Sony is disrupting the photography industry with its Airpeak S1 drone that can mount ANY Sony Alpha camera





Sony is probably the only company at the moment to be able to boast of having a robust camera as well as a burgeoning aerial-tech business. It’s preceded only by GoPro, which launched the Karma drone back in 2016 and discontinued it in 2018 after a very tepid response. GoPro’s cameras, however, are still some of the most popular payload options to add on existing drones, but that pales in comparison to what Sony is offering. Sony’s first drone, the Airpeak S1, is a large pro-level drone that is designed to carry a gimbal along with a full-size mirrorless Sony Camera. It expands what your existing camera is capable of, and essentially means your professional camera (and its lenses) can now take to the skies, capturing professional-grade image and video content.

Make no mistake, the Airpeak S1 isn’t your average drone. It isn’t meant for FPV racing or for consumer-grade aerial shots like drones from DJI or Parrot. The Airpeak S1 is the kind of drone a high-budget photographer or cinematographer would use for taking film-grade shots. The drone comes built entirely by the folks at Sony, engineered to work seamlessly with a 3-axis gimbal and a host of Sony’s cameras, including the A1, A911, A7s111, A7RIV, and FX3 cameras, along with E-Mount lenses between 14mm and 85mm.

The Airpeak S1 is currently the smallest drone ever made to be able to carry a full-size camera. Measuring 644mm in total span, the drone’s most compelling features are its ability to go from 0-50mph in 3.5 seconds, and its stability and wind resistance, making it perfect for aerial shots no matter the weather… although those figures change with different cameras and lenses. According to Sony, the Airpeak can stay stable in winds of up to 44.7 miles per hour, a feat made possible by the 5 additional stereo cameras located on the drone that help it constantly optimize its performance, along with an infrared range-finder that actively helps it avoid obstacles.

For now, the Airpeak S1 can either be controlled via its remote, or the Airpeak Flight app, which will be available later this year only for iOS devices. Sony has worked with drone gimbal experts at Gremsby to develop a bespoke 3-axis stabilizer for the Airpeak S1, although this will be available as an additional purchase. The drone and gimbal can both be controlled singularly by the remote that can hook up to an iPad for viewfinding purposes. Somewhere down the line, Sony will allow the drone and the gimbal to be operated independently (allowing one person to take on piloting activities while the other person oversees cinematography). While launching the drone, Sony also announced that it was working on a cloud-based app called Airpeak Base, that would let users plot automated flight routes and manage a fleet of Airpeak drones.

The Airpeak S1 currently exists as an incredibly niche product that’s made for professional use. Just the drone itself comes with a whopping $9,000 price tag (the gimbal and camera cost extra), which definitely puts it in a class of its own, but then again, the drone lets you mount 8K cameras on it along with a wide range of lenses. While this isn’t something that would probably excite consumers, it opens up an entirely new class of drones, which could one day even work with smartphones (imagine an Apple-branded drone that works with your iPhone 12 Pro).

Sony’s $9,000 drone will be made available at the end of this year – For that price tag, you’ll get the drone along with 2 batteries, a charger, and a remote. The Airpeak S1 still awaits approval from the FAA, although Sony’s even made it clear that the production and manufacturing of all the drone’s hardware is happening in Japan, in light of US legislation and controversies around all drones being manufactured in China.

Designer: Sony

Smartphone camera accessories to transform photography lovers from amateur to pro level!

There was a point in time when only DSLRs reigned supreme, when it came to clicking photographs, however, people are slowly veering towards their smartphone cameras as well! Most of us today choose our smartphones based on the camera itself! Our smartphone camera is easier to use, more accessible, and always patiently waiting for us in our pockets or purses. Whether you love clicking selfies, portrait photos, snippets of your favorite meals, or even capturing your travels – the camera of your smartphone can cater to all your needs. And we’ve curated a collection of accessories that promise to function as the perfect sidekick to your smartphone camera. This bunch of accessories will elevate the functionality and usability of your smartphone camera, giving your pictures that extra professional edge and boost!

