Filters are an integral part of a photography eco system. Depending on what genre you shoot, you may require an ND Filter, Variable ND Filter or at times even a polarizing filter. If you are dedicated landscape photographer, you may need either a Square ND Filter kit for your professional long exposure requirements or even a light pollution filter for shooting cityscapes at night.
Buying quality filters can be an expensive affair specially if you are looking to get high quality results. Cheap and poor quality filters can really ruin the quality of your final image either through strong color cast or through softening of images.
Jassi has recently reviewed few filters of a brand called MECOREX. The brand has its base in USA and make variety of filters suitable to most requirements of photographers – amateurs and professional alike. The results have surprised him because of the price bracket these filters fall into.
Here is one such video where he has done a review of their Professional Square Filter system:
In another video Jassi reviews their Varibale ND Filter and shares his results and opinion:
As an inference it can be easily said that MECO Filters are high quality filter available at affordable price suitable for price conscious Indian market.
All the filters are made of high quality German Schott Optical Glass. The glass has precision polishing on both sides to ensure the sharpness is maintained across the frame. It is also Nano Coated on both sides to make the glass dust, water and oil repellent.
Click the link below to check out some amazing range of Meco fiilters & Use coupon code Meco200 for extra discount.
Accessories are something which are as important as the camera itself and this is where most photographers take wrong decisions. Here are few camera accessories you must have a look at and make them a part of your Gear.
Well if this made you laugh at as an option, think again. We know that bags are something most people buy when they buy a camera and cannot actually be termed an accessory. Well, think again. Did you do as much research in buying a good camera bag as you do for buying your most expensive camera? If yes, then move to point no. 2 otherwise read on.
Camera bags if not more, are as important as the camera itself because it protects your all expensive camera. A good camera bag must not only carry your camera but should be light weight, preferably water proof, should have sufficient padding to withstand the rough terrain and should not hurt your spine with all the gear getting packed in.
You know what is the, most precious thing after your shoot is over and if you lose it, you are devastated? No prizes for guessing; it’s your image data. All those images that you clicked are lying in that small fragile, delicate memory card and it must be protected by keeping them safe.
The best in class are hardcover cases which are water and shock resistant. Do not compromise on quality because of price. Always compare the price with that of your priceless image data.
Dust is the biggest enemy of camera and lenses. And most photographers remember the need of proper cleaning kits when faced with dusty conditions and they are mostly found cleaning with their T-Shirts, handkerchiefs etc. These cloths are not meant to clean your expensive camera gear because they can end up adding scratch marks on your lens. You must have a couple of micro fiber cloths and a blower.
This is another piece of accessory most photographers do not pay attention to and end up buying something very cheap compromising with the quality. Cheap card readers have the potential to damage your card or data or both. Look for a fast and reliable card reader, which help you transfer your images as fast as possible to your hard drive.
While camera straps that come with camera are a good starting point, but they can be very tacky. They are difficult to fix and even remove, they are mostly non stretchable almost becoming a pain in the neck. These replacement camera straps should be stretchable, easy to fix and remove, should be switchable from neck to shoulder with a single action. If you are not the neck or shoulder strap types, look for a wrist strap.
Most of us shoot during broad daylight and shoot with that all expensive fast prime lens. In strong light we are unable to make best use of wide open aperture because of very strong light. Circular Variable ND Filters help you cut light and do your shoot with wide open apertures as well. Another word of caution here is that do not compromise with quality, because cheap Variable ND Filters have the tendency to get X band in image ruining your final image almost permanently.
And you though we how could we forget this all important accessory. Battery juice is everything specially in this Mirrorless Age. Depending on your usage, you must have at least 3-4 extra batteries, just in case. Needless to say that always go for original batteries because they are reliable and last longer.
Well this is must have accessory with every photographer. If you are into landscape photography, look for a good carbon fiber tripod with a ball head. But if you are into events and wedding etc opt for a good monopod to help you manage those slow shutter speeds and get tack sharp images.
