For those of you who are planning on getting an iPad 2 together with the Smart Cover, or who have already done so, one piece of advice….. get your ass (iPad 2) covered. You definitely don’t want to have the back side wide open as you can get all the scratches on it, especially with the Apple logo (a big no no if you’re planning on selling it in the future).
In come GelaSkins, the company that specializes removable covers for portable devices. Their skins features stunning and photo-quality graphics ranging from fine art prints to contemporary urban images. GelaSkins in fact is one of the few companies that have the whole product line ready before the iPad2 was launched. Over 100 stock artworks are available or even best, use your own photo or art for the skins. For now, GelaSkins only have the front and back cover set (US$29.95), and that comes with a wallpaper to match the artwork you choose. For the iPad 2 back cover only, they do have the section up but no stock artwork yet, meaning one can only use their own photo or art.
I ordered mine last week for my iPad 2. Got the Charity: Water Logo on Black and Love Letters artworks and received them today. The whole process of applying the skin to the iPad 2 took 5 minutes or so. For now I’m leaving the front skins and the wall paper as I’m just using the black leather Smart Cover. One thing I do notice while applying the skins is that one can easily pull the skins off and use another one, just stick it back to the sheet that it came with. Thanks for the 3M technology GelaSkins uses.
Now for a limited time, you get one free skins if you order three from GelaSkins.
To let you get a better idea of how the GelaSkins work and look, I’ve linked this great video from metagamers below.
More pics after the jump…….
Okay, you probably have a Sony NEX-5 like I do, or the new lines of DSLR capable of shooting Full HD video like the Sony A33, A55, Nikon D3100 or Canon EOS 550D and you like me are probably looking for some sort of stabilization accessories so to enable you to shoot smoother video.
Of course one can go the professional way with systems like Redrock Nano (US$387.50 and up), Steadicam Merlin (US$849), Zacuto Target Shooter (US$475) and the list goes on and on, but these close to professional steady systems do cost a fortune. One alternative I found over the weekend, is this ModoSteady585 from Manfrotto launched way back in 2007, some three years ago.
Originally designed for small video camcorders, the ModoSteady 585 can carry loads up to 750g or 1.7lb and the newer line of video DSLR fits just right in. The ModoSteady 585 cost around HK$790 (US$100) and it sure does the job albeit mixed reviews since it was introduced. I tried it out with my Sony NEX-5 and it just fits perfectly although the quick release plate is bit wide for the slim body of the NEX5 where the circular plate sticks out on both the front and rear sides of the camera. There are tons of video on the ModoSteady 585 on YouTube, check it out for yourself and see if this works for you. It works for me.
Some pics of the ModoSteady 585 after the jump.
Got my shipment of iPad Camera Connection Kit and iTunes Gift Cards. The Camera Connection Kit comes in two, the adapter for importing photos and video from a USB camera or iPhone and a SD card reader for importing photos as well. So far it works really well with the iPad. Will test the USB adapter the next couple days to see if it works with other stuff.
Got a few extras, if you want one and don’t mind a tiny premium, drop me a note.
Just a quick post. Finally can’t stand the heat and grabbed one on Friday off the Wanchai Computer Center, HK$6,500 for 32GB, fairly steep price.
Been playing around for two days and have noted that there are still a few questions amongst the users out there, see if I can clear out some of those.
- USB charging. Noted a lot of people been posting the question regarding charging the iPad via USB, or problems should I say as for most of the non-Mac machines, the screen shows “Not Charging” when plugged into a PC. I tested this extensively on three PCs and noted that since the iPad needs / requires 10W to charge up, it would show “Not Charging” on the screen, however, the iPad IS being charged under the hood, just a lot slower. Reason behind this is that most PC’s USB doesn’t produce 10W power. So fear not. Example, say if you have 50% left on your iPad and you plug it into your PC’s USB slot, wait half an hour or so and you will notice that the battery has gone up. Another way to check it is just install the free app, “Pad Info”, once launched, you’ll noticed that it would state whether the battery is currently under charged.
- Do one really need a US iTunes account to get iPad apps? the answer is no. Say for Hong Kong’s iTunes Store, although under Apps it would not show the iPad-specific apps, you can still search for them and they will show up, allowing you to buy it right on the spot, tnly thing that doesn’t show are the comments from US users.
- How to get / open a iTunes US account in Hong Kong? The easiest way is to get hold of an iTunes Gift Card, best to get it from a reputable outlet, say like Mactivity, but the rate of course is a lot higher (HK$188 for US$15 face value) than on eBay or Taobao.
Well, so much for now, gonna go watch some hoops playoff games. Will update more along the way.
Ever since I got my iPhone 3Gs, been wanting to get a new pair of Bluetooth headset to listen to my podcasts as my Plantronics Voyager 855 finally gave up on me (the connection on the detachable earpiece cable worn off), though still work on mono. Been shopping around this past weekend and didn’t do much research into what the newest BT headsets have to offer (now this is dumb).
The design of the Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 caught my eyes and I ditched out the dough right away, purely shopping on impulse and this is where the problem starts…..(only apply to iPhone 3G or 3Gs)
For the sound quality, the HBH-IS800 is considered one of the best BT headsets I’ve used (Plantronics Voyager 855, Philips SBH7100, Jabra BT8010 and Plantronics Pulsar 590A). The design is neat and clean with one button controlling practically everything, see pic below.
