Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Gumball Gear Part 4

My final review of the Sony RX-10 after dragging it from Miami to Ibiza...

Was it the "ultimate Journalist's Camera" as Sony promised? Well,
I may not be the ultimate journalist but the camera sure worked great for me.

This is a review intended for non-enthusiasts, strictly from the standpoint of a journalist who needs something that will get the job done and deliver publishable pics, but without distracting me from the job of actual reporting. 


Yes. The image quality is pretty jaw-dropping all around. But the main reason this camera delivers is because it let me get a lot of pictures that I might've missed without it. For example, chasing a McLaren at 130mph through France, I was able to get this perfectly focused shot of the McLaren's license plate:

I was the only person shooting with an RX-10 on the Gumball 3000. There were a ton of 5D's, some Sony A7r's and RX100 mk 2's. But EVERYONE I showed this to was impressed. As soon as I started scrolling through the pictures, they were sold. And to get that response shooting JPEGs on automatic, I was pretty happy with my choice to bring along the RX-10 over any other option. 

My only con is that the write speeds for Superior Auto are too long. Normal auto was fine, but for some reason, Superior Auto took long enough to where I missed some subsequent shots waiting for the camera.


In low light, using the 2.8, 24-200mm equivalent zoom, I was shooting this thing on automatic, jpegs to conserve space and make wifi transfers easy, and I was blown away by what the RX10 could do. 

For fast, spontaneous shooting in low light, rivaled (if not beat) my friends 5D mark 2. On focusing, it seemed to out-perform a Fuji EX-2 a pro photog on the rally was using. 


To be honest, I'm not a great videographer. But with the RX-10, all I did was keep it on auto and everything that came out of the camera looked pretty amazing. I'm sure if I had time to shoot manual video it would be a lot better, but on the fly, with no fuss, I don't think it gets better than this in 2014 for Video. 

The only con I'd have is that the click on/off switch for the f stops on the bottom of the lens was too easy to change accidentally, and if you were changing it while shooting, you might end up hearing an unintended click in the playback.


Driving through Europe at triple-digit speeds with only an iPhone, a Jackery charger and the RX-10, I was able to upload from the road very easily with the Sony PlayMemories App for the iPhone. I could go three days without an outlet with that Trinity: RX-10, Jackery, and iPhone.

Price: Can be found around $1k online. This was a loaner that I have to return. At full retail, I would need to spend the money elsewhere, but if I could get it for $900, I'd buy it in an instant.

Please check out @Stinsoncarter on Instagram for more sample shots from the Sony RX-10

Friday, June 13, 2014

Driving into Barcelona Mob with Dainton and Pritchard

Gumball Gear Part 3

Tag Heuer HD Driving Lenses

After getting off the plane from New York, I was handed a set of keys to an Abarth 595 in Edinburgh to drive to London without any sleep. These Tag Heuer lenses fight fatigue, and kept me sane on the long drive to London.

Friday, June 6, 2014


For more updates, I've gotta route this over to Maxim.com. Also check out my Instagram feed for updates.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

"How We Can Drink?"

Deadmau5 live tonight at the Wall Club in Miami, Before and After:

This old man lasted all of 15 minutes at the club. It's a 7am wakeup call tomorrow for the flag to drop and all 140 cars and support teams fly off like hell fleeing bats towards Atlanta, a town which most of the European entrants do not know from Cedar Rapids. As I walked around people-watching, the two Russians, Alisa and Margarita found me. There was no VIP table for them, no open bar, just a normal old nightclub that takes money in exchange for drinks. She looked at me, in confusion, and asked, "How we can drink?" 1-2-3 NOT IT!

The "Drivers"

Meet Margarita and Alisa: our Muscovite Danica Patricks. (In Training) Yes, they will attempt to drive a right-hand-driver Lamborghini from Miami to Ibiza. And I will attempt to be the passenger. Buckle up! As of 12:37pm the day before the rally starts, the Lambo still hasn't made it off the boat.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Media Check-In, Day 1

Just checked in at the W South Beach, got my media bracelet. Go click on Instagram for more pics and I'll give a more substantive update later...

Two Hours Till The Alarm...

I'm lying in bed waiting on a 3:45am alarm. In two hours I will begin my unofficial first leg of the 2014 Gumball 3000. But sleep has been as elusive tonight as it was on Christmas Eve as a kid.

I had a few last minute emails tonight: I'm supposed to meet team Deadmau5 and a rep from Feuillatte Champagne in Miami, and Carlos from Tag Heuer says the lenses of the top secret prototype driving glasses he's bringing me are currently being ground in a lab or something for a Tuesday am delivery. And I'm being picked up at the airport in Miami by my as-yet-unmentioned sponsor. (I'm kinda waiting on a picture to do it justice).

I spoke to Vanity Fair writer George Gurley this afternoon, who wrote a fantastic piece on the rally a few years back. His advice? "Don't sleep, and talk to everyone." I could tell by the tone of his voice that going on the Gumball was genuinely one of the best experiences of his life. (He also said you get used to driving at 120mph and when you get back home, everything feels slow.)

The Gumball doesn't start until Thursday, but the parties begin tomorrow night, and go till 5am. Enough said.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Stranger Reveals to Come...

On June 3rd, I will meet with a Tag Heuer rep to receive prototype driving glasses that apparently win races (if I were the one actually driving). The lenses are being cut in Europe and flown over for me to wear in the rally. I will no doubt be the most technologically accessorized passenger on the Gumball 3000. One pair already in release is said to have night vision capabilities, and the prototype option is meant to fight daytime eye fatigue.

On June 4th, I will reveal the team I am riding with. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, though it will seem appropriate given that this whole enterprise is for a Maxim feature article (out in October).

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Hoff and The Mau5

Knight Rider and Deadmau5 will both be on this year's rally. I've already made arrangements to interview Deadmau5, but I'll be looking for Hasselhoff in Miami... stay tuned.

Gumball Gear Part 2

Sony just sent this swanky loaner for my photo and video coverag of Gumball. The RX10 is billed by Sony PR as the ultimate journalist's camera: an all-in-one that takes very non-shitty photos in Auto. (read: ADHD-proof)

Note on massive lens: It has a 24-200 zoom that can maintain f2.8 throughout -- meaning I can sniper people with this in low light. I'll be using it for all my pics along the rally, so this post may turn into a hands-on review from a journalist's perspective. So far so good...

Friday, May 23, 2014

Gumball Gear Part 1

Just got this today from Kelty, rounding out my rally kit. A fill-it-up-as-you go bag--a few clicks and zippers and it triples in size (thats what she said).

Thursday, May 22, 2014

And so it begins...

I'll be riding shotgun in a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder in this year's 2014 Gumball 3000 rally from Miami to Ibiza, by the grace of public relations personnel and on the reputation of a men's magazine. Stay tuned...