Friday, February 29, 2008

Viewpoints on operating systems

Viewpoints on operating systems. Pretty funny post. Has good points too.

Sigma DP1

Sigma DP1 early test.

Epona reports:
Most people dislike the colors by the Foveon sensor, because people have become so inundated with filmmakers ideas of color (hypersaturated to "reality") and now by sensor makers intentions to duplicate that so people aren't disappointed. I've owned the SD9 since it came out and recently the SD14. To me, the colors from the Foveon sensor are true to what my eyes see, not the hypersaturated colors that most films (especially slide films) and printed products like photo books, magazines, etc. People expect green foliage to be so incredibly unnaturally green, rather than what ones eyes actually perceive when out walking on a bright, sunny day. Sure, I can take my raw files and make them look like everybody else's, but why? I've got colors that look natural to me. Besides, I love that there is no in-camera interpolation. The details are great (sometimes too good, as in portraits - most people want to look better, not as they really are blemishes and all). As for JPEG, I never shoot with it. I only shoot raw and convert later if I post something, so I can't tell you much about the JPEG converter used.
Bert said:

NOTE: New test images have been added (and I suspect that the older ones have been updated too).

"Most people dislike the colors by the Foveon sensor [...]"

In my earlier post, I wasn't referring to color saturation or accuracy. I was referring to the noise levels observable on the then available images taken at higher ISO settings (400 & 800).

This may surprise you, but I do agree that the color rendition is very natural and beautiful at lower ISO settings. This is especially visible in the latest images posted.

This being said, the new test images also display an unacceptable amount of noise at ISO400+. The low sensor resolution implies that anything printed to sizes above 5x7" @ 360 dpi will need to be oversampled, which will only emphasize the noise problem (see recent posts on T.O.P.: It's Bigger, But Is It Better?).

This unfortunately only strengthens my current impression of the DP1: a fixed-lens camera with no light sensitivity, no IS, no resolution and no zoom... maybe I would buy it, for 250$. But not for 250$ more than an Olympus e510 (with both 14-42mm & 40-150mm zooms)! Imho, based on what I have seen so far, the DP1 will remain a curiosity.

I agree. At that price and with subtle advantages, the audience will be tiny. The mainstream cameras (both pocket and DSLR) have become very powerful for very low prices, and it will take something very interesting to make even a tiny dent in that market.

How Dangerous Is the Internet for Children?

"How Dangerous Is the Internet for Children?" Article by David Pogue, god love him.

"One woman, for example, told me that she became hysterical when her eight-year-old stumbled onto a pornographic photo. She told me that she literally dove for the computer, crashing over a chair, yanking out the power cord and then rushing her daughter outside.
"You know what? I think that far more damage was done to that child by her mother’s reaction than by the dirty picture."

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Morph

The Morph, apart from being a spirit world claimed to exist by Stuart Wilde, is apparently also a word some people use for technology which might become possible one day using nanotechnology.

Remember this is pure science fiction. They present it in the video as if it's stuff that's already in prototype stage.

Canon 960

I'm impressed by the lens and the tiny sensor on the little 12MP camera, Canon 960.
If you're curious, here is the original 12MP file (4.4MB) of the picture below.

Super-camera frustration

These guys write an article about a super-high rez camera which apparently impress serious scientists... and then they don't breath a word about how the friggin thing works. Lame.

"Plugholes need love too"

Isn't this too funny?
"Sink stink." "Plugholes need love too."

But also, I just wanted to recommend the product. Last year my kitchen sink started to smell, and I just couldn't get rid of it. I used like £15 ($30) on various drain cleaning products (they typically cost three pounds per bottle and told you that you need the whole bottle for one application!), and it did not help. Then I tried this one, and not only did it do the trick, I've not had the problem since.


NQ just posted this in a comment:

Q. How can you tell if a Dane is extrovert?
A. He looks at your shoes rather than his own while talking to you.

I like it, funny. It is true Scandinavia has a big population of introverts, including myself.

In the states, introverts has a hard time. It is a country so composed of extroverts and so enamored with the characteristics of extroverts that everybody, even introverts themselves, think that there is something wrong with introverts, something which should be "corrected" somehow.

Much it misunderstood about us introverts. For instance, most of us really like people. It's just that noise and company tends to exhaust us, unlike extroverts which get energized by them. More information.

Graham sez:
I'm enjoying this thread. Seems to me that Americans seem to be under a lot of pressure to be extrovert and promote themselves and we appear to be going the same way in the UK. It's a pity because there's room in the world for all sorts of people (not that flexibility in different situations is a bad thing).

It true that the pushiness and force which comes easier to extroverts can help getting the material advantages one might want, but there are abilities which are much more prevalent amongst introverts. And actually quite a few introverts are hugely successful, especially artists and intellectuals. Musicians, writers, scientists, etc.
An extrovert generally don't have the patience to sit alone and practice a craft for the long hours it takes.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Stiff Little Fingers

The studio version has been a fave of mine for over 25 years.

More from today

Update: Bert likes the carpet image like this:

Crane, New pics from today

I like the clean lines of the new steel, it looks like it belongs in a different universe from the surroundings.

(Taken with the shirt-pocket-sized Canon SD950 (Ixus 960). Man, that little thing takes sharp pictures. Seriously.)

Update: I had overlooked this one. I think the cloud makes it worthwhile.


At 1 in the night, we had an earthquake! I actually did not know they occurred in the UK, I've never experienced one back in Denmark. It was a 5.1, biggest one on record here.

Space elevator ho

Spaceward ho! (Not the derogatory word*, but the... er, whazface, like "hey".)

Arthur C. Clarke has much to answer for. Did you know he invented the communication satellite?

I wonder if they'll build the space elevator this century, and then when it's about finished, somebody will discover teleportation.

* ("Hi big boy, fancy a quickie in the airlock?")

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Access USA

TTL tipped me off to this site, which permits people outside of USA to buy those items only sold within the USA, and have them forwarded. It seems promising. If I'd known about it, I would have used it when I bought the Kindle, instead of having to trouble a friend with it.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Point of sufficiency

Mike Johnston writes another interesting article, this one about historical and future developments of various parameters of digital cameras.

I particularly like his "point of sufficiency" argument. When cameras hit a point where almost nobody in the market can find any use for higher image quality or sensor sensitivity, then the sensors will become smaller and cheaper. And so small sensors may not seem like the dead end they seem to some in 2008.

It's not unlikely that a thumbnail-sized sensor in a few years may give the same quality as today's sensor in a Hasselblad costing $30,000 and weighing three kilos. And when a pocket camera can make pin-sharp prints at super-sized posters, what will happen to the market which funded research and production of bigger cameras?