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Sony ZV-1 review: Vlogging champ



Sony has been working hard on its video chops over the past five years or so. Its high-end full-frame Alpha series is a firm favourite in the video-making community, while smaller cameras like the A6600 have sought to offer similar capabilities in a much more compact form.

With features like fast autofocus, advanced real-time face- and eye-tracking, you’d have thought that’s where it ends. Apparently not. There’s one specific breed of video-maker that Sony wants under its wings: vloggers.

Enter the Sony ZV-1. This powerful, very compact and functional camera offers all the tools you need – whether you’re just starting at vlogging, or a seasoned pro who needs some extra tools.

Design

  • Dimensions: 105.4 x 60 x 44mm / Weight: 294g
  • 3.5mm, Micro-USB, mini HDMI out/in
  • Flip-out rotating screen

Sony says it designed the ZV-1 from the ground up for vloggers. That means the appearance is quite different from the RX series, the latter designed predominantly for stills shooting. So the ZV-1 may be a very similar size to the RX100, but it’s certainly not the same.

The design is minimal, crafted from a subtly textured black plastic. Unlike the RX100, the ZV-1 has a rubber grip sticking out of the left side. It’s quite narrow, but that’s so there’s enough of a gap between it and the lens to give you somewhere to put your thumb when shooting yourself front-on.

While the grip isn’t large enough to get a proper grip on when shooting the other way around, it does help add a bit of ‘stickiness’ when holding the camera. We felt like we were less likely to lose grip or drop it.

That’s not the only element of the camera’s design that makes the ZV-1 more tuned to a vlogger’s needs. Sony has put a proper flip-out touchscreen on this video-focused camera, which is so much better than any of the ones that flip over the top of the camera (like in the RX100 series).

Having the screen flip out to the side of the camera means it’s at the same level as the lens and – more importantly – means it can never be blocked by any accessories you might want to mount to the top of the camera, on the hotshoe, or plugged into the ports on the opposite side.

The screen also acts as a sort-of power button. Flipping the screen out of its shut state automatically powers up the camera, ready for shooting. It’s really useful, especially when you just want to open up the display and capture the shot, without having to search for the small on/off button on the top edge. That’s a good thing, because with the included wind-killing deadcat in place, the on/off button is covered by the deadcat’s fluff.

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The top itself is mostly flat. There are no protruding buttons or dials, but it still manages to squeeze in five functional buttons: on/off button, a mode button, a big movie button (with a bright red ring around it), the usual shutter button (with zoom dial surrounding it to control the lens), plus a dedicated button for switching background defocus on.

The inclusion of background defocus is yet another vlogger-targeted feature. Those who want to create a bokeh effect – that’s the soft, melty background blur called by its proper name – while speaking to the camera can do so at the press of a button.

Battery and SD Card access is achieved by opening the door on the underside of the camera. It’s not a great placement for anyone who likes to mount their camera to a tripod. We’ve often found access blocked in these instances, so we have to unmount the camera to get to the memory card. Still, this camera is designed to be used primarily handheld.

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For the pro user who wants to be able to capture audio from a dedicated microphone, Sony has included a 3.5mm port on the right, just above the Micro-USB port and mini HDMI, each of which is covered in its own individual plastic door. 

Lastly – as if any further evidence that this is a vlogger’s camera was required – there’s no viewfinder. You just get the screen. The space normally taken up by a pop-up viewfinder in the RX100 has been replaced by a three capsule mic system and shoe mount – which is hidden by quite a large mesh grille.

Processing, tracking and smart exposure

  • Real-time eye and face tracking (with human and animal modes)
  • Instant bokeh and face smoothing modes
  • 315 autofocus points

A lot of what makes Sony’s cameras so appealing is the brains running the show. In the ZV-1 there’s the Sony BIONZ X image signal processor. It’s similar to the one you’ll find inside the top-end A9, which means that all of the super fast, super smart auto-focusing and tracking you find higher up the Sony camera chain are present in the ZV-1. 

The joy of the sensor is that you stick the camera in intelligent auto (iA) mode, or auto movie mode, and the brains of the camera will generally suss out what’s going on in the scene pretty quickly and adjust settings to match. If that’s you recording a vlog to camera, it’ll automatically focus on your eye and then base the exposure of the entire frame on ensuring that your face is well lit and natural looking. 

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Having tested this in a few different lighting situations, both indoors and outdoors, with bright backlighting and even with our face shaded by an over-hanging tree, the results are surprisingly good. It does seem to take a second or two to adjust and expose, but when we stood in shade that covered our face, it still managed to pull out the details and make our face clearly visible. Similarly, with bright light shining on our face, it adjusted to tone it down. You can see the before/after in the image above.

