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 apple.com 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.

NTSC:
* 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)
PAL:
* 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 Apple.com

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.

race

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 Amazon.com or  Adorama.com 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: http://www.sigma-dp.com/DP2s/
Offical site for SD15: http://www.sigma-sd.com/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