F-Stop Guru Camera Backpack

Two things I don’t like much about the Manfrotto / Kata Revolver backpack are first, it’s not designed to hold two camera bodies even with its rather huge body. Second issue is the backpack cannot stand by itself – after all it’s designed like a revolver (such that you can access lens easily).

So, the Revolver is out … and F-Stop Guru is in.

To me, a great camera backpack should has the following features (YMMV though) :

  • It has to be lightweight.
  • It shall look like a typical hiking / day-trip backpack, but not a backpack with camera gear inside.
  • It shall hold two M4/3 camera bodies, a few Olympus Pro zoom lens, one or two fixed lens, and a flash.
  • It shall allow the photographer to access the gears easily, by slinging the bag or access from the side.
  • It shall be able to slot in a 13 inches laptop.
  • It shall include lots of small internal pockets to hold accessories.
  • The shoulder strap shall not be that thick to fit the Capture Pro Camera Clip.
  • It shall has side pocket(s) to hold bottle of water.
  • It shall include rain cover.
  • And of course, It can stand by itself.

Bonus – it can fit in an internal hydration pack.

Well yes, the F-Stop Guru fits the bill.

 

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 in Las Vegas

Even though it’s not my the first time in Vegas, but it’s the very first time to have a chance to visit the museums in Vega – yes, I am not a guy to spend any money in the slot machines. Right after the AWS Re:Invent, I took a cab from the Palazzo Hotel to the Neon Museum. It costed me US$ 20 but well worth the money as it’s really hot to walk miles along the Strip to the museum. In Neon Museum you will find lots of old casino and hotel signs. Thru the guided tour, you will know more about the history of the sin city and those neon sign boards.

Then after that, a casual 15 minutes’ walk will lead you to the Mob Museum. If you are a fan of mafia, organised crime and law enforcements, don’t miss it – all the mob stories are explained in great details with excellent photos, audio and visual effects. Then just opposite the Mob Museum, it’s the Fremont Street Experience – don’t miss the show every evening. So after all, it’s really a good way to spend an afternoon in Vegas, if you don’t like gaming like me, and don’t mind some walks.

But of course, the most important thing is I took my OM-D E-M1 to this short trip and here are the pictures …

Timeline of (my) Olympus cameras

Everyone knows me as an Olympus fan, not because I shoot lots of beautiful photos with Olympus cameras but the fact that I bought many Olympus cameras (Digital SLR and Mirrorless) since they launched the revolutionary E-1 camera in year 2003.

Ten years ago, there was really no original digital SLR (DSLR) camera design in the industry as most of them were just a rehash of the film SLR cameras. On the other hand, Olympus’ E-1 was really a ground breaking DSLR as Olympus designed the camera from ground up with many many new and digital photography specific features. So in the last 10 years, I bought eight (!) DSLR and Mirrorless cameras from Olympus and they are – E-1, E-300, E-510, E-P1, E-5, E-P3, E-M5 and the latest E-M1.

I reckon the best way to illustrate this crazy history is through the use of “timeline”. Unlike typical static WordPress timeline plug-ins, I use the interactive timeline script from timeline.knightlab.com. It lets you move along the timeline and click the image thumbnail to launch the blog post I wrote about the camera. Neat …

http://cdn.knightlab.com/libs/timeline/latest/embed/index.html?source=0AlHjesNCmKHpdDZWVnVuVTdOUXdzMkVJN1E1N25WREE&font=Bevan-PotanoSans&maptype=toner&lang=en&height=450

Free Facebook Timeline cover images

Since the launch of Facebook Timeline, we all look for good Timeline cover images. First of all, one needs to check the size of that image, and we all know it is 800 x 315 pixels. Then we all look for good photos / images that fit this size to download. The trouble is, an 800 x 315 pixels image may or may not be a good image to use. Reason being Facebook will automatically scroll up the Timeline a little bit after a few seconds. And in turn only 800 x 200 pixels of the cover image is shown.

So, here you go, 8 free Facebook Timeline cover images that look good not only in full resolution, but also after the Timeline scrolled up. All these photo images are free because all are taken by me. Check it out, download, enjoy and hope you all like those !!

The new Olympus OM-D E-M5

It’s hard to tell why I need yet another new camera, especially the E-P3 (released just one year ago) is working perfectly along with the E-5, XZ-1.

Olympus OM-D EM-5

But I always want to own a vintage Olympus OM camera, so the new designed dust / splash proof body with fast AF, 5-Axis in-body IS, high-speed shooting, tilting monitor and built-in electronic viewfinder is really attractive. Anyway, I bought the OM-D E-M5 body (without the new kit lens), and gave it a try last weekend. Not to test the new AF, IS, but … the new Key-line art filter.

It’s actually very addictive.

Don’t ever let those memories fade

It’s hard to take good photos in a rainy day, especially you don’t have those splash-proof cameras. But there are times that you won’t have another chance to visit the same place again (or not in a short period of time), so you have to do something – don’t ever let those memories fade.

Of course, one solution is to get one of those dust-proof, splash-proof cameras (like the latest Olympus E-M5), but still there is no decent weather and therefore your photos will probably look flat, moody and in worst case, off white-balance.

I have no bullet-proof solutions on the latter problem, but one of the approaches is to take photos in Black & White (again !!). Here are some photos (with Olympus E-P3) from Taipei in a heavy-raining weekend.

Year of the Dragon

Happy Chinese New Year !!

Guess all of you know that in Chinese Astrology 2012 is the Year of the Dragon. The Dragon is a creature of myth and legend; in fact, it is the only animal of the Chinese zodiac year that is not real. A symbol of good fortune and sign of intense power, the Oriental Dragon is regarded as a divine beast – the reverse of the malicious monster that Westerners felt necessary to find and slay.

Anyway, many of you must be eager to know if you will have better luck in the coming year than previous years. Let me tell you one thing – to get lucky, all you need to do is be a happy person and stay happy.

Following is a photo of the Chinese word “Happiness”.