Snapshot Voyager is about my own personal photography journey. I am always looking to try something new, inquisitive as to how it works, and to the end results I might achieve.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Beetles at Edward Gardens

Not only am I a sucker for shooting bees, I am also a sucker for beetles.  The good thing about beetles is that they don't move around that much so they're much easier to shoot than bees.  The bright colours and shiny surface on them also makes them fun to shoot as well.  

Like with the previous post I used the Nikon D600 with the Tamron 180mm f3.5 macro

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Bees at Edwards Gardens

I'm a total sucker for shooting bees.  As soon as I see one it becomes a challenge to get a good photo.  Bees sit long enough to entice you into taking a photo, but rarely long enough so you get a good shot.  The key to getting a good shot, like people and animals, is to make sure the eyes are sharp, and the rest of the photo takes care of itself.  This last trip to Edward Gardens I was reasonably lucky, and got a few good shots in.

Like usual, I used the Nikon D600 with the Tamron 180mm f3.5 macro, which is an excellent combination, but as the depth of field is shallow, even at f11 on a full frame, it can get tricky.  So care, patience and plenty of room on the SD card is needed.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Is the compact camera dead?

Like all purchases, something has to make sense and improve your life, otherwise you won't buy it.  Let's take the compact camera.  The simple question is "Is it better than the camera in my phone?"  We're not talking down to the pixel level, but basic results for most users.  If this answer is I can't easily tell a difference, then there is little point.  Few people take their camera everywhere with them, but most take their phone with them - the 'on you always' convenience for photography is very important.

Over the last couple years camera phones have improved substantially - the look of photos off the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4 are excellent, and I believe you would probably have to spent $300-$400 on a camera to get better.  

So what point do you add a dedicated camera to your life?  The answer is easy - when the photos are significantly better.  Cameras such as the Sony RX-100, Fuji X100s and others are substantial improvements.

Camera manufacturers are seeing dramatic sales drops in their low cost compact cameras, and I believe there will be few on offer in 3-4 years time.

Nikon D600 w/ Tamron 180mm f3.5 macro

Friday, 2 August 2013

The cynicism of the Hasselblad Lunar and Stellar

I know I am not alone, but I think the new Hasselblad Lunar and Stellar are just weird cameras.  It is not that the cameras are weird, their base cameras, the Sony NEX 7 and RX100 are excellent, even exceptional cameras; its just that adding a bit of wood and different dials, then quadrupling the price is just plain cynical and unscrupulous.  To command a premium, these cameras need to have something functionally unique about them, not just fancy (or even gaudy) cosmetics.  By this I mean a unique lens and/or sensor and/or software, something to set the camera apart, something that makes the photographs better.

High end buyers like bespoke craftsmanship, however this must be accompanied by something functionally outstanding or unique that can't be got elsewhere.  Take a high end luxury car like a Bentley or an Aston Martin, for example.  As well as being fantastically beautiful and expertly hand crafted, their driving experience is unique.  You feel special when you use the product, knowing that you and a only a few others could experience this.  A Hasselbald Lunar and Stellar would just leave you with the feeling you could get the same experience for much, much less money.

Electronics don't work well as small volume, niche items.  The need volume to pay off their development, and their disposability means that people do not value them as a long term purchase.  Leica has always struggled with this, and it is why they entered into their partnership with Panasonic.

Leica though has proven you can charge a premium for a fancy label, even if another camera is functionally identical.  However, Leica's premium is not many multiples of the original product, and really Leica is the gold standard for camera brands, to which Hasselblad's brand strength does not match up.

Hasselblad's Lunar and Stellar will be a failure, not because they are bad cameras, but because high end buyers don't like being ripped off.

Nikon D600 and Nikon 28mm f1.8 AF-S