Cameras

Sony A7R III is the new king of full-frame photography  

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There was a time pro-photographers had to wait up to five years for an update to their pro digital camera of choice. But Sony is changing the landscape with a new every-two-year release cycle.

Its latest installment is the A7R III, the third iteration of its bestselling full-frame mirrorless camera launched in the US last October and today in Asia at Singapore’s National Gallery.


I spent the afternoon using the A7R III, and was blown away by its speed, which is almost reminiscent of Sony’s insanely fast flagship the A9 which can shoot RAW images at a ground-breaking 20 frames per second.

Michael Josh takes the A7R III for a spin in Singapore. Photo by BJ Pascual

Sony believes the A7R III is a good choice for those who want both high-resolution imagery and speed. This 42.4-megapixel camera can shoot at an impressive 10 frames per second. That coupled with its improved Eye AF technology, makes shooting moving subjects a breeze.

These photos of a model who was constantly in motion were taken using an 55mm f/1.8 lens.

On the outside, this new camera looks just like its predecessor with a slightly larger battery grip and with a bit more heft. The only way to truly tell old and new models apart is the A7R III branding above the LCD.

But while aesthetic changes may be few to none, the A7R III also comes with plenty of under-the-hood improvements first seen on the top-of-the-line A9, like a newer higher capacity battery that lasts about two times longer (about 650 still frames on a single charge).

Of course, if you’re upgrading from the previous model, this means a new set of chargers and extra batteries.  

There are now two SD card slots instead of one, a USB Type-C charging port for faster data transfers, and the same fantastic 3.69 million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder that we loved on the A9.

While it’s got the same resolution as last year’s model, the A7R will perform better in handheld low-light shooting scenarios thanks to new 5-axis image stabilization and a higher max ISO of 32000 (from 25600).  

Also impressive is its 399 phase detection autofocus points that cover about 68 percent of the image area, and its ability to shoot 4K video at 24 or 30 frames per second.  

Here are more unedited sample shots:

SEE ALSO: 24 Hours in Baguio with the Sony A9

[irp posts=”24286" name=”24 Hours in Baguio with the Sony A9"]

Cameras

4 reasons the new Instax Mini LiPlay is perfect for any occasion

Small but packed with features

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Fujifilm recently announced their new hybrid instant camera, the Instax Mini LiPlay. It’s the newest addition to the company’s lineup of Instax instant cameras and by far the smallest and most lightweight in its series.

Despite being small, it’s packed with features that every girl would love to have in different situations. Here are the reasons why:


1. You get to celebrate occasions in a special way

The Instax Mini LiPlay is not your typical instant camera. It comes with an LCD so you can review photos you’ve captured, and choose which one to print.

It also has a “Sound” button which is capable of recording up to ten seconds of audio. The Instax Mini LiPlay then converts the audio’s data into a QR code and adds it to the photo printed. Users can play and replay for at least a year by scanning the QR code. This function is perfect for adding greetings, songs, and other messages you’d love to share through the printed photo.

2. Definitely a travel companion

This hybrid instant camera is different compared to Fujifilm’s instant cameras. Its promise of being the smallest and most lightweight makes it an easy-to-carry travel-sized camera (that won’t take too much space in your bag).

In addition, solo and group travelers can enjoy the remote shooting feature, which remotely takes a photo and print it on the spot using your smartphone. Furthermore, it has a direct print feature so you can transfer your photos from your smartphone and print it using the instant camera’s film. Whatever device you use, the Instax Mini LiPlay is a travel companion you’ll love to bring anywhere you go.

3. For the times when you want to express yourself

If you love shooting flat lays or OOTDs, the Instax Mini LiPlay may be useful as a prop or as an accessory. It has a stylish design that matches your aesthetic, and it comes in three beautiful colors: Stone White, Elegant Black, and Blush Gold.

Moreover, it has an array of design frames. The camera comes with ten pre-installed frames, which you can select during or after taking a photo. When you download the free Instax Mini LiPlay app, you get to enjoy 20 additional design frames.

