Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sun Polyps Corals Time Lapse Captured by iPhone 4

The above is a video of Sun Polyps corals captured by iPhone 4 with one photo per second. Since they move very slowly, I used 800 photos combined together for a 1 min time lapse video. The last 10 secs shows how they eat while I feed them directly. I think its kinda fun, but my wife said its kinda gross. No matter what, I hope you enjoy it and leave me comments as a support.

As you know, I like photography and keeping fishes/corals in a reef tank is my new hobby. Starting next week, I will start posting how I got the tank started (include unboxing videos + DIYs).

Photography + Reef Tank = Fun :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Starting a New Hobby

Alohaeveryone, you may be wondering why I haven't been posting as much as before. In the pass two months, I have been studying my new hobby - Nano Reef. The photos above are my first pair of clown fish that arrived yesterday. Once the fish tank becomes stable, I will start writing more about this hobby from a beginner's point of view and hope you will enjoy it.

Following is a video I uploaded to youtube which has a sneak peak of my tank. I named it "The Beginning of My Reef Tank" which I hope you will like it. Thanks for the support and welcome to leave me comments.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L Test Samples + Unboxing Video

The above photos are test samples from the new Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L lens I just got, while I also have a Canon 24-105mm IS L. You may be wondering why I bought the 24-70 even though the 24-105 IS is able to cover the range with Image Stabilization. Image Stabilization allows you to shoot at low shutter speed and keep the images fairly sharp. However, if you are shooting in a low light condition, the true 1-stop advantage from Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L is being able to freeze the motion of your  subject while Canon 24-105mm IS L just gets you a clear background.  The range of this lens is the most important range for a full frame camera user, and this is the reason I wanted to get the best lens Canon can offer at the moment.

After testing this lens for a month and comparing with 24-105mm, I found the following:

  • The focus of this lens is faster

  • Macro shots can be closer

  • I like the Bokeh from this lens better

  • Contrast is better

  • I will need to get the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 to cover the 105mm range.  ; )

The 24-70mm does not come with IS, which is fine with me, since I don't think I really need that function anyways. Because if I did need to shoot at a lower shutter speed, I can always use the trick I call "human image stabilization".

Below is my unboxing video, in case you wanted know what come in the package. And if you wanna give this lens a try, you can get Canon 24-70mm f2.8 here for $1370 shipped

Monday, June 28, 2010

iPhone 4 Camera Spec

I didn't post any photography related topics in the past 2 weeks and was busy with iPhone 4 & iOS4. I promise I will post more photography info right after this. By thy way, this is kinda related. Following is the iPhone 4 back camera spec in case you want to know.

  • 5.0 Mpixels (2592 x 1936)

  • 1/3.2" back-illuminated CMOS sensor

  • 4:3 aspect ratio

  • 35 mm film camera crop factor: 7.64

  • Low ISO 80 (or better)

  • 3.85 mm lens focal length

  • f/2.8 lens aperture

  • Autofocus: tap to focus

The senors size is almost as big as the ones on a low end P&S and it is a back-illuminated CMOS sensor which helps with lowlight conditions. With this lens and sensor size, it corresponds to 35mm film camera equivalent lens of 30mm with f22.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

iPhone 4 unboxing side by side with my 3Gs

Just a quick unboxing video with my 3Gs on the side. Just in case you wanna watch it.

p.s. the iPhone case you saw in the video you can buy from here.

Macally iPad Case unboxing

Since the Apple iPad Case is in shortage at this moment, I am going to show you an alternative solution from Macally. The above video shows you the unboxing of the case and side by side comparison with the Apple original.

What I like
the Color
the better fold angle (horizontally or vertically) for viewing video or typing

What I don't like
the front cover is too soft
get dirty easily due to its microfiber material
not able to cover the edges of the iPad 100%, it only covers the 4 corners

If you can't wait for the original iPad case from Apple, you can get Macally for $40 Shipped here

p.s. I am really sorry I keep pronouncing Ma"cathy" instead of Ma"cally" in the video.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

iOS4 Push Notification fix (for Unlocked Phone)

People talk about unlocking iOS4 on iPhone 3G/3Gs and a lot of sites provided instruction already. But I would like to show you how to fix the push notification if it fails after the unlock.

Following are the directions for how to fix your unlocked iPhone.

1, Make sure you’ve jailbroken and unlocked your iPhone 3G/3Gs with iOS 4.
2, Make sure you dont have any app which uses push function on your iPhone. If yes, remove all of them first.
3, Open up Cydia, and add this address to the sources: as above
4, Once Cydia is done updating, go to the search field and type in: Push Doctor. Tap it, and then press install.
5, Wait until complete download and install.
6, Restart your iPhone.
7, After restarting, you may install any app which support Push function. e.g. Meebo
8, Run the installed app and it will tell you to enable Push Notification by Tapping Settings.
9, Tap Setting and enable it.

Push Notification should work by now.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Easier way to check iPhone 4 Upgrade Eligibility

More than one friend asked me how to check if they are able to get the iPhone upgrade with discounted offer. If you are a current At&t iPhone customer, there is a easier way to check if your line is eligible or when it will be eligible for an iPhone 4 upgrade, which means you can pay $199 for 16GB or $299 for 32GB iPhone4.

Step 1,  try to call *639# from the phone screen

Step 2, press Dismiss while you waiting for At&t server's respond

You will get a message reply from At&t in less than 2 mins saying whether you are eligible or not.  The following image shows you are not eligible now, it tell you the date (black out area) when it will be eligible.

