Saturday, August 29, 2009

Video Mode Demo

In this installment I'm sharing a video that I put together just to demonstrate the video quality available to you with the Leica D-Lux 4.
The first clip was shot in 640 x 480 in filtered light with unaltered sound and video. The sound from the carousel ride is clear the picture is clear and the colors true.
Clip number two was taken in 1280 x 720 HD 16 x 9, you will note that you can hear the wind and audio was added for effect. No video enhancements, note the clarity of this clip and richness of the colors.
Clip number three was shot indoors and the light source was from ambient light coming through the windows. The video is sharp, true to color and the sound coming from the television is clear. No enhancements were done to this clip.

from Ted Goth on Vimeo.

My over all impression is that for a small compact camera the Leica succeeds in providing good quality video ranging from QVGA - WVGA - VGA and HD. It is not a replacement for a good high definition video camera but it certainly works well for impromptu videos and times you don't want to deal with a larger HD video camera. Note the picture in this post was also taken with the Leica set at ISO 80, speed 400 and aperture f3.5.

Friday, August 21, 2009

More Eye-Fi

Today I'm going to talk to you a little about how the Eye-Fi Geo integrates with iPhoto and share some tricks to speed up the process. First I want to mention the settings portion of the Eye-Fi Manager, getting this right the first time will help make the geo-tagging experience painless. If you need to see the accompanying pictures larger just click on the image.

This first picture is of the Eye-Fi settings menu be sure to chose iPhoto from the photo destinations menu or Eye-Fi will place your photo's in a separate folder instead of automatically importing them into iPhoto. Now go to the GeoTagging selection and turn geo-tagging on. I found that this takes a while before it initializes and turns on the tagging on your card. Once on it works well every time.

After you have successfully uploaded your photo's you will be able to go to the Eye-Fi Manager anytime and see photo's that you have uploaded and if they have geo tagging information associated with them. The manager saves thumbnails of your pictures and makes for fast reviewing.

iPhoto hints begin here by using the shift - apple command combo you can select a number of out of order pictures to work with. Just hold down the shift key and apple command key while selecting the pictures you want to work with your mouse. The reason i mention this is that several of the pictures may have been taken in the same location and you can map them all at the same time instead of one at a time.

As above you can all so select pictures in a contiguous manner by selecting the first photo and then holding down the shift key while clicking on the last picture you want to select. Now right mouse click on Get-Info from the menu - you can also use the drop down menu by clicking on photo and choosing Get-info this will bring up the next picture.

Mouse click on photo-place and choose map-it. This will then bring up a map like the one below for all of your selected pictures. I also take advantage of adding a generic description to the description box at this time. Just click on description and add in something that is common to all the pictures that you have selected. You will have now tagged all of the selected pictures with the proper information.

Now anytime you choose you can see exactly where your photograph was taken. I hope this helps you decide if geo-tagging is something worthwhile for you........

Thursday, August 13, 2009


This post will cover my first experiences with the Eye-Fi geo-tagging feature and its integration with Apples iPhoto software. In my last post I described the installation and how the wi-fi feature worked. Now its onto why I purchased this product the ability to tag my pictures with the location they were taken at. I'm including several screen shots of the info as it is displayed in iPhoto. (Please click on the photos to see them full size.)
What I noticed when taking pictures with the geo tagging turned on was it took longer for the memory card to store all the information. I had to remember that the cameras buffer would fill much faster than I was used to. This may be a inconvenience if you are taking shots in burst mode. Having said that the rest of the picture taking process was uneventful.
After uploading the pictures I found as promised the location info was there. You can see in the extended photo data that the latitude and longitude are automatically captured. (Hint one thing to remember before uploading your pictures open the eye-fi manager software and have it connected to the internet to process the geo-tagging information.)
In iPhoto you will have to select each picture individually and the get info menu to map your picture. Once you click on the map it button the map should show up as shown below.
You can add a photo description as I have in this example. What I did next was to select the arrow button in the lower left corner of the picture to go to the next photo. This makes mapping the pictures go faster. You now can upload these pictures to any website that supports geo-tagging and you are done.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


I just got the new Eye-Fi Geo for my Leica. The card features 2 GB of storage space and the ability to automatically geo tag photos. It works using Wi-Fi spots locations and triangulates the location that the photo is taken at. In future blogs I will comment on how well this feature works.
For this installment I will tell you about how the installation went. The memory card comes with the software you will need for installation. It also comes with a USB card reader all you do is insert the card into the reader and then insert the reader into a unused USB slot. Follow the on screen instructions to install the necessary software onto your computer.
Set up your account and configure your software for what you want it to do. In my case I installed the software on my I-Mac and configured it to use my home Wi-Fi network to upload the pictures to i-photo. You can also set up the software to upload pictures to any one of several web photo services like Smug-Mug, flickr, facebook and a whole lot more.
So far I have only had time to take a few shots without Geo-Tagging specified and the pictures all uploaded to iPhoto seamlessly. I have now enabled the Geo-Tagging option and I will report on it in my next installment.
Currently this card is only available through Apple either on-line or at their store. For $49.95 to order or for more info click here.

Test shot one: Close up of green grapes on the vine

Test shot 2: Flower against soft background

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Aperture Priority

This is the mode I find myself using most of the the time and I thought that I would make a comparison photo that would give you a idea how some of the different settings impact the image. I took a full range of pictures of some flowers using the aperture setting from F-2.0 to F-8.0.
The F-2.0 settings where shutter set at 1/500, distance 5.1 mm with a ISO of 80. The second image was shot at F-4.0 at 1/160, 5.1mm, ISO 80. The third image was shot at F-8.0 at 1/40, 5.1 mm with a ISO 80.
All though the images look very similar you will notice that the picture shot at F-4.0 seems to have given the best results. The flower seems to have more luminance and the clarity is also better. This maybe that F-2.0 has less depth of field and F-4.0 is the happy median. F-8.0 may not be as sharp due to the slow shutter speed. To see for yourself click on the picture to see a larger version.