Monday, October 28, 2013

From Singapore to Malaysia - Lumix FZ70

Just how powerful is this Lumix FZ70 that come with 60X zoom? I'm impressed with the super zoom power!

I shoot the video below on the Main bridge of Sungei Buluh Wetland Reserve. See for yourself.... Amazing!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

MacRitchie Reservoir with Lumix FZ70

After testing the Lumix FZ70 at SBWR on mud flat and mangrove on Saturday, I decided to test it in the forest where the lighting usually not conducive for photo taking. So, I bring the camera to Central Catchment Nature Reserve.
MacRitchie Reservoir
To cover the whole reserve, I will probably need 6 hours (include explore and photo taking).
MacRitchie Reservoir
Since I only have 3 hours to spend as I have another appointment at noon, I choose the shortest route & set my target to Jelutong Tower via Lornie Road.
Greater Racket-Tailed Drongo(Dicrurus paradiseus)
I can hear several Greater Racket-Tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus) calling the minute I step into the reserve. Is not difficult to spot them by just follow the direction of their metallic call.
Blue-Tailed Bee-Eater( Merops philippinus)
One of the winter visitor to the reserve, a Blue-Tailed Bee-Eater (Merops philippinus)
Blue-Crowned Hanging Parrot ( Loriculus galgulus)
This Blue-Crowned Hanging Parrot ( Loriculus galgulus) perched really high up the tree, thanks to the 60X zoom of the camera. I managed to take a photo of it.
Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)
This Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) was waiting for his breakfast in the water.
Stork-billed kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis)
This Stork-billed kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis) also perch on the tree above the water waiting for the right time to strike for his breakfast.
Collared kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris)
This Collared kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris) is also busy hunting for his breakfast.
From far it looks like a earthworm. But is not. It looks like poo of some worm. It could be from earthworm, but I'm not sure.
Board walk
Before reaching the tower, we will need to use this board walk & go through the dense undergrowth. This is one of the good area for bird watching. Sunbird, babbler, bulbul can be seen very frequently along this board walk.
Flying Dragon
Flying dragon or gecko, they can glide from tree to tree.
Striped Tit Babbler (Macronous gularis)
This Striped Tit Babbler (Macronous gularis) hardly come to the open and they don't stop still, this is one of the common but yet difficult to take a good photo of.
Asian Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi)
Another uncommon winter visitor join the bird wave. This Asian Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi) got a grasshooper for breakfast.
Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa dauurica)
Another winter visitor that only around from Oct to March - Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa dauurica)
Hill Myna (Gracula religios)
A flock of four Hill Myna (Gracula religios) made a stop here before flying to the other part of the forest.
Rhodothemis rufa (Common Redbolt)
Since is a reservoir, there are a lot of dragonfly here. They provide good photography opportunity. This beautiful red dragonfly is Rhodothemis rufa (Common Redbolt)
Macrogomphus quadratus (Common Flangetail)
Macrogomphus quadratus (Common Flangetail)
Neurothemis fluctuans (Common Parasol)
Neurothemis fluctuans (Common Parasol)
Rhyothemis triangularis (Sapphire Flutterer)
A very unique looking Rhyothemis triangularis (Sapphire Flutterer).

After playing with this camera for 2 days, I really like the mobility & ease of use. Most importantly, this camera can shoot in RAW. I can then further process/enhance the photo using photo editing software such as Photoshop.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

