Buying a New Phone, and Want the Best Camera? iPhone 5S vs Nexus 5

A good comparison between the iPhone 5S and the Nexus 5. There is a part in the beginning that’s about the speed of the processor, but after that it’s a good comparison between the cameras.

(Found on Feber, source: iTwe4kz on youtube)

The Best Things Comes In Small Packages?

During the last days almost all the major brands have released new camera models. What they all have in common is that the size of the camera houses are getting significantly smaller.

Sony released the tiny A7 with full frame sensor, and yet changeable lenses. A camera that I think looks really interesting. Review here

Panasonic released their GX7. Once again, a tiny camera with a really impressive specification. In this case a Micro Four Third sensor. Full review here


Also Nikon release a new model of their smallest DSLR, the D5300. Now with WiFi, GPS and enhanced ISO-performance.

They all have one thing in common, the demand for smaller cameras are increasing. Can you imagine watching a photographer in the year of 2020 with a 40 cm lens? Neither can I.

What I think may drive the camera manufacturers might be the increasing quality in our everyday smartphones. For every day they are getting more and more traction, and I guess the smallest pocket cameras have a really tough battle to fight against the phones.

If you haven’t seen any images from the new iPhone 5S, that is one of the opponents of the traditional pocket cameras, I can recommend this good article.

Free iPhone photo app review – Vintage

This is quite traditional filter-app The difference between this and most of the current filter-apps may be that there are fewer filters to use, and filters that are the opposite of subtle.

I’m not the biggest fan of using filters, but when I use them I want to use them in a way that it really shows that filter’s been used. With that said, this app contains some really nice ones, if you like to use filters.

If you download the free app you’ll have to live with some ads, but I don’t think that they are too annoying.

The test photo is a photo I took with my iPhone 5. Below it, you’ll find the same photo after the Vintage app is used, and at the bottom you’ll find two screen shots.

© Pedro Hansson - Original iPhone Photo before "Vintage"
© Pedro Hansson – Original iPhone Photo before “Vintage”
© Pedro Hansson - Original iPhone Photo after "Vintage"
© Pedro Hansson – iPhone Photo after “Vintage”
Screen Shots from the app Vintage
Screen Shots from the app Vintage
© Pedro Hansson - Screen Shot, Vintage
© Pedro Hansson – Screen Shot, Vintage

Best Album Of All Times – Number 1

Best Album Of All Times – Number 1: Keane – Hopes and Fears (2004)

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Number 1?! Yes. You haven’t missed number 2. The truth is, I can’t possibly separate this album and the next one. While this is an album that you may need one or two “listenings” to, the last one is one of those that get you struck’d by straight ahead. Both albums are still one of those that you can listen to for decades and still just enjoy the awesome production, the atmosphere, the small subtle changes, the vocals, the bass, the guitar, the drums and so on.

Keane, with Tom Chaplin (on lead vocals, organ, piano, acoustic and electric guitar,  Tim Rice-Oxley (on piano, keyboards, synthesisers, electric guitar, bass guitar, backing vocals, Richard Hughes (on drums, percussion, backing vocals and Jesse Quin (on bass guitar, electric guitar, synthesisers, percussion, backing vocals) is playing

Keane achieved mainstream success with the release of their debut album, Hopes and Fears, in 2004. The album won multiple awards, including the Brit Award for Best British Album, and was the second best-selling British album of the year.

Keane are labeled as alternative rock, and I guess its hard to give them a better reference. With its typical piano / bass sound together with some amazing vocals, Keane is Keane. The more often used reference is Coldplay, and there the similarities are more obvious.

This album, Hopes and Fears has been a huge success.

In May 2008, both Hopes and Fears (number 13) and Under the Iron Sea (number 8) were voted by readers of Q magazine as among the best British albums ever, with Keane, The Beatles, Oasis and Radiohead the only artists having two albums in the top 20.

So lets dig into this amazing album

***** Somewhere Only We Know. The first track kicks of with some really characteristic Keane-sounds, and then after 0:24, the verse. This song is amazing. Also, listen for those subtle changes all the way up to 1:10. The bass that sometimes helps the piano, the steady increase in volume, and it accelerates all the way. This is Keane as its best. Working with changes in tempo, strength and feelings.

***** Bend & Break. The same kind of piano-groove as on Somewhere Only We Know kicks of the second track as well, and once again they are slowing things down, to be able to lift the track at 0:50, with a strong amazing chorus.

If only I don’t bend and break
I’ll meet you on the other side
I’ll meet you in the light
If only I don’t suffocate
I’ll meet you in the morning when you wake

***** We Might As Well Be Stranger. A slow, subtle song with a steady rise to the crescendo after 2 minutes. Listen to the always present Keane piano, the variations in the vocals.

***** Everybody’s Changing. Once again, an awesome track. The difference between 1 and 2 may be the more heavy use of synthesizers in the verse. Look for the break at 2:47.

**** Your Eyes Open. A four!? A Simple four on the Best Album Of All Tracks. Well, its still a four, isn’t it? This may be weakest track on this album but still an amazing song. What is it that makes this song less good than the others. Well this is just personal. I have some difficulties with the start of the track. The groove isn’t that good, in my book. But hey, things are repaired once they got thing going and the chorus is great!

