Monday, January 30, 2017

Huawei Mate 9 Pro Review From A Photographer's Perspective

UPDATE: I have recorded myself using the Huawei Mate 9 Pro for street shooting in a video! You may check out the video here (click). 

Huawei has launched their new flagship smartphone series, Huawei Mate 9 and Mate 9 Pro just last month. I was approached by Huawei Malaysia with a loaned unit of Huawei Mate 9 Pro for review purposes. The reason I am excited to try this phone out is the Leica involvement with the development of the camera module of the Huawei Mate 9, which is the second collaboration effort since the Huawei P9 (I have reviewed here and here).

I am not a tech junkie, and I am sure at this time of writing, there are dozens of tech-oriented reviews focusing on the smartphone aspects of Mate 9 Pro published on the net, everywhere in the world, offering in depth look and informative opinions. Therefore, there is no reason for me to add another review of a smartphone, which I believe that most of these sites have done a wonderful job reporting. On the other hand, as I have done a quick online research specifically for the camera review of Huawei Mate 9, not much information came up. The most extensive review I have come across was a video review done by Pocketnow focusing on just the camera on the phone, which I thought was exceptionally well done. As a photo-enthusiast who is obsessed with image quality, camera performance and creating beautiful looking images as a hobby, I shall take a good look particularly at the Huawei Mate 9 Pro's camera imaging capabilities in this blog review. 

The Huawei Mate 9 Pro loaned to me from Huawei Malaysia was a Champagne Gold edition. The shiny exterior was a breath of fresh air, since most of my gadgets and photography gear are in monotonous black color theme. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

5 Reasons Why You Need Image Stabilization

Oh dear, so much for a fresh start of a New Year, I have not been updating this blog as frequently as I initially have planned. I did however get plenty of chance to shoot, so I do have fresh images to share, and plenty of ideas to talk about here. Nonetheless, lately there are many things I do need to take care of in real life which negated much of my free time to just sit down and compose a proper blog entry. Even now, a Sunday (at the time of writing), I am currently at a cafe an hour earlier, hoping to squeeze in some time to write before a local favourite band performance starts here.

Right, lets get into the topic, image stabilization.

When it comes to purchasing a new camera, some of the prioritized considerations include the image sensor performance, image quality output (resolution, high ISO, dynamic range, etc), autofocus performance, but not many people will tell you to take a good look at the image stabilization. Some photographers would boldly claim that image stabilization is not a crucial necessity, and for serious photography that requires absolutely steady camera setup, tripods are used instead. However, it has been a long while since image stablization was introduced to consumer photography market, and Olympus has come a long way since the introduction of 5-Axis Image Stabilization in the OM-D E-M5 in 2012. Much improvements have been made, some photographers who have experienced what the image stabibilization offers, never looked back.

Therefore, in this particular blog entry, I want to explore the necessity of a powerful image stabilization system, how relevant is it for non-professional, casual photographers (because, well, I am not a pro photographer myself, just a hobbyst like 95% of other photographers out there) and what you can do maximizing the potential of the image stabilization.

All images were taken with Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II with M.Zuiko 12-100mm F4 IS PRO lens. All images were taken hand-held. 


This image was taken hand-held, at 1.3 seconds to achieve the smooth water effect. 

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Panasonic LX100 + Raynox DCR-250 Macro Converter: An Experiment

I have always heard of the existence of the Raynox DCR-250, an inexpensive, yet superbly high in quality macro converter (basically, a close up lens), but never actually tried one, or found a reason to get one. I have had friends who have shown incredible results using the Raynox, and the macro photographers have highly recommended this converter, even if you are doing serious macro photography.

When I found out that the native screw on thread of the Raynox DCR-250 is 43mm which can be fitted directly into the Panasonic LX100's lens, I went and bought one immediately.


My humble, simple setup for insect macro photography last weekend. Panasonic Lumix LX100 with the supplied add on flash, Raynox DCR-250 Macro Adapter, and a white sheet of paper as a diffuser for the flash. 

Sunday, January 01, 2017

How To Create Drama In Street Photography

Happy New Year 2017 to all of you beautiful blog readers! I wish everything awesome flowing into your lives throughout 2017.

I have had quite a great head start to 2017, and on today's local paper, The Borneo Post, I was featured in an article about creative artists' resolutions for the 2017 year. Special thanks to the amazing Georgette Tan for the interview and featuring me.

It was a long weekend, and when I have some spare time to myself, you know the only thing I would do is to get out and shoot some photographs! My experimentation with the Panasonic Lumix LX100 continues, and this time I had a friend tagging along. Nick Wade (oops, forgot to take a portrait shot of Nick in action this time) was with me shooting on the morning of the New Year's Eve and I could not think of a better way to spend my time.

From what happened to be my last shutter therapy session of 2016, I came home with a few images that looked a little more dramatic than usual, and I thought why not compile the images and write a blog article about that?

If you look at the pool of street photographs (which has become a growingly common genre practiced widely everywhere now), the images that stood out usually have some drama in them. The drama can usually be the split second action of something happening, the creative play of merging visually stunning lines and perspectives or something completely unpredictable and random yet beautifully conceived in a photograph. To have that drama in a street photograph immediately elevated the status of that photograph from the otherwise, ordinary, uninteresting and cliche snapshots which have been done to death. There is no clear defining characteristics of these "dramatic traits" but each photographer can inject his or her own input.

In this blog entry I am sharing what I normally do, what I look for, and how I add drama to my street photography.

1) WHAT GOES IN MUST COME OUT. WHAT GOES UP MUST COME DOWN


Jump 1