Gadgets

In-camera RAW development

I tested in-camera RAW development with my Ricoh GR and I have to say that I was very positively surprised about the results I got. I think it will be handy tool for some of the shots. At least I can easily develop RAWs into my beloved high-contrast B&W and get much more details when my starting point will be a RAW shot. Below is an example of this (from RAW to high-contrast B&W). I did 1×1 cropping also in-camera.

My Revue Thommen Airspeed

To use or not iPad at work?

I have been asking that question since I got iPad 2 shortly after it was introduced. I am still asking that same question. That quite much sums up the situation. Not an easy task for few reasons.

First of all, I use (or I am actually almost forced to use) PC at work. Not a Mac (which I use at home). I write scientific articles, funding applications, and many other kind of documents using Microsoft Word because it is most widely used word processing system and it actually has the best document commenting and tracking system available. So this info is important as a background.

I would like to use my iPad in many meetings we have here at work to make notes and short memos which I could easily transfer to my PC and which I could effortlessly distribute to my colleagues. I have tried so many kind of note making apps with iPad and no one of those have been great. Sometimes I would like to open a scientific manuscript with my iPad and make some corrections in it. Not an easy task. Actually I find it quite much an impossible task. It seems that an iOS version of MS Word would be needed to effectively work in this PC-Mac-iOS world.

I think the easiest way to fix these problems would be to buy a MacBook Air and istall MS Word for Mac in it. Then I would have the best possible (even though not perfect) solution for my above problem. But that solution would cost me about 1000 euros in minimum.

Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover

I have recently been wanting a real keyboard for my iPad (2nd generation) to achieve faster writing. Then I spotted Logitech’s Ultrathin Keyboard Cover in a local store and decided to buy it even if I did not know about any reviews on it (later on I spotted many very positive reviews on it in the web). I can say that I am happy that I bought this keyboard. It is quite expensive one (99,95 €) but I think it is worth of that money.

I like the idea that this keyboard works also as a cover for iPad’s screen. I have been using Apple’s iPad cover and wanted the keyboard to be similar in that respect and this one really is. This keyboard is very thin and do not add much thickness to the iPad when closed and covering the iPad. It attaches to iPad with similar magnet thing than the iPad cover. I would like those magnets to be little bit stronger though. I am somehow worried how those magnets will work after a year or so. Are they still strong enough to keep the cover in place when closed?

The keyboard itself is fantastic. It is large enough for fast and accurate writing. It is about 20% smaller than my Apple Wireless Keyboard I am using with my Mac Mini. You’ll get used to this Logitech’s keyboard very easily. Also the writing feel is very good. And it is silent too. I think this is a needed feature if you are going to use a keyboard in meetings for example.

This keyboard have a very nice finish (aluminium outer shell) and a magnetic groove where the iPad is placed. The iPad is always in a fixed viewing angle (60 degrees) which could be problem for some users. I feel it is totally okay on table and even on my lap. iPad is staying very firmly in that groove and it is even possible to lift the whole combo by grabbing the iPad when it is in the upward writing position.

If you write a lot (or even not so much) I really recommend this keyboard for your iPad. I use it now always because it doubles as a iPad screen cover and in that way it will be always with my iPad.

Lumia 1020

I have made quite big moves by choosing a new mobile phone. I changed from iPhone 4 to Nokia Lumia 1020.

The main reason to choose Lumia 1020 was its great camera. 41 MPix with very sharp 5 Mpix files and that crazy good zooming feature are really something. And that camera has very good manual functions too. You are able to change shutter speed, ISO, focus, white balance, and exposure compensation. I have to admit that most people myself included like to use their mobile phone cameras in full auto mode because it is fast and hassle-free. Now I will have a great P&S camera with me all the time because the phone is with me always. I am not carrying even my small Ricoh GR with me all the time. With those “real” cameras I need some special occassion to take them with me.

I am still not sure of this move though. This is because I like Apple stuff. I still have my iPhone 4 and iPad and Mac Mini. I will definitely keep and use my iPad and Mac Mini (I am not going back to Windows with computers or tablets). iPhone 5S with a 32 Gb memory is costing much more than Lumia 1020 (which has 32 Gb memory). That was also one (even if a minor) point to go with Lumia. I think Windows phone 8 OS is quite a decent one and I actually like the Live-Tile thing. Apps for WP8 are not so good (and there are not so many of them) than those for iOS but I have managed to find those I need in daily basis. I think I had too many apps in my iPhone anyways.

Maybe I will use Lumia 1020 untill iPhone 6 comes and see then what to do. Here are few recent shots with my Lumia 1020. The tunnel shot got huge amount of views in Flickr in two days and it was also in Explore quite much immediately. Quite unbeliavable. That has never happened to any of my mobile phone photos before. Lumia 1020 renders nice backgrounds for a mobile phone camera and it has decent close-up abilities (especially if you take into account that incredible zooming or cropping potential).

A tunnel vision Background blur test Close-up test

It may be the time to push Dinghy to the sea

Okay, I am very much interested in to get Jolla phone. And jolla is a dinghy in English. Small open boat for rowing or sometimes with small sails too. Jolla phone is having a small Finnish company behind it and it has an open Sailfish OS. I really love the gesture-based approach Jolla has.

Jolla may well be my next phone.

See Jolla’s home page for more info. JollaUsers site is also one to visit for.

Now we can iMessage

My wife got iPhone few days ago. I remember some five years ago when we were about the purchase our first shared iMac and she was very much against changing from PC to Mac. Now she is a real Mac advocate and I am very proud of her. She is always recommending Macs and other Apple products to her friends.

Vlingo as Siri-like functionality for iPhone

I just downloaded Vlingo to test it as Siri-like voice recognition assistant in my iPhone 4. It seems to have very good palette of things it can do. You can use it for searching the web, sending social app updates, dialing the phone numbers, finding places, sending SMS and email. So, it really sounds nice option if you are not going to have iPhone 4S. It recognizes US and UK English. And that is where the problems start. I am not a native English speaking person and Vlingo will understand me partly. I have tried it now for different tasks mentioned above and only few times we had a mutual understanding. Even if I tried to be so perfect with my English pronounciation as I can. For sending emails and SMS for my Finnish friends or relatives is of course totally useless using Vlingo because it won’t understand Finnish. Well, once I got the email’s receivers name right when I pronounciated it like American’s would. 😉

The conclusion is that I find Vlingo quite useless with my English pronounciation skills. That could well be the situation also with Siri. It is faster to write the messages and social updates than first use the voice assistant and then correct the output by writing using iPhone’s “keyboard”.

P.S. The first social app update I did with Vlingo went totally right! But after that, well…

 

My Universum radio at university

Quelle International Universum TRN 3244 portable radio.

I just love this kind of gadgets. Not any iPod but having a shoulder strap for carrying around. It has even a headphone jack and of course wonderful lo-fi mono sound.

Some additional info about this beauty.