Pictures

I found 2 Insects looking like this in my appartment:

Anyone knows what it is, its about 10cm large from leg tip to tip if it stretches out and capable of flight, seems not to have any inteligence to speak of. I could catch it and throw it out of my appartment but iam affraid its too cold outside?

Anyone knows what it eats? How long it lives?

As the little reverse engeneering puzzle has been solved, we need some prize …

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flour, olive oil, half a teaspoon sugar, dry yeast and water. No thats not yet the price ^^; And probably not even a half correct pizza dough but i like it and am too lazy to look up what is “correct”.

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After rescaling the x,y and z transformation vectors of the dough it becoms flat and roun hmm square?! (… i guess ill file a bugreport about that one later) adding tomato puree and tuna.

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Adding gouda cheese and oregano, i should probably have added more cheese but transforming a block of cheese into these stripes is boring and the ready made pizza cheese from supermarket could be more accurately be described by milk+yellow color and thickening agent so that stuff was not an option.

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After ~15min at ~493 kelvin

And at last, the pizza was turned into a virtual pizza, which i herein officially give to chrono! The real counterpart has for saftey reasons been quickly ea ehm i mean destroyed, to avoid paradoxes.

Well after lots of looking around, reading reviews and all that, i finally realized that all compact cameras which are available currently suck. So my choices where down to getting an old analog camera or a DSLR, now “analog” film is just too inconvenient for my lazy self so i choose a DSLR, more precissely the EOS 400D, thats also what mans recommanded though mans recommandition was not really why i choose it. The EOS 400D is certainly not perfect but there arent many options, many cameras are just too expensive for my taste and then there are: sony alpha (crappy noisy sensor) pentax (non functional IS and IS is the only advantage over cannon), olympus (too small sensor), nikon (lens compatibility with their cheap DSLRs is no good and no real advantage over canon)

So is the EOS400D good? Well its not bad, it could be smaller and lighter, its viewfinder could be bigger and brighter, at least ive no problem using the viewfinder with glasses but manual focus at large apertures is not possible with it because the viewfinder limits the view to f/4 or so . I wonder if one of these 3rd party focusing screen replacements would help here?

The EOS400D also sadly doesnt have live view, that is viewing what you shoot on the LCD, but there arent many DSLRs which do, the 40D being one but its too large, heavy and expensive for this small extra feature, and note the only reason why i care about live view would be better manual focus ability

Lenses, well, getting a good lens for my DSLR turned out so far to be quite a bit more tricky than i thought. First lenses are expensive, it seems they are all sold at 10 times their production cost. Second you cant just read reviews and buy a lens based on that, the lenses provided to reviewers seem handpicked and perfectly adjusted by the manufactors, what you buy in a shop is not. But i didnt know that or rather i underestimated the sample variation some people claimed exists with lenses so i bought a 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Tamron lens, according to reviews and images there (as well as other reviews) this lens has better image quality than for example canons 17-85 IS USM and it of course has a much larger focalength range though its not that good at the larger focal lengths but then having all that range in a single lens seemed quite convenient. Well to make a long story short the 18-250 lens i got was so bad it went back where it came from at the first oppertunity. At 100mm one side was so much more blurry than the other it was immedeately vissible at 1024×786, there was no need to zoom in and look at pixels 1:1

Luckily i also bought a 50mm f/1.8 lens from canon, one of canons cheapest lenses but still vastly outperforming the 6 times as expensive crap 18-250 tamron i received, so the sample images below are all shot with that 50mm lens. Also note that i had to recompress the images to lower quality as wordpress refused the files due to their filesize

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For a long time that flower was on my balcony, now its in my grandmothers garden, and it doesnt seem to do that well as you can see :(

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Strange tiny tree, we bought a while ago, its needles are completely soft instead of sharp and it doesnt seem to grow

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Some random weed i think

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One of my grandmothers unique plants, this one is quite representative for many of them though not all, some are breathtakingly beautifull like her roses …
My mother said its a oleander, my grandmother disagreed, i dont remember if she said what it is

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Birds, overexposed IMO, it was very dark and rainy, also they dont look good at f/1.8 aperture

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second try at f/4, sadly most birds where gone already, also the image looks worse then the origial before the recompression needed to make wordpress happy filesize wise

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My mother wanted to take a (few) picture(s) as well, well, she tried, and tried but it didnt work, half pressing the shutter button, waiting for the autofocus and then full pressing it apparently isnt that easy, so the above image was taken by my mother with manual focus. What i learned out of that, well the EOS400D shutter button is very well build as it still worked after my mother was finished.