As you’d expect, in extreme contrasting conditions like this the background can end up looking bleached out and overexposed, but the priority for the vlog is seeing the person clearly, so that’s what you get. Sony says this works regardless of skin colour and ethnicity. 

You can – if you want – also enable skin smoothing modes, and adjust how much smoothing you want. If you want your skin looking all natural, with all of your pores and wrinkles on show, you can have that. Likewise, if you want to hide them for that smoother airbrushed look, you can do that too. 

Another major feature is the instant background defocus mode. So how does this work? Watching the lens mechanism when you press the dedicated mode button, we could see the ZV-1 mechanically switching to a wider aperture. Checking image metadata from stills we took in the same scene, but having switched background defocus on and off, revealed as much to be true. The defocus setting has the aperture set to f/1.8 by default, then adjusts exposure time and ISO sensitivity accordingly.

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As for the auto-tracking and autofocusing, that’s as fast and accurate an experience as it is on any of Sony’s modern cameras. That’s thanks largely down to the 1-inch sensor featuring both phase-detection points on its surface, use in conjunction with contrast-detection autofocus. We recorded our cats, then messed around with touching to focus on the screen, and the camera was quick to detect changes and lock in on the newly selected area. 

For the mobile generation, those who share more videos on vertical-centric platforms like TikTok, Sony’s latest camera automatically detects when it’s shooting video in portrait mode and at stays in vertical mode once it’s transferred onto a device for sharing. 

Those who shoot product-based videos, or make-up tutorials, or other types of videos where you’re often bringing products close to the lens to show it briefly and then move it away, there’s also a product-specific mode you can switch it to.

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When activated, you can hold your product – whether it be a lipstick, a Lego figure, a phone, or whatever – up to the camera, and it’ll quickly focus on it, blurring you out in the background, then quickly switching back again to focus on your face when you remove the product from the frame. There is a little bit of focusing noise as the adjustment happens, but it’s not especially loud, and if you’re talking at the same time, it’s not all that noticeable. 

Audio power

  • Three capsule mic
  • Wind/noise reduction features
  • Included windshield/deadcat 
  • 3.5mm input

With video, the image is only one part of the story. Sony’s additional effort in the ZV-1 was to include a built-in microphone system that’s good enough to use on the fly without any additional mic equipment. And, for the most part, that effort has paid off. 

Recording video and speaking to camera results in clear and loud audio. It wasn’t the nasty, muffled type of sound you’d perhaps expect to get from a camera’s own microphone. We tested it in a few different scenarios and found our voice was clear and pronounced and had enough natural timbre to it that it didn’t sound flat and broken. 

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Of course, using a professional microphone will yield better results, and you can either use the 3.5mm input for that, or use a hotshoe adapter to connect up an XLR cable.

The ZV-1 also comes with a dedicated deadcat – a small fluffy ‘wind-shield’ – that attaches to the hotshoe and covers the mic grille. We tested this out on a particularly blustery day and while you could hear the wind it never resulted in any tearing sounds, regardless of how bad the wind got. 

Now, there is also a wind reduction feature that you can enable within the camera’s menus, but this is more of an ambient noise killer than a dedicated wind noise filter. It essentially switches off the two wide mic capsules, leaving only the central one picking up your voice. The difference is stark – it doesn’t completely kill traffic or wind noise, but it does reduce it. The downside to this filter, however, is that it can make the sound seem quite flat.

Video pro

  • 4K at 30fps/1080p at 60fps
  • Slow motion modes
  • Multiple picture profiles – ideal for colour grading
  • Proxy support

This isn’t just a camera for people who want to pop a camera on a tripod and shoot a TikTok dance in vertical, full-automatic mode. Sony knows what video creators want, and so has included a bunch of features to try and keep those people happy too. 

Sadly, one of those features isn’t 4K video at 60 frames per second. The ZV-1 maxes out at 30fps at its full resolution setting, but it can shoot up to 60fps in 1080p.

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It’s also pre-loaded with a bunch of preset picture profiles – which you can customise – that allow you to shoot with a variety of different S-log, cine and gamma profiles. So if you want to you can set it to a nice, flat, desaturated profile giving you the scope to colour grade it to your liking.

You can also enable proxies, which are supported by the likes of Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro, enabling fast editing and rendering without losing detail in the final product. 

You’ll need to do a bit of digging into settings with the camera set to the manual video mode in order to choose one of these options. It took us a little while to figure a lot of those menus – as there’s a lot in there. 

One of the most useful settings to enable, we found, was adjusting the the focus speed. With the camera set to ‘touch focus’, then changing the focus speed to slow, it allowes for automatic slow pull focus effects. That’s useful if you want to add a bit of extra motion to a frame where nothing is moving.

