Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

Review: Sony FDR-AX43 Compact 4K Ultra HD Handycam Camcorder

Saturday, August 22nd, 2020

Initially launched in February this year, the 4K camcorder has just debuted in Singapore. The FDR-AX43 is now available on Sony’s online store at S$1,699.

Sony FDR-AX43 Compact 4K Ultra HD Handycam Camcorder for bloggers

Sony FDR-AX43 Compact 4K Ultra HD Handycam Camcorder for bloggers

The FDR-AX43 was developed for content creators and vloggers looking to produce footage that’s of better quality than that from a smartphone.

My Take:

Overall the Sony FDR-AX43 is an excellent camcorder for vlogger looking to improve video quality beyond that of a smartphone and desires an in-built gimbal for more professional footage, with good sound recording thrown in.

The camcorder is the newest member of a line-up that includes the AX33 and AX53, with its main addition being an in-built gimbal mechanism and its Balanced Optical SteadyShot technology for capturing smooth, natural and high-quality video footage.

So instead of purchasing and lugging around an external gimbal setup, it was a pleasure just using the compact FDR-AX43 during shooting.

When sitting down or just standing still, the footage came out totally free of shake.

The flip-screen of the Sony FDR-AX43 can be rotated 180 degrees for taking selfies.

The flip-screen of the Sony FDR-AX43 can be rotated 180 degrees for taking selfies.

But it’s when you’re walking (or even slightly jogging) that the embedded gimbal does its magic, producing smooth footage that doesn’t look like an amateur Blair Witch Project.

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New Arrival: vivo X50 and X50 Pro 5G with vivo TWS Earphone Neo

Saturday, August 1st, 2020

Vivo will be launching their X50 series flagship smartphones in Singapore on 15 August. Together with the vivo X50 (S$799) and vivo X50 Pro 5G (S$1,099), the vivo TWS Earphone Neo (S$159) will also be launched.

The vivo X50 Pro 5G will be in Singapore in two weeks.

The vivo X50 Pro 5G will be in Singapore in two weeks.

The X50 and X50 Pro 5G feature professional-grade camera technologies for mobile photography.

Stabilisation, night mode, zoom, and portrait technologies in the X50 series smartphones enable users to capture stable and high-quality images and videos in a wide range of scenarios.

X50 Pro 5G has one 32MP front camera and four cameras on the rear (48MP Main, 8MP Super Wide-Angle, 13MP Professional Portrait, and 8MP 5x Telescopic).

X50 Pro’s 5x Telescopic lens also supports 60x Hyper Zoom.

The wireless TWS Earphone Neo has a customised 14.2mm Moving-Coil Unit, promising a more powerful and full-bodied sound, as well as a bio-fiber composite diaphragm to enhance audio details.

More details below from the press release.

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SingTel Premieres Chinese New Year Comedy Short Film

Saturday, January 4th, 2020

Singtel has launched its annual short film for Chinese New Year, celebrating the season’s spirit of making connections and strengthening ties with a big dose of humour.

‘His Grandfather’s Road’ by Singtel for Chinese New Year. Click on the image to play the watch the short film.

‘His Grandfather’s Road’ by Singtel for Chinese New Year. Click on the image to play the watch the short film.

The short film is titled ‘His Grandfather’s Road’ – a phrase Singaporeans sometimes use to describe drivers who behave as if they own the road.

The video centres on a road rage altercation between two families that ends on a buoyant and conciliatory note when they realise that they have a lot more in common than they thought.

More details from the press release on the comedy.

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New Arrival: Plantronics Launches Polycom Studio Video Bar in Singapore

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

Plantronics offers business class video collaboration to huddle rooms with Polycom Studio. Available in Singapore from 28 February through channel partners and distributors at an RRP of US$949.

The new plug-and-play Polycom Studio HD video-conferencing solution transforms small meeting rooms into centers for collaboration.

The new plug-and-play Polycom Studio HD video-conferencing solution transforms small meeting rooms into centers for collaboration.

Plantronics, an audio pioneer and unified communications technology leader, today announced its first entry into the huddle room video market with its new plug-and-play video bar, Polycom Studio.

“With an increasingly mobile workforce, workers are no longer bound by physical limitations when it comes to having meetings and collaborating. There is a growing need for companies to equip their workspaces to enable workers to work smarter, collaborate more and achieve greater productivity.  With the HD audio and video clarity that Polycom Studio provides, even the smallest of spaces can have boardroom capability,” said Low Mei Lin, Director, APAC solutions marketing at Polycom.

