Updates!

I have been busy with moving house lately and there’s so much left to do!

I realized that I have accumulated a whole lot of stuff during my time here. I’ve asked my dear to keep some of the bigger appliances (food processor, coffee maker etc) but I still have a lot of things at home, namely old clothes and books.

I want to keep the books but I don’t think I have the space. As for my old clothes, anyone knows any place which I can drop them off to charity or something?

Anyway, sorry for the lack of updates, I’m just sorting out my new place and will be back soon! Thanks! :)

Short mention:

Water rationing has been lifted, which is a great thing. I remember there being a huge fine for stuff like washing your car. I have missed the simple things in life…like giving my Xperia Z1 a good bath. Haha! I’ve seriously been washing it when it gets dirty, especially when it gets *sticky* in our hot and humid weather.

takepicha

On a more interesting note, I have brought my smartphone to Germany and France! I’m going to share a couple of great photos from my trip, including this amazing Panoramic Sweep photo I took at the Louvre! It’s such a good thing that the Z1 is waterproof, there are a lot of situations where I can use it to take photos where other people would have to be really careful with their smartphones! :)

Chinese New Year Visiting 2014

eddy house

It’s customary to go to the houses of friends and family during Chinese New Year.

cny open house

I didn’t do a whole lot of Chinese New Year visiting this year. My family is back home so mostly I just went to a couple of good friend’s houses.

visiting cny

I went to Arthur’s house and had some of his home-made cookies. I also met a new friend and reader there – that’s part of the fun of it, you get to meet visitors who are already there and make new connections. I was also hoping to eat some of the durian tempoyak dishes that I missed last CNY when he cooked a buffet at his open house. Haha!

arthur hb

He was kind enough to give me a (very generous) ang pow despite my age. I was a little shocked when I opened it and saw the amount. I must buy him lunch before I go back.

ang pow

I also went to my mate Eddy’s house – haven’t seen him in quite a while and he just got married!

white rabbit candy

There were rabbit candy there! It was a trip down memory lane for the snacks in his house. I also found out that these White Rabbit candy (the ones with edible paper) is only sold in pharmacies in the Philippines while the other type with glossy wrap is sold in supermarkets!

cny visiting

A couple from the Philippines also came over to see how CNY is done in Sibu. Cain is originally from Florida and migrated to a lot of different places (and even did an Amazon cruise the local way last year) before settling in Cebu.

cain hb eddy

I’m glad I had my phone with me so I could take all these memorable photos while visiting and meeting old (and new) friends on Chinese New Year – after all, it only happens once a year!

wine collection

There’s a large liquor selection at Eddy’s place and I noticed I can do something very nifty on my smartphone!

Short Mention:

info eye wine

There’s a function called Info-eyeTM on my Sony Xperia Z1. It activates your camera and can show you all sorts of information about the places and objects around you. It’s the best and most practical feature of AR (Augmented Reality) that I’ve ever seen and it’s propriety to Sony so you can only get it on this phone.

info eye google maps

You can scan everything from buildings to barcodes and even text! Info-eyeTM allows you to *share* the results (where you are, bottles of wine you like etc) right from the camera app so I thought that was really cool! I found a nice bottle of wine which I’m not familiar with at Eddy’s place and we decided to use Info-eyeTM to see what goes well with it.

info eye images

The results are simply amazing! It shows you everything from the location of the vineyard on Google Maps to search results and there’s also relevant information on wine pairing when you take a photo. The helpful wine bottle overlay guides you when you take your photo. We were all very amazed by this feature – I think I might have sold the Xperia Z1 to a lot of people just on this demonstration/experiment alone. :D

The Best Day of My Life

riding bicycles

Greetings everyone! I am back after a short hiatus – major stuff to sort out and everything is peachy now. In fact, I just had one of the best days of my life with my dear and the kids. It was actually quite a simple thing, I wonder why we didn’t do it earlier.

