5th February 2006

HowTo join multiple ts files

Dealing with HDTV movies from newsgroups (usenet binaries) i had to join many .ts files ( movie.1080i.0001.ts , movie.1080i.0002.ts, movie.1080i.0003.ts , … ).

NullPacketStripper

I found this little java tool called NullPacketStripper . One of its features is “ automatically merge files following the filename.nnnn.ts (with nnnn being a 1-4 digit number) pattern “. You need to have a 1.4.x JVM installed. Just start the program NullPacketStripper.jar and select your movie.1080i.0001.ts as “Input file(s)”, press “Start processing” and wait until all parts are merged.

Ok and now something for the people that don’t like java. If the .ts files are split correctly you can simply join the files using your OS built in copy functions.

In windows just move all .ts files into one folder. Go to “DOS” command line (cmd.exe), navigate to your folder with the .ts files and type:

copy /b *.ts output-file.ts

or output the file to another drive like e:\

copy /b *.ts e:\output-file.ts

In linux it shouldn’t be that much harder. Just use the cat command.

posted in reviews, windows | 10 Comments

6th January 2006

Ricoh GR-d, Canon S80, Panasonic LX-1 and now ?

I’ve been looking for reviews and test pictures of these 3 cameras. Why ? Because they seem to be the only recent models that try to give the user at least some picture quality or a good camera body feeling.

Ricoh GR-digital, this camera has some really great feeling body and some nice 28mm F2.4 lens.

Ricoh_gr_digital

But it has quite some heavy problems when it comes to focusing and handling noise(too small sensor for this beauty). Other people complain a lot about the slow response when saving pictures in RAW format to the memory card. User opinion 1 , 2 . Review 1 .

Panasonic LX-1, this camera is supposed to offer some high optical quality because of its nice Zeiss lens 28–112 F2.8–F4.9.

Panasonic_LX1

Some people complain about its sluggish plastic feeling and others love the 16:9 image mode. Some say the noise in JPEG-mode is too much and others love their naturally colours compared to Canon’s S80. Review 1 , 2 , 3 .

Canon S80, this was originally my favourite camera because of its nice and clear video mode that doesn’t suffer from compression artifacts and flat colours like most other models.

Canon_s80

From all 3 bodies id say this one looks worst. The S60 was kind-a sexy and had RAW support and thats probably the biggest complaint for all people. The images tend canon-like to have some red-orange cast. Review 1 , 2 , 3 .

 

So what’s the bottom line ?

In the reviews i posted above you find lots of comparisons that show the colour cast on the S80 compared to the LX-1. The official samples from the Ricoh GR-digital look so horrible. I wonder how they want to sell their cam with such pictures. I found this big gallery with user pictures featured by Ricoh, they give you some kind of impression what the camera really can do. For me the LX-1 is the best choice at the moment, the raw support and the really wide 16:9 mode make it pretty attractive.

posted in reviews | 9 Comments

5th December 2005

Easy Exif-Read-Write with Pel

The idea was to cut down the mysql usage in galleries. Just edit some exif-tag of some image (e.g. .jpg) and use it for storing information that you would usually store in the database. Im using the Pel-lib (php) for this approach.

My script scans some directory (default: “pics/”) for files, creates html-form elements for each, reads the exif tag (image_description) and puts em into the forms as initial values. On pressing the “write” button the new image descriptions are written to the files (chmod 666).

This is some very easy read and write exif data application. You can easily customize it to read and write your favourite tags.

Here you can see a demo.

You can download the php script here . The file structure in my sample is the following.

  • /exif-writer.php
  • /pel/PelJpeg.php
  • /pics/image1.jpg
  • /pics/image2.jpg

Dont forget to chmod all images to 666. Thats it, have fun.

posted in reviews | 0 Comments

2nd December 2005

Howto create a PDF File in Windows XP

Looking for some easy to use PDF-Maker and looking at Adobe’s price list, I had to find some free tool thats really easy to handle.

Paperless printer pdf maker windows xp

rarefind offers the Paperless Printer® . It works like a common printer in Windows XP. When you selected any document in any application to print, the software just asks you what format you prefer: PDF, HTML, RTF, EXCEL, JPEG, BMP. You press “OK” and its all done !

I found this tool pretty neat for using online fax services for sending some signed contract to my domain provider. In order to get the print view of a web-document you got to print it. But with this tool you just print it to some BMP file, edit it in your graphics editor(paint, photoshop, …) and send it to some online fax service (tiscali.de or fax.de for germany). So you saved paper and didn’t pay anything for the fax (fax.de gives you 10 free fax messages).

posted in reviews, windows | 5 Comments

30th November 2005

High Dynamic Range compression for everyone

In one of my favourite forums i found this thread about photography tools for creating high dynamic range images of your own exposure bracketing. It is just a command line application but the results are awesome. I’ve used the HDR Shop before but even with the tone-mapping plug-in the result weren’t good at all with glowing edges and visible seams all over the image.

