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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Staples Easy Rebates Are Not Easy

I just bought two cases of paper at Staples. It was a buy one get one free deal. But it's not that easy. You don't actually buy one and get one free.

You have to actually buy TWO, then head to the Staples Easy Rebates website, or send a rebate form in by mail, to get your money back.

That is not easy.

This procedure suggests that Staples is counting on people to neglect to follow the steps to claim their rebates. When they don't, Staples gets to keep the momey.

The message it sends to me, the customer, is that they want to make it hard to do business with them.

I would much rather buy one case of paper at Staples and have them give me the second case free, like it says in the ad.

Hopefully Roche Bros won't sign on to the same program. Imagine how much paperwork you'd end up with after a trip to the supermarket!

Steve Garfield Quadcamera

Steve Garfield Quadcamera, originally uploaded by CC Chapman.

CC Chapman took this photo of me with his iPhone using the Quadcamera application. Very cool. I love the way this came out and CC says you can choose either 4 or 8 photos.

Getting it now.

The White House on Vimeo

The White House on Vimeo, originally uploaded by stevegarfield.

It's great to see The White House on Vimeo but I find this thumbnail is misleading. Love the image, but it promised a behind the scenes moment that was not delivered on in the video.

I'd love an invitation to The White House to record some behind the scenes videos. :-)


twittersheep, originally uploaded by stevegarfield.

Interesting word cloud of my twitter followers.

Get yours at

via @bre


History, originally uploaded by withayou.

24" x 36" (spray paint, house paint, and buckets of Photoshop).

CC : Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic (so feel free to download!)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Citizen Journalism with Steve Garfield interview at the Barack, Inc. blog

Obama in Boston

Citizen Journalism with Steve Garfield interview at Barack, Inc. blog. Alexa Scordato writes:
"I had the pleasure of speaking with Steve Garfield, video blogger extraordinaire the other day about his activities during the election. For me, Steve is the epitome of someone who understand how to use social technologies to amplify the individual voice. As he says in this interview 'everyone is a journalist', especially today with the ease in which we can transmit and share information."
Thanks for the interview!

Gil Santos last day at WBZTV

with David Wade WBZTV

David Wade of WBZ TV talks about live streaming video and inovation in journalism.

with Carl Stevens WBZ Radio

Carl Stevens of WBZ Radio shows us the equipment he takes out on to cover a story.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

US Airways Broke My Zipper, Doesn't Care


On my flight out to CES I had to gate check my luggage. Instead of collecting it when getting off the plane, they sent it out to the baggage carousel.

If I had known ahead of time that my baggage was going to be checked I could have taken a much larger suircase. I came back from CES with so much stuff that I had to buy a suitcase at the local ABC store. Great store.

Back to my story...

When I collected my luggage at baggae claim I saw that the zipper pulls on the outside compartment were completly torn off.


I sent this message to US Airways:
Flight 179, 1/6/09, Boston to Las Vegas. Zipper broken. The part you hold on to, to zip and unzip the luggage has been completely torn off. I never check my luggage, but had to gate check my carry on.
US Airways response:
Dear Mr. Garfield,

Thank you for contacting the Central Baggage Resolution Office at US Airways. I apologize for the length of time it has taken us to address your email.

I am sorry to hear of this unfortunate incident. However, regret we are unable to honor your request for compensation toward your damaged bag. In accordance with our published tariffs, US Airways is not liable for damage to baggage which does not impair the ability of the baggage to provide suitable packaging and protection for the contents. This would include damage or loss to protruding baggage parts such as wheels, straps, pockets, pull handles (including internal pull-type), zippers, hooks or other items attached to baggage; as well as damage or loss due to normal wear and tear, manufacturer's defects, or over packed luggage.

I appreciate this opportunity to explain our position and sincerely hope we can restore your confidence in our service.


Central Baggage Resolution Office
US Airways
That's unfortunate.

They broke it.

I guess if they walked into a china shop and and broke a bunch of tea cup handles they wouldn't feel the need to reimburse the store since the tea cups would still be able to hold tea.

Serious Pansies
Serious Pansies by talekinker, on Flickr CC BY-NC

Update 2/23/09:

The zipper hospital fixed my zipper for $18.

Michael Flaherty announces run for Mayor of Boston. He likes Kitchen Aid mixers.

