Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How to train your Skyrim dragon

I was watching HBO the other day, when I noticed something familiar...

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Third World Nerd Christmas List

'Tis the season to buy gadgets! Here are the ones that are on the top of my list. It's not too late people! Hehehe.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas photos, attack!

Alrighty, time to get into that Christmas spirit! I've always loved passing by the parol vendors along Gilmore and seeing all those parols lit up in an orgy of Christmas cheer. This year, I stopped to buy a parol there. Kind of tricky taking photos behind the wheel. The good one in this bunch (the one above) was taken by my wife, but the Instagram treatment was by moi. All photos taken with Olympus E-P3 and Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 lens. Happy holidays everyone!

I wish I could say that this was done on purpose. I like how it turned out anyway :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

New Olympus Lens Alert!

Olympus recently unveiled the M. Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 EZ Power Zoom. Wow, that's a long name. It's, well, not too bright -- especially if you're used to the lovely prime lenses for the micro four thirds system. Yes, this is a zoom lens that covers most focal lengths you need, but F3.5-6.3 isn't that far from the kit lens. I'm a little underwhelmed, but we have yet to see what image quality is like. And there is a positive side.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Hunt for the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lens

A week ago, I was in a conundrum. I was finally going to buy it: Olympus' 45mm f/1.8 lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras. I had done my homework, and read the reviews. By all accounts, it is a stellar lens that isn't super expensive. (If you need more convincing, head on over to this site for a look at some lovely photos by travel photographer Ferdz Decena.) The lens itself is in the $400 ballpark, which is quite reasonable for a high quality fast prime lens, but I wouldn't call it cheap. Nevertheless, I had saved up and I was finally going to buy it. There was just one problem: I couldn't find anyone selling it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Olympus 45mm f1.8 sample photos

Just a quick post to show what the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lens can do. First off, a portrait photo, as this lens is supposed to be a portrait lens. It's razor sharp wide open at f/1.8. Impressive. More photos after the jump.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Olympus 45mm f1.8 review and samples coming soon

Look closely and you'll see that the lens mounted on my camera is Olympus' new 45mm f/1.8 "portrait lens." I've been dying to get one since it came out, I thought it might never happen, and surprise surprise, I found one here for an awesome price. Samples, review, plus the story behind the lens coming up!

Clue: it's super sharp and has gorgeous bokeh.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Batman here, Batman there, Batman Batman everywhere

So I've been gone from blogging for almost a month now. And there's only one person to blame: Bruce Wayne. Yep, I've been neck deep in Batman stuff these past weeks. There's Christmas shopping and writing for other stuff and reading, but mostly Batman has been my constant companion.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Designer Chair Promo!

Here's my workstation. This is where I write my blog, write my book, write my articles. The chair is a famous one, called The Egg Chair, and it was designed by Arne Jacobsen. Originally, it used to sit in my living room, but on a whim, I placed it in front of my table. And waddaya know, it worked.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Third World Lightning Part 2

Oops, I did it again. I really lucked out with this photo. The lightning storm wasn't particularly active, but the one time it went really nuts, I had my shutter open.

You can also see the previous lightning photos here.

And here's more lightning in action:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hoarders, Digital Edition

With 6TB, you can save a lot of junk. Off the top of my head there are the TV series that I've had to sacrifice to make room for new ones. You know, TV shows that aren't keepers (Heroes anyone?), and more bad movies in HD than you can shake a stick at. I hated all of them, but it was painful to part with them nevertheless. Western Digital My Studio II lets you hoard all of that junk with its ginormous gargantuan titanic 6TB of storage. This is my review of that product.

Aside from hoarders, the Western Digital My Studio II is for a special breed of digital professional: the video editor, the professional photographer, the art director, the 3D animator. Chances are, that's not you. No worries, digital collector. Hoarders will be just as happy with this baby.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A week with iCloud and iOS 5

I waited more than a week to give my impression of iCloud, Apple's new service that promises to make your online life oh so much better, and here it is. While I'm at it, I'll also run down some of the more important changes in iOS 5, the operating system that makes iCloud possible. So has it changed my life and made everything better yet? Not really. Sorry Apple, it's not all blue skies...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Industar-22 Review

Or how an old manual lens works on the micro four thirds system and why you should try it.

This is my third manual focus lens. It's getting to be something of a habit. No doubt, many of you are wondering, "Why on earth would you want to stick a manual lens on a camera that has one of the fastest Autofocus systems available?"

