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Friday, 08 December 2017


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Hmmm....you seem to have a "penchant" for Sonys, Mike! :D

It seems you've got some holiday season-induced "GAS" pangs with the recent postings about cars and the Sony A6500 and A5100s. I know you like to change out cars and cameras every three years or so. I don't think this comes as a surprise to any of your loyal readership.

But, if I may make a suggestion: grab that sweet X-T2, head outdoors with a "plan" and make some photos! Cameras are so good these days, the fairly negligible absolute differences between camera makes and models (possibly statistically different, but not practically significant) is secondary to the "process"....getting out and taking pictures!

Renew your spirit...stop pining for gear and get out make photographs!

Just sayin' :D


But......no viewfinder. The a6000 is less than $100.00 more.

For a moment I read "Modesty Camera, Monster Sensor" and was thought Oh Mike is posting about politics again.

I always love the skies and clouds in CDF's paintings. And sometimes when I see a sky like it, my first thought is: Caspar David Friedrich.

That’s a lovely picture. Looking forward to seeing some more of your smartphone project.

Warning: about to bang on endlessly...
1. Recently I've been trying to remember to remove the temporal from my pictures, by which I mean trying not to have signifiers of date and time, either through fashion or other things (cars, phones, TVs, interior design). Or at least keep these signifiers under control. Trouble is, normally as I put camera to eye all this goes out of my head. This photo seems a good example of this, though for some reason it says 1950s America.
2. My hit rate with my mobile phone is about 1/100th or less of that with a dedicated camera. A number of factors at play I think, the most important being form - I'm not just able to take pictures with my phone comfortably. No doubt my feelings, the difference in emotional register between holding an X Pro2 and my smartphone, also play a part.
3. Re: 1, above, though clearly one wouldn't know unless you told us, Mike, where this was taken, nonetheless it looks American to me - I don't know why but it does: melancholic American. I read somewhere once (beware - truth butchery likely) that early Europeans, meeting with native peoples in what is now British Columbia, were amazed to discover that if you were with a member of a coastal band but were inland more than a few miles they often had no idea where they were. However, take them out to sea in thick fog and they always knew their exact location. Which might mean something or not!
Sorry to go on - in a rush so little editing time.
Thanks as ever for your wonderful blog.

Personally, I've gone over from Sony E-mount to the Eos M system for my 'jacket pocket' camera. Sony haven't made an E-mount camera that feels 'right' in my hand since the NEX-6 (I gave up after 2 years of woking against an A7r). For me the M3 body shape fits my hand superbly and, sensor be damned, a camera I want to pick up is the over-riding factor for me.

Nice photo. Not sure about the title though. To an ecologist, or a fish, the sea is far from empty or desolate Full of plastic unfortunately, but that's another story.

I'd like to second the request for more about your phone project.

[I would guess "empty" in this case means what it would mean to a sailor in the days of sail -- empty of boats and therefore humans. In any case, it's really just a line from an old romantic opera, which for this picture is unfortunately apropos. – Mike[]

It wasn’t too long ago that the only relevant issue with regard to a camera’s size was whether it would fit in one’s pocket. Not so much anymore. Just sayin.

The lack of a viewfinder makes the 5100 no bargain in my eyes—I’m with James Weekes!

I have a Sony a7, and am looking for a 6000 for extra reach with longer lenses, while retaining 24mp of resolution. All costly in Australia, unfortunately.

I hear you, Mike. Canon's new EOS M100 has caught my attention in much the same way. It doesn't have many external controls like the other M cameras do (relying, in fact, mostly on touchscreen controls). But, again, it's a big APS-C sensor (Canon's latest) in a small body.

That camera with Canon's 22mm f/2.0 lens on it strikes me as a way to get great images even if one isn't in the mood for manual control. How many times have you seen an image and just didn't want to bother with the camera? I can see the M100 solving that problem for me - while delivering much better images in a technical sense than a smartphone could. Just use auto or aperture priority. Frame the shot and press the shutter button. It can be quite liberating.

Canon's imaging processors do a great job deciding what is what and Canon's dual-pixel autofocus is a big step forward. I can see the M100 being my go-to camera at family occasions because my family won't stand still even for a beat or two when I want to take pictures.

But I have to buy the M100 first (they start at $499 with 15-45mm zoom). Christmas is only a couple of weeks away...

I think your phone photo shows the perfect shutter speed for the scene. Would you agree, and would it have been your choice with a real camera?
Phones are now capable of great photos, but I have the original RX100, so much easier to use,and fits the pocket as well.

I had a poster of that Caspar David Friedrich painting growing up. I did my own homage with my young son as model a few years ago.

I like that 'cell phone project picture'. Unfortunately, I find myself questioning the location, (large lake or sea) and who the lady is, who just in a small, minimally detailed silhouette, looks lovely!
Also- just sayin'

Hmm, I think C D F only really used this motif once, although groups of figues do often appear

I still use the 5100's forefather, the NEX-5, with that nice little 20mm pancake. I often treat the flip-up screen like a waist-level finder, and you can buy all manner of sun-shades on eBay or Amazon to make it somewhat more usable in daylight. Though unavailable on the 5100, I have the accessory optical viewfinder for the 16mm pancake, too, which fits the weird proprietary NEX flash socket that Sony eliminated when it retired the NEX moniker.

I have an IR converted Coolpix A, and a normal Fuji X70, that I use for when I want a small, big enough sensor. I'd love an x80 with the 24mp sensor, which considering I had initially discarded the x70 as a useless contraption as it was missing some many things I thought were critical. But a widish lens, a quick switch to put it into auto everything mode, and an occasionally useful touchscreen make it a great wandering about camera.

If I have to carry lenses, the camera size is less a concern - with mirrorless cameras, anyway.

Unfortunately Sony pancake is hardly good enough.

Related to the Friedrich, local musician Ben Caplan used an interpretation of that painting for the cover of his latest album. I had no idea, but recognised it immediately.

As you've most likely never heard Ben, here's a great tune performed live on CBC's Q a few years back. Insane klezmer-infected Tom Waits would be an apt description. "The Stranger": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGtITvq7iQk

A while ago I thought I'd discovered the perfect "walking around" camera -- A Sony NEX-5 or -7 with the Sony E PZ 16–50 mm F3.5–5.6 OSS Pancake lens. It was terrific except that even Sony couldn't design out all the distortion that comes with a wide angle pancake lens.

I'm still using small Sony cameras but the lens is sitting in the bottom of a drawer somewhere.

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