5 reasons to choose a dedicated camera over a smartphone



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.

SEE ALSO: Sony RX0 is currently the most powerful ultra-compact camera

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DJI Osmo Pocket Review

Who exactly is it made for?



Looking back at technological trends of the yesteryears, there are certain patterns that we can see. One example is how devices have a tendency to become smaller and smaller over time — having better functionality in smaller packages.

During the 90s, cellphones were as large as walkie-talkies and later on shrunk when the likes of the Nokia 8210 came about. Fast forward to now, and not much has changed.

Stabilizers for professional cameras started out as huge rigs and were worn around the entire body. The size got reduced for DSLRs, then smaller for smartphones, and now, a full-blown three-axis gimbal with its own 4K camera can now be held and operated single-handedly.

This is the DJI Osmo Pocket. As its name suggests, it’s built for portability and ease of use since it easily slips inside the pocket. We’ve seen it coming, though. All DJI had to do was to take its camera-mounted stabilizer from its consumer drones and turn it into a handheld standalone product.

Having a stabilized camera for video shooting is the main reason you’d want to buy this. Although, there’s more to it than just capturing footage smoother than with your smartphone. For this review, we tested out its features, saw what works and what doesn’t, and compared it to another big name in the portable camera category: GoPro’s Hero 7 Black.

It has a candy bar-sized body

Makes it easy to put away and take out

No built-in storage

Although it readily accepts a microSD card up to 256GB

USB-C port to keep with the times

For speedier file transfers and charging times

Universal Port allows for additional connectivity

Comes with adapters to connect to a smartphone and DJI’s app

Built-in preview screen

There’s a small touch display to tweak settings and preview shots

Guaranteed stabilization

The three-axis gimbal promises stable footage


DJI has pretty much polished the accompanying app for its drones and once again, they only needed to make a specific app for the Osmo Pocket. Called DJI Mimo, it’s made for this handheld device as an all-in-one software for shooting in Professional Mode and editing clips to produce a short video.

Those who have tried flying the company’s drones through the DJI Go app will feel at home using DJI Mimo. The layout is familiar, even with how the settings are lined up. Through this app, it’s easier to go for the Pro Mode that lets you have control over your settings. Remember: It’s always better to be able to tweak separate values the way you want to so you can achieve the shots you have in mind.

The sensor shoots 12MP photos and videos can go up to 4K at 60fps. You can also choose to go for a high frame rate of 120fps to achieve smooth slow-motion shots. Other features include First Person View mode, Active Track, and Motionlapse. We made a short video showcasing these shooting modes.

Image quality vs GoPro’s?

With its 1/2.3-inch camera, the Osmo Pocket has the same sensor as the first Mavic Pro. And, together with its RAW photo capturing and D-Cinelike color profile, you can turn your photos and footage into a cinematic piece good enough for professional use. Details are sharp during the day, and digital noise — although still present — is kept at a minimum when shooting at night. Recording videos at Full HD resolution is enough for your usual social media posts, although you can always go for 4K if you need a little wiggling room in manual post-production.

When you talk about a compact camera that would do great for travels, GoPro’s name almost always comes to mind. I personally have a lot of friends asking me which to go for between these two. I don’t blame them since it’s pretty common to see them as an alternative to the other.

If you simply want a handheld camera that shoots good photos and stabilizes your video clips, then I guess you can compare and choose between the two. For a quick shootout, we took side-by-side shots of a few scenes on both cameras. These were shot in standard mode and some samples were captured in GoPro’s wide mode to show the difference in field of view.

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Now that you have an idea of their image quality, it’s worth noting that these two cameras are not so alike. Sure, they both have great video stabilization and offer a compact form factor, but a GoPro is more for adventure and sports with its wide selection of mounts and accessories. The accessories for the Osmo, since the product is still fairly new, are mostly sold out or not available in stores. Either way, these do not provide the same flexibility of use the GoPro mounts offer.

Another major difference is that the Osmo Pocket is not water- and dust-proof, unlike the Hero series that always has water resistance as part of its offerings. You could say the target market for these two cameras could be represented as a Venn diagram showing two different devices that slightly overlap with one another.

So who is it made for?

If the Osmo Pocket isn’t direct competition for GoPro, to whom does DJI target this device? To answer that, let’s first see where the Osmo Pocket delivers.

It’s very handy and easy to use. I went on an interstate trip in the US with the Osmo Pocket just in my… well, pocket, and taking it out and powering it up when I needed it was easy. Because of that, I’d say it’s definitely made for sightseeing during out-of-town trips.

Battery life is also satisfactory. During my travels, I made sure that the camera was fully charged before leaving the house. This would usually last me an entire day’s stroll — shooting photos and videos of the new places I visited.

Although, I’d still recommend bringing a dedicated powerbank since the battery isn’t removable like GoPro’s. And the battery understandably drains a lot faster when you shoot hyperlapse and other special modes.

Switching its camera from forward-facing to selfie mode happens in one swipe plus a tap, so it should be easy for vloggers to shoot while talking and even walking. Do take note, though, that audio reception through its built-in microphones can get tricky at times since it’s easy to cover the pinholes for the mic when you grip the entire body.

The company has already rolled out a firmware update that lets you access Pro Mode on the device itself without needing a smartphone to attach. This is an appreciated update since it’s not all the time you can afford to connect an extra smartphone just to go to the advanced settings.

