Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Century egg with cuttlefish porridge
Mixed Pork Congee
Raw fish (鱼生)
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Nasi Briyani Mutton
Sunday, April 27, 2008
The Latest Trendsetter Baggage Gear
CHROME bags are rare in Singapore as of today, when most of the time, you can easily spot a Crumpler or Timbuk2. You can easily spot a CHROME bag by its black griffon on a red badge. CHROME bags cannot be commonly found in retail malls/shops. They are also more expensive (>S$200) than the common messenger bags. Nevertheless, for that price you are paying, you get the best quality material designed in the most ergonomic style. If you spot someone wearing a CHROME bag, you know that he knows his bags and ÜBER COOL!
Helped my bro NEXUS got his product shoot TFCD going with his new CHROME Messenger (Citizen) Bag.
Top image photography by Laurens Pang
All rights reserved to Laurens Pang & William Tan 2008
REVOLTECH No.053 YF-19/ISAMU-Type
The YF-19 is a prototype variable fighter piloted by Isamu Alva Dyson in the animated series "MACROSS PLUS".
REVOLTECH No.053 YF-21/GULD-Type
Images source: KAIYODO
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Photography & Editing by William Tan
When I first got my trusted Canon Digital IXUS 40 compact camera, I had once researched on Panasonic LUMIX line of digital cameras. The LUMIX lineup of digital cameras are the pioneers to feature an optical image stabilizer (O.I.S.), and Panasonic call it the "MEGA O.I.S.". The "MEGA O.I.S." was the winning factor for the success of the LUMIX digital cameras in the earlier days. As technology catches on, other camera makes also adopted the optical image stabilizers such as Canon's Image Stabilization (IS) and Nikon's Vibration Reduction (VR). See how "IS" pits against "VR". Apart from optical image stabilization, digital cameras start to adopt a so-called "Dual Image Stabilization" technology, which is but the conventional optical image stabilization (real mechanical gyroscopic stabilizers) used in combination with high ISO (increase shutter speed). As we all know that high ISO translates to higher noise levels in images. Hence, what matters the most is still the acceptability of these high ISO pictures. We all know that the quality of the lenses, sensors and the image processors are responsible for the image quality. I try not to be distracted by the fancy names of image processing engines such as Canon's DiGiC III, Panasonic's Venus Engine IV, Fujifilm's RP Processor Pro, Nikon's EXPEED etc. I also try not to put too much faith solely on the quality of these good optics such as Schneider-KREUZNACH (adopted by Samsung & Kodak), Fujinon (proprietary to Fujifilm), LEICA (adopted by LEICA & Panasonic), Carl Zeiss (adopted by Sony, Nokia and Hasselblad), Nikkor (adopted by Nikon) etc. Which ever fancy names they can be called, only the images can tell its quality for itself.
Recently, during my process of looking for a possible replacement of my Canon Digital IXUS 40, I was researching compact digital cameras with quality and features. I streamlined to (1) Fujifilm for they have been delivering excellent cameras with inevitably the best noise control attributed to their deadly combination of theirn proprietary Super CCD sensors with RP Processor, and (2) Panasonic for presently being the only compact digital cameras with the widest lens at 25mm (compared to 28mm in Fujifilm FINEPIX F100fd) as well as HD video recording in newer models (LUMIX DMC-FX35/FX36 in SG and DMC-FX500). Nevertheless, Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FX500 (FX520 in SG) have yet hit the local shores, hence I selected Panasonic DMC-FX36 to pit against Fujifilm FINEPIX F100fd.
Features at a quick glance
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FX36
- f/2.8, 25mm Wide Angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT Lens
- 4x optical zoom
- Intelligent Auto mode with Intelligent Exposure
- 1/2.33” 10.1 megapixels CCD
- Venus Engine IV
- MEGA O.I.S.
- HD Motion image (1280x720P) and HD output (component)
- Face detection
Fujifilm FINEPIX F100fd
In a LIVE situation test, I evaluated the performance of Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FX36 VS Fujifilm FINEPIX F100fd. I compared particularly the noise levels at various ISO standards, from the lowest ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (not highest since beyond this is not really useable).
All test setups are done such that the aperture is at its widest (f/2.8 for FX36; f/3.3 for F100fd) and at widest angle (25mm for FX36; 28mm for F100fd), shot from the same standing position and 100% cropped segments are compared.
ISO 100 - ISO 400
CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE FULL SIZE
In accordance to the many myths that Panasonic LUMX digital cameras produces noisy images, it is rather clear that Fujifilm FINEPIX F100fd out-performs Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FX36 in terms of noise control and sharpness. The images from FX36 are already showing noise at lowest ISO 100. and become significantly unacceptable at ISO 800. The acceptance range of use is only up to ISO 400, while F100fd continues to prove its worth at ISO 800. Note that this evaluation is purely subjective.
For plenty of post-processing work, noise control becomes a more critical criteria. For basic shooting-resizing-uploading and regular 4R print-outs, it is hard to tell any difference between both models. Remember that we are talking about "NOISE CONTROL" and not about metering & exposure.
Though FX36 and F100fd both lacks Aperture and Shutter priority (A/S) modes, LUMIX DMC-FX500 (FX520 in SG) is a promising candidate with A/S modes. Furthermore, the capability of HD recording is an attractive bonus. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the HD recording is 1280x720 and not full HD 1920x1080, and the HD recording is very memory consuming such that 2GB records only around 11 minutes of HD recording at 30fps. The quality is also not to be compared with HD camcorders or conventional SD camcorders.
In terms of price, Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FX36 slightly more costly than the F100fd. (please correct me if I am not updated with the latest pricing).
