October 12, 2009

Canon PhotoMarathon 2009(From A Nikonian Perspective)…

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:03 am by alextrg

(Note : This blogpost is totally unorganised)

I own a Nikon D60 and recently a new owner of Nikon D300s. I figured the Canon PhotoMarathon(Sunway Lagoon) would be a great chance to explore my new camera, and also learn from others. It was between doing my Balance class at 9am at Jaya 33, vs going for what I felt would be a once in a year chance. Short-Messaging-Serviced the Balance instructors I knew to see who could cover for me. Finally found Dchai to cover my class. My Saturday 2pm-5pm lecture was cancelled as my lecturer was not available due to personal reasons.

Registration starts at 7am, so I figured might as well go earlier to ensure that I could still do a walk in registration. I had already packed my bag the night before in my newly acquired Octopus backpack(Rm 200 – good deal). I got myself to the registration area at Elephant walk around 6.40am. You could see the crew dressed in Pink Canon t-shirts.

I felt good knowing that I was early, and there wasn’t a long queue of people waiting to register on the spot.

That’s was where the good vibes started to go away.

My registration process was a screw up….

My turn came, a young girl, college student no doubt, handled my Rm 30 payment(non-Canon user). She wanted me to fill up the indemnity form which they had pre-printed, when I showed her the filled up indemnity form which I had printed from the website(as requested by the moderator of the FB group) , it was eithe she cannot read English, or she had no idea what forms she was asking people to fill. She had to refer to her colleagues. Which were surprisingly, as blur as her. I grabbed my receipt, and off my merry way I went. At this point, my indemnity form was submitted to this blur case of a homosapien. Since the event hasn’t started yet, I loitered around abit, wondering if anyone else I knew already arrived. Met up with Valen, who saw King, and a few others. Made friends with Max. Brian and Gigi arrived just on time.

An announcement was made, about those who wanted to access the rides in the theme park will be required to get the tickets(our armbands only allows us access to the park but not the rides). I think the announcement was made too early coz nobody approached the ticket booth setup there at that time.

At this time, I felt a little uncertain, so I asked Valen if he submitted his indemnity form, or he kept his. He said they gave his back to him and we are supposed to hold on to it. So I went back to the registration counter, and got mine back, and even that, the girl actually gave me someone else’s form at first.

As I was reading through the handout about the event, on how to submit your photos, I realised it said “Log in using your ICNumber”. Thinking back, when I did the walk in registration, the girl did not ask for my IC, I did not fill up my IC anywhere, and since now I am holding on to my indemnity form, how on earth am I registered in their system?

Went back to the registration counter, this time I approached a guy who looked like he would know what’s going on. I was so wrong. When I explained my situation to him, he grabbed his walkie talkie. Another girl, who I think could have been his supervisor walked by. He got her attention and asked her. Ding ding dong dong. For walk in registrations, we pay, we keep the indemnity form. We go inside Sunway Lagoon, there will be terminals for us to register online there. Yay! One minor detail they forgot to inform. But it doesn’t stop there. The insufficient information I mean.

Cut it short, friends arrived, made some new friends, and we went for breakfast, it was a LONG walk. To give an idea, think of where Hong Leong Bank Sunway is. From the Elephant Walk. Morning warmup! :p

Headed back to Sunway Lagoon after that. Canon forgot something on the inside, there were signboards welcoming Online Registration Canon, Online Registration Non-Canon. Where’s the signboard for us walk in registrations? Nevermind. So I went to the booth. An it seems, to collect your t-shirt you have to show them your indemnity form. So if in the first place, I didn’t get back my form from the college-student-who-had-no-idea-what-was-going-on-but-was-collecting-cash-and-issuing-formal-receipts, I would have had to walk all the way out and get my form back from them. I think I would have just screwed the person in charge there and then.

I figured, give them a chance. So I let it pass by.

It was a sea of red photographers, dresed in red I mean 🙂 The event started off nicely. Besides the fact that it was drizzling for a while.

Entire Sunway Lagoon you could see red, red, red, DSLRs :), Compact Cameras, Flash firing 🙂

Three themes

RED

Splash!

