Canon EOS M for Travel

When EOS M was first released, I was a bit skeptical about Canon’s plan. The following EOS 100D somewhat confirmed my hypothesis. Canon certainly doesn’t want EOS M to hurt its own financially succesful EOS xxxD (or Rebel/Kiss) series. On the other hand, mirrorless systems from other firms had pushed Canon hard into developing it’s own mirrorless system.

Due to the reason above, on paper the late to party EOS M is not as exciting as some of the other firms’ offerings. However, choosing APS-C size sensor, excellent EF M lenses and seamless integration with Canon’s DSLR system, EOS M has always be on my radar.

For casual snap, I’m happy with my HTC One XL. And my Canon EOS 40D DSLR still serves me right after five years. There was no strong attraction for me to adding a mirrorless system. It wasn’t until the following two events happened, i decided to take a serious look at EOS M again.

1. I planned for a travel to Perth, west Australia. And I wanted a more relax trip. DSLR togather with the lenses are just a bit bulky.

(Don’t be fooled by anyone who told you that a bit more exercises and a little more time in the gym would make your DSLR system lighter. Try yourself and judge. I finished seven full marathons in past years and could lift 100KGs weight. I don’t find DSLR with lenses light by any mean when on travel)

2. The week before I bought the EOS M, I learned the news a new firmware which would significantly improve the AF was soon to be released for EOS M. What’s more, a new EF M 11-22 would reach the market right before I headed out to the desert in Perth.

The following weekend I purchased the system with EOS M + EF M 18-55 + EF M 22 + adaptor + 90EX + leather jacket (you need it to improve the poor grip) for just a little more than S$800 (after selling a free gift EFS 55-250). This is cheaper than what I paid for some of my DSLR lenses. I don’t think any other mirrorless systems can compete at this price or even higher. If minus the price for lenses, adaptor and flash (all these keep much of their value after years), the EOS M body only cost me about S$50. Even my home affair minister was supportive of the purchase plan…

The EF M lenses:

By now, I have all the three lenses available. They are all nicely built both mechanically and optical wise. Each of them seems to be among the best of the class. All three lenses are very affordable too compard to other firm or Canon’s own DSLR lense with same quality. I sold my Sigma 10-20 before I got my EF M 11-22.

The fact is, all three lens performs better than the EF S counter parts probably due to the flange distance and focal length. My future plan is to use EF M for ultrawide, wide zoom and prime. My DSLR would deal with the >=40mm primes and tele zoom.

Before getting my hands on the EOS M, I thought I would be using the 18-55 for most of casual shoot. I was wrong. The lovely EF M 22/F2 was almost full time attached to the M. It was only during the Perth trip, 18-55 started to take the main role. I only used the EF M 22/F2 indoor and at night during the trip.

Here are some of the photos I took during the trip

The pinnacles

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Vineyard in Swan Valley

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Perth city view from Swan river

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Here are some of the TIPS that may help cover M’s weakness compared to a DSLR during your trip:

1. Get THREE batteries. One major complain about EOS M or mirrorless cameras in general is the battery life. 3 batteries should serve most people right. I usually end up using 1.5 batteries during a day. 3 is on my safe side, and I don’t need to charge every battery every night.

2. Get a cap (for yourself), it helps block out some sun light while you shoot outdoor.

3. Setting up the EOS M while you’re on the tour bus or you asked your wife/partner to handle the camera while you were driving: This is what I did, Tv mode 1/1000, ISO auto up to 3200, AF multi-zone autofocus, always shoot in raw.

4. If you shoot in Av mode, you can trust the metering system on EOS M when you can’t really use the LCD as a reference for exposure. Of course, you still have to adjust the exposure compensation according to the scene.

[Update] 5. Secure your Sunglasses while composing outdoor in strong sunshine. I lost a pair of mine during one of my travels..

Conclusion

EOS M is far from perfect. but remember I told you it costs only $50. If you’re not happy with a $50 mirrorless, there are other options from Sony or Olympus or Panasonic, or you can also wait for the EOS M mark II.

[Update] EOS M mark II was released. Knowing the Canon way, I thing Mark IV sounds a better upgrade..

I would say it is great for travel and daily use. For more serious tasks, just pull out your DSLR or whatever you’re happy with.

Canon’s interesting answer to mirrorless

Canon has just introduced two more DSLRs into the line-up, 700D and 100D.

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/03/21/canon-eos-100d-rebel-sl1-hands-on-preview

The 700D is a typical “every year must update” model. While the 100D is a slight more interesting one. I feel 100D is Canon’s compromised solution to buy some time for developing the 2nd generation EOS-M. Let’s see how it works out in the market.

Too bad, both the 700D and 100D would most likely carry the vintage 18mp CMOS sensor debuted years ago.

70D is still missing, I’m crossing my finger it would come out with a better CMOS and improved AF system. Yes, Nikon D7100 is really what I want for a DSLR. But I’m OK with my Canon 40D. And since in the future I’d like to have a mirrorless backup that can take my current EOS lenses. Jump ship to Nikon is not a option, if the EOS-M from Canon is not a satisfying performer, the V1 J1 mirrorless from Nikon are both real jokes.

