Nikon 1 J3

Mochi loves getting her cheeks stroked!

She’s so tiny even though she’s adult sized already.

I find it amusing how rabbits look so cuddly and fluffy… but in truth, almost all of them hate being picked up or petted too much. Prey instincts, I guess.

Nom! Red velvet cake (hidden beneath the wrapper) and cream cheese frosting!!!

Random artsy fartsy image of some crisp leaves to break up the narcissism..

I’ve had the great pleasure of testing out the all new Nikon 1 J3 camera recently (update: this post was drafted some months back, actually! so not so recent..), snapping pictures of my everyday life with this bad boy as you can see above, for the whole past week… Which, surprisingly (or not) consists mainly of (or only) my rabbit, me, and cakes. Mmmhm just summed up my life the past month with a couple of words. I wish I had gone on some crazy adventurous trip around Europe or at least go out to a party of clubbing with friends or just something exciting so there would be more photography subjects to cover, however that’s just not me. I’m just the average baker blogger girl with a cuddly netherland dwarf and bright purple hair. Yep, sounds about right.

In any case, here’s introducing the camera that has taken ALL the pretty photos in this post – The Nikon 1 J3!!!

With the innovative functions and amazing performance of the new Nikon 1 J3, you can now easily create your own picture moments. Lightning-fast operation and minimalistic design come together in perfect harmony. Offering 14.2 megapixels and high-speed autofocus, the Nikon 1 J3 lets you capture photos with incredible depth and details.

The J3′s exceptional performance and range of features are beautifully built into an incredibly small and lightweight interchangeable lens camera body. Housed in its precision-crafted metallic body is a 921k-dot LCD monitor that offers a wide viewing angle. The J3 ensures you never miss your shot, thanks to its fast performance and autofocus. The J3 features a remarkably short release lag time (just 80ms in single-point autofocus) and 15 fps of continuous shooting, the fastest among all interchangeable lens cameras.

After using the Nikon 1 J3 for a week, here’s what I like most about it.

✓ Impressively mall & lightweight body, despite having interchangeable lens. After being a DSLR user for years, I grew reluctant to lug my heavy and bulky camera out over time, and resorted to using my phone to take pics instead. Since bring introduced to the Nikon 1 J3, I was thrilled by how it could fit properly in my girly handbag and still deliver decent photos!

✓ Super fast shutter speed! I normally do not like using the autofocus function on any camera because it focuses on the wrong parts of the frame and the response is sluggish. However, the shutter speed and auto focusing of the J3 is lightning fast which lets me capture that perfect moments seamlessly.

✓ User friendly and totally fuss-free to use. I didn’t even bother reading the manual – everything is labelled concisely, the user interface is straight to the point, and sleek. A true testament to the term “point and shoot”, this camera is great for beginners who would like something robust and versatile to play around with but not too confusing to start off with.

✓ Fun photography filter functions that everyone will enjoy using! Be artistic at the touch of a button – you don’t need photoshop skills or anything of the sort.

Here are some of my favorite creative filters from the Nikon 1 J3!


1) Miniature Effect

Basically what it does is up the contrast and vividness of the image’s colors, and plays around with the focus point to make small several objects stand out more than the rest!

 It is actually originally created for far away shots of small things such as cars on the road when you’re looking down from a high view point, and other aerial shots, however since those kind of shots don’t happen so often for me I love using it for a different creative usage: to shoot everyday objects such as flowers, Uno Stacko blocks and even coconut biscuits!!! I feel like it gives the overall look a lot more dimension and you don’t even have to edit the colors or focus points! Instagram-worthy images in a second.


2) Soft Focus

For girls who want to look like they’re glowing – literally. This isn’t a function I’d use everyday, but it’s a fun over the top beauty filter that makes everything look ridiculously dreamy and surreal. Great for bad hair / complexion days coz most details get blurred out nicely nobody would notice your otherwise apparent flaws.. LOL! No need for photoshop – yay!

Very useful for acting mysterious online. It’s like, you can see me… but really, you can’t see the real me. Am I a woman or am I a unicorn?

This look is best paired with white / light colored clothing and a head piece if you have one. Sit by the window sill and you’ll find yourself looking strangely ethereal even if normally you look like an ogre. ;P

Or, use this Soft Focus mode to shoot an innocent looking little baby for MAXIMUM angelic effect!!! I tried desperately to look around for an available one to shoot and prove my point but what do you know? Turns out I don’t have any friends with babies, and I can’t seem to find any for sale on eBay. I take this as a good thing because I’m not old enough to have friends with babies, yet. Relish being young, Jess!



