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Showing posts from January, 2007

Digital camera madness

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I recently tried to learn a bit more about photography (I can recomend you this book). I've owned several film-based cameras over the years (both compact and reflex) and since 1996 when I bought a Casio QV-10 (not that I can recommend that battery eater) all of them have been digital units (Canon S10 and A520 and lately Panasonic DMC-FZ7, all of which I can recomend).

I was thinking to finally jump to the Digital Reflex bandwagon but I was waiting to get a better idea of that segment. But it seems the waters are not that clear. Although it seems that Nikon has settled with the so-called APS-C sensor size, Canon has mixed feelings and now it has three different sizes from full-size 35 mm sensor (like the one on EOS 5D) to APS-C size (like the one on 20D, 30D or 350D).

Why sensor size is important? Well, one of the reasons professional photographers have kept the reflex market going was compatibility. You cannot be compatible if you change the sensor size. And, it does not matter you …

File Uploads

Every now and then we all face a common problem poorly solved by today's applications: You want to send a big file to another person (or you want them to download it). For files several megabytes long (or larger) email is not the right tool (as email servers will reject send attempts larger than a few megabytes).

IM applications like MSN Messenger or Jabber might solve the problem, but only if you and your friend have that software installed and have a user account. But there is still another catch: This transfer happens between peers, so both you and your friend need to be online during the whole transfer.

To fix this, some applications like Pando can help, as they provide a multiplatform solution that does not require you both to be online while the transfer takes place. However, you both still need to download and install Pando client.

Upload centers allow you to upload files to be shared with the rest of the world. No user registration is required for some of them but some limits…

Happy New Wii-ear

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It turns out that Santa was quite computer- oriented this year, so we've got a Nintendo's Wii (it seems many people had trouble getting one this season) and a Creative Zen Vision:M.

I knew nothing about the Wii but it's silly name and how much my children wanted to get one. It turns out it has integrated WiFi and even an Opera browser (as the sample figure shows a zoomed in page). Who wants to have another browser? But ... wait, this one can even deal with flash contents ... never wanted to get those videos from YouTube on your TV set? Now you can! (provided you have a wifi network nearby).

Regarding Creative Zen Vision:M I already mentioned on a previous post: It seems to be a better deal if you plan on watching videos on it as the screen is brighter than iPod's. The white unit looks cool and quality made. The weird thing is that the four backlighted buttons require you to actually press them but when you want to click on the central scroll area no presure is required (…

HDR photographs

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HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and although it is a concept more than ten years old it is new for me.

Several processes are trying to mimic the way we see things: moving pictures, photographic prints, computer displays, etc. The underlying idea is that an accurate representation is achieved when "it looks like the real thing".

Unfortunately, neither prints nor displays can exhibit the dynamic range required for a picture to look the same as the original. While our eyes have a dynamic range of 10000 light levels, a print can only represent around 100 different light levels. On the other hand, the whole range our eyes can see is around a million different levels, just not all at a time (i.e. you need your vision to adapt when you go from a dark place to a sunny one).

While photographic cameras (either chemical or digital ones) can do a great job capturing a scene in one shot, some compromises are done down the line. The end result is that some saturation and some range compr…