Have a Merry Sithmas: Star Wars Snowflakes

These totally blew all of my preconceived notions of paper snowflakes out of the water, I’m working on Cylon ones, I’ll post the template when I’m done.

boba fett and trooper

Geektress.com Also made a cool Storm Trooper snowflake. Instructions here.

Instruction for the Vader and Boba fett+ clone trooper here.
Thanks to someones wife and I feel terrible for not remembering, when I find out I’ll credit.

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Gift Review: Nikon D7000 On Sale Now with more Bokeh

Is the Nikon D7000 the new replacement for the Nikon D90? A lot of people think so, and with its brand new 16.2 million pixel sensor and metering systems we can see why. Let’s take a closer look.
Nikon – D7000 16.2-Megapixel Digital SLR Camera Kit – Black @ BestBuy.com On Sale $1499.99


With 16.2 million pixels it trumps most Nikons except the high-end Nikon D3X, which has a full-frame (FX) sensor and 24.5 million pixels. Though it is similar to the D90 in control layout it is more similar to D300′s with a magnesium allow body shell instead of polycarbonate. It is the second DSLR to feature Full-HD video. It highlights with a spiffy new 39-point AF system that is between 11-point and 51-point systems of the Nikon D90 and the D300s. In short, it’s an excellent camera capable of high level detail, and with an expanding feature set it is profoundly easy to use.


Sensor: 23.6×15.6mm (APS-C or DX) 16.2 million effective pixel CMOSFocal length

Conversion: 1.5xMemory: SD/SDHC/SDXC

Viewfinder: Optical pentaprism, 100% coverage with 0.94x magnification and 19.5mm eyepoint

Video resolution: 1,920×1,080 (Full HD) at 24fps, 1,280x 720 24, 25 or 30fps,  and 640×424 at 25 or 30fpsISO

Range: ISO 100-6400 expandable to ISO 25,600

Autofocus points: 39 with 9 cross-type

Max burst rate: 6fpsLCD

Screen size: Three-inch with 921,000 dots (307,000 pixels)

Shutter speeds: 1/8000-30secs plus bulb

Weight: 690g (body only)

Dimensions: 132x105x77mm

Power supply: Li-ion EN-EL15 (supplied)

Key highlights:

  • 16.2 megapixel Dx-format image sensor
  • Full 1080 HD video with full-time auto focus and manual exposure control
  • Iso range of 100-25600, the widest of any Nikon dx cam
  • New 20160pixel 3D color matrix metering system
  • New EXPEED 2 image-processing engine
  • New 39 point auto focus system with 3D tracking
  • 14 bit analogue-to-digital conversions
  • 6fps continuous shooting
  • Dust and moisture sealed magnesium allow body
  • 921k dot 3-inch LCD screen
  • Dual slot  memory cards

Features and Controls:

One of the niftiest features of the D7000 is the full-time autofocus (AF-F) mode which operates when images are conceived on the LCD screen or amid video shooting. While in this mode the camera tries to focus the lens continuously without the need to press buttons. This relies on the camera’s contrast detection system, it has a rough time in low light. Notwithstanding, in good light, notably outside, it pulls the subject under the AF selection box remarkably swiftly. This feature could be well utilized for video taping family days out.

Continuous-servo mode allows users to select the initial AF point and if the subject moves, the camera automatically adjusts focus and may select different AF points to follow the target.

We were hoping to see an articulated LCD like the D5000 but sadly the D7000 is still lacking the useful flip-out monitor. The screen does however feature 921,000 dots and enough visible detail for precise manual focusing.

The view finder implements a 100% field of view, so no more surprises when your photo comes out. The digital level can be activated with the function button is visible in the viewfinder even if the shutter release button is pressed. It can also be displayed on the LCD screen itself, no more sloppy horizons.

It also features not one but 2 SD card slots, for additional expansion of the camera’s capacity, or you could save different file types on one if you chose. The new battery, EN-EL15 hails with a higher battery life but a new shape, making it impossible to interchange with backdated batteries.

Photo Quality:

The Nikon D7000 sports a smaller, more densely packed sensor that produces monumental detail even in low light. Images taken with the Active D-lighting (AD-L) is default and may result occasionally in slight over exposure, but that can be cleaned up post capture. Photos taken at the highest AD-L setting have more visible detail in shadows than those taken with the lower settings, and it is possible to turn the AD-L off. Although exposure may vary with the scene you are trying to capture if you use the higher AD-L values it commonly diminishes the shutter speed, which is counter intuitive. Meaning using AD-L impacts the raw files and the JPEGS.

Supplied with the camera is Nikon View NX2 and this doesn’t allow any control over noise reduction. Consumers who want to control post capture noise reduction can invest in Nikon Capture NX2 ($260) or wait for 3rd party developers to update their raw processing capabilities. Keep this in mind when you determine your budget.

Recommended Accessories:

White Balance Lens Cap $45-$65

The White Balance Lens Cap leaves you no excuse for not properly white-balancing every situation you encounter.

Simply flip your camera into custom White Balance mode, snap a photo with your White Balance Lens Cap on, and your camera creates a perfect profile of the actual lighting in front of you.

