MOZA Mini-MI Review(Best Value Smartphone Gimbal?)

As you know, we’re huge fans of gimbals and you’ve probably read our reviews of the Zhiyun Smooth 4 and the Smove Mobile. In this post, we’ll be reviewing another gimbal: the Moza Mini MI.

While gimbals used to be an expensive piece of equipment to have, thanks to 4K capable smartphones being so common, lighter, smaller gimbals have been developed which are much cheaper.

Another thing that really helps is the fact that so many Chinese manufacturers are making gimbals now, and that has really driven the price down.

The Zhiyun Smooth 4 and the Smove Movile are both good gimbals in their own respects, but the Mini Mi actually jumps out ahead of those two and the DJI Osmo Mobile 2. Plus, it actually costs less!

So in this review, let’s see what is so special about the Mini MI and if it is worth your hard earned money or not.

Moza Mini-MI 3-Axis Smartphone Wireless Charging Gimbal Stabilizer, Multiple Subjects Detection, Inception Mode, Timelapse for iPhone 11Pro/Max/8/7/7 Plus/6,Samsung Galaxy S8+/S8/S7 with Gopro Adapter

Hands on with the Mini Mi

Many features are pretty standard on these budget smartphone gimbals. Even if you did not know the brand name, you can probably expect to find a plastic body in a rubber/plastic case, along with a usb cable and sometimes a small tripod that screws into the bottom of the handle.

Tripods are really useful because they let you balance the gimbal anywhere. I once used it to shoot a timelapse of my toddler and the results were adorable!

Since this is a budget gimbal, the overall build quality does not seem as solid as say the Osmo Mobile, but it kind of makes up for that with the other innovative features it has.

Namely, there are 3 quarter-inch threads all over the gimbal. This is quite interesting as it allows for a lot of expansion options, like screwing in a tripod at a different angle, or adding a microphone.

The microphone option is really cool because smartphone mics are usually terrible for audio quality and having a proper mic makes a huge difference in sound quality.

Interestingly enough, the gimbal weighs quite a bit more than other similar models. It’s around 50 grams heavier than most other smartphone gimbals. 50 grams may not seem like much but if you’re used to holding the other ones then this one may take a short time to get used to.

It’s kind of like the joke Jim from The Office played on Dwight where he slowly filled his phone with coins to make it heavier and suddenly removed them once he was used to the heavier weight!

Which phones will the Mini Mi work with?

There is a spring-loaded clamp that you can adjust to slide your phone in, and the friction will hold it in place. This is pretty standard across all gimbals.

In our earlier reviews of the Zhiyun Smooth 4 and the Smove Mobile, we noted that the maximum weight capacity was around 210 grams. This meant that large phones like the iPhone XS Max(which comes in at 208) grams would really tax the gimbal motors.

The Moza Mini Mi has a capacity of 300 grams, so as of today(and presumably well into the future), I don’t think there will be any phones that the motors of the Mini Mi won’t be able to handle. The clamp also expands from 61 to 92 mm, which is super wide and can accommodate even the widest phone.

Related

What sets the Moza Mini Mi apart from other gimbals

At the start of the review, I mentioned that the Mini Mi packs features that are not found on more expensive gimbals. The most important of those features in my opinion is wireless charging.

The Mini Mi supports the standard Qi charging protocol, so many modern smartphones will support it.

Most gimbals do function as power banks where you can connect your phone using USB, it adds to the bulk of a dangling wire and needing a wire with you at all times.

In the Mini Mi, just placing your phone in the gimbal will start charging it wirelessly be default. So as long as your phone is in the clamp, it will charge, keeping your phone juiced up for the whole day!

Note: Of course, this will drain your gimbal battery too, considering there is a 2100 mah battery in it.

Shooting modes

Most gimbals have three standard shooting modes:

  • locked, where all axes are stabilized
  • pan-follow, where roll and tilt are locked but the phone will pan with your hand movements
  • follow, where only roll is locked and yaw and pan will follow your hand movements

The Mini Mi has these three modes, as well as the ability to lock each axis on command, resulting in 8 possible combinations.

For most everyday users, the 8 combinations may seem overwhelming and they’ll be happy with the three default modes, but the extra combinations do allow for some creative shooting when you want to experiment.

If you use the app, there are some extra modes you can take advantage of:

  • Sports mode, in which the motors will speed up to keep up with fast, jerky movements
  • Selfie mode, where the phone will flip 180 degrees to take a quick selfie
  • Inception mode, where the phone will do a barrel roll and give a funky, trippy shot

How does the Moza Mini Mi perform?

