Cameras

Fujifilm X-A5 review: The perfect camera to up your social media game

Yep, I did an #OOTD challenge

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When the Fujifilm X-A5 was announced, I was beyond excited.

You see, I own and shoot with a pink X-A3 for my stuff outside of work and my personal vlogging.

Still from boyfriend’s vlog. That’s me shooting with the XA-3!

And sure, the fact that it was a pretty bright pink was part of what convinced me to get the X-A3, but it’s not just the color that drew me to this shooter. I wanted a small camera that I could bring on trips without being too bulky, something my frail arms could actually hold up for times I do decide to vlog. My non-negotiable was that “flippity screen” (yes, folks, I made that term up), the camera screen that flips upwards so you can see yourself as you shoot or record.

So, when the XA-5 came out, I was curious to see what improvements this new mirrorless camera had.

Quick specs

If you’ve already noticed by now, this will not be your typical camera review. For the benefit of those looking for camera specs, I’ll list them here, but know that this would probably be the last I mention them in this whole piece. This review will revolve around my experience with the X-A5 in the context of my needs when it comes to cameras.

Here’s a photo of me with the X-A5 for those of you who, like me, get bored with specs 😅

The Fujifilm X-A5 is a mirrorless camera — this means it’s lighter and more compact than DSLRs. It’s equipped with a 24.2-megapixel APS-C image sensor and is capable of reaching ISO 12800 (which may mean good things for low-light shots). It’s also the first X series camera with phase detection which means that this device will focus twice as fast as previous cameras, like my X-A3. The body comes bundled with an XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens and it has a built-in internal flash.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s move on.

Looks matter

In true Fujifilm fashion, this camera looks like a pretty Instagrammable itself. The body has clean matte aluminum-silver details that extend to the buttons and the back. The body itself is textured and comes in black, brown, or pink. Of course, I pushed for the pink one.

The pink on this camera is a little brownish. My X-A3 was a brighter pink.

Button placements are about the same: On/Off toggle with the shutter button, mode dial, exposure compensation dial, and a function key up top, and the usual buttons like menu, video record, playback, and other shortcuts are on the back of the camera. The display is also a touchscreen for easier navigation. Basically, if you’ve used an X series Fujifilm camera before, you’ll know where everything is. 

This camera, dubbed Fujifilm’s smallest mirrorless camera, is light and it fits my hands perfectly. Although, I’d have to admit: There isn’t much of a size difference between the X-A5 and my trusty X-A3, save for the X-A3’s bigger kit lens.

The thing is, there’s no way I’m lugging around a big camera on vacation trips and the X-A5 (as well as my old X-A3) is a size that I find acceptable — it’s not as bulky and it’s small enough to fit in my bag with everything else I decide to bring around on trips.

Pointing and shooting

Fujifilm is a beloved brand in photography and it comes as no surprise that this camera can capture stunning pictures. I mean look at these sample shots…

Like, look at them! They can be stock photos!

The hot cocoa looks super delicious!

The color and the blur is on point

Although I know my camera basics, I am not the best in shooting or handling cameras, mine or otherwise. The X-A5 was amazingly easy to use, especially since I’m already familiar with the past model. Honestly, I’ve had my share of crappy photos but these samples actually impressed me. Low-light photos, however, are a different story. Like many devices on the market now, you don’t exactly get the best photos when lighting conditions aren’t ideal.

The X-A3, my previous camera, only had Wi-Fi connectivity which means that it could only transfer photos when my phone is connected to the camera’s Wi-Fi. This process was a little cumbersome as that connection gets cut when you switch back to an actual network to get on the internet. That is now a problem of the past. The XA-5 is equipped with Bluetooth connectivity so that mean transferring photos from camera to your phone is so easy — you can even do it automatically and while connected to the internet through Wi-Fi.

Also, tourist selfies can go from this:

Shoutout to the photobomb couple at the back!

To this:

I’m controlling the camera with the phone in my hand through the Fujifilm remote app

Yep, connecting the camera to the app allows you to take photos and videos remotely. This means you don’t need another person to take your photos; you can control everything with your phone.

#OOTD Challenge!

Now, I generally suck at #OOTDs and posed travel content in general but I felt it was time for a challenge. I’d seen a lot of Instagram influencers tout their Fujifilm cameras so I wondered: Could I take the same photos with this thing?

Since I was traveling with the boyfriend when I was testing out this camera, I enlisted his help and had him be my token Instagram Boyfriend — ah the things we do for work!

I stood at random picturesque spots in Hong Kong and did the best travel/wanderlust/OOTD poses I could muster (which always translated to me looking up, for some reason). Since I’m not so big on editing, I only used the VSCO app on my phone to slightly adjust these photos and add a filter. Again, transferring photos to my phone for editing (and eventual posting) was a breeze because of connectivity functions. The results are as follows:

Needless to say, I was pretty happy with the pics, despite my awkward and repetitive posing. Expect these shots to be on my Instagram feed soon.

Videos and vlogging

One of the big things I use my camera for is vlogging. The fact that this thing is light is a big plus for me because it’s the weight my frail arm can handle as I hold out the camera to shoot myself. I mean, I have no idea how people actually shoot video with those humongous vlogging rigs, but that’s not a problem with the X-A5.

