Tips: Menggunakan Build-In Flash Pada Kamera

12 11 2008

built-in-flash-30dApabila menggunakan build-in flash pada kamera, kita perlu sedar bahawa hood lensa atau laras lensa akan menghalang cahaya dan menyebabkan ‘vignetting’ pada imej. Apabila menggunakan build-in flash pada kamera, elakkan dari menggunakan hood pada lensa. Sekalipun tanpa hood lensa, vignetting (bayangan berbentuk melengkung/arch) akan kelihatan jika cahaya dihalang oleh laras lensa, jadi adalah lebih baik untuk menggunakan unit flash optikal (hot-shoe atau jenis handle-mount). Beberapa keadaan, seperti ukuran fokal dan jarak fokus menyebabkan vignetting berbeza-beza bergantung kepada kamera. Adalah dicadangkan agar anda menguji tahap vignetting untuk setiap ukuran fokal dan jarak fokus.





Pencetak untuk format kapasiti tinggi

12 11 2008
model iPF820 mempunyai ciri-ciri membolehkan kerja-kerja mencetak kain rentang dan bunting.

model iPF820 mempunyai ciri-ciri membolehkan kerja-kerja mencetak kain rentang dan bunting.

PENERAJU kelengkapan fotografi dan penyelesaian imej digital, Canon Marketing (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. baru-baru ini telah memperkenalkan dua model pencetak berformat tinggi iaitu Canon imagePROGRAF iPF820 dan iPF810.

Model iPF820 direka khusus untuk aktiviti Rekaan Bantuan Komputer (CAD) dan Sistem Informasi Geografi (GIS) manakala iPF810 mampu melaksanakan tugas berskala besar seperti pencetakan poster dan bahan pencetak berkapasiti tinggi.

Kedua-dua model tersebut dilengkapi dengan kepala pemacu berkelajuan tinggi selain menawarkan fungsi seperti pemotongan kertas serta pencetakan pada kertas bersaiz A1 hanya mengambil masa lebih kurang 25 saat.

Menerusi penggunaan masa yang singkat itu, pencetak-pencetak tersebut juga didatangkan dengan aplikasi pengurusan kertas yang efisien agar proses pencetakan dapat berjalan pada kadar yang telah ditetapkan.

Ia turut menawarkan sistem tangki dakwat bersaiz 700 mililiter (ml) dan 330 ml yang boleh digantikan ketika proses mencetak mengikut keperluan pengguna.

Dari segi kapasiti pula, kedua-dua pencetak tersebut mampu menampung kandungan sehingga 80GB untuk memenuhi keperluan produktiviti tinggi.

Bagi iPF820, ia dilengkapi dengan fungsi pembekal kertas berkembar yang membenarkan peng

guna menukar saiz dan jenis kertas yang ingin digunakan secara cepat dan secara tidak langsung dapat meminimumkan proses penukaran kertas.

iPF820 juga mampu menjalankan tugas-tugas pencetakan berkapasiti tinggi seperti kain rentang dan juga bunting.

Antara kelebihan lain pada pencetak-pencetak inkjet ini adalah ia mempunyai fungsi putaran gambar secara automatik.

Ini akan memberi peluang kepada pengguna menentukan sendiri orientasi gambar yang bersesuaian supaya dapat meminimumkan ruang margin pada hasil pencetakan.

Ia turut didatangkan dengan aplikasi Print Plug-In for Word membolehkan pengguna boleh memilih hasil pencetakan berformat tinggi untuk ilustrasi dan dokumen pada Microsoft Word.

Kedua-duanya turut disokong oleh beberapa penyelesaian perisian yang sesuai untuk kepelbagai

an keperluan pencetakan.

Canon imagePROGRAF iPF820 kini boleh didapati daripada pengedar yang sah pada harga RM35,880 manakala iPF810 dengan harga RM23,980.

Sumber: Utusan Malaysia





Nikon’s updated macro

5 09 2008

Source : The Star

Get up close and personal with Nikon’s updated 60mm Macro lens.

AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8

AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8

NIKON has recently been on the upgrade path for their classic lenses.

For example, last year, the ­venerable 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor was updated with an ­internal focus design, silent AF-S motor, Nano Crystal Coat anti-reflective coating and Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) optical image stabilisation system.

However, with all these additions, the 105mm gained quite a bit of girth over its predecessor, making it even less of a lens you’d chuck into your bag “just in case.”

Well, as expected, Nikon has just updated the other famous Micro Nikkor in its line-up, the 60mm f/2.8, long considered the cheaper (and some say slightly sharper) baby brother of the 105mm.

