Cameras

Fujifilm X-T30 first look: Is it really built for the outdoors?

GadgetMatch’s youngest producers shared their thoughts!

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Fujifilm invited the two youngest producers from the GadgetMatch team to a secret location to experience the newest mirrorless camera from the light and compact X-series, the Fujifilm X-T30. It was a chance to test and play around with the camera in the great outdoors.

Vincenz, a budding photographer, was eager to test out the capabilities of the X-T30. Meanwhile, MJ, an outdoor enthusiast, got thrilled to see how the camera fares as a companion to one’s travels.

Let’s see what these two producers have to say!

What’s your first impression upon seeing the camera up close?

Vincenz: Seeing it for the first time, you can already tell that it is a Fujifilm camera; their cameras really remind me of the vintage SLRs. The design is what makes the Fujifilm camera lineup “classic” versus other mirrorless bodies, especially if you rock the silver color.

I’m a non-Fujifilm user (and I’m using a DSLR to be specific); I’m surprised there is enough grip for me to hold on despite its compact size. Obviously, there’s so much difference when looking at it than actually holding it. Overall, it’s so handy and a breeze to shoot with.

MJ: What I love about Fujifilm is how their cameras scream style and creativity. Surely, the X-T30 is a good-looking camera reminiscent of vintage cameras.

Aside from being a stunner on any occasion, it matches my small hands. It’s easy to carry and it makes shooting a whole lot simpler for me. This camera is a relief; I don’t have to worry about straining my hands after a day’s worth of photographs and adventures.

How was your experience?

MJ: For someone who enjoys playing outdoors, the X-T30 was fun to use. At first, the controls got me confused. I kept forgetting how to navigate the camera. (The last time I used a Fujifilm camera was almost a year ago.)

If you’re scared of trying out a new camera, don’t worry; the X-T30 is easy to learn with its user-friendly interface. It only takes a few minutes to an hour (depending on your learning curve) to grasp the whole controls. You can start shooting right away.

This camera is a real treat, especially for travelers. It’s so lightweight and compact. You can bring it wherever you go. During our trek, I crossed a river and hopped onto slippery rocks. But I didn’t feel like I was carrying a camera. I was more focused on keeping myself safe rather than being anxious about breaking the camera.

The controls are easily accessible too, which is a plus point for people in search of their next travel camera. When you’re shooting landscapes and sceneries, there are moments that need to be captured quickly or else you’ll miss your only chance.

Vincenz: Using it blew me away. This was my second time using a Fujifilm camera (X-H1 was the first one I used for a sponsored shoot), but I never really got into the system. Fair enough this time, I was able to learn X-T30’s dials and controls quickly.

I was still nitpicking even after learning the basics. Adjusting the ISO was tricky on my part. For some reason, it eventually “locks out.” Maybe there’s just some setting that needs to be adjusted. The touch AF was so handy when I tried capturing moving objects (specifically birds and animals). Plus, the Eye and Face Tracking made the experience a lot better when I shot human element/s in a composition.

I explored more of the camera’s features such as the film simulation modes with Fujifilm’s very own color profiles. It depends on what scene you’re shooting. It’s useful for instant color grading. I also tried the mechanical and silent electronic shutters, the exposure bracketing, the slow shutter speed, and more.

With Fujifilm’s Bluetooth-capable Camera Remote app, you can share your photos on social media in no time. The app is also helpful if you want to control the camera wirelessly. All I can say is, there are more things to discover if you’ll spend time with the camera.

What dismayed me, though, is the lack of optical image stabilization or OIS. Sure, it takes sharper photographs with its fast shutter speed, but it’s not that versatile when shooting video. What’s the use of 4K and having Cinematic F-Log option? I get it, though. Stabilizers and tripods are there. It just would have been better if had a built-in stabilizer, especially for adventurers who love packing light.

Is it really a good companion for your adventures?

Vincenz: I definitely wouldn’t hesitate to answer “yes” since I really enjoyed shooting with it. Generally speaking, people think DSLR cameras are for professionals while mirrorless cameras are for noobs. Well, that’s a biased remark because the quality of the output still depends on how you compose your shots.

What I can brag about this camera is how Fujifilm managed to fit in an amazing camera sensor. Plus, it has all the nifty features in such a compact and lightweight body. It’s a great adventure companion. But, if you’re looking for a vlogging camera instead, this isn’t the one for you.

MJ: Absolutely! While I need more time to actually test the camera on my travels, it’s promising even for the first time. For casual photographers and travelers, it’s a good companion that can capture your adventures in the urban jungle or the great outdoors.

It’s easy to carry. With its compact size, it’s pocketable in cargo shorts and oversized trench coats. It also carries the distinct Fujifilm design which makes it a perfect accessory to match your clothing style. Lastly, despite being small and fashionable, it can do its job in taking postcard-worthy photos and cinematic videos. At least for me, it has what I need.

SEE ALSO: Fujifilm Instax SQ20 hands-on: How good is it?

Cameras

The instax Mini 9 comes with a retro craft bundle for the holiday season

For all your scrapbooking dreams

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The holiday season is here!

If you’re still struggling in coming up with a gift idea, Team Instax might have just curated one for you. Fujifilm partnered with Craft Easy to create the instax Mini 9 Craft Kit.

The craft kit comes with a unique, retro tin box that comes in five colors — each with an accompanying message and particular design. Inside you get a Mini 9 camera, a pack of film, as well as crafting materials including wooden clips, washi tapes, and a set of fun stickers. This special bundle could be a great gift for only PhP 4,499 (US$ 89).

instax Mini 9

The instax Mini 9 is an instant camera that lets you take better selfies that you can print thanks to the built-in selfie mirror placed next to its lens. There’s also a close-up lens attachment if you want to photograph your subjects closer. Lighting can easily be adjusted, too, with its brightness adjustment dial. To operate the camera, you only need two AA size alkaline batteries. Happiness is just one click away!

The Mini 9 is available in Flamingo Pink, Ice Blue, Lime Green, Cobalt Blue, and Smoky White. The camera retails for PhP 3,999. It’s available at Fujifilm authorized dealers nationwide.

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Cameras

Best of 2019: Our favorite cameras

Carefully curated for your camera needs

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Just like any other consumer product, asking for the best product of all time is a lot. Various products were made to cater to the needs of different people. Even though smartphone cameras are fast-evolving, cameras are slower to develop but are far from being obsolete.

Here’s a list to help you decide the next best camera for you.

Best cameras for vlogging

Portability and flip screens — two among the many features that vloggers and content creators want to have in a camera.

Sony RX100 VII

If you want to have the lightest and most compact camera for vlogging, the RX100 VII is your best pick. Unlike other cameras in the list, it doesn’t feature interchangeable lens. Don’t worry, it’s equivalent to a 24-200mm f/2.8-f/4.5 lens, giving you the flexibility to shoot photos and videos on-the-go. It features real-time eye AF and tracking, a 180-degree flip screen, and 4K 30fps video shooting, as well as 960fps slow-mo shooting.

SEE ALSO: Sony RX100 VII: full-frame features on a compact camera

Sony a6400

If you’re already invested with Sony’s E-mount lenses, this new camera is for you. It’s one of the few cameras from Sony with interchangeable lenses that also has a flippy screen. It features a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor, higher ISO expandability at 102,800, and even a weather-sealed body.

SEE ALSO: Sony’s new A6400 mirrorless camera is for professional vlogging

Canon EOS M6 Mark II

Successor to the EOS M6, Canon brings the M6 Mark II to the table with a larger 32.5-megapixel APS-C sensor, faster shutter speed (together with the electronic shutter), higher ISO sensitivity range, and more AF points. It now features 4K 30fps/1080p 120fps shooting, a huge bump up from the old video resolution settings. Forget the lack of optical viewfinder! The 3-inch tilting LCD is helpful enough to make it an ideal vlogging companion.

SEE ALSO: Canon EOS M6 Mark II Philippine launch

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Cameras

Sony A9 II launches, improves speed and durability

Still made for sports photographers

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Sports photographers looking to upgrade their gear have something to look forward to with the announcement of the Sony A9 II.

This second generation camera builds upon the legacy of its predecessor. It maintains high speed performance which include blackout-free continuous shooting at up to 20 frames per second with Auto Focus and Auto Exposure tracking, 60 times per second AF/AE calculations.

The more significant updates are faster connectivity and file delivery, continuous shooting at up to 10 FPS with mechanical shutter, evolved AF performance with newly optimized algorithms, and a re-designed build to enhance durability.

The dust and moisture resistant design has been upgraded to meet the needs of professionals in the most challenging outdoor conditions.Stronger sealing provided at all body seams as well as the battery compartment cover and media slot. There’s also Improved grip configuration for better comfort and a sure hold. It’s compatible with the Sony VG-C4EM vertical grip.

Other features include an upgraded BIONZ X™ image processing engine gains maximum benefit from the sensor’s fast readout speed. Processor works with front-end LSI to enhance speed in AF/AE detection, image processing and, face detection and accuracy.

The Sony Alpha 9 II will be available in selected countries in Asia Pacific starting October 2019. Pricing will be announced at a later time.

SEE ALSO: 24 Hours in Baguio with the Sony A9

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