Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Le Cheap Great Lens (Canon 50mm f/1.8)

In the hunt for great lenses, someone told me about the cheapest prime lens available in the market. I knew its existence before this but somehow forgotten it. Then I started to dig in about the info of this lens. So here is the stuff, Canon EF 50mm f/1.8.

So it is small and light, at about 6cm wide and 4cm long, weighs 130 grams only. Let's talk about the features. It has no optical stabilizer to soften handshake in videos, it has no zoom at all, it has no focusing motor too so it focuses noisily. But when we put all the no's aside, we have a very small and light lens. We have an aperture of f/1.8 which is massive! It's capable of getting much more light in the dark. With the large aperture, we can get shallower depth of field. The result is more background blur. Lovely. It will cost around US$ 100, cheapest lens Canon ever made if I am not mistaken.

The thing that might haunt me is the specs of the lens itself. It has 5 aperture blades. In wide open, the bokeh is fine but when it is stopped down to f/2.8 we get a pentagon shaped bokeh instead of a nice round like the background photo of my blog. This is why more expensive lenses uses 7 to 8 aperture blades. My Sigma has 7 blades. Wide open it is fine. One more thing is, the 50mm is equivalent to 80mm on a full frame which is slightly telephoto. It is a good low light lens but it is not so suitable for use indoors as I would have to physically walk backwards to include more people in the frame. A wide angle would do great.

I wanted a Sony before because of the SLT line, fast 10fps burst and all. But switched to Canon for low light performance. Sony has their own primes too. Two cheap primes to be exact. A 50mm f/1.8 and a 35mm f/1.8. The Sony's 50mm is slightly expensive at US$ 130 but it has 7 circular aperture blades to make smooth and better bokeh. The Canon 50mm is going to show pentagon bokeh when stopped down to f/2.8 or lower. But not for the Sony. The 7 blades helped to make better rounded bokeh. With 7 blades, the background blur is also very much smoother and refined.

I also said that Sony has a 35mm f/1.8, which costs around US$ 190, slightly expensive because of the wide angle. This is great and it also has better bokeh with 7 aperture blades. Now let's look for options for Canon. We have Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 at wider angle, one stop lower, costs US$ 250 and STILL 5 BLADES?? We'll find other options. Canon 24mm f/2.8, wider angle, one stop slower than the Sony at f/1.8, costs US$ 350 and 6 blades. Canon has one 35mm which is the EF 35m f/1.4 L USM; same length with the Sony, more light with f/1.4, has a USM focusing motor and costs a whooping US$ 1,400. It is not a small prime but much big as the kit lens.

Let's go to third party manufacturers. From Tamron, none of that I can find. From Sigma there is 20mm f/1.8, no focusing motor, 8 blades for beautiful bokeh and costs US$ 600. Then a 30mm f/1.4 lens, with HSM motor, 8 blades, costs US$ 480. Lastly a 50mm f/1.4 with HSM motor, 9 blades, costs US$ 499.

So Sony's offerings are much more appealing in terms of the small fast primes. Canon may cater for professionals with their L lenses but it has no cheap and high quality options for hobbyists like me. Sony has their own G range for professionals and third party Carl Zeiss for professionals. Hobbyists can turn to their SAM DT lenses which is much cheaper with less functions but still gets the job done well.

To be honest I was a little taken by the salesperson's saying, "Canon has wider option for lenses". What's the use if it's out of my reach? The reality is, just buying one Canon lens burns a hole in my pocket. So the next time you hear a salesperson say the same thing, leave the store immediately. They think they know so much better huh? Gotta say, great job Sony. There's no pros using Sony yet but just wait and see. Sony is new in the market, but that doesn't mean it can't deliver.

