Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 DC HSM Arts

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Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 HSM DC Arts
by Daniel Ho.

26th September 2016, Singapore – Recently we received the new Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 DC HSM ART from Sigma Singapore. We have decided to do  3-part review of this long awaited lens (since the rumours surfaced about 4 months ago). For Part 1, we passed this lens to Daniel Ho (SGJP), one of our appointed reviewer for a weekend. Let’s hear what he thinks of this latest offering from Sigma.

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Videography Review of the new Sigma 50-100mm f1.8 HSM DC Arts Lens

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Image: Review Editor Daniel Ho.
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Sigma has gone out of the tradition to launch a 50-100mm HSM DC Arts Lens for the cropped sensor (APS-C), and rightly so, has surprised many people for various reasons, one of which is the range of 50mm to 100mm, which translate to a 75mm-150mm, that comes close to a 70-200 range for a 35mm equivalent on a full frame body. Second, is the decision on Sigma to launch an amazing lens which can deliver superb quality on a DX or Cropped Sensor (APS-C), with of course, many conversations or arguments out there that a full frame sensor is better than a cropped sensor. Third reason why this came as a surprise for many, that could this lens be a specialty lens just for the newly launched series of bodies by the Canon and Nikon for Sports Photography such as Nikon D500?

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This short user-review unfortunately, will not cover those user scenarios but something out of the ordinary, that I am testing this on my Blackmagic 4k Cinema Camera. This superb but weirdly designed video camera is built for a canon mount and besides the usual suspect of using the range of Canon lens or the third parties lenses, this specific 50-100mm f1.8 HSM DC Art Lens may be an interesting fit to find out how it performs on shooting video.

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At the publishing of this article, I have yet to reformat the huge raw video footage showing the quality of this lens shooting video and most importantly, testing the focusing, and the sharpness of this lens on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. Some background to this video camera, that it has a cropped sensor, captures great professional grade video in multiple format, from Raw, to ProRes422 (which is the compressed version that makes it easier to repurpose faster for delivery to multiple devices mainly for Apple devices). Rest assured, once i have reformatted the video footage showing the speed of focusing, the sharpness of the video and the colour rending of this lens on the video, i will put up a link. So in the mean time, I will go through my thoughts for now on this lens.

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Amazing build quality

Expected as of any ART Series from the Sigma lineup, this lens is built like a tank. Great material, almost feel like it is made solely from a block of cast iron, and the smooth black with the rubber ring makes it extremely comfortable in the hand albeit its weight, I think it has a right feel and balance to it, especially when holding the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.

The focusing ring is smooth and somehow on the video camera, manual focusing is a tad faster and painless than the auto focusing, and somehow this is different from a Canon lens or other third party lens I have tried, but with the peak focusing feature, manual focusing of this lens on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera is extremely easy.

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Focusing

This lens may not be optimised for use on a video camera, as the focusing speed is not fantastic. You can see this on the video which i will be putting up, and while that, I am not too bothered because I know the target audience of this lens is on professional shooting on their DSLR for Sports. While that, the engine and the focusing of the lens is very quiet and I am very impressed by the silence. It is not the chunky loud focusing I have experienced in other third party lens which really bothers me especially when I am taking video as the sensitive microphone tends to pick up these noise.

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Colour 

This lens live up to its reputation as on the ART series, the ART implies on the brilliant rendering of colours on the video, and it is extremely sharp when shooting in f8 and above. For me, I am no expert on colour but at least it renders green as green, red as red and overall, less than a harsher saturation which gives a great overall balance to the video. It is one of the key when choosing lens for video production.

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Original Article Post here.

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Editor’s Note:
Thank you Daniel for the detailed review!
From what we have read, this is one of the finer offering from Sigma. Next to review this lens is Wilson Wong of SPIN & TechGoondu fame. Let’s see what (images) he’s gonna return with the new Sigma 50-100mm ART.

Thank you Sigma Singapore for the lens!

Buy your Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 DC ART here.

For other Sigma Articles by Ourshutterjourney.com, click here.

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IMPORTANT NOTE:
** Sigma had re-organized their whole lens line into 3 category.
They are “C” Lens, “A” Lens & “S” Lens.

C Lens = Contemporary Lens Line
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Featuring the very latest technology, and combining optical performance with compactness, Sigma’s high-performance Contemporary line covers a wide range of needs. Lenses in this category are Standard zoom lenses, telephoto zoom lenses, high-magnification zoom lenses.

A Lens = Art Lens Line
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Designed with a focus on sophisticated optical performance and abundant expressive power, Sigma’s Art line delivers high-level artistic expression. Lenses in this category are Large-aperture prime lenses, wide-angle lenses, ultra-wide-angle lenses, macro lenses, fisheye lenses.

S Lens – Sports Lens Line
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While offering sophisticated optical performance and expressiveness, SigmaSports line lenses deliver high action-capture performance, enabling photographers to get exactly the shots they want. Lenses in this category are Telephoto lenses, telephoto zoom lenses, super telephoto lenses, super telephoto zoom lenses.

SIGMA-NEW-LOGO
Sigma Marketing Singapore Pte Ltd. is a subsidiary of Sigma Japan Corporation.

For more information, please visit http://www.sigma-global.com

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Olympus Announcements

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Olympus Announcements
22nd September 2016, Singapore – Olympus made a few announcements concurrently and here’s a quick summary of what’s to come.
– Olympus Singapore announces the development of the new OM-D E-M1 Mark II.
– Olympus selfie-ready camera series return with the new PEN E-PL8.
– Olympus launches new M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO lens.
– Olympus Singapore launches the new M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm F3.5 Macro.
– Olympus Singapore launches the new M.Zuiko 25 mm F1.2 PRO

1) Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II.
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Olympus Singapore is pleased to announce the development of the new OM-D E-M1 Mark II. Advancing from the highly successful OM-D EM1 flagship series which was launched in 2013, the upcoming successor sees a boost of technological advancements which enables it to surpass DSLRs while bringing portability and image quality into the next dimension. Featuring a maximum 18 fps high-speed sequential shooting in AF/AE tracking, newly developed TruePic VIII image processor, 20.4 Megapixel Live MOS sensor equipped with the latest 121-point all cross-type On-chip Phase Detection AF sensor and an advanced 5-axis Image Stabilization system, the OM-D E-M1 Mark II
resonates uncompromised image quality and system excellence that is synonymous with the Olympus OM-D series flagship model.

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The roll out of this advanced system will now enable all photographers to capture every detail in sports, motoring and nature photography – while maintaining the compact and mobility of Olympus mirrorless cameras. Coupled with the M. Zuiko PRO lens series, the Olympus system is set to provide photographers with an unbridled freedom of photographic expression.

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Feature Highlights
1. Maximum 18 fps sequential shooting performance in AF/AE tracking
2. Advanced DUAL FAST AF with 121-point all cross-type sensor
3. New Pro Capture mode for lag-free shooting
4. 20.4 Megapixel Live MOS sensor with new High-speed TruePic VIII image processor
5. Digital cinema standard 4K movies
6. Advanced in-body 5-axis Image Stabilization with approx. 5.5 shutter speed steps
7. Dual SD Card Slots
8. Ultra high-resolution image quality with 50M High Res. Shot
9. Dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof performance
10. High-magnification, high-speed Electronic Viewfinder

11. Silent Mode for noiseless shooting environment.

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2) Olympus PEN E-PL8.
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Olympus Singapore is pleased to announce the latest addition of the PEN E-PL8 to the PEN series. The PEN E-PL8 is set to reinvent the definition of high-quality mobile shooting with excellent selfie functions. Capturing selfies on-the-go has never been easier with the new compact and lightweight PEN model, featuring enhanced shooting and connectivity capabilities.

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The Olympus PEN E-PL8 offers premium design inherited from the PEN series, a Touch Selfie Mode and a wide range of creative shooting features that provides complete freedom of photographic expression. These features can be used not only with still images, but also with movies, which have shown increasing popularity on social networks in recent years.

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With excellent photo and video image quality synonymous with an interchangeable lens camera, coupled with smartphone connectivity that lets you share your images then and there, the PEN delivers an experience that people have come to expect from photography
today.

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The PEN E-PL8 Touch Selfie Mode is now enhanced with an additional Movie Clips function that allows users to record selfie movies and edit them via the Movie Effect button. A dedicated Art Filter mode also allows users to have a live view selection of their selfie movies, hence eliminating any time wasted on editing.

Feature Highlights
1. 180 degree – flip down LCD screen optimised for touch-selfie shooting with special selfie-interface
2. Enhanced video recording mode featuring Clips, Art Filter and Movie Effects mode
3. 3-Axis VCM Image Stabilisation(in body) with-3.5EV spec that works with all lenses
4. 3” capacitive touch LCD with 1.04 million dots (3:2)
5. 16.1 Megapixel LiveMOS image sensor
6. TruePic VII image engine with automatic CA correction, diffraction compensation and lens sharpness optimisation technology
7. 8 frames per second shooting speed.
8. 81-point FAST-AF focusing system
9. 1080P Full HD video recording
10. Wi-fi camera control and image sharing from iOS/Android smart devices using Olympus OI.Share app
11. M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ kit lens (28-84mm equiv)

 

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3) Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO lens
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Olympus Singapore is pleased to announce the launch of the new M.Zuiko Digital ED
12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO. The first high-magnification zoom lens with powerful image

stabilization in the M.Zuiko PRO category. This compact, lightweight, high-performance, high-magnification professional zoom lens features a dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof (-10°) construction along with an image stabilization mechanism.

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It conforms to the Micro Four Thirds System standard and provides amazing mobility. When combined with a compatible camera body, the in-body 5-axis sync IS is enhanced, enabling the world’s most powerful 6.5 shutter speed steps of compensation performance,
expanding the range of hand-held shooting scenes.


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Feature Highlights
1. 5-axis sync IS with the world’s most powerful 6.5 stops compensation
2. 24-200m equivalent (35mm format) cover a focal length that requires two average zoom lenses
3. Dustproof, splash proof and freeze proof (-10°C)
4. Z Coating Nano technology significantly reducing ghost & flaring

5. 17 Elements in 11 Groups optical design using DSA, ED, HR and Super HR high performance lens elements

6. 1.5cm (from the end of the lens) near shooting distance at all zoom settings
7. Maximum shooting magnification of 0.6 x (35mm equivalent)
8. 7-blade circular aperture diaphragm

9. Design styling matched to OM-D E-M1 Mark II body

10. 72mm filter diameter

4) Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm F3.5 Macro
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Olympus Singapore is pleased to announce the launch of the premium macro lens, M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm F3.5 Macro (35mm equivalent: 60mm). The new M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm F3.5 premium macro lens, which conforms to the Micro Four Thirds System standard, features a maximum image magnification of 2.5x (35mm equivalent) making it
the highest in its class. The high powered magnification allows users the ability to approach subjects up to 1.4cm away from the end of the lens for a whole new world of macro shooting expression.
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The new M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm F3.5 Macro provides sharpness and beautiful defocusing effects appropriate to a lens in the M.Zuiko Premium category. Furthermore, when combined with the 5-axis Image Stabilization of the OM-D and PEN cameras, users can enjoy high magnification shooting, without worrying about camera shake.