All the artists out there find inspiration from the tiniest of moments taking place around them and try to incorporate them in their piece. This quarantine however, has got everyone stuck at home which might produce a creative block due to stress and boredom.
Photographers especially, are baffled because of their inability to go out and explore the world and their own creativity and are stuck within the four walls of their homes without much to do with their camera. However, photography is an art, and all it requires to come up with a beautiful picture is, out of the box thinking, skills and some patience.
In this article, you will find some of the ways in which you can make your very home your inspiration to create wonderful images.
Selfies have become common during the past few years and are gaining more popularity since the onset of the pandemic. Self portraits are one of the most popular and creative ways of doing photography while at home.
One can explore with different moods, tones, lights and even looks. With a lot of time on your hands you can change your looks by exploring with your hair or beard to give diverse moods to the portraits. One can also explore with the natural light from the windows or lamp shades or some other props to add more elements to the image.
You can also go for capturing the various patterns seen on the bed covers that one sees after waking up or even the rays of light peeking from a window early morning or at the time of sunset. These kinds of shoots do not require any special lighting or setups but are candid and just need some creativity.
Sky photography is another something gaining more and more popularity among business as well as professionals. Anything from blue sky to the colourful sunset sky to dull grey sky has the potential of being converted into a beautiful image. Along with that, one can also experiment with flying birds or some unique cloud shapes that on e might come across.
Reflections are something that are found everywhere from the bathroom mirror to a raindrop on a leaf to a road drenched with rain water. Capturing reflections can give some of the most aesthetic images and incorporating some colorful lights or other props can even add a pop of color to the image.
You may not be fond of wildlife photography but with so much time on your hands during the quarantine, one can always try something new without even getting out of house. If you come across some beautiful birds, insects or squirrels around your house, you are lucky enough and all you have to do is to be a little patient and wait for the right moment to get a good shot.
However, if you come across any, you can always try to hang a bird feeder near your window to attract some beautiful species.
The list can go on and on and so can your imagination. So explore your creativity, find an inspiration, pickup your camera and get going.
The world is enveloped with the deadly Corona virus and none of us can go out which makes all the photographers out there, stressed about how to make the best use of their time as well as their cameras. It’s certainly not an easy job but we have so much time at our hands, that we can endlessly explore our creativity, try new things every day and re-discover ourselves.
In this article, you will find some simple yet creative tips on how to use your camera to the fullest to create some wonderful images while at home.
Having kids or pets at your home, as a photographer can be the biggest boon as they are full of enthusiasm, expressions and innocence and can give some of the most playful and joyous pictures. Give your kids some toys to play as props and click some great candid or capture that beautiful fur-buddy while it’s in deep sleep.
Grab anything at your home ranging from utensils to vegetables to kitchen essentials and click them up close to get some good shots. The most interesting thing about macro photography is that you can take anything, add some creativity to it and create a masterpiece. For instance, you can click the strings of your guitar up close or even the patterns in the iris of someone’s eye to get a beautiful image.
While it’s raining cats and dogs outside, you can make the most of that situation by picking up your camera and getting some good pictures. You can click anything from that misty window or the reflection in the drop on a leaf of your plant or even that after-rain sky with a rainbow if you’re lucky!
Are you a photographer who is learning to cook or bake this quarantine? Flaunt both your skills by clicking some vibrant and delicious pictures of your food. Use some props from around your house and try to make a composition out of it to make it look more aesthetic. Use natural light from the window or the light from your lampshade as per your convenience and create some beautiful images.
If we look around and are observant enough, we are sure to find some interesting patterns made by shadows on the walls or the floor around our house. These could be from the leaves of your favourite plant or a window pane during sunset; find it and capture it to get an aesthetic image.
If you are that person who loves to read with a cup of coffee, you might as well get inspired from it and click some creative images using the same. Get a macro shot of your favourite book or create a backdrop using books to click a portrait or use a cup of coffee, some stationery items or a pair of spectacles as props to get some really wonderful images. A little play with light for changing the mood of the picture might also help.
