Cameras

5 most important announcements from Photokina 2016

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Photokina happens only once every two years, so you can imagine how big it is for camera brands who want to show off their latest products. For reference, the event in 2014 introduced two DSLR cameras still widely used today: the full-frame Nikon D750 and the high-performance Canon EOS 7D Mark II. There’s a lot to cover this year, so here’s a compilation of the biggest announcements made at Photokina 2016, in no particular order.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH5


panasonic-lumix-dmc-gh5

Although it’s still under development with no release date or expected price, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH5 is one of the biggest hits at the show because of its 4K video recording at 60 frames per second. That’s amazing for a camera with a relatively small Four Thirds image sensor, and it follows up on the already great GH4 that was released almost two years ago.

There’s also a “6K Photo” mode, but it’s probably not what you think it is. All it can do is extract 18-megapixel stills from burst shots or 8-megapixel photos from the aforementioned 4K footage, which is still quite impressive for such a compact interchangeable-lens camera. The GH5 should be in stores by early 2017.

Fujifilm GFX 50S

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Medium format cameras are a rarity at consumer shows, so it’s nice to see Fujifilm take a crack at it with the GFX 50S. Despite its bland looks, there’s a 51.4-megapixel sensor that’s 1.7 times bigger than a full-frame DSLR’s waiting inside, as well as a brand-spanking new G lens mount system. It’s really light for its kind too, with a mirrorless body that weighs only 800g.

The GFX 50S is going to be crazy expensive, but for early adopters, the selection of lenses is quite good for a fresh system. There’ll be six to choose from, consisting of one 32-64mm f/4 lens and prime lenses spanning 23mm f/4 to 120mm f/4. Rest assured, this is a medium format camera you’d love to have both in a studio and outside your house.

Sony A99 II

sony-a99-ii

Sony has had enormous success with its full-frame mirrorless A7 series of cameras, making the A99 II announcement a bit of a surprise. If you’re not familiar with the A99 lineup, we can’t blame you; the latest is a full-frame SLT camera just like its predecessor, meaning it uses a translucent mirror instead of a slapping one like in every SLR. Sony continues to believe there’s a market for this, but it comes at a hefty price.

For $3200 (body only), you get a 42.4-megapixel full-frame sensor, continuous shooting at 12 frames per second, and 5-axis in-body image stabilization. The A99 II will be out in November, which is a long four years after the release of the original A99. Time will tell how well an SLT will be received in this day and age.

GoPro Karma

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While it wasn’t technically unveiled at Photokina — GoPro made its announcement simultaneously in the US — the Karma is the most fascinating drone to come out this week. It’s designed to be foldable for easy storage during trips, and is compatible with the Hero 4 and new Hero 5 series.

The package comes with a gamepad-like Karma controller for flying the drone, a Karma grip for smooth handheld shooting on its 3-axis stabilization, and a Karma case for traveling convenience. It’s a fantastic deal when you consider the $799 price tag for the whole set. GoPro also claims that it’s beginner-friendly, so it may be a sweet investment for newbies of flying drones.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

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Just like the Panasonic Lumix GH5, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II is still under development and doesn’t have a release window or price yet. What we do know is that it’ll be Olympus’ best mirrorless camera once it’s released. Fast shooting speeds at high resolutions is its strong suit.

With autofocus active, the new E-M1 can shoot 18 frames per second at full resolution; if you’re using manual focus, an amazing 60 shots per second can be achieved, as if you’re shooting a video but with high-resolution photos. Inside, there’s a 20.4-megapixel image sensor capable of 4K movie recording — a first for Olympus. Overall, this shooter is really good at pushing pixels quickly.

Honorable mentions

It’s no surprise that Photokina 2016 has been absolutely packed with big announcements. Aside from the main highlights, SanDisk also announced its 1TB SDXC card, which probably has more storage than your laptop and tablet combined. As mentioned earlier, GoPro also has a new pair of action cameras in the Hero 5 Black and Hero 5 Session. Lastly, there’s the Leica-lookalike Yi M1 mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera from Xiaoyi, but it won’t be available outside of China for now.

If you’re interested in any of the listed gadgets, let us know in the comments below, and we’ll work on more coverage for them in future articles.

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Cameras

4 reasons the new Instax Mini LiPlay is perfect for any occasion

Small but packed with features

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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.

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Cameras

DJI debuts the Osmo Action, their first action camera

This is DJI’s direct answer to GoPro

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DJI Osmo Action | Image credit: DJI

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.

It looks very similar to GoPro’s action cameras, which serves the purpose — to become its direct rival. The Sony RX0 II is a noteworthy competitor, too.


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.

DJI Osmo Action | Image credit: DJI

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.

DJI Osmo Action | Image credit: DJI

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.

SEE ALSO: DJI Osmo Pocket Review

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Cameras

Samsung announces the world’s first 64-megapixel phone camera

Better cameras are coming!

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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.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy A20 Hands-on: One of the familiar faces

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