DJI Mavic Air: The Best Drone Under $1000?


DJI recently launched their latest iteration of Mavic line-up. The newest member of Mavic family is called the Mavic Air. It is by far the most refined and intricate consumer level drone DJI has made. It’s folding mechanism is something that surprised us the most. The front legs extend like Mavic Pro but the rear legs actually hinge beneath the surface and then opens up. Thanks to this folding mechanism, Mavic Air becomes the most portable drone from DJI’s entire line-up . Portability is not only limited to the drone, but it carries on to Mavic Air’s controller as well. DJI has done that by including detachable joysticks. They can be taken out and placed securely under the controller. All these attributes make DJI Mavic Air a great drone for travelers. But is it really the best drone under $1000? Let’s dive in to see!


Inside the DJI Mavic Air Combo Package

  1. DJI Mavic Air
  2. Remote Controller with up to 4 km signal range
  3. 3 Batteries (2375 MAh)
  4. Propeller guards
  5. 2 sets of propellers (1 set for each side)
  6. 4-Slot battery charging dock (it only charges 1 Battery at a time L)
  7. USB-C charging cable
  8. Remote controller connecting cables (Micro-USB to Lightning, USB-C & Micro-USB)
  9. DJI branded carrying bag for controller and its accessories
  10. DJI branded case for carrying Mavic Air

Flying Experience of DJI Mavic Air

There are a couple of ways of flying Mavic Air, the first one is to control it using hand gestures. Although it looks nice but it could be a hassle to master the art of making accurate gestures. Hence, the better way is to fly it via remote controller. The process is fairly simple. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Turn on your controller
  2. Turn on Mavic Air
  3. Connect your Android or iOS device to the controller using the suitable connector
  4. Open DJI Go 4 app and Enter Live View

Thanks to the hard-wired connection, there is no noticeable lag in the live video feed. DJI claims that Mavic Air is capable of flying at a distance of up-to 4 KMs. During our test flights, we managed to fly it about 2 KMs away without any problem, however, we had to call it back due to low battery levels.


DJI Mavic Air’s Quick Shot Mode & More 

DJI Mavic Air supports a bunch of Quick Shots. Although most of them are available on DJI Spark as well but Mavic Air has got couple of exclusive quick shots, listed below:

  1. Asteroid: Adds drama to your world by first flying backwards from the subject and then coupling the captured video with a spherical photo. Pretty cool actually!
  2. Boomerang: Circles the subject to depict its surroundings in a cinematic way.

Needless to say, All these Quick Shots work great and offer some amazing effects. They are extremely easy to use as the user just needs to select the target and then choose their desired quick shot. Mavic Air takes care of rest of the stuff. There is even a progress meter on the right-side of the screen, which depicts the completion level of every quick shot. Overall, DJI’s companion app works great with Mavic Air!


Battery Life of DJI Mavic Air

There are a number of important factors to consider before determining the battery performance. The most important ones are:

  1. Wind Speed
  2. Temperature
  3. Extra weight (from accessories like propeller guards etc.)

In moderate wind of 15-20 Km/h, Mavic Air managed to maintain it’s stability without any issue and the battery life wasn’t effected much either. However, we flew Mavic Air at 43 degrees Celsius, and its internal fans were constantly on. DJI Mavic Air provided a battery time of 18 minutes with these conditions.

During our second flight, we also mounted propeller guards to see if they make any difference. To our surprise, the battery time remained the same as before. This was definitely not the case with DJI Spark, as its battery drained about a minute faster with propeller guards on!


Gimbal & Camera Quality of DJI Mavic Air

Dji Mavic Air is equipped with a 12 MP f/2.8 camera which is capable of recording 4K footage at 30 FPS. What’s more impressive is that it records this footage at 100Mbps, which is even better than Mavic Pro’s 60Mbps. Although it does not make a huge difference in quality but it’s the little details like these that collectively makes a difference.

As far as its stabilization is concerned, Mavic Air has a class leading, 3-axis gimbal which delivers a buttery smooth footage. There is no jitter while panning or tilting the camera and its overall performance is top-notch!


Is DJI Mavic Air the perfect drone?

