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Also known as "Phil starts reading too many books at once month".

The only things I actually finished this month:
  • Word Puppets (Mary Robinette Kowal): too long since I finished this, struggling to remember very much about this short story collection other than that I enjoyed most of it.
  • Elite: Dangerous Role Playing Game (Spidermind Games): I kickstarted this after they got copyright bullied earlier in the year. Haven't got round to running a game yet, but hopefully will do in the New Year.
Still reading Gridlinked (zero progress made) and The Three-Body Problem (some progress made) from October, but also now reading Echoes of Earth (good progress being made on the train during various work trips to Manchester) and New Views on an Old Planet which was the recommended reading for my 1A Geology course but I never read at the time. However, inspired by the Blue Planet II episode on "The Deep" (van Andel was the first person to see mid-ocean ridges forming new crust in person) and as it's available for about £3 on eBay, it was too good an opportunity to miss.

Coding-wise, I rewrote the "automatic loading" feature of Fuse to be more friendly if you've got additional hardware available (techie details here) and made some games load quicker.

Photography-wise, I got tagged in the "seven days, seven black and white photos of your daily life" meme on Facebook. You can see what I came up with on Flickr.

December will be spent trying to finish more books than I start, but I may not actually get too much done due to the fantastic Advent of Code being back again.

jorallan: (Default)
Two years ago, we got a new "little" camera to replace the old one which died while we were on holiday. As time's gone on, we've been less and less impressed with the IXUS 160 as it seemed pretty obvious to us that the image quality was significantly worse than that of the 8 years older IXUS 70. However, as the IXUS 70 died before we got the IXUS 160, there was no way for me really to confirm this - was it just rose-tinted specs?

However, this year we were off on holiday again in "hand baggage only" mode so once again the SLR stayed at home. We looked at options for replacing the IXUS 160 and it came down to spending perhaps £300 on a newer better camera... or picking up an IXUS 70 on eBay for £30. So the latter is what we did and off on holiday we went.

This does let me finally actually do that camera shoot out and work out which camera actually gives better pictures. Both images are taken at ~35mm, and I've rescaled the IXUS 160's image to the 7 MP of the IXUS 70. Anyway, here's the IXUS 70 image (open in a new tab for full size):

IXUS 70

(the pixelated bit in the bottom left corner is just where my daughter crept into the frame) and here's the IXUS 160:

IXUS 160

To me, this is a clear win for the IXUS 70. The IXUS 160 image is very washed out, and if you zoom in on any of the detail in the image (e.g. the white flowers at the back of the garden, just to the left of the treehouse), the IXUS 70 has maintained much more detail. Good to know I wasn't just making it all up that it was better than the IXUS 160 :-)

For a bit of fun, I also took the same shot with the other photographic devices I had handy:
  • My Canon 550D SLR. Clearly better than the compact camera photos, but then it should be!
  • My Motorola Moto G (2013) phone: the Moto G is a great phone in a lot of ways, but its camera is famously bad. This shows that - although it is the only one of the non-SLR options to maintain any detail in the sky.
  • Karen's Amazon Fire HD 7. Even ignoring the finger over the lens ;-), this is awful. I didn't think I'd manage to find a worse camera than my phone, but here's one.

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