A new phone and a haircut.

Whats a haircut got to do with a phone?

Last week while on a job site some lowlife broke into my vehicle and stole my Samsung S6 which I had been planning to buy off the company I work for. By pure serendipity I had been viewing phone models that same morning, with the intention of replacing my wife’s failing ACE 3 from Samsung. It had come down to two phones the slightly higher specced Galaxy J5 Pro or the more modest Galaxy J3 Pro.

Samsung Galaxy J3 Pro

To replace my S6 I went with the J3 Pro, as I didnt want to invest too much in what is essentially a “work” phone. I was concerned that the lower spec would show up in the performance area but I need not have been concerned. The speed of operation is almost as fast as the S6 and being newer than the S6 does seem to exhibit some faster performance in certain operations, not that the S6 was slow by any means. So I’m well pleased with all the essential tasks being performed very nicely. Bear in mind that while modest games can be played on this phone, for the bleeding edge stuff such as 4k video or high end gaming you would need to look elsewhere.

The phone comes equipped with a 5Mp front facing camera and a 13 Mp f1.9 rear camera. Sadly no image stabilisation, which could be a problem when shooting video ( not tested yet ) but seemed to be of little real issue when taking photos in part due to the fast f1.9 lens.

The camera did tend to hunt a little for focus on occasion but when you set the focus point you want it had no difficulty and for the most part didnt have an issue with focus in general. All of the images shown below are taken inside my favourite Hairdresser,  The Barber Shop,  Arawata Street, Te Awamutu. The internal lighting is Neon Tube and the camera had no issue with the white balance. I never changed any setting on the camera and shot straight out of the box, much as what most people would do with their phone.

The results were pretty good, images were sharp, colour balance is good and the focus was good with only a very small shutter release delay, certainly no worse than my S6 in this regard. One of the outstanding things I noted with this camera was its ability to shoot in these conditions at extremely low ISO with none of the images below being over ISO 80 and some as low as ISO 40. Thats an outstanding performance from a phone camera and bodes well for low light shooting which I will report back on once I have had more time to use this phone.

Note all images below are straight out of the camera with no post processing applied. I have tried a couple of edits for shadows on some of the darker images but there is not very much headroom in the files to recover shadows, so it will be a what you see is what you get type of output. I did note that the camera was set in HDR mode and it seems to be pretty good at retaining highlights but does seem to struggle with some of the denser shadow areas, but in general the output is certainly good enough for small/medium prints and for internet use. When viewed at full resolution you can see that the images dont hold up so well. I would be inclined to resize the images to a smaller format to maintain better image structure. Jpegs are  easy to do this to moreso that some file types. I dont think I would print anything larger than A4, but that should still provide a decent print.

My thanks to the lovely lady who owns and operates this barbershop. I’m pretty sure she wasn’t expecting to be the centre of focus for one of my blog posts. For a relaxed haircut and a chat, I cant think of anyone more obliging ( or tolerant for allowing me to do this ).

As always click the images for a larger size.



Easter Expedition .. Pt.3

Images from the  Fuji HS20EXR And the Samsung S6

This next series of images is from the FujiFilm HS20EXR.  These images are all unedited and straight from the camera. Shot as Jpegs, using in camera settings that work with the cameras output, there is very little post processing required.

The images are shot as what you see is what you get, with only slight adjustments in Ev depending upon lighting. In most cases the camera got it right although some highlights were a little blown on a couple of images. In comparison to the Canon however the images lack the broader Dynamic Range of the larger sensor in the 1000d. All in all the HS20 acquitted itself well, considering that the Image stabilisation isn’t all that reliable after my having dropped the camera some time ago.


Images from the Samsung S6

I didnt use the S6 much as we had enough to do with the other three cameras, but the few images I did manage with the smartphone certainly dont lack for punch and colour. It easily rivals the HS20, and in some cases beats the image quality of the HS20 as well. The advantage in  favour of the HS20 is the amount of zoom where as the fixed focal length lens of the S6 is all you have, although you can use digital zoom when taking the S6 shots, its not pretty and I cant recommend using it.

The last in the series will be the processed scans from the 35 mm Pentax MZ-6 which are still a few days away as I’m still looking for suitable subjects for the last few exposures.



Easter Expedition..Pt.2

Following on from the B & W edits from the Canon are the colour images. In general I think the colour isn’t too bad. These were all edited from the RAW files. I’ve never been a fan of Canon colour especially in their Jpeg output but the colour from the RAW file edits isn’t too bad.

While not in the same class as the colour imagery from Fuji cameras it isn’t the worst I’ve seen. Bearing in mind that the 1000d is a ten year old entry level DSLR  I’m happy with these images. It is evident looking at the Fuji HS20 jpegs ( I dont shoot raw on this camera) that the jpegs have a definite colour and contrast punch thats not in the Canon files. More tellingly though was how much highlight loss the Fuji was showing even when being shot in EXR DR mode with Auto DR used. There’s considerably more highlight clipping in some images. Fortunately most can be cropped out at least partially.

Below are the edits I have done, in colour, from the Canon Raw files. I shot RAW+jpeg but in almost all cases I deleted the jpegs and processed the RAW images. As with Part.1 each image will take you to the full sized file.


Easter expedition …Pt.1

This Easter Sunday saw us at the Glen Afton Line open day. This small Bush Railway is a great chance to view and ride on some of the less well known work horses of yesteryear. There are several Heritage Rail clubs and societies dotted around New Zealand and most offer an interesting day out.

I will be going back in winter to get more images as there was simply too much to see and too many people for us to contend with this day.

We took four cameras with us, the Canon 1000d, Pentax MZ-6, Fujifilm HS20 EXR, and the good old Samsung S6.  The film images will be a couple of weeks away as I haven’t finished the roll of film  in the camera, 22 images taken on the day but theres another 14 to use yet.

All the digital cameras did well, the DSLR moreso but the HS20 was still up to the challenge and I got some images I wasn’t expecting from the HS20.

I have edited the first batch of images and these are from the Canon and are a mixture of black and white edits and colour. In some cases the same image was edited both B&W and colour primarily because they lent themselves to such treatment.

As always click each of the thumbnails for a full resolution image. Use F11 in your browser to go full-screen. Some of the images look the same but are either different focal lengths  or different edits of the same image. Part 2 will contain the Canon colour images.