8 Feb

Photo Editing Program – my favorite Paint Shop Pro!

I have been using Paint Shop Pro program since version 4…that was more than 7 years ago…and I just love this program.

Why not photoshop? One of the main reason for me to go for Paint Shop Pro during the early days is because it is a FREEWARE. Yes, free to download and use on your computer. That was in version 4 and version 5. Version 9 and later is a paid software, but later Corel bought JASC and the last version from JASC was version 10. Version 9 was later given as a free software together with Lexar professional memory card, which is definitely a very very good value!

How is Paint Shop Pro as compared to Adobe Photoshop? For me, it does everything I needed in photo editing. Curve, contrast, brightness, unsharp mask, crop, border, layers, etc. It also is much easier to use and less resource hungry like photoshop. I can start and use my PSP within 5 seconds after launching, but for PS, I have to wait for 10s or more. Of course, if you have very fast PC, you might not notice the difference.

pspx2.jpg

Today, I download the 30 days trial version of PSP from Corel website. I was already about to BUY already (already in the PayPal page, one click away from paying), but since there is a 30 days trial, I thought why not? I clicked the cancel order button and went back to download the software to try out first. The latest version is Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 and my experience with PSP is mainly based on version 6. I want to see how much improvement it has after Corel bought over JASC, and the US$89.99 is worth spending or not.

What I am expecting from the latest version which I think is lacking in the dated version 6:

  • Better noise removal
  • Faster processing
  • RAW file processing (version 6 can process raw file but loading takes ages…)
  • More features on borders, templates, effects…etc.
  • Smarter one step photo fix (available in version 6 as well, but I wonder if there is any surprise in the latest version)

Basically, that’s it. I don’t really need a software that has tones of features that I don’t use but burden down my computer.

Now…let’s see some examples that I run through PSPPX2 just now. The photos below are taken using Nikon D200 at IS3200, I set the camera at high ISO the night before and forgot to set it back to low ISO. My wife used the camera the next day to take Megumi’s photos… ๐Ÿ˜› Originally posted at: ็œ‹ๆˆ‘็ฌ‘ๅพ—่ง็œผไธ่ง็‰™

(Take note that the before images are already of some processing previously…which used automatic batch process…hence the quality still not so good and some sharpness already lost)

Before

kkk_0211_before.JPG

After PSP

kkk_0211_after.jpg

Before

kkk_0229_before.JPG

After PSP

kkk_0229_after.JPG

You have to click the photo to appreciate the difference. There is a nice Skin Smoothing command in PSPPX2 which I find it delivers good results. The above is just a quick test…I will have to get some RAW files to test it further, but I think I am definitely going to buy one before the 30 days trial period ends up. ๐Ÿ™‚

25 Jan

ๅ…ฌไธปไธŽๆ–ฐ่กฃๆœ(ไธŠ)

kkk_0366.JPG

็‰นๅˆซๆ„Ÿ่ฐข่ฏบ่ฏบ็š„ไบŒๅง‘๏ผŒไปŽ่‹ฑๅ›ฝ็ป™่ฏบ่ฏบๅฏ„ๆฅไบ†ๅพˆๅคšไปถๆผ‚ไบฎ็š„่กฃๆœใ€‚่ฏบ่ฏบๅพˆๅนธ็ฆne, ๅฅน็š„ๅงจๅงจ๏ผŒ่ˆ…่ˆ…๏ผŒๅง‘ๅง‘ๅธธๅธธ็ป™ๅฅนไนฐ่กฃๆœใ€‚ ่ฏบ่ฏบ๏ผš love you all!!

Continue reading

23 Jan

Winter 2007/2008

This is the first heavy snow in winter 2007/2008. Not the first snow, but the first heavy snow.

kkk_0259.JPG

Was waiting and hoping to have this kind of heavy snow…glad that finally able to see and experience it “again”. Yes, in winter 2005/2006, there is an even heavier snow and it was right before Christmas. ๐Ÿ™‚

Winter 2006/2007 was a warm one. No heavy snow and melt right after it snowed.

The heavy snow happened on Sunday morning (20th Jan 2008). Megumi, Lydia and I still drive to church, as the snow isn’t very strong yet and the road was still not frozen. During the Sunday service, the snow continue. After church, around 12noon, the snow became even heavier. ๐Ÿ™‚

Right after Sunday service, youngs and olds all starts the snow fight! ๐Ÿ™‚

kkk_0250.JPG

Continue reading

6 Jan

03 January 2008

My wife was very busy on 03 January 2008 since early morning.

kkk_9956.JPG

kkk_9960.JPG

In traditional Chinese culture, we eat “shou mian”, drumstick and red egg during birthday. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, my wife took the trouble to colour the eggs to red.

