30 апреля 2012

Buffalo river (video 2 min)

Fresh video from the old footages. There is only 1 sec piece with me. Try to find it :) This video was made with two compact cameras, but hopefully quality is enough good.
Свежее видео из старых кусочков. Я фигурирую лишь в одном кадре. Угадай в каком! )

28 апреля 2012

DSLR vs compact + GoPro

My short story
In November 2011 I bought Canon T2i, with 18-55 and 55-300 lens. After a couple days of playing I decided that I definitely need flip out screen. I looked at the Canon T3i but after the snapsort comparison article I turned to Nikon D5100. I bought a Nikon body and a Tamron 18-200 mm lens.

Why I chose Nikon D5100?
1.       Canon is stubborn enough not to make built in interval shooting option. They push consumers to buy external intervalometer which cost about 50$.  Interval shooting allows to shoot every 2, 5, 10…any… seconds. You can look at my time-lapse video made with Nikon (1:43).
2.       Nikon has another menu option - HDR (high dynamic range). With Canon you can do HDR only on computer. With Nikon you can do simple HDR right in your camera! Actually this is a nice option that influenced on my decision, but I do not use it often.   
3.       Nikon D5100 can focus while shooting video. (actually it is not true, Canon T2i can do it).
4.   Flip out screen.
5.       Nikon D5100 is much cheaper than Canon T3i.

It seems like Nikon have more options with better price, but...

The downside of using a Nikon
1.      With Canon (30D) I nearly forget about the last time I charged battery. Nikon battery is about 1/2 shorter. I had to buy an external battery grip which made my camera bigger, yet more uncomfortable.
2.       Nikon's smaller body is not an advantage! Canon body fits my big hand better. With battery grip it is still far behind Canon ergonomics.
3.      The shooting button have better position in Canon. You’ll never miss it. When I hand my Nikon camera to other people and ask to shoot me, 3 of 10 people get confused and push the wrong button.
4.      The Canon has a nice soft air filled rubber pad around viewfinder. The Nikon has a solid rubber and it can be easily lost (I did).
5.       Canon has better shutter sound. Stupid but I like it more than Nikon.
6.    (update) Shooting video you can change only exposure compensation in Nikon (wtf???) In Canon shutter, iris, iso change is available.

Looks like it is competition between number of options and ergonomics.

It is common for people to use at least two different lenses like 18-55 mm and 55-300 mm. However, I seriously get tired of changing lenses all the time! More over I get mad when dust gets inside the body and black dots suddenly appears on the blue sky. Being reporter you can miss much if you need to change lens! My preference is just one 18-200 mm lens for all. I was concerned about losing additional 100 mm (200-300 range) but the visual difference is not significant! I prefer Tamron because it is cheap and has 6 years warranty. Nikon (Canon) lens are extremely expensive.

Do you need DSLR camera? (Digital Single Lens Reflex)
Comparing pictures 1, 2, 3, ought to show that good pictures are made with the head, rather than a camera! Considering light, angle, position of the object and camera, zoom can make bigger differences than what type of camera you use! If you do not care about shutter speed, iris, iso, focal length just buy compact camera. If seek a professional look (to earn money it is highly recommended to have "professional" impression), low light shooting, quick shooting (sports), macro pictures; if you think deeper than "pressing button", can see things in creative way, have time to study, money to spend on equipment and willingness to overcome difficulties (i.e. going to marry your photography hobby ) then DSLR should be your camera.

Sometimes DSLR size makes me mad! It is huge compared to compact camera. You can not take it anywhere with being noticed! It bothers me all the time. I always need a special case for it. Although the shutter noise is pleasant, it always diminishes candid moments. If you already have a good compact camera – invest some exploring its features. If you cannot implement your visual thoughts with the lesser camera, then I suggest to BORROW a better camera for a couple of days. Some people are very happy taking pictures with smartphone (iPhone)!

My previous article about DSLR vs compact camera (in Russian language).

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Addition April 28

GoPro cons:
- No viewfinder or LCD screen (available as an option 70$)
- No zoom
- Two buttons only
- Bad sound, 
- Unfriendly menu (Hero2 - much better), 
- Bad photo or video in the dark. 

GoPro pros:
- Water, shock prof
- Mounts
- Video and image quality (on good light conditions)
- Lightweight (without LCD)

GoPro is highly specific and NARROW use camera! If you do not know when and how to use it (before purchase) - you do not need it!!! GoPro videos are about the same quality as DSLR does. The trick is in possible extreme usage of GoPro. Funny GoPro video.

You still want it? Thus you know how you will use it! Good luck and have fun!

23 апреля 2012

Lost and found

The energy balance law served me to find something after I lost GoPro video camera (read about it here).  I do not how to call this device but apparently it is remote video transmiter. Everything was packed in case which was carelessly left near the parking lot. I found it in the middle of the night. With pleasure I will give it back to owner with a thought that someone will do the same with the lost GoPro. 

Закон сохранения энергии "вручил" мне кейс после того как я потерял видеокамеру GoPro (подробнее о потере тут). В кейсе оказался передатчик видео сигнала. Нашел я его на травке посреди ночи рядом с парковкой. С радостью отдам законному владельцу с мыслью о том, что кто-то поступит точно также с моей потерянной GoPro.

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21 апреля 2012

St Louis

Город по имени Святой Луис оказался прекрасен. Цветные фонтаны, пышное убранство, все говорило том, что город живет припеваючи. Даже погода радовала и я улыбался ей в ответ. Откровенно говоря, удачный выбор для проведения Фулбрайтовского семинара.

Forgive me, GoPro...

This Wednesday was a day of losing things. I started with leaving 32Gb SD card in slot of university computer, than left a microphone cord, taking one of the interviews, and finally in the evening I did not found my GoPro camera (with another 32 Gb Sd card inside) in the backpack. Why it happens 3 times in a row I do not understand. May be it was just not my day...

В эту среду у меня был день потерь. Начал с того, что забыл каточку на 32 Гб в Маке, потом оставил шнур от микрофона на одном из интервью и фиерично завершил статистику потерей видеокамеры GoPro с 32гб карточкой внутри. Почему 3 потери подряд я до сих пор не пойму. Видимо, какие-то особенные протуберанцы на солнце были.

I knew the location of SD card and microphone cord and I was lucky to get them back, but situation with GoPro camera was different. I had made some shooting on my bicycle that day and before I entered the PackRat shop I took the camera of the bike and put in the easy access pocket in my backpack. It was the last time I touched it... Two hours later I found NO CAMERA in my backpack and tried to find it, but everything was useless. Even hope on university desk "lost and found" fail the next day.

Я знал где потерял карточку и шнур, а вот дела с камерой вышли куда сложнее. Я снимал видео с велосипеда в тот день и перед тем как зайти в магазин (PackRat) отвинтил камеру от припаркованного байка, чтобы ее кто не прихватил. Положил я ее в открытый карман рюкзака, и это был последний раз когда я брался я держался за камеру. Пропажу обнаружил двумя часами позже, попытался поискать - бепсполезно. Не помогло и университетское бюро находок.

I'm the only one person responsible for the stupid lost. Forgive me, GoPro... You worked well. One of the videos:

Только я виноват в том что потерял камеру. Прощай GoPro, ты верно мне служила 7 месяцев. Одно из видео:

If you think that I learned the lesson and will not lose another camera - you can help me to buy a new one.
Если вы думаете, что я исправлюсь - помогите купить новую. Кнопка внизу.

I think this is the only one picture with me and GoPro, and the last one...
Пожалуй, это единственная и последняя фотография "вдвоем".