Monday, November 11, 2013

Black Friday is Near!


Countdown to Black Friday Deals Week has begun on Amazon guys and I have the link to the deals page for you guys! Happy shopping! Amazon have the best deals ever! A few years back, I got a camera bag and memory card for 50% off! What a deal! :) So please enjoy your chance to shop for cheap products! The Amazon Countdown to Black Friday deals will last for a week. How exciting?

Just make sure that you use my link before adding anything to your cart! This way, you will be helping support my photography with out having to spend extra. :) Thank you very much for your support.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Lexar 64 GB 133x Speed SDXC Memory Card Review

The front and back view of the Lexar 64 GB 133x Speed SDXC Flash Memory Card
Today, I will be reviewing the Lexar 64 GB 133x Speed SDXC Flash Memory Card. This is the memory card I purchased around 2 years ago during a Black Friday Deal on Amazon. The memory card is still working strong 2 years later, but the price of it has dropped a little bit below what I got it for during the Black Friday Deal.

For memory card reviews, most people want to know the speed of the card, so I will begin with that. The advertised speed of the card is at least 20 MB/s (didn't say read or write). Here are the results I got from the card. Please take note that these speeds may be limited by my computer hardware (such as the hard drive). Overall, I got an average speed of 14.5 MB/s on writing to the card and a 20 MB/s when reading from the card. So I guess the advertised 20 MB/s speed is for reading from the card, not writing.

After 2 years, the casing around the memory card is starting to chip, but I can still use it, and it doesn't seem to affect the performance at all. I never had files corrupted on this card through the 2 years. I use this card as a secondary memory card back then with my Canon EOS 7D with a SD to CF adapter, and now as a secondary memory card for the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. I am very happy with this card, however this card is considered a bit slow now as there are newer faster SD cards out there even for the Lexar Professional line of SD cards. Do remember I bought this 2 years ago, and the technology for electronics like this is progressing very fast.

If you are looking for a cheap memory card, this is definitely a great option, but if your budget is a little higher, I recommend you going for slightly faster cards available now. Also, if you enjoy photography and reviews like this, please visit my photography blog here. If you want to learn how I shot the above product photo, view my tutorial on my photography blog here.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Photive RC-6 Wireless Shutter Release Review

Photive RC-6 Wireless Shutter Release
The Photive RC-6 Wireless Shutter Release is a 3rd party alternative to the Canon RC-5 and Canon RC-6. The remote is compatible with many Canon cameras in the EOS line including the Canon EOS 7D and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. This remote is an infrared remote, so the camera has to be set in the infrared remote mode in order for this to work. The remote works approximately 16 feet (depending on lighting conditions) from the front of the camera (because the infrared sensor is on the front of the camera). Obviously, due to the fact that it works via infrared, the remote has to work line-of-sight and will not work through obstacles.

With all that said, here are my opinions about the product. While the product is nice and compact, the uses of it is very limiting compared to a wired remote shutter release. This remote does have a immediate take or a 2 second delay which is nice, but again, the line-of-sight is very limiting. You have to point the remote at the front of your camera due to the fact the camera has no infrared sensor on the back. The remote does not have a "half press" to focus system, but instead pressing it will cause the camera to focus and take the photo. The second thing I don't like about the remote is that I had trouble removing the battery door to get the battery out. There is this little tab you have to press to get it out, but sometimes the door just jams up and you can't get it out. The unit itself is less than 1/2 of what Canon charges you for and at the time that I bought the product, I got it for around $8. At this price, you can pretty much get a new unit once the old one goes dead because button cell batteries cost about that much anyways.

Overall, the product is nice depending on what you want to shoot. If you are constantly taking photos of yourself and you have no other cameraman, this would be a great product for you. For me, since I am usually behind my camera, I've actually only used this remote twice and I've had it for years now. If you are like me, I recommend you just go for a wired shutter release and not bother with this product. That is pretty much it! Please share your opinions with me below. Also, if you enjoy photography and reviews like this, please visit my photography blog here.


