Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sony NEX-5N First Impression

Last Friday I got my new toy, Sony NEX-5N and I must admit it's an impulsive purchase but it turns out to be good. :)

For all this time, I have been waiting for the new Olympus OM-D EM5 to come, of course the silver set since it has a more retro look. I never really laid my eyes on NEX series since it is of much more modern look and it lacks of physical controls. (NEX-7 has but it's way more expensive).

On another day, I was accompanying a good friend of mine to get a NEX-7. I was impressed by the small camera, it looks good in design and feels solid in hand. So I went back home and researched a bit on the Internet. NEX-5N seems a fit for my purposes. I have been looking for a wide/ultra-wide lens to bring along my summer trip. In the M43 system, the Olympus prime 12mm F2.0 is simply way too expensive and others like 9-18mm and 7-14mm from Panasonic are also not something affordable.

It happens that the Sony E-mount has the 16mm F2.8 pancake lens and it's much cheaper. S$299 on the Sony website, even lower when you get it from a camera shop. In addition, the price difference between NEX-5N single lens kit (18-55mm) and double lens kit (18-55mm & 16mm) is only S$100. So it looks like buying the double lens kit is the best deal and I went for it. 


Friday, April 20, 2012

Get Your Fair Skin Using Lightroom

It has been quite a while since I posted my last blog. I have been busy with school projects and presentations. Finally I got some time to write this new blog. Anyway, today I am writing on how I usually retouch skin in the post process. It might not be the best technique out there. But at least it does help to make you look better :)

Here is an example how to do this. My friend is very kind to let me put her picture here as an example. Thanks very much! (For sure nobody wants to see my face here :p)

Screen Shot 2012 04 20 at 9 06 30 PM

↑First step is to open your Lightroom and go to the picture you want to edit and click "Develop" to bring you to the interface. As you can see, there are a few skin imperfections and our goal is to try to minimize or remove those. So first click the spot removal tool. You could adjust the size of the tool and its opacity. It's very much like the clone tool in Photoshop, so do not use the tool of too big size as the outcome may not be very smooth.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Facebook Bought Instagram at $1 Billion !?

The very famous iOS photography app Instagram just expanded its territory to Android a week ago. Today Facebook announced that it will buy over Instagram at ONE BILLION US dollars in cash and stocks (link).


*Photo from

That might be a surprise to most of us. Why would Facebook acquire Instagram, and at such an unbelievable price?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Selling Your Used Gears Online - Tips That You Should Know



The update of gadgets is getting really fast nowadays. Popular products like iPhone and iPad, get their update once a year. Some other phones or cameras are even updated once in 9 months or even shorter! Tech geeks like me probably feel hard to resist the attraction of the latest products. Then how about the toys in hand? Of course we should sell them, and salvage some money as the fund of purchasing new gears.

Selling things online would be the most convenient way but it sometimes may be frustrating as well due to various reasons and it is also interesting to know how we can get the most salvage value from our used gears. Today I am going to share some tips here when selling your gears online.

Tip 1 Sell your gear at the right time to get the most value.

As the majority of us tends to buy the latest products, so it is easier to sell your item at a higher price if the newer version is not released yet. If you know that the updated gadgets will be launched soon, sell your item fast. Otherwise, it depreciates sharply after the launch of new products and many users will sell similar products as well, which makes your item even less worthy.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Step into the DSLR World - Are You Ready?

Digital SLR Cameras

*Photo from

Unlike 10 years ago, cameras now are very affordable. Almost every friend of mine has a camera today, if not, at least a phone with camera. The interesting thing I noticed when I was traveling is that more people are using DSLR now, whether they really appreciate it or not. Many of my friends are also considering upgrading their gears to DSLR. Here I am giving some advices on getting a DSLR. This blog is more about prepare yourself to buy a DSLR than how to use it. Hope you will find it useful when making a purchase decision.

Before buying a DSLR, ask yourself a question. Are you really passionate about photography? Passionate here I mean is you will go out and travel around for the sake of taking photos. Probably you will do this in the first few weeks when you get a new camera, but will this last long? Or most likely your excitement will be consumed by the overwhelming number of functions and settings. If you do not use the camera that much, then just stick to whatever you have now, P&S cameras are good enough in most cases.

Okay, if you love taking photos, then ask again what is your purpose. It could be just photos of casual outings with friends, or more serious tasks such as landscape, wildlife, sports, portrait and many more. Different DSLRs have strengths in different fields, but most of them are suitable for all use if your requirement is not that extreme.

Next, when you are choosing a DSLR for yourself, what should you look for? There are usually some common myths for the beginners.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Are You Getting the New iPad?

IPad PFV PFVLF Springboard PRINT
The long waited new iPad has been out for a few weeks. One of my friends also preordered his new toy and got it on the first day. I got a chance to play with it for a while. Many are asking me whether I am upgrading my iPad 2 to the latest generation since I upgraded to iPad 2 from iPad 1. After some careful thoughts, I decide to keep my iPad 2 in hand.

There are a few reasons for me to decide not to go for the upgrade. Of course these reasons may only be valid for some people. 

First, look at what is different from my iPad. The very first thing is the retina display with amazing resolution 2048*1536. There is no way for iPad 2 being on par with this. Text and pictures are crystal clear. Especially for photographers who likes to import and view their photos on iPad, this could be a huge bonus. However, I personally do feel that the iPad 2 screen is good enough since I do not read or watch the screen in that close distance like what I did with my iPhone 4.

Combine Your Photos into Frames to Get a Better Look! - Introducing the App 'PicFrame'

Good morning everyone! It's Monday again. :( Hope you have had a great weekend spent with your family and friends! Oh, you got many photos about this weekend to share on Facebook and they are just too many to upload? Here is a small handy app that saves you out of this!

Screen Shot 2012 04 02 at 10 29 51 AM

PicFrame is a small app that helps you to organize and combine your photo into frames so that it looks nicer and you also avoid uploading a huge pile of photos to Facebook or Flickr. It is both available on Mac and iOS devices. I personally use the Mac version of it but I guess many users would prefer the mobile version as they usually upload the photos on the go.

Screen Shot 2012 04 02 at 10 32 26 AM

↑After launching the app, this is the first panel you will see. On the left side is the frame templates you can choose from, in total 34 different kinds of frames and it supports up to 5 photos in a single frame.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Make Your Photos Movie-like/Vintage! - Tutorial on Photo Post-processing

Many of my friends now own a DSLR or at least a point-and-shoot camera. However, they often are not very satisfied with the picture they took. They complained that the photo is too plain or the landscape is simply not good enough. Actually, with some simple tricks, they can make the photo much more vivid and stunning. Today I'll share with you guys one technique I found most useful when editing my photos, especially for landscape.

Screen Shot 2012 04 01 at 8 39 34 PM

↑Here is the before and after using the effect. This photo was taken in Xiamen, China when I visited the seaside at sunset. The photo looks not bad but is a bit too plain and dull. After applying the effect, the photo looks more outstanding with greater contrast, richer colors, and a more classic look, whether you like to call it movie-like or vintage.