Sunday, March 30, 2014

How Much Camera Do I Need?

As I continue to rework older pictures from my Canon G9, I find myself wondering how much camera I really need.  I am very pleased for the most part with the quality I am finding in these files from 2008, although some just aren't up to snuff.  The image quality from my more recent Ricoh GRD III (which came out in '09 I think), seem better.  If only that little camera had a zoom lens.  The more I look at these pictures, the more I think that a small sensor camera might be enough for me.  Maybe a Panasonic Lumix LX7 would be ideal - smaller than Canon's G series and with a Leica zoom lens that starts at a relatively wide 24mm equivalent.  A couple of years old now, and cheap.  We'll see.  Here's some more from the G9, circa 2008.

Rain Begins


What Lies Beneath


The Curve

Saturday, March 29, 2014

San Francisco: '09 with a G9

We took a family vacation to San Francisco in June of 2009.  It was my first trip with a compact digital camera - the Canon G9.  I've been hooked on small cameras ever since.  As I've been working my way through my archive, reworking older pics with benefit of the powerful tools in Lightroom 5 and Nik plug-ins, I've been wondering how the pictures from the old G9 would hold up.  As it turns out, they hold up very well.  Oh, they aren't usually much to look at when pixel peeping at 100%, but when viewed at normal sizes, they look great.  Software, I think, is as important as the camera.  Fortunately, I shot these pictures in RAW format so all of the information captured by the sensor is still there in the files, and Lightroom 5 does a much better job of pulling that information out of the files than did whatever I was using in '09 - I think it was whatever version of Photoshop Elements was then current.  Here are some of the recent reworkings, some shown for the first time, and most shown for the first time in color.

Outside Vesuvio

Inside Vesuvio (extra noise reduction fron Nik Dfine 2 plug-in)

The Cool Smoker (taken by my son, Jordan)

Musicians at Cafe Trieste

Cafe Trieste

Night Life

Taken on a bus ride to Muir Woods
Guard Tower at Alcatraz

Leaving the Rock

Golden Gate

Fort Point

The Palace of Fine Arts

So the family is walking down the street when these folks on bicycles come by.  Naked.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Couple of Shots from the Olympus XZ-1

Back in 2011 I was furnished an Olympus XZ-1 compact camera for 30 days to write a review for Serious Compacts.  Pictures from the camera had more noise, but were sharper than those from similar cameras I reviewed at the time.  Frankly, I prefer that compromise.  The newer Lirghtroom 5 deals much better with noise, I think, than the Lightroom 3 of 2011.  And it deals much, much better with highlight recovery.  Here are a couple of recent reworkings of photos I originally processed in black and white.

After the Storm


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Red River Gorge

Some color reworkings of pictures I've taken at the Red River Gorge - certainly one of the most photogenic places in Kentucky.  These were taken with Olympus -E420 and E-620 cameras, and a few with a Sigma DP2x.

Later in the Morning
In the Gorge
Canada Geese

Boulder in the River


Stairway to ...
Jordan on a Rock

Falling Water

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Foveon Reworks

In the past, I have reviewed several versions of Sigma's DP2 cameras.  Small cameras with fixed prime lenses (no zoom), they have featured various forms of Sigma's Foveon sensor.  I love the look from these sensors, which give pictures that generally need little to no sharpening, even when shooting RAW.  Still reading Jeff Schewe's The Digital Negative and trying to apply what I've learned.  And still practicing on old pictures.  And by "old pictures" I mean up to 2 1/2 years old.   Here are some from Sigma's DP2 cameras (DP2s, DP2x and DP2 Merrill).


Sunrise at Dewey Lake



Dewey Lake

Red River Gorge