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Feature Highlights
1. 30mm F3.5 (60mm in 35mm equivalent)
2. Highest in class magnification of 2.5x (35mm equivalent)
3.Superior macro capabilities, 1.4cm (from the end of the lens) near shooting distance
at all zoom settings
4. High-speed AF even in macro range
5. 7 Elements in 6 Groups optical design using DSA, Aspherical, and EDA high performance
lens elements
6. 7-blade circular aperture
7. Design styling matched to OM-D series camera bodies
8. 46mm filter diameter
9. Lightweight and compact: 128g; L 60mm x D 57mm


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5) Olympus M.Zuiko 25 mm F1.2 PRO
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Olympus Singapore is pleased to announce the launch of the new M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm F1.2 PRO (35mm equivalent: 50mm). This large-diameter single-focal-length lens, which conforms to the Micro Four Thirds System standard, features dustproof, splash proof and freeze proof construction with excellent resolution performance and outstanding image quality. This lens thoroughly removes all types of aberrations common to large-diameter lenses, and achieves superb resolution performance from the widest aperture setting of f1.2, by lavishly using 19 lenses including 8 special lenses in an effective arrangement. The latest optical technologies provide not only superb resolution performance, but also beautiful, natural de-focusing effects.

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The high-speed AF and silent MSC (Movie & Still Compatible) technology makes
autofocusing fast and highly precise. This allows users to capture still images and movies
without any stress especially when shooting in a shallow depth of field at the widest aperture setting. Users can also simply select Face Detect AF or Eye Detect AF for accurate focusing on faces or eyes for better portrait photography.


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Feature Highlights
1. Widest aperture setting of F1.2 with excellent resolution performance
2. 50mm equivalent (35mm format)
3. Splash, Dust and Freezeproof (-10C)
4. High-speed, high precision AF and silent MSC (Movie & Still Compatible) technology
5. Limits chromatic aberration with 19 Elements in 14 Groups optical design
6. Super ED, ED, E-HR, Aspherical and HR high performance lens elements
7. 0.3m near shooting distance at all zoom settings
8. Z Coating Nano technology significantly reducing ghosts and flaring.
9. 9-blade circular aperture diaphragm
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About Olympus
Olympus Singapore Pte Ltd is a subsidiary of Olympus Corporation, headquartered
in Japan. Olympus Singapore Pte Ltd is responsible for the marketing and distribution of Olympus consumer products in Singapore. The Olympus consumer range encompasses still and video imaging products, binoculars and digital audio recorders.
Your Vision, Our Future.

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Sony Launches New Flagship ɑ99 II

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Sony Launches New Flagship ɑ99 II
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21st September 2016, Singapore – Reaffirming its commitment to produce industry leading A-mount interchangeable lens cameras, Sony today launched a new flagship ɑ A-mount model, the a99 II. A successor to the highly acclaimed ɑ99, the new a99 II combines the best of Sony’s latest digital imaging innovations including a new Hybrid Phase Detection AF system with exclusive Sony A-mount features such as Translucent Mirror Technology™ (TMT). The result is a supremely specified, professional level camera that will be particularly appealing to sports and wildlife photographers.

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Redefining Autofocus
The newly developed Phase Detection AF System is capable of ‘full-time AF’ and is the first implementation of 4D FOCUS in the full-frame ɑ series, bringing a supreme new level of AF performance to ɑ99 II users. The Hybrid Phase Detection AF System is enabled by combining a precision 79-point dedicated phase detection AF sensor with 399 focal plane phase detection AF points1 to produce a 79 hybrid cross AF point array. These cross points deliver incredibly precise autofocus performance and advanced subject tracking of any moving objects right across the image, at high speed. In addition, as there is no moving mirror, TMT enables continuous AF operation and the finder image remains unaffected during any type of shooting, including live view and movie recording.

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Low light conditions present no problem to the ɑ99 II. The precision AF system will function properly down to EV-4 brightness levels where most other cameras struggle.

Data flow through the ɑ99 II has been redesigned to allow for high resolution and continuous shooting at high frame rates. A new front-end LSI works with the image sensor and BIONZ X image processing engine, as well as a newly designed shutter unit, to enable continuous shooting at up to 12fps2 with AF/AE tracking, all whilst harnessing the sensor’s 42.4MP capabilities. The result is an ultra-fast camera that will deliver incredibly detailed shots, even with fast moving objects in challenging light conditions. Thanks to a large buffer and sophisticated data processing, these shots can be viewed immediately after shooting even when in high speed continuous shooting mode and if shots are being taken indoors under artificial lighting, flicker is automatically detected and the shutter is timed to minimise its effect on the end image.

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Improvements to the EVF display algorithm now deliver continuous live-view shooting at up to 8 fps with AF/AE tracking with minimal display lag so that the viewing experience is essentially no different from that of an optical viewfinder. Exposure, white balance and other camera settings are displayed in real time in the viewfinder and continuous live view shooting can be set in 3 stages to match a variety of subjects: 8 fps, 6 fps and 4 fps.

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Pixel Power
The back-illuminated full-frame 42.4MP Exmor R CMOS sensor benefits from a gapless-on-chip design and allows for fast readout of large volumes of data as well as being extremely efficient in its light gathering ability. The net result is very high sensitivity with low noise, wide dynamic range and 42.4MP resolution across an ISO range of 100-25600, expandable to ISO 50 – 102,400.The ɑ99 II has been designed without an optical low-pass filter to allow the finest natural details and textures to be captured with unprecedented depth and realism and the photographer can select compressed or uncompressed RAW files, as required.

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5-axis SteadyShot™ INSIDE Image Stabilisation
Having proved to be incredibly popular in the ɑ7 II series of cameras, Sony has designed a new in-body 5 axis image stabilisation system for A-mount cameras which debuts for the first time in the ɑ99 II. In addition to movement in the pitch and yaw axes that tend to occur at longer focal lengths, this system effectively detects and compensates for shift blur that can occur on the X and Y axes when shooting close-up, and roll blur that is often apparent in still images and movies that are shot at night. Newly implemented precision gyro sensors are capable of precisely detecting even tiny camera movements that can cause blurring, providing a 4.5 step shutter speed advantage that can help realise the full potential of the 42.4MP sensor, in both stills and movies. The effect of image stabilisation can be monitored in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen during live view when the shutter button is half pressed or the Focus Magnifier functions are used. This allows framing and focus to be accurately checked via live view when shooting at telephoto focal lengths or macro distances.

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Improved design and operability
The design of the new ɑ99 II has noticeably evolved compared to its predecessor, based upon feedback from professional users. The new model is 8 per cent smaller than the original ɑ99 and has a newly designed grip, magnesium alloy body, dual SD card slot and other upgrades that improve both hold and operation. All major buttons and dials are provided with seals and the media jack cover and enclosure edges feature tongue and groove – the result is a body that is both dust and moisture resistant and can be used in the toughest and most challenging shooting conditions.

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In addition to being designed for faster response, the new shutter unit is also more durable and has passed endurance tests in excess of 300,000 shutter operations. The XGA OLED Tru-finder has a ZEISS® T* Coating and has a 4 element lens group that includes a double sided aspherical element whilst offering a powerful 0.78x magnification, delivering outstanding clarity from corner to corner. It also has a fluorine coating on the outer lens to prevent fingerprints, dust, water, oil and dirt from sticking, thus ensuring a clear view.

The silent Multi Controller introduced in the original ɑ99 has been improved so that in addition to allowing control of aperture, shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation, AF area, AF mode and other settings, it now features a click-stop ON/OFF switch. When ON, the preferred setting for still image shooting, the control clicks, providing a tactile indication of the length of rotation. When OFF, the control turns smoothly and quietly, ideal for movie shooting. Location data acquisition has also been made possible via Bluetooth connection to a compatible mobile device and it is now possible to select whether the storage location should just be on a tethered computer or also on camera for easy review without leaving the shooting position. Based upon feedback from a number of ɑ users, the menu structure of the ɑ99 II has also been updated to deliver a smoother navigational experience.

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Movie Magic
The ɑ99 II enables internal 4K movie recording featuring full pixel readout, without pixel binning, for ultimate high resolution video in the pro friendly XAVC S format. It is capable of recording high quality footage at 100Mbps for 4K recording. A new ‘Slow and Quick’ mode (S&Q) supports both slow motion and quick motion. Frame rates from 1 fps to 120 fps (100 fps) can be selected in 8 steps for up to 60x (50x) quick motion and 5x (4x) slow motion recording. A number of features designed for a professional movie production workflow are included such as picture profiles, time code and HDMI clear output and the new ɑ99 II now also offers gamma assist for real time S-Log monitoring and a zebra mode for easier exposure adjustment. S-Log3 and S-Log2 gamma are now included, making wide dynamic range shooting possible with blown highlights or blocked shadows making the ɑ99 II easily integratable into a fully professional movie production workflow.

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The new ɑ99 II will be available in selected Asia Pacific countries from November 2016.

Editor’s Note: “Just in time for Christmas too!”.

About Sony Electronics Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd.
Based in Singapore, Sony Electronics Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation. It serves as the regional management and marketing headquarters for Sony’s consumer as well as broadcasting and professional products, overseeing Asia, Middle East and Africa regions. For more information on Sony’s products and services in Asia Pacific, please visit www.sony-asia.com

About Sony Corporation
Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, imaging, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and online businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $72 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016. Sony Global Web Site: http://www.sony.net/

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Dare to be different with Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II

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Dare to be different with Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Online Customisation Service
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19th August 2016, Singapore – Make a bold statement with a customised OM-D EM5 Mark II set featuring the finest M.ZUIKO PREMIUM lenses and handcrafted leather accessories.