Shooting In Action

Here’s a nice catch. Initially, contestants are allowed to leave Sunway Lagoon and re-enter it, but due to crowd control issues, Sunway Lagoon management decided to not allow that. So we are stuck in there for the whole day. At 2pm, they announced that we can leave, and re-enter, but only by the Elephant walk. Now at 2pm, where is everyone? Not at the Sunway Amphitheathre where the announcement was made, but we were scattered all over Sunway Lagoon. Smart pple aren’t they?

Oh food? Rip off. Right outside Sunway Amphitheathre, 100plus was being sold at Rm 5 per can. Walk to Sunway Lagoon wet park, 100 plus is only Rm 3. So where is the Rm 2 extra going to?  Smart scam I would say.

Cut things short. Around 3.30pm my friend called me to inform me that they were having problems uploading the pictures to the file server.

It seems the server was not able to handle the ‘massive’ uploads.

Not gonna explain the whole scenario as I think it’s gonna make even more frustrated the more I think about it.

But basically, it’s the typical “We’ll solve in 5 minutes”… When they actually mean, “I don’t know what’s the problem”.

You would expect a company like Canon, who STRONGLY EMPHASISES on CUSTOMER SERVICE, as Simon, the Marketing person who was one of the ’emcees’, “CANON HAS THE BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE”, and it’s involvement in Digital SLRs would know that having over 40 PCs uplading probably say.. Oh, 3 pictures taken with oh, say a mid-range SLR with a file size of each JPG coming to at least 6MB… Uplading to a single server, at the very same time, would be.. Oh… (Find your own words here)

A lot of lies were told, lies as in how much longer it would take to resolve the issue.

Lies were told also about how much longer we had to wait. As Simon did say “We only have 200 pictures to go”, when not long after, “So sorry, but we need 2hours more due to the number of pictures”, which in the end, ended up being the results only available after 4am. So did Simon know what was the judges progress or was he just doing a typical marketing/sales person yapping.

I find amusing is when he said they needed 2 more hours, he actually asked if we wanted to wait or go home. Apparently they were photographers who waited, but then asked to leave my the Lagoon security? Those of us who left, were obviously frustrated. So if we did wait, and after 2 hours….. Simon goes “We need another 4 hours”… Would simon still leave the Sunway area alive??? in one piece??

We were told to fill up our contact details. I was frustrated at that point. Only later I realised, the details we filled up were name, IC number, handphone number. So are they gonna call us up one by one to find out our address? Or did they forget to indicate the column address on the form? Or are they smart enough to retrieve our details from the registration database?(Why ask for another contact when you have our registration in your system already?)

I did not enjoy Simon’s lame jokes…. yes, Canon camera can do this, Canon camera can do that. When you have non-Canon users there, and obviously not only canon camera can do it. One clear one was the zoom-effect you can do to a shot…. He made is sound like only Canon zoom lens can do it….

Let’s not talk about the Youth Ambasaddor. He CANNOT SING…. He can dance, that I give him, but he CANNOT SING!

Going back in the timeline, the volounteers there were really of no use. Trying to slide the SD-Card upside down… Not to forget the CHEAP SD-card reader that was being used. The crew not knowing how to name the folders for our submission(they couldn’t get the server back up, so we ended up being ‘helped’ to upload the pics to the desktop PC’s local hard drive)… I saw 3 different naming methods. Which I informed the ‘supervisor’ who didn’t even had the courtesy to say thank you. Who announced in BAD English to her ‘crew’ who were not paying attention.

Too many frustrations to blog. All in, I enjoyed the company of Brian, Leong and Gigi. To be honest, if I went solo, I think I would have made a ruckus. I found out a friend of mine told off one of the supposedly organising committee member who was there… Wish I was there to watch!

Canon(Not Canon Malaysia, but Canon Japan) representative, if you read this, this is what Canon Malaysia has become. I look forward to next year’s event, but this time I will come prepared to video the problems we faced.As I am pretty sure the so called event report might just give excuses as to the problems faced, like ‘Oh we tested the servers the day before and it was fine'(The day before? An event of this scale and you test it the day before?)

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