park hyatt sydney and SAKE restaurant sydney

here are some pictures of park hyatt sydney: (taken with sony tx30 small camera)

as usual, nothing to say here. stay was perfect. we checked in early at 9 am, and half an hour later, we got the room even if the normal check in time is 3pm.

while waiting for our room, and since sydney airport does not have an arrival lounge, we had to shower and exercise in the fitness room of the park hyatt.

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cost: 22000 hyatt points, bought for around $300, compared to rates of $850 normally. We did not use our suite upgrades certificate (points stay cannot use upgrades certificate at hyatt hotels, unlike SPG hotels where you can get suites even staying on points, as long as you are SPG platinum)

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this time we found SAKE restaurant in sydney: a few blocks from the hotel, in area called the ROCKS

it was really good, highly recommended. very busy. Their sushi style is more fusion, a little like hawaiian sushi. There are some other dishes that were quite good: tuna cerviche: tuna with lime, leaves in a bowl (very like ahi ahi tuna in hawaii)

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like the taco sushi, with lime and leaves

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rolls:

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australia with sony a7 full frame test, australian tennis open

here are some pictures to show how the sony a7 mirrorless full frame looks like in australia:

click on the picture to get full resolution, taken hand held, no tripod

SYDNEY:

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SYDNEY OPERA

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SYDNEY PARK HYATT HOTEL : 22000 hyatt points, cost around $300 for the hyatt oints, compared to normal rates of $850. 50 % savings.

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melbourne tram

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australian open: we were able to get confirmed guaranteed lower level seats for last week of the tournament, as we are australian open match members. We sat on the first row on the women final, 4rd row on man finals.  (side advantage: first dip at tickets, and since they are in so much demand…. Especially on secondary market.. )

there are 3 level of memberships. Game, set, and match. Each cost from $99 to $249 for the whole year. To pay $249 per year to have access to lower level seats? Worth it! (Especially like i said, the tickets are “popular and on demand”.

How to get match membership? you have to be lucky and hope someone on that list drop out. there is a long waiting list for thr match membership.

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melbourne cathedral

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park hyat melbourne from outside, view from cathedral:

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our upgraded suite (for free as we used the confirmed upgrade certificates): booked the cheapest room, ended up having similar suite as stanislas wawrinka group.  I think for us, The best suite there have a fireplace, view of cathedral. It makes you feel as if you are home.

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as a side perks with suites: (free): access to the lounge:  free breakfast, free drinks, free pre dinner snaks. A lot of tennis players and their entourage are seen here quite often. (Even if they are multi- millionaire).The staff at the lounge are very friendly, they remembered us even if we come back and stay there only once a year.

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Australian open final: we met stanislas wawrinka at the park hyatt melbourne hotel the night before his historic final macth with nadal?!!

We were able to take pictures with him, his entourage took the pictures for us. Nice man, very skinny outside, very muscular as well. i wish him good luck, and he just lift his shoulders and just said thank you… as if he did not think the chances of winning are on his side, or luck is not part of it.

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As it turns out, at the final match, talent played a major part, but a very small part of luck also came into play:  Nadal was slightly injured.

Wawrinka has a tattoo on his left forearm: ” Ever tried. Ever fail. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

They say the key to success is hard work and determination. But also, Success require failure, and also a little of luck.

What is luck? Luck is to be there at the right time, right moment, with the right preparation. Luck require preparation. Proper Preparation require previous learning, previous failures.

 

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3D photos of conrad maldives resort, overwater, on land.

here are some photos in TRUE 3D of conrad maldives. (Not software created, taken with true real 3d camera)

taken overwater, on land

It makes you feel as if you are really there!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD 3D PICTURES CONRAD MALDIVES

how to view 3d? you need to download the files, put in in usb stick, upload to playstation 3 or 4, or plug the usb stick into a 3d blue ray player, or directly into a 3d tv.

The 3 d blue ray player or tv should detect the format MPO file and play 3d accordingly, assuming you already have 3d tv and player set up, with proper cables ( 3d need hdmi 1.4 cables)

 

for PS3, and other sony blu ray (sony is weird that way, only files put in specific folders name, in order can be read by sony devices) you need to download the ps3 app from sony: playmemories studio.

Then put the MPO files in the usb stick in this order: (create DCIM folder, Create 123_RAJA subfolder)

DCIM/123_RAJA/sample.mpo

 

NIKON 1 J3 underwater & nikon WP-N2 housing review

 

i have been diving and taking pictures with my nikon1 j3.

It was my first serious underwater camera  ( apart from my 3 d camera, 3d camcorder, and my new sony a7 full frame).

