Thursday, 31 July 2014

The Sony a57 in Kota Kinabalu. A users Review.

Hello Folks,

Howdy, I believe you are all in the pink of health and living Life in your own unique way. As I have often said ... '' Look to this day for it is Life, The very Life of Life. '' Well, with so many wars , conflicts, and man made disasters around the world today, it's not surprising to see Monotheism and Religious believes rising everywhere !! Always remember to hold a clear mind in everything we do, whether its a financial matter, Religion, Love Life or even our Personal Life, remember the key word here is '' Moderation ''. And for me its simply ... '' The Middle Path ''. Look how lucky we are here in Malaysia, even though we may have a few Mishap along the way, but if one were to look at the situation over at say, Syria, Gaza, Nigeria or Libya. We are a million times more fortunate and blessed lot then them. It is sad that we are helpless to do anything at all.

Argh !! ...Back to the things I do best, and that's ... Photography. This is not a full review of my new toy , the Sony a57, but rather my own user opinion and a brief review of the pros & cons of this cam while on an outing in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. The a57 has been with me for about 2 months and initially I wanted to do a review a few weeks back, but held back as I was going to Sabah for an outing with our fellow Chiaroscuro members . It was an outing that was way overdue as most of our members have their own work commitments.  

This time around, I shall do the reverse by going to the conclusion first so that you all can sit back and enjoy the all important part of any review ... The Images !!

I shall start with the Ergonomics. I have handled the a57 when it was first launch a few years back and I must say it is Perfect for us Asian hands. The grip of the camera hugs your fingers like a glove ... 5 stars here !! The Menu layouts are way more user friendly then those from my previous Olympus cameras. The weight distribution and the Tilted screen are as good as any mid -range DSLR in the market today. I love the sweep Panorama and most of the scenes mode and the Movie ( Full HD ) is more then adequate for the occasional movie user in me. 

Now for the stills, those who are close to me would have known that I mostly shoot jpeg. Only when there's a need to print large then I will shoot RAW. The Jpegs in this cam is a little soft and need to be tweak for optimum results. For this, I must say that the jpeg from my Oly cameras are far better, if not the best there is, out there !! If you're serious enthusiast who wants details and pixel peep, then simply shoot ... RAW !! The difference is clear and substantial to some. The colours and WB are areas where the alpha shines and the frame rates are just perfect for today's need.

Everything about this camera is just fine , except for just one Gripe that I personally hate .... The Average Metering !! As an ardent landscape and sunset photographer, the Metering on is a little too sensitive and too quick when you change your area of composition. The end results are, too many too often , overblown Highlights !! I have to constantly under exposed most of my backlit shots by the Maximum -3 stops . Woah !!  That's huge in any Photographic terms. But for us old school photogs, that's just part and parcel of our learning curves back in the Film days ... Ha,Ha. All you need to do is just press that AEL ( Exposure Lock )  button and recomposed. Its having to constantly press the AEL button that irritates me. And for me, that is an area ( Metering ) , where Olympus Excels !! I have shot thousands of sunrise & sunset pics with my past Oly cams, and non has given me this headache ... !!

As a whole, this is almost an all round camera for its price range. One that will be perfect for travels, sports and lowlights shootings. The ergonomics and handlings simply outweights its slight Metering short comings ... Far Out !! Remember, this is just my personal opinion only,and its my down to earth view of the a57 itself ... .. Relax and feast your eyes on another record 100+ Pics of my trip to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. 

All Pics except the first group photo were shot with the a57 and the 18-55 kit lens and nothing else  !!

First off ... My fellow '' BAND OF BROTHERS '' from This is one of our Finest outings ever ..!!

Our Host and the Man who made it happen over there ... Doctor Soon Ruey !!

And here's Yours Truly with Mount Kinabalu as a Backdrop ... Yikes !!

Here are some '' Tools of the Trades '' used by our Free Masons ...Ha,Ha !!


And here are the mixed bags of goodies ...Yee Haa !!

There are so many types of Photographers one can find over at the Bay.  Well, here are some examples ... !!

There are those that shoot from ground level , here its a case of  ''Shoot Legs or Landscapes '' ...Ha,Ha.

Or those with Strong legs , but choose to add Extra Legs ... A '' Ang Mo '' firing away at the Sunset.

And finally there are those that shot from in front of their own Shadows ....Ha,Ha.


Now for some shots of those Beautiful Damsels of K.K. !!

And this Two Lovely and Sweet Korean Tourist .... 아름다운 소녀 . They are so Fair , Soft Spoken & Sweet . Oh ! How I wish I was Twenty Two again .... Adooooooiiiiii !!

Not forgetting the Young Ones !! ... The Lively & Active Kids of K.K. 

Now for the second day of our trip to Kinabalu Park and Porin Canopy Walk ( One of the Longest connecting canopy walk in Asia )  and the surrounding Flora .

Next some Pics from The Kundasang Diary Farm . This place looks  more or less like New Zealand .

Yet Another Fantastic resort along the way is The Pine Resort . Here surprisingly, it kinda resembles those Alpine Villages in Europe .

Inside the Cafe of the Pine Resort , an Old Swiss Style Pub & Restaurant  with its antique posters and Memorabilia. 

Next ... The War Memorial ( Dedicated To the Mostly Australian, Kiwis & British Soldiers ) who lost their lives in the Infamous Death March from Sandakan to Ranau. A total of 2,345 died in this almost forgotten historical event.  Its also known as '' The Bataan Death March ''. Sad thing is the present day Aussie Government recently sign a Military pact with the present ( Diehard ) Japanese government. Why the japs are trying so hard to deny History is really a puzzle to me ... Deng !!

The last stop of our second day was our stop at the Famous ... '' Rumah Terbalik ''. Everything inside this house as you might have guess, is ... Upside Down.

Everything including Me ... Ha,Ha. I am not going to show you the Toilet part, as I feel its a little ... Urgh !!

Finally for the main attraction .... The Mighty Mount Kinabalu !! A random mixed set of Pics from the over 100 + that I shot. Relax and take your time to just browse through this tiny collection ...!!

That's about it folks, when I have the time I will update and upload more pics. As there over 400+ Pics to choose from, I have to make short and Manageable for you'll to Browse through. Hope you  have fun reading as much as I do writing . Meanwhile, as usual, do take grace in any mistake that I might have made as I am in my 60's now ...Ha,Ha. Getting slow and poor sighted as the years goes by.  

Remember that the short Review is just my humble users opinion only and take it as a pinch of sugar ... Yee Haa !! Take care folks and remember to ... '' Treasure every moment in Life '' ...!!

Peace be with you All .... '' OM MANI PADME HUNG ''

Regards ..... Uncle James.