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Archive for the Photography Category

Another Nikon Full Frame Coming?

Posted by Scott

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Just in case you’re in the market for a new DSLR and all of the recent announcements weren’t enough for you, this supposedly leaked ad from Nikon Japan just hit the web. The word “Big” appears next to a shadowy DSLR body, perhaps insinuating an impending compact, full-frame Nikon on the horizon. Here’s to hoping this potential model bridges the rather large chasm between the D90 and the D700 and maybe even throws in some of that HD video lacking from the D700 for good measure.

Via Engadget

John Chiara and The Giant Camera

Posted by Scott

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John Chiara is a local San Francisco photographer who built his own truck-sized camera. He details it’s operation in the above video and it’s nothing short of impressive the way he creates and manipulates the exposures. John’s process and results are fascinating, and it’s not just about the scale of the camera, the results themselves are truly beautiful. You can see more of his work at the Von Lintel Gallery site and get more info at the LighDark site.

Lomo RedScale

Posted by Scott

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Lomo has released "the world’s very first pre-loaded and ready-to-shoot RedScale film" and the results look pretty interesting. Redscale is an old concept; it involves loading the film backwards and shooting through the base which has a protective coating which shifts colors into the red. Now you don’t have to go through the hassle of loading your film backwards to get this effect. Lomography

Seattle: Thank You

Posted by Scott
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· Obligatory Space Needle Shot

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Running through the set at the hotel

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· This guy is serious business

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· Sound Check

I just got home from Seattle after playing Decibel Fest on Saturday night.  The show was a lot of fun and the crowd had some amazing energy. Thanks to everyone for coming out, I appreciate you having me up and hope to see you all again real soon. The Sight Below, Deru, and Lusine were incredible, was great to be able to catch their sets on such a huge sound system. I don’t have any pics from the set so if anyone has some posted on Flickr or something, let us know.

I wish I could have taken a lot more pics around town, but time was short and I never got a day to make it out with the camera. I did manage to get one shot (above) of the Space Needle from the hotel window. I love that thing, all we have in San Francisco is a stretched out pyramid. I’ve been to Seattle in the past but it was a nice refresher course this time around. There’s really a great vibe there that reminds me a lot of SF, but with way better coffee shops. They also have some amazing food; we had breakfast at a crepe place called "611" this morning. Off the charts.

I’ll post tomorrow on the VJ who did visuals for Lusine, it was incredible.

Vincent Laforet

Posted by Scott

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After seeing his work in the new Canon promo video I decided to check out Vincent Laforet’s portfolio. He has some pretty amazing stuff up there, including some incredible high altitude shots that really put his subjects in a unique perspective. I also found his work with tilt-shift (last three shots above) to be quite refreshing for that genre. Judging from these shots this guy seems to just float around in some sort of blimp all day taking pictures. You can find more of his work at vincentlaforet.com.

Canon 5D MKII: Mindblowing HD Video

Posted by Scott

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"Mindblowing Full HD" was how Gizmodo yesterday described the newly announced Canon 5D Mark II’s video capabilities. Vincent Laforet, who calls the 5D "the best camera ever", was one of the first to take the new camera for a spin and the results are undeniably striking. The stills you see above are from video he shot using the $2700 body and $25,000 in lenses (a list of the lenses he used are at the Gizmodo post). The video, while still not official available, has leaked onto YouTube giving us at least a glimpse of the quality we can expect from the final (view video below).

Gizmodo had this to say about Laforet’s experience creating the video:

"That and a $2700 DSLR body. A testament to its ease of use is that Laforet is a photographer; he has no professional film experience and had never used the 5D Mark II before, yet was able to storyboard, cast, shoot and edit the clip in just two days, with less than 12 hours notice. In particular he noted that dumping the MPEG-4 video takes way less time than it would with an actual HD camera. The only issue that would stop a person from shooting a TV pilot solely with this camera is sound matching, he says. If that’s covered, you’re gold."

