Sunday, December 19, 2010


I was attending the Old Edwardians dinner last night and a school junior asked, what I did for a living. I stuttered for a while, as I rummaged through my mind, to find a specific name for the work that I do. My work stretches a wide spectrum, from business transformation, to analysis, to regulatory advice and tax to feasibility studies. I was uncertain of which category of work to say, so I said "I am an Analyst". "Oh" he said, and that was that. I could have explained it more, but mildly resisted the attempt.  I did not regret not bringing my business card. There was no need to distribute business cards. I could have said Special Projects but I chose Analyst. It is an endearing term to me, for what describes me more than anything else. Analysis has always been my passion although I have reached a level where I can do everything excepting the sales part.

I could have brought my camera to the school reunion, but I did not. The "so what?" thingy was in my head. I was looking for aesthetics in images. I would not be able to find any in people consciously posing for the camera. Regardless, cameras are aplenty nowadays and so there were many flashes from many cameras.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Photography Books

The continued global growth of the consumer market in digital cameras has brought with it the proliferation of books on photography. The growing consumer market on digital cameras has ensured the continuance of wide readership on photography. In KL, Kinokuniya has the largest stock of books on this topic. Before the advent of digital photography, books of this nature normally number about 10 on any book store. Now, there are simply rows of shelves with books on lighting, exposure, composition, wedding, HDR and portraiture.

However, at one time, I too was an avid reader of books and magazines on photography. Now, I have realised much to my disappointment from the loss of funds from buying useless books, that not all books and magazines on photography are educational. Some are merely composed of good images on pages, with scant instructions on how to achieve those images. Basically most people have been conned, especially for those who are new at photography and want to learn more to achieve with their cameras. The techniques are not comprehensive. Most books provide the same topics but in different words on the sectors of landscape, still photography, portraits and weddings. How the image is achieved is not thoroughly explained. There should be a catalogue on photography books to rank the books and magazines in order of effectiveness. It will certainly assist the potential buyers on what to look out for and what not to buy. In the cinematic film industry, there are the A grade movies and there are the B grade movies. Photography books are also like these. Somehow, grading needs to be done. 

Be that as it may, the time to learn has to end for the photographer to evolve on his own. The school has to close. Graduation must happen and all that is left, should just be the photographer and his camera.   

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Kodak Hawkeye Flashfun

Last weekend, I was in Taiping to meet up with my parents and also to leave my two boys there with their cousin. It is a first time for them to stay there for the next two weeks and that would give them time to connect with my parents and learn a thing or two about living life.

While there, I leafed through the photo albums at my parents' house in Taiping especially the ones in black and white. I could learn a thing or two about composition from my father, who was a prolific photographer in his younger days. I found this picture, of a young boy, hair plastered to his head from the Tancho haircream, black plastic-framed spectacles hiding out most of his eyes and he was wearing a short-sleeved shirt with some designs of musical instruments, short pants from which spindly legs came out and he wore ankle-high moccasins and white socks. His left hand held a plastic strap and the strap went down low, almost touching the ground and at the end of it, was a plastic camera. Behind him, was the old Subang Airport. That camera had some blue colour to it while the rest was in black. I could remember the colours from the memory that was initiated from looking at the picture. That was me, in 1971. The pictures I took of the airport were blurry then, from the inadequacy of the plastic and fixed focus lens and the limited ISO capability. That was my first camera. To advance to the next film frame, one would have to crank a ribbed wheel at the top of the camera until it could not turn anymore.

I had thought that I was 14 when I got my first camera but actually, that Kodak camera was my second. This was the first and I was 11 years old then. The Kodak camera gave sharper pictures. As a Scout, I used to go camping and I would bring the Kodak to take pictures of my colleagues at the campsite. This Kodak was a plastic boxy gadget which was narrow at the base and high at the height. It would be like the modern camera but vertical with the viewfinder in the side middle. The bottom half of it was in light brown to pink while the top half was in silver. The top half had the place for the putting in the flash bulb. The camera ran on batteries and the trigger was placed at the side and one had to use the index finger to push it down so that the picture can be taken. I ran through this Kodak Collector's website and managed to know that it was a Hawkeye Flashfun which was manufactured between 1961 to 1967. Kudos to the Kodak collector for the information!