The creative ideas can go on without an end to them and the same is the case with your imagination. Use this time wisely to explore yourself and your interests and push your creative boundaries to get some of the most marvellous images, that too while at home.
Quarantine because of Covid19 may have locked us down physically but it certainly cannot and must not lock down our soul. Using the wings of creativity, we must fly. All we need is our camera, little imagination and the will to do something different.
Many photographers used their creativity to beat the stress and boredom. Options are aplenty – home portraits, family portraits, still life, backyard wildlife, food and even exploring closed shops and streets.
Lets look at some ideas which you can pursue while still in lockdown.
Creative Self Portraits
Probably selfie is the most popular portrait photography and during quarantine, it has become all the more popular and people are unleashing their creativity through these self-portraits. Getting creative and working on a concept is name of the game. Start with a weekly project and take one self-portrait every day and make sure each portrait has a different feel to it.
You may focus on changed looks like over-grown hair, beard, nails etc. You may even use window light creatively to play with light and shadows. Using table lamp, bedsheets as props will also help you in getting creative self-portraits. Don’t get hung on how you look, just click the way you look during different times of the day.
Beds, Bed-Sheets and Body Parts
Beds are one subject we are spending most time on. I see some interesting patterns of wrinkled bed-sheets after you get up or leave the bed after getting up early in the morning. It may even be a hand coming out of a sheet, or just an eye glass. You may even see if there is some ray of light creating a mood in the room or on bed early in the morning. They do not take anything extra, not even special arrangements but just the desire to see some creativity and click.
Coffee and Beyond
First I thought of using the title for this point as food photography but the title itself looks so professional it may scare many people away. If the idea of doing food photography at home scares you, don’t worry, just forget that you are trying to do food photography. Remember those days when posting the image of food that was served on a restaurant table, that you used to post first thing on social media before digging your fingers in it. Try doing that now and keep experimenting with the composition and items you use for the same.
Use props in the house to get creative with composition and use window light as main light and a thermocol sheet to diffuse shadows.
Its monsoon time. While its raining cats and dogs why are you sitting duck. Rain offers many creative opportunities to make images. That puddle of water, a simple reflection in the puddle, blurred view from that misty window-pane or just the droplets on glass window; they all form great creative images.
One thing that Covid19 could not do is to put light in quarantine and am sure you know that shadow is a conjoined twin of light. If you see light, look for shadows and create some stunners just using the play of shadows.
Do you hear the musical chirping of birds early in the morning? Well no matter where you live, chances are high you share space with variety of species of birds, insects, and butterflies. You may not be a wildlife photographer but quarantine has given you another opportunity to tray your hands at something new and that too without going out of your home. Spend a day trying to be observant of their presence. And very soon you will have a list of birds, insects, squirrels or even lizards to photograph.
To make things easier for yourself, hang a bird feeder near your window and soon you will start having fun.
Macro is another subject which can throw up interesting results. Focus on small things at home and/or garden and create some stunning macros. There are flowers, textures, vegetables or even spoons and forks which can make interesting subjects for macro. Even if you do not have macro lens, try shooting subjects from up close and see the impact.
How could we forget Sky? Blue Sky, overcast sky, dull grey sky, clouds in the sky, birds in the sky. Opportunities are vast as the sky itself. Look out of your window and start looking for unique cloud patterns, birds in flight and even aero plane.
Reflections are simple yet very evocative. I love walking on streets and looking for puddle of water where I can click reflections. If you don’t get that opportunity look for a glass reflection within your house itself. Experimenting with these will give you immense satisfaction along with some creative images.
You know we can just go on and on with this list. There is no end to creative ideas provided you put that thinking cap on. All you need is your camera and some inspiration to create. How about sharing some of your images created during quarantine in comments below.
