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Night Photography

Video from Singapore F1 Grand Prix Sony A77 DSLR Test

In my recent three part blog on my trip to Singapore  I talked about the video mode on the camera, I have edited up some footage from the trip link is below.


Singapore F1 Grand Prix & Sony A77 DSLR Review – Part 3

Sony A77 with 70-200mm - 1/320 sec @f5.6

Now to complete the last part of my three part report from the Sony Singapore Test Trip

Here is the rest of the images I shot from Turn 5, the spot allowed you to shoot the head on and three quarter images, like I showed you in part 2 and the one above.

Sony A77 with 70-200mm - 1/100 sec @f2.8

The spot also allowed you to shoot a nice pan shot of the cars as they came out of the corner.

Cars are moving very fast through here and it was a short window of opportunity but when you got it right they came out so well.

Sony A77 with 70-200mm - 1/30 @f3.2

There were some really big lanterns on the other side of the track that made for a great background blur in some of the shots.

Sony A77 with 70-200mm - 1/100 sec @f2.8

There was so much light being pumped out at the track that all of these image were shot at around 100 iso, great to work with for a night event, but no challenge for the Sony which has great iso all the way through its range.

Even the F1 Photographers thought the spot was good

Sony A77 with 70-200mm - 1/400 sec @f5.6

Sony A77 with 70-200mm - 1/800 @f2.8

At the other end of the scale, with a fast enough shutter speed you could actually capture some good close up’s of the driver in the car.

At the end of the race and after the podium presentation we managed to get on to the track to have a quick walk around and to take the obligatory photo standing on the track.

Crowds out on track after race

Me standing on the main straight after the race

Crowds walk down the main straight after the race

Close up of the track surface

For the final day there was a few more sights to see to test the camera on.

First stop was the Equinox Restaurant at the Swissotel, which had an awesome view back out over Singapore.

View from Equinox Restaurant at the Swissotel

View from Equinox Restaurant at the Swissotel

Boat on the Singapore River shot using miniature mode

Boats on the Singapore River shot with toy camera effect

I also used this situation to test out all of the different picture effect’s built into the camera, which you can see in the video below.

Final stop on our last night was the Marina Bay Sands Casino Complex where we can try the camera at dusk and at night.

Inside the Marina Bay Casino Shopping Area

The Marina Bay Sands even has its own little canal

Outside looking back across to Singapore skyline

Sweep panorama of the skyline

A bride and groom walk along the outside boardwalk

The Marina Bay Sands Sky Park Bar

The Marina Bay Sky Park Bar

The view of the Singapore skyline from the Marina Bay Sands Sky Park

The view of the Singapore skyline from the Marina Bay Sands Sky Park

Looking back down at the Singapore Flyer and behind that the F1 GP Pit Area

Sweep Panorama at night from Marina Bay Sands Sky Deck

Miniature mode shot looking down at foot bridge below

This was the end of our trip as the next day we flew back to Australia.

There are more shots from trip in a gallery here, as I haven’t posted them all up in my blog.

So to finish up and complete my review of the camera.

It is an awesome camera, with fantastic features, a huge sensor, really good battery life and really high quality video. (I will post up my video shot with this camera when I have finished the edit, keep an eye of for that post)

For someone that is wanting to get into Motorsport Photography, this camera is perfect.

With the high frame rate, autofocus and focus tracking. And when fitted with either the 70-200mm f2.8 or the 70-400mm F4-5.6 and used with the smart teleconverter it is a powerful kit to use at the track.

For the Landscape/Travel photographer the A77 is an extremely good value for money camera as I don’t know many other camera’s that are under $2k that have a 24mpx sensor and these sort of features and is so easy to travel with.

Also the files that come of the camera, even the JPG’s,  are so good that the images need very little work in photoshop and are virtually read to go out of camera.

The only area where I didn’t really get to try the camera was working with skin tones and portraits, hopefully I may be able to get another unit to try from Sony.

Finally thanks must go to Sony Australia for allowing me to be part of this fantastic trip and to be able to have this opportunity to test this camera ahead of its Australian release, and in particular to Jamie Wong for being a great host to us all whilst in Singapore.

Singapore F1 Grand Prix & Sony A77 DSLR Review – Part 2

After Part 1 yesterday, today I present Part 2 of my Review & Report from my recent Singapore Trip.

F1 Paddock Entrance at Singapore GP

After we finished testing the camera’s at Sentosa Island, we headed back to the track to check out the famous Singapore Flyer

Looking back down from the Singapore Flyer

Looking out to capsules on the Singapore Flyer

Looking out at Marina Bay Sands Hotel & Casino

Looking down at Pit Area using Miniature Mode

Looking back down at Main Straight using Miniature mode

Next subject up for camera testing on, was the famous 80’s Pop Star Rick Astley.