Please note that you will be able to pay $200 more for an early upgrade even if you are not eligible at this moment.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Be Awared if you planning to unlock iPhone 4

SIM CardlengthWidthThick

Above SIM card info. is for your reference if you are planning to unlock iPhone 4 and use it with another carrier. Currently, T-mobile does not offer Micro-SIM cards which is required by iPhone 4 (also iPad). Even when there is a  solution to unlock iPhone 4 in the near future, you will need to be prepared to cut your SIM card base on the above spec. of Micro-SIM card.  There is proof on the  internet that iPad is able to use the EDGE service from T-mobile while there is no way to use the 3G service due to the different frequency from AT&T

T-Mobile USA Network
AT&T USA Network
iPhone 4 Supported Frequency
EDGEGSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
3GUMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz)

Just in case you still want to do it and you know what your are doing, You can try to use T-mobile EDGE APN Setting as followings.

DISCLAIMER: We have not tested this, so this information may be inaccurate or incomplete. will not be responsible for individuals following the instructions on this page. And users are doing so entirely at their own risk.

Don't Wait! Order now if you plan to get one.

As you can see from the screen capture above, iPhone ship date keeps pushing back. If you are planning to get one, order it now. Rumors say, the White iPhone will be available for pre-order before 6/24, however, don't put too much hope the white one will  ship before 7/14.

Apple pre-order link here.

Friday, June 4, 2010

I am using Google Chrome

Needless to say, the most frequently used program on your computer is the Internet Browser. Since this browsing experience is related to user behavior and its pretty hard to change for normal people, you may need to think twice before selecting which browser program to use. I believe most of you are using Internet Explorer while some people using Firefox and maybe its time for a change.

Why I don't use IE
I kinda stopped using IE in the pass 3-4 years beside at work. IE get attacked by malicious websites easily. Some attack utilizes IE drag-and-drop & ActiveX features to copy executable file to a user's Startup folder, from which it would execute the next time the user logged on. (That's one of the major reason your computer gets infected by virus after browsing unsafe websites). In short, IE is tied in so close to the operation system it will have higher security risk than the other browsers.

Why I pick Chrome vs others
Chrome focus on S.S.S. Which means Speed, Simplicity, Security. I am not going into detail to compare the different browser's performance here but Google Chrome did make it very clear of their goals for you and you can feel it from their latest version 5. Followings are the reason I am using Chrome now.

  • Mulitingual Web Surfing

  • Cross Plathfrom (Windows, MAC, Linux)

  • HTML5 Support

  • Bookmark & Preference Sync

  • Google Extensions

  • Address Bar (Search & Navigate from the same Box)

Other browsers may have similar functions that I mentioned above. However, Google Chrome has them all in one package. Also, I believe Google will take Chrome as the first step of Cloud Computing and we will see a more clearer picture when Chrome OS is released later this year. If you haven't tried Chrome yet, download from the link here and give it a try. After all, if you don't like it, you can always uninstall it very easily.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

After iPad Jailbreak, What's Next?

The Story

After my "iPad Jailbreak Software has been released w/Download Link" post was up, friends keep asking me what to do next. Most of them would like to achieve the goal of installing paid apps for free. I am going to post the directions here but I am not responsible for any illegal actions.

The Solution

If you watch the video of my previous post and follow them step by step, you should be able to see Cydia on your iPad. Follow the additional steps to install AppSync 3.2 and your iPad will allow you to install downloaded apps.

  1. Open Cydia (it may ask you to update, just accept everything)

  2. Click Manage

  3. Click Sources

  4. Click Edit

  5. Click Add

  6. type

  7. Click Add Source (You can add "" as well in cause is offline)

  8. After Add Source, your Cydia will try to update all the available software list, wait until it is done.

  9. Now Click Search and search for AppSync 3.2 (if you are doing this for iPhone, get 3.1)

  10. Download it and let the iPad install the software itself.

Now, your iPad is ready to install downloaded apps.

Following is a website which has tons of apps for you to download (Just for your reference). Download the ipa files from your desktop, double click on it and have iTunes install it to your iPad. Remember, If you like the App, you should buy it.

Update:  Just in case you would like to install cracked apps directly from internet, search and download "Install0us" from Cydia as well.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

New Plan for Backup and Recovery

The Story

My 4 bay NAS drive (Thecus N4200 Pro) for photo backup had one hard drive failure two weeks ago. While I was trying to pull the data from the NAS, I found the RAID 5 array configuration was missing since there was another hard drive also contained bad sectors. In order to recover one of the most important data (89GB of Photos from the pass 10 years) from the NAS, I ordered 3 new hard drives from Amazon and performed sectors to sectors copy in order to rebuild the RAID array. The whole process took almost 2 weeks to complete even though the hard drives were shipped with 2nd day service.

Usually most of my photos was backed up online at while some of my personal photos are not. This incident triggered me to think of a new backup and recovery solution since the current one still has a chance to lose some data.  I am not a person who would like to backup my data on a scheduled bases, the Time Machine backup concept from Apple will be one of the best solutions for me. However, in order to increase the redundancy and achieve the goal of "Setup It Up and Leave It", I need to think of another solution.

The New Solution
From the above image, you may see the new plan of backup and recovery solution for my home. The key of this new solution is to set up a Mac system as a time machine server, other systems within my network will be backed up to the WD My Book USB drive. The new Mac system includes a shared Photos folder and setup for time machine backup to the WD USB drive as well. One the other hand, the photo folder will also backup to the Thecus N3200 every week.

