GMG Tech Talk- Understanding Cameras and Joey’s Camera Recommendations

Not every camera is right for every person.  There are always tradeoffs in the balance of price, camera size and weight, image quality, video features, zoom length, ect.

Above all else in my opinion I feel that the old saying “The Best Camera Is the One You Have With You” is the most important factor.

So along that line of thinking, a big DSLR may give you incredible picture quality and an ability to use fancy high quality lenses that are super fast and can capture wonderful quality in low light but if you don’t have it with you because you (like most people) aren’t going to lug a 5 lb camera around everywhere with you then I feel like if you’re only going to have one camera it should be something you are more likely to have on your person.

Let’s face it, everyone wants to travel light and weather you are on vacation or if you are a blogger or someone taking pictures of your children at a birthday party, it is far more convenient to have something you can whip out of your pocket to take a photo.

So with that in mind, I will break down my camera recommendations and explain what type of shooter each camera is best suited for.

The Sony HX9V (my current pocket camera)



It has a tiny footprint and can easily be pocketed and taken anywhere.  It has a 16 times zoom which can get me across the harbor and zoomed in on a boat from far far away.  It takes great video and features a video mode which will take 60 frames per second in HD which is rare for a small camera at it’s price point.  It has a killer panorama mode. 

The minuses-

It has a smaller sensor size compared to the Canon Powershot S95/S100.  Sensor sizes are one of the most important parts of taking good photos in low light.  It is what sits behind the lens and collects light (photography is all about collecting light).  The larger the sensor, generally the better the quality of the images in low light.  There currently is no camera that has a 16 times zoom and a large sensor that you can put in your pocket. 

Hence the ever present tradeoff.  In my case, pocketability and a need for a long zoom trumps a larger sensor with a limited zoom or fixed pancake lens that only gets you the equivalent of a  4 to 5 times zoom.  I simply need that ability and reach in my walk around camera.  However if you don’t care about the zoom feature or video capabilities there are better cameras out there in the similar small pocketable package, namely The Canon Powershot S95/S100.

The Canon Powershot S95/S100


If zoom is not important to you because 95% or more of your photos are taken indoors of family members or street scenes, the Canon Powershot S95 (a great value as it is last year’s model) and this year’s updated S100 are my top picks.


They have large sensors which are fantastic for gathering light.  They also have super fast lenses which freeze the action and give you super sharp images.


The tradeoff is you get that large sensor in a small pocketable package but you won’t get more than a 5 times zoom.  That is one third of the zoom of the Sony HX9V.  It will take a much better picture than the Sony HX9V in low light and some of my favorite photos taken in 2011 were taken with this camera during the short time I had it but the short zoom drove me nuts.  that isn’t to say it would drive you nuts.  Lots of folks don’t care to take pictures of objects so far away and the lack of a huge zoom wouldn’t matter at all to them, especially when you consider that you can get better pictures out of the camera.

Now if you don’t care about a little extra weight you could get yourself my second camera which is an interchangeable lens camera, this brings us to the Sony NEX-5N

The Sony NEX-5N


If you don’t mind a little extra weight, don’t want to sacrifice image quality because of a smaller sized sensor in a pocketable long zoom camera or be limited by the zoom range in a large sensor short zoom range camera then I feel the Sony NEX-5N is a little beast of a camera.

It has the same sensor as cameras that cost almost double it’s cost, has awesome video capabilities and a ton of features that many camera magazines and gadget websites rave about.

I am over the moon about mine and the possibilities I’m discovering every time I pick up the miniature tank. 


Large sensor size, awesome video capabilities, smallish for a interchangeable lens camera(I can still put it in a jacket pocket), the ability to use all types of different lenses for different types of shooting.

Minuses- Too large to fit in pants pocket, lenses can be expensive.

So there you have it.  I still will use my Sony HX9V when I need to be able to keep a camera with me in my pocket at all times and for more serious shooting I’ll bring out the NEX-5N.  Those options work for me.  They may not be your ideal camera but if you tell me what type of things are important to you you can always ask me and I’ll try to help you make a good decision for your next camera.

