Mar 262014
 

A Month on the Road with the Fuji x100/Why It Is Still My Soulmate

By Andy Eclov

Hi Steve, thanks for the opportunity to share my story!

My name is Andy, I’m a 21-year-old musician from Chicago. I spend about 3-5 months out of the year touring with my band and, for a while, I would bring my 1D with several lenses and two-speed lights on tour, but that was ultimately too much to lug around and too much to risk losing.

I then spent about a year shooting photos only with my shiny new iPhone 5 so that I would be forced to compose with the provided lens, and have to work to get nice lighting situations. Just like Steve said in his recent article, I sometimes focus too much on the beauty and acquisition of photography gear and not enough on the process.

iPhone

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The convenience was obviously there with the iPhone, but the quality was suffering, and so was my interest in taking photos. Being able to shoot a photo, edit it in-hand, and upload it to my blog in less than 5 minutes was an undeniable benefit that I didn’t want to go without by going back to the Canon gear. So I spent my countless hours of research and review-reading focused on the mirrorless systems. The Fuji x100 was an easy choice. It stood out to me physically, the viewfinder is attractive, and the photos have a certain sparkle to them when compared to similar cameras’ photos. Being a collector of 35mm rangefinders and SLRs made the Fuji impossible to pass up.

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I spent a couple of months carrying the x100 with me everywhere, spending as much time as possible getting to know it and it’s quirks. I scoured the internet in search of every accessory I could justify (or afford).

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Austin TX Fuji

But before too long, the snowy and freezing Chicago suburbs got in the way of any motivation to go out and take photos every day. Besides the studio project from time to time, my x100 was bound to taking photos of my puppy in the kitchen for a while.

Finally the time came to head out on another tour, and I was delighted to finally have an opportunity to shoot with the Fuji. I appreciate that I was able to spend so much time getting the camera set up just right for my exact specifications, it seems like a very customizable interface – once you get the hang of it.

Fuji

Broken Arrow OK Fuji

Kansas City Fuji

The camera came out every time I got out of our van. No matter what the scenario, it was beautiful to see it through that viewfinder. It gave me a reason to be the first one awake every day. I’d try to get an idea of what the city we were in each night was like, and then the next morning I’d walk and snap photos for a while before we moved on to the next place.

I used my wifi SD card to send my images from my camera to my phone, where I would edit them with VSCO cam and some other apps, and then post them to my blog right away. Before long I couldn’t stand the quality I was losing by compressing the original files through my iPhone anymore and decided to take the time to shoot RAW and edit more carefully and selectively.

Fuji

St Louis Fuji

Brookyln NY Fuji

I think shooting with the Fuji x100 has made me a better photographer and I think it will continue to do so. More than anything, it keeps me in love with my photography. Though it may be nearly outdated already by some’s standards, I think this camera will stay with me for a long, long time.

I keep a detailed blog of my travels here: noctevolant.tumblr.com

 

Sep 042013
 

NEW CONCEPT: The Sony DSC-QX100 and DSC-QX10 lens-style camera

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As has been spread around the internet for weeks on the rumor sites, the new Sony QX series of cameras are here and quite different from anything that has been created in the photo world. Basically, they look like a lens but they are fully functional cameras in a small lens like package! Each model includes the lens, the sensor and the ability to connect wirelessly to your smart phone so you can have a display to frame your images. It’s an all new concept and the sensor inside the QX100 is the same one as used in the RX100II, so yea, it’s a good one. What do you think about this? Sony seems to be moving forward with every camera related release, including this one in which they take the cel phone craze and turn it into something of higher quality. But the question is, will everyday cel phone users buy something like this? Maybe. How about enthusiasts? Maybe this is the next hot street camera  :) I expect to review them soon but I can already state that my preference would be for the QX100 due to the larger sensor and faster/brighter Zeiss 1.8 Zoom.

You can pre-order the QX100 at Amazon HERE for $498 - f/1.8 Zeiss Zoom, 1″ sensor, 30P video, 3.6X Zoom

You can pre-order the QX10 at Amazon here in Black or White for $248 – Sony G 10X Zoom, 1/2.3″ sensor, 30P HD Video

Check out the video by Sony below:

PRESS RELEASE FROM SONY BELOW:

New Sony QX Series “Lens-Style Cameras” Redefine the Mobile Photography Experience

New Concept Cameras Link Flawlessly to Smartphone, Offering High-Zoom, Stunning Quality Images and HD Videos for Instant Sharing

NEW YORK, Sept. 4, 2013 – Merging the creative power of a premium compact camera with the convenience and connectivity of today’s smartphones, Sony today introduced two “lens-style” QX series cameras that bring new levels of fun and creativity to the mobile photography experience.

The innovative Cyber-shot® DSC-QX100 and DSC-QX10 models utilize Wi-Fi® connectivity to instantly transform a connected smart phone into a versatile, powerful photographic tool, allowing it to shoot high-quality images and HD videos to rival a premium compact camera. It’s an entirely new and different way for consumers to capture and share memories with friends and family.

