Switching to the SMALL side – Olympus OMD M5 MK1

After using my Nikon D600 for the past 3 years, it is now time to try out an alternative option I never considered before.  There is a good reason why I did not go for a smaller camera in the past.

You see, the first thing I will consider when getting a new DSLR is the grip size.  With the entry levels Nikon and Canon DSLR, they were just too small to my liking.  I can work with one and i would need to have the battery grip on it, but this will increase the weight.  Which was the reason why I bought my last camera, NiKon D90.  The camera size was right fitted to my hand without the battery grip.  I used this camera for 2 years before I upgraded to my currently DSLE, the Nikon D600 with the infamous shutter oil drip issue.  Which I will keep since Nikon promised to service the sensor for free for the life of the camera.

So lets talk about my new toy.  The idea came in after my reason trip to China/HK/Macau where in my last day of the trip in Macau, I ditched my D600 and walk around with my Samsung Galaxy Note 4.  It was a different experience to walk for about less then 10KM round trip from the Star World Casino to the Grand Prix Museum and then to the famous San Paula and heads to the Sands Macau.  The weight reduction made me rethink of having a smaller camera.

So I started to look at a second camera, targeting the prosumer grade camera like Canon G16, Nikon P7800 and Fujifilm X20 (an upgrade of what I had before the Fujifilm X10).  With the secondhand market price of around RM 1000.  I soon get side tracked for the currently running promotion of Fujifilm X30, an RM400 cash rebate if I bought the camera before end of September.  I quickly shopping around for the best deals and I found an authorized seller in Lowyat forum that offered me RM2000.  With the rebate from Fujifilm, I will ended up paying RM1600 and that is about RM800 saving on top of the recommended retail price.

Very keen on it I also looked up the similar Fujifilm XE1 series.  The secondhand market is around RM1000 and if I forked up to get a copy of the secondhand Fujinon XF 16-55mm 2.8 R, which is around RM1000 too, I will ended up with a more versatile camera system that I can see myself having fun in the next few years.  But then, I found another promotion from KLDSLR, a white Sony A6000 with kit lens will cost only RM1850 brand new.  Spoiled with choices, I start to revise my options, which was when I realized, none of those camera actually came with weather sealing.  Which means, if I am to travel with them, I may not be able to take any shots when bad weather is on the way, this has been proven useful in quick a few of my trips in the past.

This was where I found the Olympus OMD series and glad to know that both EM5 and EM1 are weather sealed that should protect the camera with equivalent weather sealed lens for minor water splash.   Although EM1 was way out of my price range even for a secondhand copy, the EM5 body was about the same price as the Fujifilm XE1.  I started to focus my hunt for a good secondhand copy, and there were quite a few in the market, ranging from RM900 body only to about RM1999 with the Olympus M.Zuiko12-50 EZ ED kits in shop.  I settle with a private seller in Lowyat forum that offered RM1700 with a third party hand grip and original packaging.

My initial impression of the EM5 was “what a solid build camera”, though I was very disappointed with the picture quality of the camera at high iso.  Coming from a full frame DSLR, I never need to second thoughts to raise the ISO to 6400, but with EM5.  The noises are very obvious even at ISO 800.  I am still playing with the setting and crawling through forums.  I have decided to invest in a pro series walk about lens and the HLD-6 battery grip with some third party batteries.  Lets see how much more I will need to spent on this camera before move back to DSLR.

The new journal of a new toy has begun.  🙂

Kuala Lumpur City Grand Prix 2015

An exciting weekend that is.  For years I always wanted to attend one of those street racing events like the one hosted in Singapore at night.  This time it is so happening that I am at KL and it became no excuses to not going there to look see look see.

For RM50 it got me access to the Pits Stop area where the backend actions happened.  This is quite worth it. The next level tickets started from RM300 which FMHO, sitting at the stage with no shed and can’t walk around for different views were no brainer.

Below are some shots from the weekend.

NIKON D600 (70mm, f/8, 1/2000 sec, ISO1250)
NIKON D600 (70mm, f/2.8, 1/4000 sec, ISO800)
NIKON D600 (70mm, f/2.8, 1/4000 sec, ISO800)
NIKON D600 (24mm, f/13, 1/2000 sec, ISO1250)
NIKON D600 (24mm, f/7.1, 1/2000 sec, ISO1250)
NIKON D600 (24mm, f/3.5, 1/2000 sec, ISO800)
NIKON D600 (185mm, f/3.2, 1/1600 sec, ISO800)
NIKON D600 (200mm, f/5.6, 1/2500 sec, ISO800)
NIKON D600 (86mm, f/6.3, 1/2500 sec, ISO1600)
NIKON D600 (120mm, f/5.6, 1/2500 sec, ISO800)
NIKON D600 (70mm, f/4.5, 1/320 sec, ISO800)
NIKON D600 (70mm, f/4.5, 1/320 sec, ISO800)
NIKON D600 (70mm, f/4, 1/2500 sec, ISO800)
NIKON D600 (200mm, f/7.1, 1/2500 sec, ISO800)
NIKON D600 (200mm, f/7.1, 1/2500 sec, ISO800)

Simple XenDesktop 7.6 Setup

A few days ago, I have started to download and install XenDesktop 7.6 in preparation for the CCEE upgrade exam.  The goal is to setup a new domain environment with simple XenApp and XenDesktop setup initially, then move on to XenServer setup with PVS streaming.