4. Enjoy taking photos wherever you go

Say goodbye to AA batteries that make you feel like you’re using a device from the early 2000s. The Instax Mini LiPlay uses micro-USB for charging and takes two to three hours to fully charge the device. Its battery can last up to 100 printed photos. Photos are also saved onto a microSD card so you can keep on shooting until your memory card is full!

The Instax Mini LiPlay is priced at PhP 9,999 and will be available around late June to early July in the Philippines.

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Cameras

DJI debuts the Osmo Action, their first action camera

This is DJI’s direct answer to GoPro

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DJI Osmo Action | Image credit: DJI

When DJI released the Osmo Pocket months ago, everyone went crazy because it’s the only stabilized camera that can fit in anyone’s pocket. Now, DJI has announced another camera creation, the Osmo Action.

It looks very similar to GoPro’s action cameras, which serves the purpose — to become its direct rival. The Sony RX0 II is a noteworthy competitor, too.


Focusing on the camera, it can shoot videos of up to 4K resolution at 60fps. The lens is composed of three aspherical layers which reduce glare and distortion. It even has an anti-fingerprint coating that also repels water, oil, and other smudges while shooting. In harsh light conditions, it can shoot with enhanced HDR. You can attach a neutral-density (ND) filter on it as well.

DJI Osmo Action | Image credit: DJI

So done with gimbals? The Osmo’s action camera has RockSteady technology that combines electronic image stabilization with other complex algorithms in order to achieve shake-free footage. The camera can survive the extremes — up to 11m (or 36ft) in the deep waters, and as cold as negative 10 degrees Celsius when shooting with the device.

The camera features various creative shooting modes like 8x slow motion and the Custom Exposure Mode that can shoot as long as 120 seconds — great for capturing the dazzling night sky. A Timelapse Mode is present, as well as a Timed Shooting Mode with support for shooting RAW file format.

DJI Osmo Action | Image credit: DJI

The device is equipped with dual screens: one at the back for controlling the device and another in the front for framing yourself. With DJI’s custom ActionOS, you can use voice control to power up and operate the device. It has a Custom Mode which lets you choose your frequently used shooting modes, while a QuickSwitch button (labeled as QS) is present to let you switch modes in an instant.

The Osmo Action is priced at US$ 349, which is about the same price as the GoPro Hero 7 Black today.

SEE ALSO: DJI Osmo Pocket Review

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Cameras

Samsung announces the world’s first 64-megapixel phone camera

Better cameras are coming!

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For a while now, the smartphone photography business has hovered around 48-megapixel cameras. Last year, the market released the first 48-megapixel smartphone cameras. Since then, more smartphones have adopted the new standard. Of course, progress never stops.

Already, Qualcomm is anticipating even greater heights for smartphone photography this year. Fulfilling the prophecy, Samsung has announced the first 64-megapixel camera sensor. The brand is expanding its 0.8μm lineup, adding the 64-megapixel Samsung ISOCELL Bright GW1.


Much like other 48-megapixel sensors today, Samsung’s new shooter uses the contemporary pixel-merging Tetracell technology. Further, the sensor will improve HDR shooting capabilities. The GW1 supports an HDR of up to 100dB. According to Samsung, the current industry standard goes up to only 60dB. (The human eye can detect up to 120dB.) Samsung’s HDR images should look more realistic compared to other market offerings.

Similarly, the GW1 optimizes collected light. Basically, the sensor should have fewer problems in low-light conditions. Image sharpness is supposedly sharper as well.

For video taking, the GW1 supports Full HD recording, shooting at up to 480 frames-per-second. The new feature is a huge improvement for slow-motion videos.

Besides the 64-megapixel GW1 sensor, Samsung is also releasing a new 48-megapixel ISOCELL Bright GM2. Though lower, the 48-megapixel sensor also offers the same capabilities as the GW1.

Currently, Samsung is sampling the new sensors for the market. The brand expects to proceed with mass production in the second half of the year. Unfortunately, Samsung has not revealed which smartphones or brands are on the market. Regardless, the new development is a huge and speedy step for smartphone photography. If Qualcomm’s other predictions ring true, we’ll see 100-megapixel cameras soon, too.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy A20 Hands-on: One of the familiar faces

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