Best of all, unlike a gray card, the White Balance Cap takes no extra room in your gear bag. Just replace your existing lens cap with this one and you’ll always be able to white balance with no additional equipment.

Buy White Balance Lens Cap from Photojojo Today

Cool Bokeh Night Filters to add Stencil Effects $25

Bokeh (“blurred” in Japanese) is that beautiful out of focus blur that appears when your lens is set to a shallow depth of field. The Bokeh Kit actually turns those out of focus lights into any shape you place over your lens. It’s a whole new way of harnessing night-time light.

Just place the Bokeh filter over your digital or film SLR lens (see specs for compatibility), and you’re ready to turn an ordinary night-scape into a wondrous land of sparkling hearts, planes, birds, or happy faces. It’s easy to use – just slip any 1 of 21 shapes into the slot in the filter. Plus, you even get a blank sheet to make up to 8 of your own!

Buy the Bokeh stencil Kit at Photojojo Today!

Our Final Thoughts:

Easy to use, monumental photos across the full sensitivity range. To get the best out of this camera we recommend you buy extra lenses since the 27-157.5mm encumbers the AF system in low lighting. If you’re not a professional photographer this shouldn’t really an issue (or worth investing into). Massive and ever-expanding feature set integrated into it means they are more likely to actually be used. Wait for Adobe’s Camera Raw update to allow for expanded noise reduction and control.

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Pixels Pix: Desktop Deals

HP Pavilion Elite HPE-41ot:

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HP Pavilion Elite HPE-480t:

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Savings Include: $250 instant rebate, FREE 1.5TB hard drive upgrade ($100 savings), FREE 9GB memory upgrade ($30 savings), FREE 15-month Norton Internet Security subscription ($69 savings), and 35% off a 21.5-inch diagonal widescreen monitor ($90 savings).

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Happy New Year! 2000 Birds Fall From the Sky, Dead

Beebe, Arkansas rung in the new year by cleaning up the carcasses of more than 2000 dead red-winged black birds. 15 extra workers, environmental protection suits and all, were hired to pick up the birds. Which was completed on Sunday morning, according to the mayor.

Falling over approximately a 1 mile area of the city, the birds were apparently struck by lightning or high-altitude hail. No other dead birds were found outside of the 1 mile radius so that “pretty much ruled out poisoning or illness” says the mayor. Game and Fish Commission officials speculate fireworks could’ve startled the flock and they may have died of stress.

I blame white people, but I’m not sure why.

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More Accessories for the Nikon D7000

Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD LD Aspherical IF Macro Zoom Len released yesterday.

Buy it at Amazon.com for $649

The new lens features a Piezo Drive (PZD):

Ultrasonic motors are divided into two categories depending on the principle that generates the energy to move the drive: traveling wave motors and standing wave motors. Traveling wave motors include the ring type ultrasonic motor used in the recently launched 70-300mm F/4-5.6 VC USD as well as other lenses, but this lens employs a newer technology, the PZD (Piezo Drive), which functions on the standing wave principle.

A standing wave ultrasonic motor utilizes high-frequency voltage to extend and turn the piezoelectric (piezoceramic) element, thus moving the entire element in a standing wave movement. The metal tip is the contact point of the element to the rotor, and moves in an elliptic motion from the swiveling motion of the moving element, and the friction from this motion turns the rotor. Standing wave ultrasonic motors have the distinct advantage of being smaller than their traveling wave counterparts, and therefore allow a more compact SLR lens size.

New VC mechanism (moving coil method)”

Tamron’s original VC image stabilization mechanism utilized a moving magnet system whereby a heavy magnet was positioned near the moving VC lens element. In the new VC unit the positions of the magnet and the coil are reversed, because of this the VC optical lens element is attached to the coil. The new VC mechanism employs a moving coil mechanism with a lightweight coil, and the lighter coil reduces the load on the drive system. Thus, the lighter, more compact new VC unit contributes to the lens’s overall light weight and compact size.


  • Model: B008
  • Focal length: 18-270mm
  • Maximum aperture: F/3.5-6.3
  • Angle of view: (diagonal) 75° 33′-5° 55′
  • Lens construction: 16 elements, 13 groups
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.49m (19.3 in)
  • Maximum magnification ratio: 1:3.8 (at f = 270mm: MFD 0.49m)
  • Filter size: φ62mm
  • Length: 88mm¹, ² (3.5 in)
  • Entire Length: 96.4mm¹, ³ (3.8 in)
  • Diameter: φ74.4mm (2.9 in)
  • Weight: 450g¹ (15.9 oz)
  • No. of diaphragm blades: 7
  • Minimum aperture: F/22-40
  • Standard accessories: Flower-shaped lens hood
  • Compatible mounts: Canon, Nikon, Sony

Via [Photorumors]

blueSLR for Nikon Essential DSLR

blueSLR lets you control your digital SLR camera wirelessly using your compatible devices. Snap pics of pets and children with ease. Take self-portraits, or capture candid nature shots from up to 300 feet away. Connect blueSLR to your compatible digital SLR camera and use your compatible Bluetooth device to adjust your camera’s focus, shutter speed or timer.

$149 via blueslr.com

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