Galaxy Note 2 and the Wacom Cintiq Stylus? Yep.

WacomSamsung

he other day I pulled out my old Wacom Cintiq 15x the other day to work on some storyboards. I got a message on my phone and reached for it with my tablet pen still in my hand. The pen touched the screen by accident and… it moved! Wow! Amazing! Crazy! Well, not really.

Samsung has been using Wacom digitizers for awhile now (or at least for a year). But I always thought that Wacom purposely kept the digitizers separate somehow with each device. My first Wacom was an old Graphire that came with a mouse. I eventually got a Bamboo and, if I remember correctly, the Graphire stylus and mouse DID work on the Bamboo for a little bit… until I upgraded the driver.

I’m willing to bet the basic framework for all Wacom devices is the same. I just wonder what kind of software limitations keep the compatibility to specific devices.

The pens I use for my Cintiq are aftermarket pens. I got it used so I have no idea where they came from. I like them though, because they are the same size as regular pens. I never understood why Wacom makes their pens like that.

Aftermarket Cintiq Pen and Bamboo Pen

Aftermarket Cintiq Pen and Bamboo Pen

As seen in the video, both the Cintiq pen and and the Galaxy Note 2 stylus work on both devices. I was more surprised that the erasure function worked on the Galaxy Note 2.  To my knowledge, there is no aftermarket Galaxy Note  pen for the phone or the tablet that has an erasure function. The fact that it’s int he software and knew what to do was kinda neat.

I think the next time I’m at Yodabashi I’ll try all of the pens and see which ones work on my phone. Should be interesting.

How to Live a Fun Gadget Life While Being Poor

The Yodabashi Camera in Akihabara. A Godly Place.

The Yodabashi Camera in Akihabara. A Godly Place.

Now then, as the title suggests we’re going to talk about something that is technically impossible. Technology is not cheap. Gadgets are not cheap. Because of this, we’ve actually made life not cheap, which is kind of sad. Many things we now consider a regular part of our everyday life cost more than the TV’s and radios that use to be among the most expensive things in the house. If you had any sort of “toy” that cost more than $50 back in the 80′s it was considered extravagant, silly, or excessive. But bear with me, I’m not trying to talk down owning such things, just the ridiculous standards that have been set for regular people up to gadget lovers these days.

Gadgets were always expensive, but I don’t think they’ve invaded our everyday lives so thoroughly until recently. Calculators use to cost hundreds of dollars, computers were in only 1 of 50 homes, and the most complicated thing you had was the microwave or the TV remote. But I am a gadget person. I’m kind of expected to have the latest and greatest, right? Well, it’s not that easy. Gadgets cost money, something I don’t really have.

When I visited my parents this winter, they had 2 desktop computers, a netbook, a Kindle Fire, and my father had just got his first smart phone. I didn’t think anything of it, as I had guessed that many households are like that now. But growing up, my parents somehow got us a new family computer when I was 12 years old. They have 6 kids and we were by no means wealthy, but I’d say more than half the kids I knew didn’t have one at home. It was the most amazing thing in the world for me at the time. I had been obsessed with gadgets since I was young and this was a huge deal.

The first part of this story is pretty crazy. Our first computer was a 486 Packard Bell from Wal-Mart. I’m not sure how much it was at the time, but my father got some kind of warranty on it. About 6 months later, it stopped working. My father brought it to Wal-Mart and… we got a new one. If I remember correctly, the new one was cheaper than what we paid for the first one. So we got a new, better computer and CASH BACK. I remember that part because it felt too good to be true. A year later? Monitor started flicking. New computer. This time, we got a Pentium (ooh). One of my friends got his first real family computer and it was a new Pentium. I was really jealous. Some time later… still less than a year from the last, we moved into a new house. If I remember correctly the computer was damaged in the move. Well, back to Wal-Mart. New computer. I’m not sure if it was Wal-Mart  or the warranty, but we may be the reason warranty companies are so stingy. It was the last time they let us do that. Still, every time was like Christmas.

Back then, planning on keeping a computer for more than 5 years was thought as normal. Your TV was more than 5 years old. So was your microwave and refrigerator. But during those 4 years of switching, each computer we got was a HUGE jump from the last. We’re talking talking double the RAM, double the hard drive space, double or triple the speed of the CD-ROM. I still think the reason for the huge boom in the late 90′s was that so many people finally upgraded, and the difference was like coming out of the stone age. Technology was moving faster than we were use to, but it wasn’t yet a money-sucking monster for most of us.