bicycles

We got a bicycle for the little one (second hand, person is moving out of the country) for just RM 40 and the big one got a new (and larger) bike for RM 200. There’s one bicycle at home, which is for adults and one day after work we just took the kids to the park!

happy us

It actually started out with me trying to ride the new bicycle with the little one while the big one is finishing her school. She had a quick dinner after that and we all cycled to the park. The kids kept wanting rides so it was the most exercise I did for to date! I also had to cycle with my dear at the back – we tried it the other way round, but she couldn’t even start cycling coz I was too heavy. smirk

setting sun

I gave so much rides and raced with the big one so much that I felt like puking. It didn’t help that I was still wearing my work clothes so I overheated and was nauseous for a good hour! I had fun though, and so did my dear and the kids. It’s the wholesome family fun that I’ve always wanted to have and I’m glad we did that!

elise dustbin

The funniest thing was watching the little one run with her short legs chasing after her sister. Haha! Too cute. The simple pleasures in life are the best.

It was nice that I could take a lot of awesome photos with just my phone too, which reminds me…

Short mention:

tranfering smartphone data

I’m using my Sony Xperia Z1 [link to my review] now and I’m constantly amazed at the new things that it can do. My previous phone is a Sony Xperia S and I used the Xperia Transfer app to sync everything on my old phone to the new one so it’s up and running.

xperia transfer app

The Xperia Transfer app can be downloaded from Google Play and it works for *all* Android devices. What if you have a Windows or iOS phone? Sony PC Companion and Sony Bridge for Mac (it’s an executable on your new Sony Zperia Z1 smartphone – just connect the microUSB) performs the same function.

how to use xperia transfer

Thus, whatever platform you’re using right now, you can do a direct transfer of your data, contacts, photos etc into your new Sony Xperia Z1 so you’ll be ready to go! :)

Sony Xperia Z1™ waterproof review

sony xperia z1 waterproof

You might have heard about this new wonder device. It’s not just a phone, but a high quality digital camera! It has everything except the kitchen sink…which leads us to the next point. Xperia™ Z1 is not just water resistant, it’s waterproof! To illustrate that point, I have submerged it in 6 inches of running water in my (you guessed it) kitchen sink.

xperia z1 waterproof

It still works perfectly and I have sent a joke text to my better half asking her where my phone is. Haha! It’s actually waterproof up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes. This is achieved by flaps covering the microSIM, microUSB port, microSD card slot. In a smart move by Sony, the headphones jack in the Z1 doesn’t have a flap you need to keep closed. It’s rated at IP 55 and IP58 which means it’s not just waterproof, it’s also dust resistant!

sony xperia z1

Yup, this beautiful smartphone has been called “an almost perfect balance of form and function” by Forbes Magazine. The Xperia Z1 has it all:

20.7 MP camera with BIONZ™ for mobile

xperia z1 camera

The Xperia Z1 is powered by a large 1/2.3” 20.7 MP Exmor RS™ mobile image sensor, Sony’s award winning G Lens (the same kind you’ll find in their conventional compact digicams) and their tried-and-true BIONZ™ for mobile image processing engine.

I bought the Sony Xperia S when it first came out and one of the things I noticed is that the night mode takes a huge toll on the processor, which causes the screen to lag. This doesn’t happen anymore – the Xperia Z1 has its own dedicated processor!

The Xperia Z1 takes awesome photos, and handles the tricky light-and-dark situations well with the HDR mode. It also has four major Social Camera Applications to deliver new experiences and there’s a widget which allows you to put that right on the screen by default.

info eye

Info-Eye™
This is a “visual search” feature that provides related information on landmarks and other items such as books, wine or even groceries simply by capturing them with the camera. It’s like Google and Wikipedia combined, except you don’t type in your search string but take a photo instead!

info eye search results
Info Eye search results using bar code…

info eye search
…and the Image results! It works perfectly!

