Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Review: The Casio Exilim MR1 (Off to Bangkok!)

I have a new camera!!!! And because I like to take pretty pictures of myself the cameras I use are very important - if it is not worth your money, don't spend on it. #duh

So Casio has launched a few cameras recently, and I'll be sharing about the Casio Exilim MR1. 
You might have seen a few reviews on this and its comparison with the TR series. You should know by now that Casio's selfie cameras are da bomb and its TR series are the top of the line selfie cameras. The MR1 is its less expensive sister so if you are just looking for a selfie camera but don't want to blow your budget, this is what you should be looking at. 

Disclaimer: To be fair I have not actually tried the TR series cameras. Them being THE BEST SELFIE CAMERAS are stuff I've heard about and read from other bloggers. 

 I brought it along with me to Bangkok a couple of months ago, to see if delivers well. I'll be sharing a lot of pictures and the modes they were shot on so you have a better idea of how it performs. 

I like its size. Very compact, and very ladylike. I assume most selfie cameras are targeted at the female audience, because we look better and thus prefers to take more selfies than men. Lol. And the front camera-embedded mirror? Doubles up very well as a mirror for me to refresh my makeup! =D

One of our first selfies onboard. I find that although the camera comes with a whopping 14.1 megapixel camera (which most phone front cameras lose out to), under low light it's still a little grainy and the shutter speed is not high enough. So you really need a stable hand. 

As with any selfie camera, having the smooth skin mode is absolutely essential. You want to be able to just wifi the pictures to your phone (YES IT HAS THIS FUNCTION!!!) and immediately share it instead of having to do any editing. 

Yup, none of these pictures have been edited. They came like that straight out of the camera. No I didn't even resize anything. 

There are nifty modes like this crystal ball mode which bokehs your background and gives you an interesting picture like this.

I personally like the toy camera mode for its vignetting effect. 

Please please note that lighting in the airplane was quite poor so these pictures were far from ideal. Under good light, however, it's a different story altogether.
Taken at Chatuchak! By the way all the pictures of people with super good skin mode were taken with Makeup Mode on at their original setting at Best Shot - Portrait/Portrait with Scenery (unless otherwise specified), which is Skin tone at 0 and Smooth Skin at +6. You can lighten your skin tone from 0 to +6 or smoothen face from 0 to +12. 

Notice the warmer colours? I changed the white balance to Shade.

And night falls.

Trying the anti-shake. One thing I noticed is that after setting it to anti-shake now and having taken a picture, when I turn the camera off or if I want to take another picture, the anti-shake setting somehow resets to OFF and I have to turn it back on again. A little annoying to have to do it so it'll be good if they can allow me to lock that. So instead, I'll rely on spamming loads of pictures and pray that one of them turns out clear. Oh and turn the flash on.

Auto white balance. Flash.

Steady hands for you. Auto white balance with Flash. Notice how it doesn't make us look white like how most flashes do? I like that.

When in doubt, just turn on the flash. It is indicated as LED in the phone's settings.

Good morning! Off to the pool!

Auto white balance. At ISO 500.

Auto white balance. At ISO 800. I didn't really do anything. The camera will try to adjust its exposure from time to time depending on how you frame the picture and how much light the lenses detect, but look at how a change in white balance settings changed things. 

With Shade white balance.

Pictures look AMAZING on auto when there is enough light. But my eyes couldn't handle the lighting lol.

Get what I mean? The above 2 pictures were both taken on auto Best Shot Portrait mode, as are most of my pictures. I find it leh cheh to keep changing mode la.

They have many modes, like Sports, Pets, Children, Portrait, Portrait with Scenery, Candlelight Portrait, Scenery, Food, Flower, Fireworks, Sunset, Night Scene, Night Scene Portrait, Party, and even Text. I'm super lazy to go in and change modes because it's very troublesome, but I'll test the macro modes.

They have a food mode in its Best Shot. Let's see how they perform.

Looks pretty good to me. I think you'll be using this camera to shoot yourself and people most of the time anyway, but if you wish to shoot food and other objects macro, this works fine.

I wanted to test the macro capabilities of this camera on its FLOWER mode as well so these shots are not Bangkok-related. The FLOWER mode is supposedly more saturated and takes better pictures up close.
This was on the auto White Balance. I find that I have trouble shooting macro, especially in low light. The autofocus took quite a while to find my focal point.

For this one I changed the White Balance to Daylight White Fluorescent which was what my kitchen lighting is like. The colours seem richer and more vibrant here. That being said, the light blue on my UJM were supposed to be lilac. It turned out light blue here. The IK< and command buttons were supposed to be purple but they turned out electric blue. That being said, a lot of cameras have trouble finding the purple hues anyway. #betyoudidntnoticethat

In FOOD mode now.

