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Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 – Say Hello to Caldecott Hill

Watching local Singapore television dramas and shows when you were growing up, were you ever curious on Caldecott Hill, where the Caldecott Broadcast Centre was located, how does the location looks like and what goes on behind the scenes? I had never visited Caldecott Hill before and I was curious to know and see for myself how it looks like, if the opportunity arises. With Singapore Heritage Festival 2017, we are able to do so, a visit to Caldecott Hill, specially opened to the public during the Singapore Heritage Festival 2017!

Starting from 28th April to 14th May 2017, you now have an opportunity to visit Caldecott Hill and say hello to Caldecott Broadcast Centre (Dates for visiting Caldecott Broadcast Centre – 28th, 29th & 30th April and 5th, 6th & 7th May) because Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 says Hello! A new programming is in place for Singapore Heritage Festival 2017, they are “taking over” some iconic and distinctive locations in Singapore with a rich history and heritage yet many Singaporeans were not able to access and visit such valuable and interesting unexplored spaces, also other lesser known or forgotten places in Singapore.

With over 110 programmes and close to 80 partners, Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 is looking to be very interesting, exploring many different parts of Singapore uncover unknown facts and stories of Singapore, learning more about our history, heritage and culture, There is something for everybody, great and ideal for the young children and adults, a time for family bonding, exploration and adventure in Singapore.

Let me give a sneak preview of the programmes and happenings taking place at Caldecott Hill during Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 –

TV 50 Exhibition/Warehouse

Aksi Mat Yoyo to The Awakening and back again

Do you remember watching Aksi Mat Yoyo? Do you remember watching The Awakening? Watch them and relive your memories of local television on the cathode ray TV sets!

Dates: 28th April, 5th May & 6th May

Time: 6pm – 10om

Dates: 29th & 30th April

Time: 4pm – 10pm

Dates: 1st & 7th May

Time: 10am – 2pm

Take a trip down memory lane for some nostalgia at TV50 Exhibition! This exhibition is perfect for the adults to share with the young children today, their TV watching days when they were young. Spot the iconic TV shows, the furniture and the old box type TV!

Continue walking and check out the props used in the local dramas, do they look familiar to you?

Fat Kids Are Harder to Kidnap at the Main Stage

I remembered watching them perform during one of the Singapore Night Festival, they are quirky, funny and entertaining, taking on topics on current affairs. They will do 20 plays in 30 minutes and the audience can get to decide the order of the plays. Don’t miss it when you are there!

Dates: 28th, 29th & 30th April

Time: 7.30pm – 8pm & 9pm – 9.30pm

Island Stories – Untold Stories of Sisters Islands and Kusu Island

A live radio play, discover the untold stories of Sisters Islands and Kusu Island. Gather around the table and sit down on the bench, like the good old story telling days. Watch and listen, discover how sound effects are made live on stage.

Dates: 28th April, 5th & 6th May

Time: 6.15pm – 6.45pm

Dates: 29th & 30th April

Time: 4.15pm – 4.45pm & 5.15pm – 5.45pm

Dates: 1st & 7th May

Time: 11.15am – 11.45am

Studio 6 at the Caldecott Broadcast Centre Film Studio

A set of various dynamic and lively performances, based on iconic characters, stories, variety shows, children shows and local drama series. Studio 6 is presented by contemporary theatre company Sweet Tooth by Cake. Once you watch them perform, it’s like going back in time, back to the days of the variety shows, children shows and local drama series (especially for the older adults who grew up watching them). Amazing, exciting, funny, heartwarming and nostalgic. Don’t miss it when you are there!

Dates: 28th April & 5th May

Time: 7pm – 7.30pm & 8.30pm – 9pm

Dates: 29th & 30th April

Time: 5pm – 5.30pm & 7pm – 7.30pm & 9pm – 9.30pm

Dates: 6th May

Time: 7pm – 7.30pm & 9pm – 9.30pm

Dates: 1st & 7th May

Time: 11am – 11.30am & 12.30pm – 1pm 

Lip Sync Your Heart Out

Closet singers, this is the time, to come out and “sing” your heart out to theme songs from your favourite and well-loved local drama series. You can receive a video as a keepsake of your talent time at Singapore Heritage Festival 2017! Welcome to your own Talent Time!

Reruns Cinema

Catch up with your favourite local drama serials, a venue for watching shows and game shows, a communal outdoor area to watch tv and interact with fellow visitors.

Dates: 28-30 April & 5-6 May

Time: 6pm – 10pm

Food, Drinks and Fun at the Festival Village

Don’t worry about going hungry at Caldecott Hill, there are food and drinks at the Festival Village. Remember to check out the fun retro themes at the Festival Village too!

Flea Market

The Retro Factory is participating at Singapore Heritage Festival 2017, curating the Vintage Flea Market segment at Caldecott Hill. I visited their vintage flea markets at Katong Square previously a few times and I am always amazed by their vintage stuff on display at the flea market. For retro, heritage and history fans, you have to visit the flea market and check them out! You might find some treasures/retro stuff that you really like!

Key Information and details for Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 @ Caldecott Broadcast Centre

If you are planning to visit Caldecott Broadcast Centre, parking space is very limited and visitors are strongly encouraged to take the free shuttle bus service.

More information below –

  Route 1 – Caldecott MRT Station Exit B

Toa Payoh Rise

Route 2 – Bishan MRT Station Exit A

Junction 8 Linkway

Route 3 – MacRitchie Reservoir Park

Reservoir Road

28th April, 5th May, 6th May 2017 First Bus departs 5.30pm

Last Bus departs 9.30pm

Frequency: Every 15mins

29th April, 30th April 2017 First Bus departs: 3.30pm

Last Bus departs: 9.30pm

Frequency: Every 15mins

1st May, 7th May 2017 First Bus departs: 9.30am

Last Bus departs: 1.30pm

Frequency: Every 15mins

Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 is not only at Caldecott Hill, they are also saying Hello to everybody at locations around the island! The key venues are Singapore River, Bukit Pasoh and Little India!

More information on the various exhibitions, films & talks, open houses, tours and workshops can be found on the Singapore Heritage Festival website! Do visit the website and check out all the programmes, find the ones that you like, help to spread the word, pass it on to your family, relatives and friends!

I am definitely returning back to Caldecott Hill to say Hello again! Keep a lookout for my coverage and updates during Singapore Heritage Festival 2017! I am also planning to cover Bukit Pasoh and Singapore River, two other venues during the three weeks of Singapore Heritage Festival 2017!

I would like to thank National Heritage Board for the invitation to the media preview of Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 at Caldecott Hill.

Joseon Korea: Court Treasures and City Life

Korean Wave fans in Singapore rejoice! A new and limited time Korean Wave is now here in Singapore, at the Asian Civilisations Museum! This special limited time Korean Wave started on 22nd April 2017 to 23rd July 2017. Fans who love Korean Wave, especially Korean period dramas, this special exhibition is something you must not miss! Inside the Joseon Korea exhibition, get up close and have a good view of the many different types of treasures, fashion, history, heritage and culture that you saw in Korean dramas.

On 21st April, I was honoured to be invited to attend the official opening of the Joseon Korea: Court Treasures and City Life special exhibition at Asian Civilisations Museum. Mr Kennie Ting, Director of Asian Civilisations Museum, gave the opening speech on this special Joseon Korea: Court Treasures and City Life exhibition

ACM Director Kennie Ting said, “Fans of K-culture will not find this showcase unfamiliar, as many of the stories and treasures that we are showing in this exhibition have inspired Korea’s popular culture – from period drama series to contemporary arts and aesthetics, and even fashion. Much of what is regarded as traditionally Korean today had been developments and innovations during the Joseon period. In the same thread, South Korean artist Ran Hwang’s art installation adds to the experience of the exhibition, with its contemporary interpretation of Korean traditions. The Joseon dynasty’s extraordinary legacy not only withstands the test of time by being relevant to this day, but also resonates with new audiences beyond geographical boundaries.”

