There’s still something about instant cameras that excites me. Even in the age of Instagram and digital photos, I still find myself curious about the next new shooter that’ll be able to instantly print my pictures.
Fujifilm’s newest release, the Instax SQ6, is the latest camera to feed my instant photo obsession, and it uses the square film format.
What can it do and how is it different from previous Instax releases? Keep reading.
Right off the bat, let me say it: This is an Instagrammable camera. It has a cool retro look that makes it look classic, but fun. It looks so nice, it can pass as a set prop.
It comes in three colors: pearly white, slate metal black, and my favorite, a pink one.
This simple camera is pretty straightforward. Up front is a beautiful textured finish. You can find the flash, shutter button, and a selfie mirror here.
On the back is a slight grip, which houses batteries that power the device. There’s also the viewfinder, compartment for the film, and the different mode buttons.
Up top is where the film comes out, and of course, the on/off switch.
The SQ6 comes in a lightweight plastic body, but the design makes up for that. It’s not the most compact camera, but judging by how pretty it is, it seems this is a device that’s designed to be seen and shown off as opposed to being kept in a bag.
Before anything else, let me go through loading film, as this is always the trickiest part to any new instant camera.
With the SQ6, it’s pretty simple: Load the cartridge, make sure the yellow strips match (on the cartridge and the camera) and you’re done! There’s also a counter on the lower right that shows how many shots you have left.
Now, there are a number of shooting modes on this camera. There’s automatic for normal shooting conditions, Macro mode for close-up shooting, Landscape mode, double exposure mode, and even modes to lighten or darken your shots.
The topmost button on the left controls the modes; below that is a Timer button, and under that is a Hold Flash button. Like most instant cameras, the flash goes off every time a photo is taken. If you’re in a super bright place and you want to take a photo, you can press the Hold Flash button so that the photo won’t come out as too bright. Fair warning though, the flash is automatically on for good reason.
Speaking of the flash, the camera comes with flash filters in different colors for some fancy Instax photo effects.
The SQ6 is a square format camera meaning it shoots in square film. These are available in white, and just recently, black — which looks awesome! Each cartridge houses ten shots.
Time to shoot photos!
I just love that there’s a Selfie mode on this thing. Being on this mode calibrates the settings so that it takes the best photo from as far as your selfie-taking hand can go. That selfie mirror in front really helps, too.
Of course, that was a mode I used a lot. The Double Exposure mode is pretty cool, too. When on this mode, you can press the shutter button twice and the effect is pretty trippy prints. Speaking of trippy prints, those colored filters also add a subtle color effect to photos that give them more character.
No samples from the Macro mode as I wasn’t even able to take a decent one; the photo shifts to the side when you shoot. 😅
My go-to for group photos was the timer shot. This ensures no shaky hands and wider space so that everyone can potentially fit. This yielded nice, clear photos — when we framed it right.
Admittedly, mistakes on instant cameras are pretty common, and that’s the beauty of it.
I can’t tell you how much film I wasted on shots I screwed up. Whether I accidentally pressed the shutter, framed it wrong, or cut somebody out, these are all moments that will be remembered years from now, all frozen in Instax photos.
Do I likey?
The SQ6 follows the SQ10 as part of the Instax square format camera line. But, that’s about all it follows from its semi-digital predecessor.
This camera looks retro because it is. It’s fully analog, meaning no photo saving or editing, and it runs on replaceable batteries, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Taking photos is as quick and simple as hitting the shutter button.
It’s an instant camera that’s straightforward and easy to use, which means it racked up fun points in that regard. Photo quality is definitely better compared to other instant cameras I’ve tried, and admittedly, that square black film looks great. Not to mention, it’s a pretty camera that’s very fun to use.
Yet another plus: The SQ6 retails for US$ 130 in the US, which is more than half the price of the previously released SQ10.
If you’re an avid instant camera fan and are into the old-school Instax feels, this shooter might be worth checking out. It’s a new camera with old tricks up its sleeves — and that formula actually works for it.
Sony FE 20-70mm F4 G zoom lens now available
Future telephoto lens announced
Sony is introducing the new FE 20-70mm F4 G (SEL2070G) zoom lens as its latest product to join the brand’s lineup of camera lenses.
Comparatively lighter and more compact, the full-frame lens features a constant F4 aperture throughout the 20 to 70mm zoom range, making it ideal for creators capturing both stills and videos.
With its G Lens image quality, the lens is able to achieve images that have chromatic and spherical aberration both corrected. Optimized coatings also allow for high flare and ghost resistance.
Subjects as close as 0.25 meters can also be captured while producing ideal results, compared to standard zoom lenses which focus at around 0.32 to 0.38 meters at the most.
Maximized AF performance
For videographers, the lens is able to maintain a 16:9 or 2:35:1 aspect ratio when using the 20mm end of its range. When paired with Alpha series cameras that have Active Mode image stabilization, smooth, handheld footages are possible at 20mm.
The SEL2070G also has a 60% increase in AF speed, while focus breathing is also reduced. This allows for accurate focus and tracking of even fast-moving subjects at 4K and 8K.
The FE 20-70mm F4 G (SEL2070G) is now available in select Sony authorized dealers for PhP 75,000.
In addition, an upcoming FE 300mm F2.8 GM OSS telephoto lens has been announced by Sony for an early 2024 release to join its large aperture telephoto lenses ideal for sports and wildlife photography.
Canon unveils EOS R50 and R8 for content creators
Can come bundled with lenses
Cameras are still relatively expensive devices. But, despite their prices and the rapid development of smartphone cameras, nothing can beat the sheer quality of an actual camera. If you’re looking for a bulkier camera to take your photos, Canon has a new duo of mirrorless cameras for even the stingiest of budgets.
First up, the Canon EOS R50 offers a lot of quality for those who want an upgrade. Shooting at up 4K resolution, the camera can use its 24.2-million-pixel APS-C sensor and its Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology to create outstanding videos. It comes with a selection of features including whole area tracking, subject detection, and movie-prerecording.
For customization, users can fit the camera with a set of interchangeable lenses. It will also be available as part of a Content Creation Kit, which packs the camera with a microphone, lens, and a grip.
Currently set for a release in spring, the Canon EOS R50 will retail for US$ 679.99. Additionally, the camera can also come bundled with an RF-S18-45mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM lens for US$ 799.99. A bundle with an RF-S18-45mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM and an RF-S55-210mm F5-7.1 IS STM lens will sell for US$ 1,029.00.
An affordable full-frame mirrorless camera, the EOS E8 sports a 24.2-megapixel CMOS image sensor and a DIGIC X image processor to boost an up-and-coming content creator’s output. With full-frame lenses, the EOS R8 can improve wide-angle shots even compared to other APS-C cameras. It can shoot at up to 60fps with 1st-curtain Electronic shutter and up to 40fps with full electronic.
On its own, the EOS R8 will start selling in spring for US$ 1,499.00. Also, it can come with an RF24-50mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM lens for US$ 1,699.00.
Canon officially brings the EOS R6 Mark II to the Philippines
Taking hybrid to the next level
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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