Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Made Camera Armor for D90 : Review

As all of you know, i was like a small boy when i received the product for review. Initially, i thought it was made by Lowepro (the famous camera bag producer, i'm a big fan) but only found out it was made by Made.
This item is sold by Snap-Attack and it was on loan for me to test out over the weekend at the run (Energizer Night Race) which Snap-Attack were the unofficial (but official) photographer. Long story that one, but they have learnt that if "you are good at something, don't do it for free". Cut it short, Snap-Attack was one of the sponsor and was made official by the event organiser, but Snap-Attack did not get any mention in all print materials and the night's DJ announcement.
Onwards with the review. Please remember that this is not a paid review and the unit under review will be returned to the supplier tomorrow.
External/Opening of the Box
I rarely buy camera accessories and i was impressed with how the item were boxed up. The cover shows everything you want to know and there is a small window that allows you to "feel" the material and decide without opening the box. Lets face it, no one like to buy an opened product, what more if the box were damaged. I took extra care while opening it, as with all my other material items.
The unit i had fits my camera, the Nikon D90. I was told that there is another unit out for review which fits Nikon D300. The product manual shows a Canon being fitted and i believe this armor caters for most Nikon and Canon camera family that does not come with a build in battery grip (to be confirmed, later?)



Inside the box has 6 items plus two piece of manual to show how everything comes into play. The unit consist of the body armor, lens armor, lens cap lanyard, LCD protector, baseplate and an extension screw for tripod.
I've googled about this CameraArmor on google and ebay/amazon and apparently, there are imitation out there as well that only has three items and not six as above. If you plan to buy them online, please ensure that you are getting the real McCoy, else, best to get it from reliable sources (like from the guys in Snap-Attack).
For this review, i left these three items out : the lens cap lanyard(because it's double sided taped and i do not want to spoil it), the LCD protector (nifty, as the D90 already comes with a LCD protector, this can be a spare) and the tripod extender screw (as the thickness of this protector were between 5mm to 7mm, at various places)
Installation
Fixing the items requires some dis-assembly of your dSLR by removing the lens (and ensure that the body and lens back cap are closed to prevent dust from getting in).
It is as straight forward as putting on a shirt and pants for the camera. No brainer.
Here is how the camera looked like upon complete installation.


The D90 now looked rugged and changed. Most notable were the Nikon and D90 label went under the cover. Not good for those that likes to show people what they have and good for some that prefer not to show what they have. Some photogs are pretty sharp eyes and knows a model from just the shape of the camera and which lense attached at a glance. This silicon cover "camo" it all away!
The thick silicon also lend more surface area for the hand to land on. With thickness of about 5mm to 7mm (depending on where/which part), it gives the whole camera more bulk and "feel".
With the exception of the battery compartment, the design are well thought off and each and every buttons and opening were taken into consideration and are fully accessible. 
Real Life Use
I love to use my D90 with the battery grip as it allows me more area to hold the camera and also the ability to shoot vertically. The Camera Armor does allow certain level of modularity that i can forgo the baseplate and plug in my battery grip. I would rather FUNCTION over FORM and i do not want to risk cramping my hand/wrist/finger in an awkward position, more so if i am shooting vertically.

