Ultra Buenos Aires
February 20 & 21, 2015
Full album HERE!
Ultra Buenos Aires
February 20 & 21, 2015
Full album HERE!
The 2015 Ultra Music Festival season starts in South Africa!
FULL SET (101 PHOTOS) ➡ HERE!
Cape Town, February 13th and
Johannesburg on February 14th.
The 2014 edition of Sunburn Festival Goa – the largest dance festival in Asia.
Vagator,Goa (India), December 27-30
For full album, click here
A little while ago Canon HQ in the Netherlands asked me if I wanted to give their brand new 7D mkii (7D2) camera a spin. Even though this cameras is more or less aimed at nature- and sports photographers, I liked the idea of testing it out of it’s comfort zone so I happily said ‘yes’!
The original 7D was launched 6 years ago and turned out to be an incredibly successful camera for Canon. But what was then cutting-edge technology, really needed an upgrade and so the new version (mkii) was announced last September. The 1.6 cropfacor remained (means it “enlarges” your view about 60%) but the rest of the camera got a major overhaul. Now, a crop factor is great for using a telelens (you get 60% extra) but not so great for using wide angle (you lose 60% of the wideness) so I was very curious to see this one in action since I like to shoot wide a lot. I had just the perfect gig for it: the start of the new World Tour of the number 2 DJ’s in the world: Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike “Bringin the World the Madness” in the Antwerp Sportpaleis.
Now having shot the event the night before I was a little more relaxed bringing a new camera into my setup for the second night. Even though I’m not a fan of using 3 camera’s at the same time I got to say I was in for a surprise – just holding this camera felt like holding an incredibly solid piece of work. Every button felt like in the right place and the built felt very, very high quality. Another thing I liked: the layout, about the same as my 5D3 so working with it was quite like coming home. But then came the biggest surprise: the autofocus and speed… unbelievable!
At first I was in doubt whether I picked up the right camera. For a split second I thought I was shooting with my 5D3instead of the 7D2. It was so incredibly fast and accurate that I really cannot believe that this kind of technology is now available in a €1700 camera. It is not as good as my 5D3, it is as good as my 1Dx, which is a €6000 camera!!! It’s like having a mini-1Dx for a third of the price, I was seriously impressed. Besides the rapid accurate focus it writes the images to the card at the fastest speeds imaginable, I did not manage to shoot a full buffer once the whole night (do keep in mind I shoot Jpeg, not RAW).
Another big surprise was using the live-view, I had a few people holding up selfiesticks at the perfect photospot so I had to shoot out of hand, high above my head. Normally this guarentees off-level photos so using live-view can help a lot. Normally though, this kills your autofocus and is therefore too cumbersome to use a lot. I was really happy to see it working almost flawlessly here – extremely high accuracy meant I kept using it night when I had to and even at times where there really was no dire need. Normally I never use it this much, I would really enjoy having it this good on my regular cameras as well.
So, no bad points? Yes, there is one: the image quality of this camera is good – good, but not superb like I’m used to on the 5D3 or 1Dx. Do keep in mind those are camera’s twice or even three times as expensive. I loved the color accuracy but I really started to notice more noisy and less sharp images when shooting at 800ISO (which I do a lot!). So after a while I tended to keep it at 400ISO for most of the time, which was fine for wide angle shots but less convenient for telelens photos of moving DJ’s and partypeople. For me, who’s a total freak when it comes to sharp images this is a bit of a letdown. I could imagine most people not being bothered by it, but for me it would not be preferable.
This, of course, is not really a surprise, the camera is not specifically designed to perform under the conditions that I’m used to: poor light, lots of dark spots and usually hazy surroundings due to fog machines. However, without a single doubt in my mind, this is the best camera to buy when you’re into nature photography or like shooting sports – nothing in this price range even comes close. I had a lot of fun using it and with just a little better image quality at high ISO ranges it would have been a no-brainer as the ultimate all-round camera.
Rotterdam, Netherlands – October 20th 2014
Last week Canon (Netherlands) asked me if I wanted to check out their latest flagship compact camera. With the Amsterdam Dance Event, and the world’s leading electronic artists basically on my doorstep no better way than to test this promising camera in one of the hardest settings available: a night on the dance floor at the 30.000 people Amsterdam Music Festival during the crowning of the DJMag new number one DJ of the world.
