The GoPro GoKart’s built-in Action Cameras capture your race like never before

It makes absolute sense. The company that has a brand built around action and adrenaline should be in the racing business… no? After all, isn’t that exactly what Red Bull is doing? Designed by Sean Gao, the GoKart imagines a world in which GoPro goes automotive. The racing cart isn’t like anything we’ve ever seen before. It sports a gorgeously modern design with sleek surfaces that blend into each other… but the kart’s secret sauce is the fact that it has multiple action cameras integrated into its design, capturing your race from multiple PoVs. Designed for thrill but also for entertainment, the kart captures multiple streams from different angles, allowing viewers (or even the driver) to enjoy the race like never before. Easily the coolest thing to happen to karting since Mario Kart.

Designer: Sean Gao

The GoPro GoKart is a modern-day racing vehicle that brings karting into the future. Sure, you could do the rounds of a track on a gasoline-guzzling hunk of metal and fiberglass… but nothing quite beats racing around in these bad-boys. The GoPro GoKart is gorgeous to look at, sporting an uber-slick design that’s just about as gorgeous as a high-end racecar. You’ve got flowing surfaces that create the kart’s beautiful silhouette, with metal and carbon-fiber paneling that reflects light with a soft matte glow that’s subtly classy. Meanwhile, the kart comes outfitted with razor-thin headlights and taillights too, so night-time won’t stop your races.

Where the GoKart functionally differs from other karts, however, is in the inclusion of multiple wide-angle action cameras a la GoPro. These cameras can be found on the front, sides, and rear of the car, capturing multiple angles during the race. The result, breathtaking moments for both riders as well as the audience to enjoy during or even after the race. Gao proposes building an entire racing track around the kart too, with a multi-level course that are studded with cameras that add to the race feed.

The car’s cameras help capture the action right from the driving seat. A front-facing camera documents the track ahead, while a rear camera lets you see your opponents biting the dust. Cameras on the side document a much more high-stakes experience, letting you see two cars going head-to-head side by side.

The kart seats one, but aside from just a simple cockpit with a wheel and pedals, you’ve also got a dashboard with information, controls, and settings. A space underneath the steering wheel (or yoke, rather) lets you dock your smartphone, which starts the car and lets it authenticate its driver. The yoke’s central dashboard lets you see racing stats, as well as quickly toggle camera views to see what’s happening behind you. Meanwhile, video footage also gets sent to your phone, allowing you to replay your highlights after the race and share the footage with friends and fans.

Ultimately for Gao, the GoKart is a massive branding exercise for GoPro, letting it reinforce its position as the apex action-camera company. It also creates a separate channel that exists independent of the action camera business, building a sport that can be followed by dedicated fans. This helps solidify the brand, which has seen some weakening following a few corporate scandals and the rise of other companies like Insta360 and Kandao. Moreover, the karts are pretty much billboards on wheels for GoPro’s cameras, letting people experience their brilliance in the form of high-octane kart racing. If anyone at GoPro is reading this, give Sean a call…

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Polaroid-inspired DIY camera uses AI to print poems instead of photos

AI today powers many devices and services with mixed results. Some produce truly mind-blowing images, captivating narratives, and critical information that help drive cars, vacuum cleaners, and robots. Sometimes, those very same AIs are abused for selfish gains or nefarious purposes. In both cases, it proves that AI, impressive as it may be, is just a tool that can be used for good or for ill, depending on who’s wielding it. Or it could also be used for fun, whimsical projects that, while not exactly advancing the field, turn those rather mundane AI applications into delightful experiences. This DIY Polaroid-inspired camera, for example, does take pictures, but what it prints out isn’t a flat facsimile of the three-dimensional but instead spits out an interpretation expressed in words filtered through the minds of digital poets.

Designer: Sam Garfiedl (sam1am)

Two of the most controversial uses of AI today revolve around images and words, both of which tread gray legal areas. Image generators are infamous for taking well-worded prompts and turning them into images that truly look professional, though sometimes end up looking like an artist’s copyrighted work. On the opposite side of the spectrum are AIs that churn out essays and articles that also border on plagiarism.

