A week filled of phones and cameras, which these days might be cameraphones. Check out the Samsung Galaxy Note10+, LG V50, and what’s new from Sony, Canon, and Panasonic in five.
It’s the end of August and this is The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and if you’re looking into buying a phone this year, you might not realise it, but you’re probably looking at buying a good camera in a good phone.
You can still get good cameras by themselves, and you can get good phones, but if you’re buying the latter, you typically get the former, we just don’t call them “camera phones” anymore.
They’re just flagship phones, the premium models that cost a decent amount, and given it’s the back half of the year, there are quite a few coming.
The same is true with cameras, and this week saw three camera companies talk up new models, as Sony, Canon, and Panasonic all showed new gear.
For Sony, there are two new enthusiast-level cameras coming in the Alpha 6100 and 6600, models that move away from the pro-level Alpha 7 and 9 full frame sensors, and instead focus on a smaller APS-C.
This might just seem like a bunch of letters — and it is — but APS-C means a sensor size down from the full-frame cameras that pros use. That makes them ideal for beginners and enthusiasts, particularly those graduating from just using a compact or a really great smartphone. If you’re looking for versatility in an enthusiast camera, either of these could work, both offering 4K video as well, though the 6600 gets some pretty high low-light sensitivity, too, meaning it can be used in the dark without a flash.
They’re both coming to stores in the coming months, and they’re not alone.
Canon also has two enthusiast cameras on the way, arriving in the EOS 90D and the M6 Mark II, similar cameras made for different designs.
They’re both 32.5 megapixel cameras with 4K video capture, using the same APS-C enthusiast sensor format, but they have slightly different approaches. The 90D is a digital SLR, while the M6 is a mirrorless, meaning they take slightly different lenses and are built with different designs.
The EOS 90D digital SLR is likely going to be a little more robust, while the M6 Mark II will be more compact. Similar, but not the same, and with 4K capability in each.
4K is good for those 4K TVs we’re all beginning to adopt, but it’s not the be all end all these days.
There are bigger formats on the way, and while 8K cameras are still the domain of the professional filmmaker — or someone with a lot of money — Panasonic has announced a 6K-capable camera this week.
It’s coming in another mirrorless, the Panasonic LUMIX S1H, a big full-frame camera built for pros who want to capture video in either 4K or 6K.
This is a different grade of camera compared to what else is out this week, offering a 24 megapixel sensor with a new type of low-light capability to cut back on noise in images and video, making it a camera for video and images.
It’s pretty clear the LUMIX S1H is made for pros, and so its near $6000 price tag shouldn’t be surprising. That’s roughly $6K for a 6K camera, so it makes some sense.
However it’s not the sort of thing for most people.
Most people will probably rely on a phone with a great camera, and we have two of those this week for review.
Both are a little more special than just phones with great cameras.
On the one hand, there’s the LG V50, a 5G phone sporting three cameras on the back for wide, standard, and close, and then something unique: a dual screen accessory.
Yes, you can turn the LG V50 into a not-quite-foldable phone, with two screens.
It’s a unique idea, but one that doesn’t feel like it has been finished off, and isn’t easy to use. Typing on a dual screen phone doesn’t work like you think. There’s no keyboard on the bottom screen and messaging on the top. It’s just two screens connected by a hinge.
To LG’s credit, the V50 is a decent yet slightly ordinary phone without the second screen, but at $1700, it’s hard to recommend given what it comes with.
At almost the same price, the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ is an easier recommendation, even if it’s an equally expensive phone.
Like the V50, it comes with three main cameras — wide, standard, and close — and it has a depth of field camera, too, for those portrait style shots. They work in video, too, and there are some handy features, like a camera trigger built into the included S-Pen stylus and the ability to draw on videos in augmented reality.
But there’s more going on than just the camera. There’s a massive 6.8 inch screen in a beautiful glass body, there’s a lot of storage and performance, and there’s even a virtual desktop if you plug the Note10+ into your Windows or Mac. It’s a very cool inclusion, and helps make the phone all about productivity.
What it misses is the battery life, with really only a full day on offer. It’s a big battery without a big life, and it’s not the best camera we’ve seen all year. That still goes to Huawei’s P30 Pro.
But the Galaxy Note 10+ is still a great phone offering a lot of features. It’s just about everything you’d need in a big phone, though there’s still more to come. There’s a new iPhone coming September 10, a new Pixel after that, and the year’s not done.
We are, though, so you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. The Wrap can be found every Friday at Podcast One, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts. Until then, have a great week. We’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Take care.