It is amazing that the pictures, though in black and white can initiate the remembrance of memories in colour. And for a while, I could remember that day, the sounds and colours. I don't remember where the camera went but there was a long period between leaving school to enter university until 1985 when I revived the hobby again.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Permanently Enslaved Mentality And Nurtured Debilitating Unrest. PEMANDU. No, I am just squibbling. There is no meaning to it. Is that the right word? Maybe. MYR 36 million to the consultants. Justified, of course it is. Anybody can just about justify anything nowadays. Of course, I am thinking it from my own perspective. My career has provided me with working with consultants. At one time, there was the same consultant who advised that we should not invest outside of the Asia Pacific but to limit our investment strategies to only the countries within the region. Somehow, no one questioned the consultant on the time frame. Recommendations are provided based on current facts and future expectations based on current facts. Circumstances do change. What is a recommendation now, is simpLy pure idiocy in the next two years. As expected, there was no time frame provided and the gullible management accepted it. However, one sees every other operator investing every where else. By limiting ourselves to a small room, we have unwittingly enslaved our mentalities within a limited scope of business expansion. The consultant did not give a time frame nor was it ever asked to justify with research facts on how this should be so. All I have seen are powerpoint presentations. Anyone can put words on a powerpoint slide and speak with much confidence in the presentation. I have seen mistakes and lies and I have seen gullible people accepting lies and mistakes as gospel truths.

In the past we had never depended on consultants. We managed fine and with better performance. Having a consultant is like having to pay someone to nail the coffin shut with you inside. I am weary of consultants with the powerpoint slides and with nothing else to show.

Now, there is some unrest. "We need to have Mergers & Acquisitions!" Somebody said vociferously, from the unrest of seeing no additional profitability other than pathetically surviving on organic growth. Another person came and said the same thing and with the same fervour. "We need to have Mergers and Acquisitions!" And it felt like it was sang in the same fervour as witch hunting. True enough, somebody came to me for advice on M&A. So I said, "M&A is just the vehicle, an engine for the achievement of a strategic objective. So what is your strategic objective?". Of course, that query could not be answered. There was never any real strategy for the past four years and the person responsible for it is now in PEMANDU. It worries me, no doubt. If a football player from a small village is so bad at football, how is it that he can be appointed to play football for the country? It worries me. Mind you, I am not referring to Idris Jala.


Sighing is the action of whispering a sadness or discontentment through the heaving of an out breath through the nose and mouth. That would be the closest I can describe a sigh. I sighed when I saw that the Stationmaster's Office at the Taiping Railway yard was no longer there, demolished to oblivion for the sake of modernisation. I sighed because there could have been alternative actions to accommodate the historical relic, the legacy of the train service in the early years. It brings home to mind that, what is left of Taiping is its Lake Garden. Certainly the shady trees lining the Station Road have all but gone, decapitated to mere buttresses. Certainly, the old buildings have been left to rot. The Stationmaster's Office could have been relocated. I hope that this had been done. At least, I have the photographs of the office taken over the years. Perhaps, I am just about the only person to have it.

It brings home to mind, the understanding of tourism. Are we on the same page as tourists? When I go to a certain place, I would like to know how that place came to be through its history and through the legacy left behind through historical artifacts. I don't come to a place to admire a hotel or to have fine dining. I come to a place to have a feel of what was before and what it has become. Certainly, the Taiping Town Council has a warped sense of comprehension. I am sure these people have gone to Universities and graduated and were capable of having some sense of reasoning, however peanut-sized the capability is. Are all these bureaucrats apathetic? I should think so. No, I would like to think so, because I cannot find a logical reason to explain the apparent absurdity. I sigh because I had hoped that  the right people should be in the right places of authority but it is not happening. I wish for a better government with the right people. I am still waiting, though. Nothing much has changed. I need to sigh again. Sigh.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Twits and twats

