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FIRST LOOK

Samsung S23 Ultra 200MP First Look – S23 Series Unpacked

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Here are my first impressions of the Samsung S23 series unpacked today. My focus is the Ultra and its insane 200MP main sensor. Samsung is taking Apple head on in the mobile video category. So far I’m impressed but in-depth testing will give us a better idea in a few weeks. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Action

DJI OSMO ACTION 4: First Look at Adventure Combo Kit

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DJI’s latest OSMO Action 4 camera throws down a serious challenge to GoPro’s Hero 11 Black. In this first look video I was impressed by the larger sensor in the Action 4, colours and battery life. Before you buy your next action camera, you need to watch this and my follow up comparison video.

The Adventure Combo kit comes with three batteries and a streamlined charging case. Battery life is one of the key selling points of the OSMO Action 4 so to have a nicely packaged group of three batteries is outstanding.

That and a bigger sensor with 10-bit colour and you have yourself a great little action camera.

DJI OSMO ACTION 4 FEATURES

  • 1/1.3″ Sensor & Stunning Low-Light
  • 10-bit & D-Log M Color Performance
  • Deep-Freeze Resistant & Long-Lasting Battery operation time
  • -20°C Freeze Resistant, 160 minutes* battery operation time
  • Dual Full-Color Touchscreens
  • Featured functions
  • 4K/120fps & 155º Ultra-Wide FOV 
  • 360° HorizonSteady
  • Waterproof up to 18m without waterproof case, and 60m with waterproof case
  • Magnetic Quick Release & Native Vertical Video

*Measured at room temperature (25°C) and 1080p/24fps (16:9), with RockSteady on, Wi-Fi off and screen off.

Additional Features 

  • SnapShot Button & Quick Switch Button offers immediate recording and instant mode switching.
  • Quick Switching Between Five Custom Modes allows users to save their frequently used custom settings and switch between modes on the fly with the Quick Switch button and voice prompts.
  • Voice Prompt informs users of current modes without needing to unmount the camera. 
  • Voice Control recognises voice commands with a high recognition rate to control the camera when hands are busy.
  • Upgraded InvisiStick recognises and digitally hides the selfie stick and eliminates the selfie stick from your shots in a wider range of scenarios.
  • Digital Zoom of up to 2x can be adjusted while recording for better image composition.
  • DJI Mic Compatibility via the Type-C port, and external mics via 3.5mm to Type-C cable.

Image Quality

The Osmo Action 4 comes with an ungraded 1/1.3″ image sensor, wide f/2.8 aperture, and 2.4μm-equivalent pixel size. You can shoot 4K/120fps at 55° ultra-wide FOV.

The 10-bit D-Log M colour mode provides over one billion colours and a wider dynamic range, giving more flexibility for post-production. An advanced colour temperature sensor ensures true-to-life tones, whether you’re shooting outdoors, indoors, or underwater, resulting in vibrant colours that leap out of the camera.

The low light performance of this camera is actually pretty impressive. Action cameras are traditionally awful when it comes to low light. But I found that the Action 4 can deliver acceptable results.

When it comes to smooth video, the Action 4 has 360° HorizonSteady stabilisation modes, including RockSteady 3.0/3.0+ for FPV footage and HorizonBalancing /HorizonSteady for horizontal shots, Osmo Action 4 ensures stable and high-quality imagery in various sports and non-sporty scenarios.

It has three mics and advanced wind noise reduction software that enables recording with enhanced audio fidelity, even in windy or fast-moving scenarios. With Wi-Fi live streaming capability, you can easily connect with your audience using Wi-Fi or your phone’s hotspot, ensuring a seamless broadcasting experience. Use an external power supply to keep your action camera charged during longer streams to ensure an uninterrupted broadcast. 

Battery Life

I got well over an hour shooting time in 4K/50 with the Action 4 on the roof of my car. I could have gone a lot longer as the indicator was still showing around a third remaining. With its ultra-long battery life, you can film for over 2.5 hours – at lower resolution. When it’s time to recharge, the fast-charging capability ensures you’re ready to shoot quickly, needing just 18 minutes to bring the battery up to 80% charged. Additionally, Osmo Action 4’s battery is built to withstand low temperatures with a freeze-resistant design. With up to 150 minutes of recording time in temperatures as low as -20°C (-4°F), you can confidently embark on your adventures without worrying about battery performance.

