Sunday, May 4, 2008

Electronic Do-Dad Delay

Used to be before radios got all hi-tech, you could turn off the ignition on your car and keep turning the key till you reached the accessory position and the radio would not miss a beat. This was nice when there was a song on the radio that you liked when you reached your destination, which according to Murphy is the only time there was a song on the radio that you liked. Some people can sit there with the engine idling, but I can't, at least not without a very good reason. I don't know why that is. I suppose it has something to do with the way I was brought up, or with the way my mind works, or maybe those are both the same thing. If I am driving somewhere, I get in the car, start the engine, drive to my destination, and turn off the ignition. Just call me Mr. Roboto.

Now-a-days, this trick with the ignition key doesn't work. The instant the power gets cut to the radio, it shuts off, and the when the power comes back on, it takes a second for the radio to figure out which way is up and resume playing the tune that it just interrupted. Irritating. Stupid electronic gizmos.

We have a similar problem with cameras that cost more than ten dollars. They have all kinds of fancy-schmancy automatic this and that, which is great if you are trying to take a photo of something that is just sitting (or standing) there. But if you are trying to take a photo of something in motion, you're screwed. You push the button, but all that does is tell the camera that you would like to take a photo, please. Then the camera has to think about it. Umm, let's see, is the aperature set correctly? Should I turn on the flash? How's the focus? Okay, I think we're ready now. Meanwhile the subject has left the frame, the room, the building. Stupid cameras.

Well now Casio has come up with a battery sucker that can help with this scenario. You half press the trigger and it starts taking photos, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, continuously. Press the trigger all the way and it stops. You can then review the most recent photos and see if you actually caught the cat leaping across the room. Only problem I see with this is I would want it in half cock mode all the time, so when I saw something happening I could grab and snap and maybe capture what I wanted. I don't like this push-the-button-halfway-business at all.

All electronic do-dads are battery suckers. If this Casio worked the way I wanted it to, I would probably be replacing batteries every couple of hours. Probably not the camera for me.

There is one other thing about this camera that is pretty cool and that is it can record high speed video, up to 1200 FPS (frames per second). The resolution at this rate isn't that great, but it's plenty good enough for YouTube. I expect we will be seeing a whole lot of slow motion video on YouTube shortly.

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