Posts Tagged bluetooth

Tethering is back, thank god!

April 2010 update: Telstra (my cellphone provider in Australia) now allow tethering from the iPhone.  The only problem is that I can’t tether my iPhone to my iPad.  So… MyWi is the best option.  I ALWAYS have my phone with me so having a 3G iPad is crazy, an extra data plan when I already have one is stupid.  Just create a wifi network using MyWi on the iPhone and then connect to that network with the iPad…. Easy

I really rely on my iPhone not only as a phone, email client and a web browser but also as a modem to connect with my Macbook Pro.  Unfortunately when Apple released version 3.1.2 of their software it broke the ability for me to tether my iPhone with my Macbook Pro on my phone network (Australian phone network Telstra).

I have found another way to solve this and gives an added feature as well!  The two only pitfalls…  You need to jailbreak your iPhone and pay US$9.99 for the application.  But I reckon it is worth every penny!

The application is called MyWi [link] and allows you to not only tether your iPhone by bluetooth and USB but also create a wireless access point using your 3G network data – sweet!  Here’s a couple of screengrabs from my iPhone showing the app in action.

MyWi app in use on my iPhone

MyWi app in use on my iPhone

MyWi app in use showing data usage

MyWi app in use showing data usage

MyWi app in use showing data usage

MyWi app in background use showing data usage

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What Apple’s WWDC announcements mean to a photographer

Ok, I was really looking forward to what Apple were to announce at WWDC (World wide developers conference) and they didn’t let me or other Apple fans down.

Probably the biggest shock of all was the announcement of Macbook Pro updates (which weren’t expected or leaked at all!).  Whilst most people needing the power of MacBook Pro’s go for the 15″ or 17″ screens many traveling photographers need/love the compact size of the 12″ or 13.3″ form factor.  Apple stopped production of the 12″ Powerbook G4 in May 2006 leaving the (then) new polycarbonate 13.3″ MacBook as the only option for ‘size-conscious’ photographers.

The more powerful black polycarbonate version was very well received and was popular until Apple updated this black MacBook to the new aluminum unibody design.  Apple left out the FireWire port and included a reportedly inferior quality LED backlit screen.  So for snappers and video guys who swear by FireWire (I love my Sandisk Extreme FireWire reader) and NEED a great screen this was a real problem.

A few hours ago Apple announced the MacBook Pro line would now not only include 15.4″ and 17″ models but would extend down to a new 13.3″ model which INCLUDES FireWire 800, an SD card slot, backlit keyboard and (hopefully) the same quality LED backlit display as the larger two models. It’s a bit of s shame about the inclusion of an SD card slot rather than a multi-card slot as the vast majority of pro photographers are using Compact Flash cards. (A full comparison of the MacBook models is at this link)

MacBook Pro range

Awesome start to the WWDC conference (anyone want to buy a 2.4Ghz Black MacBook, 2.4Ghz 4Gb RAM 250Gb HD?)

The other great announcement was the new iPhone 3GS.  Forgetting most of the new 3.0 software and other new features I’ll only focus (‘scuse the pun!) on the camera, tethering and video capability.

nav-feature-camera-20090608 and nav-feature-video-20090608 and nav-feature-tethering-20090608

  1. The new 3Mp camera with autofocus looks super.  I know it seems dumb for a photographer who carries around a 20+Mp camera to be happy about a 3Mp camera in a phone.  But in the wise words of a good friend of mine “It’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you get!”.  A good news/editorial photographer needs a camera with him 24hrs a day.  The pics out of this camera really look like the could be very nice! [link]
  2. The new camera also shoots 640×480 video at 30fps.  The footage can be edited on the phone and uploaded to YouTube, a MobileMe gallery, emailed or sent as an MMS message.  Could be GREAT for press conferences etc.. [link]
  3. Tethering!  [link] Currently I, like many other snappers, pay for an additional wireless broadband service and use a USB ‘dongle’ to get internet access virtually anywhere (I use ‘Hellstra’ [aka Telstra] and pay $89.95 for 5GB of data per month).  The problem is, I have to also pay $29 for 300Mb of data for my iPhone.  With the new tethering option the iPhone will be responsible for creating and maintaining an internet connection and will connect via bluetooth to my MacBook at speeds up to 7.2Mbps using a HSDPA network.  Therefore, no dongle required and only one wireless broadband fee.  A couple of problems however that could rear their head – I travel to quite remote locations quite a bit and rely on an external antenna connected to my USB wireless broadband device.  There is no option for extending the range of an iPhone so not sure what I will do in that situation.  Secondly – Telstra.  Basically they suck and undoubtedly they will try and rip off their customers and increase their prices to combat this. And no surprise, when Apple showed worldwide networks who were ready to provide internet tethering, lo and behold – no Telstra.  Australia’s other two carriers Optus and Vodafone were there of course.