The new MKHDRI tool uses this method by Greg Ward for automatically matching picture positions. The newest version of MKHDRI and HDRI2LDRI (for low dynamic range compression, jpegs for your crt monitor) can be found here: Version 1.04.02 20.11.2005. The software itself is in english but the tutorial is only in german so far. But its quite easy to use.

c:\ mkhdri -a -co:myCurve.txt -out:myPic.tif myPics\*.tif

For generating the camera curves into the myCurve.txt .

c:\ hdri2ldri -ic:myCurve.txt myPic.tif myPic_ldri.tif

For generating the final LDRI (low dynamic range picture for your crt monitor capabilities). You can get more information by just using the inbuilt help.

c:\ hdri2ldri -?

For getting help.

So there are basicly 2 simple steps.

1. Creating an High Dynamic Range Image and the camera curve (MKHDRI).

2. Using the camera curve to create some Low Dynamic Range Image for your photo gallery (HDRI2LDRI).

He plans to make some nice GUI (graphical user interface) for it, so you have more comfort when generating your LDRI images.

posted in reviews, windows | 5 Comments

26th November 2005

Canon Powershot S80 video mode performance

Reading the Canon Powershot S80 review on dpreview i was wondering if they finally build a good video mode into the S-series. I’ve been playing with the Canon S2 IS a lot and its video mode is really great. Using 5x1GB SD cards you got plenty of recording time and its still a lot smaller than some mini-DV cam corder. Comparing the video quality I must say i prefer the S2’s video to the mini-DV’s because streaming the DV video over the fire-wire port takes quite a lot of time and the final quality is not that crisp on todays HDTV screens.

Canon s80 front back - thumb

Here (scroll down) you can find 2 sample videos of the Canon S80. That cam is really small and takes good 640×480 @ 30fps videos for my taste. Due to its heavy sharpening in the video mode and the good wide-angle lens you have some weird pattern effects in the video. On the S2 there was some video mode option for low sharpening which was noticeably less sharp but did a better job at wide-angle settings in cityscapes. I bet in one of their next models with more improving SD card speeds and controller speeds we will soon have some 720p (HDTV) @ 30 fps video mode on these little pocket cameras.

posted in reviews | 5 Comments

24th November 2005

nik Sharpener Pro 2.0 – Photoshop plugin

nik multimedia released their new sharpening tool nik Sharpener Pro 2.0.

Nik Sharpener pro 2.0 image sharpening - thumb

Did you ever have a sharpening tool with just a single slider and still have good results ? In the advanced mode there are 5 different base colors ( black, grey, white, yellow, blue ) for sharpening. Color Frequency based sharpening makes sense. For example you have a sunset sea picture with some shadow shape of a palm tree. Other tools would give you nasty highlights at the high contrast edges but with this tool you can suppress the black sharpening easily and push the red of the sunset or the blue of the water. It is easy to use tool with nice results but the interface design is not my taste.

posted in mac os x, reviews, windows | 11 Comments

24th November 2005

Nikon Coolscan 8000ED vs. Canon EOS 300D slide scan Fuji Velvia 50

Since I’ve been disappointed by the color performance of recent DSLR cameras, i got myself some old Canon EOS 650 with a Fuji Velvia 50 slide film. The slide film looks great on a slide projector but how do I get this pictures into my computer ? After reading a bit in the web i found some interesting site: film scanner.info – german reviews . In my university’s labs I found a Nikon Coolscan 8000 ED (4000 eur).

Nikon Coolscan 8000 ED slide scan Fuji Velvia 50 - thumb

Doing further research in the web I found some forum threads about scanning slides with your DSLR using homemade slide scan adapters. Just use a dark box with holes for the light source and the lens and place the slide in front of the light source (cold light “day light lamp” with 5000 Kelvin should be best choice).

Canon DSLR slide scan EOS 300 D Fuji Velvia 50 - thumb

My results weren’t that good, I had to do lots of post processing. There are old M42 bellows for slide scanning that you can use with a simple “M42 to EOS adapter”. Using that with a light panel or some 5000K lamp with good diffuser glass should give better results.

The Nikon Coolscan 8000 ED gave me like 8–9 MP(megapixel) and my homemade solution with the Canon EOS 300 D about 3–4 MP of the Fuji Velvia 50 which is supposed to have 25 MP on drum scanners. Color quality didn’t impress me at all on both systems. Slides were made for slide projectors. Maybe I’ll find a better scanner (or just good scanning software) one day.

posted in reviews | 23 Comments

23rd November 2005

Imagenomic Noiseware Professional Photoshop Plugin

I just tested this new noise removal software by Imagenomic.

