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OPPO R11 Dual Lens Smartphone Review

The OPPO R11 was launched not long ago in July 2017, their current flagship model in their line up. At their launch event, I did manage to get hold of the OPPO R11 for a very short time and tried it out.

Once a review unit was made available, I had the OPPO R11 for two weeks to test it out, putting their dual lens smartphone camera to the test. Their ColorOS 3.1 based on Android 7.1, is easy to use, it has a friendly user interface and it is quite similar to the Apple iOS layout. Overall, smartphone users who decide to choose the OPPO R11 smartphone should be able to adapt pretty quickly.

Before I proceed to write and share on the dual lens smartphone camera review, let me refresh on the OPPO R11 technical specifications

OPPO R11 Technical Specifications and Information

Dimensions/Weight

  • Size: 154.5×74.8×6.8mm
  • Weight: 50g (with BATT)

Basic Parameters

  • Colour: Gold, Black
  • Operating System: ColorOS 3.1, Android 7.1
  • Processor: Qualcomm SDM 660, Octa-core (4 x2.2GHz, 4 x1.9GHz)
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Storage: 64 GB (Support microSD card up to 256GB)
  • Battery: 3000mAh (Typical Value) Li-Po Battery (unremovable)
  • Charger: VOOC Flash Charge mini

Display

  • Size: 5.5”
  • Type: AMOLED (PPI 401)
  • Resolution: FHD (1920 by 1080 pixels)
  • Colors: 16 million colors
  • Touchscreen: Multi-touch, Corning® Gorilla® Glass 5

Camera

  • Rear Camera: 16M (f/1.7) + 20M (f/2.6)
  • Rear Sensor: IMX398 + IMX376
  • Front Camera: 20M (f/2.0)
  • Flash: Supported

Connectivity

  • GPS: Supported
  • Bluetooth: 4.2 LE
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • NFC: No
  • OTG: Supported
  • Sensors: E-compass, G-sensor, Gyro-meter, Light and Proximity Sensor

Inside the OPPO R11 dual lens smartphone camera, here are the list of capabilities that you can find and use. Although it is not as packed in features compared to some of the other smartphone models in the market, they still have a pretty good list of features packed inside them. Let me bring you through the features packed inside the OPPO R11 dual lens camera smartphone:

Modes

  • Time-lapse
  • Video
  • Photo
  • Portrait (with Depth Effect)
  • Pano
  • Expert

Photo mode

  • Standard , Square , Full Screen
  • Watermark – 8 types
  • Filters – Aesthetic , Instant , Fantasy , Sweet , Sunlight , Transfer , Fresh , Mono
  • HDR – On , Off , Auto
  • Flash – Off , On , Auto , Fill Light

Portrait

  • Timer – Off , 3s , 10s , Tap

Video mode

  • 720p , 1080p, 4K
  • 10s short video
  • Light on / off
  • Filters – Aesthetic , Instant , Fantasy , Sweet , Sunlight , Transfer , Fresh , Mono

Expert mode

  • WB – Auto , Incandecent , Daylight , Fluroescent , Cloudy , Shade , Twillight , Candelight
  • EV from -3 to +3
  • ISO – Auto , 100 , 200, 400 , 800 , 1600
  • Shutter – Auto, 1s , 2s , 4s, 8s, 16s
  • Focus – Auto , Manual (able to adjust Near to Far)
  • Timer – 3s , 10s
  • Horizontal Level
  • Ultra HD
  • Zoom – 1x to 10x
  • 2 lenses (20MP and 16MP)

What are some of my thoughts, views, notes and observations during my review on the OPPO R11 dual lens smartphone camera review? Let me bring you through my experiences with the OPPO R11 dual lens camera smartphone, the photographs that I took with it and videos on my YouTube channel.

Observations, Notes and Views

  • In expert mode, you can zoom in from 1x to 10x, this is a very interesting and very useful feature to have. With the high megapixels, this allows the camera to push up to 10x, although I personally won’t use up to 10x zoom.
  • There are two lenses that you can use in expert mode, they are the 16M (f/1.7) + 20M (f/2.6).
  • In video mode, they have a feature to record 10s short video, this would come in handy for social media usage.
  • 4K video output is good when viewed on my laptop
  • Sharp and clear photographs
  • At high ISO, the noise level is visible and photographs can be grainy (a challenge for all smartphones in my personal opinion)
  • In expert mode, users can’t shoot in mono filter
  • Monochrome photos straight out from OPPO R11 is a mix of hit and miss for me, sometimes I like the final photo, sometimes I don’t.

The OPPO R11 dual lens camera smartphone may not seem to be packed with that many features that you can see in some other smartphone models in the market, that does not mean that they are not as good. From my review and experiences, the OPPO R11 does have some strong features that stand out during the time when I was reviewing it.

The portrait feature, coupled with the high megapixels sensors in the OPPO R11, making it one of their strong features and key selling point. This would be most welcomed by those who love to take portraits or have their portraits being taken.

