Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

Sony could make a smarter charger?

I’ve been using the Sony DSC-RX100M III for over a year, despite thinking that my iPhone will be my primary pocket camera. I have to say that the iPhone 6 Plus 64GB is a fine phone, and it has an amazing camera and I don’t have plans to get the iPhone 6s Plus (see: not a worthy upgrade for photographers and is it worse?).

So generally the iPhone suffices for lots of snaps, Instagram/Facebook pics, etc. But when it comes to taking a family vacation, I whip out the Sony RX100 III. From comparisons, it doesn’t seem like I would benefit too much from the RX100 IV, since a lot of the improvements seem to be around video which I tend not to take.

The battery is rated at about 320 shots, and I think I get about there but some days are special and I exhaust the NP-BX1. Couple that with misplacing my battery charger which also has a USB cable so you can transfer images easily, I decided to grab the Sony ACC-TRBX. This package comes with an additional battery, a charger with USB pass thru so you can charge the camera directly, and of course there’s the brick that allows you to charge the additional battery.

Smart solution? You should be able to charge the battery within the camera as well as the battery in the charger, right? Wrong. They build a silly button that either allows you to charge via USB the battery within the camera OR the battery in the dock. Why?!? 

Well, that was RM300 spent on the ability to get more pictures. However one wonders what the designers at Sony were thinking? I guess there also exists the idea of a hardware misfocus.

Art in Siem Reap

I enjoy looking at art, and occasionally purchasing art and our visit to Siem Reap was no exception. There’s an old blog post about the art scene in Siem Reap on Travelfish (the Hotel de la Paix they refer to is now the Park Hyatt Siem Reap). I find that a lot of the art scene is foreigner influenced, and there’s very little offering from Cambodian artists – I wish this would change going forward.

The Park Hyatt Siem Reap offered quite a few interesting pieces, in-room even. Robert Powell numbered pieces exist.

In-room art, Park Hyatt Siem Reap
Northwest Tower of Ta Keo, Angkor, Robert Powell

In-room art, Park Hyatt Siem Reap
Preah Palilay, Angkor, Robert Powell

Managed to pickup a local piece from Sopheng, who is the proprietor of Sopheng Art Gallery, near the Old Market.

Sopheng Art Gallery, Siem Reap

Who’s popular? John McDermott and his collection of McDermott Galleries. He makes use of B&W infrared photography, something I noticed quite quickly. Pickup up a print made sense. I also quite liked the items in the WA Gallery Concept Store (they have a couple of outlets near the FCC Angkor) — started by some French expats.

If you’re into the art’s scene, the Park Hyatt is a great starting point. To finish off, a quick pic from the Park Hyatt Siem Reap:

In-room art, Park Hyatt Siem Reap

Faith in Bernama the national news agency wanes

I just read that Bernama has admitted to doctoring a photo with the Prime Minister. Of course they are crying sabotage and denying any previous edits. Stop and read that, its well worth it.

I’m not surprised. Neither should you be. Anything that comes from Bernama tends to be pro-government. I gave up trust in them since 2006, when I had a little issue with them stealing my photo without attribution which I’ll talk about in a bit.

Bernama is an independent body placed under the Ministry of Information, Culture & Communication, started by an act of parliament. Wikipedia’s Bernama entry isn’t half bad, and if you’re inclined, you can read the Bernama Act 1967. Its quite clear that beyond subscription income, they’re probably funded by the ministry (this isn’t a fact but a presumption – I have no time to dig this up).

So from a Nineteen Eighty-Four perspective, these folk are akin to the Ministry of Truth

What’s my beef with Bernama? They have no issue with using what’s not theirs, i.e. they don’t believe in proper attribution. They do not respect the Creative Commons licenses either. They didn’t in 2006, and they probably don’t in 2012.

Imagine my shock when a photo of mine was attributed to be a Bernamapic in an article? Besides a tighter crop, the news agency didn’t respect the attribution, non-commercial aspect of the CC license. Bernama charges up to RM500/month to access its newswire for blogs, and this cost is bound to go up for other print publications. Can’t afford a photographer?

Speaking to them, they claimed that they would investigate but naturally, nothing came of it. I had thought of taking legal action but decided against it as my life wasn’t in Malaysia.

Alas, I have never had much faith in them, and neither should you.

X-Mozilla-Status: 0001

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Message-ID: <>

Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2006 18:40:46 +1100

From: Colin Charles <>

User-Agent: Thunderbird (Macintosh/20060909)

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Subject: Using pictures without attribution

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We spoke on the phone recently


Here are the photos (sources):


It was used in the star:


And in the NST in a article titled “A taste of Malaysia in Melbourne”


Now, I don’t mind you using the photos, but you have to accept copyright 

and attribute it to where you got it from. Saying it came from Colin 

Charles, will be a start. (i.e. I’m not even asking for payment)


This is a sample of more pictures to come, from the event at:

(there’ll be a fiestamalaysia group on Flickr, if you’ve noticed from 

the above picture)


kind regards


Colin Charles,


The iPad as a camera

I’ve been walking around Paris recently and it’s becoming quite common: the iPad is used as a camera. I’ve seen tourists do the same thing in Munich as well, but not as common as in Paris.

Beyond just taking photos with a larger screen, people are doing entire tours, with video and audio. I’m unaware if there are such guides, but people are walking around with the iPad 2 in portrait mode and are recording their experience. There are so many experiences to be had in Paris, so it is not surprising that people want to take it home and their iPad’s have become the device they turn to for it.

