Tag Archive for 'camera'

D700!

I’m the super-proud owner of a brand spanking Nikon D700. How stoked?

ear to ear stoked in f/1.4 glory

ear to ear stoked in f/1.4 glory

My day

Having printed my thesis, this view pretty sums up the last few days. Staring out the window and deciding whether to get a better camera, inspired by a check for USD$1800 and the exchange rate, and the much better viewfinders on full frame dslr’s.

doing nothing

doing nothing

Yes, life is tough…

Olympus Stylus 1030SW review

A few months ago I purchased the Olympus Stylus 1030SW, the unbreakable and waterproof little point and shoot. Having spent the bulk of the time using my E-500 with reasonably nice f/2.8 lenses in the last few years it initially felt like rather a downgrade. The quality of the images wasn’t all that great, particularly for landscape shots. For close up people type stuff it does well, and I can commonly get away without the flash.

Recently I got a chance to try out what I saw as one of the coolest features of the camera: the waterproof bit. Having given it a brief test run one evening with a glass of water, the real test came as I prepared to jump into the water along Ningaloo Reef, on the Western Australian coast near Exmouth. Attached with rubber bands, I took it into the water and tried it out inbetween gulps of seawater. Two of the nicest shots I got are posted here. They came out beautifully, so I’m totally stoked I went to the effort and cost to get a waterproof one…

The camera spends pretty much its whole life in my pocket. Being waterproof I think it can hack a bit of dust and the odd bump. As it happens it got a solid hit one day, but saved me a bit of pain. One of my tent poles slipped out of my hand pitching the tent one evening, and recoiled straight into the camera in my pocket. Damage documented below (as is the rubber band setup for swimming)…

my bashed up olympus stylus

my bashed up olympus stylus

Any Olympus people who want me to be a poster boy for their unbreakable camera can use my story for the reasonable price of an E-3 back…

So in short: nice camera for cool stuff like swimming and treating roughly, but not an SLR. No surprises.

Exmouth

So the day after the conference finished, we flew up to Exmouth to search for whale sharks, sun, and a break from the Canberra winter. We found it.

Saturday we went out on a boat with 3 Islands Marine in the hope of swimming with a whale shark. The morning was spent with a nice dive on the Ningaloo reef. I got to test out my new Olympus 1030SW, supposedly waterproof but as yet untested (aside from a bit of testing with a water glass). Turned out it works beautifully, and takes really nice photos.

Ningaloo reef

Ningaloo reef

We then moved on outside the reef to find big fish to swim with. The company uses planes to spot their fish, and had to call in a second one when they hadn’t found one by lunch time. On the way we saw some humpback whales on their way north.

While we were watching the whales, the whale shark call came, and we and the other boats raced down to the spot. There was only the one whale shark that day so we had to share with some other boats. We got several swims so I didn’t feel like we missed out at all.

Come swim time we dived in and split into two groups so the fish could swim between us. It dutifully did so and was extremely cool…

Whale shark

Whale shark

My camera worked nicely too, as you can see.

Having tired ourselves out, we headed back. We met some more humpbacks on the way, these ones much more playful, showing a bit of tail for us to photograph.

Humpback

Humpback

An awesome day, and probably worth the $350 or so it cost us. The rest of the photos are here.