3) Selective Color

This filter is AWESOME, especially when you’re outdoors with good lighting shooting colorful stuff!!! It picks out specific colors you want (anything from pink to blue to green to purple, a rainbow spectrum for you to choose from) in a picture and then turns everything else black and white. Normally this is only achievable through various tedious steps in Photoshop, but the Nikon 1 J3 does it for you so conveniently, whenever, wherever! This filter makes the specific color POP out in the photo and the flowers above seem almost 3d-like!

4) Panorama

Capture super wide angled landscape shots effortlessly, without distortion! All I had to do was hold my shutter button down and turn my body from left to right, making sure to keep the camera as steady as possible and leveled. I appreciated how the Nikon 1 J3 any obvious choppy patches in the panoramic shot as it often happens with other applications and devices. Obviously it would be a lot more impressive if say, you were taking a panoramic shot of Singapore’s majestic skyline from the top of Marina Bay Sands instead of the grounds of the old condo you’re renting right now…. but  yeah, you get the drift of the camera’s abilities.

Now, I was slightly puzzled when I realized the Nikon 1 J3 didn’t have a dedicated Macro shooting mode. It does have Aperture and Shutter priority modes, however not for close ups. I went ahead with trying to take macro shots with the auto mode anyway, and was pleasantly surprised by the results! The level of small details in the Auto mode meant there was no need for a specific Macro function, you can take nice close ups even with Auto shooting!!!

The previous close up shots above (such as of the selective colored flowers and red velvet cupcake), were also taken with the auto mode, which is very good for a camera of its size, I must say. It has a good depth of field and sharpness in tiny details which I feel, is essentially what macro shots should be about. Most other cameras I’ve tried shooting with before often had problems focusing quickly and focusing on small objects which annoyed me very much – I admit, I’m an impatient person!

Here’s a picture of Mochi licking my nose taken straight from the Nikon 1 J3 camera – no adjustment of lighting or color, 100% unedited and raw! Not bad huh? Considering the lighting in my house is pretty atrocious most of the time, I didn’t expect to get this well lit shot!

Finally, some other key features the camera boasts includes, pictures and info courtesy of Nikon:

• Smart Photo Selector

Capturing the moment is easier than ever. Enhanced Smart Photo Selector snaps up to 20 frames before and after you press shutter release, then presents you with the one perfect shot or a choice of 5 best shots. Or use its new Slow View feature to record a 20-frame slow motion video from which to select the ideal shot. You can even turn a frame from a video recording into a high-resolution photo.


• Motion Snapshot

If a picture says a thousand words, imagine what you can express with Refined Motion Snapshots. Press the shutter release to capture a still image and a slow-motion video of the moments just before and after. You can even add background music and save the video in different movie formats to make them uniquely yours.

Video, images and information courtesy of Nikon.

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Like what you see?? The Nikon 1 J3 will be available for purchase in stores in Singapore come end August! I find this camera most suitable for people new to photography but want something relatively sleek and substantial at the same time, or those who prefer a least hassling photography experience, without all the confusing buttons and additional shooting modes.

Just simply point and shoot, to capture that perfect moment with Nikon.
For more information of the Nikon 1 J3 and other Nikon products / features, visit the Nikon SG site!

Check out Nikon SG’s microsite here.

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess

My poor little ball of fluff

My shoulders are heavy, and my mind is burdened by countless of worries tonight.

Just got back from the vet with Sam (I hate going there because every time we do it’s some sort of problem. Anyone else feel the same about doctors?) who confirmed that Mochi has spontaneously developed a cataract in her right eye that is maturing alarmingly rapidly. I started noticing a grey-ish sheen only a few days ago when I was playing with her but ignored it (foolishly, sigh) because it was reakky barely visible and when I tried to check for it under the light I couldn’t see it clearly. I shrugged it off, thinking I must’ve been seeing things or maybe she just had some foreign bodies or irritants in her eye. Then yesterday, it grew to the point where it became rather obviously visible. I nudged Sam worriedly, asking, “Is that a fucking cataract in Mochi’s eye?!” I wanted to hear him reply, “No.” But when he muttered reluctantly, “…Yes, I think it is. I think you’re right.” My heart dropped to the floor and all sorts of horror scenes and music started playing in my head.

