Smartphones have spoiled us. They’re with us wherever we go, are always connected, and best of all, have cameras that constantly get smarter. And yet, dedicated cameras still have their distinct advantages — at least five to be exact.
Interchangeable lenses add a whole new dimension
Let’s get to the biggest advantage first: DSLR and mirrorless cameras are able to accept a ton of compatible lenses that can change the way you shoot. Lock in a fish-eye lens for super-wide photos, insert a telephoto lens to focus on faraway subjects, or go for a do-it-all setup with a zoom lens.
If you’re loyal to one brand, mount adapters allow you to use lenses from other manufacturers; Canon glass can function on a Sony camera and you can even use old film-era lenses on modern-day shooters. Ever-improving optics mean you’ll never be let down by your aging camera body, which also means that…
A dedicated camera has unmatched image quality
Combining high-quality lenses with a dedicated camera’s large image sensor — along with all the accessories you can attach through its ports — guarantees quality that can outperform a smartphone’s setup in most situations. Phones may have quick post-processing for instant Instagram uploads, but only a real camera can be taken to the studio and function with all the lights.
While smartphones have comparable pictures to those of true cameras in daylight, it’s when the sun sets that the difference is more apparent. A dedicated camera can handle higher ISO sensitivities for brighter photos in the dark and reduce noise to comfortable levels.
Full manual control equals greater creative control
All those buttons and dials around a real camera are put to good use when fiddling around with settings. Although you can easily use touch controls on a smartphone to adjust virtually anything, reaching for physical buttons doesn’t need a pair of eyes to input accurately.
Anyone who’s used something like the Sony A9 shown above knows how steep the learning curve can be at first, but practice and doing your research can eventually get you to pro levels through time. There’s nothing like turning a dial to adjust exposure or flipping a switch to change shooting modes without looking.
Dedicated cameras can keep up with any subject
The most frustrating aspect of shooting with smartphones is not being able to keep track a fast-moving subject. And even if you do get a lock-on, a simple camera phone doesn’t have a quick-enough shutter to capture the moment without motion blur, especially when light is scarce.
We were able to take the full-resolution photos above using the Sony A9’s burst rate of 20 frames per second. That’s nearly the speed at which films are shot — minus the motion blur! Having a sports photography-centric camera also means the focus points will stay on your desired target.
A viewfinder is invaluable at times
Another weakness pure smartphone photographers have to deal with is potentially being held back by the touchscreen. Depending on the size of the display and user-friendliness of the interface, navigating through menus can be cumbersome when you’re rushing to get a shot off on time.
Having an optical or electronic viewfinder guarantees you’ll achieve the perfect framing for your shots even under direct sunlight or in dim environments. Combined with the manual dials, you can adjust exposure settings while looking through the viewfinder, giving you full control over compositions.
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4 reasons the new Instax Mini LiPlay is perfect for any occasion
Small but packed with features
Fujifilm recently announced their new hybrid instant camera, the Instax Mini LiPlay. It’s the newest addition to the company’s lineup of Instax instant cameras and by far the smallest and most lightweight in its series.
Despite being small, it’s packed with features that every girl would love to have in different situations. Here are the reasons why:
1. You get to celebrate occasions in a special way
The Instax Mini LiPlay is not your typical instant camera. It comes with an LCD so you can review photos you’ve captured, and choose which one to print.
It also has a “Sound” button which is capable of recording up to ten seconds of audio. The Instax Mini LiPlay then converts the audio’s data into a QR code and adds it to the photo printed. Users can play and replay for at least a year by scanning the QR code. This function is perfect for adding greetings, songs, and other messages you’d love to share through the printed photo.
2. Definitely a travel companion
This hybrid instant camera is different compared to Fujifilm’s instant cameras. Its promise of being the smallest and most lightweight makes it an easy-to-carry travel-sized camera (that won’t take too much space in your bag).
In addition, solo and group travelers can enjoy the remote shooting feature, which remotely takes a photo and print it on the spot using your smartphone. Furthermore, it has a direct print feature so you can transfer your photos from your smartphone and print it using the instant camera’s film. Whatever device you use, the Instax Mini LiPlay is a travel companion you’ll love to bring anywhere you go.
