My Encounter with EVF in New Zealand and You Won’t Know You Need It Till Now

Thanks to technology, we no longer have to go snapping photos through the tiny hole in our cameras. When was the last time you did that anyway? Unless you’re a DSLR user, I’m assuming 99% of us go around snapping looking through the LCD monitor or our mobile phone screen. But my oh my, when I had the chance to try out the Canon PowerShot G5 X when traveling to New Zealand, I wouldn’t be able to snap some of the photos if I had my own camera with me on that trip. Because the electronic viewfinder was super useful and awesome! I could see what I was capturing even if the object was far far away and under bright sunlight.

The advantage of electronic viewfinders is you get to see exactly what the camera’s sensor sees and your view of a scene is never obstructed when taking a photo (Source). Especially useful when trying to take photos of object far away under glaring sunlight, you just can’t see clearly through the LCD monitor.

Before zoom as viewed on the LCD viewfinder
Viewed, zoomed and taken as seen on the electronic viewfinder

The Canon PowerShot G5 X equipped with a high definition EVF and a vari-angle touch screen LCD panel was a great companion for trips oversea, weighing lesser than my own Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II, I was super tempted to switch over but my current camera is still so new and awesome. Anyone wanna take it over from me? 😛

Air New Zealand domestic flight, my first flight on a propeller plane

The Canon PowerShot G5 X comes with a large, 1.0-inch type, 20.2-megapixel image sensor, DIGIC 6 processor, bright f/1.8-2.8 aperture, and 4.2x zoom lens. Making this camera an almost all purpose compact camera that gives superb image quality.

The camera also has a large grip that is more secure to hold and has many dials that enable quick, convenient setting adjustment. Once you are used to the dials, switching between different settings is a breeze. This is something that I don’t get on my G1 X Mark II. The vari-angel LCD touch-screen is very useful too and I could take low or high level shot and still able to see the subject through the screen.

Here’s sharing some of the shots I took with the Canon PowerShot G5 X camera when I was in New Zealand.

Couldn’t get close to these sheep as they will run away, so this was taken with help of the 4.2X zoom on the G5 X.
Wide view of the beautiful scenery from on top The Farm Cape Kidnappers at Hawke’s Bay.
And with the help of the EVF I could see and zoom all the way in to capture this from where I was standing. (See previous photo above for the wide view.)
That’s our bus that brought us all up to The Farm Cape Kidnappers and presented us the amazing view of the birds nesting.
Even spotted one baby amongst the many birds and eggs. So cute right?

Overall I personally feel that the Canon PowerShot G5 X is a great camera for anyone who wants an all-round, all-purpose kinda camera that’s light and compact that captures great photos. I can’t wait to print my own coffee-table book from all the photos I took during my trip.

The Farm Cape Kidnappers is located at 446 Clifton Road, Te Awanga, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. Find out more about them at http://www.capekidnappers.com.

More of my New Zealand adventures coming up on Alvinology and The Loving Mum. Look out for it! 🙂

All photos in this post taken with the Canon PowerShot G5 X, no post-processing done on the photos.

TLMUnbox: Sudio, Earphones from Sweden

High fidelity sound is the in thing now, some call it Hi-Res audio, while some call it HD music. For me, I’m calling it awesome sound! Though Sudio VASA isn’t marketed as a HD audio earphone, but from my experience with it so far, the quality is as good and definitely more enjoyable than your standard earphones (like my iPhone earpiece lah!).

Before I share the good things, here’s a quick scroll-through of what’s inside the box of Sudio VASA earphones

Beautiful packaging though a little too big I feel for a earphone. But it sure adds to the premium feel for the product.
Inside of the box – Sudio VASA in one box and the leather case, accessories and manual in another.
Take everything out of the box and you’ll see this printed in the box. Have your followed Sudio on Facebook and Instagram already? #sudio
Sudio VASA Blue with matching leather case. Love the quality of the flat cord and awesome gold touches on the VASA.
Sudio VASA inside the leather pouch. It was a little too compact when I try to squeeze the entire thing into it. It fits snuggly and protects your earphones.
I had an enjoyable breakfast plugging into music on Spotify with the Sudio VASA. Loving the depth of sound I get from it.

Now let’s talk about what I like about the Sudio VASA…

One great thing about Sudio VASA is that it comes with a full–feature 3-button remote and mic for both Android and iOS. This means you can use the VASA as a phone earpiece too and hear your caller in crystal clear sound, I hope I do not call anyone who might be in the toilet when I’m using my VASA…. oh the details I may hear… #stunned.