While Ronin SC was quite a wonderful and capable lightweight gimbal, it had some shortcomings which DJI has taken care of in their upgrade Ronin SC-2.
Since the Ronin SC-2 is an upgrade of Ronin SC, it will be better if we do a comparative review to give you a fair idea as what to opt for.
While DJI has retained most of the path-breaking features of its Ronin SC, there are some noticeable and relevant changes to justify the new release and they are:
The increased payload of 3kg
OLED Screen (1 inch)
14 hours of battery life in a single charge
All new Titan Stabilisation algorithm
The Ronin SC-2 is almost similar in appearance to RSC with some major design changes. The first and biggest change is that RSC-2 is foldable and the second big change is the presence of 1-inch OLED screen.
Apart from these changes, DJI has improved the design to make it more user friendly.
The Ronin SC-2 incidentally becomes the first-ever foldable gimbal in their entire gimbal line-up. This unique design ensures you can configure it in 6 different ways namely upright, underslung, briefcase, flashlight, portrait and storage.
These six different configurations allow you to be more versatile and become creative with angles. The best part is that it makes the gimbal compact making it easy for storing and transportation.
The 2nd most noticeable and important change is the presence of 1-inch OLED Screen. This screen can be used to check settings and even control functions. This screen though is no replacement for the mobile app but makes it easy for the user if he is not willing to use the app.
While the RSC weighed 1.1 kg and supported a max payload of 2kg, the RSC-2 weighs slightly higher at 1.2kg but its max payload has increased substantially to 3kg. This will certainly help the user to set-up heavier cameras like some DSLR and mirrorless cameras with heavier variable FL lenses.
While DJI is known for their gimbals with exceptional stabilization, with RSC-2, DJI has leapt by introducing the all-new Titan Stabilization Algorithm which stabilizes long lenses like 100mm and compensates for some real small movements/shakes.
The RSC-2 boasts of some great improved and new features which makes it a favourite with video content creators.
Active Track 3.0
The RSC-2 features one of the most advanced tracking systems with Active Track 3.0. If you are into high-speed action film making, this will prove to be your favourite feature.
This is a new feature introduced by DJI which simplifies the remote camera viewing and control. Using Raven Eye, you can use the Active Track feature directly using the camera signal.
This is another new feature which allows you to instantly switch from landscape mode to portrait mode. This is one feature which will certainly make social media content creators very happy.
Improved Battery Performance
The RSC-2 has a substantial increase in battery performance from 11 hrs in RSC to 14 hrs. this certainly is another improvement which will be lapped up by users.
The RSC-2 is compatible with a wide variety of cameras. For a complete list, you can check here.
Is it for you?
Well if you are looking for a gimbal which can be used both with DSLR and mirrorless, without compromising with lightweight and expensive price, then this is the best option for you. With Ronin, SC-2 DJI has taken care of all the challenges and shortcomings of RSC making it the best choice.
After the success of Ronin S a versatile camera gimbal, DJI came out with a smaller and lighter version Ronin SC aimed to cater to growing market of vloggers using mirrorless cameras.
While Ronin S was state of the art gimbal catering to both DSLR and Mirrorless camera users, it was pricey which gave its competitors some edge specially on the price point. DJI which is a force in itself in Drone and Gimbal market announced the launch of Ronin SC which is one of the lightest and cheapest catering to budding videographers using light weight mirrorless cameras.
With its weight at just 1.1 kg (without camera), it’s very easy to operate even for long hours. It is great for photographers who use a camera which weighs under 2 kg. Ronin SC may create problems if you want to use longer lenses though.
DJI has simplified the balancing system as well to suit photographers. Using the sliding quick release plate, its very easy to mount and balance the camera system. You can use smartphone app to balance the roll axis. There are locks for pan, tilt and roll axes to make things even easier for photographers. Overall the balancing is easy if you follow simple steps.
