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So you just got a new iPad 2, thrilled about being able to edit HD video in iMovie on the go.

Given that the iPad 2 cannot shoot HD video, you find yourself shooting on the iPhone 4, and then transferring the footage to the iPad for editing.

There are other options though…
Many point-and-shoot cameras can shoot HD video these days. And the quality is most often far far better than what you can achieve with the iPhone 4. Take my Panasonic TZ-20 (pictured) for instance. It has better optics than the iPhone, a whopping 16x optical zoom and stereo sound (dual mics).

The problem with many of these cameras is they shoot in a format called AVCHD. Despite being based on MPEG4/H.264 it is not compatible with iOS for the time being. If your camera however also supports recording in the Motion JPEG format (TZ-20 does, but is limited to 720p, not that it matters given that 720p is also the max for iMovie on the iPad 2) there is hope.

Now for the essense of this post:
For some time, I was annoyed that movies shot in Motion JPEG format will import and play back just fine on the iPad 2, but iMovie would not recognize the files.

The solution is quite simple: convert the file to regular MPEG4 format. Numerous apps let you add effects and such to your movies (including Motion JPEG) and then saves the result as MPEG4 to your library. If you just want your footage, untouched, into iMovie however, try Video Editor for FREE.

This app is free, works great on the iPad, and super quickly and easily lets you select a file and save it back in the same resolution as MPEG4. Yes the file will technically be recompressed, but I could personally see no difference to the naked eye. The app also lets you trim the file first, if desired.

So that is my recommendation. If you have an iPad, the camera connection kit and a point-and-shoot camera, you can actually shoot, edit and publish gorgeous HD movies, without the need for a computer. Do let me know in the comments if you find this helpful, or if you have other suggestions for the best way to get Motion JPEG or perhaps even AVCHD into iMovie on iOS without the need for a computer (or jailbreaking)!

 


Just got my hands on the brand new Samsung WP10, a camera almost too good to believe if you look at the specs. Slim and light weight, 12 megapixels, 5x optical zoom, 720p HD movie recording, and water proof to 3 meters depth. All for the low list price of $199 (and considerably less if you shop around).

I was skeptical, but I wanted a camera I could take to the beach, and into water, and I also didn’t mind HD video.

For this simple test, I will compare the WP10 to my aging Fujifilm FinePix F47fd – a camera pretty close in terms of price at the time of release, but sporting “only” 9 megapixels, no HD video and no water proof-ness. I took the liberty of scaling down the pictures taken with the WP10 to the same 9 megapixels as the F47fd for sake of comparison. Click the thumbnails for full-size pictures (might take a while to load).


F47fd. ISO 200, shutter 1/450, f/5,1

WP10. ISO 80, shutter 1/160, f/4,3

Not the most significant difference, but the colors seem kinda hit and miss on the WP10. Definitely needs some touching up.


F47fd. ISO 100, shutter 1/350, f/4,5

WP10. ISO 80, shutter 1/250, f/3,6

Again the colors seem a lot more correct on the F47fd. The grass is way too yellow on the WP10, and skin tones show the same. Also the sky is blown out on the WP10.


F47fd. ISO 100, shutter 1/6, f/2,8 – macro mode

WP10. ISO 100, shutter 0,8, f/3,6 – macro mode

WP10 image is blurry, even the thumbnail shows it. I set the ISO to 100 for both cameras in this test, and both cameras in macro mode and no flash. The WP10 has a min. aperture of 3,6 whereas the F47fd can go down to 2,8 which I guess is part of its advantage here. The F47fd also managed with a shutter of 1/6, whereas the WP10 chose 0,8 which you know will be trouble. I can only guess the WP10 has a smaller image sensor = bad.

Also worth noting is the flash in the WP10 is pretty bad, and quite underpowered, even for a compact.

I have yet to try its water proof-ness, but I will say that it doesn’t look like a regular water proof camera. In fact, it looks more like a regular camera. Nice and elegant. There is only ONE connector on the side, which is used for both charging, syncing AND hooking the camera up to a TV via HDMI. Also pretty nice. This means the camera will charge via USB – nice touch as well.

Lastly I leave you with a 720p video recording. It’s nothing to write home about, but it IS better than the VGA recording on the F47fd. Optical zoom also works while recording, and you DO get sound, even though I removed it for this samle.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to leave them in the comments below!

 

Just checked in

16Oct09

Spending the weekend in Oslo with the lady :)

Posted via email from Andreas Tellefsen @ posterous

 

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This could’ve been a short blurb on Twitter, instead I turn it into a rather lenghty blogpost of rants. Call it my sunglass saga if you will.

So three weeks ago, I decided to get some sunglasses for the summer. Because I wear glasses all the time already, I needed prescription sunglasses (and kinda special ones with different glass for each eye, long story). Finding something at a gas station, or even “stock” in a speciality store was not an option.

