Friday, November 6, 2020

Coping as a photographer after a right shoulder surgery

 I had something done on my right shoulder. Because of this, I won’t be able to lift anything heavier than a toothbrush with my right arm. Also, I’ll be lucky if I can reach my teeth with my toothbrush using my right hand without any discomfort.

Thus, making photos is a bit of a challenge…

In this video, I try to come up with ways, 3 of them, on how I can go on with photo-taking while only using my left hand. Yeah, it is difficult…

Also, when Fujifilm released the 50mm f/1.0 lens, I discovered this wonderful Fujifilm shooter named Uchida Yukio-san. In the video link, he can be seen taking photos with the camera upside down. This inspired one of my ways on how to make photos even if I can’t use my right arm.

Can you think of other ways to make photographs if you are so constrained?

Hit me up on the following channels and let’s take this further with a meaningful discussion. And please like the video if you find it helpful. Subscribe too if you feel like it.

And let me know if there are other things you want to see.

Take care and please wear a mask.

Peace! ✌️

Keep the conversation going! Contact me via my Twitter or Facebook account. You may also email me here!

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Comparing the GPS tracking of the Fitbit Charge 4 vs the Apple Watch 4 and iPhone XS Max

 The Fitbit Charge 4 is Fitbit’s first fitness tracker with a GPS antenna in this line of devices. So, I decided to compare it to my current set of devices that has GPS antennas also.

What I found is that the GPS tracking of the Charge 4 can be improved upon, and that, in the best case scenario, you should still bring your phone on your runs or bike rides since your phone can also use network antennas for GPS mapping. Not to mention you can use your phone in the event of an emergency. Also, there was a point in my run when the Charge 4 decided to just give up on finding a GPS signal.

However, the Fitbit Charge 4 is still a great fitness tracker to have. Its calorie counting and heart rate measurements are on par with the Apple Watch. Also, its sleep tracking is one of the best out there. Not to mention that, because of its smaller size, it is more comfortable to wear when going to bed.

Also, I found out in this comparison that, even if it is an “old” device, both the Apple Watch 4 and the iPhone XS Max still have the best when it comes to GPS tracking! Yes, you don’t need to update your devices every year!!!

The next thing I will try is compare the Fitbit Charge 4 to my Garmin Fenix 5. Though that could take some time before I’ll be able to do it...

Keep the conversation going! Contact me via my Twitter or Facebook account. You may also email me here!

Friday, September 11, 2020

The Fujinon 16-80mm f/4 Lens

If you are a new photographer, then, in my opinion, there are two “should-have” lenses that should be in your bag.

The second one, if a wide aperture prime lens. For my weapon of choice, that is the 23mm f/2 lens. For me, this is the perfect all-around walkable lens. It is perfect for street photography, it is really good for portraits. It is a light lens that you can take it anywhere without adding a significant amount of weight in your bag and it is small it enough so you can be inconspicuous when you do your street photography.

If you must have only one lens, then I suggest the first one of the two “should-haves”: a moderate zoom lens. If you bought a kit lens that came with your camera, then that is a good place to start.

But, if you want to have one of the absolute best zoom lens, if you have grown tired of the kit lens, if the kit lens that you got when you bought your camera is already limiting your creativity, and, needless to say, if you are using Fujifilm, then get the Fujinon 16-80mm f/4 lens.

But, if you want to have one of the absolute best zoom lens, if you have grown tired of the kit lens, if the kit lens that you got when you bought your camera is already limiting your creativity, and, needless to say, if you are using Fujifilm, then get the Fujinon 16-80mm f/4 lens.

It is a great lens, it is very versatile and it can satisfy most of your needs! It is wide enough for landscape photography and it is narrow enough if you want to get closer to your subject. It is perfect for portrait and the wide, fixed f/4 aperture means you can use it for low-light photography. It is significantly heavier than a kit lens though, so you will have to take that into consideration.

The build quality is great, as with all Fujinon lenses, and it is weather-resistant. If you pair it with a weather-resistant body, like the Fujifilm X-T3 then sand and water splashes should not cause any panic.