It takes stills too

  • 20-megapixel 1-inch size CMOS sensor
  • 24-70mm (equivalent) zoom lens
  • 24fps burst mode

It may be a ‘vlogger camera’ but you can take pictures with the ZV-1 too – and the results aren’t half bad.

It still uses that same eye-tracking, fast autofocusing tech too. Pointing at a pet with the animal tracking on locks quickly onto an eye and focuses. Even if that cat’s eye is half-shut because the cat is inevitably asleep. 

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We found the results to be detailed, with good colour and dynamic range in good light. Sometimes they might come out a bit too contrasty in automatic mode, but there are enough opportunities to adjust settings, including switching off a lot of the automatic scene suggestions.

Perhaps the only thing that makes this less versatile as a stills camera is the zoom length. It only has a 3x optical zoom (a 24-70mm equivalent), which isn’t anywhere near as versatile in that regard as the RX100 (which has an 8.5x, 24-200mm optic). 

A note on battery life

Being a small camera means quite a small battery capacity. Sony claims the ZV-1 can get you up to 45 minutes of recording.

Having tested this at 4K video resolution, we find that rather ambitious. We didn’t get close to 45 minutes capture in our own use, but then a lot of our time testing was spent digging through menus, playing with different settings, and testing different features – all of which eats into battery life.

Thankfully, it’s one of those cameras that’s convenient to keep topped up. You just need to plug it in with the Micro-USB cable, so plug it into a power supply at home when you’re done or keep a battery pack with you when out and about.

Verdict

The way we see it, the ZV-1 could fulfil two needs. It’s a great step up in video and audio quality for those who would normally use the front-facing selfie camera on their smartphone. It’s also a great, compact secondary camera for those who shoot more professionally, but need a pocketable and compact tool that still has a lot of the features you need (like mic in, picture profiles and proxies). 

However, photographers might not flock to it. There’s no viewfinder, battery life is short, and the zoom is limited.

On the whole, the ZV-1 seems to nail Sony’s vision. It’s nimble, lightweight and powerful. With its advanced processing capabilities, fast autofocus and real-time tracking, combined with the impressively clear audio capture and the useful flip-out screen, it really is a great option for vloggers. 

Also consider

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Canon PowerShot G7 X III

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Sony RX100 VII

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk3 review: Technological powerhouse



Sensor size. Yes, it still matters. The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III is part of the Micro Four Thirds format system, which uses a smaller sensor size than you’ll find in many other competitor DSLR and mirrorless cameras. But this sensor format is both its Achilles’ heel and its launchpad. 

On the one hand, a larger sensor would mean greater light gathering capacity and resolution potential. But it also means added bulk – something this Olympus doesn’t suffer. Its equivalent lenses are smaller too.

Furthermore, the E-M1 Mk3 brings a host of innovative tech, truly going to town with a bounty of shooting modes that make this camera a technological powerhouse that stands apart from its peers. 

An answer for everyday photography

  • Image Stabilisation up to 7.5EV
  • High-Res Shot up to 80MP
  • Live ND Shooting up to 5EV
  • Starry Sky AF 
  • Focusing Stacking in-camera
  • Pro-Capture High Time-lapse with 4K video output
  • Cine 4K video, plus Slow motion Full HD videos up to 120fps
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity 

The E-M1 MkIII packs a remarkable feature list – and we’ve only included the highlights above. That’s something Olympus continues to do: unearth new ideas that are genuinely useful. Scroll down page after page of the jungle of a menu system – in itself a problem that takes some navigational learning – and you’ll find heaps of extra goodies.

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But it’s not just the shooting modes that are the reason to buy this camera. It also packs a super image stabilisation system, which is a key reason why the E-M1 Mark III is so easy to use. It’s now rated up to 7.5EV (depending on which lens is being used), so it’s completely possible to get sharp detail in handheld shots with an exposure a couple of seconds long. That’s truly mind-boggling stuff.   

This system is used in other creative ways too. Take in-camera focus stacking. This bracketing mode can composite multiple images at different focus planes to create a final image with greater depth of field. All in-camera, shot handheld, with manual control over the depth range and number of shots. It’s a macro photographer’s dream, plus that Micro Four Thirds sensor already has greater depth of field than larger sensor rivals at equivalent aperture settings.

Or how about High-Res Shot. Effective for static scenes, this uses the stabilisation system to move the focus by a pixel at a time, to multiply the sensor and capture a super-high resolution image. You’ll get a 50MP image (rather than the 20.4MP native resolution of that sensor). There’s also a tripod mode that results in an 80MP image – but you’ll need greater attention to technique with this mode, ensuring the camera (and subject) is very steady.

