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I bought some off-brand batteries for my Sony point n shoot and they do not last as long as the original Sony battery. I had the same experience with a Canon point n shoot too with off-brand batteries. I have never had a good experience with them

I can extend this to AA NiMH rechargeable batteries that purport to be 2300 mAh but are probably just 1500mAh labelled for the higher capacity and are simply a rip-off.

I've recently bought a Sony Nex-6 and am told that they will not accept anything other than genuine Sony batteries. I have ordered a cheap off-brand battery to see if this is true. I'm hoping as the real thing is $NZ100+

Living Room / Re: digitising slides
« on: July 09, 2013, 05:05 PM »
I am part way through this process for the third time! I am 63 and have spen the biggest chunk of my life involved with photography. Before digital it was all film based so I have quite a large collection of mainly negatives and but some slides.

I said for the third time so I will detail the roads I went down and didn't pan out. I am not including flatbed scanners because when you are faced with literally thousands of negatives they are just not practical because the amount of remedial work is too much.

Dedicated Scanner.
Some years back I bought a dedicated negative slide scanner, it was a Pacific Image model and worked well. It produced high resolution images and the colour fidelity was pretty good. So why did I stop using it? Here are the 2 things that this whole process revolves around.
1. Scan time: this one took around 1 minute per scan.
2. Post scan remedial work (scratches, dust marks etc). The software (Silverfast) had a steep learning curve and even then left much to be done manually.
Conclusion: It was taking too long and there still too much manual intervention required.

5MP Cheap Flash Scanner
The scan time was mere seconds but the results were less than good most of the time. There was no post scan software supplied so that just left a lot of manual intervention.
Conclusion: Simply not practical for a thousand negs

20MP Flash Scanner
I waited a few years after the cheap flash scanner but never gave up the quest. When I saw the 20MP Wolverine on Amazon I took a punt and bought one. When comparing the results for the same negs with the cheaper 5MP scanner the results were obviously so much better on the 20MP model.

I also came across AKVIS retoucher which really solved the post scan problem. It removes scratches and dust with minimal effort and really works. Simple, no steep learning curve and acceptable results.

Conclusion: These 2 together are a practical solution for what I am attempting.

Unless you are a professional photographer (in which case you would stump up $8000+ for a top notch scanner) what you really need is some process that is do-able for the number of slides/negs that you have. In my case of a thousand or so negs there are a handful that are really precious to me. For those really special ones you can send them to a lab to get scanned. You obviously would not be able to afford that for the bulk but it is horses for courses.

Finally. In looking over my the photos I have taken in my life so far I was really shocked to discover that there have been really important people in my life that I have either no photos or only one or two bad quality snaps. Record your friends and lovers while you can!

Living Room / Re: In Car Gadgets & Doodads
« on: March 26, 2013, 10:07 PM »

We had a few large earthquakes here a year or so back and they knocked out the comm lines so no electronic payments were possible.

Ever left home without your wallet?

You do have a spare door/ignition key wired to the underside of your car?

When you escape naked from the bad guys and get to your car you can get in drive away and stop at the drive-thru for a burger :-)

Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: iPad 3 and me
« on: July 15, 2012, 03:11 AM »
As it's my first I have nothing to compare it to except my Dell laptop. I am already in the habit of shutting apps down (2 clicks on the home button), to save battery. I have been using it for around 3-4 hours and it still shows 75%. Prior to this I'd be cooking my balls by now :-)

Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: iPad 3 and me
« on: July 15, 2012, 01:46 AM »
I think some of this is historical. In the bad old days you had to understand something of how Windows worked, or to be more correct didn't work, in order to have a computer that you could actually use. People found ways round the limitations and wrote programs to add missing functionality. For all of that, Microsoft never actively prevented anyone from doing that because the shortcomings in Windows was the result of corporate stupidity.

By contrast Apple's shortcomings appear to be calculated corporate policy.

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