The Poetroid, thankfully, won’t be treading those same waters. It does turn images into words, but nothing that can really be attributed to copyrighted material. In a nutshell, this rather crude-looking DIY camera sees the world through a webcam and then produces sheer poetry, literally, based on the object it sees. After all, there is perhaps no better way to truly capture the spirit of a flower, a fruit, or a pizza than with a mosaic of metaphors mixed together in a “mellifluous meter.”

What is rather impressive about this little project is that it can be assembled from off-the-shelf components like a webcam, a single-board computer, and a lunchbox, among other things. The tin lunchbox is probably a bit uninspired, but it was large enough to cram everything necessary inside, with a little modification for the screen and buttons. If the name wasn’t a giveaway, the idea was heavily inspired by the Polaroid instant camera that revolutionized photography during its time. Instead of getting a small photo, however, you get a poem printed out on thermal paper, almost like a receipt and probably just as incomprehensible as one.

The best part is that the AI and large language models needed to pull this off can run locally on the device itself, preventing any private data from leaking and saving you from potential embarrassment over accidental photos and hideous poetry. There’s definitely a lot of room for improvement in the design of the Poetroid, and having all the necessary pieces known and available can go a long way in helping design one that will look just as majestic as the words it ejects from its proverbial mouth.

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OPPO Find X7 Ultra Review: Inching Closer to Photography Perfection

PROS:


  • Distinctive and stylish design with a nice touch of vegan leather

  • Impressive Quad Main Camera output

  • Bright and vibrant display

  • Excellent hardware performance across the board

CONS:


  • Available only in China

RATINGS:

AESTHETICS
ERGONOMICS
PERFORMANCE
SUSTAINABILITY / REPAIRABILITY
VALUE FOR MONEY

EDITOR'S QUOTE:

With four nearly co-equal cameras packaged in a gorgeous design, the OPPO Find X7 Ultra makes real the prophesied smartphone that could rival professional cameras.

Photography has become an important part of the smartphone experience to the point that it could be considered one of the most critical deciding factors in a purchase. Companies have been working left and right to provide an excellent experience, but no matter how good the output is, they still can’t compare with the flexibility of a dedicated camera, especially mirrorless and DSLR cameras. You can only cram so much inside the thin body of a smartphone without either compromising on quality or leaving a distasteful bump on the phone’s back. Technology, however, is starting to catch up with smaller but more powerful sensors and lenses that could really give cameras a run for their money. The OPPO Find X7 Ultra embodies that promise, so we give the smartphone and its cameras a good test to see if it’s worth that large disc on its back.

Designer: OPPO

Aesthetics

If you’re familiar with OPPO’s premium smartphone line, then the Find X7 Ultra will immediately look familiar. But even if you aren’t, you’re still in for a treat with one of the most beautiful devices to grace the market so far. Just like its predecessor, the Find X6 Pro, it bears a dual-tone color scheme and a large circular camera bump that others have dubbed the “camera Oreo,” though a resemblance with the top of a soda can wouldn’t be off the mark either. It’s a peculiar design, but one that has a reason and actually serves another purpose, intentional or not.

That said, the OPPO Find X7 Ultra isn’t just a rehash of the 2023 flagship. The colored vegan leather that makes up two-thirds of the rear area has a pleasant curve that arcs around the camera at a distance where the two elements intersect. It’s a subtle yet significant change that prevents visual elements from just abruptly cutting into each other. It also has the visual effect of giving the camera Oreo more prominence, with the leather seemingly giving way to this important part of the phone’s design.

The color options for the phone differ in more than just their hues this year, though. Both the Orange and Blue colorways do share a similar design, with the white top of the design looking like a familiar ceramic that OPPO has used in the past. The black colorway, on the other hand, has a few more interesting details, like the stitching on the vegan leather surface. Instead of ceramic, the top looks more like metal but still feels like glass. The mid-frame is also different, using some sandblasted finish that complements the phone’s darker looks.

All three do have the same basic design, with a back that curves at the sides toward the edges. On the flip side, the screen is mostly flat but does curve sharply at those same edges, typical of the premium design carried by phones in the past. Admittedly, it’s going to be a divisive design choice, given how flat is back these days. There’s no denying, however, that the OPPO Find X7 Ultra still looks great with this style and probably wouldn’t be as appealing if was completely flat all around.

Ergonomics

The OPPO Find X7 Ultra is a large piece of metal and glass, there’s no getting around that fact. As with any large smartphone, there will be a problem of straining your hand with its weight and making it less comfortable and stable to hold over time. Fortunately, the phone is also unbelievably thin at 9.5mm only, and at 221g, it’s not exactly a heavyweight. It also feels well-balanced and not top-heavy as you might suspect given the size of the camera bump.

Even better, the rest of the phone’s design also contributes to helping secure a more confident grip. The vegan leather, for example, provides enough texture for your skin to grip comfortably. Even that camera Oreo becomes a place where your index fingers can rest when holding up the phone, especially with a ribbed rim that, again, adds texture and friction to stop the phone from slipping out of your hands. You will still have some difficulty reaching higher areas of the screen if you’re holding it in one hand, but other than that, the size of the Find X7 Ultra doesn’t get in the way of an enjoyable experience when using it.

Performance

The OPPO Find X7 Ultra is a premium flagship through and through, which means it also bears the best of the best hardware available in the market to date. That means a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage, right at the top of the list. Suffice it to say, the phone isn’t wanting in terms of silicon power and it blasts through all kinds of tasks, including heavy gaming, without breaking a sweat. Your hands won’t be sweating either thanks to an impressive cooling system. Mind you, it does get a bit warm with heavier loads, but not to the point of making you want to drop it like a hot potato.

It would be such a shame and a waste if those specs were matched with a mediocre screen and, fortunately, OPPO didn’t fail to impress here either. The huge 6.82-inch LTPO AMOLED display is bright, fast, responsive, and vibrant. It perfectly complements the phone’s luxurious back with an equally gorgeous display that supports the industry-standard HDR10+, OPPO’s own ProXDR, and soon, Google’s new Ultra HDR. Given you’ll want to view the photos you take on this screen, OPPO really needed to make sure that it was up to the task.

OPPO crammed a 5,000mAh battery inside, which is both common yet also mildly disappointing. With all its capabilities, a higher capacity would have been a better choice, but that would have also weighed down the phone considerably. Fortunately, it does last a day on a single charger, at least with constant use, and the super-fast 100W charging is enough to bring it back to full in about half an hour. 50W wireless charging is also plenty fast, which is a rarity in this regard.

Quad Main Camera and HyperTone System

Much of OPPO’s rhetoric revolves around the OPPO Find X7 Ultra’s Quad Main Cameras, and to be fair, it does deserve some praise for pulling off what comes naturally to professional cameras but not to smartphones. DSLRs and mirrorless cameras can easily change lenses when they need a different focal length or field of view while keeping the same high-quality imaging sensor built into the camera. Smartphones, on the other hand, use a different camera for different focal lengths, but due to space and price constraints, also use different sensors that aren’t always up to the task.

What the OPPO Find X7 Ultra accomplishes is to have four different cameras with different lenses, all of which have 50MP sensors. Yes, these sensors have different sizes and specs and, therefore, different overall quality, but the differences are very marginal at best. No longer do you have to sacrifice quality just to jump from wide to ultrawide to telephoto, nor will you get that jarring effect whenever you switch between cameras.

The phone’s mighty camera roster includes a 1-inch 50MP Sony LYT-900 with a 23mm focal length equivalent, a 1/1.95-inch 50MP Sony LYT-600 ultrawide (14mm equivalent), a 1/1.56-inch 50MP Sony IMX890 3x periscope telephoto (65), and a 1/2.51-inch 50MP Sony IMX858 6x periscope telephoto (135mm). With this set, the OPPO Find X7 Ultra practically covers the whole range of lenses used by photographers, including 10x zoom at 270mm with some computational photography. OPPO’s software also allows users to select more common focal lengths, like 35mm for the wide (main) camera, though it does that with a bit of cropping.