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Live ND Shooting is now part of the arsenal too. It creates the effect of a Neutral Density filter up to a strength of 5EV – useful for reducing the incoming light equivalent, enabling longer exposures that may be useful when capturing intentional movement. You may think that reducing light for a small sensor is a bad idea, but for making long(er) exposure shots in bright light it’s useful.

Yet that’s the beauty of the technology – in a number of scenarios the E-M1 Mark III does away with the need for extra kit like a tripod or remote release or ND filter. It’s about making life easier for the image maker. 

Elsewhere there’s Starry Sky AF. If you are into astrophotography, this mode breathes new life into the Olympus system. It really does exactly what it says on the tin: you’ll get sharp detail of the stars every time, with ease. No need for manual focus, or for any degree of uncertainty or guesswork. 

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Olympus continues to up the video game, too. We still have Cine 4K (24fps) and 4K (30fps) video recording, plus slow-motion HD video (up to 120fps).Crucially, there’s a flat colour profile and an ‘OMLog 400’ profile now included, meaning you can get a wonderful colour rendition.

Pro-Capture mode is perfect if your reactions are not quite up to scratch for action. When the shutter is half-pressed, the camera now buffers up to 35 shots before the shutter is fully pressed for capture, enabling a delayed reaction of up to 3 seconds.  

So, while the E-M1 Mark III has a smaller-scale sensor, there are so many occasions where shots are made possible by Olympus innovation.

King of action?

  • Electronic viewfinder (EVF), 2.36m-dot resolution
  • Fully articulated 3-inch touchscreen
  • 121-point phase-detection autofocus system
  • 18fps silent shutter with continuous AF
  • Weather-sealed magnesium alloy body
  • 400,000 shutter cycles
  • 420-shot battery life
  • AF joystick control
  • Dual SD card slot

Last year Olympus launched a new flagship camera, the E-M1 X. The E-M1 inherits much of the best bits from this camera – but in a smaller form-factor that costs a lot less. Like the E-M1 X, its magnesium alloy body is weather-sealed to an IPX1 rating, making this one tough camera.

A battery life of 420-shots is par for the course. However, charging via USB is now possible, so you can keep the battery topped up on-the-go between shots by using a power bank. Also, with a vertical handgrip added that life can be doubled. The compatible batteries and handgrip are the same ones used in the E-M1 Mark II, which could make an upgrade kinder on the pocket.

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It’s the viewing experience where the E-M1 Mark III is let down a little. There has been no update of the 2.36-million dot EVF. With a 0.74x magnification, the view is not quite as crisp or immersive as larger examples like the E-M1 X and Panasonic Lumix G9. That said, it’s still a good viewfinder with a solid 120fps refresh rate.

It’s not just the screen’s refresh rate that’s fast – the E-M1 Mark III gets out of the blocks at great speed. Start it up and the shutter and finder are all ready to respond with no real lag.

Wade through the AF modes; Eye Detection, Face Detection, Tracking. It all seems to work rapidly and for the best part reliably. For example, Tracking AF sticks to a subject very quickly – and even right up to the near edges of the frame. 

There is some groundwork to put in to ensure the best possible performance, though. For example, if you stick to the entire 121-AF-point array for a single subject, you’ll experience focus dropping to the background. The single point or 9-AF point options are more consistently sharp in our experience.

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We tracked a bike moving at reasonable speed towards and away from the camera. Continuous Tracking AF did lag a fraction, especially closer to the camera, so we’re not top of the pile here. However, lateral movement is fine. 

Olympus has implemented an AF joystick. This is a tool that most action photographers want in order to select AF points quickly. Here it feels lovely and operates smoothly, whether viewing on screen or through the viewfinder. A side benefit of the joystick is that the limited functions of the touchscreen are less relevant. 

You also have some seriously impressive high-speed burst rates: 18fps silent shutter with continuous AF (silence is a dream for wildlife photography); and up to 60fps with the electronic shutter. For more intense action sequences, we feel the continuous ‘low’ burst rate of 9fps (mechanical shutter) is best, delivering consistently sharp AF and longer sequences. 

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Yes, high-speed sequences are handled quickly by the new TruePic IX processor and can be recorded onto a UHS-II SD card. The second SD slot is not UHS-II compatible, so you’re relying on slot one for optimum performance.

Expect approximately 65 frames before the camera slows (when shooting Raw & JPEG – or approximately double that in JPEG only). No sooner have you finished a new sequence and the camera is virtually ready to go again – surely a benefit of smaller file sizes compared to rival cameras?

