Photo Essay

The Xiaomi-grapher

Temple at night

I gave myself a new description recently - Xiaomigrapher.

Two fairly major events led to this. One, my DSLR broke. Its mirror box was spoilt and it costs too much to make repairs worthwhile. And I don't have enough money to buy a new DSLR yet.

Two, my mobile phone got lost and I bought a Xiaomi. For those not familiar, the Xiaomi is one of the hottest smart phones available right now. At S$169 (approx US$130) it is said to be as good as the iPhone or Samsung. The first few times the Xiaomi was offered for sale online, between 1,000 and 5,000 sets were snapped up in five minutes.

Actually, I had also bought a fake Xiaomi via an online marketplace before I got the real deal. I realized it was fake when someone posted on Facebook that his unit had the serial number 0123456789ABCDE and... argh! mine had the same number.

Among other things, the fake Xiaomi's camera sucks. Once, I was in Malaysia during the disappearance of flight MH 370 and I tried to take a photo of a big wall of condolence messages and prayers. It could not focus and the words came out all blur.

The real thing, however, continues to amaze me - especially in very very low light conditions, like Under the Table and the Temple at Night.

Once recently, I was with a group of friends and I photographed one of them, using the Xiaomi, iPhone4 (or 4S) and a HTC. The xiami pix was clearly best. It looked most natural and had excellent skin tones.

One of my friends actually bought TWO xiaomi after taking a few test shots with mine. He finds it a "very cheap camera" for $169.

To be sure, not every pix comes out great. And I was told some other mobile phone cameras are better. But at the Xiaomi price? I seriously doubt. I have not had much chances to compare.

Meanwhile, I am having great fun. As a xiaomigrapher.

Thanks to my Facebook friend Lawrence Chong for inspiring this term. We were one day talking nonsense about my poor eyesight and he said I needed a xiaomitician. From there, the word xiaomigrapher naturally followed.

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—The JPG team

2 responses

  • Litz Go

    Litz Go gave props (22 Jun 2014):

    This are cool shots, Richard! Is this also a smart phone?

  • Richard Seah

    Richard Seah said (22 Jun 2014):

    Yes Litz. It is a smart phone and I have edited my text to reflect this. Thanks for the note.

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