Pentax Mount EXCLUSIVE SALES!

Tokina 11-20-New

Pentax Mount EXCLUSIVE SALES! (Tamron & Sigma Lenses)

21st August 2015, Singapore – Pentax K-Mount Lenses from Tamron & Sigma going off at ridiculous prices and grab this Online Offer while stocks last! Overseas Shipping Available, email us at ourshutterjourney@live.com.sg to find out the shipping charges to your country! This ONLINE Offer is Exclusive to Ourshutterjourney.com ONLY!

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1) Tamron AF 28-300mm F3.5-6.3 LD XR Di Asp. (Pentax K-Mount)
SGD $299.00 NETT. (Was $999.00) (Left 39 Units)
Tamron-AF-28-300MM-F3.5-6.3-XR-Di-VC-e1356023697507

2) Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG OS (Pentax K-Mount)
SGD $199.00 NETT. (Was $788.00) (Left 42 Units)
70300dgos

3) Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG Macro (Pentax K-Mount)
SGD $199.00 NETT. (Was $318.00) (Left 21 Units)
59992

4) Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG APO Macro (Pentax K-Mount)
SGD $399.00 NETT. (Was $428.00) (Left 09 Units)
sigma_70-300dg 

5) Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM (Pentax K-Mount)
SGD $449.00 NETT. (Was $988.00) (Left 49 Units)
18200
6) Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC OS HSM Macro (Pentax K-Mount)
SGD $449.00 NETT. (Was $928.00) (Left 03 Units)
Sigma-17-70mm-f-2.8-4-DC-Macro-OS-Lens

7) Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM (Pentax K-Mount)
SGD $499.00 NETT. (Was $978.00) (Left 04 Units)
Sigma-50mm-f-1.4-EX-DG-HSM-Lens-Hood-Infinity

8) Sigma 24mm F1.8 EX DG (Pentax K-Mount)
SGD $549.00 NETT. (Was $988.00) (Left 05 Units)
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9) Sigma 10mm F2.8 EX DC HSM Fisheye (Pentax K-Mount)
SGD $659.00 NETT. (Was $1188.00) (Left 06 Units)
Sigma-10mm-f2.8-EX-DC-HSM-Diagonal-Fisheye


10) Pentax KS-1 Body Plus 18-55mm Kit Lens.
SGD $822.00 NETT. (Was $1229.00) (Left 22 Units)
k-s1_allcolors

To Order, please email ourshutterjourney@live.com.sg

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Events Photography with Lionel Lin

Tokina 11-20-New

Events Photography with Lionel Lin

Cathay

REGISTER Here.

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AP is Alan Photo

Tokina 11-20-New

AP is Alan Photo
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Photo: After much anticipation, the lenses arrived and the culprit is Alan Photo Trading.


14th August 2015, Singapore
– After much anticipation, today I got an adrenaline rush when I came home and a box was waiting for me at my door. Finally the “AP” that many of my friends had been speculating turn out to be Alan Photo. It was truly unexpected as I seldom deal with Alan Photo to start with. (Read Part 1 & Part 2)

It was indeed a pleasant surprise and they even got my neighbors involved – looking out for my car when I return home and my neighbor quickly place the box outside my door while keeping a lookout through their window until I show up at my door.

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Photo: I was greeted by a box when I came home.

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Opening the box means more surprises – Alan Photo had sent me 06 Samyang Lenses. Excited as I am, suddenly I am hit with reality – these are manual lenses and I am an “Automatic Focus” person. A quick check on the net shows that these are excellent and value for money lenses. Well, for that, I will be back with reviews on these lenses for sure.

Meantime, let me share what lenses they had sent me.

01 – Samyang 85mm F1.4 AS IF UMC in Sony E-Mount.
image1

02 – Samyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC in Sony E-Mount.image2

03 – Samyang 12mm F2.8 ED AS NCS Fisheye in Canon EF-Mount.image3

04 –  Samyang 10mm F2.8 ED AS NCS CS in Canon EF-Mount.image4

05 –  Samyang 24mm F1.4 ED AS IF UMC in Nikon AE-Mount (F).image5

06 –  Samyang 16mm F2.0 ED AS UMC CS in Nikon AE-Mount (F).image6

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All I can say is, for the next few weeks, I will be really busy reviewing these lenses. If you wish to be part of the review or jointly review the lens with me, please let me know in advance via media_world@live.com so that I can include me. I have to say this first – I can only allow One Person to follow me per review so email me asap – first come first served.

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Photo: This is Marketing Done Right.

As for the whole execution (Read Part 1 & Part 2) leading up to today’s delivery – I must say that this is Marketing Done Right. Well Done “AP” – i mean Alan Photo!

I will do my best to test out the lens in the next few weeks. Surely I will not “Thrash Them” – I promise.

Ed.

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Meantime do check out our ongoing Exclusive Samsung Sales here.

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Posted in Brand: Others (Cosina, etc), Featured Photography Merchants, Photography Articles & Videos | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Who is “AP”? PART 2

Tokina 11-20-New

Who is “AP”? (PART 2)
IMG_2174
Photo: The 2nd Note that was left at my door.

12th August 2015, Singapore – As if the Note that I received yesterday was not enough. You can read about it here. This is getting spooky actually. The person “AP” had left another note on my door today during noon time.

“Dear AL,
INTERESTING FRIENDS YOU HAVE ON FACEBOOK.
THIS IS NOT A JOKE OR PRANK.

NO, NOT CONTACT LENSES, WE ARE SENDING YOU DSLR LENSES,
A SET TO BE EXACT. DUN BOTHER FINDING OUT WHO WE ARE. :)

AP
12TH AUGUST 2015″

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This means that this person “AP” is actually on my Facebook and is monitoring what I am posting about the first note. This person even picked up some of the comments from my friends. Wow! This is getting spooky and yet at the same time, I am really wondering which brand is doing this – if it is really a camera lens brand.

Like I said somewhere among my comments, if this is a marketing stunt, it is surely working. Meantime, anxiously as I wait, I am contemplating if I should leave a note to this person on my door that I may wish to alert the Police too. 

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No matter what, so far this person “AP” had not done anything or committed any crime – so it is back to the waiting game and see what might show up at my doorsteps next. As promised, I will definitely update here again if “AP” strikes again.

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As what I had said in my earlier article, I too, hope this is for real. :)

Ed.

Meantime do check out our Exclusive Samsung Sales here.

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Who is “AP”?

Tokina 11-20-New

Who is “AP”?
IMG_2148
Photo: Actual Note that was left at my door.

11th August 2015, Singapore – As a reviewer for camera gears for some time now, it is usual to have brands popping up surprises once a while leaving us thrilled and sometimes adrenaline rushed. But first time that I actually have an anonymous note left at my door with a message like this.

“Dear AL,
WE ARE SENDING YOU A SET OF LENSES SOON AND;
WE HOPE YOU WILL LIKE THEM.

IF YOU LIKE THESE LENSES, IT’S YOURS TO KEEP.
IF YOU HATE THEM, JUST THROW THEM AWAY.

AP
11TH AUGUST 2015″

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I promptly posted this on my Facebook and received quite a fair share of attention as well as suggested possible senders by my peers.

Although many had mentioned that if I am to throw away the lenses, I should throw it to them, there are some really interesting comments though.

Johnson LovesDarth Ang said: But seriously. …it’s Associated Press and they want u to test the lenses in the Gaza Strip

Xiao Ai said: Agence Presse?

Royston Ang said: Are they referring to reading lens or glasses? Hoho…

Dai Jiawen said: Adrian Pang

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Chester Chen said: Al Pacino
and he added later;

Chester Chen said: If suddenly and secretly this note show up at your door then maybe — A Pontianak

Todd Beltz said: Sadly it’s probably just a hoax. No camera brand would just give away lenses to try and then say throw them if you don’t like them. Could be a marketing gimmick. Curious to learn what it could be.

And Chester added further;
Chester Chen said: Later a box of Contact Lenses show up at your door.

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Well, so who is “AP”?
What “Lenses” is this person talking about?

I am anticipating what’s going to show up at my house soon. Will keep everyone posted. Just hope this is for real. :)

Ed.

Part 2 here.

Meantime do check out our Exclusive Samsung Sales here.

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Pink Submissions #09 “Flowers of Life” Editor’s Picks

Tokina 11-20-New

Pink Submissions #09 “Flowers of Life” Editor’s PicksPink Feature

03rd August 2015, Singapore – This is the 9th Pink Submissions by Pink Photographers Singapore (PPSG). This submission titled “Flowers of Life” – is to showcase the creativity of the photographer and to showcase the species that can be found on our tropical island. Flowers are “smiles” of mother nature and at many times, we are too busy to even appreciate or even notice these little beautiful works of nature.

We received over 500+ entries this time but sadly about 142 was rejected due to blur or irrelevant images. Other than that, that photos submitted this round are of excellent quality! (Good Job Ladies!) And it had taken the judges more than 2 weeks to finally selected all of the below as “Editor’s Picks”.

Before we go to the Editor’s Picks for this submissions, here’s some words from the Editor as well as the sponsor Eighteen Chefs@Dhoby Ghaut (The Cathay).