I used to have a go pro. But I drop it after discovering the go pro have a distortion underwater, and cannot take still photos properly, and cannot allow you to get access to creative  controls. Even in video wide angle, there are distortions and peripheral astigmatism, possibly due to the flat design lenses and housing of the go pro.

My old gopro got flooded, do to weakness of the closing mechanism, so watch out for the closing mechanism. if in doubt, buy a new housing for the gopro.

this is my usual set up: (my camera)

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NIKON 1 J3 review:

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why i like the nikon 1 j3 for underwater:

  • very fast autofocus. nikon 1 series are the only few cameras that both have the phase and contrast autofocus built in. The focus is versatile, precise and fast, making it faster than most dslr. Fast autofocus is important for underwater use, as most fish areshy and swim very fast away.
  • the ONLY camera i know of, that can be taken underwater, that can record full HD video, and allow you to take snapshot pictures in FULL resolution at the same time!  This function allow the underwater cameraman to get both those previous videos moment and still photos. Other cameras only take snapshot in 2 meg if you are shooting video at the same time
  • It also allow shooting still in difficult situation (whale sharks, fluo) where there is a lot movements or currents, and in situations where like most divers, you do not have the luxury of time, or private guide, so you only have a few seconds to make the shot and at the same time taking video of that rare animal behavior
  • Very easy to change settings underwater. It has a recent memory changes function. you can recall the most used changes in 1-2 click
  • it allow TRUE underwater panoramic picture. very easy to make, just scan. can the DSLR do that? panoramic underwater photos are so cool
  • the image sharpness is great
  • DEDICATED NIKON made UNDERWATER housing
  • It allow versatility of video: allow you to shoot super slow mo, or at 400fps. Very useful for rare subject like stargazer or other animal feeding behavior

So can your DSLR do all that while keeping a small form factor to be able for snorkeling whale shark?

The weakness of the nikon1 j3 underwater:

  • shooting with flash only allow shutter sync 1/60, making the creative control of the background more difficult (getting black background)
  • camera heats up if you do continuos video after 35 min. it has a auto turn off feature. Heat is a problem with the small nikon diving housing wpn2
  • resolution is less than full frame sony A7 (my other new full frame underwater camera)
  • limited lens selection with the underwater housing, only 10-30mm available

THE TECH SPECS of nikon 1 j3:

effective Pixels

14.2 million
Sensor Size

13.2mm x 8.8mm
Image Sensor Format

CX
Storage Media

SD
SDHC
SDXC
Top Continuous Shooting Speed at full resolution

15 frames per second with AF; 30/60 fps with focus locked on first frame
ISO Sensitivity

160-6400
Movie

HD: 1920 x 1080/60i
HD: 1920 x 1080/30p
HD: 1280 x 720/60p
HD: 1280 x 720/30p
Slow-motion: 640 x 240/400fps
Slow-motion: 320 x 120/1200fps
Motion Snapshot: 1920 x 1080/60p (plays at 24p)
Audio file format: ACC
Movie file format: MOV
Monitor Size

3.0 in. diagonal
Monitor Type

TFT-LCD with brightness adjustment
Battery / Batteries

EN-EL20 Lithium-ion Battery
Approx. Dimensions (Width x Height x Depth)

4.0 in. (101 mm) x 2.4 in. (60.5 mm) x 1.1 in. (28.8 mm)

Approx. Weight

7.1 oz. (201 g)

 

NIKON WP-N2 Waterproof Housing:

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pros of the nikon wp n2 underwater housings:

  • versatile
  • small and extremely light
  • nikon made, all the controls are easy to change.
  • Shutter button is a lever and very responsive
  • standard 67 mm thread. allow you to put wet lenses, macro, uv filter and remove it underwater
  • has cold shoe for spot light or other accessories mount
  • DUAL optical out for flash, allow TTL shoots, very convenient
  • tinted screen allow to see the lcd and preview pictures easily and accurately underwater
  • comes with all the required accessories
  • locking mechanism is easy and fool proof
  • O ring so far has been good, minimal maintenance required

weakness:

  • Inside the waterproof housing, the nikon j3 heat up easily after more than 30 min of continuous video
  • then you have to wait up to 5 min for the camera to cools down.  Possibly missing crucial shots
  • zoom sometimes works, sometimes don’t. Not as responsive
  • difficult to order replacement O ring for this case (hello nikon ??!)

