New camera get! - Olympus OMD EM-5

Olympus OMD E-M5 Hello peeps, how are you enjoying your first days of spring?

If you look at the title of this post, you can probably guess how I will enjoy mine.

One of the reasons I stopped blogging for a while was my good ol' Nikon D3000. Lovely camera but I became increasingly dissatisfied with it last year. The Nikon D3000 is the entry of entry level cameras from Nikon which I bought back in 2009. As such it lacks quite a bit of features found in other more contemporary cameras.

Olympus OMD E-M5

Things like live view for example, which would cause some problems once in a while as I would need to contort my body in ways I would rather not to take low or high angle photos.

The newly lovely OMD E-M5 thankfully includes both the option of live view as well a viewfinder giving me the best of both worlds. Although I got to say getting used to an electronic viewfinder is taking me a bit of time.

Other things include better low light and high ISO performance which is great for me. Both of those made my D3000 useless in low light conditions such as inside a restaurant making it very hard to take a nice low noise picture without a tripod. One of the reasons I would much rather use my cute little Lumix LX7. Plus the M5 has a fancy 5-axis stabilization system making taking hand held shots at slow speeds more than feasible neglecting the need for a tripod most of the time.

Olympus OMD E-M5

Another reason I would constantly choose my LX7 was it's size, it really is so cute and tiny, perfect for taking out and about. Sometimes though I wish I could carry my DSLR with me but it's size made it impractical or cumbersome. While not as small the M5 is quite portable even more so with one of the pancake lens available for micro 4/3rds.

Speaking of lenses, I got the M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f2.8 macro. Such a nice lens, it has an equivalent focal length of 120mm, something I find super nice is I don't have to get super close to my figures as I had to with Nikon's 40mm micro that I use. I plan to buy the Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f1.8 which is a 35mm equivalent lens as my multi purpose prime lens.

Now, why this camera out of all those out there? Allow me to show the reason with this dramatization of a conversation with Fab from Wieselhead.

1a

2a

3a

4a

That's why... I also think it looks pretty.

Otagamers is open for business again!

Reimu sweeping up!

Oh no, I haven't blogged in nearly six months, I hope I still have readers!

Regardless Otagamers is back, now with 100% more orange and few improvements here and there.

I think I will just start with the most obvious change, new theme yay! I originally planned to have this new theme all set up by the time the blog anniversary would roll around in September. That obviously didn't plan out that way in the end.

Mobile Theme

This new theme adds a lot of nice improvements such as a nice responsive design for varying display resolutions which includes mobiles devices. One area that was a problem before as the previous theme just didn't have a mobile option. Reading the blog on devices with smaller screens such as my old iPhone 4 was not what I would call comfortable.

Contact Form

A brand new addition is a dedicated contact form, which can be accessed from both the header and the footer menus. Before I had  a small icon in the footer section which you can still see above for an email link. I think the new addition of this menu item will make it more visible and easier to contact me.

Contact for what you might think? Things like link exchanges, any questions about anything about the content of this blog whether the figures themselves, props or the actual photography for example. Whatever you can think of that you might want to hear back from me.

Blogroll

Speaking of link exchanges, I finally went and replaced my apparently not well liked blogroll menu with an actual blogroll page. Right now I just copied the more or less active members of my old list into a wall of links. I do plan to make it a more visual affair in the near future as well as actively search and add some of the new blogs that I been following lately.

If you are reading this and have a figure or anime blog I would be more than happy to add you.

Sitemap

I added a new sitemap page in order to make finding content a bit more easier and as alternative to just using the search bar on the header menu.

Footer

This page can be accessed from the footer menu.

Reimu sweeping again!

Now that the new stuff is out of the way.

Why the long gap of inactivity? One reason was that I wanted to time this 201st post with my anniversary. As well as setting up this theme as a way to celebrate and start on my 5th year of blogging.

Another reason is that I actually became dissatisfied with my current camera so I wasn't really in the mood for photography.

I also ended up interviewing, accepting and moving to a new city for a new job during the later months of last year.

