My gears for Vlogging

So to kickstart my YouTube content creation journey, I need the relevant gears. As I am practising to be as minimalistic as possible, I tried to minimise my expenses on expensive gears. So the most versatile option is to get a GoPro Hero 9, you can check out this blog post of mine. It is light, compact and excellent in videos, it can get to 5K resolution.

Cameras and Accessories

GoPro Hero 9 Black – One of my favourite compact action camera till date. It has a front screen which allows you to review your current composition and your position when you are recording in vlogging style. This is so useful especially it is so near the lens, and not making it obvious that your eyes are looking at the screen instead of the lens. I have tried vlogging with my old Nikon DSLR with the flip screen and most of the time, you will see my head is pointing towards the lens but my eyes are looking to the left. This is so weird. In addition, it can records up to 5K. So if you are thinking of getting a light, compact and useful camera for vlogging, you can consider GoPro Hero 9 Black.

GoPro Hero 9 Black with Media Mod

GoPro Hero 9 Media Mod – Media Mod, microphone for GoPro Hero 9 Black. Audio quality is still decent and cost SGD$120.00. It is still affordable but quality is not bad. Previously I got a Rode VideoMicro which does not have any batteries powering it. It has only one 3.5mm audio jack, and I am really unsure whether it is working or not. I tested the audio and seems no difference. Rode VideoMicro is much more cheaper. Media Mod is a recommended buy if you are looking for a fast and cheap setup for vlogging use.

Apple iPhone 11 – Mobile phone for my daily use as well as Mobile Photography. But soon iPhone 11 is going to phase off as iPhone 12 is out in the market now. Smartphone cameras can be great or even comparable with DSLR cameras but there is one factor that you will missed if you give up on DSLR. It is the ability to zoom in and still get great photos and videos footages. Smartphone can be very convenient and you can shoot and edit instantly on the go. This is the winning point of using your smartphone as a camera and a vlogging camera. By the way, vlogging does not need to zoom, so this can be the most recommended device for vlogging.

Olympus OMD E-M10 Mark 3 – This is my main entry level camera I used to take photos at the places I go. Mostly I use it with a 40mm-150mm Zoom lens to shoot photos of wild animals in the nature reserves of Singapore. I also used it to record videos of the animals when I visit Singapore Zoo (Check out the YouTube Video here). Photography has always been my hobby and also the reason why I bought this Micro Four Thirds camera. It is compact and portable for travels. Thumbs up but I would still recommend to go for Full Frame Cameras. Spend the money and you will not regret getting a full frame camera.

Olympus OMD E-M10 Mark III with kit lens and 40-150mm zoom lens

And of course with a camera backpack which I bought from a Japanese shop, it is called the Tokyu Hands in Singapore. The camera bag is big, and comes with a separate pouch to keep the camera body and lenses. It comes also with a rain poncho to wrap the whole bag. There are many pockets for you to keep the necessary stuffs for a photography shoot outdoors. However, the downside of this bag is too bulky. I guess this is the strong point of a camera backpack. On my next post, I will review the backpack I used for the photography trips. Stay tuned!

My wife took a photo of me when I was doing a YouTube vlog today. Light and easy to hold for the Nu grip.

Best tripod for GoPro Hero 9 – Nu Bear Nu Grip 4-in-1

This is the most awesome innovation of a handheld grip floating tripod. It floats on water and very suitable for travels. I bought this tripod via a Kickstarter campaign and it is serving me well! I bring GoPro and the Nu Bear grip to the places I go because it is so portable. You can check out my previous post on GoPro Hero 9 Black. If you are thinking of getting one, trust me, it is definitely worth it and with this Nu Grip, the combination is awesome.

Handheld Grip

Easy and comfortable to hold even long hours. With the three legs, it forms an ergonomic grip. It just weighs 140g, an ideal lightweight companion. However, even with the Nu Grip, I brought along the GoPro floating handgrip in case Nu Grip got damaged along the way of travelling.

Handheld grip. I took this photo at SuperTree grove.

Pole

Looking for a selfie stick for your GoPro, this is the one. If you can have 4 functions built into 1 product, why not right? This is definitely the top choice. By the way, this post is not sponsored by Nu Bear. This is my honest review of the Nu Grip. A portable selfie stick / tripod / handheld grip for GoPro Hero 9.

The selfie stick or Pole mode.

