Eric Batty

A brief recap of some of the adventures from 2015

2015 was a great year for travel and learning. We made a handful of trips down to the Adirondacks as well as a road trip to the Rockies and then followed it up with a drive out to the East coast. I am sure 2016 will exceed 2015 in almost ever aspect…;-) 

Here are a handful of photos of significance to me from our adventures.

View from in front of our new house.

One of Yellowstone’s many beauties.

There is more wildlife in Yellowstone then any other place I have ever seen.

Hiking in Badlands National Park.

The view East over the Seven Sister, from the summit of Crowsnest Mountain.

Night sky in Muskoka.

Getting bashed on the summit of Haystack Mountain, Adirondacks.

Popular for good reason - the view of Peyto Lake, Banff.

Northern lights from Torrence Barrens Dark Sky Preserve.

Sunset over Cascade Mountain, Adirondacks.

View of the High Peaks, Adirondacks.

Cape Breton, NS.

3 Amigos in the Adirondacks.

You can get really close to the wildlife in Yellowstone:-)

Racing a train into the sunset.

Algonquin putting on a show for us.

Trying to capture the beauty of Algonquin Provincial Park in Fall.

My best partner in crime, while probably not having fun in this photo, still managed to smile:-)

The Summer of Travel

Summer is now over and I want to do a recap on what I got up to over the past few months. We did allot of driving this summer - from the Rockies to Cape Breton and everywhere in-between. It was the summer of driving across North America.  There is something surreal about driving west and chasing the sun across the prairies, there are poems, songs and books written about it.  I am always super excited driving towards the mountains, knowing what our trip is to hopefully become. 

I am going to be somewhat brief with the summer report, because if I were to go into detail, it would be a very lengthy blog post. Instead I will post more photos and add a caption to them :-). If you have any questions or would like beta or info let me know and I would be happy to help. Cheers.

3 weeks with the Sony A7MII - A Brief Comparison with Fuji XT1, Nikon D610, Sony RX100MIII

Well it has been just over three weeks since I got my paws on the Sony A7MII and I am very very pleased with this little camera! Over the last few years I have had numerous camera(s) and setups and I currently have 3 (4 including the RX100MIII) different systems that I am alternating through.. I really do not like this and I am going to have to par down the gear and get more use out of the gear that really clicks for me. As of now, I am invested in Nikon FX with one body left (D610) and a handful of my favourite glass. I also am into Fuji with a XT1 and a few Fuji lenses right now. Now I have my A7MII and the 35mm 2.8 as well as the kit 28-70 lens.

This review is not a regular review of just the camera (there are dozens of great product reviews online), it is about how it works for me and compares to my other systems. The camera industry is going through some major changes with the onset of the mirror-less or compact systems making huge headway against the DSLR’s. When I am selecting a camera the first thing that is important to me is the image quality, then the build and quality of the product and last is the feel or inspiration that the product gives me to want to go make pictures. So basically for me there are 3 very simple categories to take into account.

Image Quality from camera bodies only (with comparable lenses mounted): My Nikon D610 wins this one only marginally over the Sony a7MII followed by the Fuji XT1 and then the Sony RX100MIII. Now do make note that both the Nikon and the Sony have a full frame sensor and the Fuji is a aps-c sized sensor while the Sony RX100MIII is a even smaller 1in type sensor. So this is no surprise. The only complaint I have with any of the gear I have is Adobe Lightroom’s ability to support the Fuji X Trans files. It is a big enough issue that is effecting enough people that I think Adobe really needs to step up and fix the issue.

Build Quality: Hmmm this is a tough one. In reality all 4 of the cameras are very well built and seem to share good design and similar quality. Getting nit picky I think that the Fuji actually seems the most well built minus the silly SD card door. The Nikon looks and feels the toughest, while the Sony A7MII would probably take third place in this one. I haven’t had a chance to really get the Sony into some nasty environments yet so maybe it will step up to what I have put the Nikon or even the Fuji through. All three cameras really do well in this category and there is really nothing that stands out to put one above or below the other. The only complaint I have with all 4 of the cameras is on the RX100MIII and that is it is almost to small for my big fingers, which goes against what it is designed for (to be small).

Inspiration: The Fuji XT1 crushes this one then the Sony A7MII then the Nikon D610 and the Sony RX100MIII in last. There is something about the Fuji that just makes you want to get creative and make wonderful pictures and I am not sure how to explain that other it feels better then all my other systems.

Sony a7MII
- Great image quality (2nd to D610)
- Small, light and easy to take everywhere
- Well built

- Lack of lenses
- Noisiest cheapest sounding shutter smack

Fuji XT1
- Good image quality (3rd place)
- Small and light
- Very well built and inspiring to use

- Adobe Lightroom lack of support for x trans files
- SD card door seems like weakest point in the camera (cheap)

Nikon D610
- Best image quality (1st place)
- Tough and robust
- Tons of lenses to chose from

- Bigger and heavier
- Not stealthy (stands out)

Sony RX100MIII
- Small and light (smallest by far)
- Okay image quality for a P+S

- Almost to small (especially with gloves on)

I started out writing a A7MII review and really ended up just comparing it to my other systems, which is what I am currently doing. I think one system needs to go….

Here are a few images from the Sony A7MII over the last few weeks:-)

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