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Gordon Laing
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Gordon Laing

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Superheroes at the Tour de France

As well as wanting to capture more of the scenic backgrounds at the Tour de France I also wanted to capture some the background of the actual race itself, namely the fans and the general spectacle. I knew I'd get some big crowd shots at Alpe d'Huez during Stage 20 the next day, but there were still some particularly colourful characters cheering the riders on around where I was stood for Stage 19. Opposite me were two Canadians, one dressed as a Mountie with an enormous Maple flag and the other wearing a large gorilla head. Then slightly up the road from were a selection of Superheroes including Spiderman, Superman and a Ninja Turtle, accompanied by a cheerleader and some bat-kids.

Having watched numerous mountain stages on TV, I knew straightaway that these were all prime candidates for running alongside the riders, possibly spoiling any shots, or then again potentially enhancing them. Initially I wasn't happy with their proximity, but in the end, the riders came up this section of the road so fast we were all taken by surprise and not a single person ran after them or caused trouble.

But I still wanted to capture some of the fans, so as a large bunch of riders approached, I turned around and framed-up a shot with the superheroes cheering-on their favourites. Spiderman and cheerleader are getting into it, but Superman and Ninja Turtle are strangely subdued.

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Sony_Alpha_A6000/
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yeah spidey ur standing there like YAY IM WATCHING BYCICLISTS YEAH
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Gordon Laing

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Canon EOS 5Ds podcast / video

+Doug Kaye and I had a good chat about the Canon EOS 5Ds in the latest episode of All About the Gear, comparing it against Nikon's D810 and Sony's A7r Mark II and where they all fit into the market. My own review of the EOS 5Ds for cameralabs is almost complete, but in the meantime, check out our podcast . video interview to see if this 50 Megapixel DSLR is the camera for you!
 
Canon 5DS -- All About the Gear

Nearly three years since the release of the popular 5D mk III, Canon has finally brought out the much-anticipated 50.6MP 5DS and 5DSR. Yes, these are the current leaders in the megapixel wars, beating out the 42MP Sony A7R mk II by a few months and megapixels.

These are clearly pedal-to-the-metal high-resolution still cameras. Video is barely an afterthought. (Canon has even stripped the headphone jack and clean HDMI outputs.) And the 5DS/R don’t have the advanced autofocus systems of the lower-end 7D mk II and 70D. These cameras aren’t intended for subject that move quickly. But put them on a tripod and add some high-end Canon glass, and you’ll get the highest-resolution images you can generate without going to medium format.

Are the few extra megapixels worth $500 more than the 42MP of the Sony a7R mk II or $700 more than the 36MP Nikon D810? Watch or listen!

And speaking of Canon glass, in this episode Gordon also reviews the new 11-24mm EF f/4, the long-awaited response to Nikon’s legendary 14-24mm f/2.8. #AllAboutTheGear  #Canon #5DS #Canon5DS
Canon has finally brought out the much-anticipated 50.6MP 5DS and 5DSR, the current leaders in the megapixel wars.
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Gordon Laing

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A refreshing drink! TDF Stage 18

Here's Movistar rider, Jonathan Castroviejo, enjoying a refreshing drink on the hot climb up the Col du Glandon on Stage 18 (Thursday) of the Tour de France. As before I used my Sony A6000 and FE 70-200mm f4G OSS set to 200mm, 1/2000 and f4 in Manual with Auto ISO selecting 250 ISO.

‪#‎TDF2015‬ ‪#‎Movistar‬

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Sony_Alpha_A6000/
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superb shot ....
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Gordon Laing

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Tour de France Stage 17: Digne-les-Bains to Pra Loup Station

I'm back at the Tour de France for the final four mountain stages, this time in the Alps! A grueling schedule coupled with sloooow internet however means my posts will be a day or two behind. Sorry!