Micro Four Thirds sensor quality

  • 20.4MP Micro Four Thirds sensor
  • ISO 200-25,600 (extd. ISO 64)
  • Image Stabilisation to 7.5EV
  • TruePic IX processor

The elephant in the room is sensor size. We’re looking at the same 20.4MP Micro Four Thirds sensor as found in the E-M1 Mark II, with a sensitivity range of ISO 200 to ISO 25,600. Bottom line, there are other cameras for the same price packing larger sensors and more pixels. 

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Studio tests analysing resolution and image noise with its impact on detail will show that the E-M1 Mark III does not compete with those larger sensor cameras in like-for-like tests.  

Image noise is relatively absent in images up to ISO 800, though, and it’s really only from ISO 3200 that we’re starting to lose detail and contrast. Also, default noise reduction for JPEG images is heavy handed in our view.

However, images are not taken in a lab but in the real world – and that is where the Olympus technology (and vast choice of sharp, wide aperture lenses) comes into play.

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Image stabilisation up to 7.5EV means a slower shutter speed can be used, where appropriate. Any increase in light intake, such as through increasing shutter speed (or a fast aperture lens), can make a big difference in image quality. 

And what is the point of more pixels if the picture is not sharp in the first place? We feel that the E-M1 Mark III is very reliable across a wide range of scenarios to at least get focusing right and minimise motion blur. 

With regards to how images look, Olympus has long given us a beautifully warm and natural colour rendition. The plentiful Art Filters are more suited to the entry-level cameras, but here the natural picture mode with auto white balance are a great combo. Like some other camera systems, in JPEG images there is a small loss of detail in bright magentas/reds.

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We should also note that the evaluative metering system is one of the most reliable out there. You also get manual control at your fingertips through exposure compensation, plus a handy range of spot metering modes. 

Verdict

The more you use the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III, the more you’ll appreciate how effective a camera it is. Its technological weaponry makes light work of macro, portraits, landscapes and wildlife – whatever you want to throw at this camera, it’ll eat it up, thanks to a huge range of creative shooting modes and a sensational image stabilisation system. 

This is all achieved in a truly compact and robust camera that slots into the hand perfectly and provides all the manual control needed, positioned exactly where you’d want it to be. Sure, the Micro Four Thirds sensor does have an impact on image quality – especially as light contrast fades – but the image quality is still good, and Olympus’ progress is focused elsewhere. 

The E-M1 Mark III is all about providing technology that further ensures shots are sharp, or effects that can be achieved easily in the camera. The range of lenses is great. The camera’s accurate face and eye detection is super. And we’ve already said it – but that stabilisation system will elevate your handheld shots to the next level.

The battle between sensor sizes just got more interesting. The third-gen OM-D E-M1 is a technological powerhouse that thinks differently.

Also consider

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Panasonic Lumix G9

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Another high-speed, weather-sealed camera with Micro Four Thirds sensor. Image quality is similar, plus you get each company’s best image stabilisation and a fully articulated rear LCD touchscreen. Both are robust cameras, with the G9 including a top LCD and a superior viewfinder.





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TiVo Stream 4K Review: A Budget-Friendly HDMI Dongle Packs a Limited, but Promising App – Cord Cutters News


TiVo’s Stream 4K represents a different approach for the company. Instead of dedicated DVRs buoyed by paid service plans, the Stream 4K is a […]

Source: TiVo Stream 4K Review: A Budget-Friendly HDMI Dongle Packs a Limited, but Promising App – Cord Cutters News



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Flic 2 Review: The Ultimate Smart Button That Integrates Anything With a Web API


The smartest smart buttons money can buy, and very developer friendly. Which is good, because the APIs of the products it integrates with are often lacklustre, and you’ll need to spend time on workarounds getting things to work as you want.

Source: Flic 2 Review: The Ultimate Smart Button That Integrates Anything With a Web API



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The Pixel 4a’s camera gets a full review before launch


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Google’s Pixel 4a is coming, and an early camera review shows off more than the company may have been prepared to disclose before launch. Source: The Pixel 4a’s camera gets a full review before launch | Android Central

The post The Pixel 4a’s camera gets a full review before launch appeared first on GadgetNutz.



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Price and review of the Xiaomi handheld vacuum Cleaner 2020


Xiaomi in 2020 seeks to shake the electronic market and go after the great weapons of consumer electronics. They have competed with Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Sony and now they are competing with a giant of consumer goods that nobody thought they would face and that is Dyson.

The Xiaomi handheld vacuum Cleaner is one of the most valued vacuum cleaners in 2020 and they compete directly with Dyson vacuum cleaners. In this review of the Xiaomi handheld vacuum Cleaner you will discover how to use the product and see if it is worth buying or not.

The Xiaomi handheld vacuum is one of the most valued vacuum cleaners in 2020 and they compete directly with Dyson vacuum cleaners

Can it be the Dyson vacuum alternative? I think.

