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Archive for October, 2010

KLPF 2010 is a success – looking forward to the next one in October 2011

31 Oct

The Kuala Lumpur Photography Festival (KLPF) 2010 has just ended after a hectic 3 days of excitement, fun, bargains and photo snapping opportunities for the local shutterbugs.

 

Organised by Photo Creator Publication (PCP), the annual event attracted thousands of visitors particularly photo enthusiasts, both local and foreign. Some came from as far as Singapore, Thailand, Australia, German, France, USA and UK. Of course, some of these foreign visitors happened to be in Malaysia during the KLPF weekend but those from the North and South neighbouring countries had planned for it in advance.

 

For 2011, KLPF will again be held at MVEC of MV Megamall, and the dates are from October 7-9.

 

Images from KLPF 2010 @ MVEC:

                               

                           

 
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Honda CBR250R: An Affordable Entry Into The Sport Of Motorcycling

29 Oct

The all-new 2011 CBR250R brings a fresh take on the fun side of motorcycling, one that especially suits riders entering the sport. Thanks to its extremely efficient 249cc liquid-cooled single cylinder engine-an all-new design featuring a sophisticated four-valve DOHC cylinder head, engine counter-balancer, and fuel injection-this dependable and lightweight machine delivers nimble handling, a broad spread of easily accessible power and low operating costs all in one. Whether the day calls for a commute to work, quick trips around town or all-day explorations in the countryside, the CBR250R is a great way to get acquainted with the many faces of motorcycling, all at an affordable price. Available in Metallic Black and Red/Silver beginning in Spring 2011. It is also available with ABS.

2011 Specifications

Model: CBR250R / CBR250R ABS

Engine Type: 249.4cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke

Bore and Stroke: 76mm x 55mm

Compression ratio: 10.7:1

Valve Train: DOHC; four valves per cylinder

Induction: PGM-FI, 38mm throttle body

Ignition: Computer-controlled digital transistorized with electronic advance

Transmission: Six-speed

 

Suspension
Front: 37mm fork
Rear: Pro-Link single shock with five positions of spring preload adjustability

Brakes
Front: Single 296mm disc
Rear: Single 220mm disc
Optional ABS

 

Tires
Front: 110/70-17 radial
Rear: 140/70-17 radial

Wheelbase: 53.9 inches

Rake (Caster Angle): 25.0¯

Trail: 95mm

Seat Height: 30.9 inches

Fuel Capacity: 3.4 gallons

Colors: Metallic Black, Red/Silver

Curb Weight*: 163 kg / 168 kg (ABS)

*Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel-ready to ride.

Honda Genuine Accessories

– Seat Cowl

– Carbon Fiber Tank Pad

– Cycle Cover

 
 

KLPF 2010 opens @ MVEC!

29 Oct

It is the time of the year again for the Fall/Autumn local photo trade fair in Malaysia – the annual Kuala Lumpur Photography Festival (KLPF) 2010, which opened today at Midvalley Exhibition Centre (MVEC) in Megamall.

For those who have no idea what KLPF is, it is the longest running photo trade fair in Malaysia, and is organised by Photo Creator Publication (PCP), the company that publishes the Chinese-language Photo Creator and Advanced IMAGES (English) photography magazines.

If you are into photography, then KLPF is the place to be during the Oct 29-31 weekend. Forget about PC Fair or 1 of the numerous digital camera fairs that you see being held every weekend at some shopping malls in the country – these are more concentrated at getting rid of old stocks than promoting photography.

Among the brands taking part in KLPF 2010 are Canon, Ecazstudios, Eng Tong Systems, Epson, Fujifilm, Lowepro, Marumi Filters, MetzPro, Nikon, Olympus PEN, Sigma, Schmidt Marketing, Sony, Shriro, Tamrac, Think Tank, Tamron, Tenba and Vanguard. Participating dealers are Aver Awards, Benro, DG Colour, Digital Mania, Digital Merchant, Digital Paper, Direct Photo and Foto Flash. Also participating are Tourism Selangor and Visit Penang 2010-2012.

Opening hours are from 11am to 9pm and admission is free.

                        

 
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Which Canon EF lens to buy in December 2010 or February 2011?

27 Oct

Canon Inc announced 4 new L-series EF lenses last August plus an additional 2 more to be made available during summer of 2011. The 4 new EF lenses are the EF 8-15mm f/4L USM Fisheye Zoom, the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM, the EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM and EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM. The 2011 lenses are the EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM and EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM. Also announced in conjunction with the new EF 300mm and EF 400mm telephoto lenses are 2 new teleconverters – Extender EF 1.4x III and Extender EF 2x III.

