Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Photos #35-43

exposure: 1/1000sec f/stop: 2.8 iso: 100

I haven't done high speed photography (HSP) for a while but it was pretty fun. I like this shot and I wanted to do more but I ran out of balloons so it'll have to wait till I get more.

 exposure: 1/2500sec f/stop: 2.8 iso: 100

While waiting for Marione at the station I thought I'd take a little stroll around Strathfield cause it was too hot to wait in the car. I just like the shadows of the fence on the ground and the random bottle.

exposure: 1/80 sec f/stop: 6.3 iso: 100

This makes me want to get the Sony 70-200mm even more. It would help me take sharper good quality images but in the meantime I'll work with what I have. I have an interest to do some nature photography and after looking through some National Geographic magazines, I'm actually considering it. I just need to improve on my shots. 
exposure: 1/2 sec f/stop: 6.3 iso: 100

Driving through the city today, like always I decided to take a photo at a random place and a random time. I wish there were more people in the shot but I like the movement of the people. I was trying to get a shot of city life and how people are always moving and how busy things can get. I'll  take a better shot later to convey that message another time.

exposure: 1/80 sec f/stop: 2.8 iso 200

The first time I tried vitamin water and its actually not bad. A bit expensive from the place I bought it but still it was nice. Thought I'd take a photo of the bottle to commemorate this special occasion. 

exposure: 1/50 sec f/stop: 6.3 iso: 100

Random kid that looked really angry but I didn't manage to get that angry facial expression. I was originally taking a photo of the scenery but he suddenly just stormed into my shot. I cropped and edited this photo a bit but I wish I got more of his reflection in the water.

exposure: 0.6 sec f/stop: 7.1 iso: 400

Being the tech junkie that I am, I was really excited to get this new camera with all the great features it has. It makes me excited to see what Sony comes out with in the next couple of months. Also I'm guessing Sony will release their next batch of DSLRs that finally have video mode (a lot of people say its not necessary but its one of the reasons why Sony has lost a lot of market share. Oh well its the trend these days and might I add it will be the best video implantation in DSLRs from the other manufacturers) in the next couple of months. Sometime before or during the FIFA World Cup because Sony is the major sponsor for the event and they would be idiots not to use that big event to market some of the products.

exposure: 1/500 sec f/stop: 6.3 iso: 100

Whilst on my walks I saw a duck at Victoria Park sleeping on itself. I didn't know ducks could turn the necks around and rest on their backs. Random thought I was thinking, what if humans could do that but that's just weird lol. 

exposure: 1/10 sec f/stop: 2.8 iso: 200

At the Fish Markets with my sister and we ordered a seafood platter and we finished it (usually we get so full that we don't eat everything but I guess we were just really hungry). I was here a couple of days before today having yum cha with Marione's family celebrating her sister's birthday. Never been to yum cha and that was a cool experience. 

Monday, March 29, 2010

Introducing my new addition to my camera lineup

 Sony Cyber-Shot HX5V

I received this camera off eBay from DigitalRev. Pretty good online store that was really cheap compared to the local stores around Sydney that were retailing it for $530 - 630. It arrived in two days of placing an order and that was really fast with free postage. I'm going to shop with them again for my new lens (still deciding what that will be but I'll probably be spending a couple grand on it). Anyway back to the camera it functions pretty well and I mainly got it for times when I can't bring my DSLR around and for the video capabilities. Its a good travel camera with GPS and compass capabilities and with the intelligent sweep panorama mode, makes this an added bonus feature to this camera. Not to mention the HDR (High Dynamic Range), Hand-held twilight mode, anti motion blur and intelligent auto enables you to get great quality image. Its not as good as a DSLR but for a compact camera it really raises the bar on image quality. After playing around with it for a few days, I easily got the hang of using it. There is just two problems that I encounter when using this problem.

The first is the location of the stereo mics. The image below shows that the stereo mics are so close to the edge of the camera that it could be a hassle when recording video. When shooting video people usually use both hands to make the camera more steady but because of the location of the stereo mics, people have to be mindful not to cover them.

Top view

My second problem was the tripod mount. I probably won't be using this on a tripod that many times but when I do it could become an inconvenience. It may not be a problem with some people but I just prefer the tripod mount in the middle so its more stable.
Bottom view

That's just a few things that I have to nitpick with the camera and I really can't find many things that bother me. Its already a really popular camera after its release a couple of weeks ago and it really satisfies the needs of the compact camera crowd's needs with a variety of great features. Here's just a a couple of shots with this camera using the intelligent sweep panorama mode.

Victoria Park

Sydney Fish Markets
A little barrel distortion but I think I panned the camera pretty fast on this shot

I'll do a video review of this when I have the time cause the next two weeks for me is going to get really busy with work and study and assignments that I need to do but I'll do my best.

