Lifestyle

5 best smartphones for vlogging

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These days, you can do almost everything with your smartphone — this includes shooting vlogs!

Gone are the days of lugging around big video cameras and DSLRs; all you ever need can be found in the palm of your hands. While today’s capable technology allows you to shoot great quality photos and videos with phone cameras, it’s still a matter of finding the right one for your needs.


Before anything else, I’d like to point out that so many smartphones now have high specifications, but that’s not the only thing we considered for this list.

Here are my top picks for the best vlogging smartphones, depending on what type of vlogger you are:

Sony Xperia XZ Premium, if you’re a sucker for slow-motion shots

Aside from looking pretty sleek, the Xperia XZ Premium packs a punch in terms of video features. It has 960fps video recording, which means smoother slow-motion output — a pretty cool effect for your vlogs! This smartphone also has good image stabilization resulting in better handheld shots.

The Xperia XZ Premium is also one of the very few phones to have a 4K resolution display.

READ MORE: Sony Xperia XZ Premium review

LG G6, when you want more scenery in your videos

Shooting with the LG G6

LG’s flagship is waterproof and shock-proof, which is great for all-around shooting. Whether it be a travel vlog on a mountain or at the beach, this smartphone can and will go the distance.

The best part? This dual-camera phone has wide-angled shooters so you can capture more scenery in your videos!

READ MORE: LG G6 review: Back to basics

HTC U11, if you’re very particular about audio

The HTC U11 on a table

Based on our tests, the HTC U11 and the Google Pixel both take great photos and videos. However, the U11 won out because this particular smartphone is capable of 3D audio recording for clear audio no matter which direction the sound is coming from. Additionally, the U11 can zoom in and target a specific subject to capture specific audio — definitely a great feature for your video storytelling.

Bonus feature: The phone’s smooth, shiny back is not only pretty, it doubles as a selfie screen because it’s so reflective. Definitely great for checking your face on those lengthy video monologues.

READ MORE: HTC’s upcoming U11 might make brand relevant again

OPPO R11, when you always want to look your best on camera

Pink haired girl holding OPPO R11

OPPO has always been known for being the selfie expert, but they’ve outdone themselves this time. The R11 camera has a built-in live beauty mode for video — that means you’ll be looking fresh in videos anytime, anywhere. Adjust the filter level depending on your preference and never have a bad on-cam day ever again.

READ MORE: OPPO R11 Review

Moto Z2 Play, when you still prefer the feel of a real camera when shooting

Moto Z2 Play with mods

For those who still enjoy the feel of holding a camera when shooting, the Moto Z2 Play may be the perfect smartphone shooter for you. The Z2 Play can be fitted with different mods, and one of them is the Hasselblad True Zoom — yes, from that famous camera company. Shoot like a real pro in a snap!

READ MORE: Moto Z2 Play Review: To mod or not to mod


SEE ALSO: 5 photo-editing apps you must download

[irp posts=”16848" name=”5 waterproof flagship phones: No raining on this parade!”]

Cameras

4 photography tips for solo travelers

Take the best photos even when you’re alone!

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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.

Photo by MJ Jucutan | GadgetMatch

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.

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?

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Her GadgetMatch

Fingerprint debit cards are actually happening

It’s a biometric EMV card!

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Think of the most high-tech debit card you could ever fathom. This would probably be it.

UK bank NatWest is testing out biometric EMV cards next month. The contactless payments will be made via a debit card with a fingerprint scanner which will allow users to tap the card on the terminal and concurrently scan the fingerprint to allow the transaction.


Natwest says they are working closely with Visa and Mastercard, as well as with Gemalto, the company behind the biometric cards.

Gemalto also worked with banking group Intesa Sanpaolo in Italy for a similar trial which started last December and is supposedly going on until now.

The concept of biometric cards isn’t new but honestly, I’m pretty excited about it.

Think of how easy breezy shopping will be!

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Accessories

Rakuni leather wallet iPhone cases are accessories you never knew you needed

Stylish and functional

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I finally found them: The smartphone case I’ve always wanted but never found. For years, I scoured store after store looking for a case that will keep cards and some cash all the while looking stylishly good. I never found one in the time I’d been using an iPhone religiously.

Now, years later and a number of Android phone reviews under my belt, I discover Rakuni leather wallet cases.


Cases for the iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS, and iPhone 6s

You read right: These fashionable cases double as wallets so you never have to fumble with purses or wallets again. These iPhone cases come in a number of colors and there are versions for the latest Apple devices.

The cases are stitched so you can make sure that these don’t only look great, they’re also pretty durable. Ready for your everyday use and with the added phone protection.

The highlight of these cases is the mini wallet at the back of each one.

In total, there are two card slots and another pocket on the outer fold to house cash, IDs, or even a metro card.

Even with the cards, the case isn’t that bulky. There’s a matching leather strap for each one as an added carrying bonus.

This is just a godsend for clumsy folks who keep dropping their phones!

They fit perfectly in the palm of my hands and depending on what color you pick out, you can go from fun with the pink/berry case pictured above…

Or you can opt for a more classic look with this tan number.

Or even go a little more subtle with blue accents. There are even more designs and colors to choose from! Imagine the accessory possibilities.

Until they make these for Android phones, these are cases that actually make me want to go back to my iPhone ways.

You can get them in Japan here.

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