Tuesday, August 8, 2017

I caught the PEN fever!

I have a PEN, i have a fever, i have PEN fever!
I want a PEN, i have a bug, i caught PEN bug!
OK! Enuff!

PEN i refer here is of course the Olympus PEN series.... which PEN u ask? Well... not the latest and greatest the PEN F, actually i'm in love (or more GAS) with the older PEN E-P2!!

But why?

If you have been reading this blog for centuries, you know i like my camera to be retro-ish! Only Fuji and Olympus can give me that retro-ish modern camera...or i can just shoot film but i dont want to! My Sony....hmmm...i love what i get out of it but that camera just lacks soul....i just dont feel like fondling that camera hahaha sounds wrong but you camera nerds know wat i meant....

After that Washington DC trip, and whining about carrying the Sony A7S, complaining how bulky it was, although it is considered small compared to large ass DSLRs....i decided to get a small-ish, compact, a better IQ than iphone camera, something that i can carry everyday, everywhere, perfect for travel, a camera that can take a beating, or at least a camera where i can put anywhere, not safely tucked in a padded bag, just like i did with my Sony... getting too much pampered.... i want a camera that i can just put somewhere without care...just like my iphone....

By this time i no longer interested with the Fuji X70, although that is the camera to get...i was scrolling around 43rumors website when i stumbled a retro looking camera, of course the vintage manual lens doesnt help (GAS alert!)....so i search high and low to know which model it was, i know it was the PEN series but i never ever seen it so retro just like the old school film camera....it was the PEN E-P1/E-P2 series! What makes it so retro? the trick was the custom leather skin applied to its body and of course the vintage look lenses...Oh my... i'm in love!!!

Just look at that all black retroish Olympus camera, in all its glory (ignore the ugly fuck lumix)
taken from 43rumors.com

So off to ebay i go and WAT DA EFF, it only cost a hundred-ish bucks! Perfect! So cheap! i never bought a camera this cheap! But instead of the all black i'd go for the silver version so that it looked more retro but somehow i feel a lil bit regret of not buying the black one but i can buy two!! bcos its dirt cheap.... as if i got money to burn! hello credit cards!! VISA must love me!

I'd go with this color....and it already has leather skin applied, but i just hate that brown grip..ah well u cant have it all!

Sure there are marks, dings and scratches, which means it can take a beating and i dont have to love this camera.... sure its an old technology but the photo will come out better than that the iphone... from my research the AF is not as fast as newer Olympus but looks fast enough for me...this i gotta test it myself, soon i do a quick review of this little machine....

It looked small but its probably bigger than i imagined but yeah whatevs,,,, i m already in love!! 

Anyway, why Olympus you say??
Yea i admit i do bash Olympus before but at the time i dunno what i want with my photography....after so many years of taking photos, i only printed a few times and i never printed large....mostly everything is for social media or viewing on the phone/web which the Olympus is more than capable of....
and i always have a soft spot for Olympus.... the miniature size is compelling! I met a guy once he was selling some of his Olympus gears and when he put all the lens on the desk...my gosh they are so small, compare to my Sony lenses...uurrgghh Sony! its effing large!

So yeah, my EP2 is on its way from Japan....and i bought a Panny 20mm 1.7 pancake lens.... because i just love bokeh! although i would prefer a 35mm equivalent since my eyes are already used to it, so 40mm i just need to back off a lil bit....

So theres 2 pancake lenses from Panasonic that almost covers my fav focal length, theres the 14mm 2.5 and 20mm 1.7... thats 28mm and 40mm respectively....perfect! Next in the wishlist is the 14mm, that would be perfect for travel street photogs.

But of course as GAS goes, right after i 'click buy' EP2, i also want the EP3 in black version!! OOOhhhh maaamama

Damn you GAS!!!!
Cmon EP2 come sooner!!

Here's a RAW sample file i downloaded from web, edit lightly with lightroom and i am happy with it!! 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

So i stop whining and brought my Sony A7S to the States!

So in my previous post i was GASing for the Fuji X70 because of its small compact kinda size compare to my Sony A7S for this trip to Washington DC.... in the end i did not buy it because i'm being wise and saved me $700USD at the same time. haha..Although i keep checking B&H photo and lensrental websites for great deals. There was a used X70 for $500 but in the end since i already brought my Sony, why would i buy the X70.... So i just stop whining and brought my A7S. My argument was hand carrying my Sony A7S for these 2+8+14 hours of flying not including layover. My lowepro fastpack seems to be a great travelling backpack although i hate using backpacks since it would sweat my back more.  Overview of the trip was i didnt get to shoot the milkyway (the original plan) because of lack of tripod and the distance of my hotel from the Washington DC Mall is quite far.

