Cameras

Polaroid OneStep+ review: Different yet exactly the same

We tried out the new features plus sample photos!

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The Polaroid OneStep+ is finally in my hands! Not to be confused with the Polaroid OneStep 2, the OneStep+ is the latest in Polaroid’s line that pays homage to the original OneStep camera released in the 70s. As a lover of pretty things and Instagrammable cameras, the OneStep cameras were always a treat to review.

This newest Polaroid Originals camera looks (almost) the same, feels the same, but what’s so different about it? Let’s get to it!


Hands-on time

This newest release, dubbed the Polaroid OneStep+, comes in black. Now, it might sound boring but it actually looks pretty classic and fun with the pop of colors from the Polaroid rainbow branding.

It looks as Instagrammable as its predecessor, despite the dark color change. Don’t believe me? I’ll prove it:

The Polaroid OneStep+ looking great at any time of the day

This good-looking camera doesn’t come cheap. It retails for EUR 159 or almost PhP 12,000 in the Philippines.

Up top is a switch that toggles between normal portrait mode and wider-angled photos. The light indicator for your remaining shots is also up here.

On the back is the on/off switch, a micro-USB port for charging, and the flash button — press and hold as you take the photo so the camera won’t flash.

The viewfinder (which looks tinier) is in the same place, on the left-back side.

I think the biggest and most notable change, though, is the fact that you can now attach this camera to a tripod. Built in at the bottom is a tripod screw thread which means that the OneStep+ can be mounted on a tripod. I guarantee you, this is a recipe for better Polaroids.

Getting started

Taking a photo with the OneStep+ is the same process as before: Look through the viewfinder and compose the photo, press the shutter (the red button on the side), and the photo automatically prints on film.

The shape of this camera is reminiscent of old-school cameras. Shooting with it can give you those feels, it’s just a different experience compared to shooting with your smartphone or a point-and-shoot camera.

So, yes. The Polaroid OneStep+ still takes (fun) photos or even selfies…

… and prints them on square format Polaroid film. It works with both 600 film and i-Type film which retail from EUR 16 to EUR 20, depending on the type.

Let me take this opportunity to gush about how cute that purple-pink gradient border is on that frame! It’s so pretty!

But, let’s go back to that photo of me and Chay taking a selfie with the camera. Notice something?

Why is Chay holding her phone in this photo?

No, Chay isn’t overly attached to her phone… it has to do with this camera’s new feature.

You can connect the OneStep+ to your phone via Bluetooth and you’ll be able to control your camera via the Polaroid Originals app.

Pairing is pretty easy, too. After the initial pairing process, the camera will automatically pop up when you open the app which is so convenient! (We all know how having to pair every single time can be annoying. 😅)

So, what can this new app do? Time to try it out!

Test run!

Once connected, there are six shooting modes you can try on the app.

The most basic: A remote function which allows for your phone to act as a trigger for the camera. This is pretty useful for when you want to be in the photo and there’s no one else to take the picture. Take note, however, that the app only acts as a trigger so you can’t preview the photo on your phone. (See photo 2)

Starting from the upper-left photo: 1. Selfie sample, 2. Remote, 3 and 4. Self-timer,  5. Noise trigger, 6. Double exposure, 7. Another light painting attempt, 8. Failed manual mode

The self-timer is a pretty cool feature, though the previous OneStep cameras had that feature even without the app. (See photos 3 and 4)

The same can be said about the double-exposure function. The Noise trigger is a new one, and it’s the coolest thing ever. Basically, you can trigger the camera shutter by creating any sound of a certain loudness. You can set this up on your phone and even change the sound threshold! (See photo 5)

Also included is light painting and manual modes. As you can see in the samples above (see photos 6, 7, and 8), it takes a while and a lot of ruined film to actually get how to take proper photos with these modes.

Our good shots from the second film cartridge

Once you learn how to use the OneStep+, it means a lot of cute Polaroids — and we all want that.

Finishing touches

When you’re all set with your Polaroids, the app offers an added feature to ensure you can show the world your prints. The scan feature automatically detects your photo, fixes it (crops and tilts it, if needed), and you can post or share away.

It’s not perfect, though. The function can be fidgety when it’s not photo-ready bright, which is most real-life circumstances. It’s usually a trial and error process to get the best-looking scan. Also, for some reason, this works best on iPhones. The Android devices we tested with it always had a harder time scanning the photos.

Nonetheless, it’s still pretty useful and it’s a great integration to the app. I see where this feature can go and I’m hoping that later updates will be able to fix these problems.

Another addition to the app is the Discover feature where you can find tips and tricks, or even photo ideas for your next Polaroid project.

You will never run out of things to try with your camera because of this!

Verdict

If you want a Polaroid camera in 2018, this is for you. It’s the same new-old camera (get it? 😎), but now made even better.

Although I would’ve loved a remote preview on my phone, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this addition would’ve changed the whole process of taking Polaroids and destroyed the instant camera experience.

Previous cameras have attempted to merge high technology with the concept of instant cameras. But, we have yet to see an execution that utilizes tech in a way that enhances the shooting without destroying the old-school experience. This might be the right step towards that.

Some will argue that a smartphone could outdo what these instant cameras can do. If you’re one of those who believe so, you’re completely missing the point of these throwback cameras. This line is designed for those who want to enjoy Polaroids in 2018 and the Polaroid Originals OneStep+ just offered another way to do so.

Cameras

Canon unveils PowerShot G5 X, PowerShot G7 X in PH

Up your vlogger game with these two additions

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Canon’s G series family just received its latest additions for vloggers and compact camera enthusiasts. These two cameras promise to bring high quality and quick images, while packaged ever so lightly. During the Canon Vlog Ventures event, the company unveiled the PowerShot G5 X  II and the PowerShot G7X  III.

