Cameras

Sony A7 III hands-on review

When the basic model is anything but

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The introduction of the A7 III follows last year’s 42-megapixel A7R III. Since this is the basic model, it’s a little cheaper, although nothing about it is basic, and we’ll tell you exactly why.

Design

The A7 III kept the basic compact look with a few but important changes. For one, we feel more confident holding the Sony A7 III now that it has a bigger grip than its predecessor’s. This is thanks to a bigger battery that extends its life significantly. More on battery life in just a bit.

Another thing we’re happy about is the use of a joystick for its autofocus point selection. Instead of using the rotating pad like its predecessor the A7 II, setting the autofocus point is now easier to do even on the fly. 

It has dual card slots with one slot rated for faster, high-performance memory cards. Just like the A7R III, the A7 III supports charging through USB-C.

A touchscreen display tilts both ways and works well for when you need a low-angle shot or when you shoot from above. However, it doesn’t flip over for selfies since it’s designed more for professional use.

This compact camera is not only built for photos — videographers are kept in mind just like in the previous series. I personally found the video record button on the previous Mark II a little awkward in the corner, but I’m happy to report that it has now been moved to a place that feels easier and more natural to reach.

Features

So what does the A7 III offer and how does it compare to its predecessor, the A7 II? Well, Sony still implemented the same resolution at 24 megapixels, but the A7 III now has a backside illuminated (BSI) design. This means it should do better in both low and bright lighting conditions compared to its CMOS counterpart. Sony’s 5-axis image stabilization also made its way here.

More importantly, the A7 III now features 693 phase-detection autofocus points that almost cover the entire frame just like on the higher-end Sony A9. For comparison, the previous A7 II only had a 117-point AF system.

With its BIONZ X image processor, the A7 III can shoot images faster. How fast? Its 35mm full-frame sensor can shoot still photos continuously at up to 10 frames per second.

Additionally, the ability to shoot up to 4K UHD makes the A7 III a well-rounded camera. There’s Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth on board for wireless connectivity.

Image quality

We’ve been using it to shoot both for our travels and work, and we like how its autofocus system is snappy and locks on to subjects quickly. Quality-wise, we’re impressed with its dynamic range maintaining details on both the bright and dark areas. Sony is proud that the A7 III can reach a max ISO of 204800. With that ISO range and the camera’s ability to reduce noise, we get nice photos even with the least amount of lighting.

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As mentioned earlier, the A7 III is an all-around shooter. It records at up to 4K resolution at 30fps, and for fans of slowing things down, the full-frame camera shoots up to 120fps at Full HD resolution. If you want more control over your footage, the A7 III can shoot on S-Log profiles just like the higher-end A7R III. In turn, this makes for easier and finer adjustments during post-production.

You can find video samples in our hands-on video embedded at the beginning of this article.

Battery

The same battery as the A9 and A7R III’s pumps life into the A7 III. Unlike from the Mark II series, the new battery has twice as much juice. Its updated processor also helps in making the battery more efficient. Sony claims that a single pack can shoot up to 710 shots before needing to be recharged.

In the real world, we were able to use it for more than one shooting session and as long as we start with a fresh pack, we didn’t experience problems running out of juice before our work was done.

Pricing

Here are the prices for the A7 III in the following countries:

  • United States – US$ 2,000 (body only)
  • Singapore – SG$ 2,899 (body only)
  • Philippines – PhP 115,999 (body only)

It’s half the price of Sony’s high-end A9, US$ 1,000 cheaper than the excellent A7R III, and costs just as much as Panasonic’s popular GH5 which has a much smaller Micro Four Thirds sensor.

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From the time we’ve spent with it, we could definitely say that it excels both in photo and video categories. It’s got a really fast autofocus system which eliminates wasted shots, an option for shooting 4K videos with impressive details, and an improved design that feels more ergonomic to use.

So if you’re looking for a solid all-around performer with a price that’s relatively affordable for what it is and what it does, the Sony A7 III might be for you.

Cameras

Insta360 EVO is a folding 360 camera that can shoot 3D videos

Hands-on with this tiny camera that will fit your purse

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They say it’s not the size, but the performance that matters. If camera manufacturer Insta360 had a say, I bet they’d agree. After all, they do make teeny cameras that see the big picture, literally — all 360 degrees.

It comes as no surprise that they just unveiled another incredibly small but power-packed camera. Meet the Insta360 EVO.

This small camera — and I mean tiny — fits in the palm of my tiny hands nicely.

It shoots 360-degree videos and photos in 5.7K. If capturing all angles of the scene in video format with one go isn’t something that excites you, know that there’s more to it than shooting 360 video.