A gimbal can have all the features in the world, but ultimately, the results need to do the talking.

So how does it stack up?

The stabilization is good, but just about as good as other budget gimbals you’ll find. It’s not quite as good as the DJI Osmo Mobile or the Zhiyun Smooth. But then again, it’s also not as expensive as those!

Who should buy the Moza Mini Mi?

For the price, there is no doubt that the Moza Mini Mi is possibly the best value your money can buy. While the performance is that of a budget gimbal, the extra features give it a huge boost over other similarly priced gimbals.

If you have a bigger phone like the iPhone XS Max or the Galaxy Note, this gimbal will give you the best performance since the other higher end gimbals just are not able to handle them.

Moza Mini-MI 3-Axis Smartphone Wireless Charging Gimbal Stabilizer, Multiple Subjects Detection, Inception Mode, Timelapse for iPhone 11Pro/Max/8/7/7 Plus/6,Samsung Galaxy S8+/S8/S7 with Gopro Adapter
  • 🌟【Wireless Phone Charging】Keep your Apple iPhone or Samsung Phone fully charged with the MOZA Mimi-MI Smartphone Gimbal. Works with all wirelessly-charged phones or using inductive charging technology and magnetic coils in the phone holder, the Mini-MI lets you charge your mobile phone wirelessly
  • 🌟【Un-limited Inception Mode】Limitless 360°Axis Rotation;The Mini-Mi's advanced software technology allows a user to setup the gimbal's roll arm to either side. Right or Left side, you decide which side to mount your phone on;The Mini-MI can achieve 360°rotation from all 3 axes based on customized settings. Go from a slow Dutch tilt to a quick pan. With unlimited range of movement the Mini-Mi offers limitless cinematic potential
  • 🌟【Cinematic Control of the Camera with Ergonomic Buttons】Gain cinematic control using the ergonomic buttons built into the handgrip. Within a fingertip’s reach are a joystick and dial wheel, which can access camera settings and filming modes. Instead of touching the smartphone screen directly, use the buttons in the handgrip to adjust ISO, shutter speed, exposure, focus, zoom, and white
  • 🌟【Super Follow Modes】The Mini-Mi features independent control system for each axis; Roll, Yaw, and Pitch. These axes can be controlled individually by 8 follow modes, giving you the same professional functionality that comes from MOZA’s advance control technology. Use one or all of the eight follow modes to capture smooth cinematic motion
  • 🌟【MOZA App】Intelligent APP control system, using a newly designed UI interface, set the shutter, sensitivity, time-lapse shooting and other parameters, easy to achieve precise control of photography effects.The MOZA app also supports RGB settings to achieve customized filter effects

Smove Mobile Review: Is it really worth the price tag?

Like most of you, I am a huge fan of smartphone gimbals. One smartphone gimbal that caught my attention was the Smove Mobile, so in this post, let’s go ahead and review it.

Overall, the Smove Mobile is a 3 axis stabilizer, which means it covers all three movements: roll, pitch, and yaw. You can mount your smartphone into the bay and when you turn on the stabilizer, it will lock your phone into position and you can take smooth, creamy videos.

I suppose the word smooth was the inspiration for the brand name, “Smove”. Interestingly enough, you can no longer find this gimbal on Amazon, but it is available on their website.Please read the whole review before making a buying decision!

Which phones can fit in the Smove?

When wondering which phones to mount, there are two criteria that you need to take into account: the width and the weight of the phone. Length does not really matter since there is no space limitation there.

The Smove Mobile can fit any phone as long as it is between 57 to 84mm wide. As of this writing, nearly all phones: iPhone and Android are within this size range and it’s no coincidence that the manufacturer has made the gimbal universally compatible.

Weight-wise, the gimbal motors can handle a max of 210 grams. This is actually the same capacity of the Zhiyun Smooth 4, which we have reviewed here.

The biggest phones out there today, the Samsun Galaxy Note 9 has a weight of 201 grams and the iPhone XS Max 208 grams. In theory, these phones could work, but you’d be pushing it. Even though the gimbal is rated for 210 grams, it’s safer to stay well below that range.

If you want good performance on a heavier phone, then consider a gimbal like the DJI Osmo Mobile 2. You already have a $1000+ phone, so why pinch your pockets on a gimbal?

