In a world where photos are mostly shot with smartphones, one brand challenges the smartphone reign with a unique camera. Marketed precisely at the selfie-loving group, Casio is making a splash with the uniquely shaped TR mini camera (model name TR-M11).
Look at this girl powdering her nose. Notice anything special? No? Look closely.
That compact she’s looking at — it’s the Casio TR mini. The top part houses the camera in the middle, and around it, an LED ring light. That’s eight LED lights, too! There’s also a single LED light at the bottom which acts as fill lighting for better selfies.
The Casio TR mini is equipped with a 10.5-megapixel camera and it features a 2.5-inch LCD screen to view your photos on. Below are the specs:
The best part about this camera? Aside from its cute form factor, it has built-in filters, a beauty mode, make-up mode, and even mole removers. You can also adjust the LED lighting to get different selfie effects.
It comes in green, white, violet, and two types of pink!
Unfortunately, these selfie cameras are only available in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan. They’ll retail for slightly more than US$ 500.
SEE ALSO: All the cute and quirky gadgets on GadgetMatch Lifestyle
[irp posts=”15210″ name=”Paper Shoot camera review”]
Sony Alpha 7 IV: Beyond ‘basic’ cameras
A hybrid photo and video full frame shooter
Sony is taking “basic” to the next level by announcing the release of the interchangeable-lens camera Alpha 7 IV and two new flashes, the HVL-F60RM2 and HVL-F46RM.
The Alpha 7 IV (model ILCE-7M4) takes off from the Alpha 7 III while elevating what is expected of a “basic” camera with excellent image quality, performance, and advanced film-making features.
The new model features many of Sony’s most advanced imaging technologies, including the latest BIONZ XR™ processing engine and advanced autofocus (AF).
The Alpha 7 IV’s features also include streamlined operability and enhanced reliability for photos and movies, making it the perfect all-around camera for both imaging enthusiasts and film-making professionals today.
Outstanding image quality
The Alpha 7 IV comes with a newly developed 33MP full-frame back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor for superior image quality and wide ISO sensitivity range.
The high resolution leads to smooth gradation and finer details and textures for photo subjects, as well as reduced noise.
Its 15-stop dynamic range allows a wide expressive range while Creative Look settings can help to create standout stills and videos.
Next level AF performance
Equipped with the processing engine BIONZ XR also used in the flagship Alpha 1, the Alpha 7 IV delivers high-speed and uninterrupted AF, allowing continuous shooting at 10fps for smooth shooting.
With Real-Time Tracking and a high-end focal plane phase-detection AF system, the camera manufactures images that are clearer than ever.
The Real-time Eye AF feature also accurately tracks subjects such as humans’ and animals’ eyes for both stills and movies, while approximately 94 percent of image area is covered.
Evolved movie technology
The Alpha 7 IV is also a suitable tool for vloggers and film makers alike with technologies inherited from real-world movie productions.
The features include S-Cinetone from Sony’s highly-regarded Cinema Line cameras used by film makers and content creators themselves—helping deliver a rich, cinematic look to videos.
High quality results can also be expected with 4K 60p recording in Super 35mm mode and up to 4K 30p recording with 7K oversampling in full-frame mode.
The new camera also features 10-bit depth 4:2:2 colour sampling to enable natural gradation, XAVC S-I™ intra-frame encoding for more efficient editing workflows and XAVC HS™ for doubled compression efficiency.
A perfect complement to Sony’s lens
The unique AF features can be highlighted in AF performance even further when using the Alpha 7 IV with a Sony E-mount lens.
This includes AF Assist that supports focus transitions when using AF and Focus Map that visualizes depth of field.
For the first time in the Alpha series, the new camera also combats focus breathing with its Breathing Compensation feature to maintain a consistent angle of view throughout changes in focus.
Advanced, genuine, efficient hybrid model
The Alpha 7 IV is a hybrid still and movie camera with outstanding operability and reliability that easily allows the user to switch from photo to movie and back at their convenience.
It has a dual layer mode dial that is new to Sony’s line-up of Alpha cameras to make it easy for users to switch between settings.
The lower layer is dedicated to easily select between still, movie, or S&Q modes while the top layer is for various photography modes (Auto/P/A/S/M).
