Updated Camera Recommendations!

Updated Camera Reviews!

We have updated the Good / Better / Best recommendations on the Camera Reviews page. I’ll paste them below for you, although that linked page has even more information included recommended lenses, software, and more.

Good Camera

Panasonic Lumix GX1

Panasonic Lumix GX1

Priced at about $499, this Panasonic camera is highly recommended if your budget is keeping you at around the $500 level.

If budget is not a concern, I suggest you jump down to the “Better” or “Best” recommendations. However, if budget is your principle concern, then no worries! This Panasonic will serve you well! It has a 16 megapixel sensor and is based on something called the “Micro Four Thirds” standard. This means that there many different lenses you can attach to this camera, which is something you can add over time. If you’re just getting started, there is no need to worry about lenses, since it comes with a servicable 14-42mm lens that will allow wide-angle shots and a little bit of zoom. It also has a slick 3″ touch enabled LCD screen.

Better Camera

Sony NEX-7

Sony NEX-7

Starting around $1,300 which includes an 18-55mm lens.

See my full Sony NEX-7 Review. In short, this is really a great camera. I carry it! It is compact and powerful. It can be used it almost any photographic situation and is one of the best models available in this class. I use it to take photos of everything, from kids to landscapes to architecture to objects. This tiny 24 megapixel beast has a thousand other features that those clever Japanese crammed inside… see the full Sony NEX-7 Review for more information and sample photos.

Best DSLR Camera

Nikon D800

Nikon D800

Starting at $3,000 for the camera body.

See my full Nikon D800 Review. This is currently my main camera. I also carry the Sony NEX-7 above as a second camera to get quick shots here and there. But this Nikon D800 is a bigger, traditional DSLR camera. It shoots a massive 36 megapixels and has all the professional-level features associated with high-end DSLRs. For me, I prefer this over the Nikon D4 which is almost twice as expensive. You can see many sample photos and read more in my full Nikon D800 Review

Daily Photo – The Hypercity of Shanghai

When you are up in one of the taller buildings in Shanghai, you can look in almost any direction and see a Blade-Runneresque view. It’s always staggering. I’d love to see a time-lapse of Shanghai being built up over the last 30 years… that would be amazing.

The Hypercity of Shanghai

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2007-08-03 10:11:43
  • CameraNIKON D2Xs
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Wormhole

Back to China

I’m going back to China for quite a while.   This will be a fun trip, and I’m getting access to all kinds of incredible places. I’m not totally sure about the details of my adventure, but I’ll be sure to share them with you here.

I’ve also recently gone through the trouble of getting another Chinese Visa. These things are not terribly easy or cheap to get! The first thing that is horribly unnerving is the requirement to send my actual passport through the mail. It’s a major worry to do this! Furthermore, it’s not cheap — in order to get everything back and forth to me as quickly as possible, fees + Fedex costs over $300.

I like the “softcore Visas”, where you stand in line after arrival and then pay some shifty-eyed Indonesian customs worker $20 US cash and he stamps you through right away.

Daily Photo – The Wormhole

Shanghai has this incredible tunnel that goes under the river to the Bund. It’s just wild inside!

They have a series of robotic trains that shuttle people back and forth. Robotic doors whir open then shut again. The front of the capsule has a bubble-window that allows for a stunning view as you dip below the river and back up again. Colored lights in every lighting configuration fly by in beautiful colors. This is an amazing experience that I recommend if you ever get to Shanghai!

HDR Photo

Even the Model of Shanghai is Huge

Look at this crazy place I found in Shanghai!

This was inside one of the many government buildings. It was a multi-story complex dedicated to the past, present, and future of Shanghai. It was filled with multimedia presentations on the water systems, photo exhibits of the Bund under British control, and video extrapolations of what the city would become in 2020.

Of all these cool things, the best was this gigantic model of Shanghai. I walked around it about five times, trying to get some kind of sense of how to photograph the dang thing. Then, finally, I decided to grab a shot that included a few tourists to show the scale of this monstrosity.

By the way, thanks so much for all the interest in the Newsletter yesterday! I put a map on that page showing where all the early subscribers are coming from. I was, frankly, surprised how many people signed up! Now the pressure is on to deliver something that is worthwhile!

Even the model of Shanghai is huge (by Stuck in Customs)

The Motion of Shanghai

I crossed under the river one night from the Bund to get a closer look at the Oriental Pearl Tower. There was a cool fountain at the bottom and no tourists around.

This is a good thing, since it is always hard to make tourists look “cool” in photos. No matter what, everyone ends up looking like a gawking Rick Steves. Speaking of which, his travel series on PBS called “Europe through the Back Door” always gave me cause for concern.

The Motion of Shanghai

The Magic of Shanghai

It was well after sundown when I finished some meetings, so I went down to the Bund to take some shots across the river of Shanghai. Even in the middle of the night, the river was full of boats coming and going, all lit up with various festive colors. Everything had an electric feel and I very much enjoyed walking up and down the river as the lights changed and new boats came and went…

The Magic of Shanghai (by Stuck in Customs)

Admiring Shanghai from the Bund

Shanghai looks huge and amazing no matter what side of the river you are visiting! I think I went back and forth 8 times to see it from one angle then the next as the sun was setting. There is this electric train that goes in a tube under the water that is surrounded with enough flashing neon to send the average Japanese kid into seizures. It’s all fantastic and electric — and both banks were covered every night with people admiring the view… Normally I don’t like tourists in my shots, but this one was kind of about the viewers of the city viewing the city.

Admiring Shanghai from the Bund (by Stuck in Customs)

The Nightlife in Shanghai

Shanghai! What a crazy cool place… It has 200% the energy and activity of New York… Very fun and exciting. It was good to have a local group of friends to show me the best haunts… of course I was a bit of a drain since I had to carry my camera around… but… comon of course!

The Nightlife of Shanghai

Cartier on the Bund

This was shot on the Bund in Shanghai inside a small but nice building that had a few high-end stores. I thought the chairs and couch had a nice texture and shape near the rich decor, so I had to set up for a quick shot!

The Bund in the Rain

This is shot from the old British part of Shanghai called the Bund. The rain was bitter rough that night and I was on the roof, but I managed to get in position and stay dry enough (for a moment) for this one.

The Bund in the Rain

The Pirate Ship in Shanghai at Night

Here is booming downtown Shanghai after dusk with a lit pirate ship crossing the river…

The Pirate Ship in Shanghai at Night

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