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

fujifilm-gfx-50s

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

myFirst Insta Wi lets kids take and print photos, labels

Instant camera and printer in one!

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Photo by Oaxis Singapore

All-in-one instant cameras and printers aren’t new, but they’re not entirely kid-friendly. This is why myFirst — a kids tech collection by Oaxis in Singapore — decked out its newest product called myFirst Insta Wi.

It follows its previous models, bringing a 16-megapixel digital camera on its rear and a wide-angle selfie lens that lets you take crisp photos and print them in just 10 seconds.

Its newly added selfie camera sits above the 2.4-inch IPS screen — which also allows you to shoot full HD videos.

The Insta Wi comes with low-cost thermal paper and sticker thermal paper, perfect for printing photos and stunning labels.

There’s a dedicated app that lets you customize labels by drawing, typing text, or symbols. With an added Wi-Fi feature, you can bring the device and print stuff whenever you want.

More importantly, it comes with a memory card slot so you can save photos taken — which you can print elsewhere as colored photographs.

Since it’s designed to be lightweight for comfortable usage, kids will surely have fun using an all-in-one camera and portable printer for their adventures at home and outdoors.

Support the Kickstarter campaign

The myFirst Insta Wi is up on Kickstarter for a campaign, costing EUR 59/USD 69. The campaign’s target is to reach EUR 7250/USD 10,000 until October 14, 2021.

The official campaign starts on September 14, 2021. For more information, visit its Kickstarter page.

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Cameras

FUJIFILM announces the GFX50S II medium format camera

This is by far their cheapest medium format camera

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It hasn’t even been a year ever since FUJIFILM announced the GFX100S, and now it has a new, yet more affordable, medium format sibling. Just a refresher, the GFX50S II (read as GFX50S Mark II) is the successor to 2017’s GFX50S.

Medium format camera for less

The FUJIFILM GFX50 S II has a 51.4-megapixel large-format sensor that’s 1.7 times bigger than a 50-megapixel 35mm full-frame sensor you’ll find on most high-end DSLRs and mirrorless cameras nowadays. This means you get better image quality whenever you take photographs.

What makes this different is its specialized design. This camera uses smaller light-collecting micro lenses on the image sensor in order to create wider gaps between pixels. Not only does this result to sharper images, it also brings better ISO sensitivity, dynamic range, and better post-processing flexibility.

With a new Pixel Shift Multi-Shot function, the FUJIFILM GFX50S II can capture and generate 200-megapixel images without lapses in color presentation. This works by recording and combining 16 RAW images into one DNG (Digital Negative) RAW file via its “Pixel Shift Combiner” software.

A GFX100S minus the 102-megapixel image sensor

Some things stay the same though — but it’s not a bad thing. Just like the GFX100S, it weighs at just 900g (1.9lb). It also has a magnesium alloy body for utmost robustness and durability without sacrificing heft. The camera is also weather-sealed, dust and moisture-resistant, and most of all, can work in cooler places under -10ºC (or 14ºF). It even has the same 3.2-inch LCD monitor with support for tilting that an EVF (electronic viewfinder) cannot always shoot in high and low-angle shooting.

Moreover, the FUJIFILM GFX50S II is powered by the similar X-Processor 4 quad-core processor which fusions its high-speed image processing together with ultra-fast and high-precision Auto Focus (AF) system. The latest algorithm brings more life to the photos captured by this camera.

Stable, sharp shots

It even has the same 5-axis IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization) but unlike the GFX100S, the GFX50S II is able to bring up to 6.5-stops of Vibration Reduction — which is the highest in the history of its kind. This became possible with a high-performance gyro sensor and accelerometer that can both detect motions with high accuracy rate. This just means you’ll get less-blurred shots with sharp details and more precise Face / Eye Detection as well as subject tracking.

For easier operability, it has six customizable C1-C6 controls that can be modified and assigned depending on your liking. There’s even a switch between shooting Stills and Videos for added convenience so you don’t have to rotate the Mode dial all the way. There’s even a 1.8-inch sub LCD monitor at the top for better control of the EXIF settings.

Lastly, FUJIFILM’s signature Film Simulation is still here and were not left behind. You can choose between 19 different presets designed for different types of subjects and scenes. An effect can be seen directly an image through Live View.

A new FUJINON lens

The FUJINON GF35-70mm F/4.5-5.6 WR is FUJIFILM’s new interchangeable zoom lens for their large-format GFX cameras. It weighs just around 390g, making it a total of only 1300g when paired with the GFX100S or the GFX50S II. Despite it being lightweight, it’s great lens that delivers high-resolution images with fast AF performance as well.