P/S Shopping and taking photographs for me cannot coexist lol. So in the end i think the best camera is still my iphone because its either you got your picture or you dont.

But here are some shots from my A7S....

reminds me of the Shining....pity who stayed at the end....long walk to the elevator 

Although its a bitch to carry this Sony A7S but i love the output id get out of it...

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Another day another GAS!

This time its the Fuji X70!...
I used to have GAS for the X70 before but i never pulled the trigger..
But now the GAS is back...
I love my Sony A7S and the output i will get..
but somehow that camera just lacks the soul...
It didnt make me want to take a picture...
unless im shooting the night sky and maybe going for that crazy bokeh look..

The reason im GASing for the X70 is the size....
Because i have a trip to DC coming up...
so a smaller camera would come handy...
my iphone is small but id like the best IQ possible...
I would love to bring my Sony A7S but somehow thinking of bringing it already felt unliberating..
unliberating = not free = no freedom
Its kind of bulky although it is small, blame it on the protruding lens..
So if i have a X70, will it give me a peace of mind?
It is small for sure, and the Fuji quality is no question but will it be able to capture the milky way like the A7S did?

There are a few things that put me off from buying the X70.
First is money baahahah...
Will i go crazy and spend my life savings on a camera that i will use for a one week trip?
Will i fully utilise it then? or maybe it will stay in the bag?
Will i bring it everywhere? im sure i must!
I would love the X70 if someone can show me if it can take portraits with decent bokeh...
ive been looking online...its tough! i know i know....
it is wide angle and a bit slow lens at f2.8, not a popular choice for portraiture work but hey...as long it didnt distort way too much and at least decent bokeh, i dont mind...
i know Fuji is good at low light but im already used to the Sony A7S low light quality, will i be disappointed?
My heart says wait for the new iteration, X70S or X80 but my trip is this Saturday.
Have i told u that the X70 is a discontinued product? Not that it turned into a bad camera, its just i happen to like the latest and the greatest...
if i wait for the X80, it will have a new sensor and the ACROS mode but do i need them?
Do i need bokeh? I do love them but do i need them for all my photos?
Sure its good to have bokeh if it can but is it a deal breaker for me?
If i did buy the X70, why do i keep thinking that i will still bring the Sony A7S? whats the point then?
Hmmmm, decision is tough unless im super fucking rich.
And then theres the question whether to get silver or black...
Oh money why dont u grow on trees?

taken from/credits to photodoto
Smaller/shorter than an iPhone but cant fit pants they say...

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Photography tips 101: It's all about catching the moment! Hashtag Sony a7s is quick!!

Just a quick note, the Sony A7S is quite quick/fast! To those who worries about AF performance, for travel/street i think it is quite capable.

One tip i've read about photography is to capture the moments....especially candid moments! Ones that can never be replicated back! Because those moments will never be back and if you able to capture those precious moments, it's like winning the jackpot, you know what i mean! and it also make a great photo.

I was walking and pushing the baby stroller in hand when i saw my subject approach towards me, i was quite impressed with my Sony A7S for able to focus quickly and capture the photo. Its not a super sharp photo as i was walking while taking the picture, didn't have time to stand still, also i want to be stealthy as well, its a combination of tricks and skills bahahaha.... anyway, what i like about this photo is i was able to capture that lady's face pure smirk of awesomeness, and that guy creeping up that cleavage and that kid's craving for milk "I want milk now", kid said bahahahaha

Anyway my subject was a 7-11 sign board. 😂😂😂

Monday, July 10, 2017

Photography tips 101: Exposure (Basics of Photography)

Hello welcome to my tips 101, today i'm gonna talk about exposure, the basic of photography, when you take a photograph basically the old skool way says you are taking an exposure.... (bahaha i read that somewhere or i just created it).....
Anyway, this is more of a guide to newbies than photography tips actually, but tips and guides are similar i guess....

So the basics of photography is exposure. What is exposure? in photography terms exposure is the combination of 3 things.

a) Shutter
b) Aperture
c) ISO

With these 3 you basically create an exposure,which means you are taking a photo. Whether you use your iphones to take a picture, a compact point and shoot or a frikkin DSLR or even a film camera, these 3 things are always in play.

Exposure is also the gathering of light. These 3 things are used to how much light is gathered...How much light reach the sensor of your camera or film back in the day. These light gathering will affect the brightness and quality of your photos. Do i make it sound complicated? Well just get this:-

Exposure = Shutter, Aperture and ISO.

Each settings will affect the brightness or dim of your photos. I explain more below.

