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.
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.
— The MJ Jucutan (@mj_jucutan) April 28, 2019
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.
Razer’s new webcam: the Kiyo Pro
For work and play
With Razer showing off their dedication to workers and gamers staying safe and indoors, they’ve announced the new Razer Kiyo Pro.
The Kiyo Pro is a USB camera with a high-performance Adaptive Light Sensor to deliver sharp video quality even in low-light conditions. Combined with an ultra-sensitive Type 1/2.8 CMOS sensor with STARVIS technology, the Kiyo Pro boasts professional-level image quality to video conferencing and streaming.
In this day and age, it’s no surprise that Razer is bringing new webcams especially with work-from-home and new digital communications. Working from home has really become an integral part of professional life today.
However, sometimes built-in laptop cameras lack the resolution and framerates for professional-looking conference calls or streams. They often struggle to cope with low-light and deliver blurry images and that’s where the Kiyo Pro comes in.
The Kiyo Pro is capable of uncompressed full HD 1080p 60FPS. Razer says this will not only ramp up dynamic range but also, correct under- or overexposed areas on the fly, eliminating silhouetting if the subject is lit from behind.
Making sure it’s ideal for video conferencing or streaming, the wide-angle lens on the Kiyo Pro gives you a choice of three fields of view: 103°, 90° or 80°. The 103° view lets everyone fit in a group video call or allow streamers viewers to show off their set up. But, if you’re just looking for a perfect headshot view for meetings or streams, the 80° view will suffice.
The Kiyo Pro has a range of extra features with flexible mounting options to perfectly set it up. And, its omnidirectional stereo microphone array ensures your voice is properly picked up wherever you’ve mounted it. A separate cover is included to protect the lens and assure your privacy when not in use.
Razer Kiyo Pro Specs:
- Connection type: USB3.0
- Image resolution: 2.1 Megapixels
- Video Resolution: 1080p @ 60/30/24FPS / 720p @ 60FPS / 480p @ 30FPS / 360p @ 30FPS
- Video encoding: H.264 codec
- Still Image Resolution: 1920×1080
- Image Quality Settings Customization: Yes
- Diagonal Field of View (FOV): 103°, 90°, 80°
- Focus Type: Auto
- Mounting Options: L-shape joint and Tripod (Not included)
- Cable Length: 1.5 meters braided cable
- Channels: Stereo
- Audio Codec: 16bit 48KHz
- Polar patterns: Omni-directional
- Sensitivity: -38dB
- PC with a free USB port
- Windows® 8 (or higher)
- Internet connection
- 500 MB of free hard disk space
- Compatible with Open Broadcaster Software and Xsplit
The Razer Kiyo Pro is already available on Razer’s website with the price tag of USD$199.99 or EUR€ 209.99
Canon EOS M50 Mark II is finally here in the Philippines
With improvements in autofocus
Canon finally unveils the Canon EOS M50 Mark II in the Philippines, the successor to the EOS M50 from three years ago.
Just like its predecessor, it’s a mirrorless camera designed for amateur and casual photographers who are also into shooting videos and livestreaming.
The good stuff
Just like the first Canon EOS M50, the EOS M50 Mark II features a 24.1MP APS-C CMOS image sensor. It also has the nifty DIGIC 8 Image Processor with Auto Lighting Optimizer for better photos and videos altogether.
Other than that, it still has that 3-inch articulating Vari-angle LCD monitor which is always helpful for shooting in tight angles and situations. It also supports touchscreen recording, movie self-timer and an external microphone jack that’s helpful for vloggers out there. There’s also a 2.36 million dot built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF) for clearer viewing when shooting outdoors and a more comfortable ergonomic grip than its predecessor.
ISO Sensitivity is still limited to 25,600 (and expandable up to ISO 51,200), and it still shoots videos of up to 4K/24p and 720p/120p in Slow-Motion. The old high-speed continuous shooting of up to 10fps (frames per second) in One-Shot AF mode is still present in this newer model. Its quick and accurate Dual Pixel CMOS AF (Autofocus) is also here, but with some changes and updates.
Fast and stable AF is essential when it comes to shooting videos of moving subjects. On the EOS M50 Mark II, the AF frame display in EVF or LCD screen has been improved with faster tracking so users can see which part is in focus without any on-screen lag. Also, there’s a new Tap AF feature where users can instantly switch focus from one person to another by just tapping on the screen — helpful in group shots.
Meanwhile, its old Eye Detection AF has some improvements in detecting and focusing. It can now focus on a subject’s eye even when the person is far away. Users can also use this feature to capture subjects faster and more accurate when they are approaching from a distance — ideal for candid shots.
The combination of Eye detection AF with Servo AF when shooting still images will help you capture your subject’s natural expressions even when they are in motion. In this AF mode, it also lets you shoot up to multiple shots (7.4fps) of moving subjects such as children or pets.
Eye Detection AF also works with Movie Servo AF mode. By simply keeping the subject within the frame while shooting, it will track the subject at ease. Users can focus on the composition of the video and leave the tracking of the subject to the camera.
More video enhancements
In this modern age where people often use social media apps such as Instagram and TikTok, more users dedicate their time in shooting videos vertically. With the EOS M50 II, you can now shoot vertically — something the older model can’t do. , movies shot vertically are displayed smaller in a horizontal position when users play back the movie on a smart device. On the EOS M50 Mark II, an “add rotate info” option enables automatic vertical playback on smart devices, PCs and compatible social media, which enables a better viewing experience.
An improved contrast AF algorithm gives you more stability when shooting 4K clips using Canon’s EF-M lenses. This will enable smoother and reduced wobbling when recording. There’s also the ability to digitally zoom (around 3-10x) at the central part of the screen when shooting. This can be paired with optical zoom on a telephoto zoom lens to achieve better close-up shots.