The +Lens modular system by Shawn Wang relies on empowering the primary camera with add-on lenses – much like the way you snap lenses onto your DSLR. Unlike most smartphone camera lenses, Wang’s +Lens system is both exhaustive and powerful. The system consists of four add-on lenses that come in a nice, AirPods-case-shaped box along with a holder that lets them snap right onto your iPhone. These lenses, apart from augmenting your iPhone’s photographic abilities, come with their own focus rings, giving you precise control over how you capture the world around you. Wide-angle, Fish-eye, Telephoto, and Macro lenses give you the versatility of a DLSR in the convenient portability of an iPhone, and the +Lens holder even features a slot to add modules like an external flash.

For photography addicts, Moment has a lineup of Tripod Mounts that have a very strong magnetic system for extra strength. These mounts work even without the case and are compatible with ¼-inch to 20-inch tripods, so you are good to go with any tripod. Of them all, the Multi-Threaded Mount that comes at a price tag of $30 is the most intriguing. It can attach your iPhone to anything, as Moment themselves say, “Magic arms, tripods, rig mounts, ball heads, you name it… we let you mount your phone to it with magnets.” Along the same lines, Moment Cold Shoe Mount, Car Vent Mount, and the Wall Mount for MagSafe work like a charm. The first two cost $30 each while the Wall Mount will set you back $20. All of them are fully compatible with the new Apple phones and well worth the money spent.

The ShiftCam ProGrip comes with a universal gripping mechanism that allows you to clip any smartphone onto it and turn it into a pro-shooter. It features a Bluetooth shutter button that’s perfectly positioned so that you can click images with your index finger, and a grip that’s so inviting, you’re more likely to focus on photography rather than accidentally dropping your phone (it’s a real concern, believe me). The grip comes with a swivel joint that allows you to flip the phone over into portrait mode while you’re holding it in landscape, giving you varying degrees of freedom and the ability to shoot in a way that’s comfortable to you. Now that we’ve covered the basic stuff, let’s get to why the ShiftCam ProGrip stands out from brands like Pictar or Moment when it comes to providing the best DSLR-like experience.

The LOOKSTAND adheres to the back of your device using a slim plastic mount that sticks on with 3M adhesive. Designed to work universally with smartphones as well as with tablets, the LOOKSTAND weighs between 1.6 to 2.9 ounces (depending on the size variant you pick) and can easily support devices as heavy as 28 ounces. Its AL6061 Aluminum Alloy construction makes it robust yet deceptively light and thin, and the stand comes with a 360° hinge that lets you rotate and tilt your phone/tablet in landscape, portrait, or even in any intermediary angle. Fold the tripod’s legs back into LOOKSTAND and it turns into a selfie stick that you can use to make dynamic videos or take group photos where everyone’s in the frame. A third mode allows you to use the LOOKSTAND as a regular kickstand, allowing it to prop your tablet or phone up like a standing photo frame.

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Olloclip is easily considered one of the vanguards of iPhone photography. Its lenses for the iPhone have resulted in some marvelous pictures that have made it to the ‘Shot on iPhone’ billboards we see around us. Olloclip announced that it finally intends on losing its title of “iPhone Only” with the launch of the Olloclip Multi-Device Clip. The Multi-Device Clip is an attach-on device that easily clamps onto any phone, and acts as a dock for Olloclip’s incredible lenses. Giving you the ability to own and use Olloclip’s readily available lenses, the Multi-Device Clip enhances your phone camera’s capturing ability by quite literally broadening its horizons with the wide-angle lenses and fisheye lenses, and focusing on the minute details with their Macro Lens. Superior smartphone photography just got democratized!

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Last year we called the GNARBOX “Filmmaking’s biggest innovation yet“because it refined a filmmaker’s post-production process so drastically and so efficiently, you could call it textbook groundbreaking. Like, being able to edit RAW images and 4K video on your smartphone groundbreaking. The GNARBOX would store all your captured data on its disk in its original format, letting you access files from a smartphone or tablet app, sorting, editing, and creating content within the GNARBOX… from your handheld device. It would cut down the time taken in the creative process by days or even months because you’d previously need to capture data on-site and then travel back to your studio to sort through and edit files on your desktop back in your studio. The GNARBOX 2.0 is a refinement of that groundbreaking outlook. A 1TB SSD that’s literally the size of your phone, the GNARBOX 2.0 stores and secures all your content from phones to drones, to action cameras and heavy-duty photography and videography equipment.

