Maldives is the dream getaway for most couples and while some may think that it is a paradise for two, I recently visited Maldives with a group of people and proved that it couldan still be a memorable one, even without the romance..
Flying to Malé (the capital of Maldives) is now made affordable with budget airlines and more people are heading over to this dream destination to enjoy the beautiful blue sea, pure white sand and wide range of aquatic life. Side note – what you will experience there as well, is the scorching hot sun, which felt like twice that of Singapore’s. So be sure to pack your sunscreen to keep yourself from getting sunburnt.
Taking on the island on my own, I got the chance to arm myself with a great travel companion thanks to Canon; the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS, a powerful travel and lifestyle camera. This is a fairly new addition to the PowerShot family, so here’s a little introduction about Canon PowerShot SX60 HS:
This is a fairly new addition to the PowerShot family, so here’s a little introduction about Canon PowerShot SX60 HS:
The Canon PowerShot SX60 HS is a 16.1 megapixel digital camera that features a 65x Optical Zoom making it the world’s leading zoom lens camera*.
*According to a Canon survey on digital cameras, as of 17 Aug 2014.
- 65x Optical Zoom 21 – 1365mm (35mm equivalent), f/3.4 – f/6.5 lens
- 4fps continuous shooting
- Full HD 60p movie
- Manual movie mode
- Wi-Fi & NFC capabilities
There were a few functions that worked relatively well for me.
65x Optical Zoom
TThe Canon PowerShot SX60 HS is the world’s first compact digital camera to possess a 65x optical zoom lens. As if that wasn’t enough to boast about, it has an integrated ZoomPlus technology that practically doubles the cameras optical zoom to reach a further 130x zoom.
When I first got the camera, my thoughts were suspicious in a sense that a digital camera would not produce good quality with such a far zoom in but I was wrong about that part.
Here’s a good example to show the camera’s zoom ability
I did a 100mm zoom and here’s the result!
And here’s a shot from the same place a while later, with a closer zoom on one of the resort staff picking up the jet-ski for a ride.
You can see the clarity of the subjects even when it’s so far away.
Most cameras these days have image stabilisation but some of it doesn’t seem to work as well as others. How image stabilisation works is that even with slightly shaky/unstable hands, the image stabilization technology helps to ensure the pictures come out clearly. I put this to the test on this camera with the zoom on and it seemed to work very well with it.
I personally feel that the close marriage between the optical zoom and image stabilisation was one of the bonuses for this camera, especially for someone on their travels to places with wildlife, city life etc. I’m not sure how well this camera acts with fast moving objects but I think it would be great to have for sports matches abroad too. It’s also good if you’re a lazy person; you need not go near an object anymore, you can basically use the 65x optical zoom lens to experience a really close up image.
I myself personally love the macro function because it gives a “bokeh” effect. PowerShot SX60 HS’s macro mode allowed me to focus on a subject even with it’s more-or-less touching the lens at its setting. With that, it issues you a perfectly clear, high definition quality that makes you feel your photography abilities are moving forward.
Here’s a picture of a shy hermit crab, using the macro function in the PowerShot SX60 HS. You can literally see the hairs on its tiny legs. I was able to attain this shot with the hermit crab on the bottom right of the frame, with the help of a framing button. This button is located right below the ‘record’ button and allows you to manually move the focal point for the picture.
Built in Wi-Fi & NFC
As with most of its other PowerShot siblings, the PowerShot SX60 HS has built-in Wi-Fi and NFC (Near field communication). Sharing your pictures with your friends and on social media is now made extremely simple with just a few clicks on the camera. In-fact, the Wi-Fi button is located on the main face of the camera so you don’t have to fumble too much with the settings to switch it on. All you need is to download the “Canon Camera Connect” App from the App Store for iOS/Play Store for Android devices and connect your smartphone to it. Gone were the days we needed to wait for computers to transfer the files. You can now update your social postings whenever you are travelling or even you’re out in the middle of the sea (of course, provided you have connection out there!).
Creative Shot Filters
Canon has introduced this mode in a number of its PowerShot cameras. What happens on this mode is once you snap a picture, the camera randomly crops and self-filters the image shot with a few of its pre-set filters (as seen below). I feel this mode was pretty interesting, especially for those who don’t really edit their photos. Personally, I chose not to use it in Maldives as the blue waters looked beautiful as it was. But I do think this would do better with in-door situations or with closer subjects on future travels! For those interested, I took some of these shots in the office just so I could show you how it works.
Here’s the original image
Here are a few of the pre-set filtered images
To be honest, some of these filters are not to my usual style of filtering but I can see how it could be fun to quite a number of people.
During my trip, I stayed at Sheraton Full Moon Resort & Spa, which is a private island just 15 minutes away by boat from Malé Airport. The resort features 156 guest rooms and 20 ocean villas – all decked with fine furnishings, elegant decorations while still keeping the place modern and tropical chic. The whole island is Wi-Fi connected so you can upload your breath-taking photos to your social media platforms and get all your followers green with envy.
In the guest room I stayed in for 3 nights, I had a balcony, which I woke up to a magnificent view every morning. The back door connected me directly to the beach and the sea so I just had to throw on my beach gear and I was ready for a full day of fun and adventure. Here was the view right outside my room.
Some of the water sports I enjoyed during my trip was canoeing and snorkelling. Both activities are free of charge and there’s also stand-up paddle if the former 2 are not your kind of activities. Other than the complimentary water sports, there’s also water skiing, knee-boarding, wake boarding, ski-tubes, parasailing etc.
We headed out for reef snorkelling on one of the days and felt really safe because there were lifeguards around keeping a lookout constantly. While snorkelling, I saw many different kinds of fishes, stingrays, coral reefs and got up close to them which is a totally new experience. For the complimentary rental of snorkelling equipment, you have the freedom to go snorkel at any time of the day before 5pm (Maldives Time) as that is when the water sports club closes.
The staffs here at Sheraton Full Moon Resort live up to their name as they are always carrying a smile as bright as the moon. They never fail to greet me as I’m casually taking a stroll around the resort and they are attentive to my needs. I guess that’s something lots of us can learn from as we all know most of the people serving in the service line back here always put on a long face. If you decide to head down and if you’re happy with their service, try your best to tip them as I personally feel that it will keep them going.
A big thank you to Canon Singapore for the great experience and great camera. Maldives was beautiful and I’m glad I got the chance to try Canon’s new PowerShot SX60 HS. It’s a powerful digital camera that I think would be a great travel companion on trips abroad. Personally, I feel Maldives wasn’t the best destination to show off this camera’s full capabilities but I’m sure that it’s a pretty solid travel companion for those who like a good all-in-one point-and-shoot.