Here’s a look at the updated MacBooks and the new Iphone 3GS

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Chasing a new mobile phone on the cheap?

Nokia N96 photoHi guys! My brother is selling a fully unlocked Australian stock Nokia N96 brand new in box (with the included Nokia accessories) as well as the list of extras below.

  • Jabra JX 10 Bluetooth headset
  • Blueant Ezytalk plug in bluetooth handsfree
  • CarComm in car handsfree cradle with external antenna connection
  • Motorokr EQ3 folding speakers for MP3
  • Musthave Portable Power bank – Portable power charger for iPod, Samsung, Nokia, Sony Ericsson
  • Flexus wireless headset – can be used for mobile calls or for music player
  • Jabra A125s – Bluetooth music adaptor for Ipod – (for transmitting music from ipod)
  • Silicon skin

If AUS$900 delivered via registered post sounds good to you send me an email to cameron@cameronlaird.com or leave a message in the comments.

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New Nikon D3 rumours and something I want!

Nikon are due to announce a replacement to the D2X and its subsequent update, the D2Xs anytime in the next few days. I won’t be adding any of the rumours I have been hearing but I can tell you some of the things I personally hope it will have.

1. Greatly improved low light / high iso image quality.
2. Elimination of any back-focus problems.
3. SD & CF card options (like Canon).
4. Rubber body covers that don’t fall off.

That is pretty much all I need improved. I know it will have higher resolution, faster fps, better metering and faster AF so if all of my wishes were included as well I would be a happy snapper!

There is one thing however that I hope/dream someone will build/design in the near future.

I wish someone would come up with a simple remote transmit unit that would eliminate the need for a laptop or pda and would allow you to SIMPLY transmit INSTANTLY from the sideline without an assistant or tech. No need to stop shooting, download cards, select images, caption, edit and transmit. This would ALL be done in camera with a simple setup before an assignment.
It could either screw underneath the body or sit on the hotshoe (like a pocketwizard) and connect to the camera via the 10 pin plug. Better still, how about Nikon and Canon build bluetooth into their next models! Then the bluetooth enabled transmit unit could go in a pocket or waistpack and not get in the way at all.It would be designed to work with participating high-speed cellular data networks, like Australia’s NextG network and would require the relevent sim card inserted. Imagine something about the size of a cigarette pack with an lcd display.

I might be able to easily explain its use by describing how it would operate.

Before commencing assignment the unit can be plugged in to a laptop (even better, use a portable bluetooth keyboard and enter info straight into the unit via the lcd display) and data added to an “iptc stationary pad”. IPTC details like job name, photographer info, relevent generic caption details, copyright info etc. that are automatically added to images sent via the unit. The unit could also hold numerous ftp connection details which could be edited and saved. How about built in smtp mail software if your client doesn’t support ftp? Include the smtp server details, email address, message and max message size and your images will send via email.
What about specific captions with particular players names I hear you ask? Well, if you record a voice caption in the camera (which all pro models now offer) it will be uploaded alongside the picture file so the client can adjust the caption at their end.
What about filesize? Well, you could set options like quality of jpg compression, resize to specific pixels on the longest side, max file size.
Finally, how would it know what pics to send? Well, this would have to be done in a similar fashion to the old Canon D2000/Kodak DCS520 where you ‘tag’ a file in camera. Once the file is tagged it is automatically sent and a confirmation would appear on the transmit unit lcd when the file had been uploaded.
Ok you tech companies, feel free to steal my idea and get to work on this. I am SURE that tens of thousands of these units would sell all around the world to companies like AP, Reuters, Getty, AFP and all newspaper publishers.

By the way, I want a freebee!

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