Camera Armor+D90+Stupe in action. Thank You PT Lim @ RunWitMe.blogspot.com
It does look a bit odd and i would say at this setup, the camera aren't protected fully. However, i did, on purpose, "slide" the camera off my fingers to the table to see just how much "impact" the silicon cover could absorb.
I was impressed; but i ain't going to purposely throw the camera down just to prove a point. The silicon cover is good enough for bumps and knocks while you strap it over your shoulder and need both hands to say, climb to a higher place, or crawl under the table - if the camera knocks into anything, THERE IS a LAYER of  protection present.
Another thing about this cover is that for the whole eight hours i was pressing the shutter, the sweat on my hand (wet because i wipe my sweat off my face) made the grip more "positive". There isn't any worry that the camera feels like slimy and will slip off my hand. Cool!
If there is any complain, it is the redundancy of the lens guard.
I was on kitlens 18-55 @ 52mm diameter and the protector, while fits, keep coming out and there will be high chances of it missing when you climb up and under some places. Luckily i did not stick the lens cap lanyard, else, it will be redundant as well. I was happy even if  ONLY the Camera Armor were on the body.
Conclusion
I would reccomend this product to those that do not mind the extra bulk and are looking for protection for their beloved gears. The lens guard will be redundant and i have no idea if it will fits well over larger diameter lense (such as 57mm or 62mm, but hunches says it will fit the D90 kitlens 18-105 at 67mm). I tried putting it over my Samyang Fisheyes and it couldn't...fit. Silly me.
As i removed the Camera Armor to mark the end of the review, i suddenly have my camera sans the silicon feel. I must say it did felt...naked.
But as with all things good, it has to come to an end. Time to return it and i boxed it up as how i received it four days ago!
If any of you are interested to purchase this, please contact my buddies at WWW.SNAP-ATTACK.COM or email them at info@snap-attack.com.
I do not know what will be the selling price, but i was made to understand the indicative price would be mid-RM200. Ebay/Amazon are selling this original item at about USD80++ (not inclusive of delivery) and i guess the guys at Snap-Attack might just have their pricing right and maybe lower. Do check with them!
I believe my this review is most probably the most comprehensive you could get on the world wide web as i myself can't find anything better than what i just did (unbiased test). Thank you Snap-Attack for the opportunity!
Now, i hope Made Products, Inc will read this review and consider to send me one unit FOC for this unsolicited review and/or send over the battery grip protector as well for a complete covered review of the product.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

IronMan Langkawi 2010 PhotoBook

I just recieved my IMMY Photobook done by Snap-Attack.com.
I had my first one done last year and this year, they suprised me by providing me another one (and i pay them, of course).

Here is what you get for RM450~RM500 (PROMOTIONAL PRICE 2010). Bear in mind that these chaps in Snap-Attack.com ploughed through the day for 17hours non-stop to capture the images, and shortlist them that are worthy to be used, post-processed and printed into personalised photobooks.
Snap-Attack.com does more than just sports photography and if any of you need their services, you can contact them at their webpage and tell them what you want.
Prices are of course depending on the assignment and the guys works on volume and charges according to the numbers. So, if you have say, a group of people each requesting pesonalised album for an event, the individual charges will be cheaper than only a couple getting married/registered.
Snap-Attack.com aims to be affordable and gives you the best value for money with great shots and post-production effort.
Edited 31st March to include the Actual Photobook as per these two photos
What impresses me more was how much they looked the same physically and the pics from the PDF that Snap-Attack emailed me to check for approval!!!
Here are all 21 pages of it with no less than 40 photos! You have to bloody pay RM1.5K to get 21pieces of corny wedding photos outside!
Be your own judge and see their work yourself!
EDITED 1st April 2010 : If you are interested to engage Snap-Attack! to take photos of your events, engagement (or break-ups), fish, dogs, cats, father, mother, family, in-laws (out-laws too), underwater (or any water), food, products etc etc, call:

Shazly Khan at Digi- 646 FOUR FOUR 6 FOUR 
Jason Hue at Maxis - 273 ONE THREE ONE 8
(Have to do it this way to prevent bots from picking up stuffs like these) 




Friday, March 26, 2010

Camera Armor First Touch

I felt like a small boy opening a present 5mins ago.



The packing were done pretty nicely with transparent windows for you to scrutinise and feel.

The armor was not made by Lowepro as i initially thought but by Camera Armor (aptly making camera armor) and it is a dull silicon jacket of about 5mm thick.

This thing gives the impression that it will withstand some pretty tough abuse of sweaty hands and incidental bumps as you climb around.

Only setback for now is that i can't use this with the battery grip that i have so greatly gotten used to.

The camera armor comes in 6 parts.


There is a manual to show you how it would install it onto your D90 in the box.

There are buttons all dedicated and embossed onto the silicon which will not make you wonder which button to press.

The lens protector looked like it could double up as a hood. This is good as my 18-55VR do not have a hood!

If this is out in the market and i sees it, feel it...first impression would say i will buy it if i have ready cash to spare.

It felt sturdy even in the plastic moulded casing it comes with-that us just how much the silicon armor lend as a protection even to itself.
The review stops here for now as i do not have my camera with me - but am already excited.

To be continued...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lowepro Nikon D90 Silicon Armor

Nikon D90 users, take note.

If your photography hobby goes beyond just the normal street, i was told by a bird that Lowepro Malaysia will bring in this item.

It's a D90 body and lens armor exactly like this one below.
Image taken from http://www.bristolcameras.co.uk
I was told by the same bird that I, Lim Ee-Van will get to try this out this Saturday during the Energizer Night Marathon at Cyberjaya.