VASA is one of Sudio’s premium models, to which a new generation 10,2 mm driver has been developed. The 10,2 mm driver has been tuned to deliver extremely clear tunes with a natural bass. With VASA, you are able to hear every instrument in your favourite songs, just as if you were inside the recording studio. The new driver is their best so far. Imagine hearing every detail, in every instrument, in every song, giving you a unique and unforgettable sound experience. Isn’t this what many other brands call high definition audio? Well, it sure feels the same.

A little fun fact about the history of the name. The Sudio VASA has been named after King Gustaf Vasa, who lead the Swedish War of Liberation against King Christian II of Denmark during the 16th century.

Speedy order and delivery! Thanks to the good folks from Sudio, I received a sexy blue Sudio VASA for iOS at my door within 4 days from my order. Super fast!

I’m loving my VASA Blue!

You can get your very own Sudio VASA too at S$110, includes express (4-6 days) shipping from http://www.sudiosweden.com/sg/.

[themify_box style=”green highlight rounded” ]Get 15% off your purchase with promo code “thelovingmum”. [/themify_box]

Falling in love with myself again

You know how after you’re married and have kids, woman may tend to become less focus on self and spend all our energy on our family? We care lesser about how we look, the way we present ourselves in public or even the way we react to situations when our kids are around. For me, I was like that. I became a mother who couldn’t be bothered with how I looked and dressed. Not until now.

Since my getting back to shape journey, I started to want to look better; more so to dress better. I still couldn’t be bothered with make-up but I started buying fitter clothes, more dresses and better looking “going out” clothes. Then I started my new career adventures with AM; that’s where I got a little more aware of how I look when meeting clients and at events. But still I felt make-up was really not necessary and quite a chore for me. And then…

Everything changes.

After I started taking too many selfies with the ASUS Zenfone Selfie!

Even when walking also must take selfie! That’s how vain I become when the phone is in my hands. LOL!

I started to ask myself this… “Hey! I can look that good?! Like really?!” All the likes and positive comments I’m getting with my new profile photos online makes me become even more self-aware that I should really start loving myself again. With proper make-up and a little more effort before heading out, I can actually look as good as those beautified (not a lot lah, just a little bit) taken with the ASUS Zenfone Selfie smartphone which came with dual 13MP back and FRONT cameras!

So crazy about the phone that I had to take a selfie within a selfie while sipping coffee at Starbucks.

Since the day I got my hands on the phone, I just couldn’t help it but take selfies… more selfies… and A LOT more photos of myself! Up to a point I felt I was becoming overly obsessed with the “real” me in the photos. #truestorybtw

Taking good photos is now an essential part of every smartphone experience, but most devices deliver better results on the rear camera than the front. Because of this, selfies are often grainy, noisy and underwhelming. The ZenFone Selfie is bringing ASUS’ high-end imaging performance – known as PixelMaster 2.0 – to both sides of the phone with a killer combination of top-notch hardware and software to get you amazing images every time, no matter what.

Love this shot of the hoop dancers from Cirque du Soleil TOTEM performance. Captured from the front row seats.
Taken with the back camera at Cirque du Soleil TOTEM. Love how the colours POP!

On the front camera, there is the top-of-its-class 13 megapixel Toshiba sensor with an 88-degree wide-angle Largan lens for the most detailed selfies of any phone on the market. And with Real Tone dual-LED flash and an aperture of f/2.2, you’ll be able to get clear shots when there isn’t much light around you.

Wide angle selfie is even more awesome with the help of selfie stick! Taken at Hello Kitty Go Around in Singapore media preview.
Based on the story of KeLian, you can look great in every selfies you take with your favourite celebrity.

There’s also 16 additional modes to take advantage of the super cameras on the ASUS Zenfone Selfie – selfie panorama (for 140-degree angles), auto, manual, HDR, super-resolution, low light, night, depth of field, effect, GIF animation, miniature, time rewind, smart remove, all smiles, slow-mo, time lapse. My favourite mode is of cos the beautification mode! Where you can to see real time even before you touch on the shutter to snap the shot. And the setting is also saved so once you set the level of beautification to your desire, EVERY single shot you take will make you look stunningly good!

Lots of different camera features which I’ve yet to try everything on it yet!
Even with big red nose and funny giant specs, the camera can still detect my face and give me just enough “blush” at the right spot!

