Star Time-Lapse Video From The Very Large Telescope

As you may be aware, I’m a big fan of time-lapse star videos. They’re so beautiful and remind me just how insignificant we are in the big scheme of things.

The following one is made from a series of photographs by Stéphane Guisard and José Francisco Salgado of the European Southern Observatory that were taken at the Very Large Telescope in the Chilean desert.

I strongly recommend watching it in fullscreen and 720p HD.

Also here’s a little reminder that we’re the ones rotating rather than the stars (you might want to mute the bad music):

CHDK Is All Kinds Of Awesome

I’ve had CHDK on my Canon PowerShot G11 for about a month or two now. CHDK is a custom firmware that sits on top of the default Canon firmware (it does not replace it!) and allows you to do a ton of things that your Canon camera normally can’t do. For example, my G11 can only take exposures of up to 15 seconds. With this firmware, I can take incredibly long exposures if I want to (we’re talking up to hours or days).

Even more awesome though is that you can use CHDK to run scripts. I currently have two really awesome scripts on my camera. One is for time lapse — it will take a photo every X seconds/minutes for however long I want. Great for sunsets and more. The other is a motion detection script. It will sit and watch the scene and take a photo or video any time the scene changes (you can control sensitivity). It’s even good enough to catch lightning!

If you have a Canon camera, I highly recommend you taking a look at CHDK.

San Francisco

A few photos from my two week trip to San Francisco for WordCamp SF.

Anyone Used A Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3? I’m Considering Buying One

For about the past month, I had been planning on buying the new Canon PowerShot G11. However someone on the forums recommend the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 instead:

Comparing it to the G11 I have noted down the following pros and cons:


1) better wide angle (24mm instead of 28mm);
2) brighter lenses (F2.0 – F2.8 instead of F2.8 – F4.5)
3) smaller;
4) 110g lighter;
5) about 100$ cheaper; (doesn’t seem to be the case)

7) besides the 4:3 and 16:9 it supports the 3:2 image ratio (the G11 supports 4:3 and 16:9 only);

8) better image quality compared to the G10 (I am looking forward to see a comparison with the G11).


1) doesn’t have a swivel LCD;
2) has a short zoom range (2.5x instead of 5x)
3) doesn’t have a viewfinder.

Here you can see a detailed side by side comparison:

I think I’m starting to agree with them. The 720p video is a big plus (I plan on mostly doing images but I do video from time to time) as is the other stuff.

Anyone have first hand knowledge of the LX3 and would care to provide an opinion on it? Are you happy with it? Is it’s 2.5x optical zoom a problem? This would be my only camera (I don’t own a DSLR nor do I plan on getting one).

UPDATE: I ended up getting the Canon PowerShot G11 as their interfaces are just plain awesome, the swivel screen is handy, and the additional zoom is great. For video, I picked up a Flip Mino HD so I can take 720p video. Yes, I have to carry around two devices, but I have big pockets. 🙂