Gimbal Type: 3-Axis Motorised gimbal
Payload: 2 kg (4.4 lbs)
Battery Life: 11 hrs in single charge
Charging time: Around 2.5 hrs.
Dimensions: 370(L) X 165(H) X 150(D)mm
Ronin SC has brought almost all features from its Ronin S. It has pan, tilt and roll along with a 360 degrees panning. It has modes like Timelapse, MotionLapse, Panorama and Motion Control.
DJI includes two new modes in this – ActiveTrack and ForceMobile. In ActiveTrack you can tap on the subject using the mobile app and gimbal start following that subject automatically. In ForceMobile you can take complete control of your gimbal using your mobile at up to 25 mtrs away.
Build and Handling
DJI has always been known for high quality build of their almost entire product range and despite its affordability, Ronin SC is no exception.
The Ronin SC is solid and well-built gimbal. It comes in a carry case which has space for all cables and accessories. The Record Button and Joystick are positioned on the handle which makes it easy to control.
The Ronin SC has a 2450mAH battery which lasts for around 11 hrs in single charge. You can charge it using USB-C port. It also comes with an extended tripod grip, lens support, camera riser and a quick release plate. Various camera control USB cables are provided to help you get started almost immediately.
Its design and weight favors light weight mirrorless camera but it does create some issues when used with long or heavy lenses. The rear arm is angled to ensure it doesn’t obstruct your view of the camera screen.
You can check how to balance Ronin SC in this video:
Camera gimbals are known to take lot of time to get them into a perfect balance mode and Ronin SC is no exception. Though the balancing has been simplified but it does require some trial and error to figure out the right way to balance. It is easy to balance and use with fixed focal length lenses like 35mm but it requires lot of trial and error when you use variable FL lenses or long lenses. In other words, this is the gimbal designed for light weight camera and small lenses where its performs the best.
When shooting videos, its light weight and simple design comes in very handy. As in Ronin S, there is a focus wheel in Ronin SC as well which really makes your life easy while using manual focus.
Every videographers or content creator is looking to give cinematic feel to their videos and with the Ronin SC they can do it easy without drilling a hole in their pocket. Setting up the camera is not as easy as it is made out to be and requires some trial and error before you can figure out the best camera and lens combination.
Its light weight however does help you in creating low level footage or even sideway footage quite with ease
Easy to operate
Set up takes time
Works best only with prime lenses
You can’t change the built-in battery
So if you want to use a gimbal with your light weight mirrorless camera with a prime lens, this is the best option for you. However, if you want to use it with a variable FL lenses, try it before you buy.
You can buy Ronin SC at an affordable price at BUY NOW and Use RONIN750 for Extra ₹750 Discount!
While GoPro Fusion was the first ever 360-degree camera from GoPro but it left a lot to be desired and had glitches that turned enthusiasts away from it. This GoPro Max is a replacement of Fusion and in quite an improved version.
Well, Max is a 360 camera with some features borrowed from the GoPro Black range to make it more versatile. It’s also very easy to use and helps you create videos from just one mounting position.
The Max is slightly smaller than its predecessor Fusion. Its interesting to note that it uses the FoldingFingers same as that in Hero8.
As expected from GoPro, the body of Max is well built with a rubber grip. The record button is on top of the camera and is slightly raised which is a small but welcome feature, making it easy to locate.
Two microphones are located right next to the Mode button.
One larger microphone is right in front just above the logo. Lens is right next to the microphone. You can find a second lens and one large microphone. Below these is located the touchscreen LCD.
The touchscreen is very responsive and is also bright helping you see in outdoor bright sunlight. The screen displays the camera mode you are in, camera resolution and frame, battery life and space left on the memory card. It also shows a circular arrow with which you can switch between lenses.
The Power/Mode Button is one side of the Max and on the other side is Battery Slot. The battery is 1600mAh Lithium Ion battery. Inside the battery compartment there is a MicroSD Card slot along with a USB-C port.