All the new lenses do not come cheap – they cost more than their respective predecessors. There are two reasons for the increase in prices over their discontinued versions, though. First is the fact that the US dollar has weakened considerably against the Japanese Yen, hence the higher retail prices. Secondly is the fact that all the new lenses use Fluorite elements to correct chromatic aberration as opposed to UD elements used in the predecessors.

A single element of an artificially-grown crystal Fluorite needed for the new EF 300mm and EF 400mm lenses could cost as much as RM3,000 a unit, and each of these lenses incorporated 2 of them in their design. The inclusion of a single element of Fluorite crystal plus a fifth UD glass in the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM made the price to be nearly RM3,000 higher than its predecessor’s price.

For the price of the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM alone, I am sure I could buy both the EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM Zoom and EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM since their estimated selling prices are US$1,400 and US$1,500 respectively – approx. RM4,500 and RM4,800.

With low noise in high ISO speeds nowadays on the latest EOS DSLRs with DiG!C 4 processors, the maximum aperture of f/5.6 is no longer an issue; making the EF 70-300mm f/4L IS USM a worthy consideration than the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM.

Motorsports and concerts are ideal subjects for the new EF 300mm and EF 400mm lenses but I do not shoot both regularly as I once did previously. Investing in either lens does not cross my mind for the time being. But the new Fisheye Zoom and the EF 70-300mm are worth considering for now.

Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens

With its unique focal length range, the EF 8-15mm f/4L USM is the world’s widest fisheye zoom lens. It delivers 180° diagonal angle-of-view images for all EOS SLR cameras with imaging formats ranging from full-frame to APS-C, and provides 180˚ circular fisheye images for full-frame EOS models. Canon’s new Fisheye zoom lens features both UD and aspherical lens elements to enhance image quality and is equipped with rubber gaskets and seals to enhance weather resistance. In addition, Canon’s proprietary SWC (Sub Wavelength Structure Coating) is used to minimise flare and a new fluorine anti-smear coating is applied to the front and rear elements to make lens cleaning easier than ever.

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM

Compact and lightweight, the new EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens is the ideal telephoto zoom lens for advanced amateurs (plus some professionals) looking for that extra reach to bring a subject in tight and close. Providing the power and durability to maximise every shooting opportunity, the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens features two UD glass elements for enhanced sharpness, L-series weather and dust sealing for shooting in harsh conditions, improved mechanical design, and streamlined ergonomics to help avoid inadvertent mode switch operation. An updated optical image stabilization system compensates for camera shake up to an equivalent of four full shutter-speed steps, a full step improvement compared to earlier EF 70-300mm lenses. A new fluorine anti-smear coating is applied to the front and rear elements.

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM

The Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM is the 6th generation of a venerable family of Canon 300mm f/2.8 lenses that began in 1974, and have become famous for their exceptional sharpness, contrast and colour fidelity. Ideal for a wide range of applications ranging from professional photojournalism and sports photography to nature and wildlife, Canon’s 300mm f/2.8 lenses have always led the industry with new technical advances in every generation. The EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens carries on this tradition with improved image quality, lighter weight, improved Image Stabilisation and enhanced durability making it a great option for handheld work in the field. The optical formula of the new lens has been upgraded with the inclusion of two fluorite lens elements for improved image quality and reduced chromatic aberration. Helping to reduce arm fatigue, Canon has reduced the overall weight of the lens by 8 percent to 82.9 oz., making it the lightest weight lens in the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 series. The Image Stabilizer provides an equivalent of approximately four full shutter speed steps of shake compensation and has been enhanced through the incorporation of a rolling-ball-friction system in place of sliding parts in the compensation optics barrel for a minimum-friction structure. The overall durability of the lens has also been enhanced through increased usage of magnesium alloy and titanium for lens barrel components, together with weather sealing for all exterior joints and switches and a new fluorine anti-smear coating applied to the front and rear elements.

Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM

A favourite for sports assignments like baseball, football, soccer and golf, Canon’s professional 400mm f/2.8 lenses provide the light gathering capability and long telephoto reach that photographers need to freeze the action and fill the frame . The Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM is the 5th generation in Canon’s 400mm f/2.8 series and the successor to the current EF 400mm introduced in 1999. The new lens has been engineered for the ultimate in optical performance through the use of two fluorite lens elements for improved quality and reduced chromatic aberration. Helping photographers in the field, Canon has reduced the overall weight of the lens by a substantial 28 percent from 189.4 oz to 135.8 oz, making it Canon’s lightest weight 400mm f/2.8 lens ever. The Image Stabilizer provides an equivalent of approximately four full shutter speed steps of shake compensation and has been enhanced through the incorporation of a rolling-ball-friction system in place of sliding parts in the compensation optics barrel for a minimum-friction structure. The overall durability of the lens has also been enhanced through increased usage of magnesium alloy and titanium for lens barrel components, together with weather sealing for all exterior joints and switches and a new fluorine anti-smear coating is applied to the front and rear elements.

