Thursday, January 29, 2009

Waterproof Camera Models and Cases: Olympus, Pentax, Canon, Nikon, Dicapac

How would you review and rate waterproof if you ever feel the need to have one? For which activity? Would you go for compact, handy and easy to carry
waterproof camera models in order to survive water splashes, rain, even corrosive salt-water for snorkeling but not for SCUBA diving? Do you require video-recording function? and lastly, the price should be affordable and within your budget?

Waterproof Cameras are presently dominated by only two manufacturers: Olympus and Pentax with numerous models to choose from with high megapixels and maximum depths specifications.

Olympus Waterproof Camera Models:

Olympus Stylus 1050SW, Olympus Stylus 1030SW, Olympus Stylus 850SW, Olympus Stylus 790SW, Olympus Stylus 770SW, Olympus Stylus SW 720

Waterproof Pentax Camera Models:

Pentax Optio W60, Pentax Optio W30, Pentax Optio W20, Pentax Optio W10
(Pentax was the first one to come up with waterproof digital camera model in 2003)

Beyond Olympus and Pentax, there's GoPro Digitial Hero 3: wrist mounted camera in waterproof case, helmet-mount and deck mount kits available. Other models also Vivitar VIVICAM-6200W or SeaLife SL321 ECOshot for SCUBA Diving but comes with no zoom lens and not-so-good image quality.

If you need to go deeper, more than the specified depths of the cameras, you can buy underwater cases for your cameras, be it Canon, Nikon, Sony et al. Underwater cases for cameras are expensive, costing about $200 each and are only available on order basis in the Philippines.

You can, however, try Dicapac, cheap underwater camera case, so as not to lose image quality but take note of white balance problems when shooting underwater. Will post sample pictures and photos later.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Genealogy: How to trace Family Tree in the Philippines

Did you ever feel curious on who your ancestors were? If you have a blood line to a hero or a criminal? Or simply to trace where a mysterious genetic disorder first appeared in your family tree?

I once tried to trace my family tree but got a dead-end early due to lack of information sources. Too bad my granparents were already dead when I need to ask them so many questions.

For those still interested in tracing their family tree, you need to start with your relatives, parents and grandparents for the immediate tree. Then ask old people for information.

Consult records of birth registries in your town and church records for baptisms (particularly for Catholics)

Try also to buy or use a genealogy software or family tree software to make it easy to document and search, instead of just using paper or simple spreadsheet.

One of the best available resource right now is in the hands of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, popularly called Mormons, with their central temple on Temple Drive, Green Meadows Quezon City.

The Mormons, being family-oriented, took the task of creating and archiving copies in microfilm of birth registries and church records and was able to create a searchable database of family genealogies that they call Family Seach.

Tracing family trees is a worthwhile activity, highly rewarding. Records should always be updated. Some information kept in the dark may come out like records of infidelity and adoptions but they're already part of history and should never be changed but rather learn from it.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Morning Banana Diet Side Effects

There's a diet craze in Japan centered on the ubiquitous banana: the Morning Banana Diet. The plan is simple, eat three bananas in the morning then drink a glass of warm water

The good thing about it is that the bananas are from the Philippines. The most famous banana variety for export is the cavendish banana variety.

Many people swear it's effecive, dietitians warn against the diet saying breakfast should be a complete meal and not just bananas.

morning banana diet side effects? weight loss? :P

warning though, don't eat bananas if you have kidney problem due to bananas' high potassium content...that's according to a doctor friend of mine.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

DFA: Green Passport no longer valid in January 2010 a Hoax

Too many blogs posted information about this while an email is making the rounds about the passport advisory warning holders of old green passports to renew them for they will no longer be valid effective January 2010.

The typical cynical me checked the official website of the Department of Foreign Affairs for the authoritative source of news advisories and yet there are no statements nor press releases about the validity of the green passports.

I can only smell something: It's a hoax.