No price indication and no actual feel of how it is like for NOW, but rest assured, the world (well, at least in Malaysia) will know how it is like by Monday.

Stay tune, or join Snap-Attack.com's Facebook FanPage for updates.

Snap-Attack.com is also the authorised seller for a host of products and do contact them for your need!



Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Biotherm Race To Gain Competition



Are you a Biotherm user like me?



I’ve been the user of their AquaSource Ultra-Cool Hydrating Gel and I’ve never turned back since.
When they launched a set of new homme (or man, if your French is non-existence) facial care than promised to recharge fatigue skin.
It is no longer considered as “man” if you do not have a grooming regime and the “metrosexual” trend going around for the past 5 years, men nowadays put more care into their skin care regime.
Facial are no longer confined to women and men are equally vain when it comes to beauty.
Biotherm Homme Recharge is like you overhauling your combination, or even normal skin and giving it the cleansing, charging and reservoir it has so badly been craving.
There is a fan page on Facebook for Biotherm user and currently they are having a contest promotion for the upcoming F1 race in Sepang.
It is called Race to Gain and you stand to win Biotherm Homme (that’s for male) products and tickets to the Petronas Malaysian F1 Grand Prix! 
Click this red sentence to the Facebook Link to Biotherm








What does the game entails?

Here is my lame attempt to try it. When you first click on the Race To Gain tab in the Facebook page, you will be brought to the starting screen
If you are a game noob like me, press on the “How To Play” button to understand how this game are played.
The game that you will be playing ties back to the new products’ cleansing regime of the new products.
The game is divided into three parts. The first part (or Step 1) were aptly called “Revitalise Cleansing” where you have to “clean” the visor of the F1 driver’s helmet.
Yeap, for your info, the duty of wiping the F1 Driver’s visor are reserved for the upper echelon amongst the pit crew. It is not something any pitcrew gets to do. It is like you being a waterboy to the driver where you test every single drink and food the driver takes to ensure that the food is safe.







You have to align the red button that in this stage, do not move, with the bigger donut, that moves. Every “hit” you get are labeled as Perfect, Good or Fail. Every hit will have their own scoring.
Once this is done, the second stage (or Step 2) are called “Prepare and Energise” where your task now is to change the tires on the speed machine. This is similar to preparing your skin and getting it ready to be energized or moisturized. This is strictly a machoman work as hauling those big (but light) magnesium alloy rims and removing it with powertools is the epitome of manliness. Yeap, Macho Man moisturizes.







While doing that, you will notice a tachometer like indicator in the middle where it will move clockwise. The slower you press your spacebar, the higher the number become and once it touches the redline…you failed that stage.
So, accuracy AND speed is utmost importance here.




So far so good?
The last stage (Step 3) is called “Energy Resevoir” where it’s akin to putting moisturizer onto your skin and recharging them back to youth. This time, you get to play the role of the only pit crew that dressed differently. The Fuel-man. Doing this requires superhero ability in real life and in this game as real men ensure that they take care of their skin and keep reserves to maintain it from looking worn or old, or results of any combination skin issues.







Just how hard is the game?
Just like doing the Biotherm Homme 3 Steps skincare to Recharge your face, it’s simple. You will keep improving and before you know it, it is part of your grooming regime!
Here are my 3 attempts at playing it and you can see just how much I improved!









The top 10 players has astronomical score in their pocket, but I ain’t giving up yet. I already found a trick or two to improve on my score, but I am not going to share them. I want the F1 Ticket

You will be asked to register with a valid email and also your IC number (so if you win, you can claim your prize) with address.  Hardly a sweat really and every time you play, you will just need to enter your details at the end of the game to submit your score.

This contest start from 15th March 2010 until 31st July 2010 and a monthly winner with the highest score wins!


























The prizes should set you to really start playing and mastering the game and you have up to four and a half months to do it!








So, what are you waiting for? Prizes up to RM5000 awaits you and there is the free tixs to the F1 Race in Sepang in April!
If you do not get the tixs you stand to win the Biotherm Homme Recharge products, which makes you look better than some F1 Driver (or so you hope). How does that sound?
Click the tab "Race to Gain" and get set, ready and GO!
P.S  - you can even challenge your friends if you know their username. Loser buy F1 Tickets!
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