Related:

Smove Mobile features, bells, and whistles

Perhaps the most defining and stark difference between the Smove Mobile and other popular gimbals is the extendable arm. You can basically pull out the bottom of the handle to extend the arm by 7 inches, making it really easy to shoot selfies.

The extended arm also opens up avenues for getting better angles in other shots too, especially chase and overhead shots. I’ve used an extendable arm gimbal a few times when I had to shoot in tight spaces, and the arm was able to give me a little extra clearance to get a clear frame.

There is also a USB charging port for plugging in your smartphone. The battery inside the gimbal also doubles as a power bank. Just be aware that you’ll now be powering two things with the one battery, so it will drain much faster. You’ll have to decide if you want to keep your phone running or your gimbal!

Shooting modes and using the Smove

Like most gimbals, your phone snaps into the clamp and is held in place with friction. The foam pads do a great job of generating a lot of friction against the smooth phone surface and it is secure in place.

The first time you use it, you’ll have to pull the cradle out a little or push it in to get the phone to balance as well as possible before turning the gimbal on. Trying to find a balance point before turning it on will put less load on the gimbal motors.

There are three modes for shooting:

  • Locked: In locked mode, all three axes will be locked and no matter what you do, the gimbal will maintain it’s orientation. This is useful for shooting whilst running or walking.
  • Pan: In pan mode, roll and tilt will be locked, but the camera will follow your arm movements left and right. This is useful for shooting targets that are moving on the horizontal plane.
  • Follow: In follow mode, the roll axis will be locked, meaning the phone can’t move like a steering wheel, but it will try to follow your arm movements by tilting up and down and panning left and right.

For most everyday uses, you’ll probably find yourself using locked mode. Pan is also useful, and follow is good if you’re trying to film something like an RC aircraft.

Build

As you’d expect from a budget Chinese gimbal, the body is made out of plastic. More than a money saving measure, plastic is usually used to keep the price down. Even then, higher end gimbals, made of plastic themselves, still feel higher quality in your hand than the Smove Mobile.

For the price(which is comparable to the Zhiyun Smooth 4 and indeed the DJI Osmo Mobile 2), the Smove Mobile doesn’t really deliver equal quality.

The twist: FeiyuTech Vimble clone?

Remember when I said at the beginning of the post to read the whole review before making a buying decision? Well, here’s the big twist. The Smove really seems like a FeiyuTech Vimble 2 with the Smove logo slapped onto it.

Interestingly, my everyday gimbal is the FeiyuTech Vimble 2, and I really happen to like it. As a budget gimbal, it shoots really nice videos and does a great job of stabilizing and smoothing.

However, the Vimble 2 is half the price of the Smove Mobile, and the Vimble comes with a little mini tripod(like the one that comes with the Zhiyun Smooth).

Conclusion

For something that costs double and is not very different from the original, I just don’t think there is enough added value to justify spending extra money.

If you liked the features of the gimbal that I described so far, go for the Vimble 2 and save yourself some money!

To recap, the features are:

  • 3 stabilization modes
  • Good compatibility with most smartphones
  • Built-in power bank functionality
  • Extendable arm for more shooting possibilities

Feiyutech Vimble 2 Smartphone Gimbal 3-Axis Handheld Stabilizer Extendable Pole Tripod for iPhone X 8 7 Samsung S8+S9 Plus XIAOMI Mobile Phone (Black)
  • Newly added 18cm long extension bar can easily frame scenery.
  • Have better using experience when taking selfies and being in live show.
  • Connect the gimbal with Feiyu ON App, and continuously click the function button three times, the smart phone camera lens will shift from back and front quickly.
  • Face & Object Tracking, the Feiyu ON app,allowing you to easily focus on the people you want without having to move anything
  • Compatible with iPhone 5s/6/6S/6Plus/7/7Plus/8Plus iPhone series / HUAWEI P9 / Mi 5 / MEIZU MX6 / SAMSUNG S7 / S7 or other Android phones with the similar dimensions

Rangefinder vs SLR: Pros and Cons of each and Comparison

One interesting discussion in the camera world is the difference between rangefinder vs SLR cameras. SLR cameras are undoubtedly the king of the camera industry today, but it seems that rangefinder cameras can take really good pictures, too, and in some cases, better than SLR cameras.

So that begs the question: how come SLR cameras are more dominant?

In this post, we’ll compare rangefinder and SLR cameras, and take a look at their pros and cons.

