Latest News from Olympus

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Latest News from Olympus
– Olympus Unveils the Latest M.Zuiko Digital Lens Roadmap
– Updates on the Development of M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO
– Posted by Melody Tan
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02nd July 2020, Singapore – Olympus Singapore is pleased to announce the latest lens roadmap for M.Zuiko Digital lenses that conform to the Micro Four Thirds System standard, and provide an update on the development of the M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO lens of which the development was announced in January 2019.

The development of the M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO lens was
announced in January 2019. The development of this lens continues with an estimated
scheduled release of this winter. The final image design of the product is now available.
Furthermore, to make super-telephoto shooting more convenient, the development is
underway to add Bird detection to Intelligent Subject Detection AF on the Olympus OM-D EM1X. The firmware is scheduled for release this winter.

Olympus will continue enhancing the lens lineup to make full use of the unrivaled portability made possible by the compact, lightweight, high image quality of the Micro Four Thirds System.

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The latest lens roadmap for Olympus M.Zuiko Digital Lens
▪M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm F4.0 PRO is updated
▪Macro Lens is added
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More information avaliable on https://cameras.olympus.com/zuiko/en/  

 

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Updated information of M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO
Development on the high-resolution M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO supertelephoto zoom lens with a built-in 1.25x teleconverter was announced January 2019 and is currently moving toward the scheduled release of this winter. Furthermore, the final image design of the product is now available.
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Lastly, Development of future firmware upgrade to support Bird detection AF
Development is underway to add Bird detection to Intelligent Subject Detection AF on the Olympus OM-D E-M1X. The firmware is scheduled for release this winter.

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Editor’s Note:
Many Olympus Fans were baffled recently over the news of Olympus selling the camera business to another funds management company. But many did not read the content of the announcement and only read the headlines which was misleading. Look at it as Olympus is getting a Fund Boost in view of the current economy that was almost destroyed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Olympus with 100 years of legacy, will continue to lives on. The newly announced road map and development news just serves to assure all Olympus users that Olympus is here to stay. Good job Olympus!
– Editor AL

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Contributing Editor – Melody Tan
melody.jpg
Loves quiet walks along beaches, has a mind of her own and decides everything in life in either black or white with nothing in between. Her priority these days revolves around her 2 lovely kids & teaching them music or photography. A lover of yoga and an avid traveler, Melody aims to visit at least 30 countries before she reach 40 years old – from what we know, she had completed 27 as of 2018.
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CovidShare Photo Museum Submission Extended

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CovidShare Photo Museum Submission Extended
– Posted by Lee Shi Qing

Image submitted by: Steven CF Yee.

12th June 2020, Singapore – As Singapore slowly & gradually lifted movement restrictions under the Covid-19 Circuit Breaker, we are currently at Phase One of reopening our economy. Given the current situation, many of us are still stuck working or studying from home. Hence the Editorial Team had decided to extend the Photo Submission for our “CovidShare Photo Museum“.

As of today, we had received over 400+ entries however many were rejected due to the image not meeting the requirements as stated on our Submission Page. We would like to remind everyone to read the Submission criteria before submitting.

We will close the Submission at the End of July 2020. So start submitting your images of your experience during this Covid-10 Circuit Breaker in Singapore!
Stay Safe Everyone!
Lee Shi Qing
– On Behalf of Ourshutterjourney Editorial Team

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Contributing Editor – Lee Shi Qing
SQ.jpg
A firm believer of Self-Sufficient living and gives no f**k to anyone getting in her way to reaching her goals in life. Kind in nature & Dangerous when provoked. Loves Mcdonald’s Fries and hates all the burgers there. While she helps out in gear reviews, Qing is currently serving as an Online Administrator for Ourshutterjourney.com Facebook Groups and Online Shop.

=========================
About Ourshutterjourney.com
Visit Our Online Store
Join Our Membership.

=========================

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Our Merchants Featured by BEST IN SINGAPORE

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Our Accredited Merchants Featured by BEST IN SINGAPORE
– by Editorial Team
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Image: Screen grab from Best In Singapore.

Visit Best In Singapore for the Feature Article here.

29th April 2020, Singapore – The Editorial team woke up to an exciting morning. We received a message from one of our accredited merchant. It was a feature article by Best In Singapore titled “The 5 Best Camera Shops in Singapore“. Out of curiosity, we check out the article and were surprised & happy that all 5 cameras shops featured are our accredited merchants!

 

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So which are the 5 featured camera shops?

1) Cathay Photo
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2) SLR Revolution

3) P&G Photographic Centre,

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4) Alan Photo
 

5) Sgcamerastore!
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CONGRATS TO ALL OUR MERCHANTS! Keep Up the great job!
>>Check out our Full List of Accredited Merchants here!

>> Visit Best In Singapore for the Feature Article here.

READ ALSO: Stucked at Home? Here’s what You can shoot! 

 

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READ ALSO: Should I Clean My Own Sensor?

READ ALSO: New Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III Reviewed

READ ALSO:  Photo Submission x CovidShare

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Photo Submission x CovidShare

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Photo Submission x “CovidShare”
– Posted by AL Lee
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23rd April 2020, SingaporeCovid19 in Singapore – And so Singapore had announced a semi-lockdown 02 weeks ago and it has since been extended till 01st June 2020. Although our Sub-Editor Shiqing had recently written an article on what (you as a photographer) can do at home, let;s face it, boredom, frustrations & even despair (for some of you) had kicked in. You can read that article here.

The Editorial Team recently had a video meeting and we were deciding what we can do to help inject some photography fun into everyone while being at home. After much consideration, we have decided to open a new Page called “CovidShare Photo Museum” on this site. But before we can do that, we need your submission!
– details after the jump.  
READ ALSO: Stucked at Home? Here’s what You can shoot!

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Image: My fair share of my Covid19 lockddown days. 

 

What is CovidShare Photo Museum
It will be an online museum of images that best describe/ depicts the current Circuit-Breaker (Semi Lock Down) period in Singapore. It can be the food that you have been cooking/ eating, it can be the things that you do to occupy time, it be the awesome view outside your window, or anything that best express YOUR time spent during this period. All images will be curated by the Editorial Team, images that meets the criteria will be uploaded to the Upcoming New Page. The Photo will remain in the Museum for infinity.
– Submission Criteria after the jump

 

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Submission Criteria (Important)
– ANYONE Can Submit.
– Photo must be submitted in Landscape Orientation
– Photo can be shot with any camera or phone.
– Photo can be in color or monochrome
– You can submit as many images as you wish.
– All Photos MUST Be Accompanied by a short Caption of 50 Words.
– Caption must be on YOUR Personal Experience of the Covid-19 Circuit Breaker.
– Watermarks are Allowed.
-submission details after the jump


READ ALSO: Should I Clean My Own Sensor?

  


Submission Details
– Email Your Image & Caption to editorial_ourshutterjourney@hotmail.com
– Please Include Your Name to be Displayed on the Museum.
– Please Submit by 30th July 2020, 12noon GMT+8.00
– Terms & Conditions after the jump

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Terms & Conditions
By submitting your image(s),
– You Agreed that at our discretion, we are permitted to display your image/your name on our online page (named: CovidShare Photo Museum 2020or on any of our online/offline platforms for an indefinite period.
– You Understand that this is a voluntary submission with no monetary compensation.
– You Understand that we will only display images that meets our criteria.
– You Agreed that we will not be held for any liability doing this project.
– You Agreed that any submission received by us after 01st June 2020, 12noon GMT+8.00 will not be receiving any attention.

 

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Not Sure what to submit? Check out what images had been submitted by others here!

We understand that the current situation is tough for everyone. So we hope that we can bring you some home activities through this online museum project which everyone is free to participate & have fun. So start planning, start shooting & start submitting. I will be looking forward to your entries!
– AL Lee, Editor.

 

READ ALSO: New Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III Reviewed

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Lastly, if you are bored, please feel free to visit our Online Shop for hundreds of Cameras & Lenses! Visit here.

 

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Reviewer: AL Lee
Chief Editor / Visionary & Brand Ambassador for Olympus Imaging Singapore
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Contributing Editor – Lee Shi Qing
SQ.jpg
A firm believer of Self-Sufficient living and gives no f**k to anyone getting in her way to reaching her goals in life. Kind in nature & Dangerous when provoked. Loves Mcdonald’s Fries and hates all the burgers there. While she helps out in gear reviews, Qing is currently serving as an Online Administrator for Ourshutterjourney.com Facebook Groups and Online Shop.

=========================
About Ourshutterjourney.com
Visit Our Online Store
Join Our Membership.

=========================

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Should I Clean My Own Sensor?

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Should I Clean My Own Sensor?
Posted by Melody Tan
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Image Source: Google

 

27th March 2020, Singapore – As seasoned photographers, many of you would have encountered getting dust spots on your images caused by sensor dusts. Even with the newer cameras that comes with dust-proof design or in-camera cleaning using electro-waves / shakes to clean the sensor, many photographers still ended up with stubborn dusts on their sensor.

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Image Source: Google. 
– Example of Sensor Dusts appearing on images 

 

The sensor dusts usually becomes very visible when images are shot in small apertures.
But how dust Sensor dusts end up in camera? Simple – when you change lens in windy places, when the lens mount of your lens are already dirty, or even dust that can be “created” from inside the camera. Do not forget your camera is made up of moving parts and when there is friction, tiny specks of plastics, oil etc will find their way around from inside your camera.

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So the big question, should I clean my own Sensor since commercially-available sensor cleaning kits are on sale everywhere?

Good question. If you are a regular shooter and use your camera very often, likely you will get dusts on your sensor very frequently. Let’s see the options below.

Send to Service Centre
And we do understand that a visit to your camera’s service centre will cost you some money for just cleaning. They (the service centre) will likely charge you for the Cleaning, a manpower fees, GST etc and to rub more salt, you are most likely asked to return to collect your camera a few hours later or another working day. And from what we gathered, some very expensive camera brand can charge as much as SGD $200 for just cleaning the sensor. (Don’t ask which brand, you should know).

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Image Source: Google

 

Using Sensor Cleaning Swab
These swabs are available everywhere – from online shops to retailers – but are these safe to use? You may not like what you are going to hear, but as an independent media we have to share. The answer is “Use at your own risk”.

For the record, our service centre is receiving about 2 to 3 cameras per week for damaged/ scratched sensors – resulting from failed attempts from using Sensor Swabs. This is serious, most of the time, we will refer such cases to visit their service centre since replacing the sensor is very costly and advisable to be done only at your brand’s service centre.

  

Please see below for examples of scratched sensors.

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Image Source: Google.

 

 

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From the above images, you have seen it for yourself how easily camera sensor can be scratched. The ultra sensitive sensor surface once scratched, most of the time there is no reverse remedy except to have the sensor swap out for a new unit and it comes with a price tag. And when we say price tag, many had went through this and will warn you never to touch your sensor.

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Over at Ourshutterjourney.com, we highly recommend our Card members to send their cameras to our Authorized Service Centre (P&G Photographic Centre) . P&GPC cleans camera sensors at a very reasonable price – a fraction of what you might be paying at your own brand’s service centre. From what we understand, the sensor cleaning are being done in a controlled & clean environment using the same equipment and method used by your brand’s service centre to clean the sensor dust. Not only they have the right equipment, the technical chief was a camera technician for over 20 years! Apart from paying a much lower fee, you have the protection & the service quality assurance of a business that had span 19 years in Singapore.

Did we say that you can get your camera back in 10* mins?

*When the store is not packed.

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So there you have it. We Do NOT Recommend You Cleaning Your Own Sensor using Swabs. It can get really complicated and costly if you are doing it wrongly. If you are feeling rich and a Brand Fan boy, do send it back to your brand’s service centre or for those who are looking for great value, fast service, do pop by P & G Photographic Centre.

