Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ricoh GX200



The new Ricoh GX200 continues Ricoh's focused pursuit of the high-end, professional digital compact camera market.

The GX200 inherits the popular features of the GX100 such as a 24 to 72 mm (35 mm film equivalent focal length) high-performance wide-angle optical zoom lens on a 25 mm thin pocketable compact body, a wide variety of manual shooting functions, and a removable tilting electronic viewfinder. The new GX200 achieves increased resolution via its 12 megapixel CCD and dramatic noise reduction with the addition of the new image processing engine Smooth Imaging Engine III.

Just like its predecessor, the GX200 is well made with a metal skeleton and a pleasant feeling plastic shell. Because of the materials used to build the camera, it's slightly heavy for a compact in general but is lighter than similar ranged products such as the Sigma DP-1 and Canon Powershot G9. Once you've mastered how to handle the function buttons and can work your way around the menu the rest simply falls into place.

I like the lens cap very much too. It's also so much fun, just to see it powering on and off. Have been doing that to my brother's new GX200. In summary, this is a really nice little camera, easy to use, and with the quality and flexibility to produce good sized prints.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Freeloader Solar Charger


Freeloader Portable Solar Charger is an advanced portable charging system that can power any hand held device anywhere, anytime. The Freeloader gets power from its solar panels or via a supplied charging cable that plugs into your computers USB port. Once charged, the internal Li-Ion battery can power an iPod for 18hours, a mobile phone for 44 hours, PSP for 2.5 hours a PDA for 22 hours and much more.

Supplied in a tough but stylish aluminium body, Freeloader can take the knocks of every day life whether on a business trip in New York, back packing in the Andes or chilling on a Caribbean beach. Supplied with a computer USB charging cable and a power master cable with 11 adapter tips. Freeloaders solar panels can charge its internal battery in as little as 8 hours or 3 hours when using the supplied USB charging cable.

Monday, February 23, 2009

RAINSLEEVE from OP/TECH USA

The RAINSLEEVE from OP/TECH USA is the new must-have accessory for avid outdoor photographers, offering a shield from the elements that fits easily in the pocket or camera bag. It features a unique eyepiece opening that adapts to most camera viewfinders, allowing composition of shots through the camera’s lens, not through the plastic. All camera and lens controls are easily seen and operated through the RAINSLEEVE. It can be used either handheld or on a tripod. If shooting with a long lens, the tripod mount can be attached directly through the pliable plastic. If shooting using an OP/TECH USA neck strap, simply attach the quick disconnects directly through the pliable plastic. (Note: verify that you have a positive lock on the quick disconnects.)The drawstring enclosure will fit any lens up to seven inches (17,8 cm) in diameter and up to 18 inches (45,7 cm) long.

Conveniently packaged with two per bag, the RAINSLEEVE is the economical way to make sure camera gear is protected in any kind of unexpected weather.

LumiQuest Quik Bounce

LumiQuest released its brand new Quik Bounce, a flash diffusion accessory designed for use with or without a ceiling to soften the light.

The unique design has doors that can open to allow for 80% ceiling bounce while allowing 20% of the light to bounce off the remaining surface area to provide fill light and more even illumination.

When there is no ceiling available to bounce the light (or the ceiling is too high or colored) the doors would remain closed and 100% of the light would bounce off this surface area.


This allows photographers to make use of existing ceiling space, if available, without having to switch to a different diffuser, if there is no ceiling to bounce light from.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Gigapan Epic Imager

By now, everyone has probably seen the 1474 megapixel digital picture taken during President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony. This jaw dropping super high resolution image was taken with the aid of a camera accessory known as the Gigapan Epic Imager.

What’s cool is this digital camera technology has now been made commercially available.

The Gigapan Epic Imager allows you to take detailed panoramic pictures using almost any point and shoot digital camera. The quality of the panorama is so amazing that the professional photographer will be pleased, yet the product is simple enough to use that even the beginner photographer will not feel overwhelmed.

The Gigapan Epic is a small robotic arm to which you attach your digital camera. Once setup, the Gigapan automates the picture taking process resulting in hundreds or thousands of digital pictures. These can then be stitched together to make a panorama picture using the GigaPan Stitcher software. The subsequent panorama can then be uploaded to the Gigapan website to share with the global online community if you so choose.

BraDryer

Bra Dryer is a patent pending design for an appliance for drying bras. Some lingerie is very, very expensive. Sometimes you can pay $500 - $700 for a couture bra from Guia La Bruna or I.D. Sarrieri. If you pay for your bras over $50 (most women wouldn't) then you should take a good care of it. Sometimes you pay for it too much to ruin it by not washing and drying it properly.

Bra Dryer idea was conceived in 2006 by Katy, who likes her bras but finds frustrating drying them in conventional ways. Ordinarily there are 3 ways to dry the bra:

  1. Air dry (on a line or on a towel),
  2. In a tumble dryer, and
  3. With a hair dryer.

Katy found that air dry takes too long, and cups that have padding get wrinkled; drying a bra in a tumble dryer can completely ruin padding and wiring in a bra by high temperature and friction with other pieces of clothing, even if you use a protective bag; drying a bra with a hair dryer is does not have the former drawbacks but still takes time, plus you got to do it manually.

Katy thought that it would be great to have a device that would:

  1. Dry bras fast,
  2. Maintain their shape and protect wiring and padding, and
  3. Not take your own time (as when using a hair dryer).

Besides that, this device is to be quite compact, quiet in operation and power saving.

So after about a year of research and development, a very good concept for such a device was conceived. Meanwhile a survey done has shown a number of other women and discussed the idea of this product, and it was quite encouraging to find that a lot of women actually have the same problem and were interested in this bra drying appliance.

At this stage the Bra Dryer is a patent pending technology.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Brazil Churrascaria

Located at 14-16 Sixth Avenue

If you are a meat-lover, this is where you can bring your vegetarian friend for dinner where both of you can enjoy your meals? Unthinkable, right?

We've always thought that this place only serves meat and to our pleasant surprise, the salad bar is a treat to vegetarians--both cooked and raw, hot and cold vegetables spread across a huge counter. The salad bar is good as a meal on its own or it can be a starter to your main meal. Though we rave about the salad bar, the star of this restaurant is still the meat that it serves.

Churrascaria is Portuguese for barbecue. All the meat are marinated in special recipes and cooked over a griller. You would love this place if you are a meat lover as you get a variety of 12 different cuts of meat, all tasty and tender. But just a word of caution, you should forget about all the fats and calories when you eat here. How can meat possibly taste good without some fats in it? It's the fats that give the succulent bite to any piece of meat.

Your meat experience starts with the end of your salad. A friendly Passador (meat waiter) will come to your table with a large skewer of one type of meat and starts slicing pieces onto your plate with a sharp knife. While you're finishing it, another skewer will appear at your table with another type of meat. This continues for the rest of the night until your stomach surrenders and refuses to eat anymore.

One of the favourites is the chicken breast wrapped in bacon. With a light charboiled taste, the fatty bits from the bacon complement the breast meat by giving it a more succulent bite. We have a few servings of the beef hump which is well grilled and yet tender. Similarly for the beef topside, which is medium on the outside and rare on the inside. If you don't have a liking for garlic, you may choose to pass the garlic T-bone that is generously dipped in garlic.

Interestingly, the little barbecued chicken hearts are nice and crunchy. Besides meat, seabass and salmon are also served. The seabass is a little fishy when barbecued while the salmon with lemon is nicely grilled. We get interval breaks from all the meat and fish with refreshingly juicy grilled pineapple. This is something that we keep asking for as the acidic pineapple slices seem to prepare the stomach for the next piece of meat.

The favourite Brazilian drink of caipirinha goes well with the meal. It tastes like a stronger and smoother version of margarita but is actually Brazilian sugar cane liquor. Order the drink with lime or lemon. The strawberry and kiwi versions just don't blend so well with it.

Opened since 1994, Brazil Churrascaria has a steady stream of customers even on a quiet Monday. For weekends, make sure you make your reservations way in advance.

The staffs are jovial,observant and attentive. Fun-loving passadors happily oblige should you have room to revisit one of your favourite cuts.

Opening Hours

6.30pm - 10.30pm

Au Petit Salut


Located at 40C Harding Road, Singapore 249548.

Au Petit Salut aims to create a dining experience to capture the full essence of traditional-style country cuisine and bring about the deceptive simplicity of traditional French cuisine to a culinary style that puts premium on quality products.

Their signature dishes includes the cassoulet of duck leg confit and the red wine braised beef cheeks. Not forgetting the main highlight which is the 1 kg slab of premium 200 days grainfed Australian Black Angus beef rib sliced and served at your table by the Chef himself.

Apart from the extensive selection of seafood, duck, lamb and beef choices, the menu offers a fair selection of traditional French desserts as well. Orange and Grand Marnier soufflé, Crème Brulée, warm melted Valrhona chocolate cake and profiteroles are some of the all-time favourites. A 4-course set dinner comprising of mostly the signature dishes is available at $98++.

At lunchtime, one can choose to have a 3-course set lunch from six selection each course at $30++ or the 3-course executive set lunch at $58++. To the delight of the regular patrons, the menus are changed periodically.

The staffs are courteous and friendly. always ready to provide discerning recommendation.

Opening hours:

Lunch
Monday - Saturday
1130hrs - 1430hrs (Last order)

Dinner
Monday - Saturday
1830hrs - 2230hrs (Last order)

Closed on Sunday

Friday, February 13, 2009

iStik

Today I stumbled across iStik, an iPod case which sticks to your clothes by using magnets. This is much better than those iPod clip cases because those tend to fall off if you move too much.

If you like to go running on want to stick your iPod to your belt, chances are you already tried the clip method but realized it always fails. The iPod never gets attached quite well and tends to fall off.

The iStik was designed to fix this problem. By using eight Neodymium magnets, it will stay in place, even when you’re running or riding a bike. Simply place the magnets underneath your clothing to hold the case in place.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Markins Light Weight Ultra Precision Q-Ball Q3

Markins Q3 Emille is a triumph of compact design and precision engineering. Its distinctive bell shaped design (patented) is inspired by the legendary Emille Bell. The compactness and light weight of Q3 Emille is ideal to match with a light-weighted tripod such as Gitzo series-1 or smaller tripods. At only 386 grams, it is strong enough to support small SLR cameras such as Nikon D70 or Canon 20D with mid-sized zoom lens such as 70-200mm/f2.8. The maximum load that it can take is 30kg, which is much more then my gitzo can take. This is really a gem, and I had always wanted to get one, but it's out of my budget.

Lowepro - CompuDaypack

Lowepro CompuDaypack is ideal for a small camera outfit: an SLR and 2-3 lenses, flash and accessories, and up to a 17" notebook computer. The CompuDaypack is good for urban work requiring transport of a small photography kit and a laptop. As a backpack, it's reasonably comfortable and the shoulder straps are well-padded, although it lacks a waist belt. In my experience, it would be better suited as an urban or campus backpack than for long photography hikes. For carrying a larger, more complete SLR outfit and a laptop, I prefer the Lowepro CompuTrekker AW. Like all the Lowepro products I've owned and used, the CompuDaypack looks very well-built with high-quality materials and construction For your information, I've been using it as a diaper bag for quite sometime now, and the compartments comes in really handly.

Visible Dust - BriteVue Sensor Loupe™ 7X

Sensor cleaning is something all DSLR users have to face at some point. Giving my camera to service technicians, is no longer an option for me, since this usually takes a week or more. Also handing your camera to service technicians is not cheap. The best way is to seek products that you can use to clean your own sensor. The new SensorLoupe, from Canadian manufacturer VisibleDust, magnifies the sensor and lets you clearly see where the dust is. It simply makes sensor cleaning easier and faster, it gives you less downtime and more shooting time.