Boston City Councilor Michael Flaherty announced his run for Mayor of the City of Boston on YouTube.

All I could think about while watching the video was Mixer, Mixer, Mixer.

Flaherty for Mayor Site

Kitchen Aid

The views expressed in this video are for parody/satire, and intended for entertainment and amusement only, and do not represent voices of any organization whatsoever.

25 Random Things About Me

This idea of sharing 25 random things about yourself is going around facebook right now. Here's my 25 things. If you would like to join this festival of oversharing, please consider this my invitation to you to reveal mundane and wonderful things about yourself and your past.

1. When I was little, we had a neighborhood band. I'd play the records and my friends would mouth the words.

2. I loved riding my bike around the neighborhood. I got an odometer for it and tried to ride a certain number of miles each day.

3. I bought a little suction cup microphone from Radio Shack and recorded phone calls with random people I'd call from the phone book. I'd interview them about hockey.

4. I liked to remix albums with questions I'd ask about news stories. So I'd ask a question and then play some record lyrics as an answer. I'd spend hours doing this.

5. I was the yearbook photographer for my high school.

Rock and Talk - WMWM Salem

6. Prior to going to college I volunteered a Salem State College's radio staion WMWM and learned how to be a DJ.

7. I was the yearbook photographer in college at UMass Amherst and got some great shots of the Talking Heads. I'll have to see if I can find those.

8. I saw Elvis Costello on his first US tour.

9. Lynn had a huge downtown fire so I went down to take photos. I ended up helping the local news station, WLYN-AM, with their news reports.

10. When I went to UMass Amherst I couldn't get on the college radio station so I did a shift at Smith College. The girls all ignored me.

11. Later on I get a shift on Friday's at Amherst College's WAMH. Jeff Berlin, now of KISS 108, was the DJ before me and taught me a lot of great DJ techniques. I enjoy listening to him when I'm down in Florida. He's 'the DJ' on a lot of stations nationwide.

12. I was also the UMass Daily Collegian school newspaper photographer. One time I had my camera and took a photo of Penn Jillette in the school cafeteria when he stood up and started eating fire to promote a local show. The lesson the newspaper editor told us was to always have our camera on us. It paid off.

13. My first computer was the Macintosh 128k. I bought it while working at a computer store in downtown Boston after seeing Steve Jobs introduce it on the East coast at the Boston Computer Society. We got to buy it for something like $995.

14. I was meeting co-ordinator for the Boston Computer Society Macintosh users group for 2 1/2 years. We had some fun trips to MacWorld SF.

15. At WLYN-AM in Lynn I was the morning news reporter. I was training to be the weekend DJ on WFNX-FM, and ready to go, when the station was sold to WFNX.

Kathy Griffin at Eagle 93.7

16. At WEGQ - Eagle 93.7, I was a producer for 2 1/2 years and wrote jokes for the morning show team of Karlson and McKenzie. I learned how to edit audio really well there.

17. One of the guest comedians at Eagle 93.7 introduced me to the head writer for Jay Leno and I became a monologue writer for a few years.

18. At the Boston Phoenix I worked as a front end developer and user interface designer on their dating site. It was white labeled to a number of big media companies and I handled the customization with a great graphics team.

19. I also spent some time at WFNX with the morning show team of Greg Wymer, Neal Robert, and Henry Santoro. Lots of fun.

20. The Democratic Convention in Boston in 2004 rejected me as a blogger, but I went anyway and video blogged activities surrounding the convention from Boston each night.

21. I was a DJ at Boston College on WZBC. Peter Choyce got me in.

22. I have a button collection.

23. I was in Jason Scott's BBS Documentary. [ video clip ] Sometimes people recognize me from that. Last time it happened was at MacWorld Boston.

24. I was the first to pay for a Pro Blogger account. They don't have those any more.

25. I taught Ryanne Hodson how to videoblog.

[729 words]

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I put the camera inside the shopping cart. It's a small Panasonic SDR-SW20.

The mic picked up shopping cart sound which was almost unusable, so I grabbed the city traffic noise from iMovie 08 and used 45% natural sound on the shopping cart sections.

See How It Looks on Multiple Video Hosting Sites
You can also watch this video on, Facebook, YouTube, Metacafe, Crackle, Viddler, flickr.