So this day, three weeks ago, I dropped by one the locations of norwegian optician chain Brilleland. Met a girl. She was nice and all. Showed me a few different frames. I kinda fell for one in particular, and she promised to put it aside for me so I could think it through and call back over the weekend. I called back. Spoke to a different lady. She couldn’t find my reservation. Told her what frame I had been looking at. “Oh… right, that one. Well unfortunately you cannot get that frame with sunglasses in it. You’ll have to excuse the lady you spoke with the other day. She’s new here”. What a bummer I thought, but whatever.

One week passes. I am out shopping, in a different location, and I come across a different Brilleland outlet. Why not drop by and see if I can find something else, I think to myself. And literally the second frame the guy is showing me I go “gee, theres something oddly familiar about this one…. isn’t this… wait, it is… sir? I’m not sure if I can have sunglasses in these frames, at least according to another one of your stores”. “Well that’s odd”, he replies. “I can’t see why not”. So that’s what I end up ordering.

Price is always an issue when you need prescription glasses, and I was prepared for that. However, it all turned out quite alright…

My first quote (by the untrained lady) was 3200 NOK. When I get to the other location and actually put in an order, my new quote is around 2800 NOK. When I arrive to pay, 2 weeks later, the new price is around 2400 NOK – because “we just lowered our prices on all frames by 10-20%”.

But that’s not the end: as I arrive to pay, I am alerted to a gigant poster in the window, of an ongoing campaign where “you get to choose the rebate!”. Knowing that I had put in my order PRIOR to the campaign, I ask the lady if I am still eligable. “Sure”, she says. I ask her how great a rebate I can get, and she says “well, I can’t really give you more than 99%”. Feeling a bit guilty, I still proceed to say “I’ll take those 99 then”. Note that the rebate was only on the frame, not the glass. Still, the frame was, for me, the expensive part. Long story short: the frame ended up costing me a whopping 13 NOK – though the total was still just over 1000 NOK. But: total price was one third of my original quote! As you might imagine, I am quite happy with the deal I got! I’ll leave you with some (kinda crappy) pictures.

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Spectacle case. A bit feminine, sure.

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The size (height) and overall shape is still quite unlike any I have seen before.

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More sexy logo on the inside.

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And some text…

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Ok, this is the included polishing cloth. You gotta admit: it’s pretty awesome. And if it’s not obvious, it’s supposed to look like a (traditional Norwegian) waffle.

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And here’s the recipe.

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Tractors!

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Bonus shot :P

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, it’s almost a given that you’ll see more of these this summer.

I haven’t been able to find a whole lot on these glasses on the big internets, but they are by moods of norway, if you hadn’t noticed already ;) Awesome company and awesome glasses. That’s my one-line review.

 

So in case you wondered what exactly was in that bag from Amazon, here is a quick rundown:

The Digital Photography Book

1,000 Package Designs: A Comprehensive Guide to Packing It In (1000)

The Best of Brochure Design 10 (No. 10)

The Digital Photography Book

The first is The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby, no doubt one of my favorite tech writers. Given that I just got my first SLR camera, I wanted to get some expert advice, without feeling that a big book with hard-to-understand words were weighing me down. Scott best describes the brilliance of this book himself:

If you and I were out on a shoot, and you asked me, ‘Hey, how do I get this flower to be in focus, but I want the background out of focus?’ I wouldn’t stand there and give you a lecture about aperture, exposure, and depth of field. In real life, I’d just say, ‘Get out your telephoto lens, set your f/stop to f/2.8, focus on the flower, and fire away.’ You d say, ‘OK,’ and you’d get the shot. That’s what this book is all about.

Each page of this book covers one new tip. It’s super easy to read and to pick up. Not quite as easy to put down.

I can not recommend this book enough! If you are a real pro, you might not need it, but if you are a n00b like me, or even a semi-pro, I think you are bound to find something new in this book. I even went so far as getting Volume 2 (eBook) after finishing just 2 chapters in the first one. Volume 3 is set for release later this year, and who knows, maybe I’ll even pick that one up.

1,000 Package Designs: A Comprehensive Guide to Packing It In (1000)

Next out: 1,000 Package Designs: A Comprehensive Guide to Packing It In (1000). The title pretty much says it all. I’m hooked on packaging design, and this book is a great showcase.

The Best of Brochure Design 10 (No. 10)

Lastly we have The Best of Brochure Design 10 (No. 10) by the same publisher. Again it’s a showcase book. If you work in the industry, these coffee table books are invaluable.

There you have it. 3 books I can recommend. Got any similar recommendations? Leave a comment! (disclaimer: all Amazon-links in this post will give me a kick-back if you make a purchase)

 

You probably knew this was coming, given that there was a Part 1. And guess what? More bags!

I recently ordered a few books from Amazon, and being an international customer, I was expecting a long wait. Amazon claims it can take up to five weeks for delivery, and per previous experience, that usually turns out to be about right. This time however – just over two weeks! Sixteen days to be exact. Bravo Amazon!

That is pretty much where the joy ends though.

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Look familiar? You probably don’t get your books in a bag if you order from the US, but chances are you have seen this if you ever ordered internationally. What’s the deal with this? At first I laughed but thought to myself “I am sure Amazon isn’t the only one with this crazy idea”.

