January 13th, 0855

One of the things I miss about Thailand is the weather.  My son is learning how to work the snow blower.

 

One of the things I miss about Thailand is the weather.  My son is learning how to work the snow blower.

 

January 12th, 1130

Another addition to "Trip Report - Thailand"  from BigJoe.  He went back to the canals and came home with the goods.  Check it out.

 

Another addition to  "Trip Report - Thailand"  from BigJoe.  He went back to the canals and came home with the goods.  Check it out.

 

January 12th, 0155

BigJoe just sent in an update to his "Trip Report - Thailand" with several more images and accompanying narrative.  If you haven't checked this out yet, you should.  He has a way of enjoying Thailand that's almost contagious!

 

BigJoe just sent in an update to his "Trip Report - Thailand" with several more images and accompanying narrative.  If you haven't checked this out yet, you should.  He has a way of enjoying Thailand that's almost contagious!

 

January 11th, 1240

As 2012 gears up to kick into full gear Bangkok Images has accepted review packages for several new software packages I hope you'll be interested in.  One is the entire Nik Software photographic suite.  They were kind enough to provide what I need to use this software long term to properly evaluate it's performance over a wide range of images.  Thank you Nik Software!   Next is Anthropics Technologies "Portrait Professional 10 Studio Edition."   And there is also Topaz Labs entire photographic suite which I've owed a solid review on for some time.  There are also a few noise reduction programs and a pile of carefully chosen hardware accepted for review because I think these are either very significant items I want to give you my take on, or equally unique items you probably won't see anywhere else.  With only one column a month, that doesn't get these reviews out there as quickly as I'd like so look for me to release them on this site as they're completed with a brief summary included in our column.

 

As 2012 gears up to kick into full gear Bangkok Images has accepted review packages for several new software packages I hope you'll be interested in.  One is the entire Nik Software photographic suite.  They were kind enough to provide what I need to use this software long term to properly evaluate it's performance over a wide range of images.  Thank you Nik Software!   Next is Anthropics Technologies "Portrait Professional 10 Studio Edition."   And there is also Topaz Labs entire photographic suite which I've owed a solid review on for some time.  There are also a few noise reduction programs and a pile of carefully chosen hardware accepted for review because I think these are either very significant items I want to give you my take on, or equally unique items you probably won't see anywhere else.  With only one column a month, that doesn't get these reviews out there as quickly as I'd like so look for me to release them on this site as they're completed with a brief summary included in our column.   As 2012 gears up to kick into full gear Bangkok Images has accepted review packages for several new software packages I hope you'll be interested in.  One is the entire Nik Software photographic suite.  They were kind enough to provide what I need to use this software long term to properly evaluate it's performance over a wide range of images.  Thank you Nik Software!   Next is Anthropics Technologies "Portrait Professional 10 Studio Edition."   And there is also Topaz Labs entire photographic suite which I've owed a solid review on for some time.  There are also a few noise reduction programs and a pile of carefully chosen hardware accepted for review because I think these are either very significant items I want to give you my take on, or equally unique items you probably won't see anywhere else.  With only one column a month, that doesn't get these reviews out there as quickly as I'd like so look for me to release them on this site as they're completed with a brief summary included in our column.   As 2012 gears up to kick into full gear Bangkok Images has accepted review packages for several new software packages I hope you'll be interested in.  One is the entire Nik Software photographic suite.  They were kind enough to provide what I need to use this software long term to properly evaluate it's performance over a wide range of images.  Thank you Nik Software!   Next is Anthropics Technologies "Portrait Professional 10 Studio Edition."   And there is also Topaz Labs entire photographic suite which I've owed a solid review on for some time.  There are also a few noise reduction programs and a pile of carefully chosen hardware accepted for review because I think these are either very significant items I want to give you my take on, or equally unique items you probably won't see anywhere else.  With only one column a month, that doesn't get these reviews out there as quickly as I'd like so look for me to release them on this site as they're completed with a brief summary included in our column.

 

This evening I was playing with a few really old images.   You see, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.0 Beta was released earlier today with some very significant improvements including a new 2012 raw engine.  You can download a free beta copy here, but before you do I encourage you to read the introduction, especially the part about the catalogs you create in a beta version not transferring to their release version when it comes out this March.  You can use the beta for free until them.

