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About AL3XCruise

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    NCL, RCI, X
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean, Alaska

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  1. I'm not familiar with your particular camera, so I can't be sure, but I'd think you'd have a way to increase or decrease the target exposure. If you are doing birds in flight, aperture priority might result in to slow a shutter speed. You'll need to experiment. With birds, shutter speed really depends on how much they are moving, as well as how much zoom you are using. You normally want to freeze the bird motion, so a flying bird takes a faster shutter than a walking bird, which takes faster than a bird sitting totally still. The other factor is a slow shutter with a long zoom can result in blurriness. This normally isn't an issue with birds in flight because you will always be using a fast shutter, but on the ground there may be times where the ideal shutter speed would be slower than what you can hand hold. For large birds in flight I've had luck with shutter speeds between 1000 and 2000 (you can see the blur in the Egret shot below where 1/1250 wasn't quite fast enough for the wingtips) , smaller birds need faster and as @Ozzydog said are VERY hard to capture. Getting them in focus with a long lens is really hard. Since your in VA, you might be able to find Canada Geese or Turkey Vultures to take some practice shots of. Herons and Egrets are great if you have any in your area. As others have mentioned, aperture will depend on light. Large aperture lets in more light, but you loose depth of field. A bird in a narrower aperture photo might be on focus, while a wide open one that is otherwise identical might not be. I like the f/6.3 to f/8. I think that is a good range to start in. I know I've used up to f/11 for birds in flight on a really bright day, and wide open when the light is poor. My Canon allows me to set limits on auto-ISO, so that it will not exceed a certain amount. That lets me go back and change settings rather than having the camera try to "fix" a dark image by cranking up the ISO beyond what I consider acceptable. I'm not sure with your camera, but it might be worth looking into rather than going full manual on ISO. And I agree... focus on the birds eyes. For a sitting bird, a single focus point on the eye will normally give the most pleasing image. Just my 2 cents; your probably approach a quarter worth of advice by now!
  2. Here's my question: on a double ended ship, like a ferry, how are port and starboard (as well as bow and stern) defined? Is one end just treated as the bow, or does it vary with direction of operation?
  3. It might be the bridge but I think Escape has clearance even at high tide. More likely the want to dock close to the slack current. Last time I was on Escape the Captain mentioned NYC is the most challenging docking because the ship is perpendicular to a relatively strong current. In addition, it extends slightly beyond the pier. Slack current was around 1:30am this morning, meaning that would be the easiest time to dock. All other things being equal, the Captain may have elected to arrive early to take advantage of this. A 5 or 6 am arrival would have seen a much stronger current.
  4. Yeah... when I saw the suggestion to borrow money I was kind of surprised. Granted, I don't know everything at play here, but the facts I saw are the OP 1) has less the $900 in available liquid assets and 2) does not pay close enough attention to their finances to notice a $900 discrepancy. That is a bad combination, and certainly not one where more debt makes sense! Suggesting that someone finds a way to have a vacation that is within their current means isn't harsh, it is honesty. It isn't an attempt to judge someone negatively. Most of us have had times where we've needed to make sacrifices because of the realities of life. Pretending someone doesn't need to do so in an effort to make them feel better is ultimately far more dangerous than telling them the truth!
  5. Bingo! There are cases where the customer has demanded things that will negatively impact other customers, create a safety hazard, or simply not be logistically or financially possible. I've generally found there are two times people bring up the customer is always right. One is when training entry level customer service positions that have no previous work experience and no real decision making authority. The other is in the minds of entitled customers who use the phrase us justification of their unreasonable demands. Its a pain, but that is regulatory issue; the customer is still wrong!
  6. So I take it the consensus is cool, but not practical? Not sure how that is relevant; the aft deck of the Oasis is far more than two feet above the waterline.
  7. That's a good point; been too long since I've been to Alaska! With IS I've taken shots at 600mm down to about 1/60 shutter, but the keep rate is abysmal. I frequently use a monopod. If your subject is slow moving or still it works; if you might only have the opportunity for three or four shots there is a good chance none will be satisfactory. The same light factors will apply for photos of a marching band, though there are more options to plan the shot than with wildlife. I have had at least one scenario where I needed 600mm, light wouldn't cooperate, and I elected to crank the ISO just so that I could get something of a rare (at least around where I was) bird in the distance. Its a pretty bad photo, but without 600mm it would have been nothing. Does the possibility of such a scenario justify buying and lugging around an expensive and heavy lens? Only the OP can decide!
