Oppo R9s vs. Samsung S7 Edge review

So I brought these two phones to France for a little test. They both boast the BIGGEST aperture in the camera phone market which is an f/1.7. This means they can both take low-light photos well.

If you don’t have time to read the full review, here is my short answer:

Short answer: Samsung S7 Edge is a better overall phone and camera. the Oppo R9s has better value for money if you don’t take pictures all the time.

Samsung S7 Edge 32GB price: S$916.00
OPPO R9s 63GB price: S$679.00

I just googled these prices today 26/01/2017. These are the prices on Lazada

After spending time with both of them, I found myself using the Samsung as my everyday phone. Mainly because it has a more responsive camera that does not need “processing time” to save HDR photos and i take HDR photos all the time. My Samsung is all cracked now because I dropped it so many times. I’m glad it didn’t crack over the cameras! The cracks also mean that it is no longer waterproof, just like the Oppo.

I’ve also use all three Samsung 7 series phones – namely the Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge and the now recalled Note7. They all have consistent camera quality and I love that I can swim with them. The exploding note7 is my favorite because it just looks way cooler. It is symmetrical, slick and had a stylus I didn’t know I needed. (I use the stylus to scribble on my Instagram stories.) I no longer use the note7 because it explodes.


Outdoor Overcast Photo Test

Straight out the camera! The Eiffel tower. Shot in HDR because I didn’t want the tower to be a silhouette. The Samsung did a better job here brightening the dark areas.

Both photos were shot with HDR mode on. It was a gloomy winter day in Paris, not great for photos but I think the Samsung salvaged the situation better with brighter shadows

The Samsung also shoots HDR photos faster than the Oppo. The Samsung was instantaneously while the Oppo has a 2 seconds processing time after pressing the shutter with HDR on. Gets a little annoying.

Here’s a photo of them at 100% res. Zoomed in for the details

OPPO has higher resolution! We can actually see clear tiny human shapes on the Oppo photo.

I slightly enlarge the Samsung image to match scale because the Oppo shoots at a higher resolution 4608 x 3456 compared to Samsung’s 4032 x 3024. The Samsung also shoots at a wider angle, which means objects would be smaller on the Samsung – as in the same objects would take up less pixels on the Samsung than on the Oppo.


Indoor Dim Lighting Photo Test

SAMSUNG has a better dynamic range. Shot in the Louvre in the Victorian interior room. Samsung does better than the Oppo in indoor lighting. Oppo overexposed the chandelier lighting and underexposed the shadows on the chairs.

The Samsung field of view is so wide we can see the 2nd chandelier in the room! There is also more visible details in the blacks and whites on the Samsung

Zoomed into for details. Woah, that sharpness and detail is incredible on the Samsung. It looks like it was software sharpened.

Jane Soh as shot by her brother

I made this video last month!
Dedicated to my younger sister, who has been chasing her harp dreams in Boston for three years now.
I was reminded of how much she was my muse when I stumbled upon all this footage while clearing my computer last week.
Hours of footage, filmed over the last 5 years in different countries. Perhaps from more naive, happy times and in some cases, silly for shooting in low-res lol (Memory cards were expensive!)
I had a hard time distilling all that footage. It is a poetic masterpiece of adoration in my eyes, it makes me cry for realzies.

To my sister: no matter what happens or what you might be going through in Trump land, know that I’ll always be proud of you! I feel like I’ve won the lottery of life to have grown up with a beautiful, kind and talented sister like you

 

ENCOUNTER: Sea+ Triennale 2016 at National Gallery Indonesia

My Sunday Afternoon piece is hanging at Galeri Nasional Indonesia (National Gallery Indonesia) as part of their second Sea+ Triennale, ENCOUNTER: Art from Different Lands! The exhibition runs from 18th October to 10th November 2016 – so it is closing soon! (or if you are reading this later, already closed!) Don’t worry though, because I made a 360 walk-though video of the entire exhibition!

42 individual artists and 2 art duos were showing, mostly Indonesian artists. 33 Indonesian, 13 International. I was the only one from Singapore! #SgRepresent

The show was fun, one of the works is a video projection on a floor of the artist giving a lecture to dead people lol. 
The show was fun, one of the works is a video projection on a floor of the artist giving a lecture to dead people lol. (Photo from press release)

I shall tell the rest of the story with my photos, not very good photos though because my Samsung Note7 was banned on the flight to Jakarta. Samsung compensated me with a shitty Samsung Galaxy J Ace. Most of these photos were taken with my mum’s Note5. Photo quality still shys in comparison to the legendary exploding note7.

