Monday Muscle Failure

Muscles

This was quite the weekend!  Two of three bedrooms have been cleaned up, packaged, and taken to an off-site storage so we can “stage” the house.  Apparently staging a house is very important when selling.  It helps “define the space” for the prospective buyer.  Anyway, as a result of all the lifting, bending, pushing, pulling, hauling, and shoving (oh yeah, we packed some boxes too!), we are very much in a state of “muscle failure”.  For the more athletically inclined, you know what I am talking about.  For the rest, when you push your muscles to the brink of not being able to work, they quiver visibly, and that is called muscle failure.  Suffice to say, our normally light-hearted fare transitioned very quickly to a Whopper with fries and an ice cold beer afterwards.

Anyway, no glory shots from the new 40D to share…sorry.  Although I am stopping by the storage unit later on today, so will likely have the camera with me.  Whilst organizing that, I did notice a few “photo opportunities” (whenever I hear that phrase, I think of Ron White and a  bit he did – see reference link from the 4:30 mark to 6:00 mark) , so may have some better post material tomorrow or later on today.  Tomorrow will be another fun video too…so a little teaser there just to keep you interested.  Until then though, take a moment and stop over at ProPhotoLife.  They put out a great video on how to light tabletop stills wit just one light and mirrors as your other light sources.  Very cool – especially for the DIYer (I am going to go retrieve a mirror I was going to throw out in the move now!)

Happy shooting, watch those apertures, and we’ll see you tomorrow!

Friday Feel-goods

Canon 40D

Found a couple neat resources around the web over the last few days. But, I am not gonna share them today. That’s right, the old bait-and-switch! I say something then switch gears once you’re hooked and talk about something else entirely. But, rest assured weary reader, I am not selling anything…yet! Quite simply – I got my 40D!!! That’s right, pulled the trigger, but the bullet, took the plunge, and every other metaphor you can think of. So, now with not one but 2 SLR’s in hand, I feel a little better knowing I have a backup.

That means my trusty Canon XT is now a backup camera! The funniest thing about it is that when I got my XT about 3 years ago, I paid more for that than I just paid for the Canon 40D (body only)! Back in 2005, the XT was hot off the presses and I was chomping at the bit to get it. The market started with it around $1000, and when I found one at Beach Camera for $850, I thought – “This is a good deal!” So I took the plunge.

Fast forward to 2007, the Canon 40D debuts for $1140 retail for the body. Within a year, rebates start kicking in – the struggling economy starts impacting camera manufacturers, so the rebates are big. The Canon 40D now has a $200 rebate, and it’s not the mail in kind! That’s right, an instant in-store rebate knocks the 40D down to $940 bones. This is a pretty darn good deal considering where the 40D stands in the Canon lineup. (3rd in line as I see it: 1D Mark II, 5D, and then the 40D)

But wait, hold the phones, that deal gets sweeter! If you are a current XT, XTi, or XSi owner, an additional $50 mail in rebate is offered too. So, now after all rebates, you can get the pristine new 40D for under $900…a mere $890! What a steal! But, here’s the thing – that means the aftermarket is starting to feel a pinch. This means the 40D that many bought a mere 6 months ago for $1200 could concievably drop to half that in the aftermarket since the XS is coming out, and a likely successor to the 5D which will push it down further. No one wants to see their gear depreciate to the tune of 50% in a mere 12 months. Heck, the XT new was around $100, and it still can be found for $450-$500 after being in the market place for about 4 years! (Although I suspect not for much longer – it’s not even in the current lineup anymore…)

So, anyway, the aftermarket starts picking up. By keeping up with the market via 1001 Noisy Cameras I can see that Canon is taking the majority of the top ten deals for a good 3 months. Now, with the standard for after market stuff typically running around 10-15% less than retail, 40D owners start pushing their bodies for $900, then $875, and most recently I saw one for $850. Well, last week I posted in the Buy/Sell forums of one particular community that I wanted to buy (WTB) a 40D at the 10% off retail rate…after rebates! That meant $800. Within an hour I had a taker, so – for less than the price of my XT, I upgraded to the 40D a year after its release.

