Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 Review

Digital Photography Review has posted a review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18.

…the FZ18 is a well built camera with a brilliant user interface and a superb range of photographic controls. The excellent quick menu gives you comfortable access to all important settings and the entire menu structure is designed in a way that’ll let you know your way around the buttons without any problems after a couple of days or so. There is a very comprehensive range of manual controls, so the choice is yours; you can leave all the thinking to the camera or adjust all settings to your preference. We found the FZ very responsive and quick all around and the efficient stabilization system is a very welcome feature, especially at the tele end of the very long lens.

They do seem to like the camera.

Personally I am not a great fan of this kind of camera format, too big to be easily carried even though generally you will get better pictures, but likewise none of the flexibility you get with a digital SLR.

iPhone Silliness

Oh dear, it’s looking like the iPhone silliness we saw in the US is coming here to the UK, with the launch of the iPhone tomorrow 9th November.

The BBC is reporting that people are queuing already!

Apple’s iPhone goes on sale in the UK and Germany on Friday with thousands expected to snap up the device.

Eager customers have begun queuing outside the Apple Store in Regent Street, London, despite the poor weather conditions.

Oh dear!

I am sure that there is no need to queue and at 6.03 pm you could walk into the Apple Store and pick an iPhone off the shelf.

Blocking Illegal Downloads

Reuters is reporting that most companies do not block employees from downloading illegal content.

Most companies do not stop staff from downloading music from the Internet, despite the risks posed to work computers, a survey has found.

I have to admit that I do like Mashable’s take on the article.

Of course, we all know that this is because most of those computer managers are leeching ten times more data than regular employees, and they don’t want to lose their uber BitTorrent ratios. And, when the boss asks why he’s getting all those weird e-mails from the RIAA and MPAA, they can always point to “that weird guy who works in the tiny office on 3rd floor and never talks to anyone”.

I suspect that this is probably quite true! Not necessarily always the manager, but at least the support teams.


VisualHub is an excellent tool for converting video into various different formats, very useful if converting video for mobile devices and Windows PCs.


Note this is Mac software and therefore won’t run on Windows.

VisualHub bridges the gap between numerous complicated video formatting standards, and people that just want to get the job done.

The more I use it the more I like this tool more and more.I guess what I like about it, is that it works and importantly works fast.

The other day I created a video using iMovie. Just used the in-built iSight camera in my iMac, added a few photos and screenshots. I exported this as a full resolution Quicktime movie. I knew that the Windows PC it was going to be played on probably wouldn’t have Quicktime, so using VisualHub converted the seven minute video into a WMV file. This took less than two minutes (it may have been less than a minute it was that fast, I didn’t have the time to check how long it was taking). I then checked the WMV file on two separate Windows PCs, and it worked really well, the quality was still there from the original Quicktime movie.

Other videos I have converted for the PSP and my phone have also worked well, as has converting FLV (Flash video) files into a WMV format for putting into PowerPoint presentations (again this was on a Windows PC, I copied over the converted files).

I wonder how I use to work before VisualHub, it’s a great tool.

Lots of Texts

Well it would seem that we Britons like our SMS text messages. At the last count we were sending one billion of them weekly!

Britons are now sending more than one billion text messages per week according to the latest figures from the Mobile Data Association (MDA).

From the BBC.

Personally I am not a great fan of SMS in the main as I don’t like small phone keyboards, liked it when I could use it through my Mac OS X address book, but have generally either used the phone or e-mail.

3 Launch Skype Phone

3 LogoThe mobile phone company “3” has launched a new handset that allows you to make free Skype calls to other Skype users.

The BBC is reporting that:

Mobile phone provider 3 has launched a new handset that will allow users to make free calls over the internet via telephony service Skype. Users will also be able to use Skype’s instant messaging service, 3 said.

However unlike Skype users who can make cheap calls globally, 3 customers won’t be able to do this.

But while people using Skype on their computers are able to make cheap global calls to any phone number, this will not be possible via the new 3 handset.

It’s quite a dramatic move for a mobile phone provider, who generally try and block Skype or VOIP as it is a direct competitor to their core business.

Wonder how others will respond.

Well that was a nice surprise

Back in August I purchased Parallels Desktop for Mac from the Apple store in Birmingham in the UK.

You can imagine my disappointment when I installed an ran it that it offered me a £29.99 upgrade to version 3.0!

There was no easy (or cheap) way to return the software to the Apple store, so I left it thinking I had been ripped off!

So I just cancelled the “offer” and continued to use Parallels.

Today I ran Parallels for the first time in ages and up popped the offer. This time I clicked the link and guess what?

I found that if you have purchased Parallels after 1st May 2007 you are entitled to a free upgrade to version 3.0.

This I am very pleased with.

3G N73 Mac Internet

A guide on how to connect a Mac to enable it to use 3G Nokia N73 as a Bluetooth modem.

Connecting a Mac to the internet via Vodafone 3G and Bluetooth enabled Nokia N73

This guide takes you through the process on a Mac (running Tiger 10.4) and on a Nokia N73 phone and enables you to connect via a Bluetooth connection to the Nokia N73 and use the phone’s 3G data connection for internet access.

Nokia N73

This guide may also be useful to people with other phones and 3G accounts with other providers.

Leopard is out, but I’m waiting…

Today sees the release of the next version of Apple’s OS X.

10.5 or Leopard brings many new features that are currently been covered all over the web so I am not going to cover them again here.

Personally I am going to wait. There’s a few things which pique my interest, but nothing that says “buy me now”.

I have also heard that 10.5.1 is going to be one BIG update. around 500MB, so that means that there are still quite a few bugs in 10.5 and I don’t want to install it on my production machine.