Mike Chaney's Tech Corner
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1  Technical Discussions / Printers / Re: Qimage with a HP photosmaer 7960 on: August 12, 2009, 03:11:47 PM
HP's own profiles for the 7960 are pretty good. I assume one could download them from the HP web site, and select one in Qimage?
2  Technical Discussions / Articles / Re: August 2009: Integrated Software Distortion Correction Reduces Lens Complexi on: August 12, 2009, 03:06:11 PM
I just got a small waterproof Panasonic point-and-shoot, the DMC-TS1, to take snorkeling. Looking at my first few test images, I noticed absolutely no chromatic aberration fringing. That seemed puzzling to me, since it has one of those folded light path lenses, and certainly wasn't very expensive. Then I read a review on an obscure European web site that suggested Panasonic is correcting CA with s/w in-camera. I don't know if that's true or not, but whatever they've done is pretty impressive. Even my best Canon SLR lenses will sometimes generate annoying fringing under certain conditions. I typically use DxO to take care of such things automatically, but that obviously isn't an option with the Panasonic...
3  Technical Discussions / Computer Hardware / Re: Small laptop or netbook for image upload on trips: suggestions? on: July 14, 2009, 09:45:49 PM
Weird. I'm also going to Maui for a couple weeks, and also decided to get a small, new laptop for downloading images. I ended up with an Acer Aspire One, but for a really strange reason. It turns out that most netbooks have less screen resolution than Adobe requires for Lightroom. Everything appears to work fine at first, but you can't see the entire import pictures dialog box. Several important menus are not viewable, and also the "ok" button.

But, the Aspire One is easily hacked into running Mac OS X. So I bought a copy of Leopard, and just turned my Acer into a mini Hackintosh. There's a simple command you can type into OS X that allows you to scale an application's windows up or down in resolution. So, now I can use Lightroom with no problem. Perfect machine for travelling. Will easily fit in my camera backpack too. I got the Acer as a refurb at CompUSA for $220.

Before anyone gets grouchy about hacking, I did pay for fresh, legal copies of all of the software I'm using. And it's not like Apple sells a netbook. I'm just filling a need using available tools. Violating the EULAs perhaps, but certainly not stealing anything, or depriving anyone of their justly deserved compensation.
4  Technical Discussions / Articles / Re: June 2009: Removing the Blindfold from the dSLR on: July 14, 2009, 09:26:28 PM
The vibration cleaning systems work very well. I had to clean the sensor in my previous DSLR all the time, but my Canon 40D has only needed a wet cleaning once in 2 years. In the newer Canons, there's a patch of sticky material somewhere in the mirror chamber where the dust is supposed to accumulate after it falls off the sensor (off the anti-aliasing filter in front of the sensor, to be precise). I don't see the dust ever overwhelming that system.

I'd like to see someone run a test on noise generated by these live-feed sensors. As long as the sensor is operating, it generates heat, which should produce more noise. I've seen people suggest anecdotally that the live view cameras spike up in noise quite a bit when live view is engaged for a long time, say 30 seconds or so. I haven't seen it in my DSLR yet, but I only use live view for focus confirmation and so forth. Full HD video has got to really put heat in a sensor. Maybe what's needed is an active cooling system, like the ones used on astro imaging equipment.

I'm one of those guys who might have a real problem with the sun-on-the-sensor deal. I hardly ever use lens caps in potential shooting situations, preferring to leave lens hoods on all the time to protect the glass. I could easily imagine letting the sun accidentally fry whatever was at the focal plane. [Some years ago, I was shooting a snow scene on top of a mountain near Albuquerque with a Rolleiflex. I set up a scene with the sun visible. The air was very dry and cold. The sun beating down on the shutter blades caused them to warm up, and when I tripped the shutter, I got a blast of static electricity between shutter and film that ruined several frames. You can see from the negative that it started where the sun was in the frame.] A minor point to be sure, but it is something to consider.

I'll be interested in where this idea goes. Something like a ruggedized G1 might be ideal for underwater photography. The water bath would draw heat away from the camera, eliminating sensor heat buildup. Contrast focus would probably be great in that situation too. You could switch on the LCD for easier viewing through a mask. Could be a real winner.
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