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
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
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
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!
The defining feature of any Instax camera: its analog film printing.
But now, there are choices
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
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.
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?
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.
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.
[irp posts=”17533" name=”Polaroid Snap Touch Review: Print photos with a digital camera”]
Canon unveils PowerShot G5 X, PowerShot G7 X in PH
Up your vlogger game with these two additions
Canon’s G series family just received its latest additions for vloggers and compact camera enthusiasts. These two cameras promise to bring high quality and quick images, while packaged ever so lightly. During the Canon Vlog Ventures event, the company unveiled the PowerShot G5 X II and the PowerShot G7X III.
Canon’s Benny Yu, Head of Marketing for its Consumer division dubbed these cameras as an “on-the-go” devices. According to Yu, these devices fit best with “advanced photographers and vloggers who are constantly on the move.” The PowerShot G5 X and G7 X bring a new one-inch CMOS image sensor, 4K video recording, and livestreaming features (only for the G7 X).
Apart from these, both devices support up to 30 frames per second of continuous shooting modes in RAW format. This enables you to capture fast-moving objects without missing a singe thing, especially for events and travel vlogs. This frame cap also applies when shooting videos in 4K, which allows you to shoot videos in unbelievable, stunning quality.
Canon is currently offering vlogger packages along with any pre-orders between August 16 to 31, 2019. The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III package starts at PhP 46,998, complete with a free 24/7 Vlogger Service Support, 3-year warranty and access to Canon’s accessories and lens. Meanwhile, the Canon PowerShot G5 X II package starts at PhP 54,998.
The vlogging cameras were first announced in July. In the US, the G7X III retails for US$ 749.
DJI launches the ultra-portable Osmo Mobile 3
It’s now foldable!
DJI has been a quintessential part for most people — drones, portable cameras, action cameras, you name it, they have it. With the existence of advanced smartphone cameras, there’s no doubt that mobile cinematography is also getting better. DJI continues to prove that they are the world’s leader in creative camera technology with the Osmo Mobile 3.
The third iteration of the Osmo Mobile is the first folding stabilizer made by DJI. They have specifically thought of its new folding design to make it more portable for everyone. The redesign also paves way for clutter-free operation, even when you are using charging cables and external mics.
It doesn’t stop there as they also included efficient and convenient buttons so you’re ready to shoot whenever, wherever. You can access Quick Roll by pressing the Mode (M) button twice 🤟🏼. That feature automatically rotates the phone’s orientation from landscape to portrait (and vice versa).
ActiveTrack 3.0 also helps in re-centering the subject being tracked. A trigger exists for locking orientation and rotating the gimbal for selfies. There’s also a dedicated zoom slider on the stabilizer’s side for hassle-free operation. In addition, users can control the zoom speed based on their preference.
With the DJI Mimo App, you can access its pre-programmed modes during and after shooting. Story Mode lets you edit videos right away with preset music, transitions, and filters. There are also 13 templates you can choose from.
Several modes to play with
The Sport Mode increases the stabilizer’s responsiveness in shooting subjects that are fast-paced. There’s also the Gesture Control which automatically snaps a selfie once you pose for the camera — a peace sign, perhaps?. Panorama mode is also included with 3×3 or 180º options when shooting. Don’t worry, the Slow Motion Mode is also present with 4X or 8X speed options.
Get more creative with TimeLapse, MotionLapse, and HyperLapse. They all sound similar but they are different in their own ways.
TimeLapse lets you shoot longer videos in a shorter playback duration. MotionLapse combines the function of TimeLapse, but with the addition of the movement of a dynamic element you selected in the frame. Lastly, HyperLapse works just like TimeLapse but adds more movement by moving the stabilizer along with you. It works best not just because of EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization), but also with DJI’s ActiveTrack 3.0.
Pricing and availability
The DJI Osmo Mobile 3 is currently available in DJI’s flagship stores and select Apple Stores in the United States. It’s currently sold in two packages: The standard package with the wrist strap, storage pouch, and anti-slip pads retails for US$ 105. Meanwhile, there’s a US$ 125 package that includes everything in the standard version, plus the Osmo Grip Tripod and Osmo Carrying Case.
Global availability and local pricing has yet to be announced.
Sony RX100 VII: full-frame features on a compact camera
Best compact camera today?
Sony’s compact camera just leveled up. Just months removed from the announcement of its predecessor, we now have the Sony RX100 VII and it’s the company’s most powerful camera to date.
The headline feature is the Sony A9 level speed performance with up to 60 AF/AE calculations per second and 20fps blackout-free shooting with AF/AE tracking. Speaking of tracking, the Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF for movie shooting introduced on the Sony A7R IV is also making its way to the RX100 VII.
It comes with a ZEISS 24-200mm F2.8-4.5 high magnification zoom lens to give you flexibility when shooting. Other improvements include a new drive mode, Single Burst Shooting, for capturing high-speed shots at up to 90FPS.
More options for movie recording
Those looking to shoot plenty of videos will love the 4K Active SteadyShot that Sony says is eight times more effective than 4K Standard SteadyShot. Interval Shooting(19) For stunning time-lapse videos, there’s Interval Shooting. And there’s also slow-mo recording at up to 960FPS for that cinematic flair.
There’s also an option for vertical movie recording if you want to record for IGTV. Vloggers were kept in mind with the 3.5mm mic input and a 180-degree flip screen.
Package for vloggers
If you want to kick it up a notch there’s also a Shooting Grip Kit package. It includes an RX100 VII and Shooting Grip that allows for easy recording and zooming. The kit also comes with a bracket with accessory shoe and two rechargeable battery packs.
Sold separately, but recommended by Sony, is the Sony Stereo Microphone (ECM-XYST1M). It mounts on the brack’s accessory for simple vlogging setup.
Pricing and availability
The RX100 VII will ship in August 2019 for around US$ 1,200 while The RX100 VII Shooting Grip Kit will be available later in 2019 for around US$ 1,300. In Singapore, the RX100 VII will be available end of August starting at SG$ 1,649. The RX100 VII Kit will retail for SG$ 1,799.
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