My work at the Sea+ Triennale in Jakarta
My recreation of Georges Seurat’s Sunday Afternoon at the Sea+ Triennale in Jakarta
Badrolhisham Tahir, Eugene Soh, Zoe Walker and Neil Bromwich at Zoe and Neil's Inflatable Love Tank
Badrolhisham Tahir, Eugene Soh, Zoe Walker and Neil Bromwich at Zoe and Neil’s Inflatable Love Tank

10 Difficult Questions about God(s)

Last week, this badass video interview about my practice was published by Khoo Guo Xiang from The Pitching Room! It is the second of their 1:1 Art Documentary series. It covers my practice as an artist and also talks about my recent Second Coming series and how it opened up discussions for me. 
I have been fortunate to have had many great conversations with open-minded theists, atheists and agnostics since the Second Coming exhibition with Chan Hampe Galleries. I thought I’d share some of our findings here.

1. Do God(s) or Supreme Beings exist?

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6

We are mostly past this question. Our general consensus is that we don’t know. No matter how we tried, we found no way of proving or disproving their existence.
Supreme beings could exist but they don’t necessarily care about us. They might care as much about us as we do the ant colony living in our kitchens.
To be specific – we agreed that we are discussing the Biblical God because we are most familiar with him: For some reason, he does not want to make his existence undoubtedly clear and that is his prerogative.

2. Why doesn’t he make his existence undoubtedly clear?

Jesus said, “Thomas, do you have faith because you have seen me? The people who have faith in me without seeing me are the ones who are really blessed!” John 20:29

We came up with several reasons, these are the most plausible/funny ones:
  1. It is more exciting this way! DUH! It keeps us guessing.
  2. He wants to filter out the faithful/gulible to worship him for eternity. The rest will be discarded and tortured forever! Critical thinkers will question everything and won’t be fun to hang with anyway lol
  3. He is a scientist and we are his experiments. Which begs the question of “What is he testing?”, “Isn’t he all-knowing? He should already know the result. Why bother going through the theatrics?”
  4. For reasons mere mortals will never understand.

 

How I became an accidental artist – Eugene Soh, TEDx talk Transcript

 

I graduated two years ago from an art school here (Nanyang Technological University). Yes, there is an art school here.

The_Last_Kopitiam_-Eugene_Soh_2010
The Last Kopitiam (2010)

You know like, if someone goes to an art school, you think “Oh, he is going to be an Artist”. That wasn’t the case for NTU. Most of the graduates here end up going a non-artistic kind of route, they become designers or something skill based. I wasn’t any different, I was on track to becoming a programmer, a game programmer, in an arts school. So, how that happened, was because of this picture [The Last Supper image].

I am very glad that I had a lot of free time in NTU. Despite what you think and what art students will say, “Oh they have so many projects, oh this, oh that”. The truth is that we have tonnes of fun [Art school is the funnest school. There was a lot of free time because we could always bullshit our way through assignments that didn’t really interest us and still have a chance at an A.. the “Subjective & Contemporary” kind of assignments.] So, I did this piece in year one, outside of school.

Being open to opportunities

This was in collaboration with Campus Magazine, they are not affiliated with any school, their name is actually called “Campus” and they had a center fold page in the magazine.
They asked me, “Hey Eugene, you are a photographer right?” and I’m like “Yup”. “Do you want to fill it up with your work?” I was a freshman and had this attitude of opening my doors to opportunity, I said yes to everything. I said “Yes” and went to browse my portfolio of photography works.
I wasn’t impressed with myself. it was all like pictures of the shadow of the lamp post on the floor, I thought I was so deep! [Laughter] but those were not suitable for the center fold.

Singapore Artists Exhibit in Amsterdam

The Overview Installation in Amsterdam (Kulter)
CCTV goggles on the left and Lizard goggles on the right
CCTV goggles on the left and Lizard goggles on the right

Just came back from exhibiting in Amsterdam at A-Lab with three other amazing artists, Jacquelyn Soo, Marc Nair and Zul Mahmod. It was a two day exhibition (9th, 10th October) and I had so much fun watching people tackle my maze with my live CCTV goggles on. 

I made a video of my installation. The installation is now known as CCTV goggles; decided to name it what people are already calling it. 

This show was an eye opener for me because it took place in a city where marijuana has been legalized! There is weed everywhere! Viewers of my work were saying it was like being high on cannabis because of the out of body experience it was giving them. They went on to describe their trips and I listened inventively because I never smoked weed before.

Singapore has this law that bans us from trying weed even outside of Singapore (yes, even in Amsterdam). Damn it Singapore….  I guess my CCTV goggles would be the Singaporean way to get high lol

I also brought my lizard goggles there. I reserved it for those who proved themselves worthy in the maze. There were people who adapted really quickly and breezed pass the maze and there were a rare few who got stuck and gave up. 

Huge thanks to Stephane Blokhuis for helping us put the show together in Amsterdam – she got busy early this year sourcing for venues in Amsterdam while the rest of us were looking for funding. Speaking of which – thank you National Arts Council (NAC), Singapore International Foundation (SIF) and generous Indiegogo backers for supporting us!