The Pocket Camera Quest Part 1(Sony DSC WX350 Mini Review)


For me, image quality has always been one of the top priorities when purchasing a new camera. As a result of this endless pursuit, I have sacrificed size and portability. While large sensor cameras have decreased in size, they are still simply to big for pockets. I purchased the x100s years ago somehow convinced myself that it would be my pocket camera. I tried everything from different neck straps to wrists straps to somehow make the camera more comfortable to carry. However, there was never a time in which the camera was just there along for the ride. Now dont get me wrong, the quality on that camera is amazing and when I make it a point to go out and take photos, carrying it is not a problem. However, with my busy schedule, photo walks are far and few between.

Recently I set out to find a semi decent pocket camera and by pocket camera I MEAN IT CAN FIT IN YOUR POCKET! There are far to many sites that claim for example the x100/S/T can fit in your pocket, well maybe if you are wearing parachute pant,s but in real life normal jeans, not a chance. So I went to Best Buy and other local electronic stores to see what camera could fit in my pocket with ease. There was a variety of small point and shoots, but their quality was sub par and they felt like a toy camera.Then I came across the Sony WX350

The camera is a good 2 inches shorter than my iphone 6, granted it is about 3 times thicker but man this thing is small and here comes the kicker. It has 20X optical zoom with 40x clear image zoom (basically digital zoom), a camera that can fit in fit in the ball of my hand can zoom to places I cant even see.

After two days of use I came across some major compatibility issues. This camera is a great camera for those that want a point and shoot. However the inability to adjust simple settings such as shutter speed and aperture, as well as the lack of EVF was a deal breaker for me. Here are some samples:

With regret, I returned the camera a couple days later  but I absolutely needed to adjust my camera settings. I also feared that Sony would release a new version of this camera in the near future as this camera is over a year old. (UPDATE turns out a couple of days after creating this post Sony announced the HX90v and the WX500 Those cameras are available for purchase until  June. My search for a more fitting pocket camera continues with the Panasonic ZS50…. and I think I found a winner (review coming soon).

If your interested in this camera click on it, the link will take you to Amazon.

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On The Road and a new Photography Theme


Most of us have been there before, riding as a passenger on a long road trip gazing off into the distance, watching passing landscape rush by your eyes. For photographers its torture, theres a shot, theres a shot…. “Oh man can we pull over for just a second to get this shot, I don’t care if its dangerous.”

On a recent road trip, I couldn’t take it any longer. I decided to take pictures while sitting as a passenger in the back seat. I immediately became in love with this new form of shooting. Every second there was an entirely different scene. On top of the constant change in scenery I felt like I was shooting sports because timing was critical in every shot, too late or early and I got a tree or a car in my shot. I was mindful of other cars in that I didn’t distract them. For me life on the road just became much much more enjoyable.

If you want to shoot on the road please follow all or some of the following rules and I am not responsible for any of your actions:

  • Never shoot when you are driving 
  • Never distract drivers
  • Always wear your seat belt
  • Dont take so many pictures that you end up annoying the driver
  • Follow local and state laws

With those rules out of the way. I found that my 5D paired best with my 135mm. 135mm on a full frame seemed like just the right amount zoom. My shutter speed varied, initially you would a very fast shutter speed so you can receive the sharpest image possible. However during some of the trip we were driving after the sun went down so I had to drop my shutter speed all the way down to 1/25th of a second. Its all about experimenting.

So here is my first batch of photos, I have created a gallery dedicated to my photos taken on the road and will be updating in periodically

Gallery: ON THE ROAD

First Batch:

Oceanside Pier after the Storm


Finally got some time off to shoot. Strolled around the Oceanside pier right after a storm. It was cold by our standards but warm for the rest of the nation. I had a great time shooting whatever without a real goal in mind. The shots below were taken with the 5d mark ii and a combination of the 35l, 70-200L, 17-40L and my lovely $3 135mm.

