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

Canon officially brings the EOS R6 Mark II to the Philippines

Taking hybrid to the next level

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Canon Philippines has finally launched the follow-up to their much-beloved hybrid full-frame camera EOS R6 from two years ago, the EOS R6 Mark II.

The union of systems

The Canon EOS R6 Mark II is a mirrorless camera featuring a 24.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor. Paired with the DIGIC X processor, it promises better quality photos with reduced noise. Speaking of noise, the camera can reach an ISO of up to 102,400 and low-light sensitivity below EV -6.5.

If you’re concerned about display when shooting, the EOS R6 Mark II offers a fully-articulating 3″ LCD with touchscreen that enables you to shoot in various angles, whether overhead or low down.

Not a fan of screen shooting? The EOS R6 Mark II has a 0.5″ OLED EVF (Electronic View Finder). With 3.69-million dots and a refresh rate of up to 119.88 fps, it’s as great as how you look at Optical View Finders found on DSLRs.

If you’re shooting a lot of action, Canon has the improved Dual Pixel AF CMOS II system with an outstanding AF zones of 1,053 and approximately 100% AF coverage.

Other than that, there’s the EOS iTR AF X (Intelligent Tracking & Recognition Autofocus) that can now track horses, trains, and airplanes aside from people, animals, and other vehicles. There’s even Deep Learning-based Subject Tracking and Auto Subject Detection as well for better tracking. This also makes an 80% faster AF performance than its EOS R6 predecessor.

For burst mode shots, you can shoot 12fps under Mechanical Shutter and 40fps with Quiet Mode support under Electronic Shutter. That’s very ideal for concerts and wildlife shoots.

If you’re that serious in videography, the EOS R6 Mark II not only offers the usual 4K/60p video recording, it also supports a jaw-dropping 6K/60p with 10-bit RAW HDMI out. And if you’re a sucker for slow motion, this hybrid camera can also shoot slo-mo Full HD at 180p.

Worried about shaky footages? Canon combines three image-stabilizing systems in one with Coordinated Control. That’s the fusion of 5-axis In-Body Image Stabilizer (IS), Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS), and Movie Digital IS. There’s even the Canon Log 3 if you prefer flat-looking shooting profiles that allows you to be versatile in color grading.

Much like iPhone’s Cinematic Mode, the EOS R6 Mark II can seamlessly change focus points regardless if one tries to change the focal length through Focus Breathing Correction. You can even select several focusing speeds to match the effect and speed of the subject.

Durability-wise, the Canon EOS R6 Mark II is rated to last up to 400,000 cycles. That’s more than enough for the continuous use and abuse of the hybrid mirrorless camera compared to conventional bodies of the same kind. And if you shoot under harsh weather conditions, its body is made from a durable magnesium alloy chassis that’s also dust and drip-resistant.

Other notable feature is the Dual Card Recording which allows simultaneous recording on both SD cards. That’s one 4K/60p shooting and FHD/180p on the other or just record footages and stills all at once. Lastly, the R6 Mark II uses the specialized set of RF and RF-S lenses just like any other mirrorless cameras of Canon.

A true 6ame ChangeR

Canon Philippines has finally held an in-person event ever since the launch of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III — which I attended before the pandemic lockdown happened in the country.

We were welcomed by Canon PH’s several ambassadors on the board. They were also able to use the EOS R6 Mark II for two weeks all before the launch event took place. Those include Ian Celis together with his daughter, Eyah Celis under Ian Celis Productions based in Antipolo, Rizal.

During the small talk, Ian Celis showed us a reel showcasing his work using the EOS R6 Mark II. He even mentioned that his favorite feature has got to be Focus Breathing Correction and the FHD/180p slo-mo feature very ideal for wedding footages. Meanwhile, Eyah talked about how the camera’s lightweight body was able to help her shoot extreme lengths despite her slimness and petiteness during a marathon event.

Another in the ambassador lineup were Pat Dy and Chissai Bautista of Team Pat Dy. It started when they showed us Chissai’s interview on the large projection. As a wedding shooter, she told everyone that wedding events are always fast-paced.

But with the fast and precise AF system of the Canon EOS R6 Mark II, she expounded that she was able to quickly grasp the situation around and shoot fast-moving subjects blurry-free. That’s also possible thanks to the very lightweight body of the mirrorless camera.

More so, Pat Dy has explained and showed us how the EOS R6 Mark II is a true game-changer. From its lightweight body, one-handed camera use thanks to better camera controls and ergonomics, and more about how it’s a true “hybrid” by having the ability to shoot great stills and footages all at once are just some of the great feats of Canon’s newest mirrorless camera.

Before the wrap up, Pat even did a live demo of how he shoots wedding portraits under controlled-environment situations such as a movie theater with one source of light and a diffuser. Remarkably, we have witnessed how the EOS R6 Mark II greatly-performed without compromises despite such shooting condition.