Now we not only have computers, we have tablets, GPS, USB drives, smart phones, smart TVs, smart watches and almost everything else that can be made “smart”. If you look at the basic living of a family 30 years ago, it was lavish to have more than two or three TVs. Other than kitchen appliances, a cordless phone, and maybe a video game system, your life wasn’t ruled by technology. The fact that they have been so ingrained in our lives on TOP of everything that we’ve already had makes me wonder where this money is coming from.

What did was spend it on before? What did we stop buying to compensate? (if anything…) Well, without getting too personal I’ve observed my own buying patterns. I’ve often wondered what I could live without or what I would do without what I have. My history is rather terrible.

As I said, I AM a tech/gadget person. I have been for as long as I can remember. But up until 2000, I didn’t really have much. My first personal computer was an old Tandy 1000 that I bought for $30. I was given an old Austin 486 laptop with a back & white screen and I had that for awhile. I got a new computer for college and then my aunt gave me her old Centris 610 CD Machintosh before I started film school. I fell in love with the Mac and I later bought my first, real new computer: The white iBook G3.

I got it on a student loan. It was a huge deal to me and I even got a nice case for it. But it was after that when things started to get crazy. External hard drives. The first iPod. Thumb drives. WiFi stations and cards. DV cameras with FireWire. USB MIDI and instruments. I never needed any of this before, but now I suddenly had all of it. I look back and I don’t even know how I afforded it all. It took me forever just to pay off that laptop. It was the start of a problem. Not the gadgets, but the obsession and the money that is needed to feed such an obsession. I’d say some drug habits are cheaper, especially with the way new stuff is coming out lately.

But I had a savior. Ebay is a mixed blessing for us electronic and gadget fiends. I was never really scared to buy anything on ebay, and in 14 years I have relay only been burned twice. I appreciated older, special technology. Usually that meant something that was really, really, expensive new and currently out-dated but had something that even most new stuff lacked. I got a Sharp Zaurus SL-C760, which was one of my first forays into micro computing. I had a NEC MobilePro 800 and then a 900c, which I only recently sold. I had countless music and USB MIDI devices, cameras, and storage devices. I still have the first SanDisk 256 MB Thumb Drive and it still works. I was also taking in broken computers from friends and co-workers that I fixed and kept or sold. At one point I had 9 computers. I am ashamed of this, but I can’t remember them ever getting me into financial trouble. If I needed money, I sold stuff. I usually bought weird things that had a good resale value and sometimes I made a profit. But my core setup was a desktop, a laptop, and a “PDA” phone. Even that, to most people, was excessive a few years ago.

Then I moved to Japan. This kind of put a halt on all of my ebay buying adventures. I sold a ton of stuff before the move, but I was going to the Land of Gadgets! Oh, the fun things I would get! Unfortunately, an international move was a huge financial burden. I did get an iPhone when I first came here, which was a lifesaver. Still yet, I had my Mac Mini, my Macbook, my iPod, a PDA, 5 external hard drives, and various other items. I bought a monitor, a printer/scanner, and that was it.

Was I done? Did I really need anything else? Why not just use what I have for a few years and deal with it? I’m far from rich and I have student loans to pay.

Well, for starters… I like gadgets. That’s kinda hard to change. I’m not totally broke, though I have massive student loans and the guilt of buying anything at all outside of groceries really gets to me sometimes. I’m lucky  that I don’t drink or smoke, as I’m sure some of you know how much of your budget goes to those. I’m also single (Of course!) and I don’t have any pets or children. So it’s not like I have any other obligations, vices, or needs. It’s not all bad. Everybody has a hobby, right?

OK then, let’s get down to it. How can you keep up with the latest gadget trends and be a fan when you have little or no money?

First, you kind of have to actually WANT them. And don’t mean want them, I mean WANT them. Having less money means less frivolous purchases. If I see anything that I WANT and could be within my reach, I research the hell out of it. It keeps me from buying a lot of junk by accident. There was this two screen laptop that came out a few years ago that I instantly wanted, and tried my hardest to justify buying it. But after plenty of research and reviews, I talked myself out of it. Or better yet, it talked me out of it. If I remember correctly the processor was just terribly slow. I do video and animation so it would be stupid to buy it no matter how cool it was. Not only that, when you work and save for something, do extra jobs, and wait for something, the more you have invested in it. If you really want it, you will buy it. If it’s worth it after all that, you made a good choice. This is after school special logic here, folks.