As you might have already noticed with the camera samples, these aren’t just numbers or empty words. OPPO definitely delivered on its promise of professional-quality photos in any field of view, zoom, or even lighting condition. Part of that magic is thanks to its partnership with Hasselblad, which also led to the Computational Photography aspect of its HyperTone camera system. In a nutshell, it tries to avoid oversharpening, overexposure, and other exaggerations that most camera software apply to compensate for poor image quality, resulting in more natural-looking photos you might have never thought came from a smartphone instead of a pro camera.

Sustainability

As one of the world’s top 5 smartphone vendors, OPPO has taken its responsibility for preserving the environment quite seriously. In addition to a few models that made use of recycled or sustainable materials, the company also has a concrete program for reducing the negative impact its business has on the planet. That involves reducing its carbon footprint, optimizing its packaging and logistics, and offsetting its harmful emissions.

Unfortunately, the OPPO Find X7 Ultra itself doesn’t have the clear marks of a sustainable phone. Sure, it uses vegan leather across all models, but that synthetic material isn’t completely environment-friendly either, despite the name. One upside is that the phone is IP68-rated, which is one of the highest dust and water resistance levels for smartphones, promising a mostly durable product that should last you quite a while before you have to throw it away, responsibly, of course.

Value

If you’re anything of a mobile shutterbug, it’s hard not to get excited over the OPPO Find X7 Ultra. Although it’s not going to dethrone an expensive DSLR, it really comes close to it with its HyperTone Quad Main Camera System. And all that imaging hardware is packed into a thin and stylish device that you can also use for more than just taking photos. What’s not to like?

Unfortunately, the product’s value takes a nosedive because of the fact that, as of this writing, OPPO has no plans yet to bring the OPPO Find X7 Ultra to international markets, making it exclusive to a Chinese audience. Yes, you can probably import the phone through other channels, but that won’t change the fact that the version of ColorOS software running on it isn’t made for global users. Yes, you can install Google Play Store unofficially, but that still won’t give you access to some basic platform capabilities you’d expect from international versions of these devices. It’s definitely a shame that such a treasure would be out of reach, and hopefully, OPPO will change its mind very soon.

Verdict

Smartphones are sometimes a victim of their own success, or at least of marketing hype. It wasn’t that long ago when they were said to devour the lower end of professional cameras, but they haven’t managed to surpass the bulkier and more powerful shooters in terms of flexibility and quality. It’s just impossible, given the restraints on design, price, and engineering, so smartphones have to make do with workarounds and software solutions.

The OPPO Find X7 Ultra, however, comes pretty close to that ideal. It still can’t change lenses physically, but it provides almost the same experience through a perfect combination of hardware and software. Of course, it’s not just a digital camera, and it manages to excel in almost every field with very few flaws. It’s tragic that most people won’t be able to experience all of that, though, but hopefully, they will soon be able to get their hands on what could very well be this year’s most beautiful and most capable smartphone camera.

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Cute Camera for Kids Concept gets budding shutterbugs started early

Smartphone photography is a huge part of modern culture today, whether it’s for preserving precious memories or for taking food photos to flaunt on social media. And just like how big touch screens like tablets have become children’s toys in one way or another, it might only be a matter of time before the younger generation becomes interested in taking photos. Of course, camera apps even on the most kid-friendly tablet aren’t exactly kid-friendly, not to mention the device itself won’t be the best medium for inducting toddlers into the wonderful world of digital photography. This concept design tries to address those issues by turning a digital camera into an object that kids are most familiar with: a toy.

Designer: Nicola Morelli

While smartphone manufacturers are indeed trying to make taking photos as simple as tapping on the shutter button, especially with the help of AI, there will always be occasions when you need to manually adjust some settings. That’s true not just for changing ISO, focus, and shutter speed, but also for the selfie timer. Typical camera apps make these settings easy to change if you’re an adult, but toddlers 3 years or older are a very different story. And there’s the fact that a touchscreen isn’t exactly the best interface for kids still developing cognitive and motor abilities.

This Camera for Kids concept design attempts to transform the digital camera into a more tactile experience by using physical controls for using the camera. And it’s not just any old physical control, which would make it similar to a complicated professional camera. Instead, it uses metaphors that kids might be more familiar with for those same actions, ensuring that their functions remain understandable even if the underlying concepts aren’t.