Absolutely Not. Although it is a result of DJI’s evolution and extensive R&D but it still isn’t perfect. Here’s the list of things that needs to be improved.

  1. Charging dock only charges one battery at a time. It automatically detects the amount of juice left in each battery and only charges the one with the greatest level of battery percentage. It is a practical solution but far from ideal.
  2. You cannot charge Mavic Air by plugging it directly using it’s USB-C Port. It is only there for data transfer.
  3. It is extremely difficult to take the Micro-SD card out of its port. It resides pretty deep inside it’s shell and takes some serious effort and time to get it out!
  4. APAS (Advance Pilot Assistance System) is not accurate enough. It more of a hit and miss especially near tree branches.
  5. Although DJI was generous enough to provide a USB-C port on Mavic Air but for some reason they put a Micro-USB port on its controller. Means you have to carry 2 cables with your Mavic Air. Not cool!

Verdict

Mavic Air is by far DJI’s most refined consumer level drone under $1000. From its design to performance, everything is made to deliver a great user experience. DJI has certainly addressed most issues that their previous drones were criticized for. For instance, many Mavic Pro users had issues with its exposed gimbal, however, in Mavic Air, DJI has provided a very secure housing for its gimbal. Apart from its great design, Mavic Air also performs exceptionally well for its size. It’s not only safer to fly with its advance obstacle avoidance capabilities but also records a great quality footage!

Rating: ★★★★★ Highly Recommended


GoPro Hero 6 Black: Worth an Upgrade?

GoPro launched the Hero 6 Black in the fall of 2017 with some incremental upgrades to its flagship device. YourTechDose took a thorough look at the external hardware and there were hardly any noticeable differences between Hero 5 Black & Hero 6 Black on the outside. The only obvious difference is the Hero 6 branding next to the lens cover. Other than that, everything is identical (including all ports).

While GoPro completely overhauled their Hero 5 Black in 2016, they adopted a rather subtle strategy for 2017. GoPro Hero 6 Black features the same body but adds much more fluidity to its UI (User Experience).

However, GoPro has completely revamped its internals for sheer performance & superb image quality. Here’s what has changed from the inside of Hero 6 Black:

  • Custom GP1 Processor (Say Goodbye to touch-Lag)
  • 4K @ 60FPS (Bumped up from 30 FPS)
  • Amazing EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization)
  • Better Dynamic Range & Low Light Performance

Improvements in GoPro Hero 6 Black

Hero 6 features an entirely new processor called the GP1, which is custom-made for the camera itself. Needless to say, when it is used alongside the Hero 5, it is significantly more responsive. Not only the touch animations have improved but the “Voice Commands” takes much less time to execute. In essence, the user experience has vastly improved on the Hero 6 Black.

Moving on to other incremental bumps, Hero 6 is now capable of capturing 4K resolution videos at 60 FPS. This makes it a perfect go-to action-cam for some crisp videos. Similarly, it’s slow-motion capabilities have also improved, which means that it can now capture FHD videos at 240 FPS (up from 120FPS in its predecessor).

GoPro has also improved the Dynamic range in the Hero 6, which captures more details and vivid colors than before. Similarly, the Low-light picture quality has also improved, although it is still not comparable to latest smart-phone cameras.

Zoom Feature on GoPro Hero 6

 GoPro has also introduced the Zoom feature in their Hero 6 Black. Before you get all excited, know that It’s a digital zoom which means that the camera software crops the original image to achieve the required focal length.

For starters, Hero 5 & 6 uses the following focal lengths for each of its modes:

Wide FOV= 17.2mm | Medium FOV=21.9mm |Narrow FOV=34.4mm(Source)

Although the Zoom Feature is exclusive to Hero 6 but it is only available till a maximum resolution of 2.7K, not available at 4K! Is it good? Well, its far from ideal as it compromises the image quality but still good to have, especially when other FOVs are not working for you!

Electronic Image Stabilization: “Gimbal Like”?

GoPro showcased their latest EIS at their Keynote by saying that it is almost as good as using a gimbal. According to our tests, Hero 6 has improved a lot when it comes to EIS. There are 2 main aspects in which Hero 6 takes EIS to another level:

  1. In Hero 5 black, EIS only worked at the maximum resolution of 1080P at 30FPS, Hero 6 is capable of stabilizing 4K footage recorded at 30FPS as well as 1080P at up to 120FPS. That deserves an applause!
  2. EIS has improved exponentially as compared to Hero 5 Black, it is much more stable and utilizes the GoPro sensors in a much effective way.