OPERATING HOURS

P & G Photographic Centre is located at:
The Adelphi
1 Coleman Street,
#B1-04, The Adelphi,
Singapore 179803

Tel: (65)68370696
Fax: (65)68370697
Email : pgcameras@gmail.com

OPERATING HOURS: Mon to Sat from 11.00 a.m. to 7.30 p.m.
Closed on Sunday & public holidays only

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Contributing Editor – Melody Tan
melody.jpg
Loves quiet walks along beaches, has a mind of her own and decides everything in life in either black or white with nothing in between. Her priority these days revolves around her 2 lovely kids & teaching them music or photography. A lover of yoga and an avid traveler, Melody aims to visit at least 30 countries before she reach 40 years old – from what we know, she had completed 27 as of 2018.
========================
About Ourshutterjourney.com
Visit Our Online Store
Join Our Membership.

=========================

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Stucked at Home? Here’s What You Can Shoot!

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Stucked at Home? Here’s What You Can Shoot!
– by Lee Shi Qing
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Image: Time to play with your food.


26th March 2020, Singapore
While Covid-19 are affecting (and destroying) everything in its path, many individuals had been affected in a way or another. Most commonly – stuck at home. Be it a Work-From-Home situation or on Stay-Home-Notice, or on a Leave Of Absence or on Medical Leave or self Quarantine due to travel – you are grounded at home. Too bad – but for the greater good.

As times slowly passed with boredom kicks in, many of you will be longing to take your camera out for a walk, for some fresh air and to get a clear mind in the midst of this trying times. While social distancing had proven to be quite a popular prevention for the Covid-19 virus, you are advised not to round up your fellow photography friends for a little photowalk. So what can you do?

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We decided to put together a list of photography things that you can do at home without really having to step out from your home. Now go charge up your batteries and get ready for a list of things to shoot while at home!

1) Toys Photography
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Image: 1:87 Toy Figurine posed with a frothy drink.

Every home today would have some toys of some sort, get creative! You can take your time to pose your toys, find complementing subjects and create stunning toy images!

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Image: 1:87 Toy Figurine posed on wholegrain bread slices.

 

 

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2) Outside Your Window
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Image: Singapore at 04.00pm

Depending where you stay, most of us stays in public housing (called flats in Singapore). Although we do not recommend you fixing that 500mm and point it at the hot chick staying opposite your unit, you can make use of the sun light shadows or use an ultra wide angle to capture the feeling of diversity of public housing in Singapore.

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Image: Sun Rise by Audrey Wong, shot from her home window.

  

 

 

3) Corridor Garden Macro
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Image: If your potted plants are blooming in the hot & sunny March/April, shoot!

Corridor gardening is one of the hobby that is very popular with many families. Just take a look at any housing flat block, you will notice many unit will have a row (or a few) of potted plants at the common corridor. While the variety may range from flowering pots to edible vegetables, this is a great opportunity to take a closer look at what you have been planting.
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Image: Combine toys with your plants!
Or simply combine your toys with your plants! Open up your apertures and create nature-like images, be creative and you never know what you may get as a result!

 

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4) Nostalgia from Yesteryears
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Image: Collections from yesteryears like badges, coins, stamps all makes very interesting still life subjects.


Time to dig out your collections of trophies, old coins/ notes, stamps, badges or souvenirs that you had been collecting. These items makes very good still life subjects. You can create a scene to pose your items or get creative with using filters or special effects to create images!

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Image: Photo by Koh Lye Huat – This is ancient in Singapore’s context!

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5) House Insects
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Image: Look carefully, there are tiny insects living among us in our homes.

No matter how clean or well maintained your home is, there will be tiny friends living among us at some secluded and quiet corners right in our homes! In Singapore, there will be Ants, Lizards, Roaches, Spiders, Beetles etc which is common by any standard. Not forgetting your corridor garden may also get unexpected visitors too. Time to take a second look at your home, you might just find some of these cute little creatures living right under your bed.

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6) Play with Water
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Image: Water are excellent for fun play & photography.

Water when left on different surfaces, it changes its forms and its behavior. If you think this is a boring idea, try spraying water onto glass, ceramics, boards etc. If you are in the mood for suicide, try spraying water on your Wife’s face too.

7) Hone Your Photo Editing Skills
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Image: Photo Editing can be fun.

Lastly, this is a great time to dig out all those old photos to take a second look. You may wish to try to re-edit the images or add a little fun to your old images while taking this time to try out all the functions of your photo editing software. Importantly, have fun!

And if shooting does not interest you at the moment, you may shop for photography gears online at our Online Shop – just click the below banner to start shopping!
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As there seems to be no immediate end to the current Covid-19 situation, we strongly urge everyone to stay safe, stay healthy and to stay away from crowded places & gatherings. Remember, Health above Everything. We can all survive this together! Adios!
– Lee Shi Qing

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Contributing Editor – Lee Shi Qing
SQ.jpg
A firm believer of Self-Sufficient living and gives no f**k to anyone getting in her way to reaching her goals in life. Kind in nature & Dangerous when provoked. Loves Mcdonald’s Fries and hates all the burgers there. While she helps out in gear reviews, Qing is currently serving as an Online Administrator for Ourshutterjourney.com Facebook Groups and Online Shop.

=========================
About Ourshutterjourney.com
Visit Our Online Store
Join Our Membership.

=========================

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Ourshutterjourney FLY DAY – Drone Workshop

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Ourshutterjourney FLY DAY – Drone Workshop
Posted by Melody Tan
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11th March 2020, Singapore – Members Alert! – While many of you have friends who had flown drones and done interesting aerial photography, you are wondering what the fuss is about. There are certainly more than just flying a “Winged Camera” around, in this workshop, you will taught how to a drone correctly (drone provided) and the trainer will also share about the basic rules on flying and explain what is “No-Fly” zone etc.

In collaboration with our appointed gear rental company – Camera Rental Centre – we had put together this workshop specially for Ourshutterjourney Card Members at a special price of One for One at SGD $68.00 Nett.

Registration Details after the jump.

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Date:

18th April 2020

How to Register: (IMPORTANT)
Email –
1) Your Name
2) Your Ourshutterjouney Card Number
3) Your Contact Number
to: crcdrones@camerarental.biz

Costs:
$68.00 Nett (One for One) – or per person $34.00 when register in pairs!
– First-Come, First-Served, No Reserve.

More details after the jump.

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What to bring

    • iPhone/ iPad with “DJI Go 4, for drone since P4” app (not the Dji Go app) for Android | iOS if you wish to use your own phone or tablet. We strongly encourage you to use iOS equipment. We do provide iPhone and iPad but with your own device, you can chose to post the scaled down footage immediately to your favourite social media platform like Instagram and Facebook.
        • Please download the DJI Go App 4 before Fly Day as it’s over 100Mb. It will not download via 4G.
      • After downloading and installing the DJI Go 4 app, you must register and login to the app. Please do so before the day you’ll be meeting us.
  • Your own microSD card (the same size you use for your phones) if you want to save the footage for your own use later on Facebook, Instagram etc. Yes, we encourage sharing!

 

 

Duration

  • About 1.5 hour

Location

  • Marina South Pier

Attire

  • Be in comfortable clothes. Wear what you would wear to fly a kite. Bermudas and covered shoes.

 

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Getting There

    • Take the MRT to Marina South Pier MRT station
    • Take exit A towards Marina Bay Cruise Centre, go up the escalator and turn right. We’ll be at the field next to the exit.
  • Driving, park at Marina South Pier carpark.


Useful Information

    • There are 2 shops in Marina South Pier that sells drinks and food/ snacks should you need them
    • Halal food is available.
  • Restrooms are conveniently location at Marina South Pier, near departure gate on Level 1 or in the MRT Station near exit A.

 

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Register Early! We look forward to seeing you and having a great and safe day having fun with the drones!

Any queries just email the CRC Trainer (Wee) at  crcdrones@camerarental.biz
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Contributing Editor – Melody Tan
melody.jpg
Loves quiet walks along beaches, has a mind of her own and decides everything in life in either black or white with nothing in between. Her priority these days revolves around her 2 lovely kids & teaching them music or photography. A lover of yoga and an avid traveler, Melody aims to visit at least 30 countries before she reach 40 years old – from what we know, she had completed 27 as of 2018.
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About Ourshutterjourney.com
Visit Our Online Store
Join Our Membership.

=========================

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Camera Rental Scam 2020

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Camera Rental Scam 2020
– Posted by Melody Tan
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Image: Sent to us from a victim.

 

20th February 2020, Singapore – On 19th Feb 2020, we received a message from a stranger informing us that his equipment might be lost due to a possible scam. This victim had rented out his Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8 II to a person by the name of “Erman”. After some difficulty in contacting “Erman”, he took to google and found our article about another scam that had happened last year. (You can read it here)

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Image: Screen shot of the conversation with the Victim.

 

 

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Read Also: Camera Rental Scam 2019

After we established what had happened, we launched into action sending out warnings to all the merchants in our network to take note of this person as from our last experience with other scammers, they will usually try to offload the equipment for cash at Used Gear centres or quick-selling on Carousell. A total of 22 stores were alerted within 30 mins.

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After we had warned our merchants, a warning post had also been posted across photography FB groups which garnered close to 50 shares within minutes.

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Read Also: Scammers Arrested 2019

 

The public saw the post and started sharing more information with us to which we had advised to everyone if they had rental or loan out any equipment to this “Erman”. A few others had also stepped up and messaged us. Some also shared and commented which suddenly we realized many had probably fallen victim again to yet another Camera Scam.

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Read Also: More Camera Scams 2017

 

It is not known for now if this Erman is linked to the previous scammers which we were previously informed by the Police that it may be a syndicate that is behind these spams. More information surfaced when we were informed that this Erman has an upcoming trial at the Singapore Courts on 26th Feb 2020 and it is unknown if his trial is linked to other related scams.

Another public member sent us a link dating back to 2013 which we are not sure if the Erman in this scam is the same Erman in the link. You can read it here.

We hope the law can catch up with this Erman and his accomplices soon.

Some advise from us – 
If you are renting out your equipment as an individual:
– always make sure meet the person at a place with CCTV.
– always take photo of their NRIC. 
– always collect a deposit worth 50% of the gear value. 
– If photo on NRIC is different or deposite not given, do not rent out.
– if you spotted someone selling photography gear at a really incredible price on Carousell and you sense something fishy, inform the Police.

From what we know, since the 2019 incident, they may not offload at Used Gear Centres since their stupidity in doing so had lead to arrests. Instead, they may just try to offload via Carousell or Ebay or other social media platforms. So look out for this Erman.

Those with more information on Erman, or had been a victim of Erman or other photography-gear scammers, please email us at:   editorial_ourshutterjourney@hotmail.com

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So what to do if you suspect a Scam or had been approached by Scammers?

1) CALL ANTI-SCAM HELPLINE: 1800-722-6688

2) VISIT SCAM ALERT SITE (By POLICE)

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Contributing Editor – Melody Tan
melody.jpg
Loves quiet walks along beaches, has a mind of her own and decides everything in life in either black or white with nothing in between. Her priority these days revolves around her 2 lovely kids & teaching them music or photography. A lover of yoga and an avid traveler, Melody aims to visit at least 30 countries before she reach 40 years old – from what we know, she had completed 27 as of 2018.
========================
About Ourshutterjourney.com
Visit Our Online Store
Join Our Membership.

=========================

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III – Reviewed

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III
– by AL Lee
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Image: Editor AL Lee with the New Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III. 


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Image: The NEW Oympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III with the NEW M. Zuiko Digital 12-45mm F4 PRO Lens that is launched together! 

