28 June, 2014

Form factor

Fisherman at dusk - North Burleigh Heads, Queensland

It's the absence of the weight and size, the mirror box and all these moving parts that makes the mirrorless cameras both great and affordable. They're breakthrough products because they're not DSLRs. (Rhetorical question alert.) So how is that some companies seem to celebrate their cameras looking like DSLRs?

Making cameras is a business. And, as in most businesses, the customer is king. So, if customers want cameras that look like SLRs and DSLRs, then that's what they're going to get.

On the other hand, I can only suggest what Steve Jobs said (BusinessWeek, May 25 1998): “It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

(These days you can't go wrong quoting Steve Jobs.)

21 June, 2014

Joe Hisaishi

Joe Hisaishi is a genius. He's the composer, and the pianist in this video. I'm a big fan of his music and I expect that you might be too, if you have a listen.

This composition, Kaze no Torimichi (Path of the Wind), is from Hisaishi's score for the Japanese animated movie, My Neighbour Totoro, directed by Hayao Miyazaki.

I hope that this video remains on YouTube for a while.


19 June, 2014

Support your local art gallery

At the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane

We're lucky here in Brisbane to have the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) and the Queensland Art Gallery (QAG). Each of these offers exhibitions across the spectrum, including a fair number of photography exhibitions.

Some exhibitions and films have a charge, but otherwise entry is free — expensive parking though.

If you have a public gallery nearby, I urge you to support it.

18 June, 2014

The wrist strap

Beautiful view

I'm not a neck strap person.

There are times, of course. If you need your hands free then it's no good using a wrist strap. You can't climb a ladder with a camera hanging off your wrist. And if you're trying to negotiate yourself into a small boat....

In my LX3 and GF1 (EVF free) days, the neck strap was a plus. Holding the camera far enough out to tense the neck strap stabilised the camera — good for a stop or two. With a camera that has an EVF, however, I get the same result by holding the camera against my head.

The short version is that now I'm a wrist strap fan. 

This is only possible because I'm not carrying the "big iron." If I was a wedding photographer I wouldn't fail to have full-frame Nikons or Canons; and I'd be using neck straps because I'd be carrying more than one camera — and you can't do that with a wrist strap. (And I'd want my clients to know that I'd invested heavily, and those neck straps would scream my chosen brand.)

As I walk along, my mirrorless camera on a wrist strap doesn't scream, it whispers. Subjects don't see that camera until it's up and shooting, and then it's gone again. And with a camera on a wrist strap, when your arm is down the strap takes most of the weight of the camera; so you can carry it all day long.

Other wrist-strap advantages include:
  • The camera fits into the bag more easily.
  • Because I use a strap that attaches to the tripod mount, it's secure, but detaches easily'
  • There're no straps in the way when the camera is on a tripod.
  • When the camera's on a neck strap, some EVFs read your chest as your face and keeps the camera active; reducing battery life.
The wrist strap isn't for the 70-200mm. That requires the BlackRapid; but that's a topic for another day.