Posts Tagged as: tech-gear

January 7, 2013

The Highest Capacity Thumb Drive

The steady march toward increasing flash drive storage never ceases to amaze me.

Case in point; the newest and highest capacity flash drive as of January 2013: A 1TB thumb drive from Kingston.

I remember just a few years ago I was astonished they made a 16GB thumb drive. In 2010 I picked up my Corsair Flash Voyager for a bit over $100. Now it’s just $17.95 on Amazon. Sigh…

The craziest thing is that while this 1TB flash drive sounds impressive now, in a few years this post will seem silly. A bit like this:

(Image via Vintagecomputing.com)

December 25, 2012

Comparing Canon’s 1Dc 4K Pixel Resolution

It looks like the camera pixel wars are evolving into the video front. Canon’s new 1Dc is aimed at pro photographers who want the best of both worlds; the ability to shoot video large enough to pull still frames from.

This promotional video is pretty impressive in showing off the capabilities of the new Canon 1Dc, and I like how honest they are about the tradeoffs of pulling stills from compressed video, VS shooting raw:

We know we’re not shooting RAW. We may see RAW in the next generation of DSLRs, so it does mean you do need to have things pretty spot on like exposure, white balance in-camera.

As far as promotional videos go, it’s extremely well done. But I thought I’d do a simple visual comparison of how the resolution stacks up, compared with a selection of common devices that are known for their impressive resolution.

The takeaway is that 4K does seem like an alternative to shooting stills when you want to be sure you’re capturing everything. Sacrificing about half the pixel count of a 5D Mark II is a small price to pay for making sure you get the shot. Available for a paltry $11,999 at B&H.

Tip of the hat to Canon Rumors.

October 15, 2011

iPhone 4S and iPhone 3GS Camera Comparison

As someone who’s stuck it out with an iPhone 3GS for the past two years, my upgrade to the iPhone 4S has me most excited about its improved camera.

Today I went around Long Island City and took some side-by-side shots with both the 4S and the 3GS, then shrunk both sets of images down to the same size. You can click each image to see the 3GS version because I am amazing at Javascript.

Overall the 4S photos are sharper, a little brighter, and seem to display more dynamic range across the board. There’s also better flare control, as you can see in the last photo. This is by no means a scientific or accurate comparison – just a little real-world example of what types of improvements we can expect with the 4S.

Click the photos to see the 3GS version. Seriously, why aren’t you clicking already?

July 23, 2010

Pixel density comparison: iPhone 3 and iPhone 4

Clearly I’m not the first dude to weigh in here, but I wanted to get a real-world sense of the increased resolution on the iPhone 4′s “Retina Display.”

In these photos I’m holding an iPhone 3Gs in front of two computer displays running Apple’s iPhone Simulator. The Simulator is running a virtualized version of iOS 4.0.1 set to mimic the iPhone 4 device. The iPhone 4 simulator looks huge on the computer screens because today’s Macs have pixel densities in the 72-120 range, while the iPhone 4′s pixel density is 326.

Pre-dousing any flamey comments, I’m fully aware this is 100% unscientific so I offer this information purely for my own delight. That said, if you have something positive to share, surprise me. :-)

An iPhone 3Gs held roughly 30″ away from a 27″ iMac running a simulated iPhone 4 interface. Badass.

Same as above, but with a 1920×1080 display. I needed to hold the iPhone roughly 34″ away to get the sizes to match.

June 13, 2009

All I wanna do is zooma zoom zoom zoom.

Let’s take a tour of what it might look like to peer through some of the world’s most powerful and expensive camera lenses, shall we?

To set a baseline, here’s a photo of Long Island City’s Citibank building taken with a regular ‘ol Canon 17-40mm zoom lens at 22mm. You can see the full photo on the top left, and a 100%, 1:1 zoom in the center of the screen. Click it to view it at actual size. Go on, click it.

22mm lens:

And here’s a shot with my most powerful zoom lens – a Canon 70-200mm 2.8L.

200mm lens:

Now the fun begins. Let’s see how much closer we can get by shooting through a 20-60x Nikon spotting scope.

40mm lens + spotting scope @ 20x (~800mm lens):

The photo above is pretty much as close as you’d get with an 800mm lens (although, obviously, the 800mm lens would have better image quality and the edges wouldn’t be completely darkened). Canon makes an 800mm lens and you can pick one up for a cool $11,000 at Adorama.

So let’s move on to 1200mm territory.

40mm lens + spotting scope @ 30x (~1200mm lens):

If you wanted to take the above photo without the black edges and degraded image quality, you could pick up Canon’s 1200mm, $120,000 lens from B&H. It’s the largest lens Canon makes and you can read more about it here.

Let’s get closer…

40mm lens + spotting scope @ 42.5x (~1700mm lens):

The photo above approximates the focal length of the world’s largest telephoto lens, made by Carl Zeiss. Badass.

