Thursday, March 7, 2013

Canon EOS 6D - Part 3 | Details details details

This is part 3 of my overall review of the Canon EOS 6D and in this chapter, I'll be focusing on details or rather is the 20.2 megapixels enough? From day 1 we have been brainwashed and spin dried into having the most megapixels packed into that cute little 36 x 24mm sensor. As such, the moment we hear 20.2mp, the alarm bells start ringing, hang on, but but our N fellows over there are already having 3x megapixels cameras.

So instead of having a 5 hour debate on the pros and cons, let me just show you some photos below taken with the Canon EOS 6D and you can then figure out whether this is enough for your shooting needs. 

First up, a 50% cropped photo of a watch shot.




















Second sample, a 20% cropped photo of another watch shot and no I'm not having a watch fetish.


And finally, a full shot and the cropped version both straight out of camera, unedited. You can see the dust on my table at the bottom right side of the 2nd photo.



We all know very well that the more megapixels you have, the more details you're going to retain when you start to chop the image away but at 20.2 mp, the Canon EOS 6D is able to hold its own fairly well as compared to its bigger brother 5DMk3. As we can see from the samples above, even at 50% crop, the image maintains its details and if you need to crop more than 80% of your photo then ..errr...no comment. 

Well that's all for now, till then cheerio.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Canon EOS 6D - Part 2 | On the job usability

Welcome to part 2 of my write up where in this article, I will focus on actual practical usability and versatility of the Canon EOS 6D. Over the weekend I spent some time in Genting with the family and this is where the brilliant high ISO performance and built in HDR function came in handy for lowlight indoor shots. Ok it might not be really low light in Genting but you get my drift haha.

Setting the HDR is really easy. Just enable the HDR Mode then select the range you require +-1,2,3 EV or even auto and you're off. The camera will take 3 continuous shots within this range and you can set the camera to either do this for every single shot you take or just for 1 shot. You are also able to set Auto Align or leave it disabled. Normally the settings I used is +-3 and Auto Align Enabled.

Below is a shot taken at ISO10000, f4, +-3EV built in HDR and handheld! Yes ladies and gentlemen, you no longer have to worry about shooting events, weddings under low light conditions anymore. I could have shot easily with a higher f-stop and the camera would have managed it without any fuss. With the superb low light focusing, metering and the new options available to you, all you need to focus on is composition and let the camera worry about the rest. 


Few more shots below taken using the same technique. No post processing was really required other than to watermark the photos. 



Switching between the HDR mode and your normal shooting mode still requires accessing to the menu and hopefully in the future, there can be a quick switch button. I have not tried the custom functions C1 and C2 yet so maybe that might work. 

During the course of the shoot, you have the option to activate the wifi for quick and secure access to a list of devices. I connected it to my smartphone to view and retrieve the images using the EOS Remote app, before posting the photos online.

Just select the Camera Image Viewing option as shown in the screenshot below from your smartphone.


The photo layout in the app is easy to view with sections showing the date of the shoot. The connectivity between the phone and the Canon EOS 6D is really fast and there is no lagging felt. This is really a plus if you have lots of images to go through.


After you have selected the image you want, just download it to the phone by clicking on the bottom left icon and within seconds, your image is stored in your Gallery under the Canon EOS 6D folder. You can then just upload it online. How cool is that!


There are now functionality that will enable me to immediately project my images live during an event shoot and remote control multiple Canon EOS 6D placed at different strategic locations within the shooting area all from my smartphone. Imagine this scenario where you have the 6D placed from a balcony focusing down as the wedding couple walk into the grand ballroom. You can be with them covering them as they walk in while remote shooting from above or other locations. You'll be cutting down the number of assistants required at the same time.

For in studio shoots, clients who are with you at the time can view and immediately select/download the photos from your camera. Previously the troublesome USB cable which had a maximum length usability issue, was the only way to connect to a laptop/desktop other than to get a separate wifi grip or wifi card.

Hope this review in part 2 answers some lingering questions that some of you may have and feel free to share this article or drop me a line if you have any questions. Till part 3... cheerio!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Canon EOS 6D - Part 1 | Initial View

After a long wait, its finally here! The all new entry level Canon EOS 6D released just in time for Christmas by Canon. I didn't get the Canon EOS 5D Mk3, as during that time, rumours were already flying around of this entry level full frame DSLR being developed.


Initial look and feel is very similar to the Canon EOS 60D without the swivel LCD and pop up flash. Layout of the buttons are typical Canon so most users will have no issues navigating through them. However the WB button was not included in the rows of buttons on the top LCD for quick access, so a little navigating through the menus was needed to change the WB. Canon have included a quick switch to video mode similar to the Canon EOS 7D which was good as I do switch between these 2 modes during assignments. If you've used the Canon EOS 60D, 7D and 5D MkII, this camera would have an incorporation of many of the features found in those bodies.
Next I browse through the menu and holy cow, there were a long list of menu pages spanning right across the whole LCD. You could really really customize this camera which is great.

