Project 52 week 31: polarising filter

A couple of things this week: firstly I have a new camera – a Sony NEX 7. My old camera was a NEX 5 so this is a nice upgrade. I have been looking forward to upgrading for a while and was choosing between a Fuji X-Pro 1 and the NEX 7. In the end I chose the Sony because of the investment I have in a few Sony e-mount lenses. I have only taken a small number of photos so far but there’s nothing like getting out and taking photos in a real world situation to learn a lot about how the camera handles. In the shop where you take your time, have a sales person hovering over you and not much to really take a photo of, you don’t really get a sense of how the camera works with you.

There are some great improvements in handling between the NEX 5 and the NEX 7 along with some major increases in the camera itself and I am really going to like this camera but wow there are a couple of disappointments. The NEX 5 used to cop a lot of criticism for a badly placed video button as users often hit it by mistake and started recording video. When this happens, pressing the stop button doesn’t stop recording straight away and you often end up missing your photo opportunity. This didn’t happen to me all that often but I can see how it would be a nuisance. On the NEX 7 though I am copping the full brunt of this irksome characteristic. For some reason, I constantly seem to knock this button so the ergonomics of it really do not suit me. The other thing I don’t like is for manual focussing the zoom in button is in a ridiculously difficult place to get to and I cannot do it without taking my hand off the focussing ring and usually moving the camera or letting go of the shutter button – a total pain in the butt!.

Secondly, the NEX 7 creates much larger files than the NEX 5 so I have had to do a bit of compressing and resizing which seems to affect the images between what I see in Lightroom and what gets uploaded using the upload feature in WordPress. If I view the original image next to the one in WordPress, the quality of the WordPress image looks noticeably poorer than the original so I hope they don’t look to bad for web-viewing.

Anyway, on to this week’s project. After being shown the difference a polarising filter makes I also bought one of them for my zoom lens and this week’s shot is one taken using that filter. If used correctly it should provide a more vibrant image and I think that is the case with the sky at least in this image. The sky in Central Australia is brilliantly blue anyway so I am not sure how much of an effect this filter had on this shot and I do need to learn how to use it properly. The photo was taken in the Todd River (I am standing in the river bed but it doesn’t flow too often!) at Alice Springs.


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