There’s a ton of headphone/earphone/canalphone/earbud options out on the market and it can be hard to filter through the crap and find headphones that perform well while keeping aesthetics in mind. The white earbuds that come with Ipods have become a staple on college campuses where they help complete that all important hipster look, but they don’t do much for the music you’re listening to.
A few years ago I came across the Koss SportaPro headphones and was very impressed with their sound and comfort level. I handed those down to the wife to work out with and looked for another pair to use at work (programming requires good tunes). My requirements weren’t too strict:
- Reasonably priced (under $50)
- Good sound quality
- On ear pads to allow in ambient noise (to avoid startling taps on the shoulder)
- Comfortable and easy to put on and remove
These few parameters helped eliminate a lot of products. I eventually ended up looking at the Sennheiser PX 100’s, another pair of SportaPro’s, and Grado SR60’s (pricier and bulkier than I wanted). This review at Dan’s Data finally sold me on the Sennheisers and I couldn’t be happier.
In the 2-3 years I’ve had the PX 100’s I estimate I’ve put 1500-2000 hours of music through them. The best way to describe how they sound is that they don’t sound like headphones. They’re clear and fairly detailed without being fatiguing in the high end and quite possibly pump out the perfect amount of bass. I highly recommend the Sennheiser PX 100’s if you are looking for a good moderately priced pair of cans.
Sennheiser PX 100 at Amazon
Saw Sweeney Todd the day after Christmas with the Yostenbergs and I have to say it was the first movie I’ve genuinely enjoyed in a while. The abundance of throat slitting makes for a very dark and almost indulgent contrast to the musical numbers. Johnny Depp did a good job out in front, but the cast did an equally good job all the way around. Quality is always top notch with Tim Burton running things. The R rating probably kept ticket sales down, but if you can handle the blood give it a shot or queue it up in Netflix.
Sidenote: Sarah would like to plug Atonement for Keira Knightley’s green dress and excellent library scene.
I bought the Canon SD700 last month for my upcoming trip to Hawaii. It is replacing our Canon S400 that has served us for several years and even survived a replacement of the rear LCD. The S400 has a new home in an underwater housing case. My experience with the camera so far has been excellent.
I was a little torn between the SD700 and SD800 (which has a wider angle 28mm lens and face recognition focusing/metering), but I’ve got my Nikon D70 for wide angle and the wider 28mm won’t be missed by most (especially if you’ve never had it on a camera).
Another thing I had to consider was high ISO performance for night shots without flash. Compact point cameras have tiny sensors with lots of pixels on them, turn up their sensitivity and it leads to noise. The Fuji F30/F40 use a CCD sensor that performs very well at higher ISOs like 800. ISO 800 on the SD700 is very noisy and barely usable except for sized down prints on the web, the Fujis would have no problem on prints.
For me it came down to what is my most common low light shooting situation and the trade offs of Image Stabilization and High ISO. IS for shooting still objects, High ISO for low light action shots. I found the IS to be more useful since I can set my D70 at ISO 1600 with a 50mm f/1.8 lens for really low light situations.
Enough of me being picky, let the pictures do the talking. I’ll post a more in depth review comparing the SD700 to the S400 and D70, should be interesting to see how the new SD700 stacks up against the older S400 which was hot stuff back in the day.
I had been eying this lens ever since it came out over a year ago but it is so popular it is back ordered everywhere and I didn’t feel like waiting in line and over paying (most places sell it $100-$200 over MSRP). I watched the used gear forum at Nikonians until one came up at a price that looked good. Finally saw one that was barely used, shipping included, no tax, 2 free filters and for less then if I had got it at a store. My two big reasons for getting the lens were the extra range 200m vs 70mm and Vibration Reduction (VR). I’ll let the pictures below do most of the explaining.
It’s not a pro lens but it is hard to beat the size and weight, I got it specifically for walking around all day.
Comparison to the 18-70mm kit lens and 50mm f1.8
Zoom extension comparison
Shot on the 605 on the way to get Golden Spoon, eww blurry (VR off, 200mm, 1/20s, f5.7, ISO 1600)
Same shot with VR on, not bad for something shot at 200mm at a low shutter speed in a moving car
100% crop comparison of the license plate, that’s pretty crazy, could be luck but out of 5 shots that was the best “VR off” performer
Comparison between 200mm shots while stationary
Now one thing VR can’t help you with is subject motion as seen here when a shot is taken at a pretty slow shutter speed like 1/10s. Everything else is nice and sharp but movement is bad, but I’m not shooting sports or birds so I’m not too concerned.
Hopefully this gets me motivated to get out and shoot more considering I need to justify my expenditure with the fiance. More to come!