New arrivals: Lenovo VIBE Shot Android flagship smartphone

August 28th, 2015

The Lenovo VIBE Shot ships with a 16-megapixel main camera, 5-inch Full HD screen, 32GB storage and 3GB RAM. It is now available in Singapore from Lazada online at S$479.

The Lenovo VIBE Shot is now available online on Lazada Singapore (S$479). Only the Carmine Red version is available at present.

The Lenovo VIBE Shot is now available online on Lazada Singapore (S$479). Only the Carmine Red version is available at present.

The VIBE Shot is the flagship model in Lenovo’s smartphone lineup and is positioned to offer value-for-money in terms of the technical specifications of the phone viz its pricing.

Lenovo VIBE Shot

Lenovo VIBE Shot

The phone is also available in other ASEAN countries while a variant version of the model, with the localised network bands is also available in China.

Lenovo is especially proud of the camera on the VIBE Shot – note the name of the phone – and is banking on that as a major selling point to the growing hordes of smartphone photographers.

Like a standalone shooter, the VIBE Shot features a dedicated shutter button, which can be used to instantly activate the camera function to snap a quick photo.

Lenovo boasts that the on-board infrared auto-focusing (AF) system is twice as fast as a conventional autofocus, while the tri-color LED flash ensures more realistic skin tones.

Meanwhile, superior low-light performance and clarity for shooting images in darker interiors or at night are supported by a 16:9 BSI sensor.

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New arrivals: Onkyo TX-RZ900 & TX-RZ800 network A/V receivers

August 27th, 2015

The two new RZ Series 7.2-channel network A/V receivers from Onkyo are enabled with DTS:X & Dolby Atmos support. Both the TX-RZ900 (S$2,899) and TX-RZ800 (S$2,299) are now available in Singapore.

Top: TX-RZ900 (S$2,899) and Bottom:TX-RZ800 (S$2,299).

Top: TX-RZ900 (S$2,899) and Bottom:TX-RZ800 (S$2,299).

The new receivers feature Wide Range Amplifiers that extends to 5Hz, and elimination of digital pulse noise with its Low Noise Processing capabilities to produce clearer sound.

Users can also enjoy wireless audio with its Wi-Fi, Airplay, and Bluetooth support, as well as built-in services such as Spotify and Pandora.

More details from the press release below.

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New arrivals: SanDisk Extreme 500 & Extreme 900 Portable SSD

August 26th, 2015

SanDisk’s new family of high performance portable SSDs features the faster transfer speeds of the USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 specs. The Extreme 900 Portable SSDs offer Type C connectors, top speeds and higher capacities, while the Extreme 500 series offers portability and ruggedness.

Prices and capacities below.

The Extreme 500 (left) and Extreme 900 (right) Portable SSDs targets photographers, videographers, creative professionals and tech enthusiasts looking to move massive files at phenomenal speeds, helping them save time and simplify work processes at the office or out in the field.

The Extreme 500 (left) and Extreme 900 (right) Portable SSDs targets photographers, videographers, creative professionals and tech enthusiasts looking to move massive files at phenomenal speeds, helping them save time and simplify work processes at the office or out in the field.

The SanDisk Extreme 900 drives with their Type C connections feature USB 3.1 speeds of up to nine times faster that of a portable hard drive running on a USB 2.0 connection.

The SanDisk Extreme 500 drives with USB 3.0 offer speeds up to four times faster.

Capacity Extreme 500 Capacity Extreme 900
120GB S$188 480GB S$769
240GB S$288 960GB S$1,149
480GB S$499 1.92TB S$1,899

The new family of SanDisk Extreme Portable SSDs also feature SanDisk SecureAccess software with 128-bit encryption to secure files.

The Extreme 500 portable SSDs will be available in Singapore during COMEX 2015 next week while the Extreme 900 series will be available in end September 2015.

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New arrivals: SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick streaming USB/Wi-Fi flash drive

August 26th, 2015

The USB flash drive streams content to up to 3 devices simultaneously and each charge can support up to 4.5 hours of continuous streaming to 1 device. Available in Singapore during COMEX 2015 next week. Prices below.

The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick features a two year warranty.

The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick features a two year warranty.

Part of the SanDisk Connect Wireless family, the consumer mobile storage device is available at 16GB (S$49), 32GB (S$69),64GB (S$99) and 128GB (S$169) capacities.

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New arrivals: Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac with Windows 10 integration

August 19th, 2015

Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac launches with Windows 10 integration and OS X El Capitan readiness. Three versions available from today. Pricing for new and existing users below.

Parallels Desktop 11 now features Always on Cortana, Quick Look for Windows and Travel Mode to conserve battery life for road warriors.

Parallels Desktop 11 now features Always on Cortana, Quick Look for Windows and Travel Mode to conserve battery life for road warriors.

Exactly one year from the launch of Desktop 10, Parallels has released the new Desktop 11 which promises up to 50 percent performance improvements and makes Microsoft’s Cortana available to Mac users in OS X.

In addition to the consumer and business edition, Desktop 11 has a new Pro Edition that gives developers, designers and power users more tools and resources to be productive on a Mac.

