Category Archives: gadgets

i8.

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There are very few automobiles which capture my attention, new or old, these days.  My interest in automobiles has faded aside from a few select cars which i’m always chasing.  i am, however, BLOWN AWAY by this car.  the fact that it is a production car that looks like a concept.  The fact that is totally a current car embedded with current technologies capturing the spirit of ‘new’ and ‘fresh’ without copying anything else before it.  The fact that it’s the first hybrid sports car that is somewhat attainable  (still expensive though…at $135k USA price).  But most of all I love this car because it pushes and opens an envelope into the current times.  No retro here.  No celebration of the past.  The BMW i8 is a celebration of the future.

If i had the money…i’d order this and drive it every day!!

Forget 0-60 times (4.4 seconds here), forget curb weight (3200+ pounds here), forget cost for a second, forget the badge, forget the insane aero design features— this car is a pioneer and a real innovation in this realm.  It’s rare in these generic modern times of automotive engineering that we see a true beginning, but i have a feeling the i8 is the first of many coming in this realm.

(I don’t count cars like the Porsche 918, because of price and uber-exclusivity)

Live photos from Frankfurt (courtesy of greenCarReports)

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promo photos from BMW in Black:

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Videos:

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murmur: a dialogue between a human and a wall.

murmur-configuration

This is spectacularly cool.   Using technology, an interface has been made for people’s voice to be made into a physical entity and interact with a dynamic graphics display on the facing well.  What results is something I would really like to try.  A collaboration between multiple studios including Chevalvert, 2Roqs, Polygraphik, and Splank.  More details at Design Boom and make sure you watch the video at the bottom of this post to understand what this is all about!

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Video:

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Match.

I need this lighting in my life.  “Match” is marketed by Vidia and designed by  Jordi Vilardell & Meritxell Vidal

“This innovative product stands as a new lighting concept based on co-creation. Match allows you to create structures arranged chaotically, automatically planned on-line and adapted to fit into the room and the space available. The result is infinite artistic configurations based on thin rods of aluminum and LED light terminals, forming a light sculpture that illuminates central themes of space and interior decoration.”

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src:  minimalissimo

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$14,411.

to me, the Leica M5 is the epitome of cool when it comes to camera equipment.  The insanely good looks, the controversy and uproar it created against it in the 70s, and the beauty of using it.

So why do I need $14,411?  So I can buy these 2! Sealed in their original Leitz (Leica) packaging from the factory shipment—2 M5s in serial number sequence!  Nerdiness? Yes.  Coolness? YES.

Here’s the weird auctionl

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view007.

Most of these are taken with the Leica M8, although picures #3-7 are taken with my new pocket Ricoh GRD-III (which is great, by the way).

lenses used:  Chiyoda Kogoku  Super Rokkor 50mm F1.8 and Summicron 40mm F2.  The  Super Rokkor is total magic, i must say.

I will be posting some M5 photos next week.  The first roll was riddled with dust and scratches on the film (although they did look quite tastefully artful i must say).

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M5 brochure.

No, not that M5—-the 1971-1975 Leica M5.  Some of my favourite excerpts from an original M5 brochure.  In my opinion, the most beautiful camera ever made by Leica!

src: keh

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me and my trusty M8 .1 + Summicron 40mm

 

(below with new 39mm Leitz Orange filter, which i’m sort of in love with at the moment.  Bought it for B&W photos, but am starting to use it for orange tint)

 

 

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BeoSmart phone concept.

Well here’s an idea by designer Hugo Andre Costa Fernandes Vieira which incorporates a Bang & Olufsen stereo system, Leica 12 mp CMOS digital camera, Gold headphone jack (?), and a 3.5 inch OLED display mated to an Android OS to create what is known as the ‘BeoSmart‘ concept mobile phone.

Well it’s not a real phone, yet…and while i’m not generally a big mobile phone enthusiast, i do use my iPhone quite a bit and it is arguably the most important and useful device I use on a daily basis.  I have been daydreaming of a really kickass camera mated to iOS for a while (although the iPhone camera is no slouch really)—-however a Leica mobile phone camera?  My wallet is ready for action.

I doubt this will ever get made…as Leica doesn’t strike me as a company that interested in stepping down to mobile phones.  That being said, i can see them putting their name on a mobile phone camera lens like they do with some of the entry-level Panasonic point-and-shoot cameras.

src:  yankoDesign

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Leica ABCDE (1970) and Leica S1 (1996) prototypes.

Well here are 2 very strange prototype cameras.

