digiKam Recipes on Google Play Store

digiKam Recipes is now available on Google Play Store. So you can buy and read the ebook using your favorite Android device.


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Five film cameras for under £50

Originally posted on Zorki Photo:


The digital revolution has made a lot of classic cameras much cheaper (Pic: Wikimedia Commons)

In the last decade, digital photography has taken over, converting many former film shooters to trade in their analogue gear for the convenience of digital (no more fiddly film loading, scratches on their negs, waiting for prints to come back). What this has meant is that there’s an awful lot of second-hand film cameras on the market.

The high-end stuff – Leicas, Alpas, Hasselblads and Contaxs – may still go for a pretty penny, but elsewhere there are some serious bargains to be had.

I’ve been shooting on second-hand cameras since 2000, after I ditched my auto-focus Canon to learn the very basics of photography on an old Praktica – it cost me £50 (probably far too much for an East German SLR built in the hundreds of thousands) and worked like a charm. It…

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Posted in Scribbles

digiKam Recipes 4.0.11 Released

As you may recall, I recently switched to GitBook.io as my primary publishing platform. Alas, my GitBook.io experiment didn’t last long. Everything worked smoothly until I encountered a rather serious issue: for some reason, EPUB, MOBI, and PDF files generated by the service didn’t include any images. I duly submitted a bug report and tried to contact the developers via Twitter, but I got no response.


GitBook, disappointed I am

This is not the end of the world, of course, but it’s a good reason to find a better and more reliable alternative. I did some research, considered the available options, and decided to go the DIY way. To that end, I hacked my own tool based on BASC eBookGenerator that compiles ebooks in the EPUB format from Markdown-formatted pages and accompanying source files like images, stylesheets, and fonts. Since the tool uses Markdown-formatted text files, switching back from GitBook wasn’t all that laborious and time-consuming. As a bonus, the tool produces much cleaner (read less validation errors) EPUB files than GitBook.io.

While at it, I tried to convert the EPUB file to the MOBI format using Amazon’s own KindleGen utility for Linux. But it managed to produce a ~59MB file out of the 35.7MB original. As always, Calibre saved the day: the bundled ebook-convert command-line utility generated a MOBI file weighing a meager ~9,5MB.

In the process of switching to the new tool set, I did some cleanup and fixed a few issues and typos, which amounted to the minor 4.0.11 release of the book.

Readers who already purchased the book will receive the new version free of charge. If you haven’t received your copy, please send your order confirmation as proof of purchase to dmpop@linux.com, and I’ll email you the download instructions.

Learn more about digiKam Recipes, and buy it via PayPal, Amazon Kindle Store, Gumroad, and GitBook.io.

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The analogue space photography pioneers

Originally posted on Zorki Photo:


Ed White walking in space over New Mexico, Gemini, 4 June 1965 (Nasa)

Anyone who learned to take photographs back in the days of film will remember how frustrating it could be. Quite apart from the trickiness of loading the film, budding photographers couldn’t be sure whether they had a potential cover of National Geographic or a pile of prints fit for the litter bin until the negatives came back from the lab.

Now imagine you had to deal with these difficulties hundreds of miles above a glittering blue Earth, tethered to the space capsule that is your only link between home and the endless gulf of space. Your movements are constricted by the clumsy spacesuit that allows you to survive out here. And you can’t even hold the camera up to your face to compose your pictures properly, thanks to your ungainly helmet. Finding out whether you’ve shot a…

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Film News: Ferrania needs you!

As some of you may recall, I did a little interview with Ferrania last year about them bringing their film back on to the market. A year passed and everyone was wondering what had happened. Well, the people at Ferrania had been very busy overcoming all kinds of obstacles to bring their film to us. And now they are nearly there. But they need our help, and here is how we can do it.

Continue reading Film News: Ferrania needs you! – Japan Camera Hunter.

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Work in Progress

SONY NEX-3N with SONY E 50mm f/1.8 OSS SEL50F18 and Raspberry Pi with RPi-Display

I’m working on a new photography-related Raspberry Pi-based project. There is still a lot to do, but the current prototype is already usable.

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Mejiro Update

Whenever I have a minute to spare, I continue working on Mejiro. During the last few weeks, I’ve tweaked some things, added a couple of new features. Time for yet another Mejiro update, then.



Mejiro now automatically detects the browser language, and picks the appropriate description file. For example, if the browser language check returns de (for German), Mejiro uses the description file with the prefix de-, for example: de-foo.txt. If the appropriate file does not exist, Mejiro falls back to the default one (in this case, it’s foo.txt).

Thanks to a simple CSS trick, the app now handles photos in portrait orientation properly. The workaround is not ideal, but it should do the job for the time being. Finally, Mejiro now supports a tagline, and you can replace the default text with your own in the user settings section of the script.

As always, the latest version of Mejiro is available for download from the project’s GitHub page, and you can view a Mejiro demo at dmpop.dhcp.io/mejiro.

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