 

This evening I was playing with a few really old images.   You see, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.0 Beta was released earlier today with some very significant improvements including a new 2012 raw engine.  You can download a free beta copy here, but before you do I encourage you to read the introduction, especially the part about the catalogs you create in a beta version not transferring to their release version when it comes out this March.  You can use the beta for free until them.

 

So here I am with a brand new Lightroom 4 Beta, Topaz Labs entire suite, Nik Software's photographic suite, and Anthropics Technologies Portrait Professional 10 Studio Edition all loaded up and begging me to pull up some of my oldest most difficult images and see if they can be salvaged.  I selected an image of a young lady and using all of these software packages in concert made the below "Before and After" images. To show you how lousy this image started, it's a 1:1 crop (about 900x1100 pixels) and was underexposed over 1.5 stops!  

Portrait Professional 10 Studio Edition is really wild.  You mark the eyes, nose, mouth, face, and other features, and then the software allows you to change the proportion and/or shape of each to create a more attractive image.  This is the sort of stuff they do to images you'll often see in magazines, but now it's brought to the casual photographers level.  I caution you one caution when using this software.  Less is more.  This is a very powerful package which allows you to enlarge/reduce features, change the color of eyes/lips/skin, and much more.  In the coming month or two I'll bring you not only reviews, but full on tutorials much like my  "Lightroom, Processing a Glamour Portrait." I can't wait, you guys are going to love this stuff!

 

Portrait Professional 10 Studio Edition is really wild.  You mark the eyes, nose, mouth, face, and other features, and then the software allows you to change the proportion and/or shape of each to create a more attractive image.  This is the sort of stuff they do to images you'll often see in magazines, but now it's brought to the casual photographers level.  I caution you one caution when using this software.  Less is more.  This is a very powerful package which allows you to enlarge/reduce features, change the color of eyes/lips/skin, and much more.  In the coming month or two I'll bring you not only reviews, but full on tutorials much like my "Lightroom, Processing a Glamour Portrait."  I can't wait, you guys are going to love this stuff!

 

January 10th, 2330

BigJoe just sent in his latest update to his "Trip Report - Thailand" with some images taken during his sampan hire near the end fo the day.  It's always fun to observe how others experience Bangkok.

 

BigJoe just sent in his latest update to his "Trip Report - Thailand" with some images taken during his sampan hire near the end fo the day.  It's always fun to observe how others experience Bangkok.

 

January 10th, 0500

Fuji just announced the anticipated upgrade to the x100, the new X-Pro1.   The new Fuji X-Pro1 changes the landscape of the mirrorless market with an ultra-high end camera which will only have the Leica M9 as competition in build quality, lens quality, and image quality promises to be stellar as well.  The X-Pro1 will be an interchangeable lens mirrorless APS-C 16.3mp camera with a 1,230,000 pixel LCD, hotshoe, and the one of a kind hybrid (optical, EVF, Liveview switchable) viewfinder that made the x100 the most highly anticipated camera of 2010.

 

Fuji just announced the anticipated upgrade to the x100, the new X-Pro1.   The new Fuji X-Pro1 changes the landscape of the mirrorless market with an ultra-high end camera which will only have the Leica M9 as competition in build quality, lens quality, and image quality promises to be stellar as well.  The X-Pro1 will be an interchangeable lens mirrorless APS-C 16.3mp camera with a 1,230,000 pixel LCD, hotshoe, and the one of a kind hybrid (optical, EVF, Liveview switchable) viewfinder that made the x100 the most highly anticipated camera of 2010.

 

The 16.3mp APS-C "X-Trans" sensor is a Fuji designed and built sensor using new technology.  Most notable is the lack fo a bayer filter which means no Anti-Aliasing filter.  The result will be much more resolution and detail from a 16.3mp sensor than we're used to.  Fuji claims it will provide more resolution and detail than Canon's 5d Mark II 21mp full size sensor.  Seeing that I own a x100 and it has less noise at higher ISO's than my Canon 5d Mark II I believe them!

 

The 16.3mp APS-C "X-Trans" sensor is a Fuji designed and built sensor using new technology.  Most notable is the lack fo a bayer filter which means no Anti-Aliasing filter.  The result will be much more resolution and detail from a 16.3mp sensor than we're used to.  Fuji claims it will provide more resolution and detail than Canon's 5d Mark II 21mp full size sensor.  Seeing that I own a x100 and it has less noise at higher ISO's than my Canon 5d Mark II I believe them!

