Category Archives: Gadgets

Of Apertures and Shutter Speeds

I’m no photography expert, far… far… from it.

The only comments I’ve received on my photography skills were ‘Jonathan, how you take picture one? Can see your reflection clearer than the item‘ and ‘Cannot see clearly one?’ 

While I’d love to blame it on the lousy digicam they provided me during my internship for both instances, I have to admit I never gave much thought about photography, a picture is a picture lor… until I browsed through JZ’s albums on multiply. 

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a picture of JZ’s would worth at least a hundred times more. Blessed, happy faces coupled with the right photography skills and artistic talent does produce pictures that speak more than words. I’ve always loved how his pictures have that artsy feel where the person in focus always look sharp with everything around him or her blurred. I was never able to take photographs with such effect apart from very near objects with Macro mode (which I only discovered early last year, sad I know) 

I googled and wiki-ed about Photography and hours later I realised that sharp + blur effect is known as Depth of Field, which can be expanded or reduced by changing the Aperture settings along with the camera’s Focal Length. Excited by the newfound knowledge, I played around with my digicam’s manual settings only to find out it doesn’t have manual Aperture settings!

I’m now pretty intrigued with photography and will definitely be reading more about it. In the meantime I’m looking for a consumer compact digital camera which has Aperture and Shuttle Priority control. I’m pretty sure my Canon IXUS 850 IS does not have such settings and the latest Canon IXUS 980 IS model does offer Aperture and Shutter control but manually. 

Being the photography layman that I am, I’ll be sticking to a compact digital camera for my next camera although with more manual control to play around with. Any suggestions or recommendations?

Canon IXUS 980 IS

Update

Was reading through ieatishootipotst food photography tutorials and the author was demonstrating with the Canon PowerShot A590IS. He recommended tweaking several settings under manual mode (which included setting Aperture priority) and if the pictures are any indication the shots do look way better compared to those taken with auto mode. (oh and the post was sponsored by Canon)

The Canon PowerShot A590IS comes at half the price of the IXUS 980 IS (SGD 369.00 / SGD 659.00) with more manual controls, less megapixels and half of the latter’s good looks. Is this particular model any good or are there any 0ther alternatives under this price range with similar features? 

Canon Powershot 590IS

Update 2

Been browsing around again and I think I found the perfect camera (for me) – The Canon PowerShot SX100 IS. It offers superb manual control in addition to its auto-mode, comes at SGD 499 with looks far better than the A590 IS

Canon PowerShot ISX110 IS

 

The Canon PowerShot SX110 IS, my dream camera… for now.

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Filed under Gadgets, Musings

“Live In Your World, Play In Ours”

KotakuGuide

In a time where ‘Next-Gen’ consoles and HD displays are all the buzz, Kotaku’s The Good Olde Days: a buyer’s guide reminds us of that not too distant past where the PlayStation 2, Xbox or GameCube still held that prime spot in your living room/gaming room.

I was a PS 2 fanboy who wanted an Xbox so that I could flame people on both forums, besides there was all that hype about Halo! Today, I’m still ‘waiting’ to get an Xbox 360 and / or PS 3 minus the fanboyism. My PS 2’s still alive and kicking… over at my cousin’s place. Being the avid console gamer that I once was, it’s pretty sad to say all I’ve been playing for the past year is WarCraft 3 and StarCraft; that being said both games are awesome classics which I wouldn’t mind being stuck on a deserted island with… unless of course the deserted island has broadband internet connection then WoW may be a better choice.

My plans were to get an Xbox 360 once I leave Switzerland but reading the buyer’s guide convinced me that I’ve not had the best of my PS 2 yet. I’ve played some of the biggest titles on the PS 2, which undoubtedly contributed to some of my greatest gaming moments ever, yet there’s still that few gaming gems I’ve yet to play.

The list of ‘old games I HAVE to play before my PS 2 dies’ is currently made up of:

  1. Persona 3 & 4 (P4’s a new game)
  2. Beyond Good and Evil
  3. Shadow of the Colossus
  4. Shadow Hearts 2
  5. Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain

while the list of ‘great games I’m glad I played before my PS 2 dies’ are:

  1. Final Fantasy X & XII
  2. Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2
  3. God of War 1 & 2
  4. Dark Cloud 2
  5. GTA Vice City
  6. Tekken 5
  7. Jak and Daxter 3
  8. Resident Evil 4
  9. Zone of the Enders 2 (the awesome game no one played)

(that’s all I can think of right now, do let me know if I missed something I ‘MUST’ play)

I’m looking forward to spending some quality time with my PS 2 before I move on to that PS 3 and / or Xbox 360. Not gonna make the same mistake I did with my PlayStation 1 where I gave up playing Final Fantasy 7 and 9 halfway and treated the poor console as a thick place mat.

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Filed under Gadgets, Games

The Spotlight Turns to Notebooks

I Want Both!

Click to find out more…

MacBook

MacBook Pro

Apple.com

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Filed under Apple, Gadgets, Mac