There were a few things that I was looking for in this camera notably high ISO performance, AF speed and  image quality. After shooting with this camera for the first couple of hours, I was grinning from ear to ear. For one, the AF speed was super fast bearing in mind I was comparing against the 60D, 7D and 5D Mk II. Even under extreme low light conditions, focusing locks on without any hesitation and this is a feature that comes in real handy when shooting in dimly lit dining halls and so on. Not a single shot missed the target even with the aperture wide open. Full marks for the AF from me for the 6D.

Next up was the ISO performance. What can I say other than WOW! Look at the 3 images below all shot at seriously high ISO under low light conditions - handheld! The ability of the EOS 6D to retain image details at such high ISO without noise is simply amazing. Look at the image of the lamp and the same image cropped. You will notice that the wordings on the light bulb did not break. Color rendition and overall image quality is maintained and there is no noise.

Do note as well that I've already resized these images for web posting and the original image is much better.




The 6D has built in HDR, multiple exposure and silent shooting mode where the latter becomes real handy in street or otherwise non intrusive shooting situations. The built in HDR works very well with the ability to set up to +-3.

Sample image below is shot with the built in HDR with ISO set to 100.




I've done some minor editing on the photo below but overall image quality is superb, holding details well throughout the range.


The initial impression of the Canon EOS 6D is very promising. Weight wise this is perfect as I sometimes shoot up to 16 hours straight and anything heavy will kill my back This camera is THE camera to get for those thinking to upgrade from the EOS 60D, 7D and the 5D MkII. I will be writing up on the wifi capabilities next which will cover remote shooting and how it can be applied during assignments.

Below are the screenshots from my Samsung Galaxy Note to remote control my EOS 6D using the downloaded EOS Remote app.



Saturday, March 24, 2012

How To Keep Shooting?

Many of you will relate to this article one time or another in your shooting career. As you keep shooting the same thing over and over again, you'll eventually hit a point where you'll say, "What the hell am I doing?". Some will fall and never get out of this abyss while the rest will bounce back stronger (hopefully). Each of us will have to find that spark to cling on to and although I can't teach you how to find it, I hope my own personal experience can be use by you one way or other to find yours.


Those who know me will know that I change gears and hobbies faster than you can say "fiveee deee maaak threee!" or "deeee eightttt hundred~!". Why do I do this? Well for one, I don't get stuck in the same thing over and over in a never ending loop. I can go to the extend of total gear overhaul just to get out of the comfort zone and finding new challenges in the new gears to create new images. This starts the learning curve all over again which rekindles the spark. I might also disappear for months on a new venture (cycling being my most recent one) and come back into photography after that stint with the same objective. 


You may also decide to take up different forms of photography for example macro, birding, etc etc just to break the norm. I think you're getting the idea :)


Well that's all for now till next time if I can think of something to write or if there's anything you want me to discuss on, do send me a note to : kevin@kevinchooi.com

Monday, October 17, 2011

QR Code!


Just so that I don't feel left out in the technological changes, here's the QR code to this site...hehe. Been awhile since I've blogged or updated new stuff due to my current hectic schedule. Will promise to update some new tips soon. Cheers :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Ariel Wedding Photoshoot


The original plan was to shoot 30+ wedding gowns from Ariel Wedding's new collection. A couple of weeks beforehand, we have already started scouting for talents for this shoot. Finally it was decided that we obtain the talent of Natalie Sim. Tiffany Yeoh was the make up artist selected for the shoot and the whole project was underway. Location of shoot is at Ariel Wedding's Penang outlet - de Montage located at Cordrington Avenue, Pulau Tikus area.

I asked Mujib for assistance for this shoot as it will be a whole day shoot and it would not be as tiring if we have 2 photographers to cover it. We packed the Canon 5D Mk2, Canon 7D, 24-70 f2.8L, 17-40 f4L, 50mm f1.4, 85mm f1.8, 3 units of Canon 580EX II speedlite and a Canon 430EXII. One softbox, one octabox, shoot through umbrella and a reflector were brought along for the shoot as well. Remote triggers used were the Pixel Knight TR331 which enabled high sync  triggering.

Mujib during light testing..LOL
On the day of the shoot, we were supposed to have started off at Youth Park but after my morning cycle ride at that area, I decided against going there as there were just too many people around (and it was a blessing in disguise as it rained halfway through the shoot). So we all ended up at de Montage and the shoot began in earnest at 9.30am. Tiffany had also done her homework way before the shoot and matched both hairstyle and makeup perfectly to the gowns of the day.

As usual there were lots of laughter and craziness throughout the shoot including the period where super duper classic songs had to be played to create the mood for the gown being worn during that time. We ended up using a 3 light configuration due to the space but I think in the end, it worked out quite well and we were happy with the results.

Tiffany hard at work on Natalie
Natalie was great and she knocked of poses after poses so that we can focus on the lighting and composition. Great model asset and something which upcoming models should definitely strive for. 

A special mention about Ben Leong (Tiffany's boyfriend) who must be the most patient boyfriend in the world as he was there throughout the whole shoot while waiting for Tiffany to complete her job!

The whole shoot was completed at 6.30pm and we managed to shoot 20+ gowns. Once again, a big thank you to Tiffany Yeoh, Natalie Sim, Ariel wedding gang and the folks at de Montage for making this shoot a success. Till next time~!

For more photos of the shoot : https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150319941054362.363666.607859361&type=1

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Yashica Mat 124 - an unexpected find

 
sample shot from the Yashica 124
I stumbled across this Yashica Mat 124 which had shutter sticky issues and was going for a really good price, so I immediately picked it up. The overall exterior condition is close to mint and I guess the previous owner did not want to spend the money to do a full CLA on the unit. A quick check on the light seals shows everything was in good shape. Even the insides of the film bay compartment was clean and nothing needed to be done there.
another shot from the Yashica 124
I then removed the front taking lens element as well as the back and proceeded to clean the shutterblades which were really covered with a thin layer of oil/grime. The 2 lens elements were cleaned up as well as they had some residual on them, most likely from the shutterblades. A quick test firing off the shutter shows everything in perfect working condition, from B mode to 1/500. Oh ya the seller has even included a battery and the light meter is working fine.

After reassembling everything back together, a roll of Kodak Ektacolor was loaded and I met up with the guys for a short coffee session at coffee bean. Within a few minutes, I've shot off 12 shots at coffee bean and I must say, shooting with the Yashica was a quite fun due to its light weight compared to my Mamiya C330. 

testing the lens capability to handle extreme contrast
I tested a few items during the 12 shots namely - bokeh, ability of the lens to handle extreme contrast, edge to edge sharpness, color rendition and shutterspeed. I did not test for high aperture shots as I was mostly interested to test the wide open capability at this time. Will do another test on landscape for the higher aperture values.
Yashica 124 and I
 The shots that came back from the photolab were quite impressive and the Yashinon produced sharp clean images even when shot wide open. This would be a great camera to have in the bag due to its compact size and ability to shoot 6x6 medium format images. Certainly a great buy at the right time.

Do click on the images to see the larger versions of the photo. If you have any questions on this TLR (twin lens reflex), do feel free to drop me an email or comment on the article below.

Till next time..adios.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Full Circle - Medium Format

Musician at a chinese opera performance
Well it has been exactly 3 months since I stepped into the world of medium format and what can I say other than WOW! For those who know me long enough, they'll know that I like to try out new things / techniques that can change my picture style. I'm never very happy staying with one style for too long as I tend to get bored with the repetitive images.

Along came Mr Medium Format in all its glory to open my eyes to this new form of canvas for me to paint on. Subject perspective, details, dof from the shoots enabled me to see things that I've never seen before. While waiting to restore my dad's Mamiya-6, I managed to obtained the Mamiya C3 and C330 TLR's (twin lens reflex) which gave me good portability for street shoots as compared to my RB67. 

Aunty watching chinese opera at Kuan Yin Teng Temple
I used a tripod whenever I'm shooting with these fellows to ensure that I do not introduce any camera shake into the photos (these babies are heavy!). The tonal range coming out from the film scans (using a CanoScan 8800F) are incredible to say the least with the histogram showing full tonal range right across the graph. I've never been able to obtain that from DSLR but we have to be fair, as the medium format film size is 6 times that of a full frame DSLR.

Kek Lok Si - Wishing Ribbons
Working with this beauts are not as difficult as it may seem and once you get your exposure / metering figured out, it is pretty much down to composition and the usual stuff. For those who are not aware, a roll of medium format film (120 format) will give you 10 shots (6x7 format), 12 shots (6x6 format) or 15 shots (6x4.5 format). These means that you will not only need to think before you shoot but you will also need to manually meter with your eyes (unless you're using a light meter which I don't as I find them too cumbersome to use) as you will only have those limited number of shots. Developing time for color films will take only 15 mins for the negatives while BW (black & white) will take a couple of days as they need to be manually developed as oppose to the machine developed color negatives.

Once scanned, I'll do the usual post processing on the photos. Why still need to post process? For one, post processing will enhance the photo further by bringing out the sharpness, details etc. And again for those who are opposed to this, well everyone has their own way and this happens to be mine ~ no offence. 

Audience at a chinese opera performance

I know a lot of old timers will be laughing at me as they have already experienced this eons ago but hey, better late than never ~ big grin!

If you have any questions with regards to the above article, please do not hesitate to contact me : kevin@kevinchooi.com

For more photos, you can either go to my facebook or flickr :

http://www.facebook.com/kevinchooi
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinchooi/

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Montage montage and more montage...



 

















I've always like mixing and matching different types of photos together or what we call montage, reason being it simply amplifies the original image without overwhelming it. However having said that, there are times when the complimentary images do overwhelm, either in the form of having a distracting color or simply contains more "wow" factor as compared to the main subject.

I've spent the last couple of nights coming up with this 3 images and trying to come up with a new signature style. Hope that you guys like it :)

Search

Total Pageviews