If you don’t need certain DSLR feature/performance, and don’t already own some DSLR lense, Olympus OM-D E-M5 is a great mirrorless, just grab this with the 12-50. Sony NEX series can be another option as well.

Why you shouldn’t buy another P&S camera

Image

Concert

Taken using my HTC One XL. Stock camera app, default setting, -1 exposure, no post processing, not even cropped. Note: In case you wonder, photograph is not allowed during most concerts, However, this one was taken after. Click on the photo to check in full res.

I’ve given my Canon A610 P&S backup camera to my parents as their backup.

Update: facebook compresses photo badly, too see the real thing, go to the wordpress link instead.

My photos appear in CD booklet

Glad to see my photos up in re:mix’s debut CD recording booklet!

Re:mix is an interesting and unique ensemble in Singapore’s classical music scene.

You can visit their website www.remix.com.sg

For more info about their debut live recording CD, please visit http://www.remix.com.sg/#/cd/4564045536
You can support them by purchasing the CD from:
All Gramophone outlets in Singapore
at Synwin Marina Square
at SSO Concerts (Singapore Symphony Orchestra)
at Tong Ming Xi allery   One Commonwealth1   Commonwealth Lane #08-28   S149544

Canon EOS 40Dx

自打我第一台数码相机Canon A610开始,就对翻转屏对构图的帮助大有体会。

偶然发现 flipxbac http://flipbac.com/,立刻买下,算是给用了3年多的40D升级一下。

佳能70D要是敢采用650D/7D那块陈年CMOS,那我就准备继续坚守 40Dx

Update:
转轴没用多久就出现了松动。而且正常使用状况下每次需要翻开flipxbac才能看到屏幕。使用起来和真正反转屏还是有很大差异。综合以上,不建议购买。

CPU benchmark for Digital Photography Professional

Recently took quite a number of photos of my little princess. Haven’t yet processed all,  not to say upload. I was wondering whether new CPUs dramatically reduce the processing time for DPP. Search on internet didn’t  fetch me such benchmark. The close I can get is Photoshop test,  which I’m lazy to launch. So I decided to run such a test myself. This benchmark would give you a basic idea of how Core2 Quad, Duo  and I7 perform in DPP.
The benchmark was run on two desktops,
my home one with Intel Core2 Quad Q9400, 2.66GHz 8G Ram, Win 7 64 bit.
The second machine is based on Intel  I7-2600, 3.4GHz, among the fastest quad cores, also 8G ram,  win 7 64 bit.
DPP latest version, I run a test of conversion 20 raw to jpg, 10megapix each.

Here are the results.
Core2 Quad  Q9400 54 seconds
Core I7-2600 35 seconds.

54/35 = 1.54. Considering 3.4GHz/2.66GHz = 1.28, besides the clock advantage, I7 core has 20% advantage from the new architecture.

Update: Second run, add one more CPU, Intel Core2 Duo P8600 2.4 GHz, 4G ram, Win vista 32bit,

14 raw to jpg, 10 megapix each. DPP processing settings: Neutral, Click white balance, Noise Reduction Lumi 2, Chroma 10, Sharpness 3 and some adjustment on the curve

Core2 Duo P8600 87 seconds

Core2 Quad Q9400 53 seconds

Core I7-2600  32 seconds

My three years old quad core machine is still quite OK. DPP prefers more cores than higher clock. My next upgrade would be adding a new graphic card for GPGPU. Hope DPP would support it soon.

Update: The test sessions were all run with single instance of DPP. If you manually split your photos into group and launch more than one DPP to process then the Quad core would be even faster than the Duo core CPUs.

婚纱照_西安_新加坡

去年年底在新加坡DIY了一套,不过有些片子不进棚还是出不来,所以年前在西安罗亚摄影定了一套,趁5月回国办婚宴前拍了。

摄影师,助手,化妆,跟妆都很专业,拍摄过程服务也很好。

摄影器材Canon 5D II + 85 1.2L + 16-35L 外拍灯等,这套器材也比较让人放心。

服装有服装师专人搭配,啥都不说了,上片子

 

顺便把以前DIY的也放到相册里。。

单反一年记

09年情人节那天入了Canon EOS 40D,老婆称其为小四,我的Nokia 5800被称为小五,老婆的Omnia II则为小二。当然,小三是没有的。

早就盘算着入个单反,主要是需要背景虚化以及夜景,如果不是这两点,一般情况下用DC也能解决了,只要技术过硬。

之前对佳能的A610很满意,留作备机,所以自然继续支持佳能。一开始考虑450D,入门咱用就用入门级的好了,结果后来发现40D降价后比450D贵不了多少,于是开始严肃考虑40D,再考虑到肩屏(省心省电)、连拍、操作性、做工、对焦等的提高和不大的价格差异,改主意上40D。要说其实也考虑了50D,不过发现比起40D,没有任何让我心动的提高,而且50D上1500万像素带来的问题在我看来反而是缺点。