 

12th February 2020, Singapore, Worldwide – After almost 25 days of silence and rejecting rumors online, finally I can breathe and publish this announcement & review. Presenting the NEW Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III! When rumors surfaced somewhere in Nov 2019, many started asking us if this is confirmed and if this model is for real, we were excited too except that we do not have any official information back then so we did not speculate. Then in Jan 2020 when we went to collect the EM-1 Mark III, (as usual) we  signed the Non-Disclosure Agreement thus the hushed lips till this announcement!

And since I am one of the Olympus Visionary & Ambassador for Singapore, many came to bug me about the rumors, to which I gave the standard answer “This Model Don’t Exist” lol!

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Image: The NEW Oympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III with the NEW M. Zuiko Digital 12-45mm F4 PRO Lens. 
And so, the 20.4  megapixel live mos sensor has a new processor aka the new TruePix IX which is capable of producing 50mp handheld hi-res photos without using tripod. The Image stabilizer had been updated too which Olympus claims now photographers can handheld to a slow speed of 7.5 stops!

The E-M1 Mark III had upped the Autofocus department with 121-points, all cross-type with On-chip Phase Detection AF sensor for focusing on almost all areas within the screen. (75% vertical coverage and 80% horizontal coverage of the screen for a wide focusing area.)

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Apart from the expected “High End” specs from Olympus’ Flagship, another interesting function that I love has to be the “Starry Sky AF+MF” function. Comes in 2 selectable priorities, it claimed to help those who are keen to shoot stars and astro-photography to which I did tested this, you can check out my image after the jump below.

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Image: The Starry Sky function can be activated on the focusing menu

 

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Slideshow below.

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Another interesting addition is the “mouse” aka all-ways scroller at the back panel. This is probably Olympus’ way to incorporate the DNA of E-M1X and E-M1 Mark II. Another interesting point to note is – the E-M1 Mark III uses the same battery grip as the E-M1 Mark II as well as the same batteries too. That should save many E-M1 Mark II users money when shifting over to E-M1 Mark III.

Apart from the scroller, the button layout are familiar to current Olympus Users and easy to use for those who had just switched to Olympus from other soul-less mirrorless brands.

 

 

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With the E-M1 Mark III,  the M. Zuiko Digital 12-45mm F4 PRO is launched too. Like Canon offering 24-70mm F2.8 & Canon 24-105mm F4,  Olympus decided that many users who do not need the F2.8 aperture may wish to get the F4 version at a friendlier price, a lighter lens with a little extra focal length. I used the 12-45mm F4 Pro for all the images in the review and I found the 12-45mm to be a really handy lens.

 

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Image: NEW M. Zuiko Digital 12-45mm F4 PRO mounted the NEW OM-D E-M1 Mark III 

 

The New M. Zuiko 12-45mm F4 Pro has the equivalent focal length of 24-90mm in full frame format. The 07 rounded apertures focuses from F4 to F22 and starts focusing from as close as 12cm! Magnification ration is 0.25x which was as expected for a zoom lens too. Inside the lens barrel, there’s 12 elements in 9 groups including 02 x HR elements, 01 x DSA element, 01 x Super HR Element, 02 x Aspherical element & 02 ED elements (That is impressive!!!!!!!) and are housed in a Dust & Splashproof design barrel and you know what? This lens weights only 254gm!

 

 

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The New 12-45mm F4 Pro len takes 58mm filter on the front and since it only weights at 254gm, super light when compared to its elder brother  the 12-40mm F2.8 PRO. What most people will find it interesting is, the new 12-45mm has a high magnification ration of x25 which allows users to do some form of macro easily without really have to use a macro lens. Although we prefer to call it “Close-Ups” shots than macro.

 

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Throughout this review, I had the New 12-45mm F4 Pro mounted on the E-M1 Mark III all the way. Though tempted to switch lens to 7-14mm or 60mm macro etc, in the end, I lazily just used the 12-45mm for the whole review. Image was sharp (as expected) with lots of details to spare, I didn’t broke my arms holding this lens for hours and it grows on me as a very competent lens for most of the things I shot during this review.

 

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OK how I started the review? I went straight for the Stars! I was so excited to try the “Starry Sky AF+MF function!!!!  This photo below is not real sadly, I cheated by layering all the stars that was captured over several frames. See the real photo after the jump!

 

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OK, here’s the real original image below. If you look carefully, you can already see many stars. But not quite obvious at first look, as this place that I was shooting has too many stray lights.
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And so i decided to crop out a section from the below. P1010016A

Apparently the Starry Sky AF+MF function works damn well and got both surrounding subjects and the stars in focus! Just that, this was a wrong place to shoot stars! If you look at the cropped out section below, there are tons of stars captured!
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After the stars, I tried out the Live Composite and Live Time modes too. These functions are now found under a new “B” mode dial.

The below image was done using the LiveTime mode, which is like a Bulb Mode but with a stimulated visual, the frame is updated via a selection of how many times you want the camera to update the visual image on your LED screen. Lastly you have to stop the shutter when you are done else you will risk over-exposing. Those who still prefers the traditional way of exposing in Bulb can continue to do so but after I tried the LiveTime which acts like a Live Bulb, I am never going back to normal bulb again.

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For this image above, do click on it and view in 100%, you will be amazed by all the details captured, and to add, the ships are floating on water, which means the image subject are expected to be blur, however, the E-M1 Mark III’s focus had locked on to the subject and the Image stabilizer kicked in to achieve this image compensating the movement both ways to have it sharp. If this had been done on a DSLR or other camera, the ship would have been blur due to the floating actions.

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Many Olympus users will be very familiar with the Live Composite mode by now, first seen & released during the E-M10 Mark III which later found its way into the rest of the models had won many fans. LiveCompo works a little differently from LiveTime if you are confused at this point, LiveCompo are more suited for shooting light trails, light painting etc. The function works by shooting a single frame as a “base” image, then when activated, the camera will retain the original exposure of the background aka the base frame and only capture new light source onto the original image – its like overlaying, similar but different. And you can never over-exposed your image since only new light source are captured.

In both modes, the E-M1 Mark III works amazingly well for night shooting, from stars to long exposure to light painting. Since most cameras works well in the day and failed terribly at night, the E-M1 Mark III certainly is a camera of the night.

The high ISO did not show up as noise on the images on the jpeg copy and I am amazed.

 

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OK, for the day shooting, what excites me is the Live ND function. This function is activated under “M” or “S” mode, go to Menu, Under Cam2 folder, select LiveND Shooting. In this mode, user can further select the ND filter up to 5 stops.

Below, you can see 02 shots that I had done with the LiveND activated with 5 stops of shades.
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I just have to get another shot of the flowing stream.
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See how I did this shot below (Tripod in water of course!)
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And here’s some other shots that I had done with the OM-D E-M1 Mark III with the New 12-45mm F4 Pro lens. I’ve included a shot of a scene that I had shot with ALL the Art Filters. A total of 30 shots (30 art filter variants)

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As a current user of E-M1 Mark II & E-M1X, the E-M1 Mark III supposedly indeed carries the DNA of both cameras and it feels like more than an upgraded version of the E-M1 Mark II with functionalities from E-M1X, it actually feels more like a new camera sitting on a class of its own.

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I was so immersed in using the E-M1 Mark III that I almost forgotten that I am on a Review assignment, you can say that I got too comfortable with it. And maybe, just maybe, I had fallen in love with it without knowing.

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Trying out the magnification of the 12-45mm F4 PRO lens.
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An excellent camera for upgraders (E-M10 & E-M5 users, I am talking about you guys!), it is also the “next best upgrade” for current E-M1 users or for those who are shifting systems from the “F” or “S” brand.
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The OM-D E-M1 Mark III sits on the flagship line of Olympus and there is no question that the camera is very capable (and smart) for almost any photography genre you can think of. As I continue my photography journey with Olympus, the E-M1 Mark III will be my next best companion after I retires the E-M1 Mark II.  (Olympus, Don’t Pretend not to see this. Thanks ya~!)

Buying the new Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III & the M. Zuiko 12-45mm F4 Pro
OK people, Buy your E-M1 Mark III or the 12-45mm F4 Pro from our Accredited Merchants for a peace of mind.

Renting this Lens
For those of you who wish to try out the lens before purchase, we are pleased to share that this camera & lens will be available soon for rental at our appointed rental merchant:

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Camera Rental Centre is Conveniently Located at:
50 South Bridge Road, CMO Building,  (very near to Clarke Quay MRT)
#02-18. Singapore 058682
Website: http://sg.camerarental.biz/

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Reviewer: AL Lee
Chief Editor / Visionary & Brand Ambassador for Olympus Imaging Singapore
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Rounding Up 2019 Camera Releases

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Rounding Up 2019 Camera Releases
– by Lee Shi Qing
img2020Image by Lee Shi Qing

 

29th January 2020, Singapore – 2019 almost seems like a bad dream with so much going-on in the photography industry. Things are not looking too good on the dealers’ front where we received news of stores closing or downsizing, but there are also some who went the other way and took the opportunity to expand. We hope for all the best for our merchants who are in our network.

Important Note: Before I moved to the brands, I would like to disclaim that the below information are compiled from many websites. And I am just mentioning selected brands only.  

Over to the Brands, Canon announced their EOS 90D on 28th August 2019 together with the mirrorless EOS M6 MarkII. And there are rumours of a certain EOS 1DX Mark III on the way. Over to Canon’s arch-rival Nikon, the corporation announced the mirrorless Z50 on 10th October 2019 with unconfirmed released dates for their D780 & D6 DSLR for 2020.

 

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Over at Sony camp, a6400 was announced on 15th Jan 2019 then later on 28th Aug 2019,  Sony announced the a6600 (& a6100 in selected markets). Over to Olympus, they  announced the OM-D E-M1X on January 2019 & later that year in October 2019, announcement for OM-D E-M5 MarkIII went public with units arriving at our shores within weeks of its announcements. A Pro model was rumoured to be released in “early 2020” by many online sites too!

 

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Panasonic on 5th April 2019 gave us Lumix G95 then on 31st May 2019, S1H was announced. Sigma decided to surprised the rest of us with their Sigma fp camera in July 2019 which we suspect, it is going after Sony users who wants a mirrorless that is so much lighter and with a Full Frame sensor. Ricoh also took the opportunity to announce Pentax’s development of a replacement DSLR to replace the KP on 30th September 2020 and the best part, Ricoh had not given the world the new model’s name as of press time today. Mysterious!

 

 

While we do not know (or interested) what the “other brands” are brewing, we are sure 2020 will be an exciting year for new camera releases.  While brands are pushing out more advanced and more powerful cameras, I got to remind myself that I still have to get my foundation right. After helping out on this site for almost 2 years, I finally started get my ass out there and learning how to shoot.

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Image by Lee Shi Qing

 

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Here’s an image adaptation of the estimated market shares for 2019 for each brand in our view.
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Image by Lee Shi Qing
As I dive deeper into photography, I am going to remind myself that I have to shoot more, experiment more and try more gears from different brands. Also mean time, taking references from other photographers and do more reading up. I would like to share what my Mentor (Editor AL) had told me;

“Always go back to basics whenever you advance, this is how not to lose track of what you had learnt.” – AL Lee 

Have a great 2020 Everyone!

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Contributing Editor – Lee Shi Qing
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A firm believer of Self-Sufficient living and gives no f**k to anyone getting in her way to reaching her goals in life. Kind in nature & Dangerous when provoked. Loves Mcdonald’s Fries and hates all the burgers there. While she helps out in gear reviews, Qing is currently serving as an Online Administrator for Ourshutterjourney.com Facebook Groups and Online Shop.

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Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN ART

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Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN ART
– Review by AL Lee, Posted by Lee Shi Qing
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Image: Editor AL with the Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN ART mounted to a Sony Mirrorless camera.