The conclusion is, I gotta make do of the Sigma I have now. It offers great value for money and is a great lens, having beautiful f/2.8 aperture at 18mm, slightly increases until f/4.5 at 50mm. under f/4 we're capable of making some nice background blur. I gotta make do of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 for better background blur at 50mm, although the blur will not be as smooth as Sony's. Should I need it? Not so sure. But perhaps I gotta save for a Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD. It might not be as good as the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM lens but with more reach to 300mm and a much lower price, it can come close to it.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Sharing is Caring

Knowledge are beneficial only if it is shared to others, for them to learn. I once said that photography is more to a skill than to a talent. I never took it as an art but a tool for me to record important events. So a skill is learned, it is not earned from heaven. Recently there was a video making project at school where we are given the task to make a documentary like video introducing the famous places in Seoul. I did mine:

Camera/Editing: Adzrin Mansor

Subject:             Ralph, Khalish, Hatta, Syieda, Adzrin and people around
Storyline/Title:   Ralph, Khalish, Hatta, Syieda, Adzrin
Equipment:        Canon EOS 550D with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 from Dzulhelmy.
Location:           Cheonggyechon Seoul.
Credits:             Audio editing is done by Ralph.
Special thanks:   Dzulhelmy for the equipment.
Video:               1280x720 30p. 

Unfortunately the teacher didn't chose us as the winner. My say, the winner's video is simple in terms of videography, in the techniques and all. But the content is great and the information is conveyed directly to viewers, viewers can understand it easily too. Good job mate.

In the heap of competitors there are some who shot the project with a DSLR, and I thought that sharing with them what I knew. His video is good, but I found that there is a part where the video goes dark, then washed white and soon dark again. I knew the culprit all along. It is the video autofocus. I encountered this problem before and I think that it would be wise to share my experience. So I posted at his Facebook praising his stable hold on the camera (he did very well indeed) and advises him not to use autofocus.

Here's why. DSLRs have an opaque mirror in its mirror box that reflects light from the lens to the pentamirror so that we can see it through the viewfinder.

When the mirror (coloured blue) is down at an angle it reflects light up to the pentamirror. The autofocus engine is also located on top of the mirror so to autofocus effectively the mirror needs to stay down. Unfortunately in video recording mode, the mirror is constantly up, giving way for the light to reach the sensor (green recording medium). In this situation, it can focus automatically but the speed will be slow, and the video's exposure is also messed up. That's the culprit behind the suddenly alternating dark and bright video. It is much ideal to focus manually by twisting the focusing ring on the lens itself. Once you've got a good grip on which way to turn for different distances, you'll gonna shoot like a pro.

Then he 'congratulates' me in 'winning' the best video while everybody knew I didn't. LOL. I think he's offended. Sorry man. I thought that it is a good thing to share what we know but it seems like you took it kinda personally.

In the video project, I got the chance to get out and shoot with my friends. I rarely got the chance to do that before as not all of us really cares about finding the beauty of Seoul when all that in their heads was the daily vocabulary exams and more exams. This time, I was not alone in making a project. It's not my work, it's our masterpiece. That's what matters the most to me.

I did a few projects before and I am flattered to see that my friends followed the techniques that I used before. It indicates that I have shared what I know, and they received it open-handed. This way I know that I have done at least something beneficial to them. If I'm not mistaken one of the everlasting deeds indicated by Allah is a beneficial knowledge shared to others. The rest is like a filial child and other things that I am still not capable of doing. It's my dream to be a beneficial to others and never be parasitic.

I saw that they used the escalator technique that makes the camera move, as if it is a panning slider shot like in this video's intro.

Camera/Editing: Adzrin Mansor
Subject:             Aiman Naim
Storyline/Title:   Izmir Khalish & Lukman Sakawi
Equipment:        Canon EOS 550D with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 and a tripod from Aiman Naim.
Location:           Incheon International Airport, Seoul, South Korea.
Credits:             Song is sung by Michael Buble, titled Home.
Special thanks:   Aiman Naim.
Video:               1920x1080 24p. 