Boston Globe Has to Rewrite Gatehouse Headlines and Leads Before Deep Linking

Boston Sunday Globe

Trying to understand the agreement between the Globe and Gatehouse.

Today's Globe says, Media chains settle lawsuit:
"Under the agreement, will be able to refer to stories from GateHouse sites, as it has done in the past, and to manually 'deep link' to individual articles without presenting the links with headlines or lead sentences."
The Nieman Journalism Lab blog makes it clearer, Some confusing language in the GateHouse linking settlement:
So it looks like the upshot is that the Globe can continue to link to GateHouse stories all they want, but that they can’t use any sort of automated tool or the RSS feed to do it. They’ll have to have a human being manually creating the link — and that human will have to write a new headline and summary instead of using GateHouse’s.
Dan Kennedy has more, Settlement details are now online: gut tells me that, by agreeing not to aggregate GateHouse content automatically for its Your Town sites, the Times Co. will shift more to a blogging model, compiled by actual human beings, rather than robotically posting headlines and ledes from GateHouse's Wicked Local sites.

"To put it in the language of online-journalism theory, they have to shift a bit from raw aggregation to something closer to curation," writes Josh Benton of the Nieman Journalism Lab. I agree — I think that's exactly what we're going to see.
The solution sounds a lot like what my friend Adam Gaffin does on Universal Hub.

Adam is a human filter for news stories and blog posts around the area. He writes witty headlines and posts linking to interesting content.

One thing that Adam does a lot though, is link to reports and interviews. He doesn't copy and paste in the actual article name. By doing that, you lose a lot of Search Engine Optimization, meaning that if someone is looking for a certain subject, the words report and interview are not going to show up.

Here's Adam's most recent post:
On the plus side, rents are going down

John Ford posts fourth-quarter apartment-rent numbers for Boston.
The actual title of the post Adam links to is:
First it was condo sales……now apartment rents
How I would have linked to this:
John Ford writes First it was condo sales……now apartment rents showing fourth-quarter apartment-rent numbers for Boston.
That's how many people link to articles. Lot's of blogging tools help do this for you. For example, if you use delicious to share a link, the headline gets copied.

It'll be interesting to see if bloggers take a second look at their linking practices based on this settlement.

What do you think?

Monday, January 26, 2009

The consumer video camera I want manufacturers to make for me. - FriendFeed

Melissa Pierce

The consumer video camera I want manufacturers to make for me. - FriendFeed:
1. Saves to SD Card
2. Has Firewire output
3. Has audio in
4. Has mic that's configurable to shotgun or surround
5. Easily accessible power connection
6. Supports AT&T SIM card for live streaming
7. Allows for extended battery
8. Has physical volume controls vs. soft menu control
9. Saves video as QuickTime .mov files for direct editing
10. Tripod can remain attached while allowing removal of SD card
Add your requests over on Friendfeed.

JO540: New Media Tools For Journalism - Blogs: What are they, How to Find, Subscribe and Share.

Here are the links from the presentation, Blogs: What are they, How to Find, Subscribe and Share.:

My Main Site

Dave Winer's Blog

My Blog


Late Night With Jimmy Fallon


Zadi Diaz

Is this a blog?

This is a blog

Google Blog Search


Bloglines Subscribe Button

Google Reader

Delicious is a social bookmarking website, which means it is designed to allow you to store and share bookmarks on the web, instead of inside your browser. This has several advantages.

Delicious Bookmarklet

Read 10 blogs on a subject of interest to you and subscribe to them.

Come back with 2 favorites and be ready to tell the class why you believe these blogs are best.

Watch the favorites get added: TAG with JO540 on delicious

Unscientific Survey says Boston University students get their news from the Web

BU COM 101

In an unscientific survey released today BU students get their news from:

Web 60
Newspapers 30
TV 24
Radio 14
Cellphones 9

Out of 60 students surveyed.

This semester's JO540 class started today with a session talking about Blogs. What they are, how to find them, subscribe and share.

I always find it interesting to see where students get their news so I did a quick survey in class and posted it here.

Surprisingly newspapers came in second, ahead of TV.

Shooting War by Anthony Lappé and Dan Goldman

Start reading Shooting War Chapter 1 Boom.

I don't remember if I missed tis when it forst came out, but it started out as a "serialized web comic... on in May 2006"

It's about a videoblogger who covers the news. I met Dan yesterday in NYC.

