Thursday, April 22, 2010

Recent pics with the new HS10

Theresa took the one of Zami, and Beckey took the squirrel. I took the boring ones - except Brooke, kicking ass in a game the girls won 23-9. Woah.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

365 x 2

In 2007 I joined with a small group of gals to document our year - 365 photos that showed everything from our luxuries to our loves, our despair to the beauty of nature. Lots of pictures of our kids, food, books, husbands, yards, windows. It was a ton of fun, we all really enjoyed it. Now that I have a great new tool, I plan to do this again! I am very excited. I started it the day I got the camera, and am keen to continue to click pics.

Meanwhile, tomorrow I repeat a different 365 - a year ago Tuesday, I cooked a ton of food for the teachers and staff at Beckey's school - an appreciation luncheon. Lots of people purchased, baked, boiled, broiled, washed, cut, and schlepped food to thank and celebrate all the hard work that they do for our kids. We may pay out for it, but I, among others, are keen to appreciate and be grateful for their hard work and caring. This year it will be dairy-free pumpkin-cupcakes with (tofu) cream cheese topping and shaved dark chocolate, cut fruit, and maybe something else, cookies? Lemon bars? I'm on dessert duty, which is fun.

And in other repeat performances, the ASO is offering their annual kiddie concert at Ohav Shalom on Wednesday. Somehow I have beein reigned in to do driving, again - I will have now seen it more than 5 times! Ilyse has Ben's Bar Mitzvah next weekend, and Amy is working, so happy me will drive, get Starbucks, return and drop the kids at school, then go off and do something ... productive. I don't resent it, really, I sort of wistfully wish I had something better going on, but I don't. Writing is slow right now - happening, but slow. So high ho, high ho. I'm off to the ASO. duh dum da dum duh dum da dum high ho, high ho high ho high ho ...

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I felt OCD, like perhaps medication would have helped, wondered whether other people experience this, contemplated why is this so hard, and considered whether I was getting trapped in a candid camera commercial. Pulling the trigger on the purchase of a durable household good simply should NOT be this hard. I miss living in places where the level of information, choice, and variety of goods is much more limited, making purchasing goods EASY. There may not always be the perfect fit of product to need, but generally people manage with what is available; move on, and make do. Having to choose between 300+ cameras was painful in the extreme! Even narrowing it down to 5 or 6 was hard, because this store doesn't carry Canons, that one doesn't carry Sony, this other one over there doesn't carry Olympus or Fuji or Canon, but has lots of Sony and Panasonic... so no one stop shopping except for the big box stores, which don't carry the type of camera I really was looking for. Midway between here and there is where I wanted to land, unfortunately there was broken glass and much rock at the bottom, and not a lot of water to cushion the leap - treacherous territory. Having taken the plunge, I feel I can get back to washing floors, watching trampoline flips, and driving carpool. Phew! I never thought I'd appreciate the drudgery, honestly, but I do. Clicking my heals and meaning it!

Tomorrow I go try to improve the status of midwives in NY which is looking to be an all day event - for sure I can do the AM part, the PM part is still a maybe, as it's O's first day back to school in 2 weeks. I'd like to - I haven't visited Senator Breslin since I lobbied for no-mo-GMO a few yrs ago (Orin was in the Ergo), but if he's very ornery I am ok giving it a pass. Orin, not the Senator lol!

I am also really looking forward to getting some big work done on my writing this next 2 weeks. I am afraid I am getting stuck in a place that is a little slow, and I am not wanting to plateau yet. I want more done, I want it to sear and bubble before it plateaus. Loving the work!

Vacation has come and gone, Easter baskets filled, dumped, consumed, eggs dyed, eggs found,
feast feted and Passover matzo smeared and salted. I enjoyed the passover feast better than the Easter spread, more sides, more veggies, but I know JAC likes his Easter ham, so I celebrate that it was all good, and all us. Family celebrations ROCK! It is helping me to let go of needing Beckey to Bat Mitzvah, though why she wouldn't want to still kind of escapes me.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Take your best shot!