With a distinct lens-style shape, the new cameras utilize the latest version of Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile™ application (available for iOS™ and Android™ devices, version 3.1 or higher required) to connect wirelessly to a smart phone, converting the bright, large LCD screen of the phone into a real-time viewfinder with the ability to release the shutter, start/stop movie recordings, and adjust common photographic settings like shooting mode, zoom, Auto Focus area and more.

For added convenience, the app can be activated using NFC one-touch with compatible devices. Once pictures are taken, they are saved directly on both the phone and the camera*, and can be shared instantly via social media or other common mobile applications.

“With the new QX series cameras, we are making it easier for the ever-growing population of ‘mobile photographers’ to capture far superior, higher-quality content without sacrificing the convenience and accessibility of their existing mobile network or the familiar ‘phone-style’ shooting experience that they’ve grown accustomed to,” said Patrick Huang, director of the Cyber-shot business at Sony. “We feel that these new products represent not only an evolution for the digital camera business, but a revolution in terms of redefining how cameras and smartphones can cooperatively flourish in today’s market.”

The new compact, ultra-portable cameras can be attached to a connected phone with a supplied mechanically adjustable adapter, or can be held separately in hand or even mounted to a tripod while still maintaining all functionality and connectivity with the smart phone. They can also be operated as completely independent cameras if desired, as both the DSC-QX100 and DSC-QX10 cameras have a shutter release, memory card slot and come with a rechargeable battery.

 

Premium, Large-Sensor QX100 Camera

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The Cyber-shot DSC-QX100 camera features a premium, high-quality 1.0 inch, 20.2 MP Exmor® RCMOS sensor. Identical to the sensor found in the acclaimed Cyber-shot RX100 II camera, it allows for exceptionally detailed, ultra-low noise images in all types of lighting conditions, including dimly lit indoor and night scenes.

The sensor is paired with a fast, wide-aperture Carl Zeiss® Vario-Sonnar T* lens with 3.6x optical zoom and a powerful BIONZ® image processor, ensuring beautifully natural, detail-packed still images and HD videos. As an extra refinement, the DSC-QX100 sports a dedicated control ring for camera-like adjustment of manual focus and zoom.

Several different shooting modes can be selected while using the camera including Program Auto, Aperture Priority, Intelligent Auto and Superior Auto, which automatically recognizes 33 different shooting conditions and adjusts camera settings to suit.

 

High-Zoom Cyber-shot QX10 model

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Boasting a powerful 18.2 effective megapixel Exmor RCMOS sensor and versatile 10x optical zoom Sony G Lens, the Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 camera allows mobile photographers to bring distant subjects closer without sacrificing image quality or resolution, a common problem in smartphones. It’s also extremely portable and lightweight – weighing less than 4 oz and measuring about 2.5”X2.5”x1.3”, it’s a great tool for travel photography.

Additionally, the camera has built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization to combat camera shake, keeping handheld pictures and videos steady and blur-free. It has Program Auto, Intelligent Auto and Superior Auto modes to choose from, and will be available in two different colors – black and white.

 

Pricing and Availability

The new Cyber-shot DSC-QX100 and DSC-QX10 lens-style cameras will available later this month for about $500 and $250, respectively.

The cameras and a range of compatible accessories including a soft carry case and dedicated camera case attachment for Sony Mobile phones like the Xperia™ Z can be purchased at Sony retail stores (www.store.sony.com) and other authorized dealers nationwide.

Please visit www.blog.sony.com for a full video preview of the new Sony Cyber-shot QX Series cameras and follow #SonyCamera on Twitter for the latest camera news.

 

Aug 012013
 

Cases by Vaja for the most used camera in the world, the iPhone 5

Hello to all! Just thought I would post some video reviews I have recently done on some new cases by VajaCases.com for the iPhone 5, which is the worlds most popular camera. Yes my friends, the day and age of cel phone cameras is here and it is only going to ramp up as time goes on. Just as I write about cases for the Leica cameras or Sony cameras, I decided to share my experience with a few cases for the iPhone 5. Vaja has been making cases for a while and they always create quality products with high quality Argentina leather. They used to take 30 days from the time of order but these days they have most models in stock, in most colors. So no waiting. Check them out HERE as they have loads of cases for all kinds of devices, not just iPhones.

Video reviews below!

 

Apr 162013
 

nuovapellemain

My favorite case for the iPhone 5, the Vaja Nuova Pelle

FACT: The iPhone is the most popular camera in the world.