The Guest of Honour was Ms. Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, who officially declared this special exhibition opened, accompanied and attended by many distinguished dignitaries and guests of the Asian Civilisations Museum. A grand occasion with traditional beautiful Korean cultural performances that delighted the guests present at the official opening event.

After watching the traditional Korean performances, I visited the exhibition together with my friends. The Joseon Korea: Court Treasures and City Life exhibition is divided into 6 sections –

  • Departing from the Goryeo kingdom sets the stage with an introduction of the transition between two dynasties, including key episodes and figures like King Taejo of Joseon, whose changes and ideas laid the foundation for the dynasty. His move to adopt Neo-Confucianism distinguished a new era for Korea, and shaped its political and cultural life;
  • Royal authority and court culture unveils life inside the royal palace, the roles and expectations of the king and queen, courtly rituals and ceremonies, and even costumes, food and music. The calculated pomp and pageantry that surrounded them was central to asserting the royal authority, and the King’s multiple roles as leader, ruler and scholar;
  • The yangban, which looks at the elite and aristocratic class in Joseon. Considered the moral pillar of Joseon society, their adherence to Confucian ideals and hierarchical values translated to their daily lives and in their living spaces. This examination of the yangban’s public and private lives paints a picture of their prominence, priorities and pursuits;
  • Nature in Korean Art depicts the importance of nature to Joseon artists – not just as inspiration, but also the material for their creations. Among the showcase are traditional buncheong stoneware, popular during the first two centuries of the Joseon dynasty, and the characteristically Korean style of ‘true-view’ landscape paintings that reflect the socio-political climate of developing a distinct Korean identity;
  • Sacred art and religious traditions provides insight to the influence of Confucianism and Buddhism in Joseon ritual life – from grand state ceremonies to private family religious practices. Beyond the connections of the living to their forefathers and enhanced solidarity among kin through such traditions, how Buddhism integrated with indigenous folk religion for mass reception is also examined; and
  • Streets of Hanyang: Everyday life of the people, depicting life in the capital through genre paintings – a major form of Korean art that flourished in the 18th  These vignettes candidly capture everyday life, societal classes, and how important occasions like the first day of the Lunar New Year, harvest festival Chuseokand individual rites of passage were celebrated.

(Information courtesy of Asian Civilisations Museum press release)

I do watch selected Korean dramas, therefore, I was able to relate and understand some of the items that were exhibited inside this exhibition. Some exhibits were intriguing and I was able to learn more about Korean history, heritage and culture.

The paintings and artworks on display were a real eye-opener for me, especially some of the paintings that were quite long in the length and the amount of delicate and skilful display of people on the paintings.

Having watched a small number of Korean dramas that showcased the Joseon dynasty, I got excited when I saw the clothing on display! This was as close as getting to learn more about Korean history, heritage and culture in Singapore since I haven’t visit Korea yet! (Ok, I think it’s high time that I plan a travel photography holiday to Korea)

From artwork, paintings, furniture, fashion, clothing, manuscripts and artefacts, this is a very meticulously curated special exhibition on Korea’s Joseon Dynasty, right here in Singapore, at the Asian Civilisations Museum.

I wasn’t able to view everything on display at the Joseon Korea: Court Treasures and City Life during the official opening event. Therefore, I have to visit the exhibition and add on more photographs to share with my readers here!

To all the Korean Wave (especially Korean drama) fans in Singapore, the Joseon Korea: Court Treasures and City Life special exhibition is definitely worth a visit! While it is not exactly visiting a Korean drama production setup, entering into the world of Joseon Dynasty, you are able to learn more about them and appreciate the Korean drama period shows even better!

I would like to thank Asian Civilisations Museum for the invitation to Joseon Korea: Court Treasures and City Life official opening event and the opportunity to tour the exhibition.

Key information on Joseon Korea: Court Treasures and City Life special exhibition

Location: Asian Civilisations Museum

Period: 22nd April 2017 to 23rd July 2017

Ticketing:

  Price
Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (Adults) $10
Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (Concession: Seniors, Students, NSF*) Free
Non-Residents (Adults) $15
Non-Residents (Concession: Seniors, Students*) $10
Non-Residents (Family of 5) $45

Website: www.acm.org.sg

Tango-enabled VR and AR tour of the National Museum of Singapore

The use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in the society is slowly gaining acceptance and application in real life. In an earlier article, I shared an article on using AR in a hospitality/hotel environment. Today, I am going to share another story, the use of VR and AR in a museum in Singapore, the National Museum of Singapore.

With the Tango technology platform created by Google, the National Museum of Singapore is one of the first museums in the world to adopt this technology. Tango is a set of sensors and computer vision software that enables smartphone augmented reality that allows users to imagine new spaces, get things done, and play games in a new dimension.

Visitors can enjoy the VR and AR tour with a Tango-enabled mobile device and they can go back in time and history, to retrace and learn about the National Museum of Singapore’s early history, artefacts and exhibits over time. This is a very interesting journey and I had the opportunity to experience, test and share my stories and photos with my readers here. Using indoor mapping, VR and AR, visitors will be able to explore how the National Museum of Singapore has evolved over the past 130 years.

There are six points of interest that participants of this tour can explore on the Tango-enabled Architecture tour with the Museum guide. Let me bring you a sneak peak into some of the VR and AR scenes from the Tango-enabled mobile device.

3D model of the National Museum

At at the Main Rotunda on Level 1 and the Glass Atrium on Level 2, the visitors on this tour can activate a 3D replica of the building on the Tango-enabled mobile device, it provides information on its structural components and allows the participant to navigate around the façade. Visitors can also see how the National Museum of Singapore has changed over the years, just by using the “Time Slider” view.

Virtual World of Past Artefacts

The iconic and famous 90 feet high Rotunda at the main entrance of the National Museum of Singapore, visitors on the Tango-enabled tour are able to go back in time into a virtual world of what this space looked like in the 1950s. Spot the world of past artefacts that were once on display at this location, such as the marble bust of Sir Stamford Raffles and the famous Revere Bell. Observe the floor tiles of the National Museum of Singapore in the earlier days and the floor tiles today, can you spot the difference?

Say hi to the Whale

At the glass passage on Level 2, one of the largest frameless, self-supporting glass structures in the world, visitors can see an AR view of the museum’s iconic Indian Fin Whale Skeleton. Listen to the sound of the Indian Fin Whale “saying hi to you”! Remember to say hi back!

I strongly encourage you to sign up for this very interesting, interactive and informative tour that combines modern technology using Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, with stories from the National Museum of Singapore guide leading you on the tour. This would greatly enhance learning history, heritage, culture and stories of Singapore and the National Museum of Singapore.

The tour is an hour long and registration is free, on a first come, first serve basis. If you keen to sign up for the Tango-enabled tour at the National Museum of Singapore, visit National Musuem of Singapore guided tours link and register.

Please take note that there are limited places, maximum capacity is 15 people on a first come, first serve basis, to ensure that the tour is conducted in a manner that is optimal and enjoyable for all participants.

Seats are limited! Remember to check out on the availability of the places for the upcoming tours for the Tango-enabled VR and AR tour of the National Museum of Singapore!

