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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

BREAKING NEWS!! It's an iPad!!!

Rumors have been circulating for some time now, but Steve Jobs has made it official... Apple has just announced the iPad. I'm always excited about anything that Steve Jobs brings to the table, but I think this product could possibly revolutionize the way we consume information much in the same manner that the ipod changed the way we consume music.

The iPad is reported to have a 9.7 inch screen, is .5 inch thin, and will weigh about 1.5 pounds. Memory capacity will be 16 GB, 32 GB, or 64 GB. It will have a wi-fi only version, as well as a wi-fi plus 3G version. The wi-fi only version is scheduled to ship in bout 60 days.

The price will range from $499 to $829 depending on the memory capacity and the connectivity. AT&T service plans will begin at $14.99 for up to 250 GB per month, and go up to $29.99 per month for unlimited.

Jobs referenced an iBooks app that will link to the i Bookstore and thus allow the iPad to "stand on the shoulders" of Amazon's Kindle "... and go a little further." iBookstore will feature content from Penguin, Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, Macmillan, and Hachette Book Group.

iPad will also be able to support versions of iWork.

... and here's a video about the new product

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fear of sharks is just not rational...

My favorite thing to photograph is a shark. It is. I love them!! They are beautiful creatures, and it amazes me that they have remained unchanged pretty much since the time of the dinosaurs. I also love the excitement of being in the water, face to face, with a large animal that sits atop (or near the top) of the food chain.

But my heart has a soft spot for sharks. They are much maligned creatures. I don't believe taht any one film has had more of an impact on an animal than "Jaws". This one movie firmly planted the fear of sharks in the minds of an ignorant public. I say ignorant not to be insulting, but to emphasize the fact that most people are just uniformed. The statistics just aren't there to back up the amount of fear that the public has of sharks, in my opinion. I mean more people are killed by animals such as crocodiles and elephants than are killed by sharks, but sharks just get more press.

Here's an article from New Zealand about how the fear of sharks is largely overblown. It notes that the sharks are always there in the water with people, but they just aren't choosing to make a meal of us.

So back to the photography aspect. Getting up close and personal wit hone of these critters is a lot harder than you might think. Overfishing has reduced their numbers, and actually seeing a shark in the wild is becoming more and more rare. So in order to photography them, you've got to go looking for them, usually in some place remote.

In terms of equipment, you're gonna need a nice wide angle lens (15 mm give or take a few mm's). This will require getting really close to the shark, and this proves to be more difficult than you might think. Sharks are curious, but are scared easily, so if you're diving open circuit scuba, chances are your bubbles will keep many sharks at a distance.

But when they do come close, and you look in their eye, you really can appreciate the beauty of these animals. I only hope that our photographs will be to increase awareness and help sharks, rather than serve as a historical document a creature that has become extinct...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Size Does Matter!!

Digital imagery has been evolving over the last decade with an increasing number of megapixels in cameras, and now these cameras shoot video. In HD!! My first digital camera was a little 3.1 megapixel number made by Canon. So as I have kept up with the times, and purchased cameras with higher and higher numbers of megapixels I have wondered how my storage media can keep up with the new demands of the high megapixel cameras.

Silicon power to the rescue!! They have created a 128 GB compact flash card. One Hundred and Twenty Eight Giga Bytes?!! In a compact flash card? Are you freaking kidding me?! When I first saw this I thought it was a misprint. I thought it was one of those old 128 mb little weenie compact flash cards. But on closer inspection I saw it to be true. Wow. That's a lot of pixels. A plethora of 1's and 0's aligned perfectly in the shape of my beautifully crafted images.

So now, that the people who make the media storage have upped the ante, how do the people that make the camera/video equipment respond...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I think I'm in Love!!!

No offense to my lovely wife, Kathy, but there is a new love in my life and it is the Canon 5D mark 2. Why a camera, and why this one you ask. Well, for starters this camera body has a full frame sensor. Back in the day, film was used in stead of digital sensors. A piece of 35mm film with the dimensions 36x24mm was used. When digital photography came along, cost prohibited the manufacture of a sensor the same size as a conventional piece of film. Thus the sensors in most cameras were made smaller, and therefore more affordable. The downside of this is that image quality is lost, and the size of the image coming through the lens is "cropped". This has resulted in the cropped lens sensor.

Anyway, Canon was the first to make a full frame sensor, and this arguably allowed digital to surpass film. The first generation Canon 5D cameras utilized this sensor, and I promptly picked one up.

Of course there were those who didn't think that the Canon 5D mark 1 was all that, and to be honest they had some valid complaints. Low megapixels, low iso, etc. Canon responded to the critics by releasing the 5D mark 2. Ha! Take that!

But here's the kicker.... IT SHOOTS HD VIDEO!!!! Oh joy!! The thing that is so impressive about the video capability goes back to the full frame sensor.... it's larger than many of the sensors in high end video only cameras. See this chart below...

It's a lot bigger.

So, now when someone asks "Should we shoot video or stills?" you just say "both."

Another advantage I see with this camera, is that if you are shooting video, just think of the high quality lenses you can put on the body, and the ease with which yo ucan change between macro, and wide angle.

To really appreciate this camera, you need to check out the video on Backscatter's website. I think you'll agree that this camera changes everything...

Ok now that you've seen what the 5D mark 2 is capable of, it's easy to see why I'm in love...

Photo of the Year 2009

Take a moment to vote for your favorite underwater photo of 2009. Here are the entries. It's on the site Wetpixel which is your place to discuss all things related to underwater photography on the information superhighway.

Testing. Testing. Is this thing on?

My goal with this blog is to explore the world of technology gadgets in general, but photography specifically, and underwater photography really specifically.

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