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Comment Tamrac Evolution 8 works for me (Score 1) 282

I have been pleased so far with Tamrac's Evolution 8, otherwise known as Model 5788. It's got enough room for a 17" MacBook Pro, DSLR and a few lenses as well as an additional compartment for charger and accesories. It converts from a backpack to a sling bag, has a tripod pocket and strap to carry a tripod, and contains its own rain cover. The literature says it will carry a DSLR with a lens up to eight inches long attached.

I carry my MBP 15", 7D, 50 mm f/1.4, 100 mm macro, 17-55 f/2.8, 45 mm TS/E, 18-55 kit lens, 2x580EX flashes, extra batteries, charger, flash diffuser, MacBook charger, and wallet all at once. None of those lenses are quite as big as the 70-200, though some of the others are comparable in size to the 24-70 you mentioned. I wear my equipment somewhat hard and this bag had held up very well for me so far. I would recommend you take a look.

I do feel a little concerned that the MacBook lies against my back when I wear it as a backpack, but I know of no other way to carry all my equipment so conveniently.

Good luck in your search.

Comment Bungie is the people, and its heart is Jason Jones (Score 1) 85

We shouldn't forget in this period of transition that the technical brains behind Bungie is Jason Jones (not the guy from John's Stewart's The Daily Show). Historically, he has shown an inclination to not want to retread ideas endlessly. He created his own game Minotaur before joining Alexander Seropian at Bungie.

When they wanted to create a 3-D version of Minotaur, they apparently found the format lacking and so modified the ancient Greek location to a Mayan pyramid inhabited by a god-like space alien to create the game Pathways Into Darkness. I enjoyed that game, with its semi-RPG like structure a lot. After that, Jones started Marathon, a science fiction themed game that also formed the basis for much of Halo's structure and backstory. What's relevant to me is that Jason Jones was involved in a heavy engine rewrite for Marathon 2 that saw much improved full screen performance, but did not involve himself in the next sequel, Marathon .

Instead, he had already started following the thread of another project that interested him: Real time strategy in a 3-D environment with desformable terrain. This was quite an about face from Marathon, and was quite interesting in its own right. I am not sure how involved Jones was in the making of the sequels but it is clear that he again felt ready to move on and craft something new.

This turned into the project codenamed Blam!, which everyone now knows as Halo. As an outgrowth of ideas in Myth, Halo was originally slated to be an massively multiplayer game where players took on certain roles. The idea was for every gamer to find their niche, like warthog driver, pilot, or sniper.

From a development perspective, it looks like Jones was heavily involved in the first sequel to Halo, but again, I am not sure how involved he was in the next sequel.

For years now, I have been wondering what he is up to. I figured that Jones has followed his same pattern and has decided to follow up on other ideas that interest him. After ten years of Halo and the prospect of endless sequels churned out by Microsoft, I think many people are very interested in what Bungie will do next. Previous comments have speculated that the publishing announcement with Activision will mean that Bungie will have to squeeze out a product very quickly and that the quality may suffer for it. I would contend that they have probably been working on something for several years at this point (there is a joystiq article from 2006 that states that Jason Jones was working with Halo programming lead Chris Butcher on a secret project).

Here's hoping for something exciting.

And by the way, I wouldn't mind seeing something that revives Pathways Into Darkness or Myth again.

Comment Re:Panasonic is not worse than canon (Score 1) 450

I will first state my bias as a 1.6x FOV crop Canon 40D user and my desire to go off tangent.

I would agree that Panasonic makes great point and shoots. I bought one for a friend as a graduation present. But really, comparing point and shoots on image quality is a joke. I haven't seen any small cameras lately that have images that look anywhere near good at 100%.

The megapixel wars have ruined small point and shoots. They are cramming way too many pixels into tiny sensors. A useful metric for camera manufacturers to pimp would be pixel pitch in microns for their sensors. You can see that DPReview, which is a great site, lists pixel density.

40D = 3.1 million pixels/cm^2
FZ28 = 36 million pixels/cm^2

Comment Re:You'd think by now... (Score 1) 125

As someone who had a blast with the Fake Chuck Westfall blog, even going so far as to make suggestions for stories the author could cover, I would like to chime in on my experiences with the same two cameras the above posters mentioned: Canon's 350D (Rebel XT) and 40D.

I shot for two years with the 350D with no problems, going as far as China and New Zealand and once even over the handlebars of my bike to land on my face with the camera strapped to my back, and yet I never had any problems. I am a recent convert to the 40D and so far have not had any problems.

As techies here at Slashdot we always have to be mindful of the big picture, and make sure that our sample sizes in surveys are large enough to be representative of most people's experiences. Just as myself and the two posters above had great experiences with our cameras, the fact is that there are balancing stories of camera failures and disappointments.

That being said, I loved the Fake Chuck Westfall blog for calling Canon on real problems. He cites over expensiveness as one problem of all cameras, which is good for all of us as consumers. Then he goes on to cite real technical problems that have cropped up, like the "black dots issue" that plagued super high contrast areas of pictures taken by the 5D Mark II, a $3000 camera.

As a half Japanese person, I felt like Fake Chuck Westfall brought an extra dimension to his blog in calling out Canon for the cultural differences in the way that the Japanese approach business versus the West. He made fun of the over-reverence for tradition, and the difficulty in changing direction that plagues Canon right now.

This is speculative rumor, but I have heard stories that Nikon got sick of their second place sales position several years ago and decided to finally blast their middle management out of office. It seems that the current crop of fantastic offerings from Nikon is a result of their hard efforts. As much as Fake Chuck Westfall makes fun of Canon, you can tell that truly in his heart, he wants to see Canon succeed with fantastic products.

It is for that reason that I hope his blog is not unceremoniously shut down, and it looks at this point that he will continue.

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