Float

If you are heading out to the beach, sea, and ocean, you will not be afraid of loving your GoPro Hero 9 because it floats. With the bright orange indicators at the bottom of the legs, makes it more prominent to locate where your GoPro is. If you are going scuba diving, then this is a must.

Tripod

This is by far my favorite feature of this Nu Bear Nu Grip, the tripod. And now I do not need to worry or feeling frustrated to bring different tripods for GoPro. Without this, I have to bring the floating hand grip and another tripod specifically for GoPro. With this Nu Grip, I need to bring only one. It is awesome. The height of the extended mode to tripod is not tall but is good enough for some videos.

Nu Bear Nu Grip 4-in-1 for GoPro Hero 9 Black.
This is what I meant. If you extend the pole and open up the tripod legs, it becomes a tripod. Closing the legs becomes the selfie stick. Awesome, isn’t it?

Pros and Cons of the Nu Grip

Pros

  • Portable. Very Portable
  • 4-in-1 built into 1 handheld grip
  • Floats on water
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to hold

Cons

  • Can only mount GoPro Hero as default, for smartphone need to buy another accessory
  • Extended mode still not as tall
  • Materials don’t feel solid enough

Check out https://www.nu-bear.com/

By the way, this post is not sponsored. It is my honest review of this Nu Grip and it has served me well for my vlogging and filmography usage. If you want to find out more, you can check out my Youtube Channel here.

https://www.youtube.com/c/VictorsChannel

Why I bought my GoPro Hero 9 Black?

Actually I bought my first GoPro Hero 9 Black a few months back after it is available in Singapore. This is my first GoPro action camera, but I used it for my Youtube Video Logging (vlogging) purposes. You can check out my channel after reading this post. I bought it with the subscription plan as it is cheaper and comes with a few freebies. It is definitely worth it.

Why I chose to buy GoPro Hero 9 Black and not Sony ZV-1?

First of all, I didn’t know that Sony is coming out with a new camera catered for content creators. Yea, so I guessed I have to be more updated with the newly tech news coming out everyday to keep a lookout of new gadgets. So let’s put Sony ZV-1 aside, and talk about GoPro.

GoPro has always been in my wishlist and finally I got it for the reasons below.

  • Compact but robust. Functions are great especially with the new HyperSmooth and the front LCD! Although it is still small but visible for vlogging use.
  • Built-In wide angle and super-wide angle. This is my favourite, especially it can take almost everything in your shot.
  • Great 4K quality outdoors. I don’t really use it indoors, but I noticed the quality is not as good as when you are outdoors with lots of light.
  • Light weight. Easy to bring for travels, but COVID’19 hit us badly. So overseas travels gone.
  • Water-Resistant. Yes it can go underwater and footage is still awesome. I don’t dive, so no worries on the 30m depth.

Overall, GoPro Hero 9 is still awesome but still expensive as ever. The cons about getting GoPro actually are the separately sold accessories.

The CONS of getting a GoPro Hero 9 Black

First of all, this is not a sponsored post or biased post. I love GoPro but there are still cons to it. Hopefully, the team is considering and fixing the cons of a GoPro

  • Battery not lasting, so I bought 3 batteries to standby
  • Accessories are separately sold, the head mount, chest mount, the floating handgrip, media mod
  • Not able to zoom in and zoom out

These are the cons I know, but I bought it with the GoPro subscription, so there are few freebies which comes with the GoPro.

Image from GoPro Singapore. This is the bundle I got. Definitely worth it as it comes with the casing. So when you travel, just pack everything into the case and ready to go. Get your GoPro here. https://amzn.to/3ihtwks

Additional Accessories I bought

  • Media Mod, $120
  • Chesty (Chest Mount), $60
  • Head strap + Quick Clip, $40
  • Hero 9 Black Dual Battery Charger + Spare battery, $75
  • Supercharger, $85

So total I spent $910 buying GoPro for my Youtube channel. It is definitely worth buying provided you have to take care of it like your child. It is small and fragile. I realised it can record up to 5k footage, but I used only 4K. Next time I shall try on the 5K and see the quality of the video.

So if you want to know more if the media mod is useful to you, check out my Youtube video below. I recorded with the Media Mod on the front mic, and removed the hummer and noise with Adobe Premiere Pro.