A friend of mine, was deeply engrossed in twittering. Every now and then, his Blackberry tinkled and in response, he would look, smile and thumb into the BB. He was not alone. My wife does that too. But for this friend of mine, I asked what the purpose was, this twittering. He replied, that it was about being known, being part of something, being knowledgable on happenings as they occur within his group of twitters. It was also the same for Facebook, he said. Basically, it gets down to letting known, in words, what you are thinking of, I thought. But thoughts as they are, are also volatile, and subject to change with changing circumstances. Thoughts put into words, become obsolete but remain, thus as words which could define what a person is supposed to be, although the circusmstances have changed. Real-time texting also requires real-time reassessment, when the need arises. Real time insults bring on real time reactions. But of course, twittering is about inconsequential matters or issues. Or is it? I don't know. I don't twitter but I facebook occasionally. I would rather be invisible to the world and pander to my own thoughts. Noise. If everyone has nothing else but radios, then we will hear the chatter of radios. It gets into the mind. Twittering is to me, also like radios. The twitter is engaged in noise, of responding to trivialities on a per minute basis. So what exactly is left for the mind to ponder if it keeps on twittering? Can business decisions be made from twittering? Can a fundamental decision be made from twittering? I don't know. I am not a twitter. But it is noise in some way. It intrudes into person to person engagements. It would be like to talking to someone in a room and every other minute, the person you are talking to, keeps opening the door. Though I don't twitter, I am also affected. My thought patterns in conversations encounter road bumps every now and then. Talking no longer becomes enjoyable with a twittering friend. So what is left for me to do would be to find non-twittering friends to enjoy conversations with. I am sure that, at the end of the day, I will get the significant news from the news channel anyway. I would prefer to be anonymous to the BB world. This world is already noisy as it is. It comes to mind, though. Should there be a gender classification of the twitter? If I can call a male twitter a twit, can I call a female twitter, a twat? So, now we should have twits and twats bringing more noise to the world. Before you jump, "twat" means travelling wave amplifier tube. It does describe the woman. Really.

Monday, November 22, 2010

On Travelling

Travel rejuvenates and excites. It is that small window which opens and one gets to climb through it and be outside for a while, even for a moment, to forget and discard current responsibilities. Travel incurs expenditure, but that is quickly forgotten, once out the window, once on new terrain. Travel brings fresh questions on life, of the variety of it, of Mankind, of so many souls and lives entirely different and differently lived. Even for a while, travel is a fresh breath of air, even if debt is incurred, even if the credit card companies prepare to print their bills to send in envelopes, with urgent reminders of repayment. There is so much to see, so much to feel and so much to capture of little memories, etched from encounters with the reality of new places and people. There is so much of presses of the camera trigger, to capture moments which linger only for seconds and not replicated again. To experience life is to travel, to move around, to board the plane, sit on narrow seats, eat tasteless food with plastic forks and knives and to linger at airport terminals, ride buses and taxis and walk for miles along streets. Life is short, finance is much shorter and I dream of travelling ever more. There is so much to see, so much to experience, so much to see of legacies left behind from the people of yore. I wish it will happen again. I wish I can interact again with citizens of new places, to appreciate their architecture, learn a smattering of new language, eat their food and see how and where they live. I sigh now, as I am back. The small window is closed for now. I am back with my cameras, my memory cards, some souvenirs, some fleeting memories, in this place I call home. I hope the window will open again. Sigh.

Monday, October 11, 2010


It cannot be any other insect but the bee. The bee is always in search of the nectar, like man is to knowledge. The bee is a communal insect, like Man is to his society. Therefore, the Bee signifies Man.

“Coffee” when taken in small amounts is nice to the taste but coffee is actually a poison to Man when taken in large amounts. Coffee here resembles knowledge. Coffee originated from the Sufis and it was drunk to enable the mind to think more clearly.

“One could of course present discussion papers and hold lectures and write books on why this insect should or should not be a bee. One could possibly enact laws and a regulatory framework to regulate the definition of a bee” - shows the disposition of Man to contradict each other on one single truth, thus wasting time.

“as the world then was constantly being created and recreated in nanoseconds” - describes what life is in this world. It is being created and recreated but we are not aware of it. The Tablet of Destiny is constantly being written, not static like other people would want to think. This explains the continuous attempts by the Jinns to read it. It changes as choices are made by each individual. Certain things have been fixed to occur, as you know but the Tablet is not static. It is dynamic and will change. Like the wise man who could “transport” the palace to Solomon. It was not transportation but a small change in reality through the knowledge of things. “A blink of an eye” is likened to maybe a few nanoseconds.

