Friday, November 07, 2014

Fujifilm XF1 now cheap too

Fujifilm XF1 is a real pocketcamera, though not brand new. It's very light-weight, and it is quality, check the reviews. It has a manual zoom lens, much easier to control than the electronic ones usually found on compacts. 
And it may be the best looking pocketcamera out there. 
And it's now selling for about $240, which is crazy cheap.  (It's possible the low price indicates a replacement is on the way.)
I got the red/burgundy one, I love that color, but it's also in tan or black. 

It's almost a semi-pro, with all the manual settings you'd expect of such a beast, only in a small body. And it has Fuji's uniquie EXR technology, which can combine neighboring pixels (due to an unusual honeycomb pattern of them) to enhance contrast reach or to improve low-light performance. (This usually has the effect of halving the effective pixels though, to 6MP instead of twelve. I can live with that, one of my most popular series was taken with a 2MP camera.)

If you want maximum power for a pocket camera, I recommend the Sony RX100 Mark 2 (not 3). For one thing, it has a slightly larger sensor and a tiltable screen. But it costs over three times as much! Right now, the XF1 is a great choice for those wanting a good pocketcamera which looks really stylish, and for a really great price.

Imaging-Resource review.
The XF1 should also score big with casual shooters who not only want to attract oohs and ahhs when they carry it around town, but also want a camera that, on auto pilot, will take well-exposed shots with high dynamic range.
Add up the Fuji XF1's sexy appearance, fast and fun operation, immense customizablity, dynamic image quality and special shooting modes, and you have a solid, if unorthodox, enthusiast-level compact camera. It's one that definitively earns a Dave's Pick.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Whatta lotta balloons!

[Thanks to Henry]

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2014 - Timelapse Short Film from Knate Myers on Vimeo.

[Full screen recommended. -E]

Every year the city of Albuquerque host the largest hot air balloon event in the world, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.
Each morning begins very early as a group of 6-12 hot air balloons known as Dawn Patrol, ascent into the deep blue sky before sunrise. These skilled pilots test wind and weather conditions as other pilots and crew begin to lay out hundreds of balloons across the field.
Just as dawn breaks, the next wave of balloons begin to lift off. When the sun rises above the Sandia Mountains it simultaneously fills the morning with beautiful light as the balloons fill the sky with color. The next 60-90 minutes are a great mix of fun and chaos as several hundred more balloons lift off, wave after wave.
I had a absolute blast capturing this nine day festival. Even though the weather cancelled several events it was nevertheless an incredibly beautiful and successful time! Thank you for taking the time to watch :)

Two extremes in classic orchestra experiences

The first one is a long, but beautiful concert, celebrating both the Japanese theatrical premiere of Ponyo (one of my favorites) and the 25 years of musical collaboration between composer Joe Hisaishi and film maker Hayao Miyazaki.

The second is... weird. But funny.

Monday, November 03, 2014

How do you find truth?

"We Are All Confident Idiots, article.

Not long ago I blogged about an article pointing out how difficult it is to tell when you yourself are wrong. But the article was in fact not that great, so fortunately I have now found this much better one. It's pretty long, but worth it.

But something curious started happening as we began to look at the people who did extremely badly on our little quiz. By now, you may be able to predict it: These people expressed more, not less, confidence in their performance. In fact, people who got none of the items right often expressed confidence that matched that of the top performers.

This is something that I'm interested in, because more than once this life I have been badly shaken in something I took as basic in life, something which was important to my basic approach and direction in life. And when it's happened more than one, some very scary questions appear:

  1. How do you tell what is true? 
  2. Who can you believe? 
  3. Are those who sound most certain, also the most knowledgable? 
  4. How do you question those of your beliefs which have been ingrained since childhood?
  5. How do you get reliable information about things you can't observe yourself, like life after death, the age of the Earth, the reality of the universe, what is outside the universe, our purpose in life... (gasp, gasp, gasp) etcetera etcetera. 

One of the big problems is that to climb down from a false certainty, one has to go through a period of uncertainty, which can be very uncomfortable, even painful, so that makes all of us pretty much cling to the things we think we know. 

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Spazuk again

Tom found this, and though it's about the same fire-painter as below, this short video is so beautiful it deserves to be seen.

SPAZUK fire painter.

Red Bull Akte Blanix 2