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

Sony A9 II launches, improves speed and durability

Still made for sports photographers

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Sports photographers looking to upgrade their gear have something to look forward to with the announcement of the Sony A9 II.

This second generation camera builds upon the legacy of its predecessor. It maintains high speed performance which include blackout-free continuous shooting at up to 20 frames per second with Auto Focus and Auto Exposure tracking, 60 times per second AF/AE calculations.

The more significant updates are faster connectivity and file delivery, continuous shooting at up to 10 FPS with mechanical shutter, evolved AF performance with newly optimized algorithms, and a re-designed build to enhance durability.

The dust and moisture resistant design has been upgraded to meet the needs of professionals in the most challenging outdoor conditions.Stronger sealing provided at all body seams as well as the battery compartment cover and media slot. There’s also Improved grip configuration for better comfort and a sure hold. It’s compatible with the Sony VG-C4EM vertical grip.

Other features include an upgraded BIONZ X™ image processing engine gains maximum benefit from the sensor’s fast readout speed. Processor works with front-end LSI to enhance speed in AF/AE detection, image processing and, face detection and accuracy.

The Sony Alpha 9 II will be available in selected countries in Asia Pacific starting October 2019. Pricing will be announced at a later time.

SEE ALSO: 24 Hours in Baguio with the Sony A9

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Cameras

Canon finally brings the EOS 90D and M6 Mark II to the Philippines

The Canon refresh we’ve all been waiting for

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It was not too long ago when Canon Philippines announced EOS RP, their second full-frame mirrorless camera at a cheaper price. This time, Canon unveiled not just one, but two cameras — the Canon EOS 90D, successor to the EOS 80D from three years ago, and the EOS M6 Mark II, successor to 2017’s EOS M6.

Don’t confuse yourself

If you are confused with Canon’s camera lineup, here’s how you can differentiate them easily: Four and three-digit Canon DSLRs are for starters. Two-digit units are prosumer APS-C cameras, while one-digit models (except 6D and 7D) are full-frame DSLRs for professionals. 6D and 7D are for professionals too, just with cropped APS-C sensors.

Meanwhile, the M and R-series are Canon’s mirrorless line. In a nutshell, the M-series are shipped with APS-C sensors while the latter are equipped with full-frame sensors.

What’s new?

The Canon EOS 90D and M6 Mark II live up to their midrange powerhouse title by bringing significant upgrades over their predecessors. They both feature a larger 32.5-megapixel APS-C sensor (versus 24.2-megapixel sensor) with a newer DIGIC 8 processor.

Another major upgrade is the ability to capture 4K UHD videos. The previous models can only shoot Full HD videos in certain frame rates. The new models can also now shoot in Full HD 120p for slow-motion and/or smoother videos.

Canon has also thought of shooting better in lowlight scenarios. The lowest intensity limit can be lowered down to EV -5, which allows sharper and vivid photographs even in dark scenarios. ISO sensitivity also goes up to 25,600 in stills and 12,800 in videos.

What’s different?

As said earlier, they can both shoot 4K videos, but here’s the catch: The EOS 90D can shoot in 30p or 25p, either cropped or uncropped. The M6 Mark II is limited to 30p with no cropped option in tow.

Canon also highlights faster focus and continuous shooting speeds with these cameras. You can shoot as fast as 1/16000 sec for both cameras via electronic shutter, but only 1/4000 sec in mechanical shutter in M6 Mark II, unlike 90D’s 1/8000 sec.

The 90D has up to 10fps in viewfinder shooting (either fixed AF or AF tracking), 11fps during Live View shooting (but with fixed AF) and 7fps during Live View plus AF tracking. On he M6 Mark II, you can shoot up to 14fps, plus up to 30fps in RAW burst shooting.

Hardware-wise, the EOS 90D brings another multi-controller joystick along with the existing multi-controller to provide better tactile when it comes to selecting points when focusing a subject on screen. The M6 Mark II only relies on touch controls, plus a touch and drag function as well.