To make slideshow a little more interesting to see, some friends used the animated slideshow technique which involves in panning, zooming in and zooming out of an image which I also used in my video:

Camera/Editing: Adzrin Mansor
Subject:             Friends
Storyline/Title:  Adzrin Mansor
Equipment:        Canon EOS 550D with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 from Ezaty and Nazirul.
Location:           Anyangchon, Guro, Seoul.
Credits:             Song is Sony NEX-7 advertisment.
Special thanks:   to Edward for lending me his 200mm f/2.8 prime.
Video:               1920x1080 24p. 

And I see that my friend Ralph really loves the out of focus shot like here.

Camera/Editing: Adzrin Mansor
Subject:             Seoulites
Storyline/Title:   Adzrin Mansor
Equipment:        Canon EOS 550D with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 and a tripod from Dzulhelmy Ay.
Location:           Cheonggyechon Stream, Seoul, South Korea.
Credits:             Music is Postcards Form Far Away by Coldplay.
Special thanks:   Dzulhely Ay.
Video:               1920x1080 24p 

Currently I am planning of buying a low light lens and make better, brighter night view videos soon. Be beneficial to others and never be parasitic... A reminder to myself.

Friday 25th Nov: School, Itaewon & Myeongdong

First things first, this is the video where I recorded SNSD right in front of me eyes!

Although the crowd was a little crazy I got the shot anyways. I was so close to SNSD to the extend of capable of touching them with my hands (but I won't, haha)

My impression was, they are really that beautiful like we saw in the music videos. Hyoyeon and Yoona was about my height, Sohyeon was tall I think while Sunny was the smallest. WOW! Here's the story;


So some call it a shopping haven, some call it a city of K-Pop, but I call it home for now. Last Friday I was freed from all of the mess of studying as it marks the day school leave starts. So I brought on my Canon EOS 600D with me and shoot randomly.

This photo marks the day I am emancipated from school! Yay! Oh this is early winter by the way, below zero temperatures and snow is expected only the next week. Guess autumn is not finished with us yet.
The road home
Me in front of school gate
Fikri calling his family perhaps
and Naz another also in a call
It's Friday and as muslim men (boys-to-men), we are obliged to do our Friday prayers weekly at the mosque. In Seoul, there is one main mosque located about an hour of bus and subway ride from school. The place is called Itaewon, and it is famous as a place where all the foreigners gather for food and other stuff. If you're from Malaysia and finding a similar place in Kuala Lumpur to describe it, it is like Bangsar. At night this place is filled with vices, nightclubs, trannies and much. And they built a mosque here? Haha. As long as there is one, I'm happy. It is located on top of a small hill so it is quite a hike to go up there.
Me at Seoul Grand Mosque
People waiting to get their wudu'
The inside view
After the Friday prayers, we head down the hill as fast as we can and get in the line for a Turkish kebab. Succulent and tender grilled beef is cut and put on a piece of tortilla bread smeared with a secret white sauce and some chili paste. Then some minced cabbage, chopped onions, and a few slices of tomato with some pickles are placed on it. Before wrapping the bread up, they would put some more white sauce on top of the mass of good food. A lamb kebab or a chicken kebab costs 4,000won while a mixed kebab costs 5,000won. Savory goodness, really a reward after the hike up the hill to the mosque. Ah I forget to mention that the way to the mosque is lined with halal food grocery stores. This is where we would buy our meat and other non-Korean made stuff.
The Kebab
Cut em up!
Hatta and Dahlan was here.
Some friends were on their way to get some winter clothing at Myeongdong and another heard that Girls Generation is also going to visit their own store there called SPAO. So we headed there afterwards. It is just a few minutes away by subway.
So I'm here at myeongdong.
Aiman with his stylish gaze 
The cars going to and fro is kinda annoying. What if they just make this a pedestrian street?
UNIQLO, a Japanese clothing company's new flagship store
Some cityscape.
More cityscape. This is a photoblog. What do you expect?
Ah more shoppers.
It is a little cold, like well to the 8's this time of the day.
H&M Myeongdong.
SPAO. A brand endorsed by SNSD and SUJU.
Take that. Just look at the crowd.
This was the moment I recorded the video. We continued shopping and I got myself some cheap snowcap for like 5,000won in Forever 21.
Hatta by the window.
I want to be in the picture also lol
It was getting dark and people are still busy shopping.
Some low light DSLR photo huh? Shot handheld bebeh...
Rows of stores and colourful signboards make it an interesting sight to see.
As it went darker we went home... What a day...