Ironic, because it was about a year after the XT was released that I got it for about just as the retail price dropped 10%. In the aftermath, I learned a valuable lesson about camera gear: bodies depreciate, lenses retain value. If you want to spend money wisely, don’t upgrade your body every year, upgrade your glass. Hopefully this upgrade will have been worthwhile – 3 years in the making, and for $100 less than my previous body – I think it was probably a good investment. The only reason I did it was because I really did feel as though I was starting to bump up against the limitations of the XT body. Frame rate was not where I wanted it, the image counter was becoming more of a hindrance as I take more, the images were harder to see, and it was just starting to show signs of wear and tear. A bit of the plastic casing had peeled off in my sweaty mitts. It was just time to upgrade. To the forum guy (you know who you are) that hooked me up…thanks so much!

In looking at the counter, it seems the actuations are even lower than I thought with the count in the 500’s! I simply just re-set it back to 0 and I am rockin’ and rollin’! So, in case you hadn’t guessed it – this is just a “Feel Good” post today – nothing insightful, informational, or even useful – just a gleeful post of what was formerly an adult and what is now a 5-year old kid at Christmas! Have fun all, go out and shoot some (I know I will be…)

Oh yeah, here’s your WTD for the week:

What the Duck - June 26th 2008

Browser Bewilderment

I normally don’t post twice on the same date, but something came up yesterday over at Scott Kelby’s blog that I felt compelled to let people know about it (in case you for some reason stopped here <strong>before</strong> stopping over there…).  So, read this about FF3, but keep going down as there’s some buzz going on about his guest author yesterday – none other than Matt kloskowski.  Enough of a buzz to even get lazy ole me off my arse!  🙂  Anyway, two posts for the price of one today.  First off, some browser bewilderment over Firefox3:

Well,it’s not really bewilderment over which browsers to use, because I use browsers for a number of reasons. Yes, a good portion of it is spent solely for surfing different websites. I do occasionally spend some time on web design. While I know that the latest release from Firefox is going to be a boon for photographers due to its support for color profiles – I can’t help but wonder about designing with FF3 in mind. How does one incorporate this into their array of considerations?

Clearly, you have to design for whoever your audience is, and for me, that means FF2, IE, and then Safari are where I devote my time. But, it would be nice to move toward a browser base that is W3C compliant. However, FF3 makes no impressive strides toward those ends anyway. I did some testing of the three main browsers (IE, FF, and Safari) against the Acid3 test, and found that while none of them pass, most certainly IE performed the worst, and the FF update is no great leap forward. See the screenshots below of each browser and it’s performance on Windows and Mac (Tiger). First, here’s the reference image that each browser rendering effort should result in:

Reference Image

And here’s the actual results for each browser/OS setup:

WINDOWS

Internet Explorer 7 on Windows XP

Firefox 2 on Windows XP

Firefox 3 on Windows XP

Macintosh

Firefox 2 on Mac

Safari 3 on Mac

Safari 3 on Mac

Does anyone have any thoughts on what the probable trends would be? I’ve heard lots of glowing things about Safari, and lately it has been growing in percentage of people that visit either CB or my photo site, so I’ll have to take that into more consideration. What about others out there? What browsers do you use? Are you a “surfer” or a “designer”, or both? Some feedback ehre would be very instructive.

For those that don’t know what I am talking about, feel free to skip to Friday for your next read. In the meantime, for those that do know, or are interested in learning more, here’s the resources I’ve read thus far:

Rob Galbraith’s page: http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/content_page.asp?cid=7-9311-9478

ICC Test Page: http://www.color.org/version4html.xalter

Mostly Lisa: http://www.mostlylisa.com/2008/06/20/convince-me-to-use-firefox-i-dare-you/#comments