Friday, July 31, 2015

150 Shades of Wellington, New Zealand!

On 25 and 26 July, Wellington celebrates its 150th year as the capital of New Zealand.

In the last few weeks, I am trying to amass 150 photos that I took around this Coolest Capital City In The World and also our adopted Capital City since 1988.

Happy Birthday, Wellington!

Part of Wellington CBD and Oriental Parade taken from Mt Victoria in 1988.
Our first day at Manners Street, in our adopted city; 1988.
For new arrival like us, in 1988; we were not that impressed with Wellington. Why do they have so many branches of BNZ in the CBD?

Monday, May 25, 2015

A DSLR Fanboy's Rant...

2015 is NOT a good year for my Photo Blog, two months ago, I was told by the person who loan me test cameras and lenses that his "bosses" do not like what he did; so no more toys for me :(

Oh well, I knew good things don't last...

Looking at the brighter side, I noticed this long comment from "Rob" in Adiós DSLR!, a September 2014 post.

I love the way he express his dissatisfaction with my "test"...

"This is the most biased review I have ever read. Never mind that you're comparing a 1 year old pano with upgraded glass that's arguably the best pee-wee you can get, to a 5 year old mid-range nikon with a bargain-box lens. Despite all this you failed to note the colour depth in the nikon being far superior to the pano, and there's at least 10m difference of effective shooting distance in your "Sharpness Test"... Whether it was the zoom or the standing position it still skews the outcome. 

Don't get me wrong. I agree that there's way too many people in the world lugging around slr's they really don't need to. But to try and give the impression that a pee-wee is better than an SLR is preposterous.

"review" blogs like yours are half of the reason it was so hard to make someone buy the correct camera for their needs when I sold them for a living. Because people who don't know any better read this drivel and actually believe it.... 

you want to do this test for real? try using two cameras that were actually built in the same generation of digital technology for a start. The GM1 is an impressive camera for what it is, but it isn't better than an EQUIVALENT D-SLR, and it never will be. Stop talking garbage."

The cameras that started Rob's comment, on the left, in Rob's words, the "PANO PEE-WEE" and right, my 5 year old Nikon D300 with a "BARGAIN-BOX" lens.

In reality the small "Pee-Wee" was my feather weight Lumix GM1 with the Panasonic 7-14mm f/4 ASPH LUMIX G VARIO ultra wide zoom.

The 5 year old Nikon was once the Camera Of The Year, the zoom lens was a Nikon 12-24mm f/4 AF-S DX, an expensive highly praised and reviewed ultra wide zoom; never in the "Bargain Box"!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

How Good Is Lumix G 20mm F1.7 @ F1.7?

One of my photo friend was thinking of getting the little Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH pan cake lens for his OM-D E-M5.

My friend love to shoot dim available light pictures, not surprising then he wanted to know if this compact glass is any good, FULL OPEN!

The compact 20mm/1.7 on a OM-D E-M5
How do you answer question like that?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 Compact Camera Of The Year

2014 has been a good year for my photo blog!

Most of my blog followers realised that I am mainly interested in testing point n shoot compacts, I still believe strongly that the heavy, bulky DSLR days are numbered ;)

Among the memorable compacts I had a chance to try out...

The very impressive Lumix LX100.

The Lumix TZ60 with a whopping 30X Leica DC Vario-Elma 24-720mm in 35mm equivalent zoom.

      The smallest compact with interchangeable lens, the incredible Lumix GM1.

                      The versatile and just as compact Sony RX100-3.

                  The slightly larger but able to change lens, the Sony A6000.

                                 The bulky Canon G1X Mkll.

Out of these SIX compacts, which one do you think I will pick as my COMPACT CAMERA of 2014?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Dynamic Range of LX100 & GM1

A friend who is really keen to purchase the latest Lumix LX100 asked me if it's dynamic range is as wide as the GM1.

Afterall, he concluded, the LX100 "crop" the 16MP sensor to 12 but the GM1 utilises the full 16MP M43 surface!

So, in real life; the little GM1 should have WIDER dynamic range than the much larger (physically) LX100?

Smaller but better dynamic range? The little GM1, right and the latest LX100
Guess what?  I CANNOT give a confirm answer to my friend's question!  The reasons being, of the two days I was loan the LX, I do not have the time to compare the dynamic range of the two cameras.  And now I cannot repeat the test because I do not have the LX100 any more :(

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Awesome Lumix LX100 !

The waiting is finally over!

In mid September this year, Panasonic announced their "most sophisticated COMPACT featuring an MFT Sensor and 4K Video, BUT it took them nearly THREE MONTHS before the LX100 reached The Land of The Long White Cloud!

Last weekend, I had the pleasures of assessing if this much anticipated compact is really Panasonic's best.

The LX100 is a solidly build camera, holding it in your hand, you can feel the heft; it is 393 g (13.9 oz), my favorite GM1 is only 274 g (9.6 oz).

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Is PICCURE + a Good Sharperner?

Capturing a REALLY SHARP digital image depends on the following...

a) A high quality lens with minimum optical aberration and defects.

b) A fast shutter speed to combat camera shake.

c) Able to focus accurately on your intended subject.

However, sometime; you thought that you have fulfilled all those three requirements BUT your picture still look "a little soft". Especially when you view it at 100%!

What breaks?

Let us examine those three conditions again...

a) 99.99% of photographers, including you and me, CANNOT afford a $4,000 lens with minimum optical aberration and defects. Most of us use the kit lens, at less than $300, you get what you pay for ;)

b) Fast shutter speeds? No problem, or we can use a tripod!

c) With modern digital camera, accurate focussing is a given.

To counter condition a), enter PICCURE+

According to them...

"piccure+ is a new software program capable of correcting optical aberrations that cause a lack of sharpness in your images. With piccure+, it is possible to recover much sharper images."

Sound very impressive and being one of the "tester" in the last few months, I find the software impressive too. How come, then, they were getting some negative feed back after last week's launch?

I decided to give piccure+ another go, to find out once and for all if it is a good image sharpener.

My first image...