myFirst Insta Wi myFirst Insta Wi

Cameras

myFirst Insta Wi: For the love of labels, prints, and photographs

Here’s a camera and printer in one!

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Kids nowadays are neck-deep into technology — smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, television, and other forms of tech in our day-to-day lives.

Being the legal guardian of my seven-year-old niece is tough, especially since my work involves the latest devices in the consumer technology industry. She has access to all the newest and coolest gadgets in the market more than her peers.

What worries me is that I’ll have a hard time encouraging her to be more present, disconnect, and have fun offline. So when Oaxis Singapore reached out for their Kickstarter campaign, I was ecstatic. An instant camera and printer in one could be the solution to my woes.

A bit of history

Before we dive in, let’s have a bit of a background about myFirst. It’s a kids technology brand under Oaxis, founded by a team of super dads who aim to bridge the gap between tech and the toys we used to love.

There are a lot of issues that almost every parent has when it comes to gadgets. These include security in using technology and against online risks, being a factor in a child’s learning process, possible addiction, and safety from hazardous materials. This is what myFirst has been trying to address ever since they launched the myFirst Camera. And it continues to do so with the newest Insta Wi.

So, what is this Insta Wi?

The Insta Wi is myFirst’s newest camera — an all-in-one device that lets you take photos and videos, and print pictures and labels.

It comes in an adorable, familiar shape with a yummy yellow colorway. Seems familiar? The color follows after the Pantone Color of the Year 2021.

It has little ears where you can hook some straps so you can bring the device wherever you go without worry.

On its front, you can find its 16-megapixel rear camera together with the printer.

Moving to its sides, the right part has a mouthpiece and a slot for the micro-USB port and memory card, covered by a yellow silicone flap.

The other side comes with its speaker grilles.

On the back, you can find its selfie camera above the 2.4-inch IPS LCD screen, surrounded by plenty of buttons for navigating the device and doing its function.

It also comes with a dock that doubles as its protective case and holder for kids to grip easily.

The case has two instant buttons on its back: a power button and a wireless print option.

Playing around

So let’s dive in on what this all-in-one device can do for you or your kid. You can boot the device by pressing the power button on the left side of the screen. When it’s opened, it will automatically use the selfie shooter. If you aim to use the rear camera, flip it through the same button you used to boot the device. You just need to click it to switch, since pressing long will shut it down.

On the right side of the screen are buttons that let you capture photos and videos. It’s the same process as the power button; the icon on top requires a single click while the icon below requires a long press for it to work.

The button below the power toggle is for the back option and settings. You can change the printing density, or switch the photo resolution between 6M (3280×1848), 9M (4000×2248), and 12M (4032×2880). Just make sure to use the plus and minus sign as the up and down buttons, and the camera button as a replacement to the usual “enter” sign.

myFirst Insta Wi

Other settings include video resolution options (VGA, 720P, and 1080P), language setting, sound, date and time, wireless connection, and format option. The other buttons below the screen let you access the gallery and print photos, assuming you have inserted a roll of paper.

Thermal printing!

myFirst Insta Wi

Let’s go back to the front and figure out how to print and insert a roll of paper. First, you need to open the yellow cover by pulling it from the side.

myFirst Insta Wi

Once opened, you’ll find a slot where you can insert the rolled thermal paper included in the box.

myFirst Insta Wi

Of course, you have to insert the rolled thermal paper so we can get things rolling. Remember to remove the sticker and put the edge to the opening so the printer can detect the paper.

myFirst Insta Wi

Once you’re set, you can check your gallery and click the print button. Printing doesn’t take long, ten seconds top. The results aren’t quite lovely, since we’ve covered thermal printers before that have clearer and firmer results.

Although, that’s only an inconvenience for adults. When my niece used the printer to make physical copies of her photos, she was astounded. The key here is making the kid indulge and have fun using technology.

myFirst Insta Wi

To make things more adorable, the package comes with colorful stickers to adorn your prints and labels.

Needing labels

myFirst Insta Wi

If you don’t have a label in your life, then that’s a problem. Kidding aside, the Insta Wi prints not just photos, but labels, too. You can download the myFirst Insta Wi app on the App Store and the Play Store.

myFirst Insta Wi

To make it work, remember to turn off the camera (if you have it on), and place it on the dock. Then, turn it on again through the power button and press the wireless print option.

