Where 2 millimeters makes a difference

In an old article, I mentioned that a Canon 18-55mm at high end isn’t that different than the Nikon 17-70mm kit lens in focal length (reach).

My statement was:

After all, you can just shoot the Canon at 55mm @ 1.6x and then crop it down to a 6 megapixel photo and it will look close enough to the Nikon D70 at 70mm at 1.5x.

I’m surprised nobody has called me out on this statement!
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Costco cameras and the D50

I was at Costco today and noticed that they now have the kit cameras in boxes out. Normally, you have to write down a number of pick up a flag, take it to a register to pay for it, and then pick it up behind the counter. Now you just pick up the box on some cameras.

If your box is big enough, I’m sure this will help sales. Those extra 20 minutes of gratification when you know it’s “yours” make a big difference.
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Apology and responsibility

John Cole finds an apology in the latest admissions.

In this case, it is apologizing on the presentation of the war instead of the actual actions of war. Such a strange admission is understandable—they must be giving a sideways glance at Nuremberg every time they open their mouth. I still find the whole thing ironic since the presentation of the war seemed to be the one area in which the administration made no mistakes.

I glossed over this article because the parts I read seem to follow into the same mold: passive voice. Along the lines of: “mistakes were made” or “I know we’ve made tactical errors—thousands of them.”
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6 months to a better Iraq

During the boom, if you asked any startup in the Valley when they planned on going public they’d tell you “about 18 months.”

Come back in 18 months and you’d hear the same talk. This continued until IPO’s become radioactive. Post boom you hear these same people espouse having a “path to profitability,” which is a sure barometer for the fact that they actually have no such plan.

After working at four startups, I can see clearly from the inside that most of these strategies are wishful thinking tied together with two matchsticks: that’s why luck is so important.

A lot of startup people spend an inordinate amount of time messing with their Excel spreadsheets of revenue and growth projections until the numbers say they’re going to be profitable. When you read, “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy,” a startup person knows this is what you get when you elect a CEO president: someone simply forgot to prefix the word “failed” in front of his title.
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My Human Race

Human Race logo

Last Saturday I took some photos at the Human Race, this was my first attempt at sport photography, something my camera (and background) is not suited for at all. I learned a lot of things that day, mostly about how stupid a photographer I am.

Caitlin was the official videographer of the event and I tagged along in order to practice some sport and candid photography.

What follows is a discussion of that and as time goes on, I’ll post and process more photos. If you can’t wait, you can view the view the official photographs or look at Caitlin’s set of the photos I took.

[more discussion after the jump]Continue reading

Is my camera “professional”?

A recent thread on Flickr about the unavailability of the D70s devolved into a question about whether the Nikon D70 is a “professional” camera or not.

It started with an comment by davehodg: “The camera is the hammer, the photographer is the craftsman.”

A point I agree with.

sam_ fired back: “Nikon currently produces five digital SLR models, including two “professional” models and three intended for consumers. The professional models include the D2X and D2Hs. While the consumer models include the D50, D70s and D200. Regardless of your personal opinion davehodg, this is how Nikon markets the mentioned cameras.”

A point I also agree with.

Then a whole slew of posts followed using durability to distinguish professional and non-professional cameras.
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APS-C videocameras

Caitlin talks about a particular dream of hers: high-definition APS-C sensor videocameras in two articles: here and here, including the much-awaited mention of Sony’s new CMOS sensor.

I’ll go even a step further. I think that such a manufacturer should standardized on a modified Nikon F, Canon EF-S, or Olympus 4/3 (if 4/3″ instead of APS-C) mount. This way, out of the box, a whole set of lenses will work with such a camera and they can still make gobs of money on their own custom “kit” lenses that allow zoom control (and other features cinematographers need but film camera lenses don’t have).Continue reading more about large sensor video cameras after the jump

So this is what passes for Creative-ity in the music player market

If you remember from an earlier post, I pointed out that Creative’s strategy just doesn’t understand the iPod market. With over $1 billion in iPod-related accessories sold last year alone, the iPod is not just a device, it is a platform.

It seems Creative has given up trying to compete with Apple, and is suing Apple on the “Zen Patent.” This smacks of desperation to me.

One thing not noted by a lot of blogs linking this lawsuit: although the patent was only recently awarded, Creative applied for this patent before the iPod existed (they applied for the patent in January 2001, the iPod was released that October). Back then, Creative had the Nomad: a shitty player if there ever was one—I borrowed a friends at the time and decided to stick with my Rio and wait it out. It was probably the first hard-drive based MP3 player (there may have been one other).

It is fine debating prior-art and the triviality of the patent (how else are you going to navigate a hierarchical menu except sequentially?), but don’t dismiss the lawsuit out-of-hand.Continue reading