The Xiaomi vacuum cleaner comes with the handheld vacuum Cleaner  four types of brush heads for various types of cleaning, charging cable, mountable charging base for easy charging and instruction manuals on how to operate the device.

Xiaomi vacuum cleaner specifications

Xiaomi vacuum cleaner specifications

Xiaomi handheld vacuum Cleaner design

The design of the Xiaomi  handheld vacuum Cleaner is quite interesting. It is a mixture of a juicer with a saw handle at the end and a nozzle to clean things. It seems futuristic, but the most important thing is that it is functional.

All items are removable, which we will reach in the section below.

How to use the Xiaomi handheld vacuum Cleaner

There is a start button inside the handle that you must keep pressed if you want the vacuum to continue working. There is a maximum button on the top of the handle within reach of your thumb. The start button held simultaneously with the maximum button gives you the maximum suction that the toughest dust can suck.

But when the Max button is used for a continuous period of time, a considerable amount of battery power is lost.

The vacuum container containing dust and garbage is transparent. So you can see when the trash section is full. There is a small button that you can press to open that container.

You can easily empty the content in a few seconds. Each and every one of the components belonging to the garbage collection can be eliminated. The container that contains the dust and the filters and the other components. All of them can be washed with water separately.

It is easy to disassemble and replace at the same time. There are no problems here. The handheld vacuum comes with four brushes and a large extension rod. You can use the brush heads with the extension rod if you want to clean the floor or places in the house that you cannot easily reach.

If you want to clean sofas and easily accessible sections of the house, then you don’t need the extension bar. We will discuss the different types of brushes

Price – $ 182

Soft Velvet Electric Brush

This electric brush basically rolls and helps clean the floor. This is good to clean the dust or the crude that there is. It is useful for cleaning some basic stains and some dust or even hair. You can also clean with water with this brush.

Dust removal

The second brush is dedicated to dust removal. This is another rotary cleaner that is mainly used to clean dust from the sofa and the bed. The hairs of this cleaner are harder, which means that it is perfect for cleaning the sofa or bed.

Traditional brush

The traditional brush is when you brush things while the suction sucks the dust. This is perfect to clean up any spillage or your keyboard.

Cravice nozzle

The cracking nozzle is probably the most important brush that comes with the Xiaomi vacuum. This is perfect for cleaning corners, spaces between sofas, inside closets and more.

The combination of these four brushes make this a super impressive cleaning device.

It weighs about 1.5 kg and is very easy to transport, light and super powerful at the same time.

The sound of Xiaomi’s vacuum cleaner sounds futuristic like the landing of a spaceship. It’s not annoying like old handheld vacuum Cleaner that are super loud.

Price – $ 182

How effective is the Xiaomi handheld vacuum Cleaner?

If you want to know what you can clean. The Xiaomi vacuum can clean most things very well, except that it fights the types of dust that get stuck in the vacuum. For example, paper and cat hair are jammed.

You can vacuum thick debris like cigarette butts too. It is quite effective, I must say.

How much can you vacuum in a single load?
160 square meters of cleaning per charge.

How is the vacuum loaded?

It has a charging port. As it is electric, you can prepare the dock and charge it.

Price – $ 182

The Xiaomi handheld vacuum is an amazing product. It is super effective, light and powerful. It is absolutely worth your money since you can replace your other single-use vacuum cleaners.





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Hubsan Zino 5G GPS RC Drone Review. | Smart Home – Smart Gadgets


What you’ll learn in this review

The Hubsan Zino is definitely one of the top camera drones under $400 at the moment of writing this article. In this review of this drone I’ll go over a lot of details, but some of the more notable ones are:

  • all the Hubsan Zino specs
  • how it compares to the competition (in visual tables)
  • Where it’s cheapest to buy it from
  • Where to get the black version
  • how many changes the new update brought
  • how good is the camera and the flight

And many more… This being said, let’s dig into it and see why I actually consider this to be my favorite camera drone in this price range. Not really that hard to tell why a 3 axis stabilized 4k GPS camera drone would fit well in that category.CONTENTS

Xiaomi Fimi x8 Specs and Features (vs competition)

Camera4KBattery life23 minCamera Stabilization3 axis gimbalRange1000 mFormatFoldable DroneDrone TypePro Camera DroneTransmitterRemote with PhoneWeightOver 250gGPSComes with GPSObstacle AvoidanceNoneSpeedOver 60 km/hMotorsBrushless

