Panasonic AG-AC90 HD Camcorder Time Lapses

Whilst in Tasmania I took my new Panasonic Camera and did some shooting. I really like this little 3 chip HD camera. Its a good size very light and at $2000 very reasonable. It was very easy to take on the plane and shoots really great video. The time Lapse mode is really fun.

When watching the video below make sure you watch it in full 1080pHD to get its full impact

The Fuji XT-1 shooting in Tasmania

A few weeks ago I took delivery of the new Fuji XT-1. For me the camera takes what was fantastic about the XPRO-1 and makes it a lot better. Whilst traveling through Tasmania I got to test a lot of the cameras functionality. Let me tell you folks just about everything that sucked on the Xpro 1 is now fixed on this new camera.

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Firstly the performance of the auto focus in low light is nothing short of fantastic. I never missed a shot. It is a giant leap forward over the XPRO 1. Its accurate its fast and its reliable.

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The above picture was taken in the mole creek caves about an hour out of Sheffield Tasmania. I shot it at 25600 ISO and not only does the shot look incredibly clean I was also able to autofocus with no issues what so ever.

The other huge feature of this camera is the amazing viewfinder. For all those who are wavering because it is an EVF worry not. It is so big and so bright after a while you forget its an EVF and just enjoy shooting with it. It is outstanding..

Mount roland sheffield tasmania

Mount roland sheffield tasmania

 

Low light high ISO, fast accurate auto focus are just a few reason why I love this camera. Another is the way it renders details and colour. The colour is rich , detailed but very accurate . Look at the subtle tonal changes in the picture above. I think its more akin to a warm film look.

Lastly I wanted to touch on the cameras handling. I have the optional battery vertical grip. The put it simply the camera has a lovely balance to it in the hand. The only time I felt it was a bit top heavy was with the 55-200 lens attached. But when I had the 14mm 2.8 attached it was lovely in the hand. The feel of the body is of a premium nature and mostly the camera is an utter joy to shoot with.

I also have to mention I shot mostly with the 14mm 2.8 lens . What a great lens it is to.  It is fast and very sharp . Its very light and is so flexible in the way you can use it.

Cradle mountain Tasmania

Cradle mountain Tasmania

The Fiio X3 24bit Hi res portable music player

Remember music before it became disposable?. Remember music when the album was the rage and you didn’t just buy a song? Remember that experience when you put on a big pair of cans and got lost in the music? Not forgetting a time before the famous white fruit earbuds that made music sound like junk? . Well retro is back again. Welcome to the Fiio X3 player. Now for under $200 you can obtain an audio experience more akin to what I mentioned earlier. Gone is that compressed nasty sound of the modern times. This device is an absolute beauty listing to uncompressed 24bit mater files makes you feel like you were in the mixing studio as these album were being produced. The music has unbelievable depth and tonality. The experience for me has been akin to first listening to HIFI music in my youth. Gone are those whizzy compressed highs and un natural mids , everything sounds so balanced and natural.  What makes this even more remarkable is that the player is smaller than a pack of cigarettes and retails for just over $200 here in Australia.

There are a few issues with it though. Take it from me this is no Apple user experience. You have to download the tracks from sites such as hdtracks.com and then transfer them to the player. This can be done in 2 ways. Either via USB or by plugging in the micro SD card you bought to increase the players storage. The transfer of files is slow and laborious because of the sheer size of the master audio files.  The menu on the player is very 2001 . Don’t get me wrong its not horrible its just dated. A firmware update is promised soon where the user interface will be majority upgraded. Also when you buy a micro SD card for the player it is incredibly picky. The ones I have had success with are the Sandisk class 10 cards.

I haven’t yet bought myself some headphones that really show the device of at its best. I have been using a 10 year old pair of AKG’s which still sound spectacular but with a pair of better cans I expect I will get better audio again.

A few other nice things about the player. It has a line out so you can use it to plug into your car or even a home stereo. It also has a coaxial digital out which can output digital 24bit audio to home receivers for the ultimate in high fidelity.

Lastly a few recommendations of some of the audio in 24bit 96khz or 192khz I have been blown away by.

Bob Dylan Blonde on Blonde 24bit 96khz

Elton John Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 40th anniversary remaster 24bit 96k

Miles Davis Kind of Blue 24bit 192k    This is spectacular especially the detail.