The dual-LED Real Tone flash, which is on both front and back, delivers a fantastic combination of yellow and white light to produce well-lit shots that capture your real skin tone.

Taken with the front-facing camera with flash at Cirque du Soleil TOTEM VIP Rouge lounge.
Beautification mode applies to everyone in the photo too! Love this wefie shot with Eve and Jus, fellow mum bloggers at XPC woodwork experience session.

Thanks to all the above unbelievable shots taken with the ASUS Zenfone Selfie, I am going to start practicing my make-up routines again. And on days when I really need to look my best, this pale face of mine will be looking as good (i hope) as the photos I post online. Going to attack cosmetic counters in malls this week!

The beautiful Aqua Blue ASUS Zenfone Selfie is available in stores at S$379, or comes free with most mobile plans when I last checked.

 

I Was At ASUS ZenFestival Singapore, What Happened To Me Will Shock You

I got beautified!

ASUS ZenFestival Singapore on The Loving Mum

Wahahahahahaha! Did I frighten you with that photo? Yes that’s me, the real me by the way, as seen on the ASUS ZenFone Selfie. Awesome right?

It was a night of fun with high spirited presentation by the VP of ASUS, Mr Benson Lin at ZenFestival held at Chjimes last week. With 300 attendees from the media, partners and ASUS ZenFans, Chijimes hall was filled with happy guests, games, entertainment and lots of selfies!

Me for once couldn’t stop snapping selfies of myself with the ASUS Zenfone Selfie and even got caught in the act by Rachel.

ASUS ZenFestival Singapore on The Loving Mum

Celebrity Michelle Chong also made a special appearance at ZenFestival adding lots of glam and fun into the evening’s programme, with stage game and interaction with guests.

ASUS ZenFestival Singapore on The Loving Mum

Steven tried to sabo me and Soon Koon on stage for activity, but ended up being the one who’s selected to go on stage by Michelle herself!

ASUS ZenFestival Singapore on The Loving Mum

Gaming with the ZenFone 2 is kinda cool as seen at ZenFestival.

ASUS ZenFestival Singapore on The Loving Mum

Interactive Experiential Stations

Lots of different setup to let guests try out the multiple camera features in the ZenFone Selfie. I tell you! This smartphone is more than just a good phone, but a damn good camera too for a phone. I’ll try printing out the photos I took to compare the quality in my review post. Stay tune for it!

ASUS ZenFestival Singapore on The Loving Mum

With fellow Mum blogger Pooja that evening. And I missed taking a shot with Winnie who left earlier that evening.

ASUS ZenFestival Singapore on The Loving Mum

Took a selfie with Ning, aka Magic Babe Ning! She’s one cool lady and I’m so glad we got connected through work. Loving her positive vibes and the always cheerful self.
ASUS ZenFestival Singapore on The Loving Mum

No the above shot wasn’t taken on the ASUS ZenFone Selfie, Alvin and my face would have looked much better with the selfie phone! HA!

Come I show you the pretty flawless me. Can see the difference or not? LOL!
ASUS ZenFestival Singapore on The Loving Mum

I’m so in love with this phone and I can get it for free if I recontract my mobile plan! SOOOOOOO tempting! Should I get tied down to the orange umbrella for another 2 years just so I have more selfies taken? Should I? I should right?

Watch the Story of Kelian by Huat Films, starring Michelle Chong. Yes she’s loving the ASUS Zenfone Selfeie too!

Find out more about ASUS and their range of Zenfones on their Facebook Page or website.

Things to Consider When Buying Printer for Home Use – Review of Canon PIXMA E560 Printer

Have you ever regretted buying a printer the moment your first set of ink run out? And have you asked yourself how often do you have to make a purchase decision for a printer vs how often do you have to purchase the inks for your printer? Often I’ve seen consumers buying printers just by comparing the sale prices of the printer unit. For some, they would go for one with all the necessary features they need in the printer, then compare the prices. Here are the 5 things I will consider when buying a printer, be it for home, home-office or office use.

Point 1 – Print-Scan-Copy

Because there will be days where you need to make copies of your NRIC or documents for some important and urgent purpose. Having a copier at home is necessary in the modern days, because you probably would have to pay 30-50cents per copy of black-and-white print from the stores. Scanner is perhaps not that necessary these days, most of us use our phone camera as a “scanner”, but when you need to scan a proper piece of say your kids most awesome artwork, a proper scanner will be handy.