Users of the M50 Mark II can also directly livestream to YouTube through its built-in Wi-Fi without using a streaming unit. Also, this new model also supports Canon’s new cloud platform wherein registered users can upload, store, download and transfer images between various devices seamlessly.
Pricing and Availability
The Canon EOS M50 Mark II in the Philippines is currently offered in two packages:
- Body Only = PhP 36,998
- Body + EF-M 15-45mm lens = PhP 49,998
- Freebie: Canon PV-123 mini photo printer
- Available in all Canon authorized dealers nationwide
- Body Only = PhP 36,998
- Body + EF-M 15-45mm lens = PhP 49,998
- Freebies: Canon PV-123 mini photo printer and HG-100TBR Camera Tripod
- Available only in Canon Image Square and Concept Stores nationwide
The Fujifilm GFX100S is a 102MP camera made for tougher environments
An improved medium format camera with a less expensive price tag
Remember the Fujifilm GFX100 from 2019? Well, Fujifilm has finally updated it with an updated model called the GFX100S — but what exactly has changed?
A medium format camera in a full-frame body
Medium-format cameras are a lot larger than the usual full-frame DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. But the GFX100S is an exception as it only weighs at 900g (1.9lb) — almost half the size of the heavyweight GFX100 at 1400g (3.1lb) and can go with existing full-frame bodies.
Despite its small size, it has a 3.2-inch touch-enabled LCD panel and supports up to 2.36 million colors. It’s not fully-articulated but it can be tilted up (90º), down (45º), and right (60º). There’s also a 1.8-inch sub LCD monitor at the camera’s top for viewing those handy EXIF settings that can also be customized depending on your liking.
Built for harsher climate conditions
The new GFX100S is built for tougher climates. Whether you’re shooting at a beach, desert, or even as high as Mount Fuji’s summit, the GFX100S can withstand all of that. This is a rare feature among most cameras and this is what makes it better than its two-year-old predecessor.
With its magnesium alloy body, it’s dust and moisture-resistant. At the same time, it’s also capable of operating under cooler temperatures (-10ºC or 14ºF).
Better autofocus + improved stabilization
Having an almost 100% coverage of phase detection pixels on its sensor, the GFX100S is capable of focusing as little as 0.18 seconds, even in low-light situations.
Although it still rocks the X-Processor 4 quad-core CPU, it will still be able to provide high-performance shooting on-the-go. With an updated focus tracking algorithm using the same sensor, it’s still capable of using Face and Eye AF functions for better focus at moving subjects.
Other than that, there’s also an improved and more compact 5-axis IBIS (in-body image stabilization) system that’s 20% smaller and 10% lighter than the older model. Even if there’s a size reduction, the stabilization system provides 6-stops of CIPA-rated IS and has a 0.5-overall improvement than the GFX100.
Still with 102MP and 4K video recording
Fujifilm has kept its secret sauce. The GFX100S still has that same 102-megapixel sensor that’s around 1.7 times larger than any of the full-frame offerings out in the market today.
The 4K/30p video recording support is also present for those crisp footage and be able to keep up with the industry’s standards. But other than shooting in the standard 16:9 aspect ratio, it also supports 17:9 that’s used in digital cinema.
To make video shooting even better, you can choose between F-Log and HLG (Hybrid Gamma Log) other than the usual H.264 and H.265 codecs. This means you can edit and have better color-grading options in post-processing to achieve a more cinematic output.
For utmost video capability, the GFX100S can also record 4K/30p footage in 12-bit RAW (recorded as Apple ProRes RAW files) through an HDMI hooked up to an Atomos Ninja V Monitor Recorder. Also, simultaneous outputs of RAW and F-Log / HLG footages with Film Simulation mode is also doable.
With their 86-year expertise in color science, it comes to no surprise that their classic Film Simulation Mode still remains. You can pick between 19 exclusive modes and simulate that classic film look with just a press of a button.
New FUJINON lens
The new GFX100S is paired with the announcement of the newest FUJINON GF80mmF1.7 R WR lens. From the name itself, it is a prime lens with an 80mm focal length (a 35mm equivalent of 63mm) and a wide aperture of f/1.7 for better bokeh and brighter images at night.
The lens is composed of nine rounded diaphragm blades plus 12-lens elements with one aspherical element and two Super ED elements. These provide better background segmentation with sharper subjects and smoother bokeh.
What makes it special is that, it’s the world’s first f/1.7 lens with an autofocus for a large format system. The powerful DC motor is enough to make the subject stand out — even with the wider aperture and shallower Depth of Field (DoF). There’s even support for Face and Eye AF for better-looking portraits even when you’re on the move.
Just like the GFX100s, it’s also weather-resistant that survives colder temperatures as low as -10ºC (or 14ºF). The seals around the lens also protect it from dust and rain. The front lens element is also coated with fluorine that repels dirt.
Pricing and availability
In the Philippines, the Fujifilm GFX100S retails at PhP 329,990. On the other hand, the FUJINON GF80mmF1.7R WR will cost you exactly PhP 128,990. Both of these will be available at the end of February 2021.
For an enhanced in-hand feel when using this camera, there’s a Metal Hand Grip accessory (MHG-GFX-S) which is priced at PhP 8,390. This hand grip is helpful for supporting larger lenses without feeling unstable. At the same time, it’s compatible with Arca-Swiss tripod plates for faster and smoother transition between mounted and handheld scenarios.
If you’re planning to buy all of them, it will cost you roughly PhP 467K. That’s still less expensive than the sub PhP-600K body-only GFX100 launched two years ago.
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