The Old is sometimes better than the New

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Rants and Raves, Techie Stuff

Last spring, I bought a brand new Canon Ixy 1000 camera, since my old Fuji Finepix konked out on me.  At the time, the Ixy 1000 was the flagship camera of the Ixy lineup.  I have had this camera for  the last 8 months now, and I gotta say its probably the best digital camera I’ve owned so far.  By the way, this would be the fourth digital camera I’ve owned if you include the ancient Casio Q50 I bought about 10 years ago.

Again, I have no complaints so far.  It does everything I want it to do and does it a lot better and faster than the FinePix 401 that I had previously.  As a matter of fact all the pictures that are on this blog page from March 2007 on, were taken with my Ixy.

A couple of weeks ago, I visited Yodobashi Camera, a local electronics/camera shop near my office.  Just for kicks, I checked out the camera section to see if they had any interesting accessories for my camera.  Strangely enough, I couldn’t find the model camera that I own anywhere.  Instead, the shop was plugging Canon’s latest model, the Ixy 2000IS, which boasts the ability take pictures up 12.1 megapixels compared to the 10.0 megapixels on the Ixy 1000.  Understandably, the shop would want hype the latest and greatest model, so all I saw were advertisements for the 2000IS.

However, as I looked around, I noticed that the shop did carry lower end models as well; they carried all models leading up to the 2000IS EXCEPT the 1000.  Hmm… strange.  Do they not sell the 1000 anymore?  It was the flagship just 8 months ago.  Is it yesterday’s news already?  If so, why are all of the other lower end models on display and not the 1000?

At the time, I sort of dismissed it as being “sold out”.  Perhaps they couldn’t keep them in stock.  But a week ago, I took a trip to the Canon showroom, which is also about a 15 minute walk from my office.  They had just about EVERY single model of Canon digital camera ever made EXCEPT the 1000.  Hmm…  what’s the deal here?  Is Canon in denial of the fact that the every produced this camera?  They didn’t even list it in their lineup catalog.  It seemed clear that Canon was was trying to kill the fact that the 1000 ever existed, but why?  It’s a great camera, so why axe it so quickly?  Was there a defect or a recall that I didn’t know about?

When I got home, I immediately looked this up on the Canon website to see if there was a recall, and it became clear as to why Canon no longer advertizes or sells the Ixy 1000.

 Apparently, Canon renewed their entire lineup recently.  So what appeared to look like older lower end models are really brand new models for this year.  The Ixy 1000 is considered the 2006 model and is no longer available at retail stores, so I was redirected to their “old lineup page“.  This made me wonder what the differences between the 1000 and 2000IS, and conveniently the Canon website allows you to select models from their lineup (old and new) and do a side by side comparison, and it soon came into light as to why the 1000 is no longer available.

Like mentioned earlier the 2000IS comes with a few improvements over the 1000.  One of its main selling points is that it now is able to get up 12.1 megapixel resolutions.  But unless you are really anal about picture quality or you like  to create really huge posters with crystal clear clarity, most people won’t even notice the difference.  So for me, this was no big deal.

One other feature that can be found on the 2000IS and not the 1000 is the anti-blur function, which automatically dampers the jitter effect caused by shakey hands.  This is one function that would have come in handy for me, because I do have jittery hands and often carry a mini-tripod in my bag.

There are some other somewhat insignificant features that the new 2000IS has that most amatuer photographer will never take advantage (remider, both of these cameras are for the amatuer not the professionals) of like the being able crank the ISO up to 3200 in normal mode as opposed to the already really high 1600 in the 1000.  But I must mention that the 1000 can do ISO 3200 in special mode which the Canon website fails to mention.

As a total, the 2000IS has about five or less improvements(most of which are pretty small) over the older 1000.  Other than that, most of the other features are either identical or in some cases the 1000 is better.  YES better!!  And these are the the features that the regular Joe customer like me looks for like for example, the 1000 has a 2.5 inch LCD screen as opposed to the 2000IS’s 2.3 inch.  The 1000 has a 1/2000 seconds shutter speed compared to the 1/1600 seconds on the 2000IS.  The 1000 can take 2.1 pictures per second as opposed to the 2000IS’s 1.5 pictures per second.  And finally, the 1000 is 4.7mm smaller in legnth than the 2000IS (other dimensions were identical).  So I figured that the 1000 was removed from the lineup so it doesn’t compete with the newer and more expensive 2000IS.

 Overall, both cameras are very impressive, but I am glad that I was able to get the 1000.  Sure, I wouldn’t mind having the 2000IS, but only because of the anti-blur feature.  Other than that, I don’t think I will be trading in my Ixy anytime soon.

 the new 2000IS

The new Ixy 2000IS

the 1000

The Ixy 1000

Just Do It!

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Rants and Raves, Theater, TV, and the Arts

Yesterday, I did a TV commercial for Nike, as a part of their new iPOD Nano/Nike product collaboration campaign.  I gotta say that it was the hardest TV commercial I ever did because it was mostly physical work.