Second, you can get away with getting something cool for something you NEED. Needs are much easier to justify. Only problem is there are fewer needs than you think. All I really NEED is a computer and a phone. Computers are harder for me, as I do such processor-heavy work. I was lucky enough to get a lot of extra freelance and contract work a few years ago, so I got my first new computer since college. (I usually buy used) After I got it, I sold my mac mini and retired my near broken macbook. I’ve lived with only one computer since and it’s been quite easy. As for phones… if you are patient, getting an awesome new phone is really easy. Carriers all over the world have crazy deals on even the newest phones.I recently switched from iPhone and Softbank to Docomo and a Samsung Galaxy Note 2. I need a phone to get by and for work, so why not get one of the best? And as for money, Docomo paid me 20,000 yen to switch and my monthly bill is lower. Kinda hard not to justify that!

Third, everything is getting cheaper. You can get Android tablets for well under $100 now. I have owned a few, and if I had to I could totally live with just one of those. (though the main reason I had them was for beta testing friend’s apps) Little fun things like cameras and such keep getting cheaper as well. I’m a big fan of all the fun Bluetooth gadgets coming out recently, but my research says that they still have a ways to go as far as reliability. If anything, cheap stuff like this feeds the need for something new and is usually still satisfying if you still follow the WANT rule.

Fourth, as I said before, buying used is a great idea. You can usually save a ton of money. If you do your research first, you can find a lot of deals on stuff that’s just as satisfying or useful as something new. Even though I try to keep my love of older gadgets in check, (try to do that in Akihabara at the used shops!) sometimes getting something old and quirky is even better than new. Retro is awesome.

Last, window shopping and hands on therapy is amazing. It helps with all of the above. While I know big electronic and gadget stores are disappearing elsewhere, I live in Japan. I can go to Yodabashi Camera, Yamada Denki, Bic Camera, K’s Denki, and many others to try and test out almost everything on the market. Online shopping is great, but going into shops and actually seeing, feeling, and using everything is still king. While many, myself included, go to these places and then buy online anyway, nothing beats store browsing. This has kept me from buying many wants after trying them out, but it’s also created just as many wants. Some of my American friends who have lost their local electronics superstores really miss them, even as just a place to go and play. It’s sometimes more than just a quick fix and helps keep you up to date on all the trends you may miss online.

We don’t NEED most of the things we have. I have gone a year or more without buying anything and I’d have no problem doing it again. I’m not writing this to justify frivolous spending. I’m sure many of you buy things that I’d see as a waste of money too. We can’t help what we like, and I’m not going to judge anybody about their hobbies or passions. I will agree that the gadget market has gotten way out of control and the turnover is ridiculous. Right now there are too many people who get the newest thing as soon as it comes out. You don’t have to be that way to be a gadget fan. Not all of us can be a writer for an electronics blog, magazine, or an over-paid programmer. (heh heh)

One personal thing I have to get over is selling things in Japan. My Japanese is terrible, and if I want to sell anything on Yahoo Auctions I have to get somebody to help me. I went to America this winter and sold a bunch of things on ebay, which was great. The used market here is odd. (unless you’re willing to practically give them away) I still have my old iPhone 4 sitting on a shelf because I don’t want to let it go for nothing. My closet still has old hard drives, a projector, two almost broken laptops, and various other items that I just can’t give away, and yet I have little use for them. It’s just a pain to sell things here.

I’d love for my love of gadgets to someday pay for itself, but I hope that with my current background I will never let it get out of control. I’m pretty content with my current setup and consider myself lucky to be able to have what I have. The only thing that I many actually NEED soon is a powerhouse editing station. Until I’m ready for that, it’s going to be a lot of fun wanting it.

How about you? What do you do?

Or, how about we go shopping?
Let’s go to Amazon! or Let’s go to Amazon Japan! アマゾンに行こう!
 

Why GarageBand is Awesome: The Nintoaster Instructional Video Music

hen I first did the music for my good friend Richard‘s Nintoaster Instructional Video, I never thought that anybody would want it. I sent him the file and that was that. Boy was I wrong. I’ve had people search me out and ask for it specifically or where I got it. I didn’t get it anywhere.