***** I’ve used the word subtle a number of times already and when I’m trying to describe one of the best groups in the world when it comes to variations musically the words soon starts to be running out. The track is built around the great vocals of Tom Chaplin and Richard Hughes drums. Beautiful.

***** Can’t Stop Now is a paring of traditional Brit-Pop and the Keanish sound. Just listen at the chorus at 0:53 with the vocals and the piano’s totally awesome harmonies.

**** Sunshine sounds a lot like Harry Nilsson. Have you heard him? The guy that almost was a “Beatle”. If you haven’t heard him. Check him out here.  Back to the song. The influences from Beatles are evident. The song is not as characteristic as many others on the album, but still a great track with some awesome harmonies.

****** This Is The Last Time. Another hit from this album, and No I didn’t miss out on the stars. This must be a six! The vocals starts of straight away with the piano, and later bass / drums. After 0:30 it starts to build, before the… aaaaamaaazing chorus. The harmonies, the piano, the drums, the bass. Just listen to it!! Perfect!

***** On A Day Like Today. A relaxed track, with slow changes and heavy use of Tom Chaplin’s voice.

***** Untitled 1. Drums kicks of this album, followed by almost an Abba-Sound on the keyboard (?). Nowadays great tracks are used in the gaming industry. This track could definitely be used as such. Great atmosphere, with strong characteristics.

***** Bedshaped. To put it in a few words. This is so DARN good!

To be honest, its not that easy to write a review around Keanes music. The all small great changes, the subtleness, the arrangements and so on. Its so good, and if every great move in the music would’ve been described it would take years.

The Best Album Of All Times – Number 4

The Best Album Of All Times – Number 4: Sixx A.M. – The Heroin Diaries (2007)

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This is not an album, this is not poetry, this is not a story. This is all of them combined together in an amazing soundtrack, written as the music to the book with the same name, The Heroin Diaries. An album that describes the life as a Heroin addict.

All the tracks on the album represents one month of Nikki Sixx life in the period from December 1986 to December 1987, which truly shows in the lyrics, and was written after Nikki Sixx had done in total six drug overdoses.

Sixx A.M; as Sixx from Nikki Sixx, DJ Ashba (currently Gun’s and Roses) and James Michael has put together an epic album with Heroine Diaries. An album that may grow in popularity over the years, and an album that I think is absolutely one of the best albums ever. If the album would’ve been released back in the days when records were solely sold as complete albums, this would’ve been one of the really big ones!

The Music could be described as Musical-inspired Hard Rock.

It’s one of those albums that’s hard to listen to, just track by track. Instead it’s a complete history with all parts of a hard, struggling life well described; happiness, sadness, hope, failing, anxiety…

If the schools should use music as drug awareness, this album would be the best pick.

In my opinion Nikki Sixx is amazing at writing lyrics, and before we’re digging in to the lyrics of Heroin Diaries, I must share these rows from the track “Oh My God”, on the following album “This is Gonna Hurt”

And we sit in our highrise apartments and complain about things that don’t matter,

And we race through this life just to see who can die with as much as we can gather,

And a few blocks away a teenage mother plays Russian Roulette with her daughter,

Is this the best that we can do, is this the best that we can do.

Back to Heroin Diaries:

To fully understand the lyrics, it might be good to know some “drug slang”

blue – Crack Cocaine; depressants; OxyContin

ex – ecstasy

golden eye / Persian – Heroin

My own thoughts about the album, combined with small parts of the lyrics

As I previously wrote, all the tracks on the album represents one month of Nikki Sixx life in the period from December 1986 to December 1987, which also is described on the first track, X-Mas In Hell:

December 25th, 1986 – Van Nuys.

Merry Christmas,

That’s what people say at Christmas, right?

Except normally they have someone to say it to.

They have friends and family,

And they haven’t been crouched naked under a Christmas tree

with a needle in their arm like an insane person in a mansion in Van Nuys.

They’re not out of their minds, they’re not writing in a diary,

And they’re definitely not watching their holiday spirit coagulate in a spoon.

I didn’t speak to a single person today.

I figured why should I ruin their fucking Christmas.

I’ve started a new diary and this time I have a few new reasons.

One, I have no friends left.

Two, so I can read back and remember what I did the day before.

And three, so if I die, at least I leave a nice little suicide note of my life.

If you’re wondering about Van Nuys when you listen to this track, it’s a popular place in California where many celebrities have lived/lives. Link

Van Nuys is also the title of the next track. In this track there seems to be a fragment of fighting spirit starting to grow. Even though it’s still very melancholic.

I don’t want to die out here in the valley

You don’t have to lie, I know that’s what I’ll do

I don’t want my mom to know

That I never loved my life and I sold my soul

Third track, Life Is Beautiful the anxiety over dying and the reflection of life’s beauty is starting to grow, and I guess due to an eye-opener while visiting someone else’s funeral (I will check this while reading the book which I think is a must to fully understand it all and to be able to question comments on the internet).  The music on this track is a little more on the hard side Listen especially to the guitars and arrangements.