Just like the 105mm, the 60mm gains all the advantages of Nikon’s new technology (AF-S, internal focusing, Nano Crystal Coat) except one — the 60mm does not have VR.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the 60mm retains nearly the same size and shape as its ­predecessor, i.e. it’s compact, not too heavy and definitely a lens which you can easily stow into your bag without thinking.

Why a macro?

Now if you’ve never used a macro lens before, this is probably a good juncture to talk about why you need one.

Of course, a macro lens is, as the name suggests, a lens for shooting close ups.

For a lens to be considered a macro, it has to be able to reach a magnification ratio of at least 1:1 which means that it will focus close enough to form a life-size image on the image sensor.

Forming a life-size image on the film or sensor plane actually means that when you print or view the image, it will of course be larger than life size.

There’s lots of fun to be had with macro work, as it opens up a whole new world of photography, where even the most mundane objects will take on a new (and often alien) aspect.

However, that’s not all a macro lens is good for — every macro lens on the market is also made so that it will also do double duty as a very sharp portrait lens, great for ­shooting head-and-shoulders portraits.

In old 35mm film format, the range between 80 -100mm is considered a good range for portraits because it produces the most flattering perspective for shooting head-and-shoulders portraits.

In the DSLR world, however, where the crop is 1.5x, the Micro Nikkor 60mm is now a perfect portrait lens as it has the equivalent of 90mm, which falls nicely in the sweet spot of portrait focal lengths.

Performance

Now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s take a look at what’s new on the 60mm Micro Nikkor.

Since I own the previous version, this is a good opportunity to make a direct comparison between the old and new, and see whether picture quality and performance has gotten better or worse in the newly redesigned 60mm f/2.8.

The AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 features the same standard 62mm filter thread as its predecessor. Note the tiny front element.

SAME BUT DIFFERENT: The AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 features the same standard 62mm filter thread as its predecessor. Note the tiny front element.

The most obvious difference, of course, between the old and new 60mm is the change from ­screw-drive focusing to an all internal-focus Silent Wave motor (AF-S) design, which means that the lens no longer extends out at all as you focus closer.

On the old 60mm the lens ­actually lengthens about an inch or so as you get to the closest focusing distance.

However, the lens-to-subject distance at 1:1 magnification ratio has shortened a little bit compared to the older lens — now your subject is about 4.1cm from the front element at 1:1 where it used to be 6.5cm in the older lens.

This isn’t a good thing since you have to get pretty close to a bug and could potentially scare it off before you can get down to ­shooting.

On the upside, the move to AF-S and internal focusing means that the lens doesn’t make any audible noise so there won’t be any sudden movements on the lens to startle jumpy insects, so it’s a bit of give-and-take here.

The focus travel is a little bit shorter than on the older 60mm — it takes just a 90° turn to go from infinity to the closest focusing distance.

This short travel also has both good and bad points when it comes to autofocus.

While the advantage is that the camera can zip into focus fairly quickly, the main problem I found in use when compared to the older, longer focus travel 60mm is that it’s a little too easy for the camera to zip past the point of focus altogether and not be able to achieve focus at all.

On the older 60mm for example, the long focus travel distance ­­(nearly 180°) for the lens means that the camera is more likely to hit the correct focus simply because there’s a wider area in which the camera will have the subject in focus.

Strangely enough, the opposite is true in manual focus mode — Nikon has geared the manual focus ring such that it takes a whole 180° turn to go from infinity to closest ­focusing distance, which means you really have quite minute control in manual focus mode.

The focus ring also has a very good feel, with just the right amount of resistance to really feel like a manual focus lens of old.

So the conclusion is — when working on macro, you’re better off using manual focus mode.

If you opt for autofocus, however, I found the best way to avoid a lot of hunting is to let the camera ­automatically choose between all available autofocus points (in the D300 that’s 51 areas to choose from, while in the D200 you get up to nine points) so that there’s a higher chance of getting something in focus before you shoot.

1 magnification ratio.

LOOK INTO MY EYES: Macro lenses give you a fresh perspective on common objects - this is how close you can get with the 60mm macro at 1:1 magnification ratio.

After focus you can always move slightly closer or further away from your subject to fine tune where exactly you want to be in focus.

Build quality is top notch — although not built like a tank like its telephoto siblings, the AF-S 60mm Micro Nikkor has a very high quality feel with a good balance of size and weight, something which the overly thick 105mm AF-S VR does not achieve.

Oh yes, there is one other ­problem with AF-S — unlike the older screw-drive version, you cannot use an older mechanically coupled extension tube and use stop-down metering with the new 60mm AF-S.

