Which dSLR should I buy?

•January 13, 2010 • Leave a Comment

This article is geared towards buyers who are looking for their 1st dSLR purchase.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions from my peers on which 1st dSLR should they buy. Well, some friends say Canon is the best, some says Nikon is the best, some say Sony is getting much and much better, which generally we can see each system has their own supporters.

Now for my turn to comment: When you invest in a system (read my word: invest, not buy), you are obviously going to grow with it along the way. Unlike the plain “boring” PnS, dSLRs allow us to grow. Meaning, you can add new lenses into your arsenals to shoot the same scene with different perspectives; manipulate your frame with more speedlights and do wonders along the way.

So basically, the ultimate checklist for deciding which dSLR system to go will be:-

1. Your budget

2. What do you want to shoot

3. Generally availability of affordable accessories and used equipments-for-sales in your AREA.

Point #1 – Budget

What will be your budget be then? Heck, if you are planning to burn RM3k for a dSLR, basically you can settle in for an entry level kit, or you can go for a used body.

Point #2 – What type of stuffs you want to shoot?

  • If you are just shooting family photos – just go for an entry level kit, or heck, just get a Pro-sumer PnS , eg Panasonic Lumix LX3 .
  • If you are planning to shoot sports – go for the fastest cam your budget can stretch
  • If you are shooting low lights – again, go for the most expensive cam your budget can stretch, as usually low noise performance is 1 of the major price factor.

Point #3 – Generally Availability of used equipments and accessories

The bigger the market share for that particular brand, the more accessories and supports will be made available for that particular brand, which means you generally gets the latest technology and also perhaps, slightly cheaper.

The economic theory of mass production applies here. The bigger the market share = the bigger the profit will be.

This also means that you can get cheaper used-equipments along the way more easily. You can pick up a very good used equipment for a decent price when people are going for upgrades.

You can also swap ideas or equipments within your community (bigger market share = more users). This will give you insights of other accessories available for your system, which then you can gain some “taste” on what you want to buy in the future.


Q: hey, x brand is selling comparable kit for much lower price.

A: And you be getting much more expensive gears/accessories in the future for comparable lense/speedlights. It’s the marketing tactic where the company will sells you the entry kit much cheaper, which then in the future, when you are upgrading, you’ll be spending more on it.

Q: Which brand should I buy?

A: The big two: Canon or Nikon. That’s my suggestions anyway. My preference? Nikon, as I shoot Nikon.

Q: My friend says Nikon is best, but my other friends says Canon is the best, which should I go?

A: It’s your head and eye that matters, the cam is just a tool. Joe McNally and Steve McCurry shoots Nikon (as of now), then is Canon sucks? Ziv Koren and Gary Knight shoots Canon, and so then Nikon sucks? Heck, Alex Majoli, a Magnum photographer shoot the Gulf War with Olympus PnS, so all other cam sucks?!

So just go the store, pick up the cam you like and test on it, buy it and go shooting! So be a gearhead or be enjoy the results from your cam, which is photography, you choose then.

Q: What are you shooting on?

A: I’m shoot Nikon, and my dream gears are Nikon D3s, 12-24, 50mm f 1.2, 85mm f1.2,  AF-S 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8 VRII, plus a truck load of SB900s. Dream on….


The Wedding Day Itinerary (Part 1)

•January 10, 2010 • Leave a Comment

After shooting numerous weddings, I’m thinking of preparing a 101 itinerary for going to be wedded couples. Anyway, the below itinerary serves as a guide only. The details you will need to go by your own preferences (each couples may varies, and my list below basically applies to Chinese weddings in Malaysia).  I hope that the below itinerary will provide you a basic guidelines on how to plan for your actual day wedding. There goes:

Morning Session (in tandem, between brides and groom)

Bride’s Side Itinerary

  • Make Up (Try to have a bite when you are having your make up, before you applies your lipsticks , which is usually on the ending session of the make up. You’ll get real hungry along the way as time goes by the day).

  • Photographer/Videographer arrived at your place. Try to shoot some group photos with your bridesmaids if you manage to complete your make up earlier.
  • During your make up session, your bridesmaids will progressively arrive at your home. They will get some games ready while your groom and his best-men arrived.