Although I’ve shot vlogs with this camera, my main gripe with this thing is that there’s no movie mode on it. This makes it a little hard to preview settings on the screen for shooting video — a problem I’ve grappled with on my X-A3 as well. The camera is capable of recording in 4K, which is literally bigger videos, but the camera display lags too much on that setting so I’d suggest sticking to a lower resolution like 1080p.

What’s great though is that there’s a touch-to-focus feature on video now, something only previously found on the photo mode. The X-A5 is also equipped with an audio port so you can now improve your vlog audio with an external mic.

Is the Fujifilm X-A5 your GadgetMatch?

Obviously, there are bigger, badder, and more expensive cameras out there that do a whole lot that this dainty thing can’t. But, that’s not the point (and those cameras are probably not pink). This shooter is designed for a certain demographic: those, like me, who want a simple, easy-to-use device in a light, compact, and stylish body. It’s not the best camera out there and at its price point, that would be pretty impossible. Nonetheless, it’s a camera that I really enjoy using.

If you’re like me and you’re looking for a more compact camera for IG photos and social media posts with great phone and app integration, you should consider the X-A5. It’s a great camera for beginners and enthusiasts who are just wetting their toes in the pool of content creation.

The Fujifilm retails for US$ 599 in the US and PhP 34,990 in the Philippines.

SEE ALSO: Fujifilm X-A5 is brand’s smallest and lightest mirrorless camera

Cameras

Leica Q2 Monochrom takes photos in black and white

Sells for US$ 5,995

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Today, smartphone photography continues to make enormous strides in delivering the best photo possible. Smartphone makers often tout their camera’s ultra-realism and completely accurate photo reproduction. However, sometimes, we just need to take a step back. In the camera industry, Leica is launching a new black-and-white camera, the Leica Q2 Monochrom.

Today, Leica announced the Leica Q2 Monochrom, the first full frame compact camera with a monochrome sensor. A worthy addition to Leica’s Q and Monochrom lines, the camera still boasts a fast Leica Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH prime lens. Further, it has quick and precise autofocusing and protective weather sealing.

The camera purposely comes without a color filter array, allowing for better sharpness in black and white. With a brilliant ISO setting going up to 100,000, the Leica Q2 Monochrom can take vibrant monochromatic shots at 47.3 megapixels.

Also, the lens can lock onto its subject at an impressive 0.15-second clip. It also allows for a 10-frame-per-second shooting burst at full resolution.

For video, Leica expands their camera’s capabilities by packing in 4K video shooting. When it comes to framerate, the camera can shoot at up to 120fps at 1080p resolution.

The Leica Q2 Monochrom is already available for order today. It retails for US$ 5,995.

SEE ALSO: Leica unveils Q2, adds weatherproofing and higher-resolution sensor

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Cameras

Fujifilm X-S10 price and availability in the Philippines

Fujifilm’s latest mirrorless camera!

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Fujifilm’s latest mirrorless compact camera — the X-S10 — has now arrived in the Philippines.

The camera’s in-body stabilization (IBIS) is around 30% smaller than the previous model. Despite this, it’s able to deliver up to 6.0-stop so five-axis image stabilization. The less shaky the footage, the better.

It’s the first midrange X Series camera with a motion sensor retention mechanism. It’s a mechanical shock absorber that guards against slight vibrations.

For more hand-held stability, the X-S10 has a large, ergonomic magnesium-alloy grip. This should make it easier to hold the camera even when a larger lens is mounted.

One of the X Series’ appeals is its ability to cater to both experience and beginner users. As mentioned earlier, the X-S10 will have the AUTO/SP Mode. This will have the camera automatically adjust the settings to suit the scene.

For quick and accurate autofocus, Fujifilm combines the X-S10’s high-speed AF woith the X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor’s 2.16 million phase detection pixels. What you get is an AF as fast as 0.02 seconds.

Shooting from different angles is easier too with the vari-angle LCD monitor and viewfinder. It can rotate up to 180 degrees so it’s also ideal for getting yourself in the frame.

Pricing and availability

The Fujifilm X-S10 (body only) retails for PhP 55,990 and PhP 78,990 with a XF18-55mm kit.

Fujifilm Philippines will include one (1) free original Fujifilm NP-W126S battery for the X-S10 worth PhP 3,500 for pre-orders and reservations taken from October 29 to November 15, 2020.

All pre-orders may also avail of a PhP 2,500 each off on the following XF F2 aperture lenses: the 23, 35 and 50 millimeter primes.

 

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Cameras

Sony introduces a chic, classic color for Digital Camera ZV-1

Meet the ZV-1 in White!

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Move over, black! Sony Electronics introduces a new color for its popular Digital Camera ZV-1 that works well in any season.

This new model now comes in chic, classic White with a matching windscreen — a highly demanded color for casual video shooters. You can pull off any outfit without worry. No more black cameras ruining your style!

In case you didn’t know, the ZV-1 is a lightweight, compact camera for your photo and video needs. It’s packed with user-friendly settings that are perfect for every beginner. Moreover, it hosts smart features suited for casual videos, live streaming, and Instagrammable photos.

Price and availability

The ZV-1 in White retails for SG$ 999. It will be available at Sony’s official stores and authorized dealers from early November 2020.

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