I shared in my previous post that I no longer own any camera system. So I have been spending a lot of time trying out Fujifilm and Sony ML cameras in their respective showrooms in town. Unfortunately, no matter how many hours I spend in the showrooms, I never experience the “ah-ha I want this!” moment. The respective ML companies want you to believe that their products are perfect. The youtubers and bloggers getting invitations to launch events, launch parties, free accommodations, VIP treatments also want you to spend money on this stuff because they make money when you click on their referrer links and watch their channels. But the fact is that there are still things that bother me about the Fujifilm and Sony systems. In this blog post I will describe them. Note that these observations are current as of April 2018, and may no longer be relevant in the future. Continue reading
DX or FX? APS or full-frame sensor? There are many articles and videos which explain the differences between the two formats. But a simple decision guide for users is missing. No problem, it just happens that I’m too lazy to write and qualify a whole bunch of scientific essays anyway – so I’ll just focus on putting together this simple, straight-forward guide to help users decide between DX and FX. Continue reading
Image available for licensing here.
It has happened to me before. And it probably happened to you before as well. The horror of getting a “memory card corrupted” error on your camera or when you connect an SD card to your computer is literally heart-stopping. The irony is that with the continual advancements in technology, not only do we get generous improvements in storage capacities in SD cards, we also get exponentially higher levels of disaster damage. Several years ago, you might only lose a day’s worth of pictures with a 2GB card. But today (2017), you stand to lose your entire vacation or an entire paid shoot with SD cards reaching 512GB.
So what are the ways to avoid this? Continue reading
I am currently in the process of updating my photo galleries. WordPress.com’s image display options are pretty poor, and my previous configuration does not respond very well with changes in website themes. At least, the flora gallery is finally up. I’m still in the slow process of curating and adding images, such as the above which was just added tonight. 🙂 But I’ll also like to take an opportunity to talk about the limitations of WordPress.com’s image display features. Continue reading
I will come straight to the point in answer to the title of this essay: stop being obsessed with camera-gear review/preview/rumour sites and video channels. Continue reading
I have been constantly revising the resolution of the images I post online. Is 1080px too large and subject your pictures to increased risks of illegal appropriation and misuse? Is 480px too small to make an impression on your audience? Is there an optimal size for all use cases?
To begin, we have to talk about the issue of browser scaling. If a picture does not fit into the content column of your blog, the internet browser is going to scale it down. Browser scaling automatically makes your pictures ugly.
Updated 2 August 2017 for recommendation about colour noise reduction. Clarified recommendations for colour profiles. Revised grammar.
Updated 22 June 2017 for information about astro noise reduction.
Updated 2 December 2016 for revised recommendations.
Updated 25 November 2016 to include reader observations and suggestions. Also included amended recommendations for noise reduction.
Updated on 5 October 2016 to include more details about the Picture Controls and adjust some grammar.
Capture NX-D is a great RAW converter for Nikon NEFs, no matter how you feel about its in-sufficiency for everything else. For those initial steps of detail extraction, colour interpretation, global exposure adjustment, and noise reduction – it is a great tool. I have spent nearly two years experimenting with the various RAW conversion tools – ACR, Capture One Pro, Photo Ninja, DXO OP, etc. Against all these paid options, NX-D performs surprisingly well. It is especially good at colour reproduction, where none of the competition could quite get the kind of accurate true-to-life colours as NX-D could. Of course, I should emphasize that realistic colours does not automatically mean it looks good to everyone! It really boils down to a matter of preference. Personally I find it easier to perform my edits on a well-exposed image with a neutral colour palette. I use NX-D to produce a globally exposure-adjusted, colour-corrected, noise-corrected, high quality 16-bit TIFF to feed into other post-processing applications that are better for detailed adjustments, such as Lightroom. Use the right tool for the job.
However as I have mentioned earlier, NX-D is not user-friendly and insufficient in many aspects. So here are some tips that could help get that RAW conversion part done. Continue reading
(This article has been updated in November 2016 with some new observations and experiences for DxO Optics Pro 11 released in 2016)
A RAW file contain so much more image data than a JPEG file. Most serious enthusiasts and professional photographers shoot in RAW to extract the most out of a photographic image during post-processing. RAW conversion is the very first step in the work-flow with raw files, so it should be obvious how important this initial process is. Get a flawed result from this initial step at the start and the implications will affect all subsequent post-processing efforts. Continue reading