>Out in the Yard Chilling and Relaxing


I’m enjoying the evening out. It was a warm 25 degrees today and the night has cooled considerably. My room, however, has not. Fortunately the deck is perfect for blogging and the evening is gorgeous. Apparently three things are out to spoil the night– there is a wasp nest underneath my feet (not too bad since I’m not too terrified of them), my keyboard on my laptop blows huge chunks (very bad since the shift key is half size, and I effing hate this laptop), and my Sony DAP has a faulty remote jack, which may mean an end to its super cool remote playing, and a fall back onto my iPod or Samsung DAP (both fine players, but lacking in the remote department/uniqueness). I suppose I could buy a new remote for it on eBay (but it would be super hard, since this one was imported and difficult to find nearly 3 years ago). It is the least of my worries though, so whatever. I’m really excited about the above camera, as you will see later in this blog.

Side note-I’m pretty annoyed with blogging on my laptop. On my desktop, I have shortcuts programmed for resizing/editing/effing around with images/blogging and my crummy laptop’s keyboard simply doesn’t cut it. Fortunately its so nice outside that I won’t be going in just yet.

We took our kids camping for a few days down near Gull Lake. It wasn’t really camping so much as staying in fancy cabins with plenty of food. It was a really fun trip and quite relaxing given that there were so many staff, you never had to worry about the kids. There will be a blog entry on the camping trip later, as there’s a few things I am particularly excited about at the moment. The first one is that I was so sick of my fat self eating up a storm at camp that I came back and bought protein. Originally I was going to buy Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Whey (the one I used last year to cut down 19.5 lbs in 4 weeks), but GNC had their house brand for cheaper (an extra lb of protein!), so we will see how this goes. I need the motivation and extra kick right now, cause its simply not cutting it to do heavy lifting anymore. I’m not happy anymore really about my efforts at the gym. I am pressing more weight than I have ever done in my life, and certainly am sitting within high ranks at the gym but its not enough. I want to get lean and mean just like last fall. Except with my strength now, it should be an even more amazing journey.

I’m really excited about Sony’s new Exmor R back illuminated CMOS sensor technology. It has been incorporated into the new DSC-WX1, bringing fame and fortune back to the W series once again. The W series was supposed to be an advanced compact years ago, with the first release of the DSC-W1 (being one of the first with a now common 2.5 inch screen and manual control, lol). It has now fallen to the ranks of entry level camera and barely garners an eye bat with every nine million announcement of another W series. Not to mention Sony’s poor noise reduction JPEG processing (really aggressive and detail degrading). What is so special about this new compact? A nice 5x optical zoom to start out with. But not just any 5X 24-120mm zoom (like all other nine hundred compact ultra zooms out there). This one starts out at 24 mm with a FAST F2.4 aperture. This is starting to rival the famed Panasonic Lumix LX3, with its somewhat less ambitious 2.5 X 24-60mm zoom but an incredible 24mm f2.0-2.8 aperture. This means more light, better bokeh (albeit limited with the small lens) and better sensitivity for low light shooting, the bane of every compact camera. I have given some thought and realized that sometimes even the Nikon P5100 compact is not compact enough and would love something pocketable yet potent. I love the gold and black colors, although I would probably get gold to be an anti-bandwagon loser.

This new backlit CMOS Exmor R sensor works by having light directly hit the photo diodes without having to deal with the mass of circuitry that conventional compact sensors have. This means more light is reaching the sensor and thus, it is more sensitive. This should mean less noise, and less need to shoot the ISO sensitivity up. Combined with the relatively fast f2.4 lens, it could lead to even better results than other legendary compacts like the Fuijifilm F31FD’s slightly larger sensor or its successor F200EXR (which proved to be somewhat less ambitious in competitive edge ever since camera technology has improved since the F31FD). I am really excited about this gorgeous piece of kit, and can’t wait to see the results on DPReview’s review. I am ready to be disappointed again though, remembering the relatively little difference in noise that Sony’s DSC-HX1 showed on DPreview (although this claim is different given completely different sensor technology). Can’t wait!

Officially the neatest/weirdest announcement yet this month, the new Party Shot works with the newly announced DSC-TX1 and before mentioned WX1. I was pretty excited to see a T series with the new sensor technology, but then remembered all the poor T series reviews I have been seeing (and poor image quality in general from folded optics, including the terrible pictures on my own DSC-F88/77). Furthermore the new T series has a terrible lens range starting 35 mm with a slow f3.5 aperture (slow unwide lens equals lame). It’s only 16.5 mm thick though, but still doesn’t touch the legendary 15mm width of the many years old dsc-t7 (Vicki’s camera). I know Sony has put a lot more technology into their new T-series, and it would have to get larger, but its been years since something thin like the t7 has been out!

Anyways where was I? The Party Shot will use face technology and automatically pan/pivet/search for people and take pictures for you at a party. Watch the video and hilarious one liner “We don’t have friends”. Its kind of cool like a robot taking your pics, and great if you actually want to be in the party’s pictures (photographers will remember the rule of being absent at all venues). Cool in my books. Absolutely bizarre that something as stupid as face detection could lead to an automated party robot to record the night.

Its getting cold outside and I think bugs are starting to bite me, and I hate my laptop’s keyboard so I’m going inside now.

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