Tag Archives: Technology

RIP D100

Ah well, all good things…

Whilst out for a walk this morning I saw a friend crossing the river. I’ve always admired the unfussy way he manages his small inflatable tender. I had the camera, a long lens, the weather was great, so I snapped away. Normally I would not have checked the photos but by a stroke of good fortune, today, I did. What follows are the last photos taken with my D100. In short the shutter is jamming and the cost (and time) to repair, to high for the value of the camera. With a busy night’s rehearsal ahead of me tonight (Taming of the Shrew). I had to get a replacement and so off to Mifsuds in Brixham. Long story short, I’m now learning how the manage a D600. Many thanks to Mifsuds and especially to Ian.

Posted in Cameras, Gallery, Messing with cameras, Technology Also tagged , , |

Photographic Workflow

Nikon D100

My normal workflow, established over a number of intensive shoots revolves around my venerable Nikon D100, my iPad and various other Apple computers.

The process works something like this.

  • essentials – are the camera batteries and iPad charged
  • Is the iPad charged and is there enough space on the iPadeye-fi
  • Is my 8GB Eye-Fi pro X2 card erased and ready (its in a SynchroTech CF adaptor)

Get to the shoot

  • Pre-check the WiFi iPad connection
  • Remember to set up a new collection (album) in ShutterSnitch

Shoot the event

Get home

  • Flip the iPad back to the Home (or Office) WiFi
  • Check ShutterSnitch Backup is running on the Office/Home Mac Mini
  • Get some sleep

Post ProcessAperture Icon

  • Aperture 3
  • Gigabit Ethernet directly attached to my work horse (a recent MacBook Pro)
  • Great Big hulking Drobo

I’ve got this down to more or less an art, even allowing a night’s sleep before I work up the photos, and they’re all nicely where I want them so that all I have to do is ingest them into Aperture and start working on them, which usually happens over breakfast the day after a shoot.

Enter the Nikon D700Nikon D700

Just like a new child, this camera was a revelation and completely turned my processing upside down. So much more capability than my poor old D100. The 51 sensors, autofocus tracking and the various metering capabilities were all fun to play with. Being able to shoot 12.1MP NEF (raw) frames at 6 fps with no stuttering and get crisp nicely focussed shots was great fun.

The but

However the D700 would not accommodate my Eye-Fi card in it’s SynchroTech CFMulti adaptor which meant that I had to use “proper”, slimmer CF cards for the shoots.

Where’s the problem?

The iPad, Eye-Fi combination originally started out as a way for me to be certain I was getting great shots. As far as I know ShutterSnitch is the only tool that allows live preview of shots; there’s no product I could find that would do the same with a camera attached via USB. Having shots on the iPad allowed me to preselect the obvious duds and bin them before they ever hit post production. When the ShutterSnitch guys added ShutterSnitch Backup I had an automated way of getting the shots onto the system and no longer even needed to remove the memory card from my camera.

The D700 catapulted me back in time. Fussing with CF cards, (carrying spares), having to either connect the camera to my computer with one of those damn usb to micro usb cables and then waiting an eon for the photos to be transferred, or removing the card and dragging the contents off of it to my Mac Mini for similar processing to my normal routine.

I was desperate for a WiFi solution

I did some internet research. I Found an item (Nikon WU-1a) improperly described on Amazon as compatible with the D700. Almost bought it. Did some more checks (didn’t believe the price) and after a chat with Nikon found out that it was definitely not compatible. Found out that the right Nikon item (Nikon WT-4A) retails for around £900 and that (because they are so dear) they are rarely used, not available for hire and none too cheap/available from sources like Amazon or eBay. I did find a third party product (HyperDrive iUSBportCAMERA a mere £250) which sits on the camera hot shoe but didn’t go that route due to cost and time limits. So I found myself trying to shoot with the camera tethered to my iPad by USB, not very convenient especially in a lighting tower.

Was it worth it?

The photos talk for themselves, but I’ll be looking for some way to get the quality and WiFi connectivity for the next project.

Posted in Cameras, Messing with cameras, Technology Also tagged , , , |

Broadband “Fair Use”

Hey BT Broadband. Rebate users when they stay well within their bandwidth allowance.

When the internet was young and the marketeers were busy working out how to take the most money from the most users for least cost, some bean counter came up with the tenuous notion of  “fair use”.

At the time some users, paying the same as the rest of us, would camp on the net 24 by 7, continuously downloading, streaming, spamming and God knows what else whilst the rest of us got on with occasionally checking eMails and surfing the web for photos of cats dressed in dolls clothes. The hogs slowed everything down but rather than throw more resource at the demand broadband providers decided to sanction the hogs and “fair use” was born.

Originally “fair use” was a ill defined. Broadband providers were pretty hazy about what they actually meant and even less clear about the sanctions they would impose.

Some broadband providers still advertise “unlimited” packages and hide a “fair use” term in their t’s & c’s. Others like my provider (BT) are now more upfront. Stating what you get for the package you’ve signed up for.

I confess this is a whinge/rant, but what really grinds my gears is that once or twice a year I produce large amounts of material which in a microscopic way enhances the web, and print journalism. Each time I do this I get warning eMails explaining what a sinner I am and how much I will be surcharged if I dare to go a KB over my package. I’d like to know is why don’t I get a reward/credit for the 10 or so months I effectively buy four times more bandwidth than I need?

I’d happily switch providers if

  • they really can provide an unlimited service at reasonable speed
  • their charges as no more than my current BT contract
  • they don’t expect me to sign up to a contract term longer than 12 months



Posted in Broadband, Technology Also tagged , , , , |