So lets explore each... im not gonna go in depth. just a basic in my own words/understanding.

Lets start with Shutter.

a) Shutter = speed = is how many seconds it takes to create an exposure. You will always encounter the terms faster shutter speed (eg. 1/1000s) and slower shutter speed (eg. 10 seconds or 10").

One of the reasons to use a Faster shutter speed is to freeze motion. You want to take a SHARP photo of a skateboarder jump mid air?? Use faster shutter speed.

This is at 1/640s shutter speed

But using a fast shutter speed also means less light reaching your camera sensor which can results in dim photos. BUT BUT BUT you can play around with aperture and ISO settings to bring back the light which means to brighten back your photo. which i come back to that later.*

One of the reasons to use a Slower shutter speed is to create motion blur. Why motion blur? Sometimes you wanted to show that the subject is moving rather than static. It also look better with motion blur than a static subject but that is based on your subject or preferences . Subject such as water flow, a cyclist.

This is shot at 1/4s. This is not a good photo but its the only one i have in collection. but just an example to create a sense of motion

Using slower shutter speed also lets you gather more light which is the technique to shoot night photography or astrophotography. Slower shutter speed also = long exposure. When you heard the term longer exposure it just meant they use slower shutter speed.

This is a 15 second shutter speed. A tripod is much needed.

So slow shutter speed is better right? More light gathered?? BUT BUT BUT you will encounter camera shake problem. Camera shake means your photos will come out blur, not sharp. Anything slower than 1/60 second can cause camera shake... when i say slower it means eg. 1/40, 1/15, 1/8 and so on.... unless you have sturdy hands and a good technique you can achieve SHARP picture with 1/30 but lets just stick with 1/60 is your limit. So a tripod is needed for sturdy non shake camera. But there is also image stabilization but lets not get ahead of ourselves. lets not get into that.

On most cameras like Sony and Olympus, Shutter mode is represent with the letter S on the camera. On Canon i believe it is Tv. On Fuji, they shown the speed itself to indicate Shutter mode.

Next is Aperture

b) Aperture is how wide or narrow the opening or hole on the camera lens to gather light. The term is usually f-stops. Aperture is a always a lens feature, nothing to do with camera body. So when they say Aperture it means your lens.

So a wide opening/hole means more and better light gathering. Wide Aperture. A lens with the ability to open wide is called a FAST LENS. Wide aperture means wide opening/hole. So aperture such as f1.2, f1.4, f1.8, f2 these are known as fast lens/wide aperture. Aperture such as f3.5, f5.6 these are known as SLOW lens, narrow opening/hole, narrow aperture.

So when to use a wide aperture? When you need bokeh!
Bokeh is defined as “the effect of a soft out-of-focus background that you get when shooting a subject, using a fast lens, at the widest aperture, such as f/2.8 or wider.” - i got this definition from nikonusa.

This is shot with Sony's 55mm at f1.8. Check out the background and foreground bokeh. OOOoooohhh Yummeh!

So the most common fast lens of any camera brand is f1.8. With Fuji it is f2.

Fast lens is also used when you shoot low light such as indoors, or maybe at night. Because fast lens gathers more light. With a fast lens, you can use a faster shutter speed and a lower ISO value. Why fast shutter speed? Because you dont want blurred photos, why lower ISO? Because you want the least noise in your photo which i come back to that later.**

So when to use NARROW aperture? Narrow aperture such as f8, f11, f16 are usually used when shooting landscapes or a group photo where you want the whole picture to be sharp. When i say the whole photo it means the foreground and background is sharp. But distance between subject also takes into consideration but thats for another story.

This is taken at f9.5. basically overall picture is sharp.

So this is good right? BUT BUT BUT with a narrow aperture, less light is gathered which means it can lead to the camera using a slower shutter and a higher ISO!! These are especially true if shooting in low light (eg. indoors and night time). In broad daylight no problems! Plenty of light!

Slower shutter = camera shake = blur.
High ISO = noise.

On most camera, the Aperture mode is the letter A. on Canon i believe it is Av. On Fuji, they shown the aperture value on the lens itself.

Next is ISO

c) Basically with ISO, this guy will affect how bright or dim your photos. BUT BUT BUT the thing with ISO is, the higher value they are the noisier your photos will be. When i say NOISIER, its the grain in your pictures. With digital cameras the noise/grain is ugly. it also smudges your picture, less details.
So the best image quality is to use lowest ISO value possible. On most camera it is ISO100. on Fuji it is ISO200. With high ISOs such as ISO3200, ISO6400, your picture will definitely show noise/grain and also less details. But with nowadays modern digital cameras, ISO3200 up to ISO6400 is acceptable. The noise is what they say similar to Film grain. So its up to you whether you like the grain or not. but for me, yes, ISO6400 is acceptable. For instagram or web, ISO6400 is more than acceptable.

