do I need a Reader’s Digest subscription. Ways to Enrich Your Word Power, anyone?

Ultrasound Potty Training Aid?

Gizmodo posted about this new product called Uturn.

She makes this device that looks really weird that sits on your stomach. It uses ultrasound and bluetooth to find out when your bladder is full then it lets you know it’s time to go piss.

It’s being branded as an incontinence aid, but wouldn’t something like that be handy to help with potty training? Just slap this sucker on your toddler, and when the bells and whistles start blaring, Junior knows when to pee…

Gizmodo posted about this new product called Uturn.

She makes this device that looks really weird that sits on your stomach. It uses ultrasound and bluetooth to find out when your bladder is full then it lets you know it’s time to go piss.

It’s being branded as an incontinence aid, but wouldn’t something like that be handy to help with potty training? Just slap this sucker on your toddler, and when the bells and whistles start blaring, Junior knows when to pee…

So THAT’s where the 3GHz G5 went…

Microsoft Officially Unveils the Xbox 360 — Page 2 Feature for Xbox on GamePro.com

Finally, we come to the brains of the Xbox 360: three symmetrical IBM PowerPC processor cores running at 3.2 Ghz each.

Man, I bet Steve is a little pissed at Bill over this one…

Microsoft Officially Unveils the Xbox 360 — Page 2 Feature for Xbox on GamePro.com

Finally, we come to the brains of the Xbox 360: three symmetrical IBM PowerPC processor cores running at 3.2 Ghz each.

Man, I bet Steve is a little pissed at Bill over this one…

New Camera: Fuji Finepix E510

My old clunky Olympus D-510Z is overdue for retirement. It’s only a 2 megapixel camera, and takes increasingly worse pictures. They’re fine if there’s a LOT of light, but otherwise, all bets are off.

So, I just cashed in my SDLW benefit (a University thing, where we get a small portion of our salary alotted to buying toystools to support our lifelong learning – computers, iPods and digital cameras appear to be the most popular way to do that).

I picked up a Fuji Finepix E510 – a nice compact 5 megapixel beauty, with a honking big 2″ screen (and it’s amazingly bright and clear). I like the controls, and the camera was reviewed well. Probably the best camera in the low-end price range – at least one of the best bang:buck ratios. (if I’d had more cash to allocate, I’d have sprung for the Canon Digital Rebel (or the XT), but that’s another story…)

Anyway, I look forward to taking a LOT more pictures, and am hoping they’ll turn out consistently better (at least photo-quality, if not aesthetically) than before. I’ll be taking the Fuji on the Sonoma State Pachyderm Developer’s Retreat on Monday, so there will likely be a Metric Boatload of new photos from the Bay Area uploaded over the next few days. I know it’s not going to turn me into a Kris Krug or anything, but at least I’m going to be having to throw out badly exposed/focussed photos as often…

Fuji Finepix E510

Things I like so far:

  • the screen – huge, clear and bright.
  • the controls – the dial makes it so easy to change modes. That was a huge pain on the Olympus (mitigated by its lack of meaningful modes, so I never really changed modes too often as a result anyway)
  • takes only 2 AA class batteries (or rechargeable) – the Olympus chewed through 4 at a time
  • resolution – 5 MP is nice
  • picture quality
  • flash doesn’t pop up unless you want it – it automatically popped into position on the Olympus
  • it’s inexpensive – I got it for only $299 CDN, and got a 256MB xD card for about 20 bucks after rebates. I overlooked my disgust for Future Shop to buy it there – because it was so much cheaper there, and it’s totally commodity – I just walked in and asked for the exact item that I wanted…

Things I don’t like so far:

  • it’s not a Canon Digital Rebel XT 🙂
  • having to plug the camera in via USB to unload it – I have a Smart Media card reader, but that won’t work for the xD card. Meaning I have to turn the camera on to unload it. This would have been a dealbreaker with the Olympus’ appetite for batteries, but the Fuji is apparently much more thrifty. Maybe this is a non-issue. If it turns out to be a problem, I may have to spring for the PCMCIA xD card reader so I can just plug the xD card into my Powerbook… (that would be nice because I wouldn’t be limited by USB 1.0 speed while transferring images from the camera)
  • having to remember to activate the flash if needed – it’s got a handy and easy to read indicator so maybe this is a non-issue as well
  • when activating the flash, and after using the flash, it takes 2 seconds to recharge it – and it dims the LCD while it’s charging. frustrating. this may be a side-effect of the cheap/stale AA batteries that came with it. I’ll slap in some high end batteries to see if that makes a difference

My old clunky Olympus D-510Z is overdue for retirement. It’s only a 2 megapixel camera, and takes increasingly worse pictures. They’re fine if there’s a LOT of light, but otherwise, all bets are off.

So, I just cashed in my SDLW benefit (a University thing, where we get a small portion of our salary alotted to buying toystools to support our lifelong learning – computers, iPods and digital cameras appear to be the most popular way to do that).

I picked up a Fuji Finepix E510 – a nice compact 5 megapixel beauty, with a honking big 2″ screen (and it’s amazingly bright and clear). I like the controls, and the camera was reviewed well. Probably the best camera in the low-end price range – at least one of the best bang:buck ratios. (if I’d had more cash to allocate, I’d have sprung for the Canon Digital Rebel (or the XT), but that’s another story…)

Anyway, I look forward to taking a LOT more pictures, and am hoping they’ll turn out consistently better (at least photo-quality, if not aesthetically) than before. I’ll be taking the Fuji on the Sonoma State Pachyderm Developer’s Retreat on Monday, so there will likely be a Metric Boatload of new photos from the Bay Area uploaded over the next few days. I know it’s not going to turn me into a Kris Krug or anything, but at least I’m going to be having to throw out badly exposed/focussed photos as often…

Fuji Finepix E510

Things I like so far:

  • the screen – huge, clear and bright.
  • the controls – the dial makes it so easy to change modes. That was a huge pain on the Olympus (mitigated by its lack of meaningful modes, so I never really changed modes too often as a result anyway)
  • takes only 2 AA class batteries (or rechargeable) – the Olympus chewed through 4 at a time
  • resolution – 5 MP is nice
  • picture quality
  • flash doesn’t pop up unless you want it – it automatically popped into position on the Olympus
  • it’s inexpensive – I got it for only $299 CDN, and got a 256MB xD card for about 20 bucks after rebates. I overlooked my disgust for Future Shop to buy it there – because it was so much cheaper there, and it’s totally commodity – I just walked in and asked for the exact item that I wanted…

Things I don’t like so far:

  • it’s not a Canon Digital Rebel XT 🙂
  • having to plug the camera in via USB to unload it – I have a Smart Media card reader, but that won’t work for the xD card. Meaning I have to turn the camera on to unload it. This would have been a dealbreaker with the Olympus’ appetite for batteries, but the Fuji is apparently much more thrifty. Maybe this is a non-issue. If it turns out to be a problem, I may have to spring for the PCMCIA xD card reader so I can just plug the xD card into my Powerbook… (that would be nice because I wouldn’t be limited by USB 1.0 speed while transferring images from the camera)
  • having to remember to activate the flash if needed – it’s got a handy and easy to read indicator so maybe this is a non-issue as well
  • when activating the flash, and after using the flash, it takes 2 seconds to recharge it – and it dims the LCD while it’s charging. frustrating. this may be a side-effect of the cheap/stale AA batteries that came with it. I’ll slap in some high end batteries to see if that makes a difference