While the novices were nursing headaches* the pros were at it for the first big party of the year!

* – if you were one of those people don’t fret! Next one is already locked and loaded for Jan. 25th, Australia Day eve.

Dame Reggaeton photos here

Brooklyn Markets

Like a lot of NYC, if you look beyond the stereotypes you’ll find tight knit communities and lavish culture in the most unexpected places. A prime example of this is the Brooklyn flea markets. Catch the Coney Island subway to Flatbush Av. Station. (side note: Coney Island wasn’t on our list of destinations as it was in the middle of a be refurb scheduled to reopen towards the end of 2010)
The markets are held every weekend, out doors on Saturdays at Fort Greene and Sundays at the multi-level lush (ex-bank, complete with vault) space of Skylight One Hanson. During the cooler months they stay completely in doors at Skylight One Hanson.

Forget the thought of bootleg clothing, loud rap music and hawkers trying to hustle you for your dollars, think of it more like a combination of the Southbank and New Farm park markets (in Brisbane). It’s a huge blend of antiques, repurposed furniture, vintage clothing, collectibles, jewellery, art and crafts and designer items. It even has its own fresh food and food court areas with plenty of free taste testing. Check the website to view vendor layout on the Friday prior. Depending on your tastes, seeing the whole indoor venue may only take you a couple hours.

Sticking with the grown up theme on the day, we caught a bus down Flatbush Av. to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens (note: they are on your left heading south. Easily confused (until after 15min of walking and not seeing any exotic plants) with the normal park on the right hand side). Entering the southern entrance, after the $12 fee, its instantly another world. Peaceful, quiet.

The best thing about fully fledged botanical gardens is there are always flowers in bloom all year round. Being the end of winter, we were treated to a field of Cherry Blossoms. Remember these only flower for a couple weeks a year, so if you plan on seeing them, time your trip accordingly. The Aquatic House houses a pond and a rainforest area with tropical type plants that thrive in humid conditions, like orchids. The Bonsai Museum is right next door with many of the tiny guys over decades old.

Further along there are collections of Magnolia’s and Daffodils leading to the Japanese pond and garden feature. Roses, Lilacs, Tulips and Pansies round out the top section of the gardens.

Back to the real world, Flatbush Av. is one of the “main drags” of Brooklyn so there are plenty of shops to venture into. You may, like us, wonder how some of the smaller stores stay open with the poor quality of their service and stand over tactics, we figured it was just their charm.

Speaking of shopping, we round off our holiday with one last bash at the Manhattan stores!

New York City 2010 part #1 – The flight in…
New York City part #2 – Shopping: Midtown
New York City part #3 – Bronx Zoo
New York City part #4 – Sight seeing – Manhattan
New York City part #6 – Shopping: Soho

New York City photo gallery here
Complete Brooklyn Botanical Gardens photos here

Promotional material shoot for local breakbeat producers, Sangers and Ra.
For music, bookings and info see: http://www.myspace.com/sangersandra

Sangers and Ra photos here

You thought too much egg nog and boisterous partying meant we’d forget our 3D World‘s Social Club features? Not a chance! Continuing our Laruche – bar and supperclub run of shoots we have veteran house maestro Jason Rouse in issue #1042 and local activist and the power fighter, Zach Salar in issue #1043.

Get it FREE from all the usual street press outlets or read it online @ 3D world magazine – Brisbane

For the uninitiated, its not a whole festival dedicated to Kesha (no I’m not typing the S as a $) it’s actually Brisbane’s seminal breakbeat festival!

Second year in and they’re already on the expansion with more stages and an even bigger lineup. Highlight was definitely Beardyman with many notable mentions like Freq Nasty, Freestylers, Cuban Brothers and Soul of Man added to a day of great music and friendly faces.
Best of all the dismal weather of late held off for pretty much the whole day!

Blah blah blah Festival 2010 photos here

Well I don’t know about anyone else but I’ve been waiting close on 2 years for this to happen, ie. The next generation of high end compacts from Nikon. After a lacklusture attempt and a subsequent beating from Canon, its finally here, the Nikon P7000.

Rewind a couple years and you have the P6000, compared to the Canon G10 equivalent of the time it struggled, especially in the noise handling department, but generally it felt like a rushed release and barely made a dent in Canon’s hold. Even dedicated Nikon enthusiasts like Dave Hobby raved about the G10 and subsequently converted.

But like they say, good things come to those who wait, and I must say, not a moment too soon. Earlier in year we travelled to Tokyo, Los Angeles and New York City, while the DSLR came in handy at scenic locations and the zoo with a 300mm, generally it was more a burden than a benefit. Especially on those dedicated shopping days spent mostly in doors, where you’re spending more time reaching for your wallet than your camera. There is also the issue of whipping out a DSLR that gets you unfavourable attention in some stores or neighbourhoods. This would have to be my main reason for going compact, something suitable for lightweight travel/everyday use and a lot less conspicuous.

The other reasons would be having an emergency back up for my DSLR thanks to the hotshoe and a macro mode with a crazy 2cm minimum focus distance. More on these features in a bit.

