Thursday, August 25, 2011

I wish I could take this along #2

Well, even after so long of living next to it and seeing it day and nite, the sight of the Penang bridge has not registered as boring in my head.

One night, I got to capture the splendor and glory of this 13.5km engineering marvel.

Perfect light, perfect weather and perfect timing with the right equipment!

I am in awe at the beauty of the bridge that rarely accentuates the sky into a bright glow. In fact, what you are seeing here is actually a rain cloud, and it also looks like someone installed spotlights onto the bridge which gave the entire stretch a golden glimmer with a hint of night sky.

ISO200, F4.0, Canon 50D

Yeah 50D, cause bb has my camera at the moment. Anyway, sent it to the Star, see what happens then!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Long Overdue! Pentax Optio H90 review @ Youth Park

Oh yeah, finally it has arrived! The Pentax Optio H90, compliments of MSS that I won last year (been bz getting my piece of paper so was not on Malaysian soil to collect it) Nonetheless, its here and now can die happy!
But before that happens, time to do a mini review of this lil thing to see what its got. Looking at some other reviews, seems like all the technical (read boring) specs are all stripped down for you to enjoy. What I would always do it just take it for a spin and see how fast one can start producing nice pics out of it!

Test 1 - Night Vision Test + Zoom Test
Since it was night, might as well do this first. How convenient, the Penang Bridge is just 2-3 km outside my window...

Guess what, total dissapointment! The pictures are far too noisy and focus at infinity seems distrupted at low light conditions. At a measly 5 times zoom (digital zoom is actually bullsh*t and doesn't count), don't count on it to do telescopic stuff. As a benchmark, here is what  you can get from a mystery DSLR:

Test 2 - Macro test!
The next prominent feature that this camera boasts its its macro zoom. Picking out a bunch of screw heads, I placed the camera in front of the row and the results pleased me somewhat. Good focus and depth of field. On a minor note, the colour balance seems like its needs work as the camera sometimes give a slightly different hue under different light conditions ie, becomes extra yellow under yellow light.

Test 3 - Panorama test.

This feature was non existent in cameras before the the first half of the decade. Now it seems that many cameras come with stitching software that helps you create panoramas easily, which was previously done using photoshop.

Again, this camera hows that its capable of amazing feats. For such a compact camera, seems like the panorama was almost seamless. However, it still relies on a smooth hand to give a decen panorama. Yet, looking at at, I like!

Test 4 - Organisation skills!

Sounds like an interview but one thing that caught my eye was that the camera automatically places your shots into folders by date! I used to have to do this manually (Especially hate it for the iPhone). This small feature will indeed be time saving for long trips and big SDHC memory cards!

Okay, thats it for the indoors test. Come tomorrow, this camera will face Penang Hill! By now, I should have told you that for all the tests in this blogpost, no photoshop was done to alter the pictures except for resizing!

Test 5 - Medium Light

Time to wake up and shortly after sunrise, it was the perfect time to find out how this camera did with medium light and so here you go:
The exposure and metering were not very good either under medium lights. Fine then, time to head to Youth park for a hike up the Moongate trail! This happened to be where my old Sea Scout Troop used to camp.

Forest shot pass. Now time to go another 10 minutes up. Here, there is a clearing where you can see most of Penang. With the sun rising on the east, time for an overexposure test!

Test 6 - Overexposure

Was jsut wondering how the metering system would stand up and so, I pointed this into the sun! So, as usual, when one does a shot like that, one should expect a camera to give a properly exposed sky and a dark foreground. Amazingly, the software compensates for the overexposure to give:

Either that or it was focused on the city giving an overexposed sky! Either way, not to bad. Now if only someone would build in an ND filter on compacts that would be great! Climbing up, it was time to try Pentax's zoom. 5x Optical Zoom up to 30x digital zoom. I spotted a doggie in the corner of my eye in the distance while my nose spotted the big piece of crap I stepped on. Here is a photo od the suspect:
Short sighted? Can't see? Too lazy to walk, Not wanting to scare it away, 30x zoom to the rescue and I would say the zoom passes the test.
Test 7: Portraits
Yes, that is what most people use their camera for, camwhoring... so while I was on the way up, noticed many monkeys around youth park so I decided to shoot one: 
Whoops, wrong monkey...

Thats better. The other feature that was cool was the panorama feature. Not as userfriendly as Microsoft's Photosynth (cause they are building their own flash player called Silverlight), it does do the job. Tip: Not so good for trees.

Thing is, you can clearly see the sticthes on the frames, nowhere near as good as a person but the clouds shot says that its not so bad. Yep, somehow, clouds were made to be photograghed:
Test 8- Macro

Its that lil focus mode that I usually do not touch cause I think its useless but why not. So down on my kness I went with the camera ridiculously close to the specimens.

Luckily, Youth Park has no shortage of blooms. Walk Drive to Botanical Gardens down the road and there are myriads of plants including pitcher plants or monkey cups. Along the trail, there will be rest stops. We got up to No. 5 and 30 minutes later, it was time to turn back.

Test 8 - Driving Test

What camera would be useful if you can't use it to capture accidents! So, in the passenger seat, it was no holding back! This one is confirmed, good for taking pictures of the winning number plates on the unlucky people's car. Irony.

There are loads of more funny features that I will take a look at in due time!

Monday, August 22, 2011

I wish I could take this along #1

Now this lil thing does not look appetizing, but I swear by my life you are looking at the most delicious burger you ever had your eyes on!

This humble burger mayonaise is no typical Ramli burger because I failed to find any other (Ramli) burger that comes close to the (godlike) feeling when you take a bite at this.

I'm sure those who have been around Sungai Ara would have tasted this. Its sold by this Malay man who has been at it for many years now (first time i had it was 2001 and now he is still going strong in 2011!). You will find the stall (now a truck) parked inside Taman Sungai Ara near a Shell station and a 7-eleven.

Not sure what makes this burger so tasty but I have always been observing how it's made so here's a break down without fail:

1. Have a hot grill running with a lil oil on top.

2. Cut the burger bun into half. Add a knife of planta on all sides. Heat on the grill until the fragrance of butter fills the air for the outside and until the bread turns a lil brown on the inside side. Put to the side.

3. Get a chicken/beef patty, grill for 3-4 mins. Get a bread knife and do a butterfly on the patty (slice the patty into half so you get two thin patties). Grill the inside of the butterfly for 2 mins. Put to the side.

4. A squirt of tomato and chilli sauce on the bread bottom, a (big) handful of thinly sliced cabbage and onions to top it up. Whack a spoonful of mayonaise onto the vegs.

5. Break an egg with one hand and use the shell to spread the egg into an oval on the grill. Add a dash of pepper and some secret sauce (might be just soya sauce). Wrap the patty in the egg pouch.

6. Place the egged patty on the cabbage, top with more chilli sauce and tomato sauce! and voila!

Okay, that only sounds tantalizing but its no joke, this is hands down tastier than GBK, McD or Burger King. Damn, I wish I could take this along.

So next time you are in Penang, make sure you have a try at this stall at Sungai Ara. I gurantee you will never regret it!

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