So low ISO is the best right? Definitely!!! when you have plenty of light, BUT BUT BUT when the light start to goes dim, when you're indoors or nightfalls, your camera will struggle to keep its low ISO value, while it can, it will start to use slower shutter speed and its widest aperture. With slower shutter speed = camera shake = blur. If you happen to have a slow lens which is basically what comes with your camera (kit lens), less light will be gathered, so that means higher ISOs and slower shutter speed to gather more light to get the optimum exposure.

So when to use HIGH ISO? when you're indoors or low light, and you need a fast shutter speed (at least to avoid shake). thats about 1/60s

This is ISO25600. This is extreme high ISO. Your photos will look like shit! noisy/grainy. But i shot this handheld and the milkyway is visible! HANDHELD!!

This is at ISO6400. When light goes dim and you need to shoot handheld. Shutter speed here is 1/30. Aperture wide open at f2. See ISO6400 is acceptable.

On Fuji cameras, ISO is a dial and on most cameras they are in the menu or at one of the camera dials.

i hope i have covered the 3 aspects of exposure wisely. haha

So if you have read all the way up to this, basically EXPOSURE has got to do with the amount of light. if you're shooting in broad daylight with plenty of light, this is the best image quality out of a camera you can get. with lowest ISO, the picture will come out squeaky clean. no noise no grains.

When the light starts to get DIM, this is when your pictures will start to get noisy/more grain.

So lemme conclude the 3 aspects of EXPOSURE which are the SHUTTER, APERTURE and ISO.
So basically these 3 affects each other when taking a photo.

*When you want to use a fast shutter speed and the overall photos are dim, you can adjust your aperture to its widest setting such as f1.8 and use a higher ISOs such a ISO1600 and above to gather more light to bring back the brightness.

** Low ISO = less noise, less grain, more details, no smudging.
     High ISO = more noise, more grain, less details, smudging.

Here's a tip or guide on exposure:-

IN Broad daylight,

when shooting landscapes, travel or street, when you want sharp pictures all over, use a narrow aperture such as f8, a fast shutter speed such as 1/60 onwards eg 1/100, 1/200 to freeze motion and the lowest ISO such as ISO100 to get squeaky clean image.

Fast shutter speed = freeze motion = no motion blur = less light
Slow shutter speed = motion blur = camera shake = tripod = night photography = astrophotography = more light
low iso = less noise
high iso = more noise
wide aperture = fast lens = bokeh = more light = can use fast shutter and lower iso
narrow aperture = landscapes = sharper foreground and background = less light

all photos by me. Hope you enjoy this post and learn something from it. If else (fail)

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Photography tips 101: Shooting people (Please try to avoid this habit)

I've been spending a lot on photography magazines back in the day before internet was glorious, this been going on for years, and i dont just stick to one company's mag, there were a few, imagine how much money spent, i could have used it to buy more cameras?? hahaha... but i be honest, reading them magazines do taught me a lot, theres a lot of tips and tricks but still if only internet was there back then at least i can use them money to satisfy my GAS hahaha.

So yeah, reading them magazines there's a tip that i always stumble upon, when shooting people, try not to shoot that have lampposts, trees or flagpoles sticking out of the top people's heads. Once you noticed em its kind of distracting and for me it kinda ruined the shot. Believe me even the pros are fell into this habit. Let me screenshot what i got from Techradar since they said it nicely. 

taken from/credits to Techradar

That is a good tip. Believe me it is distracting when you have a subject with something sticking out of their head. Just take a look that pic above. Sheeeessshhh.....

So when i shoot i try to keep in mind and use this tip but sometimes i do still have photos of people with something sticking out of their head. grrrr....i guess i aint paying attention to details. But i have reasons/excuses, hahaha, im handholding a baby on one hand and the camera on the other and i wanted to be quick. but nevertheless still came back with this ruined shot hahaha. so the lesssons we can get from here is you can use Sony A7S one handed with the 35mm 2.8 lens. 😜😏

here's mine, just recently....
To the untrained eyes, it looks fine but after you read this tip, its a fu***n distracting! If only i moved a bit to the right or left. its worst when its at the center, narrow straight line sticking out of the head.
(Hello, i have a lamppost out of my head)
(Hi, I'm a lamppost stand)
(Hi, i'm a ............... OK OK WE GET IT!!!)

