Cameras

Sony A9 mirrorless camera makes its way to the Philippines

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If you want an all-around full-frame mirrorless camera in the smallest package possible, you go for the Sony A7 series. But what if you need more speed — something really fast? You’d have to save up a lot, because the A9 is the next level, but it comes at a heavy cost.

Beginning July 1, Sony Philippines is offering its latest mirrorless camera, the A9, for — get this — PhP 239,999! That’s just a little over the base price of $4,500 in the US. But what sort of technical wizardry justifies such a price tag?

Any serious photographer must already be familiar with the power backing this beast and can stop reading here, but for the less informed, get ready for a large dose of numbers.

The A9 prides itself in having the first full-frame stacked CMOS image sensor. Already confused? Let me explain: By having additional layers of circuitry on the sensor, the A9 can handle image processing and delivery to the memory much faster. It basically allows the system to skip steps in getting the photos to your display.

This leads to a blistering burst of 20 frames per second (FPS) while still being able to autofocus. That’s just four FPS short of cinema-level videos (24fps), so it’s almost like shooting a movie with each frame at a full resolution of 24.2 megapixels! Process that for a moment with your non-stacked brain.

And since this is a mirrorless camera as clearly shown in the photo above, there’s no mirror slapping involved like on a traditional DSLR, meaning there are no distracting and potentially image-ruining vibrations to endure while shooting at max speed.

Sony’s excellent 5-axis image stabilization is once again built in, just in case your hands are too unworthy to handle this monster. And if you’re still unconvinced to splurge on an A9, realize that there’s a grand total of 693 autofocus points covering a remarkable 93 percent of the viewfinder. No cat, dog, or unruly child is going to escape the A9’s sights.

If all else fails, you have an ISO range of 100 to 51200 (expandable from 50 to 204800) to play with, ensuring you’ll always have enough light entering your shots no matter how difficult the lighting situation gets.

My A7 II suddenly looks really stale, but I’m sure owners of every other camera feel the same. That’s how far mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras have come, and the A9 is leading the charge like no other.

SEE ALSO: Sony A7R II Hands-On

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Cameras

Olympus bids goodbye to its camera business

Bought by Japan Industrial Partners

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Olympus is a well-known brand due to its reliable DSLR cameras that offered alternatives to mainstream competitors like Canon, Sony, and Nikon. However, its camera business could soon be over. The company recently announced that it is selling its business to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP) — the same company that bought the iconic VAIO laptop line.

The announcement means an end to Olympus’ presence in the camera market. The company has been producing cameras ever since the 1930s. Some of its iconic products include the Olympus Pen and Zuiko lenses.

An ever-shrinking market for dedicated cameras and a much competitive market resulted in losses for its camera division in recent years. As such, the company decided to sell its camera division to JIP to streamline its operations.

However, that doesn’t mean an end to Olympus cameras. JIP said that they are going to continue releasing new OM-D DSLR cameras as well as Zuiko lenses.

To formalize the acquisition, both Olympus and JIP will sign a definitive agreement this September. Specific details about the acquisition are yet to be announced by both companies.

Source: The Verge

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Cameras

Sony’s new ZV-1 camera is built for vlogging

Shipping in June

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How much personalization do you want your cameras to have? Some purists prefer completely manual cameras, allowing for absolute control over every aspect of their photos. Other professionals prefer a more consumer-friendly approach to photography, balancing easy-to-use functions with stellar photo quality.

Combining both aspects, the recently launched Sony ZV-1 is an all-in-one compact camera built specifically for casual video shooters. A boon to the vlogging community, the ZV-1 maintains both uncompromising video quality with ease of use.

Featuring a 1.0-type stacked Exmor RS CMOS image sensor and the latest BIONZ X image processor, the camera shoots at 4K resolution with in-body image stabilization. Inside, a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 large-aperture lens allows for dynamic bokeh control. Named the Bokeh Switch feature, the camera can increase and decrease background blur according to preference without losing its main focus.

In the same vein, the new Product Showcase feature allows for an easy transition between different focal points, such as switching between a subject’s face and a focused object. As the name suggests, the feature helps vloggers easily unbox and review products.

A Face Priority autoexposure feature automatically adjusts the device’s exposure settings depending on the brightness of the background. It will prioritize the subject’s face, ensuring correct exposure settings regardless of background. With the feature, it’s easier to shoot in bright sunlight, low-light conditions, and transitioning quickly between the two.

Besides what’s inside, the camera is also built ergonomically for a casual shooter’s hands. Instead of the traditional vertically flipping screen, it carries a horizontally flipping LCD screen, allowing users to easily see what’s being caught on camera. It comes with a 3.5mm microphone jack and a wind screen accessory to reduce wind interference.

Sony will start selling the ZV-1 at authorized Sony stores and through Lazada starting June 2020. It will retail for US$ 799.99.

SEE ALSO: Sony Xperia 1 II camera phone now available for pre-order

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Use your Canon camera as a laptop webcam

Up the quality on your video call meetings

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Video conferencing is the new normal as most of us continue to work from home. Canon hopes to make the experience better with the EOS Webcam Utility Beta.

You may have noticed though that the video quality from your laptop’s webcam is not up to par with your smartphone’s front camera. Most manufacturers tend to put sub-par cameras on laptops. The reason: your laptop’s webcams were not that highly used before the whole COVID-19 situation.

To address this, Canon recently released a tool that will level up your video quality over online conferencing apps. The idea is to transform your Canon camera into a portable webcam. Simply plug-in an EOS or a PowerShot camera to your laptop, configure the software, and you now have a powerful webcam at your disposal.

The utility is called “EOS Webcam Utility Beta”. It’s a software that automatically configures your Canon camera into a portable web camera over a USB connection.

The caveat though is that only select EOS DSLR, EOS Mirrorless, and PowerShot cameras are compatible. The software is still in beta, but if you’re really determined to level up your video calling game, you can view the full list of compatible cameras here.

Grainy and lifeless videos will be a thing of the past for Canon users with this new tool. If you own a Canon EOS or DSLR camera, make sure to give this utility a try to improve your video chats with friends, family, or your fellow co-workers.

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