These are the things to think about and decide how important they are to you-

Size- do you need to carry it in a pocket, a jacket pocket, or does that not matter?

Zoom- Do you need a long zoom 9if not you can get a great pocketable camera for not a lot of dough.

Photo Quality- If the absolute best photo is what you want and you don’t care about the size of the camera or cost.

If you already have a large DSLR be it Canon or Nikon or whatever the best thing you could do to upgrade your photos is get yourself a fast prime lens.  I love the 35mm range on a standard (not full frame) DSLR  this will give you a classic focal length of the same perspective of whet your eyes see.  the thing about a prime lens is because it is set a t a fixed focal length the quality and speed of these will give you outstanding results compared to the zoom lens you camera came with (usually the standard 15-55mm) kit lens.  Kit lenses usually have slow apertures which won’t freeze the action for you in low light like a fast 35mm 1.8 lens.  I got the Nikon version for The Mrs and it hasn’t left the mount of her Nikon D40 since we got it for her.   be awar with the fixed lens you have no ability to zoom.  You zoom with your feet by getting closer to your subject.  the thing about the fast primes though are that your image are generally so sharp you can crop them right down in post very easily.

I highly recommend a 35mm prime for those with a Nikon or Canon or Pentax or olympus DSLR.

Here’s the one I got the Mrs for her Nikon-


and here is the Canon version-


HAPPY SOLSTICE! From Thomas Philbrook

HAPPY SOLSTICE! Winter begins in the Northern Hemisphere very early on December 22, 2011, at 12:30 A.M. (EST). You may be dismayed by the fact that Winter is just beginning — BUT you can also rejoice in the knowledge that the amount of daylight we experience will be on the rise. Wishing you and yours a joy-packed holiday season!

Tom Philbrook


Beach Dream

To see the beach in your dream symbolizes the meeting between your two states of mind. The sand is symbolic of the rational and mental processes while the water signifies the irrational, unsteady, and emotional aspects of yourself. It is a place of transition between the physical/material and the spiritual.

Text from

Last Minute Gift Ideas – Celebrate Gloucester DVD


Give the Gift of Gloucester Music – 2 DVD Set

The cost is $15.00 plus 4.50 for shipping = Total $19.50  (What an amazing deal)

This is the perfect give for all music lovers!

Two DVD Set includes Feature Length Film, Bonus Performances & Special Features (see Preview Here). Portions of DVD sales benefit The Gloucester Fund.

Click here to order NOW! or send me an email to order with local pickup option

Did You Know? Make Last Stop Your First Stop

If you haven’t recently stopped into Last Stop at 273 East Main Street, you should check out their warm and cozy new look and menu.  The Last Stop has been serving the Gloucester community for over one hundred years with a rich tradition of home baked goods, jumbo muffins, fresh brewed coffee and espresso, soups, sandwiches and desserts. The name has changed a few times but their commitment to friendly service and comfort food remains the same.  Make the Last Stop your first stop during your day and your last stop before you go home.  They are also now serving Chile Choice Southwestern foods and hot meals to go, do catering and have a great selection of locally crafted gift items, including paintings and prints by Rocky Neck artist, L.A. Dahlmer.  They are open 7 days a week from 7:00am to 6:00pm.

E.J. Lefavour


Happy Birthday Mayor Kirk from everyone at

Get today’s music lineup and our $50 Giveaway Question #3


This week we feature a $50 giveaway from our friends at Jalapenos.  Watch every day to get all five questions.  If you missed any of this week’s question, click here.

Be the first person to submit all five correct answers on Friday (look for the ANSWER link right under Friday’s video) and win a $30 gift certificate plus 4 jars of Jalapenos signature sauces — just in time for the holidays.

Excellent music tonight in Gloucester.  Check it out here.

Update: Free Christmas In Gloucester CD With Any Print or T Shirt Purchase

Update:  I just placed an order for a bunch of T Shirts in sm-med-lg-xl and xxl sizes  stonewashed blue and white and pink so if you want a free “Christmas In Gloucester CD” write me at

They won’t be available til after Christmas other than the ones I already have here listed down below in this post but you can order ahead.