Battery Life Test

The Hubsan zino can stay in the air for a maximum of 23 minutes in perfect conditions. However, considering that you probably should return the drone at 15% or 20% battery, it’s about 19 minutes of actual use time, especially in windy conditions.If you cancel the auto return to home on low battery, you can get more out of it, although I wouldn’t recommend it for the health of the battery.MJX Bugs 5w ULTIMATE review( vs alternatives compared)15SJRC F11 drone review (Ultimate Guide and comparison table)24ZLRC Beast SG906 review (comparison table vs 3 competitors)20JJRC X11 review – a GPS drone with a 2k camera20MJX Mew4 drone review – brushless GPS foldable20JJRC X12 Aurora/Eachine Ex4 drone review( Cheaper Mavic Air Alternative)25Xiaomi Fimi X8 complete review (video samples, photo and specs)33

Range (Flight Distance)

The Hubsan Zino has a maximum range of 1km if there’s not much interference. I’ve noticed this number go down to about 600m in cities for example.MJX Bugs 5w ULTIMATE review( vs alternatives compared)300SJRC F11 drone review (Ultimate Guide and comparison table)300ZLRC Beast SG906 review (comparison table vs 3 competitors)300JJRC X11 review – a GPS drone with a 2k camera300MJX Mew4 drone review – brushless GPS foldable500JJRC X12 Aurora/Eachine Ex4 drone review( Cheaper Mavic Air Alternative)1000Xiaomi Fimi X8 complete review (video samples, photo and specs)5000

How much does it weigh?(is it under 250g?)

The Zino weighs 700 grams and is obviously over the 250g limit of US registration. It’s to be expected, considering the hardware it has and the ability to carry the 3 axis camera and gimbal and a big enough battery.

How good is the GPS accuracy

The biggest drawback of the Hubsan Zino was that it’s GPS stability was a bit shitty in the past. I even experienced toilet bowl effects. However, Hubsan has changed the software a lot and with the new update everything in terms of stability has been fixed. Now the drone doesn’t do any more toilet bowling and it flies quite steady.

Does it come back after losing signal?

Yes, The hubsan Zino does come back after losing signal. It actually comes back until it regains signal and then it stops for you to take the controls again.This is a feature I actually like, as it can save you from having to cancel the return to home yourself in case there is an obstacle in between.

Does it return on low battery?

Yes, the drone does come back on low battery, 20% to be precise, but you can deactivate this function from the app if you so want. You can also change the height the drone comes back at home.

What’s the maximum height it reaches?

This quadcopter can fly up to 500m in height, but you can limit this setting from the app too. There’s also beginner mode that will limit both height and distance, in case you want to practice without making any mistakes.

Does it come with optical flow stabilization

No, the Zino does not come with any obtical flow stabilization or obstacle avoidance sensors. This is obviously made so it lowers the price as much as possible. But it would have been nice to at least have on obstacle flow camera at the bottom so you can fly it inside or just fly it more stable when closer to the ground.

What are the best alternatives for the fimi x8 (table comparison)

Considering the Hubsan zino can be actually found even under $300 if you know where to look, it doesn’t really have much solid competition for this footage quality. Bellow I presented a table comparison between the Zino vs the Fimi A3 vs Cfly Dream and VS X12 Aurora. All of these come with their advantages and disadvantages, depending what you’re looking for. Versus the X12 Aurora The Aurora is a very recent drone released on the market, and although it comes with a 1080p camera, it also comes with a better battery life, 3 axis gimbal and even bottom stability sensors.The image quality is not as good, but it’s not that bad either. Versus the Xiaomi Fimi A3 Xiaomi has released some killer drones lately and the FImi A3 is quite special, having a really good build quality and a unique transmitter with an FPV Screen inside of it and a lot of functions. Versus CFly Dream This is a bit curious, because the CFly dream is one of the few drones with this filming capacity that is actually under 250 grams to make it legal in the States, besides the Mavic Mini, probably.

Add to compare

Bellow you can find a filtering system for the main competitor drones I reviewed and you can press the “Add to compare” button if you want to do so.

Zino

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X12 Aurora

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Cfly Dream

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Fimi A3

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Hubsan Zino Camera specs(3 axis stabilization)

The camera is obviously the strong point of the Hubsan Zino, and it’s quite amazing how they managed to actually get a really decent looking camera on a very well stabilized gimbal for this price. These photos were taken in 4k, click on them to see the full resolution image in a light box. The photos are mainly exactly what you’ll get from the video image as well. And that’s because the photos are nothing else than basically still shots taken from video.

How good is the footage and photos

I am pretty happy with the quality, I must admit. There is some blurriness on the edges, but otherwise it’s top notch from what I can tell.The dynamic range is allright, but as you can see, in the brighter part of the image above, the snow has lost almost all it’s details. The gimbal itself is stabilized in 3 axis and I simply don’t have any complaints for it, it works as it should and is one of the most stable gimbals I have seen in a while.

