Xiaomi Mi 7 and 8th Anniversary Edition Phone Tipped to Launch in May; May Be Called Mi 8 Instead

Xiaomi Mi 7 and 8th Anniversary Edition Phone Tipped to Launch in May; May Be Called Mi 8 Instead

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Mi 7 and 8th-anniversary edition smartphones expected
  • Xiaomi may unveil Mi 8 to align with its anniversary
  • New smartphone may have 3D facial sensing

Chinese mobile maker Xiaomi is expected to launch the successor to its premium Mi 6 smartphone this year. Xiaomi fans were expecting a Mi 7 handset to be launched at MWC 2018, but that did not happen, and the company went on to unveil the Mi Mix 2S in March. However, the latest leaks suggest that Xiaomi will launch the smartphone later this month. Interestingly, reports also suggest that the company either launch two smartphones this year or will reportedly skip its Mi 7 branding to go for just Mi 8.

As per a MyDrivers report, Xiaomi will launch two handsets in May 2018. While one of them is said to be the Xiaomi Mi 7, the other is said to be the firm’s 8th-anniversary edition. The leak claims that the special edition will be the highlight of the launch event. The new smartphone dubbed as the 8th Anniversary Edition phone is rumoured to be unveiled by the end of this month, and it may come with 3D facial recognition feature like the one present in Apple iPhone X. According to the report, it will be the first Android smarphone to feature 3D facial recognition. Similar to the Mi 7, Xiaomi’s 8th Anniversary Edition phone is said to be powered by the Snapdragon 845 coupled with 8 GB of RAM.

Coming to the nomenclature, Mocha RQ, a blogger in China wrote on microblogging site Weibo that Xiaomi will skip the Mi 7 name in favour of Mi 8. Chinese firms are usually obsessed with numbers. It is reminiscent of the time when another Chinese manufacturer OnePlus had skipped a OnePlus 4 smartphone because the number ‘4’ is considered unlucky in China. The blogger explained that Xiaomi wants the name to align with its 8th anniversary. Also, the blogger added that the handset will be announced in May this year.

To recall, another report in April claimed that Xiaomi may, in fact, be one of the first brands to unveil a handset with 3D facial sensing with the launch of the latest Mi flagship. The report had also claimed that Xiaomi’s plans to launch the smartphone with a Snapdragon 845 SoC in the first quarter this year have been delayed. Instead, the smartphone might see an unveiling after the third quarter.

In terms of specifications, the company CEO has already hinted that the Mi 7 will come with an under-display fingerprint sensor. Additionally, reports have suggested that the phone will come with 6GB RAM and Android 8.0.0 Oreo.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III Review

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III Review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • It features 24.1-megapixel APS-C sensor with Dual Pixel autofocus
  • Image stabilisation works well but there’s no 4K video recording
  • The G1 X Mark III is priced at Rs. 79,990

Canon’s PowerShot G1 X Mark III camera is the successorto the company’s G1 X Mark II, and features big upgrades over it. This new model also happens to be Canon’s first point-and-shoot camera to have a large APS-C sensor, while still keeping the overall size and weight very pocket-friendly.

In India, the PowerShot G1 X Mark III is priced at Rs. 79,995, which puts it in the premium segment of point-and-shoot cameras, along with Sony’s RX100 V. However, its large sensor could give it an edge over the competition. We’ve been testing it for about a week, and here’s what we think.

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III design and build

Canon seems to have done a great job with the design, managing to fit a large APS-C sensor in a body that measures just 51.4mm in thickness weighs just 399g, including the battery and memory card. It’s not as tiny as Sony’s RX100 series models, but it should fit snugly in a large jacket pocket. The body is constructed out of a magnesium alloy, which makes it tough, and there are dust- and water-resistant materials and seals all over the camera. There are rubber inserts around the hand-grip area too, which we like, and all the plastic parts have slightly textured surfaces so you get a good grip.

Canon G1X Mark III top ndtv canon

 

The G1 X Mark III has a single rotating ring around the lens which can be set to either change the zoom level or focus for each of the PSAM modes. You also get an autofocus illuminator light and a front command dial, which can be used to change the shutter, aperture, etc, depending on which mode you’re in. The dial is easy to reach and use, but on the flip side, it’s too easy to turn mistakenly when shooting, especially when you’re pointing the camera at yourself. We found our thumb inadvertently rubbing against it a couple of times when we were testing this camera.

