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.

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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

DJI debuts the Osmo Action, their first action camera

This is DJI’s direct answer to GoPro

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DJI Osmo Action | Image credit: DJI

When DJI released the Osmo Pocket months ago, everyone went crazy because it’s the only stabilized camera that can fit in anyone’s pocket. Now, DJI has announced another camera creation, the Osmo Action.

It looks very similar to GoPro’s action cameras, which serves the purpose — to become its direct rival. The Sony RX0 II is a noteworthy competitor, too.


Focusing on the camera, it can shoot videos of up to 4K resolution at 60fps. The lens is composed of three aspherical layers which reduce glare and distortion. It even has an anti-fingerprint coating that also repels water, oil, and other smudges while shooting. In harsh light conditions, it can shoot with enhanced HDR. You can attach a neutral-density (ND) filter on it as well.

DJI Osmo Action | Image credit: DJI

So done with gimbals? The Osmo’s action camera has RockSteady technology that combines electronic image stabilization with other complex algorithms in order to achieve shake-free footage. The camera can survive the extremes — up to 11m (or 36ft) in the deep waters, and as cold as negative 10 degrees Celsius when shooting with the device.

The camera features various creative shooting modes like 8x slow motion and the Custom Exposure Mode that can shoot as long as 120 seconds — great for capturing the dazzling night sky. A Timelapse Mode is present, as well as a Timed Shooting Mode with support for shooting RAW file format.

DJI Osmo Action | Image credit: DJI

The device is equipped with dual screens: one at the back for controlling the device and another in the front for framing yourself. With DJI’s custom ActionOS, you can use voice control to power up and operate the device. It has a Custom Mode which lets you choose your frequently used shooting modes, while a QuickSwitch button (labeled as QS) is present to let you switch modes in an instant.

The Osmo Action is priced at US$ 349, which is about the same price as the GoPro Hero 7 Black today.

SEE ALSO: DJI Osmo Pocket Review

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Cameras

Samsung announces the world’s first 64-megapixel phone camera

Better cameras are coming!

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For a while now, the smartphone photography business has hovered around 48-megapixel cameras. Last year, the market released the first 48-megapixel smartphone cameras. Since then, more smartphones have adopted the new standard. Of course, progress never stops.

Already, Qualcomm is anticipating even greater heights for smartphone photography this year. Fulfilling the prophecy, Samsung has announced the first 64-megapixel camera sensor. The brand is expanding its 0.8μm lineup, adding the 64-megapixel Samsung ISOCELL Bright GW1.


Much like other 48-megapixel sensors today, Samsung’s new shooter uses the contemporary pixel-merging Tetracell technology. Further, the sensor will improve HDR shooting capabilities. The GW1 supports an HDR of up to 100dB. According to Samsung, the current industry standard goes up to only 60dB. (The human eye can detect up to 120dB.) Samsung’s HDR images should look more realistic compared to other market offerings.

Similarly, the GW1 optimizes collected light. Basically, the sensor should have fewer problems in low-light conditions. Image sharpness is supposedly sharper as well.

For video taking, the GW1 supports Full HD recording, shooting at up to 480 frames-per-second. The new feature is a huge improvement for slow-motion videos.

Besides the 64-megapixel GW1 sensor, Samsung is also releasing a new 48-megapixel ISOCELL Bright GM2. Though lower, the 48-megapixel sensor also offers the same capabilities as the GW1.

Currently, Samsung is sampling the new sensors for the market. The brand expects to proceed with mass production in the second half of the year. Unfortunately, Samsung has not revealed which smartphones or brands are on the market. Regardless, the new development is a huge and speedy step for smartphone photography. If Qualcomm’s other predictions ring true, we’ll see 100-megapixel cameras soon, too.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy A20 Hands-on: One of the familiar faces

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Cameras

Sony A6400 Unboxing and Hands-On

Our vlogging camera of choice

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“What camera do you use to make your videos?”

If you follow us on social media, you’d know it’s the Sony a7S II as well as a whole set of Sony lenses. It’s an amazing camera, but a flippy screen would make it so much better so that filming yourself when alone would be a whole lot easier. The Sony a6400 has exactly that.



This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Sony Philippines.

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