Then in the evening, my wife baked a birthday cake for me… ๐Ÿ˜€

Early stage…

kkk_9964.JPG

Icing dressing! Yes, must have icing else can’t call birthday cake… ๐Ÿ˜›

kkk_9970.JPG

Megumi also join “eye-sharing”. She touched the cake/icing actually “on purpose”.

kkk_9973.JPG

Wordings…dedicated to…me lah…who else?!

kkk_9974.JPG

See!

kkk_9976.JPG

Finally, family photo! ๐Ÿ˜€

kkk_9984.JPG

Thank you, dear. Thank God for my lovely and caring wife, my dear megumi and my family back in Malaysia and my sister in UK. In Jesus name I thanked. ๐Ÿ™‚

———————

Eh…forgot to mention…where is my birthday present? Yes, there is one. My wife asked me long ago…and I make it clear…yes, I want a Nikon D3.

Here come D3…made in Japan by my wife. One and only in the world… ๐Ÿ˜›

kkk_9990.JPG

(To ShaShinKi.com customer. Don’t worry, you will not receive the above D3 if you ordered one at ShaShinKi.com…I promised… ๐Ÿ˜€ )

20 Dec

Sony Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 24-70mm F/2.8 ZA SSM

Saw photos of a interesting lens today, Sony Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 24-70mm F/2.8 ZA SSM!

Sony DSLR has been of interesting mainly because it inherit the previous very high quality Minolta legendary glass, and of course not forgetting the partnership with Zeiss to specifically produce ZA series of lenses for Sony Alpha mount. Zeiss lenses in autofocus! Something like a dream comes true for many! German glass (Leica, Zeiss, Schneider…etc.) has always thought to be more superior than Japanese glass. How true is it I am not sure, but I sure am interested in this Zeiss if my pocket is deep enough.

Let’s see the two photos I saw in PhotoMalaysia forum (original source unknown):

za24-70mmf28zassm-01.jpg

za24-70mmf28zassm-02.jpg

A few things I found interesting in this lens.:

1. SSM

SSM in Sony means silent wave motor, which means the lens has built in motor, which is great! First in Zeiss!

2. 24mm

Yes! Latest zoom lens in this focal length in Canon and Nikon and now Zeiss has gone wider to 24mm! Great!

3. Full frame lens

Yes, this is a full frame lens. Very possible that Sony will come out with a full frame DSLR soon. Rumors that Nikon D3 full frame sensor is co-design with Sony, so very possible Sony will use the same 12.1MP full frame sensor in their full frame professional DSLR. Minolta has a 9 series professional SLR in their range, Sony will definitely utilize the technology and design from Minolta. My prediction is that we shall see full frame professional DSLR from Sony within year 2008 before Beijing Olympic.

4. Boxed

Yes…if you notice the box in the photo above, which means that the lens should already been in production or available to some! (if the photo is genuine).

5. F2.8 Aperture

Yes, F2.8 constant aperture. I just love fixed aperture lens, which immediately shout to you: PROFESSIONAL GRADE!

I must admit that the design and look of the lens is very sleek and clean. It looks simple, fat but clean. No busy badge or sticker here and there. I wonder how long will the lens extend from zoomed, it would be a dream lens if the length of the lens remain constant during zooming, which I hate in Nikon and Canon similar lenses.

If only Zeiss can make AF lenses for Nikon, that would be my dream lens to get!

26 Nov

Megumi’s morning meal

Everyday, my wife will prepare some porridge for Megumi the night before, and cook the porridge in a glass bowl together with the rice for our next day meal. It is not an easy job, as my wife will first cook some soup with carrots and small fishes (ikan bilis) in the soup, just to get some extra nutrition for the porridge that she prepared for Megumi.

The work is a lot…but the porridge is only very small bowl, but with lots of love from mother. ๐Ÿ™‚

Feeding time with morning sunlight shinning through the windows…

kkk_9131.jpg

Saw the Hello Kitty plastic thingy? Used to use just cloth, but Lydia said very difficult to clean, so we went to Diamond City, Babies “R” Us to buy the thingy above.

Megumi is enjoying her meal for sure…

kkk_9133.jpg

So delicious…wah..lerr…eh…

kkk_9138.jpg

Let’s have another BIG BITE! “ARMMmmm!

kkk_9144.jpg

Megumi:”enough shooting lah…don’t record all my eating ugly shots…”

kkk_9146.jpg

Will record another round of eating again in future… ๐Ÿ™‚

26 Nov

Dinner in Tokyo

My wife love the dinner that we took in Tokyo on 6th November 2007 in a Korean (?) restaurant. That was around 9pm at night, after windows shopping at Shinjuku.

