The Straits Times Digital Awards 2017

Honoured and grateful for the opportunity to be one of the prize sponsors for The Straits Times Digital Awards this year! This annual event is held to provide recognition for the best gadgets and games in the market over the past year. As prize sponsors of the event, we were kindly invited to attend the ceremony at Marina Square on 21 February.

The award finalists were divided into 7 themes: phones, laptops, cameras, games, wearables, home and audio.

 

Best Compact Camera Finalists: 

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

Fujifilm X70

Leica X-U

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V

Editor’s Choice: Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V

Reader’s Choice: Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

Best DSLR Camera Finalists 

Canon EOS 1D X Mark II

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Nikon D5

Nikon D500

Pentax K-1

Editor’s Choice: Pentax K-1

Reader’s Choice:  Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Best Mirrorless Camera Finalists:

Canon EOS M5

Fujifilm X-Pro2

Fujifilm X-T2

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Sony A6300

Editor’s Choice: Fujifilm X-Pro 2

Reader’s Choice: Canon EOS M5

Now, if you have not already seen our blogpost on the Cameras of 2016 you can read it here! https://www.alanphoto.com.sg/2017/01/09/cameras-of-2-0-1-6/

 

Curious to know about the other winning themes? Read on to find out if yours made it to reader’s or editor’s choice!

 

BEST SMARTPHONE BEST PHABLET BEST SMARTPHONE CAMERA
·      Apple iPhone 7 (Editor’s & Reader’s Choice)

·      LG G5

·      HTC 10

·      Huawei P9

·      Samsung Galaxy S7

·      Apple iPhone 7 Plus (Reader’s choice)

·      Huawei Mate 9

·      Lenovo Phab Pro 2

·      LG V20 (Editor’s Choice)

·      Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

·      Apple iPhone 7 Plus (Reader’s Choice)

·      Huawei Mate 9

·      LG V20

·      Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (Editor’s Choice)

·      Sony Xperia XZ

 

BEST GAMING LAPTOP BEST ULTRABOOK BEST HYBRID LAPTOP BEST BUSINESS LAPTOP
·      Acer Predator 15

·      Aftershock S-15

·      Alienware 17 (Editor’s & Reader’s Choice)

·      Asus ROG Strix GL502

·      MSI GT83VR 6RF Titan SLI

·      Acer Swift 7

·      Asus ZenBook 3 (Editor’s & Reader’s Choice)

·      HP Spectre

·      Lenovo Ideapad 710S

·      Razer Blade Stealth

·      Acer Switch Alpha 12

·      Asus Transformer 3 Pro (Reader’s Choice)

·      HP Spectre x360 (Editor’s Choice)

·      Lenovo Yoga Book

·      Samsung Galaxy TabPro S

·      AsusPro B8430U

·      Dell Latitude 13 7000 Series

·      HP EliteBook Folio

·      Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Editor’s & Reader’s Choice)

·      Toshiba Portege Z30-C

 

BEST FITNESS TRACKER BEST SMARTWATCH
·      Fitbit Blaze

·      Fitbit Charge 2 (Editor’s & Reader’s Choice)

·      Garmin Vivosmart HR

·      Samsung Gear Fit2

·      Tomtom Touch

·      Apple Watch Series 2 (Reader’s Choice)

·      Asus ZenWatch 3

·      Casio WSD-F10

·      Garmin Fenix Chronos

·      Samsung Gear S3 (Editor’s Choice) 

 

BEST PRINTER BEST SMART TV BEST WIRELESS ROUTER
·      Canon Maxify MB5470 (Reader’s Choice)

·      Epson L605 Ink Tank System Printer

·      Fuji Xerox DocuPrint CP315 dw

·      HP OfficeJet Pro 8720 All-In-One (Editor’s Choice)

·      HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile All-In-One

·      LG Signature Oled G6 (Editor’s Choice)