Displays

The dual water-stain-resistant touchscreens eliminate the need to struggle with the action camera when making parameter adjustments during selfies, mode switching, or video playback. Additionally, Osmo Action 4 offers customisable modes and a Quick Switch button for seamless transitions between shooting modes. Features like SnapShot ensure you never miss a memorable moment and you have the ability to save and access frequently used settings. Additionally, Osmo Action 4 is designed to withstand depths of up to 18 metres without a case, allowing you to dive in with confidence and enjoy easy operation even with wet hands.

AI Editing with the LightCut App

The LightCut app seamlessly connects wirelessly to Action 4 via Wi-Fi, allowing for quick previews and auto-editing without the need for transferring footage from the camera.

The app gives you access to a live feed of the camera and offers various story templates and accessible in-app editing tools. LightCut can recognise themes within the footage, recommend an ideal shot sequence and edit content automatically with just one tap, ensuring superb 4K/60fps videos effortlessly. It can intelligently match exclusive templates with various use scenarios, including biking, diving, surfing, skiing/snowboarding, camping, vlogging, travel, and more. 

Price and Availability

Osmo Action 4 is available now from https://store.dji.com/au and authorised retail partners in several configurations. 

The Osmo Action 4 Standard Combo retails for A$629 and includes Osmo Action 4, one Osmo Action Extreme Battery, the Osmo Action Horizontal-Vertical Protective Frame, the Osmo Action Quick-Release Adapter Mount, the Osmo Action Curved Adhesive Base, an Osmo Locking Screw, a Type-C to Type-C PD Cable, an Osmo Action Lens Hood, and an Osmo Action Anti-Slip Pad.

The Osmo Action 4 Adventure Combo retails for A$819 and includes Osmo Action 4, three Osmo Action Extreme Batteries, the Osmo Action Horizontal-Vertical Protective Frame, an Osmo Action Quick-Release Adapter Mount, one mini Osmo Action Quick-Release Adapter Mount, one Osmo Action Curved Adhesive Base, two Osmo Locking Screws, a Type-C to Type-C PD Cable, the Osmo Action Multifunctional Battery Case, one Osmo 1.5m Extension Rod, one Osmo Action Lens Hood, and one Osmo Action Anti-Slip Pad. 

All this is shown in the video.

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Cameras

GOPRO HERO11 BLACK REVIEW: Best Yet

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Take a first look at GoPro Hero 11 Black on Sydney Harbour as I test out the new 8:7 sensor and 10-bit upgrade. This really feels like a ‘pro’ action cam now that we have 10-bit recording and a sensor that supports multiple aspect ratios without sacrificing resolution. The new night effects are absolutely brilliant.

This camera is so much fun and despite the ‘pro’ name I’ve assigned to it, the Hero 11 Black has a simple menu option that make it easy for anyone to use. Let us know what you think about the GoPro Hero 11 Black and the Mini.

KEY FEATURES

●      Emmy Award®-winning HyperSmooth 5.0 technology with in-camera 360-degree Horizon Lock to keep your footage steady even if your camera rotates a full 360 degrees during capture.

●      New hyper-immersive HyperView digital lens delivers the widest angle 16:9 shot ever produced natively in a HERO camera. It’s for high-action point-of-view capture. Plus, GoPro’s signature SuperView is now available in 5.3K60 and 4K120.

●      Three new Night Effect Time Lapse presets that make capturing pro-quality Star Trails, Light Painting and Vehicle Light Trails easy.

●      TimeWarp 3.0 now captures at 5.3K, an impressive 91% leap in resolution from 4K, and an incredible 665% more than 1080p.

●      Simpler camera control with Easy and Pro modes. Easy Controls make it easier than ever to record in the best setting for any situation, while Pro Controls unlock every aspect of your HERO11 camera for maximum creative control.

●      Enduro Battery dramatically improves camera performance in cold and moderate temperatures, extending recording times up to 38% in HERO11 Black. Enduro comes in-box with HERO11 Black and HERO11 Black Creator Edition and as a built-in Enduro battery in HERO11 Black Mini.

