Tuesday, April 28, 2009

In Praise of Hyper Program Mode

A really good article over at OK1000 about Hyper Program and Hyper Manual exposure modes.

Both these cameras [the Nikon D3 and the Canon 1D Mark III] fall down sorely when it comes to how the exposure modes are accessed. Pentax’s ingenuity here towers over them in this regard.
I've been using the green button and hyperfocal mode since my first DSLR the *ist-D back in 2004 or so and am constantly shocked that other cameras don't let me have that control. A couple of friends of mine have Nikons and I'll put them into the P mode and start twiddling the thumb and finger dials only to find that whatever I think I'm doing, I'm really not!

The article linked above actually is just a reference (as this post is) to a description of what Neil from PlanetNeil.com thinks The Best Camera In The World would be. Lots of good stuff in there though :)

Panorama Viewing Site

ViewAt is a site to let you organize, share, view, and geotag your panoramas. I love panos, though not that many of mine turn out that well. Check out this great example from False Creek, Vancouver, not all that far from where I am now. Gorgeous shot by Randy Kosek (more here).

I'm looking forward to more browsing of the site for more awesomeness.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pentax DA 15mm f/4 Review at DPReview

Title basically says it all... check the review here.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

New K20D Firmware (1.03)

Via a bunch of places, but the quick and dirty details are over at OK1000, all about the new K20D firmware that's available. This is to make the shake reduction more accurate (sweet), but some in the forums have reported it seems to make the autofocus faster as well (sweet!).

Looking forward to updating and testing this tonight.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Cloudy View

Random shot from a photowalk with some friends out to Heritage Park out in Mission. B&W'd after some HDR treatment via Lightroom. Enjoy!

As a random aside, did you know that in lightroom you could double click on the histogram in develop mode to reset that area? Just like any other setting I realize, but I had no idea you could double-click to reset on the histogram itself. Cool!

Couple more shots taken at the Native Indian school that is next to the park.

My only regret about the last picture is the dog and my buddy's girlfriend behind him. Would have been a better/more powerful shot with just him and the totem. Ah well, next time I'll know :)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Illuminate Yaletown 2009

After the Strobist meetup that I recently wrote about (immediately after actually) I headed to the "Illuminate Yaletown" celebration. This took place in (unsurprisingly) Yaletown, deep in the depths of Vancouver. Basically it was a two or three block area where various businesses had color-oriented displays setup. At one there were fire dancers, another illuminated a building wall with cool moving shapes and colors, one had ice sculptures with cool lighting in and around them, there was a band playing, there was a mini-dealership with strobing lights in and around the cars... All looking very cool.

Ice Carving

Fire Dancing (one of my fav shots)

The car dealership was all lit up

Local artist shaking her stuff and singing as loud as she could!

It was actually nice because it didn't seem like a bunch of selling going alone with this. Mostly I'd expect these displays to be thin veils over companies pushing their wares on you, and while there were definitly companies associated with the different locations, it seemed like it was more about the displays and bringing people in the area together than about selling stuff. Some huge screens projected on buildings dominated the second half of the walk.

Not all the billboards worked 100% :)

There were a lot of photographers there. The Vancouver photo group at meetup.com is the group I started out with, but in the dark, really it was a free for all, and there were tons of people with tripods and DSLRs milling all around. I ended up just wandering by myself for about an hour or so and then heading for the (long) drive home.

Lots of people taking pictures too

Some funky blue orbs

This is one case where I'd have loved a faster lens. The two that I took with me were my DA 16-45/4.0 and the DA 40/2.8 Limited. The shots (as you can see) weren't all that bad, though lots of steadying myself against buildings or railings was used, and ISO was generally 400-800. Combined with the shake reduction that really helped things. I am still lusting after the DA* 16-50/2.8 though. I switched to the 40 once, around the time where I hit the display with the band, but even wide open at 2.8 it didn't seem to help much somehow. Maybe because I chose a scene with energetic moving people it just seemed that way? It's an odd focal length though.... I love the fact that I have a "Limited", but the 40mm length translates to 60mm which is in that odd place between the "normal" view of the 50mm range and the so-called "portrait" 85-110mm length. Of course, it's not like there's no place for a 60mm lens (in 35mm terms), but it doesn't have the sweet spot that much lauded FA31/1.8 Limited or the FA77/1.8 Limited has.

As an aside, if anyone has a cool $1600 USD they have no need for, contact me cause there's a couple of lenses I want to talk to you about :)

Enough of that, more pics!

(Note that this has sat here in draft form for a couple of months now, my apologies for the lack of posting again)