Monthly Archives: October 2012

Konsert BERSIH 8T: Inside

On the 13th of October 2012, I went down to Konsert BERSIH 8T at the Kelana Jaya Stadium. This would also be known as #BersihRocks on Twitter. Again, as an observer, I went incognito, not in yellow. I figure if they start carting away people in yellow, I should still be around to take pictures.

This is Part 2; Part 1 is here.

It was raining when I got here, and the guy on stage was James Nagason. I can see why it rained. Sorry dude you got some pitching to fix.

It was 6:15PM and the crowd was mostly at the back, where the stalls were – the action was all there.

His guitar wasn’t in tune either.

Garrison set the mood for the evening – proper, rebellious, punk rock.

Then it was random-noise-rock outfit Maharajah Commission.

Featuring folk guitarist Azmyl Yunor in a different mode.

The crowd was mostly up on the stands, next to the stage! So everybody was looking to the side instead.

I also sauntered backstage and found Adam Adli being interviewed and Mat Sabu being photographed with.

Soon it was dark, and a few short films were screened, including one amusing video about how to ensure your vote is secret via randomization, by Tindak Malaysia, featuring Annie Ooi (Aunty Bersih) and Patrick Teoh.

I can’t find the video on Youtube, but when I do I’ll update this.

Michelle Hoo, producer, composer and lyricist of the Bersih tribute song, Tears Of Malaysia.

Here with the group that sang the song.

Koh Jun Lin of Malaysiakini has a distinctive style that lets everybody know that he is a photographer, complete with kneepads. I guess he was ready for tear gas and water cannons. There was none of that, that evening.

Then, it was time for awesome acoustic fingerstyle guitarist Ray Cheong!

From above.

Check out the sea of yellow!

Click the picture for a full-resolution view.

Forget what Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat have to say about the attendance numbers – you can count for yourself the number of people on the field. Bear in mind that there were still many people seated on the stands to the left and right of the stage, not forgetting the people who’d rather be at the carnival-like atmosphere at the stalls behind! Of course, the BERSIH 2.0 committee, who gave out receipts to acknowledge donation, would know the exact number.

Fahmi Fadzil, emcee and learned scholar of the music performed that evening.

This rock concert allowed this mother to bring her kids in prams, a better outing for them than a sunny tear gassy day.

Dudes not in yellow. No biggie, just keeping a note on faces.

Dum Dum Tak, proper straight punk rock, gets a Chinese uncle skanking, and his wife slapping him on his shoulder. Real cute moment that was.

Atama, also on the BERSIH 2.0 Steering Committee, goes on stage and shows us hip-hop mixed with Sumazau. WOW!

Do the Sumazau, he tells us. Hishamuddin Rais and many others join along!

Nik Jidan, an excellent folk singer sings songs about (literally) fallen political aide Teoh Beng Hock and Asalkan Bukan UMNO.

He is joined by Vijay, Assistant Coordinator of Jom Pantau.

Azira Aziz turns a year older today! How old, I don’t know, but she can’t be a day over 16 from her cartoony ears.

Hui Se Di Dai usually plays Chinese rock but the guy who loves his Jaguar played a Rastafari classic.

Republic Of Brickfields with iconic Aru, sang an obvious cover – Get Up, Stand Up. Stand up for your rights!

Spotted in the crowd, following the instructions at the gate not to bring in any party logos, were Tony Pua and Teresa Kok. Apparently Fahmi Fadzil gets confused for Tony Pua sometimes. To add to that, I had to double-check if that was indeed Teresa Kok and not Elizabeth Wong, but that’s just me being not so familiar with how they look.

There is one unmistakeable man, though – National Laureate, Dato’ A. Samad Said, and co-chairperson of BERSIH 2.0.

He wrote a poem for this concert, and recited it that night.

Then came another familiar face, co-chairperson of BERSIH 2.0, Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan.

The other BERSIH 2.0 Steering Committee members were up on stage as well.

She gave a short speech…

…and also announced that the group would be singing a song!

Nik Jidan joined them on stage to provide musical accompaniment.

Random dude with flowers for Ambiga.

I can’t remember which cartoonist presented this to them.

