Tag Archives: Canon

The Return

I’m back!

After more than a year of not writing anything and realising people were still reading some of my posts I have decided to get back into it and keep you guys entertained the best way I know how … photography.

Photography has taken a strange turn for me during my hiatus.  I never thought I could put photography second to anything in my life but I am starting to think that I’m better off this way.  Sure I haven’t made any money with my photography recently, but that was never the point.  I liked seeing things in ways nobody else knew how, I liked documenting moments in life that would never happen again, the money was just a bonus.  Unfortunately, the money also came with stress, long hours and tight deadlines which meant post processing into the next morning.

These days, I’ve down sized my kit, I still own the SLR gear but I have made some purchases (I’ll get into that later) which allow me to enjoy the moment a little more yet still take great photographs (if not better).  I now take photos only because I want to, not because I had to.

The above photograph was taken with my new baby, Sony alpha 7.  You can read a good review here http://www.dpreview.com/news/2014/01/22/sony-alpha-7-review-full-frame-mirrorless-is-here.  I got it with the kit 24-70mm and then subsequently bought the Sony Zeiss 35mm f2.8 as well.  I’ll definitely cover this in more detail in later posts as well as my personal impressions and maybe an informal review.  In short, I love the camera.  It takes photos at a ridiculous quality, very responsive, great in low light, renders colours beautifully straight out of the camera.  To top it off it’s the first camera that I’ve had which had wifi connectivity, so when I’m out shooting I can transfer photos straight to my iPhone, edit with snapseed and straight online for everyone to see.

Some may argue that cameras like this will never beat a DSLR in terms of performance.  I agree, but that’s not what I need my camera for these days.  These days I want a camera that gives me complete control, takes photos equivalent to (or better than) my Canon 5D MKII, yet in a smaller package.  The Sony a7 delivers in every aspect.

My older readers wil know that a great photograph has nothing to do with the camera anyway.  You are the photographer, and you decide how to approach a scene.  We bend the rules and challenge the norms to chase that ever elusive perfect photograph that we can be proud of.

– Chris

PS. Hopefully it won’t be another year or two before you hear from me again.

8 Things You Need to Know About the Canon 1Dx

Well, looks like Christmas came early for all you canon folks 🙂

For quite a long time I had been looking forward to the November 3 “historical” announcement by Canon set in Hollywood.  All of a sudden news of a new Canon flagship hits the internet like a steam train.  I’m not going to regurgitate all the articles and research that is already available on the internet, even being the Canon user that I am I found it hard to read it all without falling asleep.  Instead, I’ll keep it short and sweet and list the important things I got out of reading and talking to Canon reps.

#1 It replaces BOTH the 1D MkIV and 1Ds MkIII

#2 THREE processors, THREE!  Dual Digic5 (supposedly 17x faster than a Digic4) for all the usual processing and what not.  As well as a Digic4 (yes the little brother still makes an appearance) for the sole purpose of auto focus.  Based on that alone, unless Canon stuffs up BIG TIME, this machine should be able to lock onto Keanu Reeves in the Matrix while not sounding like R2D2 with a spastic colon.

#3 Full frame 18MP sensor.  To me, that was quite surprising since we all know Canon have a history of cranking up the Megapixel count (sometimes at the expense of high ISO performance) Examples include the 600D with 18MP, G10 with 14MP, 5D2 with 21MP.  I for one am glad that they refrained from shoving 35MP into this flagship.  If you can’t do it with 18MP you’re doing it wrong.

#4 Shoots RAW + JPEG at 12FPS, JPEG at 14FPS.  Again, if you can’t get the shot with 12FPS you’re kind of retarded.  Correction, if you can’t get that decisive moment with 6FPS you’re retarded, albeit a little bit less (… no offense to those who can’t)

#5 Native ISO range of 100-51200.  Also allows L which is 50 ISO, H1 which is 102400, and H2 which is 204800.  Let’s think, if it’s so dark are you sure you should be taking photos?  Either way, I’m impressed.

#6 Shoots Full HD video 1920x1080p at either 24/25fps for up to 30mins.  Big up compared to my 5D MkII which does that resolution for up to 12mins (or something like that).  1D-x also boasts the best video performance by any Canon DSLR, so for those of you who are amazed at 7D, 5D2 video, be prepared to have your mind blown.