·      Panasonic LED TV VIERA TH-65DX900S

·      Philips 4K Ultr Slim TV powered by Android TV 65PUT7101

·      Samsung 65” SUHD 4K Curved Smart TV KS9000 Series 9 (Reader’s Choice)

·      Sony X93D 4K HDR with Android TV

·      D-Link DIR-895L AC5300 MU-MIMO Ultra Wi-Fi Router (Reader’s Choice) 

·      Linksys EA9500 Max-stream AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router (Editor’s Choice)

·      Netgear Nighthawk X10 Smart WiFi Router

·      Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi System

·      TP-Link AC5400Wireless Tri-Band MU-MIMO Gigabit Router

 

BEST GAME BEST LOCAL GAME
·      Battlefield 1

·      Civilization VI

·      Dark Souls III

·      Final Fantasy XV

·      Forza Horizon 3

·      Overwatch (Editor’s Choice)

·      Pokemon Go (Reader’s Choice)

·      Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

·      Watch Dogs 2

·      XCOM 2

·      ArmaGallant: Decks of Destiny (Reader’s Choice)

·      Dark Dot

·      Legends Of Callasia

·      Masquerada: Songs and Shadows (Editor’s Choice)

·      Rocketbirds 2

·      Slashy Hero

·      Spacejacked

·      Stellar Stars

·      Valiant Force

·      WickLands

 

BEST IN-EAR HEADPHONES BEST OVER-EAR HEADPHONES BEST WIRELESS SPEAKERS
·      Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H5 (Reader’s Choice) 

·      Beyerdynamic iDX 200 iE (Editor’s Choice) 

·      Bose SoundSport

·      Jaybird Freedom

·      Onkyo E700M

·      Beats Solo3 Wireless

·      Bose QuietComfort 35 (Editor’s & Reader’s Choice) 

·      Klipsch Reference On-Ear Headphone II

·      Sennheiser PXC 550

·      Sony MDR-1000x

·      Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1 (Editor’s & Reader’s Choice)

·      Creative iRoar Go

·      JBL Pulse 2

·      Razer Leviathan Mini

·      Sony SRS-HG1 h.ear go

 

What an insightful event indeed! Thank you Gloo for the invitation!

 

Signing off,

Casio’s EX-TR80 Grand Launch Event

We were very honoured to be the host venue for The all-new Casio TR80 launch event! As technology advances, it is no surprise that Casio comes up with new and improved versions of their legendary selfie cameras! You must be wondering what’s so amazing about the TR80?

Well, as hosts for the launch event, we were well informed about the specs of the TR80! Read on to learn more about why you should upgrade your TR70 with the TR80. On the other hand, if you happen to not own any, read on to understand why you need it in your life! Especially if you’re a female social media enthusiast!

But then again, this camera isn’t only for the ladies! Check out what Adrian has to say about the TR80 for Men!  https://www.superadrianme.com/technology/casio-exilim-ex-tr80-singapore-price/

TR80

The new EX-TR80 features even more customizable settings in Make-up Mode, enabling the user to capture beautiful skin reliably, just the way they want it to appear. In addition to including all of the Skin Tone presets that were popular with previous TR Series cameras, users can now finely adjust levels for Smooth Skin, Face Brightness, Sculpt, Dark Circles Remover, and Slim Face. With significantly enhanced intelligence to control image quality for skin, the camera reproduces consistent skin tones in variable conditions, whether outdoors, indoors or under different types of lighting. The EX-TR80 also automatically detects the skin status including full makeup, light makeup and evening makeup that needs touching up, making adjustments to keep the user’s skin looking beautiful. These features ensure that skin looks beautiful just the way the user wants it to look, regardless of shooting conditions and skin status.

The EX-TR80 has two LEDs to capture beautiful skin evenly. Even when shooting without LEDs, proprietary image quality adjustments work to render faces brightly while still retaining the dark mood of, for instance, a cafe, bar, party or night view.

