Friday, January 12, 2018

That Mysterious Tiny Camera Bag - HAKUBA Shell City Messenger from Japan

A while ago I was blogging about the Lowepro Campus + bag which was designed to be a travel or everyday bag. I did a video showing how I pack for my short trip home to Kuching. In that video, I packed my Olympus PEN E-P5, Panasonic 14mm F2.5 lens and Olympus 25mm F1.8 into a separate, tiny little camera shoulder bag. Since then, that article has received more questions about that tiny little camera bag than the Lowepro bag I was blogging about instead. The same post was also on Instagram and due to popular interest, I thought why not I do one entry about this mysterious little bag that I have had with me for a while now.

The tiny little camera bag looked so good, with simplistic, clean and basic design. Perfect for smaller camera systems. 

Monday, January 08, 2018

About That Olympus Feathered Bokeh

Olympus' latest lenses, the F1.2 PRO primes, 17mm and 45mm both have this new feature named "feathered bokeh". Olympus claims that when shooting at F1.2 wide open, feathered bokeh can be achieved, rendering softer looking background for better defocusing effect, isolating the subject better and creating that 3-dimensional look. Alternatively, a more solid background can be acquired by stopping down the lens to F1.8, which is the ordinary look from any other lenses. During my course of reviewing lenses, both the 17mm and 45mm F1.2 PRO, I have come to appreciate the buttery smooth and pleasingly creamy bokeh that these lenses can do at F1.2. However, is there really that huge of a difference between the F1.2 and F1.8? I am not asking in terms of shallow depth of field (obviously the F1.2 can create a blurrer background, no doubt), but the bokeh quality. Is it really that much better?

17mm F1.2 PRO. Taken at F1.2 obviously and the bokeh is just so beautiful to look at. Transition is smooth and the blur is pleasingly creamy. If I were to pick one image to show the capability of the 17mm F1.2 lens being used wide open, this would be the one I pick. Stunning sharpness on the eye in focus, and the absolutely delicious bokeh rendering. 

Friday, January 05, 2018

The Unexpected Gift: Sony MDR-1A Headphones

I celebrated my birthday last week, and my wonderful friends have surprised me with a dinner and an unusual gift: the Sony MDR-1A high res audio capable headphones.

A few months ago, I came across this set of headphones and commented on how comfortable they felt when I was using them. The Sony MDR-1A were the most comfortable headphones I have ever put on my ears. I was also quite impressed with the sound quality, but I also thought they were unjustified if paid in full retail price. Then I found the demo unit on heavy discount in one of the Sony Stores, but decided not to get them due to the undesirable worn and torn condition.

Little did I know, my friends have come together and pitched in to get me the Sony MDR-1A for my birthday. I was obviously shocked to receive the Sony as a gift. Sometimes I don't think I deserve such good friends around me, and it was quite an expensive gift to begin with.

The Sony MDR-1A headphones were such a beauty to behold. Sony really knows how to make gorgeous looking design for their products. At the same time, I was also reviewing the Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm F1.2 PRO lens. Thus, it was only natural that I would utilize the PRO lens to shoot some product shots of the Sony headphones, when they are still in pristine condition, free from my abuse.

Special thanks to (in no particular order) Jason, Carmen, Jackie, Alex, Jaslyn, Jian, Chong and Tobias. You guys rock!!!!

You can purchase the Sony MDR-1A at B&H here. 

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Find Your Audience

So the 2018 arrived, and if you have missed my previous posting, then allow me to wish you Happy New Year 2018 here!

New year brings renewed inspiration and motivation. When I was at a countdown party the host randomly picked me out from the crowd and asked me what my new year resolution was. Honestly I never did any new year resolutions before, but it would have been such a buzz kill if I answered "I have no resolutions for 2018". So out of nowhere, in pure spontaneity, I spoke through the microphone to hundreds of people strong crowd: "to be a better person". 

This may sound like I stole that line from Jerry Ghionis (the world famous wedding photographer) with his famous line "if you want to be a better photographer, be a better person". I have just remembered that quote AFTER I answered the host, and it rang true to what I believed in completely. One of my on-going mission that I have started years ago, since the day I picked up a camera was to be a better photographer. In order to do that, I must strive to be a better person. That means, to treat myself and people around me better, to contribute in any way I can and to show kindness and love when needed. To give more than receive and to show support in whatever way I can. I acknowledge that human is a very complicated, but genuinely selfish species as well. For all kinds of photography that I am involved in, I can see how being a better person can truly benefit me and bring me that much closer to the great photographer that I aspire to be. I just have to improve myself, one step at a time.

All images and video were shot with Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II and M.Zuiko lenses 12mm F2 and 45mm F1.8