Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Gear Update!





Back with a gear update!

So I recently purchased a Leica M Type 240 to replace the Leica M9 that I used to own (now sold) and boy was I glad I made the switch.

Not to say that the M9 was a disappointing camera, it does have its moments of brilliance like when there is adequate light, its low iso images are fantastic thanks to that CCD Kodak sensor. However it's inability to deliver usable results at high iso is really a huge downside for me and was the main reason why I decided to sell it and move on. 

Initially i considered going back to the Fujifilm X system when I put my M9 for sale, however I saw a M240 at an unbelievable price on clubsnap and I knew that it was meant to be. 

So thats how I ended up with this camera. I also separately purchased the 50 mm Summicron v5 and a 28 mm Elmarit Asph leica lens which pretty much covered the focal lengths I used the most.


So how do I feel about the camera so far? 
Well its a Leica. Build quality is fantastic, image quality does not disappoint and it handles noise at higher ISO SO MUCH BETTER than the M9. I honestly couldn't really care less that its a CMOS sensor instead of a CCD. The images look great with tons of dynamic range and at 24MP that look brilliant on my television when I display them.



One of the other features I love about the M240 is ironically the liveview feature. The thing with Leica rangefinders is that if one wears glasses they wont be able to see the framelines for 28mm and even some times 35mm. This is superbly annoying in some cases where your framing is critical. However with liveview on the M240, even if you use an ultra wide lens like 15mm , you will still be able to get accurate framing. Also focus peaking helps a bunch too!





From my brief use of the Leica M240, I can say that this iteration of the Leica M rangefinder is Leica's biggest leap in to the digital age.  Bringing technologies that Leica purists would frown upon but is sorely lacking in its bid to stay relevant in this day and age.
Paired together with their legendary line up of Leica lenses and the offerings from Zeiss and Voigtlander, the Leica M type 240 is a serious camera for the rangefinder enthusiast and will certainly will not disappoint. 


Well that is all from me for now. Can't wait to post some of the pictures I took with this piece of German precision engineering.

Stay tuned!!



















Thursday, June 25, 2015

Street Shots of Siglap Singapore

Sometimes you find inspiration in the smallest and simplest things. It could be during your journey to school or work, a song you heard on the radio, basically anything you experience in you daily routine has the potential to inspire you.

For me, the past few days while I was out looking for dinner it suddenly dawned on me that I have not really photographed my neighbourhood and its people. People who always claim they have wanderlust (myself included) usually tend to forget how precious are the things closest to them which over time have come to taken for granted....

So I took my new camera for a little stroll through the neighbourhood I call home....

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Taken with the Leica M9 + 35mm F2 Zeiss Biogon....


Furniture shop

Sometimes we just need to kick back relax and watch the world pass by. Simple things like this has become a luxury many of us cannot afford in this day and age where work has become our ball and chain in life... Well not unless you become your own boss .... For example the boss of your own furniture shop.. 





Corner Seat

Having meals alone is not an uncommon thing nowadays. Its not that we can't find someone to accompany us while we chow down our undercooked,msg laden meals. But some of us sincerely wish to take some time of our day to sit down and collect our thoughts and watch the world pass us by.





Evening hangouts at the coffee shop

Contrary to popular millennial belief, there was a time before coffee bean and Starbucks.





Scraps.. 


Foraging for whatever useful things that others discarded. Classic example of one man's meat is another's poison.





Muslim Restaurant

Well last night's dinner crowd wasn't that spectacular. But the food was good though!



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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Overall Review of the LG G4

Overall Review of the LG G4

“See the Great, Feel the Great”.






THE OVERVIEW

Having used the LG G4 for the last 2 weeks, I would like to say that my experience with it has been rather surprising. Features like the vibrant and bright Quad HD display and the new f1.8 aperture 16 MP cameras has been a joy to use. Software features like the voice and hand gestured activated shutter release I found to be pretty useful especially for those selfie moments.

There are some quirks such as less than stellar battery life and the metallic unit that I reviewed didn’t really feel that great in hand. However the G4 features removable batteries and premium leather back covers which helps with these issues.



THE MAIN ATTRACTION

This has to obviously go to the 16MP rear camera of the LG G4. Images have been sharp and crisp, color accurate and offers a good depth of field for those “bokeh” shots. For those who want to be more creative, the G4 offers full manual control of the camera including ISO, shutter speed and focus. Definitely a treat for those photography enthusiasts like myself.



THE FAVORITE

So you have taken a bunch of awesome pictures, but what makes them truly POP would be the bright and vibrant Quad HD display on the G4. Content on a smartphone never looked so good and was definitely my favorite feature of the LG G4.



THE ROUND UP

So to sum up, would I recommend this phone?
IF you love photography, IF you love the option of having swappable batteries and additional storage and IF you like a phone with a customizable back cover to suit your personality, then 100% yes you absolutely have to give the LG G4 a look.