Social Live
This broadcasts the shots that you take to Facebook and the best thing about it is that you’ll get your friend’s comments right on your camera screen! This is the best in-house app I’ve had the pleasure of using and I’ll write about this in more detail soon – you need to be at an awesome event like a concert or while traveling to get the full impact of what this can do and what it means! :)

Timeshift Burst
My favorite feature by far – the Xperia Z1 takes 61 images in 2 seconds – a second before and after pressing the shutter – so you can scroll back and forth to find the perfect image. This is for all those times you “missed a shot” coz you took out your smartphone too late, it’ll never happen again.

AR Effect
There’s also a range of overlays that automatically detects faces and people and creates pictures using augmented reality app. I’ll dedicate a post to the camera and video features of the device – there’s just too many awesome features to describe in a general review.

ar effect

The Xperia Z1 also can shoot full 1080p HD video with stereo sound!

(and you can take a still image while the video is recording too)

5” Full HD screen

The Xperia Z1 has the latest Sony BRAVIA™ technology optimized for mobile. The beautiful and rich 5” screen uses a Full HD TRILUMINOS™ display which results in vibrant and incredible viewing experience. It’s the best screen I’ve ever seen on a smartphone!

sony xperia z1 screen

You can try it out at any Sony Center and be blown away at the crisp text and wide palate of natural colors. The Z1 also includes X-Reality™ for mobile and ClearAudio+™ for optimized video viewing. These are technologies usually found in their high range LCD TVs!

Software and performance

The Xperia Z1 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 2.2 Ghz quad-core CPU and 4G LTE. It’s the first consumer smartphone to come up with this latest and super fast quad-core processor. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 features a GPU and dual ISP for incredible graphics and 3D performance – you’ll notice this if you play Unreal Engine based games on Android.

xperia z1 screen

Sony has also made changes to the stock version of Android and there’s four toggles in the notifications drop down that’s set to sound, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, brightness and settings by default. Swiping to the right in the app drawer brings up a menu that allows you to sort apps and also uninstall apps – you no longer have to go to the exact page in Google Play to do that anymore.

The Xperia Z1 also has 4 shortcuts at the main phone screen to reflect Sony’s concept for this phone- WALKMAN™, Album, Movies and PlayStation® Mobile. Yup, it’s an MP3 player, camera, video recorder and gaming device all rolled into one portable smartphone!

It does all those tasks very well too – there is no lag or slowdown of any kind even with intensive widgets on the screen that pulls Facebook and other social media feeds, multiple tabs open on the default browser (Chrome) and it tackles the most graphically intense Unreal Engine games with ease.

The 3000mAh battery performs well too – I can easily use the Xperia Z1 for a full day without having to recharge. That’s largely due to the highly effective Battery STAMINA Mode which uses a lot of useful tricks to preserve battery life. It shuts off certain apps when you’re not actively using them (you can customize this so that your favorite apps will run all the time) and turns off functions you don’t need until you wake up your screen again.

Design and other features

The entire phone has a premium feel to it from the single piece of aluminium (which also acts as an antenna) surrounding the front and back tempered sheet glass. The Sony Xperia Z1 is a long rectangle shape with an impressive build quality.

xperia z1

The On/Off button is now located on the right hand side in the middle instead of top right. All the buttons are placed right and the headphone jack is the lone item on the top which is perfectly situated to prevent snagging or accidental pressing of buttons while listening to an audio book in MP3 (which is what I do more than listen to music).

The speakers produces surprisingly well-defined sound too.

The Xperia Z1 weighs 170 grams which might seem a tad on the heavy side for people not used to it but I’m loving mine – it’s a high quality digital camera, gaming device, and smartphone in a sleek package that gets double takes. It not only looks good, it feels good too – and the fact that it’s also waterproof and shock and dust resistant is just icing on the cake.

xperia z1 unboxing

The Sony Xperia Z1 retails for RM 2,399 and if you purchase it now, you’ll get three months of free unlimited music streaming from Akazoo, a preloaded social media music app. This is valid from October till December 2013. You can also download six (6) movies (offer valid till 31st December) via Xperia Privilege app, which is also preloaded into the device.

There’s a lot more to talk about but this is already way over 1,000 words so I’ll write more on the awesome 20.7 MP digital camera, 1080p Full HD video recording, nifty apps like Social Live and other apps. I’ll also do a special on underwater photography and my annual Chinese New Year fireworks and firecrackers roundup. I also have the SmartWatch 2, which is a NFC/Bluetooth watch that can sync via NFC to get Facebook updates and allows you to control your phone remotely from your wrist.

smartwatch2

I love my new toy(s)! :D

Check out the Sony Xperia Z1 experience!

Camwhore Level Asian

sony center

I was walking through MidValley on the weekend when I saw that the Sony Center over there had a contest for the Sony NEX-F3. This is exactly the very same camera that I used to take awesome photos like this in Germany:

germany profile pic

This incidentally became my profile photo for Facebook, Twitter and my other social media sites. Heh.

I also took quite a few in Sibu, you can see the sheer quality of photos here:

sibu backyard

My backyard. It used to be bigger and filled with mango, rambutan and apple custard trees but it was chopped down and paved with concrete to make way for parking. There were five cars at one point before my dad sold one off, junked one and I drove mine to KL.

largest temple asia

The biggest temple complex in Asia or South-East Asia. I think it’s the former and it’s located in Sibu.

snail

One large garden snail. We eat this in Sibu. It’s considered a delicacy. I’m kidding, just took a photo of it to show the incredibly low noise in low light conditions. I snapped this after midnight when I went out back for a smoke.

I’m telling you, it sure was hard to return the review unit, I really fell in love with the dSLR quality images with easy shooting modes that the Sony NEX-F3 affords.

promoters

Thus, I tried to enter the contest. It’s quite easy, really. Just head into any of the 10 participating Sony Center outlets on a weekend (Saturday or Sunday) and go to the counter where the Sony NEX-F3 is.

sony nex f3

You won’t have any trouble finding it – there are promoters there to help you with the process.

sony nex f3 promoters

Basically, what you do is to take a photo of yourself using the 180 degree tilt function (a camwhore photo self-portrait in other words ;)) and they’ll help you upload it to the official contest website.

sony nex f3 launch

I did mine at the Sony NEX-F3 media launch with Kim, Rachel and Shah – didn’t win anything though – and asked the promoters if I can do this again at the Sony Center.

camwhore

It turns out that you can – just take a self-portrait of yourself and upload it to The Ultimate F3 Photographer Contest. The contest requires you to upload shots taken with the camera at the Sony Center itself. However, you can also bring your own SD card and slot it into the Sony NEX-F3 if you want to keep the photos. :)

One of three Sony NEX-F3 units awaits you! I hope one of them is mine, this is really a nifty camera to bring traveling.

Camwhoring Level 0

fail

Fail

fail deux

Fail

pass

Pass

I only managed to get it right on the third shot and that’s coz I flipped the LCD screen 180 degrees so I could see myself and frame the shot. I was aiming for a dSLR look with a heavily defocused background. I’m really bad in self-portraits – I think the technical term for this is camwhoring. ;)

protestant church

That’s the most famous Protestant church in Dresden right there. I travel around quite a bit – I just came back from Germany and I went to Jakarta before that. I couldn’t make it to another one this month due to a conflicting date but I’ll be heading to Nepal and the Philippines next month.

bratwurst

I’m what the industry call a FIT (Free and Independent Traveler). Basically, what that means is that you’re the adventurous trailblazing type who tends to go backpacking alone. That perfectly describes my two previous trips to Europe. This is the third.

I’ve had no problems with people running away with my camera, not even in the slums of Sri Lanka (don’t ask) or going on a totally badass adventure in Georgia with strangers. You need someone to take your photos when you’re traveling alone and while I’m not a huge fan of camwhoring, I concede that it’s very useful sometimes.

sony

The picture above is of the Sony Center in Berlin – the only one that has a cinema which shows English movies without subtitles. I brought the Sony NEX-F3 to Germany. All the photos in this post was taken using that. I wanted to see if it would make me take better shots. I have a dSLR but I wanted a more compact camera that I can stuff into my windbreaker pocket. You can try that with a dSLR – but be prepared to get tackled by the London Metropolitan police. ;)

The Sony NEX-F3 uses a large, high performance Exmor APS CMOS sensor that allows it to capture dSLR quality photos even in low light. It has interchangeable lenses and it’s very easy to use.

Let me show you my awesome photos!

night

This is a view of Dresden late at night. I was surprised at the low noise and incredible detail. I used this as my Facebook cover photo. Heh.

retro

Old school cash register. Appropriately shot in Retro mode. I normally wouldn’t get a good photo in the lighting conditions of the restaurant but this turned out very well.

view hotel

Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski in Dresden – a view from my room. President Barrack Obama also stayed here when he visited. I doubt it’s the same room though.

defocus

I like how you can set manually adjust the Background Defocus, Brightness, Color (compensate for Warm or Cold), Vividness or just let it go on auto in Superior Auto mode. It usually gets it right.

There’s also scenes presets and settings inside to let you easily shoot in a wide range of picture effects with the full time continuous auto focus:

flowers

Pop color. Flowers in summer. It was unusually cold for the first few days, which was why I had a windbreaker on and just a shirt for the last few days.

These are all shot on the Autobahn from a fast moving vehicle to demonstrate:

red

Partial Color: Red

green

Partial Color: Green

blue

Partial Color. Blue

yellow

Partial Color: Yellow

backlight

Back-light auto compensation of a faux stained glass window. There’s also a built in flash that pops up if the scene is too dark! :)

Videos are shot in HD and you can use the modes available – this is shot using Retro mode. :)

Schloss Charlottenburg

Schloss Charlottenburg (Schloss means Palace) in Panoramic Mode. You can also do this in 3D (it saves in an MPO file) and display it on a 3D TV.

Automatic scene detection and Auto HDR makes skin tones amazingly natural. I literally shot this from the hip so you can get a sense of how fast the auto-detect works:

kids

Imagine the stuff you can do with this! There’s lot of customization possible. You can make the sky bluer for example.

Please…tell them, I am God. ;)

Do you want your very own Sony NEX-F3? Join The Ultimate F3 Photographer Contest and get a chance to win one of 3 cameras! It’s very simple – all you need to do is drop by any of the 10 participating Sony Outlets on a Saturday or Sunday, take your own photo using the Sony NEX-F3 and upload it (the promoters will assist you). Click on the link above for the Sony Outlet closest to you.

I love it! The Sony NEX-F3 makes me look like a better photographer than I really am. ;)

Splish splash I was taking a bath!

sony cybershot tx5 underwater photo

It’s very difficult to pose properly underwater due to the natural buoyancy of our bodies. /science teacher mode

ice

I highly applaud this group who practiced their underwater shots until they got it spot on.

sony cybershot tx5 my water moments

I was at the My Water Moments with TX5 event at Mali Cove, Sunway Lagoon on the 7th of August. I had to wake up really early and dragged myself out of bed but it was well worth it!

sony bas

Sony events are always awesome and this one was no different.

me aud tzia

Here’s Aud and Tziaa!

jestina

Jestina! w00t! The water was very enticing with the heat so I was very tempted to take a dip. You know how I am with temptation, it always wins. >.<

yuen karen

I went for a swim before the event started and Yuen Yee and Karen was kind enough to oblige carrying my t-shirt back to our table (since I neglected to take it off before I went into the water, that was how appealing it was).

friends feet

Feet friends! Jesus walked on water. You can too! =D

sony cybershot tx5 event

My Water Moments was organized for Sony Cyber-shot TX5 owners as well as bloggers and the Nuffnang contingent was there in droves!

crowd

It aims to highlight the features of the camera by a series of games and I must admit, most of it was very creative!

me karen

Water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink! =D

temperature proof

The first game highlights the temperature proof feature of the digicam several working TX5 cameras was placed in a box of ice cubes and the groups who managed to get the most in a set won. There was a lot of frantic digging around the ice for this activity as well as abuse meted out to the digicams in the spirit of competition…

throwing cams

…but have no fear! The second task was actually THROWING the TX5 INTO tubes from a distance of three meters. These tubes are color coded, matching the colors of the cameras and you’re supposed to throw the right color into the right tube. The digicam is shock proof so this was also partly to demonstrate that.

The third task illustrates the dust proof characteristics of the camera a lot of the cameras was placed into a box filled with Styrofoam and you have to dig out 10 of each color.

dust proof

I saw some of the groups being overly enthusiastic and throwing the digicams to the floor but each and everyone survived.

pure win

The digicams I mean, the participants obviously are still alive and kicking. ;)

event

The fourth task is one of the more interesting ones.

sony cams underwater

You’re supposed to dive underwater and grab the water proof TX5 which were floating under the water. I took this video with my very own TX5 and check out how trippy it is:

The digicams were floating around and moving with the currents in Mali Cove so it’s not easy to actually do this. I tried and I got a bad case of eye irritation from the chlorine in the water. It’s still a damn good video though and one of my best from this session. :)

pose station

The fifth and final task is at the Underwater Pose Station (where everyone can pose underwater and get a free photo developed). This is rather challenging as you have to be creative and defy gravity, er, I mean buoyancy by staying underwater long enough to come out with a great group pose.

Consider this the Top 5 Things You Can Do With The TX5. smirk

people

A lot of groups in teams of 5 participated – kudos to the winners for they worked hard for it.

food

Lunch was provided and it’s a proper catered lunch instead of packed stuff there’s rice dished out, chicken curry, vegetables, an omelet with generous ingredients, and honey chicken. I loved the cake and ice cream provided as dessert too.

winners

We had a lot of fun at the My Water Moments with TX5. I liked how they blended the features of the camera into games which reflects the characteristics of it. The food was good, the games were great, and the crowd was awesome!

My only beef with it is my failed JAWS attempt. No one even noticed me. FML max.

Keeping your head above water

water start

Aquaphobia
(noun)
An abnormal fear of water

water fear

I like to bring around a compact camera that I can slip into my pocket for capturing moments – it’s like an auxiliary brain for me. I bring a digicam everywhere and if you’re clumsy person like me, you’ve no doubt dropped your digicam countless of times.

waterfall

I have even dropped it in a waterfall, much to my chagrin. The digicam was a complete write off but luckily the memory card was still intact. Sigh. The quote which goes “Fire, water and government know nothing of mercy” is true indeed…until now! (at least the water part)

carosel

I have recently acquired a Sony Cyber-shot TX5 camera which meets all my requirements – it’s water-proof, shock-proof, dust-proof and even temperature-proof!

cable car

I decided to take it for a spin up in Genting under different conditions to see how well this camera performs. I intended to go to Fraser’s Hill but decided that Genting gives me a more exhaustive repertoire of lighting conditions and shooting opportunities.

bowling

This is my favorite photo. The Cyber-shot TX5 has excellent low light performance. I used the Handheld Twilight mode and it captured all the psychedic details in this rave-meets-bowling center perfectly.

psychedelic

I haven’t bowled in years and Naomi beat me by 3 points. >.< It was luck more than anything, I got a strike once and a spare in another but most of my attempts went down the drain (pun intended).

The next day was spent at the theme park where I covertly recorded several of the rides. *feels like James Bond* smirk

This video illustrates just how good the recording frame rate of the Sony Cyber-shot TX5 is. It’s that ride in Genting called Space Shot where you drop so fast the seat of your pants actually lifts off the ride for a second.