We ordered some extra foods, all were on metal hot plates. The meats are raw and got cook on the hot plates after being served. It is a very nice dinner, though a bit rush eating due to Megumi becomes a bit impatient and tired.

Here’s some photos to share. ๐Ÿ™‚

kkk_8329.jpg

kkk_8334.jpg

kkk_8333.jpg

18 Nov

My “cool” mouse! Logitech / Logicool MX Revolution

Just to share with you guys the mouse that I am using (bought on 19th Dec 2006, costs me around RM350 or US$95 in Japan):

Logitechยฎ MXโ„ข Revolution

More info at:
http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/products/details/US/EN,CRID=2135,CONTENTID=12134

My first wireless mouse. Took me quite some time to finally decided on a wireless mouse. I kinda worry of the hassle having to charge the mouse every few days…but after using a cheapo wireless mouse few months ago, I am hooked.

For me, mouse is one of the most important item in PC components, as a unresponsive mouse will make you crazy.

In Japan, they call it LOGICOOL! Yes, it is such a COOL mouse! ๐Ÿ˜€

Traveling

One thing about wireless mouse is that it is not so convenient when traveling. Though the battery of the mouse can last for nearly 5 days (12 hours use a day), still if you went for long holiday, then you will need to bring the charging unit together. Not so convenient and normally I will just bring a small wired mouse that power directly from my notebook USB port. Continue reading

26 Oct

Internet banking user growing…

Internet banking user is growing furiously nowadays. With more and more people going online, people tend to love settle things online rather than having to queue in the counter.

Yeah…the first and most popular internet banking site is “too busy” today…

It is quite frustrated when you want to get something done but couldn’t due to the site busy message. They should have upgrade their system always before it reaches its limit (eg. Ebay is one of the company that consistently upgrade their hardware making sure that there is no time-out or can’t keep up with demand failure).

Tried and tried the site above…after half an hour still the same. In fact, I find maybank2u.com.my is very slow nowadays…but the good thing is that Bank Negara has stated the rules that there must be no charge for internet banking service. You can transfer money to others without having to pay any service fee. This is good. ๐Ÿ™‚ However, with the increase popularity of internet banking, it is only a matter of time before the free service will be charged. ๐Ÿ™

The success of internet banking is also mainly due to the wider coverage of internet and the “slightly faster” internet connection nowadays in Malaysia (highest is 2MB for household users but many still complaint that the speed of 2MB/s package is no different than the slower package…). Though still consider as “snail speed” when compare to oversea neighbours (Japan is using 100MB fibre optic now and the basic/slowest is 8MB/s Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) broadband, while Singapore is offering 10MB ADSL line now), at least we are growing and it is good that some companies (Maxis, Digi…etc.) are now offering wireless broadband internet service. Landline service is monopoly by TMNET/Streamyx, so hopefully there are some more players in the wireless ISPs so that we as consumers can benefit more and also encourage healthy competition among providers to facilitates the internet technology grow and coverage in Malaysia.

With this…I hope more people will shop online at ShaShinKi.com too! ๐Ÿ˜€

20 Oct

GMAIL space…ever increasing!

I just noticed this at the bottom of my Gmail account:

You are currently using 2027 MB (51%) of your 3964 MB.

If you log out of Gmail and went to the front page of Gmail, you will see a LIVE counter with Gmail space increasing every second!

Gmail, it is my “currently” favorite email client! I even prefer using it than my own POP3 account! Why?

1. Search is extremely fast!

2. “Unlimited” or very BIG storage!

3. Access anywhere when you have internet connection.

4. Intuitive and very user friendly interface! I like the way they group every related messages/emails into one email. You can just expand the emails and see every related email in one page! First in the world to introduce this…and I really love it!

5. Multi-language support (my Outlook Express is sometimes weird…)

etc.

Try it! You will LOVE and HOOK onto it! ๐Ÿ™‚

14 Oct

Megumi Reading The Bible (by Siaw Foong)

dsc00972.JPG

I started to read The Bible Scriptures together with Megumi everyday since last week.