This morning I have something a little different. I loooove my cases and accessories for my cameras and if you guys know me well, you know I love my iPhone cases as well. I have tried a couple of them out already and this one from Vaja is the best one I have tried, for me. It is sleek, slim, feels luxurious, hand-made in Argentina and has protection for the front and back of your phone. The coolest part of this case is that it is unlike any other case made for the iPhone 5 to date. There is simply NO BULK. There is not a bulky back to slide the phone into. Instead it seems to float in the middle while being rock solid secure. The top flap is magnetic so it sticks to the top glass of your phone. (the Iphone 5 has magnets under the front glass).

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It is an ingenious design and I love it. I have tried other cases like the ultra high End Orbino, which is still going strong on my girlfriends iPhone 4, but on my 5 the leather started to split on the Orbino, and at their $220 asking price I feel that is unacceptable.

The Vaja is quite amazing and will wear in like an old baseball glove or wallet. All for $80 and in stock with no wait times from Vaja, which now ship direct from the USA (no more long waits for some products, like this Nuova Pelle case) – You can see all of colors available and more info from Vaja at their page set up just for this case, which is HERE.

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So check out the video I made of the case above on my phone. I found no real weakness except that if you need ultra protection, this will not save your sides and top in case of a big drop to concrete (if you drop on the edges). It will protect the front and back and do so with style, class and luxury, all for $80. Well worth it for a case that will last the life of your phone and even wear in with time giving you a gorgeous rich look and feel. I highly recommend this case.  It seems they have all colors in stock for immediate ship at this time. Mine came in 2 days and I have one for my phone as well as my Son Brandon’s phone. We love them.

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NOTE: When I first ordered my Case the front cover did not close. The magnet system was clearly not working but not only that, the cover was being pushed up! Turned out my phone has a defect and the magnets were put in wrong. Well, one of them was put in wrong with reverse polarity causing it to push open the case. It is my phones issue and the case worked on three others that I tried. My sons, a friend of mine and a phone at the Apple store. I tried to get Apple (at the Apple store with a Genius)  to replace my phone under warranty and they actually laughed at me and said if the magnet is put in wrong it is not a defect as the phone still works. I said “I just bought this case for $80 that depends on the magnets working correctly so what do I do”? The girl at the Apple store said “buy a new case”? So while I understand the position of Apple, my phone indeed does have a defect even if it is not noticeable with normal use. 

When I sent an email to Vaja about this issue (this was before they sent me the colored review samples) not only did they refund me but they made a custom case for me that would work with my oddball phone. How cool is that? They then asked if I wanted to review the case after I mentioned I have reviewed their previous products. Was so cool and their service, speed and overall customer service was splendid. Problem solved, and not by Apple but by Vaja. They also informed me if anyone else had this issue with their phone they would do the same for them as they did me. Nice.

BTW, You can see my other Vaja video reviews HERE, HERE and HERE. The iPad mini case is AMAZING btw. Quality products all the way in my experiences.

Feb 042013
 

Vaja Case Review: iPhone 5 and iPad Mini – High end luxury protection 

Ahhhh! iPhone and iPad cases Cases! Not something I normally talk about here on this site as it is not really photo related but lately, I guess you CAN say it is indeed photo related. How so? Well, these days there are more people shooting photos with their iPhone than cameras and in fact, the iPhone is the worlds most popular camera. With case makers like Luigi, Gariz and many others making cases for our beloved Leica’s, Sony’s, Fuji’s, Olympus, etc what about those luxury kick ass cases for our “i” devices?

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Now, not everyone will be into these because some just can not image paying $120 or $180 for an iPhone or iPad case even though many of us pay $400-$600 for a Leica M9 case :) It is just the thought of buying something so luxurious for you “phone” but I have to say, I know quite a few people who LOVE to buy stylish, quality and protective cases for their most important device, which is usually their iPhone or Smartphone.

Me, I am a sucker for a good case that looks good, feels good and is functional. In the past I posted video reviews on my youtube channel for Vaja products which at the time was an iPad 2 case and iPhone 4 case as well as a bag to carry the iPad and phone and other things I may want to carry with me. I admit, I ended  up selling the Vaja bag as I never used it but I love Vaja cases and have been using one on my iPhone 4 since it was released. Since upgrading to the iPhone 5 I have waiting for the new Vaja line and one day I magically received an e-mail from Vaja asking if I would like to review their new cases.

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BINGO!

So in the video above you will see the brand new Vaja Agenda LP for the iPhone 5 and the Libretto for the iPad mini. You can take a look at their site to see more as these are super customizable and you can order these in just about any color combo your heart desires. Vaja cases are all handcrafted in Argentina using the top 10% of leather. The quality is superb, best I have seen in a case. You can take a look below at my previous Vaja case videos! Enjoy!

