Of the three new lenses Nikon announced today, I will almost certainly be buying the AF-S f/2.8 60mm macro lens just as soon as I can lay my hands on one. A macro lens is a must-have for reptile photography; a macro lens that will autofocus on a D40 (or, for that matter, the new D60, which was also announced today and which also lacks autofocus motors) is a must-have for me. The only other AF-S macro lens Nikon offered prior to this is the 105mm f/2.8 VR, which is much more expensive than this new lens, which lists at US$549 and which presumably will replace Nikon’s current 60mm macro lens, which is AF-only and won’t autofocus on a D40. Believe me, you want autofocus when you’re trying to take pictures of small snakes.
Computerworld’s Michael DeAgonia isn’t the first tech pundit to compare the new MacBook Air to the ill-fated Cube — small, stylish and expensive. Though unlike others, who assert that the Air is like the Cube and is therefore doomed, DeAgonia takes pains to say that the comparison isn’t necessarily apt.
Me, I think the Cube comparison is wrong: paying a premium for a laptop that sacrifices performance and cost for size is not the same as paying a premium for a desktop that sacrifices performance and cost for style. A better comparison might be the iPod mini: at the time, people couldn’t understand why people wouldn’t pay $50 more to get three or four times the storage; yet, despite the high cost per megabyte, the mini (and its successor, the nano) became the best-selling iPod model by far. Small matters when you’re dealing with something portable.
Willing to sacrifice cost and performance for size? MacBook Air. Size and cost for performance? MacBook Pro. Size and performance for cost? MacBook. Cluster headaches? Laptop running Vista.
- Time Capsule: I just bought a hard drive for backup purposes, so there is no immediate need for it. However, this is a really compelling product at a really compelling price, so I may get one once I get a laptop (which would benefit from wireless backup) or other Mac with 802.11n wireless. Otherwise, we’re fine for now.
- Software updates for the iPhone and the iPod touch: Still no iPhone in Canada. I was just saying the other day that I’d buy an iPod touch immediately if it came with an e-mail and mapping application, and now it does. I still have an underused 30-gigabyte, fifth-generation iPod, so there’s no immediate need for a new one, but the possibilities of it as a PDA/mobile Internet device are intriguing.
- Software updates and a price cut for the Apple TV: We don’t have a high-definition television, and Apple’s rental service isn’t in Canada yet. Despite interesting Flickr integration, I don’t need this thing.
- MacBook Air: Reason not the need; WANT. I anticipate buying a laptop this year, and wanted something small and light, enough so that I’ve been considering the Asus Eee and its ilk. But while the MacBook Air is thinner and lighter than a basic MacBook, it’s just as long and wide — the X/Y is essentially the same. It’s clearly meant as a secondary machine; I’m just thinking that it’s easier to contemplate a $1250 secondary machine than a $1900 secondary machine. Still, WANT.