Panasonic and Fujifilm are definitely leading the way with their class of feature-rich compact digital camera lineup. It will only take time before each other annouces another "ultimate" digital camera to counter competition. If we can all expect an F200fd in the making....
Please respect the copyrights of the photographs and content in this post. Please support my work by linking back to this post via this address: http://mybearbrick.blogspot.com/2008/04/review-of-noise-control-in-panasonic.html
Friday, April 25, 2008
I had earlier blogged and bragged about the FUJIFILM FINEPIX F100fd as the "Ultimate" compact camera. However, before I make up the decision to go for my kill, I will always do a lot of research and tests. This time, I was deciding between a FINEPIX F50fd and the FINEPIX F100fd.
Decision making is based on Functionality, Performance justify against Price.
Generally, the comparison in specifications are as shown:
FINEPIX F50fd VS FINEPIX F100fd
Sensor: 12 megapixels Super CCD HR VII 12 megapixels Super CCD HR VIII with RP Processor III
Lens: 35mm normal 28mm wide angle
Zoom: 3x optical zoom 5x optical zoom
Monitor: 2.5-inch 230,000-pixel LCD 2.7-inch 232,000-pixel LCD
Face Detection: fd 2.0 Technology fd 3.0 Technology feat. Auto-Red Eye Removal
Image Stabilization: CCD-Shift with ISO 6400 CCD-Shift with ISO 12800
Highlight: Aperture & Shutter Priority Dynamic Range 100%, 300% & 400% (limited to minimum ISO400)
Street Price (SGD$): S$399 S$499
In a LIVE situation test, I evaluated the performance of FINEPIX F50fd VS FINEPIX F100fd. I compared particularly the noise levels at various ISO standards, from the lowest ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (not highest since beyond this is not really useable).
All test setups are done such that the aperture is at its widest (f/2.8 for F50fd ; f/3.3 for F100fd) and at widest angle(35mm for F50fd ; 28mm for F100fd), shot from the same standing position and 100% cropped segments are compared. Except for TEST #3, where the FINEPIX F50fd image is resized to 75% since in the FINEPIX F100fd wider angle makes the same subject smaller on the sensor, hence the larger subject in FINEPIX F50fd picture is resized to 75% to match that in FINEPIX F100fd. ISO 800 was chosen since that is the highest usable ISO setting where the noise is acceptable (subjective to individual).
ISO 100 - ISO 400
CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE FULL SIZE
ISO 800 F100fd @ 100% VS F50fd @ 75%
CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE FULL SIZE
The price of FUJIFILM FINEPIX F50fd has come down from street price of S$499 (Dec 2007) to S$399 (Apr 2008), since the release of FINEPIX F100fd at S$499 (Apr 2008). Presently, the best price for a switcher's second hand FINEPIX F50fd can go down to a lowest S$320 for a few months old warranted set, while the best street price of the FINEPIX F100fd is at S$480. Does the functionality and performance justify its price?
The noise levels at various ISO settings from ISO 100 - 3200 has been compared and my personal opinion is that the FINEPIX F100fd has cleaner images compared to FINEPIX F50fd, attributed to the newer Super CCD VIII sensor in the FINEPIX F100fd.
From the EXIF information, FINEPIX F100fd evaluates and captures the same scene using a 1/3 slower shutter speed attributed to its slower maximum aperture of f/3.3 at widest angle.
The advantage of the FINEPIX F100fd is the 28mm widest angle which allows more of the scene to be recorded at a narrow space compared to the FINEPIX F50fd at 35mm.
Since the FINEPIX F100fd captures at a wider angle, the same subject will appear smaller in the image compared to FINEPIX F50fd. Since resizing larger images down, the noise level can be reduced. I have resized the ISO 800 image from FINEPIX F50fd down by 75% to match that from the FINEPIX F100fd. The result shows that the noise levels at ISO 800 are on par, though with a closer scutiny, FINEPIX F100fd is still better. ISO 800 was chosen because in my opinion, when lighting is low, ISO 800 produces acceptable quality when they are resized down. Any settings above ISO 800 produces way too much noise and are rather un-usable unless they are resized smaller by 50% or more.
Technically, the FINEPIX F100fd fares better by having a wider angle at 28mm and a longer zoom range of 5x optical zoom. The FINEPIX F100fd boasts its Dynamic Range (up to 400%), though this was not evaluated, the limitation of having to set the ISO 400 must be considered but luckily the FINEPIX F100fd produces clean images at ISO 400. However, the FINEPIX F100fd lacks Aperture and Shutter Priority modes, which are adored by high-lever photographers who would like more control over their shots. Though both cameras tend to choose the widest aperture (f/3.3 for F100fd and f/2.8 for F50fd) no matter in macro or landscape scene modes, FINEPIX F50fd having the aperture priority allows users to narrow down the aperture to f/8 in order to capture more depth and details. Though FINEPIX F100fd has minimum aperture of f/11, but users cannot decide when they want to use this aperture, which makes it rather pointless.
So does it justify paying around S$100 more to get the FUJIFILM FINEPIX F100fd? Definitely a tough choice considering the advantages of wider angle, more zoom and cleaner images at the cost of a slower aperture and lacking aperture/shutter-priority modes.
What is your choice?
Please respect the copyrights of the photographs and content in this post. Please support my work by linking back to this post via this address: http://mybearbrick.blogspot.com/2008/04/review-of-noise-control-in-fujifilm.html
Singapore Photography Review Camera Compact Camera Fujifilm FINEPIX FUJFILM FINEPIX F50fd F50fd FUJFILM FINEPIX F100fd F100fd ISO noise control
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Century Egg Porridge with Shredded Chicken
Ikan Parang Raw Fish (鱼生)