 

The lens lineup is high end all the way.  A 27mm (35mm equiv) F2, a 53mm (35mm equiv) F1.4, and a 90mm (35mm equiv) F2.4 primes to start, and more primes and zooms promised in the future.  With these fast primes and the APS-C sensor it will be easy to provide a shallow DOF, something missing from most mirrorless cameras.  The lenses will be small and highly portable compared to DSLR lenses.

 

The lens lineup is high end all the way.  A 27mm (35mm equiv) F2, a 53mm (35mm equiv) F1.4, and a 90mm (35mm equiv) F2.4 primes to start, and more primes and zooms promised in the future.  With these fast primes and the APS-C sensor it will be easy to provide a shallow DOF, something missing from most mirrorless cameras.  The lenses will be small and highly portable compared to DSLR lenses.

 

As you look over this camera you can't help but notice it's a very high quality build with many thoughtful features.  The top/bottom plates are made from CNC'd magnesium, there is a nicely raised grip melded into the side, the EV dial is recessed to prevent unintended movement, and the shutter speed dial contains a center lock to prevent the same.  Fuji even created a dedicated website they'll update to tease us as they did with the x100.  If Fuji has improved the auto focus speed and file write times they'll have hit another home run!

 

As you look over this camera you can't help but notice it's a very high quality build with many thoughtful features.  The top/bottom plates are made from CNC'd magnesium, there is a nicely raised grip melded into the side, the EV dial is recessed to prevent unintended movement, and the shutter speed dial contains a center lock to prevent the same.  Fuji even created a dedicated website they'll update to tease us as they did with the x100.  If Fuji has improved the auto focus speed and file write times they'll have hit another home run!

 

January 10th, 0320

Canon has finally entered the mirrorless market with a carefully specc'd product which straddles what the most number of potential buyers will see as the most well rounded/specc'd mirrorless camera on the market.  You'll be hearing a lot about the new Canon G1-X in the coming months. 

The G1-X has a tunnel optical viewfinder and live view via a fully articulating LCD screen.  The LCD is a high resolution 920,000 pixel 3 inch display.  The 14mp sensor sits in size squarely between the APS-C DSLR and the Micro 4/3's sensors.  The all metal body is handsome and solidly built.  Controls are well thought out and ideally placed.  This camera is different from all other mirrorless cameras in that the lens is non-detachable (like the Fuji x100) AND a 28-112mm (35mm equiv) zoom.   ISO ranges from 50-12,800.  There is a hotshoe and it accepts the newest/fastest SD flash memory cards. 

Not only does the G1-X sit squarely amongst the mirrorless field in features, but also with it's suggested retail price of $799 USD's.  I suspect this will be very successful.   Look for more on this announcement later this week.

 

The G1-X has a tunnel optical viewfinder and live view via a fully articulating LCD screen.  The LCD is a high resolution 920,000 pixel 3 inch display.  The 14mp sensor sits in size squarely between the APS-C DSLR and the Micro 4/3's sensors.  The all metal body is handsome and solidly built.  Controls are well thought out and ideally placed.  This camera is different from all other mirrorless cameras in that the lens is non-detachable (like the Fuji x100) AND a 28-112mm (35mm equiv) zoom.   ISO ranges from 50-12,800.  There is a hotshoe and it accepts the newest/fastest SD flash memory cards.

 

January 9th, 1250

Another fun entry from BigJoe as he updates his "Trip Report - Thailand" and brings us more interesting narrative and several new images.  Check it out!

 

Another fun entry from BigJoe as he updates his "Trip Report - Thailand" and brings us more interesting narrative and several new images.  Check it out!

 

January 9th, 0500

The first entry of 2012 is a good one.  BigJoe is currently visiting Thailand and keeping a daily photo diary.  I'll be organzing his photos and interesting narratives here in "Trip Report - Thailand" as they come in.  Look for daily updates!

 

The first entry of 2012 is a good one.  BigJoe is currently visiting Thailand and keeping a daily photo diary.  I'll be organzing his photos and interesting narratives here in "Trip Report - Thailand" as they come in.  Look for daily updates!