anysia: (Scrying)
My little point and shoot IXUS 115 HS stopped working. The lens wouldn't come out, it would stick, and the mechanism would make a grind-y noise.

I got the Stylus 1 to be the at hand point and shoot. Well, a few weeks ago, dug out the IXUS to get the SD card, and dropped it on the carpeted floor. As the battery was still in it, I decided to power it up.

It's working again. Whatever was causing the lens to make grinding noises is 'fixed'. I guess it was a combination of "Did you turn it off and back on?" and "Just give it a good whack" repair.
anysia: (Summer Geeking)
My knee has been bothering me almost a week. Regardless, I went for a walk, albeit slightly slower than usual trying to make sure I didn't limp, and kept my steps even. I still lurch a bit, because of the leg bit lazy.

As usual, I brought camera with me to take photos of birds, flowers, things of interest to me.

I had just gotten to the turn to back onto my street, and I hear a voice behind me.

"Can I help you?

I look around, and spot a young man, tradesman by the look of his vehicle, in front of the house that has two beautiful German Shepherds.

"Oh, hello there!"

He repeated "Can I help you?" very polite.

I replied "Oh, I live here. Just taking a walk, getting photos of birds, flowers and other odds and ends, but thank you for asking." and continued on my way.

He waited until I was at the 2nd left turn, or as I call it "into the homestretch" because I can see my house, and followed me. I walked up my driveway, up to front door, inserted key and opened the door. I smiled and waved at him, he smiled and toodled off.

I think he was making sure I was ok, as I was in some obvious discomfort. What a nice young man.
anysia: (Surfing the Net)
Test results:

It still works wonderfully, with a few issues. As this is a BetaTesting phace, issues and bugs are expected.

Cameras used - Canon 5D3, Canon 7D2

HDR exposures - Perfect

Long Exposure - Perfect

Time Lapse - Function perfect, but with a bug

Single Exposure - Function perfect, but with same bug.

If I have preview/thumbnail view enabled, the App and Pulse disconnect.

Bug reported.
anysia: (Photography)
I have been testing the beta version of the Pulse camera remote. And with the exception of a few things, I haven't found anything not to like.

Started off rocky, as mine arrived a bit earlier than expected, and the web page for it with instructions and links to the phone app wasn't set up. A few traded messages and that was rectified.

The device: Small, compact, easily set up on the camera (I'm currently testing on a Canon 5D3). My one issue is the cord is a bit short and tight. Yes, it's wound like a spring, and if I pull it a few times, it does stretch, but before I did that the rubber port covers on the camera and the tension of the cord was pulling the plug from the remote socket. As I typed, some stretching of the cord helps.

The App: Once you get the Pulse on your camera, power up the camera then the pulse. Paired up with phone via bluetooth without incident. App found my camera set up without issue. My one complaint about the app, is that the "Back" button on the phone, instead of going to previous screen, it exits the application. So, if you are in settings, press back after you've adjusted something, it exits the program, rather than return to the previous screen.

As I typed, in beta testing, little things matter.
anysia: (Photography)
Tested the OMD EM1, Kipon EF to MFT adapter, and the Sigma 150-500 f/5 combination. Last time I tried, it didn't focus, and sometimes the camera had the "no lens" symbol on the menu screen.

The latest firmware update has since fixed that.

Just have to remember to switch the IS/OS off on the lens, as it will 'jiggle' the image if it's on, as the EM1 has in body stabilization.
anysia: (Goddess)
I got an o2 Hurricane canless air system because the cost of canned air, with 3 desktops was very expensive. Especially if you have to do sustained blasts with it. Have to admit after a few months of cleaning keyboards, desktops, my Skyrim dragon statue, it has more than paid for itself.

It's just a bonus that it works great on removing dust motes and cat fur from lens filters and from the front elements. Don't have to brush or use a cloth.

The last few days have been interesting with the purr kids. We have installed 'knife proof/cat proof' screen doors in place of the hollow wooden ones. There have been very umm 'vocal' arguments between Ziggy and Trance with each on one side of the door. The good news is that since Ziggy knows Trance can't just attack her, she doesn't back down... and she can outshout Trance. And afterward, Trance heads to her private sulking corner. :)

Groceries ordered, will arrive tomorrow before noon. Now, I just have to figure out what to cook for dinner tonight. :)
anysia: (Photography)
As I typed yesterday, the focus bracketing update works exceedingly well when photographing a subject that is on a low horizontal angle, but doesn't do too well when your subject is vertical to the camera/lens.

