Monday, March 30, 2009

Studio Lighting Umbrella Kit $34.99 + Shipping

Hand Held Items has the XPRO Professional Studio Continuous Lighting Umbrella Kit w/ 5500K Color Corrected Photo Bulb for $34.99 after Coupon Code: prostudio (Exp 4/30). Shipping starts at $10.

Click Here to get the deal

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Point and Shoot Camera with SLR soul (Sigma DP1 and DP2)

The Story
I have been using so many cameras. Beside the Canon 5D Mark II, there is another camera I like the most which is Sigma DP1. It come with a 20.7 x13.8mm (about same size as most DSLR) Foveon X3 CMOS sensor and a high quality 28mm prime lens. I find it is a very good camera for landscape which is able deliver rich color image for me. Now, Sigma has DP2 come with 41mm f2.8 prime lens which I truly believe It will make it a perfect street/portraits camera.

What is Foveon X3 sensor?

Digital cameras have for years used what is essentially a monochromatic (b&w) image sensor with individual color filters over each photodetector (known as the Bayer pattern and normally in a GRGB pattern). This means that each photodetector can only detect one of either red, green or blue light. Note that the green channel has twice the number of photodetectors as red or blue (this is because the majority of luminance information is carried in the green channel). A demosaic algorithm then combines the color of neighboring pixels to reproduce the scene color at that pixel location.

Foveon's sensor instead of having a single photodetector at each pixel location has a multi-layered design which has the equivalent of a red, green and blue photodetector at each pixel location. This means that instead of having to interpolate the values of neighboring pixels the X3 sensor 'sees' full color at individual pixel locations. This is pretty much the 'holy grail' of digital image sensors, it should mean ultra sharp, detailed images with full color single pixel resolution.

The Sigma DP2 is available to pre-order from Amazon
Pre-order DP2 From Amazon

Why Pre-order? If you don't pre-order, end up you may need to wait 3-4 months base on the experience for DP1 and all those ebay sellers will charge you premium for it during the shortage period.

Since DP2 come with a 41mm Lens, If you love to shoot landscape, get the DP1 instead.
Order Sigma DP1

Real Live Samples of DP1 which are taken by me.

p.s. I don't think both cameras are easy to use. Also, both cameras come with prime lens which means you need to work harder, walk closer or farther to get the perfect photos. However, if you can master them, They should get you better images than the top line point and shoot cameras (Canon G10 or Panasonic LX3).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Always Learn from the Pro and Keep Shooting

Last Saturday
I went out for a wedding of my friend on last Saturday. He hire a professional photographer for his wedding photo album. I tag along and get this one. I learn the way how he post the models, learn the way of his shooting angles, learn the way of composition...... I think I got a good lesson this time.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Canon Rebel T1i with 1080p Video (Available Early May)

Canon Entry Level Camera with 50D's Sensor + 1080p video function for MSRP $899 with Lens
Let see the product images




Press release from Canon click here.

It is not available yet. But keep checking out the link below from our favor online seller, Amazon and see when you can preorder one. Product detail info also included.
Canon EOS Digital Rebel T1i 15.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3-Inch LCD

Why Digital SLR Camera?

SLR stand for Single Reflex Camera

Image for reference
1) Front Mount Lens
2) Reflex mirror at 45 degree angle
3) Focal plane shutter
4) Film or Sensor
5) Focusing screen
6) Condenser lens
7) Pentamirror
8) Eyepiece

From the image above, it shows the light coming in from the front lens and reflected by the mirror to the eye piece though Pentamirror. When you press the shutter button of the camera, the mirror will flip up and the light will go directly to the image sensor / film.

Well, I shouldn't be too technical about this. Basically, the SLR camera allows you to take photos like what you see from the eyepiece which is what you get on the film.

Major Difference between Point and Shoot and DSLR (My point of view)
Point and Shoot cameras are usually smaller and lighter, which allows you carry the it around. However, the larger size SLR also has it advantages. Think about when someone ask you to take photos of him/her and you have a SLR on hand, they will think, "This guy should be able to take good picture of me" or "This guy is a professional". :)

I had experience at a wedding event with my 5D Mark II on hand and others had point and shoot cameras with them. Since they think I am the professional, I always get the best position which allows me to get better photos for sure. :)

Canon XS with Lens for $489 + Free Shipping

Amazon offer Canon XS with kit Lens for $489 with Free Shipping Great Beginner Camera if you are tight on cash.
Click following link to get the deal.
Canon Rebel XS 10.1MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens (Black)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Best Lens for SLR Beginners

The Story
Friends keep asking me what lens to get after they get their First DSLR Cameras. Most beginners gets the kit lens which comes with the first DSLR they buy. And some of them may not be happy with the image results from the kit lens, because they wont see any difference from normal point and shoot cameras. Kit lens is usually a zoom lens and is being made by lower quality optics. With the more zoom power you get from the lens, you get more optics between you camera and the object. Which will result in reduction of image quality.

