Why I selected the Fuji X-T1.

Well I was trying to avoid looking at this camera because I was happy with my Fuji X100/X100S.  But I read a review, then another then another and then I guess I decided to look at another mirrorless camera that I can carry every day.  Now this will never replace my Canon 5D Mark III because I love that camera and all the lenses that it offers.  But there are times when I just do not want to carry that camera and the heavy lenses.  Plus I admit.. I am a tech junkie.

What I was looking for is something small, light, fun to shoot and easy to carry around.  Also I wanted something with good image quality and where I do not have to think about all my settings.

So I decided to look at what mirrorless systems would meet/fit my needs.  Currently there are a few great options that are available.  So I looked at the following systems/camera.

Sony A:  Come on, they stuck a full frame sensor in a nice small body.  That is cool.  I almost ordered the A7R.  But after testing out the A7 and A7R, I felt that the images were not great (granted I was shooting JPEGs inside the store).  Also I felt that the price they wanted did not offer enough value/return.  Plus their selection of lenses was very limited.  Granted I can get adapters, but then the size of the camera/lens would be almost as big as my Canon 5D Mark III.  Maybe if I did not have the Canon, this would be the one camera solution that I would choose.

Sony Nex:  I looked at the Sony NEX-7.  I did not really like how the NEX-7 felt in my hands.  I have big hands, but it just felt tiny. 

Micro 4/3:  I have an Olympus Pen E-PL1 that I converted to a IR camera.  The Micro 4/3 system has been around for a while and the lens selection is very mature.  I looked at the Olympus E-M1, which is one of the best 4/3 camera around.  Spec wise, the camera is very nice and there are plenty of great reviews on this camera.  But my past experience, I never have seen/gotten any images that just wowed me.  Like when I went from a 30D to the 5D.. that was a wow…  I am not sure if it is physiological, but I guess the size of the 4/3 system does not impress me that much.  So it would not offer the image quality that I was looking for.

Nikon Df: I looked at the Nikon Df briefly, but this camera would be too big/heavy for my needs.  Plus there are a lot of mixed reviews on this camera, so I just excluded this.

Fuji X:  Okay I have a Fuji X100 and X100S.  And for a while I considered the X-Pro1.  I think the Fuji X series is a great system.  They have a decent selection of lenses with more on the way.  The company tends to listen their customers.  The sensor is a good size (APS-C).  One thing I have always been impressed by Fuji is their colors (JPEG).  I love what I get out of the camera.  While I always shoot RAW on my 5D Mark III, on the Fuji I am comfortable with using/keeping the JPEGs.  This does not change with the Fuji X-T1..

So I decided to order the Fuji X-T1 one day and received it two days later…  So far I love and am very impressed with the Fuji X-T1. 


Box gives 50 GB of free storage to iPhone and iPad users (until February 15th, 2104)

Box just recently released new iPhone and iPad applications, and, as part of the release, is offering 50 GB of free cloud storage to users who download the new apps within the next month. Given that Box’s free tier is 10 gigabytes, the fresh file space is large in comparison.

The updated applications sport a new user interface, preview support for more than 100 file varieties, commenting and text search, among other upgrades.

What Box has in mind is simple: It wants its mobile applications to be your hub for file storage, file management, and collaboration on the go. This mirrors its efforts on the web to expand its tool set past file storage and up the value stack with applications like BoxNotes that let users edit their stored documents.

If you have used Box in the past or do not use it that often, here are some of the changes they made.

Speed and simplicity
An entirely new simple intuitive user interface
Significantly faster document rendering
Progressive low- to high-resolution photo loading for fast scrolling and previewing

The best content experience
New preview capabilities for 100+ file types
High fidelity rendering of PowerPoint, PDFs, photos, videos and more
Convenient grid views
Full text search within documents

Enhanced productivity
New sidebar for featuring comments
Real-time search for files within your account
The ability to move, copy and delete multiple files at once
A redesigned Box OneCloud gallery of partner apps
Menu of recommended partner apps customized for each file

While I typically use Dropbox and Skydrive… but 50GB is a good amount of free cloud storage.


Apple AppStore

VarieDrop resizes multiple images by dragging and dropping

Resizing one image is pretty easy, even resizing multiple images is fairly easy/simple for most people. But for some people it can be either difficult or time consuming. VarieDrop helps with this issue.

VarieDrop tries to simplify this by allowing you to define up to four “drag and drop areas”, each of which have their target size, file format, output folder and so on. Once it’s set up, just select your target images, drag and drop them onto that area, and they’ll be converted and resized accordingly.


There’s also a fifth “drag and drop area” which can optionally combine the results of the others. If you’ve set up the main areas to create 320×200, 640×480, 800×600 and 1024×768 images, you might also have this fifth area generate all four sizes with a single drag and drop.

VarieDrop has some limitations. There is no watermarks, special effects or rotation. It just allows you to resize to a few standard sizes and changes your image to other common image formations.

VarieDrop’s ability to perform these operations on multiple files with a drag and drop does make the program very easy to use, though, and if your batch processing needs are simple then the program could be worth a look.

You can find the software here

DxO FilmPack 3 Film Emulation Software is Free Until October 31st

I have used DxO FilmPack in the past, and it is pretty cool.  While not as good as Alien Skin Exposure 4 or 5…..  Free is still free.

DxO filmpack 3 is a plugin for Photoshop that allows you to to change your images to look like film.

For a limited time, DxO is giving away free licenses for the previous version of its creative image processing program FilmPack 3. By comparison, VSCO charges $119 for its film emulation packs, and DxO charges $79 for FilmPack 4.

All you need to do is visit the promo page and enter an email address the activation code should be sent to. The software download weighs in at about 280MB. This promo ends on October 31st, 2013, so act soon if you’d like this free program.



Torchy’s Secret Taco Menu

I know this has been around for awhile, but I am still surprised that a lot of people still do not know about Torchy’s Secret Taco Menu. So I decided to post it here. I have tried all of these and I have my favorites.. but everyone has different taste so I will not list my favorite.

Here is the list.
Missionary-Style Green Chili Pork: carnitas, pickled onions, guacamole, jack cheese and cilantro, topped with chipotle sauce and wrapped in a flour and corn two-tortilla tandem.

Jack of Clubs: fried egg and grilled potatoes with black beans, tortilla strips and cheese; all topped with cilantro, sour cream and Torchy’s Diablo sauce.

The Hipster: panko-breaded fried tuna, with bacon, green chilies, and black beans; topped with cilantro and cotija cheese, and served on a flour tortilla with avocado sauce.

The Mad Cow: skirt steak with black beans and corn; topped with jack cheese, cilantro and ranch.

Trailer Park Hillbilly Style: Torchy’s gauche standby is made even trashier with chorizo and chopped bacon atop the usual fried chicken tender with green chilies, queso and ranch, served on a flour tortilla.

Ace of Spades: Jalapeno sausage link and grilled brisket topped with a fried egg, green chile queso, cotija cheese, sour cream, more cheese and Diablo sauce, served on a flour tortilla

The Matador: Chopped brisket and grilled jalapeno topped with pickled onions, jack chees, avocado, sour cream and cilantro with tomatillo sauce on a corn tortilla.