Then it was time for the final act of the night – Ito, Julian Mokhtar & The Gang! I guess they didn’t want to call it Blues Gang because not the whole original lineup was there.

For example, on the right, on guitar, was Ito’s son!

Ito, of course, is a vital component, with his trademark raspy voice…

…and so is Julian Mokhtar, a blues shredder with his beautifully shaped, polished, and probably very custom guitar with scalloped frets.

Blues solo!

They ended the night with the classic, Apo Nak Di Kato.

Then, it was a big percussion jam session.

That was not all – they brought in BERSIH 2.0’s 8 demands, as well as fire eaters!

It all looks yellow to me. By this time I was shooting JPG, having run out of space from shooting RAW.

If you have decided you want to do more for Malaysia, be a Polling/Counting Agent!

Sign up for the training here. It is open to all citizens of Malaysia – you don’t need to be a member of any political party or the Election Commission, to participate in making sure the elections are free and fair! I’ve gone for the course myself, and learned so much about the electoral system.

More reading:
Konsert BERSIH 8T: Outside
Democratic Promise
Bersih 3.0
Vote For Cleanliness!

Konsert BERSIH 8T: Outside

On the 13th of October 2012, I went down to Konsert BERSIH 8T at the Kelana Jaya Stadium. This would also be known as #BersihRocks on Twitter. Again, as an observer, I went incognito, not in yellow. I figure if they start carting away people in yellow, I should still be around to take pictures.

Here’s the TindakMalaysia booth. Although I went straight into the stadium to see who was playing, I realized the crowd was really at the back, where the stalls were.

Also note the rules at the entrance. Above is the donation box. Entry was with a minimum donation of RM5, and you get stamped on your hand with ink that seems pretty indelible!

Food vendors were having brisk business.

All sorts of shirts in yellow were sold.

The Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia booth. I was looking for the Cleaning In Progress one but they didn’t have it. 🙁

For those who want a break in color, there’s green and the classic black and white.

More, from SUARAM, among others.

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. That is why I try to do what I do here, to document this. Neutrality and being free of bias is hard to expect of a human, though, so I’d rather have fairness.

If you have decided you want to do more for Malaysia, be a Polling/Counting Agent!

Sign up for the training here. It is open to all citizens of Malaysia – you don’t need to be a member of any political party or the Election Commission, to participate in making sure the elections are free and fair! I’ve gone for the course myself, and learned so much about the electoral system.

Remember the entrance rules above? Well these stalls are outside.

The stadium was being uncooperative, so they had to bring in their own power generator.

Clean Sweep, by Oon Yeoh, is a compilation of high-quality photographs from the Bersih 3.0 28th April 2012 rally. I have that book. It smells nice, too.

Balloons by Kill The Bill.

Phone casings! I didn’t have to look for one for my Asus Padfone because of the nature of my phone, sliding into a tight holder in the Asus Padfone Station.

You could register as a voter here, too! Not a very busy booth, which is a good sign – I assume everyone has registered!

These guys seem a bit lost. However there’s nothing with them peddling their wares here.

Mr. Ballot Box signing.

Nik Jidan is one folk singer/songwriter I’ve not heard of before, and it’s a shame – he’s great!

Alternative print publications. It’s a shame that none of the ruling component parties showed up – no UMNO, MCA, MIC, MDP, PPP, Gerakan, or their publications. What, don’t they want free and fair elections?

People will only have confidence in you, if you’ve won the election fairly. It’s a good move, politically, to show your support, to prove that you aren’t afraid to win fair and square.

A wall of expression.

Cartoony expression.

On the far side.

Mama Bersih. Interesting.

Their artwork.

It was still early, so the signatures had not filled up yet.

Ronasina, a cartoonist I’d never heard of before. I love his cartoon style and detailing!

More of his stuff.

It was getting dark, and I seriously almost stepped on this, which was on the floor.

Caricature artists.


The A. Samad Said corner. You could get your copy autographed!

Above: Zunar’s cartoon books (well it looks like the ones that were not banned…) Below: Johnny Ong, cartoonist for UMNO-nomics.

Left: Music CDs from various local acts. Right: I’m not sure if this is a PAS booth.

Sisters In Islam had a booth too!

This looks to be the DAP booth.