However, when we put it aside the Hero 5 mounted on FieyuTech G5 stabilization gimbal, the stabilization on the gimbal was relatively better. Nonetheless, the stabilization on GoPro Hero 6 works really well and it’s a major improvement over the Hero 5 Black.

Battery Life of Hero 6 Black

Hero 6 Black utilizes the same battery as the Hero 5 Black. It’s a 1220MAH battery which lasts about 1 Hour & 30 minutes with GPS turned on and about 2 Hours with GPS off (Recording 1080P @ 30FPS). Recording at 4K drained the battery much faster, we managed to get about 50-minutes of recording time from a single battery (GPS off). It charges via USB-C port which was introduced with Hero 5 Black in 2016.

Reasons to Upgrade to Hero 6 Black

This is where the Cost-Benefit Analysis comes handy! GoPro Hero 6 is currently retailing for $399(Amazon).Whereas, the Hero 5 Black retails for $100 less. To justify the extra $100, you get an amazing 4K stabilized footage with better Slow-motion quality and a fluid user interface.

The Plus side of upgrading to Hero 6 from Hero 5 is that you can keep all your accessories, mounts and even extra batteries and just upgrade the camera itself. Here are the Top 5 GoPro accessories according to YourTechDose!

Let us know in the comments what you think?

Our Verdict

GoPro Hero 6 is undoubtedly one of the best action-cams available in the market. From it’s usability to specs, everything is class-leading. The camera performs like a 2018 flagship should! During our extensive tests, we thoroughly enjoyed shooting with it, although it got a bit too hot at times!

 

Final Score: ★★★★★ Highly Recommended by YourTechDose

 

 

 

FeiyuTech G5 Gimbal: Vlogger’s Best Friend!


What is a gimbal & Why do you need one?

Content creators are experimenting with their creativity and to showcase their creative side, they need better equipment. This is where gimbals come into play. The primary purpose of a gimbal is to stabilize images/videos. Many modern cameras are equipped with Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) but still most of them don’t provide stable footage. Take GoPro’s flagship cameras for example, GoPro Hero 5 Black does support video stabilization but it is far from ideal. Then came the Hero 6 Black and it was said to have a “Gimbal-Like” stabilization. Although with Hero 6 Black GoPro did improve the stabilization a lot but comparing it with a gimbal was a far cry.

Back in 2016, GoPro also introduced their own iteration of 3-axis Gimbal called the Karma Grip. It was a part of their Karma Drone which had a modular design and could be used as a stand-alone gimbal. However, it came with a $300 price tag (Amazon). Hence, there was a need for cheaper alternatives. This is where FeiyuTech G5 comes into play.

FeiyuTech is a Chinese company which has been making camera accessories for quite a sometime and they launched G5 at a price of $199 (Amazon). G5 is not only $100 cheaper than the karma Grip but also has a splash-proof body, which means, it can endure harsh environments pretty well.


 First Impressions & Unboxing of FeiyuTech G5

G5 comes with a very premium packaging with a minimalist approach. The front of the box boasts a GoPro Hero 5 Black mounted on G5. The list of supported cameras is provided on the lower-left side as well.

Once unboxed, the gimbal is snuck inside its carrying pouch which has a soft-fabric material for its protection. There is a 3000MAH user-replaceable battery in one of the cut-outs inside the box. Lastly, there is some pretty standard paperwork. Overall, FeiyuTech G5 provides a top-notch unboxing experience!


How to Operate FeiyuTech G5?

 It has 3 buttons on the front which includes a joystick for controlling the direction along with another button on the back for easy rotation. Once the camera is securely loaded and battery is inserted, pressing the power button for 3 seconds would bring the gimbal to life. It’s always a good practice to calibrate the gimbal by placing it horizontally on a flat surface and then starting the calibration through its app.

Next step is to download FeiyuTech’s app on your smartphone. It’s fairly functional but the UI needs to be improved. During our testing, it crashed more than twice.

