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Gordon Laing
Works at Camera Labs
Lives in Brighton, England
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Gordon Laing

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Service with a smile

Here's Scoop PDX, a food truck in Portland, Oregon, serving-up delicious artisan ice cream with a lovely smile! The lady behind the counter was gracious enough to model briefly between customers, so I quickly snapped this with the Sony Alpha A7r Mark II and FE 35mm f1.4 lens. Cor, that's a great lens. When I first saw it in person I was concerned the heft would put me off, but the quality soon won me over and while it was in my possession it rarely left the body.

I shot this with the aperture wide-open which was a little unnecessary for this composition, and a little risky too considering the subsequently shallow depth of field. But the A7r II's face detection nailed it, giving me nothing to worry about. Good face and eye detection is one of the things I love the most about modern mirrorless camera compared to shooting through the optical viewfinder of a traditional DSLR. I can easily shoot shallow depth of field portraits wherever the subject is on the frame.

This is one of the same images in my Sony Alpha A7r Mark II review, which you can find at the link below.

#SonyAlpha

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Sony_Alpha_A7r_II/
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What a perfectly delightful portrait.
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Gordon Laing

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Canon USA to sell EOS M3 after all!

Canon has seen the mirrorless writing on the wall and sensibly decided to expand availability of its EOS M system. So the latest EOS M3, along with the EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 ultra wide zoom will be on sale in the US soon. And as luck would have it, I've already written an in-depth review of the camera when it was launched in Europe earlier this year!

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Canon_EOS_M3/
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+Tristan Hauser
Yeah, it seems that most converters are doing so because of size and features, but not performance. I guess I'll wait. Thanks.
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The Communist Tower

Take that capitalist scum! Prague Tower, now with climbing babies, was allegedly built to block TV propaganda from the West during the era of Communism! Or maybe it's just a normal TV transmitter. Either way it looks prepared to launch into space at any moment with triple rocket boosters! Here with Sony A7r Mark II and FE 55mm in monotone style then Wifi to phone. I'd love to do a long exposure here if there were clouds in the sky...

‪#‎SonyAlpha‬

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Sony_Alpha_A7_II/
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+Gordon Laing yep. Not completely sure, but it sounds more like urban legend to me.
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Astronomical Clock, Astronomical resolution!

Here's Prague's famous Astronomical Clock, shot with the Sony A7r Mark II and FE 55mm. I've added the 42 Megapixel original file plus more to my sample images page! Check it out at the link below!

#SonyAlpha  

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Sony_Alpha_A7r_II/
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Reflections

Clouds at Adrspach Teplice Rocks, an amazing National Park in the Czech Republic. I'll share some of the rock formations later, but wanted to start with this lovely reflection in the lake near the entrance. This is an out-of-camera JPEG with the Olympus OMD EM1 using its Monotone style and the 7-14mm f2.8 lens, then Wifi to phone.

+Olympus 

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Olympus_M_Zuiko_Digital_7-14mm_f2-8/
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Arne Lepla's profile photoPhoto Mania UK's profile photoEmma Bailey (No one special)'s profile photoVoiasciuc Florin's profile photo
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Dear +Gordon Laing ,
Your photo has been shared on +Photo Mania UK, curated by Hans-Juergen Werner , Walli Veeser and Chandro Ji (Photo Mania UK  is a part of +Photo Mania Global). There you will find a selection of the finest Photographs  of UK photographers.  Come around and have a look - We are looking forward to your visit!
Congratulations and best wishes
Walli Veeser
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Sunset last night on the Poland / Czech border

With Sony A7r Mark II and FE 70-200mm at 200 mm. All I did here was under-expose the image by dialling-in a little negative exposure compensation. Otherwise, it's another out-of-camera JPEG then Wifi to phone. Have a look at the 42 Megapixel original in my review-in-progress at the link below!

#SonyAlpha

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Sony_Alpha_A7r_II/
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Stunning
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Gordon Laing

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Sony A7r Mark II in-depth review - complete!

Sony's Alpha A7r Mark II is justifiably one of the most exciting and talked-about cameras right now, packing pretty much everything but the kitchen sink into a compact mirrorless body. 42 Megapixel full-frame sensor, 4k video, huge viewfinder, Wifi, built-in stabilisation, downloadable apps and an embedded phase-detect AF system are just the headlines of a camera that can roughly match Canon's EOS 5DS(r) on resolution and noise, but thrashes its feature-set and comes in at a lower price point.

What struck me most when testing the A7r Mark II was how much better-equipped it was to make the most of its very high resolution. The embedded phase-detect AF system avoids the front and rear focusing calibration issues of DSLR AF modules, while the combination of built-in IS, electronic first-curtain shutter and of course the absence of a mirror greatly reduce detail-killing vibrations. It is in short much easier to exploit the potential of this camera than a traditional DSLR.

I feel it's such an important camera that I've pulled-out all the stops for what's become one of my most detailed reviews to date. I spent over a month testing the A7r Mark II while travelling around Europe, shooting landscapes, architecture, portraits, low light, long exposures and action. I tried it with multiple lenses including adapted models from Canon and Sigma. I tested every aspect of the video, including a comparison between the full-frame and Super-35 modes. And for quality I pitched it head to head for detail and noise against Canon's EOS 5DS(r). No review can cover everything, but I've tried my absolute hardest to cover all bases and present a detailed and fair look at the Sony A7r Mark II and how it fits into today's market.