SBWR Shoot Out with Lumix DMC-FZ70

For once, I leave my DSLR at home and carry with me only my mobile & a point & shoot camera. Well, this point & shoot camera is not just any normal point & shoot camera. This is the latest model released by Panasonic - Lumix FZ70 with the longest lens on a point & shoot camera that you can find in the market. The camera capable of shooting a wide range of subjects from a wide angle of 20mm to a super zoom of 1200mm.
Lumix FZ70 60X zoom
I mount the camera on tripod to further stabilize the camera when shooting at maximum zoom.
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
To test this camera, I choose Sungei Buluh Wetland Reserve (SBWR) as my testing ground. As SBWR is the place to watch waders, most of the times they are quite far away from the hide. This will be the best way to test the super zoom capabilities of the camera. All visitors to SBWR will have to cross this wooden bridge in order to reach the reserve.
Storks, Egrets
After setting the camera to Speed Priority mode, I straight away put the camera zoom to test. This flock of storks & egrets was taken at the maximum zoom of 1200mm! I'm surprise with the quality of this photo. Is almost as good as an entry level DSLR.
Common Redshank (Tringa totanus)
The camera can handle the reflections from the water quite well when I shoot this Common Redshank.
Chinese Egret (Egretta eulophotes)
With speed priority mode, I shoot this Chinese Egret (Egretta eulophotes) with 1/1000 and I'm able to capture the egret manipulate the worm before swallowing it. Chinese Egret are consider not common/rare in Singapore and I'm happy to see it again this year. They look very similar to Little egret but with blue facial skin & greenish leg instead of black.
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)
 Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)
Bar Tailed Godwits (Limosa lapponica)
 Almost the same size with the Whembrel, but Bar Tailed Godwits (Limosa lapponica) have a slightly curve up long bill.
Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilus)
 Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilus)
Milky Stork (Mycteria cinerea)
 An sub-adult Milky Stork (Mycteria cinerea) with dirty look plumage.
From mudflat, I walk over to mangrove boardwalk. There a lots of archerfish near the water surface as it is now the high tide. Archerfish able to shoot down insect above water with jet of water.
Mangrove tree
With the boardwalk visitors to the reserve able to explore deep in the mangrove even during high tide.
Crab blow bubble
 During high tide, the tree climbing crabs are all up on the tree.
Giant mud skipper
So as this giant mud-skipper. Perch himself on the tree branch yet still half submerge in water.
water monitor lizard
Not sure what have this water monitor lizard just ate. It is now trying to keep the body warm under the sun. It look so huge!
After I have enough of the super zoom, is time to test the camera on macro. Well, I must say without additional attachment/filter, the camera just not design to handle macro shots.
Dragonfly (Neurothemis fluctuans)
 Instead of trying to shoot in macro, I use the zoom and shoot further away on this dragonfly (Neurothemis fluctuans)
Dragonfly (Orthetrum sabina)
 Dragonfly (Orthetrum sabina)
This skink is also trying to keep the body warm by staying under the direct sunlight.

With this test, I would say this is a good camera if you are looking for a camera to shoot wildlife with a good zoom. Another plus point for this camera is that you can actually shoot in raw (uncompressed) or raw with jpg. With raw file, you will be able to further process your photo using a photo editing software on pc. If your preference is macro, than this camera may not suit you.

How about the video performance? Well, you have to come back. I will upload some videos later & you can see it for yourself. :)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


autumn, 秋


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Trip to Singapore Japanese Garden

It has been a while since I last visited Singapore Japanese Garden. Is now a good time to re-visit this garden as both resident & migratory birds can be found in the garden. As usual, I head straight to the lotus pond and saw this Milky Stork.
Milky Stork (Mycteria cinerea)
We are very fortunate to be able to watch this beautiful bird in such a close distance.
Milky Stork, Little Heron
After about 5 minutes, another bird join in and try to fish at the same area.
Milky Stork, Little Heron, Little Egret
Not just one or two but three different species feeding at the same place!
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
This is the second heronry that I saw in Singapore! Is amazing that the grey herons (Ardea cinerea) are doing well here in such a highly urbanised Singapore!
Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)
 Across the river, I spotted 2 purple heron (Ardea purpurea).
White Throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)
 There are 3 types of kingfisher in this garden. Collared Kingfisher, White Throated Kingfisher (photo above) & the winter visitor - Common Kingfisher.
Rufous Woodpecker (Celeus brachyurus)
 What a lucky day, I saw 2 different woodpecker visit the same spot one after another! First was this Rufous Woodpecker (Celeus brachyurus).
Common Flameback (Dinopium javanense)
 and follow by this Common Flameback (Dinopium javanense).
Brown-Throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis)
 One of the biggest sunbirds in Singapore - Brown-Throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis).
Pacific Swallow (Hirundo tahitica)
 One of the 2 swallow that can be found in the garden is this Pacific Swallow (Hirundo tahitica).
Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)
Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) can be found at urban area and not just limit to coastal area.
Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus)
One of the most common bird in Singapore - Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus).
White-Breasted Waterhen(Amaurornis phoenicurus)
 White-Breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus) out in the open.
Asian Glossy Starling (Aplonis panayensis)
 Flock of Asian Glossy Starling (Aplonis panayensis) birds with stripes are juveniles.
Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus)
 Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus) one of the winter visitor will stay here for few months before returning to their country of origin.
Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
 Common kingfisher too will stay here for he next few months.
Brown-Chested Jungle Flycatcher (Rhinomyias brunneata)
 This looks like a Brown-Chested Jungle Flycatcher (Rhinomyias brunneata).
Yellow Rumped Flycatcher (Ficedula zanthopygia)
 Can't get a clear shot of this Yellow Rumped Flycatcher (Ficedula zanthopygia).
Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicolor)
An introduced species, Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicolor).
Water Monitor (Varanus salvator)
It used to be very common in the garden, now I'm seeing less of this Water Monitor (Varanus salvator).

By November, more migratory birds will arrive here and I'm sure it will be another exciting trip next month!