Wednesday, May 29, 2013

2013 Birthday Wishlist 1.0

My birthday is coming up in little over a month's time. Seeing as how I'm a materialistic and greedy SOB, here are some of the things I wouldn't mind receiving as a gift.
  • Basketball goggles with proper graded lenses. Not really for basketball, but more as a back-up / beach glasses. A spare set of glasses that I won't worry about if I bring it to the beach or if I drop it. Why these? The glasses I'm using right now has clip-on shades I got wet in the beach. The protective film got washed off. So I'd rather have normal glasses and goggles I can use for other activities. The image below I got off the web and is similar to a pair of goggles I saw in the optical shop I go to.

image taken from the net

image taken from villman's website

  • KD V Elite Homes. You can buy it at any Nike store, or you can get it via Titan Sports. Durant is one of my favorite NBA players, and I've had a thing for low-cut sneakers since I bought the Nike Kobe V way back in 2010. The image below is what the KD Vs look like, and I got it from the internet.
image taken from the net
And there you have it. Three things I'd like to receive as a gift for my birthday.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Optimists and Pessimists

Positive people. I envy them.

I have no idea how they do it, or what goes on inside their heads. How do they keep seeing the bright side? How can they stay cheerful? How can they balance the reality of the situation with the morale enhancing perception of that said reality?

I really wish I could be like them. Cheerful, always looking for the bright side of things. Rarely letting anything get them down. They are beacons of hope in this existence of mine. I have always been in awe of these optimists. I have always been envious of them. I have always wanted to think and feel like they do, but I know for a fact that I cannot.

It must be because I am a pessimist by nature. And the fact that I over analyze things a lot. I blow even the most menial issue into proportions some local telenovela writers would kill for. That's a thought, maybe I should just start writing for telenovelas.

Just this afternoon I was supposed to report on something really important for work. It was a request for extension of time in a project I was managing. Being the pessimist that I am I braced for the worst - me getting fired. Yup, I was in full paranoid mode that I immediately came up with three (somewhat logical, yet extremely stupid) reasons why I could get fired. Good thing I didn't lose my job.

There are times being a pessimist works. Like today. I expected the worst and was pleasantly surprised with the results. I got an extension, not as much as the team was hoping for. But with the help of my officemates I was able to buy the team some time. And that's good.


Friday, May 24, 2013


Flickr announced a few days ago that ALL users would be getting 1 terabyte of space for pictures and videos FOR FREE. Great news.

I've had a Flickr account since around 2005, when this blog started. I got a 2 year Pro Account once, as a gift from some friends I met via Flickr. Then last year I got a three month Pro Account as a gift from Flickr. At that time I backed up all photos from the site, anticipating the time I would return to the normal 200mb account.

For those not in the know, Pro Accounts gave you gigabytes of space and all your pictures could be viewed. The normal account gave you 200mb a month free space, plus only the latest 200 pictures you posted would be viewable.

Now no more problems about space. I can post as much as I want, and I can view all the pictures I've uploaded. It's just a shame because whenever I went back to the normal account I used to delete pictures I didn't "like" anymore. So I've lost my fair share of pics from Flickr. I know I backed them up on a CD-R or DVD-R but I can't seem to remember where I put those pics.

So a big thank you to Flickr, and to Yahoo (who own Flickr if I recall correctly). My passion for photography is growing back.

The downside to the 1 free terabyte is all the people who subscribed for a Pro Account recently. What happens to their purchase? Do they get another terabyte?


Monday, May 13, 2013

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 (Sorta) Review

Early this year I bought myself a belated Christmas gift. It was a Panasonic Lumix LX7 (or LX7 for short)I've used it quite a bit since, and I can say I am extremely happy with its performance. Here now is a very unofficial review.

Please take note that I have barely scratched the surface of its features. I prefer either shooting in intelligent Auto (iA) or Aperture priority (A) and not fiddling around with anything else.

First off, let's check out the aesthetics. It looks great, it's white (because the shop that sold it had no stock of black, though I don't mind), it's easy to carry around and the buttons and knobs are easy to reach. It doesn't feel flimsy or fragile, but I have no desire to put its durability to the test.

There's also a switch on the lens that allows you to choose the aspect ratio of your pictures, from 1:1 all the way to 16:9. I usually just switch between those two, but for those interested, you can still have 2:3 and 4:3 aspect ratios.

Second, the performance in iA. The images are clear, crisp, and beautiful. Autofocus is fast, and so far I have no complaints about how fast it takes pictures. Macro is also decent, and the "analog" zoom (because I forgot the actual term) is also nice. I don't really need digital zooms so 3X magnification is just right for the type of shots I take.

Third, the Aperture priority performance. It's almost similar to iA, except digital zoom doesn't work here. I think. I prefer using this setting since this is the usual setting I used when I was still using my DSLR. I just need to read the manual to figure out how to use the manual focus. The picture below was shot in Cebu using Aperture priority. I have resized this image to a smaller size from the original image.

Please Shine Down on Me

Fourth, the SCN mode. This I just discovered this weekend while quickly skimming through the manual. Specifically the panoramic shot. I love it. You have four options, left to right, right to left, down-up, and up-down. No need to take a shot, twist your body, try to get good synch with the previous photo, and keep repeating. You just have to pan or tilt the camera and the camera does the stitching for you. Really amazing, and you can still fix exposure and white balance levels before taking the shot. Here's a sample of the panoramic down-up shot, taken in Tagaytay. I have resized the image to a smaller size.

Panoramic Down-Up

Fifth, image playback on the LCD. Images are crisp, the LCD has a decent size so you can clearly see the images and words.

Sixth, user-friendliness. It's pretty decent to figure out the controls without using the manual if you're a camera buff. But there are still a lot of features you probably will miss or improperly utilize if you don't read the manual. Don't be like me. Read the manual.

Seventh, video quality. Full HD 1080 videos, little to no pixellating, and great quality audio. Perfect for taking home videos of precious memories I want to remember. It sounds cheesy, but it's true. Below is a sample video I took of a plane landing. Of course I've edited the resolution so I could upload it to youtube, but the quality is still great.

Finally, my conclusion. This camera is worth every single peso I paid for it. I am glad I bought it, and I already have plans to buy a filter adapter for the lens and a PL filter to improve my landscape shots.

My biggest "beef" with the camera is the lack of a manual focus ring. That's the only thing I miss from my DSLR days - the ability to control the focus with the twist of a ring. The manual focus controls are a bit slow, but I rarely use it with the good autofocus.

The three biggest threats my LX7 has right now, if I had the money to get another camera similar to it, are the Olympus XZ-2, Fujifilm X20, and the Canon G15 in that order. The XZ-2 because it HAS a manual focus ring feature. The X20 because of the neat looks and the built-in viewfinder. The G15 because I still have a Canon flash that I can mount on that camera.

Fortunately, I don't have spare cash to get a new camera. AND more importantly, I am very pleased with the LX7.

Definitely a buy.