KryptoPhoto Photo Viewer is Released

I have released my new photo viewer, so now I can once again show “my photography”:/photography/ on this site. It currently supports the API at SmugMug.com, but I have plans for compatibility with other photo-sharing sites.

I built it using the Adobe Flex framework. You can “get more information about KryptoPhoto at MentalHijack.com.”:http://www.mentalhijack.com/software/kryptophoto/

My New Camera: Canon PowerShot SD890 IS

The Canon PowerShot 890 IS in my handI just received my new Canon PowerShot SD890 IS! I purchased it for my up-and-coming Colorado trip to partake in a honest-to-gosh cattle drive (a la “City Slickers”:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101587/).

I’ve always wanted a Point-and-Shoot in addition to my Canon Rebel XT DSLR because it’s not as convenient to carry around an SLR just to take random photos. However, I don’t buy things without justification, but I was able to convince myself that this trip was (finally) my reason to get one.

From the horse-riding lessons I have taken in preparation for the trip, I learned that horses can be devious like three year olds and some will try to annoy you when you’re not paying full attention. I imagined that this could be problematic while handling both the horse and a DSLR since I give the camera a lot of concentration when taking photos, basically opening myself up for horse trickery. My dream ends with me on the ground more times than I would enjoy with an expensive piece of equipment in my hands.
A little Point-and-Shoot is cheaper and easier to replace, can be stowed anywhere and would be much more comfortable to fall on.

I like Canon because they make great equipment at a very reasonable price and they have been at the top of their game for awhile. I chose the PowerShot SD890 IS from the entire PowerShot family because of two features: the image stabilization as well as the more powerful 5x optical zoom. The image stabilization will be handy to minimize blurred photos because horses don’t usually stand still. The bigger zoom will help make up any distance between me and the subject since maneuvering a 1,000 pound horse is an inexact science.

I think the camera is going to be fine for the trip. The only drawback I see is that the ergonomics of the camera are too good for what I need! This model is sloped on the right side to follow the curve of a hand and offers no edge which could be used like a camera grip. This would be immensely helpful for one-handed shooting while holding reins in the other. It’s not as much of an issue for normal use because people generally take photos holding the camera with both hands.

I know that I’ll have more to say about the PowerShot SD890 IS when I return from my trip.

New Canon Digital Rebel XT

There is a huge difference moving from a low-end digital camera to a digital SLR – and it feels really good!

Last week I received my Canon Digital Rebel XT from Dell. It’s my third digital camera in 6 years and I’ll say I’m happy again to have come back to an SLR with real lenses.

For the past week I’ve been taking photos around my apartment and outside just to get used to it and its controls. So far I have shot around 700 photos.

Here are the top reasons why I chose the Digital Rebel XT:

  • (almost) instant on
  • real lenses (SLR)
  • low shutter lag
  • highly rated
  • upset at Nikon’s decision to lock down their RAW format

I looked through many of my old photos taken with my Kodak DC240 and Nikon 4500. I saw that many of them were unusable for these following reasons:

  • slow focusing (missed photo)
  • shutter lag (missed photo)
  • slow boot up time (missed photo)
  • difficult manual focusing (blurry photo)

Also there are some features of the camera which have pleasantly surprised me:

  • the battery life !! (350 photos)
  • speed of autofocus (fast)
  • flash range (really far)

I have no regrets at all buying this camera. All of the previously mentioned issues I had with my other cameras are now a thing of the past. I feel like a have a real tool in my hands. The experience has been very very liberating.

Thanks Canon!