Thanks for reading everyone! =.)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Photo #32 - 34

exposure: 2sec f/stop: 9 iso: 100

Taken from Bondi Junction Westfield from the food courts. I love going to Bondi!
Took a few shots to get a decent hand held photo. Probably should have up the iso here.

exposure: 1/2sec f/stop: 5 iso: 400

I also love driving around at night! Funny thing is when I took this photo the police were looking at me and they probably thought I was doing something shifty. Lucky they didn't pull me over =P

exposure: 1/250sec f/stop: 1.7 iso: 100

I have quite a lot of spider webs in my backyard and here I stumbled on a spider hiding in its leaf. I wanted to make this shot a bit more interesting so I added the butterfly bokeh to this shot.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Why I chose Sony

From doing photos at the clubs to talking to random people I bump into when I'm out taking photos, I encounter this question quite a lot. Why did I choose Sony over Canon and Nikon? And there were quite a few reasons actually. I probably wouldn't have put much effort into looking at Sony DSLRs if it weren't for Marione. When we first began researching which DSLRs to get we looked at quite a few brands, from Canon and Nikon to Pentax and Olympus. I remember Marione telling me she saw an ad on tv about the Sony a350 and we began researching about it. I did quite a lot of research on the net about Sony and I began to really like what it offered.

One of the main reasons why I liked Sony was because of the in-body stabilization, otherwise known as "Super Steady Shot". This meant that the sensor inside the body physically moved to compensate for camera shake. The advantage of this is that every lens you attach to the camera body becomes stabilized. In addition, you don't have to pay extra for lens stabilization that you get with Canon and Nikon and as far as I know they don't offer stabilized wide angle prime lenses. In body stabilization does have a disadvantage though, which is that you can't see the effectiveness through the viewfinder but thats not a really big deal to me but others may have a problem with it.

Another reason I chose Sony was because of the Carl Zeiss lenses. Anyone who knows anything about optics know that Carl Zeiss  make some amazing lenses and they're partnership with Sony is something that also swayed me over to the Sony camp. I know that they make lenses for other brands but they're all manual lenses as opposed to the auto-focus lenses that you can use in Sony. After handling the Carl Zeiss 24-70mm lens I loved the IQ and build of it and its a great lens that has won quite a few awards in its range. My only problem is that its expensive.

Since Minolta left the DSLR market around 2005-2006, Sony picked up where they left off. Meaning Sony acquired the rights to Minolta and was able to use they're lens mount to enable backward compatibility with Sony's Alpha range. This was good news for Minolta users who had a future with they're lenses and this was good news for new people coming to Sony DSLRs because they could acquire great cheap lenses. I currently have the Minolta 50mm 1.7 and its a great fast lens in good condition that I was able to get it off ebay at a cheap price.

The User Interface also swayed me to Sony. I like how the menu and layout is set out and easy to navigate between. This is a personal preference so its obviously different for everyone. I also found this after I started using my a350 that it offers accurate battery life with the infolithium battery. Its a small thing but very convenient.

What I also began to like with the Sony system was they're flash system. Its not as good as Nikon's Creative Light System (CLS) but its almost like it. Also Sony's flagship flash is great with its "Quick Shift Bounce" where it allows the user to easily change the direction of the flash from landscape to portrait. Its a great feature that other flashes don't have at the moment.

Hvl-f58am flash mounted on Sony a700

Lastly I love the image quality. I know everyone has they're own preference of what they want their photos to look like with different tones in the color, be it warm or a bit cool but I prefer something towards true color. A person that I recently found that has this sort of image quality narrowed down is Alonso Diaz. His flickr link is on his name and I must say he takes extraordinary landscape and portrait photos with his a900. The quality of his photos are something that I would like to achieve and he makes great use of his strobes as well.

Those are pretty much the reasons why I chose Sony. At the end of the day it all comes down to what works for you, the photographer. We all have our own preferences and techniques that we use. I don't regret getting Sony. It was actually really cheap to get cause my parents bought it through Duty Free. 

I'll be uploading the photos to my 319 project tonight or tomorrow cause my cap restarts tonight.

Thanks for reading everyone! =.)

EDIT: Turns out I'm not uncapped yet and I'm pretty behind on my photos. I'll start uploading tomorrow night but I might just do two photos a day to avoid a long photo post.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sony's Mirrorless Camera Teaser

I can't wait to see this new type of camera by Sony. It uses they're new sensor, Exmor APS HD CMOS and its basically an interchangeable camera without the mirror in a compact body. So the benefit of this is that you get DSLR quality images in a camera that you can carry in your pocket or just anywhere. The only thing that I'm not sure about is the size of the lens but we'll just have to wait and see for that.

Anyway, I also registered for PMA a couple of days ago so I'm definitely off to Melbourne in June. Can't wait for that!