The headset comes with a clip for you to add onto the headset cable so to allow you to clip it to your shirt collar or jacket.
So the sound quality is good and the design neat, what’s the catch then….
Been looking for a backup power pack for my iPhone 3GS and found the MiLi Power Pack for HK$398 (US$51). This pack is stuffed with 2000mAh and it last a whole day when attached to my iPhone 3GS with 1/4 capacity left after 18-hours day. It served a a cradle (can sync) while charging. Another great feature of the MiLi Power Pack is that you have the ability to use its “OUT” port to charge most external USB compatible devices. Really nice.
Basic specs provided by MiLi-
- weight: 79.5g
- standby time: up to 390 hours
- talktime: 6.5 hours on 3G phone and 13.5 hours on 2G
- internet time: 6.5 hours surfing on 3G and 8 hours on Wi-Fi
- audio playtime: up to 31 hours
- video playtime: up to 9 hours
- 4 LED buton to indicate battery level
Got these two awesome gears for my arsenal two weeks ago and took them out shooting a few times, the result, ultra steady on my Sony A900 and even better with the Canon G10.
The reason I chose the Manfrotto 685B monopod over the others available in the market is that from all of the research I did, this one matches my need, i.e. being able to extend and retract at the fastest speed possible. My believe was further confirmed by the following two videos which I found on YouTube and Luminous Landscape. The YouTube video is a review of the monopod from Yuri Arcurs, one of the most successful stock photographer, check out how he utilizes his monopod in his daily shoots. Instead of going for a custom bracket like he does, I found the Manfrotto 322RC2 joystick head which allows for fast switching from landscape to portrait position via the joystick ballhead. As for the second video, it is a full video review of how the Manfrotto 685B works with the Canon G10. Check them out and enjoy.
Just came back from my week-long photo shoot in Taipei. Before I took off for the trip, I took some pics on the gears I brought along and Gonna share with you all here. Because I was to do a full four days shoot with some local models in Taipei, both in the city and out in the countryside, other than the camera and the full lens series, I brought with me the mobile lighting equipments for off-camera lightings. Check them out.
Sony A900, Carl Zeiss 16-35mm F2.8, Carl Zeiss 24-70mm F2.8, Carl Zeiss 85mm F1.4 and Tamron 70-200mm F2.8
Light Stands, Shoot-thru umbrellas and bunch of clamps and accessories
Sony F56 and F58 flash guns, Elinchrom Skyport Transmitter and Receivers
Well it took me less than a week to decide on the wireless trigger system for my Sony gears. Decided on the Elinchrom EL Skyport system and got it yesterday. Put it on a few range test and the results were more than satisfactory. Reasons for picking the Skyport is because it is way cheaper solution than the Pocket Wizard which is not legally sold here in Hong Kong due to some stupid radio frequency/broadcast regulations. For the universal radio trigger set (1 transmitter and 1 receiver), it cost less than HK$1,400 (US$180). Got myself couple extra receivers for HK$790 (US$101); great bargain. Way better than the PT-04 from Shamshuipo.
In order for the Skyport to work on the Sony system, a cable is needed and so far I only found these from FlashZebra. It’s the Sony/Minolta proprietary hotshoe to Skyport and it also work with Pocket Wizard and Cybersync. The price at US$46.50 is a bit steep but the construction is awesome. Too bad I’m not good at DIY or else I’ll make myself couple.
Got this lens for two weeks now and been out shooting a bit the past two weekends. Initial feeling towards the lens – great F/2.8 lens at this range, not a fast lens, great for portrait but okay with sports. Tamron Hong Kong now offering firmware upgrade to the lens but they can only do so by sending the lens back to Japan and it will take up to four weeks in doing so. Reviews on the firmware upgrade from the local forums indicated that the lens focus a lot faster and more quiet. Think I’m going to check it out after my two trips next month.
Will post up some pics over at my photo blog, Phooey Pics, later this week. So far I can say, for a third of the money in getting the G lens from Sony, I’m happy with this Tamron.
Ordered my Sony A900 L-Plate (US$140) from Really Right Stuff last Friday and received it yesterday, nice and fast service (well, US$33.74 shipping, LOL). Slipped it on today and took some pics. Initial feeling: nicely built, sturdy and works perfectly when switching from landscape to portrait. No more resetting the ball head and recomposing. Well worth it.
As for the ballhead, Really Right Stuff’s BH-40 seems to be the best fit but given the US$300+ price tag, too steep for me. Went down to Sham Shui Po today for a spin and found the Sirui G-20 ballhead for HK$550 (US$70) at Ying Kee, and it worked perfectly.
Source – Really Right Stuff
Thanks to a great guy on the DCHome forum, I finally got hold of the Ricoh self retaining cap LC-1 converted for my Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3. Much work was put into scrapping and sanding the cap down to fit the LX3 perfectly. According to this guy, he got the idea from one of the Japanese camera forum in which he saw other guys doing the same conversion but in a much more primitive way, that being just plainly sawing the cap down and that results in a not so tight fit connection between the lens and the cap.
Woot to the guy and no more lens cap problem for me. The cost, HK$160.00. For more details, check out his post here on the DCHome forum (Chinese).