It came with my computer.

I’ve been using GarageBand since the day it came out. As a tool for quick recording or processing, simple music, or even complex projects it can’t be beat. Sure, it has its limitations. But I can’t think of anything else that comes close without spending a lot of money. I’ve done a few music things for Richard to help encourage him with his videos. He had been working on the Nintoaster video for a very long time and I had already seen clips. We talked over Skype about the final processing to give it the look it has. And then I offered to do the music. “It’ll be easy!” I said. “I’ll just use GarageBand and throw something together.”

Well, 30 minutes of music, no matter what you use, is still not that easy. Lucky for me, for every 10 good loops or sounds that GarageBand comes with, it has 20 cheesy ones. I think I finished about 16 minutes or so, ran out of stuff to use, and then just copy and pasted it. There. 30 minutes of music to fit the feeling of an 80′s instructional video. All you have to do is line up the loops (snap to grid is fun) and have a slight sense of music and audio.

It's fun! The music here was made by random mouse flailing.

It’s fun! The music here was made by random mouse flailing.

You could do this too. In fact, below I’ve included the GarageBand file so you can see what I did. I have every Jam Pack, though. Some loops might be missing if you don’t have them. I’m sorry, PC guys. It’s Mac only :(

Anyway, here’s the MP3 and GarageBand file. Right-click and save as!

Nintoaster Instructional Video music (mp3)
GarageBand file

Wide Future – Supermonitors are Coming

LG 29EA93 29″ IPS Panel Panorama Monitor

here are many things that one can claim to have predicted. When it comes to technology, so many gimmicks appear for the consumer to choose from that are irrelevant, useless, or instantly dated. Some are easy to predict that will become mainstream… some not so much. I can remember when a color screen on an MP3 player was laughable because it was too battery intensive. Silly little things like that are funny now. But I can already see somebody looking at these new cinema or superwide monitors and saying they’re just too much… or even useless. These people exist, and they say these things because they’re old, hate change, and have to make sure you know how they feel.

Well, here we go. I’m going to call this one. The iPad will be the last square screen on a major device in our upcoming history. 16:9 is soon to become a dinosaur.  This is the future. Any of my film school friends know that I was all about “widescreen” and “HD” while everybody was all “24p”. I was the first person I knew with an HD camera. (I had the Sony HDR-HC1 the day it came out) Well, I’m making the next jump. Cinema 2k, 4K, cinema aspect ratios, superwide screens and all that jazz are the next step. Make your investments now.

I go to Yodabashi Camera here in Japan pretty frequently so I can check out the new tech. I had heard about the few “Cinema” TVs from Vizio and Phillips, but when I saw the new LG Cinema Monitor (amazon Japan link below) I was blown away. It was exactly what I’ve been wanting for years. I’ve been doing a few projects in CinemaScope lately and I love how it looks. Something like that would make an excellent working and preview monitor. Most of us who have worked in the professional creative field have or have used a two monitor setup, usually side by side. This would solve that black line problem in the middle, among other problems. But I don’t think the dual monitor setup is going to disappear, either. Instead of horizontal, we’re going to go vertical. Well, at least I am. Not right now, though, because these are new and they’re pretty freaking expensive.

Working monitor on the bottom, viewing monitor on the top. Awesome.

Working monitor on the bottom, viewing monitor on the top. Awesome.

But lucky for me, the same monitor is around 40% LESS here in Japan for some reason. At the time of writing this, the LG is $989.99 at Amazon US and 49,432 yen at Amazon JP. (That’s $528.57). Dell makes one too, for much cheaper, but I haven’t seen or used it in person. I can’t seem to find it on Amazon Japan, but I’m sure it’ll be available in Japan soon too. Yay.

One of my friends commented that he wouldn’t like viewing super widescreen content on his phone. Well, guess what? I guarantee that’s where phones are going as well. The iPhone went taller instead of wider. The Galaxy Note II went taller as well. Some tablets are pretty wide already. Listen to me, this is going to happen. Cinema style wide screen will be on most devices in the next 10 years.