当时40D则已经停产,上街一转,不少家店40D已经没货了,于是当天便下手拿下18-55 IS kit,竖排手柄搞活动$99,也一并入了(不带三脚架拍人像时还挺有用)。相比450D感觉唯一的缺点就是沉了一点,尤其都用套头时。不过随着镜头更新,机身沉点更平衡,反倒不算缺点了。日后使用发现xxxD相比xxD轻出来的那一点,比起增加其他镜头/闪灯的重量可以忽略了,反正都是得背包伺候。。

18-55 IS虽说是套头,被很多人说是狗头(套头也是有牛头的,15-85不就是么,之所以套头和狗头挂钩估计之前一代18-55留下的名声)。不过只要用好,这个套头绝对是狗头中的牛头,超值。即使现在我对这个头还是很满意,上全副之前我肯定不会出这个头了,因为一来很实用二来价格太低。在APS上18-55 IS画质基本接近17-40L,而且还带IS。当然如果上了全副,我肯定还是会入17-40L (希望到时能出带IS的),虽说被人称为红圈中的狗头,不过16-35的价格可能会引起我上TS的冲动。提醒各位色友,其实只要不是太狗的头,一般用途,后期一下和一般的牛头差异不大,当然前提是要掌握好狗头的特性。最早是看到蜂鸟佳能斑竹这么说,当时还有点吃惊。。

套头拍了一两个月,开始琢磨怎么着也不能安于套头了,虽然很满意18-55 IS,总感觉屈了40D的才。但是俺的消费习惯还算好,遇到较大投资,如果还不知道该买啥轻易不下手。当时有几个选项 1. 上17-40L(红圈,将来上全副还能用),2. 70-200 F4 IS (红圈+白炮),3.  50定(50/1.8或1.4再狗的定焦也不会太差)。最后上了最便宜的50/1.8。一来这个头定焦练手很好,当然焦外差点。用完出掉也损失不了几个钱。

5月路过香港旅游,准备趁机买镜头三脚架。当时中有轻度红圈/白炮毒,琢磨着上70-200 F4L IS。不过中毒规中毒,俺购物还是很理性的。于是临行前借了小人鱼的50-250。三脚架到是一到香港就买了。镜头方面,发现以我的拍摄习惯,很少需要用到长焦。在香港几天拍了近千张,也就10张左右用到了长焦。得,省钱了,上全副前我是不会投资白炮了。

就这样,18-55 IS 和 50/1.8廉价二狗组成为我接下来半年的镜头组合。随着经验的增多,以及准备DIY婚纱的需要,上个50 1.4是理所应当的了。毕竟一方面要担当在新加坡DIY婚纱之重任,二来即便上了全副也还能用的上。所以下手了Sigma 50 1.4 EX,当之无愧的50定最佳。和50 1.4一并入了的还有EX580 II闪灯,这一套装备为日后婚纱拍摄奠定了基础。

接下来入了永诺RF602 遥控/引闪器,闪灯一离机,拍摄自由度大增,效果好很多,当遥控和老婆一起自拍也方便。这种小东西有时真比换个机身/镜头带来的提升还大。

人像有了50 1.4,胜利完成DIY婚纱重任,接下来蜜月风景就得琢磨着超广角的问题,于是上了权衡各方面上了个二手Sigma 10-20,毕竟这头上了全副就要出,二手亏损少些,而且Sigma做工不错。用的还不多,所以不好评价,不过根据购前调查,总体来说画质优秀,尤其10端,做工很好,性价比超高。Sigma这两年来凭借50 1.4, 24-70颇有副厂不副的感觉。

Canon 40D + Sigma 10-20 F4.0-5.6 EX + Canon EFs 18-55 IS + Sigma 50 1.4 EX + EX 580 II 将很长一段时间内成为我的固定器材,准确说是上全副前的器材。至于何时上全副,至少要等到有非常满意的机器出现,估么得是5D Mark III出来以后的事了,说不定是5D Mark IV,继续当小四。现在的全副机不是不比40D好,只是还没好到让我感觉值得投入。所以用好手头器材,安于现状,继续练技术攒经验,起码技术方面得对得起硬件装备。存钱买房,请各位新烧老烧监督。

最后要感谢这一年多给于指导,交流的各位色友。

来个机身镜头闪灯全家福结束本贴,用老婆的Omnia II 拍摄 (现任随身备机,我感觉卡片机再过几年就会想大部分mp3一样被手机取代了)

DPPSNC00077

乌敏岛外拍

周六和心雨及部分北纬的网友去乌敏(Pulau Ubin)外拍 ,请各位驻站达人指导拍砖!

40D + EFs18-55 IS

1. HDR

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2. HDR

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3. 领导的足迹

 IMG_1355

4. 领导拍的,调了曲线 Canon A610

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===============以下为其他高人拍摄=========================

5 : )

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6. ^_^

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7 -_-

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8.

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9.

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==========附赠前几天拍的晚霞===========

10. 无后期

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