“It started off as a simple theme “Flowers of Life, however when the entries started pouring in, it quickly escalated into a mega submission with over 500 entries – making this submission the most-submitted Pink Submission!”
AL, Editor.

“We did not expect the submission to explode into such a big response. The entries are beautiful and it was tough selecting the better ones as almost every photo is as good as the other!”
Danny Teo, Eighteen Chefs@Dhoby Ghaut (The Cathay).

Enjoy the Editor’s Picks (Selected entries)!
(Winners Announcement after the jump)
(Appearance not in any order)

#01 – Submitted by Carolyn Chee
Carolyn Chee1

#02 – Submitted by Elise NgElise Ng

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#03 – Submitted by Fione (Wee N Soh)Fione1

#04 – Submitted by Huili PehHuili Peh

#05 – Submitted by Janet TohJanet Toh1

#06 – Submitted by Jess Tan
JessTan1

#07 – Submitted by Joanna NgJoanna Ng1
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#08 – Submitted by Nelima Patnaik Nelima Patnaik1

#09 – Submitted by Sandra MacherouxSandra Macheroux1

#10 – Submitted by Soh Chui LianSoh Chui Lian1

#11 – Submitted by Ang Sue Kee suekee2

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#12 – Submitted by Tiantian ZhangTiantian Zhang1

#13 – Submitted by Xin LanXin Lan1

#14 – Submitted by Wan Yuli   Yuliwan4 Sisters

And the Prize Winners for the #09 PINK SUBMISSION are!
– Proudly Sponsored by Eighteen Chefs@Dhoby Ghaut (The Cathay).

1st Place: Wan Yuli
Yuliwan4 Sisters
Winner of 1st Prize $50 Dinning Voucher
Sponsored by Eighteen Chefs@Dhoby Ghaut (The Cathay).

2nd Place: Sandra Macheroux
Sandra Macheroux1
Winner of 2nd Prize $30 Dinning Voucher 
Sponsored by Eighteen Chefs@Dhoby Ghaut (The Cathay).

3rd Place: Carolyn Chee
Carolyn Chee1
Winner of 3rd Prize $20 Dinning Voucher 
Sponsored by Eighteen Chefs@Dhoby Ghaut (The Cathay).

Due to the over-whelming response this round, the Editor had decided to do away with comments and critiques except that he is singing praises of all the entries this round.
Well Done Ladies! Congratulations!

Winners will be Notified on the Collection of your prize via FB.
For those that didn’t win, please try harder next time.
Thank you for your participation Ladies!

Special Thanks to Eighteen Chefs@Dhoby Ghaut (The Cathay).

Till then, look out for the next #10 Pink Submissions!

Ed.

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SAMSUNG Cameras Special Exclusive Sale!

Tokina 11-20-New

(Updated 28th August 2015, 10:00am)

SAMSUNG Cameras Special Exclusive Sale!

11th August 2015 – Special Exclusive Sales of Samsung Digital Cameras! Incredible unbelievable prices is offered to ALL the readers and members of all groups belonging to the Ourshutterjourney.com Photography Consortium. All items are shown in NETT Price and are brand new in their retail boxes!

First Come, First Served!
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Samsung NX100 – $269.00 nett (10 Units LEFT)
*Free Camera Bag!
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Read the Review here.
Click here to buy!

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Samsung NX200 – $349.00 nett (08 Units LEFT) EDITOR’S PICK
*Free Camera Bag & Extra Battery!
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Read the Review here.
Click here to buy!

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Samsung WB210 – $209.00 nett (50 Units LEFT)
wb210-2j63
Read the Review here.
Click here to buy!

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Samsung EX1 – $299.00 nett (25 Units LEFT)
* Free JJC ALC-6 Lens Cap!
High_6230800
Read the Review here.
Click here to buy!

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And a very special camera on sale too!

FujiFilm XF-1 – $249 NETT (Limited Units ONLY)
81esI7fb7fL._SL1500_
Read the Review here.
Click here to buy!

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Olympus – Complimentary Gear Cleaning

Tokina 11-20-New

Olympus – Complimentary Gear Cleaningimage1

05th August 2015, Singapore – To thank customers for purchasing Olympus cameras from Alan Photo, Olympus will be giving a complimentary camera and lens cleaning service on the 16th Aug from 10.30am to 1.30pm @ REC By Alan Photo (#01-08) Sim Lim Square.

As a reminder, for fuss-free experience, each customer is limited to:
1) 02 x Olympus products (eg: 1 camera body and 1 lens, or 2 lenses).
2) The lens cleaning program will only facilitate the cleaning of the
exterior of the product and do not include any servicing or maintenance
of faulty/malfunctioning products.

To Register, Click here.

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Picturesque Quayside Isle Ideal for Outdoor Bridal Photoshoots‏

Tokina 11-20-New

Picturesque Quayside Isle Ideal for Outdoor Bridal Photoshoots‏
Quayside Isle_Day_credit to Quayside Isle
Photo Source: Quayside Isle

1st August 2015, Singapore – Bridal photoshoots will never be the same again with Quayside Isle and its beautiful landscapes and waterscapes. Nestled within exclusive Sentosa Cove, Quayside Isle’s tranquility is a sanctuary from the frenzied Singapore city life that provides the perfect stage for the romance and intimacy of every relationship to shine.

A choice location for many soon-to-be married couples for its breathtaking backdrop of yachts and a marina, Quayside Isle is regularly listed by photographers and bloggers alike as one of the popular locations for bridal photoshoots, especially among the nautical lovers.

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A Fairytale Backdrop
With its spectacular waterfront flanked by the luxurious W Singapore – Sentosa Cove, Quayside Isle presents itself to be an incredibly photogenic setting. The wooden boardwalks, luxury boats and expanse of the marina lay out a picturesque scene that is at once breathtaking and yet remains a backdrop to the true star of every bridal photoshoot – the couple.

Sharing An Intimate Moment
Quayside Isle’s stunning scenery is perhaps only matched by its accessibility. At any time of the day, whether bathed in the glorious rays of the tropical Sun, illuminated by the glow of streetlamps late one evening, or caught in the explosion of colours during twilight, Quayside Isle retains its attractive aesthetics whilst revealing a different facet of its beauty each time. Yet, despite its serene atmosphere, Quayside Isle is located just 10 minutes away from the city centre, offering a convenient getaway from daily distractions for a moment of quiet intimacy.

Quayside Isle_Night_credit to Quayside Isle
Photo Source: Quayside Isle

A Spain-tacular Wedding
Quayside Isle’s serene scenery is accompanied by a great variety of food and beverage outlets, each with their own characterized ambience; ranging from exquisite Western restaurants to authentic Oriental delights and laid-back bistros and cafes. Apart from serving up high quality dining options, these food and beverage outlets also offer the option of venue rental for photo shoots, such as Sabio by the Sea, Tapas Bar & Grill (#01-02). With an interior that reflects influence from Spain including traditional Catalan tiles and contemporary Spanish artwork, Sabio by the Seamakes an idyllic venue to capture a picture perfect moment for a wedding shoot infused with a hint of passionate Spanish vibes. Please refer to Appendix A for more information regarding venue rental at Sabio by the Sea.

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The Ideal Start To Eternal Bliss
Easily accessible and yet offering an astonishing setting unlike any other, Singapore’s most luxurious marina front destination is also the ideal location for any couple to celebrate the start of their journey together through photographs.

For more information, please visit www.quaysideisle.com.

GETTING TO QUAYSIDE ISLE
Quayside Isle is easily accessible by cars and taxis and parking spaces are available at the basement car park in Quayside Isle. On weekdays, admission to Sentosa is just $2 during lunchtime and free after 5pm! Passengers can alight at the Fountain Plaza drop-off point that faces The Residences at W Singapore – Sentosa Cove.

A free shuttle service is also available for the public within Sentosa. Just hop onto bus number 3, available between 8am and 10.30pm daily with 30 minutes interval, from Beach Station Bus Interchange and alight at W Singapore – Sentosa Cove hotel, which is a 1 minute walk to Quayside Isle.

To make frequent visits to Quayside Isle even more affordable, simply apply for Sentosa’s Islander Pass and enjoy a year’s unlimited island admission and privileges. It costs just $25 for Individual and $50 for Family memberships.

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 About Quayside Isle
It’s a different world across the water.
Quayside Isle (圣景湾) is the only integrated retail development within the renowned Sentosa Cove estate – one of the world’s most exclusive marina residential communities. Strategically located next to the hip and happening W Singapore – Sentosa Cove hotel and the luxurious The Residences at W Singapore – Sentosa Cove, it offers a myriad of waterfront international dining concepts and specialty retail stores. With breath-taking views of the marina, Quayside Isle is the ultimate lifestyle and dining destination for trendsetters, well-heeled residents and tourists alike, on Singapore’s idyllic Sentosa Island.

Quayside Isle is owned and managed by leading property developer – City Developments Limited.

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Carefree Photography Shopping?

Tokina 11-20-New

Carefree Photography Shopping?aa

28th July 2015, Singapore – Something is seriously brewing. We have gathered that photographers in Singapore wants to shop for their gear in peace, no pressure-selling, no pushy salesmen, or sales that comes with lots of terms & conditions or even hidden costs.

