My Realm

Meet me - know me - read my posts and try to figure me! Well I am someone who is always thirsty for adventure, someone who simply hates playing sheep(u know the types - follow the herd!). An enthusiastic trekker, who loves to travel and ever ready for one of those wierd new found sports- luv to make new friends and njoy being my family's pet :)!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Buying a D-SLR...

So there I was clicking numerous shots from using my digital camera a Fujifilm 4900Z. Slowly the cam started to degrade and started giving all sorts of weird ghosts and elements on the images taken. One fine day it died.

So here I am now siting with no cam for over 3 months, and pestering just about anyone who has a digi-cam to take numerous snaps. Well the loss of my cam is so profound that I have already finished enough film roles in my Minolta Point and shoot camera :).

So I was getting desperate day by day and finally decided on purchasing a new digital camera. Obvious questions started blooming in my grey.
Will a simple slick point and shoot digital camera do?
Or do I need to get one of those SLR like digital cameras (like the one I had)?
Or do I need to go the D-SLR way!?

Too many questions and the order is precisely the way in which I went about in finalizing each type of the camera.

Every time I trekked around or went on drives and saw my friends click away with their sleek point and shoot cameras I always envied them for the ease with which they could carry around their gear(just a little tin box really) and still manage to get some beautiful shots. That was when I decided to buy myself such a camera (this thing kept popping in my head for the last few years now).

With a dead camera, I started researching all cameras available. In the process the following websites became my daily aids: dpreview and kenrockwell. In doing so I discovered I had an ocean of cameras to choose from. It was a very tough job.

So I contemplated on how I took pictures. When I bought my cam (in 2001) , it was just with an intent to get a camera which lets me take good pictures. Truly speaking I went to purchase a simple p&s film camera (a pentax maybe, since that was the one I used and liked). In the process I started reviewing digital cameras at many stores and became a pretty regular visitor at Jessops. Soon I saw what an SLR was but decided against the same for the fact that it was pretty big and seemed unreasonable for my use. One day went to Dixons, and started looking at all the digital cameras showcased. I walked out of the shop with a £550 hole in my bank account!

Initially I simply clicked, and clicked well too. Many of my pictures came out excellent, many people loved them! Soon I started taking just too many snaps and the WOW factor declined, then I started playing with various features of the camera: Aperture/Shutter speed/ Exposure etc etc, and came up with a decent set of snaps. Auto was my favorite mode though :).

So where was I, yeah buy a camera. So keeping all this in mind, decided to by a camera with these sort of functions. Well again the choice scale was pretty wide, finally taking many parameters into consideration I finally narrowed down to a couple of cameras:
The Panasonic DMC-FZ-30/50 and the Canon S3IS.

Soon after some discussion on certain newsgroups and the various review sites these cameras were not appealing much to me. Then I started to walk down the DSLR road. For this I had to understand what really an SLR was and why all the fuss about them. Soon in educating myself, I started strolling down the physics road to revise what focal lengths were what light reflection and the likes held in photography. Soon my mind was fixed on certain SLR models, but alas they were way too expensive and worthless (if thats the right word) for a novice like me.

Then started studying the film vs. digital camera differences and what all problems one has to face with Digital SLRs. Why digital SLRs are expensive compared to their Film siblings. Despite the various drawbacks, I was in no way interested to go the Film way. Finally after much research I had the following favorite set of brands: Nikon[1], Canon[1], Pentax[1] and Olympus[1]. Soon Olympus fell off and eventually Pentax.

So now I had to decide between Canon's and Nikon's DSLRs. After some reviews Canon seemed to be more expensive and also had a some bad reviews as compared to their Nikon counterparts.

So in the Nikon category I was fighting brave between the D-50, D-70s[1] and the D-80. Soon D-80 went off the charts for $$ reasons and later the D-70s flopped on some reviews. I liked the D-50 but again, it had the dreaded dust on CCD problem, which Canon/Pentax and Olympus had solutions for. Yet I finalized on the D-50 and was almost ready to go about purchasing the same.

So by now, I had convinced myself that I was an entry level SLR guy who is to learn SLR-style photography and that the D-50 was perfect for my needs, the D-40 came out! :((

Needless to say I fell in love with this cute little camera. So again started the vicious cycle of reviewing this camera and comparisons with the D-50 etc. Soon after a lot of thought and keeping various req's in mind I had to step off the D-40.

So D-50 was finalized.
A Nikon D-50 with an AF-S DX 18 - 55 mm F3.5 - F5.6G ED lens.

Today I sent a mail Andya, who would be asking his friend to purchase the same from the US. So I am eagerly awaiting his reply and a confirmation that the D-50 is available (especially considering the fact: D-40's arrival is set to take over the D-50 production).

But still, I have the following in my charts of to buy. A slim and sleek point and shoot and a camcorder.