But yes thats your tip of the day!!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Unleashing my inner Ansel Adams wannabe! HashtagSonya7s

Trying out a black and white landscape ala Ansel Adams, i always like his work, from what i gather he did a lot of dodge and burn, im not sure if that is true or false but whatever it is, im just too lazy to dodge and burn. Taken with Sony A7S. i think i like my Sony more now.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Manual PANO with Sony A7S

Testing out manually panorama stitching with photoshop. not really manual. auto stitch intelligently by photoshop. photoshop is a genius! no banding. this is before i realised that my Sony A7S has a panorama feature built in...duh! *facepalm!*

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Convincing myself to get a PEN F

At the moment, i am convincing myself to get an Olympus PEN F.
Been reading a lot of reviews on the net and youtube.
When there's a negative review i would just brush it aside and say "He's probably a noob"
I read what i want to read, i listen what i wanted to listen, i see what i wanted to see.
If you tell me otherwise i would shut it.
That is GAS my friends. I have uncontrollable GAS.
When it was launched i could not care less about it.
Saw it on the store shelf before, i just walked pass it.
But somehow now, as of today, i really want one.
Oh the PEN F. Why would i go back to smaller sensor?
I convinced myself that i needed a smaller camera and smaller lenses.
Olympus Image Quality is decent for what i do mostly.
I never printed large. I'd imagine i would do someday but that day never comes.
I did print once but it was only 3R and 8x10.
Shyeah, Olympus can manage that. Just as long as i dont shoot at ISO6400.
But for the price of the PEN F, i can also get a Fuji X100F,
which i drooled over last time but now not anymore.
If only i have money coming out of the tap.
TO be honest, my A6000 is considered compact but NO, i still want Oly.
So what now?
Im thinking what else is there i need to sell to fund my Oly GAS.
Posted my Guitar on sale but nobody seems to be interested.
Cos they dont know about brands... all they do is low balling and buy stuffs from China.
F U, im selling a USA made Gibson SG.
Come on show me the money!
I want to buy the PEN F please.
If only Lensrental ships worldwide.
Or a rental store is available from where i come from.
You know the drill.
Once i got the Oly, then i want a Fuji and then i would want a Sony...
it keeps coming back, rolling over and over.
If only i do this for money.
that would be ok right?
wWhy cant i be happy with my own camera?
I used to be happy with a Fuji.
But there are other ways to like a different brand and find fault with what i have.
I probably own the PEN F when i updated this blog next time.
Remember when i say i dont like the silver PEN F? Well thats the color i want now!

taken from youtube

Thursday, June 8, 2017

GAH!!! Another Day Another GAS!

So here i am reading countless camera reviews...
And lately i am reading about Olympus.
I dunno why i m attracted with Micro Four Thirds format again.
Im sure the camera aesthetics played a very big part as i love retro camera designs.
I remember i told myself never again. Its not that it sucks. it just that id prefer Fuji images.
Well its physics. Small sensor vs bigger sensor.
I'm looking for a smaller package.
My Sony A7S is not really that large except for its lenses.
Its no larger than say a Fuji X-T2 or Oly EM1.
But maybe its not retro enough.
I dunno why im not looking into Fuji X100F anymore. Well thats GAS for you.
One second Fuji, the next Olympus.
I was really interested with the OMD EM10ii as i found cheaper deals on ebay.
I was a bit surprised that it has gotten so cheap, maybe it wasnt that new anymore.
Maybe July they'll announced a version 3 with the newer sensor.
Thats why the ver 2 is cheap nowadays.
I wasnt really interested with Olympus PEN F. Especially the silver, the silver is not nice in my eyes.
But last night i started to read reviews about the PEN F.
I convinced myself it will have better HIGH ISOs but i knew in my heart my Sony is better.
Why HIGH ISOs? Because i like to take pictures of my kids indoors where light is dimmer.
But just 2 days ago i read reviews of OMD EM1.
I need rehab. my GAS is uncontrollable.
I thought i can buy all cameras with my hard earned cash.
But lets be honest, i will be broke if i keep on going like this.
But what do you think of the Olympus PEN F?

photo by Olympus

Monday, June 5, 2017

Who here loves reading camera reviews? i do...

I love reading camera reviews... whats not to like? There are mostly positives and that leads to GAS or at least helps building up GAS. I have GAS. I'm sick of my GAS problems. Because im not bloody rich, if i was id buy all the cameras i can think of.

At the moment i am GASing for Olympus. What gives? Why would i downgrade from a Full Frame sensor to a micro four thirds? Like i always said, i am more into aesthetic.... Olympus and Fuji looks like old skool camera, Sony meh... they look like boxes bahahaha but i love the IQ i get from Sony. And i was never happy with my Olympus EM10 before, so i dunno why i would like to get my hands on the Em10ii. It just look so good. like old Film Olympus camera. Maybe thats why. and somehow it is cheaper! than the predecessor. i bought my EM10 at about $1200SGD, now its only $600-700 Singapore dollars.