It also has 5-axis optical in-body image stabilization for a 5.5-step shutter speed advantage, as well as an improved grip for greater comfort and a CFexpress Type A compatible media slot to support media with faster writing and clearance.
Additionally, its OLED Quad-VGA viewfinder is 1.6 times the resolution of the Alpha 7 III viewfinder, allowing users to review captures through upgraded and high-quality live-view images with minimized false color and increased resolution.
A videographer’s reliable companion
Videographers can record 4K 60p video continuously for more than an hour, thanks to the camera’s heat-dissipating structure.
Optical Active Mode image stabilization helps optimum video shooting.
To make filming easier and more efficient, the camera also has a side-opening vari-angle touch-panel rear LCD monitor, a top-panel REC button and a high-capacity Z-series battery.
Active Mode stabilization
The Alpha 7 IV body is built with magnesium alloy to make the entire camera lighter and more comfortable to use on the fly.
In addition, the redesigned structure and lens lock button contribute to enhanced dust and moisture resistance.
Enhanced workflow capabilities
By offering a variety of connectivity options, the Alpha 7 IV enables on-the-spot streaming and sharing of high-quality content.
These came into play for users who need real-time remote use of photos or videos without sacrificing excellent image and sound quality.
Users simply have to connect the camera to the Imaging Edge Mobile app on their phones via Bluetooth, while fast data transfer is made on a 5 GHz/2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connection.
The camera also has a new feature called “Shot Mark” to enable easy access to the marked scenes in a video clip, within camera and on Sony’s Catalyst Browse/Prepare applications.
The camera has a range of new features to support live streaming and remote communication without the need of dedicated software.
UVC (USB Video Class) and UAC (USB Audio Class) directly turn the Alpha 7 IV into a high-performance live streaming camera when connected to a computer or smartphone.
Users can stream high-quality and realistic videos up to 4K for 15p and 1080 FHD for 60p with high quality sound when paired with a great range of microphones and accessories.
Developing the Alpha 7 IV model came with the environment in mind, as Sony used original recycled plastic SORPLAS for the camera body and the packaging with recyclable materials and less plastic.
The camera is produced at sites which use renewable energy, such as solar power, while the product packaging also adopts recyclable plastic-reduced materials.
Powerful flashes to evolve Alpha Lighting System
Included in Sony’s latest release of new products are the HVL-F60RM2 (GN 60 and 20-200mm coverage) and HVL-F46RM with (GN 46 and 24-105mm), a pair of powerful wireless flashes that offer high-speed precision and more operability.
They are designed to meet the needs of both professional and advanced content creators when shooting with a Sony Alpha camera, including the new Alpha 7 IV.
Upgraded flash speed and performance
Both flashes have upgraded continuous shooting flash performance, up to 200 times at 10 frames per second for the HVL-F60RM2 and 60 times for the HVL-F46RM.
With an optimized flash algorithm, both flashes are overheat-resistant. A set of four Nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) batteries power them to make 240 to 320 flashes with a recycle time from 1.7 to 2.0 seconds, depending on which flash you purchase.
When used in combination with an Alpha camera, they allow users to experience the unique communication and system benefits of the Alpha Lighting System.
For example, if paired with the Alpha 7 IV, P-TTL flash control metering for every frame is made available in Lo, Mid, and Hi continuous modes.
The flash release time lag is also shortened to capture momentary facial expressions and movements of the subject.
Alpha 1 with HVL-F46RM and SEL50F12GM
With the Alpha 1, the HVL-F60RM2 reaches up to 20fps of continuous shooting and approximately 20 flashes per second can be produced for more than 10 seconds with the external flash battery adapter FA-EBA1.
When Alpha 1 is used with Sony’s flashes including HVL-F60RM2 and HVL-F46RM, users can sync even the fastest of shutter speeds to expand expressive capabilities when shooting in full-frame mode.
In addition, the silent electronic shutter of the camera allows for silent flash shooting when absolute silence is required.
Other system benefits of HVL-F60RM2 and HVL-F46RM with an Alpha camera include:
- Flash parameters controlled directly from the menu of a compatible camera
- Flash control linked to camera face detection
- Automatic correction of white balance based on the color temperature information from the flash
Like the Alpha 7 IV, both flashes have better strength, reliability, and operability, thanks in part to Sony’s Multi Interface shoe with Sony’s unique metal shoe foot with rugged side frame which also make the flashes more dust and moisture resistant.
