24 Hours Series

24 Hours in Baguio with the Sony A9

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Our very own Kevin Bruce got married over the weekend in the Summer Capital of the Philippines, Baguio City. The GadgetMatch team took this opportunity to support our favorite multimedia producer and have some fun along the way.

Not satisfied with documenting the trip using only the premium smartphones we have on hand, we decided to take the Sony A9 along as well.

There’s no doubt that Sony’s one-and-only A9 is the best mirrorless camera for sports photography. It has also served us well for videos shot for our YouTube and Facebook channels. But how does it fare during more leisure activities?

While the results won’t surprise you — this is a US$ 4,500 camera, after all — seeing just how well this beautiful piece of technology shoots is always a treat.

Getting ready

Going to Baguio from Manila takes only a little over four hours now, thanks to some newly extended highways heading north. Although provincial buses scaling up the mountain are easy to book, we decided to rent a van instead to save us a few headaches and allow us to take bathroom breaks whenever we wanted along the way.

Still, riding inside a van for five hours (including the breaks we took) can take its toll, so we made sure to freshen up and clear up our remaining tasks before the formalities began.

The photo above shows Chay walking to the nearest Starbucks, while the picture below has Dan calling someone on his Huawei Mate 10 Pro. Who could be on the other end of the line?

From solo shots, we now move on to group pictures.

We rarely (actually, never) dress up unless the occasion is truly special. Here are seven members of the GadgetMatch team all dressed up and ready for the ceremony in the Baguio Country Club.

As usual, work always comes first, no matter where we find ourselves.

Here are Michael Josh, Chay, and Leez comparing photos taken with the Mate 10 Pro and Google Pixel 2 right outside of the venue. Meanwhile, Rodneil would rather show some swag for the cameras.

And here is the groom himself. Say hi, Kevin! Notice the wooden bow tie he’s wearing. I bet it’s easier to put together than an actual tie.

The ceremony

As much fun as we had leading up to the ceremony, it was time for us to find our seats and get ready for the main event. Here we are, so formal and behaved!

Well, maybe not everyone was behaving. This is Chay giving her best “why’s that girl looking at my man like that” look. I don’t think anyone would want to be at the end of this scary gaze.

We weren’t allowed to take out our A9 to document the wedding, but we were able to steal this shot of Kevin walking down the aisle with his wife while casually waving at us. Congrats!

Finally, a group photo with the newly weds! Bringing a wide-angle lens for the A9 was a wise choice; combining the full-frame sensor of the camera with this lens captured every detail of the beautiful scene.

I tried to get myself some solo photos while the sun was still out, but these two well-dressed (and annoying) ladies wouldn’t let me hog the limelight.

Fun at the reception

We carried our fun over to the reception, which also took place inside the Country Club. Lighting here was a constant challenge, but nothing the A9 couldn’t easily handle.

Each table was given a disposable film camera to document the festivities. Fun fact: A single shot from cheap 35mm film is as large as the super-expensive sensor of the A9. Talk about disparities in technology!

Of course, nothing can beat a full-frame mirrorless camera in terms of image quality and ability to adjust on the fly. Here’s a perfect shot of Leez on the dance floor.

Not wanting to be upstaged, Michael Josh and Chay used the smoke machine and unpredictable lighting to produce their own Instagram-worthy snaps. We love the dramatic looks!

S’mores at the cabin

Once the smoke settled, we decided to roast s’mores at our Baguio home’s fireplace. It was chilly night, so the warmth of the fire and each other’s company kept us cozy all night.

Roasting marshmallows is an art form, and getting a couple as perfect as these makes all the effort worth it.

But that’s only half the battle. Putting the s’mores together takes a perfect touch and even more practice.

This is my awful first attempt at assembling a s’more. No matter — it still tasted great!

If you get everything right, you’ll end up with a heavenly delight. This is Leez before the dessert took over her taste buds and mind.

There’s so much more to Baguio City aside from the sites we visited, as well as the typical tourist spots you see on travel guides.

We’ll be sure to come back and document more of the Summer Capital one day. For now, we’re figuring out who’ll be the next GadgetMatch member to get hitched. Any guesses?

