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Everything posted by Hezu

  1. Note that is a Viking Line cruiseferry (I would say M/S Viking Cinderella based on the livery since most ships in Viking Line fleet have livery with more red) rather than Viking cruise ship. Despite the similarity of names, Viking Line and Viking (Cruises) are not related.
  2. Note that OP mentioned Fujifilm X30, not XT30. Since X30 is somewhat older compact camera with a smaller sensor, it probably behaves somewhat differently than XT30, which is a mirrorless ILC. I don't have experience with either Fujifilm model, so I cannot give any advice specific to these cameras, but I think give one universal advice: make a note on battery life based on your usage patterns and if battery tends to run out earlier than you would like, it is a good idea to invest in extra battery since it is very frustrating if there is a good opportunity to use camera and you can't do that if its battery has no power.
  3. It is certainly good idea to have some hands on testing of the binoculars before buying as that way you know that the ergonomics suit you. I would also suggest that you do practice a bit using your new binoculars before the cruise.
  4. Although if you want to do any wildlife photography (and on a safari, you usually want), G7X III's zoom may feel too short as it covers only 24-100 mm equivalent focal lengths, where as Sony RX10 IV sports one with 24-600 mm range.
  5. If you want a reasonably simple solution, then I would suggest Sony RX10 IV, which is compact superzoom with a great zoom range covering wide angle to supertelephoto, fast autofocus and good image quality. Not the cheapest option, but if you would like to similar focal length coverage for interchangeble lens camera that might cost even more and you would have to change lenses occasionally and that may lead in missing shots and also as safari environments tend to be dusty there would be a high risk to get dust also on the camera sensor. ILCs may still have few advantages over RX10 IV (or other compact cameras). Btw, do I assume right that currently you don't have any existing camera equipment (excluding camera phone)?
  6. Are those Ziess binoculars cheap knock-offs of Zeiss brand? 😉 Zeiss certainly makes nice binoculars, especially in the more expensive lineups, although certainly for many people, who do not need binoculars that frequently would probably be quite happy with even the cheapest models. Vortex is also reputable optics manufacturer, so I presume those would be also decent choice, although I have no experience with that brands' products. Granted, I think there is also quite a few other brands that would deserve also recommendation.
  7. Norway would have also few glacier ski centres if you would want more authentic skiing in Norway experience during summer. However, I don't have experience with any and their locations may not be that practical for a cruise.
  8. I think one interesting area in that part of Germany is Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park. One unique element there is group of islands called halligen, which are quite flat and close to sea level, although the buildings (many built in the traditional style) are built in man-made mounds to protect these from the potential storm flood tides. Much of the coastline is also quite shallow and there is even routes that could be used to hike from one island to another during the low tide. Early May would be also great time to observe birds' spring migration if you are interested in that.
  9. With suitable geomagnetic storm conditions it is sure possible to see Northern Lights surprisingly southern latitudes, although further south you go less common this gets. But predicting this in well in advance is perhaps even harder than forecasting regular weather, so you know only day or two before if there might be a possibility that there could be auroras. And even with suitable space weather it is always possible that A) auroras occur during the daylight hours and thus are not visible, although midwinter in the polar regions have the advantage here as there is minimal amount of daylight, B) regular weather is such that there is a thick cloud cover and it is impossible to see any sky. And for most people there is also C) auroras light the sky in the middle of night when you are sleeping.
  10. I have no personal experience with any smart phone aurora photography, but after a quick Internet search I learned that most likely you want to use some sort of tripod with a phone holder as you generally want to use exposure times measured in seconds and that isn't optimal for hand held shots as usually you don't want to combine creative ICM techniques with aurora photography.
  11. Although of course it is worth noting that it will take some time also from the city centre to Hernesaari, where most cruise ships dock. And sadly for time being from the nearest place where you can get on public transport (terminus of tram line 6), it is still about one kilometer to the cruise ship. HSL website should help you to figure out the public transport options around Helsinki region, the route planner there does allow you to search best routes between two points and it has options to show also walking and cycling routes (although I guess most tourist probably won't need that latter option).
  12. Actually, the tram network in Helsinki has seen some route overhaul in the recent years and these days route 3 does not go anywhere near Temppeliaukio, although there are other tram routes that stop on the nearby tram stops (Sammonkatu and Hanken). Although it is even possible to hop in a tram that bears route number 3 and get there, albeit before this happens the tram route has changed into number 2 as these routes are interlinked, but on Olympiaterminaali the route number changes between 2 and 3 despite that it still the same tram operating both routes. See route maps on HSL website for the latest information.
  13. My current favourite travel tripod is Heipi 3-in-1 Travel Tripod. I do own also the Peak Design Travel Tripod and it has some good qualities, but Heipi is much sturdier despite that it is only marginally heavier and longer than PD tripod. I do like a lot that the Heipi's central column is actually a mini tripod that one can use eg. for low angle work. And it is also useful that it is easy to change the supplied ballhead to some other tripod head if you prefer something else. In my opinion that Heipi ballhead works reasonably well, although it is not the best I have used: the quick release locking mechanism is bit clumsy and locking lever and knob are perhaps tad small and thus operating those in cold conditions with warm gloves is not that easy. Heipi does include ice spikes for tripod legs by default, for PD you have to buy these separately (and I think those PD spikes are not even that sharp).
  14. Sigma does make some decent lenses indeed, but I have to mention that Sigma 14 mm F1.8 is not the most optimal choice for E mount cameras, especially if talking about APS-C camera models, as it is still a design for DSLRs and thus is quite big and heavy. The newer Sigma 14 mm F1.4 has been designed for mirrorless cameras and it probably should work pretty well also in aurora photography since it is aimed for astrophotography, although it is also big and heavy, although it should be more balanced than the older Sigma 14 mm F1.8 as it includes tripod attachment collar. The newer Sigma 14 mm might be still bit too specialized if one does not have that big interest in night photography.
  15. First, 25 mm on APS-C crop is not that wide. Comparable focal length giving similar field of view on full frame is 37.5 mm. My current favourite lens for aurora photography is Sony FE 1.8/14 GM. Sure, that is not something I would call a cheap lens, but on the other hand, it offers a lot bang for the buck. And it is still cheaper than Sony's (super) wide angle f/2.8 GM zooms. And it is also much lighter in weight than those zooms, so that is a definate advantage while traveling. Also it is already few years old, so there should be some available on second hand market, which could offer some savings compared to prices of a new lens. I have earlier also used other lens, some of which haven't been that fast, but that obviously has meant using longer shutter speeds (although then you sure may lose some details as the auroras may move quite actively) or/and higher ISO (might get more noise then). Also, you could try using wide angle lenses for other photo subjects than just auroras to justify the cost of your purchase.
  16. And in European airports within the Schengen area, the airports are usually split in two separate areas: one for flights within Schengen and other for flights to/from other countries outside Schengen (eg. USA or UK). The location of facilities like lounges may thus be in either of these areas or if there is one in both areas then obviously there might be some differences. And of course if you want to go from intra-Schengen to non-Schengen or vice versa, you must go thru border control checkpoint.
  17. Not sure how it is in actual Scandinavia, but at least in fellow Nordic country Finland you would need a prescription written in EU, ETA or Switzerland to be able to buy prescription medicines in pharmacies, thus a prescription eg. from USA or UK would not be accepted.
  18. Hezu

