2016 marked the 15-year anniversary of the Austin City Limits music festival and the tenth straight year I’ve aimed a camera at its stages. It also marks a time when music festivals saturate the summer landscape and the big productions like Coachella, Lollapalooza and ACL are competing with smaller, curated festivals that cater to focused genres. With all that competition, ACL continues to maintain its relevance, although not always through the music. The 2016 lineup was popular and varied enough to appeal to the wide demographic that attended, but the soul of ACL Fest is increasingly expressed by the fans themselves.
These are exciting times for fans of legacy film lenses. Since the advent of mirrorless technology, photographers have adapted their old rangefinder and manual focus SLR lenses, but there have remained some wonderful optics that were for the most part, off limits. During the 1990s, camera makers were producing high end film compacts for discriminating professionals and enthusiasts. Cameras like the Leica Minilux, Contax T3, Konica Hexar AF and the Ricoh GR fit in a jacket pocket but rival the quality of larger SLR or rangefinder systems. While they continue to be used today by film aficionados, it is a sad day when they suffer from an electronics failure that can no longer be repaired.
When mirrorless first emerged on the market back in 2008 with the Panasonic DMC-G1 – not counting the earlier and more esoteric rangefinders from Epson and Leica – the concept of a smaller camera performing at the level of a dSLR was quite foreign to photographers and if we are fair, still a few years off. As Olympus, Fuji, Leica, Ricoh, Pentax, Sony and eventually even Canon and Nikon jumped into the nascent format, all the early systems were small, with lenses that matched the diminutive bodies. Those early systems like the Olympus Pen, the Sony NEX and the Ricoh GXR were a revelation to photographers sick of the ever expanding waistline of their dSLR kits.
Over the past few years Sony has disrupted the DSLR industry with their full frame a7 mirrorless line, but the camera that started it all was the original RX1. Regular readers will know that I’m a longtime user of the Sony RX1, – I’ve written about my extensive history with the original here on the blog. Even with the excellent a7 bodies in my bag, I still prefer the concept of a compact, FF camera to have by my side for those definitive moments. Since its release in 2012, the RX1 has been labeled a modern classic – a full frame compact that you could use as your main tool without compromise. But technology moves fast and today there is competition in the space from both the Leica Q and the just released update to the RX1, the RX1RII.
Click through for thoughts on how the Q stacks up to the Sony cameras.
Celebrating its ten year anniversary, FFF Fest proved yet again why it is one of the best festivals in the nation. With headliners such as Jane’s Addiction, performing their 90s classic Ritual de lo Habitual in its entirety, and a resurgent Ms Lauren Hill topping Sunday night in a big way, FFF provides the alternative to overgrown festivals recycling the same lineup of whatever acts are on tour.
Mammoth gallery of all three days after the jump.
Didn’t get much time to explore NYC this weekend during the Photo Plus Expo but I was able to grab a few shots on my mundane walk from the hotel to the Javitz Center. Even on the 10-minute stroll you could feel the energy of this city. I’ll be back.
Peep the small gallery after the jump… Read More
Been sitting on this news for a while but today, I’m proud to share my association with the Sony Artisans of Imagery program. The latest issue of Sony Alpha Universe Magazine just dropped, featuring an interview with me about SXSW and their new lenses.