The HVL-F60RM2 has an original rotating mechanism called “Quick Shift Bounce” that enables flexible positioning and optimum lighting control, preventing changes in bounce angles.
Both are also capable of wireless radio communication and can control up to 15 flashes and/or receiver units in five groups via wireless radio communication for versatile lighting control.
The Alpha 7 IV will be available at selected retail shops and online shops from December 2021 in Singapore. For a full list of specs and information, please visit here.
The accessory (PCK-LG2) Screen Protect Glass Sheet for Alpha 7 IV will be available at the same time.
The camera is also compatible with the Camera Remote Software Development Kit (SDK).
The HVL-F60RM2 and HVL-F46RM flashes will be available at selected retail shops and online shops from late November 2021 in Singapore.
In the Philippines, it’ll be available soon.
Sony releases lightest, next-generation AF camera lens
The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II
Sony Electronics announced the newest lens in their G Master lineup: the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II, which takes autofocus (AF) to the most advanced level yet.
The camera lens is poised to deliver an extraordinary combination of resolution and bokeh, as well as unequalled AF performance in the company’s G Master design.
In a nutshell, the advanced features include:
- Constant F2.8 70-200 mm telephoto zoom
- Fast, precise and quiet autofocus (AF) continuous AF tracking capabilities
- Advanced features for video creators
- World’s lightest 200 mm large-aperture telephoto zoom lens (approximately 29% lighter than the previous model)
- Up to approximately 4 times faster AF, with focus tracking while zooming improved by approximately 30% when compared to the previous model
- Professional-level control and reliability
Designed to perfectly pair with Sony’s E-mount camera bodies, the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II is also the lightest F2.8 70-200 mm zoom in the world to allow for more control amongst photographers.
New levels of performance
The new FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II delivers outstanding image quality with high resolution and clarity throughout its zoom range, thanks to its two aspherical lens elements which focus on precision.
The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II effectively controls distance-related aberration variations to ensure outstanding resolution throughout the image area.
To avoid color bleeding while reducing chromatic aberration significantly, the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II also employs two extra-low dispersion (ED) spherical glass elements and two Super ED spherical glass elements.
Meanwhile, an ED aspherical element, which is a first in the Alpha system lens is driven to simultaneously suppress chromatic and spherical aberration, and other common issues in telephoto lenses.
Smooth, beautiful bokeh shots
With its large F2.8 maximum aperture and a newly developed 11-blade circular aperture unit, smooth and beautiful bokeh is made seamless.
The lens’ advanced optical design including XA elements thoroughly cancels out the unwanted “onion ring” effect, further enhancing the bokeh.
The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II also offers excellent close-up performance with deep bokeh. The minimum focusing distance is 15.7 inches (0.4 meters) at 70 mm and 32.3 inches (0.82 meters) at 200 mm. Maximum magnification achieves 0.3x.
Users may even want to pair the new lens with a high-performance 1.4x or 2.0x teleconverter to extend the lens’ focal length to 400 mm at an F5.6 aperture, all while maintaining its G Master quality.
Sony’s original Nano AR Coating II, meanwhile, comes in play to avoid any unwanted flare and ghosting in tricky lighting conditions as it produces a uniform anti-reflection coating on the surface of the lens.
In addition, the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II’s optical design also effectively suppresses internal reflections to improve clarity.
The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II’s state-of-the-art lens technology brings out the best in the advanced camera body it is paired with.
The new lens uses four Sony-original extreme dynamic (XD) Linear Motors for extraordinary fast and precise AF, making it up to approximately 4 times faster and focus tracking improved by 30 percent when compared to the previous model.
When paired with Sony’s flagship Alpha 1, the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II is capable of high-speed continuous shooting at up to 30 fps.
Fast-moving subjects aren’t a problem too, even in videos, as the lens offers smooth AF to lock and focus on such objects. The AF tracking is also available even when using teleconverters.
Advanced features for video
With its maximum aperture of F2.8 combined with its impressive AF performance and versatile controls, the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II is an exceptional choice for video too.
The new lens was designed to dramatically reduce focus breathing, focus shift, and axis shift when zooming so that there is minimal unwanted image movement and angle of view variations.
