Cameras

Sony’s RX100 V and A6500 prioritize focusing and shooting speeds

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Photokina wrapped up over a week ago, but the camera launches keep coming. Sony, in particular, was rather quiet during the show, and now we know why. The company saved its major announcements for today, featuring the Cyber-shot RX100 V compact camera and A6500 mirrorless interchangeable-lens shooter.

Cyber-shot RX100 Mark V

Sony RX100 V front

Let’s begin with the smaller one of the two. The RX100 V is minor upgrade over the RX100 IV that came out last year, and we mean minor. Aside from looking just like its predecessor, the newest Cyber-shot shares the same 1-inch, 20.1-megapixel image sensor capable of 4K video recording as last year’s model. Other similarities are the 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 zoom lens, 3-inch tilting LCD at the back (still no touchscreen, though), and 2.36M-dot OLED pop-up viewfinder.

The real star here is the 315 autofocus points that cover 65 percent of the composition frame. All are phase detection points, which leads to DSLR-like focusing speeds and much better subject tracking, even while recording videos. Equally impressive is the 24 frames per second continuous shooting at full image resolution.

Sony RX100 V back

According to Sony, it’ll cost about $1000 and will be available this month. If you’re an RX100 IV user looking to upgrade, we suggest holding back on this one, unless you feel your one-year-old camera is too slow. For everyone else, this is, once again, the best compact camera in the market — as long as you can afford it.

Sony A6500

Sony A6500 front

After releasing the A6300 earlier this year, Sony decided to unveil its successor just a few months later. Like the RX100 V, it’s difficult to justify the quick launch of the A6500 based on its looks, but all the upgrades are deep inside.

The A6500 carries over the same APS-C-sized 24.2-megapixel image sensor and 425 phase detection autofocus points of its not-so-old predecessor, as well as 4K video recording and burst shooting of 11 frames per second. What’s truly special is the in-body 5-axis image stabilization and touchscreen LCD on the rear.

Having image stabilization built in means that your shots will be steady even without optical stabilization from the attached lens. If your lens does in fact have a stabilizing motor equipped, your photos will look sharper all the more. With the promise of fantastic low-light performance, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more capable mirrorless camera at this size.

Sony A6500 back

Adding touchscreen functionality to the 3-inch display is another welcome feature. It can’t be used to navigate through menus and settings, but it’s perfect for selecting points of focus during photo and video shooting. You’ll also be glad to know that the A6500 is weather-sealed, making it a lot sturdier than the A6300.

You can purchase the A6500 beginning November for a price of $1400. Definitely not cheap, but if you’re out for the best APS-C mirrorless camera Sony has to offer, this is it. However, if you’re looking for a bargain, the A6300 will definitely go down in price, making it an eventual steal for its still-competitive performance. (Read more: Sony A6300 Hands-On)

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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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Apps

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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Cameras

These refurbished vintage Polaroid 600 cameras bring back our childhood!

Ah, take me back~

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My latest obsession with Polaroid’s latest release — Polaroid NOW — has led me to discover refurbished vintage Polaroid 600 cameras. For 90’s kids, these instant cameras relive our colorful, childhood memories dabbling in popping colors celebrated throughout the 80s until the early 2000s.

Look at this refurbished Barbie Throwback, based on the original Barbie Polaroid released in 1999.

How about this bold and loud Neon Yellow & Pink Cool Cam…

… Or this Pink Cool Cam that screams black and pink (like a revolution).

Remember this Blue ’96 Edition perfectly complementing your windbreaker and fanny packs?

Back then, we have Japanese brand Tomy collaborating with Polaroid as a merch for popular manga and anime Kodomo no Omocha, also known as Kodocha.

Remember when we’re all obsessed with MTV?

Oh, look at this fabulous, super rare, Pink Checkers Polaroid 600!

Hello Kitty fans, can you hear me??????

Ah, this Spice Cam makes us remember the times we dance and sing to Spice Girls — like it’s our anthem before Britney Spears finally took over.

In true Maroon 5 fashion, memories really do bring back you. Seeing these instant cameras made me remember who I was before the world told me who I should be. It felt like an ode to my inner child, calling for retrospection. Remember how fun and young we used to be?

Professionally refurbished by Retrospekt

These vintage Polaroid 600 cameras are refurbished by Retrospekt, a company based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Founded by Adam and KoriFuerst in 2008, Retrospekt started as a project to recreate their beloved instant film products.

Retrospekt uses Polaroid’s original components, and properly clean, test, rebuild and test the products again before sending out. Just like any refurbished vintage product, these instant cameras may show some light wear. Still, Retrospekt guarantees functionality.

And when it arrives at your doorsteps, all you need is just a pack of Polaroid 600 film, and you’ll be back to shooting instant films again.

SEE ALSO: Polaroid OneStep+ reviewPolaroid OneStep 2 review: The ultimate throwback cameraPolaroid Snap Touch Review: Print photos with a digital camera

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