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.

Testing WP 2.0 for iPhone

November 4th, 2009 | Tags: , , ,

No offense to the WordPress iPhone devs, but 1.0 was a pain in my ass to use! I’d write and entry and publish it and it would never show up. I’d have to do all sorts of finger-crossing and hoping that after 20 minutes of screwig around with it on a computer would I eventually figure it out. And while I don’t expect to be writing anything profound or fantastic on my cellphone, I still wanted it to work.

So here’s me. On iPhone app WordPress 2.0 with fingers crossed (again) that when I open a browser and go to my blog, I will see this little post.

Oh PLEASE work!!

Edit #1: Test one was a failure. The I set it to publish, and it shows status as Published. Visibility as Public. Shows the date and time of publishing, but when you visit my blog there is nothing. This edit is being done on a desktop.

Edit #2: And after adding the first edit, and updating the post, it shows up on on the site. *ponders* I don’t know if that’s quite as functional as I had hoped. Better, but still a pain. Not sure what’s going on.

And now for some photos!

October 5th, 2009 | Tags: , , , , , ,

So… I’ve been having some issues with getting some of the WordPress plugins to work. Particularly The WordPress Flickr Manager. For all intents and purposes, it absolutely looked like it was working properly. Except when I tried desperately to add a photo to an entry. Then it would just reload the lightbox pop-up (used for inserting into the entry) and do nothing. I thought it was the browser (Chrome) but it was happening in Firefox too! So I went looking for a working plugin, and had to do all this crazy nonsense to get that one to work. Only, it wasn’t for what I wanted, which was to be able to include just one or two (or 4) specific images to a post. I didn’t want to have to link and entire set/gallery. This isn’t a photo blog (and let’s face it, I’m not the best photographer anyway).

The “other” flickr manager thing required me to do all of this high tech mySQL database conversion stuff. It was kind of terrifying. Mostly because it’s been years since I’ve done that kind of stuff, and I don’t know all the in’s and out’s of how WordPress does it’s thing. Dreamhost ends up doing all of the updates for me automatically anyway, so it’s not really me that looks all high tech and fancy. It’s them. No joke. Not me. So I ended up getting the databases all converted from latin1 to UTF-8. Sounds exciting, but now my little Flickr widget is broken. *sigh* Ah well.

So of course, I’ve been doing all of this and getting no where. Getting frustrated was inevitable, but really? I can’t just put A photo in my blog? Just one? I don’t want to have to upload the same damn photo eleventy-billion times in fourteen different places. I use Flickr almost exclusively for my photos. It’s because I can email them from my iPhone and share. It’s just easier that way. So why all this running around (on the internet) and backwards nonsense to share A single photo?

Oh well. It seems there was some kind of weird change when WordPress updated to 2.8. The author submitted  a fix for the lovely Flickr Manager plugin I already had installed, but it hadn’t been approved yet and you could download it directly. So I did. I could have saved myself a ton of headache and confusion and database backup-ing and terrified I’m going to break something to beyond fixing. Y’know how it goes.

And so here I go with the photo sharing. Because after all this nonsense I better start sharing some damn photos, right??

Sweater Hoodie Thing

Here is the first attempt at Sweater Hoodie thing. It’s technically called theApres Surf Hoodie, but I like my name better. It’s easier for me to say outloud when I talk to myself while knitting/blogging. The pattern calls for you to make two halves, the back and the front, and piece them together. I started the back (which is what you see pictured here) when I found some blog posts somewhere on the internet regarding doing it in the round (I cannot for my life find the link where the girl mentioned how she did this, but if I ever do, I’ll link it!). So I frogged (took the whole thing apart, for you non-knitting/crocheting folks) and started again. And started again. And again. And again. And again. No really. I started it over 5 different times before I finally decided on starting it on DPNs (double pointed needles; usually used for making socks and other items in the round) and after a few rows transferred it to the circular. The “invisible” start cause some issues with starting ON the circular needle (aka frustration!). I’m about 2 rows away from starting the lace part (the body), which took me DAYS to do.

Side note: Because I can now work this all in Stockinette Stitch, I can continental stitch all of it, meaning that I knit 4 times faster. Having to “throw over” all of the purl rows (when going back and forth) meant I got the first 26 rows (of both the front AND back) done in less than a day and a half (of knitting in between Wintergrasps (WoW speak ftw!) this weekend). This should technically take me a whole helluva lot less time to finish. Yay!

Tribal Skein - White Background

Also to share, because I’m in a slightly obsessed phase, is some yarn I dyed. Because, like I said, I’m slightly obsessed. This one is called Tribal. It’s Brown, Teal and Orange. I used Kool-Aid and Wilton’s Cake dye. This one makes me happy and I love it.

Odyssey - Skein

I call this one Odyssey. No reason for the name, but it’s Kool-Aid and Wilton’s Cake dye as well. I love the colors on this one.