I have a bad habit of getting behind on my photo updates but I should be up to date real soon. And I'll be doing photos of different perspectives so that would be interesting. Also a bit disappointed that I strained my foot so I won't be able to go out and take photos for a while and I had a photo walk to go to as well but that will have to wait till my foot is healed.

Thanks for reading! =.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Photos #30 & 31

exposure: 13sec f/stop: 9 iso: 100

The road to Bondi Junction. I love driving through here and the view of the city is great, especially at night.

exposure: 1/6sec f/stop: 2.8 iso: 100

Had heaps of fairy bread leftover from Krissa's shoot and I decided to eat it all. Hadn't had fairy bread since I was maybe in primary school.  

My Next Purchase

Hi everyone.

I finally had a chance to play with the Sony cybershot HX5v at the stores today and I must say its pretty awesome! I want to buy one now! Well hopefully I get to buy it soon. I still have to save up for Melbourne and the 70-200mm G lens and my sisters birthday present. Also I had the chance to play with Canon G11 and I also have to say that that is an awesome camera for the enthusiast compact camera people. With a tilt and swivel LCD, dual anti noise sensors and dedicated controls, makes this camera pretty awesome. My only problem with it is the viewfinder. Its so small!! So small and the coverage is so bad and I find it useless to have it there. Well not all cameras are perfect but I'm holding out for the HX5v and after talking to the camera dealers, they're reserving it for me for a really good price.

Other than the usual camera and gear talk I recently did a small shoot where the camera was turned on me and I was the model for once. It was for Kristel, who is one of the JMCK members for her assignment. The theme was on legs and I had to be in my running gear for this. It was shot at Hyde Park and it was a pretty successful shoot with how the photos turned out on the camera. I'll see if I can get a hold on any of those photos to post them up for you guys to check out.

As for JMCK photo shoots we're hoping to get one real soon. Preferably before I start working at the easter show. So we have a couple of weeks to get something off the ground. Also have a few people that are volunteering for shoots so once those shoots are done I'll post up some photos for everyone to see.

I know I've been a bit behind with the 319 posts but I'll be up to date with it before I go to sleep tonight so hope you guys enjoy it. I really should put more effort into it though. Hmm. On a different note, I have my car back from smash repairs, so I can finally drive around again and take photos wherever now. About halfway done with my next time lapse video and really putting more effort with this so that should be up before I start work at the easter show.

On a final note, congrats to Sony for winning the zoom lens of the year from amateur photographer.

Carl Zeiss Vario Sonar T* 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM
I really want this lens too!

Thanks for reading and take care everyone =.)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Photos #28 & 29

exposure: 1/4000sec f/stop: 8 iso: 200

Waiting for my parents to pick me up I decided to kill time and take a quick pic of the sunset. I used area exposure lock (AEL) to get the silhouette.

exposure: 1/20sec f/stop: 22 iso: 200

Perfect rose growing in my front yard. These are one of the times I wish I had a macro lens. Used wireless flash at an angle to get this shot.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Photo #27

 exposure: 1/3sec f/stop: 2.8 iso: 400

Who hasn't done a self portrait in a mirror with their DSLR? 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Photo #16 - 26

exposure: 1/320 f/stop: 9 iso:100

exposure: 20secs f/stop: 9 iso: 100

  exposure: 1/60 f/stop: 13 iso: 100
One of my favorite beers - its only right to honor it
exposure: 1/25secs f/stop: 1.7 iso: 100
exposure: 5secs f/stop: 6.3 iso: 100

 exposure: 1/5sec f/stop: 9 iso: 100

 exposure: 1/50secs f/stop: 5.6 iso: 3200
GG Ben! Needed a faster lens for this event 
exposure: 1/200 f/stop: 2.8 iso: 800

exposure: 1/8sec f/stop: 2.8 iso: 100
Testing the 70-200 f/2.8 G series lens zoomed in all the way at 300mm

exposure: 1/2secs f/stop: 16 iso: 100
Smoke photography - edited and duplicated in photoshop 

Photo Updates

Hi everyone!

Finally I'm back and able to post up my photos on 319 project. The photos will follow after this post with 10 to catch up on. I'm trying to have more of a theme with the 319 project rather than just random images that I take. Maybe just about my life. I'll probably put a little comment about it after the settings I use from now on. So I'll probably do my theme on my life after this set of photos.

There are about four shoots that I want to get done in the next few weeks. One big one with JMCK soon and hopefully that pans out well. As before the photos and theme of it will be shown when we finish with the shoot. Also looking for some other volunteer models (trying to get some male volunteers as well) - I already contacted a few and so far so good. I will contact more people within a few days. If anyone else wants to volunteer let myself or one of the JMCK members know and I'm sure we'll be able to sort something out.

I'm also in the process of making another time lapse video. Its going to be way better than my first one so I hope you guys enjoy it when its out. For those that didn't see my first attempt click here.

