Tag Archives: canon EOS 20D

Memorable Fundraiser 7 Years Ago

Seven years ago today on 17th April 2010 I donated this 27″ x 23″ wood framed cardboard mounted photograph of a glorious Kampong Sungai Bera sunrise to the Panaga Helps Earthquake Fundraiser event as a lucky draw prize.

This picture was selected by event organizer Liesbeth for the auction she themed: “This sunrise piece represents the new dawn for the earthquake victims of Haiti and Chile as generous donations pour in from all over the world to help rebuild their lives.”

‘I framed this shot from my kitchen balcony. Beautiful landscape moments like this was what made getting out of bed easy. Fast forwarded a few years, however, such views along with the iconic trees got lost to neighbourhood housing development and everything quickly became a distant memory.

Seven years on, Facebook prompted this reminder which I shared on my timeline only to receive a surprising comment by the lucky draw winner, Sanne Van Grinsven-Braakman … “I was the winner of the Panaga Helps auction 7 years ago and this pictures hangs now on my wall in New Orleans!”

From Brunei to USA ‚ÄĒ Wow ūüėć

NOKIA E71 IT’S EVERYTHING AND MORE

UPDATES
Jul 01, 2009 Firmware 300.21.012 finally fixes date and alarm oddity
Feb 24 2009 Nokia E71 Delivers Internet Radio with Firmware 200.21.188
Nov 21 2008 New E71 Firmware Update: Ver 110.07.127
July 25 2008 Unified Instant Messenger by Palringo (Updates: Oct 27 2008)
Aug 23 2008 The E71 keypad and long fingernails
Aug 22 2008 Activating the camera’s Auto-focus, More¬†shortcuts
Aug 20 2008 Bulk SMS & E-mail Mark/Unmark shortcut discovered
Aug 18 2008 Fring: more annoying than good
Aug 16 2008 Network connectivity: When Symbian makes no sense!
Aug 04 2008 Things I’d like to see Improved
Aug 01 2008 Configuring Yahoo! Mail Plus POP3 Email
July 25 2008 Opera Mini Web Browser installation

Dear Mr. Shim,

In response to your email, I am pleased to have read your review of our Nokia E71 mobile phone. It does help to gain an insight to our customer’s views on our products and helps to ensure continued improvement and development of our products and services. For this, I thank you for being a valued Nokia customer.

‚ÄĒ Nokia Careline (Singapore) July 26, 2008

It’s hard to keep track of technology that is constantly evolving. In order to do so, you’d have to part with a lot of money to¬†just keep up with new STUFF that pops up at a blistering rate. It’s even harder to come up with a title for this post for an item that has a shelf life of what, one week, before another new model hits the rumour mill.

It wasn’t too long ago that I reviewed my Nokia E51 from last Christmas only to find myself bitten by the upgrade bug. The E51 in spite of its strong points suffered a couple of¬†major flaws‚ÄĒtoo small a screen and cumbersome keypad‚ÄĒwhen you actually use the phone as much as I do texting and email, you’ll quickly discover its limit and crave MORE! Meet¬†the Nokia E71 ūüôā

© Jan Shim Photography

If there¬†is one word to describe the E71, it has to be “screenful.”¬†Essentially, it is everything the E51 is and more. A lot more! The LCD measures 4.8cm x 3.6cm of usable screen estate and with this much more space comes a lot more content such as the totally new Predictive Texting, SMS alert bubble (see Mail icon above), etc. The obvious and most challenging difference has to be the QWERTY keypad but let me say this. Like many I had my reservations about moving away¬†from a tried and tested alpha-numeric keypad that we’ve gotten so fond of in the last decade or so. The learning curve for me to get used to the QWERTY layout was about half a day and it’s smooth sailing from then on‚ÄĒyou’ll see why!

© Jan Shim Photography

Following¬†the foot steps of the E Series is a gorgeous recyclable stainless steel back cover that hides a huge 3.7v BP-4L battery. Yup, the E Series‚ÄĒquite possibly the alter ego of the Mercedes E Class!

© Jan Shim Photography

One of the first things I did was to make sure I have my email accounts setup. In my attempt to do so, I discovered an impossibility to setup Gmail or Yahoo for POP3 access. I don’t know if it’s a shortcoming of the operating system that needs patching (I have to email tech support or maybe someone can chime in). By default, it detected “Gmail” and “Yahoo” and automatically configured them for IMAP4 access which makes sense (when the protocol works). On my E51 I tried Gmail IMAP4 many times and failed just as many. On the E71 however, it worked and I was pleasantly surprised (that’s a good thing). I couldn’t even get my Eudora Pro client to access Gmail IMAP4 and here on the E71 it works!

© Jan Shim Photography

Now, let me talk about the QWERTY keypad a little (hopefully you’ll be convinced). Take a look at the last row where the Shift (up arrow), @, Space Bar and ? keys are. Notably, the left most key called the Function Key that when you hit it twice, it locks the numeric keypad‚ÄĒvery useful feature no more cycling the # like I would previously to switch from Dictionary mode to Number mode. The Shift key has also alleviated some of the annoying habits when typing with capital letters and the @, ?, !, & and the Enter key are simply godsend!

© Jan Shim Photography

There is this wonderful feature on the E51 called the Notification Light that I found was really good to have. The super bright LED tells you there’s either a new message or miss calls (whatever you’ve configured it for). On the E71 this feature somewhat disappoints. Nevermind that the Notification Light is now located around the Navi‚ĄĘ Scroll key, it’s next to useless unless of course you’re in a dark room when the glow becomes noticeable. The super bright blue LED from the E51 vs the lame-bright intensity of the E71. Someone fell asleep on this feature.

© Jan Shim Photography

The high resolution LCD is great for web browsing and videos. Unlike ads where simulated images are super-imposed onto the screen, the photo of the journalists at the recent celebration of His Majesty’s 62nd Birthday is an actual display. Because it was captured using a 100mm f2.8 Macro, the grainy texture seen below isn’t something that shows up to the human eye.

© Jan Shim Photography

I took this picture below because many complained that the Power switch on the E51 is hard. You’ll be pleased to know that this is no longer the case. The red button switches on and off effortlessly and the phone even comes with a leather case with matching red velvet insert. That’s another item I find useless, matching or otherwise! The red velvet isn’t lint-free and each time you take the phone out of the case, there’s screen full of lint.

© Jan Shim Photography

The E51 comes with industry standard USB cable and connectors. The E71‚ÄĒsigh‚ÄĒinstead comes with a proprietary connector. Not cool. I mean, how often do you leave the house only to forget to pack the USB data cable and you cannot perform a calendar sync with the laptop. With the E51 I always carry a cable for my Compact Flash card reader and they’re compatible. Not anymore! ūüėõ

© Jan Shim Photography

The E71’s Predictive Text is a gem to use. The pop-up suggested word is instintive for anyone who’s already accustomed to a wordprocessor. Not much of a learning curve here for this wonderful feature that complements QWERTY entries. Auto Word completion can be turned on/off and you have a choice of 3/5/8/12/16 Suggested Words to appear in the drop-down menu.

© Jan Shim Photography

© Jan Shim Photography

This time I decided to include a behind-the-scene photo of my setup. No flash had been used and where you thought there might have been flash, it’s window light or table lamp for directional lighting. The camera in the setup is a 20D and 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens fitted with wired shutter tigger mounted on a ball head extension.

© Jan Shim Photography

Summary

In the time I used the E51, I secretly wished it had the E61i screen size. As far as display goes, size matters and knowing that the E61i had its limitations, I have enough self-discipline to hold off an upgrade or sidegrade or even downgrade comparing the E51 and E61i to the E71 so yeah, patience is a virtue!

Also, the E61i’s wide form factor makes it incredibly awkward and impossible for some to use on one hand (that remains a key usability criteria for me). So with the E71’s form factor being not as wide as the E61i, the keypads are in fact smaller but not uncomfortable to use.

Being a HSDPA device, the ability to connect to a laptop as a 3.5G modem is a good thing as the E51 had been for me. Nokia could and should have kept to standard USB connector instead of proprietary design.

Unified Instant Messenger by Palringo
Believe it or not, this is the first time I’v ever attempted to run Instant Messenger on a phone. The¬†mere concept of chat on any screen less than 17″ never appealed to me until now. Well not because the E71 has 17″ LCD but when I am away from my PC on extended periods it’s good to be able to be in touch with my contacts even if it’s a mere 5 x 3.5 cm screen. I researched this on the web and came across Hiro Adrian’s blog and installed Palringo (not questioning a seasoned user’s recommendation). I am a big fan of Trillian Pro and have used it since I discovered it ages ago. It’s the only unified messenger that makes the most sense. For now, unless there is a mobile version of Trillian Pro, Palringo will have to do!

Unified Instant Messenger powered by Parlingo.com© Jan Shim Photography

CERTIFICATE ERROR No sooner had I begun the installation process, I ran into a¬†Certificate error. The fix: Menu | Tools | Settings | Applications | App. Manager | change Software¬†installation from “Signed” to “ALL”

PALRINGO UPDATES: On October 6 2008, Palringo released a new version v0.97 (14)¬† which according to release notes “Totally reworked the user interface” I like the new interface very much but am disappointed with the number of unnecessary presses before I can start typing in the chatbox (the cursor is placed in the wrong box. This stems from the fact that you’re allowed to scroll through the Text | Voice | Photo tabs but seriously, Palringo should gives its users the option to turn off tabs that we’ll NEVER EVER use! Also, in the TEXT box, when you type more than 2 lines, the box does not expand to accommodate the make the third line visible so more often than not I ended up typing blindly!

Opera Mini Web Browser installation
There are web browsers and there are WER browsers! I personally feel Nokia’s browser interface lacks intuition. I find myself hitting the OPTIONS one too many times to access frequently used commands whereas OperaMini has (most of them) on the same screen.

Web browser powered by Opera Mini© Jan Shim Photography

Configuring Yahoo! Mail Plus POP3 Email

The E71 effortless configured Gmail IMAP4 and this has been the best thing to happen for me as far as email management goes. Prior to this I’ve not had much success with IMAP. But then, I wanted my Yahoo! Mail Plus POP3 account configured too and that had been a struggle. Turns out I wasn’t alone and thanks to Gabin, a Romanian who responded to my plight.

The problem. When you¬†configure your Y! Mail Plus POP3 account through the Email wizard process, the E71 automatically sets Incoming Mail Serv. to imap.n.mail.yahoo.com. I don’t know why the E71 thinks this server address is correct when in fact Yahoo does not presently provide IMAP service or if they do, it’s likely in beta testing (I came to this conclusion after I Googled my head off). If you ping the address, you’ll see¬†that the service exists but it just doesn’t work!

The solution. Just as Gabin discovered, enter either a fake address using a non Gmail or Yahoo domain and (give it a moment) the email wizard will return a message that automatic configuration was unable to complete the settings or something to that effect. After this, you go to your Email settings via Menu | Communic. | Messag. | Options | Settings | E-mail | <select the mailbox> | Connection Settings | Incoming e-mail | …. somewhere earlier you’ll have been asked if you want to manually configure POP3 or IMAP!

(Note: in case some of you are wondering about Yahoo! E-mail, the free version does not provide POP3 access so don’t try this method to configure your Yahoo e-mail thinking you’re going to download them to your phone. Mail Plus is the paid version.)

Nokia Tech Support had been notified about this problem and they have not been forthcoming with a workable solution. Obviously they do not use Yahoo e-mail on their own E71 or else they would have discovered it before rolling out to the market to be tested by the public. I should send them a bill for the time and effort I spent over two weeks and of course the publicity that has contributed to E71 sales one way or another!

Things I’d like to see Improved
After using the E71 for several weeks now, I wish to point out the areas that can certainly be improved with either a new firmware or next model release (firmware would be a sweet option).

1. MESSAGING In¬†this folder¬†there are NEW MESSAGE | INBOX | MY FOLDERS | GMAIL | YAHOO! | DRAFTS | SENT | OUTBOX¬†. User should be allowed to delete or rearrange “MY FOLDERS” further down the page so the more frequently used items such as emails get moved up.

2. E-MAIL There are three DELETE choices: ALWAYS ASK | PHONE (HDR. REMAINS) | PHONE AND SERVER and you’re allowed to set a default. No problems here. However, when it comes to actually deleting the emails, it would be fantastic if we could MARK the emails to be deleted directly from a keypad shortcut instead of invoking OPTIONS | (10 steps down or 5 steps up) to get to¬†MARK/UNMARK. Clearly an oversight!

3. COPYRIGHT SYMBOL When I reviewed the E51, I stated the absence of the © from the 2-page symbol table. They have obviously overlooked the need by photographers, artists and writers who may use the E71 to publish an document online and want to include copyright symbol instead of spelling it in full.

THE E71 KEYPAD AND LONG MANICURED NAILS
We tend to take things for granted when we do certain things and that’s true when it came to reviewing the usability of phones. It’s recently come to my attention that while many find the E71 keypad brilliant to use, users with long fingernails would and have found it extremely difficult to type. Just as well the owner of the manicured fingers featured here was evaluating the possibility of getting a new phone and decided that one with a touchscreen and a stylus suited her more. Makes me wonder if the inconvenience applies to a full size computer keyboard and a laptop. Tsk tsk!

© Jan Shim Photography

NBT LEXUS GOLF CLASSIC 2008

When I first shot the Lexus Golf Classic tournament in 2006, it was at the Empire Hotel & Country Club. In 2007, the venue was at the Royal Brunei Golf & Country Club (RBGCC) in Jerudong. This year it’s back at the Empire, a venue that I’m much more familiar with having previously¬†photographed HSBC’s golf tournament there and at the same Hole-In-One location.


© Jan Shim Photography

Familiarity, however, does not make the job any easier as far as weathering the elements is concerned‚ÄĒscorching sun, unexpected rain, sand flies, big red ants, falling coconuts‚ÄĒare some of the natural challenges to overcome. Others not so natural ones include flying golf balls (I had two near misses previously) and I was prepared as much as I could for any eventuality except for one‚ÄĒa Nikon D3¬†that my partner¬†shot with corrupted over a dozen images that thankfully were the ones from the registration. At time of writing this post I have not confirmed if we have a full set of the group flight photos required by the client. This is one camera that had D3STRUCTION written all over it!


© Jan Shim Photography

So yeah, this year I offered an associate a chance to shoot a golf tournament and at the same time kept me company. We’ve worked together on a number of events in Brunei and abroad including last year’s ASEAN 100 Leadership Forum in Hanoi, Vietnam. Golf photography, unlike other corporate events, is in my opinion demands a lot from the photographer and there are no creature comforts on the green and the hours are too long to be on one’s feet and because both of us live in the Belait district with my partner an additional 30 minutes drive to his residence. Getting up¬†before 4¬†AM is very much our reality when it comes to Golf event shoots.


© Jan Shim Photography

The scene at the entrance of the Country Club was much like an airport departure hall where one Lexus vehicle after another arrived and golf bags tagged.


© Jan Shim Photography

This oval A-sign has been featured in previous tournament where two golfers posed for a photo on either side. This year, with the Lexus LS 460¬†flagship offered as the Hole-In-One prize, I wanted the flight photos to bear more than just the Lexus logo. So this year, the photos combined the serene landscape of the golf course from the Hole 4 vantage point and the LS 460¬†vehicle that people couldn’t stop talking about.


© Jan Shim Photography

As photographers, we get asked a lot of questions by the golfers as we flag them down for the photo session. A head turner such as the LS 460 is bound to arouse a lot of curiousity so naturally I got asked abouts its cost, technical features and strong selling points of the luxury sedan. Having sat in one at the Lexus Road Show and a good read of the brochure before bedtime not only equipped me a nice dream but also with information to handle basic Q&A!


© Jan Shim Photography

A Hole-in-One for the golfers but¬†an entire weekend with the one for me and Anthony. Don’t think I didn’t try to see if staff had forgotten to lock the car and miraculously left the key inside too! There was a real worry that a golf ball from the adjacent green might land on the car but that didn’t happen. Think about it, the car by any mathematical or Murphy’s odds, is¬†a more prominent target than my head unless the ball had heat seeking capabilities.