The Leica ABCDE looks like a GREAT SLR design from 1970 (albeit with possibly the worst name ever for a camera…lol).  Why didn’t they use it? I haven’t the slightest clue.  Not much is known about this concept, however it was seen on a Leica Factory Tour in 2009 by DPReview.com (the link to their tour, unfortunately, does not work—however the pictures are found in search).

 

The Leica S1 (below) from 1996 has to be one of the least useable camera designs ever!  I cannot even imagine focusing while holding a gigantic ring—-or maybe it’s genius!?  Who knows….all we know is that it seems to have cool digital buttons on the top.  The colour is right as well.  It may make for a nice steering wheel though.

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self-projection.

This is so wicked. The future of presence.

Experiments into the Kinect for live 3D capture and overlay projection.  Coded by Sarat Babu and Stefan Dzisieswki-Smith.

 

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photomanipulation….before photoshop.

I’m not a fan of Photoshop for photo modification, as i find it cumbersome and overused by people.  That being said…there is something more primitively charming about photomanipulation BEFORE the advent of computer software aids.   Does it make it any more acceptable? No, not really!  But they are interesting to look at.  Somewhere in the future…some kid is going to read (absorb?) an article like this about Photoshop and say “oh how primitive they were back then!”

src:  the excellent brainpickings via the book “Faking It”

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Silica-ESC.

The future of computing and net social interactions? I hope so!  A visually interesting and conceptually weird and wonderful short video made by Vladimir Todorovic

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book: Leica “Witness To A Century” (2012)

 

I ordered this book a while ago on pre-order, and it arrived this week.  $22 from Amazon.  An amazing and beautiful book for a very low price. Hardcover, by Alessandro Pasi (2012).  Highly recommended beautiful short history of Leica with full page spread profiles of every significant camera produced in their illustrious history.  This book does not read like a publicity book—-instead it is full of beautiful and iconic photography throughout their history.   This is the 3rd edition of this book, revised to include the digital range through the recent M-Monochrom.

Yes I am a Leica fanboy these days and it is driven by my love of creating fotos.  And there’s nothing you can do to stop me!

Being inspired to create is so much nicer than obsessing to appreciate. 

 

 

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2013 Audi S3

300hp.  3080 lbs. quattro. beautiful interior.  0-60 in 5.1 s. I AM SOLD.   Reserve me a black one with DSG, please.

The 4-door sedan version of this S3 (5-door will likely not be returning to the US market, unfortunately) will be arriving to the US in mid-late 2013.  I will be in line for one.

and a promo video:

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the new Leica range!

Since really cutting back on my intake of automobile-related news and interests (more about the details of that at a later time) as of a few months ago, they have been replaced by a burning love for photography and cameras.  After recently buying my Leica M8.1, i have been turned on to the magical world of rangefinder cameras.  New and old.  Eventually I would like to buy a nice Leica M5 and fool around with film photography; however my primary love of cameras is around digital photography.  Part of this may be due to the fact that I am impulsive and need to see my photos within 24 hours, but mainly due to the fact that I really don’t have the time to dedicate to film photography.  Digital photography, while saturated in this day of iPhone-photographers, can still be beautiful.

Today at Photokina in Cologne, Germany; Leica revealed the new lineup of Leica M cameras.  The much anticipated ‘next step’ in the Leica M range is actually going to NOT be called the Leica M10; but instead called simply Leica M.

Bigger screen, video recording (in a Leica??), focus assist (in a Leica??), optional electronic viewfinder, 24mp CMOS full-frame sensor, and a familiar body with likely beautiful construction and materials as all Leicas generally have.   The M will cost $6950 in the US.

then there’s the Leica M-E; essentially the same camera as the outgoing Leica M9P, however recoloured in a beautiful anthracite and debadged to be a bit more stealthy!  Same exact specs as the prior M9P. Oh and the price has been slashed to $5450. 

will these make you a ‘great photographer”? NO.  Will this help inspire you to be more creative and understand the fundamentals of photography?  probably YES.  Well, at least the M8 has done that for me…..now, time to save up for a Leica M-Monochrome (announced as still in production).

Leica M-Monochrome (Leica MM):

src: L-Camera

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“Why The Leica M is so unique”

During my massive research spree prior to getting my M8, i spent several weeks reading forums, articles, and watching videos.  One of the most entertaining discoveries I made was a series of videos on YouTube by a lad named Kai Wong for DigitalRev.com.  Who would have thought that Jeremy Clarkson would have had a young bastard asian child!?  That’s pretty much what Kai Wong is—while most of the other camera reviews and videos are about as exciting as lifting the toilet seat up, Kai does something unique.  He instills his thrill and enthusiasm into cameras and photography in the same way that Jeremy Clarkson instills his enthusiasm into automobiles.

