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Friday, 22 June 2007

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"One thing I noticed—Sony's "Super SteadyShot" IS deals with yaw and up-and-down and side-to-side motion well, but apparently can't compensate for twist (planar rotation)."

It's worth noting that Pentax explicitly mentions the ability to handle "twist" as an advantage of their free floating implementation of CCD based shake reduction... or at least they would if they actually bothered with marketing.

What a brilliant and refreshing idea Nikon came up with. Check out the Picture Gallery, I really enjoyed that. Very clever the way they used the brick wall to display the prints. Thanks Mike, E

I read recently -as recently as last week- a Pentax ad for the K10 quite surprising. It said something like "If you once went around with a k1000 hanging around your neck... Pentax users know how good our stuff is... they do not like to talk about equipment, they just like to take pictures... they know the 35mmm 1.8 limited is possibly one of the best prime lenses... so and so." Seems they read TOP, your post about the marque, wich I found enlightning myself. It certainly read as a rewrite of it.
I've always used Pentax cameras without ever thinking about it until I read you text and understood the rationale behind my addiction.
Maybe you should ask for some sort of compensation (a couple of k10 with all the fab primes they are releasing!). If you get it, I'll ask then for my reward for pointing this in your direction.

The "Super Steady Shot" on my new Sony T100 is virtualy worthless, regardless of the hype.

Handshake is mainly yaw and pitch, roll is insignificant compared to these especially at longer focal lengths. I've yet to see an image from my 7D which had blur in the tangential direction, which would be characterized by radially increasing blur (not related to focussing) away from the rotational axis. In-lens IS/VR cannot compensate for roll either but its effectiveness seems unaffected by this omission.

I didn't stop at an Exxon for ten years after the Exxon Valdez disaster, on the premise that any company that lets a drunk take the helm of a supertanker is not to be encouraged.

Interesting -- that "drunk at the helm" myth is usually used to excuse Exxon of any responsibility for the accident, not to pin it on them.

From the wikipedia article on the spill, here are the five contributing factors to the incident which the National Transportation Safety Board identified:

# The third mate failed to properly maneuver the vessel, possibly due to fatigue and excessive workload
# The master failed to provide navigation watch, possibly due to the impairment of alcohol
# Exxon Shipping Company failed to supervise the master and provide a rested and sufficient crew for the Exxon Valdez
# The U.S. Coast Guard failed to provide an effective vessel traffic system
# Effective pilot and escort services were lacking

The captain wasn't at the helm at the time, he was in his stateroom and had left instructions with the crew on duty.

I've heard a rumor that some monitoring systems which might have warned of the impact were not provided by Exxon, but haven't seen anything definitive on that point.

If you like, for my next trick I can tell you how it wasn't a miscarriage of justice when McDonald's was forced to pay damages to the woman who spilled coffee on herself.

Great site, BTW.

"whoever thought up Picturetown should get a raise, or at least a big vacation bonus and a hearty pat on the back." I guess a vacation to Portland, Maine? The magazine Bicycling organized their first "Bike Town USA" in that place a couple of years ago, and they've been repeating it since then every year.

From the article: "We went to one city, Portland, Maine, and gave 50 bikes to 50 people, then let them ride off to discover, or abandon, cycling on their own. The results weren't surprising. The power of their stories is."

Yeah, I really wonder who got the idea...

(http://www.bicycling.com/article/0,6610,s1-3-12-9161-1,00.html)

While I generally regard marketing the same as you, I just gotta respond to the Nike thing.

I live not far from Nike headquarters here in Oregon and most of my neighbors work for either Intel or Nike. Our next door neighbors and good friends both work fairly high up at Nike in IT. I've been to the Nike campus often and it's something to see. Nike is -- no doubt -- a marketing machine extraordinaire. But on the other hand they keep many, many photographers and design agencies in business and pay them very well.

Nike is one of the few (perhaps the only as far as I know) where the creative side of the company still has all power and calls the shots. I was in the Nike design library awhile back and you just wouldn't believe it -- it's huge and their photography section is very well stocked.

Now, I'm sure folks are aware of the human-rights problem Nike has been dealing with. From what I can gather, they've been taking steps to address these concerns (which are expensive and some of the bean counters didn't like). While it's likely some of their subcontractors (most of their manufacturing -- like nearly all US-based clothing manufacturers -- is sub-contracted out) are still abusive to their workers, when Nike finds out about it the problem is either corrected or the contract is terminated.

So don't pick on poor little Nike -- they're good for photographers. And my home value depends on them doing well! ;-)

"(I'm particularly sensitive about the corporatization of art—so sue me)"

Join the club.
I once saw a TV programme satarizing the fact that some Danish theatres were putting sponsors in their shows somehow. And they interviewed a corporate moron who said that "this wonderful energy you get from a good theatre performance... you might as well *use* it for something."

So if art does not sell a product, it's wasted. What an idiot.

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