Sunday, 27 November 2011

DSLR Videography with Girls Generation & SHINee

I'm loving my new camera more and more. It is my companion in recording these SHINee and Girls Generation fancam video, which is one of my most viewed videos in my channel. By the time I'm writing this, which is nearly 48 hours after I uploaded the video, the video got 2,441 views. Yahoo! Keep it coming guys!

SNSD fancam:

And SHINee:

I felt so honoured to be here... Love it!

So some might be wondering what camera I am using. For both of the videos I used a Canon EOS 600D or Rebel T3i or Kiss X5 they call it. For the lens I used a Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8-4.5. I don't have a telephoto lens, but I am capable of covering the distance in the SHINee video with my 600D's 3x digital zoom function. This feature is only available in full HD movie mode only and it is done while retaining the quality of the video. The 50mm lens gives me a distance of 75mm on a 35mm equivalent but when added the 3x digital zoom, it becomes like 150mm or 225mm on a 35mm equivalent. I'm loving my 600D!

Then comes the lens's aperture. at 50mm, it is f/4.5, which is a stop better than the kit lens at f/5.6. So I can let more light in. One more thing, in the heat of the moment, you are standing stuck in a crowd all waving and moving to wave their hands at the celebs, you are prone to shaky video. I have to admit the SNSD video is very shaky as I was practically pushed around by the crowd. But the image stabilizer in the lens helped to minimize it. So if you're going to take a lot of videos, this feature is very important to you. Notice I was also pushed by Sunny's bodyguard? I got a firm push by his palm on my chest ash he tries to clear the way for the celebs. I totally understand it, if he didn't do so, perhaps SNSD would be stuck in the crowd not being able to go out.

Okay that's what I gotta say about the two videos. I will try my best to record more fancam footage if I found a K-Pop celeb in my way. Ciao!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

I met SNSD aka Girls Generation!!

The title says it. I saw SNSD or also known as Girls Generation. Huahaha love it!

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Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Cameras Wear Glasses Too


Yes the title proposes what I am going to talk about today... I just sat my final exam for Korean Level 5 today and after this is partay! Hoorah! The first thing I want to do is update my lovely blog...

Like people, DSLRs need glasses to 'see' properly, like the photo of a DSLR above, mounted with some good glass. LOL. It is Luqman with his NEW WINTER JACKET! NEW!

Let's talk business, I am using a Canon 600D T3i Rebel X5 yadada with some great piece of glass in front of it, making it a killer camera! Instead of buying it with a standard 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, I opted for a better, still not to expensive Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8-4.5. What these numbers mean actually? 

For DSLR noobs, (don't worry I was one a few months ago) the length given is the focal length, usually given in ranges for zoom lenses like 18-55mm, 70-300mm and more. Most people will be using a 18-55mm range as it is the cheapest and smallest zoom lens for a DSLR. Talking about the range, anything shorter than 30mm will be considered wide angle, with anything lower than 10mm is called fish eye. Anything longer than say, 135mm usually called telephoto. There are also fixed focal lenses also called prime without any range like the popular 50mm prime. Fish eyes are great for capturing details like a Some people like the sports photographers and wildlife photographers, they can't walk into the football field to get shots of the footballer, the guy can't walk into a cheetah's lair. So they use telephotos. I don't own one yet but my old camera, the Olympus SP-570UZ has an ultra zoom lens covering the length of almost similar to a 450mm on a DSLR to get these photos:

Then the f/ things, it is the biggest aperture the lens could offer. The kit lens, the 18-55mm has an aperture that changes from f/3.5 at the wide end, 18mm and then gradually closes to f/5.6 when it is extended to 55mm. What's the effect? This is going to be interesting. The f-stop can help in measuring the amount of light entering the camera and help the blurry background effect. The bigger the aperture, (small f-stop value like f/2.8) means that the sensor gets more light. Like the picture of me smiling below, more light means faster shutter speed, and handheld low light shooting is not a problem. The problem is, big apertures need big lenses. That's why pros have those white lenses for telephoto shooting to get more light and freeze Harimau Muda kicking the ball. The big aperture also produces a shallow depth of field, making a thin area in focus, leaving the rest blurry. This is perhaps one of the most attention grabbing feature of the large sensor DSLRs. Look at these:

 pedobear face after school
Both of these photos are shot at 18mm f/2.8. If I go longer than 24mm the f-stop gonna increase to f/3.5. It's bad, yes. But a lens with a constant f/2.8 no matter how much I zoom in is going to cost me. This Sigma is expensive, but a f/2.8 is sold at a price double than my Sigma, also with bigger size and heavier, due to more glass inside. Nah the increase in f-stop is a small thing, the fast and quiet HSM motor and no barrel extension when zooming, makes it worth every penny.

So I am in the search for another lens for next year, probably a telephoto zoom lens like a Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD, which costs around US$ 450 new... Will it be a great lens? I am not sure yet. Still researching about it. This lens has a contender which is a Canon L lens, the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM which costs around US$ 350 refurbished (second hand!). A new one will cost more than double and is out of my mind. Will it be a good lens? More zoom at 300mm or a fixed focal length of f/4 with less zoom? Which one is the correct one! Facebook or comment me to tell me what you think of it.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Starstruck Weekend With SHINee and Liyana Fizi!

Yo whassup! Yea Yea gotta talk about me once in a while. I am a Malaysian kid, studying in Seoul currently and has been here for like, 9 months. I would love to call this post the Starstruck Weekend because yesterday, November 19th 2011, I went to Arirang TV's Bravo Asean In Korea competition at Gwangnaru, somewhere east of Seoul. Some friends joined the competition, so I gave them my support and took some videos and photos of them. For those who have Arirang TV channel on their TV stay tuned, it will go on air (or a live telecast perhaps?)




This is the performance, with a performance of Liyana Fizi singing Stay. Read it properly, not satay okay. I forgot to turn on the digital zoom so I cant get closer to my friends. I just need to keep recording to capture the moment. Sorry mates...

Notice in the video I did put a short clip of the K-Pop group's performance? Here's the complete version...

Now beat that! Haha that is really me in the end of the video haha...

For more photos do visit my Facebook page by clicking on the Facebook badge located on the sidebar.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Rules Are Made To Be Broken

In my post I'm Innocent! I have been framed! posted months ago, I've talked about framing. First thing's first. Photography is like math. You don't create 'π'. Someone already did that for you ages ago. We learn about them and use it. Same goes to techniques in photography. The things I post are actually the things I learnt from others so just relax and enjoy.

So today I gotta talk about more framing techniques. No matter how big or how expensive your camera is, if you take bad pictures with it, FAIL! So a good picture really depends a little on the equipment, but mainly on the person holding the camera. In photography, it is boring to see a face of a person drop dead in the centre of the frame. Sometimes we would love some uniqueness in the photo. So the legends of photography came up with a rule, called the Rule of Thirds.
Nowadays most cameras, DSLRs compacts all have this feature called like 'grid'. This function helps composition as we frame the photo. To work with this rule, you can put your subjects in the intersections of the lines, which is one of the four points like shown above, the main subject's face is placed at the intersection. Simple? Sure is. The application of this rule is so wide. It can be used in portraits, landscape, architecture and many other situations. No more drop dead centre photos for me.

The bell is on the left side of the frame. Usually people will look at the bell and then they eyes will move to the background which is the houses. (could use some more background blur for highlighting the bell though)
A mistake that people usually make is the background. Most forget to take the background of the photo into consideration. Instead of just focusing on a face, give it a sense of depth by turning into a hall or the likes. Give something worth it for viewers to see when they've looked at the subject enough. The photo above used the wall that they are sitting on quite nicely. The wall gives us an idea of the perspective and gives a sense of depth in the photo. Although it is 2D, it looks 3D. Like the photo of the bell, it is all about playing with the eyes of the viewer.