* I would like to thank National Museum of Singapore for the invitation to try out the Tango-enabled VR and AR tour of the National Museum of Singapore *

The Quarters Experience

A modern communal dining experience, having the best of both worlds, a mix of traditional cuisine with a modern cross fusion of cooking style from other cultures. This communal dining experience had 10 different types of dishes, starting from the appetiser, followed by 7 main courses, there are so delicious and mind blowing beyond my imagination, rounding up this unique modern communal dinner with 2 desserts. This is the Quarters Experience.

The Quarters Experience was created by Deming, whom I knew a few years back when he was just doing just one food, his trademark Durian Crème Brulee at a pop up event at Haw Par Villa in 2014. In the blink of an eye, he established two food brands, The Quarters and Kush. Watching how Deming established, transformed and innovate his food cuisine over this period time from 2014, I had great respect and admiration for this innovative food entrepreneur friend of mine.

When I was invited down by Deming to experience The Quarters Experience, I was grateful and thankful to be part of this amazing modern communal dining experience. I arrived earlier than the scheduled start time, photographing the setup process on what creates the special experiences behind The Quarters Experience. This was also a time to catch up with my friend Deming before he got very busy during The Quarters experience, hosting and sharing with the guests on each and every dish that was served during The Quarters Experience.

Personally, this was one of the best dining experiences that I ever had, not because I am invited and treated to this Quarters Experience, not because Deming is a friend of mine. Why the Quarters Experience was one of the best dining experiences that I had was because of the love and passion for food, translated into the excellent cooking skills that can be experienced, felt and tasted inside all of the 10 dishes of the Quarters Experience. All the 10 dishes (except for durian crème brulee because I don’t eat durian) touched not just my taste buds, they also touched my heart, mind and soul.

Let me bring you into the world of The Quarters Experience, sharing my thoughts and views of every dish, and interviewing Deming, his stories behind each dish.

Achar

An innovative and unique method to showcase the Achar, it’s a breakaway from the traditional style Achar. The Quarters Experience Achar is like a small pastry/canape type of dish. I liked how the Achar taste, a good mix of the East meets West cuisine.

JH, “Deming, the Achar looks unique and very different from traditional achar, what is the inspiration behind this unique and innovative design?”

DM, “Traditionally made, it serves as an amazing Amuse Busche to whet the appetite of the diners. The combination of the crisp puff and flavour of Achar is amazing.

Shiok Bak

First and foremost, I am a big fan of roast pork and when I saw the description of the Shiok Bak from the menu, I was eagerly looking forward to it! When I saw the dish arriving, I knew I was in for something more special than I ever thought. There were buns complementing the Shiok Bak, that are usually ate with braised pork, along with fresh lettuce. The skin of the Shiok Bak was extra crispy, crunchy and dry. As the name suggests, it’s really shiok to eat this Shiok Bak! Oh yes, there is a sauce to go along with the Shiok Bak too, the spicy rempah!

JH, ”Deming, I love this dish! This Shiok Bak is really shiok and it looks like it has a mix of a few different Asia cuisines cooking style infused into this dish. Let me make a guess, Teochew (the bun for the braised pork a.k.a. lor bak) + Korean (lettuce to be wrapped with pork) + Filipino roast pork? Did I guess correctly?”

DM, “Yes. There is a myraid of influences involved here. Its combining the best of Filipino style crackling with our chinese roast pork technique. The Teochew influence comes from the braising of the pork belly and Peranakan from the Rempah inspired by the Hiam Te Bak. All in all, it is delicious!

Har Lok

A perfectly charcoal grilled prawn, fresh, juicy and declicious. The menu stated that it was Cantonese style and I got curious. What exactly is a Cantonese style cuisine prawn dish?

JH, “Cantonese style, would you mind sharing more about this style of cooking?”

DM, “ This is my contribution in preserving a dying dish in the Zhi Char world. This dish has been overshadowed by Salted Egg Prawns and Cereal Prawn. The essence from this dish is Canontese inspired with its simle yet amazing sauce. The smokiness from the charcoal grill elevates this dish which is a worthy rendition of this Hok Hei laden dish.

Ooh La La

The Venus clams, cooked in flambed style with Singapore style chilli sauce and croutons added into them. The final product is like a chilli style soup with Venus clams and croutons.

JH, “The Oooh La La dish, was it meant to be a spicy soup dish since you added croutons into it?

DM, “This is our take of Singapore’s most favourite Chilli Crab sauce. More than just a cute play on words, this clams in this dish elevates the umami experience of the dish.

Bibik’s Chicken

Another perfectly charcoal grilled dish, the Bibik’s Chicken with a rich Buah Keluak Sauce. When I ate the Bibik’s Chicken, the chicken meat was tender and not overcooked, this demonstrated the skill and experience level of the chefs charcoal grill cooking.

JH, “This Bibik’s Chicken is so delicious, so awesome! I have a few questions, is this a Peranakan cuisine? Was there any special seasoning on the chicken?”

DM, “ This dish is a tribute to the traditional Ayam Bua Keluak. Normally done as a stew, this rendition adds a few more layers into the gastronomic experience. Unlike the usual Buah Keluak Ayam, this dish brings together many more textures. The Chicken is firstly charcoal grilled to achieve a really crispy skin with the meat left tender and succulent. Infused with local herbs and spices, it is a flavour bomb when eaten together with the buah keluak paste.

Mum’s Cabbage

A plate of mixed vegetables, consisting of stewed cabbage, carrots and minced pork. This dish may not look the most glamorous compared to the other counterparts in the 10 course The Quarters Experience. Yet, when I took a bite, the feeling was like “This is Home, truly”. The type of dishes, the emotions and feelings that warms your heart, mind and soul when you are back home eating your favourite food cooked by your parents or grandparents. The menu described it as “Family favourite …” I totally agree.

JH, “Bro, this dish, a simple dish yet I felt so good, the feeling of home cooked food! They just warmed my heart! How did you do it?” 

DM, “ Inspired by what my Mum cooks at home, its about the simplicity and perfect balance of flavours which is appealing. Food done well, with love. Yum!

Quarters Fried Rice

An egg coated fried rice with two types of salted fish. The rice was so soft, fragrant and not oily at all. The Quarter’s Fried Rice was addictive because it was simply too good, too delicious.

JH, “Bro, would you mind teaching me the secret behind the secret to your Quarter’s Fried Rice?” 

DM, “ It’s yet another dish which is a hit with our diners. We go through an arduous process to make sure that the rice is of the right consistency as well as using the right combination of dried fish and cooking technique to accomplish a very satisfying dish.

“Nai You” Lobster

This lobster dish stood out among the 10 dishes, it was charcoal kissed and butter poached. The chefs of The Quarters were really skillful in their charocal cooking techniques, it was just nicely cooked, sweet and tender.

JH, “I saw it on the menu, charcoal kissed and butter poached, would you mind elaborating more on this cooking technique?”

DM, “Inspired by our favourite “Nai You” Crabs and prawns. This is our take on elevating simple ingredients with an amazing lobster. Simply put, we butter poach the lobster and finish the lobster on the grill for that bit of char and smokiness. It’s all about the right timing.

Duriancanboleh

This is Deming’s trademark dish, the original dish that got me to first know Deming for the first time (3 years ago) before he launched his food concept The Quarters. Today, I am back again to taste another revolution and innovation in his traditional and modern cuisine. I gave away my Duriancanboleh because I don’t eat durian (don’t judge me, please!)

JH, “Bro, you know that I don’t eat durian hor, not that I don’t like your Duriancanboleh hor!”

