Saturday, March 30, 2013

Canon PowerShot SX230 HS - Good Super Zoom Camera?

Although the Canon PowerShot SX 230HS  has been out for few months I still see from my Google stats that a lot of people are wanting to know how good the zoom on this little P&S really is. Well I had the opportunity in downtown Boston the other day to try and hopefully answer that.

Zoom - Custom House

While passing by the Marriott Custom House Hotel I thought a wide angle shot of this towering building would best capture the vastness of it's height with the overcast skies behind adding some interest. However, having the option to zoom in on the face of the buildings clock using the x14 zoom of the SX 230HS was a option that I can also very much appreciate. Of course I'm sure any DSLR with a half decent zoom lens would have this shot beaten hands down with less noise but as most photographers can appreciate I don't like lugging a large DSLR body and 300mm lens everywhere I go.

So in conclusion, I think there will always be a place for superzooms, the range they cover for the amount of room they take in your pocket cannot be beat and the major camera manufactures seem to agree with new models coming out every month that push the zooming to x30 and beyond now which makes me have zoom envy a little with only x14 but as shown above I'm finding this ample for my everyday photo needs when out and about.

The attached photos were taken within seconds of each other, hand held while standing on the uneven Boston pavements on a March 2013 afternoon.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Photography Project - Panoramic

The temperatures in Boston yesterday were very spring like but not a lot of people downtown seemed to notice, the Boston Waterfront was abandoned during my afternoon photo walk.

Panoramic of the Boston Waterfront 

3 shots taken with the Canon PowerShot SX230HS handheld in program mode, flash did not fire, combined in to one frame and tone adjusted in post processing.

Photography Project - Transport

One of the major advantages of Daylight Savings is of course the extra hours of sunlight in the evening. I decided to take advantage of that, grabbed my camera and head out on a  local bus to anywhere and see what opportunities present themselves.

Transport - MBTA Bus

This was shot on a local area bus heading in to Boston on the evening of March 26th. I had to wait a couple of stops for the bus to empty before taking this shot of the empty seats in front of me. Taken with the Pentax SMCP-M 50mm f2 mounted to my Pentax k200d DLSR.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Photography Project - Night Shot

South Station in Boston at night is definitely quieter than during peak hours, this shot taken on my way home was rather easy to snap without having to wait too long for cars or people to get out of the way. This was taken in the Camera's night scene mode where it quickly snaps 3 shots and combines them in to one 'low noise' composite, I think it did a good job but you definitely compromise some on sharpness in this mode, especially as I was hand holding the camera at the time.

Night Shot- South Station Deserted

Taken with the Canon PowerShot SX230HS, no post processing.

Photography Project - Retro

You never know when you'll find that subject to meet one of your photography assignments and today was especially true. Walking back from drinks after work this evening to South Station I completely forgot the Boston Fire Museum was right there, so peaked through the front window and snapped this shot.

Retro - The Old Boston Fire Museum

While on vacation in London I found a second subject that was a contender for the Retro assignment, this old British Sports car was certainly retro too.

Taken with the Canon PowerShot SX230HS, color enhanced in post processing.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Photography Project - Shadows

Trees on a Cambridge street cast long shadows in the late day sun of spring.

Shadows - A tree lined Cambridge street

Taken with the Pentax SMCP-M 50mm f2 mounted to my Pentax k200d DLSR.

A second contender for shadows is this shot taken with my Canon P&S of the trees of the Mystic River casting shadows on the snow during the Winter months, but I preferred the above shot myself.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Photography Project - Spring

It is definitely not very Spring like outside, but with my new (used) lens arriving in the mail today I couldn't resist posting another topic from my list of 52 projects for the year.

The Pentax SMCP-M 50mm f2 is my first foray in to a full manual lens, manual Aperture ring setting and manual focusing. I'm no stranger to MF but having to actual the aperture manually is new to me and my K200d too, at first it refused to accept the lens until a setting deep in the Camera's menu to allow the mounting of none 'A' setting lens allowed me to continue.

The attached image is from my first batch of 'playing' with the lens in Aperture priority mode, the first thing I noticed was the center spot metering (not full frame) and the lack of a camera's ability to adjust for flash firing were the most surprising. So for now I'm going to be avoiding the flash and trying the Sensitivity priority mode to keep the ISO down, the camera was insisting and setting ISO to 1600 which made for some very noisy images. 

Spring - Daffodils

I am going to have a lot of experimenting to do with this lens but feel that it's Bokeh should make for some fun portraits and macro shots in the weeks and months to come.

Photography Project - Vegetables

It wouldn't be a photography blog without the cliched 'Still Life' with some vegetables in the scene.

Vegetables - Still Life

Taken with the Pentax K200d with the 'new to me' Pentax SMCP-M 50mm f2 lens I purchased from an amazon seller. Nice lens but MF means being more skilled at reading the viewfinder.
No post processing.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Photography Project - Train Tracks

With that 'almost Spring' feeling in the air a photograph walk was in order this afternoon and with shot of these Train Tracks not to far from where I live knock another topic off of my photography goals for this year.

Train Tracks

Taken handheld with my the Pentax K200d and  attached with no flash. Taken on 'Landscape' mode with on body stabilization turned on.

Post processing to increase contrast and convert to B&W.

Note: Using a  can of compressed air for cleaning a camara sensor probably would have some cringing but a very short burst of air before heading out for the day seems to have done the trick and a no longer have to do any post processing to remove those stubborn dust spots for the bottom right corner of all my shots. Bonus!

Photography Project - Black & White

It may be Spring in the Boston area now but try telling that to the trees that line out streets. While out for a walk earlier today I thought this frost bitten tree exemplified the cold spring air and would benefit from being a B&W shot.

Black & White - Frost Bitten Tree

Taken handheld with my the Pentax K200d and  attached with no flash. Taken on 'Landscape' mode with on body stabilization turned on. Converted to B&W in post processing.

Photography Project - Water Refractions

Well it seems to have been an eternity since I had any time or motivation to post anything to my very neglected photo blog but here I am. So my plan going forward for the rest of the year is to pick from the subjects I chose in January in any order, no pressure, no timeline, just hopefully some fun and good photography is the end result.

Water Refractions

Water Droplet

Being inspired by water droplet photography I had seen on pinterest earlier this year I tried to mimic the setup with my the Pentax K200d and my  attached to a tripod with manual release cable, off camera lighting from the Newer LED light.  A pre-focused the Macro lens manually aiming at the top of the water line in the glass and attempted to drop water on to it from a water dropper while shooting off over 120 shots all together. Unfortunately none of the actual water droplets were in focus when making their big splash or I had missed precise millisecond and the clear crown of a water splash I was hoping for was just not there. 

The first image above was shot a board game in the background and it was actually the first shot of the shoot and came out the most satisfactory of the bunch I think. The second shot was one of the last after giving up with some frustration that I just couldnt get anything in focus. Post processing to remove dust spot and some color corrections to both frames.