August 2004 Archives
August 20, 2004

Canon EOS 20d, new lenses and flash


Just few days ago, I was thinking Canon is due to come up with an improved version of their EOS 10D camera. And that's exactly what they did with the EOS 20d camera; has the scoop.

Canon also released two new lenses and a flash. The lenses work only on digital bodies. The first lens is the EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, which is the 27-136mm equivalent in 35mm cameras, and costs $600. The second lens is the EF-S 10 - 22 mm F3.5 - F4.5 USM, or the 16-35 mm in 35mm cameras; it costs $800.

I wonder what the quality of these lenses is. The first appears to be the equivalent of the 28-135mm IS USM lens. The second lens doesn't seem to have such an equivalent - I would not consider the 17-40mm f/4 L lens being equivalent with it.

The 580EX flash is an improvement over the 550EX, making it more adapted to Canon's array of digital SLR cameras. For one thing the 580EX is able to obtain information on the sensor size from the camera and adjust its zoom flash position accordingly. Another key improvement is the ability to send color temperature information to the camera, which can adjust the white balance accordingly.

The 580EX also has an optional L bracket which allows you to position the flash on the side of the camera. This is useful when taking vertical shots, when you want the flash to be at the top, not on a side where it would normally end up if you turn the camera. What I don't know is how this bracket works on a tripod setting.

Posted by ovidiu at 12:05 AM | Comments (0) |
August 19, 2004

Google's IPO


Exciting news today, Google went public!

I was pleasantly surprised to see the stock price remain pretty much constant throughout the day.

Posted by ovidiu at 11:23 PM | Comments (0) |
August 15, 2004

O-Zone: Dragostea din tei


I just heard this piece (RealPlayer) last night at Olivier and Ruxandra, some friends of mine. This seems to be a summer hit in Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland and UK, and probably other countries in Europe. Not exactly my kind of music, but the melody is really catchy. The lyrics are in Romanian and are pretty simple. I love the video-clip, the guys are just great!

Ma-ia-hii Ma-ia-huu ...

Posted by ovidiu at 06:30 PM | Comments (7) |
August 14, 2004

My Arca-Swiss B1 ballhead needs repair


My Arca-Swiss B1 ballhead has a problem locking and unlocking the ballhead. I need to turn the locking knob for a complete circle and a half (540°) to lock the ballhead, instead of the usual 180° or so. To make the matters worse, turning the locking knob back in the original position doesn't unlock the ballhead.

To unlock the ballhead I need to firmly press on the ballhead, pressing either on the camera or directly on the clamp after unmounting the camera. This situation makes orienting the camera very difficult. It's pretty sad to see this happening with such a highly praised device. Luckily it's still covered by the 3 year warranty, so I'll send it to Arca-Swiss for repair.

Posted by ovidiu at 03:15 AM | Comments (1) |
August 10, 2004

Back from vacation


I came back from a four-week vacation less than a month ago. I hiked in the mountains of Romania (Piatra Craiului to be more precise), and toured through Transilvania, the northern part of the country. Very beautiful places and people, I really enjoyed it!

I shot some 55 rolls of slide film, about 2000 frames during the whole trip. I'm now working on scanning them using a Nikon 5000 ED with the SF-210 auto slide feeder. I scan about 3 films of 36 positions per day, which is pretty good, considering I do this only in the morning and late evening. I just feed the slides to the scanner and let it do its job unattended, which is very convenient.

Although this may look like a lot of work, it's not too bad. Except that it takes a lot of time to scan all the films I have. I'm seriously considering switching to digital for things other than snapshots. I'm waiting for Canon to come up with an updated version of the EOS 10D camera. While EOS 1D Mark II looks really impressive, it's a heck of a camera, quite heavy to be carried in a backpack in the mountains.

What would be best is for Canon to come up with a digital version of the EOS 1v, just like the EOS 1d Mark II but without the power drive booster. An 8Mb pixels camera with 3 fps, with an 1.3x magnification factor, and all the features of EOS 1v: such a camera would really rock!

I'll post some of the shots hopefully sometime later this month.

Posted by ovidiu at 12:55 AM | Comments (2) |
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