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Going to Japan

Leaving for Japan tomorrow with a couple of friends. It’s a trip we’ve talked about for the last two years but never got around to actually booking until now. Long-time readers will remember that I set up a wiki on this domain back in 2007 for notes on things to see/eat in Tokyo. I think we cancelled for a number of reasons, one of them probably being that I’d just left my job and wasn’t sure what I was going to do. Coincidentally, one of us going on this trip has just quit his. Some people like to go on long, liberating holidays after quitting. I’m far too conservative with money for that. Oh did I mention that I’ve just bought a new camera for this trip?

I really didn’t need it, because I’ve still got my Panasonic Lumix LX3, which is by far the best non-SLR digital camera I’ve ever owned, apart from being a bit of a fatty. The Sony WX1, on the other hand, is as small as my Canon IXUS 80, but with a 24mm wide-angle lens and low-light performance that beats the rather noisy LX3. The only way around color noise on the LX3 is to shoot no higher than 400 ISO, but you’ll need steady hands for that. Sadly, the WX1 only offers 4:3 shooting; the other aspect ratios are just crops. But once you see how clean its handheld night shots are, you’ll want one too.

I just thought I’d put that out there in case anyone was thinking of buying the same. It’s a good pocket companion to a more prosumer camera like the Canon G11, S90 or Panasonic LX3. It’s lack of manual controls will keep you from using it exclusively, while small and fast enough to rely on when the other one’s at home/in the bag. I swore off Sony cameras a couple of years ago because they were a bit of a pain to use and had poor outdoor white balance with our local lighting conditions. But this one is an easy recommendation so far (as long as you turn the Dynamic Range Optimization function off).

This is a photo of what I had at lunch today, virtually untouched from the camera.

Roast pork belly

I should have more when I get back in two weeks. Mata ne.

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