hollywood morning : sony cybershot dsc-rx100

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Sony DSC-RX100 - iso125 - f/4.9 1/1250 sec - Michael Grobe

Heading out early morning on Hollywood Blvd to catch the first sunlight. Waited 5 years for this little camera to come out: The
Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100
For the first time a pocketable little camera has image quality to satisfy even demanding professionals. So far I refused to take any point-and-shoot-small-pocket-camera on the road, since the image quality was always so disappointing, that I wouldn't want to shoot with it. This has changed now, the little Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100 shoots RAW with a 20.2MP 1" Exmor CMOS Low-Light Sensor and a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T Lens.
The files coming off this camera are astounding for it's size and don`t have to hide compared to what I am used to see off a standard DSLR. They hold up very well until ISO 3200, so you can use this little gem for night shooting as well.
All that available in a camera, that really fits into a jeans pocket. Love it. Almost always with me now.

This is the original uncropped image, so the one above is already heavily cropped and a 100% 1:1 pixel crop to show the resolving power of the camera.

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0223_los angeles_hollywood_blvd_sony_dsc_rx100_michael-grobe-bilder_20120831_073935_95_crop
100% 1:1 pixel crop

The gear used to create this image:

Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100: best pocket camera with professional image quality. Beats everything else at the same small pocketable size.

Lightroom 4: the best tool for image management and manipulation on Windows and Macintosh.

See my gear pages:
recommended equipment.

white storm


The Comic Con started today, time for the "White Storm" website to go online. A few weeks back we shot a trailer for the movie in a Studio in L.A. and lots of background plates and material in Death Valley. I had the pleasure to join the project as vfx supervisor and contribute additionally the vfx and set photography. The trailer is still in post production, but the website is worth a first look and the director Bruno Werneck is presenting the project at Comic Con in San Diego.

Image from timelapse sequence shot with Canon EOS-5D Mark II and TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L

just a shoe

Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso6400 - f/2.8 1/25 sec - Michael Grobe

Shoes taken off as a guest reads in the comfy chair in the library...
Shot through a glass table at the wrap party for “2012”. Iso 6400 on the Canon EOS 5D Mk II is great for those low light events.

2012 - almost done

Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 16-35mm 1:2.8L II USM - iso6400 - f/2.8 1/10 sec
- Michael Grobe
This Saturday we celebrated the exclusive Uncharted Territory wrap party for Roland Emmerich´s next blockbuster “2012”. Roland invited the in-house unit generously to his house for a really extraordinary festivity at an extraordinary and beautiful place. Our effects work for the movie is almost done, the last shots are to be finaled, soon...
I am wrapping up to go back to Germany for holidays... Munich beer-gardens, Schnitzel, Weisswuerste, Brezen and Radler are waiting...

Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso6400 - f/2.8 1/50 sec

Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso6400 - f/2.8 1/8 sec

hollywood hiking

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso400 - f/6.3 1/800 sec - Michael Grobe

Hiking in the Hollywood hills on a Saturday afternoon. Two colleagues jumping on a hill, Los Angeles Downtown in the distance and some color processing in Lightroom.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso400 - f/4 1/640 sec - Michael Grobe

hollywood moon

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso100 - f/8 1/400 sec - Michael Grobe

Moon over Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, Los Angeles. Sometimes one can find Hollywood on top of a parking garage.

More 600mm f/4

Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM - iso250 - f/8 1/2500 sec - Michael Grobe

Need to get one of these amazing Canon Tele lenses one day... love the 600mm, but the 500mm f/4 is substantially lighter and a bit smaller, so you can even hand hold it for a while. The 600mm is simply too heavy.

Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM - iso100 - f/5 1/800 sec - Michael Grobe

100% crop (actual pixels): the 600mm with the 5D Mark II reveal the heat distortion around the engines of a jet. Sometimes reality looks like a crazy bump map....

Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM - iso100 - f/5 1/800 sec - Michael Grobe

Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM

Here is the short movie edited from the material we shot back then with the Canon EF 600 f/4 L IS USM on the 5D Mk II.

600mm from Greg Strasz on Vimeo.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III - EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS USM - iso1600 - f/4.5 1/25 sec - Michael Grobe

Due to some late hours and pressing deadlines I have neglected this blog for a while. But I have been shooting...
In this case I had the opportunity to shoot my new Canon EOS 5D Mark II with the amazing Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM, one of the worlds finest super-tele lenses. Since the 5DM2 arrived right before Christmas, I have been using it extensively and comparing it to my Canon EOS 1DS Mark III. My conclusion: the Canon EOS 5D Mark II delivers image quality on par with the Canon EOS 1DS Mark III and adds the long awaited low light capabilities up to usable ISO 6400 (12800 and 25600 are for emergencies only, when you need to get a photo at all). So both cameras make up a great team for all occasions, I still will grab the 1DS Mark III first for a shoot, as it has all the additional features of Canon`s Pro series bodies: weather sealing, superior autofocus (a real difference to the autofocus of the 5D Mark II), 7 brackets for HDR shooting (only 3 with the 5D Mark II, which is a deal breaker for professional use on a movie set), faster frame rate and a lot of other advantages.
But... when the last sun-rays hit the lens, the 5D Mark II starts to shine. While it can´t beat the Nikon D3 and D700 with its low light sensitivity, it comes close.
I was shooting the EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM at one of the photo shootings for a soon to come Hollywood movie together with colleagues (equipped with two Nikon D3´s). That lens is simply amazing. While you hate the weight and bulkiness (5.36 kg), you fall in love with the image quality it delivers. The shot below shows the beautiful bokeh and the incredible detail you can capture, when the lens is connected to a 21 MP 5D Mark II. The crop is at 50% magnification (1200x800 pixels at 100% scaled down to 600x400). Obviously a lens of that focal length requires a sturdy tripod and careful shooting technique: mirror lock up, remote release and either spot on autofocus or manually adjusted focus via live-view.

And what about the video capture....
of course we shot some video footage with the EF 600mm f/4 L and the 5D Mark II in HD video mode. More to come here, once I had the chance to edit the material. First impressions: I have a laughing and a crying eye (we say that in German, I guess it doesn´t translate properly to English). Why? Stay tuned...

Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM - iso100 - f/5 1/500 sec
Photo by Greg Strasz

Canon EOS-5D Mark II - EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM - iso100 - f/5 1/500 sec
50% magnification (1200x800 pixels at 100% scaled down to 600x400)

Photo by Greg Strasz