We heard it.

So wait for it.

Coming Soon.

August 2015.

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Sony WX-500 – World’s Smallest Hyper Zoom Compact

Tokina 11-20-New

Sony WX-500 – World’s Smallest Hyper Zoom Compact
IMG_1109
Photo: Editor AL with the New Sony WX-500.
 

23rd July 2015, Singapore – When Sony sent me the WX-500 right after I returned the Sony a7 MarkII, I was (a little) amused. This little camera came in a little box and that got me really curious what kind of a compact camera that Sony had sent me this time. When I unboxed the cam, I almost thought I saw a Sony RX Series camera. I scrutinize the camera carefully and I am so sure that there are obvious hints from the design styling that this little compact is a hybrid from the RX Series.

DSC01929
Photo: Parliament House, Singapore. Shot by the New Sony WX-500.

The Sony WX-500 is so light (209 g) and small (101.6w x 58.1h x 35.5d mm) that I can easily slot it into my pocket. Sony claimed that the WX-500 is currently the world’s smallest camera with a hyper zoom (30x optical zoom) that is really impressive for a camera this size. The overall styling of the WX-500 – apart from looking like a RX Hybrid – is sleek, neat and practical. While I was familiarizing myself with the camera menu, I have to keep reminding myself that the WX-500 is not a RX. (lol)

Photos: Below is a series of photos from wide to telephoto end.
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What caught my attention next is the 180 degree tilt-table LCD screen. My first thought was to use it for selfies as with the trend today. I will credit this as a very useful feature for those who do family shots or group shots using a tripod and the camera timer. And the interesting part was, I was able to do selfie with the pop-up flash up and this means I can now do those dramatic backlight shots (or selfies) without having me turning into a dark shade of black silhouette. To ensure that the user gets sharp photos, the Sony WX-500 comes with the company’s proven Optical SteadyShot so hand -shakes will be reduced (especially if you do a lot of selfies, haha!) Not bad.

DSC01934
Photo: Selfie at Parliament House, Singapore. Shot by the New Sony WX-500.
(See behind the scene photo by Gary Chow at the bottom of article)

Photos: Below is another series of photos from wide to telephoto end.

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Like most insane upmarket compacts out there today, the Sony WX-500 is not compromising on the optics department either. I noticed the lens assigned to this camera is a ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T*  that screams “premium” and it comes in a focal length of 24mm wide angle to a super tele-photo range of 720mm. The aperture is pretty standard ranging from F3.5 to F6.4 and very useable in most shooting conditions. On the ISO, the camera was given a range of ISO80 to ISO12,800. I am not a fan of high ISO but I did tried to push the WX-500 a little and you can see the image below.

DSC01961
Photos: A Day Photo shot at ISO 3200. Noise is visible.

The Sony WX-500 comes with Sony’s 18.2 megapixel (Back-illuminated) Exmor R CMOS sensor  and the proven BIONZ X image processor which had further enhanced the overall package of the Sony WX-500. I was told by fellow photographers that the Sony WX-500 is capable of recording great videos but too bad, I am not into videography so I am not able to comment further on this.

DSC01966
Photo: The Sony WX-500 produces mild bokehs which is not bad at all.

Before I go on, and as usual, I would like to disclaim that if you had found your way here looking for technical information or specs of the Sony WX-500, then I will suggest you visit Sony website (insert link) here. Over at this site, we are more keen to find out how the camera perform, user experience and the type of images that we can get from the camera.

 

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Photo: The Sony WX-500 is very useable in various shooting angles and conditions.

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Photo: The Sony WX-500 focusing speed is good allowing me to just point-press-done.

 

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Photo: The Sony WX-500 has an excellent distortion control. This was shot at 24mm wide and there are almost no distortion except to the far ends. If you think this is bad, try shooting at a true 24mm with other compact cameras.

DSC01985
Photo: The Sony WX-500 shooting at ISO 800 indoor without flash.

So, looking at the specs of the Sony WX-500, I had decided to review it like a street/ travel compact camera with pretty good standard features and functions and gotten all the images you see on this article. I headed out for a walk in town with the Sony WX-500 and the following day to one of the offshore island in Singapore. I love what I gotten from the WX-500, Check out all my photos on this article.
(All photos are posted based on actual size so just click on the photo to view at 100% at its true resolution.)

DSC01992
Photo: The Sony WX-500 is competent to be a really good travel compact.

As mentioned above, I took the Sony WX-500 to an island – Pulau Ubin or Ubin Island in Singapore. This island has lots of interesting things to shoot so I brought the Sony WX-500 there for a walk. The photos as below.

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Photo: Check out the amazing details that was captured by the Sony WX-500. Click to view at 100%.

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Photo: The Sony WX-500 is really good for selfies.

Photos: Below is another 2 series of photos from wide to telephoto end.

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Photo: Chek Jawa or Jawa Bay. Shot by the Sony WX-500

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Photo: Lots of Details. Shot by the Sony WX-500

In summary, the Sony WX-500 is worthy as a walkabout compact, a competent Travel compact. I particularly like the design which makes it a “RX Hydbrid”, and the camera is really easy to use. Light and compact, I will recommend this camera for anyone who needs something small and still able to perform. Image quality is good and all in all, it’s a nice little package.

Thank you Sony for the camera!

Thank you Gary Chow for the Behind-the-scenes photos.

Below: Behind-the-scenes photos by Gary Chow.IMG_1110 IMG_1112 IMG_1114 IMG_1119

About Sony Electronics (Singapore) & Sony South East Asia
Sony Electronics (Singapore) was established on 1st October 1999 with business activities comprising engineering and manufacturing, sales and marketing, and logistics and information systems. As part of Sony Electronics (Singapore), Sony South East Asia is responsible for the marketing and sales of consumer products in Singapore, as well as for business and professional products in Singapore and other countries in the South East Asia region. It also handles export business for consumer products from Singapore to various parts of Asia. Since establishing our presence in Singapore in 1973, we have grown steadily over the years to become a leader in the consumer electronics market. For more information on Sony’s products and services in Singapore, please visit http://www.sony.com.sg/

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Accredited Photographers Network (APN)

Tokina 11-20-New

Accredited Photographers Network (APN)
APN

22nd July 2015, Singapore – Ourshutterjourney.com is pleased to announce the Launch of the Accredited Photographers Network (APN).  The APN accreditation program by Ourshutterjourney Photography Consortium is designed to help match photographers to potential clients who are looking for photography needs of any kind.

The APN membership is complimentary and any photographer may apply. However, all applications have to pass the panel’s assessment of their technicalities by a team of Certified Photography Trainers & Appointed Senior Photographers who are very experienced in the industry. And by doing so, potential customers who hires APN Photographers are guaranteed a peace of mind when engaging APN Photographers for assignments.

A hosts of seminars and workshops are also planned to help APN Photographers to expand their job and technical knowledge through our in-house trainers as well as external trainers so that everyone will break new grounds or walk away with new insights to what can help improve the quality of their work. This eventually will translate to better customer satisfaction and repeat hires.

Ourshutterjourney.com had set up the APN for the sole benefits of helping photographers to lands jobs and to help customers finding the right photographer for a job.

To Apply to be part of APN, please visit here for more info.

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KDK – Treasured Moments Photo Competition

Tokina 11-20-New KDK – Treasured Moments Photo Competition
kdk

14th July 2015, Singapore – KDK or Kawakita Denki Kigyosha (means Kawakita Electric Company) is a Japanese manufacturer for a wide range of “air-related” electronics – but famously known for their fans since 1909. Distributed by Capital Distributors (S) Pte Ltd in Singapore (KDK Singapore), KDK has been part of many Singaporeans’ life and many of us grow up with this brand that is trusted by many generations.

Treasured Moments is a photo competition organized by Capital Distributors (S) Pte Ltd to celebrate the nation’s 50th Birthday (SG50) and they are looking for photos that will bring the viewers back in time to the yesteryears or photos of family & family in the past and present. And there are many exciting prizes that they are giving away! So read the steps below carefully and you may even win extra cash prizes! – Instructions after the jump.

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How to Join (Important)
1) All you have to do is, visit this Page.
2) Upload your 03 photos & input your captions and you will have a Collage.
3) Save the Collage.
4) Submit Your Collage on the site.
5) Stand to Win KDK Fans, and Exclusive Tickets to the Private Screening of the Movie “1965”

Extra Prizes to be Won!
6) Email your Collage to media_world@live.com
7) The Editor will select the Best Collage from Shutter Journey Singapore
8) The Best Collage Wins an Additional $200 CASH & a Limited Edition KDK Fan from us!
9) There is No Limit to How many Collages you can submit!
10) ENTRIES CLOSING on 31st July 2015 So Hurry & Submit NOW!

This Photo Competition is Supported by Ourshutterjourney Photography Consortium  Singapore. (OPCS)

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Nikon AW130 – Super All-Weather Compact

Tokina 11-20-New 

Nikon AW130 – Super All-Weather CompactDSCF8111Photo: Editor AL underwater with the Nikon Coolpix AW130


11th July 2015, Bangkok Thailand/ Singapore
– Nikon recently passed me their latest All-weather compact in the form of Nikon Coolpix AW130. I was very excited as I was about to leave for a stock photo assignment to Bangkok Thailand and I decided that the AW130 might be a good camera to have it with me – a good pocket camera that is.