  8. I'm far less experienced than some other posters, but I found myself in a very simliar position a few months ago so my experience and research might be applicable. Have you looked at the Sigma 150-600C? I was looking at getting a teleconverter for a Canon 100-400L (first gen), but ended up finding a deal on the 150-600C and decided to try it. I have been very happy. While a second gen 100-400L would probably beat it, and a high end prime would definitely give a better photo, I have been happy. It is priced around the same as the Tamron 150-600 first gen, but most of the comparative reviews I looked at showed it as being a better lens (its more competitive with the G2.) My only issue has been some AF issues shooting flying birds against a clear sky. Of course, that is demanding for any lens, though I think the Canon was slightly better. The IS has been pretty good too. It is big compared to the 100-400, but is much lighter than some of the other 150-600 options (most notably Sigma's 150-600s). I was tempted to look at something like a 50-500 or 60-600 to reduce the amount of lens swapping, but as the other posters have said the longer the zoom range has a downside. Reviews showed a lot more people complaining about sharpness on either the short or long end of these lenses, and the issues seemed to vary form lens to lens making me think quality control is very tough on a lens with such an extreme range. I did not look at the Tamron 18-400, but it might have similar issues. Of course if you don't need the reach, the suggestion to rent makes sense. Similarly some used options might be good. But I appreciate the value proposition. I should note I use a 5D MKIII, so you'll have a crop factor relative to me. In addition, you might want to check how the lenses work with your cameras AF; at 600mm its an F/6.3 lens (so is the Tamron) and not all AFs like that. Hope that helps! Just a few quick pics from the 150-600C: 560mm f/9 1/320 600mm F/5.3 1/400 560mm, f/9, 1/400
  9. The kids clubs and gaming areas are really a very small part of the cruise experience, there is much more to do on modern ships both for teens and the whole family. Of course, if you think that the gaming options are going to be a big draw to your kids, that might still not matter. If I understand correctly you are trying to avoid pressuring them to avoid certain activities in a way that could cause tension on vacation. You know them better than anyone on this board; perhaps you can review the various on board activities of the ships your considering and see if you can gauge their level of interest. I started cruising around there age and found myself spending very little time in kids clubs and gaming rooms; the games may be a bit more enticing than what I was presented with in the 90s, but so are the other activities. You may also want to consider a port intensive cruise. Less time at sea means you need to cram everything you want to do into a smaller period. Perhaps gaming time will get pushed aside when they realize they only have a day or two for obstacle courses, surfing, etc. Just a few thoughts... best wishes on finding what works for your family!
  10. I agree with this. Aft on deck 8 you can walk to either side as you sail past Manhattan and the SOL, then go to the center and watch both fade into the distance. The upper decks don't provide much of an aft view, and this is perhaps the most impressive angle. Deck 8 also has fewer wind-blocks and other obstructions that can get in the way of taking photos and is generally less crowded. Thus, unless you really like the extra height or really want a forward view, I feel Deck 8 aft is the place to be.
  11. I don't know if anyone denies how versatile a phone can be; I think that some may feel "fall further and further behind" isn't the best phrase. I'm assuming you mean in terms of speed of development and in terms of the full array of abilities they have (software and hardware). I'm not an expert, but I haven't heard of a scenario where (given an unlimited budget, unlimited weight capacity, time to edit on a dedicated machine, and so on) a high end DSLR or mirrorless will give a result that fall behind a high end phone in terms of quality. I've seen several side by side comparisons of cell phone and DSLRs. Most of the time the differences in quality are pretty small and probably not noticeable to most people unless pointed out. So I'd agree that phones have made remarkable strides as cameras, and even more impressive ones when viewed as integrated cameras/processors/sharing tools. Given that most of us have limits on budget and the amount of stuff we want to carry on vacation, there are certainly lots of scenarios where they make sense. Most people aren't trying to get printed in NatGeo, so an negligible decrease in quality is a fair tradeoff for having such a powerful and versatile tool in your pocket. It certainly hurts the case for a point and shoot. While I can justify a DSLR and a big lens for wildlife photos, I can't think of too many scenarios where my old point and shoot would be preferable to my phone. I'm sure those scenarios will rarer very quickly given the rate of cell phone development. One more thought: some hardware improvements developed for cell phone sensors are applicable to dedicated cameras, so I expect that the delta between cell phones professional grade cameras will be a bit harder crack. Phones often need to solve problems with software that a DSLR solves with a big lens. Again, I'm not an expert, but I can appreciate how hard that is. Impressive strides have been made already (like artificial bokeh), so it will be interesting to see what comes next.
  12. I saw nothing that should have bothered you.... Just imagine if they'd had a question about tipping...
  13. Thanks for the suggestion. I had a Bearded Dragon years ago; he had a heating pad to use at night when the basking light was off. I may still have it...
  14. This guy realized there was an Alligator behind him...
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