The best thing about the video recording function in the TX5 is that it records in Full HD at 1280 x 720! I wish I had this when I went to KK coz my other digicam only records at a paltry 640 x 480 – which was awesome…in the 90′s. >.<

food

I also like the easy mode switching in the TX5 – there’s Scene Selection, Anti Motion Blur, Inteligent Auto Adjustment and…iSweep Panorama!

angry whopper

A very angry Whopper

Okay, now here’s some proper shots in Gourmet Mode:

I went to Manhattan Fish Market to check out their new offerings – it’s a new menu based on American Idol:

manhattan idol

Manhattan Idol.

Flamin Tuna Pie

Flamin’ Tuna Pie. They really mean flaming when they say it, the cheese is heated until it’s warm.

Flaming Tuna Pie

Awesome presentation and a great dish but my favorite, hands down goes to:

shrimp on the rocks

Shrimp on the Rocks. Fresh and juicy shrimps served on a bed of ice with Cajun Honey Mustard as the dip. Delicious!

Sony_TX5_Image

Well, if you’re been using digicams for a long time you’ll know how difficult it is to get panoramic shots in the past. It used to be all manual – take a photo and part of that will show up for you to align with your next shot. It’s just painful to have to do that and most of the time it doesn’t come out right.

genting panorama

However, with the iSweep Panorama mode, you just need to literally sweep your Cyber-shot TX5 to capture a panoramic scene! The wonders of modern technology!

theme park panorama

Underwater video is a breeze to use too. You might get a couple of weird looks since water-proof digicams aren’t that common (underwater casings alone sometimes costs more than the actual digicam). I’ve actually gotten stares and even a shouted warning – “Hey, careful, your camera is touching the water!“. Haha!

water zen

Unlike the bulky monsters in the small water-proof digicam segment, the Sony Cyber-shot TX5 manages to come up with a tough water-proof, shock-proof, dust-proof and temperature-proof digicam that is sleek and slim. You’ll be proud of slipping this baby out when you need to take photos and it’s sturdy enough to go anywhere with you.

Even underwater so you can take photos like this:

rainbow fish

Trust me, a water-proof digicam is a sound investment – hey, water damage is pretty common, someone might even spill their cocktail on your camera on a weekend night out. ;)

us

You have the option of taking photos is 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio too!

teddy bear

Nuffnang is running a contest called My Water Moments – just take a photo and explain how it connects to the theme of The World’s Slimmest Water-proof camera. Hint: Write about how the photo would be improved if you have a water-proof digicam like the Cyber-shot TX5. It’s water-proof up to 3 meters! You also need to mention the features of the cam before submitting the URL here.

The best 3 entries will be given a free Sony Cyber-shot TX5 digicam! =D

naomi water

The Sony Cyber-shot TX5 retails for only RM 1,499 and comes with the ExmorR sensor for low light performance. It has a burst mode capable of 10 frames per second at 10.2 MP which makes it ideal for me for those of you who’ve endured my constant requests of taking several shots in a row coz the perfectionist in me demands the best shot. Heh!

pose

Now, I’ll only need to ask you to take one photo…in burst mode. smirk

Reclaim the night!

zouk

phobia /f’oʊbiə/
Synonyms:
noun: fear
phobias (plural)
A phobia is a very strong irrational fear or hatred of something

twin towers

Remember my post entitled Fear of the dark? BTW, for red blooded men “hatred” is a synonym for “fear”. ;)

party people

I just thought you’ll like to have an insight into the XY Chromosome brain.

sony tx7 touch screen

I managed to get my grubby paws on a Cyber-shot TX7 and decided to take it out for a night out of clubbing!

intro

I wasn’t disappointed.

cheers

I’ve always been apprehensive (Read: afraid) of taking photos at night due to the tragic results that inevitably happens. I’ll take 10 photos in a row and ALL of them will turn out bad. >.<

camwhore

However, ever since the Cyber-shot TX7 I have faced my fears and conquered them! Here’s my awesome night out at Zouk in KL with friends the previous weekend.

b52

I love the rich and textured quality of the photos. There’s Intelligent Auto Adjustment – perfect for the lazy ones among us.

