First Soundtrack Scoring!

Many months ago, I created and scored my first soundtrack for a short film — Day One by Continuity Pictures (Derek Thomas).

Copyright Derek Thomas. Soundtrack by Kenneth Reitz of Infinite State.

The process was quite fun — I never watched the film before scoring — I scored as I watched the film for the first time. This allowed for a very authentic sonic expression for the audience.

I'm very pleased with the results. I believe it's some of my best musical work to date. 

Source: https://vimeo.com/277104968

Sony RX100 Mark 5 Thoughts

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I recently did my first photoshoot (nsfw) with the Panasonic GX850, and realized that it was a little bit too entry–level for serious photography. So, I did a little bit of research and ended up picking up the fantastic Sony RX100 Mark 5, an even smaller camera. My first photoshoot (nsfw) with the Sony proved it to be a superior camera for my needs. 

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It is a "point and shoot", but it offers a level of control that I'm comfortable shooting with (Auto ISO, Aperture Priority mode), so this classification means nothing to me. It's a camera, in every way as much as the Fuijfilm X100F is. 

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I couldn't love this camera more. It's small, compact, has a reasonable lens (which I keep at 24mm most of the time), and a fantastic sensor. Its color reproduction (the aspect the Panasonic was lacking the most) is top–knotch, potentially beating out even my previous Fuijfilm X100F.

It's small enough to easily fit into my pocket, so I always have it with me. Despite reviews to the contrary, I find its battery life to be quite adequate.

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The pop–up viewfinder is my favorite feature of the camera — after shooting without a viewfinder for a while, I realized how essential this tool is for the type of work I prefer to do on the daily.

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The articulating screen is another big plus — as it allows me to view the screen while having the camera above my head, which is something I often try to do while shooting cityscape photography. It also does the opposite, of course, allowing for me to view the screen while the camera is far below my head, close to the ground. Overall, the screen on this camera is just excellent, especially for the price.  

Conclusion

Overall, I'm thrilled with this purchase, and I highly recommend this camera to anyone looking for something small and pocketable.

Shop Sony RX100M5 on Amazon.

Panasonic GX850 Review

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I recently decided to switch cameras (again). This is something I do every few years, out of boredom, mostly, and it always inspires me as a photographer.

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I usually end up switching between Leica and Fujifilm cameras, but this time is different — I decided to pick up my first Micro–Four–Thirds camera — the smallest one on the market. One that’s so small, it even lacks a viewfinder.

I opted for the Olympus 17mm f/1.8 lens, which is the closest thing to my preference of 35mm f/2.0 (on full frame).  

Size Beats All & Inspiration

For me, size is king right now. I want the smallest camera reasonably possible, as I want to carry the body with me everywhere, and every millimeter counts a lot towards the feel of the camera on your body.

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I was very happy with the superior quality and size of the Fujifilm x100F, which I highly recommend to anyone — and while this camera is absolutely a step back in terms of image quality, it holds a candle, and, most importantly, it inspires me — something that, after several years, the Fujifilm no longer was doing.

Creative inspiration is the most important quality a camera can have, and I’m finding it in this novelishly–small Panasonic camera.

Overall Impressions

The 3:4 aspect ratio is a serious downside to this sensor size. Luckily, the camera offers 2:3 cropping for JPEGs, and when importing images from JPEG+RAW mode, Lightroom CC (even on the iPad) automatically applies the crop to the RAW image. So, my GX850 is effectively a 2:3 camera, with some extra vertical pixels to play with if I ever need them.

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I’m impressed with the image quality, given the size and price of the camera. The camera pales in comparison to the Fujifilm x100F, which was to be expected, especially when it comes to things like getting white balance just right, but overall I’m quite happy with its quirks.

The dynamic range of the resulting images are “good enough” to work with, far from excessive, and is taking some getting used to, for more creative work.

The form factor is worth these tradeoffs, in my opinion. There’s also something comforting/humbling about shooting with what’s considered an “entry level” camera when you’re a professional–level shooter.

Life Without a Viewfinder

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So far, life without a viewfinder is quite okay. I was very apprehensive about this, but the portability of the camera (meaning I always have it on me), is easily worth the trade–off of not having a viewfinder. Plus, I have experience with a viewfinder–less system from the Ricoh GR, so I knew what I was getting myself into.

Shooting with a screen has a few unexpected benefits:

  • You’re less noticeable on the street.
  • People don’t consider you a professional when they do notice you, so they don’t mind you snapping a photo, and mostly ignore you.

Most importantly, the screen articulates 180 degrees upwards, for selfies or shooting 4K video of yourself. This is a very fun aspect of the camera that I don’t expect to use often, but I expect that when I need it, it’ll be considered quite useful.

Final Thoughts

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I love this camera. It’s inspiring me to shoot.

That’s something that the fantstic Fujifilm X100F was no longer doing, hence me getting rid of it. I miss it dearly already, but there’s no need to hold on to things that are no longer serving you.

I expect myself to pick up the next iteration of the X100, once it’s released. It’ll likely be time to be re–inspired then :)