Friday, September 19, 2008

protect your tech

As photographers, as tech addicts, as gadget guys - we love the latest and greatest. If you are anything like me you are also quite rough on your tech. It could be described as a right of passage. A journey of selective destruction through which only the strong survive. So what happens if there is a piece of tech that you really like but can tell it will become disfigured with scratches, dents, scuffs and the like? Working in the field of Retail Consumer Electronics, I see a lot of damaged product - especially in the area of phones, PDAs, iPods, iPhones, laptops, etc.

I recently was introduced to a company named ZAGG who produces a product called the invisible shield. They offer a unique protective covering for tons of consumer products. I have used a screen protector of some kind on just about every PDA I have ever owned and they were all a compromise. When I purchased my iPod touch earlier this year I was concerned about the touch surface and wanted to protect it. I was immediately intrigued when I opened the invisible shield box to find not only the shield and applicator - but a bottle of solution. I was a bit puzzled.

Applying the shield is a little odd the first time around; however, I have been using it for about 2 months now and no scratches and no optical distortion like most screen protectors. They are guaranteed not to scratch or peel off for the life of the device - so go nuts! Use you device the way you want to use it. If you are looking for a protective solution for your laptop, phone, iPod, etc - take a look at the invisible shield - you will be glad you did.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Blame IKE

Hey guys - Louisville got hit HARD with IKE which no one was expecting.  300,000 without power and something like 70% of the trafic lights down things have been a bit nuts here.  Internet has been so flaky that I have had major issues getting the blog up.  I appreciate your patience and I hope to get back into the swing of things in the next day or so.

Canon 5D MkII Announced Today!

Yes indeed - I can not wait to get my hands on the new 5D mk II.  It looks very nice.  Only concern I have is the slow 3.9 frames per second ARGH!!!!!!!!   We should have one in the store before too long so until then take a look at DPReview's Preview of the camera.

Friday, September 12, 2008

round two - then and now

This second round video ad Microsoft has released has me thinking. Again, they don't talk about Vista or any other services. Instead, it appears the Microsoft is using Seinfeld and Gates as two characters to overhaul Microsoft's image as a whole. Vista defiantly has shaken people's foundation in Windows as an operating system. I talk to people every day who ask "Is there any way I can get a computer without that vista?" In most cases people don't know what Vista is - they just know "people" say that they should steer clear of it. In the past week I have focused on asking customers a few questions around Vista perception. I lead with statements like "just in my own curiosity - what has given you a bad experience with Vista?" Yesterday I had a gentleman who told me his brother has a Vista machine and he hates it. I asked when he purchased the machine and he revealed that his brother was an early adopter who purchased one of the initial release Vista computers. I talked with the customer a bit about some of the problems (mostly hardware based) around computer running a new operating system. I explained that the early Vista computers were essentially Windows XP systems with Vista installed instead. They were massively underpowered and not setup with Vista in mind. Today, a year and a half after Vista's release, we have systems that are fine tuned to run Vista correctly. Take a snapshot of then vs now:

(THEN) Mostly 1.4 - 1.6ghz processors
(NOW) Mostly 2.0+ ghz processors
(THEN) Average 512mb ddr2 ram
(NOW) Average 30=-4gb ddr2 ram
(THEN) Integrated Intel graphics chip
(NOW) Integrated ATI or GeForce chip
(THEN) 80GB-120GB storage
(NOW) 160-250GB storage

The list goes on and on. I am not trying to champion Vista here - most of you should know that I prefer to use a Macintosh computer. What I have experienced with vista systems is that most of the discomfort today is due to unfamiliararity with the operating system. People just don't know and because they don't know they listen to rumors and take them at face value. I am all for people switching to the Macintosh side of things - but let's talk about supeority of the UNIX based operating system - not prey on the fears of an uneducated public. Microsofts ads are designed to get people tinking about them in a different light - not sure if it will work but I think it is a step in the right direction.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

canon evolution


oh canon how you continue to tease us

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

teaser banner online

A friend of mine shot me an email this morning with this story. On Canon's UK website they are running a banner teaser that screams 5DmkII.