I got so many ideas with my photos and I got the chance to speak of a few with Marione. I'll do a few in the next few days if I have the time so we'll see how that goes. I've also received heaps of questions on what DSLRs people should get so if anyone has questions on whats good I'm more than willing to help out and I'll do some comparisons on entry level models between Canon, Nikon and Sony (I know I said mid level but it makes sense to start with the entry level and work my way up).

Seeing as how I'm a tech junkie I just read up that Sony will be releasing their mirrorless cameras in May which is way earlier than expected. If this is true I might get to see them at PMA in June so thats exciting. Also planning to do some major lens shopping in Melbourne and I am eyeing out the Sony 70-200mm 2.8 G series lens and the Carl Zeiss 24-70mm 2.8 SSM lens. Back to the mirrorless cameras, they will be head on competition to the micro four thirds cameras from panasonic and olympus but will have better specs and features and better Image Quality (IQ). Samsung also just announced their entry into this market as well with the NX10.


Nice looking cameras I must say and I like the AMOLED screen. Also looking to see if I can get a hands on preview of this camera too.

Thats most of my news for now. Theres a lot more to do with my photos that I'll talk about later but for now take care and thanks for reading! =.)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A lot of updates

Hi everyone!

Sorry for the lack of updates and photo posts for 319. Just had a problem with the internet at home. My sister and I didn't pay our bill. One of our bad habits of leaving bills to the last minute is something we're trying to get rid of. So my internet should be connected either today or tomorrow but right now I'm making this post from the apple store on George st. So hope that explains things. I'm not abandoning the blog or anything but I have about 7 or 8 photos to post up here for the project.

Anyway, got a few updates that I'll talk about soon. Mainly about photo shoots that I'm planning with a few people and I also want to do some comparison tests with a few mid level DSLRs. Also the sony HX5V came out this week so I'm planning to get that real soon so I can make a few video clips and do my review of a few of some of my equipment. There will also be video tutorials that I want to do but all that in near time. And theres a whole lot more that I want to mention but I'll save that for later.

Thanks for reading and I'll be back real soon =.)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Short tutorial on Photo Basics / Mardi Gras Recap / Photo Plans

I probably should have done this before the flash tutorial but I'm so into flash photography I couldn't resist. In photography theres a whole heap of tools and settings that photographers keep an eye on or fiddle around with in taking photos. The most important settings to always keep in mind however are aperture, shutter speed and iso. These three settings determine how your photo will look. I won't go into great detail explaining what these do because that would be just so much to type, so heres a quick and very basic run through of each.  

aperture: how wide the iris of the lens opens. The wider the iris, the more light is able to reach the camera which enables faster shutter speeds.
shutter speed: determines how long the shutter remains open.
iso: determines how sensitive the sensor is to light. (the higher the iso, the more sensitive it is to light enabling faster shutter speeds at the expense of image quality where noise can become visible).

Thats as basic as it gets. For people that own a Nikon d3000 or a sony a230/a330/a380, iso, aperture and shutter speed are explained quite well through diagrams and brief explanations.

I usually shoot in aperture priority mode (user determines the aperture and camera automatically determines shutter speed) and set my own iso. Mainly because  it gives me the creative control of how my photos look (depth of field). Other times I shoot Manual mode as it enables me to use the BULB setting (shutter remains open for however long the user wants).


Time to talk about the weekend. I ended up shooting at the Mardi Gras and I have to say it was quite fun with all the floats and hilarious people about. One thing I found pretty funny was the aliens from toy story with Buzz Lightyear that also made an appearance.

I spoke to a lot of photographers there and a lot of them came from all over the world like USA, New Zealand, Canada and Spain. I couldn't believe that they just came down here for this but pretty cool for our economy I guess. One of the people that I was speaking to were sporting the Canon EOS 7d. I must admit that its a pretty good camera and rated as one of the best apsc sized sensor cameras ever produced, at the moment =P (though 18megapixels is a bit too much for a cropped frame sensor IMO).

Back to the topic, shooting at the Mardi Gras was a great photographic experience and though I'm not particularly happy with my images (I never really am), I learned a lot from the people I spoke to and the photos I took from that night.

I was hoping to have done a few mini shoots by now but due to my car accident and also because the weather isn't that great at the moment. But that doesn't mean I'm not doing anything with my photography. I'm still reading about ideas and tutorials on the net and at borders. There's quite a few ideas I want to try out. Also need a new notebook to write my notes in cause I lost mine. Hoping to have a shoot next week for JMCK and to have a few mini shoots too. And to have another time lapse video done soon. Lets see how this all pans out next week.

Thanks for reading and take care everyone! =.)

Photo #15

exposure: 1/3sec f/stop: 11 iso: 800

Photo #14

exposure: 1/2sec f/stop: 9 iso: 800