Overall, the OPPO R11 dual lens camera smartphone may not have the features that professional photographers / serious photography enthusiasts desire, nevertheless, they are still able to produce pretty nice and good quality photos from the OPPO R11 especially for those who love portraits and selfies. The 4K video quality output is good, another feature that I like, from the OPPO R11 dual lens camera smartphone.

I woud like to thank OPPO Singapore and MSL Group for the opportunity to review the OPPO R11 dual lens camera smartphone.


Created with flickr slideshow.

150th Anniversary of the First Postage Stamps Issued in Singapore

A new exhibition has recently opened to the public at the Singapore Philatelic Museum (SPM) from 1st September 2017 to 1st January 2018, visitors to SPM are able to enjoy a very interesting and intriguing exhibition of stamps, some of the stamps have a very rich and old history, some of the rarest stamps, covers and other philatelic materials on display, showcasing the history and significance of Singapore from her Colonial days when she was an international port of call around the world.

On 31st August, I was at the official launch and opening of the exhibition – 150th Anniversary of the First Postage Stamps Issued in Singapore, attended and launched by Guest-of-Honour Mr Chan Yeng Kit (Chairman of Infocomm Media Development Authority), Mr Woo Keng Leong (CEO, Postal Services at SingPost), Mr Hong Tuck Kun (Chairman of the Stamp Advisory Committee), Mr Richard Tan (President of the ASP) and Professor Cheah Jin Seng (Chairman of SPM Board) at the SPM.

Thereafter, I went into the exhibition space to view the collection of stamps on display at this exhibition. When you entered into the exhibition space, it might look small in terms of floor size, however, there are a lot of stamps on display and some of the rarest stamps are there! Every stamp, cover and philatelic material tells a story of Singapore, her postal history and history as part of the Straits Settlements. It’s really amazing, mind blowing at times, it’s not just the history behind it, there are also stories behind some of the stamps on display there. This exhibition is excellent and very suitable for parents to bring their children there to learn more about Singapore’s history and culture.

Just to share a bit on the history of the Straits Settlements, in the year 1867, Singapore, Penang and Malacca were transferred from the jurisdiction of the East India Company in India to British rule in London as a Crown Colony. Singapore took control of the seat of the government of the Straits Settlements, along with its postal affairs. In order to commemorate the change of governance, a new set of stamps was issued on 1st September 1867, for the first time by the Singapore Post Office.

I didn’t get the chance to view and learn about every single stamp, cover and philatelic material on display because there are many stamps inside the exhibition. I have to plan a time and visit the exhibition at SPM again. For my next visit, I am going to slow down, view, observe and learn more about each stamp, their story and history.

When you visit 150th Anniversary of the First Postage Stamps Issued in Singapore at SPM, you can purchase a momento of this key postal milestone, the following items will available during the exhibition period:

  • A limited edition, 150th Anniversary of the First Postage Stamps Issued in Singapore. Price: $50
  • A series of 150th Anniversary of the First Postage Stamps Issued in Singapore exhibition picture postcards. Each month, a different set of 4 serialised picture postcards will be available. The pictures on the postcards are of the exhibits on display. Price: $10 for a strip of four postcards.
  • Special Exhibition Souvenir Covers: Bring home a special exhibition souvenir cover with 1st local stamp and the event date stamp (1st September 2017). Price: $3.

In conjunction with the SPM exhibition 150th Anniversary of the First Postage Stamps Issued in Singapore, SingPost has 1st local, 2nd local, 60cents, 70cents and $1.30 issued in Singapore stamps. Pre-cancelled First Day Covers affixed with the complete set of stamps are available at $4.25. There is also a Collection Pack, comprising of the 5 SingPost stamps and 3 Pos Malaysia stamps commemorating the first Straits Settlements will also be sold. You can buy them at the General Post Office, Philatelic Store which starts operations at the SingPost Centre, Jurong West Post Office and online at shop.singpost.com.

For more information , check out the URL links below-

Do visit the the exhibition – 150th Anniversary of the First Postage Stamps Issued in Singapore at SPM, if you are a parent, bring your children there, it would be a fun learning experience for them!

Huawei P10 Plus Dual Lens Camera Review

The Huawei P10 Plus was recently launched in April 2017 for the Singapore market. I was excited to read about the launch of the new Huawei P10 and P10 Plus since I am an existing Huawei P9 user, having done a review last year, I was very impressed with the mobile phone photography quality produced by the Huawei P9 during my review that I went on to get a Huawei P9 smartphone for my own usage.

During the Huawei P10 Plus review period, I had some priceless moments and a great time testing this dual lens smartphone. My 5,000th instagram shot was a double rainbow over the skyline of Marina Bay Sands at Marina Bay Singapore using the Huawei P10 Plus! The other was producing an impromptu video for my friend’s new food outlet – Keith Crackling Roast, shot in 4K video with the Huawei P10 Plus. He’s a Huawei Mate 9 user, thanks to my persuasion and conversion after letting him try out my Huawei P9 smartphone!

The Huawei P10 Plus dual lens camera setup is an improvement from the highly successful Huawei P9 series that set the stage for the dual lens camera smartphone in the Huawei smartphone family. In the later paragraphs, readers can view the number of different functions and capabilities packed inside the Huawei P10 Plus dual lens camera smartphone. On the Huawei P10 Plus, you can find the Leica Summilux-H 1:1.8/27 ASPH lenses driving it, resulting in one of the best dual lens camera smartphone in the market (in my personal humble opinion).

Dual lens camera technical specifications

Main Camera

  • 20 MP Monochrome + 12 MP RGB, F1.8
  • OIS (Optical Image Stablization)
  • Dual-tone Flash
  • PDAF + CAF + Laser + Depth Auto Focus
  • 2x Hybrid Zoom
  • 4K Video Recording

Front Camera

  • 8 MP AF, F1.9

Modes

  • Photo
  • Monochrome
  • Video
  • HDR
  • Panorama
  • Night Shot
  • Light Painting
  • Time-lapse
  • Slow-mo
  • Watermark
  • Audio Note
  • Document scan
  • Good food

Photo Mode

  • Wide aperture
  • Portrait mode with artistic bokeh and beauty level
  • Colours: Standard, Vivid and Smooth
  • Touch & hold shutter icon – burst shot
  • Capture smiles: take photos automatically when smiles are detected
  • Assistive Grid: Fibonacci spiral (left), Fibonacci Spiral (right), Phi grid, Grid, off
  • Resolution: 20M 5120×3840 (4:3), 12M 3968×2976 (4:3), 9M 3968×2240 (16:9), 9M 2976×2976 (1:1), 8M 3264×2448 (4:3), 6M 3264×1840 (16:9)

Photo Mode (Pro)

  • RAW + JPEG
  • No burst shot
  • No capture smiles
  • Can adjust ISO, Shutter, EV, AF, WB, Metering
  • Assistive Grid: Fibonacci spiral (left), Fibonacci Spiral (right), Phi grid, Grid, off
  • Horizontal Level
  • Resolution: 20M 5120×3840 (4:3), 12M 3968×2976 (4:3), 9M 3968×2240 (16:9), 9M 2976×2976 (1:1), 8M 3264×2448 (4:3), 6M 3264×1840 (16:9)

Monochrome Mode

  • Wide aperture
  • Portrait mode with artistic bokeh and beauty level
  • Colours: Standard, Vivid and Smooth
  • Touch & hold shutter icon – burst shot
  • Capture smiles: take photos automatically when smiles are detected
  • Assistive Grid: Fibonacci spiral (left), Fibonacci Spiral (right), Phi grid, Grid, off
  • Resolution: 20M 5120×3840 (4:3), 12M 3968×2976 (4:3), 9M 3968×2240 (16:9), 9M 2976×2976 (1:1), 8M 3264×2448 (4:3), 6M 3264×1840 (16:9)

Monochrome Mode (Pro)

  • No burst shot
  • No capture smiles
  • Can adjust ISO, Shutter, EV, AF, WB, Metering
  • Assistive Grid: Fibonacci spiral (left), Fibonacci Spiral (right), Phi grid, Grid, off
  • Horizontal Level
  • Resolution: 20M 5120×3840 (4:3), 12M 3968×2976 (4:3), 9M 3968×2240 (16:9), 9M 2976×2976 (1:1), 8M 3264×2448 (4:3), 6M 3264×1840 (16:9)

Video Mode

  • Wide aperture mode
  • Beauty mode
  • Resolution: UHD 4K (16:9 stereo), FHD 1080p (16:9 stereo at 60fps), FHD 1080p (16:9 stereo), HD 720p (16:9 stereo), VGA 640×480 (4:3), QVGA 320×240 (4:3) and MMS (176×144)

Video Mode (Pro)

  • Can adjust EV, AF, WB, Metering
  • Wide aperture mode
  • Beauty mode
  • Resolution: UHD 4K (16:9 stereo), FHD 1080p (16:9 stereo at 60fps), FHD 1080p (16:9 stereo), HD 720p (16:9 stereo), VGA 640×480 (4:3), QVGA 320×240 (4:3) and MMS (176×144)

Light Painting Mode

  • Tail Light Trails
  • Light Graffiti
  • Silky Water
  • Star Track

Night Shot Mode:

  • ISO: Auto or manual from ISO100 – 1600
  • Shutter: Auto or manual from (1/4s – 32s)

Time Lapse Mode

  • HD 720p

Slow-mo Mode

  • FHD 1080p (16:9 stereo 120fps) and FHD 720p (16:9 stereo 120fps)

Huawei P10 Plus versus Samsung Galaxy S8+

In my earlier introductory article when I started with the Huawei P10 Plus review journey, I also have the Samsung Galaxy S8+ together with the Huawei P10 Plus to observe and compare the differences between them.

Pro mode comparisons

Panorama comparisons

Samsung Galaxy S8+
Huawei P10 Plus

4K video comparisons on YouTube

During my review period using the Huawei P10 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S8+, I observed and compared both smartphones on their strengths and weakeness through the photographs and camera user interface.

Some key observations between them are

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ can do 360 panorama while Huawei P10 Plus is unable to do it, some users like 360 panorama, some users don’t.
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ handles the shadows better than the Huawei P10 Plus (for photographs shot straight out from their respective cameras)
  • Huawei P10 Plus photos are more authentic and accurate than the Samsung Galaxy S8+
  • Huawei P10 Plus camera app user interface has more functions and capabilities (it might seem more complex for some users however, photographers would like it) than the Samsung Galaxy S8+ camera app
  • Both smartphones are able to produce 4K videos, I produced 2 simple test shot videos shot by the Huawei P10 Plus and Samsung S8+. First and foremost, I have to declare that I am not an expert nor trained in videography and I am still learning the basics of videography. From my two simple sample shot videos, my humble and personal view is that they are quite close to each other in terms of 4K performance and output.

In my earlier introductory article titled “Journey with me along with the Huawei P10 Plus”, I shared my thoughts and views on Huawei P10 Plus versus Samsung S8+. At the end of my review stint, writing this review, my thoughts and views on them were further reinforced through my observations and comparisons between them.

My views are that while Huawei P10 Plus and Samsung S8+ are both very good smartphones in the market. From my review, observations and analysis, the Huawei P10 Plus has stronger camera capabilities and functions over the Samsung S8+, moreover, the authencity and accuracy of the Huawei P10 Plus suits me perfectly, the photographer that I am.

What are some of the key aspects/capabilities/observations from the Huawei P10 Plus dual lens smartphone that stands out for me?

1) Low light photography with Summilux-H 1:1.8/27 ASPH : With a f/1.8 lens, this allows a lot more light to enter thus making it easier for low light/night photography with the Huawei P10 Plus.

2) Sharp and detailed photographs produced with the Summilux-H 1:1.8/27 ASPH: Since I am currently using the Huawei P9, therefore I know first hand on the sharpness and details of the photos produced by the Huawei P series. The Huawei P10 Plus is able to produce sharper and more detailed photos.

3) Monochrome photography: One of the key aspects of the Huawei P10 Plus camera, when I first experienced it with the Huawei P9, I was already blown away by their monochrome photography capabilities.

On the genre of monochrome photography, photographers have different “tastes, preferences, expectations and appreciation” on the blacks, shadows, highlights, contrasts of monochrome photography. Therefore, let me invite you to view my dedicated photo album on monochrome photography shot with the Huawei P10 Plus.

Personally, the Huawei P10 Plus is the perfect smartphone camera for monochrome street photography.

4) High ISO performance: From my observations, the Huawei P10 Plus is able to handle high ISO better than other smartphones available in the market.

5) 4K video: Huawei uses the newer H.265 codec, it creates some challenges for computers/websites that are using the slightly older H.264 codec. In time to come, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue when the market adopts the H.265 codec altogther.

Final thoughts, views and opinions on the Huawei P10 Plus

After finishing reviewing the Huawei P10 Plus and returning it back to the public relations agency. I felt something was missing after returning back to my Huawei P9, it’s still an excellent smartphone and still in good working condition. The quality and improvements of the Huawei P10 Plus are excellent and in my personal opinion, a great upgrade and improvements over the Huawei P9, makes me miss the Huawei P10 Plus and I would love to upgrade from the Huawei P9 to the Huawei P10 Plus if any opportunity arises.

Equipped with 4K video capabilities, the Huawei P10 Plus is now not only a photographer’s smartphone, this feature has helped me explore my amateur videography, applying it for my vlogging, live updates, producing small 4K videos for photography, travel, live events reportage and social media coverage. Do check out some of my videos shot with the Huawei P10 Plus during the review period, on my YouTube channel.

In my personal humble opinion, the Huawei P10 Plus is the smartphone that I highly and strongly recommend to photographers and photography enthusiasts. It is packed with an excellent dual lens setup with the Summilux-H 1:1.8/27 ASPH lens, functions and user interface is what a photographer like me wants, the controls. The quality and output displayed in the photographs, showing it on the laptop or desktop computer, the quality, details and sharpness are superb. Do visit my Flickr collections to view the photographs shot with the Huawei P10 Plus!

Personally, the Huawei P10 Plus is the perfect photographer’s smartphone for the photographer.

I would like to thank Huawei Singapore and Hill+Knowlton Strategies Singapore for the opportunity to review the Huawei P10 Plus.

 


Created with flickr slideshow.

 


Created with flickr slideshow.

LG G6 Dual Lens Camera Smartphone Review

The LG G6 was the most recent flagship smartphone and it was launched on 5th April 2017. I attended the LG G6 launch event in Singapore and that was the first time I had with the LG G6 smartphone. The technical specifications of the LG G6 were pretty good along with the user interface of the Android 7.0 Nougat. The build quality was really good, excellent finishing, sleek, minimalist and beautiful.

An opportunity to test and review the LG G6 dual lens smartphone came and I managed to have it for around two plus weeks to test its dual lens smartphone camera.

Before I proceed to share about the LG G6 smartphone camera review, let me recall some key technical specifications of the LG G6 smartphone:

Key Specifications:

  • Chipset: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 821 Processor
  • Display: 5.7-inch 18:9 QHD+ FullVision Display (2880 x 1440 / 564ppi)
  • SIM: Dual-SIM (4G/3G)
  • Memory: 4GB LPDDR4 RAM / 64GB UFS 2.0 ROM / MicroSD (up to 2TB)
  • Camera:

Front 5MP Wide (F2.2 / 100°)

Rear Dual: 13MP Wide (F2.4 / 125°) / 13MP Standard OIS 2.0 (F1.8/71°)

  • Battery: 3,300mAh (embedded)
  • Operating System: Android 7.0 Nougat
  • Size: 148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9mm
  • Weight: 163g
  • Network: LTE-A 3 Band CA
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac / Bluetooth 4.2 BLE / NFC / USB Type-C 2.0 (3.1 compatible)
  • Colours: Astro Black / Ice Platinum / Mystic White
  • Other: 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC / Water and Dust Resistant / Fingerprint Sensor / UX 6.0 / Dolby Vision™ / HDR10

LG G6 Dual Lens Camera Smartphone Review

The LG G6 gives a number of different functions, options and capabilities inside this smartphone camera, catering for both smartphone enthusiasts and photography enthusiasts, allowint them to explore their smartphone photography or just wanting to have leisure and fun with the LG G6 smartphone.

Let me recap on the technical specifications of the LG G6

  • Wide angle lens: Front (F2.2 / 100°) and Rear Dual Wide (F2.4 / 125°) / Standard OIS 2.0 (F1.8/71°)
  • Touch and press for AE/AF Lock (normal camera mode) AE Lock (Wide angle camera mode)
  • Swipe the screen to change from back camera to front camera
  • Voice shutter to take a photo
  • Selfie Shot: Raised hand made into a fist (Gesture shot) or face detection (Auto shot)
  • Wide and Tele zoom at the camera button
  • HDR mode
  • Location tagging

Auto Camera Mode

9 filters

Nostalgia , Vintage, Urban , BW , None , Vivid, 1839 , Jade , Violet

Photo size

4:3 (13MP) / 4:3 (6.2MP) / 16:9 (9.7MP) / 16:9 (3.7MP) / 18:9 (8.7MP) / 18:9 (3.3MP) / 1:1 (9.7MP) / 1:1 (2.1MP)

Modes

  • Auto
  • Panorama
  • 360 Panorama
  • Food
  • Pop out
  • Snap
  • Slo-mo
  • Time-lapse

Square Camera Mode

  • Grid Shot
  • Match Shot
  • Snap Shot
  • Guide Shot

Manual Mode

  • WB – Auto or change from 2300K to 7500K
  • Focus – AF or MF (with peak focusing)
  • EV – -2.0 to + 2.0
  • ISO – 50 to 3200
  • Shutter – 30s to 1/3200
  • AE-L

Video Mode

  • Steady Recording
  • Hi-Fi – record in high quality sound

Video Resolutions

UHD 16:9 / FHD 16:9 / FHD 21:9 Cinema / FHD 18:9 / HD 16:9 / HD 21:9 Cinema / HD 18:9

Frame Rate

1 fps / 2 fps / 24 fps / 30 fps / 60 fps / 120 fps

Bit Rate

  • High / Medium / Low
  • WB – Auto or change from 2300K to 7500K
  • Focus – AF or MF (with peak focusing)
  • EV – -2.0 to + 2.0
  • ISO – 50 to 3200
  • Shutter – 30s to 1/3200
  • AE-L

Besides the photographs that I uploaded and displayed in this review article, more photographs shot with the LG G6 can be found in the LG G6 smartphone review album inside my Flickr photography collection. The videos shot with the LG G6 smartphone can be found in my YouTube channel.

What are some of the aspects/capabilities/observations from the LG G6 smartphone that stands out for me?

  • Wide angle on Front and Rear Dual lens:

The wide angle feature is an excellent feature of the LG G6 smartphone and this would attract the attention of both leisure/social media users who take a lot of group wefie

  • Wide angle photograph – ideal for architecture and landscape photography:

With the wide angle view, this is really superb for landscape photography. For architectural photography, shooting at wide angle, the vignetting of the buildings are minimal and not drastic (for photos shot straight off from the LG G6 smartphone)

  • Rich and Vivid Colours of the LG G6
  • Filters that stands out for me:

These two filters, Vivid (for colour) and 1839 (for monochrome) stands out for me, that I really like and use in my photography workflow.

  • 18:9 format for photography and videography
  • Noise at high ISO levels:

The noise level at high ISO levels is pretty grainy for my liking, at times, it can/might suit the photograph or it would give the photograph a grainy feel.

The LG G6 dual lens smartphone is packed with a number of great features, suitable for both leisure and photography enthusiasts. With the wide angle dual lens, it’s really ideal for group wefie (leisure users) and for travel and architectural photography (for the photography enthusiasts). With the UHD video format (4K) and 16:9 format, this would interest the videography users, using the smartphone as a 4K video camera when needed.

Overall, in my personal humble opinion, the LG G6 is a good mix and balanced dual lens camera smartphone (for both leisure and photography enthusiasts) and a multimedia smartphone (for both videography and enjoyment of videos).

I would like to thank LG Singapore and Brand Cellar for the opportunity to review the LG G6 Smartphone.


Created with flickr slideshow.

Journey with me along with the Huawei P10 Plus

The Huawei P10 and P10 Plus were recently announced a few months back in March/April 2017. This was the smartphone that I was secretly looking forward to, after I saw the Huawei Mate 9 (with the new OS, cameras and build quality) that was launched before the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus announcement. One of the reasons why I was so secretly excited was because I am a Huawei P9 owner, owning it after I had the opportunity to review this smartphone packed with solid and amazing dual lens camera.

I was very impressed with the quality, colours and details of the Huawei P9 dual lens camera smartphone. After finishing my Huawei P9 review, I wrote two review articles (a tech enthusiast review and the other article is on the Huawei P9 dual lens camera review), along with two photographs collection on my Flickr (One album for monochrome photos shot with the Huawei P9 only and the album for all photos with the Huawei P9).

A few days back, I finally got a golden and wonderful opportunity to get hold of the Huawei P10 Plus and review it! Upon unboxing and switching it on, there was a very familiar feel to it, partly because I am used to the Huawei smartphone OS and its dual lens camera. At the back of my mind, I am able to quickly identify the key differences and improvements between my Huawei P9 and Huawei P10 Plus. The Leica Summilux-H 1:1.8/27 ASPH dual lens on the Huawei P10 Plus, makes it standout from the rest of the smartphone competitors, the sharpness, clarity and colours.

I also managed to get hold of another smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S8+, for my own comparison with the Huawei P10 Plus, I might add in other smartphones inside too for comparison in my review article. While testing out the capabilities of the Huawei P10 Plus along with the Samsung Galaxy S8+, I had some initial and immediate views on them. I have also noted that the P10 Plus has dual lens versus Galaxy S8+ has single lens and I would be mindful of this point in my review article.

Take a look at some of the photos shot with Huawei P10 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S8+:

Both smartphones process their photographs differently, personally for me, I prefer the Huawei P10 Plus because of its colours, authenticity and accuracy to the the scenes/subjects that I shot. The photos shot with the Huawei P10 Plus are closer to my DSLR photography and I can closely relate to the set of photos taken.

Take a look at the photos shot in the night, in very dim lighting conditions:

With particular reference to the photos shot in the night, comparing the photos side by side, the Galaxy S8+ photo looks very nice, bright and colourful, while the P10 Plus doesn’t look as “nice”. Both photos are straight off from the smartphone cameras with no further editing anywhere else. The truth is that the Huawei P10 Plus camera processing and output is authentic and original, as close to the actual scene, as a photographer would say “WYSIWYG – What You See Is What You Get”. For the Galaxy S8+, the processing is a a little bit “strong” and “powerful” for my liking and how I conduct my photography.

There will be users in the market that prefers the output from the Galaxy S8+, there will also be users who prefer the authenticity and accuracy of the Huawei P10 Plus.

Personally, I prefer the the authenticity and accuracy of the Huawei P10 Plus, not just because I own a Huawei P9, it’s also how I approach my photography on a leisure and commercial basis. I am not a supporter of heavy editing in photography that goes against the truth and authenticity of the scenes and surroundings. I only do the necessary light touch editing (and sometimes suitable film filters) to my photographs that I shoot. That is also probably why I am not a hipster and fanciful Instagrammer.

Although I am reviewing the Huawei P10 Plus (and, yes, I own a Huawei P9) and doing my own comparisons with other smartphones, this does not mean that they are lousy smartphones, it’s just that based on my style, photography workflow and preferences, the Huawei P10 Plus is more suitable (and I really like it) for me.

In the coming weeks, I am going to share and upload my photographs on Instagram and Facebook Page shot with the Huawei P10 Plus, do keep a look out for my stories, photos, exploration and journeys with the Huawei P10 Plus.

Monochrome architecture photos shot with the Huawei P10 Plus, are something that I am looking forward to. I am also some planning some special themes to go along with this Huawei P10 Plus review – P10 Plus monochrome portraits, daily commute on public transport, abstract monochrome compositions. This is a prelude to my review articles and photographs that I would be sharing at the end of the Huawei P10 Plus review.

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For the next few weeks, walk with me, through my eyes, thoughts, views and journeys with the Huawei P10 Plus.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Review

The Canon EOS 5D series family of DSLR camera bodies are well known in the market, it’s one of the best full frame DSLR cameras with great technical specifications and capabilities. My story with the Canon EOS 5D series began with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III.

When I reviewed the Canon EOS 5D Mark III in 2012, I had a fun and exciting photography adventure at that time, one of the photographs that I shot with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III review camera during that time was chosen for a photography exhibition at Gardens By The Bay when it was officially opened. The EOS 5D Mark III was like my secret lucky charm Canon DLSR camera that I never owned.

Fast forward from 2012 to 2014, I went for a trip to Hokkaido in November 2014 with a loan unit from a photographer friend Marcus, this maiden Hokkaido trip turned out into another photography milestone for me, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III was the camera that allowed me to capture some of the most gorgeous landscape photographs, opening up my maiden entry into publishing my own photobook and printing A3 photographs on my Canon PIXMA Pro 10 printer for some special group of relatives and friends who encouraged and supported me a lot when I started on my photography journey.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III set a pretty high benchmark for her performance and capabilities. When the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV was announced in August 2016, I was secretly excited (from a photography enthusiast perspective) and would love to have a go with this new Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. From a professional/commercial photographer perspective, I am very keen and curious to see, feel and test for myself the capabilities of this new DSLR camera, how does it compare to the EOS 5DS, EOS 5DS R and EOS 5D Mark III, considering its price and the features packed inside the EOS 5D Mark IV.

From my first few photographs that I shot with the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, to be honest with everybody here, I was blown away by the accuracy and improved dynamic range of the EOS 5D Mark IV. I used the Speedlite 580EX2 with the EOS 5D Mark IV, I was able to get very accurate photographs without much/any shadows, thanks to the improved dynamic range of the EOS 5D Mark IV.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV graced a few events during the period it was with me, participated in some interesting photography adventures, visiting the Singapore Philatelic Museum, National Museum of Singapore and Asian Civilisations Museum, LG G6 smartphone launch, attended a modern communal dining known as the Quarters Experience and also a product/portraiture collaboration photo shoot. I also brought it out to take photographs of the cats in my neighbourhood, as well as, acting as a tourist and taking photographs of the Marina Bay during a photography walkabout.

Through the photographs that I took during this review period, I also observed and wrote down my thoughts and views on the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV that stood out during my observation during the review period.

Tiffany Yong

Peps Goh

Hong Peng

Improved dynamic range

The dynamic range of the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV has improved in the darks/shadows range from her early predecessor models. During the various shoots with the EOS 5D Mark IV, I observed that the EOS 5D Mark IV managed to capture the details of the darks/shadows range, thus allowing easier post editing in the darks/shadows recovery.

I also observed the improvement of the dynamic range from an earlier review, the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II. From my personal observations from the photographs that I took, analysing and forming my own personal opinions after reviewing both the EOS 5D Mark IV and EOS 1DX Mark II, my personal view is that the EOS 5D Mark IV has a more improved dynamic range than the EOS 1DX Mark II.

Colours

One aspect of the Canon EOS 5D series of DSLR cameras is the colours, they are able to produce rich and dynamic colours, ideal for travel photography and portraiture photography! Personally, I find the Canon EOS 5D series cameras (having also reviewed EOS 5D Mark III, EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R) produce rich and dynamic colours, suitable for straight off the camera jpeg photos printing.

Anti-Flickr

An improvement that many photographers would welcome with open arms, especially those photographers who have to shoot indoors, whether for events, indoor events or sports. This feature was available in the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II.

Inside my review article that I published not too long ago, I also wrote about this feature. 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 5D Mark IV is so much more easier and pleasant, without the hassles of the flickering lights.

Wi-Fi

The demands of photography and how society “consumes” photographs have changed a lot over time, there are times when a photographer needs to send their works as fast as possible, to their client, agency or even doing live updates on their social media channels/platforms.

With the Wi-Fi built inside the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, photographers would find this capability a blessing and sometimes, a must for their photography works requirement, especially for events photography.

Although my Wi-Fi connection setup between the DSLR and smartphone wasn’t as smooth flowing as I would like it to be, once it was setup and connected. Future connections were much faster and smoother, thus allowing quick and easy connection between the camera and smartphone, thus allowing the photographer to continue with their workflow to share or send the photographs over to their client/agency.

Sports/wildlife/fast action photography

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is a great camera and can be utilised in many photography genre. However, my personal opinions are that it’s not fast enough for sports/wildlife/fast action photography, even though it can still do its job and capture the photographs that you need.

The EOS 5D Mark IV is an excellent camera, highly and strongly recommended for travel, events, portraiture photography. If you are looking at sports/wildlife/fast action photography, do consider the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II.

4K Video capabilities

The reputation and video capabilities of the Canon EOS 5D series has always been one of the key and strong factors that make the Canon EOS 5D series well liked by professionals. Although I am a stills person, I do take videos once a while to complement my photography and writing work.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV has the ability to shoot DCI 4K movies and this is something that is very much welcomed. The Dual Pixel CMOS AF built inside the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, makes shooting of 4K videos easier and faster.

While I may not be a professional in video production work, the ability to shoot 4K videos is a huge bonus when it is needed, for events, travel photography etc. I shot some videos below with the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV during the review period, here are some of them uploaded onto my YouTube channel:

Thoughts and views – EOS 5D Mark IV vs EOS 5DS vs EOS 5DS R vs EOS 5D Mark III

The Canon EOS 5D family has produced an excellent series of DSLR cameras, some photographers might be thinking inside their mind, which model among them suits my photography genres and needs?

Therefore, I have come up with my own personal pointers to help/direct you towards the Canon EOS 5D camera models that might suit you best –

Choose the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

  • You are into events / travel photography
  • You are also into 4K video production
  • You are into medium format prints

Choose the Canon EOS 5DS R

  • You need the high megapixels
  • You are into large format prints
  • Travel photography is your key focus

Choose the Canon EOS 5DS

  • You need the high megapixels
  • You are into large format prints
  • Portraiture / Products photography are your key focus

Choose the Canon EOS 5D Mark III

  • When budget is a constraint and you don’t mind a slightly older DSLR camera model that is still a good DSLR camera

From my personal experiences reviewing all the above Canon EOS 5D series DSLR cameras, I personally prefer the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV (for travel, products and events photography) and the Canon EOS 5DS R (for commercial travel projects).

