End Of Year Music Post
It’s been a while since I blogged, however, I have some fun stuff planned for 2013, and, as is tradition, I am going to start with the musical trends of the past year. So here we go:
- Sabaton - There is no other metal band that also doubles as a high school world history class so effectively.
- Therion - more metal? ugh. Their covers of 60s french pop songs though are quite good!
- The Crystal Method - this is strange because there were no new albums, but my running mix is heavy on Crystal Method, so that’s where it comes from
- Crystal Castles - big year for Crystal. The newest Crystal Castle album is superb.
- Infected Mushroom - psy-step, psychedelic dubstep?
- Squarepusher - I mean, do I have to say why?
- Skyler Fox - he’s the best!
- Bertine Zetlitz - really good somewhat dark swedish pop
- iamamiwhoami - great The Knife style electronica
- BT - this is probably also from my running mixes
How about some honorable mentions?
- The Flashbulb - this music inspired a poem about my grandmother’s death
- Arnaud Rebotini - great push forward from Black Strobe
- Rebecca & Fiona - big shoes
- Eric Whitacre - somewhat generic choral music
- Le Kid - Le Awesome
- Therion - Dis-moi poupée : this song sort of drips all over itself, it’s quite wonderful. (therion version, original isabelle version, which is very dark for an adolescent french girl)
- Crystal Castles - Plague : classic Crystal Castles, electropunk (link)
- Le Kid - Seventeen : just pure bubblegum pop goodness (link)
- Squarepusher - 4001 : a return to beautiful, brutal electronica. no bass playing here, but it doesn’t matter (link)
- Arnaud Rebotini - Another Time, Another Place : coming from Black Strobe, this was just as dark as I wanted, and so driving. (link)
- Sabaton - Carolus Rex : just great swedish power metal. all Sabaton albums are the same, but if you listen to just one, this is the song, this is the album (link)
- Infected Mushroom - U R So Fucked : Combine goa/psytrance with dubstep, and you get psystep, it’s a departure but so is evertying Infected Mushroom does (link)
- Bertine Zetlitz – One In A Million : just a really solid pop song, good performance good production (link)
- Vanbot - Ringing : I’m glad this one made the list as it contains my favorite lyric of the year “the smell of summer lingers.” (link)
- Sabaton – Gott Mit Uns : another great chant-a-long from Carolus Rex (link)
- Sabaton - Carolus Rex : as i’ve said, all Sabaton albums are the same, but if you listen to just one, this is the one to listen to
- The Crystal Method - Drive : I’ve been running too much this year
- Crystal Castles - III : great angry music
- Therion - Les Fleurs Du Mal - metal covers of 60s french pop songs. It’s great in that context, but without knowing the context, it falls a bit.
- Bertine Zetiltz - Electric Feet : just a really solid pop album
- Eric Whitacre - The Complete Acapella Works : I have some fun projects coming up with this source material
- iamamiwhoami - Kin : While we’re waiting for the Knife, we can get something a bit different, but close enough
- BT - Active 2.0 : too much running
- Squarepusher - Ufabulum : Really happy with his comeback after shoeblader which was a let down
- Air - Le Voyage dans la Lune : great soundtrack to a revolutionary scifi movie
I don’t usually do entries like this (trust me, that’s a good thing) but I’ve had my X-Pro1 for a week now, and by popular demand, here’s some of my initial impressions. Since I think to end on a high note, I’ll start with the gripes, and end with the passion.
- The AF button (which lets you select which autofocus point you want to use) is located on the bottom left of the back of the camera, meaning you have to use your left hand to select it. You then scroll through the AF points using the right d-pad. I wish the AF button was a right hand option. NOTE: This can be fixed in firmware by allowing the user to reassign buttons (the Fn button would be perfect for this, and the current AF button would be good for ISO for me)
- When in OVF, the framing guidelines don’t match up to the eventual framing of the shot in terms of size (although, it’s very minor). Considering these are digitally projected, I am not sure why it can’t be 100% accurate.
- Also with OVF, the framing guidelines changes intensity depending on the color/brightness of the scene. This is awesome, but it’s dictated by the lens, so if you have the cap on, it’s dark. This is actually probably a feature…
- Although I find the AF perfectly acceptable and AT LEAST as good as my Canon T2i was with a USM lens, I can see how a camera that is about the same as a Canon 7D would expect the autofocus to be better. This is not an issue to me, but I understand the argument, and can see how that affects your value proposition.
- Currently, no Lightroom support, although Adobe says it’s coming.
- JPEG is a little overexposed and warm for my liking (although, once RAW support is in LR, I won’t care, and it’s easy enough to just use the exposure compensation dial to set the EV down a notch or two)
- The 35mm lens only closes to f/16 and the camera’s lowest ISO is 200 (in RAW, 100 in JPEG). Definitely need an ND filter
- There is no port for cable release/intervalometer. The shutter does have a spot for a screw in shutter release though, which I have, and is very nifty, although not as flexible.
- There is a clicking noise as the aperture keeps changing when in automatic aperture mode. It’s minor, but annoying and not a big issue for me as I’m usually shooting full manual.
- The manual focus isn’t great. I don’t really use manual focus, but when I do, time is not a concern.
- Image quality is just incredible. There’s not much to say here except that alone is worth the price of admission for me
- The “hybrid” viewfinder is just so useful and nifty. Being able to switch between an OVF “rangefinder” style viewfinder, and a EVF for full coverage (with one button 5x crop for maximum focus detail check) is just great
- The camera feels great in your hands. Light but solid. Not too big, not too small, and every button is in just the right place. It’s easy to just pick up and shoot.
- Due to the OVF, you feel much more connected to the scene you are shooting, and you are seeing “more” than what the eventual captured scene displays. This is a great thing.
- 52mm thread size on the 35mm lens means very reasonably priced filters.
- The lens included a pouch, a (metal) lens hood, a lens cap, and a hood cap! Since the lens is so small, it’s easy to keep it in your bag hood intact and still be able to have a cover on it.
- Speaking of the 35mm lens, the similar Canon lens is 1500 dollars. I can assure you, this lens has nearly identical optical properties, and is WAY smaller. May or may not be weather sealed, but build quality is similar.
- The autofocus may be slow, but it is very accurate.
- ISO performance is insane. You don’t see any noise/loss of detail until ISO3200, and at that point it’s almost unnoticeable. Even at ISO6400 you get ridiculously detailed and low noise shots. It’s not until 5 figure ISO levels that things get noisy/blurry, but even then, the shots are usable (especially for web). Coming from a T2i, where even at ISO800 i felt uncomfortable some times, this is amazing.
- Really high “cool” factor. I know this shouldn’t really matter, but, hey, nothing wrong with being cool!
- Did I mention image quality?!
Overall, I am in love with the camera. It inspires me to take shots I normally wouldn’t, and really get in close and become part of the scene. Capturing the shot from within. I believe the camera is really great in that there’s not a lot of thinking involved with the device, allowing you to focus almost completely on the shit. It’s not perfect, but no camera is, and this camera is as close to perfect and tailored to my type of shooting as any one I have ever used. In the future, I would like a wider angle lens (the roadmap has a 14mm and 12-24 coming up) and a longer zoom Macro lens than the current 60mm, but aside from that, I am sold.
Sample images? Check back in upcoming blog posts ;)
it’s hard to see the trees for the forest
a painted marker
guiding us through messy paths
we blindly follow
a new seed lays down
from the rock road it rolls
waiting for rebirth
Is it harder to leave the light for the darkness, or the darkness for the light?