the girls

Hand-held Twilight is another Godsend from the good people at Sony. A lot of clubs don’t allow you to bring in dSLRs so a compact that can rival a dSLR in night shots is your best bet.

night out

There are also heaps of Scene Selection options – from Twilight Portrait to Gourmet (for taking food photos) in addition to whimsical features like Pet.

food

Food, glorious food! It finally looks like what it should be!

panoramic

A panoramic shot! Easy peasy to do.

our family

The thing that really takes the cake in terms of the Cyber-shot TX7 is the option of taking 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio photos.

velvet

You won’t know how useful widescreen is until you’ve used it in a club with people jostling you around and elbowing you to get some dance space. You can also take 8 photos in a row – perfect for OCD people like me who likes to choose the best possible picture from a range.

photos

Personally, the feature I like the most in the TX7 is the ability to shoot in HD quality video, so I’m going to show you how well it performs in low lighting conditions with multi colored strobe lights messing with the sensor.

I have had a lot of problems with shooting videos in my previous digicam and with the HD quality video recording with this, it’s really tempting me to go back to Cyber-shot digicams. It’s sleek as hell and easy to slip into your pocket or purse for a great night out. The touch screen works wonders too in getting a lot of appreciative glances from the people around you. ;)

Check out the full product specs here. All photos taken with the TX7, except the ones featuring it, obviously.

I only have one complain about the Cyber-shot TX7. I’ll have to return it tomorrow. :(

sony tx7 model

Can I keep it please?

Fear of the dark

overexposed fire

Fear of the dark, fear of the dark, I have a constant fear that something’s always near. You know that Iron Maiden classic? I always get reminded of the chorus whenever I have to take photos at night. It always comes out terrible – noisy if I set the ISO too high, overexposed if I use flash.

Case in point(s):

jestina

Birthday karaoke session gone wrong due to low lighting

overexposed

Flash fail

beach

This pristine beach in Kota Kinabalu looks like a sandbox in a playground

fire

Overexposed…and not in a good way

mystery meat

WTF is this? I can’t even tell if it’s chicken, beef or pork. I am forced to caption it as Mystery Meat.

Another beef (no pun intended) I have with my digicam is that it can’t record in High Definition. HD is the way of the future, even YouTube supports HD uploads now. I feel like I’m in the Stone Age (okay maybe not, Bronze Age can?) whenever I take videos with my digicam – the details are lost and with a lot of people connecting their computers to large screen LCDs now you really need to film in HD to keep up.

This is what my videos look like currently:

640×480 – VGA. It’s a marvel…back in 1994 when that was the resolution of most monitors. Now with large LCD monitors running on high resolutions it just looks like a postage stamp. :(

Enter Sandman! (another song reference)

Cyber-shot_DSC-TX7

The new Cyber-shot TX7 is loaded with the BIONZ IPE (Image Processing Engine) which I am really familiar with. I can vouch for the image quality. Combine it with the Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar lens and a respectable 10.2 MP “Exmor R” CMOS sensor that reduces noise and you have the perfect digicam for night photography!

blurry

Blur be gone!

The Cyber-shot TX-7 has features like sweep panorama and anti-motion blur in addition to the impressive Handheld Twilight mode. You won’t have to worry about shaky photos and with the AVCHD Full HD movie recording mode, you’ll be able to present your nights out in full glory!

At 1920 x 1080 @ 50i movie mode, you’ll be hard pressed to find another digicam with similar qualities. It’s a touch screen digicam too, and having had 3 Sony digital cameras in the past, I have to say that it’s very nifty. The best part about it is that you only have to touch the LCD screen to focus on the subject.

uncover-the-night

Alright party people! You’ve had nights out where you think you captured awesome photos but when you go back home and upload it to your computer, you find out that it’s crappier than a lavatory full of excretion. Right? Right?

Don’t be ashamed of them photos – play “Uncover the night” or submit the pics to the “Night gone wrong” contest and stand a chance to win your very own Cyber-shot TX7!

fire eating

Enjoy your nights out without worrying about taking horrible photos!

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