Coming to the top of the device, we have a pop-up flash and a hot shoe in the centre, the mode dial on the left, and the power switch, shutter button and exposure compensation dial on the right. The mode dial has a button in the middle that needs to be pressed in order to turn it, like on higher-end DSLRs. This ensures that you don’t accidentally change modes when shooting. The shutter button has a very short travel to the half-way mark when you’re focusing, but then needs a firm press to actually take a shot. On the right, there’s a flap which protects the Micro-USB port, Micro-HDMI port and remote switch terminal, but there’s no provision for plugging in an external microphone or headphones. There’s also a dedicated Wi-Fi button, which takes you directly to the connection screen, without having to power on the camera first.

Canon G1X Mark III back ndtv canon

 

At the back of the G1 X Mark III, we have a fully articulating 3-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 1.04 million dots. The display has good brightness and even at the default level, we didn’t have any issues when using it outdoors under sunlight. There’s also a built-in OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) with a decently high resolution of 2.36 million dots and a 100 percent coverage area. There’s a sensor beside the eyepiece that automatically switches between the LCD display and the EVF when you put the camera up to your eye. There’s a second control dial on the rear with a four-way navigation pad, with shortcuts for changing the focus, drive mode, flash setting, and the amount of information displayed on the viewfinder. There’s a dedicated video recording button as well, along with an autofocus selector (single point, zone or subject tracking), an AE lock button, and the menu and playback buttons.

Overall, we found the G1 X Mark III to be very comfortable to use in most situations. Its compact body makes it easy to carry around, the buttons have good tactile feedback (although most sit a little too flush with the body), and you can get a firm grip on it even if you have moist hands.

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III specifications and features

The PowerShot G1 X Mark III boasts of a 24.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and Canon’s recent DIGIC 7 image processor which is also seen on some of the company’s DSLR models such as the EOS 77D (Review). This camera offers 3x optical zoom with image stabilisation through its 15-45mm lens (24-72mm, 35mm equivalent). It has an f/2.8 aperture on the wide end and an f/5.6 aperture on the telephoto end.

Canon G1X Mark III ports ndtv canon

 

Compared to most other point-and-shoot cameras in this price range, the lens here isn’t very bright. Hopefully, the large sensor (compared to the 1-inch sensors typically used by such cameras), should compensate for the narrower aperture. ISO sensitivity ranges from 100-25,600 in any of the program modes but is restricted to ISO 3200 in Auto mode. Burst shooting tops out at 7fps on the High setting, which is pretty respectable. You get 49 autofocus points and support for capturing RAW image files. We found that the buffer of this camera is good for about 21 continuous shots, after which it starts slowing down. Plus, you’ll also need to wait a bit till all the images are saved to the SD card after each burst.

The video recording resolution tops out at 1080p 60fps, which is a little disappointing considering that 4K support isn’t uncommon in this price segment, even from point-and-shoot cameras. The G1 X Mark III also has the Dual Pixel autofocus system which we’re seeing being used more and more on many of Canon’s recent launches. This lets you perform smooth focus shifts between your subject and the background, and it works wonderfully in video too. You can even achieve advanced tricks like focus pulling by simply tapping different areas that you want to shift focus to.

Touch-and-drag AF is an interesting feature, which lets you used the touchscreen to drag the autofocus reticule around, when looking through the EVF. The camera also features a built-in ND filter, bracketing options, and a new panorama mode. The latter is available for selection in the SCN shooting mode and automatically stitches a panorama as you pan the camera about. You can choose the direction you intend to pan in, and then simply hold the shutter button down till you’re done. The end result is pretty good. Other scene modes include fish-eye effect, toy camera, and HDR.

Canon G1X Mark III front dial canon

 

The camera has built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC, so it works with Canon’s Camera Connect app on Android and iOS. We’ve used this feature before with previous Canon cameras and what it essentially does is lets you use your smartphone as a remote viewfinder and quickly transfer images form the camera to your phone. There’s support for a single SD card, which is placed in the battery compartment, on the bottom of the camera.

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III performance and battery life

In our ISO test, the level of sharpness was maintained very well till about ISO 800. Even at ISO 3200, noise was kept in check but details got slightly softer. When we got to ISO 12800, the camera’s noise reduction seemed to soften the image quite a bit, causing a loss in detail. At the highest ISO level of 25600, there was a bit of noise, the detail level was low, and the overall image looked very soft. You can set the ‘High ISO Noise Reduction’ feature to low, which does reduce the amount of softening, but it can’t be turned off.

Canon G1XMIII ISO ndtv canonISO test

 

In daylight, focusing speed was good and the tiltable display made it easy to frame shots, especially if our subjects were at an obscure angle. When subjects were against bright sunlight, we noticed a bit of chromatic aberration around the edges, but this wasn’t prevalent in all our landscapes shots. However, the level of detail was good and there was good colour saturation. The camera does tend to boost reds a bit more than other colours, which we noticed in a couple of different sample shots.

Object tracking worked quite well on moving subjects. In macro shots, we managed to get decently good separation between our subject and the background, across the focal range. However, macros weren’t very sharp, even at the widest end of the lens. The level of detail and the colours were good, but images were noticeably soft when we checked them out at 100 percent zoom.

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III sample: ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/1000sec, 45mm (tap to see full-sized image)

More daytime landscapes samples: Sample 2, Sample 3, Sample 4.

 

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III sample: ISO 1000, f/5.6, 1/20sec, 43mm (tap to see full-sized image)

More daytime macro samples: Sample 2, Sample 3, Sample 4.

 

In low light, noise reduction could get a bit too intrusive when we weren’t keeping an eye on the ISO level. Even when set to Low, the noise reduction feature tended to muddy details, so it’s best to either limit the ISO to about 6400 if you’re leaving it in Auto, or set it manually, especially since you can’t open the aperture wider than f/2.8. Having said that, we did like the dynamic range that the larger sensor offers. Continuous autofocus works well too, offering smooth transitions as you pan about. Macros were once again not the sharpest at night, but the camera did deliver pleasing bokeh blobs, when there were light sources in the background.

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III sample: ISO 2500, f/4.5, 1/20sec, 24mm (tap to see full-sized image)

More low-light landscape samples: Sample 2, Sample 3.

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III sample: ISO 3200, f/5.6, 1/20sec, 45mm (tap to see full-sized image)

More low-light macro samples: Sample 2, Sample 3.

 

The in-built stabilisation compensates for hand shake by up to four stops, and this works well for stills and video. Video recording maxes out at 1080p, and during the day, we noticed a good amount of detail to our subjects as well as saturated colours. The zoom is a lot slower when shooting video, so you get a nice smooth effect. The camera maintains sharpness quite well even at the telephoto end when shooting under natural light. In low light, video footage exhibits decent dynamic range but it does get a little noisy. The Dual Pixel autofocus continues to work well too.

The size of this camera makes it great for vlogging, but the audio captured is strictly okay. It would have been a great tool for YouTubers if it had a microphone input, but sadly it doesn’t.

The battery is rated to last 200 shots per charge, which isn’t very good. In our experience, switching to Eco mode and turning the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth off when not needed allowed us to get roughly 260 shots and a few video clips on a single charge. Without Eco mode, we found that the battery level dropped a lot quicker. Overall, battery life is quite mediocre but you can charge the camera using a power bank, if that’s any consolation.

Verdict
Canon’s G1 X Mark III is a fun little camera that offers features typically found in Canon’s DSLR and mirrorless camera lineup, in a highly compact body. It does cost a premium, and at this price (or lower), you can find mirrorless cameras that offer 4K video recording and have better stabilisation, plus other advanced features. However, mirrorless cameras aren’t quite as compact, especially with their lenses, so they can’t really match the slimness of the G1 X Mark III. Sony’s RX100 V is the obvious alternative at this price, and it offers higher resolution video recording, faster burst shooting, a wider aperture, and super slow-motion video, to name a few features.

The APS-C sensor on the Canon offers good dynamic range but its full potential isn’t quite exploited due to the relatively narrow aperture. Close-up shots could have been sharper and the noise reduction at high ISO levels was too intrusive at times. Support for 4K video recording and an external microphone would have made this a better overall package.
Price (MRP): Rs. 79,995

Pros

  • Weather-resistant body
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Dual Pixel AF works well
  • Good dynamic range
  • Fully articulating touchscreen

Cons

  • High price
  • Weak battery life
  • Macros are a bit soft
  • Intrusive noise reduction at high ISOs
  • No 4K video or microphone input

Ratings (Out of 5)

  • Build/Design: 4
  • Image Quality: 3.5
  • Video quality: 3.5
  • Performance: 3.5
  • Value For money: 3
  • Overall: 3.5

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Panasonic Lumix GH5S Review

Panasonic Lumix GH5S Review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Dual Native ISO system allows for better low-light performance
  • Video performance is impressive but autofocus could have been quicker
  • The Panasonic Lumix GH5S is priced at Rs. 1,84,990 for the body only

Last year, Panasonicadded the Lumix GH5 to its roster of digital cameras targeted at professional photographers and videographers, and at this year’s CES, the company unveiled a new video-centric edition of the camera called the Lumix GH5S.

Think of this as Panasonic’s answer to Sony’s A7S II mirrorless camera, which is a version of its mirrorless A7 series, also primarily optimised for video. The Panasonic Lumix GH5S is designed specifically for low-light shooting and supports a number of professional recording formats, as well as the connectors that one would ideally expect. Priced at Rs. 1,84,990 for just the body, is the performance that Panasonic claims really worth the hype? We find out.

Panasonic Lumix GH5S design and build

The Lumix GH5S isn’t too different from the GH5 in terms of design. The layout of the buttons is pretty much the same as on last year’s model. There’s a healthy selection of six programmable Fn buttons all around the camera, plus you can assign shortcuts to the control dial at the back, and even add some more to the right side of the the on-screen menu. The body doesn’t feel too heavy by itself, but snap on a lens, and it does get bulky. We really like the grip that the GH5S offers. The hand grip is quite thick with ample rubber cladding, so even those with large hands will find it comfortable to hold.

The shutter button lines up well with your index finger, and has reassuring half- and full-press feedback. There are dials on the top and the back of the camera (besides the main control dial) for changing settings when shooting. The GH5S also has a joystick for flipping through photos in playback mode or adjusting the focus area. All the buttons have good tactile feedback, expect for maybe the control dial at the back, which feels a little flimsy when you rotate it. The video recording button is now bright red and there’s a red ring around the drive mode dial, to distinguish the new model from the older one.

Panasonic Lumix GH5S back ndtv Panasonic

 

On the top of the camera, we have chunky dials for the drive mode and shooting mode. The latter can be locked into position so you don’t accidentally turn it when shooting. The arrangement of the drive modes is the same as on the GH5, but it should be noted that the GH5S offers 4K burst shooting versus 6K on the GH5, due to its lower-resolution sensor. There’s no built-in flash but there is a hot shoe for attaching an external one.

You get an OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF), which delivers a 100 percent field of view. A sensor lets you automatically switch between the LCD screen and the EVF by bringing the camera to your eye. The EVF’s 3.6 million-dot resolution produces really crisp images, and you can opt for a 120fps refresh rate rather than the default 60fps, for more fluid motion.

You get a decently large 3.2-inch touchscreen which can be articulated fully and has a 1.6 million-dot resolution. Viewing angles are decent and the display doesn’t wash out too badly under sunlight. Touch response is good, and you can quickly zoom in to your images when viewing them, as well as change settings or lock focus.

Panasonic Lumix GH5S ports ndtv panasonic

 

Coming to the physical connectors, we have sockets for a microphone and headphones, an HDMI output, and a USB Type-C (USB 3.1 Gen1) port on the left of the camera. There’s a flash synchro socket on the front, which can be used for timecode synchronisation with a multi-camera setup. Panasonic includes the necessary cable for this in the Lumix GH5S’s box. There’s a dedicated remote socket on the right, followed by dual SD card slots just below that (SDHC/ SDXC cards are supported at upto UHS-II speeds). The GH5S is weather-sealed, and is built to withstand temperatures down to -10 degrees Celsius. It’s also splash- and dust-resistant. In the box, you get a battery, charger, Type-C cable, BNC conversion cable, shoulder strap, and cable holder.

Panasonic GH5S Lumix specifications and features

The Lumix GH5S uses a 10.2-megapixel micro four-thirds sensor in a mirrorless body, which is around half the resolution of the standard GH5. This allows for larger pixels, which should help the Lumix GH5S in low light, and is what this camera was primarily designed for. The Lumix GH5S also boasts of what Panasonic calls “Dual Native ISO 400, 2500”, which can be a little confusing as these aren’t the actual ‘native’ ISO values.

The GH5S essentially has dual gain circuits for ISO, so the first one is used between ISO 160-800 (Low), while the second one kicks in at ISO 800-51,200 (High). You can expand the ISO range to 80 at the low end and the upper limit can go all the way to 2,04,800. In the settings, you can manually set this to Low or High, or leave it at Auto.

Panasonic Lumix GH5S dials ndtv panasonic

 

The camera only uses contrast detection autofocus (AF) with 225 points, instead of phase detection. Due to this, continuous autofocus isn’t very quick and you can’t pull off focus transitions very effectively. The GH5S does let you manually set up to three focus points and perform a focus pull between them, but you’ll need to have a fixed frame, and the process is quite cumbersome. The camera also has a multi-aspect sensor, which means it uses the entire width of the sensor without any cropping even if you switch between 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9.

Another highlight feature of the GH5S is its ability to shoot native Cinema 4K (2160×4096) and regular 4K (2160×3840) videos at 10-bit depth, with 4:2:2 chroma sub-sampling. While recording, you can even have a simultaneous 4K feed sent to an external monitor via the HDMI port. There are plenty of recording formats (MPEG-4, H.264, H.265) and codecs (AVCHD, MP4, HEVC, LPCM, MOV) to choose from, which means that there’s good flexibility when shooting. 4K video tops out at 60fps at 150Mbps, or you can opt for a higher bit-rate of 400Mbps (for better details), but only at 24fps.

You can record high-framerate (HFR) videos at 1080p, up to 240fps. Videos shot in this mode look very good, with nice slow-motion effects. The camera also has advanced shooting modes such as V-Log L, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma for HDR) and Like709, which can be graded later in post-production using LUTs (Look Up Tables) to achieve the desired effect.

Panasonic Lumix GH5S 4k options ndtv Panasonic

 

The GH5S supports burst shooting of up to 12fps and can even do 14-bit RAW burst shots at 7fps with AF-C or 11fps with AF-S. The 4K Photo drive mode lets you shoot bursts of 30fps or 60fps photos (8-megapixel resolution), which are saved as MP4 files. Once the recording is done, you can browse through the individual frames that are captured and save the desired ones. We found this to be very useful when shooting fast-moving objects or actions, and the end result is very good.

You can also switch to a 4K Burst (S/S) mode, which requires you to press the shutter button for a second time when you want to stop recording. 4K pre-burst saves buffered footage from one second before and after you press the shutter. There’s also a focus stacking mode that lets you shoot the same burst of photos as the 4K Photo mode, but you can select which part of the frame you want in focus later on, before saving your chosen stills.

Panasonic Lumix GH5S app ndtv GH5S

 

However, Panasonic has left one feature out of the Lumix GH5S, which is an in-body image stabilisation system. This might seem like a huge letdown for those who will be shooting without a tripod, but the company seems to be banking on the fact that most of this camera’s target audience would use it on a gimbal or a stabiliser rig of some sort.

Other capabilities include a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000 seconds; auto, aperture, focus, and white balance bracketing modes; creative scene modes; built-in dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2; and an anamorphic video mode for use with anamorphic lenses. The Lumix GH5S can also be used with the Panasonic Image app on Android and iOS to control most of its settings and have images automatically transferred to your smartphone. The app is designed well and doesn’t take long to get used to.

Panasonic GH5S Lumix performance and battery life

For testing the Lumix GH5S, Panasonic sent us a 42.5mm f/1.2 lens, which itself has a sticker price of Rs. 1,01,990. It features toggle switches for optical image stabilisation and Manual/ Auto focus. There’s a focus ring and an aperture ring, the latter of which has a nice ‘clicky’ motion. The lens produces some really sharp images and is great for portraits, thanks to the super-wide f/1.2 aperture. However, it adds quite a bit of heft to the camera as it weighs 425g on its own. Also, street photography was a bit inconvenient due to its 85mm (35mm equivalent) effective focal length.

ISO test GH5S PanasonicPanasonic Lumix GH5S ISO test

 

We begin with our ISO test, where noise is virtually non-existent till about ISO 3200. Jumping straight to ISO 6400, we see a bit of noise in the shadow regions under the colour pencils, but not much on the pencils themselves. At ISO 12800, sharpness begins to reduce and the details get mildly blotchy, but noise is still very much in check. ISO 25600 introduces some grain on the pencils, and details are slightly less pronounced. Finally, at ISO 51200, the edges of the pencils aren’t clearly defined anymore and the image is quite grainy, but not completely unusable, which is nice. We can see that the dual-gain ISO implementation does make big impact at higher ISO levels.

The GH5S isn’t the best camera for still photography, mainly due to the low resolution of its sensor, which doesn’t give you too much creative freedom. There’s not a lot of flexibility if you want to crop shots later on, although having said that, this camera does manage to capture good details when shooting in daylight. We didn’t notice any of the usual issues such as chromatic aberrations or barrel distortion. You can enable HDR in the Settings menu, which automatically combines three consecutive shots with varying exposures into a single image. In landscape shots, the sensor manages good dynamic range and white balance, and light metering is handled well even under harsh sunlight. The level of detail is good even with large objects in the distance.

Panasonic Lumix GH5S camera sample: ISO 160, f/5.6, 1/160, 43mm (tap to see full-sized image)

 

Panasonic Lumix GH5S camera sample: ISO 320, f/2, 1/4000sec, 43mm (tap to see full-sized image)

 

Panasonic Lumix GH5S sample: ISO 160, 1/400sec, 43mm (tap to see full-sized image)

 

Macro shots are also handled nicely, and were especially fun to shoot with such a lens. Colours are punchy with good levels of saturation and edges around our subjects were often sharp and precise. More than the standard burst mode, we wound up using the 4K Photo mode for burst shooting since it’s definitely more effective in capturing fleeting moments and we managed to get some pretty good results. The focus stacking drive mode also works well, as you can shift focus to any part of the image when you preview it on the camera and then save that desired still. Continuous AF is a bit slow due to the contrast detection system but the camera is fairly quick to lock focus otherwise. You get different focusing modes like face/ eye tracking, tracking focus, 225-area, custom area, and 1-area.

The GH5S boasts of being able to be focus on a subject even in -5EV lighting conditions, and while you can do this, the focusing speed is slower. This camera also manages to deliver good dynamic range even in low light. Details are fairly well preserved and the varied colours of the street and traffic lights in our sample picture were captured nicely. Finer details are a little harder to make out due to the relatively low resolution, even at a 100 percent crop. Close-up shots also fared very well, and we managed sharp images with well-defined edges. The latter could be down to the lens but overall, macros in low light were quite satisfactory.

Besides the PASM shooting modes, the GH5S also has an Auto mode and an Effects mode. The latter lets you cycle through a number of popular filters including monochrome, soft focus, miniature, etc, and when used appropriately, they yield some interesting results. There are also three custom shooting modes (C1, C2, C3), which can be set up for different shooting situations.

Panasonic Lumix GH5S camera sample: ISO 5000, f/1.2, 1/500sec, 43mm (tap to see full-sized image)

 

Panasonic Lumix GH5S camera sample: ISO 6400, f/3.2, 1/50sec, 43mm (tap to see full-sized image)

 

Panasonic Lumix GH5S camera sample: ISO 4000, f/2.2, 1/60sec, 43mm (tap to see full-sized image)

 

The Creative Video mode is the one you want to be in to take advantage of the advanced shooting modes like HFR. The problem with shooting at a high framerate is that the focusing system defaults to manual focus, which is a little strange. One way to get around this is to quickly switch to another mode, lock focus on your subject, and then jump back to Creative Video mode and begin shooting. The slow motion effect is very nice but you’ll have to make sure you have ample lighting. Video quality in daylight is excellent. The level of detail is very good, and colours have a neutral tone to them. Cinema 4K video shot at 60fps had rock-steady framerates.

 

The Lumix GH5S’s true potential is realised once you start shooting in low light. With the ISO set to Auto, we managed to get excellent dynamic range in our test footage. The reflections of the distant neon lights on the water are captured in great detail and as you can see in our test footage, there’s no real visible noise. We shot the same scene again, but this time, manually bumped the ISO up to see how far we could go before noise became intolerable. Impressively, the Lumix GH5S gives you very usable footage till about ISO 12800, after which chroma noise is visible and at the highest ISO and footage suffers more the darker it is. We did notice a bit of focus hunting here too, which can be an issue if your subject moves sporadically or if you’re panning a lot.

The Settings menus are laid out well and are easy to navigate. The settings for still and video shooting are grouped separately, followed by advanced settings for exposure, focus, re-mapping the shortcut buttons, and wireless connectivity. There’s a ‘Night Mode’ which adds a red tone to the viewfinder and EVF to make it easier to compose shots in the dark. The zoom level of Manual Focus Assist is now 20x, so you can accurately focus on smaller distant objects too.

We found that this camera’s battery held up well with regular use. The rated battery life ranges between 440 and 1,300 shots per charge, depending on how much you use the LCD screen and EVF, and the time-out set for sleep mode. We managed to drain the battery halfway after about 200 shots, which included stills, 4K videos and lots of 4K Photo bursts, which is not bad. With only stills, we easily managed to cross 400 shots on one charge.

Verdict
The Panasonic Lumix GH5S is easily one of the best digital cameras for low-light photography that we’ve come across, with impressive high-ISO performance. It also supports plenty of professional video formats and physical connectivity options, which would make it easy to integrate with most pro setups. The camera is aimed at videographers and it certainly does not disappoint. If you need high-quality video recording with extensive support for industry video standards, the GH5S may well be worth the investment.

Besides shooting really high quality 4K footage, the camera also excels at burst shots through the 4K Photo mode, has a very good EVF, is well built, and features plenty of advanced options that will keep most professional users happy. It’s not the best camera for general-purpose stills though, due to the low-resolution sensor, and continuous autofocus is a bit slow, which are things to keep in mind.

Price (MRP): Rs. 1,84,990 (body only)

Pros

  • Weather-resistant body
  • Wide range of professional features
  • 4K video looks great
  • Impressive high-ISO performance
  • Nifty burst shooting modes
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Continuous AF isn’t quick
  • Lacks in-body stabilisation
  • Low resolution sensor limits cropping prospects

Ratings (Out of 5)

  • Build/Design: 4.5
  • Image quality: 4
  • Video quality: 4.5
  • Performance: 4
  • Value for money: 3.5
  • Overall: 4

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

GoPro Hero6 Black Review

GoPro Hero6 Black Review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Hero6 Black supports 4K 60fps and 1080p 240fps video recording
  • Other improvements include a Touch Zoom mode and 5GHz Wi-Fi
  • The GoPro Hero6 Black is priced at Rs. 37,000 in India

GoPro’s latest flagship action camera, the Hero6 Black, arrived in India last year at a rather steep price of Rs. 45,000. However, the company cut that down to Rs. 37,000 in January. While this is still higher than what it retails for in the US, it’s a welcome improvement. The new model brings the Hero series up to speed with support for newer video codecs such as HEVC for capturing 4K video at 60fps or 1080p video at 240fps.

There are other improvements as well, such as the ability to digitally zoom in to your shot, HDR still photography, and improved stabilisation. Let’s take a look in our review of the GoPro Hero6 Black.

 

GoPro Hero6 Black design

Looking at the exterior of the camera, the Hero6 Black looks and feels very much like the Hero5 Black. It has the same blocky design with a grey rubberised coating over most of the body. You get a large shutter release button on the top, and a smaller Mode/ Power button on the side. The Hero6 Black doesn’t have any built-in storage so you’ll need to invest in a microSD card. There’s a microSD slot on the bottom of the camera, along with the compartment for the removable 1220mAh battery.

There’s a small non-backlit display in the front just beside the lens, which shows you what shooting mode you’re in, and the battery level. You also get a touchscreen at the back, which is useful for framing your shots and changing settings. The Hero6 Black has a flap on the side, which protects the USB Type-C port and a Micro-HDMI port. This flap can be removed with a gentle tug, allowing the camera can be used with accessories like the GoPro Karma Grip. There are also three microphones, and three red LED status lights placed around the camera so you can always see at least one.

GoPro Hero6 Black top ndtv GoPro

 

The Hero6 Black ships with the same set of accessories as most GoPro cameras. In the box, you get a flat and a curved adhesive mount, the mounting cage, and a baseplate. The cage is needed to attach the Hero6 Black to any GoPro accessory. The camera is backwards-compatible with accessories designed for previous Hero models,  so you can use you existing mounts, if you have any.

GoPro Hero6 Black features and specifications

The Hero6 Black features a 12-megapixel wide-angle sensor that’s capable of shooting up to 4K video at 60fps. There’s also a new GP1 processor, which promises to deliver nearly twice the performance as that of the Hero5 Black. A new 4K (4:3) aspect ratio mode is now available with this model as well. Just like before, there’s a wide selection of lower resolutions and framerates to choose from, including 2.7K, 1440p, 1080p, and 720p. GoPro has dropped the 960p resolution option, along with the Narrow and Medium field of view (FOV) options, leaving you with SuperView, Wide, and Linear. SuperView shoots 4:3 video and then stretches it horizontally to 16:9. While this gives you wider frame, it also creates the most barrel distortion. The Hero6 is water resistant up to a depth of 10m without the need for any external housing.

GoPro Hero6 Black screen ndtv GoPro

 

You can issue voice commands to the Hero6 Black just like before, by using the keyword ‘GoPro’ followed by the command. We found this to work pretty well provided you speak in a slight accent and are loud enough. You can even wake the camera up from standby with your voice, which is handy. However, it isn’t very effective in a noisy environment or if the camera is too far from you.

Electronic image stabilisation helps smoothen out footage when there’s motion. Three-axis stabilisation was previously limited to only a handful of modes with the Hero5 Black, but on this model, it can work at up to 4K 30fps.

The Hero6 Black now uses the 5GHz Wi-Fi band for connecting with your smartphone, so transferring content is slightly faster. Bluetooth and GPS are also available.  The camera syncs with the GoPro app, which is available for Android and iOS. You can change settings remotely, use your phone’s display as a viewfinder, and transfer all your footage to your phone. The Hero6 Black also works with QuikStories, which is GoPro’s automated story creation tool.

GoPro Hero6 black ndtv GoPro

GoPro Hero6 Black performance and battery life

The Hero6 Black is easy to set up and get started with. A swipe right on the home screen takes you to your recorded media, while swiping left takes you to advanced settings such as Protune, stabilisation, and wind noise reduction. Protune has been around for a while, and what it does is let you set the ISO and other exposure settings manually. Swiping down from the home screen takes you to the Wi-Fi, voice control and other system-wide settings.

Its touch response is good and navigating the menus is simple enough to master, even for first-time users.  We found the default brightness level to be adequate during the day, although you can increase it if you wish. The shooting modes and settings indicators are displayed prominently in a bar at the bottom of the screen, and it only takes a few taps to change the resolution or framerate.

The main shooting modes include Photo, Video, and Time Lapse, and they have nested modes such as Burst in the photo mode and a few low-light options for time lapse and photo modes. Sadly, GoPro has ditched the Video + Photo mode, which we last saw on the Hero5 Black. In this mode, the camera saved a still photo every few seconds while recording video.

There’s a new Touch Zoom option in the video mode, which lets you perform a digital zoom before you start shooting. The option is available only with certain resolution, framerate, and field of view combos. It’s a nice addition but video quality is degraded, especially when you’re shooting in low light. During the day, the Hero6 Black captures good footage. We took most of our videos at either 4K 30fps or 4K 60fps, and we’re quite happy with what this little camera can achieve. The higher framerate at 4K does add some nice fluidity to videos. Contrast levels are very good, and the camera is quick to adapt to varying light conditions.

Shot using Photo mode (Tap to see full-sized GoPro Hero6 Black camera sample)

 

Shot using Night Photo mode (Tap to see full-sized GoPro Hero6 Black camera sample)

 

When using the SuperView FOV, objects towards the edges of the frame exhibit a lot of barrel distortion, and this is slightly better when using the standard Wide FOV. You can now shoot slow-motion footage at 1080p at 240fps, which looks very nice. However, we noticed that such footage does require a relatively powerful PC or smartphone for smooth playback. This is mainly due to the newer HEVC or H.265 codecs being used, which isn’t widely supported just yet. You can check and see if you desktop machine or mobile device will be able to handle such high bit-rate videos on GoPro’s website.

We found that stabilisation worked decently. Even when we had the Hero6 Black mounted to the front of a motorcycle, it managed to compensate for vibrations quite well. When using the camera handheld, it also coped well, although jarring movements did result in some jerkiness in our test footage. Photos turned out nicely too, although in low light, we found it best to switch to Night Photo mode, which automatically adjusts the shutter speed based on current conditions. Handheld shooting at night isn’t recommended, as even slight movements will lead to blurring.

You can choose from several burst rate options, the highest being 30fps, just like on the Hero5 Black and Hero5 Session. A Class 10 microSD card is the minimum requirement in this mode, and for our testing, GoPro sent us a Lexar 32GB UHS-II microSD card.

 

Low-light stills and videos were decent as long as there was ample artificial light around. However, when shooting at night with only streetlamps illuminating the scene, there was a noticeable loss in detail in distant objects, and darker regions had a bit of graininess. Dynamic range is still handled quite well, and the sensor is able to capture colours decently well.

Like most GoPros we’ve tested before, the Hero6 Black tends to run hot when shooting video. Battery life varies a lot, based on the resolution you’re shooting at and whether you have Wi-Fi and GPS turned on. On average, we managed to get about an hour’s worth of recording time at 4K, which is not bad. Keep in mind that leaving the camera idling or playing around with the shooting modes will also eat into your expected battery life.

Verdict
The GoPro Hero6 Black is an iterative upgrade to the Hero5 Black, and the main appeal here is the support for newer video recording standards. There’s wider resolution support for the electronic stabilisation, and other little improvements such as faster Wi-Fi connectivity. GoPro cameras are often used for professional filmmaking too, for example in action sequences that would typically not permit the use of traditional cameras. For use cases like this, filmmakers will appreciate the extended framerate support at 4k and 1080p. For regular users, Rs. 37,000 is still a significant investment, especially you’re only going to be using the camera on occasional weekend getaways. For many casual users, the Hero5 Black is still worth considering, because at Rs. 27,000, it offers most of the features of the newer model.

For those who want the convenience of a touchscreen but want to save even more money, GoPro has recently announced the GoPro Hero priced at just Rs. 18,990, and the balance of value and features that it offers could be good enough for a lot of people.
Price (MRP): Rs. 37,000

Pros

  • Waterproof, rugged body
  • Supports 4K 60fps recording
  • Good video in daylight
  • Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • Struggles in low light
  • A bit expensive

Ratings (Out of 5)

  • Design: 4.5
  • Performance: 4
  • Value for money: 3.5
  • Overall: 4

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