Picture reference of Lens Optics
Len Build

In order to enjoy the fun of photography without spending too much money on the professional Lens, I suggest the followings prime lens with costs usually less then $200.00.

For Canon User,
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens

For Nikon User,
Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

Why Prime Lens
A prime lens is a lens that has only one focal length. Usually it has less optics and will be able to help with getting clean, crisp and precise shots. In general, prime lenses are faster (in terms of aperture) than zoom lenses which allows you to shoot in lower light without the need of flash.

One downside with using zoom lenses is that they make the photographer lazy. Instead of having to move around to find the best angle for the focal length, they allow the photographer to stay in the one place and just zoom in and out. Some believe this sucks the creativity out of the process and I enjoy the challenge of using a prime lens (it definitely does mean you have to work harder and think about your shots a little more).

Thursday, March 19, 2009

MAX Storage Space for your 5D Mark II

Kingston Elite Pro 32GB Compact Flash (CF) Flash Card

Newegg has Kingston 133X 32GB Compact Flash for $59.99 with Free Shipping
Click the following link to get the deal.

Kingston Elite Pro 32GB Compact Flash (CF) Flash Card

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

NeweggMall Biggest Watch Sales Ever


has huge watches sales starting on 3/19/09. Included Hamilton, Swiss Army, Accutron, Technomarine, Golana Swiss. Most of them are the lowest price you can find from Internet.

Click here to look at the deals (Promotion start on 3/19 and end on 3/25)

Camera I Have

Friends ask me what camcorder I use for the video. Actually I am using a camera (5D Mark II) to do that. Canon 5D Mark II was shortage everywhere and price got mark up. Now Amazon has body only for $2699.99 with Free shipping. Don't know how long if the inventory last.
Click the link below to get the deal.
Canon EOS 5D Mark II 21.1MP Full Frame CMOS Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Muilt Angle Photo Tray (Phase 2)

The Story
People may think Phase 1 Prototype too cheap and don't really know what it does. So, I come up the Phase 2 Prototype which made by Lego NXT (Cost More). Actually this is way better solution since you can control angles and how many photos taking in one cycle by programming. Also, you can put your camera on this photo tray (I should call it photo system) and mount on tripod to make 360 degrees landscape photo with photo stitching software.

Lets see how it works.

If you want to get the Lego NXT, Amazon has it for $239.90 with Free Shipping. Click the link below to get it.
LEGO Mindstorms NXT

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Muilt Angle Photo Tray (Phase 1)

The Story
I come up with a lot of ideas everyday. I think they are somewhat useful for eveyone. However, I always forget the idea after a while. So, I would like to share all my ideas before I forget and that is the reason you see this on my website. Since I like taking photos, when I saw the spinning tray I got from Ikea, I would like to combin them together and make it a Muilt Angle Photo Tray.

What it does
You just saw the protoptye in the video which I spend less than 1hrs making it. What it actually does is able to take 0, 45, 90, 135, 180, 225, 270, 315 degree angles of the item you put on the center of the tray with one single spin.

Click Here to see the result and How to make it.

DIY Multi Angle Photo Tray

First of all.. Lets see the result







How it is made

1, Cut your Cat5e cable and take out one of the wires.

2, Remove the plastic cover, You just need the copper wire.
(as I said in the video, this save you money if you have some used/old network cable laying around)

3, Separate the spinning tray and use a staplers to mount the copper wire onto the bottom of the tray (like below photo).
Click here to see larger size
I mount it like this because I want to take 8 photos with 45 degree increment of each photo in one spin. (Remember, this is just a prototype, please don't complain it is ugly)

4, Make sure one end of the copper wire is soldered onto the metal plate

5, Solder another wire onto the metal wheel above the metal plate and leave the other end longer to solder onto the remote in step 8.

6, Make a hook with copper wire on the base of the tray like below, leave one end of the wire longer so it can be solder onto the remote in step 8.

7, Now you can put the base back onto the tray, make sure when it spin the hook can touch each copper wire (like photos below).

8, Finally, solder both end of the wire from step 5 and step 6 onto the shutter button of the remote.

Now set your camera to remote control mode and test it out.

Other thoughts:
you can use a motor to allow the wheel to spin itself which makes it completely automatic.