Archive for the ‘Outlook’ Category

Which DSLR to buy ?

Friday, June 6th, 2008

Off late I have received many emails asking to advice on a DSLR. Having gone through a phase of evaluating the options in the recent past, I have decided to buy a Nikon D80 for myself after using Nikon N80 film camera for 4 years.

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Well, it’s a big world out there and some of the well known brands in the market are:

1. Cannon
2. Nikon
3. Olympus
4. Pentax
5. Sony

You probably would not go very wrong with any of the above brands. All of them are good with Cannon and Nikon being mostly preferred by people and DSLR market leaders.

Here are a few basic questions you need to answer to yourself before making a decision

1. What is my budget ?
If you are looking at a DSLR then be prepared to spend at least $500 for a new camera body with a basic lens. The higher the budget, the wider are your choices. Nikon D40x is a good choice for the budget range or you can opt for D80 if you are prepared to shell-out a little more from your pocket.

2.  What brand / make am I comfortable with ?
Few like Nikon others prefer Cannon and many like Pentax. Well, it really depends on what you are comfortable with. For me nothing beats Nikon but my close friend is a pure Cannon supporter. If you have never used an SLR then go to the store and hold a few DSLRs in your hand, the one you feel comfortable shooting is the camera for you.

3. Do I already have a film SLR?
If you said ‘Yes I do’ then consider the DSLR where you can utilize your existing lens. Also try-out the DSLR at the retail store of the same manufacturer. If you have been using a Cannon film SLR then it is likely that you would be more comfortable using a Cannon DSLR.

4. Is Nikon better or Cannon ?
Many are caught in this great question and really I would say that there is no clear answer. Both are great companies and make fantastic equipments and a wide variety of products to offer in DSLR space. It all boils down to what you are more comfortable using.  I have always loved Nikon camera and I am most comfortable with it.

5. Key items I should look for ?

I can suggest the following key points about the equipment you wish you buy.
– Image Stabilization
– Lens compatibility with other camera models of the same manufacturer.
– Sensor size and type
– Lens quality
– ISO noise

Here are a few good sites you can use to read reviews of your camera.
www.dpreview.com
www.cnet.com – for a general idea, does not gives an in-depth review
www.amazon.com

All said and done, its *YOU* who would decide what makes a good photo and what does not. DSLR is just a tool to realize and sharpen your photography skills. You would still need to be good with your concepts and practice of basic skills around frame composition, aperture, shutter speed, light conditions and ISO to be used.

Are we heading towards recession?

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

The face of Indian economy has changed significantly in the past 10 years. Industries like Telecom, Construction, Banking & Finance Services, Travel & Hospitality, Aviation, Automobile, Entertainment, Retail, IT, ITES and many more have had significant change and maturity in them. We have definitely progressed as an economy and are progressing every day. The bigger question is “are we able to sustain and handle this growth?”, if the answer is no then we are moving towards recession.

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Do we have the infrastructure to sustain this growth? A few months back Bangalore airport announced that it cannot handle any more additional flights. The roads still needs a lot of improvement for the goods to move from one part of the country to another. A few years back golden quadrilateral project was launched to build express way across the country but then it did not go anywhere.How many cities have an efficient and comfortable public transport system? Why can’t we implement metro rail in all the large cities? Almost all the cities face traffic jams and roads are still not wide enough to handle the traffic.  All of these problems were faced by the developed countries as well, however they all have built a sustainable infrastructure which can meet the demands of the economy. The BART in San Francisco, Tube in London, Trams, Trains and buses in Switzerland and other parts of Europe are able to meet people’s demand to commute and provide sufficient transportation opportunities to the companies to grow. The bigger argument is “Fine, we don’t have the infrastructure, but are there immediate plans to build it?”. Probably not at the required pace.

We have a large population which actually should be our strength but we have skilled people with no job and also large part of the population is illiterate. This is a big problem as this leads to problem of unproductive manpower and forces the educated/skilled unemployed to go for anti-social or unproductive or rather destructive paths. Even developed countries have illiteracy but the level is low and the mass is able to get a job and lead a decent quality of life.

We do have a well defined law but the implementation is weak. People can play around with it very easily and get away even if someone is guilty. Law and order is important for the economy  to provide a firm ground for the companies to invest and develop; and also for people to live a decent standard of life. There are also good thing like mega townships of Navi Mumbai and Dwaka, but why only in Mumbai and Delhi. The entire process and decision making is too politically guided and slow to expand into other parts of the country.

Today’s companies wants to mobilize their employees and expand in new cities. The main issues are the basic requirements of infrastructure, law & order and productive population. Gone are the days when a large company would invest in creating a township and staff quarters around the main plant/unit. Today companies have grown far ahead. Cognizant Technology Solutions today employs more than 55,000 employees, TCS has a work force of more then 80,000 and Infosys has a similar number. They all need the basic requirements to grow and retain employees.

The base for development comes from solid infrastructure, productive population and strong law & order. We are very weak on these fronts and our speed of catching up on these fronts is also very slow and we WILL surly have a recession which will pull us back.

Change

Monday, May 7th, 2007

Quote 1: Change is the only constant

Quote 2: Humans by nature are resistant to change.

Quite an irony but true. We are resistant to change around and within us. What order generic viagra is happening is OK and we just dont want to change that. I have seen this nature at corporate level as well when business users say that this is what our process is and we would not like to change anything. Even the big financial institutions of wall street resist a change in technology which can make system faster and better.

