Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I received my Lomography Diana F+

I received my Diana F+ in the mail today. Boy, they aren't kidding about it being a cheap plastic camera. It is almost amazing that anybody can take great photos with it, if it were not my experience that photography is more about skill than the camera. In any case, I am excited to have my first medium format camera.

More than anything, I wanted to experience medium format photography. I have been shooting on 35mm, which I picked up after learning on digital. I realize that the clarity and other high quality benefits inherent with medium format are undone with the lo-fi nature of lomography. But, what I am after is the experience of shooting, getting developed, and viewing prints from medium format film.

With 35mm, my first limitation was developing black and white film. There are no local labs able to develop it for me. This is how I discovered lomography; I was searching for a photo lab that would take orders by mail. This also gives me an opportunity to try new films, to go beyond 35mm.

I took a few photos with the new Diana F+, but will wait. Today's weather is wet and gloomy. I took a photo in the rain; but rushed right back inside to avoid getting too wet. Having to send off the 120 film forces me to be patient. Thus, I will have plenty of time to shoot. No rush.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Chromecast: Oh, Now I Get It

I picked up a Chromecast while doing some last minute Christmas shopping. I have had a chance to play with it. I get it now. I like it.

It's Not a Roku

The good news for Roku is that the Chromecast is not a Roku replacement. I suppose it could be; but, both devices would serve very different purposes in my household. I thought the Chromecast would act like the Roku where you'd have a billion channels of content from which to browse. The Roku is a media aggregator of sorts, a platform for discovering and viewing video and audio. I heard it does games too. 

What It Is

The Chromecast, on the other hand, is nothing of the sort. It is merely the screen you can use to display content from other devices. Chromecast is not a platform in itself. The platform is your computer, your laptop, your tablet, or your phone. Your personal device acts as the aggregator. The Chromecast is only a venue for your content to show. 

The Difference

I can see the Chromecast as something that a household or even a business must have, even if it is not the principal media gateway. I can certainly see people continuing to subscribe to cable, satellite, or other services available on the Roku and other similar boxes. The Chromecast would be an addition to those. 

The difference is that the Chromecast is a very good shared resource. You can have multiple people with different accounts use the same device to view their content. The concept is flipped from "one to many" to "many to one". 

Why This is Great

The Chromecast is great, even with its currently limited apps, because it allows you to share your TV with others without having to get into the business of user names and passwords, or worse, messing with your entertainment cabling. As long as you share your WiFi access, guests can project their content on your TV. 

This is very useful in business settings too. It reduces the whole mess of having to carry a VGA, DVI, or HDMI cable to make a presentation. Wait, let me back up. You can't just display anything on a TV. Currently, you still need a Chrome browser with the Google Cast extension to be able to share a browser tab. You are also limited to Youtube videos and some other streaming video/audio services. That means your PowerPoint presentation would have to be a Google Slides presentation through a browser tab. Similarly, you would do the same with spreadsheets and text documents. 

Just Pick A Screen

The upshot of all this is that you could just pick a screen to view or show your content, and that's it. No need to hunt for cables or fuss with bringing your media box over, or hunting for the media again on an already connect device. Pick a screen and view. 

What I Would Love

Our home only has a couple TVs. One in our living room and one in my office, which is being used as a computer monitor. If our household were the sort where everybody has a TV in their bedroom, and TVs in the kitchen and other living areas, I would love each one to have a Chromecast. 

At the very least, I would gift one to the people I most often visit. I'm sure you've been in the position where you visit somebody and they invariably tell you to make yourself at home. So, as you settle in with the TV, you can't figure out the remotes. With the Chromecast, problem solved. You only need to turn on the TV, switch to HDMI channel, and connect your phone to the Chromecast to watch what you want to watch. I'm assuming you've already asked for the WiFi password. 

If everybody you like has a Chromecast, you would have access to screens everywhere you go. I don't see it as a main viewing device. I see it as an auxiliary viewing device where anybody can access without hunting for cables and connectors. 

I get it now. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Replacing Evernote With Google Keep and Now?

I may possibly end up putting Evernote in the back seat after upgrading to a Nexus 7 tablet, which has Google Now and Google Keep. Previously, I used an old Samsung Galaxy Tab, which ran Android 3.2, I think. The upgrade leads me to reevaluate my information stashing.

Evernote's prominent role in my life has been its universal access. I could use it from my tablet, phone, or computer. Where Evernote falls short in my current lifestyle is that its web client is very slow on my Chromebook. This is largely due to the number of notes I have in Evernote. The web client is simply too heavy with my account. I've tried it with a demo account I use for workshops, which is rather zippy in comparison.

I need to stash information in two ways: reminders and notes.

Google Now

Google Now, besides knowing game times and scores, the weather, and travel info, offers the ability to set reminders, including recurring reminders. Evernote recently added reminders; let's just say it's not as robust as Google Now. I feel bad because I had wanted Evernote to add reminders. Now that they have, I'm bailing out. In case you're thinking, "Reminders? Big deal, so what?"

The reason it's a big deal is that it uses other contexts to remind you of things, such as your current location. Such that, if you are at the grocery store, it will remind you of that item you wanted to buy at the grocery store when you are there. You do not have to remember to go look it up, the Google Now card will be there waiting for you with the reminder.

Google Keep

I was very unimpressed with Google Keep as it could not run on my old Galaxy Tab. Now that I have access, it makes total sense and makes me want to use it. Why not Evernote or Springpad? The apps are a bit more...robust than Keep. All their extra features are great; but they tend to get in the way when you want to make a quick note. Google Keep, on the other hand, is lightweight and not bogged down with features.

Of course, one would not add PDF or *.doc files to Keep as one would to Evernote. I think, that for the quick note, photo, or voice memo, Keep is better suited. Evernote is still the top choice for "serious" work.

I've only experienced Now and Keep for the past two days. My mind is not entirely made up; but, there is a good chance I've hit on how I will reorganize my note taking.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Now Experimenting With Black and White Film

I have recently started acquiring black and white 35mm film of different speeds and brands. So far, I've found Kodak and Ilford films.

Kodak has the Tri-X films, which are the standard, as far as I can tell; and they have the BW400CN, which can be developed in the same chemicals as color film. I only have a 3200 ISO film from Ilford. I've seen that they have a 50 ISO film I want to try; it's supposedly grainless.

The challenges I'm having with film are not what I imagined. The Walgreens that develops my film also scans to CD. I can easily post that online. Unfortunately, the scans are rather small images, good enough for the web, not so great for me.

There is obviously no EXIF data, which means I need to track my settings manually. I'm not there yet. I really should change to manual mode and be more conscious about my shots. This is funny considering that shooting with film already makes me more conscientious, but obviously, not enough.

I look forward to comparing my work on digital after my tryst with film.

Time to Get My Taxes Done

A visit to my accountant got the ball rolling for my 2012 taxes. I've been hesitant to tabulate my totals. At best, I kept records passively, which means I have to find and organize the records.

So, getting the ball rolling by visiting my CPA is a step in the right direction. I have a game plan. Now it's just a matter of trudging through.

I'll learn, eventually.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The waiting game

Waiting on word whether a project is going through. It's one of those days full of anticipation and a little anxiety.

On the one hand, you want action. On the other hand, you realize the big job that lies ahead when it comes through.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013


I would not describe myself as type A. I would also be hard pressed to find somebody who would describe me as type A. However, I do tend to overcommit on projects to where I have no way to physically deliver on everything. 

The problem becomes exacerbated when one project takes longer than expected. Suddenly planned time for other projects gets shoved aside, putting other projects in jeopardy. 

While, it's easy to blame outside factors, the truth is that there are far too many projects for too limited time. 

It is vital to have the fortitude to say no and deflect the work to somebody who can deliver. 

Thursday, May 02, 2013

This Phone Will Self-Destruct . . .

Yesterday, I activated a Samsung Windows Mobile Phone. It has been years since I last touched a WinMo phone. The last time was my old T-Mobile Dash, which I shoehorned WinMo6 into towards the end of its run. It was a good phone. So, I was doing an activation for a friend on her new phone. I find myself perplexed that Microsoft would design such a finicky product, and that Samsung would agree to manufacture it.

The interface is really nice, don't get me wrong. There is a lot of ooh and aah designed into the OS. However, activating the phone requires that you install a memory card... no, hold that. The phone requires you to install a Certified Windows 7 Compatible memory card.

You could try a non-certified card; but, the system will rip it to shreds and make it unusable, even unformattable. I can see maybe if you want the phone to use a Class 10 card, you would discourage the use of a Class 4 memory card. However, this is the opposite. The cards that are known to work are Class 2, 4, and 6.