The only other prediction I have is that they will start to curve. Nothing extreme. Maybe from 5 to 15 degrees, but it’s going to happen. I’d like to see them be adjustable with the curve, too. Maybe even have the ability to curve in or out. I’m not going to go out and gather all the articles that may exist that say this too or agree with me, I’m just sounding the alarm. I’d be more interested in hearing from anybody that has good reasons for why this *isn’t* going to happen. Because you’re wrong and I will laugh at you. Laughing is healthy.

Amazon Roundup

 

CSS is Evil

orget everything you know. Nothing is more frustrating than CSS. I’ve been doing websites and such since I was 14 years old. I can still do HTML websites in notepad. But about 10 years ago I just stopped focusing on programming and code. I just made simple, visual websites that focused on content, not content management. Everything was done by hand and it was a pain. This was also right around the time of the new Actionscript…. which killed my previously profitable flash website freelance. I didn’t want to learn how to code. I hated coding. I hated having to type a lot of things just to get one tiny thing. It’s stupid and I want it to go away.

When I was younger I envisioned a program that would let anybody make a program. I’m not talking C++ or whatever, I’m talking click and drag. There, you have 4D Photoshop. I want my 4D Photoshop and I want to make it while eating dinner.

Now I just think that such programs will never exist… because those insane, power-hungry programmers who actually have the patience and mutated brain to actually do such crap will never let it happen. If we take away their code, they’re just a bunch of useless, boring people with no personality. You’re all horrible people and I hate you.

I know just enough CSS to edit WordPress templates to my clients or my liking. It usually involves deleting stupid things that ruin a good design flow and changing the absolutely hideous colors. Someday a real designer will learn to code. That day will be amazing, but most likely really expensive.

I’m joking, of course. I’m sure this’ll piss off somebody, because programmers have no sense of humor whatsoever. And probably hate Jeremy Clarkson, too. I like Jeremy Clarkson. That’s why this is not a power rant of hate and more a mass of hilarity. I have seen and gone through thousands of wordpress templates for either my own projects or for clients. They’re always missing something. The worst part is when a client pays for one… or the one time I did… and it ends up being so impossible to work with that we end up not using it anyway. But until Twitter can hold more than 140 characters or Tumblr loses it’s ADD, blogs still rule.

It’s this very reason that every time I want to clean up and update my own blog, I sit down, throw on some DJ Shadow, and then go do something else. It’s mind-numbing and I always give up when I get stuck on something small and never post new updates. Why post to a blog if it’s not up to your standards? Well, I’m going old school. Gonna focus on content. I may never get around to do all those stupid tweaks I want, but who cares. Let’s post stuff.

I’ve got $10 saying that I’ll quit anyway. Why?

css

Fantastic Reset or Amazing History

o… I guess I have a blog? Yeah. I have a blog.

Since I won the Samsung Official Selection I have been crazy busy, then very sick. Now that I’m better I’m about to be crazy busy again.

I’m not sure what to do with the whole “psychomelody” thing. I was going to revive it a month or so ago but I just haven’t had time. Half of me wants to MAKE time, the other half just wants to keep going like I am and not worry about it.

The future of this blog is uncertain as of now. I will still make videos and do other stuff, but I think I’m going to just get wrapped up in one of my professional paths and keep with it.

If I do something here, it’s going to be a pretty big thing. I still have the desire to do media/music commentary. I’m so focused on doing video work that makes me money that it’s hard to find time to do something just for fun.

But part of me wants to make this an end all to everything I do…. but we’ll see. Some of the designs I had done look great.

All we can do is wait for now. I don’t even know how I found the time to write this.

VOTE SERIOUS BAKING FOR THE SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB 10.1 OFFICIAL SELECTION!

EDIT: We won. THANK YOU EVERYBODY!
ey everyone! Well, once again I’m up for another Samsung Official Selection Prize! BUT I NEED YOUR HELP! Please promote http://www.voteseriousbaking.com (link now defunct) and follow the instructions!

In other news, after the excitement of all of this settles down, I will be completely re-doing the psychomelody site, direction, and content! LOOK FORWARD TO IT!

AND VOTE SERIOUS BAKING!

How to Make a Terrible, Boring Video

o it’s been awhile. But it’s not like I haven’t been working on videos. I’ve made a few, mostly for other people. But there was one that kinda had me stop and rethink my whole plan for new videos.

The problem is me. But I’m also going to blame this chocolate.

Real Food Porn?