The disappearing sidewalk makes the photo of a more 3D look, as if there is depth. Love this photo. I wanna call it "Beauty In Death" as the leaves are drying out for winter.
Ah not to mention another method to achieve depth is the usage of shadows. That's why photo enthusiasts love the morning and the evening. Simply because of the light is coming down at an angle from the sun. Besides that, the usage of bokeh to highlight something is also useful. Sorry, this technique is for DSLR users only haha.

Usage of background blur to highlight the subject and separate him from the background, making a sense of depth. Notice the usage of Rule of Thirds? When you're done with the face, it is still pleasant to look at the basketball players
People love this blurred background shots as this is only available with large sensor cameras with large aperture lenses. So for more background blur, use a large aperture lens like a 50mm f/1.8 lens for portraits. The Sigma lens that I am using now is a small step up from the kit lens. The kit lens has the biggest aperture of f/3.5. But My Sigma has f/2.8. The smaller the number the more blur the background gonna get. To further enhance this background blur effect, distance your subject from the background. You're gonna be fine.

So this photo uses both background blur to bring out the person and then I used the Rule of Thirds to get an interesting portrait. For a street photography portrait the background is also important, that's why I kept the buildings in frame carefully.
These stuff is just some techniques available to get interesting 3D like photos. But actually there is a lot of techniques used out there so the best way to learn them is to go outside and snap lots of photos!

Enjoy a video I made recently,

See ya soon!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Camera Upgrade: Canon EOS 600D

Yay I am officially an owner of a traditional DSLR! Oh yeah traditional...
My new Canon EOS 600D/Rebel T3i/Kiss X5
With the camera being revealed, gotta discuss the specs and the lens. About the body, I was going for the Sony Alpha SLT-A65, but the problem is, the flood which occurred in Thailand since last month stopped Sony's plant, making it incapable of producing enough cameras to the needs of the market. So the batch that made out from the plant is all sold out and the hard part is new shipment is only going to be available only after two months. This is after they transformed a car audio plant into a camera plant located somewhere else, also in Thailand. The news is published here.

Then there was the price. I am going to use the official price recommended by the manufacturers. Let's say I am buying the A65, which costs around US$ 899 with a 16-50mm f/2.8 DT SSM which should be around US$ 599, total is US$ 1498. For the camera it is worth the money but what if I had other options, lets say the 600D. The body costs US$ 699 and the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM which costs US$ 200. Total is US$ 899. Well isn't that convenient? I can save some more to get some lenses to go with the 600D. What's up with the A65 being so expensive? It is newer. Some might think that new is better. But that depends on your definition of better. The translucent mirror makes focusing lightning fast. But at the price of losing half a stop of light. When I mean half a stop I mean like you're using f/2.8 but the shutter speed you get is like using f/3.2. So even though it shoots 10fps, the loss of shutter speed is going to make the subject blurry if it is moving too fast. If you're shooting a football match on a blinding sunny day, its going to be fine, but if you are going to shoot a basketball match indoors or at night, you're going to notice it. Traditional DSLRs doesn't have anything blocking the light ray from the lens to the sensor. Low light performance means high shutter speeds in low light conditions! I need low light performance! 

Then the buffer depth. Buffer is like a RAM in computers, where the images are stored temporarily before transferring to the memory card. In burst shooting, the camera can maintain its burst speed until the buffer is full, and resumes a very slow burst after that. So serious sports photo enthusiasts need large buffers. Now the file size of a 24 megapixel image is going to be around 6-8MBs. And the fastest cheap card, the SDHC Class 10 can only transfer 20MB/s. The A65 shoots 10fps, ten 8MB files in a second or in total 80MB/s. Imagine that. So the camera needs a large buffer. The A65 buffer size is capable of holding only 17 frames in one time. . Sounds fine? Then you've a victim of advertising. The 600D buffer holds 40 frames in one time. How's that. The burst rate is slower at 3.5fps but it will be fine I think. 3.5 is still faster than my previous camera.

