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Sunday, April 28, 2024

Pentax Optio W90, Out And About

The CCD Sensor, Pentax Optio W90, Out And About I 01
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The CCD Sensor: Image making with a 12MP CCD Pentax Optio W90, a very versatile all-weather compact digital camera.
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Had the chance to take the Pentaz Optio W90, the go-anywhere camera that's perfect for the outdoors, for an out and about recently, and came away with this set of images which were captured from the shaded entry and egress of an LRT station, looking across to the midst of the very warm and bright mid-morning sun.

Designed to be dustproof, and waterproof up to 6 meters, the camera is coldproof down to -10°C (14°F), and shock-resistant for drops of up to 1.2 meters. The W90 comes with a 5x zoom (28-140mm equivalent) lens, a 2.7-inch LCD, a Digital Microscope mode, HD video recording, and a face detection system that also recognizes up to three pet faces. The strength of the camera is, of course, with its CCD sensor, the standard for digital camera sensors from the early 80s till the late 2000s, which were acknowledged for their high-quality low-noise images

Pentax Optio W90
Pentax Optio W90

On the downside, the W90 does not have any optical image stabilizer for its lens. What is available, instead, is Pentax's Pixel Tracking Shake Reduction (which can be turned off), which applies digital processing to the images to smooth out the jitters. or a high-sensitivity anti-shake mode, which pushes the shutter speed and ISO up while giving you a 5-megapixel photo. Though neither is optimal, there wasn't much visible camera shake at maximum telephoto when standing still. There's a digital stabilizer for movies as well.



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Monday, April 22, 2024

FinePix BigJob HD-3W, At The Stop

Fujifilm FinePix BigJob HD-3W, The CCD Sensor, At The Stop 01
Fujifilm FinePix BigJob HD-3W, The CCD Sensor, At The Stop 02
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The CCD Sensor: Image making with a 2007 vintage 6MP CCD Fujifilm FinePix BigJob HD-3W, scenes at the stop.
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Took the 6MP CCD Fujifilm FinePix BigJob HD-3W out on a short outing recently, and the images shot with the camera, showing the ambiance of my regular start to and drop-off from LRT station, as usual, did not disappoint. The all-weather dustproof, waterproof, and shockproof workhorse has been the constant companion on my recent outings and has proven itself, at least for CCD image enthusiasts, as a compact digital that is completely capable of delivering sharp and sure images.

The camera, designed for the engineering and construction industry and was made available initially only to the Japanese domestic market in 2007, also comes with a couple of deft features (image manipulation check, and micro 1MP image shots) which makes it equally useful for forensic and insurance investigations. Fast forward to 2024, the easy-to-use point-and-shoot camera with buttons designed for the gloved hand and toughened glass lens cover is all set for the rough-and-tough outdoors, and occasionally, the extreme environment.

Fujifilm FinePix BigJob HD-3W
Fujifilm FinePix BigJob HD-3W

While the Fujifilm FinePix BigJob HD-3W may not be seen as a common feature on online auction sites and brick-and-mortar stores, it is, at least for the CCD enthusiast, an all-weather compact digital capable of capturing images with excellent IQ. Prices are still for the asking, and all you need is a small-capacity SD card, and a pair of AA batteries to get the camera going. Highly recommended!



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Monday, April 15, 2024

Olympus VR-370, Kampar Drive-Through

Olympus VR-370, The CCD Sensor, Kampar Drive Through 01
Olympus VR-370, The CCD Sensor, Kampar Drive Through 02
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Olympus VR-370, The CCD Sensor, Kampar Drive Through 06
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Olympus VR-370, The CCD Sensor, Kampar Drive Through 10
The CCD Sensor: A Sunday detour along the main street of Kampar, Perak, a township between Ipoh and the capital city of Kuala Lumpur.
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The short trip we planned for a drive up North to Perlis and back to Kuala Lumpur on a recent weekend went smoothly on the way up but turned out to be rather sour for the return leg. Traffic on the North-South Highway was already filling up as we left Penang and by the time we passed Ipoh, it was already a bottleneck. Waze advised us to go a detour, which we did, but traffic along the alternative route was just as heavy, if not just as bad.

The detour took us right through the main street of Kampar, the main one within the Kinta Valley tin mining region, which was at its height during the industry boom of the late 1880s. Aside from the unending stretch of pass-through traffic, the town (on a Sunday) is otherwise a forlorn sight, with hardly anybody around along the whole stretch of the main road. Shophouses look derelict, some abandoned, while the five-foot ways are dirty and unkempt.

Olympus VR-370
Olympus VR-370

I used the 2013 vintage 16MP CCD Olympus VR-370, a low-cost buy on the auction market, for the shoot and some other shots during the trip. The camera has Dual Image Stabilization to compensate for the image blurring and camera shake, a 12.5X optical zoom lens with a 35mm equivalent of 24-300mm lens, and a 3.0-inch LCD with 460k-dot resolution, enough to keep me occupied and elated with not being the driver for the whole trip, and with images from the CCD sensor that speaks for itself.