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS II USM lens review

The Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS II USM lens is a kit lens that can be part of Canon EOS 5D Mark IV kit set combination that you can purchase with, the other combination being the EF 24-70mm f/4 L IS USM. The EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS II USM lens is an upgrade to the earlier EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM lens that is a kit lens for the Canon EOS 5D in 2005.

At this focal length from 24mm to 105mm, it’s ideal for wide angle to mid telephoto photography usage. A pretty solid and excellent lens, great for general photography usage. This is a much improved lens through my observations during the review period, whereby I shot quite a number of photographs with this kit lens. With the improved IS performances, the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS II USM lens is ideal for the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, in both stills photography and videography.

Final thoughts, views and opinions

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is an excellent and capable DSLR camera, ideal for both stills photography and videography. During the short review period, I managed to explore and tested out most of her capabilities. The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is really ideal for events, wedding and also travel photography.

I currently own the Canon EOS 1DX as my main camera setup, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is able to fit in nicely to my overall setup if I decide to go ahead with this combination and also if my finances allow. This is a really awesome DSLR camera and I really like it a lot.

In my earlier paragraphs, I wrote about my personal thoughts on the Canon EOS 5D series family of DSLR cameras. I would use that as a guide if I decide to add in another DSLR camera to my current setup and I hope this personal sharing would be useful for my followers, readers and fellow photographers. From my reviews done so far, I have a personal and stronger inclination towards Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and EOS 5DS R, based on their key strengths and photography direction that I want to head into with each of them.

The retail recommended price for the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV might be a bit pricey, however, this is definitely a worthy investment if you have the funds. If you are planning to own the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, go for it and explore the world of stills photography and videography together in one powerful Canon DSLR camera body!

** I would like to thank Canon Singapore for the opportunity to review the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV **


Created with flickr slideshow.

Original Authentic Indonesian Food at Ayam Penyet Ria

Whenever I visit an Ayam Penyet Ria outlet here in Singapore (I usually go to the outlet at Lucky Plaza), I know that there are more than just their trademark, iconic and delicious Ayam Penyet dish. However, I don’t look beyond their menu list and I will definitely choose their Ayam Penyet, one of my favourite food (because I like fried chicken!).

Therefore, when I was invited to a food tasting session by Ayam Penyet Ria, together with a group of friends, at Bedok Mall, I was introduced to a few more delicious dishes by Ayam Penyet Ria. During the food tasting event, I was totally enjoying myself with the different kinds of dishes on offer at Ayam Penyet that I always fail to look at whenever I visit. Ayam Penyet Ria has a number of different dishes too, just as delicious as their famous smashed fried chicken, their Ayam Penyet.

First and foremost, let me introduce their Ayam Penyet whereby most people who visited Ayam Penyet Ria will know about this dish

This is my favourite and still my favourite dish at Ayam Penyet Ria. However, I want to introduce and share with everybody some of the other delicious dishes on offer at Ayam Penyet Ria. You have to try them when you visit! Check out the photos below that I took!

Ikan Gurame Penyet (Smashed Gurame fish)

Bawal Penyet (Smashed Pomfret)

Lele Penyet (Smashed Catfish)

Kulit Ayam (Chicken Skin)

Jamur Enoki (Fried Enoki Mushrooms)

kerupuk Udang and Emping (Prawn Crackers)

Tahu Telor Fried Egg and Tofu

Dessert – Es Campur (Ice Mixed Fruits)

Drinks – Lava Boy & Lava Girl

From the different kind of dishes that you saw above, Ayam Penyet Ria offers more than just Ayam Penyet. Therefore, don’t be like me and just eat the Ayam Penyet!

Personally, I really like the Ikan Gurame Penyet and Kulit Ayam, these two dishes captured my heart and taste buds (not that the rest of the dishes are not delicious, they are just as good!)

I know Ayam Penyet is their trademark, iconic and delicious dish, however, there are more than just Ayam Penyet! When you visit Ayam Penyet Ria, have a go and try out their other dishes, especially their fried fishes! Don’t be like me last time, visit Ayam Penyet Ria and just eat Ayam Penyet only! For more information on Ayam Penyet Ria, do visit their website and check them out!

Check out the Ayam Penyet Ria locations below –

Lucky Plaza #01-45 (11am – 10pm)

Lucky Plaza #04-25 (12pm – 9pm)

Far East Plaza #05-22 (11.30am – 10pm)

Jurong Point #B1-06 (11.30am – 10pm)

Bedok Mall #01-71/72 (11.30am – 10pm)

I would like to thank Ayam Penyet Ria for the invitation to their food tasting session, opening my eyes and taste buds beyond their Ayam Penyet dish!

When you visit Ayam Penyet Ria, remember, you gonna love the original! The authentic taste of Indonesia!

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.

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.


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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 **