Packed in a transportable USB device, the plug-and-play video bar immerses small meeting groups in an upgraded collaboration experience with Polycom’s HD audio and video quality.

The video bar is compatible with PCs or Macs for video collaboration on popular Video-as-a-Service (VaaS) platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, Google Meet, Cisco Webex, Amazon Chime, among others.

With a simple USB connection, any PC or Mac can leverage the power of Polycom Studio to elevate audio and video meeting experiences.

Its patented NoiseBlock and Acoustic Fence technologies reduce or eliminate distracting noise from office environments for professional-sounding communications.

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N.E.mation! 11: Competition results at Awards Ceremony

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

Cedar Girls’ Secondary School snatched the two top positions in this year’s Total Defence animation competition, with Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School clinching the third place. Results listing below.

A post shared by John Tan (@tech4tea) on

Congratulations to the winners of N.E.mation! 11: “MADEit” from Cedar Girls’ Secondary School!

The Awards Ceremony was held at the Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium at National Gallery Singapore.

Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Education Dr Janil Puthucheary was the Guest-of-Honour.

Detailed results below.

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N.E.mation! 11: Vote for your favourite teams & win prizes

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

The top 10 teams have completed their animation clips. These are now available for viewing at www.nemation.sg. You can now vote for your three favourite clips, and stand to win attractive prizes such as iPad tablets, Apple Watches and MacDonald’s vouchers.

Voting ends 5 February 2017.

A photo posted by John Tan (@tech4tea) on

Student animators from the Top 10 teams at the Downtown Picnic, which marks the commencement of public voting for N.E.mation! 11. With Ryan and Sylvia from Night Owl Cinematics.

There are four methods to vote.

You can vote on one or all of the following:

  1. N.E.mation! website if you’re on a desktop/notebook.
  2. N.E.mation! mobile website if you’re on a smartphone/tablet.
  3. Facebook app on mobile or non-mobile. Remember to “Like” first before voting.
  4. SMS to 76677 in the format below.

SMS format (to 76677)

NE11<space>WEB<space>C1,C5,C8<space>NRIC<space>Full Name

Example below:

NE11 WEB C1, C5, C8 T0123456D Darth Vader

The above example assumes you’re voting for C1, C5 and C5.

As you may guess, my favourite animation clips are:

  • C01 [Blank Space]: “Our Five Fingers of Defence” (Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School)
  • C05 Finding Sanity: “Building Our Nation” (CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School)
  • C08 MADEit: “Our SG Dollar” (Cedar Girls’ Secondary School)
  • C09 N.E. HEH HEH: “Just A Little Something” (Singapore Chinese Girls’ School)
  • C10 Passionfruit: “Shields of Singapore” (Evergreen Secondary School)

Do check out their clips and vote for them if you like their animation as well.

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Event forecast: N.E.mation! 11 Downtown Picnic @ The Cathay

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

The Downtown Picic marks the commencement of public voting for N.E.mation! 11.

Highlights of the afternoon of fun include games, lucky draw, food, and Ryan and Sylvia from Night Owl Cinematics.

Highlights of the afternoon of fun include games, lucky draw, food, and Ryan and Sylvia from Night Owl Cinematics.

Student animators from the Top 10 teams will be present to showcase their completed 1-minute animations.

Admission FREE, registration NOT required. Bring along family & friends.

N.E.mation! 11 : Art used in N.E.mation! 11

Friday, December 9th, 2016

Here is a sampling of the art used in this year’s N.E.mation! competition.

Simple but innovative use of ink cartoons on plastic cups for use in stop-motion animation. Rotate the outer cup to get different facial expressions or different stages of a chin-up exercise. Prop by N.E. HEH HEH (#NE11C09).

Simple but innovative use of ink cartoons on plastic cups for use in stop-motion animation. Rotate the outer cup to get different facial expressions or different stages of a chin-up exercise. Prop by N.E. HEH HEH (#NE11C09).

To many, N.E.mation! 11 is first and foremost an animation competition – with animation themes based on the National Education message of building a strong and resilient country that can defend itself against adversity and external threats.

My favourite is this finger puppet of a soldier sewn by [BlankSpace] (#NE11C01). Other finger puppets included civilian clothes like those worn by the Sylvanian family of toy figurines.