DM, “ You would have enjoyed the other renditions of crème brulee which have done over the years. Lemongrass and Vanilla. The magic and texture of the crème brulee would still be the same. It’s an in house secret which we are proud of.

Profiterole

It’s called the Kaya bomb in the menu, not exactly the profiterole that you have in your mind.

JH, “Bro, this looks more like a The Quarters mini Kaya bun leh, why did u call it a profiterole?” 

DM, “ It’s a Kaya profiterole. An amazing kaya which explodes out of a crispt choux pastry. What can be more delicious and local than this?

At the end of the 10 course The Quarters Experience, I had a very wonderful and very enjoyable food dining experience, a modern communal social dinning experience with an excellent selection of dishes, a mix of traditional and modern cuisine fusion and also East meets West fusion. The chefs excellent, highly experienced and professional cooking skills can be found in their 10 course dishes, without a doubt.

The main attraction doesn’t lie in the fusion of traditional and modern cuisine, or excellent cooking skills. For me, it’s in the heart, mind and soul, the passion and love for cuisine, traditional or modern. That to me, are what makes Deming and his The Quarters stand out, that later gave birth to The Quarters Experience.

I would like to thank Deming of The Quarters for the invitation to experience The Quarters Experience. This was beyond an awesome communal dining experience, it’s a fusion of traditional and modern cuisine. The love and passion for cooking, traditional cuisine, I totally felt it in my heart

If you would like to experience The Quarters Experience for yourself, you can visit their website and register to taste it.


Created with flickr slideshow.

The Universe and Art at ArtScience Museum

The night has fallen, when you look up into the night skyline, filled with bright shining stars, do you ask yourself, is there life in the universe and beyond? Are we able to live in the other planets in the solar system? Why is the universe so mysterious? Is there an explaination to anything besides the universe? How did the human race seek to learn, unravel and discover the universe over the centuries?

In order to seek some answers to the questions above, why not visit the ArtScience Museum in Singapore and enter into the world of The Universe and Art? This is is a very special, intriguing and it can also be a pretty abstract exhibition that unravels the human race journey over the centuries, understanding the Universe through arts, religion and philosophies, and not just science and engineering.

This exhibition, The Universe and Art at ArtScience Museum, is jointly curated and organised by Mori Art Museum in Tokyo and ArtScience Museum. Featuring over 120 original artworks, scientific artefacts and manuscripts, this exhibition presents visions of the Universe from across the globe and through the centuries. Exhibiting alongside masterpieces from around the world, are important artefacts on loan from Singapore’s Asian Civilisations Museum, and a newly commissioned installation by British sculptor, Conrad Shawcross.

Entering into the world of The Universe and Art, there are 4 parts for the visitors to view, learn and immerse into the our mysterious universe

Historical cosmologies

The first part of the exhibition focus on historical cosmologies from around the world, including religious arts from the Buddhist, Hindu and Jain traditions, on loan from Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore. Visitors can also view the masterpieces by Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and Newton, on display for the first time in Singapore.

New scientific thinking on the Universe

The second part focus on scientific thinking of the Universe by contemporary artists including Björn Dahlem, Mariko Mori, Andreas Gursky, and the new commission by Conrad Shawcross.

Origin of life in the cosmos

The third part explores the origin of life in the cosmos, through artworks by major figures, such as Pierre Huyghe, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Laurent Grasso, and Patricia Piccinini.

Life in space

The fourth part of the exhibition is about pondering life in space, through the work of historical pioneer, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, and contemporary artists including Arthur Woods, Kitsuo Dubois, Takuro Osaka, and Dragan Živadinov.

The commissioned work by Conrad Shawcross caught my attention, his artwork is titled “Slow Arc inside a Cube VIII”. Shawcross amazing commissioned artwork is a kinetic sculpture inspired by science. With the world’s technology improved vastly over the centuries, radical new theories and vast international space endeavours, the Universe is still like a mystery to us human beings on Earth, there is still so much unknown. Shawcross created this artwork to invite us and make us ponder on the unknown and mysteries of the Universe.

Through the selected photgraphs that I took at The Universe and Art and shared inside my Flickr collection, this special and unique exhibition is something worth visiting, for everybody to learn and understand more about the human race, arts, culture, our planet Mother Earth and the Universe beyond. Do visit the ArtScience Museum website for more information on the programmes organised by the ArtScience Museum that visitors can participate and join.

As I left the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands, away from the The Universe and Art exhibition, I asked myself again, “Is there life beyond the Universe and our planet Mother Earth?”

I don’t have an answer, I may never have an answer. However, I did learn more about the mysteries and beauty of the Universe through the arts.

I would like to thank ArtScience Museum and Asian Civilisations Museum for the invitation to the The Universe and Art exhibition.

Key information and details on The Universe and Art at ArtScience Museum

Exhibition period: 1st April to 30th July 2017

Tickets can be purchased from Marina Bay Sands box offices and website. Terms and conditions apply.

Ticket prices:

The Universe and Art

Standard Ticket (SGD$) Adult $17
Seniors (65 years and above) $14
Child (2-12 years) $10
Family package (2 kids and 2 adults) $44
Singapore Residence (SGD$) Adult $14
Seniors (65 years and above) $11
Child (2-12 years) $7
Family package (2 kids and 2 adults) $35

The Universe and Art + Future World

Standard Ticket (SGD$) Adult $28
Seniors (65 years and above) $24
Child (2-12 years) $17
Family package (2 kids and 2 adults) $73
Singapore Residence (SGD$) Adult $24
Seniors (65 years and above) $20
Child (2-12 years) $12
Family package (2 kids and 2 adults) $60

For more information on the exhibition, please visit www.marinabaysands.com/ArtScienceMuseum


Created with flickr slideshow.

Canon EOS 1DX Mark II Review

The Canon EOS 1 series, the flagship Canon DSLR camera, the most powerful and fastest Canon DSLR camera, a must have workhorse lens for journalists, sports and wildlife photographers. Once you used the EOS 1 series, that’s no turning back.

My love affair with the EOS 1 series started when I playing with my friends Canon EOS 1D Mark I and Mark IIN, I was totally awed by its high frames per second and the sound of the high speed shutter. In time to come, I found myself owning a used Canon EOS 1D Mark III that I faithfully used for a few years before I upgraded to another EOS 1 series, the Canon EOS 1DX, also a used camera when the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II was announced and the price of a used EOS 1DX started to drop.

During a media event in February 2016, I got my hands on experience with the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II and inside my heart said, “I know you want it, buy it!”. However, my brain said, “It’s out of your current budget at the moment, even though you have a use for it on a professional basis” Therefore, I opted for a used Canon EOS 1DX, that I still love it and it’s now my current workhorse DSLR camera, as much as I badly wanted the EOS 1DX Mark II.

I did have an opportunity to review the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II recently, I was very excited because I am a huge fan of the EOS 1 series, not just on and from a professional basis, also from a photography enthusiast perspective.

During the review period, I had the opportunities to test the EOS 1DX Mark II over different situations, themes and events, from Singapore Motorshow 2017, Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail CNY 2017, River Hongbao 2017, Battle for Singapore Tour media preview, Chinese New Year gathering, Jaybird Freedom Wireless earphones product theme shoot and walking around Marina Bay area in the blue hour and night sceneries walkabout shoot. The experiences were really good and I was secretly lusting for a Canon EOS 1DX Mark II for my professional photography work along with a Canon EOS 1DX as a back up / second camera setup!

Through the various types of photographs that I took with the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II, I have the following observations, views and opinions of this powerful and awesome Canon flagship DSLR camera, written down in this review article.

