Tuesday, June 17, 2008


  • I've hardly watched any of the NBA playoffs. I started watching some of the New Orleans versus San Antonio series, but it wasn't fun to watch. The home team just kept winning and by big margins. I know some of the theories about the advantages enjoyed by the home team, but I'm not buying them. Especially when I see the refs play such a large role. I'm not saying they're crooked, but they're at least biased...and now I've got some support from Freakonomics (unlike me, they have names, but I don't feel like looking them up).
  • More kid gift ideas:

    • $35 basketball hoop at Walmart for a 4 year old which you can use indoors.
    • $35 EyeClops microscope-like thing which you connect to a TV for a 7 year old.

  • How's this for a new class?
    Physics of Photography--Introduction to the physics involved with photography for nonscience majors. Prerequisites include high school math though experience with (algebraic) geometry and (abstract) algebra are helpful. Topics to be discussed:

    • Light: From geometric optics to second harmonic generation
    • Lenses: Negative indices of refraction and gravitational lenses
    • Holography: Interference to AdS/CFT, and the nature of information
    • Resolution: Film to CCD to spin foam and the Planck Scale
    • Aesthetics: Loops or Strings?

  • You all haven't been the most helpful blog readers, but I'll give you a chance to make it up to me: I want a new camera. I've looked at the SLRs, but none excite me too much. The Olympus E-520 looks nice and compact, but the reviews say it's slow to focus. I don't care about status, size, or variety of lenses...I want:

    • a reasonably fast focusing and shooting camera
    • with good white balance indoors (which rules out most Nikons)
    • pretty good low-light sensitivity
    • a fairly wide angle lens (zoom is fine)
    • RAW capture
    • Update: Price for body & lens under $600

    I'm not shooting sports, but I like to be able to freeze candid reactions of people when I press the button. As I mentioned, I wouldn't think I necessarily need an SLR, but it seems that it is only within the domain of SLRs that one can expect such speed. I was thinking something along the lines of Canon's S5 or G9, but those don't seem to fit the bill in terms of excellent picture quality and speed. Any help?


Anonymous said...

Maybe the Canon 40d since it has ISO 3200 and with a fast lens you'll have good low light sensitivity? The technical reviews I've seen seem to point to no great advantage in lens IS over sensor IS so maybe a Pentax/Sony/Olympus would be good.
I certainly wish my Canon 350D had it.

Angry said...

Yeah, I'm sure it's nice, but I neglected to mention the constraint that I just can't see spending so much money...I've got a my old film SLR sitting in my closet, and that lasted a couple decades. I don't think digital is mature enough yet. And then there's trying to justify spending twice what an entry level SLR costs....Anyway, I'm looking in the sub $600 regime for body/lens. I had look at the Canon Rebel line, but they keep coming out with new ones, it's hard to keep up, and it's hard for me to get over my horrible anti-Agassi bias (who once promoted the Rebel in commercials with his hairy chest exposed).