Coffee in a cup signifies the smallness of knowledge and that Man is caught in it, struggles with this limitation of knowledge until it cannot free itself. Left to his own device, the Man struggles with this knowledge until he dies - “struggling in the murky water with its legs vainly, attempting to escape its death. Coffee in the cup signifies the smallness of this knowledge but it too can kill Man. “It would live for a while, but eventually, it would die, like all things should”. Man struggles with this small knowledge, yet is entrapped within by the knowledge until one day, he dies without achieving the whole truth.

“I took the cup, raised it a little and tipped it, so that the bee and its contents fell into used tissue papers on a paper plate and the plate sat at the centre of the round table.” When the cup is tipped, Man thinks of the causative factor but not the Divine intervention which had made the cup empty its contents. Man only thinks that the cup was tipped. His knowledge is limited to when the cup is tipped. Man therefore considers himself fortunate to be saved due to the Cup being tipped. Man’s knowledge cannot extend to why the cup has tipped, he can speculate but he will not be able to determine its part in the scheme of things. “Bee on tissue” is likened to Man having safely returned to safety but like the used tissue, life in this world is weak and will eventually disintegrate. “Round table” signifies the world.

“To the bee, I would not fulfill its own definition of the human being because I was so near that I appeared very big. It could recognise a human being if it could see that person from afar and that person fulfilled all logical equations to be defined as a human being. From near, it could possibly deduce that I was the sky”. God can be so near but not discernible to Man.

When the bee was gently blown from another intervention, “but even the gentleness carried it a further away” signifies his furtherance from the reality or truth even when God has intervened. But from the intervention of God for the second time, Man manages to free his wings and be able to fly but still does not perceive that God has helped him in his endeavour.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I Saved a Bee Which Dropped into my Coffee

In this instance, a description of the place and time does not matter and is of no consequence. I could be at my house or any other place, alone or with people, as these are matters which were of no consequence to the incident at hand. But it happened yesterday. You see, there was a bee which fell into my coffee. I could infer that it was a bee because it looked like a black ant with burnt orange stripes across its abdomen. That would be my definition of a bee. Of course, any other person would have defined it in a different way but still arrive at the conclusion that it was a bee. Still, another person would want to argue that this was not a bee but a wasp or another insect. One could go on to meet and argue and discuss and disagree with each other on the definition of a bee. One could of course present discussion papers and hold lectures and write books on why this insect should or should not be a bee. One could possibly enact laws and a regulatory framework to regulate the definition of a bee. It would not matter which way or the other, as in my definition, it was to me, a bee even as the world then was constantly being created and recreated in nanoseconds. It dropped into my coffee and that was that. And for a while, while my friends were talking and laughing and gesturing, I watched it struggling in the murky water with its legs vainly, attempting to escape its death. It would live for a while, but eventually, it would die, like all things should.

While the people were still talking and gesturing, I took the cup, raised it a little and tipped it, so that the bee and its contents fell into used tissue papers on a paper plate and the plate sat at the centre of the round table. For the bee, of course, it now had the opportunity to free itself from this certain death. Of course, the bee would not be able to see who had saved it. It could simply deduce logically that the cup had tilted and because of that it was able to save itself. It would not be able to discern my presence, because then, in its eyes, I would be so big that I would fill its entire vision of the sky. To the bee, I would not fulfill its own definition of the human being because I was so near that I appeared very big. It could recognise a human being if it could see that person from afar and that person fulfilled all logical equations to be defined as a human being. From near, it could possibly deduce that I was the sky. Any other bee, with a different set of experiences, would of course, disagree on the matter and would have placed me as a human being. The bees could of course gather together and discuss and argue and disagree on the definition of a human being. They could write books on the subject and books discussing the books being written about the definition of the human being. They could possibly enact laws and regulations to regulate the definition of a human being. It would not matter which way or the other to that bee, as in its definition, I was just the sky.

