Categories
Photography

Got a camera for YouTube vlogging

Lately I’ve been hooked on watching YouTube daily vloggers and got inspired to try out vlogging myself. Daily vlogging is the real “reality TV”: mostly unscripted, casual and voyeuristic. Video is definitely something new for me but very appealing as a better way to preserve moments in life.

I remember when I was very young I watched The Wonder Years and the opening sequence was like a super 8 video capture of happy moments of that family. In my family video cameras never existed when I grew up so I have no videos of me as a young kid. I don’t know why that was the case, maybe it was too expensive back then, or maybe my parents were not attracted to technology as I am.

I don’t know if it came out of boredom or lack of good content on the TV or Netflix. Plus the inexpensive Google Chromecast makes it much easier to watch YouTube on the TV instead of on a computer or mobile device.

Somehow browsing YouTube I ended up stumbling with vloggers like Casey Neistat, Erick Conover, Ben Brown and Louis Cole. Their videos are inspiring to get off the couch and start having a life! Specially appealing for someone somewhat isolated working from home like me.

So being inspired and motivated, I wanted to try it out myself. I was definitely not going to walk around with my Nikon D750 all day and my current phone, the Nexus 6P, has a good camera but sucks at video stabilization. So I evaluated two options: the Sony RX100 Mark III and the Canon G7x.

These two models are the most popular for vlogging this year. They are not as expensive as a DSLR and have a very good image quality and features. They are both lightweight and robust for daily handling.

The Sony RX100 Mark III is a great camera: 20.1 megapixels, 1080/60p video, an electronic view finder and a tilting screen so you can see yourself while filming. This is a good option for taking videos and photos. It is a little bit more expensive than my second option.

The Canon G7X was the most recommended camera by many vloggers. It has 20.2 megapixels, 1080/60p video, a tilting screen, no view finder. For $100 USD less than the Sony and what I considered better video image quality, I decided to go with the G7x.

So if you want to compare both, here’s a video that helped me decide on which camera to get:

So here are some of the experiments with vlogging I’ve done. The hardest part for me is deciding if I should do videos in Spanish or English. I joined a community of people trying out vlogging for the first time and ran an experiment in English:

Then after a few days, I ran an experiment in Spanish. It would be easier to vlog in Spanish since everyone around me speaks it and interactions can be more natural:

Leave a comment below to let me know what you think about my vlogs. If you like them, subscribe to my channel for video updates. If you’re vlogging too, share your channel in the comments or recommend me good YouTube channels to checkout.

Categories
Photography

Fujifilm X-M1 mirrorless camera review

Fujifilm X-M1 mirrorless with 18-55mm kit lens and 50mm pancake lens

I had the opportunity to try out the Fujifilm X-M1 mirrorless camera for a week while visiting San Francisco and the Bay Area. I immediately enjoyed the small size and weight, being used to carry around my Nikon D7000 DSLR, switching to a small gear format was a noticeable change.

Fujifilm X-M1 mirrorless camera

The X-M1 has a 16.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS X-Trans sensor that creates very sharp images. It can record 1080p video but lacks an external microphone to get better sound recordings.

Fortune cookie at Great Eastern

What I liked

Coming from using a Nikon D700, the change was enormous. I’m used to have a big bag to store my DSLR, a couple lenses, a cleaning kit and extra memory cards. Also having either a long BlackRapid strap or, more recently, the wrist strap version, which means I’m carrying the weight of the camera at all times in my hand. All that weight at the end of a long photo walk is heavy. With the mirrorless camera, I had a small bag with an extra lens, extra battery, cleaning kit and extra memory cards, plus I got to store my sunglasses and still had room for more.

Fujifilm X-M1 with 50mm pancake lens

It all fits in a small bag

Small camera bag

X-M1 mirrorless camera fits in my hand

With its large screen, having a larger surface to view your shot is comfortable once you get used to not bring the camera up to your face. The Fujifilm X-M1 doesn’t have a viewfinder, so it’s all on the screeen. For most situations that is okay, but if you’re outside in a sunny day, even with the display set to brightest it feels uncomfortable. Also, you can’t have the camera turned on and ready to shoot at all times, since the screen will be always on and will train battery life. It doesn’t have a standby mode to quickly recover pressing the shutter button or some other quick way. It has an auto off timeout and to bring it back on, you have to turn the switch off and on again.

2013-08-18 19-38-06

You are not able to see the colors and exposition very well and the most hard to see in that situation is the focusing. I missed several shots because I thought it was focused but it wasn’t.

Unfocused sushi

Even though it has a focus notification turning green, you’re not sure if it’s focusing on the right subject. The good side of it is that you get to see the composition of your final image right there in the screen. When not under direct sunlight, you can see how your shot will be before pressing the shutter button the whole way. This eliminates the need for “chimping” and taking another shot.

On this trip I packed “light”. I didn’t carry my laptop, only my tablet and my phone and a docking keyboard for my tablet. The wireless transfers were a feature I appreciated because otherwise I would have to wait until I get back to get the images off the SD Card. The good part, is that you can transfer your photos to your mobile devices using the app. It needs WiFi, so if you’re on the road you can’t transfer your photos to your device right there. You need to wait to get WiFi to do it, unless you can create an ad-hoc wireless network. Oh and most hotels have a sign-in page after you’re connected to the WiFi, and it won’t work with those. There is no way to do the sign-in in the camera.

For a more professional and deep review of the camera, checkout Digital Photography’s review of the Fujifilm X-M1.

Here are more shots taken with the camera and all shots from my San Francisco visit post were taken with it too.

Garden

Table football players

San Francisco from Treasure Island

Bullets in the floor

Rock lady in San Francisco