At Home with Tech

It’s time to maximize the potential of all your gadgets.

Tag: digital cameras

The Hidden Problem when your Camera’s Internal Clock is Wrong

Don’t forget to take this important prep step with all of your cameras before your next trip to a different time zone…

It wasn’t that long ago when you had to think about the accuracy of your watch and whether it needed to be adjusted. Most watches used to drift a bit. Remember that?

But now, with smartphones and smartwatches infused into our lives, the need to worry about the precise time has been removed, because they’re all synced to ‘network time.’ So, carrying around ‘time’ has become something of a set it and forget it phenomenon.

But you really shouldn’t ignore how the rest of your tech interfaces with time, even if that tech isn’t designed to operate using it as a primary factor. Because when your gear loses track of time, it can really mess you up in unforeseeable ways…

A perfect example is the internal clock in your digital cameras…

What Time Does your Camera Think It Is?
When I snap photos with my iPhone, they always get a perfect time stamp. It doesn’t matter if it’s Daylight Savings or whether I’m on my family vacation in London. Smartphones always know to adjust to the local time.

But if you’re also using other cameras to take some of your pictures, their internal clocks that you probably set a while back may now be inaccurate. And if you haven’t updated them for Daylight Savings Time (guilty) or the different time zone you’re traveling to (guilty), they will be way off.

So what?

The Importance of Maintaining the Sequence of Time
Well, if you’re shooting photos across a defined period, maintaining the sequence of those pictures may be important, such as the order of activities on a family vacation. Without accurate digital time stamps in your photos, you’re going to be in real trouble when you get home and start to go through and organize your pictures.

If you’re using only one camera, this problem won’t matter, because all of your pictures will be consistently off, and their proper sequence will still be maintained.

But if you’re adding in smartphone pictures too, that’s when the perfection of ‘network time’ can create a huge headache for imperfect humans.

Multiple Camera Time-Stamp Paradox
That’s what happened to me after our London vacation from earlier this year. In addition to taking pictures with my iPhone, I also used my GoPro and my Panasonic Lumix LX10.

Granted, my iPhone did a lot of the photographic heavy lifting. But there were moments to use my other gear too.

When I later went through my mountain of vacation pictures in Adobe Lightroom on my iMac, I worked hard to identify a smaller group of show-ready photos. Then, I was horrified to realize that many of them lined up significantly out of sequence. because I simply hadn’t reset the internal camera clocks forward five hours.

I had inadvertently created a ‘multiple camera time-stamp paradox!’

So, what did I have to do to fix the problem?

I needed to go through all of those pictures and manually adjust the capture-time metadata via Lightroom. And believe me, that took time. Time that I didn’t enjoy spending.

Said another way… It was a big waste of my time!
But what was more painful was knowing how unnecessary this stumble was.

Travel Prep Tech Tip
So, here’s a little tech tip before you take your next trip to another time zone…

  • Always adjust your camera’s internal clock to the correct time.
    (And then don’t forget to reset it when you get home!)

Then, when it’s time to display your pictures on your computer or smartphone, they’ll organically remain in the correct order.

Organizing all of your photos throughout life is difficult enough as it is. Don’t make it harder for yourself by accidentally destroying the natural organizing constant of time.

Why Your Tech May Not Survive Your Next Vacation

‘Fun in the sun’ is not a phrase fit for many of your gadgets. If you’re not careful, the punishing summertime elements can really do a doozy on your tech…

Your gadgets are supposed to work hard while you’re having fun in the sun. There’s no ethical dilemma here. No “Westworld” to concern yourself with.

But you should remind yourself that all of your gear may not be designed to easily handle your next vacation’s itinerary. In fact, your personal tech can be as delicate as your skin without any SPF protection…

Here are five pieces of Kryptonite your gadgets have to contend with…

Direct sunlight can be a real problem for your camera lens…

  • Strong sunlight facing your subject can wash out or over expose your shot.
  • Sun from the rear can make your subject’s face look too dark.

Softer light or shade is usually easier for your camera lens to handle.
(Or just hope for a cloudy day)

The Beach
The sandy beach is an especially dangerous place for your camera…

And I’m not just talking about that large body of water.
(I once saw a friend’s DSLR camera lens accidentally drop into a lake, because it wasn’t securely locked into place on its camera body. Oops!)

It’s that sand.
Those tiny granules can really kill your tech.
Even a single poorly placed speck of sand wedged into a retractable camera lens can immobilize your camera from ever taking another shot.

One simple solution is to use a waterproof camera without an exposed lens…

Another option is to only take photos with your smartphone. No exposed camera parts to worry about.

Don’t overheat your tech… as in… don’t leave it in your car at high noon.
Enough said.

Summer Fun
Just having a good time in the great outdoors can spell doom for your tech.
‘Cause if you’re not paying attention… Whoops… Plop…. Crack.
(That’s the sound of your camera or smartphone shattering on the sidewalk.)

Travel Can Be a Losing Proposition
Let’s face it. It can be hard to keep track of all your stuff when you’re on vacation.
But if you leave a pair of socks behind or a t-shirt, that’s not such a big deal. If any of your tech doesn’t it make it back, that’s obviously a much bigger issue.

My solution: Don’t bring it!
If you don’t absolutely need it, I say you can do without…

And that goes for your car too.
Because when you least expect it, a wild turkey will fly into it!
(Yes, it’s happened to me.)

So you might want to consider becoming a public transportation Weekend Road Warrior.

The Terminator Vs. WALL-E
Look, I know this cautionary musing is mostly common sense.

And in fact, your fancy tech can actually enhance summertime fun… or at least feed you with lots of ‘comfort data.’

Heck, a solar-charging watch actually thrives during the summer months!

But the truth is your tech isn’t built like the Terminator.
If you want it to be back for your next vacation adventure, you’d better start treating it like your personal WALL-E.

Even though your gadgets don’t need to outlast all robotics on the planet, it also wouldn’t hurt to offer your tech a little more love.
(Or at least the protection it needs to survive while you’re having fun!)

%d bloggers like this: