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Entries in Bukit Bintang (75)

7:35AM

The iPhone X Camera

I take my phone everywhere and being an avid photographer, the most accessible phone I had most often were my mobile phone. Over the years I had been carrying many phones and the decision on which phone I chose to buy had how good the camera was being one of the top point of consideration.

The original iPhone did not have a good camera. Back then, the best camera phone I had used was the Nokia N73. Despite only having a 3.2MP camera, the Zeiss optics it carried made for some really great photographs. That sort of crystallised on me the idea that a camera phone may be enough for everyday snapping.

Then came the iPhone 4. For the iOS platform, it showed that Apple was taking photography seriously. A few Android phones then entered the picture with the HTC One being one of my early favourites. In early 2015, I discovered the Nokia 930. It had on it the best camera I had ever seen. And till this day, I could argue that it was still a capable shooter despite being almost 4 years old.

Now, my second phone was the Huawei P10 Plus. With its Leica optics, the photos especially the monochrome were just amazing. I still took it around during weekends as I shot around town. But now, I have a new contender for the best camera phone. The iPhone X.

Right off the bat, there was something natural about the photos. There were some element of over processing from the camera but they weren't as obvious as the Samsung. The photos did not over saturated and at low ISO, they appeared realistic. The focusing was
snappy and there were plenty of third-party apps for post-production of our snaps.

Last weekend, I took the phone out for a spin around Bukit Bintang to capture the Xmas decorations. I was practically blown away. The photos were much better than I expected. Coupled with its capability to capture 4K videos at 60fps, the camera feature is a winner.

In terms of monochrome snaps, it still lacked behind the Huawei. But for sheer overall joy, Apple clearly had the right formula here. Just for the camera alone, it was definitely an upgrade from my iPhone 7 Plus, although I do understand that the iPhone 8 use the same camera module as the X although with a narrower telephoto second sensor.

I'm definitely looking forward to more snaps from the phone...

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8:13AM

Xmas is Near

For the last few years, the Xmas decorations at Pavilion had been the benchmark for all the other shopping malls in KL. So, when I was there a couple of weekends ago, it wasn't a surprise that the main foyer had been cleared away for the Xmas treats to be reacted.


The area was still restricted when I was there. Maybe by this week, we could go in. Let's see what is in store this year ...

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1:57PM

Cycle Away

This is something new for KL. oBike is a bike sharing system where you use a smartphone app to book a bicycle point one point to another in town. That saved you from hailing a cab or Uber while helping to reduce pollution as well as keeping you healthy.

I downloaded the early this week, topped up some credit but has yet to use the service. The bikes in town were parked strategically making picking and dropping off the bike convenient. Anita was keen to try as well and we might just try that in the coming few weekends.

Hopefully the service could be maintained as the idea was certainly a good one. My fear was our culture of maintenance and responsibility were still generally lacking. The service owner must keep their bicycles in good nick, otherwise the public would stop using them once the initial novelty wore off.

As it stood, it was certainly a welcome sight when you see a row of bicycles parked neatly as you leave the MRT.

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7:45AM

New Look Bukit Bintang

It must have taken at least four years to get the MRT done around the centre of town. That was how long that famous intersection at Bukit Bintang was thrown into chaos, followed by the closure of Bukit Bintang Plaza - which is still being rebuilt.

Still some landscaping needed doing ...Another entrance round the cornerThose iconic landmarks ...It had finally be opened and the place had been cleaned up quite well. The traffic were starting to build but the flow was a lot smoother than it used to be. It looked less chaotic but I was sure once the new Bukit Bintang Plaza was built, the chaos would return.

Let's go across ...Passed the old Bukit Bintang towards Capitol Hotel and Low YatThe old car park being torn down ....The new MRT station there was still spankingly clean, transforming this area.

Back to Bukit BintangThere used to be a nice cafe there, which had been closed earlier this yearI am sure this crossing would be iconic in the futureI was at the intersection a few Sundays ago to have a feel of how the place had become. More cosmopolitan but on the whole rather too sterile for my liking. Maybe in the months to come, the place would acquire a character of its own, if not back to the old charm.

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8:36PM

The Third Floor Cafe

Big books. And good coffee. On a Sunday afternoon. Sounds like a perfect way to end the week.

That was what I had earlier today when I ventured to Isetan at Lot 10 as I got a spare couple of hours. The initial plan was to see a 3D printing demonstration but I realised that the timing was not right. I had to be back home before the program started. So, the hour sipping coffee and browsing books at the third floor at the Isetan store sounded fine to me.

Just in case you were so enamoured and wanted to go to Japan straight away, there was also a travel agent on the same floorIt was rather difficult to term the place. Was it a cafe with books, or a cafe at a bookstore. Seemed like most people were doing a bit of both. The coffee was OK, not the best in town, but the books there were something else especially when you venture towards the travel books section. Great material, in heavy minded volumes. The books on urban landscapes and street photography definitely tickled my fancy as lately I found those to be the kind of photography I like - or more like the only photography my schedule allowed me to do plenty of.

I decided against buying the books as I had to trek back to another store where I parked my car and I had a couple of stops in between. Maybe I would come back to buy some books. It would complement the volume I had in my living room nicely.

The cafe counter

Apart from the cafe and books, the third floor were also dedicated to workshops for origami as well as all things Japanese. Take that day for instance, there was a Japanese artist who came to do a demo on 3D glass printing. There were more activities laid out for the rest of the year - which you had to enrol and pay for of course. I might just bring Idlan there one of these days if the event was right ... he loved origami.

Lot 10 hosted - and still hosts - the first Isetan Store in Malaysia. There were a few others now but the one in Lot 10 had been renovated into what was termed a “Japanese Concept Store”. It had ample space with plenty of room to browse around. There were no items cluttering the walkways and it did not have the typical “pushy” salesperson common in KL. You can just walk around without being bothered. Definitely a place worth visiting ....

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