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…people will stop expecting things from me. I am not who/what you think I am. Live with it and just let me be!

Success is meeting/exceeding people’s expectations.

The sounds of my problems are muffled whispers inside my bubble.

I’m still amazed how something so distant, so different, can remind me of home.

It’s summer in the UK.

I’m taking the bubble with me.

[Some thought that never made it into stories…]

She sat quietly leaning against the fence, under the spreading chestnut tree. Her damp hair was lifeless in the cool breeze. Her pale sensitive skin was nearly translucent. Above her head, dark leaves were rustling aimlessly following her thoughts as she was staring into the abyss. The pavement glistened with painful streaks of light. In the shade – a splash of water, cold rain water, was surrounding her feet.

She sat there quietly hoping no one will notice. She had been there for a while and intended to stay more. If any passersby had any time to look at her, they would notice how preoccupied she was. Thoughts were moving through honey, emerging as… sand wishes! The distant sparkle of a different place. The memory of a home. The sway of the sea. Falling in love, even with an idea, is still falling in love.

She sat there covering her knees bearing the marks of another world.

Povestea i se infasurase de doua ori in jurul degetului mic, precum o panglica rosie.

– Cu ce e?

– Poftim?

– Povestea…despre ce e??

– E…o poveste. Nu putem sti inca!

[written on November 25, 2009 at 11:46 am and buried in a pile of abandoned drafts]

The metal rustled in the cold wind. Song of fairy-tales. Song of peaceful quietness. Rest. In a bubble.

The S100 arrived, sooner than I expected. I’m almost sure it’s been a display item, the box was open, it had some fingerprints here and there, but the rest of the accessories were sealed and seemed untouched. I don’t really mind this as long as it means £100 off the original price.

Needless to say, I haven’t done anything since I got home except playing with the camera. So far, I am pleased. I love the slightly wider angle, even if distortion is visible.

The reviews warned about sample variation and lens sharpness. Indeed, there might be some problems with this particular camera. If you look closely at the foliage you can spot some blurry areas. Nothing serious, though, and since it’s a matter of luck, there’s not much one can do. I took some photos for comparison with my old A710 and overall the image quality was much more uniform. However, the s100 is sharper in the focus area. Who’s looking at 100% anyway?

Also, very important, the serial number doesn’t correspond to this announcement.

The ISO settings look decent even at 800. I haven’t tested this thoroughly, but the results are promising.

And here comes the fun part: there’s a button called HDR. And many users advised that it doesn’t work very well. I can imagine it’s difficult to align the photos if your subject is moving. Or your hands are shaking. A tripod would be ideal, but even when you don’t have one, this little camera could work miracles.

Do you see this?

This is sky! The sky in Britain. In my photos. Real HDR, from 3 different exposures. On the spot. Decent and incredible for lazy people that hate post-processing like me. Here’s another one:

The camera has a couple of more features that I didn’t quite understand. I’m sure they’re great, but my lack of knowledge failed to provide some decent photos. I might need to unseal the manual.

The AUTO mode is fairly decent, so if my parents don’t feel like tweaking menus and settings at a certain point, I’m sure they will have lovely photos anyway.

I truly hope they like it. This is going to be a surprise for them! 😉

Miroase a somn si a vara. A ploaie si trasnet.

Miroase a blocuri pe faleza si dimineti reci. Miroase a balta si scoici. Nisip ud.

Miroase a gol, caci lipsesc pescarusii. Miroase a mansarda pustie, miroase a dor.

Miroase a rosii cu cascaval si ceai de menta.

Miroase a puf de piersici.

Mi-am dat seama ca trebuia sa-ti pastrez tricoul abia dupa ce ti l-am dat inapoi.

a blog that I like.

 

 

Sometimes with one I love, I fill myself with rage, for fear I effuse unreturn’d love;
But now I think there’s no unreturn’d love – the pay is certain, one way or another;
(I loved a certain person ardently, and my love was not return’d;
Yet out of that, I have written these songs.)

 

 

I was thinking to get a camera for my parents. I thought it would make a nice gift and I would get to see more funny photos of my brother.

The requirements are very demanding though. The camera should …

  • be easy to handle, since parents don’t want to tweak dials and fiddle with the settings for more than 1 minute
  • perform well indoors and in low light – you know, for school events and Christmas parties
  • not cost a fortune; yes, there’s a budget, otherwise we wouldn’t be having this conversation. And I would buy the Canon G1 X. Or a mirrorless  hipster camera of some sort. And keep it for myself.

