The time is finally catching up with the iconic Rochor Centre in Singapore. You can’t miss the 4 colours red, blue, green and yellow HDB blocks in the area, the colourful blocks stood out for years and they are easily identifiable. I started photographing Rochor Centre a few years ago, using her void deck as one of the examples for an article that I wrote “Void Deck – Our Cultural Communal Space” in 2012.
As the countdown timer started ticking in 2011 when the news to aquire the land was announced with 2016 being the year whereby they would have to move out and relocate to another HDB estate. In 2016, the residents of Rochor Centre slowly started to move away into their new home, the retail and commercial units below the Rochor Centre HDB blocks also started to find alternative locations for their businesses.
I returned to Rochor Centre a few times for another article on Canon EOS World Singapore whereby I shared on photographing and documenting old places in Singapore that face “extinction”. In the Canon EOS World Singapore article titled “Exploring Singapore Heritage“, I covered Rochor Centre and Dakota Crescent areas. For the Dakota Crescent area, I would be writing another article on them soon.
During early July, I went to photograph Rochor Centre with my Canon EOS M10 review unit for a site recce on photographing Rochor Centre from the outside areas before going down with my Canon EOS 1DX for my Canon EOS World Singapore article.
A few days ago on 12th November 2016, I had a quick walk around Rochor Centre, most of the residents, retail and commercial units had relocated to somewhere else. The rubbish and junk were piling up, there were a few different group of people exploring and taking photographs of Rochor Centre.
The NTUC Fairprice outlet at Rochor Centre put up a notice informing their customers that their last day of operation in that location will be 1st December 2016. This is an indicator on when would be the last days of Rochor Centre whereby everybody living/working there will move away, out from Rochor Centre. Once the curtain comes down, Rochor Centre will be boarded up before demolition begins, when exactly, I do not know yet at this time.
During the two weeks review period, I also had the cute and adorable EOS M Rilakkuma Bear with me, joining me for my photo walks and I had a few interesting Toy Travel adventures into the Singapore heartlands, events and heritage exploration! I had some nice memories of them that I shared on my Instagram! This famous iconic cute bear with the Canon EOS M collaboration, gave me a number of photography opportunities to compose and photograph different perspectives with the Rilakkuma Bear inside the frame, sharing it on social media, with my own style of creative writing.
First, let me bring you back and refresh your memories, here are some key information and details about the Canon EOS M10 –
Image sensor: 18.0 mega-pixel APS-C CMOS sensor
Imaging processor: DIGIC 6
ISO speed: 100-12,800 (expandable to 25,600)
Continuous shooting speed: 4.6 fps
Maximum video quality: 1920 x 1080 (Full HD)
AF: Hybrid CMOS AF II
LCD: 180 / 45 degrees tilt type touch screen, approx. 1.04 million dots
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, NFC-enabled
Dimensions: 108 mm in length, 66.6 mm in breadth and 35.0 mm in depth
Weight: Approx. 301 g (CIPA standard)
What were my experiences, thoughts and views on the Canon EOS M10 during my two weeks review period? Let me share with you ~
Lightweight and compact
Easy to use
Intitutive, interactive and informative screen, similar to the new Canon DSLR models
Touch screen allows the photographer to change the settings easily
Colours – rich and accurate, quality is close to Canon DSLR standards
Easy access button on the right side of the camera body to activate wi-fi and connect with smartphone/tablet
Improved Auto-Focus (AF) speed and number of AF points from earlier Canon EOS M models
A range of stylish face jackets from a range of colours are available to accessorise the Canon EOS M10, making it fun, colourful, lively and fashionable.
No side grip on the camera body, making it uncomfortable to hold
There is no hot-shoe mount therefore the Canon EVF accessory could not be used with the EOS-M10
The On/Off button is too small, difficult to press and it is placed together with the switch for video/photography/auto mode selection
The noise level at ISO 12,800 is grainy and I don’t recommend to shoot at that ISO level
The Canon EF-M lenses, EF-M 15-45mm and EF-M 55-200mm, are designed and built for the E0S M series camera bodies. These new lenses showed Canon’s commitment towards the Canon EOS M mirrorless series and I would be expecting more EF-M lenses choices to be available in the future.
Let me share with you more about my experiences with the two EF-M lenses below ~
EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Review
This lens is small, compact and lightweight. It would be suitable for a general walkabout/daily /travel lens that do not require telephoto focal range. The built and feel of this lens is not too bad, it doesn’t feel flimsy at all. For this small lens package, it has produced some pretty good photo quality shots that may be comparable with DSLR quality (also thanks to the APS-C CMOS sensor with Digic 6 processor) from my experiences during the review period.