However, before I begin, first and foremost, let me highlight the key differences between the technical specifications between the Canon EOS 1DX and EOS 1DX Mark II, the information that I extracted from Canon Singapore website by comparing these two Canon DSLR cameras side by side –

DSLR Specifications Canon EOS 1DX Canon EOS 1DX Mark II
Continuous Shooting Speed (shots per sec) (Up to) 14 16
Custom Functions (Total) 31 34
Dimensions (Excl. Protrusions) (mm) (Approximately) 158 x 163.6 x 82.7 158 x 167.6 x 82.6
Effective ISO 50 to 20,4800 (expandable to L (ISO50), H1 (ISO 102,400), H2 (ISO 204,800) 100 to 51,200 (expandable to L (ISO50), H1 (ISO 102,400), H2 (ISO 204,800), H3 (ISO 409,600)
Effective Pixels (Megapixels) (Approximately) 18.1 20.2
File numbering Consecutive numbering, Auto reset, Manual reset Continuous, Auto reset, Manual reset
Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 (L)
4608 x 3072 (M1)
3456 x 2304 (M2)
2592 x 1728 (S)
5184 x 3456 (RAW)
3888 x 2592 (M-RAW)
2592 x 1728 (S-RAW) 
5472 x 3648 (L)
4368 x 2912 (M1)
3648 x 2432 (M2)
2736 x 1824 (S)
5472 x 3648 (RAW)
4104 x 2736 (M-RAW)
2736 x 1824 (S-RAW) 
LCD Monitor Resolutions (dots) 1,040,000 Approx 1,620,000
Max. Resolution (Pixel) (Still images) 5184 x 3156 5472 x 3648
Memory Card Type CF Card (Type I or II) CF cards (Type 1, UDMA 7 supported)

Cfast card (Cfast 2.0 supported)

Metering Mode 252-zone TTL Evaluative, Partial Spot, Centre-weighted Approx. 360,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor and 216-zone TTL open-aperture metering, EOS iSA (Intelligent Subject Analysis) system, Evaluative metering, Partial metering, Spot metering, Center-weighted average metering

 

Metering Range (Measured at at 23°C or 73°F with EF50mm f1.4 USM lens, ISO 100)

 

EV 0 – 20 EV 0 – 20
Mirror Quick-return half mirror Quick-return type
Movie Format MOV MOV, MP4
Peripheral Connections Hi-Speed USB, Video Output, HDMI, LAN SuperSpeed USB, Video Output, HDMI, LAN
Playback Zoom (Approximately) 1.5x – 10x 1.5 – 10x
Processor Type Dual DIGIC 5+ Dual Digic 6+
Red Eye Reduction Yes
Standard Power Supply Battery Pack LP-E4N Battery Pack LP-E19 / LP-E4N / LP-E4
Video Resolution (HD) (Pixel) (Approximately) 1280 x 720
Video Resolution (SD) (Pixel) (Approximately) 640 x 480
Viewfinder Information AF information, metering and exposure information, flash information, white balance correction, JPEG Type / RAW Type recording, maximum burst, number of shots remaining, battery check, recording media information, highlight tone priority (D+), composition information, grid, electronic level

 

Image type: JPEG/RAW, Shooting mode, Metering mode, White balance, Drive mode, AF operation, Flicker detection, Warning ! indicator, AF operation indicator

 

White Balance Auto, daylight, shade, cloudy, tungsten light, white fluorescent light, flash, custom, colour temperature setting, personal white balance (Total 5 settings)

 

Auto (Ambience priority), Auto (White priority), Preset (Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten light, White fluorescent light, Flash), Custom (5 settings), Color temperature setting (approx. 2500-10000 K), Personal white balance (5 settings)

 

Based on the comparisons of technical specifications only, the key differences may not seem by many users as a big jump from the EOS 1DX to EOS 1DX Mark II. From my sharing of my Canon EOS 1DX Mark II review, I would share some of the key improvements that makes professional photographers to make their upgrade from EOS 1DX to EOS 1DX Mark II.

Colours

The Dual Digic 6+ processors inside the EOS 1DX Mark II make a key difference and impact to the quality and output of the photographs. They were richer and more accurate in colours, making it even easier and faster for jpeg photographs straight out from the EOS 1DX Mark II to be used quickly for your work requirements.

Dynamic Range

From my observations of the photographs shot with the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II review camera, on various subjects and themes during the review period, the dynamic range of the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II has improved. Therefore, the EOS 1DX Mark II is able to capture and retain more details and information. With this significant improvement, the shadows/dark tone areas of the photograph are lifted.

Anti-Flicker Technology

The Anti-Flicker technology that was first introduced to the Canon EOS 7D Mark II is now available inside the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II. The flickering of the indoor lights always pose an issue to photographers and they can give some photographers many problems/challenges to handle when shooting indoors. With the Anti-Flicker technology, indoor sports or events photography with the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II is so much more easier and pleasant, without the hassles of the flickering lights.

Auto Focus

The Canon EOS 1DX Mark II is the current flagship DSLR camera, it’s a monster machine as I always love (and usually) call it. Their Auto Focus system has improved significantly over the past few models since I started off (still owning it at this current juncture) with the EOS 1D Mark III and I am currrently using the EOS 1DX.

What make this Canon flagship DSLR camera so powerful, highly trusted and widely adopted by professionals around the world, from photojournalists, sports and wildlife photographers, are the AF technology packed inside this camera.

The technical specifications on paper shows how good and powerful this Canon EOS 1DX Mark II is. I recommend photographers who are keen in this camera to try it out and have a go at this flagship DSLR camera, you will then know why it is so highly trusted and widely adopted by the professioanls in photojournalism, sports and wildlife.

Here are the key improvements that are built inside the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II

  • 170 RAW images with CFast 2.0 card
  • Live View RAW – 16fps
  • New AF algorithm and AI Servo AF III+
  • EOS iTR
  • Large Zone AF
  • Newly developed 61-point AF sensor
  • AF shooting is possible on most lenses using all AF points with a maximum aperture value of f/8
  • Intelligent viewfinder II

During my review and research that I done previously for the Canon EOS 1DX, I discovered Canon USA produced a guide book on Canon EOS 1DX AF Setting Guidebook for users to fully utilise and customise the full AF capabilites. This book is now helping me to fine tune my AF settings in my EOS 1DX.

For this review article, I went back to Canon USA website and discovered that they have produced a new book titled Canon EOS 1DX Mark II AF Setting Guidebook. I strongly encourage photographers (whether professionals or serious enthusiasts) to download this handy guide book for their Canon EOS 1DX Mark II DSLR camera. This is a very handy and useful guide book to have for the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II.

Thoughts and views

The Canon EOS 1DX Mark II is the flagship Canon DSLR camera, this camera is highly regarded and used by professional photographers in the fields of journalism, sports and wildlife.

Owning a EOS 1DX is a huge upfront investment, the cost is pretty substantial. Therefore, this camera model is not something that all photographers would choose to purchase, considering their shooting requirements and budget. Moreover, Canon has a series of different professional DSLR camera models for professional as well as photography enthusiasts to choose from, such as the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EOS 5DS, EOS 5DS R and not to forget the semi-professional camera models such as the EOS 7D Mark II, EOS 6D, EOS 80D etc.

Key factors that make photographers upgrade from EOS 1DX to 1DX Mark II

While the differences between the EOS 1DX and EOS 1DX Mark II may not be that big of a difference on paper, professional photographers who view the photos and read about the key differences in performances, they would choose to let go of their EOS 1DX and go for the EOS 1DX Mark II.

During the period when I reviewed the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II, these key factors (in my personal opinion) are why some photographers are letting go of their Canon EOS 1DX for the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II

  • Improved dynamic range
  • Shadows/Dark tone areas improvements
  • Anti-flickr shooting capabilities
  • Smarter and faster auto focusing with the new AF algorithm and AI Servo AF III+
  • 170 RAW images with CFast 2.0 card

On a personal note, I would really love to own the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II when my budget and finances allow. The Canon EOS 1DX is still a very capable camera, that is still doing its job well for me. Therefore when the opportunity arises, I hope that I can upgrade to the EOS 1DX Mark II in the near future.

I would like to thank Canon Singapore and Ogilvy Public Relations for the opportunity to review the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II.


Created with flickr slideshow.

Precious Artistic, Beautiful and Cultural Eggs Exhibition

Eggs, when you hear this word, what comes to your mind? Food? What are the various ways that I can cook the eggs? What type of eggs? My mother gave me the best answer, “Salted egg yolk” when she saw my collection of photographs that I took recently of this new, unique and very interesting arts exhibition at the Singapore Philatelic Museum, titled “Precious Eggs: of Arts, Beauty and Culture

Like most human beings, the first thought and reaction upon hearing the word “eggs” is about food. I have to confess that I was thinking about eggs in the form of food initially! Upon visiting the Singapore Philatelic Museum, I was brought into an amazing world that I never dreamed of and something that is even possible, it’s an exhibition about eggs!

With a total of 148 unique artistic egg inspired works from the Liechtenstein National Museum, this is the first time that they are displayed outside of Europe and they are now at the Singapore Philatelic Museum in Singapore! When I started viewing and observing the eggs, I was totally blown away, how did the artists managed to produce such fine and delicate artworks on the eggs?

Every egg has a story behind it, from arts, beauty, culture, history, faiths and traditions. There were also different types of eggs used, from quail, chicken, duck, goose, swan and ostrich, as well as eggs crafted from precious and enamelled metals, glass, porcelain, wax, crystal, marble, stone, wood, reindeer horn, cardboard and papier-mache.

The selection of unique artistic egg-inspired works on display at SPM are drawn from the renowned Adulf Peter Goop Collection belonging to the Liechtenstein National Museum. Born in Liechtenstein, Mr Adulf Peter Goop (1921-2011) started to collect Easter eggs in 1985. He was inspired by his experiences as a boy giving painted eggs on Easter morning to Russian soldiers seeking asylum at the end of World War II, who were touched by the gesture of friendship. Numbering about 4,000 eggs, his impressive collection hails from all over the world – some from the Russian Imperial Family. In 2010, Mr Goop donated his comprehensive art collection to the Principality of Liechtenstein.

Ms Tresnawati Prihadi, General Manager of SPM says, “We are delighted to partner the Liechtenstein National Museum to bring this precious collection of egg art pieces to Singapore. We hope this exhibition will challenge Singaporeans to rethink what makes art, and how ordinary, everyday items, such as the humble egg and stamps, can tell such beautiful stories of love, history and faiths, and serve as windows to cultures of the world.” 

Prof Dr Rainer Vollkommer, Director of the Liechtenstein National Museum said, “Eggs are a symbol of peace, love, friendship and fertility. We would like to share this with everybody with this exhibition.”

 Source: Singapore Philatelic Museum press release


The Singapore Philatelic Museum has incorporated multi-media experiences for visitors to this exhibition that they can experience together when they are viewing the eggs exhibition. Visitors can have direct and personalised interaction with some of the eggs. When visitors tap into the “Precious Eggs” network via a QR code, they can have a 360 degrees view of the egg on their mobile device.

At the media preview, we were also introduced to Ukraine’s history, heritage, culture and folktales of Ukraine, via their beautifully decorated Ukrainian eggs and friendly folks from the Ukraine community in Singapore.

This was the Pysanka Eggs demonstration and we had the opportunity to make our own too! You can try it out too, when you visit Singapore Philatelic Museum on Easter Sunday on 17th April 2017, more details in the Annex 1 below!

Key information and details of the exhibition – Precious Eggs: of Arts, Beauty and Culture

Venue: Singapore Philatelic Museum

23-B Coleman Street, Singapore 179807

Date: 12 April – 8 October 2017

Opening hours: Monday – Sunday

10.00am – 7.00pm

Admission charges: Free admission for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents

Admission charges for foreigners:

Adult $8

Child (3 – 12 years) $6

Tel: 63373888

Website: www.spm.org.sg

Tell your family, relatives and friends about this special and unique exhibition about eggs, come on down and explore all 148 unique eggs! Pass It On and spread the word! When you visit Singapore Philatelic Museum, do remember to check out the other interesting exhibitions inside there too!

I haven’t manage to capture all 148 eggs on display at the exhibition yet and I hope to capture each and every one of the 148 eggs on display! Meanwhile, visit my photos collection and take a look at some of the eggs that I photographed!

I would like to thank Singapore Philatelic Museum for the invitation to the media preview of the Precious Eggs: of Arts, Beauty and Culture exhibition.

—————————————————————-

Annex 1

Easter Sunday at Singapore Philatelic Museum

Date: Sunday, 16 April 2017

Time: 10.00am – 7.00pm

Usual museum admission applies

Free admission for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents

Admission charges for foreigners: Adult $8; Child (3 – 12 years) $6

Activities:

Easter Craft

10.00am – 5.00pm

Make your own fun pop-up chicky craft!

Donations apply.

Fun Quiz

10.00am – 5.00pm

Visit the museum galleries and take part in the fun quiz to win exciting prizes. Learn stories behind these beautiful stamps as you go on an adventure around the museum.

Pysanka Egg Demonstration

1.00pm – 4.00pm

Come see beautiful Ukrainian decorated eggs and get the opportunity to make your own! These traditional designs on eggs tell stories of culture, folktales and heritage of Ukraine.

Donations apply.

Green Eggs & Ham

2.30pm – 3.00pm

Join us as Centre Stage School of the Arts breathes new life into Dr Seuss’s fabulous story “Green Eggs & Ham”. Suitable for all ages.


Created with flickr slideshow.

Canon celebrates 14th consecutive year of No. 1 share

Canon Inc recently announced that their company’s interchangeable lens digital cameras have maintained the number 1 share of the global market for 14 consecutive years from 2003 to 2016.

I was one of those that used the Canon EOS 300D, the DSLR camera that made the breakthrough and changes to the DSLR market in 2003. This particular DSLR camera was the start of a very eventful and exciting photography journey for me, starting from 2004 (and still ongoing) when I started using my first DSLR, the Canon EOS 300D for taking photographs and also for my holiday trips to Tokyo, Japan and Penang, Malaysia in 2004.

While I started entering into the world of photography way back in the analogue film SLR days, starting from my primary school days when I played and damaged my father’s SLR camera. I only got into more serious photography starting from 2004. From then on, I never look back, my relationship with Canon DSLRs blossomed with the upgrades from the maiden DSLR, the EOS 300D, followed by -> EOS 30D -> EOS 1D Mark III -> EOS 70D -> EOS 1DX, over the years from 2004 to 2017 (and still counting).

Beside owning the various Canon DSLRs that I wrote down, I also had the honour to be given many opportunities to test and review other Canon DSLR models, sharing the photographs, my reviews, thoughts, views and experiences with them right here on my photography and travel site. There is a particular Canon DSLR model that I really like, yet I didn’t own it, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. This Canon EOS 5D Mark III allowed me to produce some photography works that were instrumental and significant during my photography adventures.