For Stage 17 on Wednesday we stayed in a ski resort halfway up the Col d'Allos, with the route passing through the town and literally past the accommodation towards the end of the stage. While we could have viewed it from the hotel or a roadside café, we decided to head further up the mountain towards the peak. The road was closed at 6pm the night before, but the peak was only a few km up a twisting route from the hotel, making the various hairpins easily accessible by foot. Even better, the resort had one of the chairlifts working, so for a few Euros we rode halfway up the remaining mountain and wandered only a few hundred yards to a good spot by the side of the road to set up camp.

We always travel with several small blankets and sheets which we can cobble together into a simple teepee using my tripod and a variety of stones. This provides some basic shelter from the Sun and is also a good focal point for the Caravan as it passes by prior to the race, scattering little gifts for the kids.

We also take plenty of water, food for lunch and a campstove, hand-grinder and Aeropress to make a decent coffee as we await the action. Typically you'll need to arrive four to six hours prior to the race passing by on a popular mountain stage to bag a decent view, so it's important to bring everything you need to keep you - and any kids - entertained, fed and watered.

The long and relentless climb up to the Col d'Allos split the riders into multiple groups, giving me lots of chances to shoot and refine my technique. Early on came two of my favourite riders, Peter Sagan and Richie Porte pictured left and right here.

I took the photo with my Sony A6000 with the FE 70-200mm at 200mm f4. I had the camera set to Manual exposure mode at 1/2000 and f4, with Auto ISO here selected 250 ISO. I set the focus to continuous, the burst speed to high and Zone AF concentrated in the centre.

These are uncropped frames straight from the camera at 200mm f4, and are sharp when viewed at 100%. The background isn't as blurred as I'd like, but that's the nature of an f4 lens, and I was lucky not to have the usual array of support vehicles and other riders behind them.

#TDF2015 #tinkoffsaxo #teamsky

Here's my Sony A6000 review - it remains the best camera, mirrorless or DSLR, I've tested for sports or action photography at this price point.

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Sony_Alpha_A6000/
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+Andrew Howe thanks! Speaking of which I watch those bikes go by with the photographers on the back, looking backwards. They must feel so sick!
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Picturesque Annecy at the foot of the Alps. And this isn't even the famous view. That's the lake! Snapped with Samsung Galaxy S6.

http://www.cameralabs.com/
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Love this picture. I love how the refection is showing in the water.
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Burgundy green

After two longish days of delays and driving, I've arrived in Burgundy, France, so decided to pay a visit to the vineyards of Chateau De Marsannay. I used the Olympus OMD EM1 and 75mm f1.8 at f1.8 and focused at a distance where you'd see sharp leaves on three rows. Then Wifi to phone. Oh and the wine is delicious!

My OMD EM1 review: 

http://cameralabs.com/reviews/Olympus_OMD_EM1/
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+Paul Morran I deliberately focused on that area. I wanted a very shallow DOF and for only a small range of distances to be in focus. If I focused closer, it was only the middle row that had any sharpness, with too much of the rest of the frame being blurred. So I focused further back until I could see some detail on the middle row and those on ether side.
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Gordon Laing

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Simon Yates on TDF Stage 19

While my first two stages of the Tour de France this year were in the heart of the Alps, and both in steep climbing sections, I had been slightly bothered that I'd not managed to include much of the surroundings in any of my photos. Sure the A6000 had done a great job at capturing close-ups of the riders, but there was little context as to where they were. A shame since the scenery was so beautiful.

What really struck me when walking up the D926 on Stage 19 (last Friday) though was the lovely view of the mountains and lake beyond the road. This would be an ideal scenic backdrop to the riders, so I nestled into a cliff wall on the opposite side and waited for them to come past. This time I zoomed the FE 70-200mm out to 70mm for a 105mm equivalent field of view. Not exactly wide-angle, but it allowed me to capture much more of the surroundings.

In this first shot, British rider Simon Yates of Orica Greenedge zips past, and I'm really happy with the way the shot also includes the scenic backdrop along with some fans cheering him on. It's an uncropped image straight out of the Sony A6000, set to 1/2500 and 70mm f4, with Auto ISO selecting 1000 ISO.

#TDF #TDF2015

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Sony_Alpha_A6000/
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Vincenzo Nibali, up close and personal!