So there it was on the used white tissue and I looked at it intently and closely that I could almost touch it with my nose. Other than the place and its people, nobody noticed this odd relationship between a bee and myself. It picked itself up and with its legs, began to preen itself. For the coffee had stuck to its body and it would not be able to fly just yet. It reminded me of a cat preening itself. It cleansed itself well. By putting its lower leg into its mandible or mouth, it then proceeded to rub this lower leg on its body and its antennae. This it did with each leg. But the coffee was still stuck on its membranous wings and it would still be unable to fly. So, getting as close as possible, I decided to intervene and gently blew on the little insect but even the gentleness carried it a further away. Unfazed, and still oblivious to my presence and my intervention, it preened itself again and finally, it was able to part its wings. Of course, the people above it, were still talking and gesturing, completely oblivious to the presence of a little insect. Finally, the bee was able to fly again and it did. So, I saved a bee which had dropped into my coffee.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

On Religion and the Review of the Nikon D3s

I went out to the bookstore at Bangsar Shopping Complex today, hoping that I could get a magazine or two that had done reviews of the new Nikon D3S. Instead I came across reviews of the Nikon D3000 and the D300S. I could offer the most likely guess that I was merely reflecting basic human nature by needing to read about something that I had just acquired in order to enhance or deepen my conviction that the D3S was a good professional camera to work with.

Speaking of this particular piece of human nature, I could recall vividly the other day, a day after the new year, on light discussions I have had with my old school friend, Travis on the debates that his senior school friends had brought out on the validity of religion. I am not particularly keen on discussing religion amongst friends but he insisted just to hear my casual opinion on the issues. I would deem it as casual as I was not able to quote the exact sources on the opinions. Perhaps, with more research and analysis, and documentation, I would be able to put forward my opinions. The issues are not that important to me, and so, I have forgotten them or rather chose to forget them for mentioning here. His old friends had relied on books written by learned people or people perceived to be learned in the ways of religion and they had gone at length and for so many days or perhaps months, to argue and agree with one another. Based on what I have heard from Travis, I could only provide my personal opinion that they were relying on books to strengthen their own views or opinions on what the tenets of religion should be. Travis had casually referred to me, and I had answered, after much casual debate on certain issues, touching ever so slightly, that it was our human nature to read on books or rely on information to strengthen our beliefs or opinions. As again I am using casualness here because I was not about to enter the fray where the believers, the disbelievers and the agnostic were in the same field. To enter the field, one would need to have some form of rules, like playing football for instance. Only then, the game could be played coherently. It would be hard to describe an orange in my hand to another person who is holding an apple. Even if we are on the same platform, perceptions vary and it is human nature to conclude from perceptions. Like a friend of mine had said, he would believe in God if he could see a ghost. When I offered to create the possibility of him seeing a ghost, he withdrew. In essence, then it was not about wanting to see a ghost to affirm the existence of God. He just did not want to, perhaps.

For my part, I had avoided reading books written by learned people or people perceived to be learned, because I am still learning the Book as provided by God. For I am fully aware that for hundreds of years debates had carried on, on issues perceived to be central to the strength of one’s faith. Each of us, would have been conditioned by our life experiences and people to come out with our opinions on what should be. To me, every person can write a book about a single thing, like the blind men with the elephant and each person would have learned in their fields, gone through universities, and demonstrated the most rational of minds, to provide or write a book about the elephant in his own interpretation. Even then, each of us may not be entirely right.

I on the other hand, perceived the issues brought out by Travis’s friends as not central to the foundation of faith. Sometimes, it is human nature to forget about the essence of light that issues from a light bulb while looking at other things which had been illuminated by the light bulb. Each of them is looking for the justifications to validate their own lifestyles. That is the bottom line to all the debates. My perception is that they are feeling guilty and they need some documentation to put their conscience to rest. Truly, we each want to read something to strengthen our beliefs or opinions. A lot of people think that God is imposing. Like a father to his child, of course, the father would want his child to do things that will not harm him. Like "Don’t cross the road!" or "Don’t drink alcohol, it is not good for you". Others perceive Him as revengeful and punishing. However, if He is all those, then the verses would have commenced with words of admonishment. Like a son to his father, of course, he should show the uttermost respect and accept the words of warning, perhaps nodding his head. But then again, there are people who elaborate on the words of God to make Him look punishing and revengeful and all. Like some people had said to me, some people need the stick to move on and others need the carrot to move on. It took me many years to shed that perception I had of Him as revengeful and punishing and now that I perceive Him as forgiving and loving, life indeed has improved quite a lot. A lot of people forget that God is not wanting. He has no need of our prayers and our conduct but that these are for our own good.