For easy video-use operation, the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II features independent control rings for focus, zoom, and aperture (iris), allowing precise manual operation. The aperture ring also has a click ON/OFF switch.
Additionally, Sony’s Linear Response MF ensures a responsive, low-lag manual focus control, while the lens hood features an opening that allows convenient operation of circular polarizing filters or variable ND filters for more creativity.
Designed for professionals
The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II is the world’s lightest F2.8 telephoto zoom lens and is approximately 29 percent lighter than previous model, weighing just under 37 oz (1,045g).
Aside from being lightweight, the lens is designed to offer professionals ideal balance without much front-heaviness, ensuring the center of gravity falls directly above the tripod mount.
The new lens includes focus functions such as the Full-time DMF, natural and linear manual focus response and a focus-range limiter switch primarily supports professional needs.
The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II also includes three customizable focus hold buttons placed 90 degrees apart for easy access and convenient control when shooting in horizontal, vertical, or just about any angle.
Easy control switches
The lens features a click ON/OFF switch and an iris lock switch for quick and flexible aperture control.
The aperture ring click stops can be turned ON to provide more emphasis to shooting stills, or OFF for smooth and silent aperture control filming.
In addition, the zoom ring torque is optimized and now includes image stabilization with MODE 3 for moving subjects.
Durable in tough environments
The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II is designed to be reliable in even the most challenging environments.
It features dust and moisture resistance equal to the FE 400 mm F2.8 GM OSS and FE 600 mm F4 GM OSS, based on initial feedback from professionals.
The front lens element features a fluorine coating that repels water, oil, and other contaminants, while making it easier to wipe off any contaminants or fingerprints that do become attached to the lens surface.
Pricing and availability
In Singapore, The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II will be available at selected retail shops and online shops from November 2021 For a full list of specs and information,
In the Philippines, it’ll be available soon.
The Sony ZV-E10 is exactly as advertised
Great for vlogging and beginners
Sony’s newest vlogging camera — the Sony ZV-E10 — is the first in their vlogging series of cameras with an interchangeable lens. Does it make all the difference? Is it good for everyday use? And is it really built or vlogging? These are just some of the questions we tried to answer as multiple members of the team tried the camera for themselves. Here’s what we had to say.
What did you think of the build quality? Did it feel sturdy? Was it too light?
Leez: The Sony ZV-E10’s build is every minimalist’s pipe dream. It blends functionality and probability well. But, it is really light. So much so, that it was worrying at times. The lightness of the build is an obvious pro and a confusing con because your brain doesn’t think something light is particularly “sturdy”. But, I’d say after using it, it’s both lightweight and sturdy.
MJ: The Sony ZV-E10 feels lightweight when you use it to shoot photos and videos — even if you shoot single-handed. However, you can feel its weight when you use its grip. It felt sturdy, but I was scared the whole time since I’m used to heavier cameras. I thought I was going to drop it at some point.
Rodneil: Coming from someone who regularly uses an a6500, the ZV-E10 definitely felt light and not sturdy. But after using the ZV-E10, the ‘not sturdy’ claim may not be accurate. And its lightweight is perfect for its intended use of vlogging.
Do you think the overall controls and configuration would be easy for a beginner to get used to?
Leez: The Sony ZV-E10 doesn’t have a rough barrier of entry when it comes to learning how to use and play around it’s features. For me, it was pretty simple and easy to use. If there’s a catch though, it would be the painful focus.
I’m more used to manual focus since my camera’s focus is broken. But, while using the ZV-E10 to shoot, it had gone completely out of focus for a good half hour. It took a while to fix the focus but it does seem that the camera struggles a lot with figuring out what the subject is–favoring what is closest to the camera. So, I’m assuming this would be a nightmare for someone who likes working with foreground shots.
MJ: If it’s your first time to have a camera, you’d probably learn it quickly. Assuming that Sony is also your first. But if you’ve used different cameras before (and still consider yourself a beginner), you might have a hard time, too. Which is what happened to me.
The ZV-E10 and I played tug-of-war when it came to controlling our shots. For instance, the camera suggests a subject to focus on, even if it wasn’t my intended subject and I was aiming for an uncommon shot. To put it simply, the ZV-E10 works for a beginner’s hand and eye rather than someone experienced.
