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Nikon Coolpix 995 Macro demo


As you can tell from the home page of this blog, I have a web page that long pre-dates this blog (can I say blog anymore times in a single sentence in a blog?) :-)

I continue to face the dilemma of where to put stuff. I don’t like to scatter things around but the problem is, while a blog is probably the best way to present new stuff, it is NOT the best way to store and retrieve articles of lasting value.


For the time being, I’m going to continue to write article that may not have all that long a shelf life and put them here. I’ll write articles that, IMO, have enduring value on my web page and post a pointer from here. Such as in this case.

Tonight I did a review and demo of a fairly old digicam that has an exceptional macro (close-up) capability. Better than any new camera that I’ve seen that isn’t a DSLR and doesn’t require a few $large to buy and equip with lenses. Here’s the article.

Enjoy. And please let me know if you have a strong opinion one way or the other on my posting architecture.

This is another experiment. This is going to be the first post that I publish directly from the BlogDesk blogging software package. Normally I upload the article from here, proof it and then set it free into the blogosphere from the WordPress interface. I do it that way because the WordPress editing and writing interface sucks bilgewater so badly.  Most of the problem is related to the nature of web-based applications.

The net is slow tonight and I’m tired so I’m steppin’ waaaay out on a limb. If it looks like crap, well, better luck next time :-)


PS: I couldn’t do it.  Blogdesk’s spelling checker is so crappy that it missed things that I’m used to WordPress’s check-on-the-fly catching.  The article looked like sh*t so I fixed it and I’m now writing from the WordPress editor. *sigh*

I’m STILL looking for some software that will make writing a blog entry as easy and simple and reliable as writing and sending an email.

Posted by neonjohn on November 27th, 2008 under Cool Stuff, Photography

5 Responses to “Nikon Coolpix 995 Macro demo”

  1. Nicholas Says:

    Hey, regarding that article.

    I like Nikons – I have a bunch of lenses and a couple of DSLR bodies. They’re overall pretty good. But I agree that Nikon are annoying jerks sometimes. Case in point: my friend wanted me to make him a GPS unit for his Nikon. Basically all it would need is a GPS module, a regulator to power it off the camera battery, and a serial link back to the camera so it could tag the photos with the location he took them. I worked out the parts would cost less than $100. Then we realized that the camera’s GPS connector is a non-standard type of connector and the only way to hook up to it properly would be to buy a cable from Nikon. (It’s actually an 8 pin DIN with two extra pins and a screw ring around it to lock it down). That cable alone costs something like US$80! So it would basically double the cost of making our own GPS unit, and it would end up costing almost as much as a commercial one. What a rip.

    You just can’t win, can you. You finally find some manufacturer who makes stuff that isn’t complete crap and they pull stupid marketing tricks which piss you off. I feel like that about Intel. They have great engineers but the stupid marketing stuff they do to make more money pisses me off so much that I buy AMD products instead, just because they’re less infuriating. Things like taking a 3GHz CPU, crippling it by limiting it to say 2GHz, and selling it cheaply, so that they can charge more to the people who want a 3GHz part, when it’s no different except for the lack of crippling. Ugh.

  2. neonjohn Says:

    Oh I agree fully. Nikon itself is good kit. I mean, look what that macro lens can do. It’s the peckerheads at the company that have me swearing them off.

    At a higher level, Hasselblad does similar things. Said friend also has a year’s salary worth of Hassle hardware. Seems like they always have little tricks up their sleeves to make third party hardware not work.

    I sure wish the camera industry would discover Open Source/Open Protocol!

    Speaking of connectors, have you seen the total piece o crap strobe interface on the 995 and many other Nikons? Nooooo, a PC connector isn’t good enough anymore. This is an odd-wad 3 pin affair with enough stiff strain relief to break the thing the moment you touch it. I’ve already had my 995 apart once fixing the connector and embedding it in epoxy.

    Later on (drop me an email if I forget) I’ll do an article on making custom connectors. In a nutshell, it involves finding pins or sockets that fit the sockets or pins, coating everything with mold release and then packing the proprietary hole with 2 part silicone molding compound. With the pins and wires in place, of course.

    After the stuff cures, a little wiggling and the mold release makes the silicone blob come out. Viola! a custom connector. That’s an old one from back when I used to make military radios into ham radios.


  3. John Kay Says:

    Your new blog/posting architecture is a winner. Easy to bounce back and forth from blog to your site.

  4. Nicholas Says:

    There are a lot of industries that need to get a hold of open protocols :I

    Case in point: I spent the last three days building my own JTAG adapter and JTAG software. Partly this was because of buggy software that wasn’t working and I had no patience to sort out. Partly it’s because there’s no real standard for USB JTAG adapters, so the adapter I bought isn’t supported by the software which advertises that it can do the job. There are other reasons too. That was time I would have rather spent doing something else.. but I’ll never have to worry about it again :)

    As for connectors.. yeah when I was researching that proprietary Nikon connector, i found posts from people describing how to make these connectors. What they did was get the 8 pin DIN plug, and drill two small holes in it where the non-standard pins go, then transplanting pins from other DIN connectors. There are two reasons I didn’t go that route myself. One, I had no faith that such a solution would stand up to the rigors of outdoor photography. Two, I’m nowhere near as good with the mechanical stuff as you are. I really enjoy building circuits but hate building the chassis to install it into. I think it’s partly because if I make a mistake with the circuit I can fix it practically without a trace, but if I make a mistake drilling a hole I’m pretty screwed. However I definitely want to get into the physical aspect of electronics construction more, if only because it’s necessary.

    I haven’t spent much time with the Coolpix cameras. I went from an old Canon P&S digital camera to the Nikon SLR. But I’ll make this observation: I can never understand why a manufacturer will use oddball connectors when there are so many perfectly good standard connectors to choose from. DC connectors, phono plugs, DIN plugs, banana plugs, mini USB plugs, etc. Somewhere in that lot you can likely find something that does what you need. To invent something new seems pretty pointless. There is one thing I find lacking, though – small locking connectors. Something like a microphone plug (screw lock) or XLR plug, but smaller, lighter and cheaper. Too many standard/commercial connectors are held in only by friction and often it’s just not enough.

    Is mold release a substance which prevents the silicone moulding compound from binding to the parts that don’t want it to stick to permanently?

  5. maren Says:

    I’m quite happy with Google’s blogspot.
    I have 2 blogs, one is the, the other is my “other blog” that I write in plain html with a text editor.

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