Not knowing this, I popped in a spare card to get my friend up and running. She messaged me today that the card (and phone for that matter) crapped out today.

I can't, for the life of me, figure out what the thinking was in creating this monster that eats memory cards. The operating system becomes one with the memory card of your choice. If you take out the card to upgrade to a better one (assuming you got it to work), you can't do it without reinstalling the entire system.

For somebody like me who is used to messing around with tech, this is a little speed bump. But, to the average consumer, this can be a major sore spot. Especially if it craps out after one day of use.

If we can get it running reliably, the phone could be great. But, between now and then, it's a disappointment.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Bike Riding at the Park

I accompanied my children to the park so they could ride their bikes while their mother and sister were in a bible study class. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

When your little one becomes ill

When your child, especially a young one, becomes sick to the point where they have to be admitted to a hospital, it is a very personal experience. I do not mean it is personal in that it is a private matter to be kept among your closest circle. By personal, I mean that it is a deep and personally moving experience.

The first thing that hits you is worry and a lingering fear. As a parent in general, you worry about a sick child. No parent want their child to go through illness. But, that gets multiplied when a hospital stay is involved. Something so serious surely means that there is a chance things could get worse. And, it's that remote chance of things getting worse that causes fear.

If you have any understanding of health care sciences, you know that certain things are routine and can easily be treated successfully. You also know that there is always the remote possibility that the same symptoms are of something worse. You start to imagine things such as multiple drug resistance, acute and rapid infection, or even misdiagnosis. Suffice it to say, when you don't know, you have to trust in your health care providers. When you know a little more, you REALLY have to trust in your health care providers.

In those hours when your child is first admitted, it is all about testing. You have a series of tests conducted to figure out what is wrong with you little one. These are the toughest hours. It is not so much the unknown; it is the time wasted waiting for test results. Your child is clearly suffering and you have to stay there and comfort them until the test results come back. Doing nothing and waiting are the toughest.

It is in that time while you wait when the worst thoughts come to you, and the self-recriminations. Why didn't I catch it sooner? What could I have done to prevent this? Is this going to leave my child disabled? What if the worst happens? How can I go on after losing him/her? The craziest things pop into your mind during that time of waiting. You are there trying to comfort your little one while being plagued by your own torments.

One can't really blame the health care providers for what you go through during the testing. In their case, they've treated hundreds or thousands of people. It is routine. But, even if it weren't routine, it doesn't help them to freak out the parents. And, they can't simply go into full treatment mode as soon as you arrive without first knowing what the real problem is. Their calm aloofness is meant to be comforting; but, it can also come across as uncaring.

Try as you might, you cannot help having an emotional roller coaster when your child is sick. Even with the support of friends and family, it can be a very personal experience although you are not the patient. As a parent, you want to take the worry, the pain, and the unhappiness away from your child. We cannot unburden them; but, we somehow manage to take on a bigger emotional burden.

While one can feel alone with all your worries, it is vital to take comfort in the smiles your little can offer and the support of your family and friends. If you can recognize that your little one is loved by others and they worry too, you can give each other strength. And, it is also setting a good example to your little one that in times of trouble, you can count on the people who love you to give you a hand.

Black and White Photos for April 21, 2013

This month, I wanted to spend a little bit of time in the monochrome space. I'm not comfortable using other monochrome colors than black, yet. I started the month OK; but, after photographing an event, which came out great, I burned out a little. It's been a few days.

Today, I visited with my in-laws and took a few photos around the house. 


The clothespin is nothing new. I've done clothespins before. There is a lot of play when it comes to depth of field and bokeh with clothespins. In this case, I wanted those elements; but, I also wanted to try a clothespin with backlight. The light in this photo is reflected from a tree trunk. The clothespin is in the shade of a car port. In this case, I over exposed. The camera naturally wants to balance out the light; but, then that leaves the details from the clothespin too dark.

Nothing too special about this light bulb. I just thought the fixture and surroundings would look nice in black and white.

Before going outside to shoot photos, I was checking the settings on the camera. My wife had her feet up while watching TV. I thought it would frame nicely. 

Again, testing before going outside. I thought this would be a challenge. White textured ceiling. White textured fixture. White smooth light bulb. Shadow. I was curious what white on white on white would do. 

My Mother-in-law has this plastic cattail and grass decoration bythe window. The lighting hit the cattail nicely. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

At the end of the day...

