These models were brave! The rusty old hulk didn't look very hospitable, and I decided not to climb aboard. Ironically, I was the only one to walk away bloodied, after a light drizzle made the rocks of the breakwater where I was standing slick, and I got a good barnacle scrape on my leg. Oh well - beers at the pub afterwards made up for it! :)
This was my first time shooting a male nude, but his experience showed and we came away with some good images. I think the bad weather added to the moodiness of his posing.
After much consideration, and a recent sale, I went with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3. It's a 16MP micro 4/3rds camera with an electronic viewfinder, fast contrast-detect autofocus, and a flip-out LCD touchscreen.
The reason I went with a mirrorless camera over another DSLR:
DSLRs use phase-detect autofocus, which relies on visible light and happens before light hits the sensor; because infrared light is focused at a different point than visible light, the camera will still focus for visible light even if it's been converted to IR, causing significant back-focus issues.
Mirrorless cameras, on the other hand, tend to use contrast-detect autofocus, which relies on what the sensor has actually captured, meaning that if your sensor is only exposed to infrared light, it will focus using whatever it sees.
The reason an Electronic Viewfinder an important consideration:
After using Live View as a workaround for the phase-detect autofocus issues of my converted DSLR, I knew that on bright/sunny days it was sometimes very difficult to see what was on the LCD screen and accurately determine framing/focus. A Loupe/hood would have made this easier, but an electronic viewfinder (EVF) works even better; giving a real-time display of your actual exposure and composition under infrared light. Having this pressed up to your eye is much more natural than squinting at a small screen at arms length.
The reason an articulating LCD was important:
Having primarily used my IR camera with a fisheye lens, I was often trying to get as low as possible for exaggerated perspectives and to fill the scene with wonderfully dark and moody infrared skies. Having a flip-out LCD screen would definitely save me from having to lay down prone on prickly bushes and pointy rocks!
Finding something inexpensive that had all of these things
Built in EVFs fell out of fashion rather quickly after a lot of people complained about the slow responsiveness (lag), reduced dynamic range, and low resolution of these early displays. Luckily the Panasonic G3 has a fairly decent 1.44 million dot EVF that, while still somewhat laggy, is sharp and quite good.
For $350 at B&H I think it was a decent deal and is definitely a camera to consider if you want to get one converted. Other cameras I considered were the Samsung NX series, Sony NEX, and Olympus PEN's with the hotshoe-mounted EVF. All would work nicely and have options at many price points. The Panasonic G3 just hit the price/performance sweet spot for me. I'll report back once I've had the camera converted! :)
I hope you enjoy the camera and can't wait to see your shots.
I bought my wife a pair of M-Audio Studiophile Q40's and they sound great, but they're way too small for me and it feels like someone put a C-clamp on my head.
I've heard great things about Beyerdynamic & want to give em a shot! ;)
- NCO GroupDatabase Analyst, 2003 - present
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