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Photo: A quick snapshot at Changi Airport, Singapore before boarding. Shot by Nikon Coolpix AW130. 

Before we carry on, if you found your way here looking for technical date or specifications of the Nikon Coolpix AW130 then I will suggest you go look elsewhere or visit Nikon’s website. Over here, we are only keen on how the camera perform in our testing environment & situations, what kind of image quality are we getting and generally our experience in using the review camera, in this case, the Nikon Coolpix AW130.

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Photo: Sun set hues at Bangkok, Thailand. Shot by Nikon Coolpix AW130.

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Photo: Mango Glutinous Rice, a Thai favorite. Shot by Nikon Coolpix AW130. 

Before we start, if you are new to Nikon’s AW series, please allow me to do a quick introduction. The “AW” stands for “All Weather”, which means all AW series cameras are made for abuses like shocks, freezing temperatures and waterproof. All AW series cameras are made as compacts which is more suitable for adventures and or ease of carrying it around. In short, it’s a little monster of a (compact) camera.

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The AW130 had many upgrades and improvements made over the previous model – the AW120, I will leave that to your personal research.

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Photo: A complicated intersection as observed from the peak of Baiyoke Sky II. Shot by Nikon Coolpix AW130. 

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Photo: A street hawker at a night bazaar, Bangkok Thailand. Shot by Nikon Coolpix AW130. 

When I received the AW130 from Nikon Singapore, my first impression was pretty much the same when I received the AW120 back then. (They look pretty similar too) The camera feels solid in every way and the weighty (221gm) little guy is very manageable in terms of weight. This is important especially for those who are weight-sensitive depending on the sports that you are doing. The AW130 does feel like it can take some really serious abuse.
So I just packed this guy into my hand luggage and brought this guy with me to Thailand.

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Photo: A street hawker at a night bazaar, Bangkok Thailand. Shot by Nikon Coolpix AW130.

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Photo: I focused on the stick of prawns nearest to the hawker, the rest of the photo ended up not that sharp but hey, I shot this in a split second and this is really not too bad.  Shot by Nikon Coolpix AW130.

The AW130 features a 24mm wide-angle lens which I particularly like. I can use the AW130 and shoot subject while pretending that I am shooting something else, but I will suggest buying a darker color if you are going to use it for street photography occasionally or buying it as a travel compact camera. The review unit that was issued to me came in Super Bright Yellow and when I was shooting on the streets of Bangkok, I got all the stares – I simply smile back at the stares and I got away with a quite a lot of shots.

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Photo: Decorative feature at Grand Millenium Sukhumvit, Bangkok Thailand.  Shot by Nikon Coolpix AW130. 

Inside the Coolpix Aw130, the 16 megapixel CMOS sensor produces good quality photos as you can see from the examples in this article. I shot most of the shots at 4608 x 3456 (16mp). Although the camera comes with a 5x optical Zoom, I never zoomed it – my style, don’t ask. And if you are trying to figure out what does 4.3-21.5mm means, in the case of the AW130, it means the lens has the angle of view equivalent to 24-120mm in 35mm format.
Aperture is pretty standard at F2.8-4.9 which is decent.

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Like all AW series cameras, the AW130 comes with the company’s proven Vibration Reduction (VR) which will be a great help when shooting at low light condition. If you are shooting video, the Electronic VR kicks in ensuring that no one will get dizzy watching your videos. Personally, I like the built-in ND Filter and the Contrast-Detect Type Autofocus. During operation, the focusing was fast, fast enough to get all the shots that I wanted during the trip. Close-up shooting are also easy as the AW130 starts focusing from just 1 cm away from the lens in Macro mode, the AW130 is indeed an adventure all-rounder!

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Photo: The Nikon Coolpix AW130 ready to be abused.
Like all AW series cameras that passed my hands, a little abuse is “standard procedure” for my AW reviews and I decided to bring the Nikon Coolpix AW130 to the hotel pool for a swim. Before this review was done, I posted a video introduction at the pool and the video had since garnered more than 500 views (in 4 days).

Video Intro to Nikon Coolpix AW130 (Water Test)

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Photo: Underwater Selfie, Shot by Nikon Coolpix AW130.
See next photo from behind-the-scene.

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Photo: Editor AL doing an Underwater Selfie.

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Photo: Underwater Shooting, by Nikon Coolpix AW130.

The AW130 produces interesting colors from underwater and the focusing did not suffer like the previous AW120. In fact the focusing was fast and accurate while underwater and the photos produced are of good quality and this is really fun and open up lots of creative possibilities. From the underwater photo examples here, you can see that I had so much fun with the camera.

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Photo: The Nikon Coolpix AW130’s matrix metering is working hard even underwater. Photos are exposed correctly and that leaves the user to concentrate on shooting and framing or having fun.  This shot was metered so accurately that I decided to do a few more underwater shots.
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Photo: Rendered into Black & White, the image is contrasty and not much editing was required. Shot by Nikon Coolpix AW130

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Photo: OK, I am really having fun with the AW130. Shot by Nikon Coolpix AW130
(Pardon my unsightly tummy)

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Photo: With the AW130, I am like a young boy again Hahahaha!
Shot by Nikon Coolpix AW130

Combined the waterproof capability & the HD video shooting of the Aw130, there are many ways to shoot fun and interesting videos and here’s an example (or rather demo) of what you can do.

Or you can grab a random swimmer at the pool to help you shoot video like this one below.

Like most recent compacts from Nikon, ISO has a good range from ISO125-6400 which is is really nice and making the AW130 a good low light performer. And for in-camera effects lovers, the AW130 comes with multiple scene selectors (and even an auto scene selector), lots of special effects filters (19 filters to be exact) excluding the smart portrait mode. In-camera editing is also possible now with more editing options like Crop, Data imprint, D-Lighting, Glamour Retouch, Quick Retouch, Red eye reduction, Small Picture etc.

Compact and slim, 110.4 mm x 66.0 mm x 26.8 mm, and weighing at a mere 221g, this little monster was spec-ed for shooting for extreme temperatures (-10 to +40°C for land use & 0 to 40°C for underwater use), fully waterproof up to 30 metres and takes shocks super well.
I had fell hopelessly in love with the Nikon Coolpix AW130 and I am so going to beg Nikon Sngapore to let me have the demo unit as a Christmas present after all the fellow reviewers had abused it. Nikon Singapore hope you are reading this hahaha.

Thank you Nikon Singapore for allowing this review to happen!

Special Thanks to CN for all the Behind-the-scenes shooting and video assists for this review!

About Nikon
Nikon. At the Heart of the Image. Nikon is the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology and is globally recognised for setting new standards in product design and performance for its award-winning consumer and professional photographic equipment. Nikon Singapore Pte Ltd distributes consumer and professional digital SLR cameras, NIKKOR optics, Speedlights and system accessories; Nikon COOLPIX compact digital cameras; Nikon sports optics as well as the Nikon 1 advanced cameras with interchangeable lens system in over 50 countries.

For more information, please visit www.nikon.com.sg
Nikon Singapore Facebook Page www.facebook.com/nikonsingapore

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Sony α7 Mark II – Simply Amazing

Tokina 11-20-New Sony α7 Mark II – Simply Amazing Photo: Editor AL at Chatuchak (Jatuchak) Weekend Market, Bangkok Thailand with the NEW Sony α7 Mark II.

10th July 2015, Bangkok, Thailand/ Singapore – Following my interview with the Sony α7 series Professionals , Sony released the α7 MarkII and I was lucky to get a review unit from Sony Singapore. The review unit came with the standard kit lens (SEL2870) and while I was thinking how should I review this most-talk-about camera, I decided to pack my bags and headed for Bangkok, Thailand.

Before I carry on, as usual, I would like to disclaim that we are more interested of how the camera performed, photo quality and user experience rather than the technical aspects. There are tons of such information elsewhere or you may wish to visit Sony’s site. :)

When I received the box, my first impression of the α7 MarkII was kind of “expected” due to the fact that leaked photos were everywhere on the net and from fellow Sony users. Looking at the camera, it is obvious that the α7 MarkII had taken the same design cue from its earlier incarnations which had proven to be popular and widely acceptable. Holding the camera, it feels good with the better and slightly deeper grip. For the weight wise, it is still manageable (599gm/ body only). The controls are where you expected them to be so in terms of the ergonomics and cosmetic department, Sony had improved these over the earlier models.

_DSC1596 Photo: Inside Grand Millenium Sukhumvit Hotel, Bangkok. Shot by Sony  α7 MarkII

_DSC1639 Photo: King Rama VI statue at Lumphini Park, Bangkok Thailand. Shot by Sony  α7 MarkII

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The α7 MarkII and the rest of the α7 series line-up are currently the smallest full frame (35mm) cameras which makes it a truly good camera for travel. The smaller than usual body (as compared to other Full Frame DSLRs) allows me to shoot pretty discreetly during this trip as no one really bats an eye on me whenever I held the α7 MarkII up for a shot.