I told myself I was done but people keep asking for other sizes than what I had listed so I figured I’d place an order for a bunch of different sizes. as always Paulie Walnuts will be doing the printing.

My buddy Joe Langhan dropped off some “Christmas in Gloucester”-CD’s


Joe writes-

Christmas In Gloucester is an original CD with songs and music created by local artists Allen Estes, Dennis “Fly” Amero, Dave Brown and others. All songs were written by Frank Tedesco.

You can see a video of one of the songs

CHRISTMAS_CDThey are being sold for $7.99 at the following locations:

Walgreens 201 Main Street

Gloucester Music 210 Main Street

Mystery Train Records 21 Main Street

Wolf Hill 104 Eastern Ave

Great stocking stuffer!

Or you can get one of the six copies I have for free with the purchase of any of my matted or framed prints, just email me at and let me know.

Email before you stop down so I can make sure I’m here for you when you drop down.

I  have a bunch of matted photos that are in protective cello sleeves ready for framing.  I won’t be able to ship these but have them down here at the dock.   Email me if you are in need of some Christmas presents.  They are all wrapped in cello and ready to hand out.



I also have 2 small white T Shirts wrapped in cello, 1 XXL T Shirt In White Unwrapped and 1 Medium Long Sleeve White T Shirt Unwrapped.  You get a free CD with any T Shirt Purchase from now til Christmas or while the CD’s last.

T Shirt Logo Designed by Beth Swan and Printed By Paulie Frontiero.


Winter Solstice Tonight!

I was going to precisely calculate when the Winter Solstice occurs then describe how the Ursid Meteor Shower was worth staying up for tonight and the crescent moon at dawn but it will be cloudy so let’s skip all that.

Tomorrow will be zero minutes and zero seconds shorter than today. And that means it’s about time to celebrate Festivus. So pull the aluminum pole out of the crawl space, air the grievances, and begin the “Feats of Strength”.

Thursday Night Blues Party at The Rhumb Line With Dave Sag.

Dave says,

As part of Cerebral Hemorrhage Week we’re proud to offer free trepanning demonstrations on the privacy of your own barstool. Cordless drills provided. We’ve even hired the commodious Dr. Steve Sadler to help to defray the cost of an entire rosy, new outlook. Hotflash debunker and Propofol® enthusiast, he’s sure to keep your mind in mind as we troll thru the river Lethe, looking for…what? Great tunes ensue. The fur will fly.   Padding out our Xmas lineup will be that local wunderkind, Mr. John Loud, on ticking valves and tappets. Drummbs, too. A groove of glue. Of course, Greg T., on catarrh, and myself, on base, complete the aggravation. A splendid time for all!     And may I take a moment to thank you all for your continued support down thru the years. Without your support we’d be less than zero. Please enjoy the holidays responsibly. The Blooz Party is safe when taken as directed. Call the Boston Herald if you have an erection that lasts more than four hours!

9:00- 12:00

Wednesdays at the Rhumb Line

Prime Rib Specials!
Wednesdays Only!
Hello everyone!
Wednesday, December 21st
An Evening of Christmas Songs!
“Twisted” & Otherwise, with…
Fly Amero & Friends!
Christmas only comes once a year, right?
So, this could be your “once-a-year” opportunity to come sing along and be a part of some festive, fun, and perhaps even funny music.  Who knows who might show up and join you?!
Dinner with Fly Amero: 8 – 11pm
*Each week features a special, invited musical guest
Dave Trooper’s Kitchen…
Prime Rib Dinner –  $9.95 (while they last)
Prepared fresh weekly by “Troop”… always good!
Coming soon: SASQUATCH
…and many more!
Sincerely… I hope to see you there!  🙂 ~ Fly

A Visit from Saint Nicholas

Saint Nicholas, circa 1890 Anonymous/©Fredrik D. Bodin
I always make sure I have Santa on display in the gallery for the holidays. There is a magical quality about him – a certain timelessness, for this is the real Santa. People who collect Santa Claus related objects love this photograph. So when the Christmas decorations come out of the attic, so does old Saint Nicholas.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danc’d in their heads.
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
Printed from the original 8×10 inch glass negative in my darkroom. Image #88810-045