So, to the camera itself. This will not be a detailed technical review of the functions etc. there are plenty of those online, just let your fingers to the walking. This will be more about practicality, everyday use and why I think it’s the bee’s knees 🙂

Firstly, local stock has been available for at least a couple months now. Major chains like Ted’s are retailing them for around $700 (camera only at time of writing), if you don’t mind a bit of gray marketing you can find them online for around $600 (usually including a memory card and a couple other bits like a screen protector, mini tripod etc). You don’t get any form of a case (not even one of those thin microfiber sunglasses style ones) with the camera so the first thing to do would be to have a look at the Lowepro or Tamrac range. Thanks to the popularity of the Canon G series, Tamrac has a case that fits the P7000 perfectly, model # 5689. These are available from CR Kennedy in Albion (Brisbane), have a chat to Brad there, mention us and you might even get a good deal depending on if he’s had his pub lunch yet or not 😉 either way you wont be paying the high prices found on ebay.

So it fits the same case as a Canon G series, but the similarities don’t stop there, side by side at a glance you’d be forgiven in mistaking it as the soon to be released G12 or one of its older brothers.

The palm foot print is probably at the limit for a compact at a size similar to an iphone. You can still get it into the back pocket of your pants but in general you’re better off with a case, a bag to throw it in or using the included neck strap.

The upside to the extra bulk is you’re never mistaken of its presence in your hand, which helps when coming down from a DSLR.

Performance – put simply, for a compact it’s top notch. I liken it rather closely to the handling of my old Nikon D80. Does 800 ISO quite casually but after that it gets the wobbles, though 1600 is still more than usable, which is a huge step up from the usual camera phoning at ISO 400 for most other point and shoots. Start up time is almost instant and there is only a minor delay between shots while the image is saved.

Here is an example straight out of the camera (apart from resizing):

Auto mode: ISO 1600 f4.5 1/60

100% crop

One thing I have missed while owning a DSLR, and something a lot of compacts can actually do quite well is macro shooting. A dedicated macro lens was next on the list but it lost out to the P7000. Where the P7k stands out from the others is its crazy minimum focus distance of a “yep, that’s going to bite me for sure” closeness of 2cm.

I’ve yet to roam my house looking for (un)expecting insects but here are some common items. Manual focus helps with composition but like any macro photography, a tripod helps alot, specially in shadow areas to keep the shutter speed down instead of pushing the ISO up.

Some macro mode examples straight out of the camera:

Samsung e500 (actual size approx ¾ of a business/credit card)
Macro mode, ISO 1600 f3.2 1/25

Sony MDR EX91 (wow, they really are dirty!)
Macro mode, ISO 1600 f3.2 1/25

100% crop
Macro mode, ISO 800 f3.2 1/55

100% crop
Macro mode, ISO 1600 f3.2 1/125

Macro mode with onboard auto flash
ISO 200 f6.3 1/30

Speaking of the flash, it is what it is, small and harsh. Thankfully the hotshoe takes any modern (re: digital) Nikon speedlight which, just like on a DSLR, instantly changes the look of the photo either by coverage or the ability to bounce (example below). The drawback of course being it becomes very top heavy, even with the baby of the range, the sb600 gives it an uneasy off balance feeling, but that doesn’t matter too much if you’re using a sync cable or remote trigger. Shame they didn’t build in CLS (wireless remote triggering and control), that would’ve been a nifty feature.

Simple bounced flash shot off white ceiling with SB600 speedlight

Video function is another thing I’ve been missing from my arsenal, not necessarily award winning stuff but a quick live summary of an event or mental note that a couple still frames just cant capture is a definite bonus. Like alot of cameras/phones with video modes, quick panning is a bit poor but otherwise more than usable for everyday footage.

The included View NX2 software is pretty standard, the video editing feature allows a simple story board with a small selection of transitions and the ability to add stills and audio. No overlaying, speed of play control or advanced editing but enough there to throw together a montage of little Timmy’s birthday party.

All in all, it is what it is, a high end camera for those down grading from a DSLR. If you’re upgrading, keep on cruising, you only need to spend about $100 more to get yourself a full blown DSLR like the Nikon D3000. Body is still quite small for a DSLR and of course you get a nice big APS-C sensor (as opposed to the 1/1.7″ of the P7K).

12.25.2010

Hope you’ve all been good or at least good at it 😉 Santa will no doubt be rockin the Gortex tonight, hopefully the pressies don’t get too damp!

Here’s a couple quick photos from us with a couple of our Xmas friends up to mischief!

Some (mostly women) say he’s dreamy, personally I don’t see it, but there’s no arguing his ability to take everyday things and super soppying them up to melt hearts. With help from Teagan and Sara and Ash Grunwald, epic finger tapping and swaying was had by all.

Jack Johnson @ Riverstage photos here

Mad turntable scientist and gadget geek, Nikk C drops in this week for 3D World‘s Social Club chat at Laruche – bar and supperclub. Read about his exploits in issue #1041.

Get it FREE from all the usual street press outlets or read it online @ 3D world magazine – Brisbane

12.16.2010

The boys are definitely getting on a bit but they’re still full of piss and vinegar and can still pack a heavy metal punch.

We were too busy banging heads and losing shoes in the audience to be on official duties but here are a few photos from the outer bounds of the sweat drenched circle pit.

Korn @ The Tivoli photos here

« Previous PageNext Page »