The point and shoot is for quick photography types and I really do not want to invest much in this area. For now the following models have good character but still to decide on the pricing factor,
Sony : T-10/30/50 W-30/70/100
Canon: SD -700/800 A 540/530
Casio: Exillm series
Olympus: Mju mini digital/Mju stylus series
FujiFilm: F-30 and Z series

To reach a consensus, for now I am pretty much narrowing down on the Canon SD camera. But who knows one day that might change :>.

For the camcorder story, following is the list from some little research done.
Panasonic: GS- 180/300/(400- out of production :(( )
Canon: Elura 100

Well still got some ground to cover then :D

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Monday, December 11, 2006

WD-40 bhayya

We were running to Shivneri late, and to top it all one of the tyre was flat! As if this was not enough the screws were well bolted to the wheels and wouldn't budge, so much so that the wrench got bent in the process. Finally after a lot of muscling, a borrowed -better (non legacy 'TATA' wrench)- the nuts freed up to let us a wheel replacement!

This was in the monsoons over 4 months back, I still hadn't got a new wrench and cared less for doing something about the now rusting and tough nuts!

Last week, I faced the grunt. Another flat tyre. And the saga seemed to repeat itself- tight nuts a bent wrench that bent even more. And to top it all, I managed to break the borrowed wrench from office! :)). But no -the nut did not budge a millimeter. A lot of helping hands, and legs for that matter too, made no difference.

I knew I had to get a mechanic -the next day -and buy a new wrench (the Taparia brand) and a WD-40[1] magic solution (this was suggested to us by a kind person who helped us with wizzo solutions over the rusty nut 4 months back).

So the next day I bought the WD-40 solution and no wrench. At office, we called a mechanic and he too could not do anything about it (he was a 2 wheeler mechanic and did not have a better wrench either:) ). Well so we sprayed the WD-40 and held our breath for a few minutes, hoping for a miracle. Nothing seemed to happen, then we got a long rod( the chained barricade rod) and used that for added torque , but the mechanic used it to rectify the wrench and in a minute the bolts seemed to come out with no protest!

All bolts were free, pretty cool eh! WD-40 rocks. Now thats a part of my car kit. I dont care if I have a crooked wrench. This WD-40 is a liquid wrench for me :)


Friday, December 01, 2006

Walking down a day...

I fail to understand why this happens, a statue is dishonored and all rage breaks loose.

The situation...
We were working in office, when suddenly the office boys start running around cubicles notifying the remnant few (its 7:30pm) about the curfew situation and the bad bloody protests in various pockets of the city. Ok.. so that spiced up my dull day, I had something to talk about and many guyz in office started calling home and friends asking and confirming the same. Protests, everywhere!

So I closed my machine and sped home, there was nothing to realize that a protest was on except for the empty roads.

Next day the protest caught more rage and a train is lit up, but again I came back home with empty roads and no commotion. But that day my colleagues claimed seeing mobs in actions, also the repetitive news channel kept presenting the same horror over and over again saying it was horrible this and cannot be seen! Some news !

Next day, I had to service my car so rode down to the car station gave it for damage repairs, and decided to walk up to office. By now, some minister had talks with other ministers and it was decided the protectors wont protest today. Aw, common... I need empty roads.

So what did the dog do?
So I walked by the busy roads down to office. Doing so saw this dog sitting quiet next to a shop as a guy walked past him with a helmet in his hand and the dog ducked and wagged his tail and finally, alas, looked back at the guy as he walked past. Maybe the dog expected some petting, maybe he was expecting food. I kept walking as I passed the bridge...

There I saw this dog trotting in the opposite direction, head low and eyes looking straight ahead and down when someone came past him. He was not bothered about who did what, if someone scared him- he would run away and manage his own business. Thats when I remembered this one dog incident after a trek.

..We were seated at the steps of a shop at the base village of "Ambivali" having tea and "pohe". This dog got up and stood in front of me starring at me and my food wagging his tail, he had one ear cut. I said "go away man, I cant give u any now... I am starved", thats when one of my trek-mates said "common man .. why do u think he is asking for food.. maybe he is blessing you for the fact you are having food in his company" sure he was kidding and we laughed about it... but then this incident started to make sense now... gave a wide grin and continued to walk on.

As I was passing the college road, there were these huge trucks on the other side and people unloading crates. Two dogs were there wagging and jumping around and squealing as other people appeared with a helping hand. No one paid attention to the brats, but there they were jumping in joy and enjoying themselves. I walked on.

Back to reality...
Late in the evening, rumors started making waves of a new protest that some other statue had been humiliated! That the same areas as the other two days were in turmoil.

So I chatted with a friend and we came to a comical consensus that all statues be uprooted and placed in a museum. And were brainstorming the situations that would arise if a statue with no importance had been humiliated!

None the less, the rumor is still on and it seems to be true .. possibly.

Dogs... they know to live in peace, sure they howl at night and create a nonsense situation. But they can live in harmony.

Are we missing something? Do we have something to learn? Are we really as advanced as they say we are? Are the developed ones really as developed as they they are? Is power and might that is all that it has to it?