 

21st December 2019, Singapore – This is probably the last review for the year before the editorial team takes a break for the holidays. We decided to close the year with Sigma’s 35mm F1.2 DG DN Art lens. Being an Art lens in Sigma’s line-up is tough as the pressure is on to be on the top-of-the-line lens category. We had review Sigma’s lenses & cameras for about 7 years now and like the market’s increasing demands, we had raised our expectations for Sigma’s lenses progressively through the years too. To be honest, I was expecting a lot from the 35mm F1.2 ART lens.

 

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Image: Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN ART mounted to a Sony Mirrorless camera.

 

The 35mm F1.2 ART is not small in size measuring at 87.8mm × 136.2mm and when I mounted the lens to the Sony a7R, the camera looks kinda small. Weight wise, its definitely not feather weight as gravity decided that it feels like 1090gm. But I understand the weight is the result of the construction of the elements and lens barrel.
There’s 17 elements in 12 groups!!! There’s 03 SLD glass and 03 Aspherical glass among the other elements, that is massive in the 35mm lenses category!

 

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Image: Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN ART mounted to a Sony Mirrorless camera.

 

The 11 rounded aperture blades focuses from 30cm from the front (minimum focusing distance) not forgetting the smooth switching aperture selector ring. I don’t know about you but it gave me the new + old feel of handling especially you had came from the film era. The lens takes 82mm screw-on filters at the front in case you are wondering.

 

IMG_2985.JPGImage: Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN ART mounted to a Sony Mirrorless camera.

 

 

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Image: Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN ART mounted to a Sony Mirrorless camera.

 

Being an ART line lens, Sigma had definitely ensured that nothing is open to the unforgiving scrutiny of today’s photographers, the near-perfect construction is one of the key factor why ART lenses are made to withstand harsh shooting environment. From the TSC compound used to buid the lens barrel to the coating on the the elements, everything about the 35mm F1.2 ART is well covered and well thought of.

 

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Image: Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN ART mounted to a Sony Mirrorless camera.

 

 

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The best way to test out the new Sigma 35mm F1.2 ART will be to take this lens out in the night and shoot and put the lens through its paces. Since Christmas is around the corner so I took it out at one of Ourshutterjourney’s Events where the shoot was planned at Orchard Road.

Although the decorations & light-up at Orchard Road had dropped in standard progressively over the years, it’s still a go-to place for the festivities although this year might be the very the last year that the group will visit Orchard Road. Let’s see what I managed to shoot/do with the new Sigma 35mm F1.2 ART lens!

FA

 

 

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Image: Shot with Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN ART mounted to a Sony Mirrorless camera.

 

When I started shooting, I totally forgot that I am holding a lens that weight 1 kg as strangely as it seems, the weight seems to be very manageable and easily forgotten. Although the Sony camera looks kinda tiny while mounted, on overall it is still lighter than your DSLR + Lens combo.  I started to enjoy my night.

 

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Image: Shot with Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN ART mounted to a Sony Mirrorless camera.

 

35mm is a focal length that is very versatile, from closer perspectives to wider framing, all it takes is a little walking for that “human zoom”.

I intentionally de-focused to blur out the lens for the below shot to check out the bokehs – quite decent to be honest.

 

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Image: Shot with Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN ART mounted to a Sony Mirrorless camera.

 

 

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Image: Shot with Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN ART mounted to a Sony Mirrorless camera.

 

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Image: Shot with Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN ART mounted to a Sony Mirrorless camera.

 

Pairing the Sigma 35mm F1.2 ART with the Sony is definitely the right move, the images are highly detailed (on the focused area), the magnificent colors and the sharpness, its a perfect match anytime.

 

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Image: Shot with Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN ART mounted to a Sony Mirrorless camera.

 

Although 35mm is very much a favored focal length for street photographers and film purists, I find that it is a very good range for shooting any genre that requires a walkabout. It can be the lens to accompany for a walk – be it anywhere, day or night.

 

 

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Image: Shot with Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN ART mounted to a Sony Mirrorless camera.

 

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Image: Shot with Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN ART mounted to a Sony Mirrorless camera.

 

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Image: Shot with Sigma 35mmm F1.2 DG DN ART mounted to a Sony Mirrorless camera.

I like how fast the lens focuses and behaves while mated to the Sony. Many times I almost convinced myself that I am using a Zeiss lens while reality prove to me that this is really a Sigma ART lens.

 

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Image: Shot with Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN ART mounted to a Sony Mirrorless camera.

 

DSC00647Image: Shot with Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN ART mounted to a Sony Mirrorless camera.

 

 

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As the night ended, I was thrilled with the Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN ART.  I managed to shoot what I wanted easily and effortlessly with this lens. From the handling to the image quality, from the fast & silent focusing that is super accurate to holding this lens for 2 hours straight without breaking either arms, this is one of the lens that will rewrite the history of 35mm lenses. As more manufacturers are producing 35mm in F1.2 specs, I will say not all 35mm F1.2 are created equal – the Sigma 35mm F1.2 takes the lead and had created a benchmark that is hard to duplicate or surpass.

For a lens this great, I will not share about the retail price here, you will have to go find out yourself. 🙂

Before I go, the Team at Ourshutterjourney.com would like to wish Everyone a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year! We will be back in 2020!

Here’s a Parting Shot for you.
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Buying this Lens
OK people, Buy your Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN (A) from our Accredited Merchants to experience this great lens for yourself!

Renting this Lens
For those of you who wish to try out the lens before purchase, we are pleased to share that this lens is available for rental at our appointed rental merchant:

crclogo-small.jpg
Camera Rental Centre is Conveniently Located at:
50 South Bridge Road, CMO Building,  (very near to Clarke Quay MRT)
#02-18. Singapore 058682
Website: http://sg.camerarental.biz/

=========================
Reviewer: AL Lee
Chief Editor / Visionary & Brand Ambassador for Olympus Imaging Singapore
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Contributing Editor – Lee Shi Qing
SQ.jpg
A firm believer of Self-Sufficient living and gives no f**k to anyone getting in her way to reaching her goals in life. Kind in nature & Dangerous when provoked. Loves Mcdonald’s Fries and hates all the burgers there. While she helps out in gear reviews, Qing is currently serving as an Online Administrator for Ourshutterjourney.com Facebook Groups and Online Shop.

=========================
About Ourshutterjourney.com
Visit Our Online Store
Join Our Membership.

=========================

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Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN ART

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Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN ART
– Review by Serene Ong, Edited by Melody Tan
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Image: Serene Ong from Serene Digital Crafts with the new Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN (A) mounted to a Sony a7.

 

16th December 2019, Singapore – Probably one of the Sigma’s craziest Ultra-Wide Zoom lens ever released, the NEW Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN (Art) definitely lives up to it. Featuring a new internal design and layout that is not seen on any other Sigma lenses, this 14-24mm was designed for many photography genre apart from just landscape that many had presumed. Sitting on the ART line of Sigma lenses, the 14-24mm exudes everything premium from the construction, materials used and the elements. Designed & optimised for Full Frame Mirrorless systems in FE Mount and L Mount, this is the lens that many had been waiting for.

 

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Image: New Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN (A) mounted to a Sony a7R. 

 

The lens is not exactly small – just like any other Ultra-Wide angle lenses – measuring 85mm x 131mm which puts this lens on the large lens category and weight wise, its not too bad at a very manageable 795gm. (this was why we purposely gotten Serene from SDC to be our reviewer!)

 

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Image: New Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN (A) mounted to a Sony a7R. 

 

Featuring an AF-Lock Button right below the AF/MF switch, many FE users will welcome this feature since Sony users will know some of the most expensive Sony lenses has this AF-Lock button on some of Sony’s premium lenses.

 

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Image: New Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN (A) mounted to a Sony a7R. 

 

Inside the Sigma 14-24mm, there’s a massive elements arrangement with 18 whopping elements in  13 groups!!! (WOW!!!), 11 Rounded Aperture blades that focuses from F2.8 to F22, and starts focusing from as close as 28cm which is pretty standard and typical of ultra-wide angle zoom lenses.

For the record, there’s 01 FLD element, 02 SLD elements & several Aspherical elements which made up the lens groups!

 

IMG_2763.JPGImage: New Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN (A) mounted to a Sony a7R. 

 

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Once again, we invited our Contributing Editor Serene from Serene Digital Crafts to review this Sigma 14-24mm. As the editorial team knows that she has smaller hands than anyone of us, we decided to let Serene try and see if she complains of anything.

Check out her comments & images below.

 

FA

 


Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN ART

DSC00498.JPGImage: Shot by Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN (A) lens on a Sony camera.

 

So right after I completed the review for the Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C) lens, I was booked for another review by Ourshutterjourney’s Editorial team. I remember I was sharing that the 45mm was great but sometimes it will be better and interesting to go wide, I mean really wide, or ultra wide. Next moment I found myself staring at the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN (ART) lens. 

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Image: Shot by Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN (A) lens on a Sony camera.

 

I was wondering where shall I review this lens as the first thing that came to my mind was to do landscape – but also wanting to do something different for this round. Looking out of the window, Singapore is currently at the peak of monsoon season with 85% of the time with the skies gloomed out. That just gave me more reason to stay away from landscape and since I wanted to try something different, I heard Editor AL was visiting Gardens by the Bay with Veteran Photographer – Old King Koh – to shoot toys and Christmas deco, I jumped right in and joined them! (with the Sigma 14-24mm in my bag).

 

 

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Image: Shot by Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN (A) lens on a Sony camera. 
I had shot Toys on several occasions during Ourshutterjourney’s ToyArt sessions and so I will be trying to shoot both toys and scenes at Garden by the Bay and see if I can survive the session with just the Sigma 14-24mm lens.

To start, please check out the slide show below for a scene that I had shot in 14mm, 18mm & 24mm focal lengths for your comparisons. While the differences is clearly seen, wide angle fans may say that the difference is minimal – true to a certain extent, but when you needed that extra 1mm wider, you will appreciate being able to capture an entire scene without having to find space to back off to gain that extra wider angle.

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Slideshow: Shot at 14mm, 18mm & 24mm focal lengths.

 

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Image: Shot by Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN (A) lens on a Sony camera.

For this shot above, I went really near to take advantage of the minimum focusing distance and to test out the bokeh – turns out to be amazing! 

 

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Image: Shot by Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN (A) lens on a Sony camera.

 

I shot at almost everything that came within my range. While using the Sigma 14-24mm, I find that the handling was quite comfortable as I’ve got tiny hands. While the Editorial team had warned me that this lens was a little on the obese side, I find it to be quite easy to use.

Especially the button layout, it was pretty well designed, I can still switch between modes easily and I love the AF Lock button, it just made shooting really easy (for me at least).

 

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Image: Shot by Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN (A) lens on a Sony camera.

 

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Image: Shot by Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN (A) lens on a Sony camera.

 

And shooting toys with an ultra-wide angle zoom lens like the Sigma 14-24mm makes me learn a new perspective, to move away from the usual toy shoot where we frame the toys more tightly to gain the ratio advantage, but doing using ultra-wide angle gave me sweet results too. 

 

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Image: Shot by Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN (A) lens on a Sony camera.

 

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Image: Shot by Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN (A) lens on a Sony camera.

 

I also like the how Sigma 14-24mm handles the corner distortions – like there is no distortion at all. (See the next image) and I am pleased with what I’ve gotten while shooting at 14mm. While I pretty much shot at F2.8 like 50% of the time at spot-focus to the centre, the progressive graduation of the depth of field are seamless and beautiful like the example above.  

 

 

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Image: Shot by Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN (A) lens on a Sony camera.

 

Check out the above scene, image was not corrected for distortions – because there is no need to. 

 

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Image: Shot by Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN (A) lens on a Sony camera.

 

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Image: Shot by Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN (A) lens on a Sony camera.