Because you can. Because there's a quality to these lenses that you can't capture with modern lenses. Because old lenses kick ass. Because it will help you to become a better photographer. Because it will change the way you look at shooting. Because your camera will look cool. Because you will look cool. Because the pictures will be interesting. Because it's fun.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Third World Lightning

Just a quick photo-of-the-day post. Maybe I should open a Tumblr account. Shot with Olympus E-P3 and Panasonic 20mm lens. GIF from Photoshop. Fun fun fun. :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Adidas x Star Wars for baby nerds

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about the Adidas x Star Wars collection. The Force is strong with these kicks. Since then, I've seen some of the Star Wars shoes from a previous collection in Adidas' Power Plant store. To my regret, I don't think a 37-year-old can pull off those designs with any pride (which is strange because it's precisely this age demographic that is rabid about Star Wars). Imagine my joy then when I came across a pair of Adidas x Star Wars shoes for my one-year-old son at Jump in High Street. And the design was Boba Fett. Winner.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Early Christmas Sale! Attack!

Speaking of Sony and Christmas, here are the details of that sale I was talking about. It's on October 21-23 at the Megatent in Ortigas (that's beside Renaissance). I suggest you go there really early on the first day because it can get really crazy. And then the last day because that's the Grand Draw and Pupil is playing.  :) Click on the picture above to embiggen.

Friday, October 14, 2011

My Sony Christmas Wish List

You know what? Sony could have been Apple. It had the Walkman, the Trinitron, and the PlayStation -- three reasons why I'm probably on the fanboy side of the fence. (They also show my age.) Later on, Sony would have the VAIO, the Bravia, and Sony Ericsson phones. With such hugely successful brands, Sony could have been bigger than Apple. Things didn't turn out that way, which is just too bad. Even then, Sony has been on something of a roll lately with the PS3, Bravia TVs, and NEX cameras.

Just the other day, Sony launched its lineup for the Christmas season. I'd seen most of this stuff in one way or the other, but it was pretty impressive seeing it all together in one place. There was a lot of good stuff there. Here are my picks:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What do you do with 6TB?

Sitting on my table now is Western Digital's My Book Studio Edition II external hard drive, a loaner from WD. Inside, it's got two 3TB hard drives, giving you a total of 6TB. Starting the review process in a bit, but right now, I'm wondering what exactly I'll do with 6TB, or around 6,000GB. So any suggestions will be welcome.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Smart Rocket Review

4G. Also known as HSPA+. The promise of faster Internet without wires. Come and get it with Smart Rocket, basically Smart Buddy on steroids. Smart Rocket promises speeds of up to 12mbps. Those are crazy fast speeds, considering the fastest regular DSL connection you can get is 3mbps. Does this Rocket deliver? Read on.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Asus Eee Pad Slider First Sighting!

I thought the Asus Eee Pad Slider was pretty cute when I first heard of it. Last Friday, they officially launched the Slider to the public -- Asus' sly little tablet with a keyboard built in -- and I'm more impressed than ever. I mean, just look at it. It's adorable!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Smart Rocket Speed Test at Globe, Hehehe

I got my hands on Rocket -- Smart's fancy new wireless Internet thing capable of 12mbps speeds. Let's not waste any time and show you a speed test. And what better place to do a speed test than Globe's headquarters here in Pioneer?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Make your own Cloud

As usual, Apple has the lion's share of coverage about cloud services, with its up-and-coming iCloud. After the pain-in-the-derriere that is OS X Lion, I wish I hadn't jumped aboard the iCloud bandwagon. Because you know what? You can make your own cloud. It's easy.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Is the Nikon 1 the one?

Sorry, I couldn't resist the pun. Nikon's joined the mirrorless crowd with its Nikon 1 System. This is potentially HUGE. The big two -- Canon and Nikon -- have been championing and dominating the DSLR world. With the recent boom in popularity of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras like the Micro Four Thirds system and Sony's NEX system, mirrorless cameras are no longer something that Canon and Nikon can ignore. Nikon's answer is the 1 System. Prepare to be disappointed.

Why I love tech

People think I was born loving tech. But just because I've been writing about tech in one place or the other for the past eight years doesn't mean that's true. My reasons for loving tech are simple:

I love my iPad because I love books and comics. I love my PS3 because I love games. I love my TV and media streamer because I love movies.  I love my iPhone because I love music. And of all those things, I love tech most because of music.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

PS Vita details are here!

The wait's not much longer, nerds. You'll be able to get your hands on a PlayStation Vita around Christmas. If you're Japanese, that is, because it's launching in Japan on December 17, 2011. The rest of the world will have to wait. It's launching in 2012 elsewhere. The good news is that all Vitas will be region free, so you'll be able to play games from any region with a Japanese Vita, just like the PS3. The only questions that remain now are if the Japanese version OS will be in English (I doubt it), if the launch games will be English (maybe the ones made by European/American studios) and if any Vita units will make their way here before Christmas (I am willing to bet yes!).