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The shutter button, for example, takes the form of a water gun trigger that most kids will probably know how to use. A crank lever is used to change focus and brightness, and taking selfies involves pulling a “TNT” string that shortens as it counts down to the shot. The toy-like operation as well as the appearance of these parts help instill a sense of confidence and fun, encouraging the child to explore and discover rather than be intimidated by the device.

The camera also has a modular design that makes it easier to use, like an actual mirror for those selfies, a flash for lighting, and a strap for carrying around the kid’s neck. Almost like building blocks, kids or their parents can mix and match these parts, depending on what they need or want to do at the time. It’s an example of a thoughtful design that truly puts the target audience, in this case, little photographers, at the center of the experience, shaping technology around them rather than forcing them to adopt to something their minds aren’t yet ready to tackle.

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YASHICA 4K night vision binoculars open up a whole new world for you to explore

Unlike the daytime, people are split on what they think of the night. Some find solace in the rest that it offers, while others are wary of the dangers that lurk in the corners. The latter is mostly due to the uncertainty that the unknown brings to our minds, which is often associated with the dark of night. But nighttime as well as dark places are just as filled with treasures to discover, adventures to be experienced, and discoveries to be made, as long as you’re not stumbling in the dark, literally. Being able to see at night is often painted as a superpower, but you can actually gain that ability quite easily with today’s technologies. Harnessing decades of experience in optics and photography, YASHICA is opening the doors to new and exciting experiences with a pair of binoculars that brings the night to life in full color and stunning 4K quality.

Designer: YASHICA

Click Here to Buy Now: $139 $252 ($113 off). Hurry, less than 48 hours left! Raised over $250,000.

Catch every detail in 4K UHD

There have been cameras that can see in the dark of night for years now, but most of them fail to impress or captivate budding explorers. The majority can only see in green or monochrome hues, not to mention lack enough detail to really make you appreciate the wonderful world that the night holds. The YASHICA Vision easily sets itself apart from the crowd by breaking down these barriers to deliver a photography experience that’s truly out of this world, letting you see at night as if it were day.

YASHICA Vision reveals a radiant spectrum of colors, even under the most challenging lighting conditions.

With an impressive 0.0037lux sensitivity and F/1 wide lens aperture, the YASHICA Vision binoculars can take in as much light as they need to capture detailed, sharp, and high-resolution visuals. And thanks to advanced optics and a powerful CMOS sensor, these images won’t be stuck with a dozen shades of green or gray, painting the night in full color and creating a picture that you wouldn’t otherwise see with your naked eye. Best of all, you can record that picture or video in stunning 4K quality, leaving no detail unturned.

Clarity in complete darkness.

The YASHICA Vision further redefines night-time exploration with its remarkable aperture size of F/1. This feature is crucial as it allows for a higher light intake, especially under low-light conditions.

These qualities are more than enough for urban exploration, delving into creepy basements, or watching the coast in the dark of night, but the YASHICA Vision still has more to offer, especially for those who want to get close to nature in the dark. With the ability to see objects 600 meters away even in pitch darkness and a 3x optical zoom and 5x optical zoom, wildlife photography at night becomes not only possible but also safe and enjoyable. What’s even more impressive is that YASHICA Vision’s ability to see in full color is also made possible with the use of AI analyzing and understanding a vast amount of data to automatically improve the image by reducing noise, enhancing contrast, and compensating for light. This results in images with natural color reproduction and a higher dynamic range, even under low light and at low lux levels. There is almost literally nothing you can’t see in the dark, and the night becomes your playground rather than a source of fear and anxiety.

It might look like a pair of bulky binoculars, but the YASHICA Vision is a truly innovative photography device designed to accompany you on your nocturnal adventures. A 16-hour battery life and support for up to 512GB microSD cards promise very few downtimes as you go about your way in the dark. An intuitive and convenient binocular design allows users to have a comfortable and enjoyable time focusing on seeing instead of fumbling around the controls. Finally, a robust construction, an IP65 dust and water resistance rating, a built-in compass, and SOS guiding lights all mark the device as a reliable companion for your most daring exploits at night.

