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Fujifilm X-T30 – A videographer’s dream

The Fujifilm X-T30 packs high-quality, colour-accurate 4K video recording in an impressive mirrorless camera, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Fujifilm’s X-series cameras have received a mighty mid-range player: the X-T30. This camera packs impressive capabilities, like a flip-out viewfinder and smooth 4K/30 frames per second (fps) video recording.

The camera’s chassis is mostly metal, which is highly unusual for cameras in the sub-R15k camera. The front of the body features faux leather; a trend which many other electronics manufacturers like Huawei are starting to follow because of its premium feel. It’s quite compact for an SLR camera, thanks to a mirrorless internal configuration.

The X-T30 shares a sensor and processor with the higher-end X-T3, which is a 26MP sensor that shoots some of the most colour accurate pictures on the market. The X-Processor 4 also adds a lot of processing muscle to this camera, with a shooting mode that allows for more pictures to the taken in a burst shot and 4K video recording higher frame rate.

The improved processor also allows for accurate auto-focus with subject detection. In most portrait scenarios, a face is the focus of the picture and the fast face-detection makes it a lot easier to have a higher quality point-and-shoot experience. The joystick on the front allows the photographer to cycle through faces in the frame to ensure the right face is in focus.

For those who prefer a more advanced experience, there is a manual focus mode. The three settings dials on the top of the camera make for an intuitive photography experience. What’s becoming more apparent when using new X-series cameras is the intuitive layout of buttons and dials, so photographers can focus on the photos and not worry about turning the wrong dials and pressing the wrong buttons.

The left side function dial is for the various camera modes, ranging from panorama to video. The middle dial is for setting the shutter speeds, with a flip switch to the side of it to enable an auto shutter speed function. The right side function dial is for exposure adjustment, which can be adjusted to suit the current setting.

Images taken with the camera are vibrant and pack plenty detail in a JPEG. This camera shines in RAW photography, where it takes sharp photos at low ISO of 160. The combination of innovative sensor technology with a strong processor make the X-T30 of the best quality cameras for professionals. The images below were taken on a cloudy day. No processing has been performed on the images afterwards.

Video quality is excellent, especially considering where it sits in its price range. The 4K resolution setting shoots at a smooth 30 fps. This is ideal for content creators wanting to make videos for the ever-increasing demand for 4K content. The camera has a 2.5mm jack for external microphones that enables direct sound recording to the video, and includes internal stereo microphones for accurate stereo recording if external microphones are not available. Overall, it’s unlikely that a videographer will get better video quality in this price range.

A huge convenience point is the USB Type-C port, which is USB Power Delivery (PD) enabled. This means a photographer on the go will most likely be able to charge the camera with the same charging cable as their phone. Power banks with USB PD also enable this camera to shoot long beyond the range of the internal battery.

As with the other recently launched X-series cameras, it features smartphone connectivity functionality. The camera pairs with a Fujifilm smartphone app via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and sends pictures to the smartphone’s gallery. This enables faster social sharing, compared to connecting the camera to a computer and importing the images. Larger video files will have to be transferred via USB or by putting the SD card into the target device.

Overall, the camera is great for professional photographers and videographers seeking the best 4K recording experience in the mid price range.

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Samsung to release Galaxy Note10 Lite in SA

The Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite, unveiled at CES 2020 two weeks ago, will be released in South Africa next month.

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Samsung has unveiled the new Galaxy Note10 Lite at a preview event in Johannesburg. Building on the legacy of the Galaxy Note series, this Lite model brings key premium features like the latest camera technology, signature S Pen, immersive display and a long-lasting battery, at a more accessible price point. The Galaxy Note Lite is positioned between the Galaxy A Series and Samsung’s flagship devices. It will be launched in South Africa in February, with a recommended retail price of R12,999.

What’s different from the Note10?

The Note10 Lite drops support for wireless charging, waterproofing, and a curved screen. Other than that, it’s a very capable device at a far lower price

“The Galaxy Note devices have met consumer demands around the world and has proven to be popular in South Africa,” said Justin Hume, director of integrated mobility at Samsung South Africa. “These devices represent our continuous effort to deliver industry leading innovations, from performance and power to intelligence and services. The Galaxy Note10 Lite will make the experience more accessible to South Africans.”

To read the full breakdown of device specifications, click here.

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Sony Xperia 5 scores high

The latest compact flagship from Sony, the Xperia 5, scores a high 95 in DxOMark.

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The Sony Xperia 5, announced in September 2019, is the latest compact flagship, intended as a more affordable, pocket-friendly alternative to the full-sized Xperia 1. Key features on the Xperia 5 include a 6.1-inch OLED display, as well as the high-end Snapdragon 855 chipset with 128GB of internal storage and 6GB RAM. Storage is expandable up to 1TB via micro SD.

The main camera boasts the same triple sensor and lens setup as on the Xperia 1. All three sensors offer 12MP resolution, with a large 1/2.55-inch sensor for the main camera, and a smaller 1/3.4-inch sensor for each of the ultra-wide and telephoto modules. The main sensor is coupled to a 26mm-equivalent f/1.6 aperture lens; there’s also a 16mm-equivalent f/2.4-aperture ultra-wide-angle lens, and a 52mm-equivalent f/2.4-aperture lens offering x2 optical zoom shots.

Other features include 5-axis optical image stabilization (OIS) and predictive Dual Pixel PDAF autofocus on the main and telephoto cameras, eye-tracking autofocus, HDR, and LED flash. 4K video is available for 2160p@24/30fps capture on the Xperia 5, but the Sony’s 5-axis gyroscope-enabled OIS only kicks in for HD video recording at 1080p@30fps.

Key camera specifications:

Triple camera

  • Primary: 12MP 1/2.55-inch sensor with 1.4µm pixels and 26mm f/1.6-aperture lens
  • Ultra-wide: 12MP 1/3.4-inch sensor with 1.0µm pixels and 16mm f/2.4-aperture lens
  • Telephoto: 12MP 1/3.4-inch sensor with 1.0µm pixels and 52mm f/2.4-aperture lens
  • Predictive Dual Pixel PDAF autofocus & 5-axis OIS (main & telephoto)
  • LED flash, HDR, eye-tracking
  • 4K 24/30fps video with HDR
  • Full HD 1080p@30fps video with 5-axis gyro-EIS
  • Although not officially launched in South Africa, it is available from some online outlets.

Click here to see samples of the photography on DxOMark’s website.

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