Discerning photographers with a keen eye for detail can now revel with the customisable, award winning Olympus O-MD E-M5 Mark II. Olympus Imaging Singapore has recently launched its second online customisation service after the PEN E-PL7, which allows
photographers to curate key characteristics of their OM-D E-M5 MarkII kit.
The customisation service, available exclusively online at
https://www.shopatolympus.com.sg/daretobedifferent.html , allows customers to drift away from the full black camera models and personalize their OM-D E-M5 Mark II body from the mounts to the dials. Whether it’s the black body with silver mounts and dials or the vice versa, it is all in the details that makes the difference.
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Each OM-D E-M5 Mark II is handled by Olympus’s experienced engineers to ensure a high
– quality and sophisticated silhouette which is perfect for the food, street and fashion photographers. To top it off, the customisation service also allows customers
to choose from a selection of M. ZUIKO PREMIUM lenses in monochromatic colours to match the camera mount. The premium lenses range from the 12mm F2.0 lens, perfect for
capturing architecture and sceneries, to the 75mm F1.8 lens which is ideal for capturing portraits and close-ups.

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Each customised camera unit will also be complemented by a dedicated leather wrist strap or opt for a hand crafted neck strap with their personalized initials on it. The new OM-D
E-M5 Mark II customisation service is a simple one-stop solution for a sophisticated and
leading-edge product from Olympus.

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About the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II
The OM-D E-M5 Mark II, designed within the OM-D ILC system, is arguably the most

reminiscent of classic “OM System” 35mm film cameras. An improved in-body 5-axis image stabilization system achieves the world’s highest compensation performance of 5 steps, making hand-held shooting enjoyable and possibility to shoot at a telephoto end without worrying about camera shake even in dark locations. The OM-D E-M5 Mark II, designed in pursuit of excellent operability, comes with a dustproof and splashproof camera body and lenses to make shooting in any environment possible.

Prices for OM-D E-M5 Mark II starts at SGD1,498 (body only) to SGD3,096 (bundled with M.ZUIKO PREMIUM 75mm F1.8 lens)

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About Olympus
Olympus Imaging Singapore Pte Ltd is a subsidiary of Olympus Corporation, headquartered in Japan. Olympus Imaging Singapore Pte Ltd is responsible
for the marketing and distribution of Olympus consumer products in Singapore.
The Olympus consumer range encompasses still and video imaging products, binoculars and digital audio recorders. Your Vision, Our Future.
http://www.olympusimage.com.sg
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Sony Tops Five Categories at 2016 EISA Awards

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Sony Tops Five Categories at 2016 EISA Awards
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16th August 2016, Singapore – Recognising Sony’s success in delivering products that inspire and fulfil customer curiosity, the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA) have honoured Sony with five awards in their 2016 round-up. As the largest editorial and multimedia organisation in Europe, the EISA committee carefully assesses and evaluates a vast variety of technology categories, and is consequently renowned for recognising true quality and innovation.

European Premium Compact Camera 2016-2017: DSC-RX1R II
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As one of the world’s smallest full-frame cameras, the RX1R II delivers the highest picture quality of any Sony compact camera ever made. This is made possible by the combination of the camera’s high resolution 42.4 MP full-frame sensor with its large aperture, fixed focal length ZEISS Sonnar T* 35mm F2 lens, which was optimised to work in combination with the sensor. It also features the world’s first variable optical low-pass filter1 providing stunning image quality with a wide dynamic range and very low noise. The Fast Hybrid AF system with advanced phase-detection and contrast-detection guarantees razor-sharp images, and with the powerful BIONZ X processor you will never miss a precious moment. The retractable XGA OLED Tru-Finder2 and a tiltable LCD screen offer great freedom to capture creative compositions. This premium compact camera is a true winner in every aspect.

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European Photo & Video Camera 2016-2017: α7S II
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The α7S II provides professionals with the right tool to create top quality video and excellent still images in every shooting situation. Its 12.2-million-pixel3 full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor masters high sensitivity shooting, with a maximum sensitivity of ISO 4096004. In addition, its high dynamic range, 5-axis image stabilisation, and internal recording of 4K movies5 in full-frame format with full pixel readout, ensure that the professional videographer won’t have to make any compromise regarding image quality. The camera’s Fast Intelligent AF excels in speed and accuracy and guarantees stunning images with excellent sharpness even in the dark.
1 Among digital cameras. As of October 2015 press release, based on Sony research.
2 The XGA OLED Tru-Finder features 2,359,296 dots.
3 Approximate effective megapixels. 4 Standard ISO 100 – 102400, Expandable to ISO 50-409600. 5 QFHD: 3840 x 2160. Internal recording and HDMI output, both at 4K resolution, are available in full-frame.

Alan Photo 


European Prosumer Compact System Camera 2016-2017: α6300
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The α6300 retains the compact lightweight design of its popular sister model, the α6000, but adds lightning fast (0.05 seconds) hybrid autofocus with 425 AF points and subject tracking 4D focus, professional-class 4K video shooting and a weather-sealed body. The new 24.2-million pixel6 Exmor CMOS sensor provides excellent image quality even in poorly lit situations, along with superb video quality, while the tilting 3-inch 921,000-dot LCD screen and the bright 2.36-million-dot OLED viewfinder are able to keep track of fast moving subjects at up to 11 frames per second.

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European Professional Compact System Lens 2016-2017: SEL85F14GM
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The SEL85F14GM telephoto prime lens is a true asset to any ambitious portrait photographer. The optical design and the use of advanced lens elements ensure that the lens delivers the extremely high resolution demanded by modern cameras. The circular aperture with 11 blades provides a smooth and appealing background blur, while Sony’s original Nano AR Coating reduces flare and ghosting with backlit subjects. The ring drive SSM motor system with two position sensors supports fast and accurate autofocus. As is to be expected from a professional lens, the FE 85mm F1.4 GM is dust and moisture resistant.
6. Approximate effective megapixels. 

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European In-Car HD Player 2016-2017: RSX-GS9
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With its 1DIN housing and a rotary control, Sony’s RSX-GS9 may look like a classic and authentic head unit, but behind its stripped-down face plate this high resolution audio system is a cutting-edge sonic superstar. It offers support for up to 192kHz/24-bit PCM for various devices through USB Type A, 5.6MHz native DSD via USB micro-B for the connected digital high-resolution music players, while the optical output allows digital connection to an external DSP. Sony’s unique smartphone app “SongPal” allows users to search music tracks with no hassle, and offers easy adjustments in the detail of the sound on the smartphone screen so it can be customised exactly to the how the user desires. The use of the best available DAC, high-end op-amps and advanced circuitry ensure that the RSX-GS9‘s audio performance is nothing less than sensational. All of which means that the benefits of high-resolution music can finally be enjoyed from your dashboard.

Please note that model numbers may differ from country to country. Please check locally for product availability in your country.

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

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Delivering Colors Photo Exhibition

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Delivering Colors Photo Exhibition
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15th August 2016, Singapore – “Delivering Colors” Photo Exhibition was derived from bringing joy – in the form of color images to showcase the colors of Singapore. Covering a wide variety of photography genres, the images are exhibited in full color & all images are captured locally giving instant familiarity to viewers/ visitors and covering from everyday scenes to everyday people and from the nature backyards of Singapore to the magnificent architectures in our city. Colors brings about creativity, instant gratification for the mind and has a positive effect on mental well-bring in the current fast-paced Singapore.

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We (the organizers) aim to bring our Colors to spread Joy with our images to the people of Singapore. Color is the universal language for everyone. 50 Colorful Images that have been carefully selected and curated will be on display at Capitol Piazza, more details below.

Organized by Bedok Reservoir-Punggol CC’s Photography Interest Group – Photographers@Punggol, Delivering Colors is part of the PassionArts 2016 (People’s Association) initiative.
– Allan Lee, Interest Group Advisor for Photographers@Punggol & Founder of Ourshutterjourney.com

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What: Delivering Colors Photo Exhibition
Where: Capitol Piazza Basement 1 (Facing Food Republic Foodcourt)
When: From 15th August 2016 to 31st August 2016. (10.30am to 10.30pm)
Who: Free Admission to All.

Organizers:
– PAssionArts
– Photographers@Punggol (P@P) by BRPCC
– Ourshutterjourney.com

Supported by:
– People’s Association
– Ministry of Culture, Community & Youth (MCCY)

Venue Sponsor:
– Capitol Piazza

Alan Photo

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Teardown of the FE 24-70 mm G Master Lens

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Teardown of the FE 24-70 mm G Master Lens

02nd August 2016, Singapore – Ever wonder what pieces make a lens? Here’s your chance to see what’s inside the FE 24-70mm G Master Lens. Now that’s a lot of glass and metal!

Click here to watch.

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Alan Photo

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Snapshots of Heritage Winners!

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Snapshots of Heritage Winners!
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16th July 2016, Singapore – Today is the opening of the Snapshots of Heritage Photo Exhibition. 100 selected entries (including th Winning Entries is currently on display at Capitol Piazza Level 1 (Open Plaza) from today till 11th August 2016. As promised, we are featuring the Winners’ Images here in this article. Congratulations to All the Winners & Exhibiting Photographers!

Entry: 357 – First Prize Winner
Image by: Ong Yi Chao
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The colourful row of shophouses at Joo Chiat reflects the rich heritage of the Peranakan culture. Over the years, these iconic shophouses have become a popular location for photography enthusiasts. It is of utmost importance to preserve these shophouses so that our younger generations will get to know more about the Peranakan culture of Singapore.

Entry: 388 – Second Prize Winner
Image by: Wong Chek Poh
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Tong Ah building is located at the corner of a triangular plot of land along Keong Saik Road. It is an iconic building with its distinctive red and white façade. The building had withstood the redevelopment around the area and has been conserved under the Building Conservation Act for its heritage architecture.

Entry: 282 – Third Prize Winner
Image by: Kelvin Ng
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Pearl Bank Apartments – One of the iconic apartment in Singapore. This was the first
all-housing project to be undertaken by the Urban Renewal Department of the Housing and Development Board’s sale of Sites Programme. With a height of 113m, the Pearl Bank Apartments was once the tallest residential building in Singapore when it was completed in 1976.

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Entry: 012 – Consolation Prize Winner
Image by: Eng Choon Siong
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Masjid Sultan – also known as the Sultan Mosque, is located at the intersection of Muscat Street and North Bridge Road within the Kampong Glam vicinity. This mosque is considered one of the most important mosque in Singapore and it features a prayer hall which can accommodate up to 5000 people at one go for mass prayers. Masjid Sultan is also one of the most visited tourist attraction in Singapore.

