Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

This is my first ever visit to Sabah. This is not a planned trip, found out that Air Asia got a cheap flight to Kota Kinabalu and I just booked it. Stayed for 4 days 3 nights. Stay at Sri Iskandar Hotel, recommend to book the place thru Agoda, I got the family room for RM84 per night (Actual price RM130). The hotel condition is great for the price and they just renovate the place, highly recommended to stay there. The hotel is just a walking distance to Filipino Market (700 meters) and the daily night market is just in front of the hotel.

I never ate lobster before, people says it is cheap in Sabah, so for the first day my mission is to eat the lobster. The seafood here at Todak Waterfront are very cheap and the price include the preparation of the dishes as well. We ate there while watching the sunset.

Day 2, we go for Island hopping, you can go probably up to 4 islands, but 3 islands are consider hectic enough. We just go for 2 islands, The Island of Sapi and The Island of Manukan. I prefer the Sapi, the clear sea and coral are more beautiful, great for snorkeling. Manukan are great if you want to have a family day, got better facilities and guest houses.

The cost for Island hopping is RM23 per person for an island, every extra island is RM10. RM3 per person for the conservation fees plus GST. Overall, for 2 islands we paid around RM40. For Island hoping you can go thru Jesselton Point or thru Sutera Habour jetty which is more expensive.

Day 3, we rent a car and drive to Kundasang about 95km (2 1/2 hours) from Kota Kinabalu to see the majestic Mount Kinabalu. First location is Desa Dairy Farm. This where most of the tourist come to take a picture with Mount Kinabalu at the background. Unfortunately, the weather that day not very nice and we unable to see the peak of the mountain.

Along the way down back to Kota Kinabalu we stop at couple of destination, The Kinabalu Park and the upside down house at Tamparuli.

We also made a short trip to Sutera Harbour. I always want to see the jetty and all the private yacht there.

The last day, we made a last minute shopping at Craft Market also know as the Filipino Market.

Our flight was scheduled at 3.30 pm, unfortunately it was delay for 4 hours!!!

Overall, we had blast in Kota Kinabalu. Social media app like Facebook (where I got the contact number for car rental service), ride hailing app like Grabcar and Waze made our trip a lot easier. 

All images captured with Panasonic GM1. Lenses used, Panasonic 20/1.7, 12-32mm and Olympus 45/1.8.


Broga Hill 2016

Been wanting to climb the hill for so many years… and after losing so much weight and my fitness level at my ever best, I decide to test my fitness by finally climbing the infamous Broga Hill.

Me and my friend start hiking at around 6.15am… and reach at the first clear scenic level after 28 minutes. Well the problem with hiking with photographers is, it takes an awfully long time to move and reach to another level… too many awesome sceneries. We reach at the target point (1150 ft above sea level) after 1 hour 46 minutes.

(Image credit: Wan Mad Photography)

The climb was smooth, however going down felt harder than climbing up… my quad is burning. The hiking pole was my savior, there are few times that I lost footing and that pole saved me.

(Image credit: Wan Mad Photography)

Bukit Broga, also known as ‘Bukit Lalang’ – after the local species of grass that grows abundantly here, is a hill in Semenyih, at 400 meters high and 40 minutes away from Kuala Lumpur on the trunk road to Broga. It can be reached a short distance later after University of Nottingham, where the entrance starts at left from an oil palm estate opposite a rabbit park. Famed for its incredibly panoramic views (especially at dawn) along with easy accessibility on foot, the hill is a popular tourist attraction among locals (http://www.naturemalaysia.com/broga-hill.htm)

All images shot with Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 and Samsung Galaxy S6.

Samsung Galaxy S6 – Camera Test

All pictures take with auto mode with some of it with HDR Auto. This is an ISOCELL sensor version. Samsung apparently release Galaxy S6 / Edge with 2 version of sensor The Sony IMX240 and Samsung ISOCELL.

The picture here are the edited version. For unedited version please visit my Facebook Page HERE.

The camera is very responsive, from display off the camera ready to take the shot less than 1 second by double clicking the home button.

The dynamic range and the exposure control is amazing for a camera phone. The auto focus is fast and highly accurate.

Galaxy S6 perform very well in low light night shots. Superb exposure control. To see the unedited night shots click HERE.

4K Video sample.

D5100 Video Test – KL Bird Park

This is a test of the D5100 video features. Shot with Nikkor 70-300VR hand held. No color grading and applied Sony Vegas Pro stabilizer on some of the footage.

Some of the thing that I need to get used to is the AE lock and the black bar on the LCD screen when enter into video mode. The black bar for the 16×9 format only come to active when record button activate. This caused some of the pre-focus / composed object got it head cut. AE lock is very important features to maintain the exposure of the footage from changing while filming.

It’s easy to control… no problem for me with the absent of manual video control. The articulating LCD screen is great and very handy to have it.

D5100 Field Test – KL Bird Park

This is an outing to test my newly acquired Nikon D5100. I sold my D90 to buy this because I have the D7000 but got problem matching the color between D90 & D7000 when used them together for photography job. Since D5100 used the same sensor and the same technology (even better) as D7000, I decide to purchase this camera.

I love the color reproduction of D7000 especially on blue & red and the D5100 offers similar result. The high ISO control that I see is way better than D90 and nearly as good as D7000. Another main reason for me to buy this camera is for Video work… a backup camera for D7000, even it doesn’t have full manual control on video… but I manage to work around it.

Nikon has skimp down the control button on D5100, but from past experience with D40 & D5000, its a no biggie for me… changing setting is a breeze. I also bought The Octopus 3rd Party Battery Grip, due to it small size and my big hand. The grip fit perfectly and work flawlessly.

All and all, I satisfied with this purchase.. a recommended buy for a beginner and enthusiast alike.

All images shot with Nikkor 70-300 VR.