And of course, the Himpunan Hijau group.

Pictures from inside the stadium, and the event itself, will come after this!

Sony at KLPF2012, Part One

It was the 5th of October 2012, and Sony had just launched their Sony Alpha SLT-A99 at the Kuala Lumpur Photography Festival 2012!

Clockwise from top-left:
– Masahiko Ishida, Head of Digital Imaging Dept
– Gary Friedman, Minolta/Sony Alpha book author/guru, stock photographer, uber geek
– Kikuo Okura, Managing Director of Sony Malaysia
– John Shum, Head of Sony Product Workshop Department

Jeremy Teo of Red FM was the emcee.

They also launched the Sony NEX-5R, the Sony NEX-6, the Sony NEX-VG900E, and the Sony DSC-RX1!

One more with Ishida and Okura.

Estimated Retail Price:
Sony SLT-A99: RM9,299 (body only) (coming November 2012)
Sony DSC-RX1: RM9,999 (coming December 2012)
Sony NEX-VG900E: RM10,999 (coming December 2012)
Sony NEX-5RL: RM2,699 (with the Sony 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 Optical SteadyShot E-mount Retractable Power Zoom lens) (coming November 2012)
Sony NEX-5RY: RM3,499 (with the Sony 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 Optical SteadyShot E-mount Retractable Power Zoom lens and Sony 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 Optical SteadyShot E-mount lens) (coming November 2012)
Sony NEX-6RL: RM3,299 (with Sony 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 Optical SteadyShot E-mount Retractable Power Zoom lens) (coming mid-November 2012)
Sony NEX-6RY: RM4,099 (with SELP1650 and Sony 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 Optical SteadyShot E-mount lens) (coming mid-November 2012)

They also announced the Malaysia Award, under the Sony World Photography Awards.

A blown-up A99.

The Sony Alpha NEX-6.

They also had an Experience Studio, where Darren Chang, founder of Alphanatics, gave a talk.

Here’s the Sony Alpha NEX-5R, now with WiFi – it lets you transfer pictures to your smartphone via PlayMemories Mobile, as well as wirelessly tether while getting a live feed. It also improves on the articulation of the NEX-F3, being able to tilt downwards (top-left picture) as well as 180 degrees upwards (like the NEX-F3.)

On it is the Sony 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 Optical SteadyShot Retractable Power Zoom E-mount lens, a very sweet, collapsible lens! Sure, it won’t fit in my pocket the same way the Sony 16mm F2.8 E-mount lens did…

…but it’s a fair bit shorter than the original kit lens, the Sony 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 Optical SteadyShot E-mount lens.

The Power Zoom part lets you turn the single ring to zoom in and out quickly (albeit with some minor latency, which we can forgive until we can guarantee that it is a production model.) If you push the rocker you can zoom in and out smoothly and at a slower speed. If you’re in manual focus, turning the ring will manually focus instead! This works great with Direct Manual Focus enabled, where you turn the ring to zoom, half-press and lock focus, then turn the ring again to fine-tune focus.

The Sony DSC-RX1, the first full-frame digital point-and-shoot camera in the world! It has an unremovable prime lens, a Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm F2.0 with the ability to focus 20cm from the sensor. Regretfully I didn’t get to play with this – I was later told that this was a hollow mock model!

The Sony 10-18mm F4.0 Optical SteadyShot E-mount lens, an ultra-wide in small porportions and an impressive F4.0 throughout.

The Sony Alpha NEX-6, with the Sony 35mm F1.8 Optical SteadyShot E-mount lens, a tiny but amazing performer.

We then went out of the room where they had the launch, and guess what I saw on the table – the same setup I had, hanging around my neck! 2 Sony Alpha 900 bodies with Sony 135mm F2.8/T4.5 Smooth Transition Focus, how rare and unlikely!

I got the promoter lady to show us how the WiFi Transfer worked. You’d connect your smartphone to an ad-hoc WiFi hotspot that the NEX body creates, and then use the app to download the pictures.

Clockwise from top-left:
I like that the NEX-6 has Quick Navi, so you can change settings on-screen without diving into menus
– one picture has been downloaded
– you can then copy it and share it to any app, the proper Android way
– you can also connect to an access point and download apps for the NEX-5R and NEX-6. Unfortunately though, the market isn’t available in Malaysia yet.