This is an 11-elements lens with one aspherical element and two ED elements in nine groups. Paired with a stepping motor, operability is silent when shooting fast subjects while still being able to retain focus and sharpness. Just like the new FUJIFILM GFX50S II, the lens is also dust and moisture-resistant that works in sandy deserts or tropical rainforests and can withstand temperatures below -10ºC or 14ºF.

Two new XF lenses, too

Other than the new GF lens, FUJIFILM also brings two new lenses for the X Series: the FUJINON XF 23mm and XF 33mm f/1.4 II LM WR. While they’re different in the size of focal lengths, they actually share the same aperture of f/1.4 with nine aperture blades. This not only provides brighter shots with less noise at night, it also brings the best of shallow Depth of Field while still being able to preserve sharper images.

Both of these lenses consist of 15 lens elements with two aspherical and three ED elements in 10 groups that reduces chromatic and spherical aberration when shooting. They even possess a silent yet fast and highly-accurate AF system. This is meant for photographers who love to capture fast-moving subjects.

Best of all? They’re also dust and moisture-resistant at 11 locations. The ability to withstand cold temperatures is still here so you can shoot astrophotography shots even in colder nights.

More lenses to come

If you’re a heavy FUJIFILM user, there are a total of 17 G-mount lenses being developed for the GFX series. One of them is a tilt and shift lens that can correct image distortions to produce undistorted photographs — more helpful in architecture shots.

For the X-Series, the current 2021 lens roadmap will bring a total of 40 interchangeable X-mount lenses. There’s the XF 18-120mm catered for videographers who rely on versatile zoom lenses. There’s also the XF150-600mm ultra-telephoto zoom lens ideal for wildlife and sports photography. Despite the long focal distance, it will actually be compact and lightweight lens meant for the XF camera line.

Pricing and Availability

A body-only FUJIFILM GFX50S II retails for PhP 223,990 and goes up to PhP 251,990 if you’ll buy it with its GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 WR kit lens. Both of these will be available by the end of September 2021. Practically speaking, it costs just like the usual full-frame cameras out there.

If you’ll compare it with FUJIFILM’s recent medium format camera releases, you’ll get a price cut of more than PhP 200,000 to 400,000. This makes it the cheapest medium-format camera available so far.

Meanwhile, you can grab it as early as September 9 until the 25th and enjoy their exclusive pre-order perks including:

  • Free 1-piece NP-W235 (worth PhP 3,990)
  • Free 1-piece BC-W235 Dual Battery CHarger (worth PhP 3,990)
  • Exclusive GFX workshop with FUJIFILM X-Photographer

For more details, just look at the pre-order mechanics below.

FUJINON Lenses

If you just want the lenses, you have to wait a little bit before you get your hands on them. The pricing and availability of the new FUJINON lenses (plus one lens hood) are as follows:

  • GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 WR – PhP 55,990 (Late November 2021 release)
  • XF 33mm f/1.4 R LM WR – PhP 45,990 (Late September 2021 release)
  • XF 23mm f/1.4R LM WR – PhP 55,990 (November 2021 release)
  • LH-XF23 II Lens Hood – PhP 3,990 (November 2021 release)
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Accessories

Dell UltraSharp Webcam promises a premium experience

A 4k webcam is on your way from Dell!

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Dell Ultrasharp

Dell introduced Dell UltraSharp Webcam, which was designed to give users a seamless webcam experience. Dependency on video conferencing is expected to continue as remote work is expected to be the norm moving forward. Additionally, Dell’s newest webcam promises best-in-class image quality, intelligence, and seamless experiences. True-to-life clarity, mounting options, and intelligence for customization and security are added features fr their 4K webcam.

The Dell UltraSharp Webcam provides 4K image quality and produces sharp video quality in any lighting condition. Taking inspiration from DSLR cameras, the Dell UltraSharp Webcam features a large 4K Sony STARVIS CMOS sensor and multi-element lens that captures more light. 

Regardless of lighting conditions, the Digital Overlap HDR capability in this Dell UltraSharp webcam helps preserve true-to-life colors and balanced exposure. The 3D/2D video noise reduction eliminates grainy images, ensuring images are captured clearly even in low light. 

Built-in security features

Dell is commited to developing intelligent products across its business PCs. The Dell UltraSharp Webcam is accompanied by intelligent features to adapt to any set-up and situation. Users will experience the Auto-framing feature that utilizes Artificial Intelligence (AI) to keep them in focus and center in every frame. Users can also customize their field of view from 65°, 78° and 90°, plus 5x digital zoom.

Windows Hello allows users to sign in securely using facial recognition. It is also embedded with Dell ExpressSign-in feature that enables proximity sensors on the webcam.  This detects the user’s presence as they approach and automatically logs the user out when they step away.

Price and availability

The Dell Ultrasharp Webcam is already available today at these prices — PhP 21,500 / SG$ 284 / US$ 199.99

 

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