Cameras

DJI Osmo Pocket Review

Who exactly is it made for?

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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

Feature-packed

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.

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.

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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