Entry: 040 – Consolation Prize Winner
Image by: Chui Yam Keng
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Trade – the life blood of our nation – Our family used to run a butchery business in Chinatown supplying meat to restaurants and walk-in customers. As a kid I remembered following my grandfather and father on their rounds to the abattoir in the early mornings to collect freshly slaughtered beef back to the shop and get ready for the day’s business. Although an insignificant trade, it is a part of our economy in those years. Featured in this photograph, a Bond certificate circa early 1900s.

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Entry: 549 – Consolation Prize Winner

Image by: Suhaimi Abdullah
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Thaipusam is a day for devotees to celebrate the fulfilment of their vows during the full moon in the Tamil month. The process involves gruelling ordeals for the devotees and always a marvel to watch. Let us preserve this heritage for our future generations to come.


Entry: 578 – Consolation Prize Winner

Image by: Ahmad Iskandar Bin Abdullah
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“It’s your Turn” – A game of Chongkak being played by our young generations. This is a traditional game played by many in the past and Singapore being Singapore, this game was already enjoyed by other races too.

Alan Photo

Entry: 046 – Consolation Prize Winner
Image by: Gary Chow
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One of Singapore’s most decorated temple – the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. I am always amazed by how grand this temple was constructed, both the interior as well as the exterior. It  is widely regarded as a beautiful fortress in its own rights. A favorite with tourists too.

Entry: 071 – Consolation Prize Winner
Image by: Koh Lye Huat
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Now: Malay Heritage Centre, then Istana Kampong Gelam – this was once the palace of the Sultanate of Singapore. It is located near to the Sultan Mosque and the centre features the rich historical links of the Malay culture which was made up of Bugis, Arab, Javanese, & Boyanese descendants mainly from Malacca, the Riau Island, and Sulawesi.

Entry: 137 – Consolation Prize Winner
Image by: Alice Chia
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Bird Watching Pastime – One of our fast disappearing heritage. In our earlier years, our father, grandfathers and uncles will bring out their pet birds and listen to them sing.
The gathering place is none other than the bird cage hangers where everyone meets.
We are losing such sights fast due to the constraints of space in Singapore. This image was captured at one of our HDB estate – but it won’t be for long before it disappears one day.

Entry: 252 – Consolation Prize Winner
Image by: Trisha Lim
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Street barbers is a “sunset” industry in Singapore. During my childhood days, there were many street barbers, whereas today the street barbers are really not easy to find as compared to the street cobblers. Many of the street barbers are now in their late 60s and most of them had retired. I remembered the price of a haircut was only $6 – much lower than those barbers that are located in a mall, their prices starts from $10.

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Entry: 234 – Consolation Prize Winner

Image by: Jeannie Lim
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These Ang Ku Kuehs (a traditional Chinese Peranakan snack) reminds me of the ones that my grandmother used to make. I used to loathe them as a kid as they were made in abundance. However as I grew up, I realised the intricacies, effort and heart which went into making them. What a lovely sight!

Entry: 366 – Consolation Prize Winner
Image by: Steven Liew

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Reflecting the Past, Seeing the Future – The famous Lau Pa Sat, still standing tall after more than 120 years in existence. Formerly a wet market, it is now the famous food court serving mostly the thousands of office workers around the area during office hours & the curious tourists. Locals throng the food centre especially during the evenings and weekends. The structure of Lau Pa Sat was reflected onto the modern glass architecture of an office building across the street, giving it an unique and abstract outlook.
Entry: 413 – Consolation Prize Winner
Image by: Uthup Binoy
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The Band Stand – situated inside Botanic gardens, it is almost 157 years old.
Botanic Gardens is located at the heart of the city where it has got amazing greeneries. Personally I like to spend time strolling here as it makes me feel refreshed and I get to enjoy the calmness and the beauty of nature.

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Entry: 494 – Consolation Prize Winner
Image by: Lemuel Jose Lucas
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Chinatown Complex – A group of senior citizens can be seen playing a serious game of checkers (commonly known as Dum) or Chinese Chess. This activity usually peaks during afternoons at the recreation area of the Chinatown Complex, which was originally built in 1983. Despite the competitiveness of the players, the area is often filled with laughter and sportsmanship.

Entry: 541 – Consolation Prize Winner
Image by: Andrew Bi
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Dragon Boat race is a part of a traditional Chinese culture to celebrate the Duan Wu Festival. In this year’s DBS Marina Regatta (2016), the participants are made up of every race that you can think of and it is beyond just-Chinese. Dragon boat racing requires team work, a high fitness level and never-say-die spirit to win.

Entry: 308 – Consolation Prize Winner
Image by: Sharon Ng
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Fullerton – This neo-classic architecture is an inspiring display of Singapore’s modern eloquence. From housing the General Post Office, Singapore Club, exchange rooms and government offices to a renowned boutique hotel today, Fullerton Building’s timeless beauty facade dates all the way back to 1928. Being a prestigious hotel and with the conservation efforts to maintain the architectural wealth within its walls, Fullerton Building is now a national monument and a tourist must-visit place in Singapore.

Entry: 463 Consolation Prize Winner
Image by: Allan Abarra Espolong
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The Twin Pagodas of Chinese Garden – This is one place that is very meaningful to me in Singapore especially during the mid-autumn festival. I enjoy viewing those beautiful lanterns during the festival. Beside the mid-autumn festival, one of the reason I like it here is th possibility of capturing the beautiful sunset while framing in the twin pagodas. This photo is one of the beautiful shot that I had taken as the light is just right and the reflection from the lake is clear.

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Organizer: Capitol Piazza

 

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Capitol Piazza panders to all who come seeking life’s finer pleasures. With seamlessly connected bespoke zones of retail, dining and entertainment, each promises businesses and customers an experience beyond exceptional.

 

Official Partner: Ourshutterjourney.com


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Founded in 2009, Shutter Journey Singapore is one of the fastest growing photography consortium in Singapore. With 12 specific photography groups and 6 associated groups, the group has a combined memberships/ subscribers of over 200,000 at press time. Probably the first hobby photography group in Singapore with their very own authorized service centre, a network of accredited photography merchants, registered membership program & lots of activities, no wonder they are known as the Advocators of Carefree photography.

 

Official Sponsor: Sgcamerastore.com
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One of the largest online photography brand with a full retail front, Sgcamerastore has grown to be an important establishment for local photographers. The comprehensive inventory ensures that all photographers’ needs are met with very reasonable prices and good selections of brands. Sgcamerastore is indeed the photographers’ lifestyle store.

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Sony a6300 – Made for Travel

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Sony a6300 – Made for Travel
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Photo: Editor AL at Bali with Sony a6300. (Image Credit: Cyndris Neo)


10th July 2016, Singapore/ Indonesia – Sony Singapore recently sent me the newly released a6300 accompanied by the Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Alpha E-mount Retractable Zoom Lens. When I was just wondering how should I review this camera, and without a second thought, I simply took it along with me to Bali, Indonesia for a planned photography trip. The a6300 was to be my travel camera for the trip – which turned out to be the best decision that I had ever made.

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Image: Water Blow at Nusa Dua Beach, Bali. Shot by Sony a6300

 

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Before we proceed, I am disclaiming (as usual) that if you found your way here looking for technical specs for the a6300 or a technical review, sorry to disappoint you – you can get those information easily from Sony’s website or on other review sites. Over here, we are only interested in what kind of images can we get from the equipment that we are reviewing.

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Back to the a6300, before the Bali trip, I was asking the editorial team on how should I review this camera. Should I compare it with its earlier predecessors? Should I compare it with other competing brands in the same category or price brackets? After much considerations,  I decided to review the a6300 as a standalone camera and as a travel camera – and so off it went with me to Bali.

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Image: Pandawa Beach, Bali. Shot by Sony a6300

 

DSC00409.JPGImage: Pandawa Beach, Bali. Shot by Sony a6300

 

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Image: Uluwatu Temple, Bali. Shot by Sony a6300

 

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Image: Kecak Dance at Uluwatu Temple, Bali at 50mm (75mm) Shot by Sony a6300

 

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Image: Kecak Dance at Uluwatu Temple, Bali at 16mm (24mm) Shot by Sony a6300

 

Made and designed by Sony as the mid-range mirrorless camera, it has (or takes) a lot to prove itself among the offerings by Sony. As the 4th 6xxx series E-mount, just like what everyone had expected, it came with many upgraded & improved features. Some key specs here – it has a new 24 mega-pixel EXMOR CMOS Sensor, a crazy 425 phase detection points to give ‘4D Focus’ Hybrid AF, 4K Video on tap, a 2.36M-dots OLED finder with 120 fps mode, Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC connection option & even a Built-in microphone socket.
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Image: Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave Temple), Bali. Shot by Sony a6300

 

DSC00523Image: A family praying for blessings at Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave Temple), Bali at 16mm (24mm) Shot by Sony a6300

 

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Image: A family praying for blessings at Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave Temple), Bali at 50mm (75mm) Shot by Sony a6300


Alan Photo

 

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Image: Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave Temple), Bali. Shot by Sony a6300

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Image: Coffee Berries (Coffee Beans), Bali. Shot by Sony a6300

 

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Image: Mount Batur, Bali. Shot by Sony a6300



Built quality is solid (as expected from Sony) and the a6300 features a dust and moisture resistant magnesium-alloy body that weights a mere 404 gm. Size wise, it had grown just a little (120 x 67 x 49 mm) over its predecessors which is largely maintaining the “friendly” compact size – which makes it a perfect travel camera. During the Bali trip, the a6300 was in my pocket, in my pouch and never once it was in the camera bag that I had brought along. For those who travels a lot, you will understand the convenience that I am talking about here.

 

DSC00632Image: Tirta Empul Temple, Tampak Siring, Bali. Shot by Sony a6300

 

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Image: Praying for Blessings & Cleansing of one’s soul. Tirta Empul Temple, Tampak Siring, Bali. Shot by Sony a6300

  

Operation wise, the handling is very “Sony”, ergonomics are comfy, switches are layout for easy control and I used the 3″ tiltable screen a lot for this trip. I just want to go really low near “some water” but not into the water – go figure. The 11 frames per second (fps) are another feature that I frequently used whenever I travel, maybe its just me, but for subjects that are moving, the fps speed does matters so I can get to select the frame that I want later during processing.

 

DSC00707Image: The Legong Dance, Bali. Shot by Sony a6300.

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Image: The Bali Museum, Bali. Shot by Sony a6300.