Point 2 – Wireless Connection

You want to be able to print from anywhere and from any devices, like those cute photos of your little ones taken with your phone or Canon cameras. With wireless printing on the Canon PIXMA E560, one can easily print quality 4R photos on Canon photo papers and save the trip to the photo print shop.

Point 3 – Size Matters and Duplex Function

To me, a all-in-one printer should be compact enough to fit anywhere around the house, and wouldn’t need to be shifted out when printing. You know how some printers need you to load the paper from the top or back and you got to move the printer just so the papers fit into it? Glad the Canon PIXMA E560 has got front loading trays and prints come out from the front too.

Because I do print documents a lot too, the printer needs to be able to print on both side without having to manually flip the pages. If you need such feature too, remember to get one printer that allows duplex printing.

Point 4 – How Much Are The Ink Refills?

You may have purchased a printer at a steal, but when you do your math properly, cost of some ink cartridges would have cost more than your printer unit. Like my current PIXMA printer (almost 4 years old), the refills cost $36 (colour) and $24 (black) for the standard size pack. With the exact same quality of print and resolution (you can compare them on Canon website), you pay only $24 (colour) and $20 (black) for the PIXMA E560 refills. That’s $16 cheaper for every set of refills. When my current printer inks run out, I’m may just consider getting the E560 instead, and save on refills in the long run. And because the refills are cheaper, you’ll be able to print so much more activities for your little ones and even make your own creative learning resources like what we did!

Good to know: The PIXMA E560 can print up to 800 monochrome documents at $0.02 per print on a black cartridge, and up to 300 pages for colour documents.

Point 5 – Quality of Prints

I print photos a lot with my printer, and am quite particular with the quality of prints. The Canon PIXMA E560 print out photos as good as my current PIXMA MG3570. Printing may be a couple of seconds slower, but that doesn’t really matter.

If you are considering getting a multi-purpose and value for money printer for your home or home office, you might want to consider the Canon PIXMA E560. Available only at selected Popular bookshops (see list below) and school bookshops.

Current Promotion
Canon PIXMA E560 Retailing at $179

Canon PIXMA E560 Promotion

More information of the Canon PIXMA E560 printer

Dimensions (WxDxH): 449 x 304 x 152mm (approx.)

Print Resolution: 4800 x 1200dpi (maximum), 2pl ink droplets

Photo Print Speed: 44 seconds(borderless 4 x 6”)

Print Speed: 5.7 ipm (A4 colour) / 9.9 ipm (A4 B&W)

Key Features: High Yield Ink Cartridges (PG-89, CL-99), Wi-Fi, PIXMA Printing Solutions, Google Cloud Print

Available at these Popular Bookstores

  1. Bra Basah Complex
  2. Toa Payoh HDB Hub
  3. Clementi Mall
  4. Causeway Point
  5. Marine Parade
  6. NEX
  7. North Point
  8. Jurong Point
  9. Junction 8

Capturing Happy and Beautiful Memories with Canon PowerShot G7 X

Personally I have a love-hate relationship with the Canon PowerShot G7 X camera. I got to first know about this model on the same day when I purchased my Canon PowerShot G1X Mark II. Knowing the two are almost of similar specifications and the G7 X at a lower price than the G1 X Mark II, I was angry of myself for not waiting a little bit more before I swiped that card of mine. But I DO LOVE my Canon PowerShot G1X Mark II and I’m so used to the handling, the feel and the weight of it, I was rather clumsy when reviewing the G7 X which is much slimmer and compact.

The Canon PowerShot G7 X is by far the most compact and highest quality compact digital camera from Canon. With 1″ CMOS sensor, you get better dynamic range, less noise and improved low light performance than cameras with smaller sensor; hence the bigger the better. (G1X Mark II has a 1.5″ CMOS sensor.)

Capturing Happy and Beautiful Memories with Canon PowerShot G7 X

With the 180 degrees tilt touchscreen LCD the G7 X allows flexible shooting like these pool shots, instead of squatting down to snap, I just had to tilt the touchscreen at 90 degrees and place the camera lower to shoot. And with the ring control, built into the lens barrel, enables quick and easy adjustments to basic functions like shutter speed and aperture (depending on the mode you are shooting with) whilst the stacked mode dial (with the shutter button) tweaks exposure compensation quicker than selecting them from the menu screen. Allowing you to snap at the right moment with the most suitable settings.