The NEW SensorLoupe 7X utilizes advanced features such as BriteVue XL™ technology with high quality K9 optical glass, well-known for its high resolution and clarity. In addition, the NEW SensorLoupe 7X has six super bright LEDs with vari-angled orientation to help create a 3D image of dust particles, similar to how satellites capture stereoscopic images. SensorLoupe 7X even makes it possible to locate the smallest dust particles that can ruin even ultra-high resolution images.

The SensorLoupe 7X has many other uses, such as inspecting the chamber of the DSLR camera or analyzing negatives from film cameras. It is even possible to locate the tinniest dust particles, defect or scratches on the sensor as well. The SensorLoupe 7X is an indispensable tool for photographers that want to eliminate F22 tests and other dust screening methods, save time and keep shooting

Visible Dust - Arctic Butterfly 724 Sensor Brush

Like the original Arctic Butterfly, the Arctic Butterfly 724 is a sensor cleaning brush that's able to rid itself of accumulated debris through an aggressive spinning action; that spinning action simultaneously charges the brush for another round of dry dust extraction
It features a bright LED that illuminates the sensor while in operation. This illumination reduces the possibility of fibers being dragged accidentally against the surrounding cavity hence reducing the potential cause of smear usually caused by contaminated fibers.

The bright LED of Arctic Butterfly 724 (Brite) makes dust locating an easier task for the sensor cleaning operator. The DC rotary engine has been modified to meet a certain RPM standard. It generates an optimal centrifugal force that enables speedy dust rejection while increasing the charge enhancement of the fibers. These combined patented features also include SCF (Super Charged Fibers). By implementing nano-coating technology for charge enhancements and by using super thin fibers for maximum lift capability along the AB-724's rotary motion for cleaning/charging (without the use of canned air) makes the Arctic Butterfly® 724 (Brite) a superb sensor cleaning tool.

Because of its safety features all models of Arctic Butterfly® can be safely used on ITO (Indium Tin Oxide) coated sensor and DLSR's with built in sensor cleaning systems

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cowon S9

This is the latest personal media player from Cowon clearly wants to be an iPod Touch when it grows up. It’s almost – but not quite – the Touch’s equal on so many points. It has a 3.3-inch display compared to the Touch’s 3.5-incher, for example. It comes in 8GB and 16GB sizes, whereas the Touch now goes up to 32GB. And, in place of the Touch’s built-in wi-fi is the S9’s much less useful Bluetooth support.

In some areas, however, the S9 actually manages to pip its rival at the post. Audio quality, particularly, is a strong suit for Cowon’s young whipper snapper. The BBE+ sound field system really manages to put some punch into compressed music files. A selection of additional JetEffect enhancements and EQ settings lets you tweak sound settings to your preference too, helping in some situations to compensate for weaker headphones. Speaking of which, you’ll need to avail yourself of a decent pair of cans forthwith, as the buds supplied here really don’t do the S9 justice.

To carry on the comparison, Cowon’s S9 is also a great deal lighter than the iPod and a little smaller in all proportions other than its depth. Its AMOLED (that’s Active Matrix Organic Light-emitting Diode, acronym fans) screen is noticeably brighter and more colour-rich than the standard LCD screen on the ‘Pod, too. Movies look stunning, and a familiar motion sensor-based feature means that flipping the device on its side lets you view your cinematic gems in all their widescreen glory.

Additional bonuses include an FM radio and an audio recording facility. Battery life isn’t bad, either, and A/V output lets you plug the little chap into a big, grown-up telly if you want to.

The only real letdown, in fact, is the S9’s slightly disappointing control system – a combination of touch-screen interface and physical buttons. It’s obviously supposed to work a bit like Apple’s equivalent but it doesn’t. Having a choice of ‘skins’ is all well and good, but using the S9 just isn’t as intuitive as it should be. The fact that pressing the awkwardly positioned ‘home’ button is actually slightly painful to use doesn’t help matters much.

