Month: June 2010

Media coverage of the fall of Kevin Rudd, PM

I work nearby the Australian Federal Parliament, and I often drive around it as a traffic- and light-free shortcut. On the day of the political death of Kevin Rudd, the Prime Minister of Australia, the media had firmly got hold of the story and was intent on milking it as far as possible, so I joined them for a few minutes. They set up camp on the lawns of Federation Mall on what was a beautiful winter’s day, and the TV reportage orgy began.

And when I saw orgy, I mean orgy. Peter Overton, the Channel 9 News anchorman was flown in – he’s recently departed from 60 Minutes. Karl Stephanovic from the “Today” show, the guy next to Overton whose name I don’t know from another show, Chris Bath, another news anchor was there, and this was at 2 pm when nothing was happening, with no politicians in sight. The imports were all wearing heavy coats. It wasn’t cold for a local.

It was interesting to see the set up used for OB filming – they make efforts to get the light under control:

Here, Chris Bath is standing in direct sun, and they have set up a shade to soften what would otherwise be harsh shadows on her face. There is a tungsten spotlight with barn doors with a blue daylight gel to add some light ready for when the sky darkened later in the day – they were still broadcasting when the politicians emerged in the evening darkness like vampires with Parliament lit up like a Gothic castle as a backdrop. There’s also a reflector ready to add a bit of light as and when the sun was shaded when clouds moved around.

The sheer volume of gear they moved in was eye opening: tents:

satellite trucks:

cameras in abundance:

All in all a circus, to watch the carryings-on of the biggest circus of all…

All of this was shot with an Olympus E-P2 “digital pen” – the media doesn’t understand small cameras. Here is the quality you can pull from this small marvel, even with the ordinary kit zoom lens:

This is a section of the original of the Overton picture cropped out at 750 pixels wide, and quadrupled in area to 1500 pix wide, via Photoshop re-sampling – if I use a better piece of software and sharpen it up it would be spectacular. Now that’s what I need from a P&S camera.


Contré-jour with a P&S

More deliberations from the point & shoot front. I saw this about to happen on the way home tonight, and I actually happened to have a camera in the car, a most unusual event for me these days. A quick grab shot, I could only get one off as the focus is so excruciatingly slow. But, as the old adage goes, any camera is infinitely better than no camera….

Contré jour seems to present few problems to the S1000fd.

Here’s another one to prove the point:

To illustrate the strengths of this small wonder (yes, it is growing on me as I examine the first shots I have taken using it), the next shot is straight out of the camera with zero processing, only re-sized down to fit the blog, to illustrate the quality of the lens and sensor combination- This was shot at 1/400 @ f4, 100 ISO, with the Fujinon 12x zoom lens in its middle range, against the light.

I am impressed. The sensor size on this small marvel is 1/2.3 ” (6.16 x 4.62 mm, 0.28 cm²), boasts 10 million pixels, and has a pixel density of 35 MP/cm². My Canon 5D (12.8 million pixels, 15.2 cm² sensor) has a density of 0.842 MP/cm². They always say that Fuji is able to do special things with such a tiny sensor size. and now I can see why.

The final image is a portrait of this tiny, complex marvel – compare the size against my hand – remember, it sports a massive, complex 12x f2.8 zoom lens. Some reviews are critical because this camera doesn’t sport image stabilisation, yes a pity, but it’s not the end of the world and doesn’t mean this is no good – you just have to be a little more thoughtful when taking a shot, and that’s never a bad thing.