Instead if you want to get closer you need to buy an extension tube which has the electronic contacts to work with the lens’ electronically controlled aperture.

Picture quality

Autofocus issues aside, the 60mm performed admirably — if anything it is a lot less prone to flare than its predecessor thanks to the Nano Crystal coat.

As far as picture quality in general (as in non-macro) is concerned, both the older 60mm and the new 60mm had very similar levels of sharpness even shooting wide open at f/2.8 or with the aperture stopped down to f/11.

Contrast and exposure accuracy was slightly better with the new 60mm Micro Nikkor, but the ­downside is that the new lens seems to exhibit a little bit of chromatic aberration at the edges of the frame compared with the old 60mm which had almost none.

In macro however, both the old and the new are excellent — other than the slightly closer ­focusing distance, both lenses produced excellent macro shots on an APS-sized camera like the D200.

I didn’t have the opportunity to try it out on a full-frame camera (since I don’t own one) so I could not gauge the performance of the lens in the image area outside of the DX frame.

Conclusion

Should you buy the AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8? Again, the answer is this — if you already own the previous version, then there’s really very little reason to upgrade unless you are enamoured with the Silent Wave motor and the internal focusing (which I am).

However, if you are using a Nikon D40/D40X/D60 or an old manual focus Micro Nikkor and are looking for a relatively affordable macro lens to go with your Nikon DSLR, then the 60mm AF-S is a good buy.

Want more working distance or image stabilisation? Then you’d have to pony up about RM1,000 more for the AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED.

Pros: AF-S design means ­whisper-quiet operation; internal focusing so lens does not extend.

Cons: A hint of chromatic ­aberration on the edges of the frame.

AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED

Nikon Corp

Macro lens

Lens construction: 12 elements in 9 groups

Compatible with: DX and FX Nikon DSLRs

Filter thread: 62mm

Maximum f/stop: f/2.8

Minimum f/stop: f/32

Reproduction ratio: 1:1 (life size)

Dimensions: 73 x 89mm

Weight: 425g

Price: RM2,088

Website: http://www.nikon.com.my

Review unit courtesy of Nikon (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, (03) 7809-3688

Zoomer : Mmmm… I might need oneof this superb lense, especially when I’m required to shoot close-ups of my clients’ rings, hantaran, details on their faces, etc. But, since my budget is a bit tight lately, maybe I should hold the thought till… maybe end of the year?





Nikon Flashgun SB-900 – Bigger, better, easier

5 09 2008
Source : The Star
Nikon SB-900

Nikon SB-900

LARGELY lost in the excitement of the Nikon D700 announcement was the new top-of-the-line flashgun from Nikon, the SB-900 which replaces the SB-800 in Nikon’s professional flash lineup.

It’s unfortunate that the SB-900 didn’t receive a lot of hype because this new flashgun has actually undergone some very significant changes since the SB-800 before it.

Out of the box

Since this is a top-of-the-line product, you get a lot for your money — aside from the flashgun itself, you get a filter holder, a flashgun stand and of course a selection of colour filters to balance the flash output with ambient lighting.

The pouch that comes with it is also pretty well thought-out — there’s a little zippered space at the bottom of the pouch to store all the little accessories that are bundled with the flash.

The SB-900 itself is a beast — it’s significantly larger than either the SB-600 and SB-800 — the head is easily nearly twice the size of the head of the SB-800!

On the back, the flash controls have also had a major and very welcome makeover — instead of a few fiddly buttons requiring multiple simultaneous presses to get to various features, you now get more buttons, a rotating power/remote switch and a thumbwheel for navigation.

The menus have also had a redesign — all this makes the SB-900 much easier to pick up and use without reading the manual.

Besides checking out what the large thermometer icon meant in the menus (it shows whether the bulb overheating protection feature is on or not) and the Custom Functions in the manual, I really could pick up and use the SB-900 immediately.

If I have to pinpoint one particular new tweak that I liked the most, I’d say the power switch would be it — instead of a push button, the power switch is now a tiny rotating switch which now combines the “Remote” and “Master” options.

These options used to require ploughing through menus to turn on in the SB-600 and SB-800 and their appearance on the power switch makes it way easier to quickly turn on wireless flash mode on the SB-900 — a mode I use a lot since I like to shoot macro.

The only drawback I have to mention about the power switch is that it could be a little larger — I found that the interlock that prevents you from accidentally switching to Remote or Master mode a little small and fiddly to press.

Oh yes, another tweak worth mentioning is that the flash can now rotate 180° clockwise and anti-clockwise — in both the SB-600 and SB-800 models, the flash could rotate 180° anti-clockwise but only 90° clockwise.