Here is my video version of this review:

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Get a FREE Honk Suppressor from 76

So apparently 76 is running a new advertisement of people honking their horn too much and they are giving this "Honk Suppressor". If you want one, just go to this website. The offer is only for California, Oregon, and Washington. If you don't live in one of these states, sorry. :/

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Samsung Announces Samsung Galaxy NX (Video)


A video I made talking about Samsung's announcement on the Samsung Galaxy NX.  I do not have a demo unit, so this video is strictly only TALKING about this device. The Samsung Galaxy NX is the word's first mirrorless interchangeable lens camera phone and is built with a pop up flash and a 20.3MP APS-C sensor.

More details on the phone on Samsung's website here.
My article on Samsung's announcement here.

If you enjoy photography, please visit my photography blog here. On there, I showcase many photos I've taken and sometimes even offer you tips on photography, travel tips, and photography news.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Samsung Announces the Galaxy NX

Photo Credit: Samsung

You may be asking what is the Samsung Galaxy NX? Is it a camera? Is it a phone? Well it is the best of both worlds! This is the first ever mirrorless interchangeable lens camera phone! The device runs Android Jellybean 4.2 and has all the functions of a normal Android smartphone including phone capabilities, Wifi capabilities, and much more. What is interesting about this product is the fact that it has a 20.3MP APS-C size sensor built-in to the camera, a "real" pop up flash, and the fact that you can mount different lenses on it. My first impressions from looking at the camera/phone is that it is a very cool device and if reasonably priced, I may actually get one once it comes out. However, a few things I don't like about the camera/phone is the fact that there isn't a lot of buttons and dials on the camera itself. Being a professional photographer and photographing with top-of-the-line Canon cameras, I am used to pressing buttons and turning dials, than simply using a touchscreen interface. This is the one drawback of this camera/phone, but I have to say Samsung did a very good job combining the two. If you are interested in learning more about the device you can view detailed descriptions and images on Samsung's website.

If you enjoy photography and news articles like this, make sure you come check out Eric's Photography Blog!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Canon "Crap" Service Center in Irvine, CA

UPDATE: Canon has finally repaired my camera after 3 TRIPS to the repair center. Read this article to find out what happened.

I would like to tell you about Canon's "Crap" Service Center in Irvine, CA. As you guys know that a while back I told you that the self cleaning unit on my Canon EOS 5D Mark III is most likely malfunctioning and that my sensor got dirty fast as it isn't shaking any dust off. So I went ahead, contacted Canon about it and they told me to ship it into their service center so they can have a look. While at it, I also told them about the under exposure issue I was having with the camera. Once I got it back, they told me they have adjusted the meter system which was slightly off. Also they said that they did check and adjust my self cleaning unit (pretty much admitting it was malfunctioning) and that they also gave me a sensor clean. Note that the only reason the sensor got so dirty that I had to get it cleaned was because the self cleaning unit was malfunctioning. So I got it back and noticed that their technician left some residue on my lens. I told Canon about it, and they were nice enough to give me a free shipping label to get my camera back in for a reclean, something they didn't do adequately the first time it was in there. I was happy and I sent it back in for a reclean. Funny thing. Once I got it back, not only was my sensor dirtier than when I sent it in (I have photos to prove this), there was also a deep scratch across the Canon logo on the back of the camera, and if it wasn't for my screen protector on the LCD, they would have left a small but deep mark on my LCD too! What kind of "professional service" is this? More like "we have workers who don't give a shit about you". If you need your camera repaired do not ship your camera to the service center in Irvine, CA. It's a joke. Let this be a warning. Do not trust your camera to the service center in Irvine, CA. I have contacted Canon customer support about this. Will update you guys if anything turns up.

Update 6-27-2013:
I got an email back from Canon saying:
"Dear Eric Wu:

We appreciate your continued correspondence regarding EOS 5D Mark III.

I'm sorry to hear the problems you are having with our service center. If you would reply to this email with the previous repair number I will get you a shipping label to get the camera back to us, so we can correct this for you. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause having to send it back in, buy we will get this taken care of for you.