During this point of time it was already late in the evening and the vet clinics were closed, so there wasn’t much to be done except wait till the next day for our vet’s appointment. I thought waiting one night wouldn’t hurt. I thought cataracts couldn’t develop and worsen over such a short period of time. We would go to the vet and she will be fine tomorrow, I said to myself before I slept. Wasn’t very good at self convincing because I read up on rabbit cataracts before I fell asleep and ended up bawling my eyes out when I realized what a drastic and helpless situation it is for bunnies. It’s not your average case of sniffles or skin parasites. It’s something that is almost always irreversible. The longest night ever followed suit, then morning came.

To my utmost horror, by the next day’s morning (today), the affected area has enlarged tremendously in size and turned near opaque in a mere number of days since I first noticed the slightest sheen that replaced her pupil. It is seriously growing so fast I wouldn’t be surprised if her eyeball was entirely white tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!! Cataracts in rabbits don’t usually happen till they’re more than 5 years old & almost always leads to total blindness in a matter of weeks to months…. but my Mochi is less than a year old. :’( It just doesn’t make sense. The condition will more than likely spread from one eye to the other in time, if I don’t get them surgically removed (even so, the chance of her sight regaining isn’t 100% and has many complications). It costs 2.5k PER EYE for the fucking surgery. The vet “thinks” the cataract resulted from genes, but honestly, they didn’t give me any substantial information or results except a few speculations. Just for today’s check up I had to spend over 200+ dollars. I can’t help the tears from welling up when I think about this shit happening to my little energizer bunny. I asked my vet whether I could have eye drops for her condition that would possibly prevent her cataracts from developing so quickly, and she told me there was none she could administer to me at that point. She told me I should really let Mochi go for the surgery because she’s so young. I am so enraged because 1) Research online and real life accounts have told me that vets have given them eye drops before that supposedly counters cataracts. Why isn’t she giving me any?! and 2) Who the fuck has two thousand five hundred dollars lying around to spend on their rabbit’s eye surgery that may or MAY NOT work?!?!?!!? If the cataract spreads to two eyes, that’s five mother fucking thousand dollars!!!!! In the grand scheme of things, can I honestly afford to fork out the five thousand dollars to save my rabbit’s life? Yes I can. It’s totally ridiculous that they’re charging these sort of rates, but yes, I can. But it’s not life or death situation for Mochi, she won’t die from being blind but she MAY die from the surgery because rabbit eye surgeries tend to get inflamed, and bunnies don’t deal with those type of infections or trauma very well.

 From what I hear, I still need to go down for a consultation to see if my rabbit is suitable for the surgery or not.. So that means if she’s “not suitable” for the situation my rabbit will go blind (in some cases the infected area of the cataract may leak into the rest of the eyeball and become a painful infection).

I really really really want to help my bunny so much, but my options seem to be fucking bad right now. I don’t want to see the cloudy whiteness in her eye get more opaque each day and see her movements becoming more limited as she slowly loses her eyesight due to reasons we can’t even figure out. It really kills me inside to think that this scenario may very well be reality in the near future.

If you ever spend some time with her in real life, you will know she’s the sweetest thing on earth, licking you for affection, snuggling up on our bed for cuddles & sprinting all over the place, getting up to all sorts of mischief. She’s more active than a lot of dogs I’ve seen that just lie around most of the time. Whenever she’s out of her cage, she will run from the living room to Sam’s room, to my room, to my brother’s room… and when I say run I do mean she sprints at unbelievable speeds sometimes! She has so much more character and personality than you could ever imagine.

People say rabbits can learn to cope with blindness rather well, but I know she will not be able to live the same life now if/when it happens. My bunny has always been in the best of health since I got her, up until 2 months ago. I was going to get her spayed when we did a pre-surgery blood test for precautionary measures, and they found out she had liver problems.

Thankfully, that was an easy problem to fix over 2 weeks, with some medicine. Then another problem came alone: less than a month ago she started losing fur on her head. I didn’t find it to be anything I should worry about because I know rabbits shed all the time. But as the days passed, she lost so much fur excessively in one particular area, it’s almost like a bald patch now..?

