# Friday, 24 July 2009

One of the reasons which I don't bring my DSLR out a lot is the fact that if I am going to a casual get together with my friends and I'd like to take some nice photos I need to bring the flash, and if I'm going to bring my flash I'm gonna need to carry it in a bag, and the only bag I have that can safely hold both the flash and the camera is my Lowepro Fast Pack 250. And WAF of the bag is not very high cause it's big and solid... and if I just stick only the camera and flash into it, it feels like a waste.

I also have a Think Tank Digital Holster 20, which looks like this.

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It's a simple camera bag designed to hold a camera, and nothing much else. That means I can't stuff my F36 flash into it. So I don't bring the camera out in this bag much because which I can boost the ISO to grab shots without a flash, it can only do so much when you're trying to snap a photo of a 2 year old. And because it's hard to actually bounce the built in flash, I end up with direct flash shots which make the WAF points go down.

So I was pleasantly surprised when Sony released this.

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This is the Sony HVL-F20AM Flash. In the world of photography this would be called a low powered flash, can't shoot very far, has a slower (than other flash strobes) cycling time and I'd think is generally useless in long range. But... if you're using your camera indoors, in a party or an open house. This would do just fine! Oh.. and it helps that it's DAMN BLOODY SMALL!

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This is how it looks in the off position, it just sits unassumingly on top of your camera. And for those of you who are wondering... yes, I pointed the camera at a mirror to take the picture. Anyway when it comes time to take a shot, all you do is flip it up and it's ready for action.

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It's very obvious that the F20 was intended for the casual hobbyist photographer. There are no digital read outs, nor are there any complicated settings to work the flash. There's a switch that let's you flip the flash tube to point upwards so you have a bounce flash, and then there's another toggle to remove the diffuser from the front of the flash so you can try to use the flash on a longer range.

The BEST part about the F20, and the reason that I bought it once I saw it is that.

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It just drops in to a corner of the Digital Holster with plenty of space to spare. So it means I can now carry around an external flash with the small camera bag. Sweet!

How well does it perform?

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Indoors? just as good as any flash. Oh wait... wearing a hat, not a good candidate for a bounce flash shot. Let's switch to direct mode.

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Typical shadow and effect of a head on flash, think the diffuser helped lower the harshness a bit.

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Again, another shot in bounce mode. Works really well in doors, I'm very pleased. Not so worried about outdoor shots since I don't see myself doing a lot of that.

It's a nice piece of gear to own if you've always bemoaned the fact that your flash is too big and bulky to lug around and limiting your camera use. But it's definitely not as versatile as say... the HVL-F58AM, so best for your to ask yourself wheter or not the F20 suits your camera usage pattern before getting it.


Friday, 24 July 2009 00:33:55 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Well.. that’s it, MS has decided to shut down the YouTube contender that no one uses... except me! Hahahahaha.. ugh.. I better go download WZ's to reencode and put up on Silverlight Streaming or something.

Wow.. 2 years worth of video... FUUUUUNNN!


Wednesday, 22 July 2009 23:00:02 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 18 July 2009

When Blend 2 SP1 was launched along with Silverlight 2.0, I had one problem with it. While the new visual state manager concept was great in allowing designers to define how the controls looked there was still one problem. There was no way for designers to do things like dictate that clicking a button started an animation, or moved to a different place in the application. This means that if you were creating an RIA application, the programmer would first had to create the basic navigational and behavioral skeleton of the application before the designer could start work. And also if the designer wanted to test some simple flow changes it be a bit of a trouble for them to do any changes unless they happened to know a little bit of .Net programming.

If we compared Blend 2 SP1 with Adobe Flash’s development environment, Blend 2 was at a disadvantage because of this. Since there wasn’t any way for a designer to complete their ideas without asking the developer for help. And now.. we have Silverlight 3 along with the RC version of Expression Blend 3. And I’m LOVING IT!

What’s there to love? For one thing, in order to solve the problem I described above I would have accepted it MS would have just written in some more event triggers in Silverlight instead of just having the useless ONLOAD that we had in SL1 and SL2. But MS went above and beyond that. Instead of defining additional triggers, they now allow the DEVELOPERS to create their own TRIGGERS. And instead of defining additional actions to the base elements. The DEVELOPERS themselves can create their own ACTIONS that can be attached to TRIGGERS to make them functional.

Ok, I’m not making much sense without an example. Basically a TRIGGER is an event, it could be something like on mouse click, on mouse move, etc. etc. And an ACTION is well… an action that does something. Let’s explain with the earlier example of a designer wanting to add some functionality to the app they’re designing. For example:- once a button is clicked, start an animation. This was not possible in Blend 2, and in order for the designer to see the results of this effect a developer would have been needed to write the code to wire up the logic. But in Blend 3, the designer would drop a MOUSE CLICK TRIGGER onto the button and then on the trigger he would drop a PLAY STORYBOARD ACTION and set the target storyboard to the name of the storyboard they wanted to play.

But that’s nothing new to Flash users, and I wouldn’t be making it sound like a new innovation if that was just the case. The fun part about this is that because the DEVELOPER can make new TRIGGERS and ACTIONS it means that if the base ones don’t work for the application and logic you require for YOUR APPLICATION, JUST MAKE SOMETHING that YOU NEED!

And the coolness doesn’t stop there yet, other than triggers and actions. You can also develop and drop BEHAVIORS onto your elements. And this is where it gets interesting. A behavior is exactly that, it tells the element it was dropped on how to behave. An example of a behavior is like Drag To Move, Shrink On Click etc. etc. And.. the most extravagant example of behaviors comes straight from the Blend 3 samples. It’s called BeeHive and is essentially a BreakOut clone, but what’s special about it is that the whole game was written by dropping custom game behaviors like collision behavior, movement behaviors, etc. etc. onto simple Image elements and poof.. GAME!

This just makes me wondering.. when creating a SL application (or WPF for that matter) it almost seems as if that I should write my application logic as behaviors so that designers can just drop the behaviors onto the elements which they see fit so they can easily change how the UI looks without going through me.

Wow.. what a long post.. and I haven’t even talked about sample data generation… and SKETCH FLOW! Another time then.


Saturday, 18 July 2009 22:32:27 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 14 July 2009

This is a waste of a blog entry, but I need to remind myself that I paid parking today so the parking company can't scam me if I don't do it for the next few months... AGAIN :P


Tuesday, 14 July 2009 12:05:40 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, 09 July 2009

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Such concentration... so serious in what he's doing...

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In order to play a video!


Thursday, 09 July 2009 21:53:59 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  |