Thursday, July 31, 2014

Field Report from San Diego Comic Con - The Mirrorless Movement is in Full Effect

The Killer Pumpkins booth before the madness

It has most definitely been a long week at the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC for short). For those who are not aware, I asked by the Killer Pumpkins mastermind, John Pelico, to come along and document the spectacle and post pictures for his website and facebook page. I of course jumped at the opportunity and packed my bags to join the team for this week long Nerdy goodness. 

If this doesn't give you anxiety, then you're ready for SDCC
I not only took this opportunity to meet interesting cosplayers, but wanted to try different photography techniques and talk to photographers about their cameras of choice. I have been going to Comic Con for the last 5 years and started out with my trusty Panasonic GF-1. Consider me an early adopter, but I did not see a single mirrorless camera during my first couple of years attending SDCC. Fast forward to 2014, they are everywhere. Surely I have nothing against DSLRs and Canikon still own the market, but it is great meeting other people proudly donning an EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens) camera. It's like running into another member of your secret club, but more inclusive =).  In fact, many greeted me with a "Heyyyy, nice camera!"or "Aren't these the best?". Among the many brands I saw these were the most abundant (in order of most seen to least seen):
  • Sony NEX (now Alpha) series: From the 3, 5 and 6 series
  • Olympus: Surprisingly the E-M1 was the most popular followed by the EPL series
  • Panasonic - GH3/4 and a handful of G5s
  • Sony Alphas: from the A7(r) to the A77 & A58 specifically
  • Nikon - V series. I had a difficult time identifying the models
  • Fuji X100s
  • Finally one Leica M Body - They count as mirrorless cameras
Our savior was into steam punk.
What I really love most about Comic Con is that people are so receptive and open to randomly talk to strangers. In fact, it's expected. I took this opportunity to interview people about why they decided to go with a mirrorless camera and the overwhelming response I got was that they felt they had a smaller camera that didn't sacrifice on image quality. Some even suggested it had brought new life to their photography because they had a lot more creative opportunities with the ability to adapt inexpensive, high-quality legacy lenses. With regards to the E-M1 (the camera I brought to SDCC), many have praised its touch screen particularly to choose a focus point and/or to capture a photo. I for one can attest to its utility and ease of use.

Selfie opportunity with Master Chief
Overall, I am glad that mirrorless cameras are becoming more and more relevant. This truly was a stark contrast to my first several years at SDCC. I wouldn't be surprised if more and more people decide to add an EVIL camera to their arsenal because who wants to walk around for 12 hours with something heavier.  To me seeing so many attendees using mirrorless cameras is a sign of where the industry is going and I, for one, am happy with the direction.

I personally love interpretations of characters rather than direct copies.
Kudos to this cosplayer

I posed these cosplayers and they simply nailed the look I was going for. 

I'll be posting more about my photographic experience while working at San Diego Comic Con. For now enjoy a couple more photos from my first couple of days at SDCC. Thanks for stopping. 

So say we all,

The detail in her hand-made bow was simply amazing. Loved this Lara Croft outfit

Nightcrawler bringing the smolder

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