We tested G5 with the GoPro Hero 5 Black and the difference in stabilization was very apparent from the start. The gimbal performed adequately well while walking at a normal to fast pace. There is also a dedicated button which can be pressed to initiate the “Selfie Mode”. It comes in very handy while vlogging.


Key Features of FeiyuTech G5

  • The sensitivity of the Joystick can be adjusted through the app
  • Time-lapse mode allows to set the start and end points along with it’s movement intervals.
  • One-touch selfie mode for quick Vlogging.
  • 8-hours of battery time.
  • It can charge the GoPro whilst recording, although it reduced the battery time to 3-hours.
  • Rugged build quality with a sturdy grip.
  • Splash-Proof, can be used under light rain.
  • Micro-USB charging.

Verdict 

 FeiyuTech G5 is priced $100 less than the Karma grip yet it performs extremely well. The overall built quality is also top-notch. There are a few nuisances though, putting on the camera takes a bit of practice and patience, as you need to screw/unscrew the front plate manually. This has left some marks on the front display of our GoPro Hero 5 Black.

Secondly, it is charged via Micro-usb port which means that you would have to carry 2 separate cables i.e. Usb-c for your GoPro and Micro-Usb for G5. Lastly, FeiyuTech’s app definitely needs some attention as it needs to be more intuitive and crash-free.

Apart from all these nuances, FieyuTech G5 is a very capable competitor of GoPro Karma Grip and performs just as well, if not better.


Overall rating ★★★★ [Recommended by YourTechDose]


 

DJI Spark: The Best Portable Drone?


Recently YTD got hands on the DJI Spark Combo package. The combo package comes with a lot of extra goodies at a $200 premium over the simple Spark. First thing we noticed was the absolutely minimal footprint of Spark. If you think Mavic Pro was small, then you need to check out the Spark in person. The weight and dimensions of Spark makes it a perfect go-to drone for beginners. Despite its tiny foot print, it packs a lot of tech and sensors. From tracking movements to avoiding obstacles, it has covered all the latest features. After spending a month with the device and testing it both indoors and outdoors, we noticed a number of impressive and not-so-impressive things about this little drone.


Inside the DJI Spark Combo Package

  1. DJI Spark
  2. Remote Controller with up to 2 km signal range
  3. 2 Batteries (1480 mAh)
  4. Propeller guards
  5. 2 sets of propellers
  6. 3-Slot battery charging dock
  7. Micro-USB charging cable
  8. Battery charger adapter
  9. DJI branded carrying bag for controller and its accessories
  10. DJI branded Styrofoam case for the Spark, Propellers and 2 extra batteries

Flying Experience of Spark

There are a number of ways to fly the Spark. Since the basic Spark does not come up with the remote controller, therefore, it can be launched right from your palm and controlled through hand gestures. Although it sounds awesome but it’s more of a hassle to fly it with hand gestures. Another way of controlling spark is through DJI GO 4 app on an iOS or Android device. However, the flying distance would be limited to 100 meters and height to 50 meters. In order to take full advantage of Spark’s capabilities and to experience a more stable signal quality, Your Tech Dose highly recommends getting the Spark controller. It not only extends its range up to 2 KM but also ensures a steady signal. Not to mention, having a physical controller is much more intuitive than using virtual joysticks on the DJI GO 4 app.


Using DJI Spark indoors

Although Spark is not marketed as an indoor drone, but in our indoor flights, it performed surprisingly well. Most of the times it was getting between 10-13 GPS signals under the roof, and its stability was hardly compromised while flying without GPS (Atti Mode). Thanks to its advance sensors and obstacle avoidance features, DJI Spark exceeded all our expectations in the indoor flights. However, it is highly recommended to use propeller guards and maintain a safe distance from the device while flying indoors.


Battery Life of Spark

There are a number of factors that influence the battery performance of Spark. While flying outdoors, it is important to keep a check on wind speed and heat levels. From our experience, in moderate wind speed of 15-20 Km/h, Spark did a pretty good job of maintaining its position and capturing stable footage. However, it resulted in a battery loss of about 60 to 80 seconds. As far as the heat levels go, Spark provided the best battery time around dusk (25 Degrees Celsius) when it wasn’t as hot as mid-day (35 Degrees Celsius). Lastly, using propeller guards also reduced the flying time by 60-70 seconds.