One of the most used phrases used in business is "at the end of the day"; which is usually invoked when referring to something that has results in some significant consequence or meaning.

So I am sitting at my kitchen table at the end of today pondering what the end of the day entails for me. Is it really the culmination of a day?

In my experience, the end of the day usually means a break from work. Rather than being the end of my work, the end of the day is a chance to regroup and prepare for the next day.

Even when it comes to major decisions, one normally "sleeps on" a decision, making the choice by the next morning.

So while the end of the day is the finalization of a calendar day, it is mentally the start of the next, a chance to pull back and see the big picture.

I've enabled Google+ Comments on my blog

Google announced, today, that they linked comments between Blogger blogs and Google+ accounts. This is a good thing.

In recent years, I've had way fewer comments on the blog and more comments on G+ and Facebook. The audience is there, it's just shifted away from the blog.

Having blog comments also appear on G+ makes the blog less ghost town and more hub. I can tell from the stats that people read my posts and even share them. But, there is little evidence to the outside world that this is the case.

I didn't see this feature coming. I'm glad it's here. I like it.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Making Google+ Your Social Media Hub

Today I discovered Friends+Me, a service that grabs your Public posts on Google+ and then reposts them to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. The service is currently in beta; but, it will soon have different plans, starting from Free, to an Unlimited version.

In the past, I have used similar services, except they attempt to create an RSS feed from your Google+ feed.  Unfortunately, RSS doesn't map well and consistently across services. The result tends to be messy.

Friends+Me seems to have worked out how to get around the formatting problems that other services have had. The result is a neat and very useful way to share your Google+ posts.

Google has chosen to leave Google+ off limits to incoming feeds for auto posting. This is probably for the best. Having automatic incoming links would mess up search results, which often feature Google+ posts from yourself or people you know. Search results could quickly get spammy.

Outgoing posts are the only other option for automating your content posting. Now with Friends+Me, it's a viable option.


During beta, the service is offering full access to all the features. After the beta, there will be Free, Standard, and Unlimited plans.

The Free plan seems like it would be OK for somebody who posts occasionally.

The Standard plan would be good for somebody like me, who has a few web side projects going on. For $20/year, it's not a bad deal.

If you are a social media gun for hire, I would recommend going for the Unlimited plan. At $34.99/year for unlimited reposting, I think it's a bargain. You would save tons of time having to post things and then copy them to another service. Granted, G+, Twitter, Facebok, and LinkedIn are not the universe of social media; but, they do cover a large territory.

Minor Problem

Not all is roses with Friends+Me. There is one final problem that most likely will not affect everybody, mainly photographers. If you post multiple photos on your Google+ page, only the first photo will post to the receiving service. So, if you don't have romantic notions that your full beautiful album will repost, you'll be OK with this.

Another thing that affects photo lovers is that the service creates its own photo album on your Facebook page. It would be nice if the photos simply went to your Wall album rather than an "in your face" Friends+Me photo album.

Final Thoughts

Personally, I'm OK with the issues that the service has. I'm even willing to pay the $20 for the Standard Plan. If I made money off of running accounts, I think $35 is also reasonable. The issues with photos are a bit of a letdown; but, I can live with it. I'm probably better off trickling them out rather than posting them all at once. This is a service I would recommend if you're a Google+ fan and are loathe to visit the other services if you can avoid it. Friends+Me finally allows me to make Google+ my main network. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Struggle Between Productivity and Being

There is a certain mindset that comes with being productive. You are focused. You are in the zone. This is a different experience than just being. The two are in constant flux throughout the day.

We somewhat worship productivity. There is good reason for this. At the end of the day, you can look back and see the trail of everything you have accomplished. For some of us, there is a physical manifestation of our work; for some of us it could be a checklist of things.

The down side of productivity is that it requires discipline. You must harden yourself against the extraneous distractions the day throws your way. Stopping to smell the roses is all you need to throw you off your groove.

And, so productivity can preclude any opportunity to simply be, to exist. While you can live very well without smelling roses, along with that are other pleasant experiences, such as spending time with your loved ones and truly being present in mind, not just body.

The productivity mindset can cause you to be physically present, but mentally distant. Spending time with those for whom you strive becomes another item on the list.

But this is not all one-sided. We need to be productive. We need to create, to accomplish. We need to express what we are meant to do with our lives through our work. It is what gives us satisfaction and meaning.