Here's last year's TDF winner, Vincenzo Nibali, almost brushing past me while climbing the Col du Glandon on yesterday's Stage 18.

As I've previously mentioned, the Sony FE 70-200mm f4G OSS doesn't have a very shallow depth of field, so to maximise the effect (or rather to minimise the depth of field), I try and keep the background as far behind the subject as possible. For cycling that means shooting down a long straight section, so for Stage 18 I found a good spot where I reckoned the riders would be approaching head-on with lots of road behind them. This had me pressed against a section of rock with nowhere to duck back, but I did find a large-ish crack I could lean into should any of the riders get too close!

And they did. As the group of General Classification riders started cycling up the slope towards me, I could quickly see they were going to get very close indeed. I snapped-off a few shots of them at a distance before literally assuming a spread-eagled pose against the rock face as they drew closer. Not wanting to be the guy who caused a collision with his camera, I took it from my eye and also held it against the rock face to keep it out of their way. As luck would have it, this meant it was still pointing approximately down towards the approaching riders, so I fired-off a bunch more photos as they zoomed past. Most ended up being of feet or sky (the actual sky, not Team Sky), but I did grab this one of Vincenzo Nibali, who I suspect is giving me a slightly dirty look. Don't worry Vincenzo, you're not going to fall because of me. I'm a keen, but always responsible spectator.

I took it with my Sony A6000 and FE 70-200mm f4G OSS at 70mm due to the close range.

#TDF2015 

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Sony_Alpha_A6000/
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+Rahul Deshpande I'll be posting more photos from the Tour soon!
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The General Classification

At the Tour de France, the riders racing to win the entire race are known as the General Classification Contenders, and I managed to get most of them in one shot here! Once again, this was Stage 17 on Wednesday with me positioned about three quarters of the way up the Col d'Allos. 

Shortly after the breakaway riders zoomed past, the main group of the General Classification leaders rode by, containing Chris Froome, Vincenzo Nibali and Nairo Quintana. Their group was tightly surrounded by police and camera bikes, preventing me from even seeing them until they were literally a few meters away. I managed to fire-off a handful of quick frames and thanks to the AF on the camera, managed to capture most of the GC contenders. 

I've cropped this image to concentrate on the main riders. The four faces you can see from left to right below are Geraint Thomas (helping Chris Froome), Vincenzo Nibali (the 2014 winner), Chris Froome (the leader in yellow), and Nairo Quintana (in white). Immediately behind Quintana ins a Tinko Saxof rider, who I presume was Alberto Contador and between Nibali and Froome in the yellow helmet is a Movistar rider, who may be Alesandro Valverde. It's not the most exciting or dynamic shots, but in terms of capturing the 2015 GC contenders, I've got them all here.

Sony A6000 with FE 70-200mm at 200mm f4, 1/2000, 320 ISO.

#TDF2015 #tinkoffsaxo #teamsky

Here's my Sony A6000 review - it remains the best camera, mirrorless or DSLR, I've tested for sports or action photography at this price point.

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Sony_Alpha_A6000/
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+Theo Brookes thanks! Someone on facebook said the same thing!
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Nikon S9900 review - great value 30x super-zoom with GPS!

Nikon's COOLPIX S9900 is a pocket super-zoom with a 30x optical range and a couple of features you won't find on many or even any rivals. First is a built-in GPS receiver which is becoming a rarity in this market. Secondly is a full-articulated side-hinged screen, which is unique amongst the competition. As a modern camera, it also sports Wifi with NFC, 1080p video and a raft of shooting modes. Impressively it's one of the cheapest of its peer group, so check out our Nikon S9900 review to see how it compares against Panasonic's TZ70 / ZS50 and Sony's HX90V!

