Friday, July 24, 2009

Golden Dome Mosque : Dian Al-Mahri

 

Golden Dome Mosque or in Indonesia means Mesjid Kubah Emas, is one of the most beautiful mosque in Indonesia. It is the new landmark of Depok City. The mosque building has 5 domes, the biggest one is the main dome. The main dome diameter is 2o metre. And the other 4 domes diameter are 7 metre.

If you intersted to know more about this mosque, follow this link.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Canon EOS 500D (Digital Rebel T1i / Kiss X3 Digital) Review

Review based on a production Canon EOS 500D

image

Only fourteen months after the launch of the EOS Rebel XSi (450D), Canon has unveiled its newest model, the Rebel T1i (500D). It is the 5th generation of Rebel and enters the market at a difficult time - in the middle of a global economical downturn and against the roughest competition we have ever seen in the entry-level DSLR sector.

The 500D/T1i doesn't quite have to be the everyman camera that its predecessors were. The introduction of the Rebel XS (1000D) in June 2008 means the T1i no longer has to appeal to everybody who doesn't want to stretch to buying into the 50D class. As a result, the 450D was able to bulk up its feature set to include a selection of features that price-conscious shoppers don't necessarily realize they want, such as a larger viewfinder and spot metering. The result was probably the most complete Rebel we'd seen.

There's a full explanation of the differences between the 500D/T1i and it predecessor on the coming pages but, in general terms, it's a gentle re-working of the 450D. So you get the 15MP sensor much like the one that appears in the 50D, helping this to become the first entry-level DSLR to feature video (and 1080p HD video at that). You also get the lovely 920,000 dot VGA monitor that has been slowly working its way down most manufacturer's DSLR line-ups. There are a handful of other specification tweaks that come from the use of the latest Digic 4 processor but essentially this is most of a 50D stuffed into the familiar 450D body.

And, if the loss of the letter 'X' from the US name seems a bit disconcerting, you can comfort yourself with the knowledge that the Japanese market will still know it by the odd-to-European-ears 'Kiss X3 Digital.' For simplicity's sake, we'll refer to the 500D/T1i/Kiss X3 by the name 500D throughout the rest of the review.

A brief history; Canon entry level digital SLR series

· 20/08/03 : Canon EOS 300D / Digital Rebel (6 mp)

· 17/02/05 : Canon EOS 350D / Digital Rebel XT (8 mp)

· 24/08/06 : Canon EOS 400D / Digital Rebel XTi (10 mp)

· 24/01/08 : Canon EOS 450D / Digital Rebel XSi (12 mp)

· 10/06/08 : Canon EOS 1000D / Digital Rebel XS (10 mp)*

· 25/03/09 : Canon EOS 500D / Digital Rebel T1i (15.1 mp)

* The Canon EOS 1000D represents a sub-class of the Rebel series and hence should be considered a parallel series

Compared to predecessor - key differences

Although for the time being the EOS 500D will sit alongside the 450D in the Canon DSLR line-up there is no doubt that sooner or later it will replace the older model and occupy the spot between the 1000D as and the EOS 50D on its own. The most noticeable new features on the EOS 500D are the higher resolution sensor, the new high-res LCD and the HD video mode but the camera also comes with the latest generation DIGIC imaging processor which brings a few more low-key improvements such as fine-tunable noise reduction and Highlight Tone Priority or a fresher, animated menu design with it. See the list and table below for all the spec and feature changes..