 

A quick summary, the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN (ART) is a premium Ultra-Wide Angle Zoom lens. Do not be fooled by the specs (which is already impressive), after using the lens for a day, I will say to those who complain of the weight & size, seriously its very manageable. As for the image quality (mated to Sony), it produces great images with nice colors and lots of details. I will highly recommend this lens to anyone who are looking to shoot Ultra-Wide Angle images – not just landscape, you can shoot anything!
– Serene Ong

 

78624388_3485927381447779_2276464788663959552_n.jpgImage: Serene from SDC with Old King Koh

 

For the parting shot…………….IMG_2797.JPG
Image: Serene Behind the Scenes for the Review 

 

OK, you guys heard the lady. While the rest of us at the Editorial office are still wondering how Serene survived the Sigma 14-24mm without breaking her arms, the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN (A) turned out to be a really great lens. Although we do not have the MSRP at press time, we reckon this lens will be in the regions of SGD $2,000-$2,200 before you go “Wow that’s ex!” – go check the price of Sony’s equivalent. Enough said!

Buying this Lens
OK people, Buy your Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN (A) from our Accredited Merchants to experience this great lens for yourself!

Renting this Lens
For those of you who wish to try out the lens before purchase, we are pleased to share that this lens is available for rental at our appointed rental merchant:

crclogo-small.jpg
Camera Rental Centre is Conveniently Located at:
50 South Bridge Road, CMO Building,  (very near to Clarke Quay MRT)
#02-18. Singapore 058682
Website: http://sg.camerarental.biz/

=========================

Contributing Editor – Serene Ong
img_2542.jpg
Started photography with a strong affinity in Long Exposure and Macro, Serene has created a following under the name of “Serene Digital Crafts”. She is an experimental photographer who will keep trying until she gets the shots that she had envisioned on her mind. Of a joyful character and friendly personality, Serene had started to contribute to gear review during her free time – when she is not shooting, she will be dedicating her time taking care of her 2 lovely kids.

=========================
Contributing Editor – Melody Tan
melody.jpg
Loves quiet walks along beaches, has a mind of her own and decides everything in life in either black or white with nothing in between. Her priority these days revolves around her 2 lovely kids & teaching them music or photography. A lover of yoga and an avid traveler, Melody aims to visit at least 30 countries before she reach 40 years old – from what we know, she had completed 27 as of 2018.
========================
About Ourshutterjourney.com
Visit Our Online Store
Join Our Membership.

=========================

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Special Customized VC Macro Diffuser

sigma

Special Customized VC Macro Diffuser – Created by Victor Cheah
– Review by AL Lee, Posted by Lee Shi Qing
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Image: Editor AL with the Customized Diffuser created by Victor Cheah

 

09th December 2019, Singapore – The quest for the best diffused light for macro photography is like a never-ending process. We used to be really contented with the yesteryears options but as cameras/ lenses advanced, we seems to be getting more details – both desired and undesired ones. One of the painful factor has to be the light source used for today’s macro photography.

As a macro enthusiast myself, I had tested not less than 10 commercially available diffusers as well as countless customized versions designed & made by individuals who are also macro photographers themselves. Some are really great while some are not really up to mark. I will say there will never be a perfect flash diffuser, but probably the better ones. As someone who had experimented various types of flash used for macro (Regular, Twin-Adjustable, Ring-Type, Off-Camera Type etc), I am never contented, as we all know light behaves differently in different shooting environments.

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Image: Set-up with Victor Cheah’s Customized Flash Diffuser.

 

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And so, recently I’ve gotten a chance to speak a fellow Olympus Visionary – Victor Cheah who had been innovating and designing customized flash diffusers – and I know I am speaking to the right person when I browse through his macro images – I am Super Impressed! So a meeting was swiftly set up and we met.

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Image: Set-up with Victor Cheah’s Customized Flash Diffuser.

I explained to Victor on the challenges that I faced with my set-up and also shared with him how sometimes I was not able to get the light in the way I want it – Victor decided to pass me a”Prototype” diffuser that he had been working on. Made from inexpensive materials that are easily available from DAISO, I will say the R&D part is the most tedious. Victor had made several prototypes and failed until this version that he humbly told “this one should work”.

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Image: Set-up with Victor Cheah’s Customized Flash Diffuser. 

Victor explained how this customized diffuser works, when the flash is fired from the speedlite, the light travel and instant-bounce from the shiny inner surface to downwards via and secondary diffuser which further softens the light while as it passes through and reaching the front end. The angle & shape of the modified light path allowed the flash to travel all the way to the front of the lens in a soften & mellowed form while maintain at least 90% of the lux idex of the flash.

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Image: Set-up with Victor Cheah’s Customized Flash Diffuser. Front View.

 

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Victor also solved the problem of focusing in undergrowth and darker environment by adding a small but powerful LED light secured to the speedlite. I was at first skeptical about this little LED light until I ended up shooting in a very shaded area during the review and this LED light does magic. While other fellow photographers who were with me and finding it hard to focus in the darker & shady area, I was focusing and shooting like a breeze.

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Image: Victor Cheah’s Customized Flash Diffuser – the LED Light does Wonders.

 

IMG_2909.JPGImage: Godox TT350 Speedlite from Sgcameratore 

 

So I decided to set Victor’s Customized Diffuser on my Olympus OM-D EM1.2 with the Olympus 60mm Macro lens + a dedicated micro Four Thirds flash – Godox TT350 Speedlite from Sgcameratore and took it out to Botanic Gardens. Check out the photos below. All photos are mostly cropped with no adjustment to the exposure & colors.

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FA

 

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I like the rather mellow light falls onto the subject without over-exposing lighter colored areas, it’s like doing a portrait shoot for insects.

 

 

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The rounded half-dome-like diffuser created a very nice and soft “Down Light”, which is perfect for insects on top of leaves/ branches etc. It’s bright enough and not harsh, everything about it is just right.

 

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There’s a lot more photos over my FB album from this review, do pop over too.

In brief, Victor’s prototype had solved several challenges that most macro photographers faced. The soft and mellow light was made possible with the double-diffusing arrangement and the round half-dome shape created a 4 directional light source the “wraps” around the subject that we are shooting. The light channeling is awesome too as I do have light right in front of the lens. How awesome is this?

From my understanding, Victor is making these Diffusers on a leisure basis but if you try hard enough, you may get lucky and he may sell you one of this awesome Flash Diffuser!

“Victor, thanks and this is probably one of the best customized flash diffuser for Macro that I had ever tested! Good Job on the R&D!” – AL Lee

here’s a parting shot
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And Ourshutterjourney Card Members who are keen to purchase the Godox Speedlite at a special secret discount, please contact Sgcamerastore.com for details.

=========================
Reviewer: AL Lee
Chief Editor / Visionary & Brand Ambassador for Olympus Imaging Singapore
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Contributing Editor – Lee Shi Qing
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A firm believer of Self-Sufficient living and gives no f**k to anyone getting in her way to reaching her goals in life. Kind in nature & Dangerous when provoked. Loves Mcdonald’s Fries and hates all the burgers there. While she helps out in gear reviews, Qing is currently serving as an Online Administrator for Ourshutterjourney.com Facebook Groups and Online Shop.

=========================
About Ourshutterjourney.com
Visit Our Online Store
Join Our Membership.

=========================

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Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary

sigma

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary
– Review by Serene Ong, Edited by Melody Tan
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Image: Serene Ong from Serene Digital Crafts with the new Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C) mounted to a Sony a7.

03rd December 2019, Singapore – So many things had been said about the Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C) lens and we decided to check out the lens ourselves. Most of us already know that Sigma had been making lots of great lenses and Sony is not new to Sigma when it comes to engineering lenses for Sony mount systems. The 45mm (C) is another good addition to the line-up, made as fast prime and designated as a “Contemporary” line lens, we felt that it is way under-rated and should be given “Art” designation. Read on and you will understand why.

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Image: Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C) Mounted to a Sony a7r camera.

This small-sized lens (64.0mm x 46.2mm) impressed us at the first look with its full-aluminum construction for the lens barrel which our editorial team described it as “Built like a tank”. Even the lens hood was designed with grip lines to flush into the design cue of the focusing ring. Comes in Sony FE Mount and L-Mount (for now), this little lens weights in at only 215gm which is consider “feather” weight. Inside, there’s 8 elements in 7 groups including 2 aspherical elements which we expected from a (C) lens. The aperture blades are round and you get 7 of these blades for round and 3D-like bokeh.

The 45mm starts focusing from as close as 24cm giving users a magnification ratio of 1:4,  the front takes 55mm screw-in filters and this lens was designed and made for dust & moisture resistant – given all that specs, how can this be a Contemporary-line lens right?

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Image: Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C) Mounted to a Sony a7r camera.

 

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On handling, we mounted it on a Sony a7r and played around, there is a strange familiarity when we held it, buttons are easy to reach and switch, the weight balance to the camera body is great and we love the Aperture control ring. The only down part that some had complained is – the aperture steps on the aperture adjustment ring are on standard steps and you cannot do 1/3 steps, but that is if you decides to use the ring. Once switched to “A” on the aperture ring, you get what you need.

 

IMG_2690.JPGImage: the Aperture Adjustment ring from F2.8 to F22.

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Image: the Aperture Adjustment ring from F2.8 to F22. (Top View)

 

 

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Image: Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C) Mounted to a Sony a7r camera.

 

For this review, we invited our Contributing Editor Serene from Serene Digital Crafts to take the Sigma 45mm out for half a day. After shortlisting a few places to review the Sigma 45mm, Serene picked Chinatown for this review. And so we gave Serene a time frame between 10.30am to 06.30pm for her to use this lens at Chinatown. Let’s check out her images and her comments!

 
FA

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)

 

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)
I was happy to be invited to review the Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C) lens. When I was issued the lens with the camera, I was delighted to note that the Sigma 45mm is indeed a tiny lens. The lens was very “metallic” and looks like it was built to take abuses. I later found out that this lens was made with a dust & water resistant design which is great since most people will be using this lens for outdoor applications, in my context – this is a street photography lens (or portrait lens).

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)

 

And so the Ourshutterjourney Editorial team gave me 3 locations to pick from Haji Lane, Little India or Chinatown – which I picked the obvious choice. Chinatown has always excites me with its colors, people and everything in between. 

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)

 

 

As I walked through the familiar alleys and shophouses, I started shooting at interesting things or sights and the Sigma 45mm was pretty fast in getting my intended subjects in focus. It was silent and at some point I thought the lens was not working!

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)

 

I certainly like how the lens behaves. It is predictable and easy to use. Really one of those lenses where you don’t have to worry about anything, just point and shoot. 

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C) 

 
Both the camera + lens are very light. I like the fact that I can enjoy shooting without getting tired out by the weight of the gear. And the design of the lens grip gave me that “firm grip” feel and it helps a lot despite my palm was sweating profusely from the Singapore heat. 

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)

 

As I had mentioned earlier, Chinatown is a very colorful and “flavorful” place. A great place for street photography and the Sigma 45mm seems like the perfect lens for this walkabout.
I am sure many of you would have experienced that feeling of “bringing the wrong lens” from time to time and for this review, I got that “perfect lens” feeling! 

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)

 

Chinatown is definitely a great place to practise Street photography, the availability of subjects are endless. Every bit of Chinatown just adds on to the unique eccentricity of the vicinity and the mix of old & new.

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)

 

I like the image quality produced by the Sigma 45mm + Sony a7R, seems like perfect combo for that few hours that I am shooting. 45mm is like a better 35mm and the wider 50mm which many find it hard to understand this focal range (45mm), but once you get used to the focal length, everything seems like a breeze to shoot. 

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C) 

 

Below is a great example of  “graduating bokeh” or back in arts school we call this progressive blur. Unlike most lenses that has distinctive bokeh separation, this graduating bokeh is something else altogether. You must know how to use it properly to shoot the right subject in order to max out its potential. 

