By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

More Clarity, Perhaps

By Dave Shute

Night at Cars at Disney's Art of Animation ResortWhile this site is known for lots of positive things, there’s also some negatives–among others, leaden prose and out-of-focus images come to mind.

The leaden prose we are kinda stuck with. While I have tried to spark things up (my bus work is highly respected in the right circles), lead seems to run in my veins…

The weaker images, though, are subject to improvement.  While the biggest issue with my photos is the fool behind the view-finder, better tools do help here.

Up until now, 99% all the images on this site have been from my iPhone.  But while the phone is always with me and great for well-lit outdoor shots, it has (or I have, while using it) major issues with control over dynamic range, depth of field, and point of focus.

This has been particularly a problem for my photo-reviews of the rooms in the Walt Disney World resort, which too often turn out with only a narrow part of the room in focus, and real light problems.

So since I’d be shooting five rooms in six nights as part of the resort hop of early August, I went looking for a new camera.  It had to be fully controllable (especially f-stops) while fitting in my pocket.

After doing tons of research (that is, I read two pages on Tom Bricker‘s site–this and  this) I picked the Sony DSC-RX100–the best camera ever made that can sit, barely noticed, in your pocket.

I can now take rooms shots with much better depth of field.

Polynesian from phone cameraCompare the photo above, taken with my phone in a standard room in Samoa in May for my updated review of Disney’s Polynesian Resort, with the photo below of a larger room in Tokelau from last week. (For additional punishment, click any photos to enlarge them.)

Polynesian from New Camera

The second photo is more in focus across the full length of the room, and also, with the RX100’s better dynamic range and heightened control, the room lights aren’t blowing out the sensor–I could even include sunlight!

A common problem I’ve had in baths with the phone is having it pick a mirror or shower reflection to focus on.

Art of Animation from Phone CameraThis has led to comically bad shots like the above, of the master bath in the Finding Nemo suites from my review of the Family Suites at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort after my visit last summer.

Art of Animation from New CameraAbove is a shot of a similar space from the new camera from my visit last week to the Cars Family Suites. Focus at last!

The better level of and control over dynamic range also means better evening and dark ride shots.

Illuminations from I-phoneThe iPhone was pretty flummoxed by fireworks shots–see the image of Illuminations above–the best of hundreds of lousy such shots from my phone.

Illuminations at Epcot 3With the Sony, I’ll be able to get great night shots.  See the Illuminations shot from it above–not a great composition, but a hint at what I’ll be able to get eventually. See also the Cars shot at the top of the page for more of what I can now do in the evening.

Now, all evidence on this site to the contrary, I’m not the worst photographer in the world.  For years I had a darkroom, developed my own film, and printed my own photos–some of which have been published (though not recently enough for me to be able to link to them).

Tigger at the Crystal Palace from yourfirstvisit.netI also can tell a great composition when it slaps me in the eye. The shot of Tigger and a child on the right (from the RX100) would have been wonderful if I’d had 6 more inches of the kid on the right side to balance out Tigger on the left.

So with those core skills and a great new tool, my hope is that the photographs on this site improve sharply, from the third to the second-rate!

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My response to questions and comments will be on the same page as the original comment, likely within 24-36 hours . . . I reserve the right to edit and delete comments as I choose . . . All rights reserved. Copyright 2008-2017 . . . Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by me--even the ones in focus--except for half a dozen from my niecelets . . . This site is entirely unofficial and not authorized by any organizations written about in it . . . All references to Disney and other copyrighted characters, trademarks, marks, etc., are made solely for editorial purposes. The author makes no commercial claim to their use . . . Nobody's perfect, so follow any advice here at your own risk.