In the most comprehensive analysis of image sharpness that I’ve yet seen, The Sharpest Image goes into myriad details on image sharpness handheld with and without VR, burst shooting, mirror lockup vs none, tripod stability and resonance. If you enjoy critically sharp images, or if you’re in the market for a tripod, or you regularly use Vibration Reduction, you owe it to yourself to read this article. Though the article used Nikon equipment, Canon or other users will not be disappointed, as much of the article is generally applicable.
Thanks to a reader for pointing out a good summary on Mean Time To Failure (MTTF) and Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF), which I mentioned in my 02 April entry in context of the failure of one of my nearly-new Maxtor 7V300F0 hard drives. While I do have some training in statistics, and understood perfectly well that a MTBF of 1,000,000 hours does not mean a drive will last 1,000,000 hours, I wasn’t aware that there can be an “early failure period” with a high rate of failure, as shown graphically on this page. It’s still not clear to me if this “early failure period” is included in the MTBF figure quoted by drive manufacturers, but I suspect that it isn’t given the numbers involved.