If only there is a rental for camera here, at least i can let off my GAS. If i want it id buy it but sadly here i have to buy it to test it.... GAS wins everytime....

Sorry for the random rant.


By Chris Gampat of phoblographer, he always takes beautiful photos of cameras... not helping my GAS though..

Monday, May 29, 2017

Milky Way Hunting!

This is my first time trying to capture the milky way.... i've done stars photography before but i never capture the milky way...somehow it slips off my mind...

So last Sunday i went with a friend who's also a photographer so lucky me he wont be bored to death! Our mission is to capture Milky Way or at least locate it. The night skies were quite clear when we grabbed our coffee but it was kinda cloudy when we reached our location. Patches of clouds which kinda ruined some photos....but oh well.... this is my first time at capturing Milky Way, but it was fun, in the dark, trying to find the darkest place away from the light pollution... i think we found a place but there are still light pollutions from the oil rigs and ports. We are at a beach. Kinda.

I've downloaded an app called Sky Guide for IOS, it $2.99 i think its worth the price, just face your iphone into the sky and it will show you where the milky way is..... technology nowadays....fascinating!!! i dont have to put a stick into the ground and look at the stars anymore...but i think thats for direction kinda compass thing?? oh well whatevs....

I also wanted to test the capabilities of my Sony A7S, and i started to appreciate its size...i think i sunk in to the thought that its not any bigger than a Fujifilm i might say.... but the 24-70 f4 is still kinda huge....it got front heavy as i fitted it to the camera body, the camera moves from its locked position on the tripod.... but i needed the wide angle FOV and that lens covers.... slight heavy vignetting though surprisingly...

The live view of the SOny A7S also went bonkers...i dunno why, maybe its a bug or maybe i mess up with some settings it just didnt work that night.....dang!! i had to guess the focus old skool style and bunch of trial and errors.... my friend with an olympus em10 can easily auto focus with a touch of the LCD. AUTO FOCUS!! yes...damn!! AUTO FOCUS the frikking night sky!! WTF!

So anyway my Live View didnt work when i wanted to but when i showed off the other night it works impeccably! Maybe next time no showing off....

Anyway, we're off at about 11pm,  grabbed our lattes and mochas at Coffee Bean and reached our first destination at almost midnight. the skies were clear but some patch of clouds visible. Its not the darkest of places as well as the restaurant opposite road has blaring spotlight least to say.... So we went to the second destination wher emost of my photos are taken....its quite dark and scary if alone... but thats what you do for photography right???

I set my IQ to RAW+JPEGS....face my iphone to the skies, fitted the 24mm and shoot away.... my shutter, ISO varies...aperture at its widest in this case at f4.... and thank god for RAW....i was able to process and slightly able to see the milkyway despite covered in patches of clouds.....

Would be great to have more of the tree as the foreground...

 One of those moments when i misfocus...too bad!! Grrrr!!

Light pollution can be seen on the clouds

During shooting i also have a problem with condensation on the lens... its from the airconditioning of my car....so it took a while for it to normalize? with room temperature.....

Battery wise for a shoot that took about an hour plus is quite ok....i think i still have about 40% juice...but i have spares! So make sure to have spare batteries....

Its been fun! 

Cant wait for the next milky way hunt!

My Sony Cameras Gear Porn

My Sony A7S and my A6000 with a bunch of lenses. To be honest i dont need to have any other camera brands, my Sony is almost complete, i would like to add a 28mm f2 and maybe the 85mm 1.8. My Sony line is almost complete...why do i still GASing for Fuji??!!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Sony A7S Quick First Impressions Review in 2017!

Sony A7S, what can i say??

I have not put it through it paces yet though, i only had it for almost 2 weeks.
All i can say is this is not what I would bring for my travels/street photography, that award goes to Fuji X100 series. But thats for another story. I dont want to praise X100 in a Sony A7S review.

 What can i say about the Sony A7S??

Low light is indeed impressive. This is what the camera is built for. It can see night. I only done indoor lighting, i have yet test it to do astrophotography or night long exposure photos. but in a dim room...damn! This camera can see!

Handling wise i gotta say, the A7Sii is better with the beefier grip, i've handled both, the mark II definitely better but it also add weight and a bit bigger size. Check comparisons on internet. Gaahh nvm lemme find for you.

