Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sony Cybershot TX-7 first try

Yay! One of my colleagues bought herself the new Cybershot TX-7. It's the successor of TX-1 which incorporates Exmor-R sensor and the sweep panorama(I like this!). Without any hesitation I borrowed her cam to explore what this little thing can do.

Self portrait. Pardon the messy mirror.

It fits nicely in my hand. The brushed aluminum body is nice to touch and easier to grip. At the back, lies the 3.5 inch touchscreen LCD. Everything on the camera is set using the touchscreen except the power, shutter, movie and play button. I like how the zoom dial is located now. It's at the upper right edge of the camera.

Having bigger screen leads to bigger menu icons which is easier to click upon(as compared to my wife's smaller T70 screen). Notable features of the TX-7 is 10 fps(frame per second) burst mode and the twilight mode. In twilight mode, the camera will capture 6 images in a second and merged them into one to create a well-exposed, less-noise photo.

Compared with the Faber-Castell ball pen.

Okay then, here comes some quick shots. Note : all photos were taken straight from the camera. No post processing added except cropping and resizing.

Auto mode. 4mm, f4.5, 1/800, iso 125

This shot was taken using Gourmet mode in the Scene Selection menu. Does it make you hungry. Maybe some more light will churns out more saliva. 4mm, f3.5, 1/25, iso400.

Close up shots. 4mm, f3.5, 1/25, iso 125 in Super Macro mode. You can always set to Auto Macro where the camera will automatically set everything for you. Minimum focus distance about 2 cm.

4mm, f3.5, 1/2, iso 125

Close up on the cool Cybershot casing. 4mm, f3.5, 1/25, iso 125

4mm, f3.5, 1/25, iso 160

4mm, f3.5, 1/30, iso 125

My stationaries organiser.

My table in school.

Now come the best part. Sweep panorama. Cool way to take super wide shots of landscape. Click on both photos to see the bigger files.

4mm, f4.5, 1/500, iso125

4mm, f3.5, 1/30, iso1600

This little camera has a lot to offer. Given time to familiarize with its features, I think it will reward its user with good photos. The 3.5 inch LCD is a joy to use especially during movie capture. Still, I do wish for manual aperture settings like the ones in prosumer cameras.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Digital Camera Magazine April 2010

Every month, I would always visit my favourite magazine shop to get my copy of Digital Camera Magazine(Malaysia edition) where they write about new cameras, lenses, photo competition and Photoshop techniques.

April 2010 issue.

However, this month's issue caught my attention on some few things which irk me a little. First, there's the Alpha A850 review. It came rather late though as the camera was launched way back in August 2009. Okay, better late than never.


The other thing about the A850 review is the type of lens that was mounted on the cam.

Look closely...

It 's the Sony's 18-70mm f3.5-5.6 kit lens, a DT lens meaning it was built suitably for APS-C bodies. The IQ(image quality) of the lens is okay, but not that great and it was replaced with the new 18-55mm. I'm not sure if the writer, Trevor Jones took the shots featured in the review using the kit lens because if he did, it would somehow be a handicap situation for the camera itself. I would love to see a review of the camera with the Sony's G or Carl Zeiss lenses.

Then, came the flashguns test. Let's see which flash units were picked.

Eh, no Sony's flagship F58 or other makes flashgun? I really hope to see a review(or a test) for F58 considering it's the only flashgun that enables vertical or portrait shooting with its unique bounce head. Now I don't know what to say to this guy here.

Irk aside, I still dig the magazine's post-processing techniques. See what's in store for the May issue. Till then happy shooting!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mengkabong bridge : revisited

It was a very fine, clear Sunday last week. I think it was the first time I saw Mount Kinabalu fully exposed for the whole day. It's a good outing for my fellow Alpha shooters aka Shutterpink who went to Kundasang and Mesilau for some shooting too.

I was on my way back from my wife's village to attend her grandma's funeral when I saw the mountain. There were some good spots to take photos of Mount Kinabalu from Kota Belud as it will include some paddy fields in the foreground. I didn't stop because I did not bring any wide lens.

As days like these are hard to come by, I took the Sulaman road which will lead to Mengkabong bridge before heading to the city. Some saturation were added to the final images.

A popular fishing spot.

I wonder if the catch is good.

There's a restaurant available here.

The other side of the bridge.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A brief moment with Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135 f/1.8

Here in Kota Kinabalu, we do not have outlets that offered lenses or even bodies for us Alpha users to try out before buying. We normally just wait for friends to buy those lenses then we can 'poisoned' ourselves with it. Luckily, those good guys from Mega Avit in Wisma Merdeka organised a mini studio and model portraiture shooting yesterday afternoon and ended today. The best part about the event is that we get to try those fine expensive Carl Zeiss lenses and the A850.

My friends and I came early. Actually we were the first few people who came. But then, I was there the earliest! Haha. I reached there around 10 am no thanks to the excitement hormones in me.

The mini studio.

250W strobes.

A very big umbrella.

The Alpha system and some lenses ready to be 'molested'. Wish all the lenses especially the 70-200mm f2.8 was made available.

The Zeiss glasses. From left to right, 16-35 f2.8, 24-70 f2.8, 85 f1.4, 135 f1.8

Close up on the Carl Zeiss 16-35 f2.8

I want that waist/sling bag! Sadly it only comes with new purchases.

Recommended retail prices. Street prices are cheaper though. :D

A550 package.

Hey, it's the new TX-7 with AVCHD movie that's going to be incorporated into Sony's new dslr soon.

As the event still hasn't started, we did a short street shooting outside Wisma Merdeka building.

Mahayuddin with idol.

Then the event started with the four of us 'officiating' the strobes. I used the Minolta 50mm f1.7. Strobes were triggered using F42 and F58 on our camera bodies.

We still have a long way to go with studio shooting.

Finally, my chance came to try out one of the Zeiss lenses, the Sonnar T* 135 f/1.8. The other 135mm lens in Sony's lineup is the STF (Smooth Trans Focus). The STF provides exceptional, high quality bokeh but no autofocus.

Looks really good when mounted.

Did some shots with the lens wide open(f1.8).

1/40, iso 400 f1.8


1/40, iso 400 f1.8

1/60, iso 400, f4

1/40, iso 400 f1.8


1/40, iso 400 f1.8

1/40, iso 400 f1.8

1/40, iso 400 f1.8

At the end of the day, only one word can express how we felt about the 135mm. DAMN!