 

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On image quality, I was very impressed. OK, let me share a secret, every image featured here are shot on Automatic Mode (including the rest of the images from my Facebook Album). I do away with Manual this round primarily is to just “frame and shoot” while letting the a6300 do the rest. The a6300 seems to handle shadowed areas very well, guess the metering meter was working pretty hard, and in fact the number of images that I deleted is so minimal for this trip, but gotten more keepers than expected. (don’t forget I am on Automatic mode).

 

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Image: Jatiluwih Rice Terrace, Bali (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Shot by Sony a6300.

 

Focusing with the paired SELP1650 lens was fast, accurate and an almost silent operation. I locked focus in sub-seconds and always get the shot I wanted. I was really enjoying myself during the trip without worrying what the a6300 was producing after I visited the first location. With the a6300 in my hands, surely I am in good hands.
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Image: Jatiluwih Rice Terrace, Bali (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Shot by Sony a6300.

 

In conclusion, I am very impressed with the Sony a6300. Although marketed as a mid-range compact mirrorless, I can safely say that the a6300 definitely has its advanced market standing among users & against other brands. Priced friendly, light-weight, compact, ease of use, excellent image quality and features-packed, the Sony a6300 will find their way to the hands of many upgrading photographers, travel photographers & professional photographers. For the professionals, the a6300 is your best back-up cam in your bag or even as an “off-day” camera. It simply does wonders.

Thank You Sony Singapore for the a6300!

Buy Your Sony a6300 here.
View my entire album here.

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

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Toy Art (Vehicles) Photo Competition Winners

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Toy Art (Vehicles) Photo Competition Winners!

Jointly Organized by Ourshutterjourney.com & Kombi Rocks
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09th July 2016, Singapore – Kombi Rocks & Ourshutterjourney.com jointly organized this mini competition to interest photographers to try shooting toy scaled-vehicles. Of the 140 entries, there were really good ones as well as not-so-good ones which we hope the photographers who did not win win try harder next next time. Most of the common mistakes made are:
– Not managing the scale ratios.
– Using wrong scale figurines to complement.
– No proper framing or display of tech-know-hows.

Do not despair if you did not win this time, try hard, learn from others’ images and see where you went wrong.

Here are the images that made it to the last round of judging.
(Winners Announced after the jump below).

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Entries That Survived to the Finals.

#016 – by Alex Thong
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#021 – by Koh Lye Huat
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#024 – by Koh Lye Huat
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#034 – by Kendrick Tan
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#053 – by Pang Teng Lin
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#056 – by Pang Teng Lin
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#063 – by Johnson Ang
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#071 – by Lily Lim
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#081 – by Steven Yee
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#088 – by Wilson Ong
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#119 – Natalie Wong Chu Ning
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#120 – Tan Choon How
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#132 – Johnson Ang
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#133 – by Steven Liew
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And the WINNERS Are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1st PRIZE #021 – by Koh Lye Huat
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WINS $300 Kombi Rocks Credit + $100 Cash!

2nd PRIZE #056 – by Pang Teng Lin
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WINS $150 Kombi Rocks Credit + $50 Cash!

3rd PRIZE #063 – by Johnson Ang
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WINS $100 Kombi Rocks Credit

CONSOLATION PRIZES (05)
#120 – Tan Choon How
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#119 – Natalie Wong Chu Ning
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#088 – by Wilson Ong
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#081 – by Steven Yee
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#071 – by Lily Lim
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WINS Consolation Prizes: $30 KR Credit EACH! (05)

Collection Details:
There will be a Photo Critique session (by AL Lee) & Prize-Giving on 27th July 2016, 7.30pm at Kombi Rocks, please kindly RSVP at the below link!
https://www.facebook.com/events/1019118708141576/

Congratulations to All the Winners!
See you at Kombi Rocks!

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Snapshots of Heritage Exhibition

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Snapshots of Heritage Exhibition
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08th July 2016, Singapore – Recently we had done the judging of the Snapshots of Heritage Photography competition in association with Capitol Piazza, and we are glad to announce the exhibition. Including the winning entries, 100 selected entries will be exhibited at Capitol Piazza Outdoor Plaza! Get up close with the Judges and see your entries in large print! There will also be an open critique by Curator/ Judge AL Lee and a Prize Giving Ceremony to all the 18 Winners! So bring your family, friends along!

Date: 16th July 2016
Where: Capitol Piazza (Level 1 Open Plaza)
Time: Be there by 2.00pm

Program as followed!
2.00pm – Guests Arrival.
2.30pm – Opening Speech by AL Lee
2.45pm – Open Roving Critique by AL Lee & Hilarion Goh
3.15pm – Prize Presentation to Winners.
3.30pm – Group Photo Taking. (If we have 100 pax RSVP, we will do an aerial group shot)

RSVP at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1235861199782149/

FAQ:
1) How do I know if I had won?

If your entry had won a prize, you would have been notified by email by now.
Do check your junk mail – just in case.

2) How do I know if my entry had been selected to be exhibited?
If your entry had won a prize, you would have been notified by email by now.
Do check your junk mail – just in case.

3) Can I bring along my friends/ families?
Please bring your whole kampong. This exhibition is a visual treat – along with the interesting captions that depicts our heritage – Singapore’s heritage.

4) If I am unable to collect my prize at the ceremony, how ah?
Sure, please notify us (ourshutterjourney@live.com.sg) and let us know who will be collecting on your behalf. We will need the person’s Full Name and ID.
If you have any other questions, please send to the above email too.🙂

See you there!
*Organizer Information below.

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Organizer: Capitol Piazza

 

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Capitol Piazza panders to all who come seeking life’s finer pleasures. With seamlessly connected bespoke zones of retail, dining and entertainment, each promises businesses and customers an experience beyond exceptional.
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Official Partner: Ourshutterjourney.com


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Founded in 2009, Shutter Journey Singapore is one of the fastest growing photography consortium in Singapore. With 12 specific photography groups and 6 associated groups, the group has a combined memberships/ subscribers of over 200,000 at press time. Probably the first hobby photography group in Singapore with their very own authorized service centre, a network of accredited photography merchants, registered membership program & lots of activities, no wonder they are known as the Advocators of Carefree photography.

Alan Photo

Official Sponsor: Sgcamerastore.com
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One of the largest online photography brand with a full retail front, Sgcamerastore has grown to be an important establishment for local photographers. The comprehensive inventory ensures that all photographers’ needs are met with very reasonable prices and good selections of brands. Sgcamerastore is indeed the photographers’ lifestyle store.

OSJ2

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Street Photographers Singapore

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Street Photographers Singapore
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27th June 2016, Singapore – GR Club Singapore’s Official Facebook Page is officially defunct as of today and it will be managed by Ourshutterjourney.com  with immediate effect. The New page – titled Street Photographers Singapore – is a new spin-off under Ourshutterjourney’s Photography Consortium which manages 11 individual photography groups in Singapore.

Nothing has changed except for the Page name as Ourshutterjourney continue to share cross-platforms photography events to service the community. Members are encouraged to visit https://ourshutterjourney.com/about/ to find out more about the consortium and what benefits and exciting events awaits.

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Melbourne with Olympus

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Melbourne with Olympus
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Image: Both of us were using Olympus gear throughout the trip.

26th May 2016, Melbourne Australia – Singapore – Recently we took another trip out of Singapore. This round to Melbourne, Australia and mainly to complete I left behind more than 10 years ago – that is to complete the Great Ocean Road. Olympus Imaging Singapore, as usual got wind of our trip and decided to sponsor us the equipment for the trip. Most of you who have been following this site will know that Olympus had been very proactive with our trips sponsorship and they had sponsored at least 10 of our trips since we started working with Olympus. Just earlier this year in March, Olympus had covered us for our Krabi, Thailand trip, the recent Melbourne, Australia trip and the upcoming Bali, Indonesia trip in July. Since we are travelling every 2 months, there will be a lot of new materials on Olympus.

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As a user of multiple brands, I had traveled to many destinations with different cameras of different brands. So when this Melbourne trip was confirmed, I was cracking my head which camera should I be bringing and what are the lenses that I really need. I decided to match lenses to the places that I will be visiting in Melbourne. Weight & size is a serious consideration as we will be moving around quite a bit and from the vast open Great Ocean road to the city in the heart of Melbourne and to a far flung suburban small town.

After much deliberation, Olympus was the answer. Light & compact bodies with really capable functions and lenses that weights next to nothing – means I can bring more bodies and lenses without breaking my back.

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Image: St. Kilda, Melbourne Australia.

Since I used a combination of 2 bodies and a few lenses (my partner took one of the body and 2 lenses), I shall not state individually what did I used for each image, but rather I would like to showcase what I’ve managed to captured in Australia with my OIympus gear. Purely Olympus. Looking through the images featured in this article, it will be really easy to know which lens or body I had used to capture the image. Have fun identifying them!

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Image: Brighton Beach, Melbourne Australia.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Image: Elwood Beach, Melbourne Australia.

I must state that all featured images are of minor adjustments & editing, mostly are cropping, straightening of horizon and the occasional “push” on contrasts especially on monochrome images. Otherwise, this is pretty much what I’ve gotten direct from the cameras.

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Image: Sun setting at the Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Australia.

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Image: Loch Ard Gorge, Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Australia.

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Image: The Razorback, Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Australia.

Given the rapid changing skies at this time in Australia – a minute sunny, next minute gloomy, the Olympus cameras & lenses combo seems to adapt & react really fast, in fact, I was able to capture the shots really easily and without having the camera messing up the exposure by metering the exposure wrongly or simply randomly assign a white balance causing color-run, that already reduced the chances of me missing an important shot. I believe most of you would want a travel camera that gives you “insurance” since moments can be missed within seconds and you need to have a camera to match that expectation.

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Image: Farm Calves, Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Australia.

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Image: Puffing Billy, Belgrave, Melbourne, Australia.

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Image: Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne, Australia.

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Image: Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne, Australia.

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Image: Chinatown, Melbourne, Australia.

Alan Photo

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Image: Speaking of Good Luck! Managed to catch Amistat LIVE at Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne, Australia.

Personally, I think that Olympus’s user interface is pretty much idiot-proof and if you have been using Olympus, you will feel at home using any of the brand’s cameras – menus are easy to navigate, and buttons layout always makes sense. Although I am not exactly a fan of art filters, but I do know of people who makes full use of the art filters to max out the creativity options that came with the cameras.

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Image: Flinders Street Station, Melbourne, Australia. Shot from Federation Square. (Diagonally Opp)

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While many travel photographers will probably say that I am taking a “risk” by using an all-Olympus set-up for my trip (as compared to using a Canon or Nikon or Sony) while some will start commenting about sensor size, low light capability etc, well, I will say it all depends on the user. And what the user had planned to do or shoot. As for me, I had mentioned earlier that I had planned my gear according to my itineraries.