For a full frame camera, the Sony A7S is small! I handled a Canon 1d Mark II or III, that thing is huge!! but back in the day, huge is the shit!! Small cameras are toys! Nowadays its the other way round now.... people prefer the smaller size.... and hell why didnt we think of that back then??

But the lenses size of the Sony's are quite awful, it just didnt complement the body... especially the zoom lenses... i have the 24-70 f4 fitted on the A7S and its just frikkin heavy....front heavy....i didn't like it but i probably need it for wide angle photography...i like the 24mm FOV. but for travels that thing is gonna stay at the shelf.

Or just maybe i got spoilt by X100. Again mentioning the X100. Stick with Sony please!!

Anyway yes, size wise i would prefer the X100, the A7S is for a specific job/photography. Studio work, portraits, astrophotography this thing is great. But for some lazy shithole that is me, every other camera is large...my iphone is the best camera.... but thats not the point... the point is if i need to bring a real camera for travels i would bring the Fuji or the A6000 for that matter but not the A7S... it just kinda heft for me.

I have a trip coming in a month, lets see if i can stand bringing the A7S everywhere. If i am a solo traveller then i would not mind. But with a baby stroller to drag around, the baby himself clinging on my shoulder, lets see if i ever get the Sony A7S out of the bag!! and i am also the only guy in this trip , all the luggages will be mine to carry!! 😓 😭

So far i've used it a lot with the 55mm 1.8 lens. I love that lens. i just love bokeh! Might as well glued it to the body... i find them to be heavy but not so heavy like the zoom lens...if you work in a studio i think its fine....or doing wedding, but for travels....maybe im just too nitpicky... slash lazy..... too much complains..... its just that i didnt like how the lens protrude, i find it not stealthy for me....people would know i am pointing that lens to their faces..... but with X100 i can get away with it.... or maybe i just didnt have enough balls.... i think its the latter not the camera....

I think that lens is a good size with the body, this is a killer combo if u like bokeh! Now i cant wait to get the 28mm f2 because that is my kinda go to FOV.

But the best lens body combo size is the 35mm f2.8. it is also the smallest compact Sony prime lens.

Cant wait to get my hands on a square hood for this lens! its a killer look! if you've been following me, you know i love aesthetic first than functions!

I have no problem with the shutter location on the original A7S but i do think it is better on the A7Sii

If you operate a Sony camera before then you are familiar with its menu. Most of the time i just googled what i cant find.

But there is no shortcut for silent mode!!!! you have to delve inside the menus....

Face detection works best with Wide Focus Area.... which i just discovered last night...i always use the Center Focus Area because i like to do focus and recompose technique.... Face detection only works if you frame the face at the center, but now with Wide Area Focus, i just need to frame and wait for the face detection to detects the face.

To be honest, now that i am using a Full Frame camera, i didnt really noticed about its looks, all these talks of Full Frame look and the likes..... to me i just realised that i look for sharpness in my picture.... i would take a portrait then i would zoom to see the sharpness.... so i guess i dont care Full Frame or APSC, i've used micro 4 third before, and Olympus was crazy sharp....more like oversharpen! but im not going back to micro four thirds anytime soon....maybe...because GAS is crazy...

Some photos...

Check out that 55mm 1.8 sharpness....!!!

When i edit my photos with the 55mm 1.8 i dont do any sharpening anymore...i dont like to oversharpen my photos, i think the lens sharpness OOC is enough!

The auto white balance can be inconsistent indoors.... when taking photos in quick successive, as i have amber lighting most of the photos are warm but one of the photo would turn out cold... 

i dont have plenty of photos to share just yet.... but here are some...

I think i have more to say about this camera, maybe i might take back what i said but lets wait for part 2 of this review.....

To be continued......

A Picture A Day: Mountain

I wasn't really sure to upload this pic on 500px but this is the picture that get the most likes...about 30 likes...sad i know but there are actually people who likes it so thats not a bad thing either..... i think for me personally this is a shit picture but people do like it....that means i shit gold!! hahah but no.....that just shows we are different in everything we are, we have different taste, we lived different lives, different perspective.... we are just humans.... subject to our own opinions...

This was shot with my Sony A6000. Such a little gem. When i have my A6000 i really didn't blog that much... so i'm gonna change that....maybe.... and the one i uploaded on 500px is a little bit underexposed....just a noob editing pictures skills with laptop monitor full maximise brightness....wtf!

And i also start using Google's free Nik collection specifically the dfine noise reduction... i noticed even with the lowest ISO theres an amount of noise in the blue skies, which is kind of annoying...lowest ISO = noise?? maybe its the digital sensor characteristic but yeah...its annoying...