The EX-TR80 is equipped with a 3.5-inch LCD, 30% larger than the one on the previous model. The larger screen is easy to see and delivers enhanced color reproduction to make skin look even more beautiful. The menu features a simple user interface for greater ease of use.

The latest in the EXILIM TR series of cameras, the EX-TR80 offers expanded features for capturing beautiful skin for all women who enjoy taking self-portraits, all in a highly stylish and attractive camera body.

Source: http://www.casio-intl.com/asia/en/news/2017/0217_ex-tr80/

 

 

It comes in 3 different colours! Pink, Black and White.

Buffet by Neo Gardens

Set-up preparation!

Welcoming Media Guests


After the presentation, guests were invited to have a hands-on session with the TR80s, Casio girls were available to assist them with the new gadget.

We also created the ‘dark room’ where guests were able to try out the LED light feature

The second session consisted of other VIP guests which consisted of bloggers and influencers. Which also meant another round of buffet for dinner. Everyone was fed well.

The EX-TR80 is one attractive selfie camera indeed. I was very amazed by the quality and natural selfie that it is able to produce. If you’re not convinced, do not hesitate to come on down to REC By Alan Photo to try it out for yourself! For free!

You can also check out reviews by the bloggers that were able to get their hands on the TR80!

http://www.myfatpocket.com/beauty/beauty-news/up-your-selfie-game-with-the-new-casio-exilim-ex-tr80.html

http://techielobang.com/blog/2017/02/20/casio-exilim-ex-tr80-available-22nd-february/

 

Signing off,

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide By Alan Photo

Valentine’s Day is just round the corner, are you gift ready? We have curated a list of gift ideas you could consider buying for your partner! The best part about it? They are suitable for both genders!

Show your family & friends how much you treasure them this Valentine’s Day! Or perhaps show some love to yourself?

1. GO PRO HERO 5 + GO PRO 3 WAY

 

This new year, allow yourselves to capture great memories together while travelling with top selling POV camera – the Go Pro Hero 5! With the Hero5, you wouldn’t have to sacrifice a beautiful scenery or background! One doesn’t have to be a photographer to love a GoPro! Reminiscing your adventures together as a couple will be easier than ever with this tiny, rugged camera!

 

 

To go along with the GoPro, comes the 3-in-1 mount! A grip, selfie stick and tripod all in one! Portable, handy, lightweight, waterproof! The perfect tool you need to capture your memories this year!

 

2. SONY RX100M5 + Takeway Clampod

 

The perfect camera for the ladies & gents. Compact and lightweight to fit into your bag, producing great quality images (better quality than your smartphone), not to mention the sleek look of it!

 

 

 

Accompany your camera with a great clamping tool from Takeway! One that can clamp your devices on practically almost anything! Makes life so much easier for your loved one this valentine’s! Perfect for Travelling, Vlogging, Selfies, Group shots, etc. Again, so lightweight, portable and handy!

 

3. Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 + Fujifilm Instax Mini Film pack

 

 

Looking to instantly print your precious moments without going through the hassle of visiting a photoshop, the Instax mini 70 would be the ideal gift this Valentine’s! Don’t forget to get it along with the film pack. Trust me, the last thing you want is to run out of film paper!

 

Valentine’s Day is not a holiday for couples, it’s also a day to celebrate the many loves and friendships in our lives. From the love we feel for family and friends to our deep appreciation for those who make our lives a little easier, Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to say “thank you.” As you prepare to shower your beloved with heartfelt displays of your devotion this February 14th, keep in mind all of those other important people in your life.

