5.31.2013

I had fun last night and I still have respect for my little camera in the morning.


My friend, Lane, organized a fashion show to benefit the Aids Services of Austin organization. The theme was summer swim wear. I went to show my support, toss some cash into the donation jar and to have dinner. The show was held at one of my favorite, new (to me at any rate) restaurants, Garrido's.

I didn't have any involvement in the show and I was thinking about leaving my camera in the car but, hell, I took my camera along with me the last time I went to an emergency room, why wouldn't I take it along for a fashion show?  It wasn't much of a  camera by most people's estimations. It was just my toss around camera, the Sony a58, with a pedestrian 50mm 1.8 DT lens clomped onto the front. I shook hands with people and had a glass of red wine and got bored waiting for the show to start so I went off looking for the show. And the models.

They were getting ready, doing make up and all that jazz so I introduced myself, told them my connection to the organizer and the restaurant and then asked them if I could take a few photos, just for fun. Busman's holiday? Compulsive photography habit? I hate to go out without my camera even if I end up never using it.

Open shade is certainly a flattering light source. I think this kind of light makes everyone look just a little bit better. 

I was going to take photos of the actual fashion show but the main venue wasn't well lit and I knew from experience that any images I took would either be grainy and noisy from being shot at ISO 6400 or the camera shake from trying to use too slow a shutter speed would ruin the impression of sharpness. If I had been the photographer for the show I would have added supplemental lighting in the "sweet spot" areas of the show, tested it and shot that way. I'm finding that I can't control everything in life, only my own assignments.

The a58 is a bit noisy at ISO 6400 but it's still very, very usable. At ISO 100 it's just darling.
And even near wide open that cheapo 50mm DT lens is pretty nice. You can click on the images to blow them up to their 2000x2000 pixel size and see what you think. I'm looking at  100% thru the large files and find them satisfying. Amazing what $500 bucks will get  you in a camera these days....





























10 comments:

wjl (Wolfgang Lonien) said...

Wow - these are really nice. Almost unbelievably good for ISO 6400 through that translucent mirror. How would the a57 compare, which still has a metal lens mount?

Kirk Tuck said...

Hi Wolfgang. Sorry if I was unclear. These were all shot at low to medium ISO's. I did shoot some stuff at 6400 but it's noisier. The a57 and the a58 are, for the most part interchangeable. The a58 has a bit more resolution. Not sure the metal mount matters much...

Anonymous said...

Kirk,
Good pictures, good camera, good price. Too bad it looks like a DSLR :-).
Fred

Gregg Mack said...

Great shots for "uncontrolled ambient light". I really like that last photo with the lady taking a drag on that Marlboro Light cigarette! There's just got to be a story that goes along with that particular photo.

TAMUSA School of Business said...

I gather you would recommend an A 58 or A 57 over a Panasonic G 6? I still have some olympus 4/3 equipment but am wondering if I should just sell it and start over with Sony as you have

Toasted Tom said...

Great article, this is where you shine, Mr. Tuck! Little glimpses of lifes little suprises. Thanks.

Kirk Tuck said...

I think a58's are really good. But I've never played with the G6 and I like the body style so, who knows?

Anonymous said...

Kirk, I rented an A58 over the weekend (partially because of your comments about it) and ran into some issues with video of moving objects that I wonder if you've seen. I had the video settings on what I believe should have been the highest quality (60i, 24M) and noticed that birds flying through one shot appeared jerky. Figuring I must have the video settings wrong, I went back in and made sure it was set to the highest quality and then went over to a busy road to record the cars going by (holding the camera still and letting the cars move through the frame). In the resulting clips the movement is again not fluid as the cars appear to jerk forward.

I had two other rented cameras at the time (a Sony RX100 and Panasonic GH3) and tried the same shot with them. They both recorded smooth movement of the traffic. It's not surprising that the GH3 would do better due to the extremely high bitrates it supports, but the RX100 tops out at 24M like the A58. And, as it shoots progressive vs. the A58's interlaced, I would have expected the RX100 to have a harder time keeping up. But its video of moving objects was clearly superior to the A58.

The A58 did fine on stills, but as I'm looking for a hybrid camera I ruled it out due to the video performance. Have you noticed any issues like this with your A58? I haven't seen anyone else mention this issue so I'm starting to wonder if I got a bad example.

Kirk Tuck said...

I've shot video with it and it did a good job. I guess the first thing that popped into my mind is: What shutter speed were you shooting at? The faster the shutter speed the choppier or jerkier video gets with every camera. Other than that????

Anonymous said...

Kirk,

The juttering wasn't the continuous kind that I associate with too high of a shutter speed, where there's no motion blur between frames. Rather, the moving objects seemed to have odd jumps several times a second. I don't recall what shutter speed I was using (not sure if that info is saved as metadata with the clip) but I'd set the ISO as low as it would go (on all three cameras I was trying out) and used a relatively small aperture to knock down the amount of light coming in as I didn't have ND filters with me. Since you haven't seen the issue (and have a lot more time with the camera than I had) it's likely that I got a setting wrong as I was learning and using three new cameras in a short amount of time.