Sounds trivial? Well, anybody used to doing bounce flash will appreciate just how much freedom that extra 90° gives you with the SB-900.

In use

With all the changes on the SB-900, the flashgun is very much improved in terms of general ease-of-use — after five minutes using the flash, I could navigate and change the flash options like a pro, something which I could not do with either the SB-600 nor the SB-800.

Interface and button changes aside, the SB-900 has a host of other new features — for one thing, the SB-900 now recognises whether you’re using a DX or FX Nikon DSLR (i.e. APS-sized or full-frame sensors) and the motorised zoom feature of the flashgun will zoom accordingly.

On the SB-800 apparently, the flashgun will only zoom to the actual focal length of the lens which means the flashgun is actually covering more area (and wasting more power) than needed.

Talking about flash coverage, the SB-900 also introduces totally new flash area distribution modes and you can now choose between standard, centre-weighted (more emphasis on the centre with a gentle light falloff towards the edges of the frame) and even area distribution (for even, across the frame lighting).

This feature means that you can really customise the flashgun’s light just the way you want it although it’s probably going to be a while before users in general really pick up on this.

Another nice touch — the SB-900 can automatically recognise what colour compensation filter you have clipped on to the flash and automatically set the DSLR’s white balance to the correct setting.

In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, a colour filter is sometimes used on a flashgun so that the colour temperature of the flash matches that of ambient lighting — for example, an orange incandescent filter is used on the flash when you shoot indoors with a lot of incandescent lighting to prevent a situation where the subject lit by the flash is lit by white light while the background has a yellowish tone.

With the filter on and the camera white balance set to incandescent, you get perfectly neutral results, or alternatively with the white balance set on daylight, you’ll get a warmer-hued shot.

Again, this sounds trivial but in practical terms this is a very real problem for people who do use colour compensation filters.

There are a couple of gotchas however — if you’re using a film SLR or a Nikon D100 DSLR or older, you’re out of luck — the SB-900 only supports Nikon’s modern i-TTL (intelligent through-the-lens) flash metering and not the D-TTL modes nor most of the TTL flash metering modes found in film cameras. So if you’re still using one of these cameras you’d better stick to your old flashgun.

Recycling time has also been greatly improved — with the recommended NiMH AA-size batteries, Nikon claims recycling time as fast as about two seconds and in use I found that the SB-900 recycles noticeably faster than either the SB-800 or the SB-600. Yes, and the SB-900 also seems to have gained the MyMenu feature found modern Nikon DSLRs, which allows you to hide less-used menu items from view.

There are also twenty custom functions to choose from (22 if you count the “Info” and “Reset”) so you can customise the behaviour of the flash to your liking.

Conclusion

Even more so than any single product introduced by Nikon lately, the SB-900 is possibly the most revamped — the flash has so many tweaks and feature changes that it makes it a very big step up from the SB-800.

While all the changes make for a really versatile flashgun, the SB-900’s size has also increased quite significantly from the SB-800 so size and weight has become and issue.

That said, the SB-900 is a real joy to use and after this review, I’ll have to save up for one.

Pros: More power; faster recycling time; flashgun head has more positionable angles; better control layout and design.

Cons: Power switch a little small and fiddly to use; bigger and heavier than its predecessors.

SB-900

(Nikon)

TTL flashgun

Guide number: 34 (ISO100, metres)

Flash modes: TTL, Auto Aperture flash, Non-TTL auto flash, Distance-priority manual flash, Manual flash, Repeating flash.

Minimum recycling times: Alkaline-manganese: 4.0 sec, Ni-MH (2,600 mAh): 2.3 sec

Other features: AF assist illuminator, Advanced Wireless Lighting, modeling illuminator, repeating flash

Battery: 4x AA-size

Weight: 415g

Dimensions: 7.8 x14.6 x 11.9mm

Price: RM1,688

Review unit courtesy of Nikon (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, (03) 7809-3688

Zoomer : Since my SB-800 have started giving me headaches for the past couple of months, maybe I should consider changing mine to this more bigger, better & easier gun… And the price is quite reasonable too, considering the multi-benefits that you’ll get from it. Don’t you think so?





Canon EOS 1000D – RM1,999

20 08 2008
Canon EOS 1000D

Canon EOS 1000D

Review by CameraLabs.com

The EOS 1000D, or Digital Rebel XS as it’s known in North America, is Canon’s latest entry-level DSLR. It’s the true successor to the best-selling EOS 400D / Rebel XTi and positioned below the EOS 450D / Rebel XSi which was launched six months earlier.

