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Friday Cat Blogging

Froggie Approaches

Friday Cat Blogging

Got a cheezburger?

[Editor: Froggie came over to see what I was doing when I was trying to get a picture of a yellow crab spider, so I took her picture instead.]

Friday Ark

12 comments

1 ellroon { 11.23.13 at 3:02 pm }

If it’s that interesting, it must be food…

2 Bryan { 11.23.13 at 10:45 pm }

In Froggie’s case, she wanted her head scratched, and any human who squatted down was obviously doing it to scratch behind her ears.

3 hipparchia { 11.25.13 at 10:04 pm }

i think friday crab spider blogging would be an excellent addition to friday cat blogging.

4 Bryan { 11.25.13 at 11:19 pm }

If only I could get the damn camera to cooperate. Even in the ‘macro’ mode it refuses to focus on the little beastie. It is apparently not big enough for the camera to ‘see’, even if it tells me it is focusing on the the area that contains the spider. I fear that without an SLR I will never get a decent picture.

If you haven’t seen one, the back is shaped like a crab shell about 3/8″ across, and it can be white or bright yellow with black dots. It weaves huge webs from tree limbs to the ground which capture a lot of mosquitoes and other flying insects.

5 Kryten42 { 11.26.13 at 7:01 am }

LOL Friday crab Spider blogging! :lol: Well, I’m pretty sure it would be unique! :D

Speaking of DSLR camera’s, for your situation an excellent DSLR can be had for peanuts on eBay and elsewhere that I’ve been using for years. the Nikon Coolpix 880. It’s only 3.3 MP, but it has a very high quality CCD & lens as are used in Nikon’s higher rated camera’s. It’s max resolution is 2048 x 1536 pixels, which I think is more than you’ll need! It also has a multi-shot mode (6 fps) and movie mode (30 fps). It has a very fast auto-focus, and several auto modes. I’ve seen them on eBay for about $30. :) It has a USB data cable (that’s proprietary Nikon, of course, as is the battery pack.) One of the reasons I decided to get it was that it does extremely well in low-light conditions for a camera that was under $1,000! It also handles very bright conditions well also (such as on the beach on a cloudless day). :)

There’s a review here (that I read when I decided to buy one new 8 years ago when they were about AU$870). They have some test shots you can look at. :)

Nikon CoolPix 880 Review – Datasheet

If you want something with a higher res and more features, try the 995. But I don’t know what they go for these days. They were over $1k new.

There’s the last version made (v2.2) being sold on eBay for $30.50 that looks to be in reasonable condition considering it’s age:

Nikon Coolpix camera 880 v2.2

You’ll need a power adapter/universal charger with car adapter and battery which is available for US$25. Considering the battery alone was about $75 from Nikon, that’s cheap! ;)
Search for: “EN-EL1 Battery + Charger for Nikon CoolPix 880 885 995 4300 4500 4800 5700 8700″
Oh! Try to find the original charger adaptor! EH-21. It works best.

Also search for the USB data cable “UC-E1″ which I’ve seen on eBay for $3-$6.

So all up, you can get a pretty good setup for about $60 (plus whatever shipping).

Just my 2c. ;)

6 hipparchia { 11.26.13 at 6:10 pm }

i had at least one crab spider in my jungle of weeds wildflower garden this year. i tried to get a video of it making its web. didn’t work out but i’m blaming that on its being a breezy day that day.

7 Bryan { 11.26.13 at 9:54 pm }

I’m going to wait on a new camera to replace my Nikon S9100, Kryten. It should be able to do this, so I’m going to have to search the manual.

Yeah, Hipparchia, the wind was the problem the last time I tried to take its picture as it was impossible to focus with the web moving back and forth. I tried a 12 shot stream, but it was never really in focus.

8 Kryten42 { 11.27.13 at 7:42 am }

Ummmm… The Nikon Coolpix S9100 is the much more recent sibling of the 880 series. You shouldn’t be having any focus issues. I looked at that model last year, but decided that my 880 is still good enough for my modest needs. If I remember the reviews I looked at, it has a pre-focused shutter lag of only 0.01 sec, and a autofocus shutter lag of 0.22 sec, which is pretty good. One thing most reviews said was that it had noticeable blurring at the corners, but was usually sharp in center. Though that depended on the mode and ISO settings used. the lowest, ISO160 produced images with the least blurring, and blurring increased as ISO increased. It was designed to be a fairly fast camera, able to capture 1280×960 images up to 118 fps in 120 Continuous mode.