This enables Wi-Fi connectivity so you can connect both your smartphone and the Insta Wi. It took me a few minutes connecting both, but when I succeeded — everything was just seamless.

myFirst Insta Wi

There are so many things you can do using the app. I even asked my niece to write something and use a layout so that the print looks cute.

myFirst Insta Wi

If you have a Galaxy Note or a tablet with pen support, it would be perfect to draw on the app and have it printed to give a handwritten and personal touch to your labels and prints. Nonetheless, fingers do well on any smartphone if you’re creative enough.

myFirst Insta Wi

There are options to make a label, layout a design, and even add filters to your existing photos through the app — and you can print it easily and continuously. I would advise cutting the rolls using a cutter or a pair of scissors since the thermal paper is tougher than it seems.

myFirst Insta Wi

For those who want to make things a little bit personal, you can print old photos from your phone. The thermal prints need a higher contrast so consider editing your photos to appear clear and visible when printed.

Taking snaps

I didn’t have any video samples with me but I took a stroll with the device while my cousins and I were out for a walk. And for the record, I was able to upload these photos because the device comes with a memory slot for a microSD card. And a microSD card reader in the box to ensure you can have a copy of your snaps!

Of course, the shots aren’t remarkable if you compare them to the latest cameras and smartphones we have today. However, it’s reminiscent of digital cameras of the past — grainy films, dates and tags, and colors that saturated our photo albums back in the 90s and early 2000s.

Lasts enough

The Insta Wi has a 1,500mAh battery capacity which can last up to five hours. Charging time is capped at 2.5 hours. If you ask me, the capacity is more than enough since we’re not going to spend the whole day using the device. When I went out, I turned it on and off in between chats and walks.

Just because you have cool and cute technology at your hands doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the present. Remember: variety is key when it comes to recreational activities with our kids.

Price and availability

The myFirst Insta Wi retails for US$ 129. However, you can snag it for EUR 59/US$ 69 through its Kickstarter campaign which started last September 14, 2021, and will end on October 14, 2021.

myFirst Insta Wi

After the Kickstarter campaign, production will begin in October 2021 and will start shipping in November 2021 for early birds. Regular Kickstarters will have their Insta Wi shipped by December 2021.

Is this your Kid’s GadgetMatch?

I’d give a resounding yes — whether you snag the Insta Wi at an affordable rate through its Kickstarter campaign or if you have spare cash to buy it at retail price.

Most gadgets aren’t designed for kids. There’s a handful that does so, but it’s rare to see a product that considers the kids’ user experience,  safety, and security, as well as addressing a parent/guardian’s concerns.

And myFirst’s Insta Wi ticks all the boxes to make it a kid’s GadgetMatch. And possibly, a gift that parents and guardians can consider for birthdays and holidays.

myFirst Insta Wi

After all, it has an adorable design made of kid-friendly materials and an experience that helps kids unleash their creativity through prints, photographs, and a bit of video recording. More importantly, it encourages a balanced use of technology to help be more present.

My niece surely had a good time, and even I, as an adult, had a fun time playing around with the Insta Wi. Incidentally, it became a bonding moment for us, too. My high-end cameras, printers, and novelty devices are too difficult to grasp for kids under 12. At least with the Insta Wi, my love for prints and photographs lives on to a whole new generation.

Cameras

Sony releases lightest, next-generation AF camera lens

The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II

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FE 70-200mm

Sony Electronics announced the newest lens in their G Master lineup: the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II, which takes autofocus (AF) to the most advanced level yet.

The camera lens is poised to deliver an extraordinary combination of resolution and bokeh, as well as unequalled AF performance in the company’s G Master design.

In a nutshell, the advanced features include:

  • Constant F2.8 70-200 mm telephoto zoom
  • Fast, precise and quiet autofocus (AF) continuous AF tracking capabilities
  • Advanced features for video creators
  • World’s lightest 200 mm large-aperture telephoto zoom lens (approximately 29% lighter than the previous model)
  • Up to approximately 4 times faster AF, with focus tracking while zooming improved by approximately 30% when compared to the previous model
  • Professional-level control and reliability

Designed to perfectly pair with Sony’s E-mount camera bodies, the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II is also the lightest F2.8 70-200 mm zoom in the world to allow for more control amongst photographers.