So this photo was taken late last year when i was in Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, famous for its mountain. I love spending the night here at the chalets, no aircondition, just natural breeze, peaceful, quiet, just insects noise, away from the city, and frikking one minute hot water shower n the rest is ice cold water....nasty. Nature at its best. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

This is how you clean iPhone7plus

Okay, as the title above suggests, i accidentally put my iPhone7plus inside my washing machine...Yes..accidentally... this comes with age...im not a teenager nor yet a senior, i what you would say the mid-life crisis age and my age has not yet reach that certain age when your life began..... but memory loss is getting frequent nowadays

Anyway, i thought i had a broken washing machine when a rattling sound coming out of it, so the usual me i just let it be and see what happens after, i have no clue that my phone was inside not until i the machine stops washing and me taking out the clothes out of it....and there voila...at the bottom of the washing machine, my iphone!! Gasp!... at that moment i was quite amaze how forgetful i was.... but somehow i have a feeling that it would still be working and to my not-so-surprised, it still works!! Fingerprint scanner works! Its like nothing happen....except a few scratches on the screen and a lil bent iphone....

Thats how you test iPhone's waterproofing


Thats how you clean an iPhone...

Anyway, water did enter the iPhone as i saw some dark marks/spots (caused by water) on the screen. My iPhone camera was foggy as well. It was on silent mode all the time, and when i pressed the phone to take out the case, water droplets coming out of the ear speaker...Ouch! Stereo speaker did not work well, the left side was a bit quiet... no ringtones due to it being keep on silent mode. but what impresses me is it is still ON. I didnt bother to switch it off, i was afraid that it wont come back on, touch screen still works, no glass breaks, like i said it just bent a bit...because when i put it flat on the table, the phone would not lie flat...

They say to dry off phone is to soak it in raw rice... the rice would absorb the moisture out of the phone...its kinda supernatural (Rice and technology doesnt seem to walk hand in hand) but in theory it seems to make sense. . Anyway, i did soak it in, not sure its the rice or some voodoo, the dark spots on the screen does fade away little by little.

I did some drying with a hairdryer as well but im worried that i might overheat the components inside..bahaha i guess i just wait it to dry out by itself...

they say time heals all wounds.....

in this case, time would probably make it rusty inside....

iPhone8, come soon!

My Camera Porn: Sony A6000

I love camera porn. Thats one of the reason i would buy a camera. Aesthetic first function second, call me nuts but thats just how i roll...... lol. Thats why i'm so drawn to Fuji....i love retro cameras, retro looks, i would buy a Zenith just for its looks, but shooting film?? Just too much work for me, hassle, i did shoot with an Olympus OM10 a couple years back and i have yet to develop the rolls, i think i lost the rolls too!! FUdge me!

Even though i love Fuji looks, Sony does have an appealing look too! Except after i owned it hahaha... GAS syndrome! Especially when fitted with vintage lens/Leica lens... oh baby *drools* but the only vintage lens i can afford is voigtlander, maybe not anymore hahah after spending 1.5k on Sony A7S....no more "investment" for now...

Anyway lets see some porn shall we, here is my Sony A6000, shot with Sony A7S. Natural light from window on my left. I love what one can achieve with one light. Boy, sure is dusty the A6000.

 This is my favourite shot of them all... it looked like it came straight from the brochure! haha...  its a little underexpose but i liked it....

Here's another shot with another light coming from the heavens up above aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Sony A7S vs A6000 Indoor low light test UPDATED!

So i screwed up my previous comparison where i compare A7S HIGH ISO NR set to LOW and A6000 HIGH ISO NR set to OFF. Thats just plain stupid. bwahahaha. thats what happen when you do a rush job. By you i meant me!  😂

Anyway, i did another quick test aka rush job, the same settings like previous, A7S fitted with 55mm f1.8, A6000 fitted with 35mm f2.8 aka FF equivalent 52mm. I set the shutter speed to 1/60, aperture at 2.8, ISO varies depends on comparison. Now for both cameras i set the HIGH ISO NR to LOW. And these are JPEGS OOC except for ISO6400 i brighten in post at 2 stops and ISO128000 brighten in post at 1 stop.

 A6000 ISO6400, brighten in post 2 stops.

A7S ISO6400 brighten in post 2 stops

 A6000 ISO128000, brighten in post 1 stop

A7S ISO128000 brighten in post 1 stop

 A6000 ISO256000 OOC Untouched

A7S ISO256000 OOC Untouched

A7S still comes out better as expected. I like the grain structure of the A7S. Both cameras have color noise but its worst on the A6000 and the A6000 is smudgy as well. 

I blog more when i have time now i gotta go. duty calls!