We also saw the new HVL-RL1 ring light. Interesting battery slot orientation!

The Sony SLT-A99 through the Sony Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM, at 24mm. Picture credits to Joseph Cheung.

Again, at 70mm. Picture credits to Joseph Cheung.

And then, for the HVL-F60M, using the new Sony Multi-interface Shoe! The A99 and NEX-6 also use this. The older one is called the Auto-lock Accessory Shoe. I was a big fan of the older auto-locking mechanism – it would lock automatically when you slide it in, and you’d just press one button to release it.

I’ve read unconfirmed reports that the HVL-F60M would come with the ADP-AMA, an adapter that allowed you to mount the F60M on older Alphas with the Auto-lock Accessory Shoe. Likewise unconfirmed that the A99 would come with the ADP-MAA, an adapter to allow you to mount an older Alpha flash with Auto-lock Accessory (Foot) on the A99. The NEX-6 meanwhile is rumored to not come with it.

To be scientific, the only way we’d know is when the production boxes come out.

Left to right:
– in the Release position, there is a moving plate
– in the Lock position, the moving plate clamps down
– here’s the Multi-interface Shoe cover, with an interesting icon.

Thankfully, you can switch to the Lock position while the flash is not mounted, and slide it on the camera without any resistance. It will stay locked, making it very similiar in concept to the Auto-lock Accessory Shoe. So my concerns were allayed – I never liked the classic ISO518 hotshoe mount because if there was impact to the flash and camera, it would behead the flash (on the Auto-lock Accessory Shoe, the flash’s little plastic foot would break but you can still mount it on, and it’s faster and cheaper to replace.)

Here’s the remains of a Canon Speedlight 580EX flash on a Canon EOS 5.

Clockwise from top-left
– in Speed Priority (10 FPS) the A99 crops out the center 2640×1760 region from 6000×4000 pixels, making it a 2.27x crop factor
– the pins on the F60M are cause for concern though, as they look like they could be bent out of place, instead of the spring-loaded pins on other brands
– you can now record videos at up to ISO6400 (compared to ISO1600 on the A77)
– the F60M has LED lights on the front for video, and you can control its power
– the bare LEDs
– the LEDs covered with a wide-angle diffuser

You cannot turn on the LED lights and use the flash as normal when pressing the shutter, unfortunately. Would’ve made for a very cool AF-assist, especially in low light!

It, as well as the top 4 buttons, glow a brilliant deep cinnabar orange. The F60M now has a rotary dial that is also a directional pad with a center button.

Head to head with the F58AM – the F60M is on the left.

Yup, it can trigger the HVL-F56AM when in CTRL/CTRL2 wireless commander mode, and the HVL-F58AM in RMT2 when in CTRL+/CTRL wireless commander mode. I don’t have a picture of the former because my SD card was in the A99, I think. I also did not get to use the F20AM to trigger the F60M because my F20AM had corroded battery contacts and I could not turn it on, only knowing about it when I sent it to the service center days later.

Clockwise from top-left:
– I like the new dot-matrix display!
– it’s a lot easier to enable manual power even though the camera is not in manual exposure
– not sure what this memory thing does
– pressing Test when it is set to 4 seconds makes for a great modelling light or flashlight
– CTRL+ to trigger the F42AM/F43AM/F58AM/F60M, and CTRL to trigger the F36AM/F42AM/F43AM/F56AM/F58AM/F60M
– I love how there are little power bars at the bottom so you know that 16 is more powerful than 1 – sometimes photography can be confusing when F16 is smaller than F4.

Top: Strobe mode goes down to 1/256. Bottom: The main screen when you press Mode.

The new flash stand (left) next to the old flash stand for the F43AM/F58AM (right). Also note that they can sort of clip together at the bottom!

Also, just for kicks, we tried some other flashes on the A99 – we found that the Metz Mecablitz 58 AF-1 and AF-2, for Canon, would not fire when mounted on the A99, but the Nikon versions were fine. It might have something to do with the flash hotshoe on the A99 being not as deep, to allow space for the contact pins.

More to come in a bit, regarding the A99 and other things!