© Jan Shim Photography

One of the opportunites working with a partner is creative freedom that I would not have shooting alone. The ability to tell a story from a the vantage point of a “third party” can sometimes be greater than the incumbent. The third and fourth picture in the¬†BLNG Emblem post illustrates this as I attended the event as an invited guest and I had people wondering what I was doing shooting way back at the from the room partition. It all made sense afterwards!


© Jan Shim Photography


© Jan Shim Photography

The game of golf is bound by many rules and etiquette that a non-golfer like me has difficulty understanding. Photographing golf tournaments has taught me a thing or two about the game but not enough to sound intelligent on my part to engage in any meaningful golf conversation. That said, there are countless opportunities to shoot the event and the players artistically and creatively.


© Jan Shim Photography

The bunker or sand trap is one such place where some of these creative freedom can be put to good use. In local tournaments, I’ve gotten very close to the action without inteferring the game with my EOS 20D and 100-400mm lens (the combination of the 20D’s 1.6x crop factor gives me an highly usable focal length of 640mm at the long end) and the camera’s 5 fps is more than enough to freeze action shots from the bunker as demonstrated in the images below. The first one was captured purely by accident as I knocked the dial into another mode locking the shutter speed to 1/20 second at f/11.


© Jan Shim Photography


© Jan Shim Photography


© Jan Shim Photography

ALL FOR ONE. ONE FOR ALL. I wasn’t the only one exercising creative freedom. Traditionally, we asked that each golfer posed with their clubs but really they are more than welcome to pose free style and with this group, I had them put their hands together to signify team spirit.


© Jan Shim Photography

On the second day, the rain was fairly heavy on our way to the venue. The drive was about an hour from Seria and by the time we arrived the rain showed no signs of easing but thankfully by 7 AM when it was time for the group photo, it had reduced to a drizzle. Rain or shine as long there’s no imminent danger, the game gets played. By the time the players were ready to be photographed, small rain droplets that had collected on the 5D¬†eventually morphed into larger droplets and the camera was wet to the touch. The rain beads had also given the LS 460 increased appeal and I only wished I had the 100mm macro lens though my bag was already filled to the brim including two side pouches‚ÄĒtwo bodies, 70-200mm, 100-400mm, 24-70mm, 10-22mm, 580EX flash, CP-E2/3 Power packs, SLIK tripod & monopod, four bottles of 100 PLUS, 1 bottle water and a bag of stuff for the mouth!


© Jan Shim Photography

There was no shortage of golfers wanting to take a peek at this epitome of luxury and as the hours went by towards the end of match, question of whether Hole-In-One had been won came flooding in. Unfortunately, this car remained unclaimed.


© Jan Shim Photography

Even though I know nothing about the game of golf, I do know enough about the game to spot the subtleties to tell a story. A player checks the wind direction and as it turned out, he’s the GROSS WINNER of the tournament. Don’t even ask me what that means. I Googled for a definition and decided hmmm … I’m not going there!¬†ūüôā


© Jan Shim Photography


© Jan Shim Photography

The EF100-400mm L has an extremely fast AF for an f/5.6 lens and it works extremely well on the 20D. 640mm is just sweet for golf and if I had this lens in Shanghai, I would have much better shots of the pros doing their thing. There’s just so much body language in this game to capture and most times you just have to anticipate them. I’ve been able to swing and lock focus on the subjects such as the two pics below. It takes practice regardless.


© Jan Shim Photography


© Jan Shim Photography

The last time I came across a tiger mitten was at the Sheshan International Golf Course in Shanghai where Tiger Woods played at the 2005 HSBC CHAMPIONS tournament. What fond memories. On the right is the NBT LEXUS Challenge Trophy on which the names of previous winners are inscribed in succession since the inaugural event in 2004.


© Jan Shim Photography

An obvious advantage shooting an event in pairs is that our paths occasionally cross and you end up with a working photo such as this.


© Jan Shim Photography

An NBT LEXUS staff hanging on to the Challenge Trophy while MD presents the other prizes much to the excitement and much awaited anticipation of the crowd.


© Jan Shim Photography

Congratulations to GROSS WINNER YAM ASP Pg Anak Hj Mohd Saifullah bin YAM Pg Indera Setia Pg Anak Idris and NETT WINNER Han Kim Kuang who have won a trip to Singapore to compete in the Lexus Cup in December.

Related Golf links