I suspect people from travel agencies want to cash in on the advisory for them to make money or just some misinformed souls.

Digging deeper since I found none at the DFA site, I found a statement of Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Domingo Lucenario Jr. in a Philippine Daily Inquirer report "the two earlier passport versions would still be recognized in ports around the world until expiration."

To be really sure, I called up the DFA hotline 556-0000, something I don't usually do since I hate calling up government offices, the reply I got was that the "green passport is valid for travel until expiration date provided it's not within six months from the date of travel."

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) started issuing Machine Readable Passports (MRP) last year to be th April 2010 deadline set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for the phaseout of manually processed passports. It intends to issue more secure e-Passports this year.

Related Links:
Passport Application Requirements and Renewal
Passport Application Requirements and Passport Renewal Procedures

a copy of the supposed passport advisory is posted below, note the passport application requirements and renewal are correct. The non-validity of green passports beyond January 2010 is a hoax!
---


ADVISORY
Department of Foreign Affairs
Travel Agency Section

Please be advised that effective January 2010, the green colored Philippine Passport will no longer be accepted even if it is still valid. Below are the list of new requirement for the application and renewal of Philippine Passport.

FOR RENEWAL MINOR AND ADULT

REQUIREMENTS:
1. OLD PASSPORT
2. 3 PASSPORT SIZED PICTURES W/ROYAL BLUE BACKGROUND WEARING DARK COLORED POLO/BLOUSE
3. PROPERLY ACCOMPLISHED APPLICATION FORM
4. IF 18YRS OLD & BELOW, SUBMIT PHOTOCOPY OF BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND ORIG. PASSPORT OF MOTHER (TO BE SIGNED AND THUMBMARKED BY MOTHER ON
THE APPLICATION FORM AND UNDERTAKING)

PROCESSING TIME: 12WORKING DAYS

FOR NEW PASSPORT (ADULT)

REQUIREMENTS:
1. AUTHENTICATED BIRTH CERTIFICATE, IF LATE REGISTRATION SUBMIT 2 OLD DOCUMENTS (EG. BAPTISMAL WITH DRY SEAL, FORM 137, VOTER'S AFFIDAVIT)
2. IF MARRIED WOMAN, AUTHENTICATED MARRIAGE CONTRACT
3. 3 PASSPORT SIZED PICTURES W/ROYAL BLUE BACKGROUND WEARING DARK COLORED POLO/BLOUSE
4. ORIGINAL I.D. (COMPANY, SSS, VOTER'S, DRIVER'S)
5. FILLED UP APPLICATION FORM WITH SIGNATURE IN UNDERTAKING (2ND PAGE OF APPLICATION FORM). PLS. DON'T SIGN AND DON'T AFFIX THUMBMARK ON

GREEN APPLICATION FORM

FOR NEW PASSPORT/MINOR BELOW 18 YEARS OLD

1. AUTHENTICATED BIRTH CERTIFICATE
2. AUTHENTICATED MARRIAGE CONTRACT OF PARENTS IF MARRIED. IF NOT PARENTS ARE NOT MARRIED, AFFIDAVIT OF ILLEGITIMACY
3. 3 COPIES PASSSPORT SIZED PICTURE W/ROYAL BLUE BACKGROUND WEARING DARK COLORED POLO/BLOUSE
4. DULY FILLED UP APPLICATION FORM, IF 8YRS OLD & ABOVE DON'T SIGN AND DON'T AFFIX THUMBMARK. BUT IF 7 YRS & BELOW, FORM SHOULD BE SIGNED
AND THUMBMARKED BY MOTHER
5. ORIGINAL VALID PASSPORT OF MOTHER
6. PHOTOCOPY OF SCHOOL I.D. IF STUDENT
7. IF TRAVELLING WITHOUT PARENTS NEED DSWD CLEARANCE AND ORIGINAL PASSPORT OF TRAVELLING COMPANION