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)

 

In summary, I totally enjoyed the Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C) lens with the Sony a7r. Without realizing, I had shot over 100 images within a few hours. It used to be a focal length that I don’t fancy but after the review, I had fallen in love with this lens. It’s fast, light and very quiet. During operations, its focusing is fast and very accurate. The image quality is great. While there are many people whom complained about not understanding this lens, I will say don’t complain until you learn how to use it. I highly recommend this lens to anyone who loves street photography or if you are looking for an inexpensive fast prime that is capable. Thanks to Sigma Singapore & Ourshutterjourney for the opportunity to review this lens!
– Serene Ong.

 

Here’s a parting shot.

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Image: Serene Behind the Scenes for the Review 

 
Now that was some amazing images! Reading Serene’s account & user experience of the lens, it sounds like Sigma has gotten another winner again. While our Chief Editor AL had nicknamed the Sigma 45mm as the “Lens with Attitude” and he refused to tell us why, we insisted that there is certainly no attitude with this lens, instead, we think we found gold.  We will be back with more reviews as Sigma sent us 03 lenses!

Buying this Lens
OK people, Buy your Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C) from our Accredited Merchants to experience this great lens for yourself!

Renting this Lens
For those of you who wish to try out the lens before purchase, we are pleased to share that this lens is available for rental at our appointed rental merchant:

crclogo-small.jpg
Camera Rental Centre is Conveniently Located at:
50 South Bridge Road, CMO Building,  (very near to Clarke Quay MRT)
#02-18. Singapore 058682
Website: http://sg.camerarental.biz/

=========================

Contributing Editor – Serene Ong
img_2542.jpg
Started photography with a strong affinity in Long Exposure and Macro, Serene has created a following under the name of “Serene Digital Crafts”. She is an experimental photographer who will keep trying until she gets the shots that she had envisioned on her mind. Of a joyful character and friendly personality, Serene had started to contribute to gear review during her free time – when she is not shooting, she will be dedicating her time taking care of her 2 lovely kids.

=========================
Contributing Editor – Melody Tan
melody.jpg
Loves quiet walks along beaches, has a mind of her own and decides everything in life in either black or white with nothing in between. Her priority these days revolves around her 2 lovely kids & teaching them music or photography. A lover of yoga and an avid traveler, Melody aims to visit at least 30 countries before she reach 40 years old – from what we know, she had completed 27 as of 2018.
========================
About Ourshutterjourney.com
Visit Our Online Store
Join Our Membership.

=========================

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Special Feature – Camera Rental Centre

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Special Feature – Camera Rental Centre (CRC)
– by Melody TAN & AL LEE
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Image: The Bright and Welcoming Rental Counters at Camera Rental Centre


29th November 2019, Singapore
– Renting Photography & Videography gear had been a norm since the early 2000s. There are countless reasons why people rent equipment rather than buying their own. From what we had gathered, the main reasons why many chose to rent range from pre-purchase trial to special assignment requirements and from cost effective reasons to convenience. While there are several rental companies in Singapore, one had stood out for the last decade and became a trusted ‘household’ name in the world of photography gear rental – Camera Rental Centre.
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Image: The Founders (L-R) Kenny, Jason & Chan.

 

Founded by Jason, Kenny & Chan in 2008 with 0 employees, all 03 founders were the “staff”. Prior to starting CRC, each of them was running their respective rental companies when they decided that unity is strength and pooled their resources to form Camera Rental Centre or fondly known to the photography communities as CRC. Like many businesses, CRC had their shares of ups & downs which we will be taking an in-depth look at this successful company in this special feature – milestone by milestone.

 

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DSCF1091.jpgImage: Renting equipment at CRC is renting with a peace of mind.

 

CRC was built on passion and lives by relevance. The founders each shared the same beliefs that everyone should have access to equipment that are either too expensive to purchase or simply not cost effective to purchase – just imagine you have to buy a fisheye for an assignment and the lens is left to hibernate in your dry cabinet forever – ok you get the drift. Now that is a market that is fairly untouched 10 years ago indeed. And the founders each has an unique difference when it comes to system, for example Jason is using Canon system which Chan uses Nikon while Kenny is more of a videographer than a photographer. It all started when they took equipment from each other to service their own customers and found friendship & synergy through working together. So when the 3 founders decided to come together, the rest is history.

 

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The Victories
– CRC started from its early days of meeting people at MRT stations and operating from a small storeroom in a Cafe. It has since expanded to a bigger rental centre at Clarke Quay,  a special videography office over at CT Hub 2, a shared studio space at Lavender; and a lot more employees to an extensive (and impressive) inventory! With that, it had also attracted more & more new customers joining their customer base. While CRC informed us that many of their customers had became personal friends, the company culture which is all transparent had also attracted some customers to join CRC as employees! And to add, many employees had become long service staff, this further shows CRC’s company cultures are not just attracting customers, it also became a choice employer too! And the friendship part even extends to CRC’s vendors, suppliers, in short, CRC is friends with almost everyone! Now that’s a feat!

Some notable mentions by CRC are;
– 2011 Nominated for Spirit of Enterprise Award by SGSME.
– 2014 CRC Sponsored Singapore Short Films Awards
– 2015 Organized an island wide Sports Exhibition in Partnership with Sports Singapore.

When we asked CRC about what keeps them going, the founders shared that they are very grateful for the great team that works hand-in-hand with each others and the willingness to lend a hand whenever require – even helping to shift premises and down to hard work like painting the new office. (We secretly hope to have a team like theirs too!)

FA

 

The Extra Mile
– And so we heard about business going all out to help their customers and CRC is no stranger to this too.  One of the Founders – Jason – shared an incident that happened a few years ago. He was doing his own shoot when a customer called him with a faulty camera, he packed up and ran all the way from Singapore Conference Hall to Old Parliament House to pass his own camera to the affected customer. This level of professionalism is seldom seen in Photography and it takes real dedication to do this for the business.

In another separate incident, a customer dropped a lens while touring in Japan, CRC did an overnight shipping via FedEx for a replacement lens to the customer. Now how many rental companies will go that far to help a customer? And CRC did it!

At service level, all the customer service managers are highly trained and gives advice to customers during collection. This is a value-added gesture as the customer might be renting a wrong gear or a gear that might not be able to achieve the intended results. This really puts CRC at a different level among the competition.

One of the Founders – Jason – added that CRC wants every customer to enjoy the equipment they rented and they are very happy when the customer had achieved what they set out to shoot and they (customers) are happy. As of press time, we noted that more than 20,000 customers had rented from CRC – that is a lot of customers!

 

IMG_2368.JPGImage: CRC has the most comprehensive inventory among all the photography rental business in Singapore. The bright Orange logo – signifies the dynamic & youthful team and sunny culture of the company who was designed by one of the founder Chan.

 

The Downs
– running a business is never easy. From dealing with rising costs to theft of equipment, there’s never been a bed of roses. We will skip the rising business costs since most of us knows how it is in Singapore, instead we shall take a look at the “other” costs.

Maintenance cost is what CRC describe as “mandatory” – we were told that a big part of their costs goes to maintenance for the simple reason that all the equipment are rented by different people every week and due to the high usage, CRC wants to ensure that all equipment is in good working condition for the next person who rents it. Unlike other rental companies that tries to reduce costs by doing periodic checks, CRC checks & maintain every single equipment when the gear is returned at the end of the rental.

Theft is something very real in the photography rental business. There has been numerous theft scams that rocked the photography industry & communities in the last few years with the most recent case reported only just 2 months ago in September 2019. CRC had been a victim of such scams where a person rents the equipment and disappeared without returning. A big part of their costs goes to such stolen equipment which is written off as losses.

New gear is another heavy investment, to keep up with usage trends and photography/videography needs, CRC always ensures that their inventory is always current. that is, if a new camera or lens is released, you can be sure that it will be available at CRC faster than you can imagined.

 

 

 

The Downs – continues

Apart from the dollars & cents, there’s been many setbacks too. In 2012, CRC created a photo gallery and sponsored photo exhibitions to promote local talented photographers – ended up failing due to marketing challenges. Their attempt to engage photographers with an “APAW” (A Photo A Week) programme were also shelved after 2 years citing a lack of manpower to manage the project.

Rubbing more salt to CRC’s history, CRC’s studio and office building were sold off concurrently by landlords in 2018 forcing CRC to make 2 massive moves within a year in 2018. Ouch.

From these setbacks, CRC found strength and learn precious lessons. Instead of giving up, they continue to push for what they believes in – taking each setback as a learning curve and decided to do more and do better each time!

 

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Image: Customers enjoys the friendship & professionalism that CRC unconditionally offers. 

The Fun Bits (Some are Weird)
– While running a business is not all tough and gloom, there are many light-hearted moments too, CRC shared some memorable incidents with us and we think these are the  beautiful ones.

Locked by Backdrop Roll
–  A delivery colleague left some backdrop rolls outside CRC’s main door and left. Then the rolls decided to slipped and jammed the door taking everyone hostage for an hour  until a customer came to rescue the CRC team that was blocked from outside. (We would have fired the backdrop rolls if this happens at our editorial office!) 

How to get 1200mm Lens
CRC got experimental at times. One of the honourable mention has to be their attempt to get a focal range of 1200mm by stacking multiple teleconvertors and adaptors. We were not sure if that works but certainly sounds like a lot of fun!

 

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The Fun Bits (Some are Weird) – Continues

Valentines’ Day Promo
CRC did a Valentines’ Day promo – customers will be given 50% OFF if they came with their wife/spouse – only to have a customer who brought his camera and proclaimed the camera was his love – CRC gave the 50% Discount to this customer amidst the mass laughter at the centre.

Spiderman
CRC did a “Drone Fly Day” where the participants came donning Spiderman outfits. We cannot image the laughter that followed. We are pretty sure Peter Parker loves drones.

Nude Guy
Once CRC had to help a studio client change their backdrop. When CRC shows up at the studio, a visibly shocked model greeted them. The model as a male. We can imagine the poor dude is gonna have recurring nightmares of CRC’s team showing up in his dreams!

We hope everyone had a good laugh over the above true incidents that happened & encountered by CRC. When we asked if CRC has anything meaningful to share with our readers, this was what Jason told us:

“We have 20 employees. And we had paired off 05 couples.” – Jason, CRC Co-Founder

We were certainly amazed & full of envy!! (especially when our editorial office are mainly females and the only male is our Chief Editor! Chey!)

 

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Our Experience
– we fondly remembered our first rental from CRC more than 10 years ago. Our Editor AL had an assignment for an architectural shoot, since the shoot requires many hours under the sun and requires a specific lens, not wanting to risk our own equipment, he rented a Canon EOS 5D MarkII & a Canon TSE 24mm (Tilt Shift) lens from CRC. The equipment was of high quality and can easily passed off as new. The whole process was seamless and hassle-free which left behind a really good impression & experience. As we progressed & launched our accredited merchant network, CRC was one of the pioneering merchant that came on board with us many years ago. Recently, they had been upgraded to Premium Merchant status and we are proud to announce that CRC will now undertake all the Rental Requirements from our Members with special discounts given to our registered Card Members.

 

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We caught up with a few CRC’s customers as we wanted to hear from the ground about why they chose Camera Rental Centre.