+Nikon USA +Nikon Rumors 

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Nikon_COOLPIX_S9900/ 
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UNTIL THE SUNSHINES
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Gordon Laing

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'Dog vs Ocean' or 'Get in the Sea'! 4k Photo grab with Lumix GX8

Here's a grab from 4k video I made with the new Lumix GX8 while testing it on a blowy day in Brighton. #4klumix  

Panasonic has already made 4k video a pretty standard feature, so much so we give an expectant nod when it's mentioned as a feature on a new model. But it's still pretty special, especially when it remains unavailable on so many other manufacturer's cameras. One of the really neat things you can do on Panasonic's 4k cameras is film a clip in 4k, then spool through it in playback until you find the perfect frame, then export it as an 8 Megapixel JPEG. That's what I've done here, having already applied a mono filter effect to the video at the point of capture.

You can find out all about the GX8, Panasonic's latest mirrorless camera announced today, in my in-depth preview article here:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panasonic_Lumix_GX8/
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Just got my G7. Love it but. For absolutely no logical reason I'm thinking of selling it to get the GX8. Or gasp! Sell my Canon gear and get GX8 and the Nocticron!!
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Gordon Laing

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Panasonic Lumix FZ330 / FZ300 preview: 24x / f2.8 / 4k video!

Panasonic's Lumix FZ330, or FZ300 as it's known in North America,  is a high-end super-zoom camera with a 24x optical range and constant f2.8 focal ratio. Announced today it's the successor to the FZ200 launched three years ago. 

The FZ330 / FZ300 shares the same 25-600mm equivalent range as its predecessor, along with the constant f2.8 focal ratio and 12 Megapixel 1/2.3in MOS sensor behind the scenes. The stabilisation is now improved and the newer Venus Engine image processor claims better quality along with in-camera RAW development and adjustable highlight and shadow tone curves from the Lumix G series. The FZ330 also supports 4k UHD video at 25 or 30fps and 4k Photo, along with retaining the 1080 / 50p / 60p and 720p at 120fps of its predecessor. The AF system now operates under lower light levels down to -3EV and supports Depth by Defocus to deliver quicker response and better continuous AF.

Many of the improvements concern the body which is now more rugged with dust and splash-proofing, sports twin control dials, a slightly more detailed and much larger electronic viewfinder image (1440k dot OLED with 0.7x magnification vs 1312k dot LCD with 0.46x on the FZ200) and an eye sensor to switch the screen off. The screen remains 3in and fully articulated, but is now also higher resolution (1040k dot vs 460k dot) and more importantly becomes touch-sensitive, a feature that was sorely absent on the FZ200. As a modern camera, the FZ330 / FZ300 is also equipped with Wifi, and while there's no NFC, there are QR codes for quick configuration. The FZ330 is expected in mid-September at a price of $599 USD.

#4klumix  

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panasonic_Lumix_FZ330/
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Constant F2.8? Sounds impressive, and price is not bad either
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Photographer, traveller and lover of good food!
Introduction
Hello! I'm Gordon Laing, Editor of Cameralabs!
 
I've been into photography since my childhood, so it's great to be able to test and review cameras for a living. I'm also into travelling and good food, and I'm happiest when I'm combining all three!
 
If you're wondering what camera, lens or accessory to buy next, are looking for a photograhy tutorial, or simply fancy a chat about photography, then please head over to Cameralabs!
 
See you soon!
 
Gordon
Bragging rights
In fitter times, I finally plucked up the courage to hike-up Angels landing in Zion Canyon. On a less healthy, but no less proud moment, I squeezed-in no fewer than 13 puddings in England's famous 'Pudding Club'.
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Brighton, England
Previously
Queenstown, New Zealand - London, England
Gordon Laing's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Best camera, Best DSLR, Best Lens, Buyers Guide | Cameralabs
www.cameralabs.com

Looking for the best DSLRs, point-and-shoot cameras, lenses or accessories? Check out my Buyer's Guide and reviews!

Sony NEX C3 noise | Cameralabs
www.cameralabs.com - written by Gordon Laing

Looking for a Sony Alpha NEX C3 review? We've fully tested it against rivals from Panasonic and Olympus. Includes sample images, videos and the best prices.

Nikon D3000 review - YouTube
www.youtube.com - written by Gordon Laing

Full review at http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Nikon_D3000/ . A 12 minute HD tour around the Nikon D3000, the company's latest budget DSLR, featuring a bra...