Yet, we must be careful to keep that drive in check. Not everything in our lives must be controlled. Not everything can be controlled. Some things can only be enjoyed as they are. Some things we can only enjoy simply by being, rather than doing.

We must learn to be able to switch between both mindsets and be aware of the choice. Be deliberate in when we drive and when we simply are.

Friday, March 08, 2013

What Are You Willing to Give For Your iPhone?

You can find stories on the Internet about people who have sold their kidney for an iPhone or an iPad. To you and me that seems a little bit crazy. I can visualize you shaking your head in disapproval at the folly of giving up body parts for a mobile device.

Just stop for a moment and think. The idea of selling body parts for an iPhone is not unique to young people abroad. Many of you are already giving an arm and a leg in payments to your mobile service providers for the honor of having an iPhone with full Internet access.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Together, we can stop this madness.

Let me introduce you to Solavei, which provides Unlimited Voice, Text, and Data for only $49/month. Don’t be one of the millions of Americans losing their ass to pay for iPhone service to the major carriers.

Bring your unlocked iPhone to Solavei to start on the road to recovery. We can make your life whole again.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Solavei: Winner of the Prepaid Mobile Market in 2013

I've written a few posts in the past where I review prepaid mobile services. Over the years, the top contenders have been Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile. Recently, T-Mobile has stepped up their game in the prepaid market. It is only slightly surprising, therefore, that an MVNO using the T-Mobile network, Solavei, is now the best value in the prepaid market.

Before going further, let me just clarify that Solavei does not position itself as a prepaid mobile service. However, given that you pay for service in advance, have no contract, and do not have subsidized handsets...you know what they say about looking and quacking like a duck.

But, that's where the similarities end.

If you have an unlocked GSM phone at your disposal, Solavei does not sell handsets, then you can subscribe for unlimited talk, text, and data for only $49/month. At the outset, you do have to buy a SIM card for $10, making your startup cost, sans the handset, around $68 or so.

Boost offers unlimited service for $50/month. Cricket offers a similar plan. So, you could say that Solavei offers a competitive rate plan.

However, where Solavei distinguishes itself is that they offer residual incentives for subscribers.

What does that mean?

Well, suppose you refer Mom to Solavei and sign her up. And you do the same for a couple of acquaintances. After subscribing 3 people, you get $20 off your rate plan. So, for every trio, you get $20 off your bill.

It doesn't stop there. After 9 referred subscribers, you get free mobile service. Yes, FREE.

Even better than that, if you refer more subscribers, you get paid every month, $20 per trio. On top of that there are bonuses and such. Let's forget all that for the moment.

Can you see how Solavei changes the game? On top of offering a path to savings, they offer a way to earn income from your prepaid mobile service.

In terms of value, I have vacillated back and forth between Virgin and Boost. Today, Solavei come out ahead of the pack. I subscribed and am looking forward to switching people over. I never thought I'd be so excited over prepaid mobile service. Check them out at http://www.solavei.com/shaine.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Photos from My Walk Home - Feb 20

Some photos I shot while walking home from +The Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce, today. 

Two little boys turn their trikes into their home after riding down the block, their dog trailing. 

The typical sneakers dangling on a line. 

A weed growing through the gap between pavers. 

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Making Fish Fried Rice For Lent

Making Fried Rice by shainelee
Making Fried Rice, a photo by shainelee on Flickr.

Tonight I got an idea for Fish Fried Rice. I was having trouble thinking up a way to make it. Steamed fish is bland and easily crumbles.

Tonight I was inspired by fish tacos. I could pan fry the fish with lemon pepper to firm it up and give it texture. Then I could chop it up the fish and add it to the fried rice mix. It would also have cilantro.

I'll try it with and without beans, see which tastes better. This will be a Lent dish. After Lent, I'm thinking of trying out some sort of chorizo fried rice.

Via Flickr:

Monday, February 04, 2013

What Kind of Camera Should I Get (2013)? PowerShot SX50 HS

What kind of camera do you recommend? That is the question I get asked most often when I am seen with a camera at events. I have trouble answering the question because, I could barely afford the camera I have now, let alone even touch the other brands and models available to say with any authority what they should buy. I can only speak from experience.

A photographer, somebody who shoots photos of professional quality, would never ask that question. Once you get to know your way around your camera, you start to understand what its strengths and limitations are, and you start dreaming of other cameras. In other words, a pro either already has the camera they want, or it's on their wish list.