Focusing is fast and you get what you want to photograph most of the time. There is image stabilization built into the lens but there is no on and off switch - the lens figures it out on its own!

The Fujinon 16-80mm f/4 lens is one of the best lenses out there. It is highly recommended.

Sample photos here. Enjoy! :)

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Fujinon f/1.0 50mm R WR Lens


Fujifilm has just released a f/1.0 50mm lens! A freaking f/.1.0 lens!!!!!!

And as far as I know, there are no other f/1.0 lens that does autofocusing! This is nothing short of ground-breaking!!!!

And I am almost afraid to know how much it costs... (As of this writing, there is no retail price yet...)

Video below is from the official Fujifilm YouTube page:

Thursday, January 16, 2020

How To Make A Powerpano with the GoPro Max


I made a short how-to (in Taglish - a combination of Tagalog, a Philippine language, and English). Don't worry. If you understand only one of the languages, you will still be able to get the gist of what I am saying.

Hope you enjoy the video!

Get your GoPro Max from Amazon here!

Thursday, January 9, 2020

The GoPro Max

The GoPro Max is the company’s latest 360 camera. It came after the Fusion, the company’s first attempt at 360 photography and videography.

However, the Max is better in the sense that it only uses one microSD card to record your photos and videos versus the two in the Fusion, one for each lens. And of course, there are other newer features also.

Build quality of the Max is great! It is not meant to be dropped (the lenses are bulbous, therefore are exposed. These kinds of lenses are needed so they can do 360 captures) but it can withstand water dunking up to 5m. As I don’t do much water activities, the water resistance of the gadget is still a welcome feature as I can sometimes be caught in the rain while jogging and biking.

Another new feature for GoPro’s 2019 releases - the mount is now built into the device itself. Personally, I still would have preferred that the mount is on a cage like in the GoPro Heroes 7 or older. Those mounts are more stable than the built-in ones.

The camera has a hypersmooth feature so you won’t need a gimbal to ensure that your video captures are smooth as butter. It can also make timewarps (the so-called time lapse in other cameras) which is a fun feature when you want to speed things up.

But, as primarily a photographer, one of my favorite features is the powerpano where the Max makes, as named, a panoramic photograph. This is a great feature because, instead of “panning” your camera from one point to another, the Max employs both cameras to take one shot of the scene. This prevents ghosting as can be seen in panoramic photos produced by cameras and smartphones.

Compare the photo above to the pano I shot using an iPhone. The cars got squished!

There is also a feature where you can use only one lens making the Max similar to a traditional GoPro. This feature is available in both photo and video captures.

Video and photo quality produced by the Max is great in well-lit situations but they can take a hit once the lighting condition deteriorates.

But, all-in-all, the GoPro Max is a fun camera to have. Even is you are not a hyper sports person who go to extreme adventures, the Max is a nice, a very nice, camera to have in your bag.

Highly Recommended!

Keep the conversation going! Contact me via my Twitter or Facebook account. You may also email me here!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Apple's Beats Powerbeats Pro

I reviewed the Apple AirPods 2. I love it. The fact that it fits my ears well is a very big bonus. Actually, if they didn’t fit my ears, then, really, there is no reason for me to get one. But, since the EarPods fit my ears well, then that was a good indicator that the AirPods will fit my ears too!

And I love them. I love the sound, I love the fit and I love the comfort of wearing them for extended periods. The link to my review can be found here.

However, not everyone is lucky enough to have the AirPods fit their ears properly. For some, even if they only move slightly, the AirPods drop every time.

For those people, Apple has a solution: The Powerbeats Pro.

The Powerbeats Pro is the natural evolution of the Powerbeats 3. For those who are not familiar, Powerbeats has hooks that go around your ear so that they don’t fall off when you do athletic activities. The two ear pieces are connected by a cord that can go behind the back of your neck. I love the Powerbeats 3. It has been my constant companion whenever I do long runs. The battery lasts for 12 hours so I only had to recharge the device once a week. I love its sound, though, as Beats go, it can get a bit bass-heavy.