Pricing and availability

The Canon EOS R6 Mark II will be available in the Philippines starting as early as January 2023. The body only configuration will cost you PhP 179,998. There’s also a bundled RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM configuration that retails for PhP 199,998.

Other than that, Canon has also introduced a new RF 135mm f/1.8 L IS USM being sold at PhP 160,998 as well as a lighter external flash unit Speedlite EL-5 for PhP 30,998.

If you pre-order the EOS R6 Mark II from December 3 to January 16, you’ll get added perks like a free 128GB SD Card, additional 2 years warranty aside from the usual 1-year warranty, and a special PhP 25,000-worth Creator’s Access Membership that includes:

  • Free Membership Fee
  • Priority Service
  • While-you-wait service
  • Four (4) working days of expedited service
  • Free external cleaning
  • Service unit
  • Lens loan for three (3) months
  • Show/Event Support
  • Printing Services with discounted rates
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Cameras

Sony A7R V combines hi-res sensor with AI

Hardware and software in tandem

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Sony A7R V

It’s been three years since the launch of the Sony A7R IV. So, it’s about time that Sony released its successor — the Sony A7R V (Sony Alpha 7R V).

The Sony A7R V is hardware and software working in tandem to provide the best images possible. It has Sony’s highest resolution image sensor with a new AI processing unit. One that’s dedicated to AI-based image recognition. It’s the first of its kind on any Sony Alpha camera. It also has the BIONZ XR image processing engine which is a first in the “R” full-frame lineup.

The new A7R V offers 61 MP still images plus the an 8-step image stabilization system. That bodes well for shooting video which you can shoot in refined 8K movie output.

The AF (Autofocus) has also been improved with advanced accuracy and broader subject recognition. Real-time Recognition AF, using AI subject recognition, has been developed to include several subject types, including animals, vehicles, and insects. The Alpha 7R V also includes continuous shooting at up to 10 fps with AF/AE tracking.

These beloved Sony Alpha features have also been improved:

  • Tenacious Real-time Tracking
  • Faster and more precise wide-area, high-density AF system
  • Silent, vibration-free shooting at up to 7 fps
  • Continuously shoot up to 583 compressed RAW images at high speed

Cinematic video capabilities

The A7R V isn’t just for taking breathtaking stills. It also ffers advanced video capabilities. Sony’s newest camera delivers 8K1 24/25p video, 4K video oversampled from 6.2K without binning, a high-efficiency MPEG-H HEVC/H.265 codec, intra recording, 10-bit 4:2:2 recording, and more for high image quality and flexible editing. It also includes evolved subject recognition for unprecedented real-time tracking reliability, breathing compensation and the ability to use camera metadata for post-processing and advanced in-body image stabilization.

Price and availability

The Sony A7R V will be available for pre-order starting October 28, 2022, until November 27, 2022. The camera can be pre-ordered with just the camera body or preferred accessories and through different payment options. Suggested pre-order net cash price starts at PhP 239,999.

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Cameras

Fujifilm X-T5 camera now available for pre-order

New macro lens also revealed

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Fujifilm X-T5

As the year winds down, it’s ideal for freelancers to invest in the right equipment should they pursue a career in the creative industry.

At X Summit Tokyo 2022, Fujifilm unveiled the Fujifilm X-T5, the latest iteration in its line of compact mirrorless cameras under the prestigious X Series.

It has a high-resolution 40.2MP X-Trans CMOS 5 HR sensor which has an enhanced image-processing algorithm to boost resolution without compromising quality.

And with X-Processor 5, the camera delivers twice the processing speed of its predecessor.

Among the X-T5’s features are:

  • Three top-plate dials – for ISO, shutter speed, and exposure
  • Five-axis IBIS system for up to 7.0 stops of compensation
  • Three-way tilting LCD
  • 19 film simulation modes to recreate classic colors and tones
  • Al technology-driven Auto White Balance
  • Subject-detection autofocus
  • Pixel Shift multi-shot for ultra-high-resolution 160MP image
  • 1/180,000 maximum shutter speed

And while the X-T5 focuses more on photography, it is also capable of shooting 6.2K videos in standard 30fps.

Pricing

For pre-orders, the Fujifilm X-T5 body is priced at PhP 109,990. Customers can avail of the 18-55mm Kit for PhP 134,990 or the 16-80mm Kit for PhP 141,990.

Pre-orders come with a free Manfrotto backpack and one (1) year extended service warranty.

As an option, Fujifilm has also revealed the XF30mmF2.8 R LM WR macro lens to pair with the camera.

This lens is capable of 1:1 macro, features advanced auto-focus, and is weather-resistant for users to be able to shoot in virtually any condition. For sample images, click here.

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