Although there is no significant difference with the equipped 3-inch Vari-angle touch LCD monitors, the EOS 90D has a Zero Lag optical viewfinder, while the M6 Mark II has none. You can buy an optional viewfinder separately, just like in the previous M6. The Eye AF (autofocus) also works both on the viewfinder and Live View with the 90D.

Major difference goes to lens choices. You can choose a wide variety of EF-S lenses for the 90D, just like what any other two-digit models can have. The M6 Mark II relies on EF-M lenses, something you can only use for Canon’s mirrorless mount. The EOS R and RP relies on newer RF lenses, while the professional DSLRs are stuck with EF lenses.

What should you get?

These cameras are not built for the same market. The EOS 90D goes for prosumers who would love to take their camera in action. The 90D is built not just for speed, but also for durability. Its dust and drip proofing make this camera a triumphant in build quality.

Canon EOS M6 Mark II

On the other hand, the EOS M6 Mark II is particularly for consumers who would love to get most of the newest camera features without compromising size and heft. It’s a versatile camera in a more stylish and compact form.

Pricing and availability

Both cameras will be available across all authorized Canon Dealers nationwide starting on October 10. The Canon EOS 90D retails for:

  • PhP 74,498 (body only)
  • PhP 81,998 (with 18-55mm IS STM lens); and
  • PhP 94,498 (with 18-135mm IS USM lens)

While the EOS M6 Mark II pricing is as follows:

  • PhP 56,998 (body only)
  • PhP 62,998 (with 15-45mm kit lens); and
  • PhP 81,998 (with 18-150mm kit lens)

Promos will also apply to early buyers from October 4th until the 31st:

  • A free TIMEX Marathon Watch
  • PhP 4,000 discount on EVF-DC2 viewfinder (SRP PhP 11,998) for M6 Mark II buyers
  • PhP 1,000-worth Canon Red App points; and
  • Free pass to Canon PhotoMarathon 2019

Registering through Canon’s Red App will not only give you these promos, but also incentives such as 2-year extended warranty, unlimited CMOS cleaning for one year, free trial of lenses up to 3x, earn points to claim gifts and vouchers, and the ability to join and avail Canon-exclusive programs in the Philippines.

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Cameras

Sony launches the A6600 and the A6100 mirrorless cameras

Can focus on subjects in just 0.02 seconds!

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Even with recent camera launches, Sony is already expanding its camera family once again. Announced today, the company will launch two new APS-C mirrorless cameras. The flagship Alpha A6600 will replace 2016’s popular A6500 model. Meanwhile, the lower-tier Alpha A6100 will succeed the A6000 model.

Like its predecessor, the Alpha A6600 sports a 24.2-megapixel APS-C image sensor. It also comes with in-body 5-axis image stabilization, Real-Time AF tracking, and Real-Time Eye AF tracking. With 425 phase-detect points, the camera can track subjects in real time for both photo and video modes.

More importantly, the Alpha A6600 will feature Sony’s AI-powered Z-Bionz image processing tech. With the new technology, the flagship model can focus on a subject in an astonishing 0.02 seconds. As such, it can shoot in a blazing-fast 11 shots per second. Inside, the camera is also speedy. The new BIONZ X image processing system touts almost twice the processing speed of its predecessor.

The Alpha A6600 is also armed with impressive video-taking capabilities. The camera can take videos in 4K resolution. For ease of use, it comes with a 180-degree rear touch screen and a headphone/microphone jack.

Finally, the camera will have a larger Z-battery inside the package. Supposedly, it will last much longer than the previous A6500. More specifically, the battery will shoot up to 720 shots on just one charge.

The Alpha 6600 will launch in November for US$ 1,400. It also comes in a package with an 18-135mm kit lens for a pricier US$ 1,800.

For the budget conscious, the upcoming Alpha 6100 will pack almost the same features as the Alpha A6600 — except for the headphone jack or the bigger battery. For a lesser package, the camera will retail for US$ 750. Like the flagship model, a packaged variant with a 16-50mm kit lens will retail for US$ 850. Finally, a larger 55-210mm lens package will retail for US$ 1,100.

SEE ALSO: Sony’s A7R IV has a massive 61MP sensor

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