Noiseware Professional by imagenomic great noise removal - thumb

Having seen Noise Ninja and Neat Image i must say Noiseware is more simple, faster and the results are very good without playing with the settings for hours. I’m not easy to impress but this little tool is really great. I wonder what techniques (algorithm) they use.

posted in mac os x, reviews, windows | 5 Comments

21st November 2005

Nikon AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED

Was just looking at this new Nikon lens. I wonder if it will be available in Germany before Christmas. Nikon is always a little slow with publishing new products. The price will be another mystery, i guess around 700 eur. The specifications are very impressive. This will make many newcomers buy a Nikon D50 with this 18–200 lens instead of a Canon 350D with their scrappy kit lens.I found some MTF Charts.

MTF Charts: left 18mm and right 200mm
Nikon DX VR 18-200 mm F3.5-5.6 MTF 200mmNikon DX VR 18-200 mm F3.5-5.6 MTF 200mm

Yes, there are recent alternatives. Tamron and Sigma have some 18–200 lens. From the pictures I’ve seen so far i think the Tamron is far better than Sigma. Here is a link to some babelfish translated comparison between Tamron 18–200 vs. Sigma 18–125 vs. Sigma 18–200 (The ?????? is probably the Tamron).

  • Focal length: 18-200mm (equivalent to a 27-300mm lens in 35mm format)
  • Maximum aperture: f/3.5-5.6
  • Minimum aperture: f/22-36
  • Lens construction: 16 elements in 12 groups (two ED glass elements, three aspherical lens elements)
  • Picture angle: 76° – 8°
  • Minimum focus range: 0.5m (1.6 ft.)
  • Attachment size: 72mm
  • Dimensions (approx.): 77 x 96.5mm (3.0 x 3.8 in.)
  • Weight (approx.): 560g (19.8 oz.)
  • Included accessories: 72mm Snap-on front lens cap (LC-72), Rear lens cap (LF-1), Bayonet hood (HB-35), Soft lens pouch (CL-1018)
  • Optional accessories: 72mm screw-in filters

 

Update:
Some people complained about the light fall off. Samples . And here is some link with smaller samples taken with this lens, apart from all the green sky that the D70 gives with its bad AutoWhiteBalance the pictures look quite good, bokeh is quite smooth on tele end. An other link with snapshots taken with Nikon 18–200.

And here is some thread with links comparing the Nikon 18–200 with 5 other lens ( Sigma 12-24, Tamron 28-75, Sigma 30, Nikon 60 (Micro), Nikon 80-200 (2 ring)).

posted in reviews | 6 Comments

19th November 2005

Modified Canon EOS 300-D firmware

For all the people looking for the Canon EOS 300 D firmware hack (new beta version B7.1): look here

The original Canon EOS 300 D firmware: look here

Just unrar the file and copy it to your memory card, restart the camera and follow the camera’s screen instructions. Very easy to install. I use myself the FEC (Flash Exposure Compensation) the most and the new fast delete right after taking a shot.

posted in reviews | 3 Comments

19th November 2005

Elsa Revelator 3d flicker

I just got this 3d glasses: Elsa Revelator 3d (wired). Started playing with it I noticed the heavy ghosting. At first I thought it was my screen (150Hz) but its the glasses. The low contrast in the LCD displays causes some ghosting effect (see shadows of the right image in the left eye) on high contrast pictures. The new feeling in games like Call of Duty 2 was pretty amazing but I found the flickering too annoying. A little research brought some light in it. Lots of people having problems with flickering in Windows XP. Some say its the USB devices, other say its the graphic cards IRQ conflict and others say its the DCC Line command from plug&play monitors.

Elsa Revelator 3D flicker dcc pin 12

They say removing pin 12 (DCC line 5V) might help. So I tried it but damaged the cable (monitor cable adapter) so the glasses wont work anymore. I got mine for 15 eur ($17) so it doesn’t matter.

After reading a lot about 3d-stereo in Windows XP I found this Emagin z800 , pretty expensive $899, but from all the reviews I found they should be very good.

3D Stereo Drivers for Nvidia Cards Version 78.01 in Windows XP but don’t forget to install the the Base Drivers from Nvidia 78.01 .

posted in reviews, windows | 3 Comments

16th November 2005

Remove Blogger navbar

To remove blogger’s navbar I used this lil code snippet in the blogger style sheet settings:

#b-navbar{
height:0px;
visibility:hidden;
}

posted in reviews | 9 Comments