I am the proud owner of a Canon A710 IS. For a while I thought of its successor, the SX 150 IS, but its specifications are rather poor. The lens is significantly slower (F/3.4 – F/5.6 compared to F/2.8), the sensor is more or less the same, and the plastic body seems more fragile than it should. For the record, I dropped my camera on numerous occasions, so this is a serious concern. Ok, the newer version has a decent zoom – 12x, twice more than my old camera, but its greatest advantage remains the incredible macro at <1 cm. Sadly, that’s not on the above list. To be fair, it’s a very nice, cheap camera that performs stunningly in daylight, and lets you get incredibly close to your subject, but that’s about it. At 200 ISO you already feel its limitations. Also, the prices have dropped and the camera is mostly out of stock, which makes me wonder about the features of the next model in the series.

The next best thing seems to be the SX260 which is a weird camera – compact, with an insane 20x zoom and GPS (not sure that’s necessary). The reviews mention some strange feature about fixing the ISO at 100 for exposures shorter than 1 s. I didn’t manage to test that, since the only camera I found in the shop quickly ran out of batteries. It has a CMOS sensor and it should perform well in low light. However, dpreview does not recommend it for flash photography, especially portraits of super-fast children. Unfortunately, this item is very important on the above list. Also, there’s some concerning discussion about the lack of clarity/sharpness at 100%. I’m surprised and disappointed, Canon! In spite of the minor issues, the camera looks and feels great, it’s very easy to use (it even has a button for recording) and it’s affordable. There aren’t so many dials for exposure/ISO, but that might be a plus for my parents. This camera tempts me.

I hope you’re still reading because now it gets interesting. I’ve reached a price range that allows some quality and refinement. These cameras fulfill the most important item on the list – low light, indoor photography, but are at the edge of my budget. As in, I’m not sure I want to spend £400 on a compact+accessories. I’ve been recommended the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5, but I haven’t seen it in the shops today, so I can’t say much about it. I’ve played with the Fujifilm X10, though, and it’s been an exciting experience. It took me about a minute or so to figure out how to switch it on. I even yelped „Help!”, but the staff decided to ignore me. Eventually, I located the switch on the lens, I turned it gently and….rainbows poured out of the screen. All the buttons, all the settings!! I’m used to the Canon menu, which is slow and obnoxious, but having so many controls on this camera confused me. Although I could sense its potential, I soon realised that my parents are not so keen in pressing buttons located all over the camera, and searching for certain features around the screen, or the lens, or wherever the producer felt like adding them. I’m sure my dad would appreciate the vintage looks, but when you want to snap a photo quickly, you can’t spend too much time looking for the right dial. Not to mention they both wear glasses…

So I moved on to the next item on the list, which was the Canon G12, but stumbled upon the G1 X. And boy, was that a revelation or what? Let’s say I used to be crazy about the G12 and today it just felt like cheap plastic. Anyway, again, too many buttons for parents.

Which leads me to the real problem. I’ve seen the S100. And I thought this must be a joke. It looks like a joke. Unfortunately, it didn’t have any batteries and I couldn’t be bothered to ask the staff. It’s a toy. A powerful toy. It seems to be the right camera for the job, but I’m not sure I want to spend that much. I was also considering its predecessor S95, which might be a better deal than the SX260, but pales in comparison with S100 (different type of sensor, less zoom, not as wide).

There is also the IXUS series, which I know nothing about. Apparently, they are „social friendly” and I’ve seen a few good flash photos on the web. I’m not very fond of pocket cameras, but the appearance of S100 altered my perspective.

So, what to do? I have no idea what to choose. Does it seem obvious to you? What am I missing?

Should I just give up and buy this instead?

[Later edit:] I had a look at the IXUS cameras and I’m going to make a note here, otherwise I will forget everything. The most suitable candidate seem to be the IXUS 230, which is the only decent one without a touch screen. The 240 has a wider lens and some others  offer more zoom (ok, I’m lost between 510-1100, they all have two sets of very confusing names), but their price nearly matches the SX260 and the S95, so I don’t see any advantages here.

[Later edit 2:] S100

  • Amazon.com  – $363.99
  • Amazon.co.uk – £380.00, not even sold by Amazon; OK, I can find it elsewhere for £340, but still…WHY???

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