Now that I am settled in, I can start unpacking my figures, and since I have a new job I'm considering buying a new camera. I have been eying the new Sony a7 and a7r, those are some really nice cameras that do a lot of things I want but they are very, very pricy and their first party lens selection is a bit sparse right now. Do you guys have any suggestions for a nice small or mid sized camera with interchangeable lenses? Perhaps something a bit more affordable?

Also, Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn happened. Yeah... it was mostly FF14... By the way, I am Miette Patiss on Ultros if anyone plays FF14.

That's all for now, I shall leave you guys until next time where I will do a photo shoot for an appropriately orange themed figure.

Sakuya plays Double Dealing Character

So, Double Dealing Character was released this past Comiket! Yay!

In order to celebrate not only that but Sakuya's glorious return as a playable character I made this short post. Also gave me an excuse to make use of this Neca figure I bought from the film Aliens. I question why non Japanese toy connoisseurs like Neca figures so much. They are ok I guess but boy is their sculpture accuracy kinda questionable. Still like it well enough though, just kinda ugly.

Anyways, fun times with my toys.

 

Gift's Hakurei Reimu - Another look at the Shrine Maiden of Paradise

Why go and take pictures of a new figure when I can go take pictures of an older one again I really, really like!

Actually this is a result of an itch that has been bothering me since the last post I did about my upcoming pre-orders. In that post I linked to the original post I did for this figure and it bothered the hell out of me when I looked at those pictures. I felt the pictures were so darn... meh, this is one of my most liked figures, I felt I had to do better.

So, I went and did another photo shoot of it. The super lovely Hakurei Reimu from Gift.

The original post is back from May of 2010, at the time this blog was only about six months old. Back then there were a few things that bother me today when I look back. One of them was I didn't know what I wanted to do with my blog, I have reached the conclusion to do what I want. I quite simply blog for myself as an enjoyable outlet for my figure collecting and photography hobbies.

The other thing, the more related matter is of course the pictures. 2010 was the year I actively started using a DSLR for photography. As such I didn't know what the hell I was doing with it, after all a DSLR just offers way more control and as a result way more complexity. I was definitely doing it wrong! Just look at that horrible white balance! Now though, I have used my lovely D3000 for some 3 and half years, now I know how to get the desired effect in my photos more easily than before.

That leads to this set of pictures, as I blog for myself I feel no pressure to do something new or something popular. With a better working knowledge of my DSLR I can take better looking pictures than before, add to that my personal vow to stop relying on simple variously colored backdrops so much I thought I could take a little more interesting photos.

I also feel for Reimu being the blog mascot more or less this blog sure has a lack of her. The world needs more Reimu figures, too bad pretty much the only ones I don't own from the usual manufacturers are the Griffon ones and I just don't like Griffon. Kind of a shame GSC, Max Factory or Alter didn't jump into the Touhou band wagon would love a Reimu from either of those.

Yup, bloomers on Reimu is still the best!

Aside from wanting to retake the pictures there were a couple of other reasons I want to reuse this figure. I had this idea for set for a while but I didn't really have any Reimu figures to take pictures of with that idea. Alas as with any overly ambitious set ideas I tend to think of, I keep underestimating them. Thus that ended not necessarily in failure per say but somewhat far from what I had envisioned. I should really start splitting the work and do at least a mock up before the actual day I set aside for picture taking.

Instead I went and did what I end up doing like 90% of the time, improvise!

I went and dug a couple of vaguely looking oriental place mats I bought while I was in Canada of all places. I used those as a backdrop and for the floor. Then I simply threw in the flowers you might or might not be able to recognize in the background that I bought  for my original idea.

It's a somewhat familiar idea that I seen been done before, or at least something similar to it. I liked, seemed to look decent enough. Plus I got an idea that I would like to revisit using a similar set up as this one.

I also wanted to play around more with Lightroom, I think I'm starting to figure out what does what and how I can use the tools provided to get the desired effect. I'm starting to get more comfortable with it but still not super accustomed with it that I can easily tweak every picture one at a time. I think for now I will keep to just doing batch processing for most of the pictures.

Looking at this figure now, it still holds up pretty nicely, good job Gift! Although it does still have some mishaps here and there like some residue on Reimu's right sleeve. I still love the face too, the reason I bought it still holds true. I wish people would stop getting their panties in a bunch when figures take some artistic liberties, figures at the end of the day will always reflect the individual sculptor after all.

