...and other misconceptions I made 05-10-22
2005 Oct 22

Archive for the 'toys' Category

November 23rd 2010
Sometimes things break

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Especially if you use them a lot. And no, I’m not talking about the children’s toys, I’m talking about one of mine. I bought my Forerunner 305 more than three and a half years ago. I ran about 2500 miles with, more than 400 hours of use. And last week in Dublin it turns out it died. At first I just thought I had forgotten to turn it off – but apparently what happened is that the battery died. It still turns on when connected to its charging station. And it claims to be fully charged. But the moment you remove it it immediately turns off.

Forerunner310xtSo today I went and bought (on sale) its successor, the Forerunner 310XT. It has a few very nice improvements. It’s waterproof – so hopefully its speaker won’t be corroded by my sweat (on the 305 the beeps had gotten very faint over time). It has vibration alerts in addition to beeps. It has a much faster satellite detection (if used at similar spot within three days of the last use – that seemed like such an obvious improvement). It has twice the battery life. It has a better display. It does heart rate based calorie calculation – instead of the somewhat simplistic distance based one the 305 does. Etc.

I haven’t actually gone running with it, yet (I have a slight cold and didn’t want to push it today). But I think I’ll like it.

January 15th 2010
Guess what was waiting for me at home?

Posted under family & photography & toys | 1 comment | |

Well, of course the best wife ever. And the best girls. And that alone was all I wanted.

But it turned out there was something else. A new phone! A Google Nexus One. I’ll admit I’m excited – it’s a really cool phone. Not an iPhone – but somewhat similar (in shape and size) and fundamentally different (in the software that runs on it). I’ve played with it only briefly and so far I love it. It’s super fast, it feels nice in your hand, and it has a flash for the built in camera – see below!

H2 is drawing in the restaurantS2 is doing a dot-dot-dot

These pictures were taken in a rather dark restaurant at dinner tonight. Yes, the Canon S90 (or the big Nikon) would have taken better pictures. But for phone pictures… I’m impressed.

Anyway, I’m back home and I’m quite happy about this. And contrary to earlier plans I will NOT fly to New Zealand tomorrow. Instead I’ll be home for a couple of weeks. Yay.

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December 31st 2007
Ok, I’m spending too much time writing about my new camera

Posted under toys | 1 comment | |

D300 w/ AF-S 80-200 f/2.8 ED lensSo there, I’m willing to admit it. But then again, it seems like I already helped one reader to make up her mind and get a D300 as well, maybe I’ll be starting a trend?

Anyway, K2 was giving me a hard time today when I came back from Pro Photo Supply again and showed her my latest purchases. She was saying things like “Oh my! It’s so big!!“. Pah.

Ok, maybe it’s a little unwieldy – at 2350g or 5.1 American pounds (as pictured here, D300 with the Nikon AF-S 80-200 f/2.8 ED lens that I got today as a bargain (it was pre-owned)) it’s not exactly a light-weight. But it takes amazing pictures. I’m having way too much fun with this…

craftsman detailpower in the skyDead End

It was sunny today in Portland – what a nice coincidence!

And here are a couple more low light pictures – this time our cats Percy and Oliver, shot with a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens at 1/60s, f/1.4, ISO450 and ISO500, respectively. And just to fill the row a picture of S2 that I really love – this one was done with off-camera flash and the Sigma 17-35mm f/2.8-4.0 lens.


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December 30th 2007
What I mean when I say “good at low light”

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In these pictures you see that the girls are carrying flashlights. That’s because they were taken this morning between 6:00am and 6:30am in the house with only a few lights on. The first three are in a small hallway with the light off – all light is coming from the kitchen. The other two are from the upstairs hallway with the ceiling lights on.

The first two were taken at 1/25s, f/4.0, ISO3200, 35mm focal length, the third one at 1/40s, f/3.5, ISO3200 and 27mm focal length. That isn’t really low light. That’s dark.

H2 lighting the darkS2 lighting the darkS2 and H2 playing with light

If you look closely you can see some motion blur due to the slow shutter speed – H2’s flash light in the left picture or S2’s feet in the one on the right.

The next two have a lot more light, 1/60s, f/4.0, ISO1600, 35mm and 1/60s, f/2.8, ISO1800, 17mm. As you can tell, Auto ISO tries to keep me at 1/60s (as I told it to) and so it gives me lower ISO values (and therefore less noise).

H2 and S2 in the laundry basketS2 pulling H2 in the sled

Needless to say, no noise cancellation or sharpening was done in post-processing. I did have to fix the white balance and cropped the shots.

Oh btw, I needed to stop the girls from playing in the laundry basket soon after the last picture was taken; they wanted to take their sled down the stairs… and I decided that was more fun that I was ready for.

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