July 17th: No Photography Day

Photographer Becca Bland is promoting the idea of July 17th as a No Photography Day – a day to set aside the camera and enjoy the moment, rather than spending all of your time taking pictures of the moment to look at later. She told the BBC

Straight Outta The Box – A Guide to Craft Kits

If you’re in the mood for trying something new, the best way to get started is by trying a craft kit. There are all sorts available that can start you off with papercraft, glass painting, even soap making (insert obligatory Fight Club joke here). The kits vary in price, but are generally good value as a taste of crafty goodness.

QuickLinks: Tails, Vegetable Insertions, Pizza Ads and Statues

Another quick batch of linkage…

Cameras: Canon

Latest Update: Changed the SD700 / Ixus 800 into a full page.


As far as professional photographers go, there’s only one manufacturer of cameras out there. It’s just that they can’t agree on who it is – Canon or Nikon. Canon have a fairly strong lead now in sports photography, and are usually more popular with amateurs, but if you’re serious about photography you probably already know which side you’re on.

Me? I’m a Canon user. Having said that, though, we have a little Nikon compact that we’ve had for quite a while now, and we’ve loved it too. For the most part, I’m a bit of a Canon fan.

QuickLinks: Microburgers, Tumbling Bookcases, Starlings, Light Pick and Lumen Lamp

  • Microburgers for Hamsters – the cutest little burgers, made with an apple corer.
  • Bookcases tumble like dominos – no people injured, but some books were badly hurt.
  • One Miiiiillion Starlings – in Denmark, flocks of a million starlings gather together – making for some fantastic pictures. (Via Boing Boing.)
  • Light Pick – a guitar pick with eight LEDs that flash to act as a light-metronome. A bit on the expensive side at $60, but it’s an interesting idea at least.
  • Lumen Lamp – a candle-powered shadow puppet tree. Looks good, but as Tony said in the comments, “$48 bucks? No. Good idea for a little decorating project? Yes!”.

ExtremeTech Case Mod Contest 2006

We ought to link to this – they’re generating more content for our CaseMods page. ExtremeTech have just started their third annual case modding competition, with weekly prizes beginning this Friday. Each weekly winner gets entered for the grand prize. It’s a slightly odd choice of prizes, though. The winners each win – a case. Wouldn’t the winners of this contest be the people least likely to want a PC case? Surely it would make more sense to give cases to the losers? (Yes it would, and don’t call me Shirley). OK, so there’s a few more bits to the grand prize, but it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

It’s only open to US residents, unfortunately, but I don’t think we’d have won anyway – sticking a sparkly fan from Maplin in the back and sellotaping a picture of Zippy to the front of a computer doesn’t really count as ‘modding’, does it?

Fred Gallagher: Megatokyo – American Manga Artist

Latest Update: Added a couple more reviews that Fred has linked to since the release of book 4. Also added Amazon links for book 4.

“That whole MT inspired thing is kinda freaky… but honestly, I LIKE the idea that what we do inspires people to do their own. Here in the states, we tend to be passive consumers – the media has convinced us that the only good entertainment is what we pay for. The nice thing about the net is this – there’s plenty of room for webcomics – plenty. People read what they are interested in. If you can make something good, people will come.”

Panasonic DMC-L1

Latest Update: Added link to DPReview’s hands-on preview. The comparison table against the Olly doesn’t bode well, but there could be more to it than the numbers…

What Is It?

It’s Panasonic’s first SLR, based on the Four Thirds standard for sensors and lenses.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1


  • Megapixels: 7.5
  • Optical Zoom: Depends on lens (Leica 14-50mm image stablized lens supplied.)
  • Size: Unknown so far, but looks small for an SLR, and Four Thirds cameras are usually quite compact.
  • Live LCD screen for framing.

Panasonic keep making some interesting cameras, and this looks to be no exception. There’s very little information around so far, as it’s just been announced, but they seem to be jumping in to the mid-range of SLRs to start with, as the L1 is going to retail for around $2000.

Cameras: Panasonic

Latest Update: Added link to Imaging Resource’s review of the LS2.


I have a general rule with cameras – never buy a camera from a company that only started making cameras when they went digital. Plenty of consumer electronics companies have realised that a digital camera is just a box of electronics with a lens on the front, so if they can buy some lenses from someone, they can make a bit of money. The results are usually pretty poor.

Anyway, although I’ve never actually owned a Panasonic camera, I’m tempted to think that they just might be an exception to the rule. They do seem to be taking their cameras a bit more seriously than most, and the results sound quite interesting.

  • They often put image stablizing in their cameras, even quite low down the range.
  • Watch out for the low-end models – they don’t all have a viewfinder. Might not bother you for snapshots, but it can be a problem in low light, or if you need to conserve battery life.
  • There’s some impressive zooms in Panasonic’s range – they do models with 12x zoom, and the TZ1EB is a pocketable camera that still manges to pack in a 10x zoom range.

Check the reviews carefully, though, before buying – there have been a few models that have sounded almost perfect to me, until the reviews turn up the compromises that have been made for the features.