Recorded 4K video and audio with GoPro Hero9 Media Mod

Also to make the GoPro bundle complete, I bought NuBear Nu Grip 4-in-1. It can turn into grip, a selfie stick, a mini tripod and even floats on water.

https://www.nu-bear.com/
Image from Nu-bear.com

On my next posts, I will share with you the usefulness of this 4-in-1 Nu Grip. Worth the buy for GoPro Hero 9 Black in 2021.

Top few mobile apps essential for photographer

Hello again! This post is dedicated to anyone using their smartphones as their camera to shoot around the World. Smartphone camera is good enough to shoot a decent photo and you do not need professional or high end DSLR cameras to have the same effect. Occasionally it does especially comes to night shots.

So here I am today to compile a list of mobile applications I frequently used to edit or shoot my photos.

Google Snapseed

I didn’t know Google Snapseed is so useful and powerful as an editing tool until I watched Youtube for the tutorials on Snapseed. There are so many tools available on Snapseed and you can even do masking on certain parts of the photo. You can even install Google Snapseed on your computer and it is free! Check out here, https://snapseed.online/

Snapseed has the equivalent adjustment tools as Lightroom, the only missing tool is adjusting the individual colours. Lightroom can do that. So usually what photographers do, they export the image from Snapseed to Lightroom and adjust the individual colours of the image. Nobody said you cannot use both, so why not?

Look at the adjustment tools.
This photo is edited using Snapseed with many different layers to get the desired effect.

The tools I used most of the time are Selective, Curves, Tune Image, Details, Healing, and White Balance. The rest of it are kind of effects which you can try too.

Adobe Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom on Mobile

You see, Lightroom has the equivalent essential adjustment tools for your image and most of the time I use Light, Color, Effects and Detail, also Healing and Selective. If you are keen to get Adobe Photography bundle, you can check it out at Adobe website. I got mine for $14 per month, and there are number of applications you can use on computer and mobile phone.

Edited using Lightroom
This illustrates the Evolution of Mobile Phone technology, from the olden days to the advanced current technology

Instagram Layout

If you are comfortable with using Instagram, it also provides the necessary adjustment tools to enhance your image. It is good enough. You can even use the Layout app to make your image looks very artistic. I tried combining 2 photos together, both with different colours and it looks cool to me.

The Layout tool can help you to create fake reflections. Then you edit with Lightroom or Snapseed to make it realistic. 🙂
This is where New Technology meets the Old Technology

And lastly Apple Proprietary Photo editor

It also contains the essential adjustment tools but there is no masking. This is important if you can do selective areas to adjust or adjust the colours individually. Not too bad for a editor, overall it is free.

So remember to download all the applications listed here for your photography journey. It is very useful and powerful.

I am going to end this post here and do check out my Instagram and Blog for more posts!

Python – types of variables

Alright, so today I learnt there are 4 types of variables which can be assigned. Assigning a variable is using the Equal (=) to assign any value.

Variables can only start with letters or an underscore (_), starting with numbers are invalid.

Examples

string1 = “Hello World”

integer1 = 200

float1 = 203.1

The example is for Integer type

You can try it this way too.

The boolean data type can have one of two values, True or False. We use an assignment operator = to assign a boolean value to variables in a manner similar to what we have seen for integer and float values.

Example

TimeisPrecious = True

TimeisMoney = False

print(TimeisPrecious)

It will give you True.

Hello World – My first python project

Hello World has become the norm for beginners learning programming. So this is also my first time learning Python, which I got impressed when my ex-colleague coded a Python script for me as a project. The project is able to extract all data from Excel spreadsheets and combine them into 1 excel sheet and perform data analytics using PowerBI Dashboard. The script completes in a minute even with over 40 excel files. I am impressed and this is the reason I want to learn Python.

So to kickstart the learning journey, first install the Python 3.10.0 into your computer.

https://www.python.org/

If you are a Windows user, click on the “Windows” link.

Once installed successfully, you will see this in your MAC

You can launch the IDLE and the shell will launch for you to test out the commands.

So let’s try out some scripting as a beginner myself. The first command is to use the “print” function to print out any output.

print(“Hello World”)
print(“Welcome to my first Python Project”)

Or you can assign a value to a variable like below and print out the output.

string1 = “Hello World”
print(string1)

So if you have any projects in mind which is simple, you can try out on your own in Python. So next post, I will share about the different types of variable like integer, float etc.

SUmmary

Assign variable – string1 = “Hello World”

print function