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Image: Luna Park, St. Kilda, Melbourne, Australia. 

 
When we returned, I scrutinized the images carefully and I am glad to share with everyone that I had gotten all the images that I had planned for and I managed to capture all just by using my Full-Olympus set up. You may wish to check out my full album from this trip here.

For those who are really curious what exactly are the Olympus cameras & lenses that I had used for this trip, do check out the next few pics.
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So that was all the Olympus equipment that we used for the trip, now try to figure out which ones & combo I used from my album.🙂

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Image: That’s me posing beside Puffing Billy!

Thank You Olympus Singapore for the Sponsorship!

Read up past reviews that we had done for Olympus here.

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Call-for-Entry: ToyArt Photo Competition

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Call-for-Entry: ToyArt Photo Competition
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16th May 2016, Singapore – Organized by Ourshutterjourney.com & Kombi Rocks, this competition is about creating interesting images using and featuring Toy Vehicles.

Combining your photography skills, your creativity & your toy vehicle, are you ready to tak up this challenge?

Visit the Competition Page Now!

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ToyArt – Toy Vehicles Photo Competition is Jointly Organized by Ourshutterjourney.com & Kombi Rocks

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Supported by
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Alan Photo

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Pentax 645Z Digital – Reviewed

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Pentax 645Z Digital – Reviewed
by Daniel Ho.
Originally Posted at SGJP.
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May 2016, Singapore – A rather late review on a digital medium format camera by Pentax coined Pentax 645z. Thanks for Pentax for allowing me to have this beautiful medium format camera for a real end user field use in order to gather some thoughts on this review. Note: I am not paid for this review, and it is solely a review of a photographer who is looking to move into digital medium format photography.

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How I was tempted to try my hands on a digital medium format when Hasselblad announced their new Hasselblad H6D 50C/100C offering but at a premium price of about USD32,995.00 compared to the USD6996.00 for Pentax 645z on B&H today, and after reading on the Pros and Cons of the Hasselblad, I am having to consider the high price of owning one and weighing the obstacles of attempting shooting in the medium format photography.

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I was then offered by a friend to take a look at the Pentax version of their 645Z digital medium format with the 55mm f2.8 lens. It was an offer I just had to take up, and the initial impression is that it is an extraordinary experience in snapping on this camera.

Technical Specifications of Pentax 645Z Digital Medium Format Camera.

  • 51.4MP CMOS Sensor – 43.8 x 32.8 mm
  • Prime III Image Processor
  • Anti-Alias Filter-Less Design
  • 3.2″ 1037K Dot Tiltable Air-Gapless LCD
  • Full HD 1080 60i/30p/24p Video Capture
  • ISO Sensitivity Range of 100 – 204,800
  • SAFOX II TTL 27 Point Autofocus System
  • 3 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Weather Sealed Magnesium Alloy Body
  • Pentax Flucard and Eye-Fi Compatible
    Alan Photo

Why would one want to look at a medium format camera when there are already many DSLR and even mirrorless (Sony’s) that have almost similar amount of resolution such as Nikon D810 and the Sony A7R. It is true while this camera is not a day to day street photography camera, and why would any photographer wants to try out medium format, especially a Pentax 645Z?

There are many reviews out there from photographers who wrote reviews on this Pentax 645z on their take on how this camera shines with Wedding Photography, Landscape, and even Portraiture. I feel the biggest strength of Pentax 645Z is that it is positioned between the lofty Hasselblad H6D and a Nikon D810, in terms of price, and allows a serious photographer to try out medium format as a step up. Despite many would say a DSLR can achieve similar quality, the couple of weeks of using this camera shows me that there is a step up in terms of quality that comes from this camera.

It is true, this camera is not for the day to day street photography, it feels good in my hands on a day to day shooting, and I would qualify this easily as a workhorse and a camera to fit in my bag everyday. I took this camera to the National Art Gallery to test out shooting this camera in an area that I love, Arts and Indoor, and I am more than sufficiently pleased by the high quality of photos that this camera is able to produce even in the out of the camera JPEG. The quality is I must say, better than my D810, and the colour rendered on the indoor photos is amazing.

IMGP2561w-768x576.jpgThis is the OUT OF CAMERA output when shooting in the National Arts Gallery, and I am impressed by its ability for my indoor architecture. The colour is accurate, the camera is capable of shooting at ISO3200 with absolutely no loss of quality, the White Balance is subtly capable as well.

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I took this inside the gallery, with very little light and casting on this sculpture, Pentax is able to handle the fine details despite shooting at ISO 3200 with very little noise.

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As a photographer who loves using the depth of field as part of my composition technique, the out of camera JPEG picture is amazing, this could be due to the 51 mega pixel resolution and the beautiful Sony sensor on this great camera, which just feels right in my hand.

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The “Bokeh” from this camera is pleasing at least and I would love to use this for my portraiture as well. The camera is able to produce the right light on the sculpture.

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Aside from my D810, and Leica M, the ability of this medium format camera at a 51 mega pixel, shows incredible details. The build of the camera is impressive, and the sensitivity range of this camera enables me to shoot even in the dim light of the gallery, and it allows this camera to be used in many more situations than other medium format cameras that does not featured weather and dust resistant and making it more difficult to be used outdoor. For Pentax 645Z, this is not the case, and I could envisioned that Pentax 645Z is probably going to be one of the first Digital Medium Format Camera to be more widely used outside of the studio.

IMGP2554wThe colour from the Pentax 645z’s Sony Sensor is incredible and the Red is Red where even with an auto white balance setting. Shooting in a gallery with the different lighting, this camera did not disappoint with the rendering of the colour in consistent with the mood.

While this is NOT a technical review of this amazing digital medium format camera, I must say, even with the large RAW file and the format unique to a medium format, I can easily adopt the workflow on my Lightroom. I would love to own this camera as part of my daily use and I will strongly recommend anyone who is keen on medium format, to take a look at Pentax 645Z. It is as capable to deliver high quality of photos and with every low learning curve. – Daniel Ho.

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Call-for-Entry: Snapshots of Heritage Competition

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Call-for-Entry: Snapshots of Heritage Competition
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19th April 2016, Singapore – 
Organized by Capitol Piazza & Partnering with Ourshutterjourney.com, “Snapshots of Heritage” is a photography competition & exhibition revolving around the theme on individual’s heritage, of forgotten places & memories, or any people, food or things that we hold dear to our hearts. Participants are encouraged to produce images to the theme based on their own interpretations & thoughts.

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Submissions will be curated progressively and published leading up to the final judging by a panel of judges. There are lots of great prizes and cash to be won!

Selected & Winning entries will also be exhibited at Capitol Piazza – so go out there, turn back the clock, immerse yourself in the good old days, replay some memories and capture these images for keepsakes!

Visit the Competition Page Now!

Check out the Judging Panel here.

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Organizer: Capitol Piazza

 

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Capitol Piazza panders to all who come seeking life’s finer pleasures. With seamlessly connected bespoke zones of retail, dining and entertainment, each promises businesses and customers an experience beyond exceptional.

 
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Official Partner: Ourshutterjourney.com


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Founded in 2009, Shutter Journey Singapore is one of the fastest growing photography consortium in Singapore. With 12 specific photography groups and 6 associated groups, the group has a combined memberships/ subscribers of over 200,000 at press time. Probably the first hobby photography group in Singapore with their very own authorized service centre, a network of accredited photography merchants, registered membership program & lots of activities, no wonder they are known as the Advocators of Carefree photography.

Alan Photo

Official Sponsor: Sgcamerastore.com
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One of the largest online photography brand with a full retail front, Sgcamerastore has grown to be an important establishment for local photographers. The comprehensive inventory ensures that all photographers’ needs are met with very reasonable prices and good selections of brands. Sgcamerastore is indeed the photographers’ lifestyle store.

 

OSJ2

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Saga Part 3: Wedding Boutique Clarifies

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Saga Part 3: Wedding Boutique Clarifies

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13th April 2016, Singapore – As more and more dramas unfolded itself in Singapore’s latest Wedding Dispute Saga, the boutique had stepped forward and shared their story with a local newspaper yesterday. Feline Wedding shared their side of the story citing that the couple had been difficult and had tried to get a refund due to the bad images. The rest of the story is pretty self-explanatory.

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After reading the claims from all 3 parties:

1) This couple wants a refund for the bad photos, including the slightly “better” ones.
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Alan Photo

2) This amateur photographer got shot for several non-industry standard practices like giving every photo from a shoot to the client, and accepted a full day assignment for $350.00 where other Pros are charging at least 4 times more as market rate.
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3) The boutique claims difficult customer wants refund and openly share the non-industry rate for a full-day wedding photography at $350.00
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You know what? We decided to wash our hands and find something else more meaningful to do after following this news for the last 3 days.

We hope all parties will come to an amicable settlement soon.

Read also:
Saga Part 1: What the Couple Could Have Done.
Saga Part 2: The Photographer Speak Up.

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Saga Part 2: Now hear from the Photographer

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Saga Part 2: Now hear from the Photographer
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Image: The better images of the same wedding by Chung.

12th April 2016, Singapore – further to our earlier article about a wedding couple whom had “their wedding day album ruined”, the photographer had stepped forward to defend himself. Our article was about sharing what the couple could have done to prevent a situation like this, but in this case, instead of the Wedding Boutique stepping up and explain the situation, the photographer who was sent to cover this wedding speak up.

The photographer who covered the wedding is Chung Siew Goh, to which he posted some photos of the wedding and a note offering a glimpse of the unfolding drama.

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Image: Screen Grab from Chung’s Facebook.

 

“I am the photographer on that day ….. Acouple long 10 hrs hard work..for this couple Edit 900 plus photo for them they use less than 20 pic to URGE not SATISFY wanted to refund cash paid ..but they already collected those photos NOW put up in media to show the whole world and spoil our Reputation which no REASON which not Fair to us..” – as posted by Chung on his Facebook.
OK, that was painful too read. Basically what he is saying is – he had shot this couple’s wedding which is about 10 hours (typical) and he had edited 900+ images and sent the photos to the couple. Then the couple picked out some terrible looking images and publicised it on social media so that they can pressure this Chung for a refund. Whoa! Too much of a drama?

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Image: The better images of the same wedding by Chung.