100mm lens + spotting scope @ 20x (~2000mm lens):

Now we’re at 2000mm. Nikon made a 2000mm lens using mirrors a while back.

200mm lens + spotting scope @ 20x (~4000mm lens):

Somewhere between these two focal lengths is Canon’s insane 5200mm lens. You can read more about it here, here, and here.

100mm lens + spotting scope @ 60x (~6000mm lens):

To get any closer, someone once took Canon’s 1200mm lens and paired it with a 7.2x crop factor video camera to create a 8640mm focal length.

200mm lens + spotting scope @ 60x (~12000mm lens):

And there you have it – an example of how close you’d get with a 12000mm lens. Judging from the focal-length-to-price ratio of Canon’s 1200mm lens, getting a crystal clear full-frame shot of the Citibank building this close would run you $1,200,000. And that’s all I have to say about that.

March 16, 2009

PowerSquid + iPhone App = WANT

File this under “would someone please invent this for me?”

I already have a few of these types of “squid” power strips and they’re fantastic. But imagine if each one had a wi-fi chip so you could control the flow of power to each plug from an iPhone (or computer) app? That’s right – total mindfuck.

This way you could tag each individual outlet in your home (presumably you’d have a few of these babies scattered around) letting you turn anything on or off (or dim it) while either not getting off your ass or from another location. You could also program the iPhone app’s acceleratometer (assuming Apple lets us run background apps eventually) to detect if you’re out and about, turning off a specified set of lights and electronics in your home. …Or if the software hooked into the iPhone’s microphone you could make it a modern overpriced version of “The Clapper.” …Or you could have it automatically adjust the lighting based on the mood of the music it hears. …Or you could just talk to the damn thing. “Turn off the goddamn coffee machine.”

There are tons of other cool things you could do with this (many of which are marginally, if at all useful), but the possibilities are so endless that to me it just seems like a good fit.

I’m sure similar things exist already, but my hunch is that if someone came along and presented a polished, cheap, turn-key system they’d make a killing. Just not in this economy.

December 1, 2008

Sony PSP Billboard Coming Down

Say it ain’t so! Looks like they’re finally pulling the plug on that aging Sony PSP billboard on Houston Street.

September 4, 2008

Rock Bland

The fact that I can hit 95% accuracy while playing Blitzkrieg Bop on expert level in Rock Band is something to be proud of. But the fact that I posted a video of myself doing it to my blog is something to be horribly horribly ashamed of.

August 11, 2008

Canon 2X Extender Comparison

One of my favorite lenses, if not my absolute favorite, is the Canon 70-200 mm 2.8L IS. I also have the 2X extender, but am sometimes a little hesitant to use it because I know it blurs the imagery a bit, as well as decreases the maximum aperture to 5.6.

So a while back I did a little side-by-side comparison to find some of the benefits and drawbacks to using the 2X extender. Let’s have a look, shall we?

Below are two photos taken with my 5D – the one on the left is using the 2X extender and the one on the right is not. Both shots were taken handheld at ISO 400, f5.6, and with a shutter speed of 1/400:

Clearly, there’s no parking on Wednesdays from 8:30 to 10 AM. Also, you shouldn’t litter. So let’s increase the image on the right’s resolution from 300 to 600 (2x) to compare it:

Cool. Now they’re the same size and the real comparison can begin. First and foremost, the image on the right (no extender, enlarged in PS) looks a little punchier, even though the image on the left (2X extender) is slightly sharper. It’s an interesting comparison because they both have their good and bad aspects. So let’s sharpen the image on the left and have another look:

Now that’s what I’m talking about. In the above image, I think it’s pretty clear that the image on the left with the extender is the winner here. So let’s take it a step further and enlarge them both. You know, for shits and giggles and stuff:

By now they’re both pretty much starting to look crappy. But it’s important to note that it’s possible to make out the “DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION” on the image on the left, and not on the right. To me that sealed the deal.

So my conclusion is that when there’s plenty of light and I’m trying to zoom as close as possible, I’m better off using the 2X extender. When there’s low light, however, my guess is that you’re better off not using the extender because you’ll need that 2.8 aperture to stop as much motion as possible. But that’s a comparison for another day. Or should I say, another night. And that right there is the funniest thing you’ll read all day.

July 24, 2008

DeLorean Dreaming

I spotted this DeLorean on my commute yesterday. Even though it’s a simple design, I still think the LeLorean is one of the coolest looking cars around. But I can’t decide if I’d like the DeLorean as much if it wasn’t featured in Back to the Future. Is the car that awesome looking, or is my opinion tainted?

Thinking about the DeLorean also reminds me of one of my first original (and semi intentionally-cheesy) songs I made on my Mac. It’s a throwback to the magic and wonder that is the 1980s. I called it “DeLorean Dreams” and you can listen to it here.