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Running Gear: Beltpack Busters

Since I started jogging, the joke has been that I'll have to buy a beltpack now. I see all the joggers in High Street using them. I can't get myself to use one though. I've made fun of far too many beltpack owners to start now. Adidas to the rescue.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Olympus E-P3 gets RAW support

All my photographer friends swear by RAW files. "Shoot in RAW!" they all tell me. I never saw the point before. I used to be pretty happy with the JPEG output of my camera, and to be fair, my old Olympus E-PL1 really turned out great JPEGs. But because of these photographer friends of mine, I kept dabbling in RAW and playing around with the files in Aperture until I got converted. Now I shoot in RAW most of the time. There's really just so much more detail and dynamic range that you get from RAW. If you have the time to mess around in Aperture or Adobe Lightroom, you can make a "Art" like the photo above.

Now I have a new camera and I was expecting to wait months and months for RAW support, but it turns out I didn't have to wait for long. Adobe Lightroom supported RAW files from the Olympus E-P3 first. Then Aperture 3 followed. I've got some samples. Click on the photos to make 'em big!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Nike 2011 MAG shoe: it's retro-tastic!

Now who didn't want Marty McFly's self-zipping Nikes in Back To The Future? Decades later, you can actually buy a pair. The Nike MAG 2011 -- a.k.a. the Air McFly -- looks exactly like the shoes from the movie. There are only 1500 of these in our timeline, so I doubt you'll be seeing any here. If you really want a pair, your best bet will probably be ebay. Hope you have deep pockets. Hit the link to see a video of the shoes in action.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Philippine Pro Starcraft II League

I'm a frustrated Starcraft 2 player. I've sunk days and days into this game. In an alternate universe of my dreams, I'm a pro player. But in this universe, I'm too old, and I'm just not that good. It's not too late for other Pinoys though. Yup, in case you didn't know, there's a Philippine Pro Starcraft II League. And it's your gateway to competing with the rest of the world.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP review

I'm supposed to love this iPad game. The 1980's-era 8-bit graphics will appeal to anyone who grew up in that decade, and I admit I'm that old. The interactive bit-tunes music will be adored by hipsters, and alright, I've been called that before. The unique, non-mainstream, alternative gameplay will appeal to anyone who loves video games that are different -- guilty again, your honor. I should be rabidly drooling over how great Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP is, just like the rest of the Internet -- and don't get me wrong, it's a fine game that I like quite a lot -- but I just didn't have fun. In fact, the game annoyed me a lot.

Monday, September 5, 2011

To Smart Rocket or not to Smart Rocket, that is the question

I'm trying very hard not to be excited about Smart Rocket, the new 4G wireless Internet thing which Smart is thumping its chest about. The nerd in me is excited as hell. It's 12mbps, bitches! The thing is, having been around during the advent of 3G (and being partly responsible for the hype of that), I know that I should be cautiously optimistic at best. 

The promise of 3G was fast internet everywhere. In practice, I've found 3G to be next to useless except for checking mail, checking in to foursquare, and occasionally light browsing. Plus I can never find a 3G signal when I need one. 4G promises the next quantum leap in fast wireless Internet. Hooray? I want to be excited about 4G, but I'm holding myself back. Why? Read on.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Olympus E-P3 sample photos: Part 2

One of the Olympus E-P3's biggest selling points is its super fast Autofocus, which is faster than some high-end SLRs they say. In this round of sample photos, I put the Autofocus to the test by shooting a bunch of toddlers in a birthday party.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Olympus E-P3 sample photos: Part 1

Wow, this week has been frustrating. I've been planning on going outdoors to play with the new camera, but it's been raining (and typhoon-ing) all week long. Plus a fresh jogging injury has made me not want to walk around much. Oh well, rain is interesting to shoot as well, and I've got a great view from the house.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Limbo review

Ah, love at first sight. That was exactly how the video game Limbo enthralled me. When first I laid eyes on its minimalist black and white art, my heart was all a-flutter. Here was a delicious game unlike any other about a boy who opens his beady glowing eyes in some kind of HELL. When I downloaded the demo and died my first fantastically violent death in Limbo, my heart swooned. This game was a 2D platformer, a puzzle game, and it featured children and violence to the extreme. Ahhh, l'amour... Then Limbo revealed its true beauty to me -- in the shape of a giant killer spider intent on devouring me. I knew I couldn't live without this game. I had to have it. So I bought it.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Olympus E-PM1: so cute!

This one's for the wifey. She's been saying lately that she wants a small camera. In pink. I told her that since she's always using the micro four thirds camera, it makes no sense to get a compact camera. She'll just end up disappointed by the quality of a compact, plus they aren't that much smaller anyway. I have a solution for her: the Olympus E-PM1. It's smaller than my E-P3, takes all the lenses I have for the system, and it comes in pink. All for $500. Let's see if the wife agrees. I think she will be unable to resist the pink one. More pictures after the jump.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sony NEX-7: it's a pro!

