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.
GoPro HERO 7 goes official with plethora of video and imaging features
The best GoPro yet
After a rather quiet year, GoPro is back in the game! Well, they weren’t really gone but their presence in the action camera realm hasn’t been the same lately. To set off a great comeback, GoPro announced the HERO 7 action camera family. We not only have one or two new cameras to play with — we have three!
The main highlight is the HERO 7 Black which boasts in-camera HyperSmooth stabilization that’s said to rival those bulky gimbals. Then there’s the TimeWarp feature which will undeniably be popular for travel. The Black is also capable of online live streaming straight from the camera.
GoPro’s best camera is capable of shooting 4K at 60fps or 1080p at 240fps slow-mo, but it’s not just for videos. It can also capture photos with a new smart scene recognition that applies necessary settings to get the best shot possible. It has better audio capture and supports hands-free voice commands, as well.
If the Black is too much for you, there’s the HERO 7 Silver. It’s cheaper but it lacks the HyperSmooth stabilization and 4K 60fps video recording. No worries, because GoPro said it still has a “significantly improved” video stabilization and other important features from the Black.
The most of basic of the bunch is the HERO 7 White. It boasts more or less the same features as the Silver model but it maxes out at just 1080p at 60fps. If you really just want to have a high-quality action camera for your trips, you can’t go wrong with this.
Here’s a simple table to help you understand more about the differences between the three new HERO 7 cameras from GoPro:
All three HERO 7 models are now available for pre-order, with retail launches starting on September 27 internationally. The high-end HERO 7 Black goes for US$ 399, the mid-tier HERO 7 Silver is at US$ 299, and the entry-level HERO 7 White is available for US$ 199.
Polaroid OneStep+ puts a modern twist to old-school photography
Don’t judge a camera by its vintage appearance
As the throwback trend continues to be popular, print photos are coming back in style. And in a time where the Fujifilm Instax line has taken the world by storm, Polaroid jumps back in to take back the crown with their latest release, the Polaroid OneStep+.
Inspired by the 1977 OneStep model, the Polaroid OneStep+ takes the classic Polaroid camera and packs it with a bunch of cool features to pull it right into the late 2010s. You can still snap a photo instantly, just like old-school Polaroids, but now you can also use a new app that lets you do fancy stuff with your camera.
Remote Trigger, Self Timer, and Noise Trigger make it so that you can get the perfect group shot even without having to ask a stranger to take it. Give your photographs more character with Double Exposure and Light Painting. And enhance the quality of your captures with Portrait and Manual mode.
Just like that, your instant photography game just got much more elevated. And apart from the i-Type film that’s specially made for this line, you can use their 600 film which gives this new and innovative little machine even more of a vintage feel. For the price you pay, I think it’d be well worth it!
The Polariod OneStep+ is available now, and you can get it for US$ 159 on their website.
Snap’s new Spectacles are here
And they actually look real good!
The idea of having cameras built into eyeglasses has always been a great one. When Snap (creator of Snapchat) decided to make that a reality with Spectacles, it almost seemed like the greatest idea ever — except it only came in one style and it wasn’t a style I was particularly fond of.
When they released the Spectacles 2, the shades-camera combo came in more colors, but the same size. I still wasn’t sold.
But, Snap’s latest Spectacles release has me wanting the famed frames. Finally, the company has announced Specs I’m on board with. Introducing, the Nico specs:
There’s also the Veronica:
Now these glasses, I’d definitely wear! They feature the same 105-degree camera and the same LED light design found on previous Spectacles. Both are only available in black and retail for US$ 200 each.
BRB, getting these glasses!
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