At the rate things are going she’s going to be a white eyed hairless bunny. I’m terrified she’s going to lose all of her fur or just drop dead. WHY IS ALL THIS HAPPENING??? What’s happening to her? I posed these questions to my vet, but they really couldn’t give me a proper answer, just things like “oh she has dry skin…. but we’re not sure why.. maybe…. lasdskfjsktww” I am so sick of vague fucking diagnoses and not sure whys!!!!!!!! WHERE DO I TALK TO A REAL RABBIT EXPERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From what it appears to be currently, there seems to be not much hope for Mochi. Either I fork out $2.5k or $5k (depends how fast the cataract develops and whether it spreads to the other eye or not) and risk her dying from surgery complications or not regaining her site despite the surgery and money, OR, I just let her go blind.. slowly, but surely. Both options are absolutely dreadful decisions I hope even my worst enemy will never have to make about something they hold dear to their heart. If you have a pet that you love dearly, as much as I love Mochi, you will understand how agonizing this feels. I know she’s not a human, and animals tend to fall sick and get diseases or disabilities often… shit happens… but blindness in animals is a big deal.

 I think not being able to see is much worse than being deaf, physically disabled or mute. I have been none of the above but I’m saying if I had to choose I would not be blind, if anything. Even if you can’t talk, you could at least write, if you can’t listen, you can still watch… what is life, without sight?! I can’t help feeling so lousy that I tried to provide my very best to ensure my furball leads a healthy and happy life, yet she came down with this situation so quickly and decidedly that would leave her without sight, and I don’t even know what I should do to help her. All stories I’ve read online pretty much end the same way: the bunny goes blind, with or without eye drops, medication, and surgery. Does anybody have happy ending stories of their pets having cataracts and then getting better??? :’( Would you please share some valuable information with me, if you have any?

Even though I haven’t blogged about Mochi since the first day I got her, she’s been one of the very essences of happiness in my life. I look forward to coming home to her fluffy self and stroking the crap out of her soft body every day. She’s endless entertainment for the whole family and she is truly the epitome of the word: bundle of joy.

I spend hours a day frolicking around with her whenever I can. Whenever I’m supposed to be doing work, I’m probably cuddling her. She’s my little baby girl, but I can’t even protect her from herself. This feels so awful. The worst part is, it’s happening over the weekend when I am utterly and COMPLETELY swamped with a shit load of work which I’m not even sure I can finish. This means I don’t have the time I need to bring her for more vet check ups / appointments and to spend time with her while she still has some sight in her eyes.  I really don’t know what to do.

Everything happened so fast. It’s like her rabbit life was literally perfect one moment, and the next week everything just went to shit. What if she never sees me waving at her signaling for her to come over again? What if she will not be able to see my grinning face smiling at her, attacking her soft cheeks with kisses… what if she never peers at me in that ultra adorable gaze when I cradle her like a baby? What if she just NEVER SEES again????

PLEASE GET BETTER SOON MOCHI!!!! Somehow. Mommy loves you very very very very very very very very much. :’(

She’s too young, too fluffy, too loving & too fragile for this. She’s just a soft little bunny.

She doesn’t deserve this, or to go through any pain or suffering when she’s less than a year old in this cruel world.

My heart hurts so much.

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess

Pizza and Pasta under one hut!

*points to the title above*

Yep, if you look through my Instagram #shibertycooks feed, you’ll see that about 80% of the food I cook at home is some sort of variation of pasta… not even exaggerating! What’s NOT to love about pasta? (besides the calories lol) It’s an entire meal, on one convenient plate. No need to think too much. No need to cut, or dip, or peel, or do anything to get your food in your tummy.. Just twirl your fork around, and dig in!

I’m definitely a carbs kinda girl. Like I definitely love my red meats and sometimes a good salad, but I NEED to have carbs for every meal. You don’t know how much it killed me to be on a low carb diet back then!!!
Now that I’m no longer on a crash diet and I can indulge in delicious pasta whenever I want, imagine my reaction when I found out that Pizza Hut at City Square Mall was spontaneously turned into an all-new Pasta Hut for a couple of days, and I was invited down to a blogging event to sample a few of their new pasta dishes!!!

I didn’t even know the surprise I was in for, until I got there.

Naturally, I thought I was going to have Pizza at Pizza Hut! Upon arrival, I stared at the sign for a few seconds in confusion. It turns out that from 29 June – 2nd July, Pizza Hut was converted to Pasta Hut to show their dedication to pasta and how Pizza Hut can make good pasta just like their pizzas. Introducing three new yummy dishes – Roasted Chicken Leg Parchment, Baked Penne in Truffle Cream Sauce & Turkey Bacon Aglio Olio! Even better still, each order of a pasta dish entitles you to a complimentary personal pan pizza!!!! I know a good deal when I see one!

When I entered the restaurant, there were already what looked like more than 50 RSVPed blogging guests eagerly waiting for their food! It didn’t take long for myself to get seated and served by a friendly waitress as well.

