Wednesday, October 29, 2003

The machinery shootout

One laptop each: W has a (an?) HP NX 7000 - wide screen, but quite light and thin. Specs are for higher RAM, less graphics, fast disk.
M has an Acer 290CXi - high graphics, base RAM and HDD. Light, thin, smaller footprint.
Both are wireless-equipped and can talk to each other peer-to-peer if we really needed to: in practice a 256Mb memory stick will do. Both are Intel Centrino CPU's and should have a 3-5 hour battery life.
The obvious question: which will be better on the road? Watch this space.
Other essential machinery - digital camera.
Wanted a Fuji FinePix S7000 (SLR, 6 megapixels) to take along, but two things conspired to prevent this: (1) no physical stock in Australia or NZ (tried both), despite most store's web sites trumpeting the new release and even doing some discounting, and (2) the old Nikon F60 kit was worth very little as a trade-in.
So went with a Nikon CoolPix 5400 - 5.1 million pixies and a nice manual mode dial plus the legendary Nikkor glass bits out front. It's the wide-angle (28-116mm) CoolPix - the other one (5700) is more telephoto (35-2something) and is also fully screen menu driven - no quick mode change there. Got a 1Gb CF card (800 piccies at around a 1 to 1.4 Mb JPEG each) instead of the completely inadequate 32Mb card supplied with the camera. Supplier threw in a PC Card-CF card converter, and a LowePro camera bag. Don't expect pix on this blog tho: not available (well, it is have to make some trade-offs).
Tried out the existing flash unit (Sigma EF430ST) on the hot shoe, and it works quite well despite not being a Nikon-dedicated beast. Weight restrictions may well see this getting left in the drawer at home, though.

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