Religion is a way of life to me. They were harping on the possibility that Man, through the clergy, the ulamas manipulated the principles of religion to achieve the means to control the others. Manipulation will fail if each person maintains that responsibility to know his religion deeply. It is a fundamental requirement to not be ignorant. For example, if a person without experience in photography is given a Nikon D3S, he would still need a Nikon manual to know how to use the camera. Without the manual, it would be difficult for him to optimise his images. He can still shoot the pictures without the manual, but he will not be able to know what the dials and the buttons are for and to render images in better colours or focus. He may not be able to know when to replace the compact flash card when it is already full. He may not be able to know when to use the shutter priority or when and where to lock exposure control. He may not even know where the focussing knob is or what that illuminated red rectangle in the viewfinder is. Without the manual, he will have to rely on other knowledgeable people to assist him in understanding how to use the camera. And other people may not teach him properly on how to use the camera because they may not be fully knowledgeable. Even with the manual, there will be no ready answers to achieve beautiful images, that is something he will need to use with the camera over so many days and months to experience shooting the camera. The camera is just a tool and it is the photographer himself who makes the shots of beautiful pictures.

Religion if perceived as a way of life, needs to be experienced over the course of one’s life. Like photography. It is not a recipe book to be used once in a while. Like life, living the religion is not a static matter. Like my cameras. I evolve to a higher end camera. Further more, it is a guideline for each person to carve his own personal way to meet up with God. For He has truly said that He was a hidden treasure and to know, in order to see, one needs to have some form of knowledge that has been imparted from an honest source.

On my part I could not offer the documented support or the justification to go against or support the opinions or beliefs that his friends had conjured. Life is just too short to enter into debates. I would prefer to utilise my brain to achieve the happiness and contentment that I need, not to stir the water so to say. What is dear to me, is my relationship with God with my own thoughts, through my questions to Him as if He resides in my own heart. By keeping my voice quiet and my thoughts clear and empty, I can at times, do feel and see the answers that would come my way with the questions that I had just posted to my mind. Because it is also human nature to argue and rant about someone had written this and that, based on facts, I do keep my thoughts to myself, because religion though a communal aspect, is also a private matter. I hold fast to that Book, that lamp with the light and I forget about the rest. The last words in the discussion as said by Travis was that if I had been right all along, then all of them, including himself would be doomed. However, I would expect that the people who choose to debate, would at least fulfill the basic requirements of religion before embarking into the wrestling ring. Like extending a rope to God for example, before arguing on the trivialities. Like praying for example. I think it is also an aspect of human nature, to expect those close to us in that social circle, to believe the same things. Man is indeed communal, people choose social circles that only reinforces their beliefs and opinions. It is that simple.

I really do not care about who believes what just as long as he or she does not impose his or her beliefs on me unless I ask for it. Other people may perceive me as selfish but I do so because I do not want to impose. Well, enough of this debate thing. That is one of the main reason why I avoid reading the Old Edwardians forum. It would be like listening to blind men discussing about the elephant. If they read this, of course, they will waste no time to criticise me for being apathetic or at best, ignorant of the issues.

Just as I was then, at the bookstore, hoping to catch that magazine that would provide the review on the Nikon D3S which would bring me the comfort I expect. Except from Nikon itself which provided the reviews from two professional photographers from its website supplemented with beautiful images I can only imagine I can make. Even my review will be severely limited because it is drawn from my experience of using Nikon cameras. Now to get on with the review, since I have Googled reviews and found each review to be limited on the Nikon D3S. For a start, using the D3S is a seamless transition if one had been using other Nikon DSLR cameras before. I had been using the D100, D200 and the D300, and so, the D3S did not actually jump out of its gold-tinted box to actually strangle my mind into inept confusion. The dials, the modes and the functions are very much similar. I would say that I hit the ground running when I began taking shots with the Nikon D3S.

