Saturday, June 20, 2009

PHOTO OF THE DAY June 21, 2009

Rain rain go away. It's been rainy and cold in NYC. Global cooling, perhaps?
Taken with my LX 3.

To my beloved D1X

If the tittle seems rather mushy or even trite, what follows is anything but.
I have had a love relationship with this camera for many years and I used it for my professional needs for some time. I originally traded the Canon 1D for my first D1X and then bought a second one. BTW all at [ARMATO PHOTO VIDEO.] These were then traded for two D2h's that I used for a long time and once again I returned to using 2 D1X's. I now use a d700 and a D2X for my pro work while I keep a Canon 5D and 30D for personal use. Is there a 5DII in the pipeline...perhaps, but I digress.
I know that this sounds crazy but I must admit to falling in and out of love with cameras rather quickly.
After this long rambling introduction, let me state categorically that after many changes I truly miss this camera. I will also state, that based on my personal experience, this camera has almost no peers in reproducing beautiful colors. Only the Fuji S1 Pro and S2 Pro will beat it. [More on this in subsequent musings.]
I know that it's slow when shooting raw and that the highlights tend to clip - bad news for weddings pros - but the skin tones are lovely and in spite of what is considered, by today's standards, a rather puny pixel count, this is a true gem and one that will go down as one of Nikon's better efforts in image quality.
The battery is a problem, and even with the buffer upgrade, one can shoot only a few NEF images before it fills up and shooting must stop. The playback is slow and the magnification is not up to today's standards nor is the small LCD screen. All minor quibbles when compared to those lovely hues, that smooth tonality and that mystical quality. This camera is one for the proverbial record book.
The samples above will underscore my assertions of it's quality and of my strong belief that you do not need globs of pixels; even to even shoot nature.
Rocco Galatioto

PHOTO OF THE DAY June 20, 2009

Taken in from Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence last April, also with the maligned 34-85 3.5-5.5 0n my 5D.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Taken last April in Venice with a Canon 5D and the lowly 24-85 f3.5-4.5
Just a regular EF lens. I do not like to carry heavy L lenses on my trips.

Samples from the LX3

Here are some very recent samples from the LX3; all taken on P mode as I had not even read the instruction book. The photos have an almost romantic look. The location is the Brooklyn Botanic Garden one of the most beautiful spots in NYC.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The LX 3

Ho what a camera can do for you. I’m talking about the Panasonic LX3 a little gem that can rekindle one’s love for photography. Let’s face it we are all interested in equipment. We get very excited about new cameras, lenses, and even new programs. It’s like a love affair or an infatuation.
Before I go any further, I want to state that I’m not a pixel peeper or an equipment fanatic. I must also state categorically that it’s the photographer
Behind the camera that takes the picture. Nevertheless….
Getting my LX3 was a moment that takes me back to other memorable ones. I will never forgot when I got my first real SLR, a Canon Ft , or my first Leica. And that first Nikon Ftn with that superb 105mm f 2.5 that I still have . But I digress.
The LX3 is the Panasonic version of the Leica DLux 4. The same exact camera. Both are made by Panasonic. Both have the same electronics, more or less, and both have at their heart the incomparable Vario Summicron f2-2.8. This alone is worth all the excitement. There are many weaknesses such as the limited tele capability but the 24mm equivalent wide end is divine.
The lack of any optical view finder is a problem especially in sunlight as I’m very much used to putting the camera in front of my right eye when I take a photo; it’s a way to steady the camera. The use of a Manfrotto
monopod helps but any view finder would have been welcome. At the present time, the optional separate viewfinder that attaches on the hot show is nowhere to be found.
With all these shortcomings, one may ask what’s so special about this gem.
Well it makes you love it, not unlike a dog in a way. It soon becomes almost an indispensable tool. You just want to take it everywhere you go. In short, it makes you want to take pictures.
The results are stunning for any camera. All the extra pixels of other cameras, notwithstanding, the results are great. The color is superb, the lens distortion is almost invisible and the sharpness is incredible. We are talking here printed results and not monitor results that may show, if magnified a lot, some inevitable shortcomings. This is not the perfect camera nor is it the perfect point and shooter. No camera is nor will it ever be. Yet, for what can be achieved this camera breaks new grounds. Pixel peeping is repulsive to me and I avoid it at all cost. I am looking at an image in its totality. We must look at the whole forest not at each tree.
Back to the love affair, so far my enthusiasm has not ebbed; I have the camera for about three weeks and I like it more and more each time I see what it can do.
I’ve been fascinated by point and shooters since I got my Coolpix 990 that started my digital journey. At present I have very advanced SLR’s in both Canon and Nikon flavors. These I use for my business. But for fun, I’ve always tried to get a perfect point and shooter. The Minolta S404 came closest to satisfaction but the others that followed were simply never used. I either traded them or gave them away.
My Canon G9, bought last May, is a good example. Nice camera, relatively good images, a sharp lens, good color and skin tones. But it’s optical viewfinder, because of too much parallax is useless, and it’s almost impossible menu.Two minor annoyances, but what made me fall out of love was it’s unacceptable noise. Sorry, but anything above ISO 100 is too noisy for my taste.
Why cramp all those pixels in such a small sensor is inexplicable. Canon packed even more pixels in the G 10. Totally ridiculous.
With the LX3 what was love at first sight appears to be everlasting love. But with cameras, you never know.
More on the subject later.
All the best
Rocco Galatioto

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Video in DSLR'S

The buzz word today is VIDEO.
Its creating quite a stir on many photo websites and blogs. There is great passion for and against video in a still camera.
Personally, I have no use for video. Many of my cameras have had video but never used it. However, the profession is changing especially in photo journalism and internet reportage. We now have so called "webisodes" and other areas of interest to the younger photographers who really have no attachment to cameras as such. We, and I speak for myself and many like me who began decades ago, have an attachment to cameras as cameras and video cameras as video cameras. there is a wall that keeps the two media separate and it gives us comfort. This is the way we have been functioning all these years and we can not even accept that one day video will be accepted as the norm in a camcorder. Just today, when I saw the new Olympus digital Pen, I became all excited. This reaction to a basically limited camera is really my way at going back to simpler times when a camera looked like a camera. I have Leicas that I no longer use and always lusted over an M8. Sadly the latter is not a very successful design, kind of a works in progress, and it's somewhat overpriced for what it does. You get where I'm coming from.
To the newer photographers without all the nostalgic baggage the inclusion of video is absolutely normal and welcome.
It's the way it is. Camera makers try all they can to get an edge on the competition. At this point in time, Canon has the edge at least on video.
This is reminiscent of the coming of DIGITAL. Many photographers who found this new technology strange, many were computer phobic, were totally against it and prognosticated it's irrelevance and demise. To many wishful thinkers, it would go away; it was only a passing fancy. Well, as they say, the rest is history. The chance was not easy but it had to be made in order to stay relevant and in business.
So,if and when I get the 5DII, I will never use video but my daughter, Jennifer Galatioto,a superb professional photographer,is bugging me to get a 5DII just because of the video.
C'est la vie. All the best and happy shooting.
Please comment.
Rocco Galatioto