The Max is slightly bigger than Hero8, which means it just cannot support the GoPro Mods. Probably keeping that in mind, GoPro decided to incorporate a selfie screen and 6 microphones on each side of camera, which almost eliminates the need for couple of mods. It is waterproof up to 5 mtr without any housing.
The Max shoots 360 footage at 5.6K. One disappointing thing is that the video shows visible stitch lines which actually dampens the spirit of user making the video look low quality. The video does not have HDR feature.
The stabilization is super smooth when shooting in well-lit daylight conditions but become awfully jerky as night set in. Another disadvantage is that it shows some noticeable chromatic aberration and purple fringing in backlit scenes.
The Max has taken a slice of TimeWarp from the Hero8 which actually is shooting time-lapse handheld while on the move.
Action and/or Vlogging Camera
Till now the Max probably was going neck to neck with the Insta360 but the moment we talk about using it in normal video mode, it falls way behind its rival. The normal video has a max resolution of 1080p at 16:9 and 1440p at 4:3.
You can shoot videos at 4 different focal lengths viz 13mm, 16mm, 19mm and 27mm (all digital FL’s).
One of the best features is the way it handles horizon when you create video footage at extremely odd angles.
The video footage is customizable using ProTune. With this you can tweak video bitrate, shutter speed, WB and many more.
Battery and Connectivity
The Max uses 1600mAh battery which drains fast when used with TimeWarp. It gives you around 50 mins of continuous 360-video recording. There is a USB-C port which helps you charge on the go. It takes around 3 hrs to fully charge the battery.
The Max has connectivity options of in built WiFi which helps you connect to your phone app. You can use this to live stream your footage on Facebook and YouTube at 1080p.
Here are couple of video footages:
(Insert both video footages here)
The GoPro Max is a solid built, waterproof and versatile 360 action camera. Till very recently it was ruling the market and then Insta360 launched their One R modular camera.
Having said that The Max still impresses you with its design which is a unique GoPro and great features. Its sound quality is a path breaking feature which certainly is going to be the winner for some time to come.
Should you buy one? Well, definitely yes if you are GoPro fan. It is a great option if you are a first time investor into an action camera which shoots 360 footage but in that case, do look at what Insta360 One R has to offer.
GoPro has been in the market of action cameras from ages now and what makes them still a force to reckon with is that they are continuously looking to improve.
GoPro recently rejigged their product lineup making their Hero7 Black the entry level action camera. With Hero7 Black, GoPro leap-frogged their own standards and competition, and they seem to have upped their ante with the release of Hero8 Black.
Let’s do the review of this action camera and find out is it worth upgrading from its predecessor. But before we get into that let’s find out how is it different from Hero7 Black.
How is Hero8 Black different than Hero7 Black?
HyperSmooth 2.0 – While HyperSmooth was wonderful, its Ver 2.0 is even better which now works on ALL resolutions at ALL frames per second
TimeWarp 2.0 – this feature though was great but had limitations. In ver 2.0 it now offers auto mode and real time intervals
Folding Fingers – This is new feature where you do not need a cage to mount your GoPro
Upgraded design – Smaller and lighter
Video at 4K is now at 60FPS
Improved audio with front facing mic
MediaMods helps you convert your action camera to a production powerhouse
DisplayMod lets you attach flappable screen to let you see yourself while vlogging
LiveBurst mode – great feature where you get 90 frames to choose from
Inbuilt video and photo presets with ability to create your own presets
Night lapse video helping you create time lapse at night and that too in 4K
Live Streaming at 1080p
Updated user interface making it more user friendly
Design and Built
In first look it looks like a replica of its predecessors with its signature GoPro look and design. But there are some significant changes which GoPro has incorporated.
The front has a familiar display which is monochrome. The removable glass protector of fixed lens has been done away with replacing it with the scratch and impact resistant glass which as per GoPro is 2x more durable that the glass protector. Personally it bothers me because now I will find it difficult to fix my ND filter but as per GoPro, with this change, you will be able to capture better audio with the instruction of much improved front facing mic.
The Hero8 is slightly narrower and taller than the Hero7. It has a fixed lens. Now this has its own disadvantages because you can no longer remove or replace a lens. The biggest drawback is that you cannot easily replace it, in case of breakage. Another big disadvantage of the new slimmer and taller design is that it will require a new housing and if you are already using old cameras, you will need to invest more.
The Power / Mode Button has been moved from the right side to the left side of camera. The battery door has been moved to the side and a vacuum sealing for water proofing. Old battery is compatible with the Hero8 but some features may not work with old batteries because they require high power discharge.
FoldingFeet is a new introduction which make the mounting easy. Most important use is it helps you mount the camera without camera housing.
While the HyperSmooth in Hero7 was a game changer, it had some niggles and limitations. In the Hero8 GoPro has taken care of those shortcomings and made it even better with the introduction of ver. 2.0.
The version 2.0 of HyperSmooth now works on all frame rates and resolutions and that is a huge leap.
You can watch this video for the same:
This was another game changer in Hero7 which allowed you shot moving time lapse. In the Hero8, GoPro has introduced Auto Mode which lets the camera detect settings you will need to create smooth TimeWarp video. In its Ver 2.o, you have the option to pause, go back to real time footage for a moment and re-enter TimeWarp mode. May sound miniscule but does let you get creative with your footage.
After sitting for long on on erratic and guess work oriented burst mode, GoPro wakes up with LiveBurst in Hero8. Using this feature, you can create a high frame rate video which gives you an option to choose a frame from 90 different frames. It starts capturing 1.5 secs before you press the shutter and keeps clicking 1.5 secs after you release the shutter. As an option you can even use this footage as a 4K video.
Well again GoPro has been sleeping on its audio quality for quite a long. They seem to have woken up with the Hero8.
The audio quality has significantly improved with the increase of number of mics used. Along with the onboard regular mic, there is welcome addition of front mic which has significantly improved wind noise cancellation feature.
While retaining the same chipset as in Hero7, GoPro has improved the video quality. You can now shoot 4K at 60fps along with 30fps and 24fps. The bit rate of 4K footage is also improved to 100Mbps from 78Mbps ofHero7. Bit rate is improved both in 4K and 2.7K footage.
While most features are an upgrade on the Hero7; introduction of Mods is something which is really worth talking about and certainly worth upgrading from the previous models. If you a vlogger, you are going to love this. Pls note that these mods are additional attachments which can be purchased at an additional price.
The main of these Mods is MediaMod. This is actually an external plastic frame with a built-in uni directional shot gun microphone. It also has 2 cold shoe mounts and 3 external ports viz USB-C, microphone port and micro-HDMI port.
Second mod is the DisplayMod. This connects Hero8 through Micro-HDMI of MediaMod. This is actually a flip screen which can flip upto 180 degrees helping vloggers see themselves while vlogging. Interesting point is that it has its own re-chargeable battery and does not use the Hero8 battery.
And third mod is the LightMod. This is an LED attachment which is water proof upto 10 mts. It constitutes 10 light emitting diodes with a silicon diffuser in front. The LightMod has 4 different levels of brightness with max being 200 lumens. It also does not use the camera battery but instead has its own re-chargeable battery which lasts almost upto 6 hrs.
While GoPro has been on adding new features and improving old features, one thing they have continuously failed is to address the issue of battery life. The battery lasts for 50 mins on a single charge. You can however remove the detachable battery door and charge the battery while in use.
While on the face it may appear that Hero8 is significantly improved over Hero7, actually in practicality it’s not that substantial. Even if we want to argue, we would like to say that the price difference is way too much for the changes incorporated. When we look at this in isolation, it does appear to be a formidable action camera which has everything you need and more. Let’s see what goes For and Against this camera.
Excellent image stabilization with HyperSmooth 2.0
Top notch video quality with 4K/60p
Option of Mods and easy functionality
Much Improved audio quality
Body integrated mount in the form of FoldingFingers
Fixed non-removable lens
Fidgety battery door
Super expensive mods
So is this camera for you? Well if you are buying GoPro for the first time, then Hero8 is probably the best option which positions itself very well between the Hero7 and Hero9 both in the terms of features and price. If you are already on previous versions of GoPro other than Hero7, then it’s a great upgrade and probably a must-have in your camera bag. And if you are on Hero7, then you need to evaluate and do cost analysis viz a viz updated features.
Keeping up with their promise made last month, Nikon has announced the launch of their second generation models of already well established Z6 and Z7. While Z6 and Z7 were doing great, there were many inputs from the users and it’s great to see Nikon took a note of those inputs and released the upgraded models making these the new flagship mirrorless cameras in the Nikon Mirrorless Camera lineup. What is even more interesting to note is that it is the first time ever in the history of Nikon that they have used the words Mark II.
The Z6 II and Z7 II retain the soul of their predecessors Z6 and; both have the same 24.5MP and 45.7MP CMOS sensors respectively. The camera body remains the same. Nikon has also retained the same EVF and same vari-angle LCD screen.
They are so similar from outside that if you do not pay attention to the model number, you will not make out a single difference.
Let’s go through the changes one by one.
Dual Card Slots
While the Z6 and Z7 had only one card slot, the new Mark II they get UHS-II SD card slot in addition to XQD/CF-express. In terms of their functionality you get options primary or backup storage and even separate storage of JPEG and RAW file formats. You can copy images between the cards. However, there is no option to record stills and videos in different cards.
While the Z6 and Z7 had vertical grips but they were just to accommodate extra battery. They did not give control buttons; the Mark II versions of both cameras have the vertical grip (MB-N11) with control buttons enabling the shoot in portrait orientation.
This grip is not a part of the package and needs to be purchased at extra cost. When you fix this grip, it displaces the in-body battery but provides option of 2nd battery within the grip itself. The outer battery of the two is hot-swappable making it possible for you to change the battery without stopping the video recording. The grip also has an additional USB C-type socket to help you power up the camera.
Dual Processor for faster shooting
This probably is one of the most important and relevant change that Nikon incorporated. They have introduced Expeed 6 processors, practically doubling the processing power of cameras. The shooting rate gets expanded to 14fps in Z6 II and 10fps in Z7 II respectively.
One big disappointment in the older cameras was the absence of USB C-Port which has been introduced in their Mark II versions. This helps you charges your camera using USB and also operate the camera while charging using this port.
Video – Internal and External
One significant change in using internal settings is the capability to shoot 4K at 60p. The Z7 II can capture higher frame rate video using 93% of the width of sensor. The Z6 II will use the native 3840 x 2160 crop from center of the sensor. As per Nikon, the 60p capability should come as a part of free firmware upgrade around Feb 2021.
As for the videographers using an external device to record videos, there are some significant improvements. In addition to already existing N-Log output, Nikon has introduced Hybrid Log Gamma footage which is a ready to view footage on HDR TV sets supporting this file format. Right now the cameras are limited to 4K30p output.
Very soon Nikon will release a paid upgrade to get output of RAW video streams.
Both the cameras are expected to roll out by this year end, The expected price of them is:
Nikon Z6 II: ₹1,65,995 – ₹2,09,995
Nikon Z7 II: ₹2,49,995 – ₹2,94,995
Well both camera appear solid and improved on features and overall capability. This upgrade to Mark II does have the shortcomings from the original versions being addressed. These certainly make Nikon’s Z mount cameras appear more competitive and user friendly.
So if you are a Nikon fanboy or are someone who is planning to switch to mirrorless, you now have great options to choose from. These two cameras do offer range of features that should attract the buyer. It will be interesting to see how the market responds to these two cameras in real time sales. Also will be interesting to see if people are really opting these over the original versions