We want to make your moments count this Valentine’s Day! Come on down to our stores and share with us your queries and we could suggest more gift ideas for your loved ones this V day!  <3

 

Lots of love,

The 8th Xeen

 

February 6th, 2017, Seoul, South Korea–

A global optics brand Samyang Optics
(http://www.samyanglensglobal.com) announces a new XEEN 20mm T1.9 lens for professional video-cine. This lens brings the range of XEEN cinema lenses to eight and compliments the existing lenses: 14mm, 16mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm and 135mm.
Presenting to you The New XEEN 20mm:
Offers outstanding image quality from resolving power for 4K+ production for filming video and cinema. XEEN is a specialized brand of professional video-cine lenses launched by Samyang Optics in 2015. The XEEN series are designed for the ultra-high definition video environment and feature  outstanding optical performance for 4K and above. The lenses also feature X-Coating Technology and 11 aperture blades that help create beautiful and round bokeh to introduce emotional and natural expression. The 24mm x 36mm negative size allows XEEN lenses to not only work with full frame cameras, but also Super 35, APS-C, APS-H and APS-P cameras. XEEN lenses are available in five different mounts – PL, EF, F, E, and MFT and two different focus scales – metric and imperial units. All focus and iris gear rings are identically positioned among eight lenses to speed up the lens changes.
Inheriting the renowned image quality of Samyang’s wide angle series, the XEEN 20mm T1.9 enhances the XEEN line up and brings the total range to eight lenses. With the expansion of XEEN Lenses and the existing Samyang manual focus lenses, plus the recent autofocus lineup and premium XP lenses, Samyang Optics pursues‘ Total Imaging Solution’ optics brand. Created to deliver infinite possibilities, the XEEN 20mm T1.9 will be
launched globally in March 2017
Samyang photo lenses and Xeen lenses are exclusively available at Alan Photo stores. 
Come on down to our concept store [REC] By Alan Photo to try, test out or play around with the equipments available!
FREE OF CHARGE!
For more info on Samyang Xeen lenses,
For more info on other lenses such as Auto Focus, Manual Focus, Premium and Cine lenses
Signing off,

SDW X REC In Progress (Sony A7rM2 + GM Lens)

REC In Progress is a series of workshops purport to provide customers an experience with the latest cameras, enhance photography/videography knowledge and skills, mingle with passionate shutter bugs alike etc.

Just last Sunday, we  concluded a complimentary workshop in collaboration with Sony Digital Workshop that was held at our new concept store – REC By Alan Photo.

During the workshop, participants were able to get a hands-on experience Sony’s A7rM2 together with the GM Lens.

With the presence of 2 professional models, our participants got to experience a studio photoshoot with the cyclorama and backdrop studios at our store!

As cameras and lenses were provided, all they needed was their SD card allowing them to bring home the photos they have taken on the day.

The workshop was only opened to 20 participants, and divided into 2 sessions, 10 participants each.
Every participant was entitled to a hands-on experience with an A7rM2 and GM Lens each!

They were able to bring home some knowledge and skills from winner of Sony’s  photography contest Gerbie Pabilonia!

The first session kicked off at 1pm and the second at 5pm.

Models arrived earlier to prep themselves for the test shoot during the workshop

2 differently themed shoot:

 

Hands-on experience by participant

REC Team + Models + Iconic Wall

Group shot!

 

All in all, we are thankful everyone who signed up were present on that day and everything went smoothly on that Sunday. We hope that each and every participant learnt something new during the workshop!

Signing off,

Alan Photo’s Opening Hours for the 2017 Lunar New Year

From all of us at Alan Photo,

Wishing you a Happy Chinese New Year!

Our opening hours are as follows:

Date                               Operating Hours for the Lunar New Year
Alan Photo Trading (Sim Lim Square) REC By Alan Photo (CT Hub 2) Lumen By Alan Photo (MBS)
26th January 2017/ Thurs 1030am – 830pm 11am – 7pm 1030am – 11pm
27th January 2017/ Fri

(CNY Eve)

1030am – 2pm 11am – 230pm 1030am – 1130pm
28th January 2017/ Sat

(CNY Day 1)

CLOSED CLOSED 1030am – 1130pm
29th January 2017/ Sun

(CNY Day 2)

CLOSED CLOSED 1030am – 11pm
30th January 2017/ Mon

(CNY Day 3)

CLOSED CLOSED 1030am – 11pm
31st January 2017/ Tues

(CNY Day 4)

1030am – 3pm 11am – 3pm 1030am – 11pm
1st February 2017/ Wed

(CNY Day 5)

Resume to normal working hours

1030am – 830pm 11am – 7pm 1030am – 11pm
9th February 2017

(CNY Day 13) Annual Company dinner

1030am – 7pm 11am – 630pm 1030am – 7pm

 

Celebrate The Rooster Year With Alan Photo

It felt like it was just yesterday that we celebrated Christmas and the New Year’s, doesn’t it?

Since the Lunar New Year is just around the corner, to lift up the spirits of the Rooster Year, Alan Photo will be giving out Red Packets to our lovely customers for every purchased camera with us!

*ONLY available at CT Hub 2/ Sim Lim Square Outlets.*

*First 100 Customers only*

Stand a chance to attain redeemable vouchers such as –

$20 worth of photo prints!

1 hour worth of studio rental!

A free gift from us!

Here’s wishing our customers a Happy Lunar New Year!

 

Signing Off,

 

Video Production In Singapore: tokuAsia Pictures

In this current era, I’d believe every individual would have at least watched a short video. May it be a Youtube Video, or a simple short commercial on your tele.

However have you thought of what went on behind the scenes? Thought of transiting into videography? Or just curious about the life of a video production crew? In this blogpost, we will see what is life like for Basil Yeo, Video Production Producer of tokuAsia Pictures. 

Be enlightened into the world of video production as we bring to you a Q&A session with renowned Video Production House tokuAsia Pictures. 

 

tokuAsia Pictures is a commercial film & video production company based in Singapore, and specialises in creating engaging motion pictures with a cinematic touch. Established in 2012 with the vision of becoming a leading creator of scripted digital content for Asian and international markets, our passion is in telling stories that have the power to inform, inspire and educate.

Q&A with tokuAsia Pictures 

1. What made you decide to intersect into the videography industry?

We have always loved writing and making videos for fun. It was around 2012 when low cost filmmaking tools became widely available, and I had just come out of NS while some of my friends were in between jobs or had just come back from overseas studies, so we decided to take a dive into the industry to see how far our common interest could take us.

2. Has it always been your dream since young to be in this industry?

Although I love filmmaking, I never expected myself to be working professionally in this industry.
As a child I wanted to be a police officer, and I actually tried to apply twice but got rejected both times.
It was probably better that they rejected me because I really cannot see myself doing anything other than filmmaking now!

3. Is there a message you would like to put across to your viewers about the videos you produce? If yes, what is it?

I believe that every form of media produced carries a message, but I suppose it will change depending on the story that we’re trying to tell.
Film/TV is an extremely powerful medium and has shown an ability to shape positive change in society. If I were to transcribe our content vision into a message, I’d say we’d want the ideals of humility, self-improvement and acceptance to be a big part of our content. We want people who watch our shows to strive to be better, fulfilled human beings.

4. Share your journey in the industry ever since tokuAsia Pictures was formed. Any challenges that you were faced with?

We’ve always wanted to create our own series, but when we started out lacked the skills, experience and funds to do so. Trying to create a name for ourselves was indeed challenging but even more challenging than that was the fact that we started out without any capital and lived off our own savings for the entirety of the first year. We worked on almost anything we could find from nearly anyone who was willing to give us a chance. It was also extremely difficult convincing our parents because of the risks involved and one of us had to drop out by the end of the first year (but he’s back now). Things eventually got better and I think right now I can say that no matter what the future holds for us, we can be proud that we survived all of that. It helped us build some grit and character that might be useful in our future work.

5. What motivates you to remain in your line of business?

The determination to create something great that will be watched and appreciated by other people and also, as I mentioned earlier, to be able to use film/TV as a medium of influence, and not just an “idiot box” like some like to call it.