3. For the times when you want to express yourself
If you love shooting flat lays or OOTDs, the Instax Mini LiPlay may be useful as a prop or as an accessory. It has a stylish design that matches your aesthetic, and it comes in three beautiful colors: Stone White, Elegant Black, and Blush Gold.
Moreover, it has an array of design frames. The camera comes with ten pre-installed frames, which you can select during or after taking a photo. When you download the free Instax Mini LiPlay app, you get to enjoy 20 additional design frames.
4. Enjoy taking photos wherever you go
Say goodbye to AA batteries that make you feel like you’re using a device from the early 2000s. The Instax Mini LiPlay uses micro-USB for charging and takes two to three hours to fully charge the device. Its battery can last up to 100 printed photos. Photos are also saved onto a microSD card so you can keep on shooting until your memory card is full!
The Instax Mini LiPlay is priced at PhP 9,999 and will be available around late June to early July in the Philippines.
DJI debuts the Osmo Action, their first action camera
This is DJI’s direct answer to GoPro
When DJI released the Osmo Pocket months ago, everyone went crazy because it’s the only stabilized camera that can fit in anyone’s pocket. Now, DJI has announced another camera creation, the Osmo Action.
Focusing on the camera, it can shoot videos of up to 4K resolution at 60fps. The lens is composed of three aspherical layers which reduce glare and distortion. It even has an anti-fingerprint coating that also repels water, oil, and other smudges while shooting. In harsh light conditions, it can shoot with enhanced HDR. You can attach a neutral-density (ND) filter on it as well.
So done with gimbals? The Osmo’s action camera has RockSteady technology that combines electronic image stabilization with other complex algorithms in order to achieve shake-free footage. The camera can survive the extremes — up to 11m (or 36ft) in the deep waters, and as cold as negative 10 degrees Celsius when shooting with the device.
The camera features various creative shooting modes like 8x slow motion and the Custom Exposure Mode that can shoot as long as 120 seconds — great for capturing the dazzling night sky. A Timelapse Mode is present, as well as a Timed Shooting Mode with support for shooting RAW file format.
The device is equipped with dual screens: one at the back for controlling the device and another in the front for framing yourself. With DJI’s custom ActionOS, you can use voice control to power up and operate the device. It has a Custom Mode which lets you choose your frequently used shooting modes, while a QuickSwitch button (labeled as QS) is present to let you switch modes in an instant.
The Osmo Action is priced at US$ 349, which is about the same price as the GoPro Hero 7 Black today.
Samsung announces the world’s first 64-megapixel phone camera
Better cameras are coming!
For a while now, the smartphone photography business has hovered around 48-megapixel cameras. Last year, the market released the first 48-megapixel smartphone cameras. Since then, more smartphones have adopted the new standard. Of course, progress never stops.
Already, Qualcomm is anticipating even greater heights for smartphone photography this year. Fulfilling the prophecy, Samsung has announced the first 64-megapixel camera sensor. The brand is expanding its 0.8μm lineup, adding the 64-megapixel Samsung ISOCELL Bright GW1.
Much like other 48-megapixel sensors today, Samsung’s new shooter uses the contemporary pixel-merging Tetracell technology. Further, the sensor will improve HDR shooting capabilities. The GW1 supports an HDR of up to 100dB. According to Samsung, the current industry standard goes up to only 60dB. (The human eye can detect up to 120dB.) Samsung’s HDR images should look more realistic compared to other market offerings.
Similarly, the GW1 optimizes collected light. Basically, the sensor should have fewer problems in low-light conditions. Image sharpness is supposedly sharper as well.
For video taking, the GW1 supports Full HD recording, shooting at up to 480 frames-per-second. The new feature is a huge improvement for slow-motion videos.
Besides the 64-megapixel GW1 sensor, Samsung is also releasing a new 48-megapixel ISOCELL Bright GM2. Though lower, the 48-megapixel sensor also offers the same capabilities as the GW1.
Currently, Samsung is sampling the new sensors for the market. The brand expects to proceed with mass production in the second half of the year. Unfortunately, Samsung has not revealed which smartphones or brands are on the market. Regardless, the new development is a huge and speedy step for smartphone photography. If Qualcomm’s other predictions ring true, we’ll see 100-megapixel cameras soon, too.
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