My Video review (and camera footage)

I know it’s a bit hard to tell the camera quality just from some screenshots or photos, so that’s why I made a complete video review that also has a ton of footage you can judge from.

Camera Settings

The Zino doesn’t come with many camera settings besides the standard ISO value and exposure.The maximum resolution in which you can record is 4k 30fps, but you can also go for 1080p in 60fps if you think your computer won’t handle the processing power.

Parts and Accessories

Best accessories for the Fimi x8

There are more and more accessories appearing online for the Zino, as it raises in popularity. You can get most of the stuff you image, but haven’t yet found any ND filters, which could have turned this drone a bit more into the pro range.

  • Spare batteries
  • Carrying case
  • tablet extender
  • prop guards
  • charger

Check the best accessories

Design and Unboxing

The Hubsan Zino is not a very stophisticated drone with tons of sensors and such, it focuses on:

  •  a solid build
  • powerful brushless motors for carrying the heavy battery
  • And the main focus: an aerial camera that’s well stabilized

The plastic it’s made of is quite standard, a bit inferior to what you can see in Xiaomi Drones or DJI, but good enough nonetheless.It also comes with foldable props, which make it even more compact and easy to carry.It even has a nice, well made gimbal cover (that’s easy to put on).

  • Battery (multiple, depending on the package)
  • Charger
  • Screwdriver
  • Remote
  • Spare props
  • Drone
  • Manual
  • 3 Types of connecting cables
  • Gimbal protector

Transmitter And Mobile App

The transmitter feels a little bit cheaper than higher end drones, the sticks felt a bit like cheaper toy drones from china, but overall the controller does its job well. Usually transmitter quality is an area where I can compromise in, if all the functions are properly working. The drone can be set up to fly in standard or sport mode, which will make it considerably faster, but won’t allow for smoother cinematic movements.There’s a wheel to control the camera gimbal up and down and a few useful buttons like aut launch and return to home.

  • scroll wheel to move the gimbal
  • rth button
  • automatic takeoff
  • switch between GPS mode and Atti Mode
  • phone holder at the bottom
  • battery indicators

What phones work with the Hubsan Zino? Do you need a 5G 802.11ac Phone?

The Hubsan Zino doesn’t require you to use an 802.11ac phone, as it connects though a small cable to the transmitter, which takes that function instead. So any smartphone works with the Zino, considering you also get 3 different types of cable for Iphones and Android too. You can also use the phone only, without any cables and connect it to the drone directly, but that does require you to have an 802.11ac wifi phone and the FPV distance will also be limited to 300m or so. The controller itself has a 5g repeater so it can extend the range of action up to 1km, which is not bad at all.

The Zino App

The Zino app works as it should, doesn’t come with the most sophisticated settings in the world, but you will get to setup most things and intermediate user needs and even more. You can obviously see things like:

  • distance
  • height
  • speed
  • number of satelites connected (btw, you need to have more than 7 if you want positioning to work)
  • micro SD storage space indicator

How fast can it fly?

The Zino has 2 main flight modes: GPS and atti mode.In GPS mode it flies slower, but in Atti mode you can unlock it’s full 60km/h sport mode. Otherwise, 40km/h should be enough for most people. The maximum speed

What flight modes does it come with?

Waypoint modeA standard waypoint mode, but you can actually change the direction of the drone and camera angle while flying, which is nice. Orbit ModeA standard flight mode, no issues here, it simply does what it says. It can get clumsy sometimes in stronger winds.Following ModeIn following mode you can either follow the GPS signal of your phone, or you can follow the subject on the screen. This mode works very well, and manages to track subjects even if you run under the drone. Line Fly modeThis is my favorite, as you can setup a certain trajectory for the drone to fly at and then play with it, to get a more complex sideways shot for example.

Hubsan Zino Price, Manual and Instructions

How to fly it

The process is a bit more complex the first time you do it, but easier from then on.

  1. Start the drone and transmitter
  2. Connect to the app and  the phone to the transmitter
  3. Bind aircraft to the device by the first prompt you get in your app screen
  4. Do a GPS accuracy test as prompted
  5. Calibrate the Compass from the menu settings (at least the first time)
  6. Start the Motors

Who should buy it (is it worth the price)?

This drone is MUCH MORE than worth its price, it almost competes with DJI drones when it comes to image quality, and that’s on a whole different price level. I think this quadcopter can fit in a wide range of uses and some people that could benefit from having it are:

  • If you’re taking photos/videos at weddings ( This is quite a high quality addition to your gadgets without breaking the bank)
  • If you’re a hobbyist and want a very reliable drone to play around with and experiment filming
  • As a next step from a beginner drone
  • For Travel
  • Real Estate
  • Home Inspection





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