For many Canon 50D owners, the recently announced Canon EOS 60D seems to be a wrong camera on their upgrade plan. Certainly there are some good new features such as the 1080P video, articulating high resolution LCD, better AF and metering system etc. But the camera is no longer made of magnesium alloy. It has slower continues shooting speed, no auto-focus micro adjustment, and less durable shutter (100K vs. 150K). The responses have not been very positive in DPReview Canon EOS 7D / 50D – 10D Forum. Read More…

Posted in Opinion on September 2nd, 2010. 1 Comment.

The image sensor is the heart of a digital camera. It is one of the most important piece of hardware that determines image quality, product features, and performance. Unlike Canon, who is capable of designing and manufacturing images sensor on its own, Nikon was not known to have this capability. Many of the sensors were rumored to be manufactured by Sony even though no official confirmation from Nikon seemed to exist. Read More…

Posted in Opinion, Other on August 21st, 2010. 1 Comment.

COOLPIX is Nikon’s line of point-and-shoot fixed lens digital cameras. First introduced in 1997, the COOLPIX line has previously set many performance standards and led the introduction of many innovative features such as face detection auto focus. For SLR users, such cameras offer compact, light weight, and fashionable design but produce inferior image quality due to small sensor pixel sizes and limited image processing power. It is still quite interesting though, to know how such products are conceived and designed by Nikon.

In an interview published on Nikon’s Imaging website, Nobuo Hashimoto, Executive Staff of Product Design, Industrial Design Department, gives us a detailed introduction of the COOLPIX camera design process.

According to the interview, the primary concepts of COOLPIX design are “design that suggests the inherent value and quality of the camera, and design that encourages the expectation of possibilities with a single glance.”.

At the end, you can find the history of COOLPIX cameras from the first COOLPIX 100 that fits in a PCMCIA slot to the latest COOLPIX S8000 that is claimed to be the slimmest camera with 10x Optical zoom.

Source: Nikon Imaging

Posted in Miscellaneous on August 1st, 2010. No Comments.

A few things can happen based a search of discussion threads on flickr strobist group.

  • It will not power up.
  • Flash powers up ok but it will not fire due to broken flash tube.
  • Zoom head gets stuck.
  • It keeps firing non-stop.

Many, including me, have come to the conclusion that the SB-600’s are fragile. Mine was recently knocked off a table and landed on oak floor hot shoe first. There was no sign of damage and I didn’t become worried until I couldn’t turn it on.

Since the warranty period was over, I decided to check it out myself. There wasn’t anything loose inside. Nothing appeared broken. Batteries made good contacts. Flash tube was intact. Without time to waste, I decided to send it to Nikon USA for service. The estimate for a service repair rank B2 (moderate repair with major parts replaced) came out to be $97 + S&H. It was an expensive repair but perhaps OK since it was only about half price of a new SB-600. So I authorized the repair.

When I received the flash back from Nikon service center in California a few days later, I was also sent a copy of invoice. A detailed list of repairs and adjustments were shown, including a line item that says “RPL MAIN PCB”. It is difficult to believe the surface mount components on the main circuit board will break since they are so light. Most likely the impact from the drop broke a Cu trace or a connector somewhere.

At the end, I have nothing more than this: Be careful with your SB-600 and don’t let it drop.

Posted in Miscellaneous on May 21st, 2010. 2 Comments.

Small flashes such as the Nikon SB-600 can emit quite some energy in a short time, enough to scorch vinyl table top. The story goes like this:

I was shooting tonight with my D90, wirelessly triggering my SB-600. At one point, I left my SB-600 flash tube facing down on a vinyl covered card table. When I released the shutter, the SB-600 obediently fired, probably at full power. A whisp of smoke appeared and a scortch mark 0.25″ by 1.25″ was left in the table top. No damage done to the SB-600, but I was quite surprised at the smoke and burn mark.

Can this be true? I don’t have a vinyl surface anywhere in my house so I tried the following: I set the flash to manual mode, 1/1 (full power) output, covered the flash head with my palm then hit the test button… I felt a sharp burning sensation in my hand that almost made me drop the flash.

Before you actually try something like this, read the title of the post again. That’s your last warning. ūüėČ

Posted in Miscellaneous on December 29th, 2009. No Comments.

In this CBC article, Steven Sasson, the Kodak engineer who invented digital photography 35 years ago, discusses how he did it and the impact it has had. It is fascinating to know the first digital camera had a 100×100 pixel (0.01 megapixels) CCD sensor and the size of a toaster. It took an unimpressive 23 seconds to record an image and another 30s to display it.

Read more – Digital cameras: a decade of revolutionary pictures

Posted in Miscellaneous on December 22nd, 2009. No Comments.

Keyboard deep clean
Keyboard cleaning?! Does it have anything to do with digital photography?

Yes!

If you take digital photos you cannot avoid working on a computer. Without one of the most important input devices, the keyboard, the computer is mostly useless. So there is indeed a connection between digital photography and keyboard, with a stretch.

You eat, drink, or maybe drool over your keyboard and eventually the keyboard will become dirty. If you have been trying the typical dusting, wiping methods, you know it doesn’t get you too far. So what’s the best way to clean the keyboard?

Take it apart and wash it!

If you are scared by the imagined scene of the keys popping out all over the place, your fear is completely unfounded. If you do what I am going to show to your keyboard, you will most likely void the warranty on the keyboard if it still hasn’t expired. If that’s not a problem for you, read on. Read More…

Posted in Miscellaneous on December 20th, 2009. No Comments.

I thought¬†this Nikon D300 was tough but the entry level Canon Rebel XT might be tougher. It plunged 3000ft during a skydiving after it got accidentally¬†detached from a parachuting instructor’s¬†helmet mount. When the owner eventually found it on the ground, the camera only suffered some minor damages and it could still work! The camera’s companion, a Sony camcorder, didn’t fare so well and was pronounced dead on the spot.

The story, originally posted here, ¬†seems to be amazing enough to get picked up by many places like¬†CNet, Engadget, Photo District News, and¬†Canon Rumors. I’d call this one lucky camera and the story seems believable but if you smell something fishy you are probably not alone.

Posted in Miscellaneous on December 17th, 2009. No Comments.
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