So yeah, you shouldn’t really have any focus issues unless your hands are really unsteady or you’re on skateboard! ;) :D

Maybe it’s just some setting issue. Of course, if it’s been dropped… *shrug*

9 Kryten42 { 11.27.13 at 8:19 am }

I found a partial copy of a review I saved. Maybe it’ll help. :)

Nikon Coolpix S9100 Conclusion
The Coolpix S9100 is one of the most attractive compact digicams we’ve seen, featuring high-grade controls and a soft front panel with a raised finger hold that serves as a excellent grip. With an 18x optical zoom range that starts at a very wide angle, there aren’t many places you won’t want to bring it.

I liked both the color capture and detail rendering of the Coolpix S9100′s images, even at high ISO and was able to make cropped 5x7s without worrying about loss of quality.

But the Coolpix S9100 did have trouble finding focus with some rather simple subjects. And digital zoom was glacially slow. Both are minor issues in normal use.

If you don’t need in-camera GPS, the Coolpix S9100 also makes a very nice travel camera. It’s small enough to pack with a great zoom range, and handles interiors as well as landscapes. Those are attributes that count even if you aren’t going anywhere.

Nikon Coolpix S9100 Performance
Startup Time: The Coolpix S9100 takes about 1.5 seconds to power on and take a shot. That’s very fast for a pocket long-zoom.

Shutter Lag: Full autofocus shutter lag is very good, at 0.22 second at wide angle and full telephoto. Prefocused shutter lag is only 0.011 second, which is also very good.

Cycle Time: Cycle time is pretty good, capturing a frame every 1.25 seconds in single-shot mode. Full resolution Continuous H mode is rated at 9.5 frames per second for 5 frames, and 120 Continuous mode is able to capture 1280×960 images at 118 frames per second in our tests.

Flash Recycle: The Nikon Coolpix S9100′s flash recycles in about 4.6 seconds after a full-power discharge, which is good.

Low Light AF: The camera’s AF system was able to focus down to just above the 1/8 foot-candle light level without AF assist enabled, and in complete darkness with AF assist.

USB Transfer Speed: Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, the Nikon Coolpix S9100′s download speeds are moderately fast. We measured 5,128 KBytes/sec.

Pros:
* Backside illuminated sensor performs well
* Reasonably light
* Nice ridge and rubber for grip on the front
* Manually released pop-up flash
* 18x lens ranges from 25-450mm
* Sensor-shift image stabilization (for stills)
* Full HD movie mode
* Stereo microphones
* High-resolution LCD (921K dots)
* Controls are comfortable to use
* Two-speed zoom lever
* Optical zoom during movie recording
* Firm mode dial
* Excellent Scroll Wheel control
* Easy Panorama mode
* Very fast autofocus
* Fast cycle time and burst modes
* Fast startup and flash recycle
* Still capture during movie recording (up to 1,920 x 1,080)
* Imaging stacking Night shot modes
* HDR mode
* Myriad of Continuous modes
* HDMI port
* Distortion correction is very effective for stills

Cons:
* Soft corners at wide and tele
* Noticeable chromatic aberration and flare in some shots
* No manual exposure mode
* Connector/charging port on the bottom requires that you lay camera flat on a table
* Movie button difficult to press
* Chromatic aberration and geometric distortion correction are not applied to movies
* No sensor-shift VR in movies (electronic VR only)
* Autofocus is not always reliable
* Digital zoom is very slow
* Only two aperture settings at a given focal length, using an ND filter
* No RAW format support
* Auto white balance renders tungsten light a little red

10 Bryan { 11.27.13 at 4:37 pm }

It seems like it is a depth of field problem based on where it thinks the focal point is located. With only a box to work with, rather than a central focal point, it isn’t always clear what is actually in focus. It is often obvious after the fact that the camera was actually focusing on something other than your target, i.e. a tree leaf may be in sharp focus, or in the case of the spider, the bark of the tree in the background.

11 Kryten42 { 11.27.13 at 10:34 pm }

Yeah. That’s a common problem with digital autofocus camera’s. The review said that the AF wasn’t always reliable. Mine has that problem to a degree, but I generally prefer manual focus anyway (a throwback to my 35mm SLR days I guess). Old habbits… :D

Good luck with it m8. :) I’m sure you’ll figure it out. :D

12 Bryan { 11.27.13 at 11:40 pm }

That’s it, my Pentax was always right when the I focused manually. If I could get a clear image, it was time to swap lenses. It is, however nice not to pay for the processing of the film.

There has to be way.