On average, DJI Spark gave a flying time of 13 minutes on a single charge. 2 new batteries were used to test the above mentioned flying time.


Gimbal & Camera Quality of the DJI Spark

The camera of Spark is more of a mixed bag. DJI makes a lot of consumer drones with 3-axis gimbal for stabilization, however, due to the minimal size of the DJI Spark, they could only fit 2-axis gimbal. It performs pretty well most of the times, however, there have been a few instances, where a significant jerk was felt while panning it from one side to the other.

Furthermore, Spark has the 1/2.3” CMOS image sensor capable of taking 12MP stills, and the video resolution of up to 1080P at 30 FPS. It would have been much appreciated if DJI would have managed to provide 60 FPS video.

By today’s standards, the video quality is just average, however, one thing that Spark really excels at, is its remarkable image quality. The 4K sensor certainly provides a much crispier photo with a nice level of photo saturation.


Verdict on Spark’s performance

Spark offers a lot of amazing features in a small package. Although the video quality is not as good as some other drones, however, the portability and overall user experience makes it the best drone in its price.


 

Best Accessories for GoPro in 2017



GoPro has been around for many years and they have been known as the pioneers of the action cam industry. One of the primary reasons behind GoPro’s success is the portability of its cameras. These action cams can be held in the palm of your hand and yet they manage to offer class leading video quality. Quite Impressive! However, what’s more impressive is the fact that they can be used to make videos from virtually any angle. This is where the magic of GoPro accessories start. There are numerous accessories available for GoPro cameras to enhance their productivity. Interestingly, these accessories are not just made by GoPro, but there is a huge market for third party accessory makers. If you are searching for the latest GoPro action cam, then check out the exclusive review of GoPro Hero5 Black by Your Tech Dose.


List of Best GoPro Accessories

Before further ado, let us present you the list of Top 5 accessories of GoPro. Please note that these are based on personal use of over 1 month. Needless to say, the link for each accessory is also provided. You just need to click on the name of your desired accessory and you will be redirected to its amazon listing.

  1. JOBY Suction Cup with Locking Arms: This is ideal for capturing videos on the go. Whether you are taking a flight or going for a drive, this mount is strong enough to keep up will all sorts of turbulence! Currently it’s under $20, which makes it a great deal!
  2. Manfrotto Pixi Extreme Tripod: If you are into photography then chances are that you would be familiar with the brand, Manfrotto. Basically, they make some outstanding camera stands and tripods. This mini Tripod is no exception. It is portable, versatile and helps you capture steady videos on your GoPro. It’s just under $30 for now, must check it out before the price goes up!
  3. Wasabi Dual Battery Charger: If you are travelling often with your GoPro, then chances are that you would want to keep a few extra GoPro batteries with you as well. This is where this charger kicks in. It can charge up to 2 GoPro batteries simultaneously so that you never have to worry about running out of juice. Plus, It’s super economical at just $7.50.
  4. GoPro 3-Way Grip and TriPod: This is one of the best official accessories offered by GoPro. This Grip can be adjusted in 3 different angles for flexibility. Furthermore, it also comes with a detachable tripod stand which can be adjusted from the bottom. It is definitely one of the most functional accessories available. It can be yours for $69.
  5. GoPro Karma Grip: Last year, GoPro announced their first Drone, called Karma. Basically, it has a modular design, which means that it uses a combination of the GoPro Hero 5 camera, a 3-Axis camera stabilizer, and the quadcopter itself. The Karma Grip is basically the GoPro stabilizer, which could be the remedy for the shaky videos. Whether you are climbing a mountain or going for a sprint, this grip would ensure that all your footage stays perfectly balanced and jerk-free. It is available for $299.

What about the GoPro Karma Drone?

Your Tech Dose would have definitely recommended the drone as it provides a perfect combination of steady aerial and ground footage. However, the consumer reports are not in the favor of GoPro Karma. There are way too many complaints and dissatisfied customers to recommend one at the moment. Hopefully GoPro can resolve the issues soon and then we can add it to the list of recommended accessories!


 

 

DJI Phantom 3 Standard, The Best Beginner’s Drone?


Not long ago, a Hong Kong based company DJI, made a lot of hype with their “flying toys”. Back in 2013 around the time when the DJI’s first iteration of Phantom lineup was launched, many people considered it a toy. However, with the passage of time, they started realizing the endless possibilities of this drone. Subsequently, with more awareness and demand, many other players also started offering quadcopters. The demand for drones saw a huge jump when DJI started providing camera gimbals in their model lineup. It gave a whole new perspective to the drone user. DJI added their own camera system with a 3-axis gimbal for enhanced stability during flight. It wasn’t long after that, they introduced their cheapest iteration of Phantom series with built-in camera, called the Phantom 3 (P3) Standard.

The Phantom 3 lineup had three different models with the P3 Standard being the entry level one.


Specs of DJI Phantom 3 Standard

  • 2.7K & 1080P Video Recording at 30 FPS
  • 2.4GHz Wireless Connection
  • 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilization
  • Up to 25 Minutes of Flight Time on a Single Charge

The primary differences between the P3 Standard and its Bigger siblings included a better camera with 4K recording, greater flight range and a stable signal with a few extra positioning sensors. However, these improvements come at a steep price. Currently, the P3 Standard is available for under $450 on Amazon. Whereas the P3 Professional costs well over $700. Similarly, the latest DJI Phantom 4 will set you back around $850. Hence, for beginners the safest choice in terms of price is definitely the P3 Standard.


How Easy is it to Fly the DJI Phantom 3 Standard?

As per our experience, it takes about 5 minutes to set everything up for flight. The set of pre-flight checklist includes:

  • Checking the Battery Levels of Drone, Controller and Phone.
  • Calibrating the Remote and the Drone.
  • Checking the GPS Signal Strength and Location.

There is a DJI GO app for Android and iOS devices, which makes the flying experience very convenient. The Take-Off and Landing can be done with a few taps in the app. Furthermore, the First-Person Video (FPV) is also transmitted to the user via the DJI GO app. However, one consistent problem with the P3 Standard is the lack of signal stability. We have extensively tested the drone in multiple environments, and the Live View was getting stuck quite consistently. Hence, it is highly recommended not to break the line of sight during strong interference. However, the drone is capable of automatically returning back to its take off position in emergency situations like low battery levels or loss of signals.


Verdict on the DJI Phantom 3 Standard

Having tested the P3 Standard for over a month, it is safe to say that it is one of the best value-for-money drones in the market. However, if you are looking for something to travel with, then it is highly recommended to consider DJI’s portable line of drones like the DJI Mavic Pro ($999) and DJI Spark ($500). In essence, it all depends on the preferences, however, in case of overall value, the DJI Phantom 3 Standard certainly provides a lot of Bang for its Buck!


 

Camera Comparison: iPhone7 Plus vs. DSLR


When iPhone 7 & 7 Plus were launched last year, a massive hype was created by the dual-lens camera system on the iPhone 7 Plus. Many consumers assumed  that it can be used as an alternative to DSLR cameras. The hype of dual-lens created a tremendous amount of curiosity amongst users, especially photographers. In this review, we will do some camera crunching and see if the assumptions are true.


How does the dual lens camera work?

The dual lens mechanism is capable of utilizing both lenses together as well as independently. These lenses are fixed at two focal lengths, in iPhone 7 Plus case, 28mm and 56mm with an aperture of f1.8 and f2.8 respectively. The lenses work coherently to take a “Portrait Photo” in which the background is digitally blurred. This results in a shallow depth of field, which is ideal for capturing portraits and close-ups.

Apart from working together in Portrait mode, these lenses can also work independently at their respective focal lengths. For instance, in Photo mode, 28mm lens is used unless the user decides to zoom in. At 2x zoom, 56mm lens powers up the image. Hence, one clear advantage of having two lenses is that they can attain an Optical Zoom of 2x instead of Digital Zoom (which just digitally crops the original picture). Hence, it translates in to a much refined and better picture quality when zoomed in.


What about the Video Quality?

