Friday, June 20, 2008

Canon Powershot G9 Notes

The Canon G9 is NOT a DSLR. I need to keep reminding myself of this. If I think of it as a DSLR I am going to be disappointed with my pictures.

I bought the Lensmate adapter and screwed on a haze filter and a polarizer. It now LOOKS like a squatty DSLR. "It's not a DSLR" I keep telling myself.

The reason this camera is liked by the DSLR crowd is that it takes very good pictures. However, when they need money shots they use their DSLRs, not their G9s. They know that the images simply aren't going to compare with its limited zoom range and small imager. For the money and portability the pictures are acceptable to them, and features like full manual control via DSLR-like controls and RAW make it a comfortable camera to use.

Professional photographers look at lighting, composition, interest, and create works of art through the lens. A camera is just a tool to them. Just like a professional saxophone player will covet their Selmer Mark VI alto sax, it's not the sax that makes them sound good--it is their talent. A talented musician can take a crappy Yamaha sax and make it sound beautiful.

I want to make photographs that look like the ones I see in magazines, but it is simply not possible with the G9. A professional could not get a full page picture published in NatGeo with a G9 either. It's not just the talent, but the quality of the resulting image that makes the difference. You want to see every hair on a bee's head without chromatic abberations? You'll need a large sensor, a true macro lens, and macro lights. Want to get a tack sharp frozen moment in time as a swimmer dives into the water, complete with perfect globules of water? You will need a monopod, a 400mm f2.8 zoom lens and a large sensor.

I need to stop trying to get the perfect spider or bee shot. No matter how close I get, I still have to crop the picture 400% or more to make the animal fill the image. At this point the pixels are so large that the image suffers. I could never submit these images to a stock photo company because of this.

I need to stop trying to take high-contrast landscape shots. The dynamic range and chromatic abberations are so bad that these will also never be accepted.

I need to stop trying to think I can make money selling photographs. I am not willing to commit the money or the time to do it right, and there are 1000's of others out there that ARE willing.

I need to just have fun and try to take shots that please me. I can continue to work on lighting, composition and interest so that if I ever DO buy a DSLR I will take better pictures from the start.

Canon Powershot G9 digital camera

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Zaxby's Buffalo Fingerz

(via Zaxby's)

This is the best lunch ever! Five deep fried chicken fingers smothered in buffalo sauce with ranch dipping sauce and celery! They serve it with a fork 'cuz they know yer gonna dip them chicken fingers in ranch! (ahem)

I'm sure it's really bad for you but it's just enough food to fill me when I need a lunch, and I get some fiber in there too.

Zaxby's Wings and Fingerz

'Pick Your Own' Closed Because of Snacking


One of my friends likes to do this with her family. She said that people eat berries there, but the amount eaten is nothing compared to the gallons most people pay for and bring home. It seems like this guy could fix the problem by requiring them to buy at least two gallons (takes up time and will deter those that don't want to pay anything at all).

Farmer scraps 'pick your own' after greedy customers steal strawberries - and even bring cream to dip them in Mail Online

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bacon Floss

Mmmm, bacon!

Bacon Floss Uncrate

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Icon Ultralight Plane


Their images really make this look like a fun little plane--two seater side-by-side (not tandem as in most ultralights), can takeoff/land in water or on a landing strip, wings come off to easily transport on a trailer. What's $140,000?

ICON Aircraft: Sport Flying Revolution

Friday, June 13, 2008

BMW GINA - Fabric-skinned car


This is probaby the first exterior design change/element I have seen in over 30 years of lusting after cars that truly impresses me. It makes so much sense aerodynamically and econimically. You have to watch the videos below: - The International Entertainment Magazine

Canon G9 Photos

Some photos from my new G9 camera:

Spider Walking Away


Number One

Pangolyn/G9 Photos - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Thursday, June 12, 2008

2002 Honda Silverwing


I fixed my Silverwing a couple of weeks ago and have been driving to work as often as possible.

Something was shorting out so I followed the repair manual's instructions to remove every single body panel to examine the wiring. I found that a bracket that holds two relays was bent, and that one of the relay cases had a friction hole. I bent the bracket back, bought a new relay, started it up and it worked. I painfully put all of the panels back and have ridden it ever since.

I'm still impressed with this old bike. My wife's scooter is a little 250cc isn't very peppy, so it's a little embarassing for me, a male, to ride. However, my 600cc Silverwing scoots just fine. I sit with pride at stoplights when a fancy 'stang or ricer pulls up beside because I know I can smootly speed to 45 much faster than they can. As a bonus, it doesn't make a big deal about it, just quiet gentle power (no waaaaaaaah).

There is plenty of storage space in this thing. I can put a 20oz bottle of water, gloves and sunglasses in the deep left-side dash cubby. the trunk can easily hold rain gear, my computer in its bag, and my jacket. They make trunks that fit on the rear wing, but I haven't had a need for that much space yet.