Thinking about it, complaining about this with Touhou stuff is really pointless, nothing really looks like ZUN's charming art. Except for the bestests more accurate Touhou figure ever, which I actually own... that figure looks exactly like the title screen of Undefined Fantastic Object.

Hmm... thinking about it, I don't own much Reimu stuff for her being one of my all time favorite girls.

There is this figure and the one I mentioned, the Kotobukiya one I showed before and of course the figma. My favorite out of all of them is the figma, it's just so nice and cute.

Although I haven't taken that many pictures of it, I notice that for the figures I really, really love I tend to take less pictures of them. I wonder why that is.

Looking at these pictures while I write this post sure has made me want more Reimu stuff right now. I never been much for merchandise as I don't need even more stuff to take up space in my room but some Reimu stuff would be nice. Aside from the figures I only own one of Gift's Touhou plush of her and some decals I never applied to anything.

I think I want at least a shirt, gotta show my love for my favorite Touhou after all!

Before I continue rambling I want to ask you guys something.

What do you think of revisiting figures just as I have done here? For bloggers is a figure a one shot kind of deal?

Has there been any figure that made you think, I want to shoot it again for whatever reason?

Do you try to forget about your earlier days of blogging and photography or do you look back on them fondly?

Well, I think I'm quite satisfied now when it comes to this figure now. I'm not sure if I will end up retaking photos for other figures I done before, I will just cross than bridge when I get there I suppose.

So long peeps, until next time!

The Shrine Maiden of Paradise Take Two - Hakurei Reimu Nemu Matsukura ver.

Alright!

Today we get to take a look at a figure of my favorite Touhou girl once more, Kotobukiya's Hakurei Reimu!

Just to make sure, everyone knows what Touhou is right?

No, it's not some anime with cute girls in overly frilly and eccentric outfits.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBORR69wUYM&fmt=22#t=3m59s

Why of course it is a bullet curtain, "danmaku" , styled shoot 'em up developed by good old Zun the one member Team Shangai Alice. Zun does the interesting feat of taking care of the programming, design, music and art of the every mainline game.

Not only is Reimu my faovrite girl but her battle theme from the eighth game, Imperishable Night, is my favorite Touhou song which you can listen to in the video above.

On a related note, I dislike fighting Reimu in Impereshable Night, I find her spell cards rather annoying. I have a hard time being able to hit her even more so when she is cheating zipping about the screen. Much rather fight Marisa while flashy her spells cards are not too bad.

This figure is named after Nemu Matsukura who was the illustrator for the Touhou manga, Eastern and Little Nature Deity. According the Touhou wiki she stopped working as the illustrator due to health reasons, the manga did continue under a different illustrator and a name change.

This figure reflecting her style is a reminder of one of my favorite things about Touhou. Whether it is ZUN himself, the legions of fans creating their own material, or simply the people who enjoy the games we all give the Touhou characters our own take.

This figure by Kotobukiya is actually based on a kit that looks essentially the same. Glad Koto went and made it a regular PVC release since I just don't deal with garage kits and stuff like that.

I'm quite fond of the expression this Reimu has as it changes my perception of the figure. From some angles it simply looks like a smile, on another that smile is more akin to a smirk add to that the talismans in her hand and it makes me think she is ready for battle.

Lose yourselves in the gap of my boundary ordinary magician!

From head to toe I'm quite pleased with this figure, there are no glaring issues with the actual quality of the figure.

Although, exilehero did say Reimu's legs look kinda lanky but I think they look just fine. If there is one major flaw this figure has is that Reimu is wearing panties instead of bloomers, what is this blasphemy in my Touhou?

If you look really closely you can find some rough edges such as Reimu's finger nails, the talismans or her bow. Although it is the kind of thing that seems really noticeable only when you are looking through a macro lens and is really nearly invisible when looked at with the human eye.

In closing, I like Reimu, I like this figure and I think Kotobukiya did a nice job with it.

If you want more Touhou you can look at my past review of Gift's Hakurei Reimu or exilehero's review of Griffon's Kirisame Marisa.

Also dont forget about following Twitter, subscribing to the RSS feed and many more photos of this figure on flickr.

Until next time!