Sunday, January 24, 2010
Sunday Morning Addendum
My personal thoughts on the FurCon~
We crashed Saturday night kinda early but you have to remember, this is a Con and there's booze involved.
About 0100 hours, a roving party made its way through our hall. Not too noisy but a party looking for a place to light anyway. I finally returned to sleep only to be awakened at 0230 hours with another party, louder this time. Not too loud but definitely alcohol fueled.
An hour later at 0330 hours, knocking on the door. This time the roving party was looking for Ono-somebody's room. They had one young man with them, maybe still in his teens and most likely only still standing due to his two friends holding him up. Had to inform them this was not Ono-something's room and turn them away. They were decent enough to ask if I wanted to join their party. I declined.
Around 0414 hours, more noise. This time, I swear on a stack of "Destiny's Change" novels that it sounded like a young female in the throws of passion. No shit! She was asking her partner (I hope she had a partner and this was not a solo act!) to be rougher with her! Yikes!!
So, that brings us up to now, 0930 hours. Here I sit, still waiting for the coffee I made (not bad, btw) and the pain pill I took a few minutes ago to kick in. When it does, I will most likely feel like a human being again. I have to reiterate, the chairs they have in the various meeting rooms are nicely cushioned but the odd angle of the back, coupled with the squishiness of the seat combine to make a very effective torture device for the old warhorse's back. I hate getting old.
Cameras. My thoughts.
As some of you might know from looking at my galleries, I have been using Kodak cameras for a few years now. I actually started out in the digital realm using a Sony Mavica FD-88 camera. Yeah, the one that uses real floppy disks as the storage medium. Max size of the pictures was 1280 X 960 pixels w/o interpolation. It used up its Sony-proprietary batteries at an alarming rate and the floppies only held three or four pictures. I have to admit it did take decent pictures as long as your subject was not too far away. Landscapes did have severe jpeg artifacts in them.
The next camera was a Kodak C7430, a 4 mega pixel camera. It really seemed like it was a great point-and-shoot but it had its limitations, too. One was the SD cards. Max size was 256 Mb that it would accept. It does take very nice general purpose pics with not too much jpeg artifacts. Batteries are very slow to charge, even with a one hour charger.
This camera had its failings when asked to take pictures in less than optimum conditions such as in a room without the flash or taking pictures of a performance on stage. Very blurry shots were the norm.
The next one was a Kodak Z885 that was quickly replaced under warranty with a Kodak Z1285. Virtually identical cameras except the 885 was an eight mega pixel and the 1285 is a twelve mega pixel. A very nice point and shoot but it still has some limitations. That less than optimum conditions issue plus some very long delays between shutter press and picture taken, sometimes as long as three seconds! No kidding! This caused me to take many 'too-late' shots or if I tried to anticipate the lag, I took the picture too soon. Very frustrating. The pics that it takes are very good, however with very little jpeg artifacts.
That brings us to now. We obtained a Canon Powershot SX20IS for the con, street price of $399 USD but it ends up on sale quite often. This is a very nice camera, having everything between full auto for my tigress to full manual for total control over my shots. It will also accept a Canon Speedlite external flash should I want to add one, which I most likely will. It's not a point-and-shoot but not a full blown DSLR either. It's a very nice transitional camera or it could be used as a backup camera for a DSLR user.
This is a twelve megapixel camera and after using it this weekend, I am very impressed with it. The pictures it takes are just outstanding and it powers from plain old alkaline AA batteries (4). Weight is very light since I wore it around my neck all day without complaint. You can use the viewfinder or the LCD display and the viewfinder has diopter correction in case you wear glasses and want to take them off to shoot.
A 2Gb card will give you 676 pictures (!) so I haven't even come close to running out of space yet. I will post some shots with links to the full sized (4000 X 3000) originals for your inspection.
I could recommend this camera heavily without hesitation. It has one quirk that there is a remedy for. The fact of the matter is the lens is not threaded for filters. It may look like it's threaded but if you look closely and turn the camera, you'll see the grooves are just that; grooves adn not threads. A company called Lensmate makes an adapter that bayonets onto the lens just like the existing hood attaches. Onto this adapter you can attach ordinary 58mm filters. It's dirt cheap so I'll be getting one. Even if I'm not using a polarizer or other filter, just having a neutral density filter in place will protect the existing lens from scratches and other damage.
I guess I should wrap up this rather lengthy post and get ready to go again.
Kellan, the old warhorse