Saturday, 11 December 2010

GXR A12 28mm @ ISO1600

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Kudos to the local dealer Laikok, we are playing with the Ricoh GXR A12 28mm.  If you are curious about how it performs at higher ISO, these are the first two shots at ISO1600 without noise reduction.  The 100% crops are included.  The colours in the final images produced by the Ricoh cameras are always unassuming and pleasant to the eye, truly our cup of tea.  The image (colour) setting of these two images is Standard.
 crop 1 a12
Shot 2:
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crop 2 a12

Friday, 10 December 2010

Dizziness

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(Camera: Ricoh GX200)

This is the traditional busy periods of the year no matter in the office or at home.  The images today hopefully convey how the photographer may see things after a busy day.  Take care, buddy.

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Thursday, 9 December 2010

GRD3: Silver Magnesium-Alloy Body Version

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Acceptance of orders for an initial offer of 30 such silver GRD3s has begun since 8 December.  Ricoh is asking for 247,800 Japanese Yens each.

More here.  (Japanese Watch Impress site)

Simply Green

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(Camera: Samsung EX1)

The EX1 is a near-perfect camera and really competitive in its class.  My only gripe with the EX1 is its not-so-macro mode.  Ergonomics-wise and handling, it is good but not as great as the GRD3, which I think is the king of these two categories. 

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Camera of the Year

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The editors of Popular Photographer have elected Sony A55 the Camera of the Year 2010.  It says, "The decision of our editors was unanimous: It could only be Sony’s unique take on the single-lens reflex."

Of all the smaller sized cameras, only Panasonic's G2 is picked as one of the runners-up.

Read the full report here.

Bargain to Win

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(Camera: Ricoh GX200)

What's the point of riding a bike with such small wheels?  It doesn't seem to save much effort than simply walking.  But for however little energy the bike may save the rider, it does its job to save you energy.

Some people don't seem to comprehend this point when they say they hate doing bargaining.  You cannot save enough money for just your effort, they may scorn.  Well, what a groundless assumption! Bargaining doesn't take effort; it takes strategies!  And for however little money it may save you, it saves your money.

There is a proven way to bargain for a cheaper camera in the shops. It works like this:

Timing.  Most salesmen hope to end a month with good sales records for a higher commission.  Therefore, they are more eager to strike deals towards the end of a month.  And the best time in a day to do the bargaining is when the shop is about to close.  The salesmen are then more likely to yield to your bargain.  That is probably because they are about to call it a day and don't mind to end the day with a few bucks than less.  So, visit a shop at the end of a month at, say, 20 minutes before it closes.

Target Shop.  Choose a small store.  You'll have a higher chance of success than doing it to the big chain store people.  But make sure that you pick one which you could trust.

Language.  Speak as if you know very little about the camera.  Most people are off-guard when they think themselves superior and being in control.  Chances are that the salesman may therefore take advantage and go for a higher price, but I assume that you're experienced enough to tell what the good price actually is.

Determination.  Don't start the bargain until it is at the end of your enquiry about the camera.  When you start the bargain, make it short and commanding.  And a good lure is payment by cash.  So, an example may be like, "Make it $1,000, and I'll pay by cash now."  Don't put your bargain in a question like, "Can you make it $100 cheaper?" or "Is there a chance to make it cheaper?"  And don't say the amount you wish to CUT.  Tell the salesman the amount you wish to PAY.

Bring your wife/ partner/ girlfriend, and a nagging one.  If yours already thinks (or in plural "think"?) that you've bought too many cameras, bring her with you.  She doesn't have to be verbally nagging.  She can actually roam around the shop and comes over to you occasionally and genuinely disagrees with your choice, with a frown.  She can even sound in a hurry to go.  Don't overdo it.  Her role is to put pressure on the salesman.

There will be no wonder that if you know the share of your payment which goes to the commissions, you will bargain even more fiercely.

Good luck for the bargaining.

Monday, 6 December 2010

The Joy of Using a New Camera

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(Camera: Sony a55)

For photographers, it is always a joy to try out and, much more so, own a new camera, especially when the camera is full of surprises.  The Sony a55 is definitely in the category of camera with surprises.

Although size-wise the a55 can in no way be called a compact, it actually feels lighter than the Samsung NX100 in the hand, thanks to its better weight distribution.  Fitted with a 50mm lens for the shot of today, the a55 is really a gem in hand -- with loads of useful features and a cheap price tag.  You would have marvelled at its value-for-money.

Today's shot was done with the HDR Auto on.  In the unlikely event that you are not aware, Sony has engineered this function to combine three simultaneous shots into a final image with a dynamic range similar to that of the human eyes.  It can either be left on auto-pilot for the camera to decide when and how to use it or be tuned to the desired effect levels to the user's taste.  For all the shots taken with the HDR Auto on so far, the results come out with flying colours.

The poorly translated instruction manual doesn't help users understand the seemingly overlying HDR/ D-Range/ Multi Frame NR functions.  Fact is, the HDR mode is primarily for scenes with statutory subjects, the D-Range for moving subjects (because it simply adjusts the tones without combining multiple images) and let's call the MF-NR function the catchy "museum mode" as this mode is for doing shots at high ISOs which need noise reduction. 

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Exit to Brightness

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(Camera: Samsung NX100)

This is Sunday, a day to renew your strength.  The exit to brightness is right ahead.