New levels of performance

The new FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II delivers outstanding image quality with high resolution and clarity throughout its zoom range, thanks to its two aspherical lens elements which focus on precision.

The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II effectively controls distance-related aberration variations to ensure outstanding resolution throughout the image area.

To avoid color bleeding while reducing chromatic aberration significantly, the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II also employs two extra-low dispersion (ED) spherical glass elements and two Super ED spherical glass elements.

Meanwhile, an ED aspherical element, which is a first in the Alpha system lens is driven to simultaneously suppress chromatic and spherical aberration, and other common issues in telephoto lenses.

Smooth, beautiful bokeh shots

With its large F2.8 maximum aperture and a newly developed 11-blade circular aperture unit, smooth and beautiful bokeh is made seamless.

The lens’ advanced optical design including XA elements thoroughly cancels out the unwanted “onion ring” effect, further enhancing the bokeh.

The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II also offers excellent close-up performance with deep bokeh. The minimum focusing distance is 15.7 inches (0.4 meters) at 70 mm and 32.3 inches (0.82 meters) at 200 mm. Maximum magnification achieves 0.3x.

Users may even want to pair the new lens with a high-performance 1.4x or 2.0x teleconverter to extend the lens’ focal length to 400 mm at an F5.6 aperture, all while maintaining its G Master quality.

Sony’s original Nano AR Coating II, meanwhile, comes in play to avoid any unwanted flare and ghosting in tricky lighting conditions as it produces a uniform anti-reflection coating on the surface of the lens.

In addition, the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II’s optical design also effectively suppresses internal reflections to improve clarity.

Industry-leading autofocus

The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II’s state-of-the-art lens technology brings out the best in the advanced camera body it is paired with.

The new lens uses four Sony-original extreme dynamic (XD) Linear Motors for extraordinary fast and precise AF, making it up to approximately 4 times faster and focus tracking improved by 30 percent when compared to the previous model.

When paired with Sony’s flagship Alpha 1, the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II is capable of high-speed continuous shooting at up to 30 fps.

Fast-moving subjects aren’t a problem too, even in videos, as the lens offers smooth AF to lock and focus on such objects. The AF tracking is also available even when using teleconverters.

Advanced features for video

With its maximum aperture of F2.8 combined with its impressive AF performance and versatile controls, the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II is an exceptional choice for video too.

The new lens was designed to dramatically reduce focus breathing, focus shift, and axis shift when zooming so that there is minimal unwanted image movement and angle of view variations.

For easy video-use operation, the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II features independent control rings for focus, zoom, and aperture (iris), allowing precise manual operation. The aperture ring also has a click ON/OFF switch.

Additionally, Sony’s Linear Response MF ensures a responsive, low-lag manual focus control, while the lens hood features an opening that allows convenient operation of circular polarizing filters or variable ND filters for more creativity.

Designed for professionals

The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II is the world’s lightest F2.8 telephoto zoom lens and is approximately 29 percent lighter than previous model, weighing just under 37 oz (1,045g).

Aside from being lightweight, the lens is designed to offer professionals ideal balance without much front-heaviness, ensuring the center of gravity falls directly above the tripod mount.

The new lens includes focus functions such as the Full-time DMF, natural and linear manual focus response and a focus-range limiter switch primarily supports professional needs.

The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II also includes three customizable focus hold buttons placed 90 degrees apart for easy access and convenient control when shooting in horizontal, vertical, or just about any angle.

Easy control switches

The lens features a click ON/OFF switch and an iris lock switch for quick and flexible aperture control.

The aperture ring click stops can be turned ON to provide more emphasis to shooting stills, or OFF for smooth and silent aperture control filming.

In addition, the zoom ring torque is optimized and now includes image stabilization with MODE 3 for moving subjects.

Durable in tough environments

The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II is designed to be reliable in even the most challenging environments.

It features dust and moisture resistance equal to the FE 400 mm F2.8 GM OSS and FE 600 mm F4 GM OSS, based on initial feedback from professionals.

The front lens element features a fluorine coating that repels water, oil, and other contaminants, while making it easier to wipe off any contaminants or fingerprints that do become attached to the lens surface.

