The Lamar Bridge.
Looking East from the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge.
Looking North on the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge.
The intake for the old (decommissioned) power plant.
The curvy side of the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge.
The old Power Plant with downtown Austin in the background.
I shot the images above yesterday afternoon as part of a nice, hot walk from Barton Springs Pool to the downtown Whole Foods store. I used a small, nimble camera with a fairly big (APS-C) sensor, and an inexpensive kit lens. I wound up using the same camera in a dark theater this afternoon. My friend, Colin, and his friend, Noel Gaulin found an overhead projector, some food dyes and other paraphenalia and they were doing pyschedelic, kinetic art (which they were recording to video on a Panasonic AF100) to be used enormously large for an upcoming play about Janis Joplin that will be staged at Zach Theatre. I was there and decided, in an impromptu way, that we should also have a behind the scenes video about some of the lengths to which our technical staff goes to in order to make great looking live shows.
This little exercise in the dark showed me just how far camera technology has come. The camera was able to automatically correctly expose for the two faces surrounded by total darkness. Walls painted matte black darkness. The camera's image stabilization worked as well as the in-body stabilization in my Sony's and the focus stayed locked on while I moved.
All of this got me thinking about the nature of the business of photography and the rather rude intersection of camera design and art. We can lie through our teeth and talk about how important top notch cameras are or we can admit that just about every camera over $500 in the market place today can be pressed into professional service to make great images, the primary target for which is now the web. There are still many situations where a long, fast, telephoto lens is critical and there are probably an equal number of situations where a good ultra-wide angle is a an imperative tool, but the camera bodies themselves have been, across the board, ready for prime time for years now.
The mirrorless cameras don't focus as quickly as DSLRs but when they do focus they are more accurate. It's just the nature of focusing on the same chip that also records the images. The metering on mirrorless cameras seems more accurate than the metering on entry level DSLRs as well. And for me the grace note is that every mirrorless camera is also a permanent live view camera, and that means every image gets pre-chimped, which makes the feedback flow of seeing and image correction much more fluid.
I know it's generational and I know it's because I wear reading glasses now, but I wish every mirrorless camera....oh, what the hell!?...every camera came standard with an EVF. I really like the files I'm getting out of this little camera (NX 300) very much I just wish I could hold it up to my eye like a real camera without having to resort to a loupe for comfort and convenience. To my kid? No big deal. To me....hmmm.
20 really good megapixels on a sensor with wonderful color goes a long way to make up for a feature set that's one check box off for me...more later.