Collective Permanent Record

CPR 2009.01.20 Obama Inauguration Remix from Collective Permanent Record on Vimeo.

"Collective Permanent Record (CPR) records the news and plays it like an instrument then gives you the tools to do the same. See what you can do with an hour of television."

This is very cool. They record and remix the news and then give you the tools to remix it yourself.

The Gathering, NYC 1/25/09

The Gathering, NYC 1/25/09, originally uploaded by stevegarfield.

Juliette Powell's The Gathering Think Tank and 33 Million are "joining forces to launch a new web series featuring some of your favorite newsmakers, changemakers and troublemakers."

I participated in a brainstorming session with an amazing group of peple on what would be the best way to produce an online video show. I stayed from about 1 -4, but had to grab a shuttle back to Boston. At 7:30 they produced a pilot episode based on the ideas from the day.

Here are some of my ideas:

Stream Live with Interaction
My ideas were to stream the production live and involve the remote audience with a chat room and skype video. It would be great if Facebook opened up thesame tool they used at the inauguration to video producers. Archive the live stream.

Edit portions of the show into short videos and distribute those as standlaone segments. Some people would be interested in watching the wholoe show others would just want to watch short clips.

Collaborate with people from all over the world to produce segments. Edit your local production together with these other segements.

Create a community site for the show and show segments to live, combined with a community where people can both watch and contribute.

Ilana Arazie from AP interviews me at ROFLThing NYC 1/24/09

ROFLThing NYC 1/24/09, originally uploaded by stevegarfield.

Jay Maynard, the Tron Guy at ROFLThing NYC 1/24/09

ROFLThing NYC 1/24/09, originally uploaded by stevegarfield.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

In Flight

In Flight, originally uploaded by stevegarfield.

I feel like I'm on the Space Shuttle with cabin service.

I'm in NYC for ROFLThing!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

27 People One Question

Inspired by 50 People One Question, I asked 27 People One Question at Jeff Pulver
's Breakfast at Ryles in Cambridge Mass on 1/22/09.

27 People One Question from stevegarfield on Vimeo.

Thanks to:

Geo Geller, Olega Nanola, Doug Haslam, Jim Spencer, Raceh Happe, Perry Hewitt, Jules Pieri, Peter Thurell, Nick Peterson, Marcus Andrews, Pamela Rosenthal, Brett Pohlman, Ben Grossman, Sean Lindsay, Maria Thurell, Tyson Goodrich, Julie Hall, David Cutler, Doug Buckley, Stephen Dill, Jeff Pulver, Steve Smith, Steve Sherlock, Carolina Garcia Rizo, Leigh Drori, Jeremy Galen, and Israel Drori.

Natalie Gelman

Fifty People One Question

Video by:

Panasonic HDC-SD100

Notes on the production:

I used the Fifty People One Question video - London as a guide. I was really inspired by it.

I like the effect they used called a breathing lens. I didn't have time to use it on this video, but I'd like to experiment with it.

The onboard mic has a focus option which makes it a shotgun.

I thought I had that on. I didn't.

Then, I had problems hearing the audio through the headphones so couldn't judge if my wireless lav was working, so I ditched the wireless lav set up and went with the onboard mic.

Unfortunately it was set to suround, not sure why. The last time i used it, it was focus mic.

You must be careful. There is a little graphic on the display screen that shows if hte focus mic is on. I know that now.

The room was very noisy, but the footage was too good to pass up, so I grabbed a Natalie Gelman guitar bed to mask the sound.

I think it helped

27 People, One Question 1/22/09
Flickr photo set: 27 People, One Question 1/22/09

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

CC Chapman Submits his first iReport, gets interviewed on Live

Picture 10

CC CHapman writes about his experience being interviewed by CNN's Errol Barnett about the Obama inauguration and the CNN's Live / Facebook integration: My CNN Debut.

I commented on his post:
Hi CC,
We watched this from Boston Beer Works last night with a bar full of social media people. They also had CNN up on the big TV’s. We were watching this on Jeff Cutler’s laptop at the bar over free WiFi.

Excellent job.

Most everyone was confused as to the difference between LIVE and CNN. Yesterday’s integration was between LIVE and Facebook, but not CNN the cable news broadcast.

When we were in the bar watching you, it was made clearer since this interview was not live on CNN, but streamed on LIVE.

