The Epic Search for a Digital Camera

March 16th, 2010 | Tags: , , ,

Over the last however many years digital cameras have existed, I’ve owned my fair share. My first was a really old, super bulky, Sony CyberShot. I love the hell out of that thing and while it didn’t exactly die, it just became a nuisance to carry. Digital cameras have been shrinking in size and portability, but expanding on their capabilities. Removing DSLRs from the mix, the Point-and-Shoot cameras have gotten so good that it’s nearly impossible to figure out which ones will be the best choice for my application.

The criteria for what I was looking for:

Point-and-Shoot (P&S): It had to be portable. Maybe not necessarily pocketable, but I didn’t want something bulky. As portable as possible, that’s for sure. I understand that DSLRs take the best true macro shots, it’s simply not in the cards for this gal.

Price: The price of the camera needed to be in the $350 and below range. I wasn’t looking to spend my rent money on a camera. The cheaper the better sure, but there’s an understanding that inexpensive cameras aren’t always very good cameras. Thus why I set the price range a tad higher than what I would truly rather spend (about $200). The name brand models fall in the more expensive range, but the technology that these cameras offer also tend to be better. It’s a cost/benefit analysis in the end.

Macro: This is a must. I needs to do macro/close-up shots. It doesn’t have to do them fantastically or like I said to a friend “I don’t need National Geographic quality pics.” And the statement can’t be more true. I’m less likely going to use the camera for things like bugs, flower, dew drops and the like and more for other macro type shots. Because of this, I don’t need perfection. I just need good. Damn good is ideal, but I’ll settle for good and able.

In searching for a digital camera that had these three qualities I ran into many opinions and articles. David Pogue’s over at the NY Times was the first article I read, many weeks ago. It was an interesting insight into the various feature sets of each individual camera and I looked closely at all of the three he mentioned as the top 3. However, no where could I find that any of them had the macro/close-up setting. I was terribly disappointed.

Next came the google searches on various word combinations in hopes that I night score with finding a nice comparison piece on macro enabled P&S cameras. Yeah, as you can imagine, I found an awful lot of junk and very little of anything that was fruitful. After much frustration, I gave up the search.

Until today.

And then I went on yet another search for macro-abled P&S cameras. A kind friend pointed me towards Steve’s DigiCams. Rather than hoping I find something I went straight for the Best Cameras link. For anyone curious about digital cameras, this site gives you an excellent quick look and separates all the cameras into nice little categories. However, no “does it do macro?” category. /doublesigh

After much searching and some additional frustration I stumbled across Engadget Labs article on the best point-and-shoot cameras under $400. So, first of all, thank you guys at Engadget for giving me the exact kind of comparisons (in shots, quality, gripes and goodies of each, etc) I needed to see and read. After looking at the photos and reading what was said about their first choice camera (of the small number they looked at, mind you), I think I’m going to go with their choice for the Samsung SL820. Now when I have a couple hundred dollars, I’ll be picking this up (and keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn’t disappoint).

Moral of the story from this entire many month long experience?? Read a lot of tech magazines. Look at the related links. And wait until the expensive camera comes down in price.

#Amazonfail FTMFL!!

April 13th, 2009 | Tags: , , ,

News broke sometime yesterday (at least for me) that Amazon did a pretty epically stupid thing. It wasn’t just stupid… it was… stupid.

It’s a buzz all over twitter with a hashtag all it’s very own.

For those who don’t want to be bothered doing google searches and clicking around all over the place… here’s the gist of what went down.

Author Mark Probst noticed that he no longer had a ranking in the amazing system, meaning that his books would nto be found were an amazon search performed on it. Upon investigation, it seemed as though other GLBTO titles were being removed from the ranking list… again, making it harder to find via search.

Amazon’s response said something to the effect of “adult content” blah blah blah. But you can still search for very adult material despite their excuse.

Meta Writer has been keeping tabs on what is being censored and what is not. While not overtly horrible, it seems just 10 steps too far over the “not doing the right thing.”

While it’s not enough to keep me from using Amazon’s resources (not yet at least) it’s enough to wonder who got a hair up their ass to even think that something like this would go unnoticed.

Far too often the internet and social networks have shows the awesome powers they have to get information out there and quickly. I mean, it’s to the point that Neil Gaiman’s posting about it as well. Among others. Friends have tweeted and plurked about it. I’m pretty sure I saw Wil Wheaton tweet an #amazonfail somewhere.

Please note this particularly amusing blog post. My favorite bit: “Alternate usage: “My girlfriend wanted to preserve her virginity, and I was happy to respect that, then she amazon ranked and decided anal sex was okay.””

Chalk up another epic fail on the part of the internet moguls. They’ll learn eventually… right… right??

The Extra Stuff

April 12th, 2009 | Tags: , ,

In recent months I’ve become interested in all of the “extras.” I mean from authors, from movies, from anything. I watched the Q&A from “Neverwhere” after I had Netflix’d the last and final disc. I watched the commentary from “Twilight” as well (which was more amusing than I would have expected).

I just finished listening to Neil Gaiman‘s interview with his daughter Maddy.

Quite possibly the cutest thing in the whole world. And informative too.

I <3 Neil Gaiman

June 19th, 2008 | Tags: ,

As I’m reading through the newest Entertainment Weekly mag, I’m crushed by the fact that not only does Doctor Who not make it into the top 100, there was a plethora of CRAP on the list. Which makes me angry. Any reality tv show other than American Idol should NOT be on the list, but hey, what the hell do I know.

But oh, that clever man, Neil, he goes and says that the Weeping Angels are #3 on his list of New Classic Monsters.

Thank you sir, for not only mentioning one of the BEST episodes ever, but for mentioning the show in the first place.

And yay for Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy and Neil’s Sandman made it in the top 50 of the new classic books list.