With better lens and a mighty A10 Fusion chip inside a sleek form factor, this is the area where iPhone 7 stands out the most. It’s ultrafast and responsive when it comes to capturing videos. It has plethora of video qualities to choose from, maxing out at Ultra HD resolution at 30 frames per second (fps). It is also capable of recording slow-motion videos at up to 240 fps. The new iPhone also comes standard with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), which in theory should reduce the jerkiness while recording handheld videos. However, this is one area that needs a lot of refinement, as the OIS didn’t work as expected.


Is it good enough to replace a professional camera?

Let’s find out.

Starting with some numbers. A new iPhone 7 Plus starts from around $850 and goes up to over $1000 for its 256GB version. So for the sake of this comparison, we’ll be using a combination of a Digital SLR camera and an upgraded Lens, which collectively costs around $950. The lens paired with the Nikon D5200 DSLR is from the popular Sigma Art series, which has a Focal range of 18-35mm at f1.8.

Camera Comparison of iPhone7 Plus and Dslr
Camera Comparison of iPhone7 Plus and Nikon D5200

From the comparison, it can be deduced the pictures taken from the DSLR are much more crisp and well lit. Another important thing to note is that the iPhone struggled a lot while focusing on the subject and it required a lot of effort to engage the “Depth Effect” or blurred background in simple words.


Verdict

iPhone’s camera has definitely improved a lot and it boasts class leading technology. However, replacing a professional camera with an iPhone 7 Plus would be a stretch. Serious photographers know the worth of wide optical lenses and the iPhone definitely isn’t capable enough to replace them as yet.

However, having such an advanced camera system in such a sleek form factor is definitely commendable. Apple has done an outstanding job in blurring the lines between portability and professional quality. Hence, it is definitely a step in the right direction!


 

Hands on & Review: GoPro Hero5 Black


The market for action cams has evolved a lot over time. With more players coming in the industry, it has become rather difficult to choose the right one. However, the pioneers of the actioncam industry, GoPro, has introduced their latest iteration of the ultimate camera, The Hero5 Black. I bought this camera in January and I have been using it along with the Hero 4 Silver. Hence, This review will briefly touch upon the comparison between the two generations of GoPro as well.


Unboxing Experience

The unboxing experience was quite similar to the previous generation of GoPro. It comes in a nice vertical box with the Hero 5 secured on the top with one of its mounts. Underneath the new matte textured Hero5 are a number of booklets which include instruction manuals, warranty information and GoPro stickers. There is also one removable battery included which has been redesigned with new charging pins and has a slightly higher capacity (1220 mAh/3.85V) than its predecessor (1160mAh/3.80V). Also included is the charging cable which has been upgraded to USB Type-C (step in the right direction).


First Impressions & User Interface

After putting everything aside and looking at the camera, the first prominent thing to notice is the newly developed 2″ capacitive touch screen. It is definitely more responsive, brighter and bigger than the Hero 4 Silver’s screen. Some new features that really makes the new Hero 5 standout include:

  • Voice Commands for easy control and more flexibility.
  • Completely waterproof body which allows the user to interact with the touch screen whilst inside its shell.
  • Although the resolution is still limited to 4K at 30fps, but it is also capable of recording 720P at 240 fps and 1080P at 120fps, which is great for slowmotion video recording.
  • The software is much more User friendly, probably due to more screen space.
  • The new USB type-C is definitely a welcoming change, as it makes it easier to use one cable for multiple devices.
  • Integration with Apple Watch makes it much easier to record and take pictures.

Room for Improvement

Although it is a significant improvement from the Hero 4 Silver, however there are still some flaws in the device

  • The Battery life has reduced marginally (about 10-15%), and the new battery terminal means that the Hero4 users won’t be able to use their charging accessories/batteries with the Hero5.
  • There are still a few glitches in the software specially regarding the Voice Command and touch screen interface.
  • The cost of waterproofing the body has translated into a bulkier Hero5 when placed next to its predecessor.

Verdict

After using the new GoPro for over 5 months, I can safely say that it is a worthy upgrade. However, there are a few bugs that limits the functionality of voice commands as at times it just simply ignores them. However, I am quite sure that the new software would easily solve this glitch. Furthermore, I would also much appreciate if the colors could be a bit more accurate. Nonetheless, it is definitely a significant improvement over its predecessor.