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After you fight your way through thickets you find in a corner of the garden some firewood perfectly protected from rain to dry, currently my grandmothers only means to heat her house as her more modern heaters broke down (not counting electricity based ones). Somehow i suspect the firewood will still be there in the spring and the heaters will still be broken and the electricity bill will be near 0. In normal houses you need to wear warm closes when you leave in my grandmothers house you need warm clothes when you enter.

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Tasty looking apples (emphasis here is on looking)

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My mother identified it as parasol mushroom and said its edible, my grandmother said its poissionous (thats what my grandmother says about all mushrooms), i tried to convice them to try it ;)
btw, iam a little curious what it is, i am almost certain its not a parasol

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White roses (in the rain like everything else on that day)

The image stabilization, well ive done more testing, 10 images without IS, 10 at continous mode, 10 at shot only mode, all at the wide angle side at 1/4 sec 12mp, quick summary the IS does not help, find the 2 best looking croped images for each of the 3 cases in the table below:

IS:off
IS:continous
IS:shot only

Random low iso images








and in case anyone is wondering how i reached a image number of above 6000 in a few days testing, well thats what happens if you switch sd cards around randomly one thing i learned from that though was the FD50fd had no problems displaying images made with the IXUS though it did not play my naively made mjpeg in AVI :( it did not even play its own video after it was remuxed but i didnt investigate this any further …

I wanted a small compact digicam which is better at taking pictures in bad light than my ixus30, has full manual controls, a wider angle lens, … well no such camera exists currently. So i decided to try the F50fd, it has aperture and shutter priority modes, can take images at up to ISO 6400 and has a image stabilizer.

Size and weight: Well its a bit bigger and heavier than my ixus30 but it still is small enough to fit in my pocket

The image stabilizer: Well, what can i say, i took many images at the telezoom side at 1/5sec shutter with it in continous mode, with it in shot only mode and with it disabled, no single image was useable. Repeating the test at the wide angle side of the zoom at 1/5sec some images where ok others where not, the stabilizer again didnt make much of a difference, sadly ive lost patience and didnt take more than about 5 images each with stabi in mode 1 in mode 2 and without stabi so i dont have statistically significant data for that part. What i can say though is that the stabi did not help me take a single useable image at a shutter speed at which i wouldnt be able to take a good one with a few tries without the stabi

The manual control: Well it does work, and even quite well, you can change the aperture with a single button press, the exposure correcton as well can be changed with a single button press (after you switched the buttons into the right mode which needs 1 button press). Very sadly to change the ISO you have to press at least 3 buttons (4 after the camera is turned on). On the ixus30 you need 1 button press to cange ISO and exposure correction if you are in the correct menu (yes you can take images without leaving the menu on the ixus this doesnt work with the f50 ISO menu), you need 2 button presses to change between the ISO and exposure menues and 2 to reach the exposure and 4 for the ISO menu after power on on the ixus, so in summary the manual control could be made available more directly on both cameras.