SEE ALSO: 5 reasons to choose a dedicated camera over a smartphone

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24 Hours Series

First 24 Hours with the iPhone 14

Bluer than Blue!

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September 11 marks a historical day not just for New Yorkers, but for (almost) everyone in this world.

With a memory that lives forever in our heads, Michael Josh has tried commemorating it.

He went to the pier along Brooklyn Bridge to recreate a shot he wanted to do for so long.

But instead of the best-in-class iPhone, he instead used the 6.1-inch iPhone 14.

Can’t wait to see how the shot turned out? Or just curious how the iPhone 14’s gonna last throughout the day?

Head over now to our iPhone 14 First 24 Hours video to feed your curiosities.

SEE ALSO: iPhone 14 Pro Max First 24 Hours

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24 Hours Series

First 24 Hours with the iPhone 14 Pro Max

Battery & Camera Champ?

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Just in time with the newest iPhone 14 and 14 Pro series, our First 24 hours series is back on track!

Aside from the usual one day usage, it’s also a great time to see the streets of New York, at least virtually.

With the new cameras of the iPhone 14 Pro Max (including a 48MP sensor),

is it suffice to say it’s worth upgrading to this year’s iPhone?

Here’s Michael Josh’s first 24 hours with the new iPhone 14 Pro Max for you to find out more.

SEE ALSO: iPhone 14 First 24 Hours

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24 Hours Series

vivo V25 and V25 Pro: First 24 Hours

Impressive all around!

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For the uninitiated, smartphone manufacturer vivo makes the V-series, apart from the more premium X-series. The V-series is its midrange line that inherits a lot of the flagship features its more expensive brothers offer. It’s also got fun selfie camera features, as well as a more colorful, dynamic design.

The V25 and V25 Pro are the latest in the series, and we partnered with vivo to talk about our experience using both phones for the first 24 hours. We took them around New York City to test out new camera tricks during the day and at night, as well as to give you an idea what it might be like using the V25 Pro in the real world.

Lunch and Errands

We started the day by unplugging the V25 Pro at 10am at 100%. Errands had to be run around the city, which took almost 4 hours.

We then headed to Urbanspace meet some friends for lunch. It’s a food hall with lots of yummy options to choose from, and I opted for a caramelized pork banh mi.

While waiting for my order, I took some video samples using the V25 Pro’s rear camera. For a lot of smartphones photographing and filming at Urbanspace is not as easy. It’s moody with random light sources here and there but the V25 Pro’s 64MP OIS Ultra-Sensing Camera took the challenge like a champ. Watch our YouTube video here.

After lunch we walked over to Grand Central Terminal to take the subway to a Mediatek event. We were running late but we had to take a few photos using the V25 and V25 Pro because this station is stunning.

Even if it was quite dim inside the station, these shots came out great thanks to the V25 series’ 64MP OIS Ultra-Sensing Camera, which minimizes blur and supports a longer exposure time, resulting in clearer and brighter images.

When it comes to videos, the V25 series uses a Hybrid Image Stabilization (OIS+EIS) feature to deliver smooth videos even in low light. The X-series has long been known for great video stabilization so it’s good to see that come to its more affordable models. So, we also filmed a few clips during our subway ride.

Processing Power and Color Changing Design

At the Mediatek event, we got reunited with a lot of our fellow tech YouTubers, including Enobong Etteh (@booredatwork, Joshua Vergara (@jvtechtea), and Danny Winget (@superscientific).

Both the V25 and V25 Pro are powered by a MediaTek 5G system on a chip. The vivo V25 is powered by Mediatek’s Dimensity 900, a 6nm chip with exceptional AI camera features.

Meanwhile, the V25 Pro is powered by MediaTek’s Dimensity 1300, an octa core CPU with boosted AI performance and HyperEngine 5 which provides a suite of gaming related optimizations.

At the event however, we got our friends to talk about the color changing design of the V25 and V25 Pro.

Our V25 unit turns from golden yellow to a rich orange tone when exposed to the sun or UV light. While the V25 Pro goes from a lighter blue to a deep blue. This is thanks to the Color Changing Fluorite AG Glass material that vivo used.

