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Posts tagged “Camera

Scene at the beach – redux

 

Here’s something I learned. The Sony RX100 does a better job focusing than the Canon. This is critical at the beach when I was trying to catch a wave. The autofocus was way better. The zoom has a longer reach. Bottom line: good wave detail. It is still dependent upon the photographer to get the right moment. I didn’t quite (do it). My bad. User error… Ok!?

So, a swimmer in the heavy sea and waves – his glasses are on his forehead. Intentional? Lifeguard – sexism? – she’s in a bikini, the men are in trunks. Waves bigger than your head – is it perspective or real – real! Portrait of a gull – he really did walk right up to pick food up right next to our beach chair.

Follow-up: Maybe I spoke too soon. Or, maybe I have not mastered the focus algorithm. But the Sony does hunt and frequently fails to focus on the subject at hand. It could be user error. I have to pay attention way more. The Nikon D610 has closest focus setting that gets the subject closest to the camera. That works for the most part. I can think faster than the camera can focus. And, I am frequently in too much of hurry to worry about focus until it’s too late. So, there have been some missed shots. Sometimes there is a do over and many times not.


Symmetry

Four years ago, we sold our apartment in Manhattan. I bought a new camera, actually a fair amount of new equipment that I had lusted after. This was followed by an extended trip to Maine. This year is redux; we travel back to Maine. I got this spiffy camera. I’m not a fan of Sony as a camera though I have owned many Sony videocams and Walkman. Four years ago, cats were theoretical. I had never met a cat I liked or who liked me. It’s been quite a transition. I’m out of Manhattan. I don’t miss it for all the troubles you have to put up with. I miss the action and the restaurants. But I eat well and don’t lack for anything to do. And it is/was time for a new phase. This one is way more peaceful. Anyway, things have a way of repeating. This one time it worked out. The road I have taken has been pretty spectacular.

Symmetry? We had another spectacular trip to Maine. Did I mention it was spectacular?


DSLR

Digital single lens reflex. If you don’t know cameras the initials stand for big serious camera with interchangeable lenses. …if you care. Go on. Use that iPhone… I always considered myself to be a serious amateur photographer. May 25, 2004, I received my Nikon D70. I opened the package near midnight. Yes, I worked late in those days. I like to say it was the last time I shot slide film from that day forward. It pretty much was the case. Digital was seductive and in my head I had a quality camera capturing the images that would be comparable to slide film with way less processing. Of course, the rest is history. I have been through several iterations of DSLR and now am using advance point and shoot cameras. The iPhone remains a distant (second) device though for many it is the camera of today. iPhone is $1000 as are advanced point and shoot cameras like the Sony RX100. Each has a purpose. I believe a camera dedicated to a single purpose is better than a smart phone.


New Camera

I got a new camera (last September)– Sony RX100VI. It’s touted as the best travel camera. It’s been raved over as a dive camera for years. I succumbed to the hype. I have buyer’s remorse. It’s good! But the Canon G7X is good too. And it cost a lot less. The Canon G7 Mark II is probably good too. I did need a new camera. Ha! I’ve got a case of camera envy. Actually, I justify the acquisition in the name of protecting and preserving the G7X. My dive housing is dedicated and if the G7X goes, then there will be a very expensive dive housing sitting without a place to go. Yeah! That does seal the argument?? The Sony is good. I’m just putting it through rigorous field tests. It’s good. I miss the G7X already. I’ll transition and everything will be okay. It happened with my Canon G12. That was a sweet camera until the G7X. And my Canon S100? What about the trusty Nikon D610? Ok, ok, don’t laugh. I’ve got cameras like… ladies have shoes (some not all). I have some test images. There are limitations in focusing and speed and … overall, the camera does well. It and I are still getting to know each other. There are advantages over an iPhone… and not. Mostly I’m a camera guy. I want to take a picture with a real camera and control certain elements that the iPhone doesn’t allow. Remember, I like to make the rules … not be ruled. Judge from the samples. I need a haircut.

Follow-up: Since there is considerable delay in my posts lately, it’s been two trips since I got the RX100. I have not shot a frame from the G7X. There are limitations. Focusing, touted as excellent, has been a problem with the RX100. Like anything else, you work with the limitations and adapt to the quirks. Looking back, the RX100 is easily an all in one travel camera for compact size and convenience. I still think and visualize faster than the camera can respond. And, I still see lots of pictures that the camera was not quick enough to respond to capture the image I saw.


