05 May 2013

A day in Copengagen with Lumix GX1 and Lumix G f2.5 14mm street-shooting lens

Lumix GX1 and 14mm f2.5 (equiv to 28mm) is excelent street photography set and travel companion. Small, light, sharp, fast focusing and fast in aperture.

Lumix GX1 and 14mm f2.5 (equiv to 28mm) is excelent street photography set and travel companion. Small, light, sharp, fast focusing and fast in aperture.

25 April 2013

Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-200

Bought it. Used it. If you are demanding, then don’t consider it. Too soft in 200mm. I think that you should buy 100-300 if You really are in M4/3 world.
Here is my bird gallery, all shot with 45-200 and Lumix GX1.
My valuation: mediocre

21 April 2013

Polish carbon monopod SIRUI

Polish wonder SIRUI
I was looking long time new mono pod for my Sony SLT a99 to shoot clear photos with 500 mm lens. First I was looking at Gitzo offerings, but the price of decent mono-pod was steep. They ask 350€ for Gitzo GM5541 series 5 carbon monopod and 250€ for Gitzo GH1780QR series 1 centre ball head. Total 600€ bill felt un-adjusted.
By lucky chance I found Polish producer SIRUI. They offered heavy duty P324 carbon mono pod, withstanding 20 kg load, for only 94€ and additional 100€ for K-10X ball head. Total package just 194€!!!
After few days of shooting, I can say only good words about SIRUI. Ball head is smooth, there is no need to fix it properly, it’s possible to switch from landscape to portrait by using a bit more force, twisting semi-closed ball-head, but the camera with tele lens still feels firmly fixed during shooting. It’s possible to select pre-load on 1-12 scale, where 12 is 100% fixed position. I found useful to leave pre-load to 7, using my a99 and Zeiss 135mm f1.8 
Mono pod looks gorgeous. Polished carbon threads are nicely visible and over-sized diameter just looks affirming.

18 April 2013

New speedy SD cards

I was kind of stuck with my SanDisk Extreme Class 10 35 MBps SDHC card. But lately I bought new UHS-I class 95 MBps Extreme Pro SDHC cards from SanDisk. And I was really surprised about their speed. Therefore by current blog. I collected my random collection of 4 SD cards and measured their real-life speed by copying and reading 1.67 GB directory of 4 video clips and 62 RAW photos. Here are the results:
That’s how much faster is UHS-I compared to older Class 10 and Class 4 cards. Don’t forget to use USB 3.0 reader.
My conclusion: Go for it NOW!

14 April 2013

Google Pixel
Google promotes Chromebook as “Computer for Everyone”. Price-wise it might be, as prices start from $250 or so. It’s sleek and light, it has plenty of battery-life. But what is it and is it really for everybody?
Quick and short answer is — NO, it’s not yet for everybody.
Longer answer is — YES, it for everybody, who looks for lightweight second computer. ‘
Consider Chromebook if
- you are already Google ecosystem user
- your main task is e-mails, documents, spreadsheets, calendar event planning, social media, web browsing
- if you have other (may be stationary) powerful PC or Mac for photo/video editing
- for second computer
Don’t consider Chromebook
- as your only computer and you have to edit photos, videos, do graphic design on that
- to use Skype (here is no Skype on Chromebook)
- you happen to be Google-hater for some reason
- you a afraid of cloud (there is no local data storage any more, everything is kept in the Internet)
So, if You spent all day only in Explorer, Safari, Chrome or other web browser and mail client software, Chromebook might be your choice of computing platform.
Why Chromebook is good?
- software is so lightweight, it boots fast and operates smooth;
- easier to create content than on tablet;
- good battery life;
- 3G-WiFi connectivity is easy and fast — you really are always connected;
- documents are saved in real time, you can’t lose any, even if computer crashes (highly unlikely) or when running out of battery;
- Google Docs is so refreshingly simple and practical
- No messing with drivers, updates etc

Samsung Series 5 Chromebook (model 550)
What Cromebook to buy?
My recommendation: 
Medium/Low budget: Samsung Series 5 Chromebook (model 550), based on Intel Celeron processor and GMA 3000, enough to run HD movies with absolutely no problem; About $400 with 3G+WiFi
Big roller: Go for Google Pixel
Tip of a Day: Don’t buy WiFi only version. 3G gives such a freedom.

10 April 2013

Shoot smarter with Samsung NX300 smart camera

1. Install Samsung Smart Camera App to iPhone or Android. Pair the devices.
2. Place camera strategically

3. Wait and follow the action via remote viewfinder

4. Take crystal clear shots!

All shots are saved in original resolution to cameras memory card, but also transferred to mobile phone in 1616 x 1080 pixel reduced resolution. Phone and camera are creating peer-to-peer WiFi link.

Due to smart functions and WiFi capability, its possible to transfer full-resolution files to Picasa, Google+, Skydrive, Facebook, send them over e-mail or share to DLNA capable devices like smart-TV.

Nice gadget!

07 April 2013

Sony 500 mm f8 Reflex Tele SAL-500F80

500mm f/8 Reflex Telephoto Lens, Model number: SAL-500F80
Its a prime telephoto lens, weighting just 700 grams. Low weight is possible due to reflex (mirror surface) design. Due to f 8.0, enough light is required and shutter speed is 1-2 stops longer than other non-reflex tele primes. It’s the world’s only super telephoto reflex lens with auto-focus capability.
SAL-500F80 makes pretty sharp photos, when subject stands still or camera does high ISO. Donut-shape bokeh is pretty characteristic to reflex lens. Some might not like it.
Main fact, it’s discontinued. But sometimes available in ebay for mere $600-700. I got mine there.

08 March 2013

Li-Ion starter battery (12V for cars)

Li-Ion starter battery (12V for cars)

Greater Charge Acceptance Rate — lithium ion Engine Start Battery is designed with a greater charge acceptance rate than AGM lead acid, enabling it to charge up to 10 times more quickly and contributing to a fuel economy improvement of 50 percent or greater compared with lead acid as reported by customers.
Lithium Ion battery is lower and much lighter 

Reduced Weight — Lite Plus weighs less than 30% of comparable lead acid batteries, helping to reduce vehicle emissions and enhance driving performance and agility.
Extended Life — The extended calendar and cycle life inherent to Nanophosphate technology enable the battery to last at least twice as long as AGM lead acid batteries, resulting in minimal maintenance and lower total cost of ownership.
Minimal Environmental Impact — LiFePO4 Battery offers reduced total carbon emissions compared to lead acid and do not contain lead or any other hazardous materials. By replacing lead acid batteries with Lithium Ion solutions, customers can reduce the environmental impact of their systems, helping its customers promote their green initiatives and sustainability goals.

Ordinary OEM lead battery is old tech 20+ kg lump of excess weight. Everyone, who loves enthusiastic driving, open track events etc know that additional mass is no good. Our 20 Ah li-ion starter battery weights only 2,5 Kg, lighter car has less inertia, accelerates and turns in more agile manner.

04 March 2013

New cool Li-Ion starter battery

New cool Li-Ion starter battery, light, good for open track events. Lite Plus Li-Ion starter battery.

Key Benefits over old tech conventional Lead Acid:

  1. Extensive Cycle Life: More than 4X longer life than lead acid provides lower total cost of ownership
  2. Dynamic Charge Acceptance. Accepts high rates of charge and captures more energy from regenerative braking for improved fuel economy
  3. Lighter Weight: up to 70% lighter than lead acid batteries
  4. Excellent cold crack performance - on par with lead acid
  5. Real-time data and diagnostics protect the battery and prevent premautre failures, reducing service and warrantly costs

17 December 2012

Lexus GS 450h F-Sport heavy hybrid powerful GT car

Lexus asked to give my opinion about their sporty and really powerful GS 450h F-Sport model . Ones who think they know how dull was GS in the past -- forget all that. This one is the beast. 200 kg heavier that BMW 535d. But active damping and steering makes miracles. Car feels lighter than that.

Strong design language in front, not so in rear

Discrete wing, pretty M5-lookalike

450h means 3-liter V6 combustion engine paired with electric motor. Huge total torque available in full RPM range 

Floeting disks like in proper sports car, brakes did not fade despite of heavy car

Pretty old school gear lever gate, this car actually employs high tech variator, combined with electric motor. EV button switches to stealth mode to scare pedestrians. Avoid ECO, use Normal ore Sport +, to firm up suspension. Does not change max power available.

Rev meter in the left is replaced by ECO meter in Eco mode