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VISIT VAJACASES.COM to browse their entire case selection

Oct 032012
 

Leica Consumer Behaviour 101

By Louis Stevenson

Hi Steve,

These must be exciting times for you and a lot of us out there are waiting with bated breath on your upcoming reviews. Amidst all the hype from Leica’s new products, I’ve developed some thoughts on the responses by most people and I thought it would be interesting to look at the general feelings towards the release of Leica’s new products. In my observation, the new Leica Monochrom, M and ME have caused much joy and disappointment all at the same time, depending on what type of user you belong to. Here is an attempt to list a few groups:

1. The Conservatives. These are very experienced users who believe that film can never be replicated digitally and hence no amount of new technology can ever put the digital M on par with film. So anything new that Leica introduces to the Digital M would never impress them one bit, in fact, it goes directly against their philosophy of the M. Film is timeless, au natural and soulful. Digital is clinical, impatient and artificial. To them, the Leica Monochrome makes absolutely no sense and anyone who tries to artificially replicate digital files to look film-like gets shot down instantly. In fact there were several Monochrom shots that I find simply amazing, yet they were so quickly dismissed to be “plasticky”.

My very 1st time pressing the shutter release of a film camera, only to realise that I did not advance the film after loading. Leica M6TTL/ 35mm Lux Asph/ Kodak Tri-X 400

 

Shot in Film or Digital?

2. The Pragmatics. These consumers look for the best price/quality balance in a camera. They often compare specifications head-to-head, dollar-to-dollar and choose the camera base on their price-quality preference. Comparing across the market is common. It does not matter to them that Leica produced the first digital RF that is capable of shooting video, but it matters that Leica is the last to have video function in the industry. Hence, again Leica is seen as a failure for being the last. Leica will never meet their expectations in price vs quality terms. It’s common to hear them commenting that such an image shot by a Leica could have been easily shot with a cheaper camera or lens.

I ended up liking the iPhone shot more.

Iphone 4S shot (edited with Tadaa App) vs Leica M9/ 35mm Lux.

 

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3. The Minimalists. They like the fact that Leica has kept to the essentials… Up until now. To them, each new upgrade should focus on image quality and functionality, that’s it! No more, no less! Hence, better sensors, ISO performance, weather sealing, LCD are very important to them. To introduce video into Leica M baffles them since more effort could’ve been focused towards improving image quality rather than wasting time on the video function. To repackage the M9 into the ME is almost insulting their intelligence. Leica fooled none of them with cosmetic updates for the ME/ M9P and should have introduced a M9.2 instead. I share their disappointment with the ME too. However, there are those who celebrate the marketing gimmick of the ME that would inadvertently drive down prices of used M9. Those who were waiting for the chance to upgrade would find this excellent news, and I’m happy for them!

4. The Enthusiasts. The RF experience is highly regarded by these users. They appreciate the characteristics of film and digital and are open-minded enough to make the next jump that Leica M has to offer. As long as the additional bells and whistles do not hinder the RF experience, then its good. These users are also open to new ways of using the RF. Using the new M to shoot videos RF style is a welcome addition but remains to be seen. Leica has got these bunch excited, but now Leica has to deliver. I hope for the best!

I have to say that this categorization is somewhat extreme. You may be one of them, caught in between, or you may have your own category! So what purpose does this article serve you may ask? Well, nothing, if you are looking for a review. Whats interesting here are the dynamics between these groups that result in diversified views that can be very informative and enlightening. Sometimes, disagreement may arise when different groups argue from a different perspective and that’s where the fun begins, until it gets ugly. But there is one thing that we all have in common, that is our love for capturing moments, and sharing them to people who matter.

End of the day, it’s the memories I’m after. A fellow pilot trainee who just cleared his 1st solo flight with a splash! A tradition practised by many.

Leica M9/ 35mm Summicron Asph

Thanks Steve for this website.

Sincerely,

Louis Stevenson

 

Here’s my Flickr as well as my other article contributions:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tanlouis/

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2012/03/26/taking-the-leica-m9-off-the-streets-and-into-the-wild-by-louis-stevenson/

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2012/02/24/tasmania-overland-track-with-the-leica-m9-by-louis-stevenson/

 

Feb 272012
 

Time to sell your Leica M’s! A new 41MP monster has arrived on the scene…The Nokia 808 PureView

Ok everyone, are you ready for this insane 41MP monster? I was scouring through my e-mails this morning and found 5-6 about this new camera that is hitting the market with crazy specs and 41 mega pixels and Carl Zeiss optics. Yep, it’s called the future and I have mentioned these things before but I feel that the camera phone market is starting to cut into  camera sales and it has mainly been for point and shoot cameras due to the usually teeny sensors in phones. But you see it, I see it…every day we see soooo many shooting with their phones! I do it too. My iPhone and tadaa app are always clicking away at something but it in no way replaces my more serious cameras.

But what happens now? Yep, this 41MP monster is in the form of a new Nokia phone! This 41M sensor has a 1/1.2 inch sensor  - The Nokia 808 Pure View phone  - wow. Nikon is putting 36 mega pixels on a huge FF sensor in their new D800 yet Nokia crammed 41MP on to a small one. Sounds like you can take full res images but Nokia has been designing this for the last 5 years (or so they day) and the goal was to use those mega pixels to create outstanding quality 5-8 megapixel images. Either way, it is another huge step in phone cameras it seems. I am still waiting for the day when Leica releases a camera phone :) Now that would be sweet.