My favourite is this finger puppet of a soldier sewn by [BlankSpace] (#NE11C01). Other finger puppets included civilian clothes like those worn by the Sylvanian family of toy figurines.

Cut-out pop-up park to be used as background for the animation. The cylinder can be rotated to simulate movement of foreground objects in the animation. By [BlankSpace] (#NE11C01).

Cut-out pop-up park to be used as background for the animation. The cylinder can be rotated to simulate movement of foreground objects in the animation. By [BlankSpace] (#NE11C01).

So a lot of emphasis is focused on the animation techniques used and how slick and accomplished the completed animation looks.

MADEit (#NE11C08) animates the images on a $10 Singapore bill, adding their own elements to it in their animation.

MADEit (#NE11C08) animates the images on a $10 Singapore bill, adding their own elements to it in their animation.

N.E.mation! 11 bestows upon participating teams the skills of digital animation.

Finding Sanity (#NE11C05) draws their artwork on a computer for their 2D 8-bit animation. I like the patchwork look.

Finding Sanity (#NE11C05) draws their artwork on a computer for their 2D 8-bit animation. I like the patchwork look.

More than that, the competition also brings out the artistic talents in every participating individual.

Passionfruit (#NE11C10) draws their artwork digitally on a graphics tablet.

Passionfruit (#NE11C10) draws their artwork digitally on a graphics tablet.

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N.E.mation! 11 : Spotlight on “Passionfruit” (#NE11C10)

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

We met with one of the Top Ten teams for this year’s N.E.mation! competition – “Passionfruit” from Evergreen Secondary School.

Update (14 January, 2017):

Passionfruit’s animation, “Shields of Singapore”, is now available for viewing and voting. You can find out the four methods of voting your three favourite clips here.

A photo posted by John Tan (@tech4tea) on

N.E.mation! 11 Team “Passionfruit” from Evergreen Secondary School. From left: Wong Xin Yuan Mabel, Maybelle Ong Hui Leng, Yolanda Low Jing Xuan, Pamela Lee (Li Ming Fang).

This team is the most passionate of the lot – seriously folks!

Leader of the bunch (of Passion fruits) - Mabel Wong Xin Yuan.

Leader of the bunch (of Passion fruits) – Mabel Wong Xin Yuan.

I could tell from talking with these four young ladies about the digital 2D animation that they have been working on for the past three weeks of production.

The title of their 1-minute animation is “Shields of Singapore”.

Using the allegory of an umbrella to express their main idea, the theme is that “Everyone is a shield of Singapore, no matter rain or shine”.

And this is embodied in what citizens do in their everyday lives, manifesting itself in how Singaporeans help one another in sticky situation and even in the littlest things – shielding one another from harm and giving a hand when needed.

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N.E.mation! 11 : Spotlight on N.E. HEH HEH (#NE11C09)

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

We met with one of the Top Ten teams for this year’s N.E.mation! competition – N.E. HEH HEH from the Singapore Chinese Girls School (SCGS). Erin Tan reports.

Update (14 January, 2017):

N.E. HEH HEH’s animation, “Just A Little Something”, is now available for viewing and voting. You can find out the four methods of voting your three favourite clips here.

A photo posted by John Tan (@tech4tea) on

N.E.mation! 11 Team “N.E. HEH HEH” from Singapore Chinese Girls School (SCGS). From left: Wang Lei, Sarah Mak, Karen Nakajima and Michelle Khor.

N.E. HEH HEH is the only team from SCGS in the Top Ten teams in this year’s N.E.mation! 11.

Wang Lei, the Secondary Three team leader of N.E. HEH HEH, a bubbly art student who also drew life-like portraits of the entire team - see below.

Wang Lei, the Secondary Three team leader of N.E. HEH HEH, a bubbly art student who also drew life-like portraits of the entire team – see below.

The team members consist of two Secondary Three ladies, who keep the team anchored, and two Secondary Ones, who keep things light-hearted and fun.

The two Sec Three girls – Wang Lei and Sarah Mak – are veterans from the school’s N.E.mation! 9 Top Ten team two years ago!

They told me that their team name is a play on the evil laughter of the character Pap from the video game Undertale, and the name “N.E.mation”.

The product of these three weeks of production will be a 60-second animation, to bring to life the ideas and storyline they proposed during the earlier pitching and selection rounds.

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