Wednesday, April 21, 2010


The Olympus VF-2 for the E-P2 and E-PL1 cameras is AMAZING. The tech for electronic viewfinders has been getting better over the last year and the VF-2 is the best example yet. I prefer a built-in EVF like the SLR-styled Panasonic GH1 instead of an add-on, but the word is that they will start to appear in slimmer non-SLR-like cameras like the Pen series later this year.

It'll work just fine for now. This is what it looks like on the E-PL1 (yes I took the two pics above).

Operation Anchorage

My iPad Camera Connection kit shipped from Hong Kong a few days ago and is currently in Anchorage Alaska according to the tracking info. It’s exciting to be able to back up photos directly to the iPad, but I’m wondering if it will save them at full res or downsize them the way iPhoto does before syncing. It’s also the first accessory that is basically a USB plug for the iPad. It would be a huge missed opportunity if Apple and other app makers don't use it for things other than photo transfers. I’d really like the plug in my regular Mac keyboard please.

App update

If you haven’t purchased Magic Piano, do so now! It’s only a buck and it’s a great musical diversion for any time of the day. You’re not going to be playing like a normal piano and that’s the whole point. It’s about touching and making noises while being visually stimulated.

Guardian Eyewitness serves up one new stunning image a day along with details of the photo and photographic tips on how the shot was accomplished. Even if you care little for the technical details, the photos will mesmerize you for hours.

I finally got around to messing around with the Zinio magazine app and it’s a good first step. It’s certainly more comfortable to read magazines on the iPad vs a monitor. These are bare bones without the enhancements like the Time magazine app. The upside of less interactive elements is the cheaper prices. The magazine selection ranges from good to extremely random (Lots of Russian magazines for some reason). The Achilles heal of the thing is the speed of the reader. It takes a hair too long to navigate and sharpen each page.

Monday, April 05, 2010

iPad weekend impressions

The iPad's initial battery charge has lasted about two and a half days of fairly heavy usage. I plugged it in to recharge now to finally put out some thoughts. I'm going to try to avoid the same impressions filling the net so will keep things focused on my niche interests.

iWork Pages on the iPad is awesome. I've been doing loose creative writing and some basic page layouts with ease. I got the Apple case and it's perfect for placing on your lap and typing away.

The ComiXology comic reader is a bit buggy, but it features almost all of the Walking Dead series. The first issue is free so give it a whirl. I think the latest issue is #70 and the last issue available on the app is #57 or so. Hopefully they get the rest up soon. It's very nice that they offer the first four collected volumes of Walking Dead though. A very economical way to get into the series. The Marvel app is the most polished of the official comic readers. It really just needs to add more recent comics and offer graphic novels and it'll be complete.

If you want to transfer files and read various documents like pdfs, the Goodreader is a massive steal at 99 cents. I actually bought Airshare HD because I used the iPhone version a ton, but in many ways the Goodreader is superior and costs $9 less. Man I could have saved some money!

I ended up purchasing Sketchbook Pro and half regret it. It is a very good drawing/painting program, but doing something really spiffy takes a ton of time. If there was some sort of stylus that worked with the iPad this program would totally rock.

Out of the four apps I actually paid money for, only Airshare was a total bust. Even if Goodreader didn't exist, Airshare has not been fully optimized for the iPad so there are some problems with the resolution of some documents and large file transfers.

Many old iPhone apps don't look great blown up on the iPad, but there are some exceptions. One is Monkey Island. It looks very very nice still. I never got around to playing it much on the iPhone, but this is the type of game that is aces on the iPad. Speaking of which there is also a Sam & Max game on here too that I will eventually check out.

Friday, April 02, 2010

iPad apps downloading

The iPad should be here sometime tomorrow, till then I have to settle for downloading apps to iTunes and syncing later. All the free stuff is a no-brainer, but what to do about the ones that cost real world moneys?

There are quite a few drawing/painting choices already ranging from 99 cents up to 10 smackers. Sketchbook Pro looks like the best of the bunch and seems way feature packed for $7.99. There is an iPhone version that only very patient artists have thrived. The iPad one should be a lot more user friendly just based on screen size.

Photo retouching makes so much more sense on the iPad than the iPhone and Photogene looks pretty decent for $5.99. CameraBag is a little less flashy looking with an asking price of $2.99. This is going to be a super competitive market so it's going to be worth waiting just a while longer for a better selection.

I already bought MLB at Bat 2010 for the iPhone so it's a tough sell for me to shell out another $15 for the big brother. Might wait till the all-star game when the app usually drops closer the $5.

At $12.99, Command and Conquer Red Alert would be the highest priced app I'm considering. Looks snazzy though.

I was a long time subscriber to Time magazine and would gladly do so again on the iPad, but $5 a pop seems way too much. Can't tell from the description if that covers the entire month of April (4 issues) or just this week. I'll give it a chance if it's the whole month.

I'm a huge Geometry Wars fan so I'm totally jumping on this if the iPad version controls are right. $10 is the same price I paid for the full fledged Xbox live version so it would have to control very well indeed.

More soon!