Maybe you'll think this is a complicated/overkill/stupid setup, but I just can't take the risk of losing data. If you are a Mac user looking for peace of mind backup solution, the Time Capsule from Apple would be your best choice and you can get it here for $278 Shipped. If you are a Windows user, a Drobo from Data Robotics will be perfect for you and you can get it here for $297 Shipped

Friday, May 21, 2010

Using DSLR as a Camcorder

Friend just bought a Canon T2i as a video camcorder and I suggested both items above to him. Image on the left is a Manfrotto 585 ModoSteady 3-in-1 Camera/Camcorder Stabilizer which allow you to get stable video even Canon T2i has a light weight body. Image on the right is a Rode VideoMic Directional Shotgun Mic w/Mount which allow you to capture sound from a further distance and avoid the zoom in / zoom out noise created by the Lens.

You can get the Stabilizer for around $90.00 here and the Shotgun Mic for around $130.00 here

Toilet Seat Cover Paper = Face Blotting Paper

I learned this from a friend of mine who is a photographer, and he learn this trick from a makeup artist since he shoots a lot of photos for models. The toilet seat cover paper used in the restroom is able to soak up oil same as the face blotting paper. In case you wanna clean up extra oil from your model face while he/she doesn't have any blotting paper handy, this will be a quick & free solution. But please make sure your model is OK with it.    :D

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Very Interesting Mini Tripod

You may be wondering why I posted a photo of a bunch of key chains above. Actually, they are very cute mini tripod which should be able to hold your point & shoot camera nicely. They even have their own name; Pinky, Scorsese, Snot Buster, iChomp and BoltBot.  Photos below shows you how they work in action and you can get one for 20.00 here

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

iMac or Hackintosh?

Friends keep asking me to build them a Hackintosh after they found out I can do it. However, I usually refuse them if they are only looking for a computer with the basic functions. Instead, I would suggest them to get the iMac with the basic configuration. The reason is simple, iMac is not that expensive compared to a Hackintosh if you just want to have similar performance for the basic functions. Apple is just trying to sell you a computer with high quality components in a well designed package at a reasonable price. The following is a list of hardware components you would need for a Hackintosh ready system, which will deliver similar performance as the iMac basic model.

ViewSonic’s VX2250WM            $189
EP45-UD3P Motherboard            $149
3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo        $139
4GB DDR 2 SDRAM                $103
500GB Hard Drive            $55
EVGA GeForce 9400 GT            $64

Dual-Band Wireless-N USB        $29
DVD±RW Super Multi Drive        $22
USB 2.1 Bluetooth Adapter        $12
Logitech Wireless Desktop MK710        $97
Cooler Master Mid Tower Case        $79
400W Power Supply            $15

The total cost will would be $953 with a good keyboard & mice combo and a good looking chassis. However, you are missing the Snow Leopard operating system and iLife software plus 1 year warranty from Apple.

Hackintosh is only good for people who are looking for a super high performance computer with the flexibility of future upgrades. If you are a basic function user, getting the iMac from Apple should be the best choice. After all, the well designed iMac will look very nice in your room while your DIY Hackintosh may not.

If you wanna save some money on a iMac, check this link here, usually you can save tax plus a couple % discount.

Canon EOS 3D Conceptual Mockup



3-D (three dimensional) video and photo has become one of the hottest topics now a day. The above Conceptual Mockup of Canon EOS 3D from Dean Francis should be able to fulfill most of your dreams. The modular bodies allows you to attach and create 3D videos/photos while you can separate them when you don't need it. Thanks Dean Francis for the creative idea and it would be nice if Canon really can make it happen. If you want to see the Flash created by Dean for this camera mockup, check out his website here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 / Appsync 3.2 Backup Repo

Usually I don't like to post this kind of sensitive info here. However, repo was down this morning and a lot of peoples were not able to download Appsync 3.2.

There is another repo included Appsync 3.2 which I would like to share with you, so you don't have to call me and ask.

If you don't know what I am talking about its fine. You don't have to worry about it.  ^__^

Thursday, May 6, 2010

AT&T 3G MicroCell using experience + comments

"iPhone is the best wireless phone in the world but AT&T's bad network turn it to the worst. AT&T is not able to handle voice calling without dropping the calls." I remember I read that from another website and totally agreed with that. The area where I live gets 0-1 bar reception and I can only make calls if I get lucky and standing in a good spot.

What is 3G Microcell
AT&T 3G MicroCell acts like a mini cellphone tower at your home which uses your internet boardbrand service to transfer voice and data like it is a normal VOIP phones. The device is $149.99 + tax but you can get rebates if you are new AT&T DSL/U-Verse customer or sign up for the $19.99/months unlimited calling plan from home.

How to Setup
The setup process is very simple. All you need to do is login to the Microcell website and register your MicroCell's serial number. Then you need to select the approved cellphones which will be the numbers is allowed to access your Microcell and connect MicroCell to a open port on your router. You need to wait around 30-40 mins to allow Microcell locate itself (GPS receiver build in) and then you can complete the registration process.

I got full 5-bar reception once my phones connecting to the Micorcell device. It should be able to cover 4000 sq/ft area without dropping voice quality base on my estimation. However, I do noticed 3G data service quality dropped a lot once u step around 20 feet away from the devicel. I don't really concerned about the data service feature since my iPhone would automatically switches to WiFi for data transfering at home. If I have to rate this product base on 5 stars rating scheme, I would give it a 4.9 stars. But if you ask me to rate this solution from AT&T,  I would say that AT&T is totally out of their mind. AT&T, you shouldn’t charge your customers $150 to fix your network signal issue. There are regular customers like us who need this product since you are failing your job by offering horrible coverage.