Now to the video part. The A65 features lightning fast autofocus during video mode. Nice but the problem is the AF only works in apertures smaller than f/3.5. Any larger aperture like say, f/2.8, you gotta go for manual focus. Besides that, the video recorded on the Sony is highly compressed AVCHD compression with a bitrate of 28Mbit/s. The Canon is less compressed at 45Mbit/s using H.264 compression. Difference? To normal people like me they don't mean anything but to pros they would highly appreciate the low compression of the Canon. The A65 is capable of shooting 60fps or 24fps at 1080p. That's impressive. But I love the options of 1080p in 30fps, 24fps and 720p in 60fps. Family vacations and all, who want all those big full HD files? 720p might be enough.

Ah not to forget the ISO performance. Since the A65's sensor is a 24megapixel APS-HD sensor, it is just too much for an APS sensor. It is a new sensor anyways. The sensor working its way in the 600D is an old sensor which can be found in the 550D and the 60D. Don't underestimate it being old okay. Being old means that it has gone better over time since its first release. The ISO performance of the A65 is worrying. At high ISO it suffers from random coloured pixels called digital photo noise. Clean noise free photos are only possible at ISO 1600 max. But the 600D takes noise free photos at ISO 3200 with ease. The video mode is also limited to ISO 1600 on the A65 while the 600D is like "do whatever you want and you suffer the consequences" with its unlimited ISO. But only Panasonic GH2 and Sony NEX-5N users will have the courage to record at ISO 3200 without any noise in the video.

So the Canon EOS 600D/Rebel T3i/Kiss X5 is a great camera. It might not have the features that I want, like 10fps burst but it has all the things that I need, like high ISO performance. To my housemate Khalish who said, "We don't review, we buy", so when are you buying? It would be fun to shoot each other. I can be in photos too rather than taking photos of others. About cool artsy photos, never think of it as a talent. It is never a talent. Photography is a skill like doing maths. You get better once you've acquired the know hows to make a photo look good. Now in the 44 people who came to Korea together from Malaysia early this year, two are using Canon 550D, one is using Canon 600D and another guy using Nikon D90.

Gotta post some photos taken using my new camera! I love the f/2.8 on the lens. It makes good bokeh in shots at 1the widest focal length.
Me and hatta, taken at ISO 1600 and the shading is caused by the petal lens hood. Wahaha sorry. DOF is also so shallow I am in focus, Hatta is slightly outside the DOF range. Sorry!
The lens's 'sweet spot' is at f/4, the center and corner are sharp and no noticeable vignetting at this aperture. F the technical speak, this is Khalish in a restaurant at school.
Low light shot without any tripod. I love this camera. This is not even possible on my old camera. This is the path I walk to school every morning. There's no grass on the much trodden track. WAIT! Look closely, see the vignetting?
I don't need tripods anymore for simple night photos... Just use high ISO and wallah! Blur free photos!
I am loving the nighttime photos using this camera with this large f/2.8 aperture lens. Now I am going to start collecting money all over again to get some other lenses for telephoto like a Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD, which costs around US$ 450, and produces photos almost similar in quality with a Canon EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM that costs a little extra at US$ 490 or an extreme L version which costs one and half grand. Why? Because it an L lens. Lol! Any updates will come quite late coz I am thinking of 'jumping ship' if there's something interesting offered by Nikon or Sony perhaps?

I recorded myself opening the box of the camera. Just for fun of having an unboxing video.

Thursday, 3 November 2011


Yay! I just jumped into the world of videography! I am new in the DSLR videography field, yeah DSLRs with videos only appeared not till a few years back. I first experimented on Windows Movie Maker in 2006 when I arranged photos and some videos into a Raya video. Too bad the video is missing, I can't find it. People loved it though...