_DSC1644 Photo: A busy road, Bangkok. Shot by Sony α7 MarkII

AAAj_RGB-03 _DSC1663 Photo: Wat Hua Lamphong, an iconic temple in Bangkok. Shot by Sony α7 MarkII

Apart from the size, the Sony α7 MarkII comes with the in-body 5-axis image stabilization and from what I understand, this is a world-first for a full frame body, which is great especially when you are on the move and when you are shooting hand held in various situations. At this point, I would like to share that all the 322 photos that I had shot during this trip with the Sony α7 MarkII, none were blur – believe it or not. Personally I am amazed, very amazed.

_DSC1678 Photo: Wat Hua Lamphong, an iconic temple in Bangkok. Shot by Sony α7 MarkII

_DSC1684 Photo: Wat Hua Lamphong, an iconic temple in Bangkok. Shot by Sony α7 MarkII Check out the 70% crop on the next photo.
_DSC1684aPhoto: Wat Hua Lamphong, an iconic temple in Bangkok. Shot by Sony α7 MarkII A 70% crop from the earlier photo.

The 24.3-megapixel (35mm) full-frame Exmor™ CMOS sensor delivers incredible high-resolution images which you can see from the above photo that I had shot of the temple entrance, after I did a 70% crop and the photo retains almost 94% of the original sharpness and more than 50% of the resolution. The number of details captured is totally insane. I remembered that many α7 users wanted more resolution and better dynamic range and with what I saw from these photos that I had shot, the α7 Mark II had pretty much achieved that.

_DSC1690 Photo: A toddler playing with Floating Candles (Offerings) at Wat Hua Lamphong, an iconic temple in Bangkok. Shot by Sony α7 MarkII

_DSC1718 Photo: A top-down view of a restaurant at Silom Complex, Bangkok. Shot by Sony α7 MarkII

_DSC1725 Photo: A street scene in Bangkok. Shot by Sony α7 MarkII.  

Focusing was extremely fast and it helped me a lot on this trip where timing, anticipation, expectation must work together knowing that anything can happen anytime on the streets of Bangkok. Comparing to my Sony α7 (Mark 1), the Mark II had remarkably improved in this aspect which I applaud Sony for doing so. I am sure no photographer will complain about having a blazing fast AF and to perfect that, almost every lead focus is spot on and that allows any users to accurately capture the subject.

OSJ2 _DSC1751 Photo: Traditional Dancers at Wat Erawan, Bangkok. Shot by Sony α7 MarkII

_DSC1770Photo: Offerings Sellers at Wat Erawan, Bangkok. Shot by Sony α7 MarkII

The α7 MarkII produces typically “Sony Colors” and the color curves are beautiful and you can see from the examples that I had shot. (All photos here are only adjusted for horizons, brightness and given water marks, nothing else was edited). You may also wish to click on any of the photos on this article to view the actual size, actual resolution and the color rendered in 100%. The colors are vibrant even “as it is” and I saved a lot of time on post processing.

_DSC1822 Photo: Street Performers at Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok. Shot by Sony α7 MarkII

_DSC1889a Photo: “Paella by the Street” at Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok. Shot by Sony α7 MarkII.

For the flip screen, I do not use it often due to my style of shooting so I will not be commenting on that, but I would like to share that battery life is still pretty much lacking. Although the review unit managed about 430+ shots before it runs dry, it is still better than my α7 which manages only about 380 shots. I was told by fellow photographers that probably my battery is almost “done” so if you have a better figure to share, please feel free to update me.

_DSC1831Photo: Mango Glutinous Rice at Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok. Shot by Sony α7 MarkII. See next photo for the 90% crop.

_DSC1831aPhoto: Mango Glutinous Rice at Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok. Shot by Sony α7 MarkII. A 90% crop from the above photo.

For the ISO, it impressed me. (See below photo) Honestly I am not a fan of high ISO shooting and at most time I used only up to ISO400. But for the below photo, I tried (conservatively) shooting at ISO2500 and I like it. If you would like to find out how the image will look like at ISO25600, maybe you would like to visit Sony’s showroom to test it out yourself.

_DSC1922Photo: Inside Terminal21 Shopping Mall, Asoke Bangkok. Shot by Sony α7 MarkII at ISO2500.

From all the photo examples you can see that the new Sony α7 MarkII has improved on many aspects that the earlier models was somehow lacking. Many will also like the video now too after it got a little beefing up. Apart from the usual Sony stuff that you will expect, the Sony α7 MarkII is indeed a nice little package with almost everything you need these days. This camera is not just for the professionals, but for any serious enthusiasts who wants good quality & high resolution images.

Using the Sony α7 MarkII for this trip had been a joy and a good experience, Sony definitely had produced yet another winner onto the competition, and the α7 MarkII is a mean contender. Simply amazing!

Thank You Sony Singapore for allowing this to happen!

Thank You CN for the Behind-the-scenes Photography.

About Sony Electronics (Singapore) & Sony South East Asia Sony Electronics (Singapore) was established on 1st October 1999 with business activities comprising engineering and manufacturing, sales and marketing, and logistics and information systems. As part of Sony Electronics (Singapore), Sony South East Asia is responsible for the marketing and sales of consumer products in Singapore, as well as for business and professional products in Singapore and other countries in the South East Asia region. It also handles export business for consumer products from Singapore to various parts of Asia. Since establishing our presence in Singapore in 1973, we have grown steadily over the years to become a leader in the consumer electronics market. For more information on Sony’s products and services in Singapore, please visit http://www.sony.com.sg/

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Historical Central Asia, Uzbekistan

Tokina 11-20-New

Historical Central Asia, Uzbekistan
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10th July 2015, SingaporeXing Asia, our appointed licensed travel agent is heading to Uzbekistan again this year in September 2015. This is one of the very popular tour from Xing Asia and we highly recommend that you book early if you are intending to join. Details on this tour is below after the jump.

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Located in the Central Asia, Uzbekistan is most noted for its position on the Silk Road between China and the West, and for being an Islamic centre for scholarly study. In this tour, you will get to explore the rich and unique history of Uzbekistan with (strong) influence from the Iranian nomad & Arabian religions.

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The conquests by Alexander the Great, the Timurids, Genghis Khan and the Russians in the past eras had immersed Uzbekistan with a super diversified culture who are second to none. Included in the tour, attendees gets to visit the UNESOC World Heritage City Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand and Fergana Province in eastern Uzbekistan bordering to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

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This excellent package includes 2-way international flight, 2-way domestic flight, 1 way express train ride with many chances to experience Uzbe cuisine with a mixture of unique private home dining. Oh, did we mention that you get to ride camel and spend a night at Yurt camp?

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Depart: 15th Sep 2015 (Tuesday)
Return: 22nd Sep 2015 (Tuesday)
Full Package : SGD2950 (twin)/ SGD3250 (Single)
Group Size : 8 (min) / 16 (max)

Day 1 –
Singapore – Tashkent (D)
    Depart from Changi Aiport by Uzbekistan Airway. Arrive Tashkent for dinner, check in and overnight at Tashkent.

Day 2 –
Urgench – Khiva (B/L/D)
– After breakfast, take domestic flight to Urgench and transfer to Khiva – first site in Uzbekistan to be inscribed in the World Heritage List by 1991. Explore the walled inner town of the city of Itchan Kala for the day. Overnight at Khiva.

Day 3 –
Khiva – Bukhara (B/L/D)
– Explore Itchan Kala during dawn and visit one of busiet morning market. Back to hotel for breakfast and take a leisure walk to both the inner and outer city of Khiva. Transfer to domestic terminal in noon for a flight to Bukhara. Overnight at Bukhara.

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Day 4 –
Historic Centre of Bukhara (B/L/D)
– Full day exploring the historic centre of Bukhara. Located on the Silk Route more than 2,000 years ago, Bukhara has long been a center of trade, scholarship, culture, and religion. The UNESCO World Heritage site of Bukhara is today the most complete example of a medieval city in Central Asia. Lunch with private home dining with authentic Uzbe meal. Overnight at Bukhara.

Day 5 –
Nurata – Yurt Camping (B/L/D)
– After breakfast, depart to Gijduvan to visit a private pottery workshop. Gijduvan has developed as a traditional crafts center since the ancient times, the ceramics here are well known due to its original color and decoration style. You would have picnic lunch at Sarmysh gorge and be amazed of the ancient rock paintings with the earliest image dated back to the Stone Age. Continue to journey to Nurata,  with a visit to the remarkable military fortress built by Alexander the Great in 327BC. The water supply system that Alexander the Great installed is still partially used even today. Transfer to Yangigazgan village at late noon, and check in at the yurts camp. Optional activities of camel ride. Evening dinner next to camp fire. Overnight at Yurt tent with opportunity for milky way photography.