 

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Following our earlier article, the whole photography industry “woke up” and started to share their views across social media. While there were many questions posed to both parties, I’ve picked up a few points that are worth pondering over.

1) Why Even Give the Couple photos that are not acceptable?
Having been in this line for many years, this is a taboo. As a self-respecting photographer, I will only deliver the best images to my clients. Bad images are not meant to be given and better to delete away. Why so? Like some photographers had shared in some of the comments, why even give the client a chance to shoot you back in your feet? You can deliver good 1,000 images and the client can use 05 bad images and ask for a full refund – get the picture now? Not saying all clients are like that but hey! Many of the fellow Pros – including me – had encountered such clients before. If you are a new photographer and had just join the industry, please note this point seriously!

Alan Photo

2) A Tip-Off suggested the fees were $288.00
The Tip-off although not verified, I am not surprised as I had mentioned this point in my earlier article. Wedding Boutiques keep costs low to maintain a profit margin – like any other businesses – this is common. But $288.00 for a full day wedding, this wedding could have charged the couple between $888.00 & $1388.00 which is common in the wedding industry. So naturally, the couple will feel ripped off as they could have paid $1388.00 but gotten images that probably worth much less.
That probably ignited the drama.

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Image: The better images of the same wedding by Chung.

3) Other images by the Photographer are amateurish.
There are easily threads after threads of comments about the images that Chung had posted in his defence. As a working photographer, I agree with most of these comments. Looking through the “better” images by Chung, I am sorry but to agree that his work is of amateur-level. Exposures was inconsistent, flash pointing at the all the wrong places, focus points not defined etc and I have not even get to the part on composition and engaging the couple – a basic knowledge for all wedding day photographers.

4) Couple Looking for Refund
This is an important key point here. Did they purposely picked up the badly done images, make some crazy edit to them then post up to shame & pressure the wedding boutique to refund them? Seriously we won’t know and we shall not speculate any further. When money is involved, it can be anything, wouldn’t you agree?

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We tried contacting Chung for his comments via Facebook Messenger and we did not get a reply from him at press time. Then again, Chung is just a photographer engaged by the wedding boutique to shoot the wedding, the fire should be on the wedding boutique and not on Chung. Why set ourselves on a foot soldier when the mastermind remained quiet through this ordeal?

As we anticipate more drama to unfold, we urge everyone to remain neutral and hold your judgement until the wedding boutique speaks up. Meantime, we hope Chung can try to improve on his photography skills.

Read also:
Saga Part 1: What the Couple Could Have Done.
Saga Part 3: Wedding Boutique Clarifies.

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Saga Part 1: What The Wedding Couple Could Have Done?

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SAGA Part 1: What The Wedding Couple Could Have Done?
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Image: One of image submitted to Jaclyn featuring a ghostly color theme.


12th April 2016, Singapore
– A Bride – Jaclyn Ying – in Singapore received her actual-day wedding photos & “find herself “sorely disappointed with them” as quoted on her Facebook post which (expectedly went viral). We are not going to poke any fun to anyone but instead, we decided to compile of what they could have done so that other soon-to-wed couples can take a leaf out of this article.

So what went wrong?

“Here’s the lowdown – we got one of those “bao ka liao” wedding packages that included actual day photography from a pretty reputable bridal shop. Before we signed on, we were told that while we couldn’t choose our photographer, the standard of the talent pool was consistent. Naturally (and being Singaporean), we asked, “sure annot”. And were promptly shown a portfolio of actual day photos.  They looked alright, and so we signed on thinking, “okay la hor, how bad can they be.”  – Jaclyn Ying

 

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Image: One of image submitted to Jaclyn featuring selective color on a weird subject and the couple is badly under-exposed.

 

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1) All-in-One Wedding Package –
In any business, it is common for companies to procure and engage the lowest priced contractors/ freelancers while charging market rates to clients to max out their profit. In the wedding industry, it is most common for wedding boutiques to engage the cheapest possible photographers and send them out to cover wedding day. I am not saying ALL wedding boutiques does this, but many do it. Yes, that means wedding boutiques are also doubling up as “training schools” for newbie photographers while charging the clients for a professional fee.

 

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2) Choice of Photographers –
In this case, Jaclyn was informed that they cannot choose the photographer of their choice – what they could have done was to “explore” cancelling the wedding package – which at this point, many wedding boutique will be more than happy to accommodate as competition is really tough. They will not want to risk losing your business just because of a photographer. Further to that, you are a customer – you have the rights to decide what you want and not to be dictated by a wedding company. If the terms offered are not in your favor then move on and find another wedding boutique.

Alan Photo

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Image: One of image submitted to Jaclyn featuring selective color patch – like that also can?

 

3) Sample Portfolios –
Secondly, they were shown a portfolio of actual day photos and assured by the wedding boutique that the “talent pool” standard “was consistent”, well ask yourself, will a wedding boutique show you lousy photos? The couple should have asked for more photos to be vetted or be directly blunt to ask who will be the photographer that will be assigned to their wedding. The couple can go & do some homework & research before reverting. These days, it is not that difficult to find out who-is-behind-what right? And good photographers usually will have a website with their portfolio or even the most basic ones have a Facebook Business Page – there is where you get to see the works and decide for yourself.

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Image: One of image submitted to Jaclyn, also in a ghostly shade of ocean blue.

Ok, to be fair, we are not there at the scene when the couple signed the contract so we do not exactly know what happened and if the couple had been pressured into confirming the wedding package.

“Anyway, we’re looking for some redress from the shop at the moment, but nothing is going to take away the fact that our wedding photos by this dude are pretty much ruined. What’s more, he was our only “pro” photog for that day. This stag worked solo, man.” – Jaclyn Ying
3) Case Against the Shop –
This is going to be tough. Personally I know of wedding boutiques changing business names frequently but managed by the same group of people. It could be a case of many complaints and after building up to a stage that they cannot manage anymore, the company will decidedly close the company and re-open a new one operating under a different name (sometimes even at the same premise!) – and the cycle continues. In fact, do a check with the local consumer watchdog and you will know that disputes from wedding boutiques are common and it had been going on for years.

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Image: One of image submitted to Jaclyn, an unglam shot of a wedding guest.

With no proper accreditation or regulating party for wedding boutiques, there are many things that these companies can get away with. Once again, I would like to disclaim that NOT ALL wedding boutiques are like this – not all. I hope Jaclyn kept all the receipts and have the contract vet by a business lawyer before escalating the case. Some of these companies had received so many legal letters to the point that they are so experienced so their stated terms & conditions are usually in their sole favor.
4) A Ruined Wedding Day Photo Album –
This is where the real ammunition is. Further to the possible legal suit above, this is the part that Jaclyn can sue the company for an undisclosed amount of insane compensation for ruining their wedding day photo which cannot be re-enacted or duplicated.

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Further to that, the whole experience had “caused immerse psychological stress on the couple resulting in depression, insomnia, embarrassment & trauma which (might) further escalated to possible high costs of medical & psychiatric treatments and affecting employment commitments etc.”

A ruined wedding is a ruined wedding. At the hands of an amateur photographer who is out trying to learn new things but not given a senior or more experience photographer to follow. The photographer in this case was sent out by the wedding boutique and was given “solo” without any back up.

Seriously if I am that photographer, or a new photographer, I would have rejected the assignment if no senior photographer is going with me. On the other end of the scale, the wedding boutique should not have just sent out an amateur and try to pass the photographer off as a professional.

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Image: One of image submitted to Jaclyn, at the most romantic moment, a photo bomb appear. Some may argue not the photographer’s fault, but any experienced photographer will know how to avoid such situations or better still, had already communicated to the guests where not to stand.

Lastly, we think that Jaclyn & her husband had been really nice. Given today’s social media culture, if they had released the name of the wedding boutique and the name of the photographer, this news could have hit the headlines of our local press. A certain wedding boutique would have closed down today and a certain photographer may quit the industry altogether – but this couple didn’t expose the names.

For Jaclyn;
– if you are reading this, we felt really sorry that your wedding day photos had ended up like this. Our wedding photography team is proposing to do a nice Post-Wedding Album for you & your husband at No Charge – yes you saw it right – we want to do it for free for you as we really hate to see people’s wedding ruined. Do make contact with us at ourshutterjourney@live.com.sg to discuss. J

OSJ2

For the rest of you (photographers):
– if you think the wedding industry is easy to make money, please be reminded that this is a double-edged sword industry. Hone your craft well before you start to ruin others wedding photos.

For the soon-to-wed couples:
– Have a clear mind before signing on any contract from wedding boutiques. Read the terms & conditions carefully and better to have a business lawyer vet before signing. You are the customer and You have the rights to decide. If the terms are not in favor or if you are not comfortable, do not rush or be pressured into signing – there is always another wedding boutique out there who will accept your request.

Jaclyn – hope to hear from you soon! Our Wedding Team is ready & waiting.

Read also:
Saga Part 2: The Photographer Speaks Up.
Saga Part 3: Wedding Boutique Clarifies
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Image: Can’t resist this. 

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What Do You Really Need In A Camera

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What Do You Really Need In A Camera
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Image Courtesy of bollzy.com
07th April 2016, Singapore – The recent development of camera technology is getting very interesting. The manufacturers had been on a spree to outdo each other in their latest offerings and we on the consumer end, is trying to understand what exactly are these manufacturers trying to do? While many out there are obviously confused or simply overwhelmed by numbers, specs etc, we decided to write this article and share some thoughts on these specs & numbers.

In this article, I am going to take a comical look into the developments so don’t flame me. It’s just my thoughts anyway.

Let’s just take a look at some of the key features which are common in today’s imaging technology. However, no brands will be mentioned.

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Focus Points 
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I remember clearly my first autofocus SLR (film) has only 3 focus points, namely – Left, Centre & Right. Then came the early DSLRs with 5 points (Added top & bottom), then 9 points, 11 points, 19 points and suddenly 100+ points, 200+ points & the crazy 300+ points. May I ask, how many times do you really select the points? And if you are the person who will let the camera decide where to focus for you, how many times had you ended up with images that had been back-focused? Sorry but I am old-fashioned, I prefers to set my cameras to a single center focus point and employ the use of focus on subject>half pressed shutter>refocus & recompose>shoot type.

In my 9 years of doing commercial photography, I had only used that one single center focus point. In some occasions when I was shooting pre-wedding albums, I do use manual focus. 300+ focus points? I believe somewhere out there, some engineers are already working on 800+ focus points with probably 1800+ virtual focus points.
Do You Really Need 800+ focus points?