Now to start with: I’m far from an objective reviewer – I’ve handled Canon camera’s for over 30 years and I love them. So don’t expect a fair and technical comparison with other brands: I just wanted to see what the leading manufacturer of digital cameras was able to put into a pocket sized piece of equipment of roughly €650.
Though small it is, you would still need a fair sized pocket but as soon as you pick it up it just feels solid and well thought off – as you’d expect from proper Japanese engineering it just slides into your hands and you quickly feel accustomed with all the buttons and dials.
There were a few things beforehand that I was interested in: the speed and handling of the camera, quality at higher ISO ranges (800), speed of burst shooting, lens quality and finally the manual operation of the camera. Let’s take them one by one:
The speed of the camera is simply amazing, press on and it fires up instantly. There’s hardly a wait before you can start. I was really not disappointed here. Besides that, the display is nice and clear and it has some nice folding abilities (great for selfies since it opens above the camera instead of next to it so you’ll always have your eyes at the lens). It’s also a touchscreen which came in handy for setting the focus point for instance. The layout seems much simpler and more practical than its predecessor, again: it just seemed so natural to use. Definitely no need to open a manual before using it. Finally, the autofocus just seemed to be so spot-on most of the time I was afraid of becoming lazy. Though it sometimes had trouble with the wall of lights during the show, a quick refocus by touching the screen was good enough to correct this.
The quality at higher ISO ranges (I tested at 800) was truly amazing. Straight out of the camera produces easily the best images I’ve ever seen from a compact camera. Very little noise (even in the notoriously difficult color blue) and still an amazing amount of detail to be found. For someone used to using ten times more expensive top of the bill cameras this was amazing to see. Sure, the quality at 100% is not that articulate but for a compact camera it is truly unbelievable. I really had to look twice at my first images, never thought this quality could be reached in this sort of equipment. The large sensor is a main contributor to this but the optics play a huge part as well. I love the f/2.0 at its widest (24mm) but even f/3.9 is damn impressive at a 120mm focal length. Though, at this range the images turned out to be less good than at the wide setting but shooting in an indoor foggy and smoky venue did not help much either. In any way, the quality has blown me away!
The other major bliss of this little wonder is the ridiculously fast burst mode that just simply doesn’t stop. Shooting dance events requires a good bit of fast shooting to capture DJ’s or lights perfectly. The G1X2 did not disappoint, on the contrary. In combination with the large display I found it even nice to use than my own expensive DSLR’s!
Another reason for that is the fantastic manual control. The lens has a ring that you can use to set aperture or shutter speed while shooting. This is just the best way to use the camera. It gives so much control over your photography while shooting at the same time. I found this (together with the fast burst) the major upside of working with this camera. It’s so easy and natural that it’s simply hard to stop taking photographs, it just too much fun! One little thing I noticed that sometimes the ring was slow to react, especially when the camera is still writing away the previous images (though it’s fast). This might be a software update away from being fixed, but it is basically the only minor point that I came across during the two nights of working with the camera.
So, is it worth buying? YES, absolutely no doubt about it: this camera is so quick and so much fun to use – especially if you know a bit about photography and would like to use as much of your own settings as you feel comfortable with. At this price it’s a steal, I would think it’s very hard to find a camera that is this fast, this much fun to handle and delivers this kind of quality at this price range (remember, the price usually comes down a bit within a few years). For me it’s simple: this one’s going to be my new non-DSLR choice for the next few years!
Over 5 days and nights, 23 DJ’s travelled to this Caribbean piece of paradise for an overload of private jets filled with silicone, epic poolparties, late night clubbing events, cruises, ADE conferences and the biggest dance festival ever seen in this part of the world.
Images from the 21st edition of Mysteryland in 101 photos.
➡ FULL SERIES HERE
Mysteryland is one of the most unique dance festivals in the world with a perfect mix of EDM, alternative house and an overload of art.
This is really one of those to put high on the list!
August 23rd, 2014 – Haarlemmermeer (The Netherlands)
July 11-15, 2014
Split & Hvar, Croatia
FINALLY!!! Tomorrowland photos (in wallpaper format) are now online – please enjoy and hope to see you all tomorrow at the 2014 edition!
Full series here!
Images from the 2014 edition of Defqon.1 “Survival of the Fittest”
Biddinghuizen, the Netherlands
Click here for full album (101 photos)