However, having two ways to shoot would be a lot easier whenever you want to take your time and perfect your shot. This makes the Osmo Pocket a good tool for cinematic videography, as well.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If you require more robust and flexible shooting equipment, you might want to look at GoPro’s selection. But if you find yourself doing the things mentioned above, the Osmo Pocket would fit your needs, undoubtedly.

I had a Hero 7 Black with me during the same trip and I only brought it out whenever I needed a wider shot or when I used a specific mount to capture a timelapse from a compromising spot.

The DJI Osmo Pocket is available internationally for US$ 349, but you can get one from Philippine retailers for around PhP 23,000.

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Southeast Asian vloggers unite at Singapore through #VlogWithSony event

There are a lot of reasons why these vloggers choose Sony




I can still remember that “blogging” was just another tech-related term that people were not that familiar with when I was a kid. Little did I know, it was really destined to become the next big thing. With the continuous growth of people using the internet, the popularity of blogging made people experiment on it even further — specifically blogging through videos. Thus, the birth of the “vlogging” generation.

A couple of days ago, Sony held an event at the ArtScience Museum in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, which gathered vloggers around Southeast Asia, particularly those from the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.

It wasn’t just about Sony displaying their existing cameras in front of the crowd; they talked more about how creating these imaging solutions (specifically the Alpha, RX, and Handycam lineup) paved the way in helping vloggers capture quality content, and get recognized for the vlogs they have been doing for the past years.

What surprised everyone, however, was the sudden announcement of the Sony RX0 II during the event. After the product announcement, this happened:

There were queries answered by the General Manager himself, including questions about certain devices, plus the lack of ports and features on select devices. He was also asked about choosing his own camera if he were a vlogger himself. He bravely answered that he would choose the Sony A9 as his vlogging companion. It was even said that the reason why Sony focuses on the Southeast Asian market is all because of the steady popularity of vlogs that you can’t find elsewhere — not even in their home country, Japan.

Female vloggers from the Philippines (left to right): Ana Victorino, Ella Gatchalian, Rei Germar, and Avelovinit

There were also presentations made by some vloggers about how the use of Sony cameras and equipment helped them in making quality content. One talk was presented by beauty vlogger Rei Germar.

More talks happened:

Cutting the story short, these vloggers choose Sony cameras for their performance, portability, usability, and even durability over time. The fact that Sony also listens to its customers is what makes them a reliable imaging brand over anything else.

After all the talks, the event was successfully concluded by Sam Tsui, a globally renowned YouTube superstar with more than three million subscribers. Talking about how this popular brand showcased a lot of popular icons, these vloggers lined up to have a star-studded photo opportunity with him.

Sam Tsui singing his own title track “Shine”; beside him is the newly announced RX0 II

At this event, I realized that vlogging isn’t just about taking videos; it also leans more on self-expression. Vlogs may focus on beauty, travel, lifestyle, and fun, to name a few.

Bottom line is these people don’t do vlogs just because they are bored; they do it because it is their passion and they want to express themselves more to those who are watching behind their screens. After all, people are getting more invested in vlogs as another form of entertainment, and at the same time, they serve as helpful information for most people.

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Sony debuts the RX0 II, world’s smallest and lightest 4K ultra-compact camera

Small in size, but definitely not terrible in performance




During the #VlogWithSony event in Singapore, Sony surprised everyone when they announced the new RX0 II, the successor to Sony’s RX0. Sony claims that it’s the world’s smallest and lightest ultra-compact camera to date at just 132 grams.

The Sony RX0 II looks like its predecessor but has the old (but nifty) features, such as the 15.3MP Exmor RS image sensor with Zeiss Tessar 24mm f/4 fixed lens, Anti-Distortion Shutter and up to 1/32000-second fast shooting plus a burst rate of up to 16fps, and S-Log2 to name a few.

The new 4K internal video recording records 1.7 times more data without pixel binning, thus preserving more details without compromising the overall video quality. The enhanced BIONZ X image processor is capable of bringing better color reproduction and natural skin tone — all great for vlogging. There are also four percent more frames with its 1,000fps slow-motion recording, as opposed to the previous 960fps.

A big improvement is the addition of the in-body electronic stabilization (EIS) with gimbal-like smoothness even when handheld. Other prominent features are the tiltable 1.5-inch screen and real-time Eye AF (autofocus) tracking, which are both found on the higher-end Sony Alpha camera lineup, including the recently launched Sony A6400.

Sony RX0 II, external flash/light, and microphone attached in one bracket that is connected to the shooting grip itself

On top of those, there’s a feature called “intelligent framing” which detects a subject then keeps it in the frame, while image distortion is corrected after the video is shot. Editing clips through the RX0 II is also handy as you can transfer your photos and videos to your smartphone and edit them with your desired editing app.

It is not just ultra-compact, but also ultra-robust with its 10-meter waterproofing, two-meter dustproofing, and the crush-proof feature that can withstand up to 200kg of force.

It can still be used with the shooting grip, which can transform into a mini tripod when you stretch out the grip’s legs or add a complementary bracket that can attach more accessories to it, which will be made available in a RX0 II kit in select Asia-Pacific countries.

The Sony Imaging Edge Mobile app can control up to five RX0 II cameras wirelessly, while buying a separate Camera Control Box can help you control as many as 100 wired cameras.

The device will retail for about US$ 700, which is the same as the launch price of the older RX0 launched two years ago. In the Philippines, it has a Suggested Retail Price of PhP 39,999.

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