Day 6 –
Aydarkul Lake (B/L/D)
– Morning visit to Aydarkul lake bordering by the Kyzyl-Kum desert. Check out from yurt camp and proceed to Samarkand, the former capital city of Uzbekistan. Samarkand has a multi-millennial history with the conquered by the ancient Afrosiab, the Achaemenid Empire, Alexander the Great, Turkish kingdom, Kuteiba-ibn-Muslim, Iran, Turkic, Kingdom of Khwarezm, Kingdowm of Genghis Khan, and Timur the Lame. An amzing UNESCO city as a crossroad and melting pot of the world’s cultures. Photograph the beauty of Shahi Zinda Complex at late noon, and opportunity to visit the tomb of Qusam Ibn Abbas – a cousin of the Prophet who was instrumental in the Islamic history of Central Asia. Overnight at Samarkand.

Day 7 –
UNESCO Samarkand (B/L/D)
– Morning visit the Bibi Khanoum Mosque built in 14th century and the nearby market. Followed by lunch arrangement of private home dining of traditional Uzbek meal. Continue to visit Registan Square, the heart of the ancient city of Samarkand of the Timurid dynasty. Transferred to the train station for the express train ride to Tashkent for evening flight with Uzbekistan Airway.

Day 8 –
Singapore (B)
– Arriving Singapore in the early morning.

Book Now!

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About http://www.xing-Asia.com.

xing-asia2

Xing Asia is a fully licensed travel agent by Singapore Tourism Board. We seek to provide exceptional value and authentic experience for like minded people to experience Asia and beyond through the eyes of our lenses. We differentiate ourselves by creating a platform for people to share and express their passion through immersing themselves in the local culture and lifestyles, befriending the locals and giving back to the community. Our mission is to ensure that your photographic travel experience expands your soul, refresh your perspectives and rejuvenate your spirit.

Join us for a journey of new beginnings, friendships and an enriching experience! For more trips & information, Please visit www.xing-Asia.com


Why http://www.xing-Asia.com ?
– We are a Licensed travel company by Singapore Tourism Board.
– We have been granted ISO 9001 : 2008 Certification on Quality Management System.
– We specializes off-the-beaten-track destinations and photography expedition trips.
– All trips are designed and owned by us making us a true travel company and not just a travel agent.
– All photography technical advices are guided by a Master Photographer (MPA).
– We welcome customized trips or planning for a private group.
– Our travel concept are based on our values of the 4 pillars (http://xing-asia.com)

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Cullmann XCU 400 – The New Tough Guy

Tokina 11-20-New

Cullmann XCU 400 – The New Tough Guy

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Photo: Editor AL with the NEW Cullmann XCU 400


30 th June 2015, Singapore – Recently, some thief made off with my camera backpack along with some of my working gears while I was doing a wedding shoot. Well that was another story, and so, I recently met up with Schmidt Marketing Photo Singapore who happened to be the sole distributor for the German brand Cullmann. I shared my mishap with them and how my gear got stolen along with my Lowe Pro Backpack etc and to my surprise, they passed me a camera haversack to replace my bag (but not the gear haha).

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Photo: The Cullmann XCU 400 carried over the Top Handle.

It is a sturdy looking bag that looks really tough to start with. I closely inspect the bag and it is a backpack from Cullmann. I always thought Cullmann only manufactures tripods which they are so famous for, but a bag? The label reads “Cullmann XCU Outdoor DayPack 400”. It’s a mid-size back pack which is slightly smaller than my stolen Lowe Pro measuring at 210mm (H) x 280mm (W) x 130mm (D).

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The XCU 400 were made from water resistant material and the there’s a hard base that actually made the backpack stand on its own. The hard base is made of a hard rubber that provides cushioning in the event of a fall for the gear. I later came to know that the XCU can withstand rain – long enough until you find yourself a shelter – which is perfect in most outdoor scenarios.

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Photo: The Cullmann XCU 400

Like most camera back packs of today, the XCU 400 has a front flat compartment for your laptop, iPad, books etc and also a dedicated metal buckle (top and bottom) for fastening a tripod. One side pocket opens to a quick access to your camera and on the opposite end a pocket for water bottles with a draw-string fastener. So far so good, pretty happy with what I saw.

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Taking the XCU 400 out, it just feels really right. The size is average and the design is sleek and kinda low profile if you ask me. The adjustable straps are comfortable and it allows several configurations to fit the activity that you are doing. (Waist straps, toggle straps, chest locking straps, angle locking straps). And the back of the back pack opens up to the inside where gears are held closely by a removable padded compartment. The back cover is ventilated with a centre air channel for fast cooling and the design is aimed at achieving the ease of use by reducing weight stress to the user. And both back-straps comes with locking buckles too – nice!

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Photo: Compartments

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Photo: Nice Zipper Finger Rests.

The brightly coloured (blue) heavy-duty zippers features a finger-rest that allows the user to zip and unzip really fast which translate to fast operation. This is important for outdoor adventures and sports. And personally I like the thick and cushioned top carrying-handle. Everything about the XCU 400 is just right for my usual usage so far. Time to venture into the insides of the XCU 400.

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Photo: Buckle Locks for back straps.

Opening up the XCU 400, there are the standard zipper compartments on the back cover, 2 to be exact which are generously sized so you can have all your batteries, lens covers, body covers, memory cards and other knick knacks stored safely.

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Photo: The Cullmann XCU 400 inside.

In the main compartment, there is the customizable thick-padded compartment with tough looking dividers that you can configure in any way you like it to fit your gear or arrange the way you want it. And that only takes up about 2/3 of the main compartment leaving you a 1/3 space that you can carry other personal effects with you. As for me, I created another padded compartment using padded dividers so that I may carry one more camera body with me. This works for me, so basically anyone can customize the insides of the XCU 400, just the way they want it.

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Photo: The Side zipper opens up to a direct access to the inside of the XCU.

To summarize, the Cullmann made XCU 400 is a tough guy. Designed for harsh elements and weather, I must say I am surprised at the overall quality. Well designed, nicely planned out, tough material and high quality this is an excellent camera backpack that will be worth my every single dollar. And from a Tripod manufacturer at that!

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Photo: The back cushion of the Cullmann XCU and the overall smart design. 

Thanks Schmidt Marketing Singapore for sponsoring me the Cullmann XCU 400! It will be put to really good use! Thank you!

Thanks Trisha Lim for the Behind-the-scenes photos.

-Ed.

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Instagram Photo Contest of Singapore Cable Car

Tokina 11-20-New

Instagram Photo Contest of Singapore Cable Car
– 
Win up to $2,000‏

Instagram

19th June 2015, Singapore – Mount Faber Leisure Group (MFLG) recently opened their new Sentosa Line to the public and this line links Singaporeans and tourists alike to two iconic destinations, Faber Peak Singapore and Sentosa. The Sentosa Line takes visitors to three main attraction and leisure clusters – Merlion Plaza, Imbiah Lookout and Siloso Point.

From now to 28 June, MFLG is organising an Instagram contest – “Soar High on the Cable Car Sky Network”. Participants simply have to upload their photo on their Instagram account with a caption that explains what a Singapore Cable Car ‘joyride’ means to them and stand to win a weekly prize of $50 Faber Peak Voucher and the grand prize of $2,000 cash!The procedure of joining this contest is very easy!

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Instagram-Digital-Signage
How to Join?

1)    Follow Singapore Cable Car (@SingaporeCableCar) on Instagram

2)    Hashtag your photo with #SkyNetwork and #SingaporeCableCar with a caption that explains what a Singapore Cable Car ‘joyride’ means to you

3)    Tag @SingaporeCableCar in your photo

For more information, please visit the following link:
http://www.faberpeaksingapore.com/singapore-cable-car/instagram-contest

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Nikon P900 – Small & Mighty

Tokina 11-20-New

Nikon P900 – Small &  Mighty
– Special Review by Xing Asia

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Photo: Namibia – shot with Nikon P900 by Xing Asia.

09th June 2015, Namibia/Africa – The NEW Nikon CoolPix P900 is probably the most-talk-about digital camera lately. And it is not that difficult to understand why. This is a high-spec bridge camera that caters to big diverse group of photographers by looking at the specs.  Before we go on, we would like to remind you that we are not a technical site, instead, we are more keen to share on our hands on experience on using the camera and the images that camera can produce. If you are looking for official specs for the Nikon P900, please visit their official sites from your respective countries.

So why is the Nikon CoolPix P900 making waves? Let us sum it up for you. The P900 features a 83x Optical Zoom that translates into about 2000mm (based on a 35mm format). Apart being the 1st CoolPix that are able to zoom that far, it also happened to be the first bridge camera among it class to have such an insane focal range.

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Photo: Namibia – shot with Nikon P900 by Xing Asia.

Featuring 16 megapixel sensor, the P900 promises excellent quality images and many will also find it a joy to use the P900 when it comes to the handling department. The P900 is designed and styled like a compact-size DSLR with a proper handgrip that feels a little close to the D3XXX range DSLRs and that gave the assuring feel when handling and holding the camera. The swiveling Vari-angel display is another bonus as it allows shooting from all sorts of weird and low angle.

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Photo: Namibia – shot with Nikon P900 by Xing Asia.

We like the regular shooting modes on the P900 as it means Nikon also have the seasoned photographers in mind when they are designing the P900. (Program Auto, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority & Manuel) This is awesome as that means any photographers who had been using the DSLR will be able to adapt to the P900 in seconds. What about those who are beginners, leisure shooters or totally new to photography? Well, the P900 is designed for everyone in this case and there is always the Automatic mode which in our view (or examples below) allows the photographer to shoot at ease and concentrate on framing/ composition and let the P900 do the rest.

