a place for sharing all things photographic and some things not

Gear

The 5D Mark 3

So this fabled legend of a camera line was continued recently with the announcement of the 5D Mark 3!

Honestly this camera has a lot to live up to. Think back to when the 5DMkII came out and everyone started adopting it both as a lightweight alternative to the 1D and the 1Ds. Indie filmmakers loved it because it became the pioneer and the standard for all HDSLRs to come and PJourns and photographers in general loved it too because it was so much smaller than either of the 1Ds while still offering the full frame.

This time Canon has got some tight competition in the form of the D800 which was announced not too long ago either. Here’s how the two match-up

Image from PC Mag

Quite evidently, the first thing that jumps out at everyone (or at least to most of us Singaporeans) is that the D800 is cheaper. Quite a bit cheaper too. And it has more megapixels. I consider this a terrible thing because 36 megapixels on a full frame is going to be a heck lot of noise compared to the D700. HDSLR people would love it though, they get their high quality video as do the studio photographers. Thankfully the D700 is not being phased out or discontinued, it is merely being complemented.

There was a comment posted somewhere on the interwebs that I loved. While the 5DMk3 is the replacement of the Mk2 (like it or not), the D700 and the D800 complement each other. The former can be used for street or concert photography that call for minimalistic portability with minimal noise while the latter can be used for filming adverts or doing high quality shoots. Many have also praised the D800 for it’s new features (as it came out earlier than the canon and hence appeared to outdo it).

However, in the end I don’t really think there’s any great motivator for anyone from either party to jump ship (not when lenses cost so much more) and while these are both great new cameras, there isn’t any definite impetus to swap over to them unless you happen to need a new Pro DSLR.

I was considering for a while upgrading my old taped up D90 to the D800 but 36mp is really way too much for me, if I were to do a jump it would be to the D700, which would cost less too. In the end, it’s all about getting what you need and not just chasing after something because it’s ‘new’.

Happy shooting!

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The wonder of old school photography

I’ve been eyeing the Polaroid SX-70 camera for a while. It’s one of the fabled cameras that hails from a generation that has long left us. In fact, it comes from such a long time ago that the film for it was discontinued.

It was one of the revolutionary cameras of it’s time. The battery was built into the film pack so that everytime you topped up the film, you changed batteries too. It folded down into a really compact little block and it was incredibly reliable for an instant camera. You just clicked the shutter and the film popped out. You shield the film from light for a bit and soon your image is done.

Of course digital came along and everyone moved over and film was suddenly left all alone and the industry suddenly found all it’s money moving to other places. The factories shuttered and the film dried up and polaroid soon moved on to other things.

Nowadays the counterpart to polaroid would be Fujifilm’s digital version, which to the average layman is no different but to purists (and I think of myself as one) it still seems like a travesty. It seems no different to bringing along a portable printer everywhere you go compared to light and chemicals doing their magical thing behind the shutter as in the traditional polaroids. (the new polaroids are very good though, I’ve seen them used before)

I shall refrain from saying something mean.

So polaroid was dead and gone, until a couple of enterprising individuals decided to go back to the factories once owned by Polaroid and open the shop again. It was then that The Impossible Project was born. The recipe for the original polaroid films had already been long lost so they had to start from scratch, but slowly (and surely) film is coming out of the factory to old school hobbyists all over the world! Right now they still haven’t nailed it yet (the film has a tendency to overexpose) but it’s a very usable set of film.

And film cameras are cheaper too! They’re all old and dusty and moldy so secondhand models are easy enough to find here and there. Be warned though, refurbished models from Nostalgia shops and the type go up to 300, while some can be bought from pawn shops – do your own legwork!

But if you get your hands on one sniff the film and watch as it gets churned out from brown blank to the splendid image that you had just taken. Old technology is even more amazing when it still works!

(and if you do have a polaroid camera, I envy you like crazy, do tell me how it works!)

gaaaahhhhhh


Avalanche Ski jump with GoPro

One recent technical invention that must be mentioned (aside from the Lytro which I have yet to see hit the real consumer market) is the GoPro camera. The camera began emerging about 2 years ago and since then it has become one of the most popular cameras for adventurers, sportsmen and people who generally want to film themselves doing something stupid with a guarantee that even if they break their cameras won’t. The GoPro is (from my observations of multiple videos) freezeproof, dropproof, waterproof and can basically go everywhere (it’s even been sent to space).

I also managed to spot it as it made a cameo appearance in a photo from afghanistan (can you!) – 

-Image by Thomas Peter/Reuters

If you want to capture an event in inclement weather or are looking for a small reliable thing for HQ video quality, the GoPro is what you’re looking for. It is slightly on the expensive side but it can really be brought out for anything. I’ve never had the chance to use on personally but it looks to be ana amazing device packed into a small box, if you have the extra cash go grab one and start recording!

Now the real reason I wanted to write this post was so that I could post the following video – it is my absolute favourite video from the GoPro and it involves skiing, avalanches and parachutes. (Nothing more needs to be said). This is a really fun video and I’m quite sure everyone can use it on a monday to chase away those monday blues.

Enjoy! (jump to 50 seconds for the good stuff)

for more entertainment go watch the other 200 videos from GoPro (and that’s not even counting the unofficial ones)