Sometimes CNN will broadcast segments from LIVE on CNN the cable channel. I saw that on election night from CNN in NYC.

This is a very exciting development and I’d love to integrate Facebook with one of my live broadcasts some time.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama: NYT without NYT

Obama: NYT without NYT, originally uploaded by stevegarfield.

New York Times Inauguration Graphics without New York Times logo.

WordCloud - Inauguration '09

WordCloud - Inauguration '09, originally uploaded by Paul Hurst.

Barack Obama Oath of Office

Each president recites the following oath, in accordance with Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution:

Presidential Oaths of Office
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Transcript of President Barack Obama's inauguration oath:

Roberts: I Barack Hussein Obama

Obama: I Barack Hussein Obama

Roberts (crosstalk): do solemly swear

Obama: I Barack Hussein Obama do solemly swear

Roberts: that I will execute the office of President to the United States faithfully

Obama: that I will execute

Obama then nods head at Roberts indicating him to restate the oath correctly.

Roberts: the off... faithfully... the pres... the office of President of the United States

Obama: the office of President of the United States faithfully

Roberts: and will to the best of my ability

Obama: and will to the best of my ability

Roberts: preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States

Obama: preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States

Roberts: So help you God?

Obama: So help me God.

Roberts: Congratulations Mr. President.

See also: Barack and Roberts Bungle the Oath, Obama’s First You Tube Moment as President

UPDATE 1/21/09:

Obama retakes oath of office after Roberts' mistake.

1/20/09 Wireless Mic on N95 test featuring Barack Obama

I have perfected the attachment of a wireless lav mic to my Nokia N95. An earlier solution contained two more connectors which allowed noise. In this video the subject is Barack Obama. Yay!

Watch 1/20/09 Wireless Mic on N95 test featuring Barack Obama on YouTube.

Parts List:

RadioShack Gold Series Phono-to-Phono Audio Coupler

Gold Series Adapter, 1/8" Phone Plug to Phono Jack

Happy Obama Day

Happy Obama Day, originally uploaded by Chuckumentary.

Report The Obama Inauguration for BBC via Seesmic

Steve Obamicon

Steve Obamicon, originally uploaded by stevegarfield.

Monday, January 19, 2009

20 hours 43 minutes and 30 seconds until the Obama inauguration

View all Washington DC events at Eventful

Mac to HD TV via DVI to HDMI to watch 24 on Hulu

Chris Brogan's tweet popped up on twhirl, on my HD TV, while I was watching 24 via hulu on my MacBook Pro connected via DVI to HDMI!

THIS is the future of internet connected TV's. It's not a siloed selection of the content chosen by TV manufacturers. It's the WHOLE thing! Having Chris' message pop up on my TV made me think of all the manufacturers at CES who were touting integration with internet applications. Things like Yahoo! widgets, Panasonic Viera Cast, and TiVo YouTube integration. It's all selected programming. That's not good enough for me.

Free an open internet access on a display, which just happens to be a TV, is the future.

The reason I connected my laptop to the TV is because my TiVo died and my episodes of 24 were gone. So that prompted me to look at where I could watch this past week's 24. It wasn't on Comcast's On Demand. It was on the Apple iTunes store for $2.99 each. It was on Hulu for free with 'limited commercial interruption.'

So we watched it on Hulu.

The commercials were short and we didn't mind watching them for the benefit of being able to see 24. With all the uproar of putting ads on online video, seeing these ads along with 24 wasn't invasive at all. In fact, watching 24, streamed from Hulu, on TV, made me forget I was watching video on the internet. I was just watching 24 on TV.

The days of crappy YouTube video are fading fast.

High quality streaming video is where it's at. This was an eye opening experience. At times there were buffering issues, but they didn't degrade the enjoyment of watching the video.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

HOW TO: EDIT Panasonic SDR-SW20 MOD files on a Macintosh

Panasonic SDR-SW20

As part of the Panasonic CES 2009 blogger program I got a Panasonic SDR-SW20 video camera to try.

After shooting the video, I had no idea how to get any video editing program to recognize the files.


The manual doesn't help at all since it's geared to a PC user.

Quick answer:
If you copy the files to your computer and try to get them into iMovie, there's no way I can see to do it.