    Christmas Day

    Start of December does not sound that early to me, I recall the cruise ferries that sail between Finland and Sweden and Finland and Estonia used to start their Christmas season early and I decided to check the websites and apparently this year on Tallink Silja ships their buffet restaurants switched to Christmas menu on 15.11. (and offering this until 26.12. or 31.12. depending on individual ships) and Viking Line offers their Christmas buffet from 16.11. to 26.12. on most ships, M/S Cinderella starting few days later on 20.11.
  19. I had never even heard about that brand, but after searching for the specs, I am fairly confident that the camera function is a gimmick, the camera sensor seems to have only 5 MPix, which is these days a very low resolution. I would suggest to use separate binoculars and camera. Or occasionally one could also use the camera with a telephoto lens as sort of monoscope.
  20. That long layover might be sufficiently long to get out of the airport for a while. Of course, this assumes that there is something interesting to see in the vicinity of the airport. And certainly one has to keep in mind to get back to the airport sufficiently early to reclear the security.
  21. Hezu


    Although of course it is possible that some booking systems will show intra-European SAS Plus as business class as it tends to share the same booking classes as long haul business class and other airlines' business class products, although intra-Europe "business class" (or similar designation) generally still means that on a narrow-body aircraft every seat in the whole aircraft is similar design and there is no dedicated premium cabin, the front rows (the number of rows can be adjusted) will be designated for business class and often middle seats are not used (I think SAS has stopped this practice). Of course, even if the seating is not different than in economy class, catering is and there might be access to lounges etc.
  22. Dedicated cameras (especially those with lenses that can be changed) are not going away as they can offer things that are not really possible with mobile phones (most importantly using long telephoto lenses), but it looks like mobile phones have taken over pretty much whole market for inexpensive compact cameras. And actually there has been few attempts for offering cameras with editing capabilities, generally this has been done by using Android OS in the camera, thus one could run any image editing software for Android on the camera. I think the newest attempt was Zeiss ZX1, but it is expensive and as it has fixed 35 mm lens it may not suit everyone's taste. Also worth a mention that many newer cameras do include wireless connectivity (WiFi/Bluetooth) that allows you to easily transfer images to other devices (like mobile phones and tablets), where you could edit these (and share to social media and so on).
  23. Note that these are designed for APS-C sensors, thus if used on a camera with larger sensor the image does not cover the whole frame and you may want to use crop mode (and get images with fewer megapixels). And if I have understood correctly Canon does not even support EF-S lenses (like that 18-200) on EF cameras, so I'm unsure how it is with the EF to RF adapters. Thus if you get a new camera with 35 mm sensor, you probably want to replace your existing APS-C lenses with ones that cover the full sensor area.
  24. What sort of equipment you currently have for Canon? Personally I wouldn't forget also Sony α7 series of cameras. And don't forget that there is EF lens adapters also for other mirrorless lens mounts than Canon RF, although of course in many cases the native lenses may still have some edge over the older designs for DSLRs.
  25. There is indeed quite a few options for binoculars. And of course, the preferences may vary depending on what is the main purpose for using binoculars. Personally, I tend to use binoculars for birding (also when aboard a ship). Among birders, I think 8×40/42 is the favourite model with some people preferring the higher magnification 10×40/42 models since that usually offers a good compromise between suitable magnification and reasonable size and weight. Personally I have picked even one step smaller 8×32 model (currently Zeiss Conquest HD, the brands' second tier line) as I tend to carry around not just binoculars, but also camera equipment (usually including a large telephoto lens) and sometimes also my fieldscope and tripod. If money is no object, I suggest check out the already mentioned Swarowski or the high end Zeiss models, but I think there is several decent options also from the cheaper models and brands. Here is a couple binoculars review sites that can give you some ideas for other good alternatives: https://www.bestbinocularsreviews.com/ https://www.allbinos.com/ And finally, as a Finnish birder I cannot post this without mentioning finnstick, which is great accessory for binoculars if one wants to watch around with binoculars for longer periods of time as it helps to avoid stressing your hands as you don't have to keep hands raised to hold the binoculars.
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