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Showing posts from August 16, 2009

No Prime, No Gain

How on earth can anyone pick a camera with a prime lens (if you're just into photography, this refers to a lens with as fixed focal length) instead of a model with an all-purpose zoom lens? Some photograpers on the Internet have asked. Bearing in mind that some old hands with the Nat Geo used a prime lens throught their career, that I myself used the fixed 50mm and 28mm lenses for over a decade with my film Minolta, I have a definite answer springing to mind immediately: No prime, no gain. Two decades ago when photography just came into my dictionary, and surely the time before, prime lenses were the order of the day.  I had been repeatly taught that prime lens, besides being better in optical quality, was best for training a photographer's eyes.The advantages of a zoom lens are two-fold.  First, it gives the photographer an elbowroom in choosing different perspectives for the shot.  Second, the photographer is with a wider choice in compostion.But first things first: you'…

Japanese (Camera) Invasion

^Wartime Chicago, Illinois. In the waiting room of the Union Station.Consider this: Japan has never happened to be here on earth.Scenario 1: There would not have any war zone in the east during the WWII. The bombing of the Pearl Harbour would not have taken place. The horrible killing of civilians in Nanjing would not have happened. Many women than you and I will ever know would not have become "Comfort Women". The atomic bombs would have been spared. Millions of lives would have been savedScenario 2: The saddening non-existence of Ricoh, Oly, Pany, Canon, Nikon, Sony and younameit.^Wartime Chicago, Illinois. Model airplanes, Union Station.While any form of wartime atocacies should be rebuked, no least those of the Japanese Imperial Army during the WWII, Japan has contributed tremedously to the history of photography. It would be unimaginable if we don't have those first-class camera makers and, bear with me, are left with the European makers.The European competit…

Mellowing of New Cameras

^My guitar has mellowed but the strings need replacement. How about my cameras?Now that we are seeing a dozen of new cameras crunching through the Internet onto the display shelves and windows, you guys and gals are probably going to shell out money for a new cameras or two. This is question for you, "Do new camera need time to mellow in your hands?"One common thing about new cars and new muscial instruments is that they both need a transition period to mellow to give better performance.So, how about cameras?^The abstract curve of guitar. Mozart commended the guitar as a combination of an orchestra. The body, which boasts the curving lines, contributes much to the commendation.Like a computer, a digital camera is already tuned in when it leaves the factory whereas the parts of a car needs a certain period of running to narrow down the tolerance. ^I am playing the theme song of the Japanese animation movie 崖の上のポニョ (Ponyo on the Cliff), written by Joe Hisaishi. Hisaishi is a …

Hungry? Fancy? S90

A camera interesting in its own special way, certainly tickling the fancy of many.  Click the photo to GIZMODO's S90 gallery (about the camera itself; no test shots yet), in case you haven't seen'em.It is not that the makers have not been able to come up with something like this, but that these serious compacts make money now.  We're absolutely glad to see keen competition in this not-so-niche market now.

Canon Announces G11

Canon has just announced additions to its Powershot cameras, among which the G11 is the spotlight.Gist of Canon Press Release: Whether a professional photographer looking for a smaller camera to tote along on assignment or a snap-happy sports fan heading to the big game, the new PowerShot digital cameras give users options for upgrading their shooting experience. All of the new cameras feature Optical Image Stabilization and use the DIGIC 4 Image Processor, the proprietary technology that accounts for the cameras' higher performance levels, improved signal processing speeds and enhanced image quality. Smart AUTO technology can now track moving faces and 22 different shooting situations (up from 18 previously) by identifying the surroundings to help ensure proper lighting and focus, providing the confidence to deliver high-quality photos in virtually any situation, from group snapshots, to landscapes, to portraits and more.
Select new PowerShot models will have the ability to shoot …

EISA Awards: Sony, Oly, Samsung

Days ago, EISA released the results of its Best Product Awards 2008-09. With relevancy to our site, attention is specially drawn to three serious compacts. (Although the WX1 is not serious compact for a lack of manual mode, its 24mm focal length, G lens and great high ISO IQ are noteworthy -- actually rather mouth-watering.)European Compact Camera 2009-2010: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX1 EISA verdict: The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX1 is a very compact camera that is equipped with a high quality f/2.4-5.9 'G-lens' with a useful zoom range of 24-120mm. It features an Exmor R CMOS sensor that yields excellent image quality while maintaining low noise levels. At the highest resolution of 10 million pixels, the camera can make a series of 10 images per second. Thanks to the extraordinary Sweep Panorama function, you only have to move the camera across a scene to make excellent panoramics that will be stitched together in-camera. Sony's new Twilight mode combines multiple exposures to prod…

Pany GH1 Video Review

If you haven't seen it, the link is here.  The system is the Micro 4/3 but the sheer size of the camera probably suggests otherwise.

Extra Notes on Electronic Viewfinders

^Taken by GX200 with the viewfinder attached to it, which allows me concentrate more on the composition and exposure adjustment for better colour representation on the imageFurther to the review of VF-1, the following are some extra notes:1) When you buy an electronic viewfinder, mark that the LCD viewer may be plagued by dead dots like in any other LCD display. A quick check-up can be done by turning the lens to a bright scene (e.g. a bright lamp or a piece of shiny white paper), overexpose it and look into the viewfinder.2) An electonic viewfinder is best if the brightness of the screen can be adjusted. This is not case in VF-1.3) For the VF-1, turning the eyepiece is to correct the diopter.4) For the VF-1, holding down the button under the eyepiece will temporarily toggle the display to the camera's LCD screen, which is handy. Otherwise, press the VF/LCD button on the camera for a lasting switch until the next press.5) Like any digital or electronic device, a electronic viewfin…

Bear Bear Bear in Your Mind, Clean Clean Clean the Lens

The heading steals from the quotable quote from the first lady of the first Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Government at the time where SARS was rampent throughout the territory, "Bear, bear, bear in your mind; wash, wash, wash your hands." She was in over-extensively full protective gear as she was saying this while joining the cleaning team on a public hygiene activity, which become a laughing stock of the public.But the stress should be heeded for both public hygiene and the longevity of the camera lenses.Dusts can be defiant of every blow your make with a blower. Fingerprints, grease, unknown stains and whatnots can be extremely stubborn on the lens surface. After a longer period, the image quality can be underminded.There is an old post from the archive tipping on cleaning a lens here.

The Best Commercial

Chris, our reader, sent us what supposedly the best ad for Singapore which he photographed to show the comfortability afforded by the A380 even only at the sight of its name.If you will be around and have been craving for flying in a A380 at a cheap price, this is it.This is Sunday.  Enjoy your day!