Try it to believe it.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

LG G4 First Impressions



LG G4 First Impressions Review

LG’s entry into the 2015 smartphone flagship race makes a relatively bold statement as the LG G4 boasts flagship internal hardware, a gorgeous Quad HD display which is even brighter than its previous generation flagship the G3 and a f1.8 aperture rear camera which LG expects consumers to ditch their heavy and expensive DSLRs for. Well that being said, that’s what all smartphone manufacturers tend to do isn’t it?  Hyping their products up to ridiculous levels and leave us consumers with a single thought when we actually see the product in real life…. “ Is that it?”

As fate as given me the opportunity to review the LG G4 way before the handset was actually going to be on sale in Singapore, I thought that maybe this would be a good chance to satisfy my curiosity if this LG flagship is just going be another “same same but different” android phone which sadly as become quite the trend in the smartphone scene as of late.

To much disappointment to the geeks out there, I am not going to cover the hardware specifications too much as I am sure if you are reading this, you would have probably already memorized them from other reviews. No this will be my honest first impressions and real world use experience of the LG G4 and no I am not being paid or sponsored by LG to write this.

So lets get started…

Since this is just the first impressions review, I will be covering the following points of interest which I feel after 4 days of using the phone I can confidently comment on.

1.    THE UNBOXING

Well honestly the unboxing experience was a little lack luster. But I understand this being a Korean trial demo unit (YES KOREAN…But according LG executives the overall experience will be similar on the Singapore version) and probably have been in the hands of other reviewers before me.

The G4 comes in standard rectangular box not unlike what other smartphones and in it packs in the LG G4 itself, a wall charger and a micro USB cable. Plain and simple. Yep that’s it nothing fancy there. Oh yeah and if you guys were wondering, I got the metallic grey back version. (sigh I know….. but the leather ones were all taken, plus it was given out at random)


















2.    FEEL THE GREAT…. wait what?

I would have FELT the great if I have gotten my hands on a G4 with the leather backing, but as the gods forbid I only managed to get the metallic grey plastic back one. 

However I did try out G4 units with the leather back and my…. they do sure feel premium, not like those leather stickers/skins you paste onto your phone but real leather (kind of makes me feel guilty about owning one…imagine the cows…). 

The plastic metallic back cover that I got to bring home was not too bad. For one it isn’t a fingerprint magnet, its quite resistant to scratches. The G4 curves ever so slightly, not to the of the L G Flex, but just enough to give the user a comfortable grip in hand, LG calls it the slim arc design. Just expect it to wobble a little when typing on it while it’s on a surface.

And yes the back cover is removable, but wait there’s more! How does a removable battery and a micro SD card slot sound? 

* 2 thumbs up!* 

Apparently not all Korean smartphone manufacturers think it’s a good idea.









3.    THAT DISPLAY THO…

The LG G4 brings smartphone displays to a whole other level in my opinion.

Especially true for the lot of us who are still used to 1080p screens being the standard on our smartphones. The G4 boasts a 2560 X 1440 resolution with its 5.5” IPS (in plane switching) Quantum Display.


Colors are accurate, striking, bright and vibrant especially the reds…oh those reds… Really not much to say, you have to see it to believe it and I promise you will not be disappointed. Hands down one of the best if not the best display on a smartphone to date.

4.    Last but not least…Its a Photographers Dream

Lately cameras have been the bane of android smartphones, with plenty of them performing sub par compared to their iOS counterparts. 

Samsung has been leading the android front with its stellar performing camera on the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge. However being the shutterbug I am, I spent most of my initial 4 days with the LG G4 testing out the camera and I can confidently say that LG has brought a new contender to the ring.



Focusing? LASER FAST and with Optical Image stabilization, I hardly got a blurry shot shooting at slower shutter speeds. (Provided the subject is not moving of course)

User interface? Simple, straightforward and MANUAL MODE with RAW support ???? (Some of us have to buy an app for that!)

F1.8 Aperture makes a hell lot of difference in low light and gives a rather acceptable bokeh for a nice shallow depth of field.

With a new color spectrum sensor, auto white balance on the G4 is accurate and I have yet to get an image that is overly warm or cool.





The 16 megapixel 1 / 2.6” sensor captures sharp and detailed images and quite a step above the other smartphone camera’s out there. The only gripe I have with the inbuilt camera is the poor ISO range (only up to ISO 2700) and lack of a time-lapse function or interval-shooting mode. That would have made the camera even better and tempting for photography enthusiasts. 

Even the gesture and voice activated shutter mode is an incredible simple but useful feature that is included in the LG G4, easier selfies and literally zero camera shake when capturing those long exposure shots (did I mention the shutter speed goes up to a full 30 seconds?!).  

Images taken look fantastic on the phone and video capture at 4K is smooth and stutter free. Although I would need more time to explore and test the full extent of this camera but so far it has been a tremendous joy to use, might just have made compact point and shoot cameras redundant. 



The LG G4 has honestly gotten my attention after the first few days of use and I am still getting acquainted with it, as I am sure there are still plenty more I have yet to discover about this phone.


Stay tuned for my Full Review of the LG G4!




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