Looks like they still have a little something up their sleeve for Photokina this month. If it is the 5DmkII one interesting thing to note - it looks like it would have a popup flash. Anyways - I will keep my eye on it and try to keep everyone posted on the developments

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

hands on with nikon D90

I spent quite a while playing with Nikon's newest release today and want to take a few minutes to put in my two cents. When holding the camera it is noticeably heavier (more solid) than the D80. The D80 always felt a little cheap in it
s construction epically if you compared it to the D70 & D70s which were built like tanks. The feel of the camera is more substantial. I am not sure if this is due to a redesign of the grip ergonomics, building material or some mixture of both.

Button placement and configuration is the same as on the D80 with few changes. There is a LV for Live View mode on the back which is how you get to the video mode (more on that later) and the AF lock switch is crafted similarly to the D300 series camera AF lock. The most noticeable change is the d-pad. Nikon seems to be moving all their new cameras in this direction. The center or set button is separate from the d-pad. This makes it much easier to select the center button in pressing situations - no pun intended.

Overall button placement makes sense - though not accessible as the D200,300,700 series cameras but one shouldn't expect that in a camera of this level. There were two things that peeked my interest when approaching this camera: Image noise and the new video mode. The D300 & D700 boast excellent image to noise ratio that has Canon shooters everywhere considering a switch. How does the D90 measure up? Let's take a look:

ISO-800 Great clarity - almost no noise at 100% crop

ISO-1600 A little detail is lost due to the noise reduction software but you have to look at 100x and really be looking to see it.

ISO-3200 About what 800 looks like on my Canon 20D. If you zoom in to 100X noise reduction is noticeable but not bad - very usable and super crisp all things considered.

ISO-6400 Significant image noise. However, it is still less than my 20D gives me at 1600 ISO. Large prints would be no problem with this.

Is the image to noise ratio as good a the D700 - Absolutely not! Not even close - but you could buy three of these bodies for what one D700 costs so keep that in mind. Here is the thing to consider. Looking at the images full screen on my 22" monitor I didn't see ANY image noise until I zoomed in to 100X on any of these images - not to shabby! When taking these images I set the camera on Aperture priority and set it to about f/5.3. The camera was in Large Fine JPG mode set to the default color and sharpness settings. I didn't do anything to these images except crop them in Lightroom - no manipulation or correction. Now on to the Video...

The video looks good but you loose Auto Focus so in my mind ... it is kinda useless. Take a look for yourself.

right click to download video

That's all my insight and what not - I like the camera and I think it gives the Rebel's a run for their money. Can't say how it stacks up against the 50D because they haven't arrived yet. However, you can bet I will have a compair contrast post in a week or so once we have those in stock!

Stock Images Courtasy of

Monday, September 8, 2008

quick look - google chrome

Today we take a look at Google Chrome. Lots of great features that blow away the competition. As we move into a web 2.0 world this is the next evolution in browser technology. Let the browser wars begin!

Friday, September 5, 2008

microsoft enters the ad game?

The ad campaign by Microsoft using Jerry Seinfeld is very similar to their internal videos. They show the softer, lighter side of Microsoft; however, they have nothing to do with Vista! I found myself scratching my head at the end of the 1min 30sec commercial. In what world do commercials run longer than 30 sec? Just a thought. If these are to be the combat to the Get a Mac campaign they are more than a bit lacking - feel free to chime in.

will continue tomorrow...

Hey folks - I appreciate your patience this week with no posts. A combination of craziness a work and STILL being in a restoration process on my main production machine has made for no time to blog this week. I will be putting together a set of posts for this weekend like I did a few weeks back. Monday I will jump right back into the thick of things and have daily posts for your enjoyment.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Photoshop Essentials

Today we take a look at Photoshop Express. Having my system crash last week has been a perspective changer. What happens if you are on a system without Photoshop? What if your computer is issued to you by your company and they will not allow you to install applications? What if your on the road and don't have your copy of Photoshop with you? There are so many situations where a web 2.0 application like Photoshop Express can be a life saver.