Cameras

Canon’s new EOS-M camera lens has integrated ring flash

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The EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM is the first Canon macro lens for the EOS-M range of mirrorless cameras, but you don’t have to pay close attention to its name to appreciate how your macro shots and portraits can benefit from it. Because unlike other lenses of comparable focal length and aperture, this one includes two ring flashes built into the front of the lens.

For those unfamiliar with camera gear, shooting with a ring flash can produce an even spread of light, resulting in some great shots at close range. Canon says the lights can be programmed to suit different shooting situations, even allowing you to use one light at a time.

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The EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM will hit stores sometime in June with a $300 price tag.

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Cameras

Xiaomi is thinking about acquiring GoPro

For the better?

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Here’s a piece of news we weren’t expecting: Xiaomi is apparently considering to acquire action camera maker GoPro.

This development has sparked a lot of talk about the pros and cons of this acquisition and what it could mean to both sides.

For one, GoPro’s has been declining in recent years because of poor sales and failed products. For context, GoPro was valued at more than US$ 10 billion during its peak, and is now only at US$ 761 million.

The Information claims that the struggling camera manufacturer could still manage to receive US$ 1 billion to match the Hewlett Packard acquisition of Palm back in 2010.

If everything falls into place, both sides could benefit. GoPro’s product growth has been stagnant since its early beginnings, releasing what has practically been the same tiny action camera with incremental boosts in features each year.

Xiaomi could be the savior GoPro needs, and may also gain from the technologies GoPro has in place. The Chinese brand is fond of investing in products not related to their own lineups; several startups launch under the guidance of Xiaomi without the company’s actual branding.

GoPro recently released the affordable US$ 199 Hero to stay competitive. The Hero 6 Black is the company’s current flagship product.

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Cameras

New Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera shoots 4K RAW videos

4K RAW for every filmmaker!

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The Black Magic Pocket Cinema camera as seen at the NABSHOW 2018 | Photo by GadgetMatch.com

There’s a new Blackmagic camera for filmmakers and video enthusiasts out there. The new Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is a Micro Four Thirds (MFT) compact camera that can record 4K RAW videos for under US$ 1,300.

The camera is the much-awaited update to the first Pocket Cinema Camera from 2013 which introduced 1080p RAW in a tiny camera body as small as a point-and-shoot camera.

The latest 4K camera from Blackmagic has a 4/3 HDR sensor, 13 stops of dynamic range, and dual native ISO of up to 256,000. Video features of the camera include 10-bit ProRes, 12-bit RAW, 60fps in 4K and 120fps in windowed HD, and 3D LUTs.

 

A large 5-inch touchscreen running Blackmagic OS acts a built-in monitor to its futuristic-looking body made of “space age carbon fiber polycarbonate composite,” which keeps the camera light yet sturdy. The control buttons on board are designed for video use (e.g. ISO, shutter speed, aperture, white balance) but there’s also a dedicated camera button to quickly camera still images.

The ports you can find on the body of the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K are HDMI, mini LXR (with 48 volts of phantom power), 3.5mm audio port, and DC power. There’s also a high-speed USB-C port that allows users to connect an external SSD for direct recording. There are four built-in mics, Bluetooth connection, and multi-format memory card slots as well.

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K will be available later this year for US$ 1,295 which is considerabley affordable for a professional-grade RAW video camera.

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Cameras

Fujifilm X-A5 review: The perfect camera to up your social media game

Yep, I did an #OOTD challenge

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When the Fujifilm X-A5 was announced, I was beyond excited.

You see, I own and shoot with a pink X-A3 for my stuff outside of work and my personal vlogging.

Still from boyfriend’s vlog. That’s me shooting with the XA-3!

And sure, the fact that it was a pretty bright pink was part of what convinced me to get the X-A3, but it’s not just the color that drew me to this shooter. I wanted a small camera that I could bring on trips without being too bulky, something my frail arms could actually hold up for times I do decide to vlog. My non-negotiable was that “flippity screen” (yes, folks, I made that term up), the camera screen that flips upwards so you can see yourself as you shoot or record.

So, when the XA-5 came out, I was curious to see what improvements this new mirrorless camera had.

Quick specs

If you’ve already noticed by now, this will not be your typical camera review. For the benefit of those looking for camera specs, I’ll list them here, but know that this would probably be the last I mention them in this whole piece. This review will revolve around my experience with the X-A5 in the context of my needs when it comes to cameras.

Here’s a photo of me with the X-A5 for those of you who, like me, get bored with specs 😅

The Fujifilm X-A5 is a mirrorless camera — this means it’s lighter and more compact than DSLRs. It’s equipped with a 24.2-megapixel APS-C image sensor and is capable of reaching ISO 12800 (which may mean good things for low-light shots). It’s also the first X series camera with phase detection which means that this device will focus twice as fast as previous cameras, like my X-A3. The body comes bundled with an XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens and it has a built-in internal flash.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s move on.

