Friday, March 07, 2014

Canon PowerShot SX60 HS (with release date and feature history)

Update: The Canon PowerShot SX-60 HS has been announced. It will be available 24 October, 2014. Features
  • 65x Optical Zoom (21mm–1365mm)
  • Shoot realistic 1080p Full HD video recorded at 60p
  • Wi-Fi and NFC-enabled
  • f-stop: 3.4 to 6.5 aperture range
  • Bright 3.0-inch adjustable screen LCD (the previous versions have all had this, I don't think many other camera do, but I could be wrong)
  • suggest retail price of $550
One thing I didn't think of until reading about the new camera, is that it might be possible to view the photos on your iPad min (or other table or phone) immediately (the camera even lets you control it with a smart phone/camera - set up a shot etc.). That can help see the photo and details more clearly that the small screen (even the larger [that I currently have] 3" size).

Amazon won't ship it out of the USA due to unspecified "regulations." Of course it is produced by a Japanese company and shipped into the USA, but that just means outside the USA get it from another source.

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The Canon PowerShot SX looks like a pretty awesome camera for someone like me. Basically I want something easy and good with the ability to zoom well and take photos well in low light with a nice LCD (viewfinder alternative - this is probably the weakest part of the SX) and . Another thing I don't like about the SX is they have a special battery now instead of just using standard AA which my older version uses.

The killer feature for me is a 50 times optical zoom with 1 lens (4.3-215 mm) which translates to in the old film camera comparison of focal lengths: 24–1200mm.

I think this is not classified a dSLR, for some reason (maybe it doesn't use a mirror?)? For me the dSLR don't come close to meeting the killer feature (or I can't find those that do). I also had trouble finding it because I figured dSLRs were "better" so I thought I wanted a dSLR. The dSLRs costs more and I believe have greater quality when using the large zoom (maybe they auto focus a bit better at large zoom settings too) - but the quality is pretty awesome on this for most everyone as far as I can tell - not if you are going to print posters or such things. The camera has a dSLR look/form-factor.

The current version is Canon PowerShot SX50 and was released in Nov 2012.

Since I am looking at buying I though I would look at release patterns (maybe I'll wait a few months).

  • Canon PowerShot SX 60 - ?
  • Canon PowerShot SX 50 HS - Oct 2012 (50x optical zoon [24-1200mm], 2.8 inch LCD [double the resolution of previous LCD screens, I think])
  • Canon PowerShot SX 40 HS - Oct 2011 (35x optical zoom - 24mm to 840mm, Full HD 1080p, 2.7 inch LCD)
  • Canon PowerShot SX 30 IS - Oct 2010 (35x optical zoom - 24mm to 840mm, HD[1280 x 720] movie recording, 2.7 inch LCD)
  • Canon PowerShot SX 20 IS - Sep 2009 (20x optical zoom, HD movie mode [720p], 2.5inch LCD)
I think the list price has stayed pretty much around $500 for all of these (with prices from $325 or so, possible from stores providing discounts).

Because I can't find these release dates officially I am making my best guess based on internet sites. So it seems they usually release in the fall and release new version 4 straight years but not in 2013 (so a wild guess of a release for a Cannon PowerShot SX 60 from now to Oct 2014 seems pretty reasonable to me).

People are posting "rumors" online about the Canon PowerShot SX 60 being release in the Spring or Summer of 2014 but I have no idea if they have any more evidence than I do (which is close to absolute 0 evidence). It seems to me these "rumors" might even fall short of the very limited requirements to be a rumor. They have pointed to a 100x zoom lens patent Cannon has with a focal range of 3.6mm to 340mm and then say it may be for the Canon PowerShot SX 60.

There were also "rumors" the Canon PowerShot SX 60 would be announce at CES in January of 2014, which is was not. Since it missed the natural October 2013 date it isn't surprising there are continued rumors, since as far as I can tell Canon is not providing guidance.

Related: Curious Cat Travel Photo Blog - Good Customer Service from Canon - Curious Cat Travel Web Shorts

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Banks Failed Management Practices Never Seem to Stop

I can't believe how constantly there are news stories about corruption and bad practices so deep that banks have to hand over hundreds of millions of dollars. To say nothing of crashing the world economies and requiring bailouts from taxpayers across the globe not just to stay in business but to limit the damage their immoral and unethical consequences of their practices. All the while the executives continue to act just as kleptocrates surrounding tinpot dictators - as everyone else is horrified by both groups behavior each dips into the treasury they have access to and takes all they can. And consumers suffer due to the failure to adopt sensible security practices in the USA for credit cards that the rest of the world has adopted.

What is the disclosure today of pointy haired boss banking behavior? 95% of ATMs rely on Windows 95 which is a poor security risk to begin with and Microsoft ends support for it on April 8th, 2014. How do we even allow these executives to remain in positions of authority (in businesses where security is so important)? And we go beyond that and allow these people to lavish cash upon themselves out of the funds held by the bank?
security experts have chastised the financial industry for putting ATMs on a PC operating system in the first place. They argue ATMs should be using software that is scaled down and less buggy, such as Linux.
No kidding, plus Linux versions are much more secure from the ground up.
Ironically, bank customers have less to worry about from those nondescript ATMs found in malls, bars and tiny convenience stores. Those 208,000 independently-run kiosks, built by Triton, Genmega and Nautilus Hyosung, make up the other half of the nation's ATMs. And nearly all of them run on an even older, simpler operating system called Windows CE -- which Microsoft still supports.
Jeez I don't know what to say about this. It is better I guess, but hardly any good, but maybe it is less horrible (I am not really sure).

Dealing with criminals attacking credit cards, ATMs, banking web sites and banking apps is a challenging business. The governments are not doing consumers any favors by lavishing funds on spying when those funds would be much better directed to stopping financial crimes (of this sort - and also the sort engaged in by banking executives - from which those continuing avalanche of fines for hundreds of millions of dollars stem). But since governments are choosing to spy while neglecting crime prevention it is even more important for banks to make credit card, ATM and online security a priority. Instead they are making a priority buying special favors from governments of straight welfare and subsidizing/allowing risk taking (and subsidizing any failed risk taking with taxpayer funds) to give lavish gifts to executives so they can build castles and the like. It is quite a sad system.

Related: CEOs Plundering Corporate Coffers for Personal Gain - Losses Covered Up to Protect Bonuses - Obscene CEO Pay - The Best Way to Rob a Bank is as An Executive at One