Friday, November 16, 2012

Fuji X-E1 being tested, Canon, and Sony

The new Fuji X-E1 mirrorless system camera is being tested. One thing is clear: the image quality is very impressive.
To compare, here is the Canon 7D at ISO 3200, a critical speed.
And here is the X-E1 at ISO 32oo.
The X-E1 has a similar-sized sensor (APS-C, not quite full frame), but has a very obvious advantage in noise handling and general quality impression, and yet the X-E1 is a third smaller than the 7D, and also a third cheaper at around one grand US.

It should be said of course that the 7D is probably the best for many professional uses, it's more flexible, and it has many, many more lenses to choose from, since the Fuji X system is brand new. But still damn impressive of Fuji.
If you want even better image quality, an option is to step up to the even larger and $2,500 more expensive Canon 5D III, sample image. (Even more impressive, that picture doesn't even look like the sensor is strained! Even 6400 it takes in stride.) But you need heavy and very expensive lenses to make that camera pop.

Perhaps even more impressive, Sony's new full-frame compact camera Sony RX1, though expensive at $2800, actually right up there with the big Canon 5D III! Here it is at 6400, practically as sharp as the Canon, and noise-less! This is from a jacket-pocket camera weighing less than 500 grams.

Damn, a few years ago, this would have been my dream camera. In the mean time I've learned that 1: I rarely make the big prints which would show the difference, and 1: I feel bound when shooting with a camera with a fixed lens which is not even a zoom.
Some people get "into" shooting with a specific focal length, and I can understand and respect that, but me, I've found that when I have a zoom, I use it all the time and love it.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Big-camera fans impress

Natalie's Rap

From this interview (along with "Thor") I learned that Natalie Portman had done a rap song. And not just any rap song, but as filthy as anything the big black dudes have done.
You can get an uncensored version, but I sort of think the bleeped version is funnier, you fill in the blanks yourself.

... And she really is this small, sweet, highly educated person. I guess the real talents keep surprising you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Big Brother in the sink

[Thanks to Imaging-Resource]
From Liamm.

Gasolin Theater concert - Good time Charlie and This is My Life

I sorta like it, despite it being very different indeed from the old original, one of my faves as a youngster.
This rendition show how much flexibility and depth there is in Gasolin's compositions, despite many "people of taste" dismissing them as worthless pop in their heyday, probably exactly because they were so hugely popular across age, gender, and class-divides. It's uncool to like what everybody likes.

Troels Lyby and Follinsmusik

In contrast, same song by Kim Larsen, co-composer, former lead singer of Gasolin. 

Another yet different version, by Tine. Good stuff.

Electric kettle? (updated)

I think that after over a decade, my trusty and pretty Danish electric kettle is nearing the end of its useful life.
What would you recommend for an electric kettle?
I'm looking for:
1) Reliability
2) Simplicity
3) A nice design

I like this design:

... The one I have now is similar, though unfortunately not matte. They had a matte model which was gorgeous, but it started failing very soon, and when I'd replaced it under guarantee two or three times (the store clerk started yelling at me!), I gave up and got the shiny "chrome" model.

You'd think that with something this simple, you could just buy anything and get a good product. But looking at reviews, that's just not the case. One very fancy kettle has tons of bad reviews because the lid sticks and the beautiful graphite covering starts to peel.

My current front runner is this one. I can get it at Amazon UK, I really like the looks, and the reviews are very good.

Hmm, I don't think I have ever had a kettle with the traditional design with the handle on top. One reviewer says it's better, and for sure it's better balanced.

Thank you all for the helpful feedback and tips! There were many things to consider.

I've decided to go with a Morphy Richards:

I like black or silver (and glass) a lot. But I have so much of these (in hardware, cameras, and gadgets!), that I decided to go for something a bit more colorful this time. And this one has the features I want, and good reviews., faster dictionary

For a long time I have had a macro which looks up words on (It copies a highlighted word, goes to the site, pastes it in and hits return.) But recently, their homepage has become so packed with ads and links that it takes simply too long to load.
So I googled for a fast dictionary, and found DEFINR. I don't have much experience with it yet, but it is definitely much faster, loads in about 2 seconds for me, whereas had crept up to around eight seconds. (I've kept adding delay time in the macro so the page would have time to load before the word could be pasted in.)
(Jakob Nielsen says that for the average person, a web page load time of 0.1 second seems instant. One second feels good. Anything over ten seconds is too long. (And especially for a little routine thing you do many times a day.))
Another fast alternative is

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Maze art

When I was a mere kid, I once bought a book with mazes. But the great thing was that the mazes were also art, drawings.
I loved that, and I miss the book, so I've been googling a bit. Of course there is quite a bit of it (as there usually is with the benefit of the WWW), but not very many that I love all that much, the bulk is clearly done without the benefit of long training. I kind of like the one below.

I like art which is incorporated into other things, double attraction.

Art by Jeremy

A control mechanism

In a book I'm reading:

"The priests decided it was a good omen, and yet a warning at the same time." 

What a wonderful observation. Whether a priest or a politician, when you want to control a group or population, you want to feed them both good news and warnings continually. Good news to make them feel their past work and sacrifices have been worth it, and warnings to keep them working and sacrificing.

"The Eastern front is victorious, and we have gained three new territories. We are truly the greatest group ever! 
But beware: we have intelligence that our enemies on the Western front are plotting attacks, so now is not the time to relax, we must work harder than ever!" 

De nattergale La' det lig'

While we are in the jazzy mood, here's a cool Danish song.
"La' det lig'" means "let it be" (til tomorrow).
"You know how you get up early in the morning..." ("yes, that can be dangerous") "And then you realize you really shouldn't have done that..." 

Ugress - Swing E Sesso