And thus concludes my photo sharing entry of the day.

iTunes Genius suggestions

September 21st, 2008 | Tags: ,

So for the last week or so, I’ve been playing around with the Genius feature on iTunes. I love the idea. It’s actually not quite as bad as people think. I personally like that it gives a little bit of variety. It also allows me to pick a particular song that I know I want to hear as the first one, and it picks other songs to go with it. Yay! Spares me the hassle of having to create playlists, considering I will often just make a playlist of one song and listen to it over and over again.

Because of Genius I’ve heard some new songs that I would never have otherwise noticed. I have 3,000+ songs on my ipod currently, and I know how I am with regard to music. I’ve enjoyed most of the playlists that Genius has created.

What I would like to see with the Genius feature though, are a handful of things.

1. Give me the ability to remove a single song, and have Genius replace it. I’d like to keep hte 25 or 50 songs, but sometimes, I just want one or three to be different. Currently, I have to either refresh the whole playlist (and hope that the songs I liked remain) or just remove them entirely, and shortening the playlist altogether.

2. Let me make it a “non Genius” playlist, so that I don’t accidently hit refresh (or someone else hits refresh for me) only to have me lose the playlist that existed, and have it replaced with a playlist I wasn’t expecting.

3. Mostly, just let me remove a song and have it replaced.

Okay, that’s my rant. I’m done now. And it’s time for sleep!

WP Themes

August 13th, 2008 | Tags: , ,

Now that the WP Themes Directory is available… I might play around with some theme design. I mean, there used to be some awesome ones out there. Maybe I’ll play with making them usable in the newest versions or something. Because there are still some older theme’s I’d love to be able to use, but alas, I cannot with it in their current state. 🙁

But I’m thinking I might play around with creating some myself. There are some decent ones there, but a lot of ones that I would never even consider using for any application… ever. Maybe some versatility will help. We’ll see how motivated I am at doing this.

Cellphone… stuff

July 14th, 2008 | Tags: ,

So I’ve been messing around with my cell, trying to get the alarm situation taken care off. There are some known issues with Windows Mobile 6 (WM6), one of the biggest pet peeves out there is the alarm situation. Lemme explain. Once you set a time for an alarm, it will go off. No matter what. Even if you set a new time (it will now go off at two different times), and if you try to turn the bugger off, the alarm still goes off.

Case in point. Every night I check to see if the time is set right on my alarm. Apparently I shouldn’t have hit “done” on 3 different occasions, because in the morning, the obnoxious beep sound of 3 alarms set for the exact same time, going off in the mornings. And guess what?? You can’t delete them. You can’t REMOVE alarms once they’ve been set. You have to download a 3rd party program, in order to edit notifications or even the registry, in order to remove the alarms that have already been set.

If you can imagine, this is horrifically annoying for someone who needed to get up at 4am one time, and is now awakened every day, because (surprise surprise Microsoft has yet to fix this and release an update) the alarm doesn’t work. Oddly enough, while trying to figure out how to get it to stop doing that, my phone reset itself. Fine. It was almost a blessing in disguise I guess. But even recently the alarm goes off, 3 different times, at 6:40am. Why? *shrug* It makes no sense.

So I downloaded the trial version of Gentimer and so far (after a single day) I love it. It’s pretty inexpensive, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to buy a legit version at some point, but for now, I’m content with the fact that now I can have an alarm that goes off (once) in the mornings to wake me up for work (M-F), another to go off every day at 3pm to remind me when to take my pill. They are separate, and I don’t have to have Gentimer running in order for the alarms go off. I turned the WM6 alarm OFF, and guess what it did this morning anyway? Oh yeah. It went off, and turned off when Gentimer kicked in. Stupid WM6.

I’m seriously considering getting an unlocked iphone. No. Seriously.

Hmmm… undiscovered WiFi

July 14th, 2008 | Tags: , ,

I keep forgetting that not only is there WiFi available at work, but that my phone is equipped to be able to use it. and not only that, but all of the things I would want to do while in front of a computer can be done from my phone as well. No fancy posts where I can link fun things. But I can blabber on about what’s bugging me. And I can do it without being under the watchful eye of my boss, who tends to be in the office, and can see exactly what I’m doing. :/ So here’s to my first cellphone post. That mobile plugin is awesome!

Edit: Except for the fact that it didn’t actually publish it to the main page, even when it said it was published. I wonder what the deal is with that?? Am I going to have to republish them from the web admin page to get them to show up?? *sigh* Kind of frustrating.

New camera

June 23rd, 2008 | Tags: ,

As much as I wanted a DSLR camera, the price is just so far out of my league that I know it’s going to be a very long time before I can afford one of those. So I opted for a decent point and shoot. One that has a slight optical zoom as well as a digital zoom. I chose this one over some others, because of the higher ISO rating on it. I hate blurry pictures. And I hate finding out that I took a bunch of blurry pictures AFTER I’ve paid to have them printed. The only downside to this camera?? It uses AA batteries. *sigh* Hopefully it’s not as picky as my last camera… cause if it is, it’s going back!

It should arrive on Friday, which might mean that I’ll start carrying it around with me, and snagging pictures of anything and everything I want. Mostly, there are some moments when I’m with the boy that I’d like to catch, because I have so few pictures of him… let alone him and I.