Still Discovering “Stuff”….

During the Calgary Stampede this week, I attended a corporate event, the Oxford Stomp.  This is one two major events that happen during the Stampede.  The other one being the Stampede Roundup.


These are ticketed events with attendance in the 10,000 + range.  There are company booths, bands food, etc.  Depending how you got tickets, you may or may not have to pay for booze once you get in the gate.  We were fortunate enough that we got tickets where, if you are in the company “booth” or area, your booze was free Smile  More important – this area, despite the fact that it’s not that far from the Bow River, it did not get impacted all that much by the flood and allowed the events to proceed.


A week or so before the event, I was still pondering what equipment to take to the event.  I knew that I would be basically be standing or walking from at least 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. with very little sitting (as it turned out, it was closer to 1:00 a.m. the next morning… more on that later….)  What it basically broke down to was that I needed portable, coverage for both sunlight and low light.  The final decision – my Panasonic LX7, and Sony HX-30V, spare battery for the LX7, and an umbrella in my Fossil sling bag.  My son was borrowing my Panasonic ZS25 for a car show he had entered, otherwise, I would have had it….


I’ve been using the Fossil sling bag for my noon hour jaunts at work, but as I was rolling my contract (I’m a consultant), I brought this one home.  I COULD have used my Tracker, but decided against it at the last minute as it was slightly larger.  I was almost thinking of bringing the Fuji X10, but I wanted that extra low light capability of the LX7 as a “just in case”.  PLUS is was a lot smaller.   In the end, it worked great!!!  The one thing I’m finding here with sling bags – they definitely are handy compared to other bags.  The Fossil one has become a favourite very quickly.  Despite the expense (this one ran $130!!!), I gotta admit spending the extra was worth it…..

For me, this was a new experience and all things considered it was a great event to attend.  Bands included Counting Crows, The Wall Flowers and Third Eye Blind.  Food was what I would consider “typical” fare for the Stampede – Beef on a Bun, cole slaw, beans and a fruit cup.


For the most part, I used to the HX30, and somehow, somewhere, when I was fiddling with settings, I got it into one of the special effects modes and it wasn’t until a few pics later that I realized it was in that mode.  It took a few minutes to figure out how to turn that off but in the end, all was good.  I first noticed this when I was taking shots, and there was a “processing” message on the LCD screen with a lag of about 3 seconds, which, considering it was bright out, shouldn’t have happened.  I initially thought the camera was in a burst mode and was doing a best frame capture thing, but it wasn’t.  Here’s one of the “effects”:


Later in the day, a ‘copter showed up – I think it was to open the grandstand show and this was where having that extra zoom came in handy.  A little blurred but I got the shot or three.


In the End

We left Fort Calgary around 9:00 p.m. and decided to walk down into a nearby community called Inglewood for a drink or two in a couple of places and then tried to grab a cab home.  Well…. let’s just say… cab and Stampede Week – Good Luck  Sad smile  Despite the fact that this community we pretty active even around midnite, getting a cab was next to impossible.  We ended up walking into downtown Calgary, which was basically a 45 minute walk before we were able to get a cab and we had to flag one down – phoning for one was out of the question.  The hotels were telling us 1 hour or more.  My wife and I had decided we could bus it home as we were close to a bus route that could get us home, but I decided to try to flag a cab and got one Smile  So we ended up home at around 1:30 a.m….. Ugh….

In conclusion – day was actually blast saving the cab thing, but being able to be portable and having two small cameras worked out great.  I was initially thinking of taking my Panasonic GX1 with both zooms AND one of the travel cams, but glad I didn’t Smile


About gkamitomo
IT Busines Analyst

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