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Cameras

FUJIFILM X-H2 and FUJINON XF56mmF1.2 R WR Unboxing

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Here’s the first of a couple of videos on the Fujifilm X-H2. It’s the new hi-res APS-C camera from Fujifilm and it’s available later this month for a RRP of $3399 AUD. In this unboxing you’ll see how it resembles its sister-camera the X-H2S. While the X-H2S is built for fast action, the X-H2 is built for resolution in stills and video thanks to a back-illuminated 40.2MP X-Trans CMOS 5 HR sensor and the high-speed X-Processor 5.

It’s the world’s first APS-C camera to enable 8K/30P/25P Apple ProRes internal recording. We also unbox the perfect lens to go with the X–H2 .. the FUJINON XF56mmF1.2 R WR.

X-H2 FEATURES

1. Featuring the new X-Trans™ CMOS 5 HR sensor and the high-speed X-Processor 5 to produce the highest image resolution in the history of the X Series

The high-resolution 40.2MP sensor has an improved image-processing algorithm to enhance image resolution without compromising the S/N ratio, producing astonishing image quality. It also has an improved pixel structure to efficiently bring in a greater amount of light, enabling ISO125 as a new native base ISO. This is particularly beneficial during day-time outdoor shooting or to take advantage of the large aperture to produce bokeh.

The use of the new sensor and resulting ability to control exposure time at a greater precision have improved the fastest shutter speed for the electronic shutter by 2.5 stops from the previous 1/32,000 sec to 1/180,000 sec. This allows users to leave the aperture wide open in high glare conditions such as a sunny beach or a ski slope, or to capture a split-second motion.

This is the first X Series camera featuring the Pixel Shift Multi-Shot function. The camera uses the IBIS mechanism to shift the image sensor with high precision to carry out automatic shooting, recording 20 images that are combined into a single frame using the dedicated software, “Pixel Shift Combiner”. This free software processes the captured frame to generate an image containing about 160 Million Pixels, which is perfect for commercial photography and digital archiving.

The X-H2 supports the HEIF image format, which delivers 10-bit image quality in files up to 30% smaller than standard JPEG files, continuing to expand Fujifilm’s reputation of delivering high-quality images straight out of camera.

2. Excellent video performance that caters to professional video production needs

With the incorporation of the new sensor, 8K movies can be recorded internally at 30P in 4:2:2 10-bit colour. The X-H2 has a heat-dissipating design, the same as X-H2S, to enable recording 8K/30P movies for approximately 160 minutes, making 8K a practical option. Furthermore, it supports 8K over-sampling to produce high-quality 4K video, making maximum use of the high-resolution sensor to record movies in superior image resolution.

X-H2 supports three Apple ProRes codecs; ProRes 422 HQ, ProRes 422, and ProRes 422 LT. When recording ProRes, X-H2 also supports proxy recording such as ProRes 422 Proxy.

X-H2 features a digital zoom function that uses the camera’s 40.2MP sensor to deliver up to 2x of digital zoom with little to no loss in resolution, when recording video in 4K. Using zoom lenses, get twice the reach and seamlessly transition to the digital zoom function when the lens reaches its maximum focal length.

Combined with a compatible HDMI device from Atomos or Blackmagic Design, 12-bit RAW video output from X-H2 can be recorded as Apple ProRes or Blackmagic RAW at resolutions and frame rates of up to 8K and 29.97 frames per second.

In addition to F-Log, X-H2 also supports F-Log2, which records an expanded dynamic range of 13+ stops. This range is wider than current F-Log, broadening post-production potential.

3. Evolved AF performance that captures details accurately

X-Processor 5 features subject-detection AF based on Deep Learning technology that automatically detects and tracks a broader range of subjects, including animals, birds, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, planes, and trains – as well as human faces and eyes, so image-makers can concentrate on composition and creativity, confident that X-H2 will track focus accurately.

The new high-resolution sensor has a greater number of phase detection pixels than current models, resulting in an improved ability to attain AF-S focus on various subject matter, such as landscape and portrait photography. Furthermore, X-H2 also incorporates the improved AF prediction algorithm, which was newly developed for the X-H2S, enabling stable focusing even when using AF-C.