Gear used: Olympus OMD EM1, Zeiko 12-50mm macro function lens. ISO 400, 1/8 exp, f/8.0. Processed in Photoshop CS6, loading into layers, auto aligning, auto blending.

Auto Focus Bracketing, 30 images, 4mm differential.

Manual focus bracketing selecting 30 focal points.

As you can clearly see, the orchid in the 2nd photo is sharper all over, whereas the Auto Focus Bracketing left a goodly amount of the image blurry. I'm quite sure that with a bit of erasing certain parts of the Auto Focused layers, you can get the same results, but that is for the more adept and patient photo editors.
anysia: (Photography)
First off, the update opened up a bunch of new things, like focus bracketing, and focus stacking (*a few addendums with focus stacking, but that will be later). Both are designed to allow you to use your macro lens, camera and tripod, taking multiple exposures at different parts of a subject, and then with software (Photoshop, Helicon) stack the images (hence the word focus stack) to make one clear sharp image from front to back.

I set my EM1 up to take some shots. I noticed that the Focus Stacking option was greyed out. A bit of research, and I discovered you can only use focus stacking in camera if you use the *Pro lenses, or the 60mm macro (I have the 50mm macro), and that you're limited to 8 shots. To me, that leaves too much of your subject not in focus.

Moving on:

Focus Bracketing: Allows you to take as many photos as you want (don't go nuts, or you will fill your card), but you will have to stack them in your software of choice. You can pick how far back you want the camera to focus (for this, I picked 20 images, 4mm).

What I found out, though, it doesn't work very well with a subject that is vertical with the camera/lens, that the subject has to be laying flat(ish) so the focus starts at the front of the object, and goes to the back, unlike manual focus stacking where you can pick different parts of the subject regardless if it's laying flat down, or standing up in front of your lens.

Keeping that in mind, leaving your subject flat(ish), the results are pretty damned impressive!

anysia: (Surfing the Net)
There has been much ado and hype about the mega megapixel Canon DS and Canon DSR. I am comparing it to my 5D3 and 7D2.

To use the DS was easy enough. Same set up as my 5D3 and 7D2. Are the photos taken good? Oh hell yes. Higher ISO shots are no problem. However, I have found the FPS very slow (compared to 5D3 and 7D2) and I did miss shots because of this. That being typed, the 5DS isn't made for sports photography. Planned shots, and carefully composed shots, not a problem. Tracking surfers, birds or anything in motion, I found it lacking in performance.

Images: HUGE, but bigger isn't always better. I took these shots, one using the 5DS and one with my 5D3, both using the 11-24mm wide angle.

5D3, 11-24mm Wide Angle

5DS, 11-24mm Wide Angle

I know it would have been better to do both photos at the same time of day, but that wasn't an option, but this does well enough to demonstrate.

Both images are sharp, clear and have good colors and tones. For me, there is no real difference, except if you wanted to you could closely crop in on the 5DS image and because it’s 50+ megabyte 50 megapixel image, you would still end up with a large image, sharp image.

Same 5DS photo as above, but cropped in.

My conclusion: to quote a friend, ‘Horses for Courses’. Great camera, but not for me. It would not supplant my current cameras, and if I really want a huge 50mp image, I will stick with photo stacking and merging.

Onto the 11-24mm Wide Angle lens – Omygoodness was a luscious piece of glass. Bulbous Goodness! Even with the distortion you get using such a wide angle lens, it was crisp and sharp even to the corners. Landscape shots are a dream with this lens. Especially compared to my older 17-35mm wide angle. If I was going to save my shekels for another lens, this would be the one.
anysia: (Photography)
I brought a list of questions to ask about the 5DS and 5dsr... and oddly enough, it's not something I want or need. Nice piece of hardware, but for what I do, not of any use.

Larger megapixel sensor means it’s more sensitive to camera vibration. Since most of what I do isn’t studio, or landscapes or other tripod mounted shots (photographing birds, wildlife, street) tracking erratic flight of birds, if using 5DS/5DSr, it would cause a lot of sensor vibration, and screwed up shots.

Also, I asked "If I want a 50mp shot, I will take 4 photos, import them into layers, align them, blend them.", and he honestly added that I would get the same results, but with studio work, you get that all in one photo. Fair enough, but I don't often do studio work or landscapes.

After asking all the questions I had on my list it comes down to this: The new Canon 5DS and 5DSr are great pieces of hardware. But what I've got now does everything I want and more.

Finally got my hands on the new Canon 11-24. Focuses surprising fast. Only got to use it indoors, though. Will have to hire it to try outdoors.

The 300mm Prime is ok, but I have 100-400. True, it's 'only' an F4, but I am normally shooting at f/8 or above.

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