Yesterday, we have read the Proverbs 3: 1~10. I loved this Words especially the verses no 5~7, which becomes my guidance to teach Megumi one day when she starts understand more things. And also my prayers to God that our family will fear the Lord in all things we do. Here the Scriptures say:

” Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make y our paths straight,

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. ”

I also pray to Lord that one day, Megumi could share her findings after reading the Bible. Now, seems like she only can “look look and see see” the Bible.

dsc00971.JPG

Yet, still I was moved by her “serious face”, how about you?

dsc00973.JPG

Megumi:” Have you read the Bible today?”

22 Sep

Drinking Milk…

This is the whole scene when I took the toes photos in the previous post. My wife was feeding Megumi with soya milk. I love the scene, so took my D200 and snap snap snap…no flash, ISO800, Tamron SP 17-50mm lens.

the whole scene picture…

kkk_7145.JPG

– horizontal view of whole scene –

kkk_7149.JPG

– little hand holding bottle closeup –

kkk_7165.JPG

– face closeup –

kkk_7163.JPG

Uploaded many photos today…hope you all enjoying reading…I hope this serves as a good growing memory of Megumi… ๐Ÿ™‚ God bless and good night…

2.42am, Saijo, Hiroshima, Japan.

24 Jun

Nikon AF 85mm F/1.4D versus Canon EF 85mm F/1.2 USM L II

I have the chance to see the Canon EF 85mm F/1.2 L II lens for a while, at the same time having the Nikon AF 85mm F/1.4D lens myself.

Both of them are said to be the BEST portrait lens in its own brand (Nikon and Canon). I do not have Canon DSLR, so not sure how is the image quality. Still, I thought of taking some photos comparing their physical size and share them with you all.

Nikon one is 551 grams while Canon one is 999 grams! When holding the Canon 85mm L II lens in hand (with glove), it felt considerably MUCH heavier than the Nikon counterpart.

kkk_5754.JPG kkk_5752.JPG

When putting these two lenses side by side, the Nikon becomes so small and considerable “cheap”. The Canon version is like a totally different class!

kkk_5756.JPG

The Canon lens is F/1.2, the brightest 85mm lens in 135 format! It needs lots of light to enter the lens, hence the very big glass at the rear element, till no place for the electronic circuit and has to be built onto the glass itself. I guess the process require very high precision cutting, hence adding extra cost to the production of the lens.

kkk_5762.JPG

The Canon 85mm L II lens is really the lens to own. If I were a Canon user, this would definitely be the DREAM lens for me. The price is nearly double as of the Nikon AF 85mm F/1.4D, only for those “RICH” or “HIGH FEVER” Canonians.


11 May

Happy Birthday, Dearest Foong!

Happy Birthday, Dearest Foong!

11th May 2007

kkk_5321.JPG

Happy Birthday Dear…hope you have a very happy birthday today. Hope you like the cake and the little present I bought for you. Hope you have a good surprise.

May our God bless you and keep you peace. May He guide you and protect you always. May He give you wisdom and have His grace pour upon you.

Next year we celebrate your birthday together with our baby girl. ๐Ÿ™‚

I love you dear…thank you for everything you did for me.

Yours, King…

kkk_5310.JPG

12 Apr

PhotoMalaysia…

photomalaysia-banner.gif

ย Got quite upset over PhotoMalaysia recently…first is the slowness of the site…which I still don’t understand why it becomes slow with small number of members online (average 80 members and 100 guests), and around 9000 registered members. Even during off peak hours, the database connection seems to be slow as well.

Is the problem due to vBulletin software? Or the setting of our server or database? As having no control over the technical part…I feel frustrated. Hope to grow PhotoMalaysia and make it as good as possible, but many things are not within my control. Removing more and more information from PhotoMalaysia website to speed up the thing isn’t the solution IMO, eg. who’s online is of very interesting to me.

Currently paying PhotoMalaysia’s server already costing us US$1.5k+ (RM5~6k), I paid the money upfront but have received support from other caring PMers from time to time, and sometimes received advertisements from companies and members. If we were to get a 2nd server, it means another US$1.5k+, together with ShaShinKi’s own server (US$1k+), I need to spend US$4k (RM15k) ANNUALLY just for the servers renting. This is A LOT OF MONEY for me…and honestly I do not think I can afford this kind of spending at the moment, especially with my baby daughter coming in June…my wife will be very upset if I were to commit into such a spending.

So, what can be done? Brian is doing his best to tweak the server…but still…the fact is that PhotoMalaysia is still slow from time to time. It makes surfing less fun…and people are attacking us due to that. PhotoMalaysia is like my baby…as much as I love and care about it, I hope it can grow to be the most successful photography website in Malaysia. It is sad that we are slowed down by our hardware limit… :'(

I will think again about the server cost…to commit into such a big expenditure yearly or not…