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Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Salam Aidilfitri 2024, Maaf Zahir Batin



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Monday, April 8, 2024

Panoramas, Olympus VR-370, The Second Link

Olympus VR-370, Panoramas, The Second Link 01
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Panoramic images of the Jambatan Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah, the 24-kilometer-long second bridge link to Penang Island.
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Driving down the North-South highway from Perlis back to Kuala Lumpur, after our short holiday recently, gives us the opportunity for a quick drive-through tour of Penang Island, ingressing the island via the first cross-channel Penang Bridge from Prai to the USM Interchange, a quick run-around and a 'Nasi Kandar' lunch in the city center, and doubling back past the USM interchange to egress the island via the Sultan Abdul Alim Muazzam Shah Bridge, which crosses over from Batu Maung to Bandar Cassia (Batu Kawan) in Seberang Perai on the mainland.

Locally referred to as the Second Link, the bridge was opened in 2014 and has a distance span of  24 kilometers, making it the longest in Malaysia and the second longest in Southeast Asia, next only to the 30 kilometers Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Bridge, or the Temburung Bridge, in Brunei, which was opened in 2020. The bridge crosses Brunie Bay to connect mainland Brunei to the semi-exclave of Temburong. It was a bright and sunny day, with plenty of cloud cover, and the panoramas across the bridge were fantastic.

Olympus VR-370
Olympus VR-370

These images were shot on the 12.5x Optical Zoom 16MP CCD Olympus VR-370 travel zoom, which are palm-sized digital camera cameras, compact enough to slip into your shirt pocket or a small purse, looking none too obvious. Post-processing and cropped-frame were done on Olympus Workspace.



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Thursday, April 4, 2024

FujiFilm FinePix S2 Pro, A New High

FujiFilm FinePix S2 Pro, A New High 01
FujiFilm FinePix S2 Pro, A New High 02
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Camera Shorts: The 2002 Nikon F-mount FujiFilm FinePix S2 Pro digital SLR camera is a new high for enthusiasts of CCD digital cameras.
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I had a new high recently with the purchase of a 2002 Nikon F-mount Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro digital SLR camera to add to my CCD camera collection. The S2 Pro, an update of the S1 Pro, comes with a unique (just like the S1 Pro that had a 3.1MP sensor) APS-sized 6.2MP SuperCCD sensor designed with its photodiodes oriented diagonally rather than horizontally and vertically as found on other sensor types. The sensor enables the camera to generate huge 12.1MP images after processing.

The camera is a 'Frankenstein' effort between FujiFilm and Nikon, built around the top and front of a Nikon N80 (F80) body (except for the nameplate), with a fixed back that houses FujiFilm's proprietary image sensor and electronics. The earlier S1 Pro was based on the Nikon N60 (F60) body, and the S2 Pro itself was replaced by the S3 Pro, which came with a 12.2 MP SuperCCD SR sensor, in 2006. I mounted an AF-Nikkor 35-70mm 1:3.3~4.5 on the camera for its initial test run.

FujiFilm FinePix S2 Pro, AF-Nikkor 35-70mm 1:3.3~4.5
FujiFilm FinePix S2 Pro, AF-Nikkor 35-70mm 1:3.3~4.5

For what it is worth, the S2 Pro is a great camera, professional-looking, solid, and robustly built with a body size and shape, and contoured grip that feels just right in your hands. The camera is a joy to hold and lug around, none too heavy with a body weight of 760 grams without batteries or other add-ons. The S2 Pro also features a control layout that does ring a bell with the Nikon D100 (as both were based around the F80/N80): Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro, 6.2MP SuperCCD DSLR Camera



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Monday, April 1, 2024

Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 90mm 1:2.5, Up Close

Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 90mm 1:2.5, Up Close 01
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 90mm 1:2.5, Up Close 02
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Sunny 16 Rule: Image making with a Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 90mm 1:2.5 on a 10MP CCD Nikon D80 with fully manual exposures.
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Still learning the 'Sunny 16 Rule' here, with a set of close-up images from the garden shot on the 10MP CCD Nikon D80 mounted with a manual focus Tamron SP 90mm 1:2.5 Adaptall-2 Macro. The 10MP CCD Nikon D80 which does not have the 'Non-CPU Lens Data' menu item or enter information about non-CPU lenses, and the aperture-indexing finger for full-aperture metering with older 'AI' lenses, can only be used in manual mode when mounted with an old-school manual focus lens.

The whole idea here is not to let an excellent vintage enthusiast-grade digital SLR camera, such as the Nikon D80, go to waste by waiting for it to be mounted only with CPU AF lenses, nor letting the cult classic Tamron SP 90mm 1:2.5 Adaptall-2 Macro be equally wasted by wanting it to be mounted only on auto-exposure cameras. Band these two items together, learn to set the exposure manually, and you will probably enjoy photography more than you expected. Exposures were made at 1/200 second, ISO 200, with apertures between 1:2.5~5.6.

Nikon D80, Tamron SP 90mm 1:2.5 Adaptall-2 Macro
Nikon D80, Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 90mm 1:2.5

The 'Sunny 16 Rule', which says that 'On a sunny day set aperture to f/16 and shutter speed to the [reciprocal of the] ISO film speed [or ISO setting] for a subject in direct sunlight,' is an easy way to set your camera’s exposure if you are shooting fully manual or with a fully manual camera. Start with the basic setting of the ISO speed to 100, the lens aperture opening to f/16, and the shutter speed to 1/100 or the nearest available on the camera. When ISO (ASA) 200 film is used, set the aperture at f/16 and the shutter speed to 1/200 or 1/250 second.



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