Little bro recently made a Christmas contribution to the “Claus-needs-a-new-hobby” campaign.
While a portion of it does involve me staying up much later each night now (like I needed that bad-habit) reading George R. R. Martin's “Game of Thrones” series on my Kindle, the most recent focus is the coming addition of a Canon PowerShot S95 to my photography tools.
For the longest time I have been seriously looking at the newer digital rangefinder class of cameras and the Olympus PEN E-P1 (Amazon link) fell into my price-point. I’ve yearned for this one for some time, however this particular model has been updated several times (more $$) and the Canon PowerShot S95 (Amazon link) was in the same range (price-wise). Though it also has a newer version, this one just seemed to have many more features (do I really need 1080p video when the S95’s 720p only video may never get used either?).
In the end it was the collection of Flickr: Canon PowerShot S95 group photos that sold me on it along with the smaller (pocket/backpack) format over the E-P1. It came down to me being honest with myself. I can’t take good pictures and improve my technique if I don’t carry the camera with me almost all times to take pictures to begin with…and the S95 is much more pocketable (and less imposing when in use) than the E-P1 or my Canon Rebel XT DSLR. So, photography links on the sidebar have been amended to remove the PEN and add the S95.
Hope to share some pics from it soon.
So, that leads us into these great digital imaging tools I’ve found recently (or have been updated).
Microsoft Research Image Composite Editor (ICE) - This remains my favorite image-stitching tool. Can also handle video stitching techniques: Microsoft ICE update–video to panorama, lens vignette, improved blending - HD View
Hugin - Panorama photo stitcher - This is a new-to-me project. It looks a lot more sophisticated that ICE so I’m looking forward to trying it out as well. It has a lot of control.
Scarab Darkroom - Beta version is free. From the page “Scarab Darkroom is a digital camera raw file converter/photo editor that supports most raw format capable cameras from Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, Samsung, and Sony. It is fast, easy to use, and produces excellent results. Development is still at the beta version stage.” My S95 has Raw+JPEG shooting format…. More here at AddictiveTips: Edit And Convert RAW Images To JPG With Scarab Darkroom
It’s been a while since I last posted a roundup of freeware video editing tools: grand stream dreams: Video-Editing Resource Roundup
What amazes me is that the pro-class Lightworks Open Source Project (free!) for video editing never seems to come up. It is incredible. Is it too complicated? I’m looking forward to shooting some 720p video to experiment with the application.