Tuesday, 16 May 2017

We're really in business now! A Sony lanyard comes to the rescue.

The saga continues. Let me see. I'd bought a proper Tech21 case for my new phone. I'd made a leather sleeve to protect my new phone's screen when bagged. I'd discovered that voice control of the shutter release let me have a firmer grip.

But one thing was missing. Some method of ensuring that I couldn't drop this shiny new wonder. I've found a good solution.

Really, it's obvious, and it merely copies what I do to make certain that the Panasonic LX100 camera doesn't slip from my fingers: fix a lanyard between the phone and my wrist.

In fact I had thought of doing this with my previous phone, and the phone before that. There was, however, always a snag. Whereas the Panasonic (in common with most 'proper' cameras) has lugs for a neck strap, one of which can be used for a wrist strap (or lanyard), no phone has such lugs. They are a styling no-no. So Tigerlily was natively bereft of any way of attaching a cord.

And then I saw that Tigerlily in her Tech 21 case might be so secured.

Getting out my 7x  jewellers' loup, I found a minute gap between the bottom edge of the case and Tigerlily herself, where there are holes to let one plug in earphones, insert a USB cable, and allow the sound from the speaker to propagate. Now what if I threaded a small-diameter cord in there, and looped it back on itself?

But what kind of cord? It would have to be very strong for its small size. Not ordinary thread. Not ordinary string. In any event, It would have to look as if it were a proper piece of kit.

And then I recalled that I still had the lanyard that came with the Sony tablet I bought in 2012. It would be entirely suitable. So here it is, attached. (Photos courtesy of the Panasonic)

And here are some close-up shots, showing how the thin (but very strong) cord of the Sony lanyard can be threaded through the 'grille' formed by the holes in the bottom edge of the Tech21 case:

There's enough 'give' in the cord to pull it aside (well, downwards in the next shot) whenever I need to connect the USB cable:

And here are some shots of me, using Tigerlily to take the following photos - with the lanyard attached. It's strictly unnecessary in my own carpeted bedroom, of course. But supposing I were out in a city street? Or up the proverbial Empire State Building, with jostling people nudging my arm all the time, and a high risk of the phone accidentally cascading into oblivion, unless tethered to me?

That's a weird shot!

All the last three were taken with a voice command, myself saying 'capture'. If, when in selfie mode, you say 'capture' or 'sugar' or 'atishoo' (or whatever word will work), you get a few handy seconds to compose your lips into a stunning smile or grin, the passage of time being indicated onscreen. In ordinary mode, the voice command is instantly effective.

Anyway, by not having to compromise the grip with a finger poised to tap the on-screen shutter button, my phone remains very firmly held. And the lanyard around my wrist is extra assurance that the phone will not crash to the floor if those fingers of mine should fumble, and Tigerlily slips out of my hands. If that should happen, she will merely swing from the wrist.

I accept that in some circumstances she might swing sideways into something, but then she's in a high-tech case that promises to mitigate the impact. Nor do I think that, in any likely slipping-from-the-fingers scenario, she would pop out of the case and fall to her doom.

So there you are. A phone now fully ready for the rigours of street life, or for a rugged tramp across moorland, or for climbing a high rocky ridge!  

With the lanyard attached, Tigerlily now weighs precisely 200g. The Panasonic, excluding its case, weighs 409g - twice as much. And Tigerlily can shrug off a light rain shower. She's waterproofed. Arguably, she's all I need for the Scottish Highlands, or the Lake District, or a rainy day in Redcar.

But of course I'll still carry both of them, because the phone won't shoot long-distance views very well. No small-sensor camera can; and the Panasonic's four-thirds sensor is nine times the area of Tigerlily's. But now I can deploy either with equal confidence that I can keep a firm grip, in any situation where a camera can be used.

A footnote on those on-screen virtual shutter buttons
I've set Tigerlily's camera up to have two such buttons - one in the usual place, the other within the picture-taking frame, just where I'd tap the screen with my right index finger if holding the camera 'landscape' style. As in this close-up. (It's a mirror reflection, so that's actually my right hand) The shutter buttons are the large white blobs:

You can't always give voice commands. So this dodge makes a manual shutter release slightly easier.

A footnote on firing the shutter by voice command, using a word containing a SH sound
It can't be done if you are a Gileadite, because you won't be able to articulate a SH sound. In fact you will be killed by the Ephraimite guards. (See the Bible, Judges, Chapter 12, verses 1-15) Best to use your fingers to take any photos of the Ephraimite host. Similarly a speaker of any language that does not contain a SH sound will also be unable to operate the shutter with a voice command, and will also be at risk of a sword thrust. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe Hawaiian speakers, whose language not only lacks a SH sound, but any kind of S sound whatever, are particularly likely to be slaughtered by the bloodthirsty Ephraimites, and ought not to attempt a crossing of the River Jordan.

And here's a warning to anyone else who tries to engage the Ephraimites in casual conversation. Don't try it while wearing a grass skirt, a flower necklace, and strumming a ukelele. The Ephraimites won't see reason. They'll consider you to be Hawaiian, and cut you down at once. So my advice is this: take your shot with your fingers, and get out of there, and not say a word.

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