Christmas toys

Merry Christmas!

I had two surprises under the Christmas tree, a Nikon Coolpix S5100 and an Apple iPod Touch Gen4. I wasn't expecting either of them, and one is a more welcome gift than the other, but a gift is still a gift.

I played with the Nikon during the family party, and the one thing that bothers me is the flash. In normal mode, it fires twice, with a noticeable delay between bursts. It's distracting to the subject(s) and to myself as it throws my timing off. I've read the manual, combed the web, and haven't found any mention of this behavior. It's not red-eye reduction; turning that on gives me four slow flashes. Talk about not being able to capture the moment.

The iPod Touch's camera is a good upgrade from my old 2nd gen. It's lighter, thinner, and those smooth, rounded edges are gone, which makes it easier to hold. The screen is sharper and compares well to my ancient HTC Touch Diamond phone. I haven't noticed any speed increases, and I've already ran an app that gave me a low memory warning, so that hasn't changed either.

More in the days to come as I use the two new toys.


I just realized that I hadn't done a blog post in some time, my apologies to anyone who's reading this page. So here's a quick one of the recent lunar eclipse. The clouds started coming in a few minutes before it started, but luckily there were a few clear spots during totality.

This was a difficult shot to take. The moon was almost directly overhead, which caused problems for my tripod setup. I was able to rest the camera against one of the legs, and I used the DR-4 right angle viewfinder to allow me to see the viewfinder. You'd be surprised at how much the moon moves; images taken at 1sec were blurred. I had to boost ISO to 1600 to get a useable 1/2s exposure. The little white spots are either stars or distant planets.

D3, Sigma 500mm f/4.5, Nikon TC-14E