Rodneil: I think, for everyone who’s answering here, we all had a bit of trouble with focus. Sony’s autofocus is fantastic especially when detecting faces. But it’s a bit of a disadvantage when you’re taking product images with the model’s face visible in the frame. The autofocus prioritizes faces which isn’t always to our liking. However, again, for its intended vlogging-use, it’s fantastic.
It shouldn’t be hard to figure out for any first-timer. You won’t be overwhelmed with too many physical dials and controls. There will be an adjustment for more experienced users, but for anyone just starting, it shouldn’t take too long to get used to.
Is there anything in your usage that particularly stood out?
Leez: Most of the camera features are useful. It was reliable and easy to access. But, if there’s something that I appreciate about the ZV-E10, it’s that it’s really lightweight. I just don’t particularly like lugging around heavy equipment when shooting or filming so, making sure it didn’t weigh heavy on my flimsy arms was a huge plus. Perhaps, that’s why most people often end up filming and vlogging with their phones sometimes: most cameras are heavy and bulky to bring along. I think the ZV-E10 lives up to what it promises in that regard.
MJ: I have a love-hate relationship with beautification. Sometimes I like it since it helps when I’m looking worn out after being out in the sun. But sometimes, the smoothing is unnecessary when you badly want to highlight details.
Rodneil: Personally, I struggled with the general lack of granular control. I didn’t realize I adjust so much per shot using my own camera. It was only after using the ZV-E10, which encourages a more point-and-shoot approach, that I became more aware of my camera-shooting habits.
Do you think the interchangeable lens would be useful for people just getting into vlogging/content creating?
Leez: Yes. It might be a bit daunting at first for people starting out but it’s a good foundation to build upon more creative outputs. It lets anyone start wherever they are in experience with photography, vlogging, and content creation.
MJ: Definitely. If you know what lens works for you and your content. It also helps with improving your style and quality, since not all vlogs require a talking head. I follow several vloggers who take cinematic content, so I know it’s possible.
Rodneil: I’m on the fence on this one. Yes, because it offers versatility and that’s always a good thing. No, because the lenses are probably going to be heavier if not weigh just as much as the camera. That’s going to present some challenges while shooting. But I guess that’s a minor inconvenience compared to the benefit and more long-term use you’ll likely get.
Which lens did you end up using the most?
Leez: I used the 35mm for filming and photographing portraits and sweet bakes. It captured detailed shots but again, the focus was a stuttering mess sometimes so, be warned.
MJ: Prime lens! 50mm works for showcasing details, and I’m very particular about highlighting the important part rather than talking in front of the camera.
Rodneil: We’re all fans of prime lenses BUT that’s because we primarily take product shots. That lens isn’t exactly made for vlogging. You’re better off using the kit lens for that.
Is this something you think most people can easily pack and carry around on a trip? Or on the daily?
Leez: Yes, definitely. I think for the interchangeable lenses, it would be good to bring two depending on what your trip is for. A wide lens, a portrait lens, and the prime lens are more than enough, you can even strip it to a wide lens and the prime lens if you want to capture intimate close up moments while having a lens to switch to to capture the stunning outdoors.
MJ: Granted you don’t use every lens you have on hand, this is easily something you can carry wherever you go. You can slip it in fashionable bags that don’t look like camera bags, too, so you can shy away from the eyes of thieves.
Rodneil: Most definitely. I’d say pack the camera along with the kit lens and your preferred prime lens and you’ll pretty much be ready for any shooting scenario when you travel. It’s light, compact, and easy-to-use. It’s a perfect upgrade to the quick shooting we normally do on our smartphones.
Is there any feature that you wish it had?
Leez: There’s not much to ask more from the ZV-E10. It’s good and reliable as it is. If there’s one gripe I have with it, it’s the autofocus. If they could tinker with its autofocus to not freak out or stutter as much as it does, that would be amazing.
MJ: Not really. It feels solid for what I intend to use it for, for now. Who knows? Maybe along the way, I’ll end up looking for a feature that it doesn’t have.
Rodneil: I think it’s mostly fine as it is and for what it’s aiming to be. The features and overall build are geared towards vlogging. It’s great for its intended purpose.
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