AT&T, I hate you. The reason I am using your service is because you are the only service provider offering 3G signal to iPhone in the US.

p.s. I did a quick test this morning, used a used foil-paper to wrap around the Mircocell device to prevent it from receiving GPS signal. Microcell seems to stop providing service within 30mins with the lost GPS position. So, if you are planning to relocate this unit to different area other than US (I know what you are thinking my friends), this may not be your solution.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

DIY iPad Car Mount

I made this DIY iPad Car Mount video on the day I got my iPad 3G and I forgot to post it here. After 3days, I found there are over 8000 views from youtube. I thought you might be interested in it as well.

This video shows you how I managed to use a string to hold the iPad on my car dashboard. This solution should be able to be applied to most cars unless your car has special designed dashboard. It holds the iPad very firm and allows you to remove the iPad easily.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

iPad Jailbreak Software has been released w/Download Link

iPad Jailbreak Software (Spirit) has been released. Step by Step installation guide show in the video above and you can download Spirit with the link below

Spirit Mac Version Download Here

Spirit Win Version Download Here

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

iPad 3G Prepared for Shipment

I guess my iPad 3G will deliver on time even I placed my pre-order late on 4/6.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

NETGEAR WNR3500L unboxing and DD-WRT installation

The above video includes a Netgear WNR3500L unboxing and step by step DD-WRT installation instruction. DD-WRT is a Linux-base firmware offering many advanced features usually not found in OEM firmwares. I have been using DD-WRT firmware since I got the Linksys WRT54GL back in 2005 and I thought its about time to update it since new routers such as Netgear WNR3500L offer wireless N to improve the wireless speed while increased processing speed, allowing me to handle more advanced usage.

In the video, I mentioned I had the Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH and I was not able to complete the DD-WRT installation smoothly since I got the bad hardware version A0 A3 which had incompatibility issues with the current DD-WRT firmware. Even though I did managed to get it installed at the end, I would not recommend it for beginners, since it will involve TFTP and some Linux commands.

The experience of WNR3500L was pretty good. It has a BCM4718 processor, it clocked at 453Mhz which is almost doubled if you compare to other wireless G router. Installation of DD-WRT was pretty easy and everything can be completed with your internet browser with no additional software required. However, I did find the wireless coverage is not as good as I expected from a Wireless N router and I have to boost the signal from DD-WRT firmware in-order to cover my house at full speed.

If you are interested in giving it a try, you can get it for $89.99 shipped

During my research I found ASUS RT-N16 is also a good choice and there seems to be a lot of success stories of installing DD-WRT. If you are looking for a router with external antennas and even higher processor speed(533Mhz), you can get the RT-N16 here for $95 shipped

Friday, April 23, 2010

ARCHOS 7 Home Tablet Pre-Order for $199.99

Do you think $499 for iPad is too expensive? Want FLASH support on your tablet? 9" Large screen cant fit in your bag? Wanna try Andriod OS with no contract? Archos 7 Home Tablet may become your solution and you can pre-order it now for $199.99 shipped. Release date hasn't been confirmed yet, but you can expect to receive it before June if you order it now.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tip of the Week

Learn from Others, Look in to EXIF - Sometimes we find good photos online and wonder how the photographer captured the photo and what camera settings they were using. Thanks to new technology, every photo captured by digital cameras should have EXIF data (if the camera supports the function). If the photographer didn't block the data and posts the photo to a website which also support EXIF, you will be able to see all the camera settings of that photo. What camera has been used for that photo, exposure time, aperture setting and what lens has been used are clearly shown.

If you are interested in giving it a try, please go to and select the photo you like, click on "More properties" in "Additional Information" area (on the right hand side), you should be able to see the settings unless the photographer blocked it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tip of the Week

Read the Manual - I almost forgot the most obvious tip and also the one you most likely will ignore. If you don't read the manual that comes with your camera, how will you know how it works? It's nice to pick up a brand new camera and take good pictures without reading the manual. But the manual will always tell you something info about your camera that you wouldn't have discovered on your own. So give it at least one good read. And keep it handy. If you have any problems, consult the manual to see if it has the answers.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Geohot Announces BlackRa1n Jailbreak for iPad

Geohot did it again for iPad. He got his BlackRa1n ready to support iPad. There is no release day yet; you can keep and eyes on his website when he post the tools for you to download here.

Following is an image for iPad running in verbose mode

Friday, April 9, 2010

Apple, Give Me Traditional Chinese Input Support for iPad

(Traditional Chinese) (Love)  vs  (Simplified Chinese) (Love)

The word "Love" in Traditional Chinese has a 「心」 heart inside, while the Simplified Chinese doesn't.

Love without heart!  Apple, give me the Traditional Chinese input support on iPad please.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Canon S90 Review from

One of my highly recommended point and shoot camera, Canon PowerShot S90 had been reviewed by, a independent resource dedicated to the provision of news, reviews and information about Digital Photography. This light weight, pocket-friendly point & shoot camera out perform it's competitor, Panasonic LX3 in terms of image quality and ISO performance. On the other hand, for the image sample I saw, I find its even better than the big brother, Canon G11. If you want to read the 20 pages review and compare by yourself click here.

