• January 27, 2008 /  Lifestyle, Photography, Tech Stuff

    Akihabara Adventure Begins!Well, so I was in Tokyo, THE big city of Japan.

    First stop, of course, as the owner of this blog, has to be one of the key destinations in Tokyo, Akihabara Electric Town or Akiba for short. Well, actually, we were supposed to go to Tokyo Disneyland first but tickets were sold out so…

    Anyway, it was just after Christmas, and right before New Year and me and my girlfriend’s 3rd Anniversary (yup, same day), so for a gift that can cover all three bases,

    Canon TX1

    the Canon TX1 more than just handles that requirement, topping off even the Sony T70. Both had face recognition and image stabilization. It wasn’t an easy decision, with the ultra-sleek design and touch screen of the T70, and being cheaper by Y10,000 further compounded the difficulty of that decision. But ultimately, it came down to the nitty-gritty specs and practical capabilities of the Canon TX1 that subdued all the glitz and glamor of the T70. While it sounds cool to control your camera via a touch-screen LCD, it’s use was just not practical enough to replace solid physical controls, of which the TX1 has plenty. The TX1 not only had better optical zoom and larger optics, a separate video record button, the capability to record 16:9 videos, a solid body and a form-factor most suited for taking steady photos and videos. And while the LCD screen is smaller, it can however swivel around, useful when you’re shooting above your head, shooting yourself, or if you just need a mirror. Of course, the Y10,000 discount we got was certainly a big bonus and bumped the T70 out the window.:)

    Aside from the TX1, I also bought myself my own Christmas/New Year/Anniversary present, but I’ll tell you more about it in my next post. For now, here’s a picture of Akihabara at night, taken from the TX1.

    (Click on the thumbnail for the bigger picture)Akiba At Night

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  • January 24, 2008 /  Lifestyle

    Three weeks ago, during the New Year break, I had the best vacation ever, which started with the fulfillment of a dream I’ve long had and ended with new gear in tow.

    Note: This is going to be a two- or three-part story, I’m not really sure yet.

    While I can’t talk in detail about my vacation, I will provide highlights on the cool tech that I’ve encountered and/or brought home. Firstly, as I had mentioned earlier was a lifelong dream fulfilled: to be able to ride the incredibly fast Shinkansen, more famously known as the Bullet Train.

    Shinkansen HikariIts popular English name came from the literal translation of Dangan Ressha (弾丸列車), a nickname given to it while the project was still being planned in the ’30s. The train pictured at the left is a 300 series Hikari train on the Tokaido Shinkansen line (東海道新幹線), and it’s capable of running at 270km/h, which got me to Tokyo in a little bit over 3 hours. The 300 series boasts being the first Shinkansen with a 3-phase AC traction motor. It’s super fast and it’s quite quiet, allowing for a comfortable afternoon nap. But it’s also super expensive, costing twice a domestic flight to from Manila to Davao via Cebu Pacific, for an ordinary unreserved seat. Luckily, seats were abundant coming from Shin-Osaka station.

    The Tokaido line to Tokyo also carries a bit of a history with it. The Shinkansen project was put on hold during the second World War and the Tokaido line was where the project resumed in 1958 and opened in time for the Tokyo Olympics on October 1, 1964.

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