                                 

Canon Extender EF 1.4x III & Canon Extender EF 2x III

The two new EF extenders are direct replacements of the current extenders offered by Canon as essential accessories for professionals. These new extenders have been designed to provide faster autofocusing and improved autofocus precision with compatible EF lenses. Each extender includes an anomalous dispersion lens element for reduced chromatic aberration and enhanced optical image quality. Each extender also features a newly developed microcomputer that increases AF precision when the extenders are used with a IS Series II EF super-telephoto lens. Both extenders are equipped with rubber gaskets and seals to enhance weather resistance. A new fluorine anti-smear coating is applied to the front and rear elements of both extenders.

 
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Top 3 Winners of Aver Awards’ Available Light Model Shoot Contest

26 Oct

Aver Awards Sdn Bhd and Digital SLR Photography Malaysia co-organised an Available Light Model Shoot photo contest that was held at LG Floor of e@Curve shopping mall on August 29, 2010.

More than 60 local photo enthusiasts comprising of Aver Awards’ customers as well as readers of Digital SLR Photography Malaysia’s took part in that photo session.

5 models were provided for that shooting session. The organisers received more than 200 entries for the photo contest. 20 images were shortlisted for the final judging. The judges were CH Loh of NST, Lee Hon Leng of Applied Imaging Sdn Bhd and Alex Chia, professional portrait and wedding photographer.

The Top 3 Winners as selected by the judges are:

First Prize of RM2,000 Cash Voucher by Musa Jaffar

Second Prize of RM1,000 Cash Voucher by Leon Lee

Third Prize of RM500 Cash Voucher by Chua Soo Lee

 
 

Leica Exclusive Media Preview

25 Oct

Schmidt Marketing Sdn Bhd held an exclusive preview of the latest Leica photo products that were announced during Photokina 2010. Among these products are the limited edition Leica M9 Titanium, which comes a matching Summicron Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 Aspherical lens and accessories, an all-black version of the Leica X1, plus the D-Lux 5 and V-Lux 2 digital compacts that are co-developed with Panasonic. Existing owners of Leica cameras and members of the photo industry media were among the invited guests for the exclusive preview.

 

Leica M9 Titanium

The Leica M9 Titanium is an exclusive special edition made in collaboration with the chief designer of the Volkswagen Group, Walter de ‘Silva. This special edition is strictly limited to just 500 units worldwide, and is offered as a set together with a Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 Aspherical lens, whose exterior metal components are also manufactured from solid titanium. The Leica M9 Titanium set will be available by the end of November 2010 for euro 22,800.

Leica X1 Black

The X1 Black, which is made in Germany, will have a more coarsely-textured leather trim, and will offer the same high specifications and accessory range as the original model. The Leica X1 Black will have its standard accessories such as the Leica Ever-Ready Case, Hand Grip and Viewfinder.

The Leica X1 features a 12.2 megapixel CMOS image sensor in APS-C format, and the combination of the X1’s Leica Elmarit 24mm f/2.8 Aspherical lens, this sensor offers outstanding picture quality comparable with professional models. The large sensor size allows a maximum sensitivity of ISO 3200, making the Leica X1 an ideal choice for available light photography.

Leica D-Lux 5

The Leica D-Lux 5 is the successor to the D-Lux 4, and it offers a faster Leica DC Vario-Summicron 5.1 – 19.2mm f/2 – 3.3 Aspherical lens with an extended range of focal lengths equivalent to 24 to 90mm in 35mm format. The camera’s 1,280 x 720 pixel HD video function in memory-saving AVCHD-Lite format, and a full range of optional accessories, opens up a world of photographic opportunities for the discerning photographer.

      

Leica V-Lux 2

The Leica V-Lux 2 is a new super-zoom compact for travel and nature photography. The Leica V-Lux 2 is supplied with Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Elements 8 and is available soon in Malaysia.

 
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Ee Shean’s 1st Birthday Party @ Full House

24 Oct

Today we celebrated Ee Shean’s 1st birthday @ Full House in Sunway Giza. She is the cute and energetic daughter of Jay Lee – my former photogenic model and now my colleague at Digital Imaging Publication Sdn Bhd, which is the company that holds the franchise rights to publish Digital SLR Photography magazine in Malaysia.

