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
No built-in storage
USB-C port to keep with the times
Universal Port allows for additional connectivity
Built-in preview screen
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.
Razer’s new webcam: the Kiyo Pro
For work and play
With Razer showing off their dedication to workers and gamers staying safe and indoors, they’ve announced the new Razer Kiyo Pro.
The Kiyo Pro is a USB camera with a high-performance Adaptive Light Sensor to deliver sharp video quality even in low-light conditions. Combined with an ultra-sensitive Type 1/2.8 CMOS sensor with STARVIS technology, the Kiyo Pro boasts professional-level image quality to video conferencing and streaming.
In this day and age, it’s no surprise that Razer is bringing new webcams especially with work-from-home and new digital communications. Working from home has really become an integral part of professional life today.
However, sometimes built-in laptop cameras lack the resolution and framerates for professional-looking conference calls or streams. They often struggle to cope with low-light and deliver blurry images and that’s where the Kiyo Pro comes in.
The Kiyo Pro is capable of uncompressed full HD 1080p 60FPS. Razer says this will not only ramp up dynamic range but also, correct under- or overexposed areas on the fly, eliminating silhouetting if the subject is lit from behind.
Making sure it’s ideal for video conferencing or streaming, the wide-angle lens on the Kiyo Pro gives you a choice of three fields of view: 103°, 90° or 80°. The 103° view lets everyone fit in a group video call or allow streamers viewers to show off their set up. But, if you’re just looking for a perfect headshot view for meetings or streams, the 80° view will suffice.
The Kiyo Pro has a range of extra features with flexible mounting options to perfectly set it up. And, its omnidirectional stereo microphone array ensures your voice is properly picked up wherever you’ve mounted it. A separate cover is included to protect the lens and assure your privacy when not in use.
Razer Kiyo Pro Specs:
- Connection type: USB3.0
- Image resolution: 2.1 Megapixels
- Video Resolution: 1080p @ 60/30/24FPS / 720p @ 60FPS / 480p @ 30FPS / 360p @ 30FPS
- Video encoding: H.264 codec
- Still Image Resolution: 1920×1080
- Image Quality Settings Customization: Yes
- Diagonal Field of View (FOV): 103°, 90°, 80°
- Focus Type: Auto
- Mounting Options: L-shape joint and Tripod (Not included)
- Cable Length: 1.5 meters braided cable
- Channels: Stereo
- Audio Codec: 16bit 48KHz
- Polar patterns: Omni-directional
- Sensitivity: -38dB
- PC with a free USB port
- Windows® 8 (or higher)
- Internet connection
- 500 MB of free hard disk space
- Compatible with Open Broadcaster Software and Xsplit
The Razer Kiyo Pro is already available on Razer’s website with the price tag of USD$199.99 or EUR€ 209.99
Canon EOS M50 Mark II is finally here in the Philippines
With improvements in autofocus
Canon finally unveils the Canon EOS M50 Mark II in the Philippines, the successor to the EOS M50 from three years ago.
Just like its predecessor, it’s a mirrorless camera designed for amateur and casual photographers who are also into shooting videos and livestreaming.
The good stuff
Just like the first Canon EOS M50, the EOS M50 Mark II features a 24.1MP APS-C CMOS image sensor. It also has the nifty DIGIC 8 Image Processor with Auto Lighting Optimizer for better photos and videos altogether.
Other than that, it still has that 3-inch articulating Vari-angle LCD monitor which is always helpful for shooting in tight angles and situations. It also supports touchscreen recording, movie self-timer and an external microphone jack that’s helpful for vloggers out there. There’s also a 2.36 million dot built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF) for clearer viewing when shooting outdoors and a more comfortable ergonomic grip than its predecessor.
ISO Sensitivity is still limited to 25,600 (and expandable up to ISO 51,200), and it still shoots videos of up to 4K/24p and 720p/120p in Slow-Motion. The old high-speed continuous shooting of up to 10fps (frames per second) in One-Shot AF mode is still present in this newer model. Its quick and accurate Dual Pixel CMOS AF (Autofocus) is also here, but with some changes and updates.
Fast and stable AF is essential when it comes to shooting videos of moving subjects. On the EOS M50 Mark II, the AF frame display in EVF or LCD screen has been improved with faster tracking so users can see which part is in focus without any on-screen lag. Also, there’s a new Tap AF feature where users can instantly switch focus from one person to another by just tapping on the screen — helpful in group shots.
Meanwhile, its old Eye Detection AF has some improvements in detecting and focusing. It can now focus on a subject’s eye even when the person is far away. Users can also use this feature to capture subjects faster and more accurate when they are approaching from a distance — ideal for candid shots.
The combination of Eye detection AF with Servo AF when shooting still images will help you capture your subject’s natural expressions even when they are in motion. In this AF mode, it also lets you shoot up to multiple shots (7.4fps) of moving subjects such as children or pets.
Eye Detection AF also works with Movie Servo AF mode. By simply keeping the subject within the frame while shooting, it will track the subject at ease. Users can focus on the composition of the video and leave the tracking of the subject to the camera.
More video enhancements
In this modern age where people often use social media apps such as Instagram and TikTok, more users dedicate their time in shooting videos vertically. With the EOS M50 II, you can now shoot vertically — something the older model can’t do. , movies shot vertically are displayed smaller in a horizontal position when users play back the movie on a smart device. On the EOS M50 Mark II, an “add rotate info” option enables automatic vertical playback on smart devices, PCs and compatible social media, which enables a better viewing experience.
An improved contrast AF algorithm gives you more stability when shooting 4K clips using Canon’s EF-M lenses. This will enable smoother and reduced wobbling when recording. There’s also the ability to digitally zoom (around 3-10x) at the central part of the screen when shooting. This can be paired with optical zoom on a telephoto zoom lens to achieve better close-up shots.
Users of the M50 Mark II can also directly livestream to YouTube through its built-in Wi-Fi without using a streaming unit. Also, this new model also supports Canon’s new cloud platform wherein registered users can upload, store, download and transfer images between various devices seamlessly.
Pricing and Availability
The Canon EOS M50 Mark II in the Philippines is currently offered in two packages:
- Body Only = PhP 36,998
- Body + EF-M 15-45mm lens = PhP 49,998
- Freebie: Canon PV-123 mini photo printer
- Available in all Canon authorized dealers nationwide
- Body Only = PhP 36,998
- Body + EF-M 15-45mm lens = PhP 49,998
- Freebies: Canon PV-123 mini photo printer and HG-100TBR Camera Tripod
- Available only in Canon Image Square and Concept Stores nationwide
The Fujifilm GFX100S is a 102MP camera made for tougher environments
An improved medium format camera with a less expensive price tag
Remember the Fujifilm GFX100 from 2019? Well, Fujifilm has finally updated it with an updated model called the GFX100S — but what exactly has changed?
A medium format camera in a full-frame body
Medium-format cameras are a lot larger than the usual full-frame DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. But the GFX100S is an exception as it only weighs at 900g (1.9lb) — almost half the size of the heavyweight GFX100 at 1400g (3.1lb) and can go with existing full-frame bodies.
Despite its small size, it has a 3.2-inch touch-enabled LCD panel and supports up to 2.36 million colors. It’s not fully-articulated but it can be tilted up (90º), down (45º), and right (60º). There’s also a 1.8-inch sub LCD monitor at the camera’s top for viewing those handy EXIF settings that can also be customized depending on your liking.
Built for harsher climate conditions
The new GFX100S is built for tougher climates. Whether you’re shooting at a beach, desert, or even as high as Mount Fuji’s summit, the GFX100S can withstand all of that. This is a rare feature among most cameras and this is what makes it better than its two-year-old predecessor.
With its magnesium alloy body, it’s dust and moisture-resistant. At the same time, it’s also capable of operating under cooler temperatures (-10ºC or 14ºF).
Better autofocus + improved stabilization
Having an almost 100% coverage of phase detection pixels on its sensor, the GFX100S is capable of focusing as little as 0.18 seconds, even in low-light situations.
Although it still rocks the X-Processor 4 quad-core CPU, it will still be able to provide high-performance shooting on-the-go. With an updated focus tracking algorithm using the same sensor, it’s still capable of using Face and Eye AF functions for better focus at moving subjects.
Other than that, there’s also an improved and more compact 5-axis IBIS (in-body image stabilization) system that’s 20% smaller and 10% lighter than the older model. Even if there’s a size reduction, the stabilization system provides 6-stops of CIPA-rated IS and has a 0.5-overall improvement than the GFX100.
Still with 102MP and 4K video recording
Fujifilm has kept its secret sauce. The GFX100S still has that same 102-megapixel sensor that’s around 1.7 times larger than any of the full-frame offerings out in the market today.
The 4K/30p video recording support is also present for those crisp footage and be able to keep up with the industry’s standards. But other than shooting in the standard 16:9 aspect ratio, it also supports 17:9 that’s used in digital cinema.
To make video shooting even better, you can choose between F-Log and HLG (Hybrid Gamma Log) other than the usual H.264 and H.265 codecs. This means you can edit and have better color-grading options in post-processing to achieve a more cinematic output.
For utmost video capability, the GFX100S can also record 4K/30p footage in 12-bit RAW (recorded as Apple ProRes RAW files) through an HDMI hooked up to an Atomos Ninja V Monitor Recorder. Also, simultaneous outputs of RAW and F-Log / HLG footages with Film Simulation mode is also doable.
With their 86-year expertise in color science, it comes to no surprise that their classic Film Simulation Mode still remains. You can pick between 19 exclusive modes and simulate that classic film look with just a press of a button.
New FUJINON lens
The new GFX100S is paired with the announcement of the newest FUJINON GF80mmF1.7 R WR lens. From the name itself, it is a prime lens with an 80mm focal length (a 35mm equivalent of 63mm) and a wide aperture of f/1.7 for better bokeh and brighter images at night.
The lens is composed of nine rounded diaphragm blades plus 12-lens elements with one aspherical element and two Super ED elements. These provide better background segmentation with sharper subjects and smoother bokeh.
What makes it special is that, it’s the world’s first f/1.7 lens with an autofocus for a large format system. The powerful DC motor is enough to make the subject stand out — even with the wider aperture and shallower Depth of Field (DoF). There’s even support for Face and Eye AF for better-looking portraits even when you’re on the move.
Just like the GFX100s, it’s also weather-resistant that survives colder temperatures as low as -10ºC (or 14ºF). The seals around the lens also protect it from dust and rain. The front lens element is also coated with fluorine that repels dirt.
Pricing and availability
In the Philippines, the Fujifilm GFX100S retails at PhP 329,990. On the other hand, the FUJINON GF80mmF1.7R WR will cost you exactly PhP 128,990. Both of these will be available at the end of February 2021.
For an enhanced in-hand feel when using this camera, there’s a Metal Hand Grip accessory (MHG-GFX-S) which is priced at PhP 8,390. This hand grip is helpful for supporting larger lenses without feeling unstable. At the same time, it’s compatible with Arca-Swiss tripod plates for faster and smoother transition between mounted and handheld scenarios.
If you’re planning to buy all of them, it will cost you roughly PhP 467K. That’s still less expensive than the sub PhP-600K body-only GFX100 launched two years ago.
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