But every time I go to pick one up at the post office, the guy/girl behind the counter gives me the “yeah I see you ordered something from Amazon, they to this stuff…”.

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And it’s not like they didn’t put it in a box first either, it’s IN A BOX. And yet you have to throw that box into a HUGE bag? Why? Notice how the box looks like it’s been through several wars on its way – it’s always like this.

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To make matters worse, the books aren’t even rolled up in bubble wrap or anything, just tossed into another plastic bag. The plastic is too big, the box is too big and the FRICKIN MAIL BAG IS WAY TOO BIG.

All you get is your books rattling around in a bag full of scraps. This time all the books were luckily in OK condition, but last time the paper around the hard cover books were torn in several places.

What’s so hard about just putting the books in a decently sized box, add some bubble wrap or other stuffing to make it tight, and then ship it off? This is excessive, not very green (contrary to what I like to think Amazon wants to be) and it doesn’t even protect the goods very well at all.

I have not seen anything like this from any other company, so why should it be so hard for Amazon?

Have you shopped with Amazon, and if so, what are your experiences?

 

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So I was downtown today to pick up a couple things, and with all the talk about being green these days, I wouldn’t have been surprised if I was handed paper bags in one of the many stores, instead of plastic. But I was not prepared for what I got. TINY paper bags. In fact, I wouldn’t even call them bags.

Now don’t get me wrong, the material is not the problem here, the problem is the lack of handles. Carrying these bags around town, people were looking at me, like I was some kind of bum, desperately trying to hide my bottle of booze.

I guess the picture also doesn’t make much sense unless I tell you that one of the bags has coffee in it.

 

Firefox by Garrett LeSage

Firefox by Garrett LeSage

So I was running Firefox (3.0.5) happily, but then one day, I started getting the beachball every few minutes, lasting a few seconds at a time. I noticed the CPU usage went up to 100% during these peaks. I still have no solid clue as to what caused it, or why it suddenly started. I did 3 things to speed things up however, and none will likely be of much help unless you use a Mac.

1. Tried changing some about:config options. Didn’t fix the beachball problem, but I guess it won’t hurt either.

2. Knowing that Adobe Flash is a memory hog, and particularly on the Mac, I installed the Firefox Add-on Flashblock. What it does is replace any flash element on a page with a little play icon. Click the icon to load the flash file. The only time you really want to see flash content is on a YouTube-like site, or maybe if it is part of a mandatory navigation menu. I recon this is what did the most impact for me, as I always have numerous tabs open, and some of them have flash.

3. Replaced the official Firefox build with one optimized for my Intel CPU. Minefield is available in builds for G4, G5 and Intel Macs respectively. The only difference from the official version, apart from the name and icon (for trademark reasons) is the way the code is compiled. Minefield is not going to have bugs that the official version doesn’t, or vice versa. Minefield will use and save to the same files as the official version, so you keep your bookmarks, tabs, history… the whole shebang.

I would definitely recommend trying out at least the 2. and 3. tip – the first one didn’t seem to make that much of a difference. Let me know what you think and what your experience is!

 

As a Mac user, one of the things I have to watch out for when buying new peripherals is whether or not the manufacturer has adequate support for my platform. Sure they might claim whatever on the packaging, but as soon as a new OS update is out, the device might stop working and no new drivers are being released.

I’ve long been a fan of Canon for imaging products (cameras, scanners, printers). And unlike most other companies out there, they really go that extra mile with their software. Where else would you find a scanner driver that plays music?

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If you have the CanoScan Toolbox software installed, here is what you have to do: from the main window, click the “Save” button, from the next window that pops up, check the box “Use the scanner driver to make advanced settings”, hit the “Scan” button. From the next window that pops up, click the “Advanced mode” button, then choose the “Setting” tab and then the “Preferences” button. That should bring up the window you see above, and from there just click “Setting2″ and then “Sound settings…” See? That wasn’t so hard. Now about that grayed out option…

 

D60

16Jan09

Following this I thought I should post a few more pics here on the blog. Hopefully the new toy will provide even more content in the future!

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D60 kit + SB-400 kit

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Unpacking the flash. Were all these boxes really necessary? Also, the packaging is very un-Appleish :P

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Notice how the SB-400 wasn’t JUST the flash, but a kit? What separates this from just the flash, as far as I can tell, is that you also get a microfiber cloth stitched to a bag – and a lanyard. Swag in other words. Also a lil case for the flash.

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Lots of paperwork in here. Manuals in every language possible, quick-start guides, warranty certificates, software and more.

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More unimaginative packaging.

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Camera body, lens, charger with cable, USB cable, battery, neck strap and a little piece of plastic that I haven’t bother to look up yet.

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Managed to grab a hold of a Gorillapod and a memory card before the camera arrived. All set!

 

About

me

Name: Andreas Tellefsen
Occupation: Graphics designer
Age: 27
Location: Kristiansand, Norway
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