He was one of many artists performing free concerts at the track each day.

Rick Astley performing on stage

This was a great way to try out the flexible articulating screen which uses a swivel-and-tilt joint, that is itself affixed to an arm that folds out from the back of the camera.

As you can hold the camera easily above your head and the crowd to capture the action.

The other great feature which I found useful when shooting Mr Astley was the smart teleconverter button, which activates a 1.4x or 2x digital zoom.

Rick Astley Performing – shot at 200mm – no converter

Rick Astley Performing – shot at 200mm – with 2x digital converter

So as you can see it does a great job of being able to extend the reach of the lens you are using.

The only downside with using it is that it drops the resolution down by about half, but considering the size of the sensor you still end up with a useable sized file to work with.

For the F1 action we headed to Turn 5, which again was a popular spot with the amateur photographers.

Local photographers at Turn 5

I could see why as it was great for shots.

Sony A77 with 70-200mm, shot at 1/640 @f5.6

Sony A77 with 70-200mm, shot at 1/640 @f5.6

Sony A77 with 70-200mm, shot at 1/1250 @f5.6

So ends part 2, be sure to check back in tomorrow morning for the 3rd and final part to my report.

Singapore F1 Grand Prix & Sony A77 DSLR Review – Part 1

Sony A77 with 70-200mm Shot at 1/100 @f2.8

Singapore (also called the Lion City), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, 137 kilometres (85 mi) north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia’s Riau Islands by the Singapore Strait to its south.  As described by

For me it was a place I had always wanted to visit, so when I was asked by Sony to visit and test a new camera, I jumped at the opportunity.

The best part was that our visit was going to coincide with the Singapore F1 GP, which I found out later we had great grandstand seats for.

The camera we were going to test was the brand new Sony A77 DSLR.

On paper the Sony A77 is a very well featured camera.

At its heart is a 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor, which produces 60 megabyte JPG’s

Some of the other interesting numbers are:

  • 12fps full-resolution shooting and the high resolution EVF.
  • 19-point AF sensor
  • 1080p60 movies with autofocus,
  • 1/8000th maximum shutter speed, shutter rated for 150,000 actuations
  • ISO 100 – 16,000
  • Pull-out three-hinge tilt/swivel 920k dot LCD screen
  • Built-in GPS
  • Stereo microphone and external mic socket
  • Dust shake sensor cleaning
  • Image Stabiliser built in the body
To read more click through the link below

Sony & Singapore F1 Grand Prix

I do love my job as a Photographer and sometimes there are pretty amazing perks that come with it.

Currently I am waiting at Sydney International Airport, to fly to Singapore to attend the Formula 1 Grand Prix this weekend

Heading thru to Customs at Sydney International Airport

I have been asked by Sony Australia to be involved in testing their brand new Sony A77 Digital SLR Camera, seen below

This new model features translucent mirror technology, a 24.3 megapixels sensor with up to 12fps AF-enabled continuous shooting.

So what better to test on than a Formula 1 Grand Prix Car !!!

So off we head tonight to Singapore to take lots of photos and video’s (yep new A77 features 1080 video) to test how the camera performs.

Keep an eye out for full blog post with images and video once I am back next week

Phill’s UK Mini Shoot

Mini Coopers have always been of interest to me. My Father owned one when he was young and always talked about them to me and my brother since we were old enough to talk about cars.
So when a UK picture agency (Car & Bike Photo Library) contacted me wanting images for a couple of UK Mini calendars I jumped at the project.

First thing was to do some scouting to find some calendar worthy cars. So word was put thru the many car contacts I have in Victoria. I found my first subject an early model red Mini Cooper with a full UK/GB livery. It had the Union Jack on its roof, GB mini plates and GB stickers on its rear. Being summer the light in the early evening is great to work with so I planned the shoot for around 6pm.

The owner of the car lived down the Peninsula so I planned the shoot for that area. I had a couple of spots already picked out. First stop was an old building up on the hills over looking the bay. It had an old English feel so it made for a nice classic image with the Mini in front.

Nikon D2x – 70-200mm F2.8 – 1/90 f4.8 – 100iso
Nikon D2x – 70-200mm F2.8 – 1/80 f4.5 – 100iso
From there we headed down to the marina in Mornington. I had used this spot before, about a year ago for a group shot and thought it could have potential. Here is a selection of shots from the shoot.
Nikon D2x – 70-200mm F2.8 – 1/20 f11 – 100iso. Nikon SB800 flash’s in CLS mode.
Set up for the above shot, using 3 SB800’s set for Nikon CLS mode, and using a 4th Nikon SB800 as a master unit.
Nikon D2x – 70-200mm F2.8 – 20sec f11 – 100iso
Then hand lite using Nikon SB800 in TTL mode and test fire button

Picture of the Day from my Archive – Aston Martin

Aston Martin DB9