· Higher resolution sensor (15.1 vs 12.2 effective megapixels)

· Extended ISO range up to ISO 12800

· HD video capability

· New 3.0 inch 920K pixels screen

· Adjustable noise reduction and highlight tone priority

· Face Detection in Live View

· Peripheral Illumination Correction

· HDMI output

· Larger buffer in continuous shooting

· Digic 4 style menu design

Canon EOS 500D vs. EOS 450D feature and specification differences

Canon EOS 500D

Canon EOS 450D

Sensor

15.1 million effective pixels

12.2 million effective pixels

Image sizes

· 4752 x 3168

· 3456 x 2304

· 2353 x 1568

· 4272 x 2848

· 3088 x 2056

· 2256 x 1504

Image processor

DIGIC 4

DIGIC III

Sensitivity

ISO 100 to 3200, extendable to(6400) and H (12800)

ISO 100 to 1600

Auto ISO

ISO 100 to 1600

ISO 100 to 800

Noise reduction

Four levels

On/Off

Auto lighting optimizer

Four levels

On/Off

Viewfinder info

Now includes Highlight Tone Priority icon

LCD monitor

· 3.0 " TFT LCD

· 920,000 dots

· 3.0 " TFT LCD

· 230,000 dots

Video mode

· 1080p @ 20fps

· 720p @ 30fps

· VGA @ 30fps

· MOV (Video: H.264, Sound: Linear PCM)

No video capability

Live view AF

· Quick mode (Phase detect)

· Live view mode (Contrast detect)

· Face detect (Contrast detect)

· Quick mode (Phase detect)

· Live view mode (Contrast detect)

Peripheral illumination

correction

Profiles of 25 lenses includes

High-speed continuous

· 3.4 fps

· 170 JPEG/Fine frames

· 9 RAW frames

· 3.5 fps

· 53 JPEG/Fine frames

· 6 RAW frames

Menu UI

Digic 4 interface

Digic III interface

Connectors

· USB 2.0 Hi-Speed

· Video output (PAL/ NTSC) (integrated with USB terminal)

· HDMI Type C

· USB 2.0 Hi-Speed

· Video output (PAL/ NTSC) (integrated with USB terminal)

Menu languages

25

20

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Conclusion – Pros

· Good resolution and detailed output (but only very marginally better than 450D)

· Decent (but not 'best in class') high ISO JPEG performance

· Extended ISO speed up to 12800 (not great quality but it's there for emergencies)

· Good quality HD video (but sound output does not match the image quality)

· Currently the cheapest 1080P video capable DSLR (albeit only at 20fps)

· Overall snappy and responsive performance

· Very clear, high resolution 3.0 inch screen with anti-reflection coating (but still hardly usable in sunny conditions)

· Brightest and largest viewfinder in class

· Good number of external controls provide quick access to all important shooting parameters and the interactive quick control panel is a good alternative for those who prefer the compact camera style of controls

· Intuitive menu system and customizable 'My Menu'

· Good control over High ISO NR

· Fairly efficient Highlight Tone Priority features preserves some additional highlight detail

· Reliable flash exposure

· Peripheral illumination correction

· Optional battery grip

· HDMI output

· Comprehensive software package included

· Good battery life

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Conclusion - Cons

· Visibly more noise in RAW files than some of the competition

· Slightly less highlight range in JPGs than the competition

· Relatively limited RAW headroom, channel clipping means color accuracy can often not be maintained when recovering clipped areas in RAW conversion

· Metering has occasional tendencies to overexpose in very bright, contrasty conditions

· Unreliable auto white balance and presets under artificial light

· Still slightly plasticy appearance and surfaces

· Grip is a little small for larger hands

· Flash has to be raised for AF assist (although AF is good even in low light)

· Limited exposure compensation range (+/- 2.0 EV)

· Contrast detect AF so slow it's useless for most types of photography (it's the same for most of the competition though)

· Slightly more expensive than the competition

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Overall conclusion

The EOS 500D is the latest incarnation of a highly successful line of cameras and although the 'entry level' market segment is these days much more crowded than it used to be, we would be very surprised if the new model would not sell like hotcakes.

All the major manufacturers cram more and more new features into their 'budget' offerings but the EOS 500D is arguably the currently best specced camera in the segment, which lifts it some distance above pure 'entry level' territory. It comes with the highest resolution sensor (15.1 effective megapixels) in its class, an excellent 3.0 inch high resolution screen, extended sensitivity up to ISO 12800 and the arguably for many users most attractive new feature, a movie mode that records 1080P/20fps or 720P/30fps High Definition video footage.

