Best of 2019: Our favorite cameras

Carefully curated for your camera needs



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Best for action/travel

For this list, ruggedness and the ability to shoot in ultra-wide angles were considered — something you don’t necessarily need in person-centric vlogs.

DJI Osmo Pocket

This pocketable camera offers more than its size — it can shoot shake-free videos of up to 4K 60fps, thanks to its three-axis gimbal. Additional video modes include FPV mode that tracks fast-moving objects, MotionLapse that’s one step ahead from the usual timelapses, FaceTrack for tracking faces, and ActiveTrack for tracking other subjects. It can also shoot 3×3 panoramas and low-light stills. There’s an extension rod for selfies while the waterproof case is handy for your next island getaway.

SEE ALSO: DJI Osmo Pocket Review

DJI Osmo Action 

DJI debuted their first action camera this year with dual screens. Just like other competitors, it can shoot 4K 60fps videos. You can attach ND filters onto the lens — which has a special coating that repeals smudge, oil, and water. You don’t need gimbals with its RockSteady technology and it can even survive the extremes: 36ft. (11m) underwater, or weather as cold as -10 degrees Celsius. Other modes include 8x slow motion, TimeLapse Mode, and Custom Exposure Mode (up to 120 seconds).

SEE ALSO: DJI debuts the Osmo Action, their first action camera

GoPro HERO8 Black

Aside from shooting at 4K 60fps/1080p 240fps, the latest HERO still brings the best of GoPro: HyperSmooth and TimeWarp 2.0, LiveBurst, Night Lapse, SuperPhoto, and improved HDR. There are also newer mods that attach on the side of the camera: Media Mod (with shotgun mic, 3.5mm audio and HDMI ports), Display Mod (with tilting screen), and a Light Mod — which are all great for capturing travel footage. It has a single lens but has four smart digital lenses: SuperWide, Wide, Linear, and Narrow. Best of all, you can submerge it underwater as deep as 33 feet (or 10 meters).

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Olympus bids goodbye to its camera business

Bought by Japan Industrial Partners



Olympus is a well-known brand due to its reliable DSLR cameras that offered alternatives to mainstream competitors like Canon, Sony, and Nikon. However, its camera business could soon be over. The company recently announced that it is selling its business to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP) — the same company that bought the iconic VAIO laptop line.

The announcement means an end to Olympus’ presence in the camera market. The company has been producing cameras ever since the 1930s. Some of its iconic products include the Olympus Pen and Zuiko lenses.

An ever-shrinking market for dedicated cameras and a much competitive market resulted in losses for its camera division in recent years. As such, the company decided to sell its camera division to JIP to streamline its operations.

However, that doesn’t mean an end to Olympus cameras. JIP said that they are going to continue releasing new OM-D DSLR cameras as well as Zuiko lenses.

To formalize the acquisition, both Olympus and JIP will sign a definitive agreement this September. Specific details about the acquisition are yet to be announced by both companies.

Source: The Verge

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Sony’s new ZV-1 camera is built for vlogging

Shipping in June



How much personalization do you want your cameras to have? Some purists prefer completely manual cameras, allowing for absolute control over every aspect of their photos. Other professionals prefer a more consumer-friendly approach to photography, balancing easy-to-use functions with stellar photo quality.

Combining both aspects, the recently launched Sony ZV-1 is an all-in-one compact camera built specifically for casual video shooters. A boon to the vlogging community, the ZV-1 maintains both uncompromising video quality with ease of use.

Featuring a 1.0-type stacked Exmor RS CMOS image sensor and the latest BIONZ X image processor, the camera shoots at 4K resolution with in-body image stabilization. Inside, a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 large-aperture lens allows for dynamic bokeh control. Named the Bokeh Switch feature, the camera can increase and decrease background blur according to preference without losing its main focus.

In the same vein, the new Product Showcase feature allows for an easy transition between different focal points, such as switching between a subject’s face and a focused object. As the name suggests, the feature helps vloggers easily unbox and review products.

A Face Priority autoexposure feature automatically adjusts the device’s exposure settings depending on the brightness of the background. It will prioritize the subject’s face, ensuring correct exposure settings regardless of background. With the feature, it’s easier to shoot in bright sunlight, low-light conditions, and transitioning quickly between the two.

Besides what’s inside, the camera is also built ergonomically for a casual shooter’s hands. Instead of the traditional vertically flipping screen, it carries a horizontally flipping LCD screen, allowing users to easily see what’s being caught on camera. It comes with a 3.5mm microphone jack and a wind screen accessory to reduce wind interference.

Sony will start selling the ZV-1 at authorized Sony stores and through Lazada starting June 2020. It will retail for US$ 799.99.

SEE ALSO: Sony Xperia 1 II camera phone now available for pre-order

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Use your Canon camera as a laptop webcam

Up the quality on your video call meetings



Video conferencing is the new normal as most of us continue to work from home. Canon hopes to make the experience better with the EOS Webcam Utility Beta.

You may have noticed though that the video quality from your laptop’s webcam is not up to par with your smartphone’s front camera. Most manufacturers tend to put sub-par cameras on laptops. The reason: your laptop’s webcams were not that highly used before the whole COVID-19 situation.

To address this, Canon recently released a tool that will level up your video quality over online conferencing apps. The idea is to transform your Canon camera into a portable webcam. Simply plug-in an EOS or a PowerShot camera to your laptop, configure the software, and you now have a powerful webcam at your disposal.

The utility is called “EOS Webcam Utility Beta”. It’s a software that automatically configures your Canon camera into a portable web camera over a USB connection.

The caveat though is that only select EOS DSLR, EOS Mirrorless, and PowerShot cameras are compatible. The software is still in beta, but if you’re really determined to level up your video calling game, you can view the full list of compatible cameras here.

Grainy and lifeless videos will be a thing of the past for Canon users with this new tool. If you own a Canon EOS or DSLR camera, make sure to give this utility a try to improve your video chats with friends, family, or your fellow co-workers.

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