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.

Apps

Zhiyun partners with Huawei for better vlogging

More advanced features for Zhiyun owners

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Zhiyun — maker of gimbals for action cameras, DSLRs, and smartphone cameras — has announced a partnership with Huawei to bring better vlogging experiences on all Huawei smartphones.

By leveraging Huawei’s CameraKit API, Zhiyun will be able to directly control the cameras in any Huawei smartphones. In addition, Zhiyun’s ZY Play app will deliver more powerful and smoother zooming on Huawei smartphones thanks to the API.

Huawei’s CameraKit will also bring additional capabilities to all of Zhiyun’s gimbal products. Added functionality also includes photo-taking, video recording, camera switching and zooming directly from the gimbals.

Huawei’s advanced camera capabilities such as AI photography, wide aperture, and super night mode will also work with the gimbals. This will open up new and better shooting capabilities in the future.

This partnership benefits all Zhiyun gimbal products. The company has been producing reliable gimbals at an affordable cost. Their products range from the Crane series to the Smooth series featuring Smooth 3, Smooth-Q, Smooth 4 and the new compact Smooth-Q2.

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Accessories

6 gift ideas for the traveler on your list

For people who have caught the travel bug

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Know someone who’s caught the travel bug? It can be hard to pick out a gift for the person on your list who’s got a serious case of wanderlust. Will you go for something that’s practical or something that will help them make more memories during their adventures? Don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. Here are six gift ideas for the traveler on your list.

Casetify x Pangram Pangram iPhone case

Let the traveler in your life flex his or her love for far-off places with these new phone cases. Casetify’s collab with type foundry Pangram Pangram features names of various, visit-worthy cities in a look that’s reminiscent of luggage scan tags issued by airlines.

You can shop the collection over at their website.

Noerden Mate2+

A watch that can match almost anything and take you from a nature walk to partying in the city is something most travellers should have. After all, you can’t bring your whole closet and sometimes, you’ll never know whether you need to suit up at one point of the trip.

Noerden’s new release, the Mate2+, is a gorgeous timepiece that ticks all those boxes and more. It’s also a smartwatch that tracks your steps, heart rate, and your sleeping pattern. Yes, it sports a classic face and there’s no touchscreen but you can view all your stats on the app. Another useful thing for travellers especially those who love to go solo. You can use the watch as a remote for your phone camera. Snap photos of yourself or your group just by shaking your wrist!

Get the new Mate2+ here.

GoSun Flatware

As the world continues to move towards eliminating single-use plastic, there are more efforts to make eco-friendly choices more convenient. One of these is the GoSun Flatware which is currently on Kickstarter.

A spoon and fork set the fits conveniently in your wallet and is the size of a credit card. You won’t have an excuse to go for plastic cutlery ever again.

You can sign up for a set via their page.

VAGO Travel Vacuum Compressor

Is the traveler on your list not a light packer? Well we have a nifty gadget here that they will love. The Vago Travel Vacuum Compressor can reduce the space occupied by clothes in half. This makes sure there’s always room for more stuff in their suitcase.

Get this vacuum via their website.

Instax Mini 9 Bundle

For those who are on the creative side and who appreciate a retro take on their travel memories, why not an instant camera? Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 9 currently has a promo that gets you a craft kit along with your purchase.

Aside from having print outs of their travel memories, they can also create customized scrapbooks with the materials in the kit. Get the bundle at any of the authorised Fujifilm dealers in the Philippines.

Steamery Cirrus No. 2

It’s always a hassle when you suddenly need to look sharp for a fancy dinner and your clothes are all wrinkly from travelling. Swedish company Steamery produces travel-friendly steamers that ensure your OOTDs will always look pristine.

Steamers also extend the freshness of your clothes as well as their lifespan. We’re practically in love with the Cirrus No. 2 model which comes in a variety of colors — a pretty pastel pink included.

SEE ALSO: 7 ways to practice sustainable fashion

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Accessories

Sony products are discounted this Christmas

Discounts and cashback for the holidays

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While Sony keeps struggling in the smartphone market, it still remains one of the top products for digital imaging. Its line of mirrorless cameras is one of the best in business. Plus, Sony is doing well in home and personal entertainment, with its line of TVs, speakers and headphones remaining the best in their category.

Sony Singapore is offering discounts and cashback for select cameras, TVs, speakers, and headphones. Here are the discounted products:

Cameras

TV

  • A9G (55″ 4K TV)  — SG$ 5,799 after SG$ 2,200 cashback

Headphones and earbuds

Speakers

The promo runs from November 1, 2019 to January 5, 2020. The discounts are available on all Sony stores across Singapore. For more information about the promo, visit Sony’s website.

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