Here are some quick notes for the first phase:

3x Windows Server 2012 R2 Data Center VM.

1x Windows 8.1 VM.

  • VMDV001: Domain Controller with Enterprise Certificate Authority
  • VMCV001: XenDesktop 7.6 server with Delivery Controller, Storefront, License, Controller and SQL Express installed.
  • VMCV002: Server with VDA 7.6 installed.
  • VMW001:  Workstation to test Citrix client connection.

1. I have created linked clone to my existing Windows Server 2012 R2 template and build the servers to OS level.  Rename and configure required static IP address.  As I am using Unifi as my gateway to go to the Internet so initially I had my DNS set to 8.8.8.8 to test the networking is working.

2.  Once it is done, install ADDS role on the domain controller.  Promote it as domain controller.  Part of this will install DNS server role and point the DNS to self.  Once all done, logon and include 8.8.8.8 as DNS Forwarder (if not already included automatically).

3. Create a few test users.  Make a friendly user account as Domain Admins.  I like to use that custom account instead of the default administrator account.  Create new groups: XAUsers and XDUsers.

4. Update the rest of the servers to point the DNS to the domain controller and proceed to join them to the domain.  Once restarted, test logon with the custom user.

5.  Install Certificate Authority role, setup as Enterprise CA.  Make sure Workstation, User and Webserver certificate template is available.  Restart domain controller first, once it is up, restart the rest of the servers.  If the servers still don’t have a certificate issued by the enterprise CA installed, manually request one using the certificate MMC (Computer Local).

6. Now attach the XenDesktop 7.6 ISO, install all of the essential roles to the XenDesktop server, VMCV001.  When this is done, your Citrix Studio and Storefront management console will be available to you.  Follow the wizard to setup the first Citrix site.  The configuration should keep at the minimum, but do update the authentication in Storefront to include Domain Passthrough and set the default trusted domain to your AD domain.

7. Launch IIS console on the VMCV001.  Request a Webserver certificate via the certificate mmc.  Once it is installed, enable SSL on the Citrix site.  Also enabled Windows Integrated authentication and Basic Authentication as authentication method.  Configure Storefront to use SSL.

8.  Attached the ISO to the VMCV002 and install VDA.  Point Delivery Controller to VMCV001.  At the end of the installation process it should restart the server once for you.

9.  On Citrix Studio, create a new Machine Catalog, select Windows Server OS as the operating system.  Select VMCV002 as the computer under Machines.  Finish off the wizard to complete the machine cataog creation.

10. On Citrix Studio, create a new Delivery Group.  We will publish both server desktop and selected installed applications.  Under Machines, select 1 server under the previously created machine catalog.  Under the Delivery type, select Desktop and Application.  Select the XAUsers and XDUsers security groups as the users.  Under application, pick the application you want to make available via XenApp.  Under Storefront, select the previously configured Storefront URL.  At this point in time, the Storefront site should be secured.

11.  Now it is probably a good time to setup the test workstation.  Create a VM with desktop OS of your choice, join to the domain, make sure the enterprise root CA cert is installed after the workstation is restarted.

12.  Browse to the Storefront URL.  The URL is http://vmcv001.yourodmain.com/Citrix/StoreWeb.   If everything is configured correctly, you should be SSO to the Citrix site and presented you with the available published desktop icon.  Click and test.

 

Turn This Off – Windows 10 Update Seeding

If you have been wondering why your Internet has been getting slower after you have upgraded to Windows 10, no, there is no new updates from MS.  Apparently they have been using your device to seed the updates to other users.  TURN IT OFF as it will use up your bandwidth.

Microsoft uses your device to seed Windows 10 Updates. Here’s how to disable it | SoyaCincau Have you noticed a recent spike in your data usage? Is your data reaching its cap for no reason? Upgrading to Windows 10 might be the problem. A thread on

Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6 Lab

Last chance to upgrade my CCEE before 11th August, as the English version of the exam will be discontinued, I am forced to play catch up on the Citrix technologies.  Just last week after an accidental restart of my laptop, Windows 10 Pro is now officially running on my laptop.  I was quite cautious of the applications installed on the preview, as the very first release, installing hypervisor actually stopped my network connection for some reasons I didn’t bother to figure out.

As of now, since it is now released and activated, I have installed VMWare Workstation 11 the first time after I got the license from my VCP upgrade exam a few months back.  All my previous templates and setup are still working.  However, to keep it simple, I started my domain controller and created a Windows Server 2012 server linked clone from the template.  So far so good.  I will update later with the new lab setup and hopefully I can do some testing with my Citrix receiver on my tablet and mobile phone too.

The Fen Pang web notes.