Monday, November 14, 2011

An upgrade & Solo

As most of you know, I frequently upgrade my photographic equipment. I actually prefer the film days as film cameras had a longer life span. Also analog equipment had a trade in value. Most camera shops in Vancouver do not take digital cameras in trade which forces you to pay full price for what you want, then leave you to sell your old stuff on your own. It seems that every few months a new digital something or other is announced which makes the old model redundant and of no value. You will seldom, if ever, find me without an instrument capable of capturing an image. I have one in my pocket, and often another strung over my shoulder and perhaps a video cam in my backpack. I am not very successful in selling things so I find it easier to just "give" it away. I had a Canon G10 which I purchased new a few years ago which is basically brand new. Hardly used but it has travelled with me on many trips as a backup camera. Although I took it to China I didn't use it at all.

My friend expressed interest in it so before I handed it over to him, I updated the Canon firmware, and hacked it with CHDK (<-- click link) With CHDK it allows you to access more options with your Canon camera. I was interested in timelapse which is easiest done on a P&S type camera rather than a dSLR where you would wear the shutter out. At 30 fps you would have to trip your shutter 1,800 times just for one minute of video.

Anyway with my Canon G10 gone it gave me an excuse to purchase its replacement.


I wanted something with a larger sensor, and with more adjustments. The APS-C crop sensor is perfect. The short focal distance means that I can use alternative lenses with adapters which I already have on order from Hong Kong. I am not sure which lenses I am going to use so I purchased 5 adapters which will allow me to use: Nikon Ai/AiS, Pentax M42, Leica LTM L39, Zeiss, and Leica M39 bayonet mount as I already have lenses. If you have been following the flood situation in Thailand you will already know that the Sony and Nikon factories are still underwater which means no camera production until Spring 2012. Also most of the worlds Harddrives are made there which will bump up the costs of laptops. So while I didn`t really plan on purchasing my Sony NEX-5n until spring 2012, I thought I better get one now before stock runs out. Excellent review here
I also picked up the 16mm 2.8 pancake lens and spare battery

In an effort to make more professional videos I also purchased a new tripod with Pan Head. Not that I need another tripod as I already have several, but none for video. All my tripods have a ball head so you cannot pan horizontally. I didn`t wish to pay for a top line model so my new tripod does not have a level which presents a problem. Anyway this is my first test video using a Pan Head

I have found that you first must level the tripod horizontally then do a practice Pan to ensure that the horizon is level, then you can start recording.


A month ago before signs of winter I took a day off and decided to ride by myself to see how I like to ride solo


I took the long route taking the highway and ended up on some backroads around Steveston where I was planning to have a bite to eat. It is not very pleasant on the highway with the speeding traffic, it felt like a raceway . I mounted my GoProHD and was trying to shoot some video so I would have something to do in the winter. Of course with the GoProHD you have no way of knowing if it is recording or not, unless you stopped and looked at the front LCD. Here I was travelling on the freeway, taking on and off ramps, lots of heavy traffic then I travelled along the River turning the GoProHd on and off and a couple of hours later when I finally stopped I noticed that the unit was OFF. I thought I had forgot to turn it on, but then it wouldn`t turn on . . . dead battery ! My spare battery was at home

Sometimes it is nice to be by yourself and have time to think things out, to solve your personal problems, and have time to think. I feels refreshing to hear the sound of your engine, shifting up and down, leaning into the corners but then I craved for some company when I noticed a small group of people outside the Cannery just enjoying the day. They asked me to join them


they told me it was okay to snap their photos so I posed too . Then the soft-spoken guy on the bench made room for me to sit down beside him


There we were, all four of us, solving the world`s problems. They weren`t really that talkative but they seemed friendly enough. The soft-spoken guy was really friendly and said I could sit on his lap


so I did and they asked me to come back anytime, and would wait for me at the same place as they really enjoyed my company.


  1. Congrats on the new purchase.

    Looks like a nice sunny day you had for your solo ride. I'd frisk the statues though, I think they stole your boots.