Pricing and availability

In Singapore, The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II will be available at selected retail shops and online shops from November 2021  For a full list of specs and information,

In the Philippines, it’ll be available soon.

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Cameras

The Sony ZV-E10 is exactly as advertised

Great for vlogging and beginners

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ZV-E10

Sony’s newest vlogging camera — the Sony ZV-E10 — is the first in their vlogging series of cameras with an interchangeable lens. Does it make all the difference? Is it good for everyday use? And is it really built or vlogging? These are just some of the questions we tried to answer as multiple members of the team tried the camera for themselves. Here’s what we had to say.

What did you think of the build quality? Did it feel sturdy? Was it too light? 

ZV-E10

Leez: The Sony ZV-E10’s build is every minimalist’s pipe dream. It blends functionality and probability well. But, it is really light. So much so, that it was worrying at times. The lightness of the build is an obvious pro and a confusing con because your brain doesn’t think something light is particularly “sturdy”. But, I’d say after using it, it’s both lightweight and sturdy.

MJ: The Sony ZV-E10 feels lightweight when you use it to shoot photos and videos — even if you shoot single-handed. However, you can feel its weight when you use its grip. It felt sturdy, but I was scared the whole time since I’m used to heavier cameras. I thought I was going to drop it at some point.

Rodneil: Coming from someone who regularly uses an a6500, the ZV-E10 definitely felt light and not sturdy. But after using the ZV-E10, the ‘not sturdy’ claim may not be accurate. And its lightweight is perfect for its intended use of vlogging.

Do you think the overall controls and configuration would be easy for a beginner to get used to? 

ZV-E10

Leez: The Sony ZV-E10 doesn’t have a rough barrier of entry when it comes to learning how to use and play around it’s features. For me, it was pretty simple and easy to use. If there’s a catch though, it would be the painful focus.

I’m more used to manual focus since my camera’s focus is broken. But, while using the ZV-E10 to shoot, it had gone completely out of focus for a good half hour. It took a while to fix the focus but it does seem that the camera struggles a lot with figuring out what the subject is–favoring what is closest to the camera. So, I’m assuming this would be a nightmare for someone who likes working with foreground shots.

MJ: If it’s your first time to have a camera, you’d probably learn it quickly. Assuming that Sony is also your first. But if you’ve used different cameras before (and still consider yourself a beginner), you might have a hard time, too. Which is what happened to me.

The ZV-E10 and I played tug-of-war when it came to controlling our shots. For instance, the camera suggests a subject to focus on, even if it wasn’t my intended subject and I was aiming for an uncommon shot. To put it simply, the ZV-E10 works for a beginner’s hand and eye rather than someone experienced.

Rodneil: I think, for everyone who’s answering here, we all had a bit of trouble with focus. Sony’s autofocus is fantastic especially when detecting faces. But it’s a bit of a disadvantage when you’re taking product images with the model’s face visible in the frame. The autofocus prioritizes faces which isn’t always to our liking. However, again, for its intended vlogging-use, it’s fantastic.

It shouldn’t be hard to figure out for any first-timer. You won’t be overwhelmed with too many physical dials and controls. There will be an adjustment for more experienced users, but for anyone just starting, it shouldn’t take too long to get used to.

Is there anything in your usage that particularly stood out?

ZV-E10

Leez: Most of the camera features are useful. It was reliable and easy to access. But, if there’s something that I appreciate about the ZV-E10, it’s that it’s really lightweight. I just don’t particularly like lugging around heavy equipment when shooting or filming so, making sure it didn’t weigh heavy on my flimsy arms was a huge plus. Perhaps, that’s why most people often end up filming and vlogging with their phones sometimes: most cameras are heavy and bulky to bring along. I think the ZV-E10 lives up to what it promises in that regard.

MJ: I have a love-hate relationship with beautification. Sometimes I like it since it helps when I’m looking worn out after being out in the sun. But sometimes, the smoothing is unnecessary when you badly want to highlight details.

Rodneil: Personally, I struggled with the general lack of granular control. I didn’t realize I adjust so much per shot using my own camera. It was only after using the ZV-E10, which encourages a more point-and-shoot approach, that I became more aware of my camera-shooting habits.