We look forward to your reply with the information we have requested regarding your EOS 5D Mark III. Thank you for choosing Canon.

Sincerely,

[Name Removed For Privacy]
Technical Support Representative"

Here is what I have to say to that. Do you not hear me of the condition I got my camera back in? You expect me to trust and to ship my camera back to the same service center that "corrected this for you [me]" the first time? How exactly are they going to "correct this for you"? By making another scratch on my camera? Come on Canon, you better have a better solution or I will be spreading this everywhere on the internet.

Update 7-1-2013:
Canon has provided me with a shipping label to get it back to the service center and I just dropped it off at my local UPS store today. The customer support supervisor has also promised that he will request the service center to have a "senior" technician work on my camera and a more thorough quality control check after the repairs before they send it back to me. This has made me feel slightly more reassured which is why I have sent it back. Canon if you are reading this, if you screw up my camera again, you are loosing a customer for good, and I will also be spreading this repair story everywhere on the internet. Don't disappoint me. My blog may look small but I have many many followers elsewhere plus I teach photography. If you guys disappoint me again, I'll be sure to spread this story!

Update 7-8-2013:
Just got an update from Canon's service center. They will spare me a labor charge however wants me to pay $236.62 + tax for replacement parts (most likely due to the scratches) and $15 for shipping. This brings the total charge to $273.18. Are you serious Canon? Your service center put those scratches on my camera! Not me! Definitely will complain and work things out with the customer support because there seems to be no email contact for the service center. This is very unprofessional and unethical Canon!

Update 7-9-2013:
After posting my repair story on Canon's Facebook page yesterday, they removed the post immediately. This morning, Canon private messaged me on Facebook saying that they have readjusted the estimate and removed the charges. I checked the new estimate and it says it will be a free in-warranty repair. Several hours later at 4:22 PM, they have said they have shipped the camera back to me. Canon, if you screwed up my camera again, I will be updating my review on this camera on sites including Amazon and Adorama stating how you guys screwed up my repair a 3rd time. The 2 websites everyone goes to look before they make a purchase. If my camera comes back satisfied, I will be raising my ratings and updating those reviews.  Let's see how it turns out.

Update 7-11-2013:
Just got my camera back from the repair center today (it was the Irvine repair center for all 3 repairs). My camera was wrapped in a bag that said CPS, so Canon Professional Services probably took on this repair as I am a member. While the sensor is not 100% clean, it meets my expectations. The few dust spots left on the sensor are not very visible (from my test shot) until I boosted up the Clarity in Camera RAW. They have also replaced the parts of the camera that they have scratched up free of charge. Now I just have to go replace the screen protector the removed to replace the parts. No biggy, only cost me a few cents anyways. Thank you Canon for fixing my camera up. While having to send my camera into the repair center 3 times is a quite ridiculous, I am happy my camera is finally fixed and can be used again. I can finally go on vacation soon which I had to delay because the camera was in the repair center. Will update here if anything comes up, if not, you will see more photos I take with this camera up on my photography blog. :)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Paragon Outlets in Livermore, CA is a SCAM

I went to go clothes shopping at Paragon Outlets in Livermore, CA, and all I have to say is the stores there are a SCAM! Why? They use deception to try to get you to buy stuff and tell you about "discounts" that they will not give you at check out. So here is what happened.

The first store I encountered this problem is the GAP Outlet Store. When I first went to the store, they had a sign saying "Entire Store 50% Off" and an employee also told me that when I walked in the door. I was like, okay, that's great! So I went ahead and looked through the discount racks and found some stuff I liked. When I went to go check out, they told me that the 50% discount did not apply to the discounted items! I was like that is not what your employee told me at the beginning. Then they said, well it doesn't matter, it isn't included in our 50% discount. The sign says "Entire Store 50% Off", it didn't even label excluded items. They are using deception to get you to by things. I still bought the items because even without the discount, they were still a pretty good deal, but still, I do not condone such practices. This is not the worst deception anyways. Let me tell you about the next store I went to.