The X-H2 is newly equipped with a focus meter as a Manual Focus assist during movie recording, allowing for more precise focus adjustment. It may also be used in combination with the focus peaking feature.

The movie AF algorithm has been optimised to improve autofocus accuracy, giving users a sense of confidence when using AF while filming 8K movies.

4. Hardware and workflow that support the content creation experience

A 5-axis in-body image stabilisation system, made possible by X-Processor 5 and a sensing control function, provides up to seven stops of compensation. This powerful feature gives users the freedom to handhold the camera in conditions that previously would have required support, even in low light.

The X-H2 is equipped with a high-definition 5.76-million-dot EVF with 0.8x magnification. It boasts smooth refresh frame rate of approx. 120fps and significant improvement in controlling parallax and distortion which typically occur when an eye position becomes displaced while using the viewfinder for stellar visibility.

The body design is the same as that of the X-H2S, with 79 weather-sealed points offering high levels of dust and moisture resistance. X-H2 is built to withstand the rigours of daily professional use and operate as normal in temperatures as low as  -10°C. The top panel LCD screen, adjustable AF ON button, 1.62 million-dot vari-angle LCD monitor, and independent movie recording button support comfortable operation.

The X-H2 has one CFexpress™ Type B memory card slot and one UHS-II SD memory card slot. Draw out the full potential of the X-H2 video performance using CFexpress™ Type B cards.

The X-H2S/ X-H2 can be combined with the file transmitter “FT-XH” to enable wired and wireless LAN tethered video recording.

Up to four X-H2S/ X-H2 cameras can be connected simultaneously to enable the following operations from a computer browser:

  • Check and adjust camera settings for each camera

  • Simultaneously start and stop video recording for all cameras

  • Save, load, and copy camera settings

XF56mmF1.2 R WR FEATURES

Outstanding image-resolving performance and stunning bokeh

Metal moulds used to manufacture the aspherical elements are polished to within one-hundred thousandth of a millimetre, that are capable of reducing the onion-ring effect in bokeh. The lens design, consisting of 13 elements in eight groups including two aspherical elements and one ED element, suppresses various types of aberration including chromatic aberration and spherical aberration to achieve edge-to-edge image sharpness and smooth background bokeh.

The lens also uses three highly refractive elements, as part of the focusing group of eight elements to minimise chromatic aberration. The result is advanced image resolution from MOD to infinity.

This is the first Fujifilm lens to use 11 diaphragm blades to achieve a near-perfect circle in the aperture, with the previous model featuring seven. The new model provides a near-perfect circle even when the lens is stopped down only slightly from being wide open to create beautiful bokeh in a wide range of situations.

Unrestrained photographic approach with the fast mid-telephoto lens

The new lens is a perfect choice for portraiture as it gives clear separation to the subject from its background. In addition, the minimum focusing distance has been reduced to just 50cm, 20cm shorter than the previous model, thanks to its improved resolving capability at MOD. The appeal of this fast mid-telephoto prime is its suitability for a great variety of situations beyond portrait photography.

AF function driven by an evolved DC motor for fast and accurate autofocus

A DC motor is used to drive the focusing group of eight elements and aperture unit for precise autofocusing. The lens can attain focus quickly and accurately to seize a decisive photo opportunity even when shooting with a shallow depth-of-field, in which accurate focusing is essential.

The use of a bearing mechanism has successfully reduced friction that arises when the DC motor is driving lens elements. The reduction of lens-driving friction means minimal motor noise.

Advanced practical usability with dust and weather resistance and capability of operating at temperatures as low as -10°C

•         The lens is designed to take maximum advantage of the compact and lightweight X Mount System, weighing just 445g and measuring 76mm despite being a fast prime lens with the open aperture of F1.2.

•         The lens barrel is weather sealed in 9 places to ensure dust and weather resistance as well as the ability to operate at temperatures as low as  -10°C. The front lens element is applied with fluorine coating to repel water and offer protection against stains. Users can enjoy the lens with peace of mind to take photos outdoors in rainy or dusty conditions.

RRP price $1,729 AUD

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