Damn You Olympus

It wasn’t really news per say that Olympus was going to release a new camera this summer.  Not newsworthy at all.  In fact, I wouldn’t even be writing this paper if Olympus has released any other camera.  They could have released a 1080p camcorder for $400 and I wouldn’t have been excited.  They could have released a 16mp ultra compact and I’d say, bleh.  They even could have gone as far as to release a 28mp full frame DSLR for $1200 and I’d continue to proudly shoot with my Nikon D700.

So what did they do?

A little over a week and a half after I order my new Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3, they have the gall to not only release a competing camera, but to do so in the nearly non-existent digital range finder form factor and with a motherfucking pancake lens.

(I have a bizarre love of pancake lenses…)

That is to say, it’s got a much larger sensor and it’s got interchangeable lenses.

Olympus PEN E-P1

Olympus PEN E-P1

And to make things worse?  My favorite camera site asks the question

So is this the camera we’ve been waiting for? After years of hectoring all the manufacturers to give us what we had in the days of film (a small camera that takes pictures as well as an SLR) is the E-P1 a camera we’d actually reach into our own pockets for?

Followed by a picture of the Olympus next to the camera I just ordered!  Salt in the wound.

Olympus PEN E-P1 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3

Olympus PEN E-P1 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3

Finally, the last straw in this whole debacle?  Olympus and Panasonic are the two companies that (re)started this whole 4/3 camera style, the Olympus PEN E-P1 is a “micro” four-thirds camera.  Chances are, Panasonic is working, and possibly soon will release, it’s own micro four-thirds camera.

So what do I do?

  1. Cancel my order for the LX3 and wait for Panasonic to come out with competition for the Olympus
  2. Get the LX3 and be happy, I still have two Nikon DSLRs that would best either of these cameras
  3. Cancel my order for the LX3 and get the Olympus PEN E-P1

Honestly, I’m probably going to go with option number two.  Panasonic has said that they will not replace the LX3 until some time in 2010, probably around July.  So I could potentially have 13 months of e-joy (the period of time before what I buy has become obsolete).

Still… kinda mad about the whole deal haha.  And… really, it’s that damn pancake lens that got me started.  I have wanted a 35mm equivalent pancake lens for a long time now and here it is, not on a Nikon.

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I Need a Drobo

So, if you really know me, you know I’ve got this horrible addiction to iTunes. My iTunes library is over 1tb and growing. Right now I’m forced to split my iTunes library over two external 1tb hard drives and my TimeMachine is already full in it’s own 1tb hard drive, and it doesn’t even backup my iTunes!

In addition to my massive iTunes library, my Aperture library grows by about 10gb a month, or more. It no longer fits on my laptop and takes up half of my iMac’s hard drive space!

Today my TimeMachine hard drive started giving me trouble, disconnecting itself from the computer over and over again, not good.

I decided months ago that I needed a Drobo, a digital robotic storage device… check it out at www.drobo.com.

It’s a really incredible device, but equally as expensive. The 4tb model (which can grow to 16tb which is incredible) costs around $900. That’s a lot of money, yikes.  But it’s definitely worth it. Basically a fail-proof storage device, intelligent, hot-swappable drives. It’s like RAID finally got a brain.

So I’m looking at other ways of getting one, unless I start selling a ton of photos from my photoblog. @ScottBourne, from TwipPhoto, PhotoFocus, F64.com, ScottBourne.com and MyDigitalLife fame is constantly giving away 4tb Drobo drives, I even know someone, through twitter, who has won one!

So here is my entry. Please, Scott Bourne, I’m a poor college student in need of a Drobo. I saved up to get the Nikon D700 you recommended, the Epson Stylus Pro 3800 you recommended and the complete Nik Software collection, you recommended. I switched to Aperture from LightRoom and invested in a high quality tripod, on your recommendation.  It doesn’t stop there…

UPDATE: As of today, June 20 2009, Scott Bourne has cost me even more money!  I forgot to mention the Epson Stylus Photo R280 he recommended in addition to the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 I ordered on his recommendation and the Drobo I so badly wanted here with the four 1.5tb drives!

You’ve provided me with so much great advice, while simultaneously destroying my bank account balance. LoL

I Need a Drobo!


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Nikon D700 beats $32,000+ Cameras

Isn’t it wonderful when you find out that the “steal” you got turns out to be more of a heist?

Such is the case with my Nikon D700. Not only did I get it, brand new from an authorized dealer, for about $1,000 off retail price, turns out it’s better than a Leaf Aptus75S… which costs about $32,000.

Oh, did I mention that you still have to buy the $7-15,000 camera to use the Leaf Aptus75S?

Check out the stats here from DxOLabs

My camera wins over the latest and greatest Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III and the Leaf Aptus75S in…

  • Sensor quality
  • Low light ISO (noise)
  • Price
  • Pixel Pitch
  • ISO Latitude
  • Frame rate

And out of the three metrics where the Leaf Aptus75S wins, two of them are only by a hair.

Now, I will say that the Leaf digital backs are amazing and I’d definitely love to have one but if I can get similar and/or better performance with a more portable camera at a more affordable price, I’ll take it.

I’d much rather have a Nikon D700 in my bag than be stuck lugging around a heavy, and extremely pricey, medium format digital camera. If I ever want to make those stunning 20+ megapixel pictures, I’d probably be just fine with a Nikon D3x… Which, by the way, wipes the floor with the Leaf Aptus75S!


Oh happy day.

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It’s Me, a Self Portrait

You don’t see too much of me on this blog. Lots of other people. I just don’t like pictures of myself, somewhat a trend with photographers haha.

But @xisak07 wanted me to post a picture of my new haircut, c/o @bigred77 so here goes.

So there you go. Taken with my new Nikon D700 (which I’m still paying off so buy a print please!) and the new Nikon 24mm f2.8 lens.

I sure do love that I can take a picture at ISO 800 with ZERO noise. Seriously, this is an ISO 800 picture, check the EXIF, and there is zero zip zilch noise.  To those non-photography nerds, I’m sorry, but I just can’t get over the quality of this camera.

And there you go. New camera, new haircut and remarkably clean apartment.  I love my apartment… What a weird mood I’m in.  Guess that means it’s time for bed!

I find myself staying up every night to 12am for one reason only.  To see the latest Woot! special.  Even though I don’t have any money to buy anything… darn.  Though I would love to get another Roomba!

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Loft Party

I joined Karen (@ok2baprincess) on her trip to St. Louis to welcome her boys Alan (@alangeor), Dave and Joe into their new downtown loft.  The loft was beautiful and her friends great!

They have a wonderful puppy too.  I think his name is Rascal Baxter, but I could be wrong.  I had a few drinks haha.

Did I tell you how nice, and super attractive, Karen’s gays are? That’s about when I met Will and Roger.  They have been together for about as long as Ryan and I.  I saw a lot of similarities between our two couples.  I just loved these two.

Later on in the night we ventured up to the roof where I got off a few shots. I was just testing my new Nikon D700’s low light performance.  Everyone that has written about the D700 mentions the incredible low light performance and, I must say, I was pretty impressed.  These were taken without a tripod, hand held, yet incredibly sharp.  Awesome!

After the roof we went out to Erney’s 32* which is this Miami-style (some claim) gay bar/dance club.

It was interesting, I saw a couple of friends there which was crazy, Viktor Englund in particular.

I was supposed to meet up with Geoffrey but I think we partied a little too late for him. haha

Woke up the next morning, we went to this great crepe restaurant for brunch and then headed back into town.  It was a fun time and I’m so glad that I joined Karen.

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Why I Love Amazon.com (again)

I’m certain you all read my last post, “Why I Hate Amazon.com (right now).  I sure wasn’t happy.  The problems with Amazon.com and Washington Mutual lasted from 9:00am this morning and did not finally end until 2:30.

Five and a half hours of me on the phone with Amazon.com, Washington Mutual or both at once.

But, after all of that, I’m proud to display my new Amazon seal.

Yes, you got it. I no longer hate Amazon.com, though I think we all knew my hatred would not last for long.

I talked to five AMZ employees today from India, Costa Rica and the U.S.A.  It was Pablo in Costa Rica who first made things work for me, unfortunately all the good he did was undone by a mistake by one of the other customer service reps earlier in the day.

Finally, after hours of work, a supervisor from AMZ was able to have WaMu remove the hold on my credit card, remove the over $7,700 in extra charges that were holding up my credit and got my camera ordered.

I’m so happy to say that my Nikon D700 camera and Tamrac Adventure 9 camera back will arrive tomorrow… erm, today.  The new 24mm Nikon lens will arrive in a week or so, the memory card I got the other day and yesterday the memory card reader came in.  I accidentally ordered the wrong one BUT 30mb/s is good enough for me.  Though 45mb/s would be great, a good deal faster, the 30mb/s was 66% cheaper.

Expect new pictures as soon as the camera comes in!  I’m no longer pissed off, hurray!  Boy oh boy though, my Twitter was all sorts of crazy with the play-by-play of today’s Amazon.com issues.  Check it out and I’d love another follower/tweeter to follow!

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Why I Hate Amazon.com (right now)

This is why I hate Amazon.com (right now)

So last night, I finally made the jump and bought the Nikon D700 I’ve been wanting.  I didn’t technically have all the money saved up the way I wanted but I made the decision to jump in and get the new camera.

I went to Amazon.com and bought the Nikon D700 with a Tamrac Adventure 9 laptop/camera case, Sandisk UDMA Compact Flash memory card reader and a Nikon 24mm f2.8D lens.

The first two items I purchased on my company credit card.  I only used it because it extends the 1 year warranty into a 4 year warranty.  The rest of the items I purchased on my usual card.

But then I remembered that I could get next day air for only $3.99 per item for the camera and the bag.  So I did it.

I called Amazon.com and they said there would be an additional charge for $6.98 on my account to cover the new shipping costs.  Sounds great, no problem, awesome, thanks! I even went as far as to compliment Amazon.com on my twitter account.

Then, while out with Micheal at an admittedly, mostly crappy comedy show, I got an email from Amazon.com that my order could not be processed, that there was a problem with my credit card.

Not a good thing.  Probably made the rest of the comedy that much worse.

When I get home I check my account and see what happened.  Instead of Amazon.com charging me $2,459.90 for the original order of the camera and the bag with an additional charge of $7.98… they charged me $139.95 (for the bag) and then $2,319.95 (for the Nikon D700) adding up to a credit approval of $2,459.95…. but then they added the $6.99 (should hav ebeen $6.98) by running a charge of $2,459.90+7.99 separately.

Washington Mutual, my business credit card holder, was then hit with a second request of funds, which exceeded my limit on the card.  That was the problem.

This is why I hate Washington Mutual (right now)

Washington Mutual told me that in order to have that authorization lifted, so that the new charge could go through, I’d have to have Amazon.com call in and make the change.

I call Amazon.  The guy, who’s English I could barely understand, spends about 20 minutes trying to figure out what happened.  Once he does he says he has fixed it, that the order has gone through and that my camera and camera bag will arrive Thursday.

He says that he will send me an email with all that in it, that he has actually already sent it.  I also got his name just to be safe.

The email comes. It says the same thing the earlier email said. WTF.  This guy lied to me.

I call back.  This time I get a woman who is equally as impossible to understand.  She understands the situation more quickly and we make the call to Washington Mutual.

We sit on hold for… 30 minutes.

Washington Mutual says all they need from Amazon.com is their Merchant ID Number and they can immediately clear the old charge and approve the pending charge.

Amazon.com’s customer service woman has no idea what the number is and after two or three “trips” to her supervisor comes back and states that there is no such number.  WaMu will not release the charge without the number, which basically just proves that it truly is Amazon.com that they are talking to.

So now, instead of getting the camera in one day, it will be more like ten days.  And all because Amazon.com didn’t do as they originally stated.  They said they would charge me $7.98 for the  shipping.  If I had known this would happen, I would have said no to getting the camera one day sooner and have waited an extra 24 hours.  Now I’ll be waiting at least ten days for the authorization from Washington Mutual to expire so I can put in a request for another one.

I feel like Amazon should do something to fix the situation, but what?!  Big discount? Sure. But that doesn’t change the fact that I spent two hours on the phone trying to fix this and mostly that I am now $2,500 poorer with zero to show for it.  I don’t have access to that money and can’t send my business elsewhere.

So that is why I hate Amazon.com and Washington Mutual (right now).  If they fix this, then that hate will subside but until then, they are on my shit list and my short list of total fuckupery.

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