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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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:
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.
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.
Sony’s A7R IV has a massive 61MP sensor
Still king of full-frame mirrorless cameras
After hearing of a Sony Alpha event, we at GadgetMatch crossed our fingers hoping for the A7S III. That’s a much-awaited update on their S-series full-frame mirrorless cameras specifically made for taking videos. The event though, was for the Sony A7R IV. And while it’s not what we were waiting for, it still has so much going for it.
For one, it’s world’s first 61-megapixel 35mm full-frame sensor. That’s a huge step-up from its predecessor’s 42.4-megapixel sensor. Sony’s samples during the presentation showcases how you don’t lose detail even when you zoom in on the images thanks to its massive sensor.
It also has a 15-stop dynamic range, five-axis optical in-body image stabilization, as well as 10FPS shooting with continuous autofocus as well as real-time eye-tracking for every shot. Something new that video-makers might find really useful is the addition of the real-time eye AF to video recording.
Speaking of video, the A7R IV is capable of 4K recording with S-Log 2/3, HDR for professional editing. Still with video-makers in mind, the A7R IV comes with a new system that captures digital audio signal. With this, Sony introduced two accessories to take advantage of this new tech — a digital audio shotgun mic and an XLR mic adapter kit. The accessories cost US$ 350 and $600 respectively.
As for the camera itself, the A7R IV will retail for US$ 3,500 body-only and will be available in September 2019.
With Canon and Nikon launching their own full-frame mirrorless cameras namely the EOS R and the Z6 and Z7, this was a serious flex on Sony’s part. The company is letting the world know that they continue to hold the crown as king of full-frame mirrorless shooters.
Fujifilm debuts flagship GFX100 in the Philippines
Boasts of 102 megapixels, 4K videos
Fujifilm has just unveiled the GFX100 in the Philippines. Launched in Tokyo last May, the company’s flagship camera found its way to the country through an exclusive launch held in Illuminate Studio in Makati.
The GFX100 prides itself as the world’s first camera capable of shooting uncropped 4K videos in 30p on a medium format. It’s powered by Fujifilm’s latest X-Processor 4 to ensure the medium format camera has the power and speed to handle a large amount of data.
Set in Illumination Studio in Makati, Fujifilm lets you see first-hand how amazing the GFX100 is, especially its new features. Story soon on @gadgetmatch 😊 #FujifilmPHGFX100 #GadgetMatchLIVE pic.twitter.com/emYmuHA2wG
— The MJ Jucutan (@mj_jucutan) July 13, 2019
The camera is a real treat for those with artistic flair since it carries the newly-developed 102 megapixels image sensor. Active shooters should also rejoice! The camera has an improved phase detection AF (compared to X-series models) and built-in image stabilization, both of which are a first for a medium format digital camera.
To make it even more exciting, the GFX100 is weather-sealed, possessing dust- and water-resistant body which can also handle freezing up to -10 degrees Celsius. Its lightweight yet robust build made of magnesium alloy won’t let any kind of weather stop you from doing your craft.
Simply put, the GFX100 makes it easier to produce premium-quality output with great details, three-dimensional definition, and an accurate portrayal of a scene’s atmosphere.
In addition to loads of premium features, the GFX100 introduces the Film Simulation for the first time in the GFX series. Known from X-series cameras, the feature allows users to enjoy color and tonal reproduction.
To amplify the medium format camera’s arrival in the country, Fujifilm flew in two professional photographers who have used the GFX100 model.
Fujifilm invited Atlanta-based photographer @zarias and X-photographer @jan_gonzales to talk about the GFX100 and the importance of medium format. #FujifilmPHGFX100 #GadgetMatchLIVE @gadgetmatch pic.twitter.com/TjwCbRUZ6s
— The MJ Jucutan (@mj_jucutan) July 13, 2019
The GFX100 could be a GadgetMatch for artistic people, particularly those who work as a commercial or fashion photographer. It could also be a match made in heaven for photographers and videographers committed to producing premium quality work, or just an enthusiast moving to medium format.
As Atlanta-based photographer Zack Arias said, “Once you go medium format, you won’t settle for anything less anymore.”
The GFX100 is now available in the Philippines for PHP 599,990 (US$ 11,753) for its body only.
Canon introduces PowerShot G7 X III, shoots 4K and vertical videos
Made for aspiring YouTube and Instagram influencers
Canon has just announced the PowerShot G7 X III, another “vlogging” camera meant for YouTubers and Instagram creators. Vloggers will love it for its LCD touchscreen that tilts up 180 degrees.
The G7 X III boasts about shooting 4K videos at 30 FPS without cropping, something that the EOS R can’t do. It can also shoot 120 FPS slow-mo videos at 1080p resolution for cinematic effect. But more importantly, these videos you capture can be streamed live on YouTube.
Instagram influencers shouldn’t feel left out! The G7 X III has support for vertical shooting so you perfect for both Instagram Stories and IGTV. Your die-hard followers won’t have to worry about tilting their heads just to watch your vlog!
Canon’s newest camera is packed with features dedicated to aspiring creators. It’s equipped with built-in optical image stabilization, ND filter, and microphone input.
Like every recent camera, the G7 X III has a BlueTooth and Wi-Fi feature, as well as an option to gather GPS information through the Canon Camera Connect app. Creators can also do panoramic shooting because vlogging doesn’t always have to have the vlogger in focus.
The G7 X III will be available starting August. It costs around US$ 749 for both black and silver options.
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