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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Casio EXILIM EX-ZR3500 (Review) x Media Trip to Malacca

This is my first time trying out a Casio camera. I know that they've always been pretty synonymous with being really great selfie cameras, and after this media trip with Casio to Malacca, that is a notion I'm gonna second.

To give some context, I enjoy photography and I usually shoot with a semi-pro. I used to shoot with a DSLR but honestly it's too bulky for my taste. This is made worse when I travel because the amount of photography gear I bring is pretty much a whole backpack full hahaha; I have my:

  • DSLR body
  • Two lenses
  • The entry-level semi pro I used to own (I needed a camera with a flip screen for selfies and couple/group shots haha)
  • My trusty Nikon F3 film camera with a body that is made of steel (it is therefore, the heaviest camera I own and quite possibly the heaviest I'll ever own, which is why I never complain about the weight of any other DSLRs), and several rolls of film.

And if I feel like I can still manage one more, I'll throw in my Polaroid, and the film packs. Haha.

Last year, I decided that I really needed to cut out the bulk. So, I sold off my DSLR, my lenses, and the entry-level semi pro to get myself a semi pro that I can vouch, will rival and even beat most of the pretty good DSLRs in the market. ;) Hefty price tag, but worth every single penny.

BUT, despite how amazing that semi-pro is, I still have a problem. It does not have a flip/tiltable screen. It was a challenge to take nice selfies hahaha, or group shots even, because I don't have control over the composition anymore. So, I still needed to find myself a good compact that can take good selfies and group shots. And this media invitation from Casio came at the perfect time!

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The Casio ZR3500 comes in 4 colours: Pink (the one you see below), yellow, white and champagne.

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I love how the camera automatically turns on by itself the moment you flip the screen up. So you can quickly snap that perfect selfie or group shot right away!

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And now, shots from the media trip to Malacca:

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On the coach towards Malacca!

And the first thing on the agenda for the day is Peranakan food for lunch! Yum yum.
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This is taken with the camera's "blurred background" mode, which is a nifty feature to give one that bokeh effect. A very nice touch!

Everytime I head to Malacca, there are the two things I'll make sure I eat before leaving - Chendol and Otah. Seriously, I don't know why these taste a gazillion times better than the ones we have here in Singapore. Especially the Chendol, I never liked Chendol to begin with, but when I tried it in Malacca, I fell in love.

After lunch, we made our way to Jonker Walk for more food aha and shopping.
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We found this in one of the alleys in Jonker Walk. Love the colours so very much!

And there's a Mamee shop!
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These miniature "Mamee process" are too cuteeee.

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Candid shot taken by Xinyi! Bohemian pants are a staple in my wardrobe, and this one had such pretty prints! This shop had alot of bohemian dresses, pants and accessories. I also scored myself a gorgeous aztec pouch hehe.

And another candid shot by Xinyi, and you know how it's not easy to find people who take good candids? She seems to have this innate skill of taking good candids of us!
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On the way up to St. Paul's Cathedral.
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It was an incredibly warm and humid day, and most of us were really looking forward to checking in to our hotel to cool down/wash up/freshen up before we all meet for dinner again.

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P.S: These two pictures were just quick snaps taken with my phone to show my family and boyfriend, not with the casio camera!

The next morning, everyone managed to wake up early to meet for breakfast at some famous dim sum place at 9.30am?? Except Xinyi (left) and I hahahaha. I really needed to catch up on some sleep, so for lunch, only Xinyi and I were famished while the rest were still stuffed from breakfast.

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This compact point and shoot boasts many functions and special features such as being able to take time lapse videos, art shots (like fisheye, toy camera, HDR, etc that we're familiar with) and more. For the regular consumer, I'd say that it is definitely more than just a decent compact camera, it's actually pretty good. Colours are nice and balanced, details are crisp, especially when you take with good lighting (outdoors, under the sun). Indoors however, the quality does falter a little; BUT, this brings me to the next thing I love about the camera - the built-in flash!

Surprise surprise? I was very surprised myself! I never liked using flash for my photos. I love my natural light because I think it's the most flattering. Maybe it's because I've not used a camera with a good built-in flash. The Casio ZR3500's built-in flash is actually very flattering!

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This is taken with the camera's flash. It doesn't look harsh, neither does it make my face look like an oil slick lol. It actually brings out the makeup on my face really well. The flash is so flattering, I've been taking most of my selfies with the flash hahaha.

And this is one in natural light, without the use of flash.
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Oh and all my selfies are taken with the camera's "Make Up Plus" mode of course! Which is why this is the perfect selfie camera ;) The Make-Up Plus mode helps to brighten the skin tone and smoothens complexion. You can also adjust the settings to control how fair or tan, or how smooth you'd like your skin to be for example. I didn't adjust the settings because I think the camera's default beauty mode setting is good enough for me!

The Casio ZR3500 is also armed with Bluetooth Smart technology, which was a super convenient feature to have during the trip because we didn't need to manually transfer the photos from the camera to our phone. The photos will be transferred automatically to our phones seamlessly after it's taken. Hassle-free! You just need to pair your phone with the camera once. This wireless connection is also maintained even when the camera is switched off! Cool right??

And one more cool feature! You can control/release the shutter of this camera with a wave of your hand, making it perfect for group shots.

To me, I'm reviewing this camera based on it mostly being a selfie camera, and with that said, I'd say it makes a pretty damn good selfie camera. I'm VERY pleased with the selfies I've taken with this camera, which is also the best way to measure the performance of this (selfie) camera, yes?

Thank you so much Casio Singapore and Ogilvy Singapore for this invitation, it was definitely a trip filled with lots of fun and laughter haha. You guys have been most generous (with food especially!) and such good hosts, it was such a joy spending a weekend in Malacca with everyone. :)

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The Casio ZR3500 is retailing at SGD$579 at all Casio authorised retailers.

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