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Start Up Time
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This is one of the features that most camera specs will always include. From that second you switched on the camera, the start-up time determines how fast the camera will be ready to shoot an image. Well, probably the makers are anticipating photographers to switch on & switch off their cameras regularly. But wouldn’t that wear out the on/off switch faster? I remember almost all cameras that were built after year 1999 has a power-save or sleep or auto-off function? And this function can be customized to how long you want the camera to idle before it starts to hibernate? From the pace that this feature is being improved model after model, probably the next revolution will be – the camera may have a motion sensor with a fuzzy logic chip built in.

Higher end models may even get a light sensor – so the minute you take your camera out of the bag, it wakes up by itself and ready to shoot by the time while you are bringing the camera to your face. Fast enough?
Do You Need your camera to stay awake the minute you wake up?

ISO
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Since the beginning of digital SLRs, we all remembered the ISO that we “paid for” starts from a standard ISO 100 to about ISO 1600 – and ISO 1600 back then is almost not use-able in print. Then we started seeing cameras showing up with ISO 100 to ISO 6400, then came the negative to expanded scale from ISO 50 to ISO 12,800 and some already reaching ISO 25,600. Today, photographers are talking about ISO 30 to ISO 3,000,000+. Wow! Before you say “shut up & take my money!”, may I ask you what is the highest ISO that you had ever used? Personally I had used up to ISO 6400 for certain assignments but never once I had given my clients a print with a ISO 12,800 – because there is no need to! So what if you have ISO 3,000,000 and the maximum ISO you use is probably ISO 12,800? As I write, I am sure engineers out there are already working on a camera that gives you ISO 25,000,000 and higher end models may even get military grade night-vision technology. Who knows right? Now ask yourself, do you really uses an ISO that high?

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FPS (Frame Per Second)
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FPS – Which means Frames-Per-Second, and further means how many images are you able to capture in a full second while your finger depress the shutter button. Sports Photographers, Birds Photographers or even Press Photographers will be the people that will (really) be concerned about this. I remembered vividly from the early SLRs which managed 3 fps to 5 fps and then from early digital’s 3 fps to a mighty 8 fps (top of the line DSLRs) and today’s entry-level DSLRs doing about 5 fps to an insane 20 fps for some pro model DSLR. On this part, I will think that unless you set your camera to “Burst Mode” all the time, or works with the press, shoot sports and birds, an average of 5 fps is ample enough to serve most needs.

While many will disagree with me, now be honest, after shooting in burst mode, count how many shots are sharp, and how many will you keep? As a user of flagship DSLRs from 3 brands, each doing an average of 10-15 fps, I know how it is like to be deleting and selecting the few images that I will really keep or submit to client. And the more I burst, the more time I have to spend viewing the images one by one and further deleting them while keeping a few that I really need. Do not forget that digital images take up spaces too.

And since our camera shutters has an intended lifespan of (average) 150,000 shots to 250,000 shots, let’s just take the lower 150,000 and use the soon-to-come 120 fps as an example.
Your shutter lives for 150,000 shots.
Your FPS is 120.
So 150,000 shots divided by the fps 120 will be 1250 actuations.
Congratulations, your camera shutter is going to “die” after you press the shutter for 1250 times – set to burst mode. Does that make any sense to you? Let’s see if the next update of DSLRs or other cameras will get us 80 to 120 fps.
Wait, do you need 120fps at all?

Alan Photo

Filters
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Image Courtesy of rewindandcapture.com 
No, I am not talking about the good old front-mount-screw-on filters or the luxurious square filters. What I really meant was the digital filters that came along with your cameras. When the days were much simpler, apart from the color shooting mode, we get a monochrome (Black & White or Bandicoot) option and for the lucky some, Sepia. Today, more digital filters are added with every new model and some are actually quite decent and fun to use.

One of the camera brands that started this trend had about 7 filters in their DSLR and today, almost every brand offers at least 20 to 30 digital filters in their DSLRs and adding new ones with every release. While the creative options have largely expanded with the inclusion of these filters, how many filters have you really used for your images? Sorry again but I am old-fashion, I will prefer to capture the image as it is then edit & process the images to my liking later. Yes, there are occasions that I walk about with the camera color set to Monochrome, but rarely, what about you?
Do you need like 100 “bubble gum” digital filters in your camera?

 

OSJ2


Bracketing

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Image Courtesy of exposureguide.com

Almost every decent DSLR or higher end compacts does bracketing. (Some can even do bracketing and in-camera blend) For those of you who know that you have this function but has never used or not exactly sure what it does, here’s a one sentence explanation. The camera captures a scene (basic) in 3 exposures that comprise a normal exposure, a darker exposure and a brighter exposure so you can layer them and merged them into a final image with a balanced exposure – in short HDR. Yes, you heard it right, 3 bracketed shots were what we have in the early days. Soon the number of bracketed shots was noted to have increased to 5 shots and to 9 shots in the mid era.

Today, some of the imaging demon cameras manage up to 30 bracketed shots. In the past, 3 to 5 bracketed shots gives very interesting end results as the images are on a much different dynamic range for example: -3, 0, +3. Today, those on 18 or more bracketed shots are really getting -8, -7.5, -7, -6.5, -6, -5.5, -5, -4.5, -4, -3.5, -3, -2.5, -2, -1.5, -1, -0.5, 0, +0.5, +1, +1.5, +2, +2.5, +3, +3.5, +4, +4.5, +5, +5.5, +6, +6.5, +7, +7.5, +8.  Tell me, if you had shot a configuration similar to my example above, after blending without individual edit, tell me what did you get? Still have dynamic range? Or you have to add lots of contrasts to make up for the DR losses?

Hate to say this but I suspect one day, the engineers developing the bracketing functions will soon give us 100 frames bracketing – and you will get an image that looks exactly like how you have shot it at 1/100, F5.6 & ISO400. (Just saying).
Do You Really need to bracket more than 5 shots?

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In-Camera Customization/ Editing
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Image: Full Suite Photo Editing Software built into camera?

From my understanding, not all but many cameras today allows you to edit your images directly from the camera. Although most of the options available now are cropping, straightening, some color & contrast  adjustments or adding a digital filter to your images, I am very sure more editing functions are on their way. Pardon me again for being old-fashion, but I really prefer to load my images to my computer and edit my images on the big screen.

And there are a lot more I can do from my soft wares than what was offered from the camera. Yes, that might save you some time if you are doing some basic and simple edit, but how many of you are really using this function? Camera manufacturers are constantly trying to outdo each other and probably, I say probably, soon you can add watermarks, super-imposed images, and even order Starbucks from inside your camera.
Do You really need this function?

Body Size
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Materials used for manufacturing our cameras are getting cleverer by the model. I believed many of you would have remembered how heavy the 1st generation DSLRs were. From engineering plastics to recycled compound, from aluminum to titanium alloys, our cameras are getting lighter and with the advancement of technology, our cameras are getting smaller and smaller too. The good news is, manufacturers are not exactly competing on who can design and make a camera that weight next to nothing, but the real competition is really more on the size. Just look at the entry-level DSLRs, some of them are just slightly bigger than the high-end compacts or bridge cameras. On the other end of the scale, who would image a professional spec full frame camera to be much smaller than a DSLR?

With the current trend of cheaper travel and more people taking up photography, size is definitely one of the priorities in the list. Not forgetting smart phone cameras are getting more advanced since the 2 megapixel hey days so camera manufacturers have to counter this carefully. Who knows, the next DSLR may be pocket-sized and mirrorless that fits into your wallets – ok, I will leave the rest to your imaginations.
Remember, it’s what you need from a camera and not what the size that determines your buying decision.
 Sensor & Megapixel Size
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There are 2 parts to this. 1st is the physical size of the sensor and 2nd is the ever-increasing megapixel war.

In the past, when you are using a Full Frame DSLR (35mm equivalent), wow you must be a pro, or a super-rich person as full frame cameras are out of reach for many people. Today, every other person is using a Full Frame camera – because it is now cheaper to the point it had fallen below the SGD $2K mark (street price) for a new Full Frame body. Don’t get me wrong, cropped-sensor (APS-C/ APS-H) DSLRs still have their foothold in the industry as these cameras are really meant for added range for a wide variety of photographic purposes. And further to that, it is cheaper to produce so that is probably why almost 95% of entry-level DSLRs are using APS-C sensors.

Between FF & APS-C sensors, both have their specific uses and capabilities. But sadly, in local context, using a Full Frame camera means “something”. From the way the R&D is moving, probably in future they will just do away with APS-C sensors and all cameras will released in Full Frame by default – and you can use a digital crop-factor (which some cameras already has this function). But what if I tell you now you can choose the crop factor from inside your Full Frame badass to either x1.3, x1.5, x1.8, x2, x5, x10, x35, x50, x100 – so using a 10mm ultra-wide angle can be configured to 1000mm by digital crop factor at x100 – ok, I am really just kidding!
So do you really need a Full Frame sensor?

On the megapixel race, personally I felt that it is mega-rated. I mean do you really need that many pixels if you are just shooting for fun? Maybe yes and maybe no. But allow me to share what happens when you upgrade from – say a 16 megapixel camera to a 36 megapixel camera. First and foremost, you need a higher capacity memory card – and memory is expensive especially the good ones (pun intended). Your 8Gb or 16gb memory card can no longer store as much images as before.

And do not think buying a cheap & regular 32gb or 64gb will justify, faster writing speed cards costs more money too. Next, you need a good resolution screen to match – else you are not really viewing what was captured – The screen costs money too. And do check if your computer and software can handle multiple big files without hanging or crashing, if not you will need to upgrade (money again).

After you have addressed all the earlier points, now you need to have a much bigger HDD or backup system to store your files. Big files = Big Storage, that’s pretty much common sense isn’t it? And deep storage costs you more money. So the next time if a newly announced camera is 100 megapixel or 1000 megapixel, be prepared to fork out money for a 512gb memory card, a 4K or 6K screen, a super computer with infinity memory ram, a 10,000TB Storage/ back-up system and everything else in between. OK, this is not funny anymore. So do you need 1000 megapixel one day?

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There are a lot more points that I would like to cover in this article but I do not wish to risk being sued for unauthorized sharing of embargoed information until they are official. As a final disclaimer, the above article was intended to pull some jokes on the camera manufacturers without releasing any classified information on the research and development of any camera, lenses or photographic accessories. All speculated specifications and functions are purely false and imaginary with no basis and no reference.

On a serious note, things are moving really fast in the digital imaging arena and as a photographer, it will be interesting to watch and move along with the technology – even with the absurd ones.

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