Since that time, I’ve found myself watching lots of DigitalRev videos hosted by Kai—not because I really want the cameras he is reviewing, but because I find the videos very entertaining.   Good on ya, Kai!  You may not be entirely original, but you’re doing a great job nonetheless.  (BTW, Kai also uses an M8 as one of his primary tools)

This is one of my favourite videos—which played a role (along with people like Drew from MotoringConBrio) in convincing me of the magical powers of rangefinder cameras.

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Assembling the Leica M9.

I’m still really excited about my Leica M8.1, however I always wondered how these cameras are made.  Leica always states these are hand  assembled, and this fantastic video shows the M8 successor, the M9 in its assembling phases. Very cool attention to detail, and this is part of the reason why their products cost so much.   The factory (laboratory?) is also very very german….which is a good thing!

Unfortunately the embedding function does not work on this video (not sure why)…but click through this link to watch: http://vimeo.com/6551861

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my new toy.

Leica M8.

I don’t even have a lens for it yet, but it is truly a beautiful machine.  Can’t wait to get a lens and get clicking!

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Fitzroy Chronograph.

I do love nice watches.  These days I am less inclined to want things ‘vintage’ and more inclined to want something totally NEW—inspired by the idea of creating my own legacy and my own vintage rather than buying into somebody else’s.  More about this in a later post as well…

I was in search for a truly modern, original, and unique chronograph watch.  It had to be automatic, and it had to represent 2012, not 1972.  It’s easy to find all sorts of ‘vintage chronographs’ on eBay and to buy into some other history—but I wanted to buy a watch that, in 30 years, someone could look at and appreciate for the time it was made in.  This is a small company making low-production watches—with unique features like an ‘external’ watchband bar, chunky beautifully made case, unique dial accenting, and a simply gorgeous transparent rear housing.

Last year, I briefly remember seeing a blip about a London brand called Fitzroy launching a series of Automatic (their own, swiss made automatic movements—again, original) and a modern set of stylish watches which I found thoroughly beautiful and original.   You won’t meet anyone else wearing one of these…and furthermore, it is a low-production, interesting, and creative timepiece.  Fitzroy Automatic Chronographs start at $880.  Their standard Automatic watches start at a touch over $500.  They supposedly will have a selection of custom fit designed watchbands available for purchase—however as of yet I have not been able to procure any other bands.

I absolutely love this watch.   Appreciation of the modern is the vintage of the future.

Fitzroy Website

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video of the day. “Speed of Light”

Well this is pretty damn wicked.  This is going to create a whole new generation of 10 year-olds making films with little projectors!  Directed by The Theory.

src: ralfBecker

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the $2.77 million-dollar 1923 Leica

What you’re looking at is the most expensive camera ever sold….the 1923 Leica O-series.  Quite beautiful, but absurdly priced!  Sold at 2.16 million Euros ($2.77m) at the Westlicht Photographica auctions in Vienna.

Video of the auction:

src:  engadget

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Autodromo launches Chronographs!

Let me just say that i’ve really gotten into watches in the last 6 months; and much of this blame goes to Mr. Bradley Price, a great friend and a full-on fellow automobile enthusiast who launched his line of Autodromo watches last autumn to my standing ovation.  As I type this post, I am wearing my black Autodromo Veloce with pride.

I can’t say enough good things about my Veloce.  It feels great on the wrist, looks magnificent in any setting, and is built with quality I quite frankly never see in a watch of this price range.  Sapphire coated glass, beautiful perforated black leather strap, total attention to detail, and hell it even came with an aluminium chassis card engraved with my watch number!  How many watch companies include a chassis number with a watch!?

Autodromo is now introducing two new Chronographs based on the successful Vallelunga line.  There is industrial prowess in these designs, and when he says the goal is to incorporate vintage and minimalist design ethos, he isn’t kidding.  I think if there were two words which described these watches perfectly it would be vintage and minimalist.

As motoring enthusiasts, we often search for objects which are inspired by motoring, however in an artful, graceful, and gentlemanly way.  Autodromo watches are functionally and artistically inspired by motoring; and those of us who understand the art of gauges and dashboards can appreciate this on first glance.

Oh and just look at the press release photos.  No further words are needed.  $550 for the Chronograph, and for precision control of your time while motoring.

Take a right turn over to the Autodromo website for more information:

www.Autodromo.com

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