Sunday, August 6, 2017

Ideal Travel Camera for Old Moi

In our younger days, we were all guilty of NOT travelling light. In my younger days, travel usually meant work; as a photographer for a newspaper. I recall fondly the time I was with a fashion team to India, shooting for a Singapore paper; travelling with me were 30 KG of photo gear.

I was amazed how I managed to lug all those gears around! But then I was much younger...

In 2010 I concluded that...

A good travel camera should have the following quality:

1) It must be relatively light weight.
2) Able to take interchangeable lenses.
3) Digital, with video.
4) Larger sensor than a point and shoot.
5) Able to shoot RAW.

Come 2017, I decided that another two features are also a "must have" in my travel camera.

6) Able to shoot panoramic scene.
7) In camera image stabiliser.

After returning from a long 5 weeks stays in Penang, Hong Kong and Taipei recently, I was asked what make me decide to take what I took for our travel...



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

LUMIX GX850, a SELFIE DELIGHT

The new Lumix GX850 (known as the GX800 outside the US), which PANASONIC call the “ultimate entry-level high-performance compact mirrorless camera”, came with a 180-degree tilting touchscreen, one look and you know this NZ$900.00 compact is aiming at the younger, SELFIE generation!

With 4K video and 4K Photo options, the GX850 is the first Lumix model to offer a new 4K Selfie option!


Sunday, December 18, 2016

LUMIX G85 a BETTER GX85?

In September at the 2016 PHOTOKINA, Panasonic announced 4 new 4K capable cameras, the compact DMC-LX10, the Hybrid Bridge camera FZ2500, the G85, a DSLR look alike system camera and a mock up, not yet completed, super duper, advance system camera the GH5.

My interest was with the DMC-G85 which inherited the same 16 MP, AA filterless sensor of the more compact GX85 which I reviewed and love.  As a matter of fact, I almost bought a GX85 until I found out what the G85 have and the GX85 do not!

I was trying to get the G85 from Panasonic New Zealand for a review, there was a nearly two months delay because someone else was having the camera. Also, some oversea reviewers discovered there was a "jitter" or "jump" during video filming.

Panasonic have to come out with a new firmware update to fix that jitter problem and again that delayed the reviewing a bit.

The photo on the left show the "range-finder" styled, compact DMC-GX85 and the much thicker and taller "DSLR style" DMC-G85.

Apart from being bigger, the G85 have more dials and buttons than the GX85.

However, the most important difference that G85 got and GX85 do not are...

*The new Panasonic 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH POWER OIS lens.

* I.S. DUAL 2 image stabiliser.

* Weather tight and dust proof seals.

* Full Tilt Swivel Screen.

* Much quieter shutter.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Déjà vu - SEE NO EVIL!

1987, the year of living dangerously!

The Aussies started it all with the coverage of Barlow and Chambers drug trafficking case.

I was working for a local Penang paper; young and reckless, shooting for the paper and moonlighting for the Australian agencies! Money was fast and good.... we never see so many photographers and "green bills" in our life!

The high court in Penang was like a media zoo!...

The important thing about covering a high-pressure-high-court case is a electronic flash with very fast recycling time! In 1987, Quantum battery was the "King "! I decided to built one that is FASTER!


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Panasonic Leica 12mm f/1.4 - BOKEH-LICIOUS!!

In my recent posting about this very bright, pricey super-wide "Low Light King",  I follow up with a "Second Take" where I compared the NZ$2,500 lens with cheaper glass, I received some feed back from Panasonic Hew Zealand...


"Thank you for the review.

While comparing all 3 lenses at F5.6 for sharpness is valid as part of a whole review I do feel that you have overlooked the main feature of the lens that is also the main contributor to the cost of the lens. Namely, its brightness. 

Getting a 12mm lens to F1.4 and keeping sharpness at that aperture is not cheap. Also keeping the size in check and using 9 aperture blades and weather sealing also add to the cost.

Will you be following up with reviews showing the Bokeh performance?"

That timely feed back reminded me that I should look into one of the main attraction this lens can offer... NICE, CREAMY BOKEH!

For those that don't know what BOKEH is...

In short...

The visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image, especially as rendered by a particular lens.

A "nice" bokeh will help to isolate your subject from a distracting background. In general but not always, a large aperture lens will exhibit nice bokeh.

Friday, August 12, 2016

PANASONIC-LEICA DG 100-400 - Second Take

The First Time when we visited the Wellington Zoo was in 1988, (the first week when we arrived from Penang); since then, we probably went back only once!

But yesterday, taking advantage of a rare SUNNY WINTER DAY, my Home Minister and Moi went walking down the memory lane again!

1988 at the Wellington Zoo! © C.Y.Leow
Apart from reliving our lost youth, I had another mission on hand, to give the PANASONIC/LEICA 100-400 super zoom a good run for their money!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 ASPH, Second Take..

I have mix feeling on this pricey Panasonic / Leica optics, some of my friends think this prime lens is specially created for low light photography; in some way, they are correct, I informed them this exotic glass is also very good for day to day shots and landscapes photography.

"For NZ$2,400.00 a pop, surely there must be a cheaper optics that give similar results?"

That question got me going to compare this well made 12mm or 24mm Eq optics with 2 of my own Panasonic lenses.

To make sense of my comparison, we must only compare a focal length of 24mm Eq and f/5.6. Pointless to compare f/1.4 on the Panasonic/Leica with a cheaper lens on f/4, most likely the expensive Leica will loose!  So lets standardise our test aperture at f/5.6.



Some of my friend think I am loosing it because the first lens I choose is the tiny Lumix G Vario 12-32, the kit lens that came with my tiny GM1.

The ultra compact Lumix G Vario 12-32 f3.5/5.6 zoom have a 24-64mm equivalent focal length. I will just set it to it's 24mm Eq to compare with the 24mm Eq Summilux.

My test target was my favourite Oriental Bay vista that I use for all my lens test.