Looks matter

In true Fujifilm fashion, this camera looks like a pretty Instagrammable itself. The body has clean matte aluminum-silver details that extend to the buttons and the back. The body itself is textured and comes in black, brown, or pink. Of course, I pushed for the pink one.

The pink on this camera is a little brownish. My X-A3 was a brighter pink.

Button placements are about the same: On/Off toggle with the shutter button, mode dial, exposure compensation dial, and a function key up top, and the usual buttons like menu, video record, playback, and other shortcuts are on the back of the camera. The display is also a touchscreen for easier navigation. Basically, if you’ve used an X series Fujifilm camera before, you’ll know where everything is. 

This camera, dubbed Fujifilm’s smallest mirrorless camera, is light and it fits my hands perfectly. Although, I’d have to admit: There isn’t much of a size difference between the X-A5 and my trusty X-A3, save for the X-A3’s bigger kit lens.

The thing is, there’s no way I’m lugging around a big camera on vacation trips and the X-A5 (as well as my old X-A3) is a size that I find acceptable — it’s not as bulky and it’s small enough to fit in my bag with everything else I decide to bring around on trips.

Pointing and shooting

Fujifilm is a beloved brand in photography and it comes as no surprise that this camera can capture stunning pictures. I mean look at these sample shots…

Like, look at them! They can be stock photos!

The hot cocoa looks super delicious!

The color and the blur is on point

Although I know my camera basics, I am not the best in shooting or handling cameras, mine or otherwise. The X-A5 was amazingly easy to use, especially since I’m already familiar with the past model. Honestly, I’ve had my share of crappy photos but these samples actually impressed me. Low-light photos, however, are a different story. Like many devices on the market now, you don’t exactly get the best photos when lighting conditions aren’t ideal.

The X-A3, my previous camera, only had Wi-Fi connectivity which means that it could only transfer photos when my phone is connected to the camera’s Wi-Fi. This process was a little cumbersome as that connection gets cut when you switch back to an actual network to get on the internet. That is now a problem of the past. The XA-5 is equipped with Bluetooth connectivity so that mean transferring photos from camera to your phone is so easy — you can even do it automatically and while connected to the internet through Wi-Fi.

Also, tourist selfies can go from this:

Shoutout to the photobomb couple at the back!

To this:

I’m controlling the camera with the phone in my hand through the Fujifilm remote app

Yep, connecting the camera to the app allows you to take photos and videos remotely. This means you don’t need another person to take your photos; you can control everything with your phone.

#OOTD Challenge!

Now, I generally suck at #OOTDs and posed travel content in general but I felt it was time for a challenge. I’d seen a lot of Instagram influencers tout their Fujifilm cameras so I wondered: Could I take the same photos with this thing?

Since I was traveling with the boyfriend when I was testing out this camera, I enlisted his help and had him be my token Instagram Boyfriend — ah the things we do for work!

I stood at random picturesque spots in Hong Kong and did the best travel/wanderlust/OOTD poses I could muster (which always translated to me looking up, for some reason). Since I’m not so big on editing, I only used the VSCO app on my phone to slightly adjust these photos and add a filter. Again, transferring photos to my phone for editing (and eventual posting) was a breeze because of connectivity functions. The results are as follows:

Needless to say, I was pretty happy with the pics, despite my awkward and repetitive posing. Expect these shots to be on my Instagram feed soon.

Videos and vlogging

One of the big things I use my camera for is vlogging. The fact that this thing is light is a big plus for me because it’s the weight my frail arm can handle as I hold out the camera to shoot myself. I mean, I have no idea how people actually shoot video with those humongous vlogging rigs, but that’s not a problem with the X-A5.

Although I’ve shot vlogs with this camera, my main gripe with this thing is that there’s no movie mode on it. This makes it a little hard to preview settings on the screen for shooting video — a problem I’ve grappled with on my X-A3 as well. The camera is capable of recording in 4K, which is literally bigger videos, but the camera display lags too much on that setting so I’d suggest sticking to a lower resolution like 1080p.

What’s great though is that there’s a touch-to-focus feature on video now, something only previously found on the photo mode. The X-A5 is also equipped with an audio port so you can now improve your vlog audio with an external mic.

Is the Fujifilm X-A5 your GadgetMatch?

Obviously, there are bigger, badder, and more expensive cameras out there that do a whole lot that this dainty thing can’t. But, that’s not the point (and those cameras are probably not pink). This shooter is designed for a certain demographic: those, like me, who want a simple, easy-to-use device in a light, compact, and stylish body. It’s not the best camera out there and at its price point, that would be pretty impossible. Nonetheless, it’s a camera that I really enjoy using.

If you’re like me and you’re looking for a more compact camera for IG photos and social media posts with great phone and app integration, you should consider the X-A5. It’s a great camera for beginners and enthusiasts who are just wetting their toes in the pool of content creation.

The Fujifilm retails for US$ 599 in the US and PhP 34,990 in the Philippines.

SEE ALSO: Fujifilm X-A5 is brand’s smallest and lightest mirrorless camera

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