Steven Wilson The Raven that refused to Sing 24bit 96k . In Hi Res this album shines with depths dynamics and texture.

Elvis Costello North 24bit 96k . Spectacular recording the strings sound great in Hi Res.

 

I will post some other recordings as I work through them.

 

For anyone who wants re enjoy the romance and feel of music again I can’t recommend this player more highly. Its a spectacular buy. One last thing to remember also is as its hi res music, the quality and results you encounter are dependant on source material and quality of what your listening through. Anything that has major flaws they will be highlighted 10 fold in this format. Those albums that are fantastic recordings to begin with will shine brighter than you have heard them before.  A case in point Paul McCartney’s New album for me was barely listenable on cd  . It was far to loud lacked dynamics and sounded very brittle and harsh. In Hi Res it regains its musicality and is far warmer and has depth something really lacking on the cd.

A definite buy 5 stars

 

 

My mothers experience shooting with the Fuji XPro 1 in Sri Lanka

Recently my mother returned from a amazing trip shooting in Sri Lanka. There she shot with her X Pro 1 and a Variety of lenses the 18-55 2.8 the 55-200 the 14mm. I as her son and fellow photographer processed and edited her pictures in lightroom. I applied VSCO filters. I mainly utilised the Kodak Portra settings which together with mum we found the most pleasing. http://vsco.co
She found the focusing very frustrating with the camera. My point of view is its very quirky and you have to learn a whole different thought process when focusing with the camera. But when it worked boy did it work well. The lenses are sharp.

When you see the pictures there is grain present. I have put that in myself as we both like the aesthetic . I realise its not to everyones taste but I think they came up really well.

From her pictures we have completed a book project produced by Albumworks HD book. http://www.albumworks.com.au
There books are lovely unlike most book manufactures they print at a very high DPI of 2400 which producers super sharp and detailed printing. The whole process only took 4 days .

sri Lanka wedding

tea plantation

tea plantation

sri lanka ladscape

random sri lankan man at the market

Blackrapid Metro strap with my Fuji Xpro 1

Recently I have started shooting using a Blackrapid Metro strap. I have to say until you have shot using one of these things you dont know what your missing. This model is on of the most cost effective at US$39.blackrapid metro attached to ishoot grip
The strap goes across the shoulder and spreads the weight of the camera evenly across the body. When you want to take a picture the camera comes up the strap, take the picture then put the camera down by your side. I have long struggled with heavy gear around my neck causing my neck and back pain. The strap is equally comfortable whether your using a heavier lens such as a 55-200 or a much lighter 35mm lens . The strap keeps everything well balanced and feeling comfortable across your body.
The strap screws into my shoot grip via the tripod mount . Its tight and secure.

Coupled with the X PRO 1 and this strap shooting has become far more enjoyable and less taxing. I am also getting shots I didnt get before because my camera is far more accessible than it was either in a bag or around my neck. The strap can be adjusted for all body types and heights making its very useful for all. At $39 its a great buy.

Review The I shoot Grip for the Fuji X Pro 1

The other day I took delivery of the iShoot grip for the X Pro 1. I shoot camera grip

This is a copy of a grip made in europe which is more than double the price of this one made in China.
The camera grip comes in at $69 so what is the quality like? It is quite incredible that this grip is a Chinese knockoff. It is made of well made metal everything is tight and fits wonderfully well. I decided to get this grip after being very frustrated by the official X Pro 1 grip. That grip covered up the card and battery compartment , where this one allows complete accsess to change your battery or card without taking the grip of.

camera grip door

Where this grip really impresses is the hand grip . It has indentations for 3 fingers and just makes the camera feel more secure and comfortable in my hands.
The Grip really doesn’t feel any more heavier than it did with the official fuji grip.

All in all a really worthwhile purchase they can be found by doing a search on Ebay.

More shooting with the Fuji 55-200 X Pro 1 combination

I went shooting Today with the Fuji X pro 1 at Healesville sanctuary in Melbourne I thought I would share a couple of shots. Again this lens is a stunner sharp focuses well. I am just loving it enjoy.

Click to view bigger wallaby shot with the 55-200 fuji lens

2 pelicans

Click to view bigger fuji 55-200 zoom