The 3 inch screen is pretty standard and the P900 uses Hi-Res EVF (Electronic View Finder) that is very responsive. When using the Semi Auto Modes or Manuel mode, you can view real time movement, exposures etc from the EVF, pretty cool. For those who does videos, the P900 can produce Full HD videos up to a recording rate / size of 1920×1080/ 60p. Pretty decent.

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ISO is always an issue especially when it comes to cameras that uses sensors that are smaller than the regular APS-C size. On the field, we tested the P900 and it performed well and very useable ISO up to 6400. Do note that when shooting in regular modes, the P900 will select (or you select) the ISO from a range of 100 to 1600, and you can have access to ISO 3200 & 6400 when you are shooting in the Semi-Automatic modes or Manuel mode. And there is a “secret mode” that allows you to shoot up ISO 12,8000 –  a special effect called “High ISO Monochrome” that uses ISO Noise as the effect.

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Photo: Namibia – shot with Nikon P900 by Xing Asia.

The P900 has a continuos shutter of 7 fps (frames per second) which allows the photographer to capture or panning fast moving subjects. Coupled with the long focal range, this P900 may seems like a good alternative to having a top of the line DSLR with a super-telephoto lens? Not really. Although it seems pretty close it, you should not compare it with say a Nikon D4s + 400mm F2.8 + 2x Tele-Convertor. There are limitations as one can easily point out that the P900 will not focus as fast a DSLR and getting sharp photos takes a little practice and a little getting used to.

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Photo: Namibia – shot with Nikon P900 by Xing Asia.

Since the Nikon P900 is designed and styled like a DSLR, we like the fact that the lens accepts 67mm screw-on filters and that further expands the creativity options on P900 – means you can also use special filters like GND, CPL or even ND filters. On the hand, it really feels solid and built for mild to level 3 abuse and having a fixed lens also means the possibility of having dusts inside the camera or sensor will be greatly minimized. The P900 is pretty light and compact so with all that we had mentioned above, we decided to pass the Nikon P900 to Xing Asia, our appointed travel agent for their recent trip to Namibia, Africa.

The Nikon P900 was passed to a few of the tour participants and let’s hear what they have to say about the P900 after using it in Africa.

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Photo: Namibia – shot with Nikon P900 by Xing Asia.

We were wondering what does 83x optical zoom do – with an equivalent of 24 – 2000mm in 35mm format. In fact, we will never imagine that this is even possible to be manufactured optically. On this trip, we were told about the beautiful landscape and the wildlife, so the Nikon P900 fits the trip profile completely with its wide angle that we can use for shooting landscape and the super-telephoto range that we can use to shoot wildlife comfortably. To our best knowledge, no DSLR lens with a 2000mm focal range is publicly available, and the Nikon P900 nails it.

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Photo: Namibia – shot with Nikon P900 by Xing Asia.

“The camera feels a little bulky (when compared to Digital Compacts), but still a smaller and lighter camera than most DSLRs. Honestly, it feels good when it hand-held and the large & DSLR-like handgrip makes handling the P900 comfortable. The articulated flip screen is also very useful when shooting from unusual angles, and we get to choose if we want to shoot using the EVF (Electronic View Finder) or via the 3 inch screen. However for those who wish to use the P900 for wildlife, we will advise shooting using the EVF as there is a need to bring the camera closer to the body to maintain balance and minimize handshakes.”

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Photo: Namibia – shot with Nikon P900 by Xing Asia.

“The P900 also offers the user flexibility on using the camera. For example, we discovered that there are actually 2 ways to zoom around the focal range. There is a zoom button (near the right index finger) and there’s another button on the lens barrel that is/can be operated by the left hand thumb. Very thoughtfully designed in our view. On the zooming, it is quite responsive, imagine zooming from the widest 24mm to the super-telephoto end takes merely 2 to 3 seconds!”

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Photo: Namibia – shot with Nikon P900 by Xing Asia.

“For a bridge camera, the AF is surprisingly fast, but to capture shots of animal moving, it takes a bit of practice and of course, the user have to understand how the P900 behaves too. From the photos that we had shot (published along with this article), we got lots of good keepers and we are really glad to have the Nikon P900 for this trip. And the best part, the Editor of Ourshutterjourney.com passed us ONLY the camera, battery and charger – without the Instruction Manuel. He remarked that he wants to know how easy it is to start using the Nikon P900. Lucky him, we found the menu to be easy to navigate and we found what we needed easily.”

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Photo: Namibia – shot with Nikon P900 by Xing Asia.


“While many will think that a lens that covers such a huge focal range (24-2000mm) and with a variable aperture of F2.8 to 6.3 will be slow – we will invite you to rethink of having a focal range of 2000mm at an aperture of F6.3, now that is not slow anymore isn’t it? And given that the P900 comes with the company’s proven VR (Vibration Reduction), you are technically given another 5 stops of advantage too. We took quite a fair bit of photos right at the 2000mm mark with shutter speed in excess of 1/500 – we got sharp and crispy photos, this is simply amazing!”

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Photo: Namibia – shot with Nikon P900 by Xing Asia.

“We were quite sad that the P900 only shoots JPEG and without the option for RAW. This is due to the flexibility of White Balance Adjustments but however, we found the AWB on the P900 to be pretty accurate. And if we want to manipulate the WB, there’s a dedicated WB button that is easily accessible on the back of the camera.”

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Photo: Namibia – shot with Nikon P900 by Xing Asia.

“As for the Battery Life, a full charge had us shooting about 320 shots which is pretty ok for a day’s use. If you are going to be out at the safari for more than a day, it is recommended to have a few spare batteries. Last but not least, we love what the Nikon P900 had produced and the image are of good quality. An easy camera to use and a powerful one in disguise. We are going to get our Nikon P900 when we are back in Singapore!”

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Photo: Namibia with Xing Asia, Irene Seet, Jian Wen & Sok Cheng, guest reviewers for P900.

“Thank You Ourshutterjourney.com,  Xing Asia & Nikon Singapore for the opportunity to test the Nikon P900!”

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About Nikon
Nikon. At the Heart of the Image. Nikon is the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology and is globally recognised for setting new standards in product design and performance for its award-winning consumer and professional photographic equipment. Nikon Singapore Pte Ltd distributes consumer and professional digital SLR cameras, NIKKOR optics, Speedlights and system accessories; Nikon COOLPIX compact digital cameras; Nikon sports optics as well as the Nikon 1 advanced cameras with interchangeable lens system in over 50 countries.

For more information, please visit www.nikon.com.sg
Nikon Singapore Facebook Page www.facebook.com/nikonsingapore

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About Xing Asia.

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Xing Asia is a fully licensed travel agent by Singapore Tourism Board. We seek to provide exceptional value and authentic experience for like minded people to experience Asia and beyond through the eyes of our lenses. We differentiate ourselves by creating a platform for people to share and express their passion through immersing themselves in the local culture and lifestyles, befriending the locals and giving back to the community. Our mission is to ensure that your photographic travel experience expands your soul, refresh your perspectives and rejuvenate your spirit.

Join us for a journey of new beginnings, friendships and an enriching experience! For more trips & information, Please visit www.xing-Asia.com

 

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Upclose with α7 Series Professionals

Tokina 11-20-New

Upclose with α7 Series Professionals
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09th June 2015, Singapore Sony Singapore recently announced the Sony α7 series Professionals – hand-picked by Sony Singapore and we decided to request for an interview with these professional photographers. All 5 photographers are famous in their own right and area of expertise so it will be great to find out more about their thoughts on using the Sony α7 Series cameras for their works. There must be good reasons for them to adopt the Sony α7 series Full-frame cameras to complement the current system(s) and for some, to totally switch to Sony α7 Series (and them being early adopters) and we are curious and want to know why.

So we made a call to Sony Singapore and the next minute, we are on our way to meet the α7 series Professionals. Here’s the interview below with them!

Editor: Hi Guys, nice meeting all of you in person! I would like to ask a few questions about your personal experience with the Sony α7 Series Full-frame System, please feel free to share your thoughts with our readers, hopefully all of you can provide insights to what the rest of the world do not know about the α7 Series system. Here we go!

Editor
: First and foremost, may I know which photography genre(s) do you guys specializes in?

 

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Bryan: I am into Editorial work, portraitures, news documentation & everything else in between.

Chester: My fortes are Landscape & Time lapse.

Darren: Well I do Architectures & Cityscapes.

Edward: I specialize in Cityscape, Travel Photography.

Kelvin: I do Wedding Photography, family portraitures and almost anything that involves people.

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File Photo: Bryan van der Beek, α7 Series Professional


Editor
: That is very diversified! May I know, when using the α7 series cameras, how does it stack up or compare to the previous system(s) that you had been using for your photography works?