 

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3D pictures overwater samples

for you to compare and enjoy some 3d taken OVERwater, on land

how to view 3d? you need to download the files, put in in usd stick, upload to playstation 3 or 4, or plug the usb stick into a 3d blue ray player, or 3d tv. It should detect the format MPO file and play 3d accordingly.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD 3 D PHOTOS SAMPLES, ON LAND, OVERWATER

 

for PS3, and other sony blu ray (sony is weird that way, only files put in specific folders name, in order can be read by sony devices) you need to download the ps3 app from sony: playmemories studio.

Then put the MPO files in the usb stick in this order: (create DCIM folder, Create 123_RAJA subfolder)

DCIM/123_RAJA/sample.mpo

 

3D pictures raja ampat samples, and the 3 d differences with 2 d photos

What are the main differences shooting pictures still in 3 d compared to 2 d pictures underwater?

  • 3d is better when shooting on top of corals, giving a real view as if you are diving
  • 3d is better for corals and wide angles
  • 3d is harder for macros, not impossible, but harder to get proper alignment and axial focus.
  • 3d is great for school of fish : in 2 d photos, the school of fish looks boring, fish everywhere. But in 3d? wow! it pops out of the page. It has to be seen in 3d
  • background: in 2 d, photographers usually try to get black blackground, isolating the subject to get more pop. In 3d, you need to get the background in the picture, making the subject pop compared to the background.
  • Details: with 3d, the more details in the pictures the better. Photos in 3d of many depth variations, like school of fish, trees, leaves, corals, etc looks amazing in 3d.
  • composition: what ever you see in detail and in real life, looks good in 3d. The more realistic view you take when taking 3d photos, the better.
  • 3d photo underwater require more light than 2d photos
  • places like raja ampat, where there is a lot of wide angle shots opportunities, or lot of corals, are great for taking 3d photos.

Here are SOME free samples to demonstrate the difference in 2 d and 3 d (of course i keep all the juicy 3ds for private collection, like rare shots, nice shots, fish, flash used, macros etc..) i will release more later when i have more time.

look at the 3 d pictures with only one eye, or in 2 d version, then  compare the same details in 3d, you will then know what i mean.

3d pictures is the future of underwater photos and videos. I have also shot video underwater in 3. It is just so cool. Have you seen 3 d fluo diving? I will post it later.

3d pictures below are taken at misool, raja ampat, indonesia

pictures shot in 3d in ambiant light, or dive lights, no red filter:

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD 3D DIVING PICTURES RAJA AMPAT UNDERWATER:

how to view 3d? you need to download  all the mpo files, put in in usb stick, upload to playstation 3 or 4, or plug the usb stick into a 3d blue ray player, or directly into a 3d tv.

The 3 d blue ray player or tv should detect the format MPO file and play 3d accordingly, assuming you already have 3d tv and player set up, with proper cables ( 3d need hdmi 1.4 cables)

link to 3d intro

 

for PS3, and other sony blu ray (sony is weird that way, only files put in specific folders tree name, in order, that can be read by sony devices) you need to download the ps3 app from sony: playmemories studio.

Then put the MPO files in the usb stick in this order: (create DCIM folder, Create 123_RAJA subfolder)

DCIM/123_RAJA/sample.mpo

3D pictures diving underwater maldives, samples

here are some samples of 3 d underwater. taken at conrad maldives resort last year

Like i discussed earlier, 3 d technology is made for underwater, giving us a needed sense of depth, making all the details more visible. Everything seems to be floating in 3d.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD 3D UNDERWATER MALDIVES

how to view 3d? download the files, put in in usb stick, upload to playstation 3 or 4, or plug the usb stick into a 3d blue ray player, or 3d tv. It should detect the format MPO file and play 3d accordingly.

 

 link to 3d photos and videos intro page

for PS3, and other sony blu ray (sony is weird that way, only files put in specific folders name, in order can be read by sony devices) you need to download the ps3 app from sony: playmemories studio.

Then put the MPO files in the usb stick in this order: (create DCIM folder, Create 123_RAJA subfolder)

DCIM/123_RAJA/sample.mpo

Geranium restaurant

it is our second time in geranium. it was classified as 48 /50 best restaurant in the world, and in my opinion, it should be higher ranked than a lot of other restaurants we tried ( hello nahm ?, ledbury ?)

we arrived jet lag, and we forgot that the time difference with london is one hour ahead, so we actually booked the restaurant 45 min after landing, instead of 1hour 45 min as we previously thought!

it is a good thing copenhagen is efficient. but we were still 20 min late at the restaurant.

the restaurant was very efficient, meals were coming out according to your speed, which was perfect for us.

cuisine is molecular, modern

food was very inventive, tasty, most dishes combinations works very well together. The only dish that we found weird was the mussels and the sauce, it brought out too much “fishy-ness”

is it worth it? yes. definitely