Images of the National Taichung Theater and the story of my lemon

National Taichung Theater
On December 30, I bought an Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III. This post contains the first handful of images I took with the camera while walking from Big Camera [相機王] in Taichung City to a nearby cafe to do some coursework. While familiarizing myself with the Olympus system I believe I took fewer than two hundred photographs during the holiday weekend.
Right this way...
The following Saturday morning (January 6), I was taking photographs of the children playing in the living room when the camera locked up. I had taken about twenty pictures and the camera fell asleep. When I pressed the shutter release to wake it up it was unresponsive so I turned it off. When I turned it back on, the lens extended and the scene was viewable through the LCD screen however none of the buttons were responsive. About five seconds later, the lens went back in and the camera shut itself off. I tried a few times and the problem repeated itself in every shooting mode.

The battery was fully charged and couldn’t possibly have drained that much during the twenty or so photographs from the morning. I tried again with a fully charged third-party battery, a different SD card, and removing and reattaching the lens but the camera remained unresponsive.

I took the camera back to the shop that afternoon. A staff member briefly checked the camera and ran the same tests I did. He said they would send it to Olympus to be checked. At this point I should have asked for an exchange but I let him send away the camera. I asked if we would need to send the battery, SD card, and warranty card and I was told that wouldn’t be necessary.

The following Tuesday (January 9), a mere two business days later I received a call from Olympus’s Taipei office. The representative told me that my camera was working properly. I told the rep that it worked improperly for me and for a staff member at the camera shop and explained how the camera had behaved. He said there may have been something wrong with the accessories that were bundled with the camera and asked me to send them.
On Blue
On January 15 I received an e-mail saying that all the accessories were functioning normally. In the e-mail the rep asked if they could reformat the SD card. In my response, I stated that I was very concerned why my camera locked-up for me and that I may have been sold a lemon. My camera was shipped back to Big Camera on January 20. A member of the staff tested it and it was working. I asked what work had been done to the camera and the report stated that no work had been done. I asked why it malfunctioned and there was no explanation on the work order. At this point, I stated that I was unsatisfied with the camera and asked for an exchange. The staff member said that they would contact Olympus on Monday and I would be able to pick up an exchange anytime after that.

Due to being busy during the week, I didn’t get out to Taichung to pick up my replacement until last Saturday (January 27). I understand that manufacturers churn out units by the tens of thousands and there are bound to be a few lemons here or there. Through this experience, I learned to demand an exchange right from the beginning rather than letting a retailer send away a new product.

Supersampler Cycling

Ride up Baguashan
Yellow Fever at 7-11

I recently found a Lomo Supersampler in my closet and have no idea how it got there.  Cathy is on a business trip at the moment so I have no way of ascertaining how this plastic camera came into our possession.  The Supersampler is a 35mm camera with four lenses which shoot in a sequence [4 pictures in 2 seconds or .2 seconds].  I’ve seen Lomo cameras on sale at bookstores in Taiwan as well as plenty hanging around the necks of hip college students.  I’ve never been tempted to purchase one because I could never justify spending over $2,000NT on a camera with a build quality only slightly better than a disposable.

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Daily Photo – What I’m Shooting

Camera Equipment
Every once in awhile I throw a few pictures of camera equipment online.  For some reason these pictures end up being extremely popular on the photo sharing website I use.  In fact, my second most popular photograph on the site in terms of views is simply a picture of my previous camera, a couple lenses, and a flash sitting in a camera bag.  I guess people really like to look at pictures of cameras.  So what am I shooting these days?


  • Nikon D90 – Upgraded from a D40, no regrets.
  • Nikon FM2(n) – Getting more and more use, I try to develop a roll of film every two weeks.


  • Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 – On the D90 most of the time, my general lens.
  • Nikkor 55-200 f/4-5.6 VR – Used when I’m  lurking around the recreational hiking trail near my house shooting butterflies.
  • Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 – When it’s too dark for the Tamron or I need optimal sharpness I use this.
  • Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 – On the FM2 at all times.
  • Nikkor 28-85 mm f/3.5-4.5 – Included with the FM2, besides a few practice shots I don’t use this lens.


