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Showing posts from October 10, 2010

EXactly 1st shot

The EX1 has just arrived on my desk today.  I will be trying out the camera for some time.  And it will take a while to finish the hands-on and field report before the post appears here.  Meanwhile, check out the shot at ISO 3200 and the two 100% crops. Taken into account the small sensor, I have no complaint here really...well, for now.

Old Hong Kong Aglow

Reproducing the common sight of neon light signboards in Hong Kong

Around this time every year, Hong Kong celebrates the Mid-Autumn Festival.  Of all the celebrations, a highlight is the lantern funfairs where people gather to solve riddles, play lanterns and admire the paper sculptures.  This year, the theme of the paper sculptures in a local funfair is old Hong Kong, featuring some of the old professions.
Letter-writing agents were ubiquitous in the old days:

The then popular Shanghainese barbar:


taipaidong which is very Hong Kong:


A peddler selling vegetables:

Bu Chuai Go

Today, Nevin plays the maitre d'hotel to show you a famous local snack not to be missed, the "Bu Chuai Go" or Chinese pudding.
Bu Chaui Go is a time-honoured Cantonese snack originated over a hundred year ago. The snack is mentioned in a book written in the Ching Dynasty around the 1850s. While "Go" means pudding, "Bu Chuai" gives a hint about the cooking method.
In Tai Shan Province Records, which is the old book that mentions the snack, it is penned that peddlers prepared the pudding by steaming some cane-sugared rice dough in small bowls with water from the stream. So, "Bu Chuai" actually refers to the small bowls. The tradition of how to cook and even sell this popular snack has been passed through generations.
The corollary of having a long history is that the snack has variants. While the small-bowl shape of the pudding is definitely retained, the ingredients have been broadened from cane-sugar to white sugar, green beans, red beans, cho…

Links to GXR P10 Field Report

Off Topic: Chilean Miners Rescued

The news is spreading far and wide.  What a touching moment!

The Power of GR Lens

In the final verdict of the GXR P10 field report, we talked a bit about the well thought-out design and operation of the GXR body (which had been previously detailed here).  And we urged Ricoh to expedite the expansion of modules fitted with an APS-C sensor.  There is one point which should be stressed too: the GR lens for such modules will be a big draw to potential customers.
Why?  I just dug out the shots taken with the A12 50mm module featuring the GR Lens.  The images show that the GR lens was able to render the scenes with right colours, comfortable tones, good details and sharpness.  The transition between the highlight areas and the shadowy ones is very smooth.  As an aside, and a bit different from the big-site review, the field test found that the flash and metering of the GXR A12 50mm were able to do a pretty good job.  Sometimes it did fail but that was not at an disproportionate high frequency than any other digital cameras in its class.
An example is the following shot in …

A Sin to Confess

It must be an ancient curse which makes photographers prattle forever on the good and bad of every new camera emerging on the block, even though they are not going to buy it.  Interestingly at the same time, there are lots of photographers keeping on buying new lenses and cameras despite their camera cabinets are already short of space and their purse short of fund.  It must either be the same curse at effect; or could it be out of grudges against money?

This question should ring an "earlier" bell to me. 

Without selling the much loved Dynax 7 to cover the cost, here it is in my camera cabinet: Sony's adventurous a55:

Adventurous because it is full of exciting practical gimmicks in a reduced and lighter "big-boy" body.  Of course, through a55, my Minolta gear can finally be given a new lease of life, so to speak:

Fact is, embarrassingly, there is still one little brother to join'em – Minolta Dynax 5, the then world's lightest SLR (now I heard my inner self…

GXR P10 Field Report: Final Verdict

What is the Question?
Whether it is a marketing strategy or a fait accompli, the GXR is sitting nicely in its niche market.  This is not intended to be a compliment.  The GXR plus modules is a brilliant idea if Ricoh adopted the pricing strategy of Samsung, which is good value for money – simply put, at a more affordable price.
This is especially true to people buying the GXR concept who focus mainly on the ability to use modules fitted with a APS-C sensor.  It is auguable whether they are the majority; but probably they are.   Therefore, to buy or not to buy the P10 is not the question.  The right, and also the first, question should be, "Do you have faith in the direction of the system?"  Bear in mind that since the advent of GXR, the market has been quickly filled with decent choices which are sold at a mouthwatering price with a readily available lens system for expansion.

Unless the camera is aimed at the consumer level, which GXR is not, the potential photographer-buyers …

Giving and Receiving

Sometimes, you may think that it is you who is giving out.  But who knows?  At the time of giving, you may also receive.  Fact is, giving is often easier than receiving because of the curse of ego.

Learn to receive.

This is Sunday.  Go philosophical before returning to the practicable world tomorrow.