I think that’s the most compelling aspect of the 5D: it’s accessibility. Such a powerful tool which yields such amazing results will empower scores of artists looking to break into motion work. I realize that at $2700 the 5D  sits at a price threshold a little beyond the grasp of a lot of us, but high-end video of this caliber has never come this cheap and when you take into account the fact that the 5D also more than covers your DSLR needs the whole package starts to look like a sound investment for photographer and videographer alike.

I don’t know about you guys, but the argument for 5D supremacy is becoming more and more convincing as Canon slowly reveals what it’s capable of. I am still holding out for a head-to-head versus the D700 which, although lacking in video capability, is apparently a low light performer. Whatever the case may be, such a versatile tool as the 5D would make a welcome addition to any graphic designer’s kit. 

How about you guys, have you started saving up?

The Canon 5D MKII

Posted by Scott

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Update:
Added some new images above via DPReview who have a very detailed write up of the new 5D on their site.

21-megapixel, full-frame, Digic 4, full HD video, 6400 ISO….Game over. The ridiculously anticipated Canon 5D MKII is now official and if this wasn’t worth the wait, I don’t know what is. Canon has hit each and every feature and performance threshold I was looking for in a new DSLR and then some. Expect it on store shelves by end of November with a sticker price of $2700 for the body or $3500 with the 24-105mm kit lens. Yes, that’s steep, but take a look at these features:

•14-bit conversion
•3.9FPS unlimited burst rate with JPEG using UDMA CF card, or 14 RAW (standard CF card is 78 JPEG, 13 RAW
•Four-channel readout that’s 2.2x faster than the 5D
•Lens peripheral illumination correction, like 50D, but better supposedly
•15-point auto-focus
•Creative auto mode, also like 50D
•Auto-lighting optimizer
•Three levels of noise reduction that kicks in above ISO800
•RAW, sRAW1 (10MP), sRAW2 (5MP)
•Three-inch, 920,000 dot-screen
•New and improved battery (incompatible with old one) that delivers 850 shots or 1.5 hours of video
•150,000 cycle shutter
•Magnesium alloy body
•NO built-in flash BTW

Jumping from my $2000 D80 kit to this price threshold will be a bit of a stretch, but if this new 5D lives up to it’s performance claims, it will be well worth it. I know nothing can truly be future-proof, but com’on, 21MP? That’s more than enough to make this my workhorse camera for the foreseeable technological future. I love it when a new piece of kit comes out that is so far superior to it’s rivals that it makes the decision easy for you; the 5D seems like one of those things. After my long deliberation over which DSLR to upgrade to it’s nice to see a logical conclusion. I had toyed with the idea of moving to the D90 for the HD video alone, but it’s other specs were so similar to my D80 that it just didn’t seem worth the upgrade.

In my book, the 5D MKII beats Nikon’s recently announced D700 for two reasons: HD video (which is inexplicably absent from the D700) and price (it’s $300 less than it’s Nikon counterpart). I don’t own any pricey Nikon glass, both my lenses are decidedly sub-par, but even if I did, I’d have to believe I’d still give this thing more than a passing glance. How about all you other Nikon users? Would any of you who are invested in Nikon lenses still consider moving to Canon for a camera like this?  Let us know

Via Gizmodo

Leica’s $11,000 Noctilux Lens

Posted by Scott

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That huge $11k price tag will buy you an equally huge f/0.95 opening for those low light shots that your $5k Nikon just wasn’t getting. A French magazine leaked shots of the new Leica Noctilux 50mm Lens (pictured above) which will enable you to take shots like this (apparently candle light only):

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Whether you intend to take suggestive shots of bare-chested men in dark rooms with it is your business, either way this thing is awesome. $11k awesome? No, but only because I don’t have $11k. By the way, that M8 it’s stuck to will run you another $5k. Start saving! Alternatively, just get this (called "One of the finest DSLRs ever produced") and spend the left over $12,000 traveling around the world and actually taking shots with it instead of leaving it sitting in a drawer which is what most people who can afford Leicas seem to do.

Via Gizmodo