Yes it's upside down. Yes this is an outtake.

That’s the Pleasure & Pain dark chocolate bar infused with naga jolokia chili. I ordered it from Handy Candy in the UK. When I first saw this bar on the website about a year ago, I was dying to try it. I love crazy spicy things. I checked around, and there were really no videos of people trying this. I was excited to make a tasting and reaction video.

Hoping that the chocolate itself would incite an interesting reaction I didn’t really make a plan. I’ve had plenty of spicy food before but I don’t think I’ve ever had anything with naga jolokia in it. I was hoping for something extreme. I even bought some milk for the occasion. The actual chocolate bar itself had a warning on it. I had seen videos of people trying naga jolokia stuff and even just habanero peppers and freaking out. Well I’ve had raw habaneros before and they made me sweat and I felt a bit of pain, but nothing I couldn’t keep a straight face for. I guess I should haven’t expected too much because of this.. but it’s the naga jolokia… the hottest pepper in existence.

Little did I know just how unexciting my adventure would be...

So I gave a bit of an introduction and tried some. I then sat there for 2 minutes waiting for something to happen. I’ve had the Lindt red chili pepper dark chocolate before (which I highly recommend) and it was a bit similar, it just felt like much thicker chocolate when melted. The spiciness was completely different, though. It’s kinda hard to explain. Like… super spicy melted mexican cheese. I didn’t even really sweat. I had two pieces and didn’t even have to go for the milk.

How boring.

I guess my tolerance for spicy stuff is a lot higher than I thought. I have yet to have anything here in Japan that’s really been too much for me. I’ve had the spiciest reimen (a type of cold ramen that is famous around here) and those crazy habanero chips that I saw on the net years ago. I know it’s me and not the chocolate, as when I brought the rest to share with my coworkers they reacted hilariously. There is nothing like this in Japan and they all tried it out of curiosity. Some of them can’t handle any spiciness whatsoever. Maybe I should have had the camera on them…

As for the video I did… It’s terrible. It’s just me rambling and then talking about how it wasn’t that spicy at all. I tried to edit it down and salvage it, but it just isn’t possible. So this video will never see the light of day.

BORING MAKES ME ANGRY

It made me rethink about my videos and all the videos I had planned. I think the biggest problem is, well, me. Even though I have been working on it, I’m terrible in front of the camera. I’m much better behind the camera. I think it’s because I’m a perfectionist, and yet I know I’m in no way perfect myself. I’m a good judge of my own talent. In fact, I see myself as a good judge of talent in general. I have a hard time making videos because I feel I don’t have the talent, my self or others, to reach the quality I want and need. The worst part is, when I just DO something, something that isn’t totally great or didn’t take that much skill… people love it. For example, the above is how to make a bad video. Well, here is how you make a GOOD video:

And not only that, it teaches you how to put a Nintendo into a toaster. I did the music, or shall I say… I pressed a few keys in Garageband and music happened somehow. I’ve known Richard for over 10 years now. Even his first videos had something in them that was good… he had a talent for this kind of stuff. I could see it. I still can. He has no training in video whatsoever. In fact, 10 years ago he inspired me to go to film school myself with something he made in high school.

And yes, I know that you can make videos without people. That’s hard too, but I’m working on some ideas using such. I could do more environment shots with my camera, those seem to do well. But that’s not all I want to do. I guess my real problem is that I do too much.

I’m going to try again. I’m going to see what I can do with myself. I’m going to collab with a few of my friends and then try to get a few ideas I’ve had written down actually done. That’s another thing, I have to find a way to get all of my long standing ideas done before somebody like MysteryGuitarMan does them, like he has many times already. Oh well, it’s my fault. It’s what happens when you wait.

I’ll try and write here more. I’m just worried that I’ll end up writing long winded posts like this all the time because I don’t know when to shut the hell up.

Canon EOS Kiss X4 / Rebel T2i / 550D Low Light Test: Rice Fields and Small City Japan

y apartment in Japan is surrounded on 3 sides by rice fields, is close to the Shinkansen, and in a small city. It’s pretty awesome.