Edward
: For me, the size and the adaptability. In the past, I carry 2 full frame bodies around and the weight almost killed me. With the size & weight of the  α7 series cameras, I am able to move around with 3 to 4 bodies. Lenses wise, the  α7 series cameras allows me to use other brands’ lenses easily with an adaptor. As we know, every brand has their pros & cons, so with the α7 series cameras I can employ (exploit) the best lenses from any brand. Particularly, I like the focus peaking function that allows accurate focusing (even when using other brand’s lenses) α7 series cameras are really sexy and a joy to use.

 

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File Photo: Chester Chen, α7 Series Professional


Chester
: The α7 series cameras offer (almost) everything that my previous system has except that Sony had upped the notch with a vast improvement on key areas like ISO handling, the dynamic range and portability. My favourite has to be the in-camera apps like the Time Lapse, Light Trails & the Remote Shooting.

Darren: The α7 series cameras are notably much lighter than most Full Frame cameras available in the market right now. It couples with any lenses (with adaptor) from any brand – including legacy lenses and that opens up tons of great shooting options for me. It is in fact the most versatile system that any photographer can use today. I like the high resolution, dynamic range and the capability to capture a lot of details easily.

 

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File Photo: Darren Soh, α7 Series Professional

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Kelvin: For me, the size nails it. The α7 series cameras are compact thus making it very convenient to be carried around. For actual wedding days, the α7 series cameras is less intrusive and also less intimidating at the same time – especially to guests – so I am able to get most natural looking (expressions) photos. For pre-wedding assignments, I can climb or trek any landscape easily with the α7 series cameras – so light and compact! In the past, I would have succumbed to fatigue before I can complete my shoot. (grins)
*(All laughing)

To add, the α7 series cameras had also gotten the selection of lenses (focal range) right. The 35mm F1.4, the 55mm F1.8 and the 70-200mm F4 allows most photographers to use it for most commercial projects/ jobs.

Bryan: Haha, like the rest, the size. It is so much lighter and the compact dimensions makes the α7 series cameras really easy to carry around when compared to my previous systems. The other point worth mentioning is definitely the excellent image quality. I like the fact that the EVF (Electronic View Finder) offers real time exposure and the DOF rendering allows me to check the accuracy too.

 

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File Photo: Edward Tian, α7 Series Professional

 

Editor: That sounds very convincing, I am sure all of you are finding the α7 series cameras very enjoyable to use and has become a great help to achieving your intended results. Maybe all of you can share a bit on how the α7 Series cameras had helped you to create your work in a better way?

EdwardOK as mentioned earlier, I would say the overall package of the α7 series cameras has helped in many ways. But I would like to highlight again on the α7 series cameras’ compatibility with other brands’ lenses.  And because it also allows me to expand my creative options and explore many new possibilities at the same time.

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ChesterWith the α7 series cameras’ excellent dynamic range, I am now able to (typically) shoot lesser frames to achieve my intended end result. Personally I am the type of photographer who will try to get most of the “right” shot through the camera with a little help from using optical filters as that shortens the time required to produce the frames and this is very, very important for time lapse. On the operational side, the compact size and weight allows me to carry a few more bodies with me and I can use it to shoot other stuff while waiting for the time lapse unit to run on another body. This is flexibility at its best.

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File Photo: Kelvin Koh, α7 Series Professional

Kelvin: As mentioned earlier, the selection of lenses from Sony are already very relevant to what I am doing. I must highlight that after using the α7 series cameras, I find that the colours are easy to manage, further to that, it offers Wi-Fi transfer of photo files easily, making the process of editing and delivery faster with really good results. (My clients love it! ) On the editing process, it is almost the same with the work flow, so using the α7 series cameras does not change my work flow and I like it this way.

Darren: In my area of work, I use lots of specialized lenses. Personally my favourite combo has to be using the α7 series cameras with Canon’s tilt-shift lens – TSE 17mm F4L and with the insane 36 megapixel, I can do mammoth size prints too! To much extent, this combo helps me achieve many end results that I can only wish for in the past.

 

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File Photo: Bryan van der Beek, α7 Series Professional

 

Bryan: I shoot people a lot. And shooting people in their natural expressions & environment is a challenge. The α7 series cameras are small and when I am out there shooting, it doesn’t get in the way of other people and is not intimidating. The silent shutter is perfect – when people are less conscious about you shooting them, they became “themselves”. And the α7 series cameras also helped me blend myself into the surroundings – and it also helped when there are times that I need to pretend to be a tourist to get away from certain situations or to simply get a shot that I want.

 

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Editor: I am amazed. If I were to ask you to give me just ONE reason why the α7 series is probably the best camera that you ever own, what would that ONE reason be?

Edward: It’s hard to give you just one reason. However, it will be better to give you a One Package. It’s a package of 3rd party compatibility, compactness, in-camera functions and overall use-ability as a camera. (*blinks)

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File Photo: Chester Chen,α7 Series Professional

Chester: Agreed with Edward, it’s the package that I will give as “One Reason”. Everything about the α7 series cameras is just right from hardware to software. But if there is just ONE reason, I will say the ISO. It’s insanely good.

Kelvin: Size. For convenience at that. Whenever I am packing my equipment for an assignment, I will usually stare at my inventory and think really hard what gear to use. These days, I will just grab the α7 series cameras and go.

Bryan: I call it the “Undercover” camera. Go figure. (*laughing)

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File Photo: Darren Soh, α7 Series Professional

Darren: Well, there are just too many to mention. Far too many. If I am to sum it up into One reason, it’s going to be tough. I will say “just buy it”! 

Editor: You guys made me so tempted to get one more α7 (probably the α7M2) now! I am going to ask a pretty standard interview question now. Would you recommend the α7 Series to other photographers?

All together: YES!
(*All Laughs)

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File Photo: Edward Tian, α7 Series Professional

 

Editor: That’s a pretty uniform and expected answer, hahaha. Ok, lastly, is there (any) wish list that you hope that Sony will incorporate/ improve into the future α7 Series cameras?

Edward: Ok, I shall not hold back them (*grins) – I hope Sony can make a 3-in-1 α7 series cameras. A good example will be to combine the body of the α7M2 not forgetting the 5 axis image stabilizer, the crazy & seamless ISO handling of the α7s plus the silent “stealth” shutter, and overall improvements like better dynamic range over the current α7 series cameras (preferably over 15 stops of adjustments – hahaha). remove the AA filter and still has a 36 megapixel. Oh, if it also has 4K video recording too! Hope I am not too greedy! 
(*laughs really loud)

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ChesterI really wish Sony would open up the API (Application Programming Interface) for third party companies and developers to integrate their hardware devices and software applications for the α7 series cameras. One example will be instead of the simple wired Remote Trigger using the Multi port, provide for full control over the camera via commands – focus, iso, shutter, aperture, white balance, drive mode and more. I really miss having the PC Sync connectivity as a connector and this would help integrate with “other devices”. Perhaps allowing the development of third party PlayMemories Apps would negate the need for the extra hardware integration. Oh yes, like what Edward had mentioned, 4k Video will be a bonus!
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File Photo: Kelvin Koh, α7 Series Professional

Kelvin: Yes, agreed with Edward too! (Hope Sony) can give us a model that has the best of the best’s features from the current α7 series cameras. Further to that, I hope Sony can give us a battery that has a better battery life since the α7 series cameras uses EVF, battery seems to drain faster. I am also hoping for a wider range of Sony proprietary lenses like maybe a 21mm F1.8, 200mm F2.8 & a good macro lens that focuses fast. 

Bryan: Better ergonomics and hopefully Sony can consider adding a button for switching between the EVF and LCD screen. At the moment, we have to go inside the menu to make the change and it is kind of troublesome. And I am also hoping to have a “less smart” focus lock function (just like old skool DSLRs), the α7 series cameras re-focus every time when I shifted my position and it starts hunting every time I put it down and held it up again despite remaining at my same location and shooting angle, hope Sony can consider this, once focused, the camera can “remembers” the focused range and area, then stays there till I want to shoot again when I take aim.  

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Darren: I guess the guys had said it all. For me, I hope Sony can design and produce more specialized lenses for photographers like me. Seriously, a Sony Tilt-Shift lens will be really, really nice and appreciated. Sony – you listening?

Editor: Thank you Guys for your time! It had been a pleasure and my honour to be meeting up with all of you and having this exclusive interview for our readers. I am sure many of our readers will be inspired to get the Sony α7 Full-frame series cameras at this point. Thank you and I sincerely wish all of you all the bests and thanks again for your time!

All: Thanks!

Special Thanks to Sony South East Asia (Sony Singapore) for facilitating the interview and allowing this to happen!  You guys rocks!

 

About Sony Electronics (Singapore) & Sony South East Asia
sony

Sony Electronics (Singapore) was established on 1st October 1999 with business activities comprising engineering and manufacturing, sales and marketing, and logistics and information systems. As part of Sony Electronics (Singapore), Sony South East Asia is responsible for the marketing and sales of consumer products in Singapore, as well as for business and professional products in Singapore and other countries in the South East Asia region. It also handles export business for consumer products from Singapore to various parts of Asia. Since establishing our presence in Singapore in 1973, we have grown steadily over the years to become a leader in the consumer electronics market. For more information on Sony’s products and services in Singapore, please visit http://www.sony.com.sg/

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