Canon EOS 550D Announced

by Eyre Austero 17. February 2010 07:04

     Last February 8, 2010, Canon officially announced its latest addition to its EOS range of DSLRcameras--the Canon EOS 550D. It is expected to be availble on the 24th of February 2010.  Estimated retail price is $799.99 for body-only configuration and $899.99 for the kit version (bundled with Canon's EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom lens).

      Walkthrough Video



        Headline Features (source: Canon website)
      Note: Italicized items are my personal comments.

  • 18 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • DIGIC 4 processor with ISO 100-6400 (Expansion to 12800)
  • Continuous shooting at 3.7fps 
  • (Non-crippled) Full HD movie recording with manual control and selectable frame rates (30, 25, and 24 fps) 
  • 7.7cm (3.0”) 3:2 Clear View LCD with 1,040k dots
  • iFCL metering System with 63-zone Dual-layer Metering Sensor (this feature is first seen with the pricier Canon EOS 7D)
  • Quick Control screen to change shooting settings
  • Exposure compensation +/-5 stops.
  • Select maximum value for Auto ISO
  • External Microphone socket
  • Movie crop function
  • Eye-Fi connected functions compatibility


     Key Differences Between the 550D and the 500D (source: dponline.com)

  • ISO 6400 no longer in 'expanded' range (12,800 max remains the same)
  • Redesigned buttons and new movie/live view button
  • Customizable auto ISO ranges
  • Improved 63 zone metering (iFCL)
  • 3:2 format screen with more pixels
  • Improved movie functionality
  • Slightly higher burst shooting rate (though buffer holds fewer shots)
  • HDMI control (CEC)
  • SDXC compatible



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BlogEngine.NET 1.6 Now Available

by Eyre Austero 14. February 2010 01:54

       The latest version of BlogEngine.NET (i.e. version 1.6), an open source blog platform developed with ASP.NET 2.0, is now available for download at Codeplex. Its release was announced last February 1, 2010 at its main site.  Below are the new features of this release copied verbatim from the BE.NET website:

  • Centralized Comment Management
  • Automated Comment Spam Filtering with ability to plug-in custom Filtering modules
  • Multiple Widget Zones (details)
  • Referrers data and Blogroll items now stored in Database when using the DB blog provider.
  • Unsubscribe Link in Comment Notification Emails
  • Referrer Data can be Stored for more than 7 days.
  • Blogroll items can now be Ordered.
  • Newsletter Widget more Intelligent - Emails sent when a post is going from an Unpublished to Published state.
  • Twitter Widget - New options and improvements
  • Page Slugs now saved in Database.
  • New Logging system to Track events and errors.
  • Unhandled Exception Handling
  • Fixes to Comment Notification Emails not being sent out correctly in some cases.
  • Outgoing Email improvements
  • Many other improvements and fixes

     As for me, I've already upgraded from version to the latest and everything is working fine so far. For those who are planning to upgrade, here's a good guide created by David Wynne:  http://www.david-wynne.com/blog/post/Upgrading-BlogEngineNET-from-15-to-16.aspx.

     Kudos to the BlogEngine.NET development team for your continuous effort in improving BE.NET!


BlogEngine.NET | Resources for Bloggers

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My Nikon D5000

by Eyre Austero 8. February 2010 18:11
Nikon D5000

     After more than a month of being through the gruelling task of choosing my first DSLR camera among many choices, I was finally able to come to a decision.  Last January 16, I finally got for myself the Nikon D5000. I bought it from Pixel Pro Megamall and it comes with three freebies: a 4Gb SD card, a camera bag, and a tripod.

     Coming from an advanced point and shoot (Canon PowerShot G9), learning how to use this camera and its features was relatively easier for me since, feature-wise, they share a number of similarities.  The Nikon site also has a good introductory page on its basic operation and features making the learning process even faster.

     I'm giving myself another week or two to fully master this camera so that nothing will get in the way once I start giving it a test drive (ano to car? hehehe).

     For those who are interested with this camera, listed below are some of its pros, cons, and major features.


  • Is said to have exactly the same sensor (12.3-megapixel DX-format CMOS image sensor)  as the Nikon D90
  • 2.7-inch articulating LCD which might be useful for some shooting types.
  • Built-in intervalometer. (This will allow one to set the D5000 to fire automatically at preset intervals.)
  • 19 auto-exposure scene modes which can be helpful for beginners who do not yet know the ins and outs of digital photography.
  • More Retouch Menu options.
  • Silent Shooting. (Turns off the reminder 'beep' if enabled.)


  • No built-in autofocus motor. (This means that if you want to have AF, you need to buy the more expensive AF-S and AF-I lenses.)
  • No commander mode to activate Nikon's wireless flash. (For the wireless flash, one would need the SB-900/800 or the SU-800 to control other slave flashes.)
  • Fewer direct-access buttons.     

Other Features

  • D-Movie Mode with sound
    Record 720p HD movie clips enhanced by NIKKOR interchangeable lens quality and versatility.
  • One-button Live View
    Easy Live View access offers 4 autofocus modes, including Face-priority AF.
  • Continuous shooting as fast as 4 frames per second
    Combined with fast power-up and split-second shutter response, decisive moments are captured easily without annoying shooting lag.
  • Low noise ISO sensitivity from 200 to 3200
    Engineered for exceptional low-light shooting.
  • Built-in image sensor cleaning
    Effective 4-frequency, ultrasonic sensor cleaning keeps images spot free.
  • 11-point Autofocus System with 3D Focus Tracking
    Fast and accurate autofocus delivers razor sharpness.
  • Auto Active D-Lighting
    Restores lost shadow and highlight detail in high contrast exposures—Selectable and Auto modes available.
  • In-camera Retouch image editing
    Creative in-camera image editing, featuring Soft Filter, Straighten, Color Outline Effect, Perspective Control, Red-eye Correction, Image Overlay, Monochrome and more—all without a computer.
  • Picture Control Settings for personal image control
    Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape and 9 customizable settings.   



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