Welcome to this page

Welcome to my blog!
I am sharing stories of my trips and providing some tips in case you also want to travel.
This is also a photo blog, so I hope you like the candid photos I have taken from different places!

Thank you for visiting my blog.

- CB (freezymenthol)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Iphone 4 Review, Camera Samples

Iphone 4 Review from a Regular User

Note: This is not a tech review, this is based on a normal end-user.

It's been a while since the last time I made a review of a mobile phone I recently purchased. I was not really an Apple fanboy before, I did not make any big deal about the Iphone and it's iOS operating system. Even with 3 iterations, I would still opt to buy a regular phone from the safer brands - Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson.

What made me switch to an Iphone 4 were two things: (1) When a purchased Ipod Touch 3rd Gen, and (2) When I was eligible with my mobile carrier's (Globe Telecoms) loyalty award.

The ipod touch 3rd gen made me introduce to the iOS ecosystem. It was user friendly and the apps were just totally awesome. But the loyalty award was really the deciding factor to purchase one because I only got this phone for Php9000. It was really a great deal.

There are so many good things to say about the Iphone 4, but there are few flaws as well.

The display is was really sharp. Comparing with my Ipod Touch (which I sold eventually), the resolution difference was really clear. The improved processing speed made multitasking easier and responses faster. With the most updated OS, downloading apps was a lot easier since all of them are now compatible on the new version. By default, the pre-istalled apps would do the work of a regular smartphone. But downloading specific apps would make it a workhorse.

One example was when I went to Taiwan for a backpacking trip. I avoided the pains of paying roaming charges whenever I call my family from my hotel, I would use the default wifi connection to do a facetime call (my brother has an Ipod touch 4). Or, I would call him via the latest update on Yahoo Messenger App. I would also do wifi based SMS through the Chikka application.

I was on leave from work when I was in Taipei, but I had to make a few calls and a little work. And Iphone 4 just did the job! I was able to check my emails with attached screenshots. Most phone would just display plain text (e.g. Blackberry). I was able to access my work desktop through the Citrix App. And I was able to facilitate a Webex Meeting. And yes! These are all available on the Iphone.

The map and GPS application helped me find my way in Taipei. The photo and video application (samples below) captured places I have been in Taipei. The music and games kept me pre-occupied while waiting for my flight.

Overall, this is a complete mobile phone. Some of the things that could've improved would be its battery life. At times, it would last for 24 hours under heavy usage. But would last for 3 days if there's a lot of standby time. Buying a case is a must, since it's a fingerprint magent, but this hides the design of the phone, so I would suggest buy a transparent case.

Below are some sample pictures and videos that I've taken during my trip.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Taipei Video shot through GE X5

Here are some video clips that I have compiled during my trip in Taipei last October, 2010. I used GE X5 video recording and the clips were really great.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Weekend in Taipei, Taiwan

This was my first time to travel alone and discover a new place. I went to Taipei, Taiwan last October 23 with one thing in mind, to see Taipei 101. But I got more than what I had wished for. I get to experience the culture, more sites and of course new friends.

I arrived at the Tuoyan International Airport pass midnight. At the arrival area, shops were already closed and there was a couple of bus company's offering last trip to Taipei Main Station. With very very limited ability to understand Chinese, I had a hard time asking folks how much and what bus number I should take, but luckily to old Filipino-Chinese couple helped me find my way through the bus ticketing lane.

When I rode a bus, I also met another person who is Filipino-Chinese who had work there in Taipei, but has a family in the Philippines and he helped me find my hotel near Taipei Main Station. We were able to find my hotel: Chair-Man Hotel.

The next day, after eating the breakfast provided by the hotel, I walked until I reach the Taipei Main Station and alighted the CKS Station for my first stop - CKS Memorial Hall.

It was a very big complex, and on a weekend there were a lot of teenagers practicing dance routines doing group projects in the park, which is not a common thing here in Manila. The complex is free and you can visit the three main buildings of the complex.

Later that day, I of course went to Taipei 101. They had an entrance fee of around NTD90 to reach the observation deck on the 89th floor.

Taipei 101

Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Bohol Weekend Trip

I have been travelling in different places, and most of them happened this year. Most of my friends suggested that I try Bohol. So I waited for the right opportunity, meaning another seat sale. I got my plane ticket for Php78 via Zest Air and a free accommodation via Club Astoria, so it was really a good deal.
This is also a good time to take my recently bought GE X5 to another trip, first one being in Boracay a few weeks back. So below are the pictures I have taken in Bohol.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Boracay Through GE X5

12/06/10 Blog has been added with new pictures

This is my second time in Boracay this year, and the first time I brought my GE x5 and test it's full capability. At most, it did impress me as it is the most compact budget bridge camera that acts and looks like a DSLR. I did take a couple of Panorama shots and the best one is on the set below. The camera was also able to capture great sunset pictures.

I also took the liberty of taking some video clips. I have yet to edit them and publish a small MTV as a sample of the videos being taken by GE x5. I do hope you enjoy the pics below.

Below is also a sample video I have made using GE x5, with the exception of some underwater shots taken from a different camera.

Below are additional pictures that were taken using GE X5 during my third trip this year in Boracay.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

GE X5 Camera Review and Sample Shots

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There are more sample shots and video clips on other related blogs I have posted (copy and paste the link on your browser):

After using Canon 1000d for almost a year, I finally decided that I really do not need an SLR especially when I travel. The reason is that when I travel I end up wasting 1 hand carry luggage just for bringing the SLR gear in a bag. After a couple of contemplations, I decided to switch over to a bridge camera. The next problem is, what bridge camera to decide. There are tons of bridge cameras out there, with besting features such a telephoto zoom lenses etc. But what's striking is also their tag prices. A bridge camera like Fuji HS10 or Lumix LX3 would range mid Php25,000 - and that's already bordering a the entry level SLR.

And then I saw one the shelf of a store a nice looking thing called GE x5 Bridge Camera. Although unfamiliar brand, I do know GE makes durable refs so most probably they also build durable Bridge Cameras. Another striking feature is that the body looks like a small SLR. For those advanced users, it also has that Manual Mode which I do need when I travel. And the best part is its price, and almost half of it competitors and offers much more!

The package that I bought includes a strap, batteriers and a charger, 4Gig memory card and a Motorola Rokr Phone (not sure why they included it there).

Of course I have to test it immediately. Surprisingly its shutter speed (manual) ranges from 30 seconds to 1/2000 second - even better than Powershot G10 with the slowest shutter speed of 15 seconds. What does that mean? Well, you can just take fantastic night shots, which I will try to post later.

Below are sample of night shots taken from MOA

Overall, I would recommend this for hobbyist in photography, that does have a hard time carrying a couple of lenses and then carrying a bag. The GE X5 does well as a bridge camera that does act out basic SLR features.

Here are some down-sized photos highlighting the focusing capability of GE X5.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A weekend at Hong Kong (3rd Visit)

Visiting Hong Kong always brings excitement to my senses, even if this was already my third time to do so. The good thing about this trip and now, I have my SLR to capture the lights, the people and the culture of Hong Kong...