It combines all this with decent image quality and while its appearance might be a little plasticy and the handling can be difficult with larger hands the 500D's main problem could be that it's a little pricier than most of its direct competitors which, in these times of economic turmoil, might render it less attractive to some potential buyers.

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Image Quality

At base ISO the 500D produces clean and detailed output with natural colors but to make the most of the camera's 15 megapixels for big enlargements or cropping you should invest in good lenses. At least towards the edges of the frame the kit-lenses struggle to resolve all the detail in a scene.

The Canon does a decent job at higher sensitivities and up to ISO 1600 produces perfectly usable output that shows good detail but also visibly more chroma noise than the Nikon D5000 (if you're willing to sacrifice some image detail you get rid of it almost entirely by setting noise reduction to 'Strong' though). ISO 3200 gets visibly softer and the two highest settings produce a very intrusive type of color noise. They should therefore be firmly reserved for emergency situations.

When shooting in RAW the picture changes slightly to the negative. The 'extra quality' you can usually get out of RAW files compared to shooting in JPEG is relatively limited on the 500D. One reason for that is the quality of the camera's JPEG engine. It is doing a pretty good job at 'optimizing' the JPEG output when converting the RAW data. However, the 500D's RAW images are also slightly lagging behind some of the competition and surprisingly even the 450D in terms of high ISO noise and to a smaller degree in terms of pixel level detail. It's not going to be an issue when checking images at screen size but it's certainly visible up-close.

Metering is generally reliable but, like the 450D, in bright conditions the EOS 500D has a tendency to overexpose resulting in clipping of highlights. And although the JPEG dynamic range in the highlights is slightly smaller than on the predecessor there's enough headroom in raw files to pull back highlight detail in most of those shots. It's therefore recommendable, especially in bright and contrasty conditions, to always shoot JPEG + RAW. Otherwise you'd better check your exposures carefully and apply some negative exposure compensation where necessary.

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Handling

We have in the past been slightly critical about the handling of the 500D's predecessors and we're still not too keen on the camera's ergonomics. The grip is comparatively small and, especially for photographers with larger hands, the camera doesn't sit as comfortably in the hand as, for example, the Nikon D5000 or Olympus E-620. The external controls give you good access to the most frequently changed shooting parameters but we'd love to see a 50D style second control wheel. Having said that we are looking at a budget camera here and the manufacturers have to draw the line somewhere.

The menu design is very intuitive and for everybody stepping up from a digital compact camera the Quick Control Screen will be a welcome alternative to changing settings via the hard buttons. All in all the EOS 500D is a camera that, after some initial adaption time, you will find easy to use. Just make sure you hold one before you buy and check if its smallish grip is suitable for you.

Like most current SLRs the live view feature is, mainly due to the very slow AF, of limited use outside the studio and while the video mode delivers excellent quality footage it offers very little manual control. None of these points are deal breakers though and Canon might even, like it did in the case of the 5D Mark II, at some point offer a new firmware to allow for more manual interference.

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The final word

If you currently own an EOS 450D or another fairly recent entry-level DSLR from an image quality point of view there is not necessarily a need to upgrade to the EOS 500D. However, the HD video mode, new high-resolution screen or extended ISO range make it easier to justify the expense if you're likely to use these features. For anybody buying their first DSLR the 500D is an easy recommendation but you might want to have a look at the Nikon D5000 as well. It comes with a similar feature set to the 500D ('only' 720P video though) and performs slightly better in low light.

Detail (D-SLR)

Rating (out of 10)

Build quality

8.0

Ergonomics & handling

8.0

Features

9.0

Image quality

8.5

Performance (speed)

8.0

Value

8.0

Highly Recommended

Source: www.dpreview.com (for complete review click here)

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