6. What is your perception of the video production industry in Singapore?

We are an extremely small industry blessed with lots of talented people, but a lot of the potential goes untapped because the opportunities available are also scarce. Most people will rant about how certain things are not to their liking or about how little chances there are to showcase their talent (I’m not saying it’s not okay to rant, I rant sometimes too) but few will actually step up and do something about it, but it’s understandable because the fear of failure and ridicule when you screw up is real. However, this is merely part and parcel of growth and we all need to be less fearful and start making our own opportunities, which in turn will lead to opportunities for others and eventually growth for the industry.

I also feel that often times there is a consumer misconception that video production is easy and this is largely due to a combination of factors: the lack of understanding about the video production process and the fact that video is also so common these days that the idea of it being a professional craft is disappearing, and this can lead to conflict in the client-vendor relationship. We’ve had experiences where we realised that the client had been viewing our advice as inadequacy and proactively challenged it to the point where a normal working relationship became impossible to sustain. I’m very sure that everyone in this industry has had a similar experience, but instead of letting resentment overwhelm and influence us, we’ve made a promise to ourselves that we will take extra effort in educating our clients about the video production process through our blog (shameless plug: toku.asia/blog). It is our hope that clients and even fellow production people will see good value in this direction, which may lead to happier client-vendor relationships.

7. Share with us your essential carry on when you’re filming.

No matter what I’m shooting with, I never forget to bring my GenusTech Eclipse Variable ND filter! It’s the most important thing to have when you’re shooting outdoors in daylight, because stopping down on your lens is almost never enough, and you will also lose the creative ability to use shallow depth of field. Also, I carry an assortment of hex keys in a few sizes for field maintenance work.

8. What did you think of the Samyang lenses you used while filming the short video?

(Actually I also shot on the Canon 70-200, haha)

I like the Samyang VDSLR primes as they are small, lightweight and produce sharp images. Like most cinema lenses, they also come with manual aperture rings that make controlling light so much easier, smoother and intuitive than having to press buttons on your camera. Besides, they’re really value for money!

9. Which of your equipments has been with you for the longest time since the start of Tokuasia Pictures?

If I can recall correctly, it would probably have to be our Zoom H4n. It was the first piece of gear we bought when we got the payment for our first job.
You absolutely can not have bad audio as it can ruin a project faster than a bad image (we learnt this the hard way, so trust me, we know!)

10. What do you intend to do with your video production team in your future projects to come?

After taking a brief hiatus from original work to complete my degree in 2016, I’m writing and casting for the pilot episode of a six-episode science-fiction/fantasy series!

This is going to be our major project for 2017 and we hope that our story will be strong enough to attract audiences & potential partners so that we can do the full series! At the same time, we’re working on other preliminary ideas and may participate in some short film competitions along the way to further hone our abilities and work with new people to keep the momentum going.

We also hope to serve more clients who see value in working with us and who want to be a part of our journey moving forward.

11. What would you like to share with amateurs who would like to dive into video production?

Get up, write and shoot! And then share it on the Internet for the world to see.
Don’t be afraid of your work being criticised as long as the criticism helps you to improve, and hopefully in a few years’ time you will look back and laugh or cringe at it for being bad, but that’s how you know your eyes have improved and progress has happened.

 

If you made it to the end of the post, you should be inspired by the growth of tokuAsia Pictures!

Now we all know, that youtube video, or viral video you came across on your Facebook timeline? Sure didn’t come easy, did it?

 

 

Basil and team has showed how passion can truly drive an individual beyond its limits! And how hard work and determination is vastly essential in his line of work.

Thank you Basil for taking the time to answer our questions! May tokuAsia Pictures  move up to greater heights this new year!

Don’t forget to check out their videos on their Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/tokuasiapictures/?fref=ts

Or you may also visit their website! toku.asia/blog

Signing off,