If you are ready to buy, I found Amazon has it for $374 Shipped.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tip of the Week

Backlight or Frontlight Photo - Have you ever tried to take a picture of someone who was standing in front of a bright window or other brightly lit area only to find the subject comes out too dark in the final picture. The light coming from the rear fooled the camera which adjusted the exposure down automatically, and incorrectly, for the bright background. Likewise a brightly lit subject standing in front of a dark background (as often happens with a spot-lit performer on stage) can trick the AE system (Auto Expose System) and come back too bright, again by auto-exposing for the dark background. Difficult or tricky lighting can fool even the most sophisticated autoexposure systems. Some automatically adjust, while many others offer override buttons. With a little familiarization, pushing the proper override button should become second nature.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Canon 50D Special Instant Rebate

Canon is offering up to $250 off for 50D + Lens from 4/4 to 5/5/2010

Body Only $997 Shipped
Body w/28-135mm IS Kit $1199 Shipped

Body Only + EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS $1288Shipped

Body w/28-135mm IS Kit + EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS $1415 Shipped

Amazon shows additional savings for the combo after you add both item to the shopping cart and ready to check out. Please make sure both items you pick is "Ship from and sold by"

For more details, download the original PDF here

Monday, April 5, 2010

POW (3/28-4/4/10)

POW (Photo of the Week) Alohaeveryone would like to share one of the best photo we got from the previous weeks, however this one is picked from the week 3/14 – 3/20 since a lot of iPad video need to prepare over the week

Sunday, April 4, 2010

iPad Doesn't Support Traditional Chinese Input

I had a post "iPad Doesn’t Support Traditional Chinese?" on March19. And this video shows the iPad really doesn't support Traditional Chinese input method at this stage. I do hope Apple will release a firmware update to support it ASAP.

BTW, Traditional Chinese display has no problem.

iPhone to iPad Wi-Fi Tethering

The Story
Friends asked me why I rush to get the Wi-Fi only version iPad instead of the 3G version. The reason is because I already have data plan on my current iPhone and I don't plan to use my iPad on the road. In case I do need Internet connection for the iPad when I'm out, I have a solution for it as well. This video shows you how to route the 3G signal from iPhone to the iPad though Wi-Fi. In order to do this, you need to get your iPhone jailbroken and have Cydia installed.

You may notice the Wi-Fi Only version iPad is missing the GPS function as well. I believe that will be a easy fix with a bluetooth GPS when the iPad is able to be jailbroken.

If you want to do this, search and install MyWi from your Cydia and you are ready to go.

Apple iPad Unboxing Video

A short Apple iPad unboxing video and size comparison with other Apple mobile devices (iPhone 3Gs, Macbook Pro 13")

Friday, April 2, 2010

iPad (html5) Ready Website

Apple is kind enough to provide a list of websites which are ready for iPad.  I can't wait to see how Vimeo, Flickr looks like with the iPad. If you feel the same way as me, please check for the list. If you site is ready for HTML5, you can submit that to Apple as well.

One Day before iPad Launch (Apps Ready)

Good Friday indeed, today is the day before iPad's official release. The following is a list of 45 "free" Apps design for iPad that's already available to download for your reference. ABC, Netflix, and Marvel Comics seems fun to try. If your iPad is coming to you tomorrow, I suggest you download the Apps you like to your iTunes now to avoid the traffic tomorrow.

ABC PlayerColorful Aquarium for iPad Lite
AIM for iPadMASH Lite
iBooksMarvel Comics
Yellow PagesShanghai Mahjong Lite
Bloomberg for iPadNetflix
WebEx for iPadCraigsphone - craigslist for iPad
ComicsWe Rule for iPad
Epicurious Recipes & Shopping ListNPR for iPad
Now PlayingDragon Dictation - Dictionary & ThesaurusPandora Radio
Solitaire City™ LiteDoodle Buddy for iPad
10 Pin Shuffle™ (Bowling) LitePlanets
E*TRADE Mobile Pro for iPadWikipanion for iPad
eBay for iPadShazam for iPad
Draw for iPadWORLD BOOK - This Day in History
EvernoteReuters News Pro for iPad
Touch Tanks Online: FS5TweetDeck for iPad
Fluent News ReaderUSA TODAY for iPad
textPlusWattpad 100,000+ books
Twitterrific for iPadThe Weather Channel Max for iPad
IMDb Movies & Mobile Search
Joost – Videos at your FingertipsZillow Real Estate Search
Voice Memos for iPad

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Canon 7D vs T2i

The Story
A few of my friends has asked me similar questions: "Should I buy Canon T2i or Canon 7D?", "What is the difference between Canon 7D and Canon T2i?", "Canon 7D and Canon T2i has the same sensors, why is 7D double the price?"

First of all, when money is not a key factor on making the decision, I would highly recommend you go for the Canon 7D. And I am going to list most of the advantages of Canon 7D for you.

First and most evident is the build. When you hold the two DSLRs, you will discover a difference in the construction. The Canon 7D has a magnesium body with weather resistant seals, while the T2i is made with some metal parts, but not nearly as well constructed as 7D.

Second is the control features. As a digital photographer, you will notice there are more control buttons on the 7D and they are considerably more advanced. The switch dial and the Top LCD control panel which are missing from the T2i are able to help you get the job done easier. (Believe me, when you are more into photography, you will demand functions both on your camera). It is just a lot more specialized than the lower end digital SLR.

Third is the Video function. The Dual Axis Electronic Level shows both pitch and roll angles on your viewfinder and LCD. A dedicated switch can change from other shooting modes to movie mode makes it easier for operation plus full manual control over shutter speed and aperture.

Forth is the burst rate. Burst rate is the amount of pictures that can be taken in one second. It's 8.0 frames per second vs. 3.7 frames per second. It’s a definite advantage for the more advanced elder sibling.