The next store I went to was American Eagle Outfitters. This store was even worse, but let me make it clear it is just the Paragon Outlets store only and does not apply to the store at the Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton, CA. So pretty much, let me begin with yesterday. I went to the Stoneridge Mall American Eagle Outfitters store yesterday because I had a 20% off coupon that was about to expire today. I didn't find anything I like there so I didn't end up not spending any money, but they didn't try to cheat you there. At that store, they clearly labeled the racks that had the 40% discount and did not put that sign on any rack that did not have the discount. Today, at the Paragon Outlets American Eagle Store, when I walked in, they told me that they had a 40% discount and the stuck the sign on EVERY rack including the ones that does not have the discount (of course no one told me until I tried to check out). Even though they labeled "Select Styles Only" on every sign, it is very deceptive to put it on EVERY rack even the ones that DOES NOT have the discount! When I found the stuff I wanted and went to check out, they told me that it was not included with the 40% off discount, which brought me up to $20 for a t shirt that wasn't even made from cotton and the material did not even feel that high quality. This was very deceptive. They put the sign and labeled every rack 40% off and it is not like the customer misplaced their clothes or anything because the racks were very organized and the same styles are all grouped together. This means the employees purposely put the signs on the racks to deceive the customers. I do not recommend you shop there.

So that is pretty much my little rant on Paragon Outlets in Livermore, CA. While I have seen some bad reviews on the Forever21 in the Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton, CA, it is still a way better mall than the Paragon Outlets. This was 2 stores that was using deception trying to get you to buy stuff at the Paragon Outlets and I bet there were other stores also using this method and I just didn't shop at them. If you are planning to go shopping at the Paragon Outlets in Livermore, CA, just forget it because they are obviously trying to scam and cheat you.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Christian Influence in North Korea

I was very surprised to learn that North Korea's eternal leader, Kim Il Sung was Christian, and if you think about it, the country has very high Christian influence right now.

  1. Jesus died, but you are to worship him as your eternal savior. Kim Il Sung died, but North Koreans are to worship him as their eternal savior/leader. 
  2. Jesus performed miracles and healed people. North Korea claims Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il, and Kim Jong Un performs miracles and have magical powers. It has even been claimed that Kim Jong Il has hit several holes in ones in golf in one day, and apparently is so magical he does not need to go poop or pee. 
  3. Christians are to thank Jesus before every meal and for every blessing. North Koreans are taught to say "Thank you Dear Leader" before every meal and every blessing. 

Just putting it out there, if Kim Il Sung never had the Christian influence, the country would probably be better off right now...

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

New Firmware for Canon EOS 5D Mark III (Firmware 1.2.1)


It has been almost 6 month since Canon has announced that there will be a new firmware update for the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and that firmware update just came out today and you can download if for free from here. The update it self is fairly simple. Make sure you have a charged battery or at least it is half charged. I did mine with a battery at 70% and had no issues. Then you copy the downloaded firmware into either your CF or SD card. Now press Menu and scroll until you find the one with your firmware version is listed. Go in and you can begin the update process. If you need more details than this, there is instructions in PDF format that came with your firmware download.

 Here is a screenshot of the camera confirming the firmware update. 

Here is the camera during the update process


After the update process, my camera did go down by 2% on the battery level. So technically you don't need a fully charged battery, but it is always good to have one. Don't want to brick your camera! Anyways, here are some of the new features of this firmware update.

Uncompressed HDMI Output Support
One of the two new features is Uncompressed HDMI Output Support. This feature allows uncompressed high-definition video (YCbCr 4:2:2, 8 bit) to be outputted via the HDMI socket of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. This feature allows you to record high-definition video via an external recorder (with very limited degradation in quality) and you can also monitor the video in real time on an external display.

Improved AF Functionality
The other new feature is the improved AF functionality which has raised the central cross-type points AF ability to focus from f/5.6 to f/8. This is especially useful for users who are using telephoto lenses with a lens extender such as the Canon EF 1.4X III Telephoto Extender (still depends on the lens) and still want to use auto focus. This new firmware update will allow you to focus with any lens up to an aperture of f/8. The following is a list of lens combinations from Canon's website compatible with the new firmware update. The combinations marked with (*) are the newly supported combinations due to this firmware update.