 I’ll be sticking with my simple iPhone 4, my Leica and other cameras but the masses are going to love this Nokia.

Jan 202012
 

My favorite iPhone Photo App – Tadaa! …and it’s FREE

Happy Friday to all! I’m having a great day here in sunny Phoenix AZ and happy to be out of the cold bitter weather yet again this winter. As I sat here at my desk this AM going through all of the latest info on the upcoming hot cameras like the Fuji X-Pro 1, Olympus OM-D and even wondering when my NEX-7 pre-order will arrive I began to realize that for the past 3 weeks or so I have been using my iPhone quite a bit. The  reason for that though is a new app I downloaded called “tadaa”. I found out about it through my friend Seal. He actually has been helping develop this app and he was pretty excited about it. I decided to give it a shot and downloaded it to my iPhone 4s.

Long story short? Tadaa is a pretty damn amazing app that not only has the best filters I have seen in an app like this, it has the nicest interface and coolest social aspect as well. I mentioned this app on my Facebook a couple week ago and gained over 100 followers overnight. This concept is not new of course as many of us love and use Instagram, which is also a great app. BUT, I have to say that after using Tadaa, I deleted instagram off of my phone (never really got into it much actually, so no loss as I had like 5 followers).

First things first, Tadaa is FREE right now so I suggest if you have an iPhone  - GO GET IT NOW. Type in “tadaa” in the app store search and find it. You can also visit the official tadaa website HERE. 

Like I said, I have been using this app for about 3 weeks and not only am I addicted to it, I managed to get my son addicted as well (you can follow him on tadaa, his username is “huffdev”) as well as my best friend Mike (“efforting”). It seems everyone who has tried this app absolutely loves it. You can also follow Seal on tadaa, his username is “sixx”.

I know and realize there are tons and tons of photo apps out there but the way tadaa implements everything is top notch. From the way you shoot, to the real time filter and frame effects. You can view a real time live sample of the filters as you aim your camera just by swiping left to right for filters and up and down for frame effects. It’s pretty awesome. Then, when you take your shot you can save it to your photos and if you like you can then send it to tadaa by pressing the “tadaa” button. This will send you photo out to all of those who follow you where you will get comments and thumbs up on your photos.

I also love the tilt-shift effects and selected DOF effects. They work well but don’t take my word for it, download the app and see for yourself!

The quality of this app on an iPhone 4 or especially 4s rivals many P&S cameras and it is my opinion that in the not too distant future P&S cameras will be on their way out due to phones and mobile devices. I’d rather shoot with my iPhone and tadaa over something like a Canon S100, but that is just me. Of course for my serious shooting and camera addiction I will always have a nice camera to shoot with but for everyday snaps and the social aspect, tadaa is a must own app if you are an iPhone owner.

Did I mention it is 100% free? I can see tadaa overtaking instagram. If you download it you can follow me as well! My username on tadaa is “stevehuffphoto” and I usually post photos every day!

Below are a few photos from the app…enjoy!

Late night leaving a Target store. I saw this train of carts crossing my path so I lifted my phone and snapped! Tadaa!

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Going down the escalator at the airport – used the selective DOF effect which took 2 seconds.

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Used an old frame effect on this one…

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The Golden Wienie

While in Chicago, you have to have a Chicago Pizza!

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Brandon (huffdev on tadaa) – guess my house was a bit chilly this night…

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Quick grab shot

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The camera everyone loves to hate! Lol…

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A tree full of peacocks 

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Jack!

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Sample using the DOF effect

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Dinner in the cable car…

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Yes, I am now officially engaged to an amazing woman :)

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Hustle and Bustle

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Stomach ache….

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and a self portrait 

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So there you go…amazing app and IT IS FREE! Highly recommended for all iPhone users!

Follw me on Tadaa – stevehuffphoto

Follow my son Brandon – huffdev

Follow music artist and photographer Seal - sixx

Oct 152011
 

Just for fun! The iPhone 4s vs the NEX-7 and Fuji X100.

So I am out in Chicago and today with the beautiful weather I decided to take a stroll through my old neighborhood that I grew up in. I found that it still looked great, and in some ways better than it used to look when I was a kid. Was pretty fun to take a walk down memory lane and enjoy the fall colors and cool breeze. Next week I will be back home in AZ with the 100+ degree sun so I am enjoying this cool weather while I can.

I had the NEX-7 with me as well as the Fuji X100 and my new iPhone 4s, which Apple claims has a really kick ass camera built in. In fact, it is a huge improvement over the standard camera in the 4 and it is interesting to see camera tech evolve in these mobile devices. I mean, the iPhone 4s takes better pictures than many $300-$400 digital cameras did just 1-2 years ago.