Equipment Info:
Canon Rebel T2i
http://amzn.to/9uxM4y
Canon Kiss X4 (Japan)
http://bit.ly/c2Yq0Z
Canon 50mm f/1.8 II lens
http://amzn.to/amxGME
http://bit.ly/9u7QsG (Japan)

These were all shot on the Canon 50 mm f/1.8 II except the next to last shot, which was shot on the kit 18-55 mm. The sun had just set and I decided to see what the camera and lens combo could do in low light. All of these were shot in ISO 100 except the last shot of the spider which was ISO 400, I think. I don’t know about you, but I think the results are amazing. Absolutely no grain with very little light source. The spider shot has a tiny bit of grain in the render, but the raw has none. Also, that white circle is the crescent moon out of focus. There was no color correction or filters used in this video.

All the sound was recorded on my Zoom H2 in surround sound mode. Yes, the rice fields are PACKED with frogs and they are THAT loud, sometimes more. Usually the Shinkansen is the loudest thing in the area, but they almost drown it out. The song playing in the background plays every day at noon, 5 PM, and 9 PM throughout the entire city. It’s called “Nocturne for Kitakami”.

My original goal that night was to attempt to film or photograph the bats that were flying like crazy around my apartment the night before, but that night they weren’t flying in too much of a group. My goal is to somehow get a good picture of a bat before I move from this place.

Feel free to ask any questions! More tests soon!

Canon Kiss X4 / Rebel T2i / 550D First Week, Quick Overview

swear I’m going to get into real post soon and stop talking about this camera all the time, but I’d like to document it when I can.

Overall opinion so far? Fantastic. A learning experience, but fantastic.

Photos look amazing right out of the camera. Video looks the best I’ve seen for a digital file. I’ve edited Canon EOS 5D Mark II footage before and in the same lighting (Though with not the same lens) I am just as impressed. Speaking of editing, I’ve become a fan of Adobe Lightroom for quick photo editing and sorting. I used Apeture for a little bit about a year ago and quickly switched back to Photoshop and iPhoto. So far I can deal with the quirks of Lightroom for it’s speed and ease of use. As far as video, once I made my own Sequence Preset, Final Cut Pro handled the footage great! It was really easy to edit. I will have a sample reel up soon, as I have a few more things I want to shoot.

More photo and (soon) video samples will continue to go up on my Flickr.

Now on to the problems. Some mine, some the lens, some the camera. One of the first worries I had is when I tried zooming with the stock lens. Well… I noticed a jutting in the picture, like something that was automatic wasn’t turned off. Turns out it’s the aperture of the lens. It’s slow and not fixed… or so one of my friends tells me. Still looking into it. I’m still getting use to shooting video on an DSLR. I know how to shoot photos… and video… I’ve made a few mistakes trying to get the video look I’ve wanted. But oh well. Will go out and about in the next few days and hopefully get some video out. Though I already know that I really want a new lens…..

I’m excited to see what I make with this camera. I’ve had the Sony HDR-HC1 since the day it came out and at the time it was the next big thing: Consumer priced HD. The flood that came afterwords made it impossible to make a decent, real choice for the Prosumer. Some people were buying the Canon HV40 and buying prime lens adapters for them. Some were still touting the Panasonic DVX-100 because a lot of the HD cameras lacked the quality, picture, and colors that the already maxed out DV cameras had. The Prosumer HD cams were still really expensive and they all had their problems. Before the Canon EOS 5D Mark II was announced everybody I knew was dreaming of an affordable RED and dying to get their hands on one. Then the video DSLRS hit. It’s when we hit the peak of or a new age of a technology that I see the best stuff from people. They get their hands on something new, something everybody is excited about and wanting to see, and it gets the creative juices flowing. We had out DV revolution, our 24p revolution, our HD revolution, now it’s the DSLR revolution. I’m happy to be part of yet another one.

After I get a bunch of test videos done with the new Canon, I’m going to get all my cameras together and make a test comparison video. I think the only surprise is going to be my Canon Powershot SD960IS, which I still think is the best small point and shoot on the market. Just check out what people on Flickr have shot with this amazing little thing…

I still have a bunch of stuff to change around on this blog and a whole slew of links and blogroll links to add. Eh, I’ll get to it when I get to it.

Lastly, I went out photo shooting at night, one of my favorite things to do, to test my new camera. I almost never use a flash, so I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of this camera’s night shots. I only shoot in manual mode, so I’m still getting use to using this camera’s settings. Expect the photos to get better and progress rapidly as I learn how to use this camera better.

Here’s some of my favorites from the shoot: