Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ten Novels: Favorites or Somehow Remembered

Diverting from the usual program, here are my top ten novels (why ten? Well, I’m an engineer and, besides, have ten fingers). Not necessarily in any particular order:

  • “The Time Keeper” by Mitch Albom
  • “Illusions - The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah”, by Richard Bach
  • “Time and Again” by Jack Finney
  • “Joshua” by Joseph Girzone
  • “Cold Sassy Tree” by Olive Ann Burns
  • “A River Runs through It” by Norman Maclean
  • “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger
  • “The Sound and the Fury” by William Faulkner
  • “Cannery Row” by John Steinbeck
  • “This Random Sky” by James L. Summers
  • “The Red Car” by Don Stanford
  • “The Mudhen” by Merritt Parmelee Allen

Somehow, each of these novels have impressed me enough that I’ve kept a copy and read them more than once. I think I’ve read “Illusions” at least four times and began to re-read “The Time Keeper” immediately after finishing it the first time.

As for favorite novelists, I usually begin by naming Steinbeck, Hemingway and Twain but on making this list realize that I’ve not re-read any Hemingway in many years.

As I list these novels, the sad thing is that my own is not among them – apparently, you have to actually write it down before it can be printed. I have taken ten pretty good photographs though.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

G7–> G15?


When the G6 was announced in 2004, I already had a G3 and, although tempted, decided not to upgrade to the G6. After a while, it seemed that the G6 was the end of the line for the G series but then the G7 was a surprise announcement in 2006. The G7 has been followed by a new G series every year from 2007 through 2010 when, once again, there was a two year gap and rumors of the G series coming to an end. Those rumors ended with the announcement of the G15 a few weeks ago.

(As a side note, the G4 and G8 model names were skipped in the past just as the G13 and G14 names have been skipped most recently. That is, there was no G4 or G8. Amusingly, the G4 and G8 are sometimes praised on Internet discussion forums for their quality and features. I expect the same praise to eventually be awarded to the G13 and G14.)

The G7 was a nice looking compact camera but did not have the articulated display screen featured in previous G series models. To my further disappointment, the G7 did not produce RAW image files.  To many people, these shortcomings meant that the G7 was not a “real G”.  All G models after the G7 have included RAW image capability but the articulated display screen did not return until the G11. I passed on the G7 but bought a G9, then a G12 and most recently a G1X.

My point (and yes, there is one) is that there was a two year gap between the G6 (which had an articulated display screen) and the G7 (which did not). There was also a two year gap between the G12 (which had an articulated display screen) and the new G15 (which does not). The G7 was viewed as a test of the compact camera enthusiast market. Is the G15 also a test of the market?

Fortunately, the G15 can produce RAW image files. In fact, the G15 seems to be more like a G12 that has been made more compact (by eliminating the articulated display) than it does an updated G7.

Will there be a G16? Who knows? My thinking is that Canon currently offers too many enthusiast compact cameras (G1X, G15, S110, EOS-M and an advanced EOS-M essentially announced). I expect that, depending on sales volume (of course), either the G1X or G15 will be dropped. But, as Canon has shown in the past, “dropping” a product may really mean a two year gap until the next model is announced.


Oh yes, I eventually bought a used G6 just to complete the “set” (G3, G6, G9, G12). Does that mean I’ll someday have a G15?

Monday, October 8, 2012

RF-603 PC Connection


In addition to the hotshoe and shutter connections, the RF-603 also has a threaded (“screw lock”) PC connection at the squared off end of the body, see above.  (In the world of photography, “PC” once meant Prontor/Compur and not “Personal Computer”.) The intent of the PC connection is to connect to flashes that do not have a hotshoe. My set of  RF-603s did not include PC connection cables so I ordered some from eBay (search for “Male to Male Flash PC Sync Cable Cord for Yongnuo RF-603” – can’t get much more specific than that!). My order was placed with “Jiakgong” in China. These cables were less than $3 each so I ordered 4 cables. Shipping was only $1.40; seems like it took about two weeks to receive the cables. The cables were loosely packed with no documentation but seem OK and I gave positive feedback on the transaction.

RF-603 PC

The eBay cables indeed fit the RF-603 – first test passed. Next, I wondered if the RF-603 could trigger two flashes in the same way that worked for the  RF-602. The trick with the RF-602 was to use one flash in the hotshoe and connect the second flash with the cable. I tested this configuration with two old Nikon SB-24 flashes, the RF-603 and the PC cables as shown below.


It works!