On tour with Seal – Day 4 & 5 – Florence and Lucca Italy

GORGEOUS!!! After all of those hours on the bus, the Seal tour finally stopped in Florence Italy. When we arrived Seal invited everyone to his room for breakfast and to chat. Had a great time and yes, he is an amazing down to earth guy. Very kind, generous, and gracious.

Seal checking out an AWESOME web site. Leica X1 – OOC JPEG

Shot with the X1, we were talking about how “crisp” this camera renders its files. I did some processing on this one in CS4 from the X1 RAW file.

I did not get a chance to walk around Florence so this is from the room …does it get any better than this?

Leaving Florence…There was no show in Florence and I spent most of my time sleeping due to the Jet lag that was still in my system. We soon moved on to Lucca, Italy which was GORGEOUS but we had a 3 hour bus ride to get there. Not too bad.

Being on the bus can be a bit boring at times but for me, it’s an experience. Seal is 100% professional, and on his bus his band mates work on new songs, and concentrate on their job. There is also fun to be had as these guys are all light hearted and jokesters.

Before the show I was able to walk around for an hour or so to enjoy the sights and sounds of this small town.I walked around with the NEX-5 and X1, and I have to say that the NEX does great with in camera B&W JPEG. Love its B&W with the contrast bumped up a bit. No, it’s lens will not resolve the kind of detail that the X1 can but for shots like the one below, it works.


and a straight from camera color JPEG

This was a B&W JPEG, but I added some contrast and grain in Silver Efex Pro

After my walk it was time for sound check so I walked up to the stage and grabbed a couple of snap shots…

Sony NEX-5, JPEG  – B&W in camera – Security guard in Lucca

I also had the X1 of course…

and once again, the coolest drummer ever, Steve Sidelnyk taken with the

Didn’t do too much shooting during soundcheck but for an added challenge I decided to shoot the show with the Sony NEX-5, just to see if it was possible. I mean, a $700 consumer camera with a slow zoom lens, could it be used to shoot a concert and get pro level results?

As I was started shooting the show I realized that the high ISO color was not going to cut it so I cranked up the little NEX-5 to ISO 6400 and set it to in camera B&W JPEG with a bump in contrast. Here are the results…

These are not in the same league as the M9/Nocti shots, no, not even close BUT, I wanted a challenge and sitting there shooting with the little NEX-5 and slow kit zoom was indeed a challenge! Would I use it again in this scenario? No, not really. I knew I could have gotten better results with the M9 and Nocti but even with that said I am happy with what the NEX did under the circumstances. I also shot some video with it but can’t work on that until I get home.

Tonight I will be shooting with a Canon 1dMKIV along with a 24 1.4, and 70-200. Something I am not used  to but interested to see how it goes.

I fly home tomorrow and will be flying all day with 2 layovers. I should be able to hook up to WiFi at the airport and if so, will update with the results from tonight’s show. When I get home I will be writing my thoughts and reviews on the Sony NEX cameras for all of those waiting for that.


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  1. Well I check that AWESOME site almost every day, its a good one :)))) great shots Steve as usual.

  2. Hi Steve!

    Can’t await your shots with the 1D Mk IV…it’s not an D3s but with this lenses you should get results comparable to the M9 and Noctilux combo, just with more depth of field.


  3. Got to say I like the NEX shots here much better than the M9 / Noctilux shots. A lot more atmosphere in the SONY series.

  4. I think the challenge of shooting with a tricky camera, one that you had your doubts about but you gave it a try really paid off these images have a vitality and energy

    that really comes across. keep enjoying the tour. look foward to the next bash.

  5. Thanks for the photos. It’s a shame that you didn’t have more time to spend in Florence. It is one of the world’s most marvelous cities. The Westin Excelsior is one of my most favorite hotels that I’ve ever had the chance to experience. Have a safe return flight tomorrow.

  6. I lived in Lucca for about 6 months as a kid as we had an extended holiday on the way back to Australia after dad left his post in the UK. Great pesto and pasta and pizza on the beach. Cool street fairs too.

  7. I think these shots came out fabulous considering what you had to do with the files. Still workable images IMHO. I would prefer the M9 or even X1 images overall, but you stepped up to the challenge with this camera, Steve. Great job.

  8. Excellent as always, loving the extended comparison! Have a safe trip back, don’t forget to pack a jacket! 😀

  9. Steve,
    Thanks for the great shots,the X1 continues to delight.Taking in to account its limitations one
    could probably do 90% of his or her shooting with this camera alone.

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