i went to harvard square to shoot some miniature effect test videos with the ZS20. it's one of 10 picture effects, all named with cryptic abbreviations (e.g. EXPS, HKEY, HDYN, SEPI - why panasonic couldn't use their actual names is a mystery). they mostly do stuff like change the color, make it more saturated, or some type of soft-focus. the one i wanted to try was MINI for miniature effect. it basically creates a fake tilt-shift effect by blurring the top and bottom of the picture. that's all fine and good, but when you record a video instead of shoot a photo with the miniature effect, the camera does something unusual: it condenses the speed down to 10:1, so when you play back the video, everything looks like it's been sped up, which makes it look more miniaturized.
miniature it's kind of a cool effect but a real challenge to shoot, especially hand-held, since a minute of actual recording gets reduced down to just 6 seconds of video. the best examples of miniature effect are videos shot from up above of a crowed cityscape with a lot of people and vehicles moving around. i wonder if it'd be better just to fake it in post-production, that way i can have both a normal video and a simulated miniature effect video if i wanted one.
here's a problem i found out with the ZS20: because it has so many features (like a swiss army knife of cameras), it's easy to get lost in all the options. i found when i was shooting the videos that occasionally i was on the wrong setting, and wasn't recording what i thought i was recording. it's probably because i'm still new to the camera, but there's definitely a lot to learn.
i met my mother at the cafe and the two of us biked back to belmont. although i wouldn't classify my mother as a hardcore biker, she'd plenty hard, still able to bike during the winter as long as there isn't ice on the ground or it isn't bitterly cold. my father hasn't biked in a while, and even put his bike away in the garage. one problem is my parents often need a car to gather supplies, so if one person bikes, the other person has to drive.
i went out into the backyard and turned the 2 compost bins. the problem with our heaps is it's hard to aerate the bottom since the pile is too thick and heavy. but the more turning the better. when i turned the larger bin in the southeast corner, i think i saw some steam rising out (or it could've been spores, either way it's a good thing).
i tried out the panorama function of the ZS20, which is one of 18 scene modes (not to be confused with the picture effects i mentioned earlier). by turning the camera in a circle, it can actually stitch the photos together into one seamless 360° panorama. i tried it, and the longest one i could get was around 200°. even then i was shaking a little bit so the photo is a bit blurry. the dimension is also smaller at 8000 x 1080px, and it purposely shoots in 16:9 so the top and bottom are cropped off (i'll try shooting portait orientation panoramas next time, they're slightly bigger at 1440 x 8000px).
when i returned home after dinner, i went back upstairs to check the bucket. it wasn't nearly as full as this morning, but it was full enough that it wasn't making that thud sound anymore, more like a thoink, like a leaky faucet noise. i emptied the bucket before going back to my own place. they call me the superintendant.
i'm thinking about returning that sandisk ultra memory card and getting a transcend card instead. i played around with the video on the 60D, and i managed to get it to halt recording on the first try (after just a few seconds), and then subsequent recordings - although it never stopped - were interrupted by the buffering indicator at 2 bars. i ran a speed test using crystal disk mark and the sandisk 32GB class 10 SDHC card had a sequential write speed of 12.7 MB/s. that's better than the microSDHC which was 10.2 MB/s, but still not as good as the 8GB RiDATA class 6 SDHC which has a sequential write speed of 17.3 MB/s. maybe i'll do a few more video tests tomorrow but i'm leaning towards the transcend 32GB card, which has a supposed write speed of 15-18 MB/s.