Squeezebox

It's remarkable the number of people who, once they acquire an iPod or similar player, start relying exclusively on the device for all their music requirements.

And that even goes for playing music at home. Once you've transferred all your music to a computer and then on to an iPod, the idea of physically placing a CD in the CD player starts to seem pretty clumsy - it's far easier simply to plug your portable device into your sound system and let 'er rip.

After a while, however, even this way of doing things begins to pall - wouldn't it be neater to play the tunes stored on your hard disc through your music system, preferably wirelessly?

That's exactly the feat that this smooth little device performs. The Squeezebox communicates wirelessly with your computer and then, once an amplifier and speakers are attached, plays your music. About the size of a paperback and sporting a minimalist, polished black case, the Squeezebox looks quite different from the average computer accessory.

Setting it up involves downloading the "Slimserver" software to your computer (it is both Mac and Windows compatible) then, with the aid of a step-by-step "wizard", allowing Squeezebox access to your wireless network.

Once you've completed this painless process, Squeezebox tracks down all the music on your hard drive, giving you access to it via a simple and intuitive system of cascading menus. It's hard to fault the sound quality and the vacuum fluorescent display is big and bright enough to be visible from several metres.

It also has several tricks up each sleeve, including a neat internet radio function - if you fancy listening to Cuban salsa or Kenyan reggae, it's only a click away.

My only reservations about the Squeezebox are the fact the only way to control it is via the remote - lose it and you're stuffed - and the price, which, seems a little steep when it's a case of BYO amplifier and speakers.

Friday, February 6, 2009

JOBO AG photoGPS

Each time the camera takes a picture JOBO’s photoGPS will capture GPS time and location information and store this in its own internal memory. After the picture is taken photoGPS goes in a deep sleep mode, consuming almost no energy. It is the camera’s flash synchronization mechanism that quickly awakens photoGPS. Under normal working conditions GPS data is captured only a few seconds after shutter release. If a second picture is taken within 15 minutes, GPS capture is instantaneous.

JOBO’s photoGPS comes with a PC and MAC compatible DVD that contains both the software and the database needed to post-process the information captured by the unit. Post-processing is highly automated: Users download the captured GPS data via the built-in USB interface and enter the directory name of the folder where the corresponding pictures are stored. The user’s computer can then compare the EXIF time recorded by the camera and the GPS time recorded by photoGPS. When a match is found, the software updates the Longitude and Latitude EXIF fields. Having Longitude and Latitude coordinates is ideal if a photographer wants to trace a specific photo’s location with Google Earth or any comparable program.

The software can also convert the GPS coordinates into more readable and searchable information. For each location the software automatically retrieves: Country name, Region and District, City, Postal code, Street name and the Point Of Interest (POI) which is closest to the captured location. POI can be important tourist attractions, beaches, mountain peaks, frontiers, museums, opera or theatre houses, concert halls, sport stadiums, parks, embassies and so on. Several image browsers exist that can search and sort files according to user selected EXIF fields. So, for example, users can instruct their image browser to retrieve all their photos taken on “Plati Yialos“ beach, “Mykonos”, “Greece” in 2006, and 3 seconds later all corresponding photos have been located.

The PhotoGPS is a very different sort of GPS and its camera mounted location has pros and cons. On the up side the device always gets a clear view of the sky and has exact knowledge of when each photo is taken. On the downside you can’t use a flash with it connected and it’s not permanently logging location so you can’t get a trip log out of it.

It’s that specialisation that will make the choice for you. If you want a GPS specifically for geotagging photos, the PhotoGPS wins hands down. The quality and quantity of data you get back from it is remarkable.

If, on the other hand you want to record a log of your location at the times you weren’t taking photos you’ll need the PhotoTrackr, which still does a good job of tagging photo locations but has the added advantage of continuous location recording.