NOTE:
1. FOR MINORS BELOW 8 YRS OLD NEW AND RENEWAL, MOTHER IS FOR PERSONAL APPEARANCE AT DFA
2. FOR 8-17 YRS OLD NEW AND RENEWAL, APPLICANT AND MOTHER ARE FOR PERSONAL APPEARANCE AT DFA
3. FOR 18-64 YRS OLD NEW AND RENEWAL, PERSONAL APPEARANCE IS A MUST. ONLY 65 YEARS OLD & ABOVE ARE EXEMPTED FROM PERSONAL APPEARANCE
PROCESSING TIME: 12WORKING DAYS AFTER PERSONAL APPEARANCE


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Color Temperature: Halogen, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Daylight and Combined Lighting

As i've just bought a remote control for my Nikon D80 plus a light tent to make my own cheap table top studio combined with amy table halogen lamp and tripod.


This time, i appreciated setting my camera's color temperature to achieve white balance using halogen continuous lighting not possible with my old Canon EOS 300D camera (walang K)

Color temperature settings I googled and experimented on:

Daylight:5500 degrees Kelvin
Fluorescent: around 5500 Kelvin degrees
Tungsten: 2700-2800K
Neodymium lamps: around 3000 Kelvin degrees
Halogen lamps: 2800 to 3400 K

Notes:

An 80B filter converts 3200K light to 5500K. You'll need a combination of an 80B with an 82A to correct the light from a household bulb to approximate 5500K.

correction filter for use of daylight films with halogen lamps is the 80A.
Light bulbs, a stronger blue filter, a 80B

Incandescent includes tungsten, neodymium, halogen

As Tungsten Incandescent bulbs age the color temperature gets continuously lower (more red/yellow); not the case with Halogen lights. Dimming either type of light shifts the color temperature downward (becomes more red/yellow)

I wonder what's the setting for white balance when doing underwater photography :P

Friday, January 16, 2009

Air21 Door to Door Delivery

I ordered a few items from an online store in Binondo selling photography equipment

Haida IR filter,
photobox (light tent)
and remote control for my Nikon D80

i requested them to be sent to me via courier after depositing the payment to their bank account.

The items were delivered to me the following day for P168 fee.
the 168 is ominous probably for the Chinese who sent the items to me. I still have to test the items though particularly the remore control and the Haida IR filter

It seems Air21 is cheaper than LBC...there's an LBC branch near my home but i didn't like the attitude of the people there, too indiferrent and don't know how to smile.

Monday, January 05, 2009

How to Block Blog Comment Spam Tips for Blogger/Wordpress

On December 30, 2008, while I was on blog holiday, a spammer went on a spamming frenzy on this blog to comment on a lost cause and probably to catch my attention on something "remarkable"

The spammer spent about 3 hours to post the same comment on almost a hundred posts of this blog...

Tips to avoid Blog Comment Spam:

1. Enable Word Verification, technically called Captcha, effective in weeding out spambots (automated spamming scripts) from humans.

2. Consider moderating comments. It's better than allowing all comments then delete later for greater control. Enabling comment moderation can make do without Word Verification but the latest spammer here indicated I could have slowed the spammer down with the captcha.

3. Look for anti-spam plugins (for wordpress and other blogging platform) but like other anti-spam tools, you need to review the spam filder for false-positives.

4. Disable comment box or disallowing comments. I did this for the most spammed post in this blog.

5. Try to block the IP address of the spammer if using a static IP address.

6. Try to contact the ISP of the spammer for abuse i violation of their Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

you want to know who's spamming me? they're guys/agents of Fern-C on a spamming frenzy!

about the spam deluge, the spammer's effort of 3 hours spamming comments, stole about three minutes of my time deleting them. I don't want to waste more time reading a "press release" as if it will change anything. I just want them to stop doing those deceptive sales presentation of theirs.

Thursday, January 01, 2009