Back on FLOWER. I think there isn't much of a difference. Even though I was shooting neither food nor flower. Lol. 

Let's bring this outside. I think this camera takes beautiful pictures outdoors. 

Best one. Because we angles it such that it catches just enough light from behind, but not too much (like the first one). =D 
All 6 pictures above are taken on auto Best Shot. 

This one is on Shade white balance. There are other standard white balance settings like Overcast and Shade and Tungsten and all, but yes, Auto and Shade are my faves.

Sometimes, when low light just doesn't work...

Just turn the flash on, and the clarity comes right back on!

I'll keep using this camera, so you can see more pictures as they come and decide if this is worth your time. ;) 

P.S My next post will feature pictures from the MR1 as well. ;)

What do you think? A good investment for a selfie camera? 

The Casio Exilim MR1 comes in white, pink and green (picture above do not show true colour - the colours are nicer in real life!), and retails at S$429 at all good gadget stores! =D

Disclaimer: The camera was sponsored for review. All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone, not by Casio or any affiliated employee thereof, and written for the benefit of my readers looking for an honest review. Any mistakes in print are also mine. As well as grammatical errors, intended or not. 


Friday, 1 May 2015


I think the Singapore Tourism Board must love me because I am one of those young people (without a kid) who actually goes to places like these on a yearly basis. Just this past year alone I have been to the Zoo once, and the Night Safari and Jurong Bird Park twice.

I love the Jurong Bird Park. Because I like birds of all kinds. Ducks, penguins, and clumsy birds are my favourites. Silly animals always get a bit more love from me. Of course, if you haven't been to our Bird Park, you wouldn't know that there is a Lory Loft where you go into this humongous park-like aviary and get to feed them. Or have them feed off you. This is what I mean:

So if you haven't heard, in lieu of SG50, the Jurong Bird Park has this promotion going on which allows you to own a one-year membership as a Feather Friend, for the price of a full-priced ticket. 

Not a bad deal at all. So since Shane and I have gone to the Zoo and the Night Safari in the past months, this deal would make it cheaper to go the bird park on a more regular basis. (I think the admission fee is what deters most Singaporeans from going often. Annual memberships are a little too pricey usually too.)

The Lory Loft is like my FAVOURITE place in the JBP, other than the Penguin Coast. Because you get to touch birds. And I love to touch birds. Ahem. Yes. I do. (I used to own a cockatiel which let me stroke its cheek and pat it.  In return I let it try to lick the freckles off my face, cos it thinks they are seeds. ^.^)

Lory food is available at $3 per cup at the entrance. But because today was a public holiday, I think too many people bought the food and the birds were too full to eat anymore, so people lost interest and left half empty cups in the designated trays intended for empty cups. So I tan dio! Yay~~!!! Eh I save $3 okay, plus there were so many half empty cups why should I spend money to buy more and waste the food right?

Shane managed to attract a lory to the food he was holding.

And then out of nowhere a bird came and decided to land on his head!!! Hahahaha!!!

While busy feeding the first lory. He must be thinking eh what is this???

So Shane attracts birds. Hmm...
By the way I love the duck T-shirt I bought for him in Taiwan. Cos I call myself duck (don't ask why), and I thought I HAD TO GET THIS when I saw it. 

I attracted one myself!

This bird soon lost interest in the food (I really think they have been overfed today) and developed a keen interest in my hair too...

Don't poop on my head. Don't poop on my head. Not in hair. Don't poop on my head.

I was pretty worried you know. Then Shane told me that the bird only pooped after it jumped off my head. The one on Shane's head also pooped after it jumped off his head. #sotheyaretoilettrained


I assume all birds like shiny things. My old cockatiel did too. 

I like this crowned pigeon with blue lacy hair.

I didn't cover a lot today because I know I have a whole year to visit the bird park. But here are some pictures from my last visit in March.

No, I have no idea what they were staring at.

Basically I think the Bird Park is worth going. I mean, you get to see birds other than mynahs, sparrows and crows (you get to see those at the bird park as well, though they don't officially belong there...)

There are these long-legged birds...

Long-legged birds with awesome hair...

Fantastic animal shows which were really fun to watch...

(Other) beautiful people also visiting the park...

You will also get to see Kaka at the Bird Park! (For the clueless, this cute little angel is Maia Lee's daughter! Love this princess so much!)

And cute owls...

Here's ending off with a snap (silver_ang). #whyyouhaventfollow 

P.S I know I said I'll put up the Klapsons Bangkok post today, but they shifted their official launch back, so I'll wait a week to post it! ;)

Jurong Bird Park
Opening Hours: 08:30 - 18:00 (Last ticket sale at 17:30)
Address: 2 Jurong Hill, Singapore 628925
Tel: (+65) 62650022