George Leung, Commercial Photographer
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“I had rented equipment from CRC for close to 12 years. I chose renting over buying as I am someone who emphasize a lot on the camera body rather than lenses. There are many times which I needed a specific lens or equipment and CRC always has the lens for me. Over the years, CRC has become a rather personal “friend” more than a rental centre. The relationship & trust built up over the years had proven to be very meaningful, it feels great when CRC staff know me by name and my requirements. The renting process is smooth and hassle-free which is well loved by most customers including me. Equipment is also very well-maintained. What surprised me at times is – CRC always has the latest camera & lenses that are probably just launched! Overall, I never had any bad experience with CRC through the years and I will highly recommend to all my friends who are photographers & videographers! I would also like to take this chance to thank Camera Rental Centre’s staff for the relentless service, quality of service & allowing me to rent with a peace of mind, Thank You CRC! ” – George Leung

 

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Ashok Kumar, Commercial Photographer
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“I’ve came to know Camera Rental Centre about 8 years ago. I was initially sceptical about renting gear but went ahead with CRC and discovered a whole new experience. I am the type of person who will rent to try out a particular lens or camera to use, to see if I love it enough to buy one for myself. It’s like a pre-purchase trial of some sort. As client’s requirements are getting more demanding these days, sometimes I just have to rent other gear to produce the images or results that my client desires. CRC is my go-to place for friendly advice and a fuss-free rental environment. The equipment are clean and well-maintained – sometimes so new that it feels like the gear had just left the retail box. Such level of equipment really gives photographers an added assurance that the gear will not malfunction halfway through a shoot. As a regular, I like the personal touch of CRC’s staff as they really go all the way for their customers to ensure a positive experience from the point of booking to collecting, to returning at the end of the rental. Needless to say, I am sold to CRC and will support them all the way. I’ve lost count of how many friends I had pointed them to CRC, I will continue to do so. Thank you CRC & keep up the great work! You guys rock!” – Ashok Kumar

 

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Fajrina Rohmat, Wedding Photographer
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“I started my journey with Camera Rental Centre since 2011 when I rented my first lens! And I never looked back since. I still vividly remember at CRC’s old office which is incredibly small and yet still able to pack so many people during collection hours. I can still remember the queue; it was probably one of the most orderly queue that I had experienced (laughs!). Looking at the current office/ centre, I am so happy that CRC had come this far, they had expanded so much since I knew them. Staff at CRC are a different breed too – they are always cheerful, smiling and through their friendly approach, I had became friends with all the staff today! I know all their names and they know mine – it’s feels like a family to me which I dearly hold to my heart for their friendship. There was once I dropped a lens damaging it in the process, CRC handled the case professionally which I am impressed. It is as if they already anticipated that such incidents may occur and they are ready for it – i am so impressed. When I encounter any hiccups during a shoot, be it gear operations or shooting in difficult situations or environment – I know I can call CRC anytime and they are able to advise me. At other times when I was trying to rent an equipment, CRC will advise me on my selection of gear with many times hitting the jackpot that I was almost going to  rent the wrong gear! I will definitely recommend CRC to friends & anyone who wish to rent gear with a peace of mind. I would also like to take this opportunity to Thank CRC for the years of excellent service! – Fajrina Rohmat

 

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That was quite a journey isn’t it? Camera Rental Centre has came a long way while maintaining their high integrity, high level of service and quality of gear, and today, it’s the “household” brand for photography/videography rental, definitely a market leader!

Reasons to Rent
So there you have it people! There are so many reasons to why people rent equipment – we had sum it up below:
– Pre-purchase Trial or comparative uses
– Special requirements for specific shoot
– Not wanting to buy a lens that user seldom use.
– Expensive gear like Studio set is cost effective to rent.
– No need to hog gears
and many more reasons to!

Should you have any feedback or suggestions for Camera Rental Centre, do drop us a note below in the comment section! Happy Renting, Happy Shooting!
– Melody.

Ourshutterjourney Card Members Benefit!
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Use Your Membership Card to Enjoy 20% OFF for your first rental! *
(Subsequent rental at 10% OFF)  – Valid Till 31st October 2021!
*Limited to Photography Equipment ONLY!

 

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Camera Rental Centre is Conveniently Located at:
50 South Bridge Road, CMO Building,  (very near to Clarke Quay MRT)
#02-18. Singapore 058682
Website: http://sg.camerarental.biz/

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Editor: AL Lee
Chief Editor / Visionary & Brand Ambassador for Olympus Imaging Singapore
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Contributing Editor – Melody Tan
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Loves quiet walks along beaches, has a mind of her own and decides everything in life in either black or white with nothing in between. Her priority these days revolves around her 2 lovely kids & teaching them music or photography. A lover of yoga and an avid traveler, Melody aims to visit at least 30 countries before she reach 40 years old – from what we know, she had completed 27 as of 2018.
========================
About Ourshutterjourney.com
Visit Our Online Store
Join Our Membership.

=========================

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Olympus Macro Flash STF-8

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Olympus Macro Flash STF-8
– Probably one of the best Macro Flash for Micro Four Thirds Systems
– Review by AL Lee, Posted by Melody Tan, Sub-Editor
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Image: The Olympus STF-8 Macro Flash mounted on an OM-D EM1 Mark II.

 

02nd November 2019, Singapore – While most of us are really contented using the regular flash with a home-made diffuser for close-ups and macro, there’s a macro flash that many had not used or tried – the Olympus STF-8 Macro Flash. I’ve long heard about this super flash and had wanted to try using it.

The STF-8 is designed to give a guide number of 8.5 when both flashes are used or 6 when a single flash is used.  This flash came as dust-proof, splash-proof & Freeze-proof so you can use it in any shooting environment. Both flash can be adjusted to your preferred angle and you can control each flash’s output manually which is perfect!

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Image: The Left Knob allows the user to control the output of the flash while the Right Knob let the user control the distribution of power to either or both flashes.

 

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I am very impressed too with the supplied diffuser for each flash using a snap-on design that allows the user to quickly adjust the flash angle without having to remove the diffuser by just sliding open the diffuser. This is a genius design! See below slideshow!

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Slideshow: The Snap-on diffuser opens up easily without having to remove it for adjusting the flash angle, this is brilliant!
The STF-8 weights only 283gm it is probably the lightest macro dedicated flash – when when used with Olympus’s macro lenses – the overall setup is probably just the weight of a regular DSLR Body – yeah just the body. It’s that light really!

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5.jpgImage: Editor AL used a Four Thirds 35mm Macro lens via the MMF-3 adaptor and mounted to an OM-D EM1 MarkII.

 

And as expected, I ended up at Gardens by the Bay (again) which had been touted as my “Favorite Review Venue” or “FRV” by the editorial team. For some strange reasons, I like flowers more than anything, weird as it seems for a middle-aged Uncle, flowers tells no lies and are “Smiles from Nature.” OK Enough of nonsense, I like Gardens by the Bay because it has air-conditioning.

 

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Image: Editor AL before the review shoot commences.
 

 

The next image shows how close I was to the subject and how the STF-8 “wraps” up the subject.

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And for the shot from above? I did 02 shots. The first shot below – I adjusted the power of the flash – the Left Flash at Full Power and the Right Flash at 1/4 Power. It created a shadow that mimicks the 4pm sun. Awesome.

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Image: The Left Flash at Full Power and the Right Flash at 1/4 Power.

And on the same flower, the next shot I adjusted the flash to be 1:1 – equal power for both flashes. Which one do you like? For me, I prefer the 1:1 as my style is usually less moody but more towards ambient presentation.

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Image: Both Flash balanced at 1:1 – equal output for each flash.

 

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Honestly I am impressed with this macro flash. My close-up images of flowers became much dramatic and the light casted from the flash gave a strange alluring feel to it. Simply love it! Since I am armed with a macro lens and this STF-8, I went on a shooting spree hunting for tinier-than-life flowers!

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By the way, inside the retail box for the Olympus STF-8 you get 01 x Flash case, 02 x snap-on diffusers, 02 x ring adapters (φ46mm, φ62mm), 02 x joints, 01 x Flash head with 02 x Flashes, 01 x instruction manual & a Warranty Card.

 

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Without realizing, I had fallen in love with this macro flash since I use Olympus most of the time these days. The STF-8 has proven to be a very competent macro flash and it allows a lot of lighting configurations to suit the photographer’s intended use.

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I will be posting more images from this review over my FB Photo Album, do pop over if you are keen to view how I used the STF-8 to my advantage and getting the results that I want, in brief, Get this Flash People! (If you are using Olympus M4/3 system of course!)

OK people, Buy your Olympus STF-8 or the Olympus MMF-3 Adaptor from our Accredited Merchants to experience this excellent Macro Flash for yourself!

More information on Olympus STF-8 here.

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Reviewer: AL Lee
Chief Editor / Visionary & Brand Ambassador for Olympus Imaging Singapore
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Contributing Editor – Melody Tan
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Loves quiet walks along beaches, has a mind of her own and decides everything in life in either black or white with nothing in between. Her priority these days revolves around her 2 lovely kids & teaching them music or photography. A lover of yoga and an avid traveler, Melody aims to visit at least 30 countries before she reach 40 years old – from what we know, she had completed 27 as of 2018.
========================
About Ourshutterjourney.com
Visit Our Online Store
Join Our Membership.

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Sony a100 Infrared

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Sony a100 Infrared
– Project by AL Lee
– Posted by Lee Shi Qing
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Image: The Sony a100 modified with an Infrared Filter.

01st November 2019, Singapore A lot had been said about old DSLRs, too old to be relevant in today’s context where megapixels is everything and these old cams fetch little in the used market. Another great option to revive the old cam which I always do will be to modify the camera into a full-time Infrared camera. The Sony a100 was released in July 2006 as the re-branded successor to Konica Minolta’s Dynax (or Maxxum) 5D or 7D – (I still have the KM 7D somewhere though) – that means the Sony a100 is 13 years old today! Since I maintain multiple systems, the Sony system had been largely neglected due to my explorations of other systems like Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus etc.

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As I have several Infrared cameras modified with different infrared filters (IR Colors), I had this Sony a100 modded with a “Goldie” IR Filter or better known as the “Super Color” IR Filter elsewhere. I took it to Jurong Lake Gardens for a walk. Mounted with the Sony SAM 18-55mm aka kit lens.

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The Goldie IR Filter is an acquired “taste” as most of us are very used to the regular IR Filters with most vegetation turning a shade of snowy white – the Goldie turns most vegetation into a share of Yellow or Orange – thus the term “Goldie”. (Click here to view White Trees.)

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With some tweaking of color hues, the Goldie filter also allow abstract color manipulations that allow unearthly colors. I created one such photo below for your reference.

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And using the Goldie filter in Monochrome – it turned out to be high contrasting and gave me crisp images like the example below.

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I remembered once I hated this filter so much as I really prefers the trees to be white – and after shooting “regular” IR for years, suddenly I wanted a Goldie IR. I’ve started to appreciate the colors this filter produce and it is something that really stands out from the regular White Trees.

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Depending on the strength of the sunlight, the Goldie produces different shades of colors. It’s like a surprise with every shot.

And how can I missed the famous “Lone Tree” at Jurong Lake Gardens – made from aluminum, many had came to shoot this tree, now me.

 

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OK I am jut featuring these few images – to view the full album or other IR images, do pop by to my FB Albums. I will be back soon.
– AL Lee.

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Contributing Editor’s Note:
AL Lee – one of the few pro-Infrared photographer in Singapore had done several solo IR Exhibitions with one of them held at Funan Digitalife Mall before it was torn down and rebuild. AL Lee had held several workshops and even ran courses for Infrared. He modifies cameras into Full-Time Infrared cameras during his leisure time, to add to the record, he had also modified IR Cameras for Singapore Police Force (Forensic), Health Science Authority & a couple of Labs in Singapore.
– SQ Lee 

Want to modify your old camera into full-time Infrared? Do email us.
To find out more about Infrared Photography, do read this link.
To join the IR Community in Singapore, click here.