Besides the four major advantages of Canon 7D, following is a few more:

  • New 19-point AF system (awesome, better than all other current models)

  • 1.0x magnification and 100% coverage viewfinder

  • Wireless flash control

  • Dual DIGIC 4

  • 3 Custom Modes on the dial

  • higher-rated shutter life

  • Lens micro adjustment

  • 1/8000s shutter while T2i has 1/4000s only

  • ... and more

As I mention at first, if money is not the important factor for your decision. Canon 7D is the way to go. If you are tight on budget and are looking for light weight smaller camera body, Canon T2i is also a good choice since it can produce similar result as Canon 7D

Regardless of which one you choose, you can get Canon 7D for $1562 Shipped or Canon T2i for $799.99 Shipped here.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tip of the Week

Take Your Camera Everywhere Most of you reading this blog may have a Digital SLR. However, please make sure you have a handy point and shoot camera available as well, and take it with you everywhere. With a camera in your pocket or bag, you will find yourself looking for opportunities to use it, and when you start looking at the world that way, you will start to see the world differently as well. Without the camera with you all the time, you won't realize how many opportunities you've missed to capture the moment. Also, when you have the P&S with you, the number of photos you take will increase as well and by taking more photos, you will learn what works well and what doesn't.

Monday, March 29, 2010

iPad Video Guide Tours are up

The Story
Seems not many of my friends are really excited about the up coming iPad release. They think iPad is just a giant iPhone while it can't even make phone calls. On the other hand, I believe iPad is a game changer for you to browse internet and home computing experience. I can't wait to get my hands on the one I ordered. Apple has posted some video guide tours here. After you watch these tours, you should be able to discover that Apple is preparing a device that allows you to do all the basic computer tasks with just a touch of the finger. People may say their $200 netbook has the same functions while they are portable as well. Regardless whether you think iPad worth $500 or not, it's still fun to watch the tours and understand what's coming next.

POW (3/21-3/27/10)

POW (Photo of the Week) Alohaeveryone would like to share one of the best photo we got from the previous weeks, however this one is picked from the week 3/14 - 3/20 due to the delay of hosting transfer. I hope you enjoy it as well.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tip of the Week

Selecting Your First DSLR - Brand
Many of you would like to get a Digital SLR to enjoy the photography fun. However, buying the first SLR camera is not purely base on the spec of the camera and pricing. Example: You may find the entry level SLR from Sony cheaper than Canon/Nikon while it still provide good image quality and decent functions. But is that a right choice for you? Maybe not...

For compact point and shoot cameras, most people would just buy the camera and that's it. Since DSLR camera lens and accessories are not interchangeable between brands, buying the first DSLR is more like a investment in a system instead. A likely scenario: At first you’ll get the camera body and the included kit lens. Then you’ll buy a telephoto lens; then a flash; then a wide-angle zoom; then a prime lens; another flash; a remote release; a vertical grip; another prime lens; and so on.

So in time, you’ll most likely buy new camera bodies while keeping the lenses and other accessories you already purchased. Because of that, you’ll be less likely to “jump ship” from one brand to the other (technically you can, but you’d be wasting A LOT of money).

Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Sony, Panasonic are five main DSLR manufactures. However, I suggest you stay with either Canon or Nikon, since they have a full system build up with 3rd party lens manufactures to support. Companies like Sony sell cheaper bodies, but you need to pay premium for their lens in the future. It's your choice to pick which brand you are going for and I am just giving you the idea about how it works. It is your responsibility to check each brand's strategies and find the right body to start with, since things may change from time to time.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

POW (3/14-3/20/10)

POW (Photo of the Week) Alohaeveryone would like to share one of the best photo we got from the previous weeks, we think it is interesting/beautiful enough to share with you.

Friday, March 19, 2010

iPad Doesn't Support Traditional Chinese?

The Story
I was trying to compare the specs of the iPad vs iPod earlier and I found the iPad's detailed spec listed on is somewhat different compared to iPod. Especially in the section of "Languages". It seems a lot of language supports are missing from iPad. One of the language I'm really concerned about is Traditional Chinese support since that is my native language which is widely used in Hong Kong and Taiwan. I am not too sure if this is really going to happen when the actual product is being shipped, but I hope Apple won't drop this language support for iPad. It is really not acceptable for apple to be missing so many language support in the initial release, even if they try to update the support via firmware in the future.

If you are going to get a iPad, please check if your language are supported in the spec. Otherwise, I suggest wait until you try it from your friends or Apple local store.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tip of the Week

Always Shoot in RAW (or highest resolution & finest JPG)

I know that many readers feel that they don't have time for shooting in RAW mode (due to extra processing). But during some condition which you can't miss that moment (Wedding, Traveling...),  RAW can be particularly useful as it gives so much more flexibility to manipulate shots after taking them. Some time tricky lighting which result in the need to manipulate exposure and white balance after the fact - RAW will help with this considerably.

Your camera doesn't support RAW mode? Shoot at the highest resolution and the highest quality mode. By doing so, you ensure your photo has the highest potential for the future use.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM in stock now

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM in stock now for $2499 with free shipping

Overview for this Lens

Improving upon one of the most celebrated lenses in the Canon EF line is no easy feat, but Canon has done just that. The all-new EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM increases the speed, performance and optical quality of the EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM while maintaining all of the characteristics that have made it a legend for professionals and advanced amateurs alike. The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM features one fluorite and five UD elements for increased optical quality and reduced chromatic aberration. It has a minimum focusing distance of 1.2m/3.9 ft. at all zoom settings, which is useful for photographers in smaller spaces trying to get closer to a subject. It features a next-generation Optical Image Stabilizer, providing up to 4 stops of correction at all focal lengths. And as with all L-series lenses, the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM is dust- and moisture-resistant and designed for use in the challenging environments typical of rigorous professional use.

