Well, a bit of an update, in case anyone sees this.
I tried a few other blogging platforms but have decided to come back to this one. At the same time, my *OLD* web host, LunarPages, started having problems with the server that I was on and thus they complained loudly to me that even downloading a 100k image was taking too much of the CPU resources. Nothing I could do satisfied them so they took matters in their own hands and tried to “fix” the supposed problem which ended up destroying a number of web sites on my account.
Needless to say, I have switched and thus far I am satisfied with the new host. Seems to perform better and everything.
Anyhow, give me a bit of time to get things fixed around here. I happened to have an old backup of the database so a few posts were lost but all-in-all, it’s a decent start.
Note that none of the photos are showing up so that will be first on my to-do list and then to update the theme a bit to something a tad different.
Unless this little fry has been hiding well in my tank, this fry was about six hours old after he was released. For the past few hours, all it has done is crawl around on the glass, hopefully getting a nutritious first meal.
As I was preparing the image to post, I started to have some doubts because this fry looks very similar to the certain red cherry shrimp fry I snapped a photo of last week. Sooo, I guess time will tell: Will it be be a red or ghost shrimp ???
In the meantime, here it is. Sorry about the quality. It is TINY…
In the 6.6 gallon shrimp-only tank, I’ve lost a few ghost shrimp but do not know why. I checked the water parameters and everything was at or near zero. Certainly not past the first step in the table. On top of that, I’ve been doing two 20% water changers each day, so I don’t think water is the problem.
From the same source, I put a few ghost shrimp in one side of a divided 10 gallon tanks with a betta in each side but all have died over the past few days. In the other side, I have a more ghost shrimp that I put in a week earlier from a difference and they’re still doing fine.
In both cases, I used a drip acclimation process that took over 3 hours to complete. I don’t see how it can be the water since the shrimp from first source seem to be doing well.
On a positive note, the single six day old red cherry shrimp seems to be doing okay. I saw him/her at about 3 PM today.
And in other news, I got to watch a ghost shrimp release her fry into the 6.6 gallon tank. I can confirm two live fry on the first day, one of which is very lively.
I added the First Bites to the water and now I have to start doing very careful water changes. Do you know how long it takes to do a water change using a turkey baster ?!
Finally, I saw a cute image and am sharing it here. As you can see, it is an otocinclus and a ghost shrimp hanging side-by-side on the divider of a 10 gallon betta tank. I thought it looked kinda funny.
I had the red cherry shrimp in a 1.5 gallon plastic tank initially. When I moved the adult shrimp to their new home, I had a feeling there might be fry left behind so I kept the tank full and did daily water changes, and a good thing, too as later that day, I caught a pic of the tiny fry that I posted earlier with the Nikon L820 review.
Well, tonight I managed to get a real good pic!
For those that are interested, I did take the pic with the Nikon L820 in the macro mode and took a burst of six images that I then processed through PhotoAcute Studio 3 to increase the resolution through stacking.
As I look at the images, I can clearly see him/her eating off the walls of the tank. In addition, I have been supplementing the available food with Hikari First Bites. Also, I’m changing some water twice per day.
For reference, here is the pic from what I believe to be its birthday:
Well, the ghost shrimp came in this morning. After a four hour drip to acclimate them, I added them to the tank.
The accelerate the tank cycling, I transferred a items from another tank and used a tank starter solution. Of course, I’ll have to monitor the water for a while and perform frequent micro water changes.
Anyhow, I set the camera on it and recorded 20 minutes of the shrimp moving around their new habitat.
Okay, after the bettas figured out that the red dwarf shrimp were actually an expensive appetizer (well, they kinda are), I decided I needed a place for the shrimp to hide, so I constructed a shelter for them to evacuate to.
It uses the same needlepoint plastic canvas as the dividers with the pieces smoothed and attached using an aquarium compatible silicone.
(Insert photo of it installed)
I just hope they don’t stay in there all the time. Time, and hopefully the population, will tell.
I was learning the ins-and-outs of the Nikon L820 and captured these two pics of two different ghost shrimp carrying eggs. Since they’re ghost shrimp, they’re clear and therefore you can see their guts very nicely.