Groom’s Side Itinerary

  • Get well dress while your best men arrived progressively at your house, or get them to gather at one place and drop by your house later on.
  • Get breakfast as you’ll be spending quite some energy when you with your buddies having the games at your fiancee’s house.
  • When you are about to make a move to the bride’s house, it’s best that you ring your bride that you are going over, so that she’s getting well prepared (I know you guys do somehow had already agreed previously on the time anyway, but it’s no harm doing so. Heck it’s once in a life time for both of you, why don’t memorable and less hassle along the way?)

more to come for part 2…

KungFu? MartialArts? Oh Whatever…

•January 6, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Apart of the Armageddon frenzies that Hollywood been madly producing, we also have martial art craze on the edge of the table (matrix, crouching tiger hidden dragon(?), etc). So, I grouped up with my buddies (who is a Taekwando black belt anyway) and say: let’s shoot something for fun – The Taekwando Master.

We end up going out on one “fine” (it’s ain’t fine actually, when we reached the shooting location, a rain pour just stopped, blessing us with a gloomy grey sky…duh…there goes my blue sky…) Saturday. Anyway, no worries, let’s see what I can do to overcome this.

This is how the grey sky looks like…

So, I just color-shifted my cam, and viola! blue sky! Subject is litted with speedlight CTO x 2. Some photos had been post-processed for greater impact.

and just for fun to wrap it up, I create this magazine style cover!

Happy New Year 2010

•January 1, 2010 • Leave a Comment

What do I do in the first moment of new year 2010. Apart of watching a spectacular fireworks show in a pristine neighhbourhood in my home city, I’ve also made my first shot of the year – a portrait shot of a very talented musician in my church. Shooting location is dark, as the neighbourhood streets are only dimly lighted with tungsten road lights.

Handheld, manual mode, speedlight on camera right, shoot thru umbrella, fev ttl-0.3. Converted BW.

What could be better: Using a tripod, I can burn in the ambient with much lower shutter speed, which would then Adrian would be casted with three much visible shadows from the street lamps.

Happy New Year, folks!

Photography or Compugraphy?

•December 26, 2009 • Leave a Comment

All rite. Most of the time, we saw particular genre of beautiful photos on the web, ie weddings & fashions. We are wondering, how do photographers do it?

Simple, via computer imaging manipulation tools like photography, we can create spectacular photos out of the box. Of course, the # 1 rule still applies, you need to at least master some basic technical skills of photography, ie exposures, compositions, flash, etc. Today photography is more than managing reflections with lights . Digital technology had enabled us to manipulate photos to a stage that it looks great on print.

K, let see what I can do here:

Original Photo (flashgun off camera, snooted with 1/128 flash power), CTO gelled. [A reproduction of a classic photo, using my wedding bands and my bible]

Let’s do some nice effects:

Editted Photo #1

Editted Photo #2

Simple, yeah?

My tribute to the late Dean Collins.

Merry Christmas or Merry X’Mas???

•December 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Every year when coming to Christmas, as usual. Christmas greetings are everywhere. You saw fake pine tree dressed up and erected everywhere in malls.

Well, it’s Merry Christmas(X’mas or it is?) and Happy New Year everywhere. Well, thank the LORD for that, as Hymn always sang “Joy to the World, the LORD has come!”

Now, let’s look further into this. Since when Merry Christmas had become Merry X’Mas???  I’m starting to think, well, does our dear friends know that Christmas is a date where Christians celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, when the WORD become flesh and He came to redeem us from sin? Well, sort of like Neo in the Matrix, of course, in totally different concept though…

Ultimately, what will be the true meaning of Christmas when we substituting “Christ” in Christmas to “X”mas???  Hmm…let’s see, can we change Happy New Year to Happy X Year? Happy Chinese New Year to Happy X New Year?? Gosh, this is getting more and more mind blogging.

Anyway, Merry Christmas 2009 and have a blessing day. Emmanuel.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. <John 3:16>

Tan & Daphne Wedding

•December 24, 2009 • Comments Off on Tan & Daphne Wedding

The most recent wedding I’ve shot in Kuala Lumpur – Tan & Daphne.

The Morning Session

Church Holy Matrimony

The Wedding Banquet

~The End~