So what I did today was shoot a few scenes with each camera to see how each one rendered its JPEGs.

Now, keep in mind that the iPhone could not be a replacement for the NEX or the X100 simply due to it being more like a P&S camera with no way of controlling aperture or depth of field. One day these mobile devices will have better lenses with Aperture control and most likely artificial shallow DOF control unless someone ends up putting in a large imaging sensor in one, then that is when things would get interesting. Still, the camera has improved dramatically in the 4s so let’s see how it does with everyday snaps compared  to the other two enthusiast cameras.

These are all out of camera JPEGS resized to 1800 pixels wide. The iPhone doesn’t shoot RAW so this is just a simple, just for fun JPEG comparison.

CLICK ON ANY IMAGE for the larger version! These are ALL straight out of camera!

Sample #1. 1st image is the X100, 2nd is the iPhone 4s and third is the NEX-7

seems to me the Sony underexposed a little, and I have been noticing this trend with the camera in general. This could be to save highlights and richen the color but out of the three above, which do you prefer?

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Sample #2. Same thing. 1st one is from the X100, 2nd from the NEX-7 and last from the iPhone 4s. Sony had the Zeiss 24 and the NEX and Fuji were set to f/5.6

Three different cameras and three different color signatures. Which do you prefer? 

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Sample #3 – X100, iPhone 4s, NEX-7

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Sample #4 – X100, iPhone 4s and NEX-7

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Sample #5 – X100, iPhone 4s and NEX-7

Even with the new improved camera, the iPhone 4s suffers from noise (you can see it in the sky pretty heavily) – Still, its a damn good take everywhere camera and with apps like Hipstamatic and Instagram it’s a great take anywhere camera. (see below)

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and one more from the X100 and Sony to show how the Sony is choosing a different exposure than the Fuji. The Fuji has more shadow detail but loses some of the highlights. The Sony protected the highlights a bit more. Again, these are OOC JPEGS. 

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I’m hoping to have my NEX-7 review up NEXT WEEK as I have been using it non stop since I acquired it. I have also been shooting the X100 more and have to say that in regards to OOC color with JPEGS, I prefer the X100. But I have yet to tweak any Sony RAW files so we shall see. Still, the NEX-7 has been doing no wrong (almost). Review soon!

Jul 092011
 

Wow, just woke up this morning on the bus as we pulled in to Rotterdam Holland. I was dreaming that I was drowning in a big pile of goat cheese…don’t ask me why, I have no clue why I would have a dream like that. Odd :)

Anyway…

I left Paris last night around 2Am on the tour bus headed towards Rotterdam. When I arrived in Paris on Thursday I was tired but also excited to see the city, taste the food, and see if what I heard was true…that French people dislike Americans! Woo hoo…an adventure was waiting to unfold…or was it?

As I arrived to the beautiful Park Hyatt I freshened up with a nice hot shower and shave and put on some fresh clothes. Being on a tour bus day in and out can really do a number on you in the body odor department as there is no shower or way to clean up on the bus. After a show I am generally all sweaty and then all I can do is hop on a bus to sleep.  After that you wake up feeling a bit…icky.

So it felt so good to be in a great city, and a great hotel. I have to say, it was the nicest shower I have ever been in. Period.

Visiting a local camera shop in Paris – Iphone 4 and Hipstamatic

I was ready to take on the day with a visit to a couple of camera shops, a yummy dinner, and I also planned to meet another photographer who I have known for a while through facebook, Helene Pambrun. Helene is very passionate about photography, as well as passionate about life in general and she was coming in to Paris for a couple of photo assignments and it just so happened that the timing worked out perfectly so that we could finally meet.

I always enjoy meeting new friends and other photographers who I have chatted with online. I think it is pretty amazing that we have this technology these days where we can meet anyone, in any part of the world, and things like facebook and even this website bring like minded people together. Amazing!

Having some tea in Paris :) Iphone 4/Hipstamatic

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Knowing that Helene was taking the train in from her home town of Toulouse I decided to see if I could set it up where she could get a pass to shoot the Paris Seal show. BINGO! Full access pass granted. I knew of her work as I saw some of her work she did at a Lenny Kravitz show so I knew she would do great shooting Seal :)

Helene Pambrun, See her website here and here

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So on Thursday I toured a bit of Paris and had some great Pasta with pesto sauce. Yummy. I did take my M9 out but also started shooting with my Iphone and hipstamatic because sometimes you can get really cool results with it. Hipstamatic is pretty fun, even after using it for over a year it is the one phone app I keep coming back to.

Legs, always an interesting subject…

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The beauty of Hipstamatic is that you never know what you will get..I usually shake mine before every shot to get a random effect.