Canon’s Benny Yu, Head of Marketing for its Consumer division dubbed these cameras as an “on-the-go” devices. According to Yu, these devices fit best with “advanced photographers and vloggers who are constantly on the move.” The PowerShot G5 X and G7 X bring a new one-inch CMOS image sensor, 4K video recording, and livestreaming features (only for the G7 X).


Apart from these, both devices support up to 30 frames per second of continuous shooting modes in RAW format. This enables you to capture fast-moving objects without missing a singe thing, especially for events and travel vlogs. This frame cap also applies when shooting videos in 4K, which allows you to shoot videos in unbelievable, stunning quality.

Canon is currently offering vlogger packages along with any pre-orders between August 16 to 31, 2019. The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III package starts at PhP 46,998, complete with a free 24/7 Vlogger Service Support, 3-year warranty and access to Canon’s accessories and lens. Meanwhile, the Canon PowerShot G5 X II package starts at PhP 54,998.

The vlogging cameras were first announced in July. In the US, the G7X III retails for US$ 749.

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Accessories

DJI launches the ultra-portable Osmo Mobile 3

It’s now foldable!

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DJI Osmo Mobile 3 | Image credit: DJI

DJI has been a quintessential part for most people — drones, portable cameras, action cameras, you name it, they have it. With the existence of advanced smartphone cameras, there’s no doubt that mobile cinematography is also getting better. DJI continues to prove that they are the world’s leader in creative camera technology with the Osmo Mobile 3.

The third iteration of the Osmo Mobile is the first folding stabilizer made by DJI. They have specifically thought of its new folding design to make it more portable for everyone. The redesign also paves way for clutter-free operation, even when you are using charging cables and external mics.


It doesn’t stop there as they also included efficient and convenient buttons so you’re ready to shoot whenever, wherever. You can access Quick Roll by pressing the Mode (M) button twice 🤟🏼. That feature automatically rotates the phone’s orientation from landscape to portrait (and vice versa).

ActiveTrack 3.0

ActiveTrack 3.0 also helps in re-centering the subject being tracked. A trigger exists for locking orientation and rotating the gimbal for selfies. There’s also a dedicated zoom slider on the stabilizer’s side for hassle-free operation. In addition, users can control the zoom speed based on their preference.

DJI Mimo App and Story Mode

With the DJI Mimo App, you can access its pre-programmed modes during and after shooting. Story Mode lets you edit videos right away with preset music, transitions, and filters. There are also 13 templates you can choose from.

DJI Osmo Mobile 3 with Sport Mode

Several modes to play with

The Sport Mode increases the stabilizer’s responsiveness in shooting subjects that are fast-paced. There’s also the Gesture Control which automatically snaps a selfie once you pose for the camera — a peace sign, perhaps?. Panorama mode is also included with 3×3 or 180º options when shooting. Don’t worry, the Slow Motion Mode is also present with 4X or 8X speed options.

Get more creative with TimeLapse, MotionLapse, and HyperLapse. They all sound similar but they are different in their own ways.

TimeLapse lets you shoot longer videos in a shorter playback duration. MotionLapse combines the function of TimeLapse, but with the addition of the movement of a dynamic element you selected in the frame. Lastly, HyperLapse works just like TimeLapse but adds more movement by moving the stabilizer along with you. It works best not just because of EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization), but also with DJI’s ActiveTrack 3.0.

Pricing and availability

The DJI Osmo Mobile 3 is currently available in DJI’s flagship stores and select Apple Stores in the United States. It’s currently sold in two packages: The standard package with the wrist strap, storage pouch, and anti-slip pads retails for US$ 105. Meanwhile, there’s a US$ 125 package that includes everything in the standard version, plus the Osmo Grip Tripod and Osmo Carrying Case.

Global availability and local pricing has yet to be announced.

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Cameras

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

Best compact camera today?

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Sony’s compact camera just leveled up. Just months removed from the announcement of its predecessor, we now have the Sony RX100 VII and it’s the company’s most powerful camera to date.

The headline feature is the Sony A9 level speed performance with up to 60 AF/AE calculations per second and 20fps blackout-free shooting with AF/AE tracking. Speaking of tracking, the Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF for movie shooting introduced on the Sony A7R IV is also making its way to the RX100 VII.


It comes with a ZEISS 24-200mm F2.8-4.5 high magnification zoom lens to give you flexibility when shooting. Other improvements include a new drive mode, Single Burst Shooting, for capturing high-speed shots at up to 90FPS.

More options for movie recording

Those looking to shoot plenty of videos will love the 4K Active SteadyShot that Sony says is eight times more effective than 4K Standard SteadyShot. Interval Shooting(19) For stunning time-lapse videos, there’s Interval Shooting. And there’s also slow-mo recording at up to 960FPS for that cinematic flair.

There’s also an option for vertical movie recording if you want to record for IGTV. Vloggers were kept in mind with the 3.5mm mic input and a 180-degree flip screen.

Package for vloggers

If you want to kick it up a notch there’s also a Shooting Grip Kit package. It includes an RX100 VII and Shooting Grip  that allows for easy recording and zooming. The kit also comes with a bracket with accessory shoe and two rechargeable battery packs.

Sold separately, but recommended by Sony, is the Sony Stereo Microphone (ECM-XYST1M). It mounts on the brack’s accessory for simple vlogging setup.

Pricing and availability

The RX100 VII  will ship in August 2019 for around US$ 1,200 while The RX100 VII Shooting Grip Kit will be available later in 2019 for around US$ 1,300. In Singapore, the RX100 VII will be available end of August starting at SG$ 1,649. The RX100 VII Kit will retail for SG$ 1,799.

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