Upgrades at ole OxfordMississippi.com
A little housekeeping real quick..
In simple terms, we enjoy collecting & sharing all aspects of Oxford – stories, pictures, video, and even audio. And to better accomplish that, I’m gonna begin spreading my wings a bit and incorporate some new technology onto the site. Both on the hardware, and software side..
To start, from the hardware side, I’m scrapping the in-house point and shoot Casio Exilim digital camera. Simply put, it doesn’t quite cut it these days. Its daylight photo quality is darn respectable, but it’s limited in its optical zoom, and can’t quite produce the level of detail I want in low-light or night shots. I’m not knocking the camera, cause it’s performed very well for me (heck, the last pic of the Courthouse was taken with it). It’s just time for an upgrade. (We’ll probably turn it into a loaner for our writers..)
So what we’d upgrade to?
A Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 (not that the model number means anything to anybody, I just thought I’d be fancy and list it). It’s got a sweet 18x lens from Leica, a great macro-focus, image stabilization, higher ISO settings so I can capture low light pics, movie capture capability, direct USB out, and a few other cool features. And it’s been reviewed well. Our lead photographer, Derek “America’s Mayor” Moreton, uses a Nikon D40, and the photos it produces out pace all my previous shots. Hopefully I can start to catch up (although I think his Nikon is still much better than this Lumix..)
Second, we’re investing in a Belkin TuneTalk Stereo recorder for our iPod. I’m particularly jazzed about this device, as it’ll allow us to capture local interviews, and sounds of everyday life in and around the Square.
The sky’s the limit on the type of applications we can apply this towards, so I’m excited to get it out in the field.
now, onto the software side..
And I’ll stay on topic: Audio. More specifically, the ability to stream live audio on the site. I was lucky to stumble across a flash based streaming mp3 player last week that’ll allow me to toss clips on the site, which are available to stream on the page (ie. without having to open up something like iTunes or Real Player). Check it out, here’s an example.
These are a few sample music clips from a great (pseudo-unknown) Atlanta rock band, ‘The Tom Collins‘ (that I love and and hope get “discovered” some day). Just click the play arrow…
Song: Back of Your Mind:
Song: Devil on the Streets:
Song: Talk You Down:
So that’s the audio upgrade..
Onto the visual front..
I thought we try out a neat slideshow photo application that makes it a touch easier to view multiple photos in a collection..
for example, here are a few random shots I grabbed of Barnard Observatory one afternoon. Once you open the first image, simply click the ‘Next >’ button (near the bottom) to cycle to the next photo.
So, this’ll allow us a little more freedom to toss up more photos for future pieces, and enable ya’ll to shoot through each collection in a jiffy.
Now, realize all new’ish technology can be buggy at times, so if ya’ll see anything weird or cockeyed occuring cause of these (or anything else), drop me a note in the comments, or shoot me an email.. we’d appreciate it..
looking forward to putting these into practice : )