Precision Camera University, SXSW and what I did for Spring Break

Precision Camera University Models - New Braunfels, Texas

Precision Camera University Models – New Braunfels, Texas

I didn’t officially attend PCU (Precision Camera University) but I was there for a several hours yesterday. Once a year Precision Camera puts on a fun event down at a resort about an hour south of Austin. It lasts 3 days and attendees get in-depth instruction in photography. The sessions tend to focus on portraiture, however, something that I’m not actively working on. Of course it’s always fun to shoot models so I snapped this candid of the entire crew before I headed home.

PCU at T Bar M Ranch - New Braunfels, Texas

I was there to return the OM-D E-M5 Mark II to the Olympus guys. Brett kindly let me use the camera for the last several weeks. It was fun to hang out with the camera reps and addition to Olympus I talked with Fujifilm and Sony. Canon and Nikon were there too but I was less interested since they still haven’t embraced mirrorless.

I played with Fuji’s Instax instant cameras and printer. They brought these fun toys in addition to their more serious digital offerings. Instax is the new Polaroid. Their cameras and printer spit out small, low-res analog prints which magically develop in a few minutes. I was particularly curious about the Instax Share SP-1 which prints images sent to it from smartphones via WiFi.

Instax is decidedly low resolution, but they have a certain analog charm. The Fuji guy said that sales were great and they were a hit with the SXSW crowd. I’ll have to play more with these in the future. At 80 cents per print, they’re certainly not inexpensive, but they’re fun for parties. I printed these from my Instagram library. I do wish they had a square format like the old Polariods which would be perfect for Instagrams. Cropping precisely framed images is a bummer.

Last week during Spring Break, the entire family went to Las Vegas. We had a good mix of hiking and night life as you can see from the Instax prints. I shot like crazy with the Olympus E-M5 Mark II and it didn’t disappoint. The 40MP high-resolution mode at Red Rock Canyon worked well while the 5 stop image stabilization worked brilliantly at night. I’ll have a full report in upcoming posts. Of course, I brought other cameras too, as you might have expected.

Samurai Dynamites at Japan NIte 2015 - Austin, Texas

Finally SXSW is winding down in Austin. I missed the bulk of it due to my Las Vegas trip but I still shot enough to be satisfied. I attended Japan Nite on Friday, SXSW’s Japanese music showcase. As usual, there was a mix of wacky groups, heavy metal and alternative music. The E-M5 Mark II was there too and I shot it differently, with a zoom lens of all things, and it produced a lot of winners. The zoom made things easy and the lighting and the camera performance was good enough that I did need to use a large aperture prime lens.

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