Whether you’re trying to discover what nature has to offer once the sun has set, trying to debunk urban legends and mysteries, or simply trying to enjoy the world after dark, the YASHICA Vision offers a ground-breaking tool that breaks wide open the doors to a whole new world filled with life, color, and wonders even in the dark of night.

Click Here to Buy Now: $139 $252 ($113 off). Hurry, less than 48 hours left! Raised over $250,000.

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Shiftcam Probe Lens hands-on at CES 2024: the WILDEST iPhone camera accessory ever, just $299

Remember the $1,599 probe lens Laowa made for DSLRs? Well, Shiftcam built one for 1/5th the price… and it mounts onto your iPhone for the most surreal macro videos ever.

A probe lens for smartphones was definitely not on my 2024 bingo card, but it seems like Shiftcam had other plans. When Laowa launched the first probe lens in 2019, it instantly became the talk of the photography community. The lens had a distinct design, shaped less like a cylinder and more like a projectile. Its design was the perfect example of form following function, because the probe lens could shoot macro unlike any other lens on the market. The only problem, it cost an eye-watering $1,599.

At CES, Shiftcam’s broadly achieved two incredible feats. Not only has it debuted its own probe lens for an ultra-affordable $299, it’s also redesigned it to work with iPhones, bringing the incredible experience to pretty much any smartphone photography enthusiast.

Designer: Shiftcam

Shiftcam’s Probe Lens has that same unmistakable design, with its long, tubular form factor. This pretty much lets you sneak your way into places where most smartphone camera lenses wouldn’t, allowing you to get what’s called a ‘bug’s perspective’ on things. Aside from being able to prod your way into tree trunks, aquariums, and other tight nooks, the distinct benefit of a Probe Lens is the fact that it doesn’t have an extreme DoF. This keeps things in your frame relatively clear, unlike most macro lens that aggressively blur foregrounds and backgrounds out to focus on a singular subject.

The Probe Lens boasts a wide-angle 25mm focal length, quite similar to Laowa’s 24mm lens. The results are incredibly similar too, but it’s a constant endeavor to remind yourself that while Laowa’s $1500 lens fits on expensive high-end cameras, Shiftcam achieves the exact same thing with a $299 price tag and the ability to mount onto any iPhone.

The lens builds on your smartphone’s camera specs, basically leveraging the iPhone’s wild 4K@60fps shooting ability. It relies on Shiftcam’s existing mounting cover cases, which means the lens can attach onto older versions of the iPhone too.

Shiftcam’s announced two versions of the Probe Lens at CES 2024. The regular variant sports a $299 price tag, while the $399 Pro variant boasts extra features like a built-in LED ring, variable DoF adjustment, and a waterproof front tube that lets you point the tip of your lens into water.

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Belkin auto-tracking Stand Pro swivels iPhone 360 degrees with your movement during video calls, recordings

Apple iPhone already does some great things. Belkin believes there is a way it can add some prowess to the phone’s video and FaceTime capabilities. To that accord, the accessories manufacturer is bringing Belkin Stand Pro to CES 2024. This motorized dock for the iPhone 12 and upward is made to swivel 360 degrees and track users’ movement while the camera is on.

There have been numerous iterations of iPhone dock we have seen in our time. Right from the days docking stations played incredible music and now those that wirelessly charge the smartphone and render it with incredible utility: case in point, the rotating functionality the Belkin Stand Pro brings to the iPhone.

Designer: Belkin

The Belkin Stand Pro is offered with a cylindrical base that can rotate 360 degrees. From the base extends a MagSafe-equipped motorized arm which holds and charges the iPhone. The arm can extend 90 degrees, up and down, for more convenience.

The Stand Pro is essentially designed for tracking your movement, for instance, you are cooking in the kitchen and the iPhone playing the video recipe tutorial rotates wherever you go; picking spices, or walking to the fridge. When you don’t want the iPhone to track your movement, you can turn the tracking off from the onboard button. The LED indicator built-in indicates when the tracking is on or off.

The iPhone pairs to the Belkin dock with NFC and allows you to open apps including camera, FaceTime, Instagram, WhatsApp and more. Once the app’s working, the Stand Pro automatically rotates the docked iPhone to keep you in frame all the time using iPhone’s recognition technology without having to add additional third-party app. This makes the Belkin Stand Pro the first iPhone accessory to use Apple’s DockKit framework.

Priced at $179.99, the Belkin dock functions as a wireless charger with up to 15W fast wireless charging when plugged into a 30W USB-C charger. For filming away from the direct power port, the Stand Pro also features a battery that can do the task for up to five hours on a single charge.

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Panasonic announces “World’s Smallest & Lightest” medium-telephoto macro lens at CES 2024

At CES 2024, Panasonic introduced the LUMIX S-E100, the world’s smallest and lightest medium-telephoto fixed focal length macro lens. This addition to Panasonic’s LUMIX S Series isn’t merely an incremental update but a significant leap forward in the realm of photography and videography gear, reflecting a blend of compactness, performance, and innovation.

Designer: Panasonic

A marvel of engineering, the S-E100 weighs in at a mere 298 grams. But don’t let its featherweight profile fool you. This lens packs a punch with high resolution, stunning bokeh unique to macro lenses, and an excellent depth of expression. The inclusion of a new optical design and a newly developed Dual Phase linear motor ensures that it’s not just lightweight but also a heavyweight performer in its category.

The S-E100 stands out not only for its close proximity photography but also for producing impressive portraits and images unique to medium-telephoto lenses. It comes with a bright F/2.8 aperture and supports fast autofocusing, making it versatile for various shooting conditions. With an increased demand for video capabilities, Panasonic has equipped this lens with a silent operation feature and optically corrected focus breathing, ensuring high-quality video content production.

Panasonic’s aim is clear: to spearhead a new era in the digital mirrorless camera market. With cutting-edge performance and enhanced mobility, the S-E100 is not just a tool for photographers and videographers; it’s a companion for those who dare to explore and capture the world in all its detail.

With features like a new Double Focus System, three aspherical lenses, and a newly developed Dual Phase Linear Motor with a new actuator, the S-E100 is designed for a wide range of scenarios. Its high resolution and photographic performance capture every detail of the subject, creating a mesmerizing bokeh effect unique to medium-telephoto macro lenses. For video producers, the S-E100 offers silent operation, suppressing focus breathing and allowing for smooth exposure changes.

Furthermore, the fast autofocus performance of the S-E100 expands its capabilities, enabling speed and precision for faster action tracking in both photo and video uses. Its ultra-high precision manual focus sensor ensures unparalleled manual focus precision, even at 1:1 macro.

Panasonic has also considered the overall user experience. The S-E100 is designed to integrate seamlessly with Panasonic’s existing F/1.8 series of lenses, offering a consistent and unified experience across various focal lengths. This thoughtful design extends to the color rendering, ensuring uniformity regardless of the lens used, a crucial aspect for professionals managing extensive shoots.

The LUMIX S-E100 lens is set to be available at the end of January 2024 for $999.99.

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OPPO Find X7 Ultra with four main cameras challenges the status quo

Smartphones have long been regarded to be ringing the death knell of digital cameras, but that has mostly been hyperbole. Sure, the old point-and-click cameras may have finally met their match, but professional-grade shooters like DSLRs will hardly feel threatened. While smartphones have quite a number of desirable features like advanced computational photography and filters, dedicated cameras win in the sheer raw power of their optics. That’s especially true since they can easily switch out lenses as they need to while keeping the same powerful sensor. Since that’s nearly impossible with smartphones, the OPPO Find X7 Ultra has made the bold decision to carry the world’s first Quad Main Camera system that’s poised to blow the competition out of the water and deliver stunning photos at every click.

Designer: OPPO

Smartphones have started using more than one camera to make up for the inability to switch lenses. Each camera used a different lens with a different focal point, but because of limitations in past technologies and design, phone manufacturers were forced to make do with different sizes of sensors to fit inside a smartphone’s cramped space. This meant that ultra-wide or telephoto cameras would have significantly different output qualities from the main camera, sometimes better, more often worse. Parity between these cameras is exactly what OPPO has been trying to deliver in the past generations, culminating in what is probably the most advanced smartphone camera system in the market to date.

The OPPO Find X7 Ultra boasts not only a quad camera system but a Quad Main camera system. Although they differ slightly in terms of specific specs, all four use a 50MP sensor, lead by the new Sony LYT-900, the latest generation of that coveted 1-inch sensor. What this practically means is that there is no loss of quality and no disconcerting jitter when switching between wide, ultra-wide, 3x zoom, and 6x zoom cameras. And yes, the phone has two optical zoom telephoto cameras, both of them with periscope-style lenses. With this unprecedented combination, OPPO is able to seamlessly cover a wide range of focal points, from 14mm to 135mm to even 270mm as if it were changing DSLR lenses on the fly.

Combined with this impressive hardware is OPPO’s new HyperTone Image Engine, designed to combat the unnatural colors, exposure, and sharpening that most computation photography software produces on smartphones today. Along with the famed Hasselblad Portrait Mode that accurately emulates four iconic Hasselblad cameras, you are promised to get breath-taking and natural-looking images, as if they were taken with a professional DSLR or mirrorless camera. And if you’re the type to really get into the nitty-gritty of camera settings, the Hasselblad Master Mode upgrades the typical Pro Mode to add even more fine-grained control over image quality.

Despite all the camera hardware packed inside, not to mention the latest and greatest components available in the smartphone industry to date, the OPPO Find X7 Ultra remains slim, sleek, and stylish, belying its powerful capabilities. The two-tone design of the previous Find X6 generation returns with a bit more character this time, wrapping around the distinctive camera circle more loosely. Available in Ocean Blue, Sepia Brown, and Tailored Black, the OPPO Find X7 Ultra marries head-turning elegance and groundbreaking performance in a package that’s sure to give shutterbugs something to talk about.

The post OPPO Find X7 Ultra with four main cameras challenges the status quo first appeared on Yanko Design.

Galaxy Flip case with a built-in foldable tripod can transform your phone into the perfect camcorder

I had literally forgotten about camcorders; I don’t even rightly remember the last time I used one. Since cameras on the smartphones have outdone handycams and reached near DSLR efficacy – at least with high-end models – there’s been a drastic slump in everyday usage of camcorders. Whether you want to capture family moments at home, record landscapes, or timelapse a sunset, mobile cameras are friendlier and convenient for doing it all. Chiefly because we have a smartphone on us 24/7 and an additional device is not necessary for taking pictures or recording videos.

This is why 90 Degree Instinct was an instant reminder for the moments of truth I have had with a Sony camcorder I now have lying dead in the vault. This guy is not another camcorder or a stark reminder for anyone like me that they existed. This is perhaps a utility accessory for anyone who loves capturing moments with their smartphone – especially the Samsung Galaxy Flip.

Designer: Ugly Duckling

Essentially a case for the Galaxy Flip foldable smartphone; the idea is to help home chefs, influencers, and everyday social media buffs to shoot more professional videos by transforming the smartphone into a capable camcorder. The designer has particularly chosen the foldable Samsung phone for his experimental case concept because when the Flip is placed at a “90 degrees” angle, “it resembles the shape of a… small camcorder.”

By transforming the ordinary Flip into a camcorder, user can maximize its usability for capturing videos. The case offers the phone a camcorder-esque grip for better handling, and integrates a tripod inside, to present exceptional stability without additional accessories.

The added weight of the case may be a point of contention for those who prefer a sleek device, but if you can bear the bulk – which of course is way lesser than towing a portable tripod along – you can be rest assured that the 90 Degre Instinct will not compromise portability of the phone despite the additional functions.

Designed in a range of colors, the solid case comes with point-and-shoot buttons and a tripod mount on one side, and a foldable tripod embedded on the top. The foldable tripod hinge is robust and stands out with its metallic look against the granite appearance otherwise. With the given features and their functionality, I’m impressed! Perhaps I don’t have a Flip, but if you do, you should expect the case to see the light of day.

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