It is hard for me to believe, concieve, that I am the only person out there with the following qualifications:

*soccer/softball mom (football, rugby, lacross and track would absolutely count, my kids just don't do those)
*interested in both macro and telephoto options
*camera and computer literate, but not fluent, and not really interested in learning the whole language
*limited in budget mostly because spending more doesn't get ME more, though it does buy more whistles and bells
*the time has come to get a better, bigger zoom, camera. 3x zoom on the little pocket camera isn't cutting it too many times.

Do I need all of the fancy attributes like panoromic 260 shooting and burst photography? Not really. I want a good steady camera that can take pics from behind the outfield or up into the roller coaster, that has a fast aperture and ISO setting, and a low F-stop. I want something big enough to hold comfortably, small enough and light enough to accompany on a short-ish hike. I'm not taking it backpacking, just wanting it to be able to move w/out a backpack of it's own. I don't want multiple lenses, I can't afford them and am likely to damage them moving them back and forth. I'd rather not have to use a tripod most of the time, so HUGE doesn't seem fitting. I do like a view finder, because sometimes outside, the LCD is hard to read. I do want an SD card because despite all the Mac equipment I've clung to all my life, I actually like being able to communicate easily between computers and printers at home and in shops where I am likely to print my photos.

So what are the options???

#1 on my list right now is the Fuji Finepix HS10. which no one has in stock right now. It's at Amazon, so I could buy it ($500 no card, no reader), and return it if I don't like it, but I pay shipping return, which isn't free, and I shouldn't have to pay to just try out a nice new camera. I could drive down to NYC and pick one up, hold it, at B&H photo. But again, that's 5hrs+ of driving just to get to touch one of these little ladies? Hmmm. Or I can wait. It could be MONTHS before it is in local stores, so forget this being a b'day gift.

#2 on my list is the Canon XS1is which has a lot of what the Fuji has, but the Fuji has a longer lens (would I use it, or need it?), and the Canon has a fully articulated LDC. The Fuji also has a really cool little sensor at the viewfinder (in addition to the manual button) that knows when you are looking through the viewfinder, so it automatically switches between the two for you. Kinda cool. :D Fuji also has a fully manual (no electronic) zoom, so I never have to wait for the zoom engine to catch up with me. I really like the physical feel of zooming, something very kinesthetic about doing it myself that I like. Canon has a great reputation for quality build (and the little Elph I have has been great that way - 3 years and counting!), where as the Fuji's I've had haven't made it past the 3 yr mark yet. On one the lens went, on the other the power toggle collapsed. The Canon is slightly more expensive, about 10% more.

#3 is a big jump down - a savings of $150 is nothing to sneeze at! But the trade offs are big too. To keep to the basics (SD card, 18x+ Optical zoom, 8MP+, 2 or 3 stabilizers, viewfinder, and a quick turnover (shot to shot time), I eliminate about 1/2 of the options out there (that use XD or other memory cards, that are too slow, that don't have viewfinders, or that don't stabilize well enough for the big lens) leaving a small number that all sort of tie for 3rd place.

There's the Panasonic Lumix, which is slower than either the Canon or the HS10, the smaller lighter, less wonderful Canon SX20is, and the Nikon Coolpix P100. They are fine cameras, but none of them have all of the things I'm looking for. The Nikon comes closest, using a CMOS sensor that allows the camera to take somewhat better photos of moving objects (like my soccer star) or in low light (like at parties and amusement parks at evening or at night). It is an improved technology, not new, but better than it used to be and better than the more traditional CCD sensor that has been used in small cameras for more than a decade of digital photography. The SX20is uses a CCD still, but the SX1is uses the CMOS, as does the HS10.

So - can anyone help me figure this out? It's just slightly more money than I am comfortable spending w/out repercussion.