5D Mark II Firmware Update Version 2.0.3 Available Now

Canon 5D Mark II major firmware update available for download now. Enhancements of the movie function as followings:

1. Adds or changes the following movie frame rates.

* 1920×1080 : 30 fps (changed - actual 29.97 fps)
* 1920×1080 : 24 fps (added - actual 23.976 fps)
* 640×480 : 30 fps (changed - actual 29.97 fps)
* 1920×1080 : 25 fps (added - actual 25.0 fps)
* 1920×1080 : 24 fps (added - actual 23.976 fps)
* 640×480 : 25 fps (added - actual 25.0 fps)

2. Adds a function for manually adjusting the sound recording level (64 levels).
3. Adds a histogram display (brightness or RGB) for shooting movies in manual exposure.
4. Adds shutter-priority AE mode (Tv) and aperture-priority AE (Av) mode to the exposure modes for shooting movies.
5. Changes the audio sampling frequency from 44.1 KHz to 48 KHz.
6. Fixes a phenomenon where communication between the camera and the attached lens is sometimes interrupted after manual sensor cleaning. (This phenomenon only affects units with Firmware Version 1.2.4.)

If you are ready for the update, download from this link

Monday, March 15, 2010

POW (3/7-3/13/2010)

POW (Photo of the Week) Alohaeveryone would like to share one of the best photo we got from the previous weeks, we think it is interesting/beautiful enough to share with you.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Switching to New Hosting

There maybe some down time. Will get back up soon.

Don't Forget to Pre-Order Your iPad on 3/12

Apple say you can pre-order your iPad on 3/12/2010. In order to avoid shortage you can try with the following link to pre-order it tomorrow. If the link change, I will update it.

Sign up from

Sign up from Amazon to save tax

Tip of the Week

Panning in Photography
While we like to shoot things in action, ie: race cars, motorcycles, flying planes, we would like to keep some motion in the picture while our subject is still sharp. Example as below.


A simple way to try this is to stand by the side of the road and pick out a car passing by. example below

The key to get this type of images are:

*Set your camera shutter speed slow enough to cause movement as you swing or pan the camera (e.g. 1/30, 1/60 sec)

* Pick a focus point to determine when you will take the photo as you pan/swing

* Aim you camera at the car and follow it with its motion and take the shot

* Image stabilizing function off (Recommended)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Canon Spring Instant Rebate Promotion is up.

Canon Instant Rebates are up again and valid between 3/7 to 4/3/2010. If you order Canon 5D Mark II at the same time, all your instant rebate savings will be doubled.
If you have been waiting for this Canon promotion, you can order from or now. Most of the items comes with Free Shipping

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sigma DP2s Available Pre-Order for $699 Shipped

The Story
For those who have been reading my blog since earlier 2009 should notice I used to be a Sigma shooter before I got my Canon 5D Mark II. I used to shoot with a Sigma SD14 & Sigma DP1 and I was very happy with the images produced by both. At the PMA2010, Sigma announced the release of three new cameras: the SD15, DP2s and DP1x.

I might get the DP2s since I skipped the original DP2. I really love the color from the Foveon sensors, and those who doesn't know what a Foveon Sensors is, can see my older post here. The DP2s comes with a focal length equivalent to 41mm in a 35mm camera, this focal length is more suitable for snapshots and portraits compared to what I find is missing from my DP1. If you want to get your hands on the camera with Foveon sensor, you can pre-order the new Sigma DP2s for $699 Shipped.

p.s. Sigma SD15 can be pre-order for $859 Shipped

Official site for DP2s:
Offical site for SD15:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dell Studio 17, 17inches notebook $399 + $13 Shipping (Expired)

Dell Home offer their Dell Studio 17 basic model for $399 + $13 Shipping today.  For those who looking for large screen notebook, don't miss this deal.

Update: Now you need to pay $50 more since Dell updated the price.

Tip of the Week

White Balance
A friend got a new camera and says it isn't good since the color of some photos are not natural; sometimes it looks too "yellow" for indoor photos, and sometimes it looks too blue. Actually different lighting has different "temperature", the human brain is capable of making automatic adjustments while the camera's "auto white balance" may not be as good. When the camera fails to select the correct setting, the photo's color is going to shift. So, when you review your photo and see the color of the picture is off, you should try to select the correct white balance setting for the camera yourself. Just to name a few, there's Tungsten Bulb, Sunset, Fluorescent Lamps, Flash, Daylight. These are the common white balance settings for most cameras. Read your camera manual and find out how to adjust the settings and select the correct one for the lighting condition you are going to shoot.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Canon 5D Mark II firmware 2.0.3 update (pre-announces)

The Story
I have been using Canon 5D Mark II for over a year and I'm happy with the video recording mode. Today, Canon pre-announces the release of a 2.0.3 firmware update which enables full 1080p HD recording at 24, 24 and 29.97fps broadcast standards along with improved audio functionality.

Sample movies shot with 2.0.3, "I love My Friends" can be found here.

I Love My Friend (Canon) :) Even though I am not very serious about the frame rate per sec., But it's nice to see a company willing to backup their product after 1 year.

If you are looking for a full frame camera which has all this nice video recording functions, Canon 5D mark II should be your best choice for now. You can get the body only for $2499 shipped or $3299 with L kit lens shipped

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Refurbished Sony A200 $299 with Lens (Expire 2/27)

The Story has refurbished A200 for $299 shipped with coupon code SONYA200K150. Do I recommend Sony SLR? No! But it is a crazy deal while it come with a 18-70mm lens. You can get it if you really wanna try out a SLR while on a limited budget.