This lone review is the best part of 20,000 words long, so I'm confident it'll be one of the most detailed you'll find anywhere. Again it also represents four weeks of work, so if you'd like me to continue producing this kind of content for free, please do support me by sharing the review, shouting me a coffee to keep me going, or clicking through to Amazon or B&H using the links at the bottom of my pages if you're shopping for anything there. I really do appreciate your support and hope I can keep producing reviews of this scale going forward!

#SonyAlpha

+Sony UK +Sony 

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Sony_Alpha_A7r_II/
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Osm
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The Money Shot: Part Two

A while ago I wrote about how you sometimes have to go for the money shot, the famous view that everyone takes. If you're in Prague in the Czech Republic you could take photos of the Astronomical Clock or the Charles Bridge, but the really big view is of all the bridges over the river Vltava. But it's taken until my third trip to actually nail it.

The problem is the location. I'd seen the view before, but was never sure exactly where it was. After quizzing a local photographer on a previous trip, I discovered it was from an overlook in the elevated Letna Park, and I made careful note of the closest station for my next trip. In the end I didn't need the station at all as it's actually within walking distance of the old town. If you're starting in the Old Town Square, just walk about ten minutes along Parizska, then continue straight over the Czech Bridge. At the end of the bridge you'll see paths leading up to the Prague Metronome. Head upwards and after a few minutes you'll be up in Letna Park. Turn left, walk along for about 50m and you'll come across various openings to the big view of the bridges. Some have a few bushes in the way, but when I visited, there was a small clearing where the foliage had been trimmed for a clear view. Scores of tourists and locals will come and go, but it's easy to find a corner to place a tripod and wait for the perfect light of sunset or sunrise. I reckon the perfect viewing location was less than half an hour's walk from the Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Square. I also felt safe there even when the park became quite dark.

I'm terrible in the mornings, so I took this shortly after Sunset just as the blue hour was beginning. Even though the light wasn't what I had in mind I took a shot every few minutes as you never know how the conditions will change. As darkness approached I expected the bridges to become brightly illuminated, but it never actually happened. Dim lamps came on, but nothing dramatic. I kept shooting, but I never saw the view I expected. As the blue sky faded into blackness, I knew my chance had gone, so I reviewed the images I'd taken and found that those just after sunset looked the best. The moral here is to always keep shooting just in case the conditions you're expecting never happen - it may be that the best you'll get are right at the beginning of a session.

As for the technical side, I knew the view would be fairly distant and would need a longer lens. I shot this with the Sony A7r Mark II and FE 70-200mm f4G OSS at 182mm. I wanted a long exposure to blur the water, but without an ND filter that fitted the lens, I was forced to choose the lowest ISO value and as small an aperture as I dared (to avoid diffraction). So here the metered exposure at 50 ISO and f11 was 25 seconds. The result was slightly underexposed so, unusually for me, I've taken the RAW file and boosted the exposure a little, while also adding a tad of clarity and saturation. I also retrieved a little highlight detail from the brightly-lit tower on the left. No significant adjustments though as I like to keep things natural and in-camera.

While I was a little disappointed the bridges weren't illuminated the way I expected, I was still very happy with this shot. Sure, almost every visitor to Prague has the same view, but it doesn't mean it's not worth capturing for yourself.

I've been adding photos in Prague to my Sony A7r II samples page at the link below!

#SonyAlpha

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Sony_Alpha_A7r_II/
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Ugo Cei
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Thanks, +Martyn Band, must be the new Google Photos that is making it harder to share. Anyway, here's the Flickr version: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ugocei/17190876015/in/dateposted-public/
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Reflections on Prague

On my way back from Letna Park in Prague with a tripod last night, it seemed rude not to snap the famous Charles Bridge with my fellow tourists! So here's a quick 30 second exposure with the Sony A7r Mark II and FE 70-200mm.

#SonyAlpha

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Sony_Alpha_A7r_II/
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very nice

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Sony A7r Mark II podcast / video

If you're interested in the Sony A7r Mark II, I hope you'll enjoy the latest podcast I recorded with +Doug Kaye for All About The Gear. In it we discuss the camera after I'd been shooting intensively with it for a few days.

http://thisweekinphoto.com/sony-a7r-ii/
The Sony a7R mk II is being heralded as Camera of the Year. Sony has put their best-of-everything technologies into the successor to the a7R.
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I am interested in it for sure, but not interested in paying half the cost of a decent motorcycle for one.
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Canon PowerShot D30 - waterproof camera review!

Canon's PowerShot D30 is the company's third waterproof compact, following the D20 and D10. It's shock-proof, dust-proof and waterproof down to 25m, sports a 12 Megapixel sensor, a 5x optical zoom equivalent to 28-140mm, and built-in GPS to tag your images with your location if desired. In his Canon D30 review, +Ken McMahon compared this new PowerShot against other waterproof compacts above and below the water. Find out which tough, underwater camera is right for you!

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Canon_PowerShot_D30/
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+Yves Goergen you'd need to ask +Ken McMahon  for specifics as he's the one who tested it. But generally all waterproof cameras allow the water to run-off or be wiped-off fairly easily.
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Can't see the wood for the trees

Lovely forested hike to Bledne Skaly rock formations in Poland. Sony A7r Mark II and FE 28mm then Wifi to phone. I carelessly cropped the bottom of that trunk when framing this one. I have other versions, better-framed, but not as sharp. I'm beginning to find the 1/focal length rule doesn't apply above 40 Megapixels. I'll discuss more in my review! To get that green look I normally shoot forests with cloudy white balance and vivid processing. This is an out-of-camera JPEG. Check out the 42 Megapixel original in my review-in-progress:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Sony_Alpha_A7r_II/
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    Editor, 2005 - present
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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'.
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
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!