Olympus C7000 Housing

Not that I needed any more reasons to love my Olympus C7000 but I have to say that I was pretty psyched when I realized that I could get this housing for it that is rated to 200 feet. Normally, when a person goes looking for a camera housing, he goes to backscatter or light and motion, and ends up paying something like $1,000 just for the housing, but this sweet little rig can be had for less than $270!

It also has the added sweetness of not being too large, which is really nice when you have to manage a rebreather, and complex dive profiles. I’ve never been much of an underwater photographer, but there has been countless times that I’ve wished I could take some simple snapshots of the things I’ve seen. As far as I can tell, this little housing do the trick nicely.

Google Analytics is Cool

So after being frustrated yesterday by not having any pretty Google Analytics reports to look at, they finally crunched up some data for me, and this morning I was able to start kicking the tires.

First assessment… WOW! They generate a report for just about anything you could possibly what to know, including things like what major ISP’s your viewers are coming from. My personal favorite is the Geo Map Overlay which uses Google Maps to show what parts of the world your traffic is originating from. I was really surprised to see how many international visitors found their way here. Maybe it’s because I, like the rest of the world, think our President is an uneducated Neanderthal.

Additionally cool is the idea that Google Analytics is a sucker punch to Microsoft. Hey, I love anything that hurts Microsoft. They don’t suck as much as our President, but they’re sure as hell trying.

Some analysts saw the timing of Google’s latest announcement as significant: It came on the heels of a Microsoft (MSFT) manifesto that Web and ad-subsidized services were the future (see BW Online, 11/10/05, “Microsoft: Ozzie’s Online Charge”). “It’s a bit of a slap of the face to Microsoft, reminding them, ‘We’re in this game,’” says Marc Strohlein, vice-president and lead analyst at Outsell, a market research firm.

For my part, my only complaint is that they don’t update update the data often enough, and they seem to have some gaps in the data they’ve collected. For instance, this morning, they thought I had had 400 visits, when in reality I had 1136 just yesterday according to bstat. They have been up and down because of high load over the past few days though, so the discrepancy is understandable. Apparently they have had a whole lot of people signing up since they went public.

Of course, the data will become much more useful over the long term, so it will be interesting to see how people are using the site, and what they like and don’t like.

Yes Al, I already know you hate the political rants.

Why I Chose the Olympus C7000

For the past year or so, I have been using a Pentax Optio “S” series digital camera. For the most part, I have been quite happy with it, and while 4 megapixel is considered a bit on the low side by modern standards, I really had no intention of upgrading it because I liked it’s small size, and the photos were generally quite good.

That is, until I had the chance to play with an Olympus C7000. While my complaints about the Optio were few, I had always wished that it did a better job of focusing in macro mode. I had tested other cameras for close focus, and had found none that would do a better job than mine, so I just assumed it was a limitation of the electronics, and accepted it. When I tested the C7000, however, I was amazed at how well it pulled focus in macro mode. Indeed, given decent lighting, it could focus nearly right on the glass, and the focus was amazingly fast.

The other thing about the C7000 that had me running to check my ATM balance was just how little shutter lag it had. Having gotten used to a fairly long delay with the Optio, the Olympus had me feeling like I was shooting film again. My arguments with Casey about how my Pentax was “just fine” were quickly falling apart. I loved the Olympus. I wanted it, but I could not swing the $500 bucks, so I just kept on wanting it but shooting with my Pentax.

That is, however, until Casey bought one. He was with me when I tested it, and apparently he was pretty impressed with it as well. He was not impressed enough though, and in short order offered me a great deal on it, so he could turn around and buy an Olympus C8080. I handed him the cash and never looked back.

It is great in most light situations, and I continue to be impressed with the minimal shutter lag and amazing close focus. I’m not really sure that I need all seven megapixels though. I rarely need to do much cropping, but I’m sure I’ll be glad to have them when I do. The only thing I’m wishing for now is a bigger XD card.