To me, these 2 features are really cool as I was thinking about a set up with lens extenders, but I really wanted to keep auto focus. I hope you have enjoyed this news article. If you want to read the original Canon press release, you can do so here. Again, you can download the new firmware update from here. Please don't forget to share with your friends and family members! If you enjoy photography, please visit my photography blog here. On there, I showcase many photos I've taken and sometimes even offer you tips on photography, travel tips, and photography news.

Picture Credits: Some imagery in this article are from the Canon website. I do not claim credit for them. Use of the images permitted under Fair Use Law. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Upcoming Canon EOS 5D Mark III Firmware Update

A Canon EOS 5D Mark III

It has been almost 6 month since Canon has announced that there will be a new firmware update for the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and that firmware update is going to come out soon! I am only telling you guys this news right now because I only found out about it. Anyways, the firmware update is scheduled to come out at the end of this month (end of April). The firmware will be free, you will be able to install it at home after downloading, and it is coming with two really cool nice new features for the camera.

Uncompressed HDMI Output Support
One of the two new features is Uncompressed HDMI Output Support. This feature allows uncompressed high-definition video (YCbCr 4:2:2, 8 bit) to be outputted via the HDMI socket of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. This feature allows you to record high-definition video via an external recorder (with very limited degradation in quality) and you can also monitor the video in real time on an external display.

Improved AF Functionality
The other new feature is the improved AF functionality which has raised the central cross-type points AF ability to focus from f/5.6 to f/8. This is especially useful for users who are using telephoto lenses with a lens extender such as the Canon EF 1.4X III Telephoto Extender (still depends on the lens) and still want to use auto focus. This new firmware update will allow you to focus with any lens up to an aperture of f/8.

To me, these 2 features are really cool as I was thinking about a set up with lens extenders, but I really wanted to keep auto focus. I can't wait to get this update so I can install it! I hope you have enjoyed this news article. If you want to read the original Canon press release, you can do so here. Please don't forget to share with your friends and family members! If you enjoy photography, please visit my photography blog here. On there, I showcase many photos I've taken and sometimes even offer you tips on photography, travel tips, and photography news.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

North Korea Meme


So apparently, according to Fox News (article here), if North Korea plays the nuclear card, they said that they will target Tokyo, Japan first. When I saw the article, something funny popped up into my head and I had to make the meme. LOL So here you go above this message. XD While they are pretty much the laughing stalk of the world right now, and people are creating things like this, the current status in their country is sad and horrible, and is definitely not a laughing matter.

Anyways, if you like content like these, I have created 2 new pages dedicated to making fun of Mr. Fatty. Feel free to follow me on either Twitter or Google+. I will be posting similar content on both.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Manfrotto MH057M0-RC4 Ball Head Unboxing and Overview (Video)


Here is a quick unboxing and overview of the Manfrotto MH057M0-RC4 Ball Head  In the video I first unbox it, give you a 360 view, and tell you about my first impressions of the ball head. Let me just say that this head is a lot bigger than I expected, but it looks so cool so I'm going to keep it. :) Like I said in the video, the ball is about the size of a tennis ball and it is made out of 100% magnesium so it is very heavy!

Specifications from Manfrotto Website:
Lateral Tilt: -103° / +40° head tilt
Material: magnesium
Panoramic Rotation: 360 °
Plate Type: 410PL
Quick Release: yes
Load Capacity: 33.07 lbs
Weight: 47.8 oz
Working Height: 5.75 in

If you enjoy my video reviews, you can follow me on Youtube here.



Enjoy photography? Come to Eric's Photography Blog now and learn tips and tricks for photography while enjoying beautiful photos!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens Review (Video)


A detailed review of the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens. This is a very light weight lens, great for backpacking. I often use this lens for wildlife and flowers (on tall trees). So far no issues. Even though it is constructed out of plastic, this is one rugged lens. I have hit this on walls and other objects when it hangs on my neck, and it has been over a year and still working strong! The zoom is great, and I love the bokeh (make sure you watch the photo slideshow at the end).

