My lonely A99 in a glorious China photo trip (long post, many pics)

Started Apr 6, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Amateur Sony Shooter
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My lonely A99 in a glorious China photo trip (long post, many pics)
Apr 6, 2013

Hey friends & gangs, I just got back from 3-weeks China trip, with tones of pictures to share!

My trip started with 4-day guided photo trip, to some villages known for their canola flowers. There were six people forming a small group: two amateur photographers from China, one semi-pro from US, myself from Canada, an award winning working pro as our tour guide, and finally a dedicate driver (apparently you have to rent the driver if you rent a mini van!). Luckily communication was never a problem. We stayed in B&B mostly, eating simple but fresh prepared local meals. We had very busy schedule from 5am to 7pm every day, going many different places, some well known some hidden photo spots. Weather forecast was anything but reliable in the mountain region, often we came away empty handed due to rain or heavy fog but got something else just as nice at end of days.
After the guided photo tour, I went on my own to nearby Huangshan (means Yellow Mountain). For 3 days I have done more hiking then my whole lifetime, for the first time I can really appreciate compact mirror-less system. By the second day of hiking my heavy equipment and aging knees finally forced me to take one lens per hiking. So I had to shoot according to what I had in hand. 4 days later when I was finally back to town and later big city (Shanghai) I finally got some much needed rest and more delicious foods.
A little side note about equipment: not surprisingly I was the only one using Sony camera, strange enough that all other people in the group are using 5D mark iii (expect tour guide's 5D ii), no single Nikon. Guess Canon really had a lock in China's market, at least in our group. I brought 3 lenses and used them evenly: CZ16-35/2.8, CZ24-70/2.8, Sony 70-200/2.8. Later on mountain hiking I have used either 16-35 or 70-200 one at time. I brought my RX100 as well and it had more use in urban street shooting. One thing I learned quickly though: it's useless to use protective/UV filter as I have to remove it before I use ND filter. Overall my A99 performed extremely well (3 batteries is a must), even under heavy rain. I did use plastic cover, but the lens and camera were still wet without any issues. It focused well but i used manual focus in live view most of times, when electronic first curtain enabled it produced extremely sharp images that made some 5Diii owners envies. One of photographer were only using Zeiss and Canon prime. When she saw my auto focus Zeiss zoom lenses, she asked me to show her 100% crop on camera LCD, needless to say she was very impressed.
This trip report will be in 4 instalments: 1) Village and canola field, 2) local architecture and peoplen, 3) Huangshan, 4) Shanghai. Most of images were captured with A99, some were from RX100 as shown by EXIF. Thanks for looking, comments and questions are always welcome.

 Amateur Sony Shooter's gear list:Amateur Sony Shooter's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony SLT-A99 Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G Sony 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Sony 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* +6 more
Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS 5D Mark III Sony RX100 Sony SLT-A99
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