I dropped by Macys Camera Shop last week to check on the joystick tripod head by Manfrotto. Macys is finishing off their Manfrotto stock and the discount is just crazy. I was hoping that they ran out of stock already only to stop me from buying one but it turned out they still have a couple of heads in stock. Seems like i’m the only one crazy with this type of head. I really don’t need it right know, my existing head works perfectly fine but the offers is just irresistible.
If I’ll give one advice to newbie photographers, try to avoid visiting camera store if you don’t need anything. The gadgets are just too much to take. So after deciding to get the tripod head, I ended up getting an extra flash and some few small things. So there you go, it’s like the candy house that Hansel and Gretel fell for.
In my 30 minute stay in the store, I noticed that most of the walk-in customer were asking about GoPro and the rest of the adventure cams. It was surprising since these gadgets are not cheap and very much made only for it’s purpose. It’s not like a phone that has a camera at the same time, this one is just a camera, period.
Interestingly, when I asked the sales in charge, the GoPro Hero 4 Silver is the favourite. This version has an LCD screen at the back which is something new for GoPro. The original design has no LCD view because it’s supposed to be used for extreme sports or adventure. I don’t think you have the chance to check on the framing when you’re all hyped up bracing the obstacles ahead.
LCD display is normally used when you’re the third party shooting the event. This means that most of the buyers are regular consumers and not the extreme adventurers. It kinda killed the idea of a small and tough device that will go with you to the extremes. But you cannot blame the regular customers, this small device delivers superb quality and can work both under water and above land. Something most consumers is looking for.
Just a week ago, I accompanied relatives to see the whale shark in Oslob. It was a perfect opportunity to bring out my GoPro and capture their underwater experience. At night time, I played the footage in a 50inch display and the quality is just amazing. The crisp and resolution of the video was just unbelievable.
GoPro is a bit pricey but quality justifies it. If you’re looking for alternatives, there’s SJ cam and Xiaomi. You can buy four SJ cams for the price of one GoPro. That’s how big the difference is. So far, Xiaomi and SJ Cam is stable in terms of performance. There were issues before with SJ cam but with a few updates with their firmware, it seems to be working just fine.
I always thought that camera phones will replace the function of a point and shoot camera, it seems that action cameras proved to be worthy and a gadget by choice when it comes to adventure and travel. There are even point and shoot cameras right now that has the feature to post the photos directly to social media sites.
Photography is definitely evolving as the market and technology moulds the next big thing. Keep on shooting everyone!
Text by Albert Pedrosa