Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Philippine Launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note8!

The long wait is over for Samsung fans. Samsung's latest flagship phone, Galaxy Note8--successor to last year's unsuccessful Galaxy Note7--has been revealed.

Presenters at the Galaxy Note8 launch are Kevin Lee, President and CEO of Samsung Electronics Phlippines (third from right) and Melanie Lok, Product Marketing Manager for Flagship Smartphones (second from left).

But of course, the highlight of the event is the launch of the Galaxy Note8. And to read my thoughts about it, check out my post on EsquirePH at the link below:

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Falling in Love with the Fujifilm X T20

When I read the Verge article regarding the Fujifilm X T20, I felt as if the writer, Vlad Savvov, was actually writing a love letter. It's as if he fell in love at first sight, but, instead of another person, he fell in love with a camera. Well, at least that's how I interpreted it.

So, I grew really curious about the Fujifilm X T20. I felt that I really had to see it for myself, if it really was worth falling in love with. So, one weekend, the wife and I went to a camera store near our place here in Metro Manila (I couldn't say it was a local camera store for it’s a franchise - I miss being in a traditional, small camera store, like the ones on Nassau Street in Princeton, NJ and on State Street in Chicago, not the big box ones. I hope those Mom and Pop stores are still in existence. But I digress...). Again, the wife and I went to a store near our place and we looked at the Fujifilm X T20.

When I held the T20 for the first time, my initial reaction was... "Meh... Is this camera really worth falling in love with?", I told myself. It didn't feel impressive in the hand. It felt like it was just a gimmick that will not last.

The wife and I went out of the store and I left the store unimpressed. The wife suddenly said, "That is not the lens you were looking for, right?" And I said, "Yeah, it wasn't." So she said, "Maybe we should ask the sales guy for the lens that you were looking at last night online…”

So, begrudgingly, I agreed to go back to the store. I asked the guy if I can look at the T20 with the 18-55mm lens. He said yes and he got the lens and put it at the T20. After he did that, the wife said she saw sparkles in my eyes!

The first time I looked at the camera, I didn't even spend 5 minutes with it. With the 18-55 lens, I spent at least 30 minutes looking, feeling and examining the camera. I asked for the battery so I could switch it on. And boy did I test it. I peered through the electronic view finder and I was blown away by what I saw. It's so realistic that it felt like I was really looking at the real world, not a miniature screen.

I asked a lot of questions and it was such a blessing to find a seller that really knows what he was selling. Coming from a different brand, I really didn't know how to, for example, get out of full auto. But the guy was really knowledgeable and he was able to answer all my questions, including that one! He even showed me his shots with a different Fujifilm model. That greatly impressed me more. He said that those shots were made with a consumer model X-series and he said I'd be able to get more from the T20. All of his shots were so clean even if they were taken in really low-light conditions (note though that he was showing me his photos on his mobile phone so things may be a bit different on print and on a computer monitor). He showed me his long exposure shot and it was really clean! Again, he reiterated that he took it using a different X-model and he said I'd be able to get more out of the T20.

My inspection of the Fujifilm X T20 didn't end there. I took shots. I felt the camera in my hand. I imagined myself using the camera. I suddenly saw myself using a different camera brand…

The 18-55mm lens made the T20 a more impressive camera. The lens felt solid and not plasticy. The lens matches the quality of the camera body itself. And it makes the camera more professional-like. With that lens, you can control the aperture from the lens itself, something that pros and semi-serious everyday users always look for.

I tried the model with the silver/metal accent and it really looks beautiful, though I would have liked to have seen the all-black model also.

Is the Fujifilm X T20 worth falling in love with? With the right lens, it is. Anyway, it is the lens that makes a camera, any camera, great! So if you are looking at buying your next camera, I suggest you go to a camera store and feel the emotion that I, and the Verge reviewer, felt when I held the camera in my hands. You won't regret it.


In the photos also is the T20 predecessor, the T10. Despite its age, (around two years old?) it still looks awesome with the 18-55 lens. If you are reading this and if you want to save some cash, then get the T10! It's still a very good camera and its a really great bargain!

I was in awe of the T20 that I forgot to take pictures of the it. Good thing the wife saw that "sparkle" so she did the photography at that time.

Also, CameraHaus manager or higher ups, if you're reading this, please promote the Fujifilm guy in SM Aura and the lovely ladies in Bonifacio High Street. We need more guys like the one in SM Aura, someone who knows how to use the product they're selling and someone who has actually used the product. And the ladies in Bonifacio High Street are so helpful and so accommodating. For me, they are the best!

Keep the conversation going! Contact me via my Twitter or Facebook account. You may also email me here!

All photos made with an iPhone 6s and edited using the iOS app Hipstamatic


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