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Archive for June, 2013

Cameras, *Cameras*, CAMERAS!

June 4th, 2013 No Comments

It’s a ‘fast news’ day (a fast f/1.4 day) on the camera front with three new cameras reviewed in the past 24 hours as Sony makes the right kind of ‘noise’ with the world’s teeny-est APS-C mirrorless – with a matching teeny-weeny price.

Cutting Edge from Pentax

First up, though, is Pentax’s double play from a few months back, the K-5 II and K-5 IIS, successors to the K-5.  These get a detailed examination by Shawn Barnett in DPReview.  (The two cameras are only marginally different.)

These DSLRs set themselves apart from the crowd with their weather-resistance, 100-percent coverage optical viewfinder, and shake-reduction image stabilzation.  Having an APS-C CMOS sensor, these are not full-frame DSLRs but compete with the big boys.

The K-5 II (and its sibling) has a number of cutting-edge features, perhaps none more so than Composition Adjustment.  This “allows you to actually move the sensor around in the camera to adjust your framing instead of tediously moving the camera on a tripod, show Pentax’s prowess at using digital technology for all it’s worth.”   

DPReview’s write-up has paging that may not be immediately evident so be sure to click on the arrow link or use the choice-list to read the entire review (or whichever sections interest you).

A Big Rig from Fuji

The Fujifilm HS50EXR gets the once over from George Schaub in Shutterbug.  This bridge camera’s standout feature is its 24-1000mm (35mm equivalent) zoom range – a 42x ratio.

Other noteworthy features include customizable settings, multi-swivel LCD screen, and USB and HDMI slots.  

This camera’s image quality is rather uneven.  On the one hand it records very good colour and is excellent at skintones; on the other, noise is manifest even at ISO 200.

This is a chunky camera and so it would suit a photographer with big hands.

A Bargain from Sony

 The Sony NEX-3N is reviewed by Joshua Waller in ePHOTOzine.  And this one’s standout feature is that it probably packs more features per square millimetre than any other camera!

To begin with, this teeny thing (110 x 62 x 34.5 mm) would fit into a child’s pants pocket yet it has, among other things, an APS-C CMOS sensor, 16 megapixels, white balance settings, video mode, and HDMI and USB.  

It also has HDR mode, Panorama mode, and more.  Some specs, such as shutter response and shutter speed range, are right ‘up there’.  What is ‘down there’, however, is this kit’s price, making it one of the best value-for-money propositions around.


Light Painting Hat-trick

June 3rd, 2013 No Comments

Today we have a double feature from PetaPixel on Light Painting – in fact, one of the features is itself a double feature as it exhibits the distinctly different creations of Joanna Jaskólska and Zach Ancell.  The second gallery exhibits the still different, dreamy, fantasy-like images of

Long exposure photo of a light show dance usin...

Long exposure photo of a light show dance using finger lights. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


These are purely galleries, not how-tos.  If you want some pointers on Light Painting, check out our post from a month back, Light Painting with Darlene Hildebrandt.  You can combine the skills gained in that lesson with inspiration taken from these galleries.

Jaskólska asks her breakdancing subjects to do their thing with LED wands in their hands.  The effect of bands of sinuous white lines is not exactly overwhelming.  Had the breakdancers held taped multicoloured light sticks or sparklers, the images would have had a lot more ‘zing’ that would have complemented the breakdancers.

Ancell too shoots moving subjects but with a very different take.  Not quite ‘Light Painting’ as commonly understood, he photographs atheletes in motion such that they give off superhero-like streaks lighting up their paths of motion!  Now this is a concept that will have athletic goods suppliers knocking on Ancell’s door.

 Light Painting as a term and a concept is probably best ‘illustrated’ by Jason D. Page’s creations.  They are light paintings in that they are created with light, and they are light paintings in that they indeed resemble painted art.

The image of translucent dragonflies hovering in front of a swamp looks like a still from a Disney animated feature whereas the photo of an otherworldly woods is obviously painted with light (perhaps a little overdone for some tastes).

Head over to Page’s website for some more fantastical images, which have to be considered truly incredible images given that they are “captured to the camera in one single photographic frame [with] NO PHOTO EDITING used . . . .”  One would be hard-pressed to create some of those images even with post-processing!


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