We all met at Shinagawa station at 6:45AM.  This meant I had to get up at just before 5AM (on a Saturday) to make it out there on time. 

the location busses 

From Shinagawa, we were all bussed out to the location in Kisarazu, Chiba which is an hour and half away from where I live.  The location was out on a harbor that overlooked Tokyo Bay.  In the distance, we could even see Yokohama, where I live.

The harbor and Tokyo Bay

The bus arrived at the location a little before 9am.  The weather was really cold.  I had dressed warm in 2 layers of sweat shirts and jeans.  Even then, it felt quite chilly.  We were all told to wear clothes made by Nike, but I only had a pair of 10 year old Nike basketball shoes.  I did have a green Nike cap at one point, but I wasn’t able to find it anywhere.  So the only thing Nike on me were my shoes, but I did have my iPOD.

everyone in their warm attire prior to the shoot

Just before we were ask to leave the warm confines of the heated location bus, those of us who weren’t Nike from top to bottom were provided with Nike clothes to wear.  I was given a pair of blue nylon training paints with a white Nike logo on it, and white Nike t-shirt with a gray colored Nike logo to wear.  I changed into them on the bus and wore my sweat shirt on top of the Nike t-shirt.  When I got off the bus, a stylist checked me over to see if my clothes passed.  He told me I had to lose the sweat shirt, so I was left with a small skimpy t-shirt, which was waaay too cold to be wearing alone.  Unfortunately, I had to.

The TV commerical will feature marathon runners from all over the world, and we play the runners.  Our job was to basically line up on the starting line and pose as if we were waiting for the starting gun to fire.  Sounds easy enough, but with a hundred runners, it was hard to sync everyone up on the starting line.

At first, everyone was pretty enegetic and ready to go.  I was freezing in my single t-shirt and tried to keep warm by jogging in place. After about an hour of taking still shots (which are used for posters and magazine ads) of us in line which took about hour, next came the actual TV commercial shoot.  For this, we had to actually run on cue, as fast as we could, toward a camera located 50 meters at the end of the field.  Scenes like this are NEVER done in one shot.  As a matter of fact, we’d be really lucky if the director is satisfied after 10 shots.

I don’t know how many times we had to run, but it was a lot.  Most of us were really tired, thirsty, and hungry after about the 5th or 6th run, but the AD’s (assistant directors) didn’t allow us to take breaks.  We all had to do the same scene over and over well into the afternoon. 

Well, a bad thing did happed as result of this.  While running, I was bumped from behind by another runner, and hit the asphalt big time.  Years of karate training taught me how to fall without hurting myself, but not on asphalt.  As I was falling, I tried desparately not to land on my hands, elbows, or knees, because I knew that the asphalt would just rip the skin off like a cheese grater, and I wound up hitting my left shoulder and doing like a summersault which ripped some skin off of my shoulder.  Unfortunately that wasn’t the end of it.  I did wind up skinning my left hand and knee. 

My hand was bleeding was pretty badly, and one of the useless AD’s rushed over and pulled out a couple of band aids with Hello Kitty prints on them.  Even if my hand wasn’t bleeding as it was, the Hello Kitty band aids were hardly funny.  I’m sure she didn’t mean it to be joke, but a qualified AD’s should be able to handle accidents like that in a more professional manner.

After being patched up properly, we all had lunch. It was about 2pm when we had lunch, so I knew were already 2 hours behind schedule.  It was the usual unsatisfying location bento lunches they usually pass out these kinds of shootings.  I usually skip these lousy lunches and go somewhere outside for lunch.  But since we were out in the middle of nowhere, I had no choice.

After lunch, it was back to the shoot.  This time they wanted us to line up in reverse order on the opposite side of the field to get a still shot from a different shot.  I don’t know if it was suppose to be a time elasped shot, but for each shot, we had to stand abslolutely still for  what seemed like forever.  In actuality it was probably more 10 minutes, but since we were in a runner’s starting pose (seen in the picture above), it started to hurt after a while.  We did this for about an hour so.  By the time were done, I was absolute sore all over.   My thighs, butt, calves and feet all ached from doing that stupid runner’s pose for an hour.

Later in the day, some real professional runners showed up to take part in the shoot.  They were the real stars of the commercial, but I didn’t recognize any of them.  Supposedly they are pretty famous, so I snapped their pictures to see if I could find out who they were later.

pro runners

 more pro runners

The overall day was tough.  It was by far the hardest commercial ever because it was so physical.  I am still very sore and tired from it, but hopefully it’ll all be worth it when the commercial airs next month.

A sample of what we had to do but for a longer distance

November again

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Life in general

Its November again.  November is one of my favorite months, second only to December.  the weather has cooled down quite a bit and work has gotten a bit busier.  I’ve been quite tired lately; seems like no matter how much I sleep its never enough.  I do have some vacation days coming up so perhaps I will take them next month.