Both Joshua and Danny liked how eye catching the V25’s color is. I personally love anything blue, so the V25 Pro is my pick.

Selfie Shooter

At the event we also got to test the V25 Pro’s 32MP Eye AF selfie camera. It’s got autofocus, so even if you’re dealing with moving subjects, it locks on them so selfies remain clear.

In one test we had Chay move in and out of frame. Autofocus detects her as soon as she comes back into frame and follows her along as she moves around the frame.

I also love the teleprompter feature which lets me put up a script to read while recording video. I might use it for my Instagram stories more often. It’s such a fun tool!

Daytime Photos

The MediaTek event took place on a gorgeous rooftop suite so while everyone was busy mingling, I snapped the rest of these photos.

We had a lot of fun catching up with everyone, showing them the new vivo phones, and taking photos that we almost forgot to do a battery check.

At 7:07 PM, the vivo V25 Pro still had 62% left. That’s 9 hours after unplugging it from the charger.

Back in Brooklyn

After the event, we headed back to Brooklyn to try and catch the sunset. This time of the year we get longer days so we had a few minutes left and I snapped more photos along the way.

Being able to film video at night is the holy grail of smartphone videography and with Super Night Video on the V25 Pro, I can shoot videos of the Manhattan skyline when it looks its best.

Super Night Video brightens and reduces noise when filming in low light.

Tacocina Break

It’s 8:30 PM, and I could just feel the hunger pangs so we decided to grab some tacos from Tacocina at Domino Park. But first, another battery check: 49% left in the tank.

Of course, we didn’t want to pass up on the chance to take a photo of the tacos, too. The camera always eats first.

While we were there it was also the perfect opportunity to test out the Bokeh Flare Portrait. There are five effects to choose from: default, hearts, stars, butterfly, and cherry blossom.

The vivo V25 Pro did a great job of separating me from the background despite how dark it already got. I can’t say which effect is my favorite but I think I’m gonna use hearts for now.

I was so hungry after the day we just had that I had to order another taco. While waiting I went and tested out the Time-Lapse feature on the V25 Pro as well. You can watch our video here to watch those samples.

More Photos at Night

Our next camera test involved having the subject in the shadows, with a well-lit background. We snapped a few around Domino Park, but it’s the one where Chay stood in front of the pillars that takes the cake.

For that we turned on Super Night Portrait. It uses AI to compensate for the lack of light on the subject. It’s of course not obvious in this photo, but in real life, Chay had barely any light on her face when we took the shot.

We couldn’t end the day without taking some artsy night time photos.

This first shot is of the Williamsburg bridge around Blue Hour. I visiting love Domino Park for views just like this one.

I love that Tacocina exists. It means you don’t even need to leave the park to get food and drink. I highly recommend their carne asada soft taco!

I always am a sucker for a mural. I love street art and the walls around Domino Park are lined with them.

I had to do it: an OOTD photo.

These blue steel towers are actually cranes from the sugar refinery that once stood in this area. I love how they kept them around and how they’re now like art pieces that illuminate the park at night.

I love this shot of Chay walking down the stairs from the elevated walkway.

We’ve got a few more shots for you from my walk home.

I was super impressed with this one of a food truck because it was much darker than the pic looks. I also love how the V25 Pro did not produce lens flares other smartphones tend to do when photographing lights.

Neon is always a challenging thing to film or photograph. I think the V25 Pro did an excellent job of this hair salon.

I thought this was a quirky way to end this photoshoot — a neon flamingo atop a building.

Finale

After almost 12 hours of use, and exactly 4 hours of screen-on time, the V25 Pro had 28% left at 9:39 PM.

I’m glad we ended our day in Brooklyn with night photography tests using the V25 Pro. It’s worth pointing out that V25 series cost half the price of higher end smartphones. Yet it more than delivers in terms of capturing stunning photos at night.

I guess I shouldn’t even be surprised, considering how the vivo X80 Pro, along with its predecessors, are some of the best smartphone shooters we’ve tried.

 

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