Over all these years for me, partnering with the various Canon DSLR models, I had learned a lot, grown and improved my photography together with them. At this stage in time, I am now in a new phase of my photography adventure, the start of a new era, striving even higher benchmarks, goals and objectives for myself, in both a personal and professional capacity in my photography.

This is my personal (rather lengthy) Canon DSLRs story, now let me share with you, the Canon Inc story –

Canon Inc. announced that the Company’s interchangeable-lens digital cameras (digital SLR and compact-system cameras) have maintained the No. 1 share of the global market for 14 consecutive years from 2003 to 2016*.

Canon develops the key components featured in its interchangeable-lens cameras— CMOS image sensors, image processors and interchangeable lenses— in the pursuit of “Speed, Comfort and High Image Quality, the core concept of the EOS series.” The Company employs these cutting-edge technologies across its entire lineup, from entry-level models that achieve high image quality with easy operation to flagship cameras trusted by professionals, effectively responding to the needs of a wide range of users.

In 2003, the dawn of digital SLR cameras, Canon introduced its breakthrough EOS 300D Digital (EOS Digital Rebel or EOS Kiss Digital in other regions). This groundbreaking camera, which was competitively priced and featured a compact, lightweight design, captured the top share of the global market and set the stage for growth in the digital SLR market.

Since that time, Canon has continued to launch a range of epoch-making products, including the professional-model EOS-1D series and the EOS 5D series which paved the way for digital SLR video recording.

In 2016, Canon introduced an impressive lineup of interchangeable-lens camera products that supported the Company’s achievement of a 14th consecutive year at the top of the global market. In the first quarter of 2016, the Company unveiled the flagship model, the EOS-1D X Mark II, which wields significant clout in the sports photography world thanks to its 14 frame-per-second continuous shooting. This was followed by the EOS 80D for advanced-amateur users, which features excellent still image quality and superb operability when shooting videos. The EOS 5D Mark IV, capable of 4K video, was released in second half of the year. Additionally, the Company’s interchangeable-lens camera lineup was further expanded with the introduction of the high-end EOS M5 compact-system camera in September.

Canon will continue to respond to the needs of its wide range of customers by further bolstering its lineup in 2017. Earlier this February, Canon announced the introduction of n three cameras equipped with the cutting-edge and highly accurate autofocus technology, Dual Pixel CMOS AF: the EOS M6 compact-system camera and the EOS 77D (EOS 9000D in other regions) and EOS 800D (EOS Rebel T7i or EOS Kiss X9i in other regions) digital SLR cameras.

Through the further refining of its diverse imaging technologies based on the Company’s core optical technologies, Canon will further strengthen and expand the EOS lineup through the integration of still image, video and network functionality. Canon will continue striving to create attractive and reliable products aimed at contributing to expanding the culture of photographic and video imaging.

*Based on a Canon survey

 ** Information and picture courtesy of Canon Singapore and Ogilvy Public Relations ** 

Canon EOS M5 Review

The Canon EOS M5 was announced in September 2016, in an earlier article that I shared about the Canon EOS M5 official announcement with an input of my thoughts and views of the EOS M5 announcement. The Canon EOS M5 is the fifth camera model from the EOS M family and it was the latest Canon EOS M model during that short period of time before the Canon EOS M6 was announced in February 2017.

Photo courtesy of Canon Singapore

In my sharing article earlier on the Canon EOS M5 announcement, I wrote the following paragraphs inside the article:

“ ….. Personally, I have used the EOS M1 (belongs to my dad), reviewed the EOS M3 and EOS M10. Over the years, I had seen improvements to the Canon EOS M family through their camera body designs and EF-M lenses for the EOS M series. When I saw and read the official news on the Canon EOS M5, my initial impressions from it were – Canon is serious about their mirror-less camera line up, the EOS M series. During my recent trip to Canon EXPO 2016 Shanghai, listening to the top Canon Inc executives sharing on the next wave and trends, I wrote the points that were shared and discussed at the media interaction here in an article here on my photography website.

In my article, I wrote

“From the media interaction sessions, Canon remains committed to the EOS M mirrorless line up. We should be able to see more of EF-M lenses, EOS M accessories and maybe a new EOS M mirrorless camera body in the near future.” ….”

My initial impressions and thoughts based on the technical specifications of the Canon EOS M5 was that it is pretty good and much improved over the earlier four EOS M camera models. During a media dinner event, I had a short hands with the Canon EOS M5 and it reinforced my initial impressions and thoughts. Therefore, I waited for an opportunity to review the Canon EOS M5 and I managed to obtain a review unit in February 2017.

This Canon EOS M5 review camera went through a number of interesting events with me, she was very handy, small and lightweight for my carry around camera and events camera. This EOS M5 review camera went to HTC U Ultra and U Play smartphone launch, Majestic Market @ New Majestic Hotel, 2 x NHB Battle for Singapore 2017 tours, N.E.mation! 11 Awards Ceremony, OPPO R9s Plus smartphone launch, Singapore Biennale 2016, I Light Marina Bay 2017 media preview, extended family reunions and she also played an important role in the 100th day ceremony in remembrance of my Grandmother’s passing. Overall, I think I took about 1,000++ photographs with the Canon EOS M5 during the review period.

Some quick thoughts and views of the Canon EOS M5

Pros

  • Small, lightweight and compact
  • Easy to use
  • Wi-fi setup and file transfer is smooth and easy, just a touch of the button on the side of the EOS M5 and the Canon app
  • Build in Electronic View Finder (EVF) is awesome
  • Intuitive Touch and Drag AF
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF System
  • Easily accessible operating control dial on the top of the EOS M5 body
  • Five-axis image stabilisation system inside the EOS M5
  • A well thought out ergonomic design, buttons layout and with a good hand grip

Cons

  • The tilt screen can’t flip upright due to the design of the built-in EVF and it can’t flip sideways 180 degrees, it can tilt downwards 180 degrees.
  • At ISO 25,600, the noise level at times can be really grainy and distinctive (even for myself who has a high tolerance for the grain), therefore use ISO 25,600 at your own discretion.
  • While the AF system has been improved inside the Canon EOS M5, the AF system has some challenges re-focusing on the subject that moved away or around when AF is not locked and tracked on the subject.

Dual Pixel CMOS AF System

The Dual Pixel CMOS AF System is now integrated inside the Canon EOS M family, starting with the Canon EOS M5 body. I had the opportunity to use the Dual Pixel CMOS AF System in the Canon EOS 70D, a DSLR camera body that I reviewed and I bought a used EOS 70D later before letting it go to fund for my EF 24-70mm f/4 L IS USM lens.

The Dual Pixel CMOS AF System allows the EOS M5 to achieve 7.0 fps (AF tracking) or 9.0 fps (AF fixed). Recording a video with the Dual Pixel CMOS AF System built-in, makes it very handy, useful and great when recording a video with the EOS M5.

Video recording

Armed with Digic 7 and Dual Pixel CMOS AF System inside the camera body, recording a video on the Canon EOS M5 gets easier and better. While I currently do not specialise in video production, the videos that I recorded and produced showed the ease of use for the daily user. Video recording can be a fun activity with the Canon EOS M5, whereby you can also record videos for memories beside taking photographs.

Intuitive Touch and Drag AF

This is one of the few key features inside the Canon EOS M5 that made me very impressed and liking this EOS M5 a lot. The intuitive Touch & Drag AF is like the “joystick”, the Quick Control Dial and Multi Controller of the Canon DSLR. With the eye on the EVF and your thumb controlling, moving the AF point, it’s just like my Canon DSLR in action.

