Monday, August 11, 2008

Cactus Flower

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="800" caption="Cactus Flower No. 10"]Cactus Flower No. 10[/caption]

Early in the morning I saw that one of the cacti on my window sill had started to grow a long appendage carrying a flower bud. By about 8 p.m. the bud started opening up.

Around midnight the flower was in full bloom with delicate pink petals spread wide to allow some desert insect to spread pollen and repeat the circle of life. Sadly, that would not happen on my window sil. :(

By the next morning the flower had wilted away again.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Book Review: Digital Macro Photography by Ross Hoddinott

Digital Macro Photography by Ross Hoddinott starts by describing digital photography in general and the technology found in digital cameras. Various categories of digital cameras are discussed regarding their usefulness for closeup work.

The second chapter introduces various lenses, tripods, flash units, and other accessories useful for macro photography.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Nikon Coolpix P6000

Nikon have released a new "serious" compact camera, the Coolpix P6000. This camera - at least on paper - competes directly with the Canon G9. This seems like excellent news.

But then I read this:
COOLPIX Picture Control NRW (RAW) files can only be processed in-camera. NRW (RAW) files are compatible for use in-camera, with ViewNX (Windows version only) or with WIC based applications. Capture NX, Capture NX2 and NEF files are not compatible with NRW (RAW) images.

WIC is Windows Imaging Component, a Microsoft API for Microsoft Windows. In other words: converting RAW files to something else can happen only in camera or on MS Windows.

So what does that mean? Not only does Nikon introduce yet another completely useless RAW format (how hard is it to realize that DNG is the present wave and certainly the future?) they clearly think that Mac users are not to be customers of their fine camera.

It strikes me that Nikon seem to be unable to understand a fundamental fact: as a photographer I want full control over my image files. That is one reason I shoot RAW. I do not want encrypted data in the file. I do not want strange and proprietary formats that reduce my software choices and leave me high and dry in a few years when the special software no longer runs on whatever computer I will have.

I do want an open, fully documented format - such as DNG. Simple as that.

So Nikon, you are quite welcome to spend lots of money on advertising this wonderful new camera, but I will not buy it. Too bad, it seems like a really nice camera that would be very tempting otherwise.

Update: At least Adobe know their stuff and Adobe Camera Raw can now read the raw files from the P6000. Nikon still don't seem to get it ... read the review by Thom Hogan for the entire depressing story.