Al Morrow & VERT Design’s BIGSOFTI comes with a universal clip that fits all leading smartphone, tablet, and laptop brands. It also has a shoe mount with 1/4″-20 thread to fit all cameras, tripods, and light stands. And lastly, if your needs revolve around webinars and zoom calls, then this handy light also has a 3M Adhesive Mount for computer monitors and other general surfaces. You won’t need two hands to hold your device because the light only weighs 75 grams which makes it portable without strain. Control your lighting angle by up to 45 degrees with the rotating barrel connector built into all accessory mounts. BIGSOFTI runs for 95 minutes at maximum brightness in one charge – portable AND powerful! Good lighting not only makes for the best selfies (hello quarantine dating) but it also makes you and your content look more professional.

Take your phone photography skills to the next level with the SANDMARC lenses and filters, made for all the iPhone 12 models. The set includes macro, anamorphic, telephoto, fisheye, and wide-angle lenses — lenses that you’d find in a professional photographer’s bag. Additionally, there are four SANDMARC filters to help enhance your photo’s beauty — replacing the need for Instagram or Snapchat filters. Aesthetically, the SANDMARC lenses give users the look and feel of operating a traditional digital camera. Users can experience the satisfying sensation of rotating a lens to fine-tune the camera’s focus — a small joy that amateur photographers (like me) can attest to. More importantly, the SANDMARC attachments work almost as well as professional photography equipment.

Hypothetically this could be a Leica branded printer concept, but I’m going to keep that aside for now and focus on this clever idea and its potential. Instant printers are not a new phenomenon, so what makes this Photo Printer different? The prospect of it directly connecting to your phone, acting as a battery backup and a printing machine. I could go a step further and say that it even serves as a memory backup for all the wonderful moments you capture through your phone, but for some odd reason, I feel it shouldn’t have this feature. In my mind, it takes away the charm of printing instantly and that being the only evidence of the magic you created. Back in the days, it worked well – of course, you had a negative film that you could take more prints from. In this digital age, I think the phone’s memory will suffice.

Meet the Color Match Card… an innocuous-looking card with a grid of colored swatches and a hollow cutout in the middle. All you do is place the card on an object whose color you want to scan and point your camera at it. The Pantone Connect app does the rest, automatically analyzing the color within the hollow cutout and giving you matching Pantone color values that you can either document or save within the Pantone Connect app or even send directly to a palette that you can access using Adobe’s suite of creative tools. The tech behind the Color Match card is pretty simple. The colorful swatches (and the tracking markers around it) help the Pantone app calibrate the way it captures colors, allowing you to accurately grab hues in all sorts of lighting conditions with great accuracy.

Instagram Filters get applied in real life with this liquid-filled camera lens

Want to bring the look of an Instagram filter to your 35mm film photos? The HydroChrome Sutton’s Panoramic Belair Camera gives you the power to create and experiment with your own photo effects. How does it work? Instead of using the power of digital technology (or whatever wizardry Instagram’s team discovered), the HydroChrome uses liquids to create its dreamy, colorful film strips.

How does it work? As you can see in the pictures below, a tube and syringe are attached to the camera’s body. With the liquid of your choice, you can create dreamy, colorful panoramic film strips with sprocket holes. The designer elaborates,” Have you noticed Instagram’s film border filters that mimic authentic analog sprocket holes? Us too, and who can blame them, it’s a great look! But instead of faking the effect, you can do it for real with the HydroChrome. Master this authentic analog aesthetic with no digital trickery required!”  This real-life colored filter was inspired by the HydroChrome’s namesake, Thomas Sutton, who pioneered the use of liquid-filled lenses. Now, over 150 years later, the technique has been adapted and packaged into a beginner-friendly package.

In recent years, 35mm film photography has experienced a resurgence in popularity. Even as digital photography and phone cameras become more advanced, people still feel nostalgic for film cameras. The HydroChrome camera invites those photography fans to experiment with this particular medium, in a way that is both unconventional and uncomplicated. With the HydroChrome’s easy-to-use function and the included “Liquids Guide,” anyone can capture dreamy, beautiful images.

Designer: Lomography

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