=========================
Reviewer: AL Lee
Chief Editor / Visionary & Brand Ambassador for Olympus Imaging Singapore
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Contributing Editor – Lee Shi Qing
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A firm believer of Self-Sufficient living and gives no f**k to anyone getting in her way to reaching her goals in life. Kind in nature & Dangerous when provoked. Loves Mcdonald’s Fries and hates all the burgers there. While she helps out in gear reviews, Qing is currently serving as an Online Administrator for Ourshutterjourney.com Facebook Groups and Online Shop.

=========================
About Ourshutterjourney.com
Visit Our Online Store
Join Our Membership.

=========================

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Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III with MMF-3

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Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III with MMF-3
– Give Your Old Four Third Lenses A New Life!
– Review by AL Lee, Posted by Melody Tan, Sub-Editor
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31st October 2019, Singapore And so the new Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III was officially launched last week. You can check out our earlier review here. As for this article aka the “Unofficial Part 2” –  it was not in our editorial plan and rather, the idea came up when I was doing my annual cleaning and all my Four Third lenses keeps blinking at me as if they are saying “use me Bro”!

Well, since I have the Olympus MMF-3, the Four Thirds Adaptor that allows the current crop of Micro Four-Thirds cameras to use the previous generation Four Thirds lenses, I decided to mount the MMF-3 to the New Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III and brought out some old lenses to test the compatibility, the operations of the functions etc.
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The first Four Third Lens that I mounted to the E-M5 Mark III was the famous Olympus M.Zuiko 50-200mm F2.8-3.5 ED (equivalent to 100-400mm) that I dearly love back then before the Micro Four Third revolutionalized the Mirrorless market.

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Image: (L) E-M5 Mark III Mounted with the 4/3 50-200mm on the left and E-M10 Mark III Mounted with 40-150mm PRO on the right for size comparison. (R) The 4/3 50-200mm, a legendary lens for 4/3 users.

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Using the E-M5 + MMF-3 + 50-200mm was surprisingly fun! The focusing was not exactly any slower as perceived by many Olympus 4/3 users, in fact it was quite fast in my view. And the MMF-3 works seamlessly giving me quick focusing that is pretty accurate. Operationally, it gave me the feeling that I am back to the 4/3 days again which many Olympus users can relate to that feeling. And so, I took the E-M5 + MMF-3 + 50-200mm to the Singapore zoo!

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Using the old 4/3 lenses with the MMF-3 on the new E-M5 Mark III does not affect the image quality or drastically affects the proper operations of the camera. All images in this article are cropped, added watermarks and posted without any other editing, so you can see for yourself what I am really getting from the Old-Lens-New-Camera Combo.

 

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It really feels like good ‘o days again, the 50-200mm (100-400mm) was once the most popular super-telephoto zoom lens in the 4/3 line-up and almost every 4/3 user owns a copy of this lens. I am so glad that I kept all my 4/3 lenses!

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I totally enjoyed using the E-M5 Mark III with the old 50-200mm at the zoo!

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Next, I mounted another “legend” 4/3 lens to the E-M5 Mark III using the MMF-3 Adaptor. It’s none other than the Olympus Zuiko 35mm F3.5 Macro lens! Took this combo to Macritchie Reservoir for a walk.

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I used the 4/3 35mm Macro for mostly close-ups in the past and I am very excited when I decided to take it out for a walk again after so many years. Lens focuses pretty much the same as it would when mounted to an old Four Third camera while on the E-M5 Mark III. It is not blazing fast but quick enough to get what I wanted to shoot.

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The 35mm Macro is light by default, when used on the E-M5 Mark III + MMF-3, it is still very light especially if you start comparing it with other DSLR systems. I was pretty happy with this macro combo.

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I managed to create these images with a few key factors in mind – the New Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III gave me more than enough resolution that I can crop quite a lot during editing, the Olympus MMF-3 Four Third Adaptor allows me to use all my old Four Third lenses (I have about 6 4/3 lenses) on the newer Micro Four Third system with very little loss on the intended lens performance, lastly I am very happy that my old Four Third lenses are given a second life again with the help of MMF-3. So glad that I didn’t sell them or gave them away.

Buy your OM-D EM-5 Mark III or the Olympus MMF-3 from our Accredited Merchants to experience the NEW Olympus OM-D EM-5 Mark III aka the Lil’ Monster with your older Olympus Four Third lenses.

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Reviewer: AL Lee
Chief Editor / Visionary & Brand Ambassador for Olympus Imaging Singapore
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Contributing Editor – Melody Tan
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Loves quiet walks along beaches, has a mind of her own and decides everything in life in either black or white with nothing in between. Her priority these days revolves around her 2 lovely kids & teaching them music or photography. A lover of yoga and an avid traveler, Melody aims to visit at least 30 countries before she reach 40 years old – from what we know, she had completed 27 as of 2018.
========================
About Ourshutterjourney.com
Visit Our Online Store
Join Our Membership.

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Ourshutterjourney Featured

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Ourshutterjourney Featured
-Posted by Lee Shi Qing

17th October 2019, Singapore – A quiet afternoon on a slow weekday at Ourshutterjourney’s office turned into a little carnival today. Some of our members alerted us to a post by Lovely Singapore & SBS Sure Boh Singapore and told her that we got featured today! And everyone in the office scrambled to check out the video!

 Image: Screen Grab from Lovely Singapore & SBS-Sure Boh Singapore FB.
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Many months ago, we were aware of some video shooting done by Realm Productions but we don’t know what was the video for. And when we asked our Chief Editor AL Lee, he was pretty zipped up. Now we finally saw the video!

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It was a video feature on Online Communities and Ourshutterjourney had worked its way up to becoming one of the most prominent communities in Photography interest over a period of 10 long years. Running communities is a tough job, it takes a shit load of effort, time and passion to come this far.

 

Some words from our Chief Editor AL Lee:

” 10 Years, 500+ Events, sometimes I wonder how did I even went this far. Many times I want to give up, but nevertheless pushed on, event after event, month after month & year after year. Building communities for community learning is not new in Singapore, but only a few took it to the next level to build meaningful and good communities that actually last. Thanks to all our Card Members, Regular Members, Web Subscribers, Camera Brand Owners, Photography Retail Merchants and everyone in between. Without all of you, we are nothing. Happy 10th Anniversary to All of You!” – AL Lee (Founder & Chief Editor)

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Amidst the buzz, today we also had the timed-launch of the Olympus’s OM-D EM-5 Mark III article at 1400hrs today and a scheduled revival of an old article on our production for the Pentax Q’s advertisement back in 2013. Not forgetting the technical update on AL’s article “What You Need to know about Infrared“.

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It had been a crazy day today – but certainly a happy one. Remember to LIKE Lovely Singapore & SBS Sure Boh Singapore Facebook pages – they had been so sweet!

Once again, Happy 10th Anniversary to All Our Members!

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Contributing Editor – Lee Shi Qing
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A firm believer of Self-Sufficient living and gives no f**k to anyone getting in her way to reaching her goals in life. Kind in nature & Dangerous when provoked. Loves Mcdonald’s Fries and hates all the burgers there. While she helps out in gear reviews, Qing is currently serving as an Online Administrator for Ourshutterjourney.com Facebook Groups and Online Shop.

=========================
About Ourshutterjourney.com
Visit Our Online Store
Join Our Membership.

=========================

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Olympus OM-D EM-5 MarkIII – The Lil’ Monster

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Olympus OM-D EM-5 MarkIII – The Lil’ Monster
Posted by Melody Tan
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Image: Editor AL with the NEW Olympus OM-D EM-5 Mark III.

17th October 2019, Singapore/Malaysia (14.00hrs) – Finally! We were really really excited when the OM-D EM-5 was delivered to us about 3 weeks ago. And we took it and use it for the last 03 weeks+ and used it like a daily camera. What makes us so excited about the EM-5 Mark III is the built up anticipation and specifications – Featuring the same new TruePic VIII processor seen in the latest OM-D models, an improved in-body image stabilization which can stablize your shaky hands up to 5.5 stops, and comes 100gm lighter (366gm) than the EM-5 Mark II.

One thing that most Olympus Fans will notice about the new EM-5 MarkIII will be the layout similarity to the flagship EM-1 series cameras. Apart from the exterior look that carries every single characteristics of the OM-D series, the inside came as a pleasant surprise featuring a 20.4 megapixel phase-detect AF sensor – this means the new EM-5 Mark III now has the DNA of EM-1 series cameras with crazy-tracking speed and add that to the new image stabilizer mentioned above, we call the new EM-5 Mark III “The Lil’ Monster”!

 

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For the review, we took the new EM-5 MarkIII to our favorite review ground – Garden by the Bay – and we took along a variety of lenses with us. Before we proceed further, if you ended up here looking for technical specifications you will probably want to pop by to Olympus’s website as we are more concern about how the camera performs and we share our experience based on real user usage and feedback. You see more photos than words here, if you are cool, read on!

 

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The first lens that we mounted on the new OM-D EM5 Mark III was the 60mm F2.8 PRO Macro. The 60mm is a small lens and when mounted to the EM-5 Mark III, it looks surprisingly balanced.

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The top panel left buttons were given black colored buttons.IMG_1696IMG_1697IMG_1698

Apart from the lighter weight, everything else feels like a EM-1 series camera.IMG_1699IMG_1701

OK now for the photo. Using the new OM-D Em5 Mark III + the 60mm F2.8 PRO Macro.
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And the result as below. (Uncropped) Only adjusted the contrast a little.P1010040

 

 

 

Next lens we mounted to the EM-5 Mark III is the 8mm F1.8 Fisheye PRO. The 8mm Fisheye is another small size lens from Olympus, when mounted to the EM-5 Mark III, the body seems to have shrunk a little.

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And now for the photo. Using the 8mm F1.8 Fisheye PRO on the EM-5 Mark III.
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And here’s the result below.P1010041

 

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Next is my favorite lens, the 25mm F1.18 MSC. One of the tiniest prime lens from Olympus, this lens is my favorite street photo lens as well as the mini Bokeh machine.And it looks perfect on the EM-5 Mark III!
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And the photo. Using the 25mm F1.18 MSC on the EM-5 Mark III.
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And the result as below.P1010050

Then my favorite Uncle Koh appears. So took the opportunity to shoot him using the same lens. (lol)
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Next lens that I brought along was the mighty 40-150mm F2.8 PRO. Now the EM-5 Mark III body looks really tiny. What’s great is, its so light and I have the equivalent of 300mm F2.8 at my disposal and weights less than a kilogram!
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And I started shooting every other thing that I came across using just this lens and the new EM-5 Mark III. Check out the images below!

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To summarize, the OM-D EM-5 Mark III is completely a different breed. Even the Mark II don’t come close. The phase-detection allow focus tracking that is completely world class, the specifications & functions completes this package in the form of EM-5 Mark III. While Olympus celebrates their 100th Anniversary (12th Oct 2019), I believed the EM-5 Mark III is the symbolical camera for their 100th Anniversary.

Honestly, as a user, its feels like a EM1 series camera – only lighter and smaller. It will be a great camera to have as an all-rounder camera for the serious hobbyist and a lil’ monster for the Pros as a very competent backup camera.

For the rest of you, buy your OM-D EM-5 Mark III from our Accredited Merchants to experience the NEW Olympus OM-D EM-5 Mark III aka the Lil’ Monster.

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Reviewer: AL Lee
Chief Editor / Visionary & Brand Ambassador for Olympus Imaging Singapore
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Contributing Editor – Melody Tan
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Loves quiet walks along beaches, has a mind of her own and decides everything in life in either black or white with nothing in between. Her priority these days revolves around her 2 lovely kids & teaching them music or photography. A lover of yoga and an avid traveler, Melody aims to visit at least 30 countries before she reach 40 years old – from what we know, she had completed 27 as of 2018.
========================
About Ourshutterjourney.com
Visit Our Online Store
Join Our Membership.

=========================

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