Jun 21 2010

Buying a Digital SLR (DSLR) is not as easy as I thought

Category: Canon T2i (550D) EOS DSLR,HomeFarhan Sabir @ 15:24

Hmm … so I need to buy a DSLR, cheaper and quality. Open up Google and you will find prolly millions of links providing detailed guides to Digital SLR world. Frankly, I dont need all those details. I am not even sure what a DSLR is .. I just need a nice Camera to get professional pictures, and then I will learn how to use it :)

So, I started my research. In a couple of days I had already shorlisted the manufacturer i.e., Top of the Line: Canon or Nikon. Others just go down the list. So with this I started searching for Cameras. Not aware of the features and stuff, I started with Nikon D3000. Almost ready to buy but delaying …. just in case I am missing something in my research. Next day I found out this one doesnt have videos at all. costs around $450 CAD. Ok, so i move to the next step Nikon D5000. Now this one has video at 720p (better than nothing). 12.3 MP i guess. Looks cool. Priced at around $650 with standard 18-55 lense. Now stuck on this one, did some further research. Sooner, I read reviews stating the video is very difficult and doesnt really produce professional results. I might be wrong, but thats what i gathered the next day. Now, whats the next one …..

I talked to a friend in an arts company and asked for his opinion. “Cheap with Quality” is something that we all ask for and where all professionals laugh. They are right, but what do I do … I need a good one with teh cheapest price. This guy said he personally likes Canon instead of Nikon. Canon lenses are a bit costly, but you get the same quality. Cheap, he said Nikon D3000 is cheap and is good starter camera for still pictures only. So, now, I started looking for something equivalent in Canon. Later my wife said, if you have to spend that much, why not spend a bit more and get a good quality camera instead of regretting later why didnt I buy xxx model. Something like that is hardly expected from a wife, but wasnt bad at all. So i jumped a step up. Was thinking of buying Rebel T1i, but then decided on T2i.

Canon Rebel EOS T2i 550D is really a nice one. Its 18.x MP, deal got me a 16MB SDHC card as well, and a camera cover. And its Canon … so I just bought it for 999 + taxes/warranty.

Initially I was just using it with full automatic mode. Which actually gives you some real nice quality pix, but … thing is, if you want to get pictures like that, why not buy a $200 camera and enjoy the ease of use? :) Thats what my friend told me who has some quality DSLRs. Very true. But when you turn away from automatic, things change drastically. You are suddenly sitting in an aero plan and you know nothing about it. Some experimentation and paying around with image settings,i got around 5 good ones out of a 100 that i took. I specially like its continuous shooting mode. Taking a picture of someone, we normally have sudden unexpected things. The person blinked or moved a little and picture got screwed. In this one, instead of 1, take 2 or may 10 snaps at a time. At least one will be really good. Frankly, I got more than one out of those 10. Yu get pics with eyes closed. looking away from camera and stuff, but you get really nice pictures as well.

I love this camera for indoor and outdoor shooting. Indoor, i still need some tuning and practice to get nice pictures. Kind of the same with outdoors as well :) but outdoors is easy. Sunlight pictures, shaded area pictures, images with backlight, taking a picture with camera facing the sun. I am loving it.

Video, havent tried long ones yet but unlike standard point and shoot cameras, you have t be an expert to record videos. Focusing is a problem when the object is moving. Will post more when i am done with the reading-manual step (hard for me), and watching some more learning videos.

Feel free to leave your comments or questions if you want.


Jan 26 2010

TigerDirect.ca – Bad Customer Service with Good Prices

Category: HomeFarhan Sabir @ 10:21

TigerDirect.ca has very good prices. I am not sure about their other stores, but the one in Markham … is probably owned by *all* special people including sales reps, tech people, and the manager. Worst customer service experience you will ever have. Two of my personal experiences:

1. I purchased a WD Passport 500GB external drive which was supposed to have a standard USB. A couple of my friends already have WD with standard USB cable). However, the one I got had a special Non-Standard-USB connector connecting to the drive side. So i cannot use a standard USB cable with it making it useless for me, as i have to carry the cable with me all the time. I went back to the store to return it. First rude guy on counter said “You have to pay 15% restocking fee”. Why? Because the drive is ok and we cannot help you with the USB problem”. Not so nice. So the next step – talk to the store manager. This guy is more rude than the sales person on counter. After explaining everything to him, he said “There is nothing wrong with the drive. It can still work. So if you want to return something on your own choice you have to pay 15 percent fee”. I tried explaining to him the problem again. But its like talking to a wall, a robot or grocery store person about IT things. No way, same answer “if you want to return it pay the restocking fee”. So … eventually you say ‘to hell with it’, its useless anyways. Paid the fifteen percent fee, and returned home  Point is, these guys on the store are really rude. No customer service experience, no nothing. Its like you ask another question and this guy will punch you in the face. It’s like talking to a grocery store person about IT Stuff. I had the same experience on BestBuy and they returned it with smiling face and NO fees of course.

2. I saw a Samsung 24 inch monitor on their website, and thought it is quicker and saves shipping if I pick it up myself. Went to the same Markham store and there was only one Samsung 22 inch on the floor. So I asked a rep do you have other Samsung models that i saw on your website? TigerDirect.ca rep tells me and trust me VERY rudely “This is our store, we keep the inventory of the items we like. TigerDirect is a franchise. What they keep on their website is their choice, what we keep in the store is our choice”. That really sucks. What if you go to a big chain of stores, with one of their Web SKUs, and they tell you its an independent store and they cant help you what the head office keeps in web stock. (20100125)

TogerDirect Markham – if you want to run your own store, get out of the umbrella of TigerDirect. If you want to keep it, give some respect to its customers.


Jul 20 2009

Elastix – the best choice for an in-house phone system

Category: HomeFarhan Sabir @ 17:12

Elastix is a linux distribution / a package / a bundle based on CentOS 5.x, Asterisk, FreePBX and several other utilities. In addition to the standard FreePBX features, some special features include the built-in drivers of most of the telephony cards, easyily configurable phones, Asterisk2Billing, Conferencing, Conference-Bridges, GUI for Network Setup, Backup and Restore, updates, SugarCRM, VTiger CRM, mail client and a lot more.

Elastix is FREE. Thats the best quality of this system compared to it predecessor Trixbox who have commercial and freeware editions, which really sucks. But its the choice of people using it, Elastix is new compared to something in the market for years. So the users are very limited, but growing at a very fast speed.


Mar 15 2009

Hi Everyone! Thank you visiting my blog

Category: HomeFarhan Sabir @ 14:19

I plan on putting on more stuff during the days to come which are numbered :-)

Lets hope i can do what i plan to do.


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