Blog this to draft

Blogging For Dummies
Originally uploaded by Somewhat Frank

I normally write blog postings by finding a nice Creative Commons-licensed photo on Flickr and using the Blog this button above it.

However, the consequence is that it appears on my blog immediately, without giving me the chance to proof-read it or anything.

It would be much better if the blog postings could end up in the Draft folder at first.

I was searching for a plugin to achieve this on the WordPress plugin site, but to no avail.

However, I finally found just what I needed here.

I just don’t understand why he hasn’t made it into a proper plugin package – it’s just so useful!


Originally uploaded by viralbus

I was playing around with qtpfsgui, which is a Linux program for creating HDR photos.

One of the settings produced this photo, which doesn’t look at all like an HDR photo, but must more like a classic black and white photo.

I like it, but tomorrow Phyllis and I will investigate how to create proper HDR photos, too…

New camera

Lying on the grass
Originally uploaded by PhylB

Our beloved Sony ?100 started falling apart and we had to send it in to a repair shop.

At the same time, I noticed that a shop in Hong Kong called DigitalRev was selling cameras to the UK at a much lower price than shops based here, so I ordered a 350 to supplement the old camera.

It arrived Friday, and we’re now starting to get results.

Look at this photo that Phyllis took of Anna and me: Not only is it in 16:9, but it’s taken from a bug’s perspective, something which the tilting live preview screen makes it easy to do. Note also the resolution – it’s 4592 x 2576!

The only annoying thing about the 350 compared to the 100 is that the flash pops up automatically when the camera thinks it’s needed. I much preferred the 100’s flash that you had to pull up manually when you needed it.

New photo printer

The last printer we bought was a cheap one from Tesco that I couldn’t get to work under Linux and that broke down after a short while.

When we visited my parents in Denmark recently, we helped my mum set up the new printer the elders had bought for her.

It was an HP Photosmart D7160, and it impressed us: There were absolutely no lines on the printed photos, and the colours were great. It also had memory card readers and a small LCD screen for previewing.

So when we returned home, we ordered one for ourselves, and we got it a few days ago.

It really is a nice printer. A nice feature is that it can print photo on 10×15 paper without leaving any margin. And it worked out of the box with Linux.

The new Sony Alphas

???? SONY A350 & 24-70 ZA
Originally uploaded by 9G

Sony have now finally solved the problem of how to make a DSLR camera with live preview on the view-screen, and they’ve made the view-screen detachable (as on a camcorder) in the process.

There’s a review in the New York times here. It says this about how Sony did it:

On an ordinary single-lens reflex camera […], light enters from the lens and is split by a semi-transparent mirror. Part of the light goes to the eyepiece viewfinder, and the other part goes downward to the autofocus sensor.

When you press the shutter button, that mirror flips up out of the light’s path, revealing […] the computer chip that records the photo.

[…] Why can’t you frame a photo using an S.L.R.’s back-panel screen, as you can on a little pocket camera? Actually, a few recent S.L.R. models do, in fact, have this Live View feature, but it’s mostly a disaster. It works by flipping that mirror up out of the way, so that light from the lens hits the image sensor, which feeds the image to the screen. Trouble is, once the mirror goes up, no light hits the autofocus sensor, so the camera can’t focus.

So here’s what happens when you press the shutter button. There’s a noisy clank as the mirror drops down again; the screen goes black; the camera computes focus and exposure; the mirror lifts again; the screen comes back to life; and finally — a second or so later — the shot is recorded.

[…] All of this silliness arises because the camera’s image sensor must do double duty: it’s responsible for supplying the screen with a live preview and for recording the shot.

Sony’s technical breakthrough on the A300, therefore, was this: “Duh! Put in another sensor!”

On this camera, turning on Live View sends light from that main mirror onto a second sensor, one that’s devoted solely to feeding the preview screen. The autofocus sensor works normally as you compose a shot, since the mirror never has to flip up.

I’d really like to own one of these, whether the ?300 or ?350!