Do Sony cameras have vibrate mode?

Quote of the week: “Draw envious looks when you carry your Cyber-shot® W and T Series digital camera in the understated and elegant LCS-TWA/T carrying case.” — Just be careful someone doesn’t snatch it.

The new photography

Now that I’ve been participating in Flickr for a while, I’ve realized that digital technology has fundamentally changed the nature of photography. Perhaps I wasn’t looking in the right places, but I don’t recall seeing any discussion of this amidst the hype about Things Digital. On the face of it, digital cameras shouldn’t have been that big of a disruptive factor. Film cameras were so cheap they were given away as promotional items, whereas digital cameras were hundreds of dollars.

Anything I still can’t deal with is therefore my own problem

Well, the beloved parental units are now back in the UK, about to fly off to Ireland. Life here is gradually returning to normal, except for the extreme backlog of work. The original plan was that they would drive off and explore Texas Tuesday thru Thursday each week, then Friday thru Monday I’d take time off work and we’d do family stuff together. In the event, they stayed here for the entire three weeks.

Nikon digital: A sorry tale

In 2001–2003, I had a rather bad experience with Nikon Digital’s repair service. The product I had problems with was an APS adaptor for a high end film scanner, but other people have written to me with similar tales of woe regarding digital cameras and digital SLRs.


  1. I discovered that while Nikon are reknowned for the quality of their lenses, they also make some really shoddy products. High price and the Nikon name is no guarantee of quality.

  2. I found out that if you buy a faulty Nikon digital imaging product, such as a scanner or a digital camera, your chances of getting it repaired or replaced with a working product seem to be pretty slim.

  3. When Nikon were unable to get the product to work after four attempts, I couldn’t get a refund for the non-working product without a year of ignored letters, phone calls and faxes.

  4. The Nikon product jammed with some of my irreplacable negatives inside. I couldn’t open up the unit to get the film out without voiding the warranty, and Nikon failed to extricate and return the film.

I did finish scanning the rest of my APS film cassettes, no thanks to Nikon. I had to break open each cassette, pull out the film, and chop it up into individual frames. I then mounted each frame in a 35mm glass slide, adjusting for the size difference by using plastic spacers cut by hand from old subway passes using a sharp knife and a metal ruler. As you can imagine, the process was very fiddly and laborious and no fun at all.

Anyway, here’s the whole sorry tale…

Back to reality

We’re back from Las Vegas. Further details to follow. In the mean time… To the baggage thrower who decided to steal stuff from my suitcase I expect by now you’ve discovered that the exciting looking rectangular device is a battery charger for the proprietary battery pack of a digital camera, and not the digital camera itself. Unless you happen to have exactly the same make and model of digital camera, it’s likely to be of no value to you.

Camera porn

Sony have announced the DSC-F828 digital camera. The details to drool over: Carl Zeiss T coated Vario-Sonnar lens*. It’s f/2 to f/2.8 / 7.1, with a zoom range equivalent to 28-200mm (7x). The T* coating cuts lens flare and reflections. CompactFlash slot. Yes, finally Sony give in and support CF. 8 megapixel. 3,264 x 2,448. That’s better than ISO 400 35mm film. Four color CCD. Sony have added blue/green sensors to the CCD grid, for better resolution at the frequencies where the human eye is most sensitive—which means more accurate and natural-looking colors.


As far as work goes, today was a change of pace, as I was asked to travel to Virginia to give a presentation to a bunch of sales account managers. These are the guys who handle the big customer accounts and keep the million dollar deals flowing, and the company needs to make sure they know everything there is to know about Lotus software… so I was asked to go tell them where they can find everything there is to know about Lotus software.

PowerShot S400

I decided it was time for a digital camera upgrade. The PowerShot S100 has been a wonderful camera, but the new S400 has almost double the resolution, as well as more manual controls and a longer zoom lens with the same aperture range. The result seems to be insanely detailed pictures. With the full original files (1-2MB JPEGs) you can enlarge a photo of a squirrel to fill the whole screen and see every individual hair on his body.

CES news

Sony plans to introduce Blu-Ray discs this year. They’re 12cm, the same size as DVDs, but start with a capacity of 27GB. Plans are to increase that by 2x fairly quickly. Looks like I’ll be able to move my photographs to a single disc more quickly than I thought… Also announced was the PEG-NZ90. Feature list: 2MP digital camera with flash 16MB RAM Palm OS 5 on 200MHz XScale processor Removable rechargeable battery pack Built-in Bluetooth Slot for 802.


If you’ve played the game Riven, you might recognize this image as the view from the crater towards Gehn’s laboratory. Except that it isn’t; it’s pipework from a hydroelectric plant near Snoqualmie Falls in Washington State. One of the interesting things about wandering the woodlands and mountains near Seattle was noticing just how much the whole area resembles the game. The wooden walkways through the woods were so Myst-like, I expected to see strange corroded metal machines.