Tag: ingenious imaging

These past few days, we’ve watched and we were petrified by Japan’s fifth largest earthquake in history that caused tsunami. I watched it on Youtube just a couple hours after the incident happened, and still in disbelief of the destruction it caused. Japan’s readiness and preparation surely helped the fatality down a bit. The number of victim has reached more than 10,000, and another 10,000 people are still missing. Had it happened in another country, that number could have been more than doubled.

Some of us felt compelled to help the victims of ‘The Wrath of God’ as the Japanese called it. You’ve posted sympathy on twitter and facebook status, and would like to extend your hand in the form of donation. But how? You googled it, and hundreds of links showed ‘Japan Tsunami Relief Fund’. So, how do you decide which organization should you donate your money to? Like it or not, we gotta do some homework if we really care how our donation is going to be used. But to make it easy, here are some pointers on giving donation that I gathered from various credible sites.

  • Money donations are best, because they can be sent quickly, and immediately be put to used. If you already have paypal account, or credit card, some reputable aid organizations will accept them. Even Google has a crisis response page that will make it easy for you to donate to support disaster relief efforts thru organizations like Japanese Red Cross, or Save the Children. Google Crisis Response
  • If you’re familiar with international wire transfer procedure thru banks, Japanese Red Cross Society also welcome direct transfer to their bank account. Check their official website: japan red cross society donation.
  • iTunes Stores in certain countries let you donate to Japan earthquake and tsunami relief fund thru the American Red Cross with just a single click, assuming you already have an Apple ID. Don’t worry if you don’t, you still can donate directly to American Red Cross page.
  • If you would like donate in more specific areas, such as orphaned children resulted from the disasters, you could donate to specific organizations. Save the Children is one of the well known charity that focus in that area. To check which charities providing relief for Japan tsunami, check here, charitynavigator, or here: guidestar. Charitynavigator.org also provides rating of those organizations in term of efficiency, or capacity. So you could know roughly how much portion of your donation will be used for administrative/program expenses, and how much will be used for the tsunami relief funds.
  • You can donate now, or wait a bit to get assessments on the situation and then send contributions. Towns struck by tsunami and earthquake will take years to be rebuilt. So if you’d like to wait til your next paycheck, and donate bigger amount, you will still be able to do so. Just don’t forget. ;P
  • Beware of unsolicited incoming emails that ask for donations. Go directly to credible charities and aid organizations website instead of following a link from an email.


Japanese Manga comics such as Kungfu Boy (Tekken Chinmi in Japan) are really popular in our country.

Japanese autos are dominating the local market.


Ahhh childhood memories.

Like many others, growing up in Indonesia, I’d say I was pretty much influenced by Japanese culture, such as Manga comics or TV series, Japanese confectioneries (Marukawa Fusen bubble gum anyone?), durable Japanese electronic products back when they were still made in Japan, Japanese cars and bikes, and of course Japanese cameras. So hopefully this note, serves as my appreciation to those, will contribute a bit to the victims of Japan earthquake and tsunami. Pray for Japan, the sun will rise again.

by ingimg
ingenious imaging
(sources: american.redcross.org, charitynavigator.org, dpreview.com, forbes.com, globalpost.com, google, guidestar.org, jrc.or.jp, money.cnn.com, tempointeractive.com)

Continuing last week’s topic, I’m still a firm believer that ‘the best camera is the one that’s with you’. But there were cases where people start thinking “ah, my camera sucks, I wish i had a Digital-SLR camera with me”. They bought one, use it for couple of months, -in most cases without reading the manual first-, then disappointed that the results were not as spectacular as they had expected. Some even feel that the results from their DSLRs lack the punch and vividness of their previous compact cameras. Worst case is, they feel DSLRs turn out to be a burden to carry around. Especially if they just go hang out in a local restaurant, they’d think they look like tourists.

If that’s the case, prosumer- (a marketing jargon for professional consumer, to differentiate from ‘amateurs’)- level compact like the Panasonic Lumix LX3 might be an option. It’s small, lightweight, has large sensor (CCD) for details, also large aperture (f2.0) to make a nice bokeh (background blur), and manual control so you can be as creative as with a DSLR.

I had my hands on one LX3, thanks to a buddy of mine who’s kindly enough to let me try it out. And it did churned out great result. Here are some of the photos I took with the LX3. Click on it to enlarge and see it’s amazing detail. Except for the sunset shot, I changed the color tone in Apple’s Aperture for most of the picture. I prefer a bit less saturated colors then the originals. I took them in RAW format, one of prosumer level camera’s features. So any adjustment won’t ruin it, as you will in Jpeg format.

I tried the macro feature, on this 50th wedding anniversary event (not mine, I’m not that old ;P) with its f2.0 aperture. Real shallow Depth of Field. (click on image above to enlarge)

Even closer, and even shallower DOF

It’s Popeye the sailor girl. Click to enlarge, see in the eye-lash area, and I’d say it’s pretty detail for a compact.