So I got involved in the DSLR videography field just a few months ago when a friend, a new DSLR owner asks me to join him to a trip somewhere around Incheon, but we came quite late to accomplish the mission of getting there. So we hang out at the airport. To make the trip mean something, I captured some videos of him using his new camera while hanging out in the airport. So that's how the first video came into the world. Watch in HD!

Camera/Editing: Adzrin Mansor
Subject:             Aiman Naim
Storyline/Title:   Izmir Khalish & Lukman Sakawi
Equipment:        Canon EOS 550D with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 and a tripod from Aiman Naim.
Location:           Incheon International Airport, Seoul, South Korea.
Credits:             Song is sung by Michael Buble, titled Home.
Special thanks:   Aiman Naim.
Video:               1920x1080 24p.

My views on videography? I think keeping the focus right is hard work, and it requires a lot quick thinking before a scene is shot. After a while I began to see the video as motion pictures, we still control the framing, exposure and focus for a shot, so it is not totally different from photography. I can live with that.

A few days ago a friend gave me his trust to use his camera for a school assignment. It is not ready yet although all of the shots are taken, just needing some post production editing and stuff. Before shooting the real deal, I took a lone trip to the location and take some test shots. I thought that it might make my video for d-day a bit better, but, ahah I don't know, limited time for planning each scene. This is probably my first attempt to actually make a video with a kinda 'professional' look in it. What the heck. Here it is. Full HD!

Camera/Editing: Adzrin Mansor
Subject:             Seoulites
Storyline/Title:   Adzrin Mansor
Equipment:        Canon EOS 550D with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 and a tripod from Dzulhelmy Ay.
Location:           Cheonggyechon Stream, Seoul, South Korea.
Credits:             Music is Postcards Form Far Away by Coldplay.
Special thanks:   Dzulhely Ay.
Video:               1920x1080 24p

Comments on the 'pro wannabe' video? A slider or a rig might help a lot for stabilizing the video and get some camera art in it. Some tint or colour correction might help. That will only be available after I mastered Adobe After Effects (which is going to be in the distant future). Just for info, I am currently using Windows Live Movie Maker for Windows 7 and it is tack easy. Now I'm learning a few other programs such as the Adobe series. It is going to be quite interesting as I have the know hows on how to use Photoshop and Lightroom, and soon, After Effects... Booyah!

Ya ya The Life and Hobbies of Adzrin Mansor blog readers deserve some input right? I will share what I learnt taking these videos. FIRST: GET GOOD EQUIPMENT. For DSLR filming, I used Canon EOS 550D with the kit lens and a Class 10 SDHC memory card. It is the simplest kit for DSLR filming for pro results (on pro hands, which is not my hands yet). SECOND: KEEP THE CAMERA STEADY. Mount it on a tripod or a rig for non shaky videos. I might broke this law a bit during shooting the school project. Argh! THIRD: IF POSSIBLE, USE A SMALL APERTURE. This is the dark arts of depth of field. In pictures, we love a blurred background and a sharp subject, but this is motion pictures man! The subject is always on the move so you would like a deep depth of field so that it is easier to keep the subject in focus during shooting.

What more should I say? I can't remember. Comment me if you can help me ring the bell.

So I leave you guys with a preview video with the most hideous music for the video! I actually intended to put 2NE1's hit song 'I am The Best' but it is blocked due to copyright claims by YG Entertainment yadada. So I have to make do of the music. Still looking forward of replacing the music soon.

Camera/Editing: Adzrin Mansor
Subject:             Seoulites, Me, Hatta, Khalish, Syieda, Ralph.
Storyline/Title:   Adzrin Mansor
Equipment:        Canon EOS 550D with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 and a tripod from Dzulhelmy Ay.
Location:           Cheonggyechon Stream, Seoul, South Korea.
Credits:             Music is 'I am The Best' by 2NE1.
Special thanks:   Dzulhely Ay.

Video:               1920x1080 24p.

The music is this song! I love it! These ladies are way better than Girls Generation!

Still learning in this field, expect improvements soon! Wait till I get my hands on a Sony Alpha SLT-A65! Daa~
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