The new EOS 1000D / XS shares several key specifications with its predecessor. It has the same 10.1 Megapixel resolution using a CMOS sensor, the same 3fps continuous shooting rate (for JPEGS anyway) and the same sized 2.5in 230k pixel screen round the back (although it’s now brighter and sports a wider viewing angle). So far so similar, but Canon has of course made a number of changes.

Physically speaking the new EOS 1000D / XS is a slightly different shape to its predecessor, and closer to the recent 450D / XSi; indeed it also shares the same battery pack as the 450D / XSi along with its optional grip and a swap from Compact Flash to SD memory cards. Canon’s additionally shed further weight from the new model and at 450g, it’s officially the company’s lightest DSLR to date – 25g lighter than the 450D / XSi and 60g lighter than the 400D / XTi.

Internally there are of course a variety of changes over the 400D / XTi, the most predictable being the presence of Live View. The new 1000D / XS shares the same Live View specification as the 450D / XSi, including the contrast-based AF option and supplied PC / Mac remote control software.

In an attempt to distance it from the 450D / XSi, Canon’s actually downgraded the AF system in the 1000D from its predecessor – at least in terms of AF points anyway. So rather than the 9-point system of the 400D / XTi and 450D / XSi, Canon has recycled the 7-point system of the earlier 350D / XT for use on the 1000D / XS. Canon does however note the AF algorithm behind it is the same as that on the 450D / XSi, and at least 7-points are still more than the 3-point systems of entry-level Nikon and Olympus DSLRs.

Interestingly the continuous shooting specification is also a downgrade in some respects. The 1000D / XS can shoot at the same 3fps speed as its predecessor, but only for JPEG images. Switch both models to RAW and the new 1000D / XS drops to 1.5fps with a mere five frame buffer compared to 10 RAW frames at 3fps on the 400D / XTi. On the upside though, the 1000D / XS can shoot JPEGs until the card is full, whereas its predecessor stopped at 27.

In terms of bundled optics, the 1000D / XS is available in a kit with the latest EF-S 18-55mm IS lens, providing a basic range with optical stabilisation. Canon traditionally launches at least one new accessory with every new DSLR, and joining the EOS 1000D / XS is the new Speedlite 430 EX II flashgun. This replaces the existing 430 EX model, offering fast and silent recycling, control from compatible EOS bodies and a quick release mounting system first seen on the 580 EX II.

While some enthusiasts and owners of older models will lament certain feature downgrades on the new 1000D / XS, the fact is it ticks two important boxes most new budget DSLR buyers are looking for: Image Stabilisation and Live View. Couple this with 10 Megapixel resolution and Canon’s reputation for creating best-selling models and the success of the 1000D / XS isn’t in any doubt. But is it actually any good?

In our full review of the EOS 1000D / Rebel XS we’ll closely compare it against its predecessor, the 400D / XTi and the next model up in the range, the 450D / XSi. You’ll find out how the features, image quality and prices compare, along with seeing how the latest Canon measures-up against key rivals from other manufacturers.





Nikon D700

5 08 2008

Nikon D700 - Front View

Nikon D700 – Front View

Nikon FX-format digital SLR — exceptional performance combined with superior mobility and functional versatility to provide serious photographers with outstanding value.

July 1, 2008

Tokyo — Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the introduction of its newest FX-format digital SLR, the Nikon D700.

The D700 features a D-SLR format first introduced with the Nikon D3. Highly praised for its outstanding features, the D3 established a new level of professional performance in terms of overall image quality, extraordinarily low noise, ISO sensitivity range, continuous high-speed shooting, color gradation, image crispness, durability, weather-resistant operation, system versatility and more.

The new D700 incorporates an extensive array of features that boast a level of performance that is in many ways comparable to the D3. At the same time, it derives a wide range of benefits — including functionality, flexibility and operability — from the more agile D300, Nikon’s flagship DX-format D-SLR.

The D700 has everything it takes to satisfy a broad spectrum of photographic needs. The 12.1-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor with a sensing area of 36.0 x 23.9 mm; a sensitivity range of ISO 200 to 6400; continuous shooting at up to 5 frames per second (and up to 8 fps with the optional Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10; Nikon’s exclusive 51-point AF system; Scene Recognition System for optimum autofocus, auto exposure and auto white balance detection — these are but a few of the advanced capabilities of the extraordinary new D700.

Specifications, design, standard accessories, and release schedule may differ by country or area.

If you wish to read more on it’s major features, please klik Nikon D700

Nikon D700 - Rear View

Nikon D700 - Rear View








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