I have my own unique experience using it, while I love this feature, it also got me fustrated because my eye tend to go very close (basically glued) to the EVF (from my experiences handling my Canon EOS 1DX), thus my face and nose would touch the screen. There were many a times, my nose and the finger “clashed” when I used the touch and drag AF.

The trick is not to put your eye too closely to the EVF, allow some space away from your face and there would be no clash between your finger doing the touch and drag AF and your face/nose.

Canon EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Review

The Canon EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM is a new lens addition to the Canon family of lenses. The EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM is available in silver or graphite colour, it is small, lightweight and compact.

Focusing speed

The focusing speed is decent, it’s not a fast lens especially at the other end of the focal length at 150mm.

Sharpness

For the entire review period, I only used this EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens. This lens produced sharp photographs and it is able to retain the sharpness after cropping.

Bokeh

While this EF-M lens may not be as famous as her fellow sisters, the EF L lenses, the bokeh produced by this lens is commendable, pretty good with some creamy smooth bokeh. Let the photograph below reinforce the views that I wrote –

Canon EOS M5 with EF-M 18-150mm @ 150mm, f/3.5-6.3, ISO 640, f/6.3, 1/250s

The Canon EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 is a small, compact and lightweight telephoto zoom lens, suitable for your travel usage.

Here’s a quick recap of the product specifications of the Canon EOS M5 and EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM

Product specifications

EOS M5

Image sensor: 24.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor

Imaging processor: DIGIC 7

Focal plane AF: Dual Pixel CMOS AF

Max frame rate: 9.0 fps (AF fixed), 7.0 fps (AF tracking)

Max standard ISO speed: ISO 25,600

Monitor: 3.2-inch tilting touch panel LCD, approx. 1.62 million dots

Movie: Full HD 60 fps

Connectivity: Wi-Fi / NFC / Bluetooth

EVF: Approx. 2.36 million dots

Dimensions: Approx. 115.6 x 89.2 x 60.6mm

Weight: Approx. 427g

EF-M18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM

Focal length: 18-150mm

Maximum aperture: f/3.5 – 6.3

Minimum focusing distance: 0.25m (at 18mm), 0.45m (at 150mm)

Maximum magnification: 0.31x

Filter size: 55mm

Aperture blades: 7

Length: 86.5mm

Weight: Approx. 300g

Pricing and Availability

The EOS M5 is now available at all Canon authorised dealers at the following recommended retail prices.

Models SRP (incl GST)
EOS M5 kit (EF M15-45mm) $1,669
EOS M5 Body $1,499

The Canon EOS M5 camera, on my own personal basis, with views and opinions collected during the camera review period, it got a pretty good score and endorsement from me.

The built-in EVF gives it extra marks because I am schooled in the film SLR camera and I still prefer the EVF. With the feel, touch and capability of a DSLR, along with the Dual Pixel CMOS AF and intuitive Touch & Drag AF, it makes the Canon EOS M5 a very enjoyable camera to use since I am mainly a Canon DSLR useer.

This lightweight and compact Canon EOS M5 is packed with some pretty good capabilities and functionalities from the EOS DSLR family. An ideal camera for travel for those who do not wish to bring their DSLR out.

Would I take the Canon EOS M5 as my side/spare camera in my current Canon DSLR cameras setup?

Yes, if I have the extra budget on my side as I need to channel my funds to other L lenses purchases/upgrades first.

No, because I am waiting for Canon to release a full frame EOS M camera with a built-in EVF (In my personal humble opinion, I think they would release a full frame EOS M, probably in 2018, maybe Q1? That’s my wild guess!)

If you are looking for a mirrorless camera, do check out the Canon EOS M5, visit Canon Singapore Customer Care Centre at Galaxis, have a touch and feel of the Canon EOS M5.

* I would like to thank Canon Singapore and Ogilvy Public Relations for the opportunity to review the Canon EOS M5 *


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Armenian Street Party 2017 by Peranakan Museum

A short stretch of the road and space in front of the Peranakan Museum closed to the traffic for two nights, transforming into a fun party venue for visitors to bring their family, children and friends down, visit the museums and soak in the party atmosphere. This was the Armenian Street Party 2017 organised by Peranakan Museum that took place on 10th and 11th March. The Armenian Street Party made her maiden debut in 2016, I was there too at the first Armenian Street Party!

For this year 2017 Armenian Street Party, I dropped by on Friday evening and managed to catch some of the performances at the street party. The theme for Armenian Street Party 2017 was back to school, going back to the good old school nostalgia days (when we were young), some of you might remember going to detention class, disliking certain subjects such as literature, tuckshop food during recess time, English and grammar class, PE class, music class etc etc.

The Armenian Street Party was also a perfect time to visit the Peranakan Museum and Singapore Philatelic Museum with their family, children and friends. This street party is perfect for the two museums to have more publicity and awareness from the public, they are two great museums with really great and wonderful artworks, contents and exhibitions, that the public may not know as much, compared to her bigger fellow sister museums such as the National Museum of Singapore.

At the Armenian Street Party 2017, on the Friday that I visited, I saw the mass P.E. class by Upside Motion, it’s not a bad idea to conduct P.E. class on the road without the vehicles! The iconic Peranakan Museum favourite band of singers, the Peranakan Sayang, were in action on Friday, with the theme “Balek Sekolah!”, translated to “Back to school!”. This group of singers are really good and they never fail to light up the crowds!

The Armenian Street Party is not just about the two museums, Peranakan Museum and Singapore Philatelic Museum, it’s a community event, the kampung spirit, with fellow neighbours along Armenian Street coming in, participating and be a part of this festive party. Timbre Group, Substation, Upside Motion, True Blue Cuisine and SMU were neighbours, part of the Armenian Street kampung. They all played a part in this year’s street party.

There were also delicious food by True Blue Cuisine, selling all time favourite tuckshop treats, I didn’t manage to go down and eat all the food on Friday. I only manage to eat the laksa during the media preview (I was rushing for time on that day) prior to the street party weekend.

I took the opportunity to visit Singapore Philatelic Museum, a very short walk down the road from Peranakan Museum. I forgot when was the last time I visited this museum, they looked small in physical size yet they packed some pretty wonderful collections inside there. Touring the Singapore Philatelic Museum brought me back many memories, I used to collect stamps when I was a young kid in school and I am beginning to wonder where have I kept my stamps? Probably somewhere in my home!

After touring the Singapore Philatelic Museum, I stayed on and watched two performances –

Literature Class: Music & Prose of the Past

By Cappella Martialis

Literature Class: Will The Night Away!

By Centre Stage.

Two great performances held inside this small and cosy Singapore Philatelic Museum.

The performance “Will The Night Away!” was about a Shakespeare classic “Romeo and Juliet”, that most students would probably have studied if they took Literature during their secondary school days (I didn’t take Literature in my upper secondary school). This is Singapore style, a Singapore spin “Romeo and Ah Lian”. Their play was hilarious, interactive and engaging, with the Shakespeare exhibition theme behind them, this was a perfect setting for Romeo and Ah Lian!

Since I was only there on Friday, I couldn’t catch the rest of the performances and activities that were held during the Armenian Street Party 2017, although I did manage to catch a glimpse of some of them during the media preview.

Personally, I feel that the Armenian Street Party is a great community event that doesn’t need to go massively big, it may not (and need not) be the biggest street party event or museums event, they just leverage and combine together as the Armenian Street “kampung”, the Peranakan Museum and Singapore Philatelic Museum, along with their neighbours along Armenian Street.

Looking forward to the next edition of the Armenian Street Party!


Created with flickr slideshow.