The Pro Edition has all the features of the Business Edition except for the centralised administration and management (including single key) feature for mass deployment and mass management of Parallels Desktop and Windows VMs for employees.

Also new is a new subscription based licensing scheme for the Business Edition and Pro Edition, while the standard consumer edition remains on a perpetual license scheme.

The various editions and their pricing are summarised below.

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New arrivals: Samsung Galaxy Note 5 & S6 edge+ Android phablets

August 13th, 2015

Samsung has unveiled globally their latest flagship phablets. Both have 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED displays and 4GB RAM. Prices and availability in Singapore below.

The new Samsung Galaxy Note 5 4G+ (left) and S6 edge+ 4G+ comes with 5.7 inch QHD displays and 4GB RAM.

The new Samsung Galaxy Note 5 4G+ (left) and S6 edge+ 4G+ comes with 5.7 inch QHD displays and 4GB RAM.

So the Samsung’s flagship devices basically comprise the following:

Models Display Curved edges S Pen
S6 5.1″ No No
S6 edge 5.1″ Yes No
Note 5 5.7″ No Yes
S6 edge+ 5.7″ Yes No

So the “basic flagship” is the Galaxy S6, with the other models being variants offering curved edges, bigger displays and stylus.

The Note 5 offers, as its main differentiator the S Pen stylus, but is essentially on the same hardware/software platform as the S6 series of smartphones.

Price & Availability in Singapore

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POTD: Corridor in Masjid Abdul Gafoor in Singapore

August 10th, 2015

Amidst the searing heat of the afternoon sun, the mosque offers a cool refuge and respite for worshippers and visitors.

The corridor is still empty, although in an hours’ time, worshippers will arrive for the Friday prayers. Photo taken using a Canon EOS 5Ds and EF 50mm F1.4 USM prime lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

The corridor is still empty, although in an hours’ time, worshippers will arrive for the Friday prayers. Photo taken using a Canon EOS 5Ds and EF 50mm F1.4 USM prime lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

Masjid Abdul Gafoor was gazetted as a national monument of Singapore on 13 July 1979.

Gowns for worshippers’ perusal in the Abdul Gaffoor Mosque. Photo taken using a Canon EOS 5Ds and EF 50mm F1.4 USM prime lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

Gowns for worshippers’ perusal in the Abdul Gaffoor Mosque. Photo taken using a Canon EOS 5Ds and EF 50mm F1.4 USM prime lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

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POTD: Singapore celebrates her 50th National Day

August 9th, 2015

Here’s wishing Singapore a Happy 50th Birthday.

This is one of many murals found on the walls at the banks of the Singapore River. Photo taken with a Samsung NX2000 with a Samsung 20-50mm f/3.5-5.6 ED lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

This is one of many murals found on the walls at the banks of the Singapore River. Photo taken with a Samsung NX2000 with a Samsung 20-50mm f/3.5-5.6 ED lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

This year, Singaporeans celebrate 50 years of independence since 1965.

This is also the 196th year since Singapore’s founding by Sir Stamford Raffles.

Let’s wish for the best for Singapore for the next 50 years!

POTD: Prayer hall in Masjid Abdul Gafoor in Singapore

August 7th, 2015

The prayer hall is the most sacred part of the mosque and is at the core of the building, directly below the cupola and tower on the roof of the mosque.

Beautiful calligraphic inscriptions decorate the prayer hall. Photo taken using a Canon EOS 5Ds and EF 50mm F1.4 USM prime lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

Beautiful calligraphic inscriptions decorate the prayer hall. Photo taken using a Canon EOS 5Ds and EF 50mm F1.4 USM prime lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

Only worshippers are allowed into the prayer hall.

Visitors/tourists and women are not allowed inside.

Caps/songkoks for use for worshippers. Photo taken using a Canon EOS 5Ds and EF 50mm F1.4 USM prime lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

Caps/songkoks for use for worshippers. Photo taken using a Canon EOS 5Ds and EF 50mm F1.4 USM prime lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

The following descriptions are from the Wikipedia article on Masjid Abdul Gaffoor.

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Fireworks Tip 3 of 3: Filling your frame

August 6th, 2015

Here’s Part 3 of the three-part series on tips for shooting fireworks photos – on what kind of lens to use and getting creative with composition. Contributed by Canon Imaging Academy.

Use a wide angle lens to capture the entire fireworks scene. Photo credit: Canon Imaging Academy Associate Trainer Joseph Goh.

Use a wide angle lens to capture the entire fireworks scene. Photo credit: Canon Imaging Academy Associate Trainer Joseph Goh, Joseph Goh Photography.

Below is the final of the three-part series on tips for shooting dazzling photos of fireworks.

Editor’s note

Since the fireworks for the National Day celebrations are on such a big scale, it essentially covers a large amount of sky over the Marina Bay.

In order to capture all the different types of fireworks firing at the same time, and to avoid cropping part of a firework burst, use a wide angle camera that have a large field of view.

If you are using a zoom lens, zoom out to the widest angle.

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