Archive: July, 2008

Is the Fuji S5 charger compatible with Nikon?

Many have noted that Fuji S5’s NP-150 battery is externally the same as the Nikon EN-EL3e. This of course makes sense since the Fuji S5 is a customized Nikon D200 body. However, the two batteries are not compatible as they output different voltages and have a different chip on board. If you try to place the Fuji in the Nikon camera or vice-versa, the cameras won’t work.

The chargers on the other hand look identical, and have the exact same output specifications, so some have said the two are compatible. That is, you can use a Nikon MH-18a charger with the Fuji NP-150 battery and/or the Fuji BC-150 charger with the Nikon EN-EL3e battery.¬† If you insert the other manufacturer’s battery in the opposing unit, they do in fact appear to charge.

So, the question is, is this a good idea?

After a conversation with Steve, a very friendly and helpful rep at at Fuji Pro Repair who verified this for me, the answer is no, you should not interchangeably use the two chargers. Apparently because of the difference in chipping of the two, you will damage either the battery or the charger.

Some claim to have successfully interchanged the two chargers, however this is discouraged by Fuji and they specifically say could damage your equipment

UPDATE:

puddleduck” (aka Andy) at DPReview indicates that he has never actually used the Fuji charger in all the years he’s had the S5. In fact he’s never opened the package and only used a Nikon charger and it has always functioned correctly. Anecdotally speaking, it sounds like the people at Fuji are just being cautious.

I guess each will have to make their own decision here.

Passport photos

One of the advantages of digital photography is you can shoot and print your own passport photos. However it’s not always clear what the rules are. Fortunately the State Department has a useful site on this:

http://travel.state.gov/passport/guide/guide_2081.html

In particular you need to know how to place the “face” in the image, which is outlined here:

http://travel.state.gov/passport/guide/composition/composition_874.html

This is also useful because the same format is used for things like International Licenses.

Great Slide/E-6 processor

If you live in the Upper Valley, or even if you don’t since they do mail order, a great company still handling slide/E-6 processing is “Slide Specialists”:

http://www.slidespecialists.com

They also handle C-41 (negative) processing, artwork photography, drum scanning, large format fine-art giclee printing, and other digital printing.

Most of all they are an extremely friendly bunch and a great source of photographic knowledge. I’m not sure exactly how long they’ve been in business, but they’ve been a great source as long as I’ve been shooting (20+ years now). Highly recommended.

Enabling Firefox 3 Color Management

One of the great features of Firefox 3 is that it now natively supports color management. However, for some reason by default it is disabled (well, it actually makes sense – see caveat below).

To enable it:

  • Enter the url “about:config
  • If prompted that you are risking Armageddon, say “Ok” anyway.
  • Find the key “gfx.color_management.enabled”.
  • Click on it until it changes to “true” (note the line should turn “bold” when enabled).

Note this caveat from the mozillaZine entry on the subject:

Without a properly calibrated monitor and a correct color profile, color management may actually make colors look worse.

For those of us with calibrated monitors, it’s pretty handy though. The only problem is you’re definitely not going to see what uncalibrated users are going to see if you’re posting photos et al!

As an additional note, you may want to investigate the variable “gfx.color_management.display_profile” as well. According to the mozillaZine entry by default the color profile used is the system default, or if not set sRGB. If you’re doing something funky (ie: not setting the system default) you may need to muck with this.

You will need to restart Firefox after you make the change(s).

UPDATE:

There’s actually an easier tool (plugin) to work with here:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addons/policy/0/6891/30686

to change these settings without going into “about:config”. The only problem is because it’s beta, Mozilla.org requires you to register first. Also, it’s not totally intuative how you actually use it. Once installed (I’m going to assume you know how to install Firefox plugins) you actually have to:

  1. Select “Tools / Add-ons”, which brings¬† up “Add-ons” window listing all your Firefox plugins.
  2. Find the “Color Management” tool (should be on top since you just installed it).
  3. Select “Options”, which will bring up “Color Management Preferences”.
  4. Select (check) “Enabled” and if necessary, fill in “Set Color Profile”. Usually you don’t need to set the later since your default color profile should already be set when you ran your profiling/calibration software.

I would also note that turning on color management has its minuses. Any image that doesn’t have a color profile embedded (which is most GIFs for instance) will be converted into your default monitor color space. That may create a ugly color shift you’re not expecting. For things with profiles embedded, you’ll see what the author intended, but otherwise, you may not!