If you are a beginner or intermediate photographer on a tight budget and want to start with wildlife photography, this is a definitely a must have for your kit. Remember that EF-S mount lenses are not compatible with full frame DSLRs! If you might upgrade, definitely go for a EF mount lens like this one!

Lens Specifications From Canon's Website:
Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 70-300mm f/4-5.6
Lens Construction: 15 elements in 10 groups
Diagonal Angle of View: 34° - 8° 15' (with full-frame camera)
Focus Adjustment: Front-focusing method with helicoid ring drive
Closest Focusing Distance: 4.9 ft./1.5m
Zoom System: 6-group helical zoom (rotational angle: 84°)
Filter Size: 58mm
Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 3.0 in. x 5.6 in., 22.2 oz. / 76.5mm x 142.8mm, 630g (lens only)

If you enjoy my video reviews, you can follow me on Youtube here.



Enjoy photography? Come to Eric's Photography Blog now and learn tips and tricks for photography while enjoying beautiful photos!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Stop Facebook From Using Your Name and Photo in Ads


You have probably received an email a few days back about Facebook being sued. This is a legit email and Facebook is getting sued. The reason being is that they misused your name, like the one below, in ads without your permission.


On Facebook, you probably have seen ads saying, you and so and so Like this... These are ads by Facebook. Many people do have privacy concerns over this. Your profile photo and your name is being displayed in ads! So due to this lawsuit, Facebook has made new options in your settings that allows you to "Opt Out" of these ads, and here today, I will show you how. I have blurred out the parts of the screenshots that contain private information I don't wish to give out on the internet.

Disclaimer: This tutorial is for educational and informative purposes only. The author/blogger is not responsible for any info that may be incorrect or misleading. You follow this tutorial at your own risk.

Now before I continue with this tutorial, I just have one little message from our sponsor. Do you enjoy photography? Love seeing beautiful photos from all over the world? Come to Eric's Photography Blog now to see beautiful photos and learn how to take photos.

Let's continue with the tutorial.



First navigate to the top right hand corner where there is a small "gear". This is where you can access all your account settings. You can click on either Account Settings or Privacy Settings. 


After that, navigate to the Ads section of the settings. 


After you get there, you will see 2 selections, one for Third Party Sites and one for Ads & Friends. The Third Party Sites is a "future project" where ads like the current ones will be displayed on 3rd party websites. The current Facebook ads you see is the Ads & Friends. First click Edit on the setting you want to edit, and then select the option "No one" and save. If you want to "Opt Out" of both, do so for both settings.

After you have done those, you are done! Facebook is now legally not allowed to use your name in ads.

Advertisement


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Easy $5 Wall Wart (Power Adapter) Cluster Fix (Video)


Photographer? Have a lot of power adapters and battery chargers? As you know hotels usually do not have many open outlets for you to use and with wall warts (power adapters) covering multiple outlets, how are you suppose to use multiple of them at a time? In this video, I provide you with a easy under $5 compact solution in splitting 1 outlet into 4 with enough room for up to 4 wall warts!

Dislaimer: You follow the instructions in the video at your own risk, I will not be responsible for any damages or injuries you get.

Generally a few battery chargers/power outlets will not overload a power outlet, however you should never plug in high current devices (hair dryers, vacuum cleaners, etc) into an extension cord or power outlet splitter. Also make sure you add up all the wattage ratings on ALL of your adapters and make sure it does not pass the LOWEST allowed wattage on all of your splitters/extension cords.

I got the extension cord and outlet splitter at Walmart in the Hardware Section (I think) where they sell light bulbs. They cost me just right under $5 around $4. I didn't find the same products on Amazon, but I found a few similar to the ones I found at Walmart (they will cost you a bit more than $5 on Amazon). You can find those below.



If you enjoy my video reviews, you can follow me on Youtube here.

Enjoy photography? Come to Eric's Photography Blog now and learn tips and tricks for photography while enjoying beautiful photos!
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