I’ve always thought that the large screen on the iPad makes a perfect “back” for a camera. When I first started carrying my Canon G10 (a point&shoot, with zoom, that has controls like an SLR to some extent) I was always trying to use the viewfinder. A trait from shooting with SLRs and dSLRs all the while. Today I’m quite happy to use the larger LCD display to compose my photos (largely out of frustration of not having a viewfinder that covered more of the frame).

I notice LCD composition generally becoming the trend. Many cheaper digital cameras don’t even come with a viewfinder any longer. People are used to using larger LCDs for composition with their touchscreen phones (like iPhone’s, Androids, most of Nokia’s touch devices, etc.)

So why does the iPad 2 come with an inadequate camera/video camera? The iPad 3 will definitely improve on this, as will future revisions. I think Apple just had no idea that people would take on using such a device as a camera…

FWIW, around conferences, I’ve seen people use Playbook’s and Xoom’s to do the same thing (but that, I’ve always presumed is the alpha geek crowd using their devices).

I don’t want to ride a horse since we have no camera

We were in Penang over the weekend for a bit of R&R, a little bit of work, and a lot of eating. We stayed on the beach and on our last afternoon, Sara saw that you could take the horse for a ride on the beach. Guided, of course. I told her to go for it, and she protested, saying we had no cameras on us at the moment.

To which I decided, that we do. In my pocket I carry a HTC Google Nexus One and a BlackBerry Bold 9700. She had on her an iPhone 3G. So between us, we had three rather capable cameras, that do video to boot.

Sara on a horseMy strategy was to do still images with the Bold 9700, and take video using the Nexus One. I have to say the results were quite pleasing. They’re not of the calibre of my Canon PowerShot G10 (which I always seem to have in my backpack these days), or of any of my SLRs (which I’m carrying much less nowadays as I don’t have time to focus on making pictures), but they seem to get the job done of capturing the moments.

I have heard praises of the iPhone 4 and the Nokia N8 (from a camera perspective). I’ve been going to events these days, taking photographs with my Nokia N900, and they seem to be passable, suitable for on-screen viewing. You’re probably wondering what about print, and to that I have a retort: when was the last time you made a print of a photo? I’ve got about four years worth of holiday photos to print for my mother, and we’ve still not gone on to this batch operation.

Today, we are capturing our moments with our most personal devices, the mobile phone. There seems to be a megapixel race in the mobile phone space, like there was in the camera space, but all this gets reversed eventually (see Canon G10 vs G11 for an example). Its about sensor size. It is about the optics. Its about the value-add of having built-in geo-location. It is about the apps.

What makes the iPhone 4 a great phone camera? Not only it’s amazing quality, its HDR capabilities, but also the apps you can use to make better pictures, in-phone. While I was in Istanbul, a colleague was stitching panoramas with his Nokia N900. I’m sure Nokia knows this, with regards to apps on the N8 in the Ovi Store.

Where does this leave pocket camera manufacturers? The low end of what Canon/Nikon make will become less and less useful, as more consumers ditch the second device, and go for the integrated solution. Is the iPhone 4 or the Nokia N8 there? I’ve not played with either for a significant period of time, so I cannot judge.

The Two Apostles But the Nexus One, the BlackBerry Bold and the Nokia N900 already perform better than the first digital camera I owned (a Kodak, from about ten years ago). Heck, they even perform better than the standalone cameras from about five years ago. The image of The 12 Apostles, which has been printed for a gallery show, was from my second digital camera, a Kodak DX3500, and taken in 2002. It was a mere 2.2MP camera!

A very smart photographer Stuart Murdoch once told me “the best camera is the one that you have on you” (someone’s decided to trademark this age old wisdom, unfortunately). His colleague Nigel even discouraged putting on lens caps on lenses, because you never know what you’re going to miss with the lens cap on. Stuart is also the man famous for the “mophone” tag on Flickr – he loved shooting abandoned shopping carts using phonecam’s of yesteryear.

So, when will I look back at this post and say I’ve stopped carrying my Canon G10 equivalent and just rely on whatever is in my pocket? I don’t doubt that SLRs will go out of fashion (they have their uses), but I do think that pocket cameras will eventually disappear and have SIM cards in them. I’m all for device convergence.

Here’s to the age of the phone cameras!

Sloggi: Art for Humanity

Something about bloggers supposedly writing things as they happen right? No wait, those are blogger-wannabe-journalists *grin*. Anyway, if you’re up for a write-up, read Aaron Chew’s entry about the Sloggi, Art for Humanity day at Sunway Lagoon Resort. The only way I aim to please, is via photos – Sloggi: Art for Humanity – a set of nearly a thousand photos.

I had a media pass – all thanks to Talents Magazine – not that it really mattered, as there were lots of amateur photographers there, crowding the area, looking to capture the moment. Want to know what successfully separated the wheat from the chaff?

The rain. It came, and it poured. Some scurried under tents (and tried to get people to move out of the way). Some managed to scurry under an umbrella. Most ran away, to protect their precious gear. I, I stayed. And shot through the rain. Much to everyone’s surprise.

The highlights, from me?

Suki, a singer, who ate at Mr. Teppanyaki before performing, because I ate there too

The Balloon Competition
The Balloon Competition Winners

The Balloon Competition
The Balloon Competition Winners pt. II

How quickly can you take off the bra?
How quickly can you take off a bra?

Sloggi Models
The models, with body paint

Sloggi Models
The models, with body paint

I’m too lazy to wade through the entire set of photos again… You go ahead and enjoy the set. Sloggi: Art for Humanity is where its at.

There, that wasn’t so bad. August 23rd 2008 was when the event was at… Its only September 9th 2008 now :)