There is something that photographers need to take note, there is a mechanical lever that locks the lens in place, making it collapsible and compact when not in use. It takes a while to get used to this function, some might find it a bit troublesome, some might find it useful that the lens can be collapsible and very compact.
Once it is unlocked, the front of the EF-M 15-45mm lens protrude out when it is used between the focal range. While it may not be the best in aesthetics, this small and compact lens sure pack some pretty good quality photography output for its specifications.
EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM Review
This is a small, compact and lightweight telephoto zoom lens, it is easy to bring out for your photo shoot or your overseas holiday trip if you decide to bring along a telephoto zoom lens. For this focal length range, it’s mid to tele focal length, at 200mm focal length, this can be very useful and helpful to capture photographs at a distance away.
For a telephoto zoom lens, I would usually test the quality of the bokeh at their maximum focal length @ 200mm. The bokeh is pretty good for this lens specifications, quite smooth bokeh. As for the speed of this lens, it is not fast and the photographer might find it difficult to get the object zoomed in and lock focus. In this aspect, wildlife and fast action photography with this lens might prove a bit more challenging than usual. Nevertheless, with patience, positioning and waiting for the right moment, you can capture some wildlife shots too.
The Canon EOS M10 is able to record Full HD videos at 1920 x 1080 (30p/25p/24p). This function is very useful for recording videos and memories of your holiday trips or events, not too difficult to use.
During Emirates Singapore Derby 2016, at the Marquee, watching the horses racing past us towards the finishing line, I used the EOS M10 video recording function and recorded a short video clip of the horse racing action. I also did a short video clip of my very friendly and cute neighbourhood cat playing with my Peak Design Everyday Messenger Bag! Check out the videos shot with the Canon EOS M10 on my YouTube!
In the modern social media era, there are great awareness, accessibility and usage of videos in our daily leisure life, professional/commercial aspects of it. Having a camera with good and easy to use video recording capabilities is now pretty much an integral part of our life, whether leisure or professional. Videos are great for personal usage, sharing with family, friends and followers on social media.
The Rilakkuma Special Edition x Canon EOS M10 kit III set, consisting of EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM and EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM, is a good combination for a first time photographer (e.g. photographers moving up from digital compact cameras or current entry level DSLR users) that would like/prefer to own a mirrorless camera system. It is easy to use and the two different focal lengths of the EF-M lenses cover from wide angle zoom to telephoto zoom. The whole Canon EOS M10 setup is lightweight and compact, ideal for your daily bring out usage, attending events, parties, gatherings, and even bringing it overseas for your holiday travels. For the more experienced photographers that already have a DSLR camera system setup and looking for a mirrorless setup, they might prefer the Canon EOS M3 instead.
The mirrorless camera eco-system has improved over the years, it can be a photographer’s main or secondary setup depending on their photography focus and needs. They can be great for travel, street, food or daily camera usage photography. However, in my personal humble opinion, the mirrorless camera system is still not ready to take over sports, wildlife and fast action photography.
Looking back at Canon’s mirrorless EOS M family of cameras and EF-M lenses since their maiden debut with the Canon EOS M1, they have changed, improvised and expanded their mirrorless family of camera bodies, lenses and accessories over the years. From my personal experiences using Canon’s photography products and accessories over the past 12 years (and still counting), along with my recent trip to Canon EXPO 2016 Shanghai, listening to the keynote speeches, media interactions with Canon’s key senior executives and observing recent launches, my personal view is that Canon is committed to their mirrorless EOS M and I am looking forward to more Canon mirrorless products (EOS M bodies and more EF-M lenses) in the near future.
If you are looking for a fun, simple and easy to use mirrorless camera with interchangable lenses capability, do check out the Canon EOS M10, have a feel and see how it goes for you!
* I would like to thank Canon Singapore and Ogilvy Public Relations for the opportunity to review the Canon EOS M10 kit III set with the Canon EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM and Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM lenses *
An area on the edge of the Central Business District, near to Singapore’s early settlement days of shipping traders, with 4 colourful Housing Development Board (HDB) public housing flats, known as Rochor Centre, with bustling shops below them. Built in 1977, even today, with her 4 different colours, Rochor Centre is no doubt a unique icon in Singapore’s landscape.
Rochor Centre, her physical presence will soon disappear from Singapore’s landscape, having to make way for the North-South Expressway southern stretch,more details of the news here. The surrounding areas around Rochor Centre would be affected too, they would disappear together with Rochor Centre.
Counting down to the end of her days, she has fallen into my category of Old Places, disappearing Old Places, heritage, history and landmarks. Armed with my camera gear, I started my exploration of Rochor Centre, having a feel of this beautiful place, searching and finding locations within locations of Rochor Centre.
I will be starting to document more photographs and stories of Rochor Centre before it’s gone … This is the start of my documentation of Rochor Centre …