Many of Jay’s friends, who were also ex-models, turned up for the birthday party. Among them are Miuki, Elaine, Lavenze, Buffy and Perry.

                          

                          

                          

 
 

Samsung NX100′s initial Fieldtest

22 Oct

The new Samsung NX100 is now available in Malaysia and is priced at RM 2,299.00 with the 20-50mm kit lens. The camera has a new feature, known as i-Function, and is available from the new 20-50mm kit lens. Its basic function is getting users to capture perfect picture at the fingertips of all photographers through a completely new way of controlling the camera.

The unique i-Function Lens is a proactive lens that communicates with the camera body. It delivers total image control with fast manual settings to ensure quick and easy image capturing, and also provides customized settings optimized for the lens being used. The lens incorporates a conveniently located i-Function button which allows users to scroll through manual settings, and a focus ring which is used to easily change parameters for each setting. If the locking mechanism is still locked, the camera will not be able to take pictures and warns you about it via the AMOLED screen.

The NX100 complements Samsung’s existing NX10, which remains as the top-of-the-line NX-series camera in the company’s line-up. The NX100 shares the industry leading technology of NX10, such as an APS-C size sensor for quality images and a 3-inch AMOLED screen for easy and clear viewing.

However, the NX100 Samsung takes the EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lenses) mirrorless camera to the next level, by incorporating the innovations of the NX10 and improving other areas of the camera’s performance and design. The body of the camera is slim, sleek and stylish, and the NX100 also features the intuitive i-Function lens which allows users to control their camera through the lens for the first time.

The NX100 also raised the ISO speed to a maximum of 6400 for action shots. The design of the NX100 is inspired by the simple shape of dew forming on a leaf, which can be seen on the camera’s shutter button and curved body, which comes in four different colours; black, white, brown, and silver. The lightweight, compact and modern design makes the camera extremely portable, allowing me to carry the NX100 to anywhere I go, and ready for any occasion.

Shutter lag is the most common issue with all EVIL-based cameras but the NX100 seems to operate much faster in this regard when compared to the competition. Occasionally, the camera’s autofocus system tends to hunt for the subject despite sufficient contrast and lighting are available. The NX100 is best used in either Shutter-priority AE or Manual Exposure mode. This is because the programming by Samsung seems to favour aperture than hand-holdable shutter speed in most cases. I had came across the camera setting 1/20 sec @ f/11 in ISO 1600 while in P mode when the situation was bright enough for an exposure of 1/80 @ f/5.6!

The NX100’s innovations aren’t confined to the lens – the camera also provides a very creative feature called ‘Smart Filter’. In playback mode, users can apply seven different effects to the picture, such as the vignette, soft focus, fish-eye or miniature effects. The ‘Smart Filter’ provides not just high quality images, but also features that are fun to use.

 

The NX100 supports HD movie recording at 720P but as far as I am concerned, video is something I am not interested in for the moment. So let’s forget about this feature. You can read more about the “acclaimed” video quality from other sites.

The NX100 will be equipped with a range of innovative lenses and accessories to further enhance the user’s experience. Two additional specialized lenses will be available in the first half of 2011 – a 60mm Macro lens and 18-200mm Super Zoom lens. To expand the lens line-up even further, three more lenses will be introduced by the second half of 2011, including 16mm, 85mm, and 16-80mm lenses. The NX system will be further enhanced with more accessories, including an Electronic Viewfinder, Flash and GPS tracker to capture your exact geographical location.

 

 
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It’s been 1 year since the EOS-1D Mark IV was announced!!!

20 Oct

At 12pm sharp on this date a year ago, the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV was officially announced globally, and Malaysia was one of the countries that had participated in the event. The local electronic and print media were invited to witness the simultaneous launch, with the Malaysian version been held at KL Hilton. Members of the media had gathered for the event as early as 10am, and they were treated to numerous slideshows showing Canon’s capabilities in digital imaging technology as well as the progress of the EOS System from film to digital since 1987.

While the media more or less knew the new camera to be launched on that day was the new EOS-1D Mark IV, its features and capabilities were largely unknown to many of them. When the clock showed there were still 18 minutes to go before the unveiling ceremony, there was another presentation for the media – the announcement of the Hall of Fame participants – local professional photographers who have been using Canon’s EOS System were presented with tokens of appreciation. Altogether there were 9 of them been inducted into the inaugural ceremony.