The Powerbeats Pro is essentially the Powerbeats 3 without the cord. Each earpiece has a hook that can go around the ear so they won’t fall off. Each earpiece has a battery which lasts for 9 hours. This is significantly shorter than the Powerbeats 3. However, the charging case can give the unit 15 hours more for a total of 24 hours. (For perspective, the fastest Iron Man done in Kona, Hawaii is less than eight hours.) Also, if the battery of each piece runs out, you can quick-charge them and get one hour and a half of use for 5 minutes of charging!

The Powerbeats Pro is comfortable to wear for extended period. I just needed to adjust the ear hooks a little and it was good to go. The unit feels well-made as all beats go and it is rated to be sweat and splash resistant. This means the earphones will keep on going even if you get caught in the rain. Or if simply you sweat a lot. Just don’t swim with it… The case also is well made but it is not water resistant. So, if you think that there is a big chance that you will get wet, then make sure you leave the case/charger in the water resistant part of your bag or in a zip lock container.

Yes, I said “bag” because the case is big and there is no way you can put it inside your jeans pocket. It “can” fit in the pocket of your running shorts or running jacket but the case is heavy enough to not feel comfortable when you go on a run. Yeah, I personally will not go on a run with the case on my person…

Now, I am not an audiophile so I really cannot tell you if you would like the sound of these pair of Beats or not. Quality of sound is, in my opinion, highly subjective anyway. What I can say is that I love the sound of the Powerbeats Pro. And, surprisingly, this pair is not bass-heavy the way Beats usually sound. Bass is still there but it is not as heavy as the Powerbeats 3 that I still use. The lows and mids are also clear and I appreciate the sound it produces whether it be Hip Hop, Rock or Classical music. And the sound is very good even for watching movies and videos. The sound is well-balanced whether you are listening to dialogues or to the soundtrack of whatever you are watching.

The Powerbeats Pro has a bit of passive noise cancellation, which means it does mute the sound of your environment via the seal of the earpieces. However, it is not sealed enough to completely block out the outside world, which is the way I like it - I still wish to be able to hear my environment especially when I am walking or running outdoors.

To illustrate this passive noise cancellation, you will be able to hear that people are talking on the table next to yours but you won’t be able to tell what they are saying nor what language they are speaking in...

So, all-in-all, using the Powerbeats Pro is a really positive experience.

However, one negative thing about the Powerbeats Pro is the price. It is really expensive and a lot of people will balk at the idea of spending $250 pre-tax for this headset (about 13,000 pesos in Philippine money - not including the extra amount that importing this may incur). The AirPods with wireless charging case is actually $50 less expensive than the Powerbeats Pro. And, there are a lot of other brands that are cheaper but sounds as good, or some may even say better, than the Powerbeats Pro!

So, why would you spend more money for the Powerbeats Pro than a different brand?

For me, it is the H1 chip that Apple has developed in-house. With this chip, pairing the device for the first time seems like magic. When you open up the lid, the Powerbeats Pro will appear on any device you have with you that has an active screen (either an iOS, iPadOS or MacOS device). The chip also makes it much quicker to re-pair the Powerbeats Pro to whatever bluetooth device it is registered to. Also, the H1 chip makes the connection between the earpiece and, say an iPhone, much more stable: music does not easily cut off over an extended distance, call quality sounds better for both parties, though i noticed that I need to pump the volume up for voice calls, and there is no lag between the left and the right units. Trust me, if there is a lag between the left and the right earpiece, it can get really, really disconcerting… (Have you ever watched something where the movement of the mouth of the actors is not in sync to the sound you are hearing? It “is” that annoying!)

So, if you have ears that seem to hate AirPods, if you have the extra cash, and if you don’t mind carrying a huge charging case, then the Powerbeats Pro might be for you!

The Powerbeats Pro is Highly Recommended!

Keep the conversation going! Contact me via my Twitter or Facebook account. You may also email me here!


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