#7 PRICE! This thing is CHEAP!  Considering the 1Ds MkIII had a RRP of $12000AUS, this is supposed to be roughly $7000.  All of a sudden this camera is looking more and more attractive aye? Yea, I thought so too.

#8 Photographers around the world approve 🙂  e.g. fashion photog Peter Coulson.

As usual there’s the expected tank like build quality and weather seals.  An intuitive set of controls that will be familiar to Canon users 60D and above.  This truly is a camera built for professionals, it looks, talks, and walks LIKE A BOSS.

For more info check out dpreview, canon website or just google the damn thing.  As if you needed any more convincing 🙂

Oh and guys, vote on the poll so I know you read my stuff and you like my shit 😀

Leica M, a Love Letter

Recently, the awesome dudes at DigitalRev (Kai, Lok, etc) did a video titled “Why the Leica M is so unique” (video at the end of page).  It brought back memories of when I took my first shot with a Leica M9 and the Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH.  Needless to say, it was a magical experience equivalent to the birth of my child.  I don’t have a child, but if I did, I’d say it would be pretty damn close.

Leica M
Leica M

Like most people, my road to appreciation (and eventually love) of the Leica M system was a long journey which involved a large amount of ignorant questions and the bad mouthing of various Leica owners.  Forgive me, I was young.  Despite my fondness of the Leica M system, I definitely understand the argument from the other side of the fence.  For example, if I was to purchase the current Leica M9 ($6995) and 35mm f/1.4 Summilux-M Aspherical Lens ($4995) from B&H Superstore in NY the total would be about $12,000.  For that amount of money I can buy a Canon 5D MkII ($2499), EF 24mm f/1.4L ($1699), EF 50mm f/1.2L ($1599), EF 85mm f/1.2L ($2099), and still leave me with about $4000 to spend on any 2 of EF 16-35 f2.8L, EF 24-70 f2.8L, EF 70-200 f2.8L IS II.  When I put it this way, you can have 1 full frame camera and 1 lens in the Leica system, or a full frame DSLR with a pretty serious kit of L glass.

It’s almost a no brainer.

The Leica also has no auto focus, the view finder isn’t through the lens, and it’s completely manual.  There is no taking a break when using the M9.  However if these are the reasons putting you off the M system, man the fuck up!  Only pussies use aperture priority!  Jokes, I use a DSLR too so relax, I’m not haring.

If you are serious about photography, not serious in the way that you want to make money from it.  Serious in the way that photography is a gateway into another world, and the drive to take the perfect shot is out of love for the art over economical reasons, one day you’ll understand where I and many others are coming from.  Taking a photo with the Leica M brings you right back to the roots of photography, there’s no AF, no program modes, no high spec processing unit or even a TTL viewfinder to hide behind.  If you are not a capable photographer, this camera will eat you alive in front of the world, people will stop and stare as if you were R2D2 with a spastic colon.  Be prepared to bare your soul.  The timeless design originally created by Oskar Barnack who started at the Leitz camera department in 1911 has remained more or less unchanged.  It hasn’t given in to peer pressure, criticism, the huge movement when the Single Lens Reflex became ever so popular.  No, it stood its ground and said “One day you will all appreciate me”.

These Leica M cameras and lenses are so beautifully hand crafted and assembled that it feels as if the soul of Oskar Barnack is within every single Leica sold.  Many natives and Aboriginal people have a religious belief that a photograph can steal the soul of the subject.  With the M9, not only can I steal your soul, I can also make you feel happy, sad, angry, and inspired.  All at the same time.  Every photo I capture with the M9 also takes away a small piece of me.  I’m perfectly fine with that.

Although my time with an M9 was short lived, it gave me a taste.  It reminded me of what photography was really about, I didn’t worry about making money or being the guy people want to be around at parties and events.  No, the M9 was an extension of me to help me face the world.  Life was different on the other side of that bright, massive viewfinder that is so quintessentially Leica.  I took 5 photos of seemingly meaningless subjects, but each shot had a lasting effect so difficult to explain that you have to experience it to know it.

Yea, I’m in love.

I can say with utmost confidence that I will certainly own a Leica digital rangefinder before I die.  Until then, I can only try to help others appreciate and understand what I have come to terms with.