Preproduction Canon T2i 1080p Video Sample

The Story
For friends who has been waiting for the new Canon T2i, I found a video sample from a pre-production unit to share with you. Since some of the video clips was capture by the kit lens, it might be the reason why the color is not as rich as 7D and 5D mark II. ISO 1600 looks very clean on video mode as well. After all, Canon T2i seems to be a nice DSLR if you are looking for one with 1080p video function. You can pre-order it with the kit lens for $899 Shipped.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Image Swirl from Google Labs, So Cool!

Fun way to search images. Give it a try.

Preorder DSi XL for $189 Shipped (Release on 3/28)

The Story
Nintendo just announced new DSi XL will be released in North America on March 28. It will come with two 4.2" LCDs instead of 3.25" (DSi) or 3.0" (DS Lite).
You can pre-order it for $189 shipped here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tip of the Week

Get blurred backgrounds with a point and shoot

If you don't have an SLR around, but want to try to get a limited depth of field shot with a professional-looking blurred background, you can do following:

• Set your camera to portrait mode.

• Make sure your subject is far from the background.

• Back away from your subject.

• Zoom in from far away, which will help create a shallow depth of field.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Going to PMA 2010

Going to PMA 2010 now. If I find anything interesting while other major site didn't report yet, I will post it here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Meebo Goes iPhone

The Story
Meebo, which is my favorite multiple instant messaging program release for iPhone already. Since its is free to download, I don't have to explain how good is it compare to other free IM apps like IM+ Lite and eBuddy. Give it a try, highly recommended.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tip of the Week

Tip of the Week
For indoor/party night photos, just say "no" to on-camera flash if your camera has good low light performance. Since flash light is coming from the same position as the camera, there are no shadows to "model" faces. Light from a point source like the on-camera flash falls off as the square of the distance from the source. That means things close to the camera will be washed-out, the subject on which you focussed will be properly exposed, and the background will be nearly black.

Virtually all point and shoot/SLR cameras allow you to control the on-camera flash. What you want to do most of the time is press the tiny lightning bolt button until the "no flash" symbol is displayed. The "no flash" symbol is usually a lightning bolt with a circle around it and line through it. Now the camera will never strobe the flash and will leave the shutter open long enough to capture enough ambient light to make an exposure. Additional skill as following:

* look for some light. Move your subjects underneath whatever light sources are handy and see how they look with your eyes.
* set a higher ISO sensitivity, e.g., ISO 400 or ISO 800 or leave it Auto
* steady the camera against a tree/rock/chair/whatever as you press the shutter release
* leave the camera on a tree/rock/chair/whatever and use the self-timer so that the jostling of pressing the shutter release isn't reflected on film. This works well for photographing decorated ceilings in Europe. Just leave the camera on the floor, self-timer on, flash off.
* use a little plastic tripod, monopod, or some other purpose-built camera support

Monday, February 15, 2010

Dell Daily Deal - Bluetooth Mouse $12 Shipped

The Story
Dell Home has the Dell FW448 Bluetooth 5-Button Wireless Travel Mouse for a low $12.00 Free Shipping. Tax in most states.

p.s. Please make sure your computer has Bluetooth function build in or you have a Bluetooth adapter.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Panasonic GF1 in Pink; missed V-day

The Story
Panasonic GF1 is a compact digital camera that has interchangeable lens system. Some of my friends who already has it are very happy with it, since it can produce similar image quality as those big DSLRs while it can capture 720p video as well. Panasonic Announced the new special edition in Pink color which will be released in March. Too bad it missed the Valentine's holiday this year, otherwise I do think a lot guys will buy it as a gift for their better half (me included).

I tried the 20mm f1.7 Lens on it and found it helps with low light environment while still able to provide high quality images. If you are not a "Pink" lover, you can get the GF1 + 20mm Lens kit for $899 shipped today in Black or Silver or Red without waiting

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Canon EF 70-200mm f4 L Unboxing

The Story
I got a Canon EF 70-200mm f4 for this unboxing video. Also, I put it side by side compared with my Canon 24-105L. Both of them are f4 L lens and I was surprised the 70-200mm f4 is narrower, smaller and lighter than the 24-105L while both provide excellent image quality. As I mentioned on my older post, this Canon 70-200mm f4 L Lens is possibly the cheapest L glass from Canon.

Today, I see the price of this lens has already gone up. If you didn't get it last time, you can get it now for $639 Shipped

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tip of the Week

Tip of the Week
Friends say they keep getting blurry photos since their camera/lens do not have image stabilizing function build in. There's a method I have been using and it works pretty well. When I am shooting with a non-IS Lens, I take a deep breath, hold, and fire off about 3-4 shots with a single press on the shutter button (continues mode). It might take up more memory card space, but it guarantees at least 1-2 sharp images since it avoided the finger pressing motion of the shutter button.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Canon EOS Rebel T2i Hands On Video

Canon EOS T2i avaiable for pre-order now

The Story
I noticed the Canon EOS T2i pre-order links are up, and would like to share with the people who's been waiting for it.

Canon EOS Rebel T2i (Body Only) $799.99 Shipped

Canon EOS Rebel T2i (w/ 18-55mm kit Lens) $899.99 Shipped

Detail Product info shows after you click the above links and highlight features as following

* 18 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
* DIGIC 4 processor with ISO 100-6400 (Expansion to 12800)
* Continuous shooting at 3.7fps
* Full HD movie recording with manual control and selectable frame rates
* 7.7cm (3.0”) 3:2 Clear View LCD with 1,040k dots
* iFCL metering System with 63-zone Dual-layer Metering Sensor
* Quick Control screen to change shooting settings
* Exposure compensation +/-5 stops.
* Select maximum value for Auto ISO
* External Microphone socket
* Movie crop function
* Eye-Fi connected functions compatibility