Screaming Into The Abyss

By Ben Zvan
On September 16, 2005 at 21:11

My new MiPod has been working fine, I charge it every night and it sits and grows warm next to my laptop. Today I listened to some more Talk of the Nation Science Friday. The same place I heard about the most insane laser physics experiment ever.

I saw a Pizza Hut today. Not just any ordinary Pizza Hut, but a "Pizza Hut Italian Bistro". What's that about? By no stretch of the imagination has any Pizza Hut I've been in or near counted as a Bistro of any sort, Italian or otherwise. I think what it means is that not only are they a Pizza Hut, but they're a Pizza Hut with awnings.

I passed 30,000 clicks on our Nikon CoolpiX 5400 a couple of days ago. I think that's more pictures than most people will take in a lifetime. I'm well on my way to 40,000 clicks and should easily reach that pitiful number by the end of my current trip. So far the camera has been working fine for me. I'd echo the reviews I've read that say that it has trouble focusing in low light conditions. I don't know if it's just low light or not, but low contrast surfaces like, say, the blank wall of a hotel room when taking a photo at f/4 and 1/4s for proper exposure are definitely things that it has some trouble with sometimes. I've thought of bringing along a laser pointer to give the surface some contrast, but it seems to be sufficient just to tip the tripod to give the camera a good view of the wall / floor interface. The only real complaint I have is the speed at which it accesses the CF card. The write speed seems to be somewhere around 500KB/s for writing (including file compression) which sounds like a lot until you start taking full resolution 5Mpx .tiff pictures and have to wait 25 - 30 seconds to write one to the card. Even the 300k .jpg files take a couple of seconds to compress and write. A full 1GB CF card takes around 20 minutes to copy, compared to 4 minutes using a FireWire card reader. That's under 1MB/s for the camera and 4MB/s for the reader (Though the camera is limited to the speed of its 10Mb/s USB interface and the reader to its 400Mb/s FireWire interface). Oh well, the Canon EOS-1D Mark II N and 1Ds Mark II are both a smidge out of my price range at the moment so the CoolpiX and the EOS-10D will have to do for now.

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