  • SB-600 Speedlight – I should be using this a lot more than I currently do, especially considering I have all the accessories to get my flash off my camera.
  • An inexpensive tripod [I should have saved up for a better one], Lowepro Fastpack 250, a small Jenova shoulder bag, Ebay Triggers, sync cables, light stand, reversible umbrella, SanDisk Ultra II SDHC cards

Nikon D90 announced

Roughly two years after the D80 was announced Nikon announces the D90 to the world. The D90 inherits a few advanced features from Nikon’s pro-line as well as user friendly features from their entry model DSLRs.
Key Features include:

  • 12.3-megapixel DX-format CMOS imaging sensor: Coupled with Nikon’s EXPEED image processing technologies and NIKKOR optics
  • Continuous shooting as fast as 4.5 frames-per-second: Combined with fast 0.15ms power-up and split-second 65ms shooting lag
  • D-Movie Mode—Cinematic 24fps HD with sound: Record cinematic-quality movie clips at up to 720p HD (1280 x 720 pixels) in Motion JPEG format
  • Low noise ISO sensitivity from 200 to 3200 [100-6400 on Lo1 and Hi1]
  • 3-inch super-density 920,000-dot color LCD monitor: High resolution with a 170-degree wide-angle viewing
  • Built-in image sensor cleaning
  • 11-point AF system with Face Priority
  • One-button Live View
  • Nikon 3D Color Matrix Metering II with Scene Recognition System
  • GPS geo-tagging: GP-1 GPS unit (optional) provides automatic real-time geo-tagging

Nikon D90 Press Release
Digital Photography Review’s hands on preview

Having borrowed so much from Nikon’s professional line I immediately became tempted to upgrade.  At $999.95 US for the body who wouldn’t be?  Then, reality slowly crept in and I began to think about the images I have produced using my D40.  I throw a lot of images on Flickr on any given week.  Out of those I would rate a handful as great.  I really don’t know if owning a D90 would make those mountains of images that I feel are average better or those handful I think are great magically become spectacular.  There is a certain satisfaction in working hard to create something wonderful without burning a hole in your budget in the process.

I’ll try posting a photo a day for two weeks.  Some of these photos may be ones already buried deep in my photostream, while others either taken by Cathy or myself on our recent trip back to Michigan.  They’ll be posted because I like them for some reason, maybe you will too.  Hopefully they won’t be so awful that I’m removed from your feed reader as a result.

Lowepro Fastpack 250

Lowepro Fastpack 250

I finally got around to dusting off my old P3 to take some pictures of my Lowepro Fastpack 250. My previous camera bag was a simple shoulder bag which left my shoulder incredibly sore after hiking or carrying it around town all day. Since I began work in Caotun, it became quickly apparent that I would need a bag large enough to carry around my rain suit for the occasional daily downpours, my camera equipment because I’ve been appointed to photograph events at my school, and anything else I don’t want to stuff my in pockets during my daily commute.
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The Nikon D60 [a D40x with Dust Control]

Nikon announced a new model to replace their entry-level D40x [which discontinued production in December 2007]. The D40x was really only a megapixel improvement over the original D40 to put a model in the price gap that existed between the D40 and the D80.

The D60 is a 10.2-Megapixel camera and its kit comes bundled with the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR (Vibration Reduction) Image Stabilization Lens [a step up from previous kits which had lens that lacked Vibration Reduction].

One feature the camera packs that the D40 and D40x lack is Nikon’s Active Dust Reduction System with Airflow Control to help the model compete with other companies who have entry level cameras with this feature.

A couple noticeable drawbacks that weren’t improved upon on the D40(x) that may be a turn off for buyers: The camera still has 3 focus points and lacks an internal AF motor [although given the target audience, this probably isn’t considered a drawback].

All in all it appears to be a great camera for anyone making the jump from a point-and-shoot camera. As an entry-level model, it is nothing to trade your current DSLR for.

While they were at it, they also announced three new lenses to their line: The AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, the AF-S Micro-NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8G ED, and the PC-E NIKKOR 24mm f/3.5D ED.

Nikon D40

Residential buildings

Seems lately a big portion of the Taiwan Blogsphere is upgrading or contemplating upgrading their digital cameras: Michael [Turton] purchased a Canon Powershot S5 IS, Holly bought a Canon EOS 400D, Andres is contemplating between Canon and Nikon, and it seems Carrie is thinking about going DSLR.

As a reward to myself for taking on extra teaching hours over the summer, I finally broke down and purchased a Nikon D40.

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