Capturing Happy and Beautiful Memories with Canon PowerShot G7 X

Capturing Happy and Beautiful Memories with Canon PowerShot G7 X

I love the vibrant colours on all the photos taken with the PowerShot G7 X, they look good on screen and awesome on print! Because this camera is smaller and lighter than my PowerShot G1X Mark II, I could put it in the pockets of my oversize bermudas when I’m out playing with my girls.

Capturing Happy and Beautiful Memories with Canon PowerShot G7 X

Capturing Happy and Beautiful Memories with Canon PowerShot G7 X

Testing the bokeh (blurred background) with low aperture set at f/1.8, the 9-blade aperture diaphragm, it gives beautiful bokeh effect from the Canon PowerShot G7 X. You don’t need to be a professional photographer to create nice blurred out background, all you need to do is to tap on the touchscreen to focus on your subject in frame and the camera handles the rest. For best result, shoot in A mode (aperture priority) with lowest aperture set.

Capturing Happy and Beautiful Memories with Canon PowerShot G7 X

The PowerShot G7 X makes use of an improved 31-point AF to ensure desired object is always in focus, giving you better control when taking shots of actively moving kids. These captured moments can then be preserved in printable memories, like in a photobook which I print every year.

Capturing Happy and Beautiful Memories with Canon PowerShot G7 X

With the bigger CMOS sensor, high ISO shot to help compensate the lack of light from the surrounding is made possible with the PowerShot G7 X, giving us much more possibilities to shoot whenever wherever.

Capturing Happy and Beautiful Memories with Canon PowerShot G7 X

The Canon PowerShot G7 X is a feature packed and powerful camera that fits right into your handbag and perhaps even in your pocket.

Capturing Happy and Beautiful Memories with Canon PowerShot G7 X

Overall verdict from me, the Canon PowerShoit G7 X at a friendly price of $799, it is worth considering if you are planning to upgrade your digital compact camera to something more. My uncle who was considering getting a compact bought this after seeing how the photos turned out from my G1X Mark II! And he is loving his Canon PowerShot G7 X now; and I’m kinda jealous. A mum wouldn’t need to have more than one PowerShot does she?

Photo Organisation 101 – Backup with My Passport Wireless

As I grow older (and wiser) my memories of the past, even if it was just a few weeks back, is blurred and almost forgotten. That is why I capture almost all of these memories in frames. Photos and videos on my iPhone and my Canon PowerShot G1X Mark II both combines to too many gigabytes of precious memories I would NEVER want to lose. So I backup, backup and BACKUP! Yes in multiple devices, online and offline. Because I have lost almost all the photos and videos of 2010 and earlier due to a broken external hard disk drive, I never dare to just have one copy of these.

I have a systematic flow for backing up, storing and use of my photos and videos. I thought this would be something useful for parents like myself, I’ve decided to start this new topic which I will cover photo organisation tips and tricks, from how to go about protecting your digital assets, to how you can create a better flow to organise the photos etc. Today I shall start with one of the new toy which is on my to-buy list of gadgets – Western Digital My Passport Wireless portable hard drive.


Thanks to the good people at Western Digital, I got to learn about this probably a must-have for geeky mum or mom like myself. WD My Passport Wireless built-in SD card slot is the key feature that attracted my attention. It allows you to transfer photos and videos from your SD card any where any time so that you can keep on shooting say when traveling.

One of my backup process now is to plug in my SD card into my macbook then drag the folders of photos and videos into an external hard drive for backup. With WD My Passport Wireless, the process can probably be speed up a little. (Won’t know exactly how fast till I try it out myself.)

Other features of the WD My Passport Wireless includes:

  • Wireless save, access and share files (an even internet connection) with multiple devices at the same time.
  • Rechargeable battery that gives up to 6 hours of continuous video streaming and up to 20 hours of standby time.
  • Share and access files securely from your tablet and smartphone with WD’s My Cloud mobile app.
  • Wi-Fi password protection for all important files on the drive.
  • Ultra-fast USB 3.0 for faster file transfer of data.
  • Stream media to connected devices.
  • Use it as a Wi-Fi hub to share out internet connection with multiple devices.

You can find out more about WD My Passport Wireless at www.wdc.com/mypassportwireless.

While Mummy learns about the features of WD My Passport Wireless, Ayra got her hands into baking her own cookies at little House of dreams.

My Passport Wireless drive is available at selected Singapore retailers and online at the http://wdstore.com. 1TB drive will cost you S$299 and the 2TB at S$399. Anyone wants to buy one for me? Mummy’s birthday is in July ok. Thanks! smirks