Cameras

Fujifilm Instax SQ10 review

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In a time when cameras are getting smaller and every scene becomes a digital image at a tap on a smartphone screen, are prints still relevant?

Fujifilm’s Instax SQ10 aims to prove that they are. Following the wide success enjoyed by previous Instax models as the cutest niche product for print enthusiasts and go-to girlfriend gift of the past millennium, the brand tries its hand at a digital/analog camera hybrid.

The newest Instax is a serious-looking thing

The Fujifilm Instax SQ10

Unlike the cutesy, colorful Instax cameras of the past, the SQ10 comes in a very serious black with a clean silver finish.

Everything is square including the film

Instax photos displayed

This new film is being used for the first time on the SQ10. It’s bigger than Instax Mini’s prints but smaller than Instax Wide’s.

It’s a beautiful display of symmetry

Details of the Fujifilm Instax SQ10

Everything from the double shutters found on both sides of the camera, to the center flash, to buttons on the rear, are designed to be completely balanced. I must admit, although the camera packs more weight than I expected, it feels really good in my hands.

And of course, it prints on film!

Fujifilm Instax SQ10 printing a photo out

The defining feature of any Instax camera: its analog film printing.

But now, there are choices

Fujifilm Instax SQ10 has built in editing features

The unique thing about the SQ10 is that despite developing captured images on film, the camera itself is digital. Unlike Instax predecessors that were wholly mechanical, this particular model captures photographs the same way your smartphone does. Even without printing, your photos may be safely stored in a microSD card. This camera does not have Bluetooth capabilities and, consequently, you’d have to physically plug in the memory card to another device to copy or post the digital photos online. Not a problem, really, because a cuter post would be a photo of the printed Instax itself.

Additionally, this means that a simple switch will allow you to edit photos on this camera before printing — which includes filters, vignette, and exposure. It’s basically Instagram fun transferred to a camera for printing.

There’s a learning curve, though

Mistakes I made with the Instax SQ10

Yep, wasted film ?

There is an extra layer of navigating through the camera menu when you edit before printing. That, added to the unfamiliar way the buttons are arranged, can get a little confusing — especially if you’ve never used an Instax before. Unlike using Bluetooth photo printers and digital camera printers, this camera’s controls don’t feel as intuitive to digital natives used to tapping away on touchscreens.

Back of the SQ10 where the film is loaded and an empty film case

Back of the SQ10 where the film is loaded and an empty film case

Then, there’s the film which, as we 90s kids know, may be overexposed and ruined with one wrong move. I don’t expect young millennial SnapChatters to get this concept right off the bat, and honestly, it can get tricky. Even aware of film’s fickle nature, I managed to waste a couple of shots.

Once you get the hang of it though, it gets fairly easy and there’s nowhere to go but… out, to take more pictures!

Is this your GadgetMatch?

Girl holding Fujifilm Instax SQ10

Get the Instax SQ10 if you’re a sentimental, nostalgic fool who likes preserving moments, all the while being a perfectionist when it comes to #feedgoals and photography. (I say fool in the most loving way.)

One big mistake when considering getting this camera is measuring it up against digital cameras in the market. Granted, it may be a digital camera, it’s still on a league of its own. The SQ10 is Fuji’s first attempt at a hybrid, and it seems like it’s going in a pretty good direction.

Photo samples from Fujifilm Instax SQ10

There’s one thing that stops me from getting this camera, however: the very steep price. Unlike the Instax cameras of the past, this particular model isn’t so friendly to your pockets. The SQ10 retails for a whopping US$ 280, and a pack of 10 film exposures will cost you US$ 17 in the US. In the Philippines, it’s priced at PhP 14,999 for the SQ10 and PhP 550 for a box of film. Indian pricing is at INR 22,999 for the SQ10 and INR 699 for film.

SEE ALSO: HP Sprocket Review: The smallest instant printer

[irp posts=”17533″ name=”Polaroid Snap Touch Review: Print photos with a digital camera”]

 

Cameras

GoPro HERO9 Black launched with improvements across the board

5K videos below $500?!

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GoPro has released the latest iteration of its flagship camera. The new GoPro HERO9 Black brings major improvements across the board from bigger resolution to a whole new display upfront. It also brings battery life and performance improvements over its predecessors.

The main highlight of HERO9 Black is its improved camera resolution. This year, GoPro is upping the resolution for photo stills: it can now shoot 20-megapixel images. This is a considerable improvement over its predecessor’s 12-megapixel photo still.

Video performance has been given a boost too. Users can now shoot up to 5K videos on this camera. However, frame rates are limited to 30fps so users should stick to 4K for recording 60fps videos. HyperSmooth 3.0 is here too, bringing in-camera horizon leveling.

This year, GoPro is also bringing back a huge, missing feature from last year’s HERO8: detachable lens cover. The company is introducing a “Max Lens” mod this October to make use of the feature. This mod brings ultra-wide lens and max HyperSmooth technology allowing for a more cinematic effect.

Speaking of mods, users can still select from a variety of choices such as media mod, light mod, and display mod.

Another addition to the GoPro HERO9 Black is an LCD color display on the front. As such, users can now preview images and videos on the fly without resorting to the display on the back.

Meanwhile, the display on the back also gets some nifty upgrades. The company is sticking a bigger 2.27-inch touchscreen display this time around, which is a boost from its predecessor’s 1.95-inch display.