Insurance

From the very first expensive lens I owned, there has always been a protective lens filter. Insurance. Precaution. Caution. In the normal course of business I never needed it…

I have never had this happen. I treat my cameras pretty carefully. But I do not baby them. They are all in use. There is exposure to dust and rain involved. And I suppose some rough handling. When I was diving there was the threat of ocean salt water. I have/am guilty of frying more than one camera underwater. This was a new one (mishap) for me. The camera slipped from my shoulder and the front of the lens hit a folding chair. As you can see there is a consequence to a forceful meeting. Luckily it only cooked the skylight filter and not the front element of my very expensive spiffy lens. I’ll replace the filter and thank my stars that for the first time – a filter actually did what I bought it to do – protect my lens. Praise Jesus, pass the alcohol.


Old Cameras

They (old cameras) don’t sell. They have no inherent value except as a dust collector. Film is gone. I know I’m being extreme in saying this. You probably can find film and even get it developed. But, film cameras are really mostly a curiosity nowadays. Soon enough few, if any, will remember how to load film into a camera. The Argus C3 (the “brick”) was my first ever camera – that I shot a picture. It was dismal. There was nothing automatic and I shot with nary a lesson. I shot in Charleston, WV when I won the Golden Horseshoe award. Nada! Not a single frame could be printed. I’ve never used a folding view camera. No box camera. And just like that … iPhone. We’ve come far. I have a collection of old cameras. Someday someone will try to sell them for money. Right now they are overpriced paperweights loaded with nostalgia.


Caveat!

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Available light has a soft appearance different than the look of a strobe. The majority of professional style images are all done with strobe lighting. Smartphone photos by far are the most dominant images posted to Flickr. This was a throwback day.

Sometimes things go to hell. I have had all sorts of problems underwater. The first worry is that salt water will leak into and damage your gear. Yup! Been there done that. Fried two cameras and counting… one strobe…. Fortunately, the strobe main body is waterproofed. So, the batteries fried not the $400 strobe. Dive computer – o ring failure – check, yes. Forgot my memory card on one dive… yes, stupid!

Things breakdown. It will happen. Be prepared. Have a backup plan. My buddy forgot to charge his batteries. I had spares to loan him.

The latest calamity? The wire that connects my strobe to the camera sheared. It’s a fiber optic system that simply broke apart. At the beginning of the dive…it’s always right when you are in the water and at the beginning of the dive. I even have a back-up camera – (did not have it that day).

So? There has been only one dive I recall when I did not have a camera. Otherwise, you improvise. I love it when my advice rhymes. I went available natural light. I haven’t done this in ages. You have to white balance every ten feet deeper you go. And there are a bunch of settings to adjust. I did it on the fly and it only took a minute to recall all that I needed to do. Saved! Well, it was enough for me to come away with images. You know? Make lemonade when they give you lemons. I tested and experimented. It’s a learning experience when things breakdown. Yes! I could take a sharp highly magnified image. The main difference is that your odds are better when everything is working. But you can still get something. So it was not a wasted dive. I learned something today.

So? What caveat? It’s about backup storage. It’s enough to strike fear. Do you worry about losing all your images on your phone? Have you heard of the cloud? Do you remember floppy disks? Or VHS tape. Did you ever see a Betamax player. 8 track tape?

The New York Times published a very earnest article by a so called expert who advised – use Google cloud. It’s advice. And therein lies the caveat. All that other technology became obsolete and discarded. Floppy disks are coasters. There are no readers, so they are toast. Companies come and go. Kodak! Did you ever think that the great “Yellow father” would be an historical footnote? Ever hear of a platinum print?

Pardon me Mr NYT. Fine and dandy, but at least let me have redundant back up on an external drive that I own and control. Google forever?! Do/did you Yahoo? I zen too, but I want my photos to be preserved. Zen will live on; will my photos? They say my blog will be on the net forever. I’ve got my posts on word and the images on my hard drive. Paradoxically, anything you wish would go away will follow you forever too. Like old girl friends…did I say that?


Canon S100

IMG_1142As I have aluded, my Canon G11 is gone, lost at the mall in mid-August, and not by mugging as Lisa has accused. Stupidity! Mine… So on to the hunt for a camera to replace it. At the moment an online used retailer is shipping one to me (August)  in New York. I’ll see how that goes. The reason for the used camera is because the darned thing worked so well with the underwater housing, which I still retain. But here in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, I needed an immediate replacement (August). I was diving in about 6 hours. In New York, no problem, there are a number of camera stores and you can get setup in less than an hour.

As luck would have it, I had seen a Canon camera store in one of the malls. It was a tiny store the size of a large walk-in closet. They happened to have a underwater camera housing on the display wall. So though I did not need anything at the time, I filed the location away for ‘just in case.’ And now the case had happened.

IMG_1143

Still listed as latest greatest in the catalog… two models behind

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