Thursday, 12 January 2012

CAMERA FOUND: Can you help trace the owner??

This morning, I got up very early to do some timelapse photography of St. Paul's Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge, on the South Bank, in London, UK.  As the tide was on its way out, I was able to go down to the shoreline.

I found a compact camera, caked in mud, which had presumably been revealed by the tide going out that morning.  It looked a little something like:

It's a Canon PowerShot SX230 HS, and was inside a 'Go Canada' red bag.  Neither were water/mud proof, I'm afraid. 

After a bit of a clean-up, I was able to open the memory card holder and load-up the photos (well done Sandisk!!), in the hope of identifying the owner.  And success - it seems clear this is who it belongs to:

He also has another shot, helpfully showing him holding-up his Boarding Pass to the camera, so I also know his name: REID JANNSEN.  And that he came in on an Air Canada flight from Toronto on 8th Jan.  From the photos, as the last one is of him near the Millennium Bridge, I can only assume he dropped it there a couple of days ago.

I would be amazed if the camera works again (it's drying out at the moment before I try it), but would be delighted to return it, with the memory card to Reid if we can track him down!

I will e-mail Air Canada to see if they can help out, but otherwise it's over to the power of social media to try and track him down!!!

***UPDATE 1*** - Air Canada have tracked him down and e-mailed, so there's a chance for a reunion... 

***UPDATE 2*** - It turns out the photos of Reid were taken by the camera owner, his Aunt.  She kindly e-mailed me once Air Canada tracked her down and passed my details on.  This evening, I was then able to drop the camera off at their hotel... and have just had an e-mail confirming that they've got the camera back!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Sigma News: APO MACRO 180mm F2.8 launched

Sigma have launched a new telephoto lens for macro photographers, the Sigma APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM.

Key features are:

  • Magnification ratio of 1:1
  • Large maximum aperture of F2.8
  • Rounded 9 blade diaphragm
  • OS (Optical Stabiliser) system, equivalent to four stops
  • Focusing distance of 47cm/18.5in for 1:1 magnification (helpfully long for insects)
More details here.

Fujifilm News: X-Pro1 Camera Launched

I wasn't expecting to ever write about a new camera from Fujifilm, but this one is sure to create a few waves - the new Fujifilm X-Pro1, with high-quality retro design and RAW file support.

Here's a copy of their promotional video which should give you an idea about how it looks (hopefully they diverted the money they saved on producing the music to put into the camera R&D):

The redundancy of optical low-pass filters by using their new X-Trans CMOS sensor will allegedly create a step-change improvement in image quality, so we'll no doubt find out soon in real-world tests if that's the case.  Refreshing at least to see some real innovation, rather than incremental tweaks to maintain revenue shares, something which certain other complacent manufacturers have been guilty of...

More details here.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Canon News: Powershot G1 X Launched

Today, Canon launched an upgrade to the Powershot G12, with the G1 X.  Not just an evolution, it's being pitched as more of a revolution, with a significantly increased sensor size. 

Here's a video which describes the camera in some detail:

Features include:

  • Large 14.3 MP CMOS, DIGIC 5, HS System
  • Compact 4x zoom; Intelligent IS
  • 7.5 cm (3.0”) vari-angle LCD; OVF
  • Full Manual, RAW, DPP
  • Full HD, HDMI
  • High-speed Burst HQ
  • Smart Auto
  • Extensive accessories
  • HDR mode and ND filter
  • Optional 40m waterproof case 
More details available from here.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Out with my camera... WWT London (Barnes)

To-date, my blog has mainly focused on my (relative lack of) success in microstock photography, as well as updates on significant new gear which has been launched.  Obviously, the most significant part of photography is actually being 'out there' taking shots, so I thought I'd share updates on this.  Even if nobody else reads it, it serves as a bit of a diary for my own use!

Although I'm a member of the Wetlands Trust, I don't often make it down to WWT London (Barnes), but fancied a jaunt yesterday, so gave it a go.  Optimistically, I'd set myself up for a fall by tweeting at @UK_Richard that I'd like to see Bittern and Lesser Redpolls.

For those haven't visited yet, the London Wetlands Centre is well worth a visit, as it's a bit of an oasis, only 19 minutes by train from Waterloo (then a walk from Barnes station).  The site looks a little something like:

It's very well setup for kids and there are loads of areas with wetland species from around the world to which you can get really close.

For seeing wild birds, there are several hides dotted around the site, with the Peacock Tower offering a 'birds-eye view'.
The reality of doing bird photography from the hides is that you're likely to need either a huge amount of luck, and/or a very high magnification telephoto lens in order to get cracking photos.  It's still worthwhile going of course, especially if you see something for the first time - binoculars will help you find something.  (The other top tip is to listen... not just to the birds calling, but others in the hide, who are usually more than happy to share what they've found!)

Yesterday, I was pretty lucky with sightings - two bitterns (one flying, both a long way away), a Jack Snipe (through someone's telescope), a Water Rail (directly below the Peacock Tower), a brief Peregrine Falcon and eventually some Redpolls.  I also got a shot of a Little Grebe.

Nikon News: AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G Lens Launched

Nikon have launched a new lens, the AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G:

 More details here

Nikon News: Top-of-the-range D4 DSLR launched

Following Canon's recent announcement of the flagship Canon 1D-X, Nikon are fighting back with their new Nikon D4:

With arguably only incremental improvements for the stills photographer, Nikon have improved the video specifications significantly:

  • 16.2 megapixel FX-format (full-frame) CMOS sensor with fast channel readout and up to 11 fps consecutive shooting in FX-format.
  • ISO 100–12800: extendable up to 204,800 (equivalent) and down to 50 (equivalent). High signal-to-noise ratio and wide dynamic range.
  • Multi-area format D-Movie: records Full HD (1080p) movies in FX- and DX-format, as well as in native Full HD (1920x1080) crop. Offers uncompressed full-resolution HDMI output to external devices.
  • Newly developed, highly durable Kevlar/carbon fiber-composite shutter unit: standard life cycle rating of 400,000 releases, with a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000 to 30s and flash synchronization at up to 1/250 sec.
  • Multi-CAM3500FX 51-point AF system: individually selectable or configurable in 9-point, 21-point and 51-point coverage settings. Sensitive down to -2 EV (ISO 100, 20°C/68°F).
  • EXPEED 3 image processing engine with 14-bit A/D conversion and 16-bit image processing for superb tonal gradation.
  • 8 cm (3.2-in.), 922k-dot LCD monitor with auto brightness control. Anti-reflective with wide color reproduction.
  • 3D Color Matrix Metering III: 91k pixel AE AF sensor with full-time face recognition.
  • 100% viewfinder coverage and three Crop Modes: 5:4, 1.2x and DX-format. With viewfinder masking.
  • Movie frame rates: offers 30p, 25p and 24p and a max recording time of approx. 20 minutes.
  • High-fidelity audio control: features a stereo microphone input and an audio out for external headphones, which lets you fine tune audio in isolation both before and during recording. A line input setting for PCM linear recorders is also provided.
  • Storage media: two card slots. One for high-speed CF (UDMA 7) cards and one for high-speed, high-capacity XQD card slots.
  • Wireless LAN and Ethernet support via optional Wireless Transmitter WT-4 or the newly designed compact Wireless Transmitter WT-5.
For UK buyers, it's pre-launch price is £4800 (which compares favourably to the Canon 1D-X at £5,300, which ones assumes will now come down slightly).

More details here