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...

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Can piccure+ Turn Your Kit Lens into "L" Lens?

Some of you might have read my posting about piccure a while back, in my conclusion of that story, I said...

PICCURE  ROCKS!!

From my test I can see PICCURE did an incredible job of removing camera shake induced artifacts and blurriness!

I think those guys at the Intelligent Imaging Solutions might give Photoshop a run for their money in this area.

Like any beta release, there are a few issues to iron out; like it crashed sometimes when the image is a TIFF and more than 70MB.

Instead of just being a PLUG-IN, I personally feel that PICCURE also should include a stand alone application; not everyone have Photoshop!

It has been an interesting test, I look forward to testing the official release!

Well, the "+" version is officially launched today!


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."

During my beta testing, I was told that piccure+ can virtually make your $300 lens performing like a $3,000 lens!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Is Lumix TZ60 a Good Travel Camera?

My colleague Martyn love pixels, the more the merrier!  He also adores large sensor in his DSLR, full-frame; no less! Oh, did I say he also uses only "L" lenses for his 5D Mk3?

Imagine my surprise when Martyn came back from his long Australia holiday and told me how impress he was with the LUMIX TZ60 he took with him!

LUMIX TZ60?

You kidding me?

That is an 18-megapixel small 1/2.3-inch sensor point n shoot!

Look at the lens, a 30X Leica DC Vario-Elmar 4.3-129mm f/3.5-6.4 zoom (24-720mm in 35mm equivalent).  A whopping 24-720mm?

Serious?

The really compact TZ60 with the 30X Leica zoom lens
Martyn's enthusiasm got my attention alright, so when he offer to let me play with his TZ60 for the week end; would I refuse?  Duh!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Adiós DSLR!

I have friends who go on extended travel lugging their big bag of photo gear, usually a DSLR and two or three zoom lenses. Don't laugh, I use to be like them because 5 years ago DSLR give you the best performance; that was before, how about now?

During our last gathering, my DSLR die hard friends were shocked when I told them I only took my little Lumix GM1 when we went to Malaysia and Taiwan this year!

They all sneered at the small wonder, to them, nothing but their HEAVY DSLR can give them the travel pictures they are proud of!


Mind you, as you can see from the picture above, I still have my DSLR; a Nikon D300 that I bought 5 years ago. The zoom lens attaches to this once the Camera Of The Year, a Nikon 12-24mm f/4 AF-S DX , this Nikon has an equivalent field of view of an 18-36mm lens.

When you are on a shoot-n-run travel, to me, this is the best lens to have on your DSLR!

On the left of the heavy weight D300 is my feather weight Lumix GM1 with the
Panasonic 7-14mm f/4 ASPH LUMIX G VARIO ultra wide zoom.  This incredible optics behave like a 14-28 mm equivalent!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Do All 24mm (equivalent) Kit Lens Vignette?

For those that don't know, what is vignette or vignetting?

"In photography and optics, vignetting (/vɪnˈjɛtɪŋ/; French: "vignette") is a reduction of an image's brightness or saturation at the periphery compared to the image center.

Vignetting is often an unintended and undesired effect caused by camera settings or lens limitations. However, it is sometimes deliberately introduced for creative effect, such as to draw attention to the center of the frame."  - Wikipedia

In general, a good lens should not vignette or at least show minimum darkening of the image corners.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sony RX100 lll or Lumix GM1?

After I post my user experience on the little Sony RX100 lll, I know the inevitable question will come..

Sure enough, friends wanted to know was the Sony BETTER than my favorite Lumix GM1 and which one do I prefer, the Sony or Lumix?

The Sony RX100 lll, left and Lumix UM1 with the 12-32 kit zoom. Both cameras are "off" and with their lens retracted.
Before I give you my answer, let me just get the following out of the way...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sony RX100 lll, Ultimate Compact?

When Sony launched its first RX100 back in 2012, the photo communities were in awe. This year's iteration is by far the most impressive yet, it came with a superior lens and a unique pop-up EVF!

There are compact cameras that look "cute" but only able to produce so so pictures, and there are compacts that not only look cute, well built and take quality photos; the little Sony belongs to this.

Thanks to our local Photo Warehouse, I have the opportunity to try out this much talk about Sony compact for four days!