To accommodate all these improvements, HERO9 Black comes with a bigger 1,720mAh removable battery. The company touts 30% more battery life with this when compared against the HERO8.

Pricing and availability

The GoPro HERO9 Black is now available to purchase for US$ 449.99. It can also be had for US$ 349.98 when purchased with a GoPro Plus subscription. Each purchase comes with an included 32GB SD card to get users up to speed.

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Cameras

The Sony Alpha 7C is a compact full-frame camera

World’s first smallest and lightest full-frame camera

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If you’ve been waiting for a full-frame camera that’s easy to carry around then this latest from Sony was made just for you. The Sony Alpha 7C is the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame camera.

The new camera features a 24.2MP (approx. effective) 35mm full-frame back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image processing engine, offering high sensitivity, outstanding resolution, 15-stop6 wide dynamic range and high-speed image data processing.

At 124.0mm x 71.1mm x 59.7mm and weighing just 509g , the Alpha 7C is a similar size and weight to an APS-C camera. Sony achieves this build through upgraded 5-axis in-body stabilization and shutter units, and the utilization of monocoque construction, which is often used in the bodies of cars and aircrafts.

Full-frame image quality, Advanced Autofocus

Standard ISO extends up to 51,200 and is expandable to ISO 50-204,80012 for low-light environment captures with low noise. The Alpha 7C also supports 16-bit processing and 14-bit RAW output13 for natural gradations.

The Sony Alpha 7C is also equipped with Sony’s vaunted autofocus tech. It has the Real-time Eye AF for both humans and animals feature. In addition, “Tracking On + AF-On” is now assignable to a custom key. It can  be activated at once while the AF-ON button is pressed.

It locks onto the intended subject instantly without losing focus, thanks to its 693-point focal-plane phase-detection AF system covering approximately 93% of the image area, with an additional 425 contrast-detection points to ensure reliable focus, even in busy environments.

The Alpha 7C also features continuous shooting at up to 10 fps with AF/AE and it’s also possible to shoot continuously at up to 8 fps17 in live view mode, with minimal viewfinder/monitor display lag for easy, stable framing, even with intense subject motion.

Shoot 4K video

Full-frame full-pixel readout without the need for pixel binning makes it possible to capture
more than twice20 the amount of data required for 4K video (QFHD: 3840 x 2160). It’s then oversampled to produce high quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth.

In addition, the Alpha 7C supports HDR (HLG21) and S-Log/S-Gamut profiles, Slow & Quick motion, high-speed full HD recording at 120 fps3 and other advanced video features which offer exceptional video capabilities to capture high quality video footage.

The Alpha 7C features a side-opening vari-angle LCD monitor, making it easy to record selfies, overhead shots, low ground-level shots or whatever the user requires. The Movie button has been placed on the top of the camera making it easier to operate while recording in selfie mode.

A digital audio interface has been added to the camera’s Multi Interface (MI) Shoe, allowing the ECM-B1M Shotgun Microphone or XLR-K3M XLR Adaptor Kit to be connected to input digital audio signals directly to the MI shoe for cleaner, clearer audio recordings.

New lens perfect for the Sony Alpha 7C

Launching alongside the Alpha 7C are the FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 and the HVL-F28RM.

The new FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 offers the world’s smallest and lightest form factor in a standard zoom lens. From everyday shooting to scenery, portraits and travel, it’s the ideal lens for any type of on-the-go shooting in a wide variety of environments.

The FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 is dust and moisture resistant and accepts a variety of 40.5mm filters.

The HVL-F28RM is a compact flash designed to match Sony’s mirrorless cameras for a compact, manageable system. This compact, easy-to-use flash unit delivers the capabilities and dependability to meet the needs of both professional and advanced amateur content creators.

Pricing and availability

The new Alpha 7C compact full-frame camera will retail for US$ 1799.99 (body only)/ US$ 2,099.99 (with kit lens) and will be available at selected retail shops and online stores from October 2020.

The FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 zoom lens will retail for US$ 499.99  and will be available at selected retail shops and online stores from January 2021.

The HVL-F28RM flash will retail for US$ 249.99 and will be available at selected retail shops and online stores from November 2020.

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Apps

Imaging Edge Webcam lets you use Sony cameras for video calls, live streams

Adapting to the new normal

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If you’ve been working from home, chances are you’ve attended more than your fair share of video calls. If you have a Sony camera, you can elevate the quality of your video with the new Imaging Edge Webcam app.

Considering we’re months into being quarantined already, Sony sure took their time in launching this product. That said, it should still be a welcome addition for anyone who might possibly need it.

It currently only supports Windows 10 64bit so you might have to wait a while if you’re using a Mac. You may download the desktop app here.

The Sony cameras supported are: Alpha 9 II, Alpha 9, Alpha 7R IV, Alpha 7R III, Alpha 7R II, Alpha 7S II, Alpha 7S, Alpha 7 III,
Alpha 7 II, Alpha 6600, Alpha 6400, Alpha 6100, RX100 VII, RX100 VI, RX0 II, RX0, ZV-1.

There are more cameras supported and we’ll update this article once we have the full list.

Quick note for anyone who will use it: The aspect ratio is automatically set to 16:9. It will remain set to 16:9 after using Imaging Edge Webcam, so set it to the previous value if necessary.

SEE ALSO: The Sony A7S III is a low light video beast

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