But if you, plug the SD card in the USB slot, THEN open iMovie 08 on a Mac, it sees the movies. Importing them is easy.
You wouldn't know that based on a Google search. Here's a sampling of one page of search results: - Convert Panasonic SDR-S10 MOD movies
Problem: Connecting the Panasonic SDR-S10 camcorder via USB works fine on the Mac, but you can't use the MOD files in QuickTime Player or in iMovie HD by ...

Thanks Jexus, I just brought the panasonic sdr h250 and having the same issue with .mod’s on mac. ffmpegx works great but if you have lots of ...

How To Convert .MOD Video Files To MPEG-2 On Mac And PCs - Robin ...
MOD video files on your Mac simply rename them as .MPG or . .... such as the JVC Everio, and the Panasonic D-Snap SD-card camcorders, suffer from a ...

Convert Panasonic Mod - convert Panasonic Mod for your player
To convert Panasonic Mod for your players, you can use Mod video conversion ...
With all this talk about conversion, I went down the path prior to figuring out the simple solution above.

I ended up using Handbrake which converts the MOD files to Mac compatible format. It uses .mv4 iTunes format by default.

One other issue I had with the camera is that a bunch of videos I shot were missing. I played them back on the camera, but when I went to import them, they were not there. At the same time the camera displayed a message, Check Card.

A recovered the missing video files with a nice utility called Card Raider.


This utility has saved me many times. Even when I deleted files off a memory card by mistake.

Once I recovered the files, CardRaider saves them as .MPG but QuickTime doesn't recognize them, I ran them thorough Handbrake and opened them up in QuickTime.



I combined them, exported as .mov and opened up in Final Cut Pro. You could probably export from Handbrake to mov but I didn't figure that out.

Here's the video I rescued: The Carol and Steve Show - January Cold.

One more tip:
It is suggested that prior to shooting video with a new SD card, you format the card with the camera. I just did that.

Greg Harper says, "If you just put a new card into the camera first it should automatically add the proper folders. If you put the card into a pc first then it may not get the proper folders"

Do you have any experience with the Panasonic SDR-SW20. I'd love to hear your comments.

Video: Bloggers Thoughts on CES 2009

CES Bloggers

Chris Brogan, Steve Garfield, Ponzi Pirillo, Stacy BeBroff, Vicki Rellas, Melissa Pierce, Greg Verdino, and Joseph Jaffe.

These stills are in the video, Bloggers Thoughts on CES 2009. It's 14:06 minutes long.

John Herman told me that it's the longest video he'd seen me do, and that I should do more. Thanks John. Other people also said that they hadn't seen any video from me other than short live streaming videos.

That's a problem. I've produced a lot of longer form videos. It's just that they are scattered all over. I've got a featured videos page at where you can see videos I've done for Next New Networks, Rocketboom, Spices of Life, and Boston City Councillor John Tobin.

I'm working on a way to better display my archive of videos. When you put your videos in a blog format, it's easy for people to see the most recent, but the archives get burried in the past. I'd love to find a good solution.

There's a shorter version of the CES video here: Panasonic Crayon CES 2009 [ 1:53 ]

Saturday, January 17, 2009

@stevegarfield you are hilariously awesome. thanks.

Jimmy Fallon writes on twitter:

"@stevegarfield you are hilariously awesome. thanks."

Thank you!

Friday, January 16, 2009

NH MargUp TweetUp 1/15/09

NH MargUp TweetUp 1/15/09, originally uploaded by stevegarfield.

NH MargUp TweetUp
Thursday January 15, 2009 from 6:00pm - 9:00pm
775 Lafayette Road, Rt. 1
Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03801

NH MargUp TweetUp 1/15/09

View the whole 'NH MargUp TweetUp 1/15/09' set on flickr.

I took these pictures with the Panasonic Lumix G1 that I got on my trip to CES as a guest of Panasonic. Putting that fact aside, I really like taking photos with this camera. Shooting pictures in dimly lit bars is always a problem. The Nokia N95 takes a long time to focus, but it's onboard flash helps. The iPhone needs extra light. I've found the Nikon D80 and Canon Digital Rebel troublesome at times.