 

When the clock had stroked 12pm, the new EOS-1D Mark IV was unveiled to the media present. Apart from the Mark IV, Canon Marketing Malaysia had also introduced the EOS 7D and EOS 5D Mark II since the new campaign at that time was known as 1, 5, 7 – denoting the model designation of all three single-digit EOS cameras.

 

Among the Canon VIPs present for the announcement ceremony for the EOS-1D Mark IV were President and CEO of Canon Marketing Malaysia Liew Sip Chon, Vice-President of Canon Singapore Pte Ltd Melvyn Ho, the ICP Assistant Director Simon Wong and EOS Marketing Manager, Chong Lip Wei, both of Canon Marketing Malaysia.

As everyone knows by now, the EOS-1D Mark IV features a new 16.1MP APS-H sized CMOS sensor that is designed and manufactured by Canon itself. This allows the camera to produce incredibly low noise images in the lowest of light plus capturing outstanding detail ideal for A3 prints or larger, even after cropping. A high-precision 45 point AF system featuring 39 cross type sensors debuts in the EOS-1D Mark IV. Ensuring accurate focusing with fast aperture lenses, 39 high sensitivity cross-type sensors are employed, suitable for lenses with an aperture of f/2.8 or faster.

Combining exceptional still shooting with the ability to shoot Full HD 1080p video with user selectable frame rates, the EOS-1D Mark IV offers huge versatility and more control for users so they can manually set exposure or choose to shoot at 720p or VGA resolution. An HDMI output allows High Definition playback of footage and images. Thanks to the EOS-1D Mark IV’s exceptionally wide ISO range of 100 to 12800 – expandable up to an incredible ISO 102400 – shooting need never stop even in the darkest of conditions.

With its high resolution 920,000 dot 3.0” Clear View II LCD screen, the EOS-1D Mark IV gives the highest detailed checks on image playback for a 1D-series camera. Using a solid structure construction, reflections are minimised, allowing Live View to be used under most conditions. Canon’s Dual DiG!C 4 processors enable high speed processing of the high resolution images from EOS-1D Mark IV’s CMOS sensor, delivering 14-bit image processing with smooth gradations and natural looking colours. The Dual DiG!C 4 provides advanced Noise Reduction when shooting at higher ISO speeds and instant start-up times.

 
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Canon’s first EOS-1D – only 4.15-megapixel!!!

19 Oct

Everyone was expecting Canon’s first 1-series Digital SLR to feature 6-megapixel and a full frame CMOS sensor when it was announced back in Sept 2001. But the camera only came with a CCD sensor having a resolution of 4.15-megapixel and a crop factor of 1.3x instead of full frame.

Appearance-wise, the camera looked similar to the analogue EOS-1v AF 35mm SLR that was launched during PMA Show 2000 at Las Vegas in Nevada, USA. While the EOS-1v used Canon’s Ni-MH NP-E2 battery to provide the power for its 10 fps capability, the EOS-1D used the newer Ni-MH NP-E3 version instead to power its own 8 fps firing rate.

Since it uses a CCD instead of CMOS, the shutter speed is controlled by the sensor rather than a conventional shutter curtain. This allows the EOS-1D to have a flash sync speed of 1/500 sec. and a top shutter speed of 1/16,000 sec! The EOS-1D remained the only camera in Canon’s Digital EOS production that used a CCD instead of a Canon-designed and manufactured CMOS sensor.

At first, a lot of cynics had questioned whether 4.15-megapixel is adequate for various assignments undertaken by professional photographers. At that time, film SLRs were still the favourite globally, and digital SLRs were just starting to make their presence felt.

But news and sports photographers have proven previously that 2MP were adequate for their usage via the Canon EOS D2000/Kodak DCS 520 so a doubling of resolution by the EOS-1D over these two cameras proved to be the right choice taken by Canon.

During the time I owned one, the camera performed to expectation all the time. Okay, it did have two limitations – cyan green captured as blue and visible noise at high ISO speeds. Being someone from the film era, I always made it a point not to shoot anything at ISO 800 and beyond. This is despite the fact both Kodak and Fujifilm have huge improvements for ISO 800 and 1600 colour negative films in the mid-90s and beyond. So when it came to using the EOS-1D, I made sure that during shooting, where possible, I would avoid going into ISO 800 or even 1600.

To do so, I had to rely on fast Canon EF lenses featuring IS function. Those were the days of digital SLR cameras’ infancy into the photographic world. Today, you can shoot as high as ISO 6400 or 12,800 and using lenses with maximum aperture of f/5.6 and still won’t have problem with digital noise.