Okay, this mirrorless camera battle is really heating up. In one corner you have the Olympus E-P3 (which I just bought) with lightning fast autofocus. In the other corner you have this 24-megapixel beast from Sony, the NEX-7. Unlike the E-P3, the NEX-7 is touted as a pro camera, and who else needs 24 bloody megapixels in an APS-C sensor? Tiny size, mirrorless design, metal body, one brute of a sensor, this is one interesting camera…

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Olympus E-P3 unboxing

At long last, the Olympus E-P3 arrived. It was like a week overdue and I was already getting anxious. Amazon (and their supplier Ace Photo) was gangbusters, delivering to Johnny Air in NY in just 2 days (after promising 3-7 days). Even the credit card company did their part, flagging a large online purchase. I actually felt safer, despite the hassle. I think I messed up the receiving name with Johnny Air though, accidentally using their corporate business instead because that's where my camera ended up. It stayed in their corporate office for a week before it made its way to the consumer outlet in Megamall. I guess I can't complain because it was partly my fault, but anyway, the package is here! Here's the Olympus E-P3 in all its glory.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

OS X Lion Bites

Almost everything I heard about OS X Lion was bad. So I stayed away. But a couple of days ago, curiosity got the better of this cat, and I downloaded it. And installed it. And surprise surprise, I discovered that everyone was right.

In return, I got a taste of Apple's laptop future. Spoiler alert: it's suspiciously iPad-like. I'm also first in line for Apple's cloud services. Worth it? Not really.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bladeless Fans from Cash Cash Pinoy

Ever since Dyson designed and released their bladeless fan, I've always wanted one. Never thought I'd actually be able to buy one because Dyson notoriously overprices. Alright alright, they deserve every penny for their revolutionary designs, but the third world nerd in me will never spend that much money (around $200) for a desk fan. Thank God for the group buying site, Cash Cash Pinoy, then. They have a promo today that gives you 34% savings on a P4,990 bladeless fan. Do the math: that's just P3,298. Okay, it's not a Dyson, but it works on the same principle. It even has similar colors. I've actually seen this model in action at Cash Cash Pinoy's offices, and the bladeless fan is a thing of beauty. Offer expires in around ten hours. Hit the link!


Star Wars x Adidas

I used to be a sneaker freak. But I got distracted. Haven't bought a pair of funky kicks in a while now... I wish I hadn't seen these. Now I want to buy sneakers again. Hey adidas, have you got these here?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Leather fetish

I've been thinking about leather a lot lately – mostly because I'm now in the leather business. (In case you missed it, click here to see our handmade leather bags.) I've been thinking of making leather iPad or iPhone cases, like the Dodocase, the "Rolls Royce" of iPad cases, the BookBook iPhone case, or even these iPhone/iPad cases from Montblanc.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Puma Faas 500 – Wild!

I believe in going  all out when it comes to shoes (especially sneakers!). But I never thought I'd go this crazy because Puma's Faas 500's are really over-the-top bonkers with their radioactive colors and funky futuristic design. What's surprised me more is that I've grown very fond of these wild shoes.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

It's promo time!

I love promos. Most people are jaded by promos, thinking that a) these things are rigged or b) they don't have a chance of winning. As someone who used to work in advertising, I can tell you they're mostly not rigged. And I'll let you in on a secret: some promos give you a better chance of winning than others. Which ones? Hit the read more button…

Friday, August 19, 2011

Lexdray bags

While we're on the topic of bags (I wrote about my new camera bag the other day), I stumbled across this press release from Lexdray. At first glance, these bags looked to me like sensible, conservative bags. Upon deeper inspection, I noticed the dearth of pockets in each bag. And like any good nerd, I love pockets. I go absolutely gaga about them. Bonkers. Mental.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Crumpler Local Identity camera bag

Visited the local Crumpler store, and to my surprise I found a camera bag that I had just been reading about here.

The site said it cost AU$270, which is around P11,500. But it turned out to be just P7,500 over here. Plus I got a 10% discount from my Enjoy card. (Love that card. Get one.) Now that's pricey for a bag, but after a recent trip abroad, I realized that I truly needed a specialized bag for my camera. It was a pain juggling my camera, travel documents, and a baby all at the same time. So I bit the bullet and bought it.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Olympus E-P3 incoming!

If all goes well, the Olympus E-P3 will be landing in my grubby mits any day now. I'll be doing the traditional unboxing and a full review when it lands.

As this blog's name goes, I'm just a poor third world nerd, but I do hope to buy a kick-ass camera system one lens at a time (now that the kick-ass camera body is on its way to our banana republic).

Here's my dream setup. It's decidedly retro, with three (or four) fixed lenses when most of today's photogs are happy to shoot with one high quality zoom lens. But I find that fixed lenses really do deliver on the image quality front. Here goes...