Dinagyang 2009…IloIlo

Yeah! Im going. I booked my flight last year to get some good deals off the air fare and here it is now 26 hours to depart from Manila to Iloilo. Its been two years since I shot a provincial festival, that was in Sinulog 2007, Cebu. Im really curious on Dinagyang because some friends said, It is the best performance wise. Il be with some of my friends from PiPho Org on this trip and hopefully we can do some travelscape within our stay, I didnt prepared for an itinerary this time. Bahala na!

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The opened bag right here is the Lowepro Rolling Computrekker Plus, it is one the biggest bag of Lowepro but i wont be using this huge bag instead I transferred almost all of my gears to my old Computrekker AW. Along with this Il bring my belt bag the Inverse 100 AW. Of course the 5D Mark II will be there, 40D, 70-200 f2.8 IS, 24-70 f.28, 17-40 f4 and 50 f1.4. Oh yes the LX3! Il be leaving the 100mm macro and some other accessories. Theres a bonus gear that il be bringing  and il pick it up at Canon office tomorrow. Its one of the fastest camera today. My shouldnt worry because il just borrow it 😀

Im really excited now and i already have some ideas in mind, composition, the videos and time lapse. Il be online every night to check out my online life PiPho, facebook, emails and this of course.

Panasonic Lumix DMC LX3 V1.20 Firmware now up

regie_fernando-8737I updated my LX3 today, before typing this entry. A little disappointing since the new FW only fixes “other” things. I was expecting a fix on the magenta cast plaguing the AWB white balance option but alas, wala. Im hoping someday they will hear our voice. For the time being it wouldnt hurt if you update yours so try yours and hit the here link below. Take precautions when making a FW update READ CAREFULLY the instructions provided.

Firmware Version Update:

Released 1/15/09

Panasonic Lumix DMC LX3 Ver 1.20 Firmware

  • Improved white balance flash mode setting when DMW-FL220 is connected.
  • Proper setting of shutter speed on iA mode and Scene mode when OIS is turned ON.
  • Proper Exif information in the JPEG picture file.

Download it here

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Another Panasonic LX3 Firmware 1/15/2009

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From the Panasonic Lumix LX3 Firmware download page

Sorry, This download site is temporally closed due to Next version of firmware, It is scheduled on Jan/15th/2009.
Sorry for this inconvenience.

It will probably try to solve (again) the AWB problem plaguing the LX3. Hope im right!  :/



Canon EOS 5D Mark II Firware Update

screencap_20090108_1Firmware Update Version 1.0.7 improves and mitigates the following two types of image quality phenomena that occur under certain shooting conditions.

  1. “Black dot” phenomenon (the right side of point light sources become black)
  2. Vertical banding noise

Firmware Version 1.0.7 is for EOS 5D Mark II cameras with firmware up to version 1.0.6. If the camera’s firmware is already version 1.0.7, it is not necessary to update the firmware.

Notes:
When updating to Firmware Version 1.0.7, please also update the Digital Photo Professional and Picture Style Editor software. Firmware Version 1.0.7 can be downloaded from the bottom of this page. Updates for Digital Photo Professional and Picture Style Editor can be downloaded from the following Web site.

I dont like the idea of that magenta cast on sRAW file. The black dots is no biggie to me so Il probably wait for the “complete” that includes the magenta issue on sRAW’s.

See the complate firmware update page here

Take a grip…

regie_fernando-10301370000I took a grip. The EOS 5D Mark II BG-E6 battery grip. From my very first DSLR the 300D to my previous 5D Mark I, I just cannot have but buy a battery grip, it stabilizes the handling of the camera with heavy lenses. I admit that the 5D’s gripless body is already heavy but again it counterweights the 70-200 2.8’s lenses most specially the IS version.

Some observations…

The BG E6 is a little bit different from the 5D Mark I’s battery grip BG E4. Canon added the AF-ON button which is pretty handy for locking focus vertically. It came with the 2AA battery cartridge that comes out very helpful at times when you ran out of power. This battery grip has two separated terminals that reports LP E6 info’s to the camera. More over if you check out the battery info on the LCD it reports those two battery informations, very cool IMHO. Its built like a tank, it is still made out of part magnesium alloy and hard plastic. It doesnt feel squeeky or plasticky. A must have accessory. Its quite expensive I know, but I can’t live without it. Thats the beauty of the 5D form factor grip or without a grip you have an option. 😉

Panasonic Lumix DMC LX3 Firmware Update

fig3Panasonic just released the 1.1 firmware version of the famous Lumix LX3

It fixes some issues of AWB and auto focus. It also enable the use of the new external flash accessory DMW-FL220.

