The Sony a7r Mk III—simply amazing

Last week Sony released their a7r Mk III full-frame mirror-less DSLR-like 42MP camera.

This camera is amazing. I want one!

I won't go into all the notes about this camera that make it amazing. You can find those at DPReview (see my sidebar) or any number of other camera sites, or in twenty of more Youtube video reviews, where all of the specifications of the camera can be found. I will just mention a few attributes that I found amazing.

It has 13 stops of dynamic range at 400 ISO. At 100 ISO it has 15 stops of dynamic range. This is very good for a full-frame 42MP camera. But I shoot mostly at 400 ISO these days and 13 stops of dynamic range at 400 ISO is head shaking.

It has a bigger battery. Sony claim the new battery allows for 500+ shots without recharge when shooting using the EVF, and over 600 shots if the rear LCD is used instead. However, test reports are indicating that far more frames are possible than the number in Sony's marketing data with one test photographer reporting 2,200 frames in RAW+jpg.

A Super Hi-Res 3.69M-dot Quad VGA OLED view finder.

And lastly, the a7r Mk III incorporates market leading in-camera five axis image stabilisation which Sony suggests is good enough for a full five extra stops.

The single biggest downside? In Australia just the body is going to cost the most part of $5,000. Probably about $4,999.

It doesn't have a built in GPS, and while some reviewers have made a big deal of this it does not bother me in the slightest.

Want to learn more about the a7r Mk III? Try the following sites:

Updated my 'Roads and Tracks' to the 2018 edition

I decided it was time to upgrade my old faithful 'Roads and Tracks of Western Australia' book. The edition I have is 2006.

The new 14th edition, labelled as the 2018 edition, has just recently been released. So my son and I sought out Map Central in Willetton, which was by no means an easy feet (they could certainly do with some more obvious street-facing branding—we drove past them twice), and I purchased the latest version.

I have already spent the better part of two hours going over the maps while sipping on some Jim Beam bourbon. Just looking at all the places in the south-west quadrant of Western Australia that I have not been to.

It makes you want to hop in the car and just start driving; and go to all those places you haven't been to just to see what is there and what needs photographing.

The 'once every 20 years' Yealering Regatta and Markets

On Saturday this weekend (being the 28th October, 2017) I made the trip over to Yealering. I went over to meet up with a friend who was going to the Yealering Regatta and Markets; or it could have been the Yealering Markets Regatta. One or the other.

The markets are held on the edge of Yealering Lake—from whence the town gets it name. It seems that Yealering Lake is generally void of water, or only has a bit right in the middle. But this year Yealering Lake was full and it is quite a large inland almost-fresh water lake—by Western Australia standards anyway.

Below is a 160 degree panorama of the lake. This picture is 3,500 pixels wide, so if you are lucky enough to have a 4K computer monitor (which is 3,840 pixels wide) then you will be able to see it full size. The rest of us will have to be content with a reduced version; but SquareSpace will manage that for us and ensure we see the largest version that fits in our window.

But you can see that it is full. There is a speed boat docked in the right side of the pano.

The markets part of the Yealering Markets Regatta is pretty easy to come to grips with. They were markets selling mostly locally produced 'stuff' such as corrugated iron sheet do-dats, some wood crafty stuff, and other homeware what-nots and things. Oh. And there was a coffee van and a doughnut van, who together—I am pretty sure—took the most money of any other stall holders there.

The regatta part of the Yealering Markets Regatta does not involve 12 meter yachts. The local kids have been building various water craft from various materials over the last couple of months and the 'regatta' involves aged groups of kids racing to the end of the jetty, or the end of the jetty and back for the older kids.

Following are a couple of pictures of the regatta. These were taken with a polarising filter attached to reduce glare from the water, but this also makes the water look darker.

Following are a couple of shots of the onlooking crowd. One taken from the back and the other from the edge of the lake.

This next picture is an 18mm wide-angle shot of the market-road; along which the stalls were located. You can't miss the doughnut (or is is donut?) van at the end. The coffee van—which was a tiny Suzuki Swift with all the coffee making machines tightly fitted into the back of itwas just to the right of the donut van.

Finally, following are some snaps of the regatta craft before they were launched into the water. Click on any image to see it slightly larger (500 pixels high).

So, as I close out, there could be some people wondering why the title "The 'once every 20 years' Yealering Regatta and Markets". Well it seems that the last regatta was something like 20 years ago because there has not been enough water in the lake for the last 20 years that would have allowed the regatta to be held.

If it is 20 years to the next one ... then there is a chance I might not be around to see it.

Got the spices; now just need the new pantry to put them in

I have mentioned before that we are downsizing. The new house consists of the 'main' house and an attached granny flat. The granny flat is where the wife and I will live. The kids--my son and his fiancé--will have the main house.

Lately my son has got into barbequing ... big time. So he and fiancé have started buying BBQ (and other) spices to put in their new pantry. They have even gone to the trouble of buying little IKEA jars—all the same—to put the spices into.

The only problem with the plan is that the concrete slab for the new house has not even been put down yet. In fact, the builders have not even started preparing the site for the slab. So, there they are, imagining all these neat little jars of spices in their new pantry but the new pantry is probably still a good six to seven months away.

I guess it's good to dream.

In the meantime my son has his BBQ container. So all the spices, and all his other BBQ equipment including meat injectors and meat rubs, is currently in this container.

Oh yeah ... and notice all the neat labelling? They went an bought a label printer from Office Works to print all the labels.

Marginally disturbing fact: The fast moving rock we live on

I often find it a marginally disturbing fact that we all live on a spinning rock that is hurtling through space at 105,000 kilometres per hour (66,000 miles per hour for my American readers) as it loops around the sun; and then the sun itself is looping around the milky way galaxy at an astounding 792,000 kilometres per hour (483,000 miles per hour). So as the Earth loops around the sun at 105,000 kph it is also moving sideways through space at 792,000 kph as Earth is pulled along around the galaxy by the sun's gravitational hold on us.