Archive for May 23rd, 2009

What I look for in a camera

When I look to buy a cheap digicam/digirecorder (NOT a camcorder) these are the video features I first look at, in this specific order:

1. Does it have exposure compensation?
2. Does it have exposure locking?
3. Does it have shutter speed control?
4. Does it have color/gamma settings? (low saturation/contrast/sharpness)?
5. Does it have manual white balance?
6. Does it have focus locking?

The first two are the most important video features one should be looking for. Without them, you can ruin your shots no matter how careful you are. For example, the Flip/Kodak digicam/digirecorders don’t have any of these features. The Panasonic ones only have #1 and #5. The new Canon ones have #1, #2, #4, #5, #6 making them a better buy overall (missing only shutter speed). Of course, a choice between 24, 25 and 30 fps would have been nice too.

Notice that I don’t list gain or aperture control. If I was looking for a still picture camera, aperture control would have been much higher up in the list, but for video, shutter speed is more important — at least for the kind of videos I am shooting. Needless to say that for all of my HV20 videos, none was shot in aperture mode. They were all shot either in shutter speed mode, or Cinemode.

Update: JBQ wrote a similar blog post too, about still cameras.

Greek lawmakers need a clue

First, it was the computer games (they briefly made them illegal because they couldn’t distinguish them from gambling). Then, they invalidated perfectly good passports (while *no other* country in the EU did so when they also moved to biometric passports). This cost me $3000 back then (I had bought plane tickets), because the local Greek Consulate who had issued my previous passport didn’t even fucking sent me a letter to let me know!!! ANY OTHER country would have sent letters to people who live abroad (my address at the time was registered with the Consulate here).

Now, they want to invalidate 13.5 million SIM GSM cards that exist in the various Greek cellphone networks because they are “anonymous”. This just sucks. I do NOT object to offering your name to get a connection, but I do object in yet another massive invalidation, AND to the fact that in order to get a new pay-as-you-go SIM card from now on you HAVE TO ALSO BUY A CELLPHONE WITH IT. At least, this is what the article says.

This is fucking retarded. These people have no clue what they are doing. They always take the most extreme routes to battle a problem.