We were given a choice between the Berri Sparkles & Summer Sparkle for drinks, and of course I chose the latter. Mangoes are my absolute favoritest fruit!!!!!

Sometimes I think I’m still a 10 year old kid. I can’t live without my sparkling sugary drinks. It takes a lot of self control to limit myself to only a few a week! If I could eat and drink whatever I want without getting fat, I’d be chugging down 3 glasses of these addictive and refreshing Summer Sparkle drinks a day.

It wasn’t long before food started flowing out of the kitchen like I’ve never seen a kitchen do so before. Every few seconds, a tantalizing pasta dish would fly out of the doors and onto our tables!

Loud pop music played as waiters danced around with a pasta plate on their hand, gravitating towards customers, performing what would be the very first Pasta Parade I’ve witnessed in my life. Gotta love their spontaneity!

The atmosphere for the night was fun and upbeat, buzzing with excitement. All thanks to an enthusiastic emcee host, fun games like crossword & jigsaw puzzles, and music pumping throughout the evening! Over here, this lady is posing with the Roasted Chicken Leg Parchment. Look at that big fat juicy leg just waiting to be devoured. I’m so hungry typing this now ahhh!

In a matter of minutes, we were all crowded around this table that featured all of Pizza Hut’s signature pasta dishes! Stomach growled like crazy when I was taking these photos because they smelled so good! They have everything from tomato sauce based pastas, to aglio olio, to creamy baked pastas (the best type I reckon hehehe)

I wanted to try everything but along with the side dishes, appetizers and drinks, I didn’t have much stomach space left!

To me, these were the star dishes of the day:

I always get amused by people who order Squid Ink Linguine and their blackened mouths! Quick tip: don’t order this on a date? :P

Turkey Bacon Aglio Olio is the second newly released dish, which I managed to try that day! It’s surprisingly spicy (probably catered towards the Singaporean taste buds), wasn’t overly oily like some aglio olio dishes tend to get, and had just the right amount of garlic to give a nice kick. Mushrooms + bacon is always a good idea!!

However, Baked Penne in Truffle Cream Sauce is an EVEN better idea!!!! 

Everything I love is combined in one plate – button mushrooms, chicken ham, turkey bacon, crusty baked cheese with a gooey center, a slight hint of truffle aroma.. definitely my top pick for the night. It wasn’t a heavy dish, it was actually rather light despite it’s name so people who don’t fancy creamy pastas because of their thickness – no worries about this one being too “gelat”! Happily wolfed the whole thing down.

 Before I forget… let me tell you a true short story (that is moderately embarrassing). The emcee walked over to my table and decided to prey on me, asking “How do you like the Baked Penne in Truffle Cream Sauce, and why?” I can’t even remember what sort of verbal diarrhea I managed to spit out in the spur of the moment but I painfully remember saying “I like creamy things in my mouth.” e_e… Or something along those lines, that could be totally taken out of context. #thatswhatshesaid #cringeworthyanswers #ineedpublicspeechlessons

As if the mountains of pasta wasn’t enough to feed us, Pizza Hut fed us with their popular appetizers as well, like the classic Soup Of The Day (mushroom), Sweet N Spicy Drumlets, Cheesy Mussels and Criss Cross Fries! I’m sure no Singaporean would need any introduction to the taste of these dishes because most of us would’ve grown up eating it!

I love their spicy drumlets, it’s a must-order along with their garlic bread every time my family calls for Pizza Hut delivery and it was the hot favorite among my table because it was the first dish to disappear quickly. :D

By the end of the night, we were all stuffed silly, and satisfied.
My dining partner was the bubbly Rachell, who’s favorite dish of the evening was the Turkey Bacon Aglio Olio (because she loves spicy food!)

Thank you Pizza Hut, or should I say Pasta Hut… for an evening filled with laid back mingling, yummy food, hilarious games and continuous laughter! I’m very pleased by the introduction of new pasta dishes to Pizza Hut because I’m definitely a bigger pasta person than pizza, and I’m sure there are many pasta lovers others out there like me – now you and your friend can enjoy pasta AND pizza under one hut together. Don’t miss out on their awesome Weekday 1-for-1 deals, available from 3 July onwards till 13 August at all their dine-in restaurants!!!!
Double the choices, double the fun, double the yum!! :)

 Head on down to Pizza Hut’s Facebook page to LIKE and find out more about them!

P.S – Check out all the enthusiastic people having fun at Pasta Hut that evening below :D

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess
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