The Panasonic G1 has an iA setting that seems to take care of everything for you. Not having had much time to read the manual yet, I left the camera on this iA setting. It has face detection, and it was fun to really just compose, point and shoot. The camera knows where to focus. I removed the protective lens hood since it was casting a shadow. I lightly edited these for exposure, contrast and saturation in iPhoto. Overall, a very nice experience with the Panasonic G1. Oh, and it's a lot smaller and lighter than standard sized digital SLR's, which is a plus.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Official portrait of President-elect Barack Obama

Metal Heart - Tilt Shift Time Lapse by Keith Loutit

Metal Heart from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

Acoustibuds - Makes iPhone/iPod ear buds comfy

Panasonic HDC-SD100 Questions and Answers

I got the Panasonic HDC-SD100 while out in Las Vegas at CES as part of the Panasonic/Crayon bloggers program.

Steve Garfield and Jimmy Fallon
Steve Garfield and Jimmy Fallon by Veronica Belmont, on Flickr CC BY-NC

Joseph Jaffe just wrote up a summary post on his blog, CES La Vie in HD!, and I commented:
I was just telling my wife that from now on, I'm shooting in HD. It just looks so good. I still need to spend some time evaluating the Panasonic HD camera to see if it meets all my needs, but getting a hands on evaluation like this is really the only way for me to determine if something is going to work for me. With so many features and functions, how do companies expect people to make purchase decisions? In the video I say that this was my first experience with a true HD camera. I've been paying around with a Kodak Zi6 I picked up for $178 at Radio Shack because I had no idea what to get for an HD camera. I didn't even know if I wanted one. But after using the Panasonic HD camera, I know I'll never go back to standard definition for my professional work. For one thing, the camera is so small! I have a cart with wheels to bring all my equipment to a shoot. I do have some open questions about the camera that I'll be researching.

1. Is the absence of Firewire a problem? iMovie 08 seems to require Firewire to capture live video.
2. Can I use this as a live camera via USB? I'm thinking for UStream and/or Mogulus.
3. Do I need to import via iMovie 08, or can Final Cut Pro import AVCHD footage?

I'll be looking into these questions and posting about them on my blog.

If any readers can help with answers, I'd love to hear them.
I'm starting to find out the answers.

1 and 2: Using the Panasonic HDC-SD100 for live video
The only way you can get the camera to operate as a webcam with a Macintosh is to have a Firewire connection. When you plug in the USB cable the camera lens closes. So you can't capture live video, and can't use it as a live camera for sites like UStream or Mogulus.

3. Importing AVCHD
I've been able to import into iMovie 08, then export an XML into FCP. That works fine and I've enjoyed seeing hte quality output of HD footage. Melissa Pierson found out that, "AVCHD support is available only on Intel-based Macintosh computers", so you can't use an older Macintosh. I did find a solution online to convert AVCHD footage into HDV 1080i Apple Intermediate Codec format Quicktime movies over here, How to edit AVCHD footage on Mac OSX? Final Cut Pro 6.0.1 and Voltaic to the rescue! I'll be giving FCP another shot at importing the AVCHD footage.

Pros and Cons
Let's look at the pros and cons.

I love the size of the camera, the quality of the output, and the directional mic. It was a lot of fun to carry this camera around at CES.

I don't like the fact that you have to remove the battery to plug in the USB cord, and that you have to plug in the power to import footage. The microphone jack is in the front of the camera in an awkward location and my microphone jack size is too big to fit into the jack.

No firewire support might be a deal breaker for me.

What's Next?
I'd like to try out a Canon camera with a Firewire port. Those are also AVCHD. I'd also like to try out an HD camera that saves video in native QuickTime. The $179 Kodak Zi6 does that, why can't a higher priced HD camera do it?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Things I Got at CES

Just cleaned out my bag from CES.

Here's what I got: Pig Headphones, Moster Cable Power Strip, USB Pen, Luggage Scale, Magic Jack, Thirsty Plant Light, SanDisk Mobile Ultra 16GB microSDHC Card with reader. Thanks to all the vendors who gave these out.

What did you get at CES?

Veronica Belmont Photo 007

Veronica Belmont Photo 007, originally uploaded by Lan Bui.

I like the title of this photo.

Sunday, January 11, 2009



There was supposed to be audio attached to this post that said, "I can see Paris from here. This looks better than the one in France."

My iPhone is messed up right now. So that didn't work.

You'll just have to imagine what the audio report would have sounded like.

Mobile post sent by stevegarfield using Utterlireply-count Replies.