Panasonic FZ150 noise | Cameralabs
www.cameralabs.com - written by Gordon Laing

Looking for a Panasonic Lumix FZ150 review? Check out my in-depth report with sample images, movies and comparisons against key rivals.

Canon EOS 1000D / Rebel XS review - YouTube
www.youtube.com - written by Gordon Laing

Full review at http://www.cameralabs.com . A ten minute video tour around Canon's latest budget DSLR, the EOS 1000D / Rebel XS, by Gordon Laing, Editor of ht...

Canon EOS 5D Mark II review Part 1 - YouTube
www.youtube.com - written by Gordon Laing

Full review at http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Canon_EOS_5D_Mark_II/ . Part 1 of an 18 minute high definition tour around Canon's latest full-frame DSLR, t...

Olympus E-620 review - YouTube
www.youtube.com - written by Gordon Laing

Full review at http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Olympus_E-620/ . A ten minute HD tour around the Olympus E-620, the company's latest upper-entry-level DSLR,...

Canon EF-S 10-22mm wide angle lens review - YouTube
www.youtube.com - written by Gordon Laing

Full review at http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Canon1022EFS/ : A five minute video tour around the Canon EF-S 10-22mm ultra wide angle lens by Gordon Laing...

Panasonic FZ150 vs HX100V vs SX40 HS vs FZ47 / FZ48 | Cameralabs
www.cameralabs.com - written by Gordon Laing

Looking for a Panasonic Lumix FZ150 review? Check out my in-depth report with sample images, movies and comparisons against key rivals.

Nikon D5100 review | Cameralabs
www.cameralabs.com - written by Gordon Laing

In-depth review of the Nikon D5100 DSLR, comparing its quality and features against rivals including the Canon EOS 600D / Rebel T3i. Includes sample images

Panasonic GF3 review | Cameralabs
www.cameralabs.com - written by Gordon Laing

Looking for a Panasonic GF3 review? We've fully tested the latest Lumix against rivals from Sony and Olympus.

Panasonic GF3 review | Cameralabs
www.cameralabs.com - written by Gordon Laing

Looking for a Panasonic GF3 review? We've fully tested the latest Lumix against rivals from Sony and Olympus.

Nikon D3x review / Vermont Fall Photography | Cameralabs
www.cameralabs.com

Looking for a Nikon D3x review? Our writer rented one for 10 days to photograph the Vermont Fall Foliage. Find out if it was the camera he a

Nikon COOLPIX S9100 review | Cameralabs
www.cameralabs.com - written by Gordon Laing

Looking for a Nikon COOLPIX S9100 review? Check out my in-depth report including sample images, movies and comparisons against rival super-zoom cameras.

Sony Alpha lens guide, complete catalogue range | Cameralabs
www.cameralabs.com - written by Gordon Laing

Follow me. Camera Labs RSS Feed · Gordon Laing and Cameralabs on Google+ · Camera Labs on Facebook · Camera Labs on Twitter ...

Canon 8-15mm review | Cameralabs
www.cameralabs.com - written by Gordon Laing

Looking for a Canon 8-15mm fisheye review? In my full report I'll delve into the quality and features of this amazing lens! Includes sample images and videos

Chase Jarvis interview part 2 - YouTube
www.youtube.com - written by Gordon Laing

Full interview at http://www.cameralabs.com/interviews/Chase_Jarvis_interview_Queenstown_New_Zealand/ - Part 2 of an interview with sports and lifestyle phot...

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS review - YouTube
www.youtube.com - written by Gordon Laing

Full review at http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Canon_PowerShot_SX20_IS/ . A 10 minute HD tour around Canon's latest super-zoom digital camera, the PowerSho...

Canon EOS Rebel T3 / 1100D review | Cameralabs
www.cameralabs.com - written by Gordon Laing

Looking for a Canon EOS Rebel T3 / 1100D review? We've compared the quality against the Nikon D3100 and provided sample images, movies and the best prices!