So, for those who ask me what camera to get, I will recommend a camera with manual, shutter priority, and aperture priority modes. If they can learn those settings on any camera, they can make some decent photos and appreciate better gear.  But, getting down to the nitty gritty, I recommend the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS as of February 2012. Obviously, this will change as other cameras become available in time

I own its predecessor, the PowerShot SX40 HS

If I am pressed to recommend a camera, I now (February 2013) recommend the PowerShot SX50 HS. I do not have one, nor have I used it. However, I do own the PowerShot SX40 HS camera, which is the one you might say "taught me" about photography. I am very pleased with the PowerShot SX40 HS, even though it is a point-and-shoot camera.

The reason I would no longer recommend the SX40 HS is because there are some limitations. The most notable limitation is that the PowerShot SX40 HS does not shoot in RAW. This is not the case for the PowerShot SX50 HS model. They have added the ability to shoot in RAW. While RAW is not something I use every day, it certainly is useful when I need it.

Another limitation of the SX40 was that I could not use a remote trigger. The new SX50 does have the option to trigger remotely. This is handy for shooting photos at slow shutter speeds; you avoid shaking the camera when pressing the button.

Compared to a DSLR

The best reason to purchase a DSLR camera is the ability to fit your camera with a variety of lenses, flashes, and other accessories. The downside to this ability to reconfigure your camera is that it can get quite expensive. Each piece costs almost as much as the camera body.

For this reason, I also recommend the PowerShot SX50 HS today. You get a lot of value for a fixed price, as there is no interchangeable anything. The camera improves upon the SX40's 35X zoom lens with a whopping 50X zoom lens. For the camera geeks out there, it goes from 24mm to 1200mm. The camera loses some maximum aperture to achieve this; but, that's still a big zoom range that would take at least three lenses to achieve on a DSLR.

There are a variety of other improvements to the new model that would make it fun to use; but, I won't go into those.

The Only Drawbacks

Two limitations that make the camera NOT the perfect point and shoot are the motorized zoom and lack of long exposures. When you start up the camera, the lens has to extend to its widest angle every single time, no instant on. When you zoom, you have to rock the switch...and wait for it to get into position. It's definitely not for fast moving tight shots. As for long exposures, the SX40 offered 30 second exposures, at the longest. I'm going with the assumption that it's still 30 seconds. A DSLR camera, on the other hand, allows you to leave the shutter open as long as you want, assuming the battery holds out. This allows you to shoot star trails and other time-lapse shots.


If you do buy the PowerShot SX50 HS, I recommend purchasing extra batteries and a spare charger. You can get good 2 for 1 deals on Amazon. And, if you don't want to spend too much on a flash, I recommend the Speedlite 270EX II, if you want name brand. There are also other brands on Amazon made to work with the camera's light metering system. You can get a cheap-o retail store flash; but, you'll have to learn how to constantly manually adjust your camera to deal with the flash.

Where I Get Snobby

After having recommended a camera, I make sure to tell the person asking that my photos don't come out looking great right out of the camera. Even when all the settings are spot-on, there are adjustments that need to be made. I hold open my arms and say, "this is how much light our eyes see". Then I close my arms a bit and say, "this is how much light the camera sees. In order for the picture to look real, you need to adjust it on the computer so that the colors get stretched close to their real range".

And without going into the details of white balance, I tell them that even a very good camera won't get the whites absolutely white; you have to adjust your photo in the computer to get it right.

And then, of course, I can't explain in a five minute conversation what I put into my pics, such as framing, rule of thirds, metering, focus points, choosing a priority mode, lighting, not chopping heads and limbs, and whatever other "rules" are out there.

A decent camera does help to a certain extent; but, after that it's thousands of crappy photos learning how to do what you want to do. I leave this out so as not to discourage their interest; but, I do make sure to impress that it's more than just a good camera, there is also behind-the-scenes work involved.

In Summary

While I don't have hands-on experience with the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS, I find that it has many of the things I wished I could have on its predecessor, the SX40. I likely would not have purchased the Canon EOS Rebel T3 if I had started with the SX50. Given its limitations, I would not suggest the camera to somebody who is big into night photography or sports photography. However, for the average home user, or  even in the hands of an experienced photographer who wants a camera to carry around without all the extra gear, I recommend the PowerShot SX50 HS. It is so close to an all-in-one camera with very little it can't do.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013