Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mirrorless, Mirrorless on the Wall

Mirrorless, Mirrorless on the Wall: Part I and Part II. These articles are good fun.

The others are either electronics companies or medical imaging companies that also make cameras and lenses. To put it in perspective, Samsung is by far the largest company involved in imaging with revenues of around $145 billion, followed by Panasonic ($99 billion), Sony ($82 billion), Canon ($44.5 billion), Fujifilm ($28 billion), and Ricoh ($24 billion)(1). Nikon’s revenue, for perspective, was $11.6 billion(2), which was a bit more than Olympus. [...] 
A lot of you will think I’ve been very negative about Canon and Nikon. I have, really, but that’s because I like them. I don’t want the true camera companies to find out in a decade their technology is behind the times, their average user is 60 years old, and their lenses are bought more by collectors than active photographers. [...]
The answer seems rather simple. Set up an autonomous mirrorless division with their own budget and tell them to go dominate the mirrorless market. Tell them to not give a damn about taking market share from the company’s SLRs. Do that, and the resources and knowledge that Canon or Nikon have available could create some amazing new cameras.

Rainy day

(Hah, if nothing else then to contrast Portugal and Lancashire!)

(Sony RX100, auto. 1/30 sec, F:1.8, ISO 500. It was very dark indeed, end of twilight.) 

A quiet afternoon in Portugal

A wonderful picture by my friend Laurie.

Here is his blog. (Note: often has nudes.)

Friday, August 24, 2012

"Zooms vs. Primes, Part II"

Über-geek Ctein tests M4/3 lenses. Article.
Overall, this trashes most of the rules of thumb I'd use for picking a lens. Cheap lenses can be very good, kit zooms can be better than pricey primes, fast zooms can be great, and there's no way to predict without testing over what part of its focal length range a zoom will be especially good or bad.


Panasonic GX-1 weltschmertz

It's a pity that Panasonic M4/3 cameras do not have in-body Image Stabilization. They are otherwise really good cameras, and I think they look good too, in a very no-nonsense way, as Mike Johnston says.

New "Ultra-zoom" camera

And I thought fixed-lens zoom cameras got into ridiculous ranges when they exceeded 12X! Now a couple of brands have 40X models! The latest is Olympus SP-820UZ iHS (nifty likkle name there, rolls right off the tongue. And the memory).
Sporty-looking wee thing though.
Don't get me wrong though, I would never use anything except a zoom lens, if it wasn't for the fact that despite tons of technical progress, there are always compromises in size and/or image quality, and the longer the range, the more compromise. For example, if these super-zoom cameras didn't have tiny sensors, they'd have to be the size of a bread-box and weigh kilos. And cost many thousands of dollars, and even then there'd probably be compromises with image quality in parts of the range, compared to good prime (non-zoom) lenses.
The sensors in this kind of camera are only a little bigger than those in camera-phones.
But of course it depends on your needs. If you never make prints, large ones, you may never miss a large sensor and a divinely precise lens.

Pentax also has a new "Ultra-zoom" camera, the Pentax X-5 (now there's a nice, simple name). The most remarkable thing about it is how much it looks like Pentax's regular DSLR cameras, like the excellent K-5. It's so close that when I first saw it, I got all excited, thinking Pentax finally had a new DSLR model out. But in real life it's a little smaller of course.

About that likeness, Imaging-Resource comments:
...we have to wonder if it will present any confusion in the minds of consumers. We can imagine them wondering why their camera doesn't seem to perform as well as their friend's ("But it looks the same!"), or simply finding themselves hard-put to see the value in buying the DSLR when the X-5 looks much the same, but is smaller and vastly cheaper.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Musical squid

This is too weird.

Every Day Is Halloween

Ministry before they became ultra-hardcore Industrial Metal.
Beats me why I like it, but I really do.

Here's a kewl version by TRS-80, whoever the heck they are.

It's from "Wish you were queer", one of two surprisingly good Ministry-tribute albums.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The much bigger iPhone 5?

I see this everywhere, so okay, I give in...

Why the Postal Service Is Going Out of Business

U.S. Postal Service May Be Going, Going, Gone, article.
"if we don't react in a smart, appropriate way, the postal service could literally close this year." 

Why the Postal Service Is Going Out of Business, article.
Think about the Post Office’s value proposition.  They send someone to almost every single home and business in the entire United States 6 days/week on the hope that there will be a demand for their service – sold at a starting price of 44 cents!  For that mere $.44 they will deliver your hand crafted, signed message anywhere else in the entire United States!

I would be sad to see the global postal system go. They may not be the fastest thing around, but they reach any place, and nobody can come close to competing with their price on physical letters or parcels. Maybe they should be allowed to raise their prices a bit, it's better than collapse of one of the most important communications systems on the planet.

Pat points to this interesting article:
In 2006, Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act.  This law requires the Postal Service to do something that no other business or government agency has to do–pre-fund its FUTURE retiree health care benefits.  This is a 75 year liability that has to be paid in 10 years.

Penny-Sized Engine That Can Move Satellites

Penny-Sized Engine Developed That Can Move Satellites, article.

An elephant's farewell

Angelo found this touching story of an elephant's farewell.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Five rules

[Thanks to John B]

Here are the Five Rules for Men to Follow for a Happy Life that Russell J. Larsen had inscribed on his headstone in Logan, Utah. 

1. It's important to have a woman who helps at home, cooks from time to time, cleans up, and has a job.
2. It's important to have a woman who can make you laugh.
3. It's important to have a woman who you can trust, and doesn't lie to you.
4. It's important to have a woman who is good in bed, and likes to be with you.
5. It's very, very important that these four women do not know each other or you could end up dead like me. 

Rubber grip

I got inspired to put a rubber pad on my Franiec grip (see post below). Sadly it does nothing for the beauty of the grip, but I feel it makes a solid improvement on one's grip on the grip, as it were.

I made a lot of research into rubber pads last year for ereaders and tablets, and these are by far the best I found. They make for a great grip, are pretty thin, and have very good glue.
More info.