Alive

just open your eyes, just open your eyes

And you see that life is beautiful

Will you swear on your life

That no one will cry at my funeral?

Pray for me; the searching for help have started. The anxiety is evident.

Cross your heart and hope

That I won’t die before the best day of my life

Just pray for me tonight

Tomorrow. A sign that the hope has started to grow. The thoughts are more around future plans, a commitment to choose life, and accept what’s been said and done. First track where Nikki Sixx is starting to use words about the future.

Tomorrow we’re gonna have to live with the thing you say

Tomorrow we’ll have to cross bridges that you burn today

Tomorrow everything you do is coming back for you

You’ll never outrun what waits for you tomorrow

The track “Accidents can happen” is a beautiful track about when you slip, and about accepting that we all do make mistakes, and it’s fine that we make them. One of the tracks on this album that works really well by it’s own.

And you know that accidents can happen

And it’s okay, we all fall off the wagon sometimes

It’s not your whole life, it’s only one day

You haven’t thrown everything away

Intermission; the pause

When I first placed my hands

On these diaries, scraps of paper

There were notes and scribbles

And all kinds of shit

A lot of feelings came bubbling up

But mostly this one

‘How the hell am I still alive?’

Dead Man’s ballet is true death anxiety and the question why God have deserted him

Oh God, how could you have let this

Happened to such a lovely young child?

I was their only son and I tried, tried, tried

Heart failure; a track about what it’s like to take drugs, and be a drug addict. For those of you that have followed this series of posts, Mötley Crüe was at place 14. In that post I wrote “Nikki Six was in an academic way dead for two minutes before found by Slash in his hotel room 1987, and the injected with adrenalin in the heart and survived. This was actually the background for the track “Kickstart my heart” on the Dr Feelgood album.”

If I could have a guess, and it isn’t far-fetched, I guess that this song is from that time.

Like I was saying

To look into the eyes of death was intoxicating

Taking it into our lungs, laughing at ourselves

Where a loser’ll probably cry

And more importantly, had probably just died

Since all the tracks reflects one month of his live 1986/1987, the lyrics Heart Failure, Girl With Golden Eyes, Courtesy Call and Permission are closely linked together.

While Heart failure is describing the consequences, Girl with golden eyes is about being in love with Heroin, and how he struggles to get rid of “her”. True signs of hope are starting to show, and the music composition is absolutely beautiful! For those that don’t know what this album is all about this track may pass by as any other love song. Courtesy call is about preparing for the next step, being without drugs…

This is just a courtesy call

This is just a matter of policy

This is just an act of kindness

To let you know that your time is up, up

Permission: He has reached the goal. He’s free, and has to start taking care of what have been, and live a new life, fight against being caught again and just focus.

The album ends with the track “Life After Death”.

So here we are at the end,

And at the same time we’re at the beginning

Of this misadventure.

Why I had to go down a dead end street

At two hundred miles an hour

Screaming for vengeance and embracing death,

That’s still something I’m trying to figure out.

You know a part of me thinks this is some big master plan

To expose the raw nerve endings of dysfunction so I can heal.

But you know addicts, we think everything’s about us, don’t we?

Man it got so convoluted, polluted, and distorted

I ran with the only information I was given

I turned it into my armour, my defence mechanism,

And my weapon of self destruction.

Yeah, I had a fucked up childhood. And I was a troubled teen.

Those are facts.

How I got there? That’s a story told by many voices.

It’s not my job to blame anybody anymore,

I just need to accept the path I was given.

This is, without a doubt,

My life after death.

When I first started making this list. This was one of the albums I really looked forward to penetrate. To have time to really dig into it, and understand it.

I hope you like it as much as I do, and after all. This is not an album, this is not poetry, this is not a story. This is all of them combined together in an amazing soundtrack

<- Back to number 5

Attachments:

interviews with Lead Vocalist James Michael

Interview with Nikki Sixx about his book Heroin Diaries

Full Album (YouTube playlist):

Spotify playlist

Sony RX-100, first thoughts

Sony RX-100, First thoughts

So, the day after I posted my thoughts on buying the Sony RX100 I went out and bought one due to all the positive feedback that I’ve got. Thank you btw for your comments and e-mails!

My first impressions:

I’ve only taken like 20 photos so far (just for testing and nothing else) and my first impressions are:

Pros:

Really good (actually awesome considering the size of the camera) image quality
Easy to use
Lens

Cons:

Slow focus in the dark
When you’re used to a DSLR many controls are in the menu instead of in front of you
I haven’t discovered a way to do Time Lapse so far (maybe due to handling error)

Well, this is just the first day. I’ll get back with more reviews along the way.

Take care

Sony RX-100 in dark conditions
Sony RX-100 in dark conditions – lack of focus, but good DOF

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Sony RX-100 in dark conditions
Sony RX-100 in dark conditions

Sony RX100? Good buy?

I’m getting a bit curious of buying a Sony RX100 as a complement to my DSLR, and as an upgrade to my old compact, Olympus XZ-1. Seems like a good camera with a reasonable big sensor, bright lens and still a really small camera.

Does anyone have an opinion on this one?

Link to the review

Sony RX100