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and a couple from the M9

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So after taking a walk on Thursday and seeing some cool sights I slept like a baby in my comfy bed and awoke on Friday feeling refreshed and revived. Amazing what a good nights sleep can do in a nice comfy bed huh? I ended up taking a quick walk to see what kind of shopping was around my hotel. Didn’t really buy anything but again, took along my Iphone in case I saw any cool photos along the way.

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I did not get anything really interesting on that walk but it was getting close to show time so I headed back  to my hotel and guess what was waiting for me when I got there? Yep my new Black M9-P…lovely! Now THIS is how the M9 should look. Stealthy, classic and with no logos on the front. Looks like an MP, just not as shiny. I have to say though, the chrome M9-P is also very beautiful, maybe more so than the black, but I wanted black after seeing both and am happy with my choice.

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of course I was smiling and had to get a shot using the camera..

We all headed over to the venue on the bus and arrived super early due to the hotel making us leave (they were sold out and needed the rooms).

I took a walk around the venue and this time brought along my M9 AND Iphone. I spotted this couple kissing and couldn’t resist a quick snap.

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I think this WAS the BEST Lasagna I have ever had in my life.

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The show started and away I went. I saw Helene shooting not only with her Camera but with her Iphone so I took a stab at it..

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But then it was right back to the M9-P :)

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and some color…

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After the show there was an after party where some of the fans were able to meet Seal. I even met a few more friends who visit this site on a regular basis, so that was pretty awesome. It was cool to see a few Leicas in the group :) After the meet and greet it was time to say goodbye to friends and head back on the bus for the trip to Rotterdam, where I am now sitting at 4:37PM in my hotel room. Paris was lovely and I will have to make sure I get back there soon for some serious photo taking. Maybe a workshop in Paris? Hmmm…anything is possible!

I am looking forward to getting home to loved ones and to get everything in order at home. Besides, I have been battling some rash near my eye for a week so a Dr. visit is in order anyway. It’s been a fun 4 weeks on the road and one more show tonight for me before heading back home to Phoenix, AZ. If anyone is in Rotterdam tonight be sure and say hi!

It was great to meet all of you after the show, and I also want to thank Helene for coming to the show to shoot and showing me around Paris. Looks like she posted an image or two already on her facebook so click here to check it out and if you like what you see, click “Like”. Of course you can also check Seal.com for all of the tour photos, including those that I do not post here.

Until next time (which may be when I am back home in Phx), keep shooting and make it a GOOD DAY, everyday!

Oh, and did I find the people of Paris to be rude or to dislike Americans? Not in my experience. Maybe you get what you give, and I am always nice to everyone :)

Ben at the after party last night…

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Seal with legendary producer Trevor Horn

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and Conrad the bus driver, the crazy Shoe-fu*@er.. looking for some available shoes – (inside joke)


Jun 132011
 
Essex Young Farmers Annual Show – Leica M9 vs iPhone 4 – Your Hometown 

By Roy Strutt

Hi Steve,

Last Sunday the Essex Young Farmers annual show was held in Roxwell near Chelmsford in Essex (UK) close to our hometown.

Young Farmers are a youth organisation across the UK with a powerful following of young people either interested or working in farming or who are naturally succeeding their parents as the next generation on the family farm. I have been using the iPhone 4 on a frequent basis lately as a camera and decided to use both the iPhone and the M9 to see how they compared. These images represent two near extremes of photography equipment – the excellent camera on the iPhone 4 versus the Leica M9 rangefinder camera with a Zeiss Biogon 25mm f2.8 lens.

I used the M9 with a lens profile to match the 28mm Elmarit ASPH which seemed to do a good job apart from some slight vignetting in the corners. All the M9 shots were at ISO 320 and the DNG’s were worked on with Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS3 – the lens was wide open most of the time except when bright sunlight caused me to stop it down a little.

The iPhone 4 was used in the standard auto mode and normal composition / light direction / hold very steady for a few moments rules were applied ! See if you can identify which camera was used in these images (answer at the end)

The Images…

The first eight images were taken with the iPhone 4 – from the black puppy onwards (*) the M9 was used with the Zeiss Biogon 25mm. Depending upon your browser you can also get the technical information by right clicking the image and go to Image Properties.

With careful use the iPhone 4 is an excellent camera !

Roy Strutt Photography

www.strutt.org

 

YouTube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/user/RoyStruttPhotography

Roy Strutt Photography Blog
http://strutt.org/blog/

Apr 052011
 

Just wanted to do a quick post about a very cool Iphone 4 case I just bought from Amazon. It is an  Iphone 4 Leica M Bamboo Case that has a carved back that says “M1″ and it shows a 50 2.8 Elmar lens attached. Very retro, very cool. I ordered TWO of them and they arrived in a day as these are sold and fulfilled by Amazon directly. When I bought mine 2 days ago they were $30, today they seemed to have jumped up to $42 but they have 7 in stock for immediate delivery if anyone fancies a cool rangefinder style wooden case for their Iphone 4.

Feb 172011
 

A mish-mosh of coolness

How cool is this?