I updated mine and it looks like it corrected the AWB issue.

Download it here

From Panasonic website

Date/Version Description
2008/12/15
Ver 1.1
  1. Compatibility update for the DMW-FL220 flash unit.
  2. Improved auto white balance performance.
  3. Improved auto focus performance.

imagesmith’s photo gear

Heres the current line up of our photo gear

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taken with the mighty Lumix LX3

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Canon EOS 5D (sold)
  • Canon EOS 40D
  • EF 70-200 f2.8 L IS
  • EF 24-70 f2.8 L
  • EF 17-40 f4.0 L
  • EF 50mm f1.4
  • EF 100mm f2.8 Macro
  • Speedlight 580 EX
  • Speedlight 550 EX

I invested on pro graded lenses recently. I sold all my 3rd party lenses. Don’t get me wrong, but my previous 3rd party lenses performed well and served me well, published some great photos with it. But of course there are some shortcomings in every product and It was frustrating at times. Now with my new 21MP 5D Mark II some of my consumer lenses showed some poor perfromance. Hopefully as budget and business will let me, next year  I can add these lenses to my arsenal EF 135 f2.0 L, EF 15mm f2.8 fisheye, TS-E 24mm, EF 50mm f1.2 L and EF 85mm f1.2 L, oh well i will be a happy kid again 😀 Thats what you called day dreaming 😉 Seriously, I dont want to shortcharge my clients and il give them the best output that skills and equipment can provide.

new cam.. new creative flair?.. my 5D Mark II impressions

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After two years of using the original 5D now comes the 5D Mark II model. Full of feats and extras from the 3 years old tech of the first version. I got mine last friday from Canon Marketing Philippines Inc. Im actually satisfied with the 5D but the demands of commercial photography commands me to do the upgrade. And being an artist and tech-geeky sometimes needs some new brush (camera) to renew its passion and creative flair 😉

Moving on…Initial impressions of this camera.

Physical

I salute Canon maintaining a separate body + grip design (form factor).  Obviously lugging heavy gear for long periods of time is no fun, so sometimes if you want to reduce weight you just unscrew the grip and saves you from body pain. It still doesn’t have a pop-up flash which you wont need anyway since you have up to ISO 3200 usable.

The body is more curvier specially at the Canon logo area (pentrapism). The buttons at back are adjusted to make room for the new 3.0″ LCD. Yes, there is AF-on button now working for both stills & video. It also has some nice touch of  weather sealing. The mode dial markings are now engraved and wrapped with rubber grip.

Usage

I just had my unit last friday and since im very familiar with Canon cameras i dont need to tinker  the manual page by page. The 5D Mark II’s menu system is now like the familar 40D /50D cameras that was also first introduced on the high speed 1D Mark III. Its more easy to navigate, more user friendly including the custom functions.

The 5D and 5D Mark II are virtually the same but packed with plus features. The imaging sensor is now at 21 megapixels and it now houses the latest DIGIC IV imaging processor. AF points are pretty the same to me but Canon stated that it better? I noticed some tiny-weeny-bit improvement in speed or probably Im just excited? Really, nothing to write home about it, it is exactly the same.

High Megapixels is good, but it comes with a price, I initially tested one of my favorite primes, the EF 50mm f1.4 and disappointingly it performs below my expectations. It cannot resolve the resolution that the 5D Mark II is giving, plus the CA (Chromatic Aberration) is now more pronounced. Fortunately, my recently acquired EF 70-200 f2.8 L IS and EF 24-70 f2.8 L doesn’t suffer with the same fate like my other consumer lenses. From my initial testing inside my studio, the 5D I renders more 3d’ish detail than the 5D Mark II. This is now getting more confusing?? Yes and yes IQ from the original 5D is better by 10%. Il perform another set of testing tomorrow with my L lenses to nail my observations. Could it be that these days monitor resolution cant display the level of detail in 21mp? Or does our eyes cant see those resolution by near distance? I dont know but again from my initial observations the 5D’s images have better shadow detail, clarity and sharpness. Although what I can tell now is that, 5D Mark II colors are more accurate.

Video: Nothing to compare right now, in terms of DSLR video quality. The D90 has it but very premature falls behind with the quality from the 5D Mark II. The video feature is just great the only downside is the lack of manual settings. I have to fiddle with it more since im very new to this video thing. Actually, this is the feature of the cam im more excited, il be making some personal projects and im now imagining the possibilities it can provide. I will start to learn and study videography.

So by far here are my quick impressions… Il probably make a complete review during the long holidays this December.

As a tradition of course. I took some “binyag” shots of my new baby. 😉

more in the coming days…