Amazing color rendition. Tho not bad for a compact, compare to a DSLR the noise level is annoying. (This was at iso 400)

(click on image above to see what’s bugging me)

I didn’t take enough photos with it as much as I want to, but I could say that if I want to get a compact, LX3 will come top of my mind. Though in high iso number (800 and above) the noise become more pronounced, I’d still think it’s an improvement compare to smaller sensor cameras. As of now, the Lumix LX3 is the reigning champion in its class. It’s a hot item, so hot that it might be hard to find in some areas. But that’s about to change with the recent announcement of its successor, Panasonic Lumix LX5. It will have more range (24-90mm from the previous 24-60mm), supposedly better CCD to reduce noise, and better image stabilization (power O.I.S.). I can’t wait to see how far it really improved.

So, any camera you’ve tried and compared that you really recommend? Or maybe camera you had bad experience with? I could name a few, especially the ones that made my wallet empty,… =P

by ingimg
ingenious imaging

… is the one that’s with you. It’s a book title from Chase Jarvis, a renowned photographer in the United States. I’ve never read the book, but I got the iPhone apps with the same name, which I use quite often for daily snaps (I’d like to show them, but I guess it’s another topic for another time). I couldn’t agree more with mr. Jarvis.  There were special moments when I wish I had a camera with me. Since I didn’t carry or didn’t have a camera at occassions , those moments just stay somewhere in my brain until I fail to recall them.

I’ve taken pictures ever since I was in highschool or even earlier (let’s see,..how many decades ago was it, ;P…). It was a pocket camera, tho back then you really need to have a huge pocket to fit one of those 35mm hand crank camera. I have a fair share of using 9 different cameras in total, excluding the ones I borrowed. Strangely the only one I couldn’t remember is,..my first camera. How weird is that? I know it was a Fuji (It’s the biggest brand in Indonesia until the digital era), but I couldn’t remember the type. After that came the Olympus Mju first generation, then my first SLR the Canon FN1000, entering the digital era with Canon Cybershot 1.3 Megapixel DSC-P30, then change to Nikon Coolpix 3700, satisfied with the coolpix, I upgraded to DSLR Nikon D200, only to downgrade to D80 a year later, sold my Nikon and crossed over to Canon 40D and finally the 7D. Mostly I love them all, except for the Sony cybershot. It was expensive at that time, and the indoor picture quality was just terrible. I believe it was released in Sony’s fifth year in the still-camera business, so it’s justifiable. And they’ve excelled ever since even though they remain the most expensive compare to other brands in each class.

Here are some pictures I took in the last decade using analog and digital cameras, and some from my phones. Sure in some of these images you could even see the pixel count, but I’m glad I took these pictures so I could relive these moments.

My nephew and robot,..the toy robot. Taken with a borrowed Canon Ixy 320 (3.2MP), remains one of my favorite shots. (click on image above to enlarge)

Mom and Dad goofed around. Good thing I had my Nokia 6111 handy at that time.

Sunset @ Stillwater, Oklahoma. Using film camera, with a color slide 35mm film, then printed and scanned without any photoshop retouching. The gradation is smooth like you wouldn’t believe.

Gazing at the sky. Same as before, using film camera, with a color slide 35mm film, then printed and scanned without any photoshop retouching.

Low resolution pic, clock wise from top left, My nephew acting like a boss (taken with Sony’s 1.3 MP camera), my chubby cheeked niece (taken with nokia 6600), Linkin Park concert 2003 (using Sony Ericsson T-630), A truck charging onto me, it was definitely on the wrong side of the road. Scary huh? (also taken with SE T630) (click on image above to enlarge)

So how would you know which camera is the best for you? Just find the right camera that you feel most likely you will carry around everywhere. If you feel the needs to upgrade from your pocket digital camera to DSLR because you feel the image quality of your current camera doesn’t cut it anymore, then go ahead pick one up. But, if you’re the type of person that finds DSLR bulkiness bothers you, don’t be tempted to get it just because everybody arounds you seems to have one nowadays. Trust me, it will collect more dust in your drawer than dust from your trip to a volcanic mountain. Other type cameras that should be seriously considered are the pro-level compact such as Canon G11 or Panasonic Lumix LX-3, and the Interchangable Lens Mirrorless Camera such as the Olympus EP2 and Sony NEX-5. Both types offer larger sensor than your average point and shoot cameras, and the creativity of the DSLR cameras without the bulkiness. If you’re the type of person who wants all features in 1 gadget with no hassle, then iPhone 4 is your thing. Sure its 5MP still images or 720p HD video is not comparable to most DSLR or even high end compacts, but it’s a phone!!! You always carry your phone with you , don’t you? Which means you’ll always have your camera ready with you. Whatever you bought, have it handy. So, any chance you see a ‘moment’, just shoot away!

by ingimg
ingenious imaging