Check this out! I recently found out that the little RICOH OVF (Optical View Funder), the GV-2, will work wonderfully on the E-P2 or E-Pl2 with the 14mm lens. The OVF is a 28mm VF so it is a perfect match and looks Sexy as can be! You can buy the little OVF at popflash.com and it runs under $170 so it is not exactly cheap but it is much smaller than the Oly EVF. The build and quality is superb. Amazon also sells it and Amazon ships it. They seem to charge a little more for it though.

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Here is a little press release from a new site by Jorge Torralba

RangeFinderImages.com goes live! I am pleased to announce that RangeFinderImages.com (RFI) has gone live. The original designer and creator of rangefinderforum has taken the concept to the next level by creating one of the most advanced galleries catering to rangefinder photographers. There are a million and one photography forums but there is only one RFI. The photos search capabilities of the site are unmatched by any other except for their sister sites. The many years of interacting with other photographers on the net in forums and galleries has resulted in a custom developed software package to meet the requirements of most enthusiasts out there. Feel free to give them a try and begin sharing your work. Did I mention that it’s 100% free?

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More Fuji X100 tests, but not by me…YET.

photo courtesy of quesabesde.com

Seems to be some testing going on in the Fuji X100 world. I’ve contacted Fuji and they told me I can’t get a hold of one until the final firmware so hopefully in the next 2-3 weeks. Until then, enjoy this little preview (although it is in Spanish).

X100 Preview with Samples!

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THERE IS STILL ONE MORE LEICA M9 SPECIAL EDITION/35 SUMMICRON SET LEFT!

Looks like lensrentals.com still has the M9 special edition set that comes with the chrome 35 Summicron ASPH. Brown Ostrich Leather covering, chrome body, ostrich leather strap, sapphire glass LCD screen and only 500 sets made WORLDWIDE. Gorgeous limited edition set that is actually a deal in the world of Leica special editions. I’d buy it if I had the cash. But I wouldn’t be afraid to use it. If you want it, act fast! The last time I linked to the ones at B&H they sold both within hours! Check out the one left at lensrentals.com HERE.

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Odd but interesting. A Telephoto for your Iphone?


Seems like photojojo has created a telephoto lens for your Iphone. Hmmm, seeems to me it would be hard to keep your phone in your pocket. I can see it now…”Is that an Iphone tele lens in your pocket or are you just happy to see me”? Check it out here!

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The Leica X1 Firmware…where is it?

One of the site sponsors, Dale Photo has a shiny new Black X1 in stock but where is the new firmware Leica promised us months ago? I was told 1st quarter of 2011 so I expect it anytime in the next 2-3 weeks. Leica is always so slow with the updates but let’s hope they did improve the AF like they said they did. From what I have heard, it will be much faster. I am guessing they are doing this to answer to the newer cameras like the Fuji X100. That is one cool thing about Leica. They only release new models every 3-3 1/2 years for their major cameras. I do not expect an X2 until late 2012. Same goes for an M10. I am excited to see what the new firmware update will bring.

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MORE CONTESTS AND GREAT PRIZES?

Was having a chat the other day with ~6, who kindly donated his M9 for the GREAT LEICA M9 CONTEST (winner announced March 1st 2011) and it appears we will be having more contests with some VERY cool prizes. Maybe not as cool as a signed M9 but I am talking some GREAT prizes. We are still talking about things so when I find out more I will announce it. We may have one starting right after the M9 winner is announced! Stay tuned!

Also, if you “like” my new facebook page for this website you are automatically entered to win one prize every month! Starting March 1st I will pick one facebook “fan” at random to win a small photo prize! The winner selection will be totally random and all you have to do is LIKE THIS PAGE to enter. You will be entered for every monthly give-away which will take place on the 1st of each month!

Be sure and LIKE the page by clicking here, then clicking LIKE if you want to enter :)

Jan 172011
 

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8mm Vintage Camera App for Iphone

Just a couple days ago I downloaded a very cool app for my Iphone 4 that really blew me away. It’s called 8mm vintage camera and basically it will transform your Iphone video camera into a super authentic 8mm film camera. No really…I was skeptical but once I shot with it and watched the video back I knew this was well worth the $1.99 asking price.

I remember years ago I would shoot video and spend hours with software trying to emulate that old film look and here I am today, shooting with a PHONE and having my video instantly transformed to the look of classic film. Technology has come a long way huh? For $1.99 you can add this cool functionality to your PHONE and create these great little “films”.

This app is available for the Iphone 4 and 3Gs and IMO is a must buy. I just shot some very random things with it over the past two days and put together a quick video to show the effect you can get with this little $2 app. I can imagine if I spent quality time with this I could shoot a very cool short “film” with just my Iphone. Amazing, and my current favorite app.

Random Samples with the Vintage 8mm film app!

So all Iphone 3Gs and 4 owners, I HIGHLY recommend this app!

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