Insta360 also has an amazing app that allows you, even editing novices such as I (in theory), to edit the 360 videos into normal 16:9 films with the luxury picking which point of view from the footage you’d prefer. Here’s sample footage from a previous Insta360 release:

But, that’s not even the best part: The Insta360 EVO unfolds.

And, it turns into this two-camera setup. Though I never thought I’d ever like the idea of a folding camera, the form factor weirdly works. It’s simple enough: You can fold by unlocking the hinge on the top and locking the hinge on the side, and vice versa. Plus, it doesn’t feel fragile with the locks which is a big plus.

With this dual shooter, the EVO can shoot 180-degree 3D video that you can watch on your Oculus Go or Samsung Gear VR. Just imagine: A whole new level of sharing your unique experiences!

In case you don’t have an Oculus Go or a Samsung Gear VR, Insta360’s got you. With their Foldable VR glasses and the Insta360 app, you’ll be able to watch 3D videos on your phone. 

The camera works standalone, ala screenless GoPros of olden times. You can toggle between video mode or photo mode with a dedicated button up top. A single press of the second button, the bigger round one, records immediately.

By folding and unfolding the camera, you also automatically switch shooting modes from 360-degree content to 3D video. If you want visuals, you can easily connect to your phone via Wi-Fi and you’ll be able to see what your camera sees.

I’ve been shooting with the Insta 360 EVO for the past few days and it’s been fun and pretty interesting. Until I get a full review up (stay tuned!), enjoy this photo — my favorite from what I’ve shot so far:

The Insta360 EVO starts at US$ 419 and this basic bundle includes a tiny tripod (pictured in first photo) and the VR glasses.

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Cameras

Canon EOS RP: Price and availability in the Philippines

The company’s smallest full-frame camera

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Canon EOS RP | GadgetMatch

Canon‘s smallest full-frame camera is now in the Philippines. About a month after its initial announcement, the EOS RP is immediately coming to more markets. It’s the company’s second full-frame mirrorless camera after the EOS R; it’s not a successor though, but rather a smaller and cheaper variant.

For starters, the EOS RP has a 26.2-megapixel full-frame sensor, ISO range of 100 to 25600, DIGIC 8 image processor, and Dual Pixel CMOS AF with 4,779 autofocus points. The new camera has a continuous shooting speed of up to 5fps and 4K video recording at 25fps.

It has an OLED EVF and a 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen LCD. It also has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for wireless transfers, and USB-C for charging. It uses the new RF-mount system as well.

Canon EOS RP | GadgetMatch

Interested buyers can get the Canon EOS RP starting at PhP 89,998 for the body only. For those who wish to have a kit lens, it’ll come bundled with an RF 24-105mm USM lens for PhP 156,998.

Canon has a pre-selling offer from March 11 to 25 which includes a free EF-EOS R mount adapter, extra LP-E17 battery, a 128GB SD card, and lens discount. The camera will be available in stores by the end of the month.

SEE ALSO: Canon EOS RP is company’s cheaper and smaller full-frame mirrorless camera

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Cameras

Leica unveils Q2, adds weatherproofing and higher-resolution sensor

Shoots 4K, too!

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Photo by Chay Lazaro/GadgetMatch

After almost four years, Leica has announced the follow-up to its original Leica Q. GadgetMatch got an early sneak peek at the Q2 at film and TV producer Hiram Garcia’s “Behind the Seen” exhibit in New York City.

TV and film producer Hiram Garcia debuts his exhibit at the Elga Wimmer Gallery, shot entirely on the Leica Q2

While it looks almost identical to the Leica Q, the Q2 is weather-sealed, has a 47-megapixel full-frame sensor, and shoots 4K video at 30fps. It features the same Leica Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH. lens, although it’s been tweaked to maximize the new high-resolution sensor.

At the exhibit, Leica also showcased the Q2’s improved capabilities with a portrait studio. The company says the new camera goes beyond the conventional use cases of a 28mm focal length with its built-in crop functions for equivalent focal lengths of 35mm, 50mm, and the newly available 75mm.

The Leica Q2 is available in a black paint finish at Leica stores, boutiques, and dealers for US$ 4,995.

Garcia’s Leica Q2 exhibition is on view at the Elga Wimmer Gallery in New York City for a limited engagement of 24 hours on March 7. “Behind the Seen” is a diverse collection of images that strive to highlight the beauty and intrigue of the movie industry and marks Garcia’s debut photographic gallery exhibition. It’s also the first and only exhibition worldwide shot exclusively on the new Leica Q2 camera.

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