Arbitrary limitations: There where a few surprises for me as i was playing around with the camera, first the aperture priority mode is limited to a shutter of 1/4sec at the long side, the shutter priority mode though can be used with up to 1sec. Longer exposures (up to 8 sec) are possible but only at ISO 100

Deleting images: I was mildly annoyed that i had to press 3 buttons to delete an image, but what was much more annoying was that the deletion comes with a nice animaton which you cant disable and which you have to let finish before you can do anything else. That is, its not hard to press the 3 button sequence a few times while the animation plays sadly it has no effect

Auto focus: This one does work better than on the ixus in low light with the focus assist lamp disabled

High ISO image quality: Well i hoped that the F50 would be a lot better at taking images at high ISO, sadly the difference is not that large, but see yourself:
F50 ISO3200 1/4sec f/2.8 Now how does one compare this to the IXUS30 which just has ISO400 well one (mis)uses the exposure correction to get the exposure one wants and then fixes the brightness/contrast in software
IXUS30 ISO400 -2EV 1/5sec f/2.8 (way too dark yes)
after -vf ow=7:8:16 and gimp to fix levels So which looks better? teh F50 one of course, lets compare it to a longer exposure of the IXUS
ISO400 -1EV 1/2sec f/2.8
fixed up levels in gimp
and with -vf ow=7:8:16 With the 2x longer exposure i would say the IXUS is at least as good as the F50 (with the shorter exposure). And there would be thumbnail images if wordpress would generate them or i knew how to upload several images at once instead of each one individually …

ISO values: well the more i played with the F50 the more i noticed that its ISO values dont match the IXUS ones, that is the IXUS30 at ISO400 seems to match approximately ISO600 on the F50 (matching here means same shutter, aperture and equally bright final images)

Colors: well the F50 is about as (in)accurate as the IXUS30 though they are different

Will i keep the F50? Probably not the improvement is too small over the IXUS30 also i dont like the heavy noise reduction the camera does, it becomes noticeable already at ISO400, the IXUS30 doesnt do this though more recent IXUS versions seem to also follow the trend of butchering images with noise reduction

Ill upload more pictures tommorow …

Pictures from my balcony to fullfill mikes request of wasting more bandwidth ;)



I bought one of these a few years ago and now my balcony is full of them … so I for one welcome our new plant overlords and iam sorry that the ixus overexposed your mighty petals ;)

if only thouse bees would wait until i got out of the sun to be able to see anything on the display of the ixus30 then navigated through 2 menus to set the EV and went back …

This one would have been nice if it where focused properly

properly focused this time

Fluffy ball ;) is moving too fast for the 1/200 shutter, why did ixus choose f/5.6 here instead of f/2.8 with a shorter exposure? and why doesnt it support aperture priority :(


To continue the late series of totally off topic postings and to waste some bandwidth with big images ive recorded what ive cooked today (no still with my canon ixus 30 as ive got no new cam yet …)

First an onion and the mandatory safety goggles one needs to work with onions

After peeling and washing the thing:

After choping it up in cubes and realizing that its a little more than i expected: (i wish i had an image stabilizer or would have checked the image or have taken more as both i took turned out blured)

A choped up halfed and fried onon:

1kg potatos, well almost:

Iam hungry, better more than too little :)

Peeled, washed and choped up potatos in the cauldron with the onions …

Added water, putting it on the fire. And now as i see it cursing that i thought the ixus 30 could take images at iso100 a meter under a 100w light bulb, besides that why is the damn thing not displying the shutter speed, if i knew it was 1/8 sec i would have done something about it …

Sausage (extrawurst in that case), lord ixus though focused on the wrong end and yes i did try to focus on the other side, dont ask why i didnt check half of the images right after taking them …

Sausage cut up in small cubes and added to the pot, again 1/8 shutter and all blurry. And normally one should fry the sausage unless one is afraid of nitrosamines …

Adding hot paprika made in hungary, majoran and a soup cube, lord ixus now choose 1/6sec and even though i took 4 images of this they are all blurred argh, next ill cook the ixus or maybe i should cook myself for being to stupid to not realize that iso100 wont work for this

mixed …

closed and the image is quite ok even though its 1/6sec handheld

15min later …

Finished :)

Ive added some -vf uspp (PP by (mis)using the snow codec) based images to pp vs. spp filters, the reason for uspp=6 instead of higher values is that higher ones wake the OOM-killer :-) the reason for the lack of pp=ac/ha/va based samples is that they look identical to the pp=de/hb/vb