I'm a little too tall, I think, for this thing because my head gets lots of wind buffeting. There are larger windshields that can be attached, but I'm too cheap to buy them

I don't know the gas mileage since I fixed it because I'm still on the same tank of gas. I expect it to be between 45 and 60 MPG. I'll report on that in the near future.

My Canon G7 Died, Long Live G9

(via CameraLabs)

My Canon Powershot G7 died last week on the last day of our Aruba trip.

I purchased it at MicroCenter during their '20% off cameras' sale, on clearance, so it only cost around $211. I bought the $70 'accident insurance' since it actually covers accidents (unlike most protection plans). I also purchased a DiCAPac waterproof camera bag so I could take pictures while snorkeling.

I purchased the largest one they make, which MicroCenter just happened to stock, based on the recommendation of one of the employees. I told him I didn't think it would fit, and tried it in the store. Sure enough, the zoom would not extend all the way because of the design of the bag, so I returned it.

I later decided that I would avoid using the zoom while in the bag, so I returned and re-purchased the bag.

It worked great every day, except the edge of the rubber around the lens glass on the case intruded into the pictures. I decided I would just zoom in a little, just enough to get the rubber out of the shot. Big mistake. The end of the lens exactly fits the inner dimension of the rubber surrounding the lens glass in the underwater case. Apparently the end was wedged into the rubber during use, gripping it tightly. When the camera tried to sleep and retract the lens the end of the lens came off. Technically, this didn't kill the camera, it just broke the assembly that protects the lens when not in use, but it was enough of a problem that the camera wouldn't work without me 'making it worse' by removing the lens cover blades, springs, and other bits in the end of the camera (which I didn't do).

I was sad for a while because it was such a great cameara at $211, but I bought the insurance so I decided to just return it and get credit torward a 'real' camera in the near future (read: DSLR). My wife thought we should bet a new equivalent camera otherwise what is the point of the insurance, so she took it back to exchange. Long story short, she got the money back from the G7 as well as the money for the insurance since it was their recommendation that broke the cameara, and put it all toward a G9. At first I told her that $430 was too much to spend on a new camera, that we should just wait until I could afford a DSLR ($600+). Then I thought about it and realized that I would not take the DSLR with me as much as the G9, and that the waterproof case for a DSLR is over $1,000, while the 'official' underwater case for the G9 is $130, something I COULD afford the next time we go snorkeling. I also read up on the G9 and found that it is the P&S of choice by many DSLR users, especially since it has RAW, an ISO dial, and instant analog access to f-stop and shutter speed settings. Although the G7 has the same buttons & dials, it only has RAW via a hack, and it requires additional steps to get those RAW files converted into something Adobe products can understand (G9 does it natively).

She's unable to go to our son's swim meet tonight, so they gave my Fathers' Day present early so I could take picutres and video for her. I'll write about the G9 in the near future.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cyclist Union

In Toronto, cyclists form a first-of-its-kind union |

You Don't Mess With The Zohan - Review

This movie surprised me. Of course, it was crass with lots of crotch shots. Of course it had Happy Madison regulars. Of course the story had a sappy element.

Surprise #1: This was really funny. Even if there were no enlarged crotch shots it would have been funny. There were many truly new comic jokes: Cat-sack (hacky-sack with a cat), drinking two raw chicks for breakfast during training, man peeing in the litterbox (with the cat still in it), and many others.

Surprise #2: Better-than-cameo surprise credited actors. Ms. Garrett from Facts of Life, A very eloquent (compared to how I've heard him speak before) Dave Matthews (I'm the only one that picked him out even though my wife is a much bigger fan).

Surprise #3: The best stunts I have ever seen. Better than the Matrix. Better than the last James Bond film. Even though it was silly, and most were heavily cable-assisted or digitally enhanced, the stunts were extremely impressive. It truly looked like someone could swim fast the way Adam did (much better than the dolphin swim in 'The Animal'. Gun at his back, he spins instantly and dismantles the gun before the bad guy can react. Beating up three thugs in a few seconds. Drinking that bizarre fizzy drink in less than a second. These were all done extremely well and looked theoretically possible.

If you can leave your maturity and brain at the door then you should try to see this movie. It's not a 'big screen' movie, so DVD rental would be fine once it comes out.

You Don't Mess With The Zohan

Next iPhone will be $199

I really like my Blackberry Pearl (as does my wife, four co-workers, everyone else that has one) but a $199 iPhone could make me throw it to the curb when my contract is up. Plus it has 3G (yay) and GPS (YAY).

Macworld | Apple’s $199 iPhone: How can it be so cheap?

Friday, June 06, 2008

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Monday, June 02, 2008

Aruba Pictures

Here are a few Aruba pics. Follow the link for more.









Pangolyn/Aruba - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting