Archive for April, 2017

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

Two years ago, in November of 2015, Canon released the smallest camera with a nice 1-inch sensor – the PowerShot G9X. The camera was a big hit – it utilizes 20.1-megapizen 1” type CMOS sensor and a 3x zoom lens all in compact form that you could easily fit inside of your pocket. Recently, at the CES in Vegas, this Japanese manufacturer announced the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II, which is an upgrade. This new camera will be using the same lens and sensor, but it will have a faster image processor and numerous new features, all while retaining the same compact form of the predecessor.

It’s Very Compact

Looking at the Canon G9X, it looks identical to its predecessor, which means it maintains the sleek and compact design. The dimensions come out to 3.9 x 1.3 x 1.2 inches and weighs around 7.3 ounces, even with the memory card and battery inserted.

The Rear Display

While it is very compact, this camera doesn’t skip out on a nice rear display. The camera comes equipped with a 3-inch touchscreen LCD display with a total of 1.04 million dots. You won’t be able to tilt the display, because it is fixed, but the fixed design helps keep the camera thin.

On the right side of the display, you’ll find four buttons as well as a thumb grip. The camera doesn’t have any sort of navigational or directional buttons, but this should be okay as you can easily use the touchscreen to navigate the menus. In fact, many people prefer using a touchscreen over buttons.

The Top of the Camera

On top of the camera, you have a shutter release, mode dial, and a rotating switch that you can use in order to control the focal length. There is also a power and playback button. Looking further, the camera also has a cool pop-up built-in flash with a flash release. As for the flash, it has a range of 1.6 feet to 20 feet at the wide focal length and at the telephoto focal length, it has a range of 1.6 feet to 7.9 feet.

Speaking in focal length, that reminds me – the Canon G9X II has a built-in lens with a focal length range between 10.2 to 30.6mm. The 3x zoom lenses maximum aperture is f/2 at 28mm and it narrows to 4/4.9 by 84 mm. On the lens barrel, there’s a ring that can be used in order to control a variety of shooting settings. Using the touchscreen, you can control the ring’s function.

Canon plans to ship this new camera out starting in February – it retails for $530.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a decent camera at a good price, then the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II might be a viable option for you. It takes good pictures and is so compact that it can fit in your back pocket.

GoPro Karma

With a large array of drones currently on the market, it makes it hard to pick the best one. The Karma, yet another quadcopter, was recently released and because of the quality of GoPro’s cameras, it’s safe to automatically assume the picture quality is top notch. However, is the GoPro Karma, as a drone, everything you’d expect it to be? Let’s not waste any time in finding out …

Basically, GoPro created an accessory for GoPro cameras – that’s what it is. Don’t get me wrong, if you use the drone on its own, it’s fantastic. However, when you compare it with others that are currently available, you’ll see that it’s missing quite a few key features, but from what I have read, despite those key features being gone, people are still satisfied with the drone because they purchased it as a GoPro camera accessory.

A Nice Bundle

GoPro bundles this product with a nice backpack case, a unique controller and a steady-cam mount. Let’s go back to that controller for a second – when holding the controller, it feels like you’re holding a portable game system …it’s definitely a great controller.

As far as the price goes, at the time of writing this review, without a camera, it sells for $799. If you already have a Hero 4 camera, this is a good buy. If you would like it bundled with a Hero 4 or Hero 5 camera, expect to pay between $999-$1099. With these price points, the Karma is competitive with the DJI Phantom 4 and the DJI Phantom 3 Advanced.

GoPro Flying Mount

Long story short, the Karma is a decent drone. Instead of thinking of it as an autonomous aerial vehicle, though, you need to look at it as a flying GoPro mount. It lacks follow-me abilities and collision detection, which just so happen to be the latest features in most drones at this price point.

Great for Beginners

It doesn’t take long to get the GoPro Karma up and running. In only a matter of seconds, you can take the Karma out of its case and launch it into the air. Even if you’re a beginner, and have never flown a drone before, you shouldn’t have a problem with this one. Staying in the air is a piece of cake with this drone and that is something that really stands out from the crowd.

Auto Take-Off

There’s an auto take-off button you can use in order to make things easier on you. However, when you’re ready, you can go full manual. You have flight modes like Cable Cam, Orbit, Dronie, and Reveal that will take care of your complex moves. This way, even if you don’t know what you’re doing, you will be able to get some pretty good footage.

Conclusion

Yes, the Karma is missing the Follow Me mode, which helps you run through trees, but this doesn’t take away from the fun! With the GoPro Karma, you can capture some amazing footage and I’m pretty sure that is exactly what GoPro intended with this device.