Everyone has their reasons for not changing. Some of them are:
1. Logical: The current systems works fine and serves our purpose so why change.
2. People Fear: Change may affect my job, it might expose me.
3. Management Fear: This change is good for the company but I fear the resistance from the people hence would not opt for the change.
4. Attitude: I am doing fine. Why should I change, evenif things improve, who cares … I am fine the way I am.
5. Ego: Why should we change our process, let them map their technology to the process.

The plunge

Friday, March 30th, 2007

As an eligable bachelor I was ‘scared’ of getting married and use to run away from every discussion about my marriage. But the inevitable had to happen and here a few lines on how did it happen.

Job and wedding were like a tug of war,
Both pulling me while I was at the center,
The job kept on winning with occasional disturbance,
Wedding was not the convinced side.

Discussions were ‘on’, on what my requirement was,
Analysts were busy doing ‘analysis’,
Once an analyst met and ‘talked’ to me,
Told me his analysis from life.

Many were proposed, many were processed,
Many were described and photographed,
Many were ‘trying’ to meet and greet,
Many were involved in the game.

Game made me make my profile
Game got me clicked in style
Game made me greet and meet people
Game put me in thinking gesture
Game made me scared of the future

Some day I was asked to meet someone,
Someone I have not met ever,
Someone I was not convinced about,
Someone I ‘did’ discuss and meet,
Someone could not meet my hearts need.

Meeting helped me on looking at ‘the one’
Thoughts went through, leaving no space undone

Job kept on winning
Each win made the other side stronger
While I was holding the rope tight towards job,
I did not know that I was about to be robbed.

On a bright afternoon, in a bright shop
People met me with great hope
Soon I was to meet someone.
She was unlike the previous one,
Discussions went on one to one,
But soon the confusion was none,
That ‘She’ was ‘the one’

And I took the plunge !

Wants & Habits

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

What you truly believe in and put your effort towards, you typically get it. It’s the universal cause and effect syndrome. Everything works in a cause-effect paradigm. If you work hard, you get results. The question is how much work you consider hard work. The result is inevitable and will follow!!

Life is short and we always have infinite wants. Out thoughts starts revolving around it. Over the years I have realized that we only get and do what we want and we always get some result (positive OR negative). Our wants are dangerous and can guide us to do anything.

Once I wanted to be the best in my company and one day I was given the award of excellence (after 2 years of service in the company). All depends on how badly you want something and what are the other things you are willing to sacrifice. To be the best I had to sacrifice family time, give-up further studies, a few pleasures of life like playing tennis in the evenings, go swimming and also time to do photography. All the time was taken by office and work. So you should be aware of what you want.

We often have the feeling to help others, but often fail to do so. One should be sensitive of ‘Wants’ and ‘Needs’. The need demands higher attention and immediate resolution. Wants could be many and can be addressed later. If you can satisfy someone’s need, then it’s a true service to humanity. As I said earlier, people have infinite wants and to satisfy all the wants is not possible. Another important factor but difficult to access is, if there is really a need or you are a ‘bakra’ in the person’s melodrama.

Habits of a person can make a lot of difference. If you invest 2000 rupees every month, you would have a lot of money in 8 to 10 years. We all know that but how many of us practice it ? Lets take another habit, in our effort to donate to humanity we search for the ideal person who has the needs, why cant we just donate 2 roti every day to unknown people ? In a year you would have donated 730 rotis (365 x 2) !! Is that not a huge donation and service to humanity ? Just 2 roti every day not much. The key here is ‘everyday’ and ‘every month’ which is not easy to practice. Our parents have to spent a lot of time to instil the habit if brushing our teeth everyday when we were a child, after sometime it just becomes a part of your regular routine. As we grow we do not install good habits within ourselves.

Out of love and affection, often my mother would cook delicious food and ask me to eat. I would love the food and soon start asking for ‘tasty’ food again and again. After a few months, if you don’t get tasty food, you just don’t want to eat!! Hold on, lets look back … Is the tasty food you want, healthy for your body? Is the habit of ‘tasty’ food doing any good to your body and you? If the answer is NO then why do you want it ? Why can’t we just say NO to it and move to a healthy diet? The answer is that we have already developed a habit of ‘tasty’ food and now can’t move away from it. We often become slaves to our tongue. Why?

This brings me to another nature we have is resistance to change. What is going on is comfortable and we just don’t want to change. I wonder why? Is this habit of ours helping us?

Pleasure

Monday, March 12th, 2007

‘Pleasure’ holds different meaning to different people. A few lines on what it means to me.
 

A wildlife sanctuary,
a SLR camera
good animal visibility
great shots … that’s Pleasure
 

In the middle of a tea garden
Open landscape, pleasant wind
Me and my wife on two relaxing chairs
That’s Pleasure
 

Weekend with no work
Good music and broadband
Building web application on PHP
That’s Pleasure
 

Low sunlight and windy weather
Driving down the scenic road
Slow music in the car
Partner with her head resting on your shoulders
That’s Pleasure
 

A visit to a religious place
Parents happy to visit the place
Happiness and thankfulness showing on their face
That’s Pleasure
 

Training on technology
Learning on your own
Showing the learning at work
That’s Pleasure
 

Research on investments
Decision on stocks
Investment of money
Good long term returns
Ultimate Pleasure !!!  😉