With my new shrimp expecting, I decided to pick up a pocket / compact camera. I set myself a budget of $200 USD because it is not going to be a replacement for my Nikon D5100 DSLR. My goal was to find something with a good macro capability and a decent image quality.
After considering a dedicated Nikon macro lens for $1700 USD for about 11.3 microseconds, I selected the Nikon L820. Here are my observations.
It is a non-pocketable point-and-shoot camera. It’s not directed at advanced photographers or those wanting a teeny-tiny pocket camera.
There are no manual modes. In their place are scene modes which, one you learn what their priorities are, are generally workable for general photography.
Macro mode works okay. Better than my standard lens equipped DSLR but that is mostly because of the optical geometry makes close focusing and a wider depth of field. However, if compared with fast, versatile and precise auto focus of a more advanced camera like a mirrorless or DSLR, macro autofocus is lacking. Maybe finicky would be the best way to describe it. It works but you’ll have to get the hang of it.
The only feature it is missing that I would really appreciate is a manual focus mode or at an minimum, a real focus lock. Perhaps a higher model has this. All you can do is focus on something the desired distance from the camera and recompose.
A higher-end feature is that the L820 has an optical image stabilizer. It seems to work as well as the ones on my DSLR and can be turned off on an as needed basis.
High ISO images actually surprised me, especially since this camera has a non-remarkable 1/2.3″ image sensor. Nikon struck a nice balance in processing between sharpness and noise reduction. Sure, I’d love a larger sensor but that’s another price class and, for my needs, would actually reduce the macro capability just a tad.
For reference, the L820 allows an Auto setting plus a range of 125 to 3200 ISO.
I’ve tried the flash a few times and it seems to be well designed. The pattern is wide and smooth and yields nice results. As you would expect, there is no hot shoe or external flash support.
The LCD display is very nice, full “VGA” resolution.
The camera is plastic and rather smooth feeling. It doesn’t feel very tough but with fewer individual pieces, it is probably sufficiently strong. Not very concerned.
The only place the housing presents any concern is with the battery cover. It feels like the pressure of the four AA batteries is more that I would prefer. I think with gentle care and use, it should be okay.
The problem is the frequency the cover must be opened. Even with rechargeable batteries and the Nikon adapter, they cannot be charged in the camera. Furthermore the SD card is under that cover. Bottom line, put a little bit if pressure on the cover as you slide it off to make it last longer.
Also related, the L820 has a metal tripod mount (yeah) but when the clip for the tripod is mounted, it covers the battery / SD card cover (boo.)
However, I see the L820 is fully compatible with the Eye-Fi cards. Maybe I should just purchase one and not have to remove the SD card at all.
I have experimented with the movie feature. Video looks fine with several options including a half speed, 2x and 4x modes at various resolutions. It records stereo sound which seems fair but since the mics are not facing the subject, it could be better.
Auto focus can be set (somehow) at the beginning or change continuously during the recording. Neither of which I got the hang of in a few minutes, but I was trying macro work and that is always more challenging. I expect in non-macro situations, it probably works as well as a point-and-shoot camera can.
There are couple of burst modes that some might find useful. Continuous H and Continuous L work at the full resolution plus 60 and 120 fps that work at VGA resolution.
A favorite of mind that goes back to my old Nikon Coolpix 950 (which I absolutely loved) is called BSS or Best Shot Selector. This causes the camera to take several pictures in a row and it keeps only the sharpest one. It is great for low light hand held shots of non-moving subjects.
The “easy panorama” feature worked well with the choice of 180 degree or 360 degree capture. It worked with the camera in horizontal / wide / landscape and vertical / tall / portrait orientations.
It has an HDMI output as well as analog composite video output. I give a little “boo” here because the latter is shared with the USB connector and thus it is proprietary. One cannot use a regular USB cable with this camera. Boo.
Anyhow, those are the practical observations I have. As a long-time film and DSLR user, I’ll give the camera a positive rating for a practical general use camera within the constraints of its class and price point.