Traveling solo is a therapeutic activity when you badly need a break. It’s also a good time to immerse yourself in a new place, learn its culture, and take wonderful photos of your adventures.
Most places aren’t safe for solo travelers. It’s even more difficult to take photos of places where there’s a possibility of dropping your camera or having it stolen. Reality check: These are common issues we deal with when we travel, and the risk is higher when you’re traveling solo.
Singapore and Taipei are cities with low crime rates, safe for solo travelers. But even during my travel in both cities, I still find it difficult to shoot and ask a local to take my portraits. I have this constant fear of trusting a stranger with my camera.
Fortunately, Sony Alpha photographer Charmaine Yap of TriPeaksImagery hosted a talk providing tips on taking the best photos during your solo travel. She was using Sony’s newest a6400 and the photos she presented were breathtaking.
Yap knows the struggle of every solo traveler, and more importantly, she’s a photographer. Here’s what I learned:
Bring only what you need
When you’re traveling solo, every pocket of space counts. Instead of bringing different cameras, plan your trip and decide what you need.
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Yap highlights the importance of having a flexible setup. As a photographer, it’s tempting to bring different lenses for different occasions, but you don’t really need all of them.
What you can do: Bring a mirrorless camera to remove excess weight in your baggage, and a lens ideal for the place you’ll visit.
Choose a camera that can be your travel companion
Yap took the Sony a6400 on her recent trip to Hanoi, Vietnam and she instantly fell in love with it. The a6400 is a lightweight camera with a flip screen for selfie-takers and vloggers. Its interval shoot function is perfect for time-lapses and taking travel photos of yourself without an additional remote control, as you can set the number of photos to be taken once you press the shutter button.
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Since you need to capture scenes quickly, you’ll need a fast camera. Yap’s advice is to make sure you set the autofocus mode to AF-C, expand the flexible spot, and set the drive mode to continuous shooting. Whenever your subject moves, your camera will track it and capture with accuracy.
Check out this video I took when I was in Singapore’s IT SHOW 2019 and see for yourself how incredible the a6400’s real-time eye AF and tracking are.
The new Sony a6400 has an improved eye tracking so you can capture your subject even when they move a lot. Say goodbye to motion blur!! @Sony @SonyAlpha #Sonya6400 #GadgetMatchLIVE pic.twitter.com/wh3BpeByLG
— The MJ Jucutan (@mj_jucutan) March 7, 2019
Go slow, but move fast
The best moments happen in the blink of an eye, but you won’t notice one if you’re quick to look away. You need to observe your surroundings the instant you step into a new place. Take cues and look around. If you’re always rushing from one place to another, you won’t be able to capture a place’s story. However, you need to shoot quickly because once the moment is done, you won’t have another chance.
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Have a list for uninspired days
Yap said, “People think photography should be spontaneous and emotional.” However, it’s not always the case. There are days when you can’t get up and bring yourself to express creatively. Take a break, think of the days ahead, write an uninspired list, and see how you can capture the stuff you want to shoot to the best of your abilities.
Remember that life is not a competition of who has the most spontaneous or most emotional photo; rather, it’s a collection of moments savored from your journey. So, where’s your next solo destination?
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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