Do you think the interchangeable lens would be useful for people just getting into vlogging/content creating? 

ZV-E10

Leez: Yes. It might be a bit daunting at first for people starting out but it’s a good foundation to build upon more creative outputs. It lets anyone start wherever they are in experience with photography, vlogging, and content creation.

MJ: Definitely. If you know what lens works for you and your content. It also helps with improving your style and quality, since not all vlogs require a talking head. I follow several vloggers who take cinematic content, so I know it’s possible.

Rodneil: I’m on the fence on this one. Yes, because it offers versatility and that’s always a good thing. No, because the lenses are probably going to be heavier if not weigh just as much as the camera. That’s going to present some challenges while shooting. But I guess that’s a minor inconvenience compared to the benefit and more long-term use you’ll likely get.

Which lens did you end up using the most? 

ZV-E10

Leez: I used the 35mm for filming and photographing portraits and sweet bakes. It captured detailed shots but again, the focus was a stuttering mess sometimes so, be warned.

MJ: Prime lens! 50mm works for showcasing details, and I’m very particular about highlighting the important part rather than talking in front of the camera.

Rodneil: We’re all fans of prime lenses BUT that’s because we primarily take product shots. That lens isn’t exactly made for vlogging. You’re better off using the kit lens for that.

Is this something you think most people can easily pack and carry around on a trip? Or on the daily? 

ZV-E10

Leez: Yes, definitely. I think for the interchangeable lenses, it would be good to bring two depending on what your trip is for. A wide lens, a portrait lens, and the prime lens are more than enough, you can even strip it to a wide lens and the prime lens if you want to capture intimate close up moments while having a lens to switch to to capture the stunning outdoors.

MJ: Granted you don’t use every lens you have on hand, this is easily something you can carry wherever you go. You can slip it in fashionable bags that don’t look like camera bags, too, so you can shy away from the eyes of thieves.

Rodneil: Most definitely. I’d say pack the camera along with the kit lens and your preferred prime lens and you’ll pretty much be ready for any shooting scenario when you travel. It’s light, compact, and easy-to-use. It’s a perfect upgrade to the quick shooting we normally do on our smartphones.

Is there any feature that you wish it had? 

ZV-E10

Leez: There’s not much to ask more from the ZV-E10. It’s good and reliable as it is. If there’s one gripe I have with it, it’s the autofocus. If they could tinker with its autofocus to not freak out or stutter as much as it does, that would be amazing.

MJ: Not really. It feels solid for what I intend to use it for, for now. Who knows? Maybe along the way, I’ll end up looking for a feature that it doesn’t have.

Rodneil: I think it’s mostly fine as it is and for what it’s aiming to be. The features and overall build are geared towards vlogging. It’s great for its intended purpose.

The Sony ZV-E10 retails for PhP 39,999/ SG$ 999/ US$ 798.

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Cameras

myFirst Insta Wi lets kids take and print photos, labels

Instant camera and printer in one!

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Photo by Oaxis Singapore

All-in-one instant cameras and printers aren’t new, but they’re not entirely kid-friendly. This is why myFirst — a kids tech collection by Oaxis in Singapore — decked out its newest product called myFirst Insta Wi.

It follows its previous models, bringing a 16-megapixel digital camera on its rear and a wide-angle selfie lens that lets you take crisp photos and print them in just 10 seconds.

Its newly added selfie camera sits above the 2.4-inch IPS screen — which also allows you to shoot full HD videos.

The Insta Wi comes with low-cost thermal paper and sticker thermal paper, perfect for printing photos and stunning labels.

There’s a dedicated app that lets you customize labels by drawing, typing text, or symbols. With an added Wi-Fi feature, you can bring the device and print stuff whenever you want.

More importantly, it comes with a memory card slot so you can save photos taken — which you can print elsewhere as colored photographs.

Since it’s designed to be lightweight for comfortable usage, kids will surely have fun using an all-in-one camera and portable printer for their adventures at home and outdoors.

Support the Kickstarter campaign

The myFirst Insta Wi is up on Kickstarter for a campaign, costing EUR 59/USD 69. The campaign’s target is to reach EUR 7250/USD 10,000 until October 14, 2021.

The official campaign starts on September 14, 2021. For more information, visit its Kickstarter page.

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