The other thing that is indeed a significant difference is that the D3S is fully functional at high ISOs. I am not saying that the D300 and the ones below it, are not functional per se, but that the D3S offers no complaints at high ISOs with split second focussing. There is simply no struggle and no grunts there for the camera to focus and when it does, the images look like they have been taken in the daytime with very little noise. Pixel noise is very minimal, as a matter of fact, I could not find any noise at all and there were no colour spills at the edges. For night in-house shots with illumination from tungsten lamps, I have cranked the ISO up to 2,000 and I get good sharp pictures without noise at all. I certainly cannot achieve that with the D300. Previously I had blamed the lenses for being too slow to focus but now, I know better. The focus depends on the camera. High ISOs with very little noise offers a fresh new avenue to be creative with images under low lighting conditions. For a start I cranked the camera to a very high ISO and screwed an infra-red filter to my Nikkor lens. Whilst previously I would not be able to focus at all using the D300, the D3S just focussed and took the shots. Even I could not see anything through the viewfinder and yet the camera was able to see and focus and take the shots. It is amazing. With much more time and place, I would be able to be more creative with infra-red photography, since it is now possible.
I noticed that the sound of the shot taken by the D3S is much different from other Nikons. There appeared to be no prolonged flapping sound to it, more of a crisp business-like matter-of-fact shot. I tried the continuous shooting as well, and there were no arguments there, just business-like matter-of-fact shots. Cool. There is a Q-setting at the top dial, to render silent shots but then, the shutter sound can still be heard. Putting in the Q-setting as in Quiet setting disabled the sound of the beeps from the focussing. Truthfully I still like the cricket sounds.

The colour rendition by the D3S is also exceptional. The colours appear to be more deeper compared to the Nikon D200 and D300. I have no more need to enhance my images through providing higher contrasts, as the colours are just sufficient. Even if I use the Standard mode. I can still tweak the Standard mode with more saturation and sharpness to get to the Vivid mode though. It would depend on how the photographer wants it. I for one, require that the images are colour deep and crystal sharp with a darker tinge. I am always looking for pensive and retrospective moods in my images. It is a subjective matter and like the D300, 200 and 100, it offers the same tweaking matters like hue, sharpness and saturation necessary for the photographer to customise to his own liking. I have tweaked sharpness and saturation but not quite hue. I still cannot fathom the idea of tweaking the hue. Books I bought on the D200 and D300 have been silent on the hue except for some single sentence mention. Like the books, I am also providing a single liner for the hue. Perhaps, the hue would be good for creative photography on the sly like reproducing colours of images in different renditions, taking them out of the box, so to say. I could still tweak the hues in Photoshop or Lightroom though.

Image representation is the most important for me and I see that this camera made it difficult for me to find issues with the images the D3S took. Except for one though and it has nothing to do with the camera. Very so often that I have tended to forget that it is the photographer who makes the shots and that the camera merely renders the shots. It is the same with the D3S. The sharpness of any shot is still dependent on the stability of the hands that are holding it when it comes to shooting with high ISOs under low light conditions. That is something that I have to remove from my belief that the camera can take any shot. It will still be dependent on my hands and the problem is, my hands always tend to shake a little, resulting in poor photographs with slightly blurred images. A tripod therefore, is still a fundamental component in any photography. But then, with the advantage of high ISOs, the D3S should be able to take pictures without needing the tripod. You just need to crank up the ISO. I have this habit of keeping to a fixed ISO of 200. I have to break that habit now to allow the D3S to realise its true potential.

On the physical aspect, it does look a slightly smaller than the D300 with an MB-D10 but certainly feels much heavier. The camera is easy enough to hold, with the vertical grip for the right hand and the horizontal grip for the left hand. One would need to hold the camera with both hands because this camera is heavy. The provision of the 2 compact flash slots is an added advantage as it will provide me with more picture capacity without needing to change the flash cards now and then.

I am not going to indulge in the HDMI video that the D3S has. I am still the fundamentalist, though and it will take some time for me to appreciate the need for the HDMI video. It would be good for the photojournalist for brief videos though. However, a slideshow of photographs interlaced with some of those images in motion, could just enhance and deepen the pleasure of watching the images.

The D3S can still accept DX lenses. Upon fixing the DX lens, the viewfinder will provide a smaller rectangle of clear image leaving a grey area around it. This grey area is the FX portion which will not be taken into the photo. With a smaller area to be taken, the pixel count should be lesser. In that sense it is still compatible, only that the picture area has reduced. I attached the Sigma wide angle zoom lens, 12mm and though it is a DX lens, true 12mm is provided. Maybe I am wrong on this, but I have used the lens extensively on the D300 and the wide angle provided is not as wide as with the D3S.

And so now my limited review ends here. It is strange that I have to include the topic on religion within it but then, as I was writing the review, the thought shared the same space in my mind and I have not other choice but to put to writing both topics.