  2. Sometimes time alone is a wonderful thing. and yes it is an expensive job keeping up with technolgy.

  3. Bob:

    Loved the bronzes but they don't look very productive. Were they on tea break?

  4. Bob, you change photographic equipment more often than I change my socks!  I love the video with the panning, but I am not sure I would have your patience to carry a tripod with me as much I know you will.  It was good to see a few places that I recognised in your video.  I see you are still suffering from that unusual medical complaint, Booticus Missingicus.

  5. Bob, I was really suprised to see you chose the Sony, but then read your link - and it looks really good. Glad you took my advice (just kidding!). Regards, El D

  6. A friend of mine picked up that same Sony for what sounds like the same reason. He had a bunch of Nikon glass from back in the film days and wished to continue using them. The only thing I find missing from many of the P&S cameras these days is a viewfinder.

    Did you manage to find a portable fluid head tripod? It seems that "light weight" and fluid head are mutually exclusive.


  7. You change your photo equipment more often than I change my motorcycles...

    See, I told you so. Riding solo can sometimes be just the right thing to do, especially if you have to clear your mind.

    I am pretty sure that The crowd you have met at Georgia Cannery proved to be the right companionship for your state of mind ;-) Obviously they took good care of you.

  8. Bob

    I hope you enjoy your new camera and goodies. Your photos and videos are always so well composed and lovely. You inspire me to pack my little canon around with me. I now look at the world around me differently and now think in pictures. I need to get a topcase for Lucy, need a little more carrying capacity to bring a bigger camera around with me, then ten again it may not be a case of bigger is better. I don't think you can keep up with technology , The camera companies seem to put out a new version 3 months after their latest version. Love the pan capability.

  9. Trobairitz:

    it was a relaxing day enjoying my own company & talking to myself


    When I am by myself I can do what I want, stop where I want and say what I want. I always like to keep up with the leading edge of technology


    Yes, they were on tea break. I did all of the talking and they agreed with my every word


    I wanted a higher quality pocketable camera with a larger sensor, RAW and great video modes. this particular model can shoot high ISO and will be great for low light, plus I will be able to use my Nikon, Pentax and Leica lenses with it.

    the tripod will be too large to carry on the bike, but the monopod is very stable with panning and will easily fit in my top case

    El D:

    thanks for your help in choosing the Sony. it is a great camera


    I do have Nikon & Pentax but I will probably use my Leica and Zeiss lenses, I have a few that are just sitting around doing nothing. I also have some old Nippon Kogaku L39 mount


    riding solo is not much of a problem if you are thinking about day rides from home. I was thinking more about a multi day or two week tour next year heading south. I remember driving across Canada by myself a long time ago, and the only words I spoke were to fill up and fast food. After 4 days I arrived in Toronto and my mouth forgot how to speak.

    I see you are enjoying your visit to Portland.


    Now that you have a camera in your pocket, we get to see more. Keep it up.

    Can't wait until you snag Motorcycle man's GoProHD and shoot some video. You have to be more careful with your riding as we will be able to view your lane positioning, cars around you and the way you ride.

    A topcase would be a good idea, not only for carry a camera, but for those weekends next year when you go away on bike trips. you need a secure place to pack your laptop, chargers and other valuables.

  10. Lane positioning - lol - I am already nervous when I go on alumni rides - lol. I still feel like a pretender at times, need to log more miles on Lucy. I definitely need to get my hands on the the GoPro.

  11. It would be interesting to hear how you get along with the Sony long haul. The compact systems with interchangeable lenses seem to contradict the purpose of a point and shoot.

    Changing lenses is SLR territory to me.

    Hope you let us know how it goes.

  12. Dar:

    you're too modest. You are doing just fine, actually . . . better than fine.


    I am past the idea of a point & shoot. it is a tool and I need a higher quality backup for trips. The NEX has a larger sensor than my T2i, also better low light capabilities and killer video with the latest AVCHD 2.0 codec. I can also use my alternative lenses with adapters and share them with my T2i, plus I can put it into my jacket pocket.

  13. Sometimes that is just the type of company that one needs. Strong, silent and supportive. :)