 

Photoshop: What to do if your brush diameter disappears


Occasionally I will be deep into photo editing and all the sudden my brush diameter will disappear. Years ago I would have to reset photoshop when this happened not knowing that the problem was caused by turning on the CAPS LOCK key. So thats it next time your brush diameter doesn’t work just make sure that your CAPS LOCK key isn’t on. I decided to make this post because I encountered the minor problem again last night and it made me wonder how many people run into the same problem and don’t know how to fix it.

How to Remove a Fotodiox Nikon f/AI adaptor to EOS


So I learned that I wasnt the only person getting their fingers sliced up while trying to remove the Fotodiox Nikon adaptor off an canon camera. I finally figured it out and shot a quick video on how to remove it.

***I take no responislbity for anyone breaking their adaptor/lens/camera or injuring themselves in the process of removing the adaptor. In other words be careful.***

Taking off the adaptor is actually very simple:

Step 1: take the lens off the camera

Step 2: locate the metal flap, stick a flat head screwdriver under the flap and while lifting the flap up move the flap slightly to the left. The goal here is too hang the flap on the rim so that it stays up

Step 3: lastly twist the adaptor off. Use caution when twisting the adaptor off. It is very sharp and will slice your fingers if your not careful. I recommend using gloves.

I’m a visual person so if the directions dont help here’s a video I shot of me taking the adaptor off:

DIY: Pinhole Camera


This week in my creative photography class we got to test out our pinhole cameras. The first light leak test failed, light leaks everywhere. A couple test later I was able to fix the leaks with graffers tape. I was ready to make my first negative. . I cant believe the results! Its so sharp, wide and it worked! Heres the result:

(30 second exposure time. I used Black and White Ilford RC (Resin Coated) paper. Notice the light leaks )

This is the first pinhole camera I’ve ever made. I based the design roughly off of the Santa Barbara pinhole camera.I made this camera for less than $15. I highly recommend this project to anyone with access to a darkroom.

DIY: Pinhole Camera

** If you hurt yourself or any of your possessions while attempting this DIY, you are solely responsible for your actions and results. While this DIY’s danger level is low I assume no responsibly for your actions.**

Materials:

  • One box or object ( as light tight as possible). I bought a bird breeding box for my camera.
  • Graffers or Duck tape
  • Flat or Matte black spray paint
  • Tin cookie or pie pan
  • Needle or tack
  • Drill
  • Large circular drill bits

** The deeper the box or object the more telephoto the image will be and the smaller the hole is the wider the image will be. Finding the right combination may take some luck and multiple attempts**

Step One:

Cut out a large circle with your drill bit in the center of the front side of your box or object.

Step Two:

Paint the inside of your “camera” with your flat or matte spray paint. Let it dry.

Step Three:

Cut out a square of tin (from you pie plate/cookie sheet) large enough to cover the hole drilled in step one.

Step Four:

With your poking device ( I used a tack) make a hole in the center of the square tin. Make the hole as small as possible. I held mine up to the light to make sure I made a clean hole. The cleaner/smaller the hole the sharper your image will be.

Step Five:

Tape your tin square on the inside of your camera box. Make sure you don’t cover the pinhole and cover all around the tin so no light sneaks through.

Step Six:

Cut some tape large enough to cover your outside large hole. This will be your shutter.

Step Seven:

Test the camera for light leaks. In a darkroom, insert your paper emulsion side facing the pinhole. Take the camera outside for 30 seconds. Do not take the tape off the covering your pinhole. After 30 seconds bring the camera back into the darkroom and put your photo in the developer, if after 1 minute the paper stays white, your good to go…. No light leaks! If you see black marks/lines you have light leaks and will need to tape/patch them up. Repeat the test until successful.

Step Eight:

Reload the camera in the dark room. Take the camera out and expose the image for 30 seconds but this time you will take off the tape covering your pinhole to expose the image and cover up the pinhole when times up. After you develop this print you may have to adjust the exposure time to get a properly exposed image. Have Fun! I will be updating you as I print more, especially when I try positive paper and add a flash.