Orange Peel

Orange Peel is a new music bar and lounge in Lan Kwai Fong. If you know Peel Fresco in Soho, most of the people involved in that bar are also running this one. A close friend is one of the co-owners, which mean I was invited to their soft opening party last night. Lots of wine and lots of live music.

Since it was a Saturday night and since I intended to drink more than Coca Cola, I didn’t want to lug a bag full of gear along. I slipped my Sony RX100 Mark III into my pocket to see how well it would do. The answer is – for the most part, quite good for its size.

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(1/160th of a second, F2.8, ISO 5000)

These days I tend to mostly shoot semi-manual – manual shutter speed, manual F stop, auto ISO.

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What I’m liking:

Of course, the faster lens, that only drops down to F2.8 instead of the useless (for me) F4.9 of the older Sony RX100 Mark I.

The tilt screen and electronic viewfinder (EVF) were both amazingly helpful for composing shots.

The shots when the camera chose ISO 4000 or ISO 5000 were all quite acceptable.

There’s no noticeable lag between pushing the shutter button and actually taking the shot, meaning I could capture the moments I wanted.

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What I’m not liking:

When the camera “dropped down” to ISO 6400, the results were starting to get unacceptably noisy, as seen in this photo:

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Also, I clearly need to go back to the manual and read more about the focus modes. I must be doing something wrong, because I tried just about every combination of focus and metering modes and the camera kept selecting faces off to the side, rather than the one smack in the middle of the image, to focus on. Even though depth of field when shooting wide open on a small sensor camera isn’t quite as narrow as on a full frame, it’s still “off” enough to be noticeable.

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Overall, I’m quite pleased with the results. The Sony RX100 Mark III is an amazingly capable camera for its size. I can only begin to guess how much better a Mark V or Mark VI might be a few years down the line.

I also had a really nice time at Orange Peel and wish them a lot of luck going forward.

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Sony RX100 Mark III

I finally got the Sony RX100 Mark III. The improvements over my old Sony RX100 Mark I (much faster lens, EVF, tilt screen and lots of other small things) were too many and I felt offered good reasons for an upgrade. It was just a matter of when I was going to pick it up, I suppose.

I realized that as capable a camera as the Sony RX10 is, it’s just too big and heavy to be an every day walking around camera. Looking back through my photos, I saw that while I had shot a lot with the RX10 when I first got it (it was the camera I brought with me to Paris for my honeymoon), I hadn’t really touched it in several months. So as much as I liked it, selling it off made sense.

I’m just “getting to know” my new RX100 and I am liking it every bit as much as I hoped I would. The only annoying bits I’ve found (so far) are Sony’s menus (as always) and the weird fact that when you pop the EVF back into the camera body, the camera shuts itself off.

Anyway, a small series of photos – not great photos but I think they show what this camera can be capable of.

They’re tearing down a house in my village. The house is less than a year old and was never occupied. I think that it was built without a government permit, the government found out and ordered it to be torn down – at least that’s my best guess. I came out of my house one morning and saw that the demolition had begun.

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I came home around 8 PM and took a few more shots.

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That shot above is at ISO 4000. If you zoom in on it, it’s a bit noisy, but still quite acceptable.

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The shot above, believe it or not, is at ISO 8000. Very noisy now, the fine detail is all but gone, but yet as a simple image documenting something on the street, it’s still quite good enough. At least I think so.

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This final shot is taken using the camera’s built-in pop-up flash. That little flash is insanely powerful.

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Every day, a little bit more of the house is gone. I just hope that when they finish tearing it down, they cart off the debris and don’t just leave it lying there in the lot. Given that this is Hong Kong, it’s a distinct possibility.

Meanwhile, I’m quite pleased with the Sony RX100 Mark III. Now I just gotta get out there and find some good stuff to shoot with it!

 

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2nd International Hong Kong Tattoo Convention 2014

 

 

 

 

 

I was traveling last year when Hong Kong’s first tattoo convention was held. Fortunately I was home this year for the 2nd International Hong Kong Tattoo Convention 2014 and wasn’t going to miss it. Here’s some shots from the show, a whole lot more can be found on the  gallery page for the event.

 

 

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Think Tank Photo My 2nd Brain Briefcase

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I’m a huge fan of the bags from Think Tank Photo. I’ve got six of them! Now they’ve got a new line of bags called My 2nd Brain that are not camera bags – they’re sized for laptops and tablets and the other bits and bobs one carries around during a typical working day. The My 2nd Brain line has been expanded to include a briefcase, available in 3 sizes and 3 colors. Head on over to Hongkie Town to see my review of the Think Tank Photo My 2nd Brain Briefcase 13. Spoiler alert – if you love Think Tank’s photo bags, I think you’ll love this briefcase too.

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Some Photo News – Sony and Amazon

I don’t do photography news type items here very often. While doing so would give me a higher ranking in search engines and bring more people to the site. but I found that when I was doing it, people would come and look at that one particular item and then leave without looking at anything else. I’m not criticizing them for this – I do the same thing. But the primary purpose of the site is to display my own photos so I’m not going to spend a lot of time and effort on posts that don’t serve that purpose.

That being said, now I’ll contradict myself and post two bits of photography news that I think are worth sharing.

The first bit is Sony’s upcoming RX100 III.

I’m a fan of what Sony is doing with cameras these days. They are one of the few companies that seems to be attempting some degree of innovation in the field. When I bought the Sony RX10, primarily to use as a travel camera, I thought I’d sell off my Sony RX100 (Mark 1, I guess). But I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. The camera, for its size, is just so good and so I kept it.  I mean, full manual controls when I wanted them, shoots RAW and fits in my jeans pockets? Just too useful to part with.

The Sony RX100 II came out and I didn’t see enough there to warrant an “upgrade.” A newer sensor, a tilt screen LCD and a hot shoe just didn’t seal the deal for me.

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Now Sony has announced the “mark 3″ for the RX100 and I’m pretty definitely planning on buying it. While it features the same 20.1 megapixel 1 inch sensor as the “mark 2″ (which is the same sensor that’s in the RX10), there are a number of other notable changes that I think will make it worth spending the money.

The original RX100 has a Zeiss lens that is a 28-100mm equivalent zoom, with maximum aperture starting at F1.8 at the wide end but rapidly shrinking to F4.9 at the tele end.

The new RX100 III has a zoom lens that is only equivalent to 24-70mm. But, and here’s the big thing, it now starts out at F1.8 but at the tele end it’s now F2.8. That’s a huge positive difference for me right there. I can live with less on the tele end if it means I’m getting F2.8 instead of F4.9.

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Also notable for me is the addition of a pop-up electronic viewfinder. That will be a big help for me.

The Mark III keeps the tilt screen that was added to the Mark II but loses the Mark II’s hot shoe, not a biggie for me.

This comes out in June at a list price of US$800 (same as the Mark II but $150 more than the Mark I) and I’ll start eating cheaper lunches now.

The second item concerns Amazon. Last week they somehow managed to game the U.S. Patent Office. They patented the idea of placing an object on a table in front of a white cyclorama, placing a light in front of it, and taking a photo of that object. Unless I’ve seriously misunderstood this, what they’ve basically done is to take something every commercial photographer has done for the past 100 years and said, “No one else has patented it, so why don’t we?”

Anyway, Stephen Colbert does a great job of ripping them a new one over this. Click this link and enjoy!

 

 

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