Leica M9 18MP Digital Range Finder Camera (Black, Body Only)

Rangefinder cameras

Rangefinder cameras took a foothold in the camera market in the 1950s.

Rangefinder refers to the focusing mechanism used in these cameras. The camera uses two lenses to line up an image and once they line up, you’ll have a nicely focused, crisp image.

Unlike SLRs, in which you’re looking through the lens, rangefinder cameras have you compose your shot through a small viewfinder on the top right of the camera.

There are actually three windows in rangefinders. The top right window is for composing the shot, the window on the left is for capturing the image. When you focus the camera, the images from these two windows will line up.

In high end cameras, you’ll find a third window as well which is for extra light. This adds to the crispness of the image.

Rangefinder camera pros

Better pictures

The biggest difference between rangefinders and SLRs is that there is no mirror in rangefinder cameras. In SLRs, the mirror has to kick up every time you press the shutter button, and to accommodate the flipping mechanism, the lenses need to be a minimum size.

In rangefinders where there is no mirror, wide-angle lenses can be made in such a way that the elements of the lens can be in very close proximity to the image plane.

This results in less distortion and sharper images.

Additionally, the mirror mechanism can cause vibrations, which are non-existent in rangefinders. Finally, rangefinder cameras focus much sharper in wide lenses.

Size and weight

Since the lenses are so much simpler and smaller, the overall weight of rangefinder cameras is much less. The size also shrinks because there’s just not that many elements to fit in the mechanism!

More efficient shutter mechanism

One of the biggest ironies of the SLR camera is that your viewfinder has to black out at the very instant you wish to capture! This is because the mirror flips up, blocking the light from the viewfinder and letting it onto the sensor. This is why you’ll end up with so many eyes closed and funny faces in shots with flashes!

With a rangefinder camera, you can see everything as the picture is taken, so you’ll know then and there if you need to take a second shot.

Note: While this may seem like a minor inconvenience, especially since you can just review the image right away on a digital camera, in film cameras, this would have been huge!

The absence of the mirror also results in a much quieter shot. SLRs can be noisy!

Finally, a little-known issue about SLRs is that there is a tiny bit of lag! Because the mirror has to get out of the way to let light onto the sensor, there is a tiny fraction of a second lag between the moment you click the button and the image is actually captured.

Rangefinder camera cons

Separate viewfinder

Since the viewfinder and the lens are not exactly aligned, there is a slight difference in WYS vs WYG. In every day use, that’s not going to make much of a difference. We used to use point and shoot cameras built this way for the longest time and were pretty happy with the way photos turned out.

However, if you’re shooting macro or have a long lens where the lens element is very far from the body, it’s going to make a big difference and you may notice that shots are not aligned as you had imagined.

Also, depth-of-field is hard to perceive since the viewfinders are always in focus.

Another issue that the separate viewfinder leads to is that if your lens is long, it may actually block part of your view in the viewfinder!

Limited number of lenses

Rangefinders don’t have a really wide variety of lenses available. SLRs by comparison have a lot more variety. However, some may argue that you don’t need so many lenses and you can get perfectly good shots with a regular lens too!

Limited focus capacity

Although we noted above that rangefinders actually focus very well, the caveat is that the crisp focus happens with wide lenses. Long lenses, not so much.

Another issue with focusing that these cameras face is that you can only focus in the center of the image. SLR cameras have much more flexible focusing capabilities.

Finally, good luck taking macro photographs with rangefinders! You can’t focus any closer than half a meter or so. And even then, as noted above, the viewfinder and the lens will no longer be aligned.

Related:

How to use rangefinder cameras

SLR cameras (and dSLRs too)

SLR stands for single-lens reflex, meaning a mirror is used to reflect light from the main lens into the viewfinder. A prism is used in the middle to flip the image right side up again.

Even though rangefinders seem like they are superior cameras, SLRs are actually a lot more versatile and they’ve taken over the market.

Related

SLR camera pros

WYSIWYG

WYSIWYG, or what you see is what you get is one of the biggest advantages of SLR cameras. The image in the viewfinder is exactly what the lens sees, right down to the focus and bokeh of the image.

You can use any kind of lens and you’ll always see an accurate image in the viewfinder.

Focus on any point

Especially with digital SLR cameras, you have the ability to focus on any point in the frame, not just the center. dSLR cameras often have a little grid overlaid in the viewfinder which you can use to spot focus too. This makes them really good for macro photographs such as jewelry photography.

Use any lens you want

Because SLRs are so flexible, you could use conceivably any kind of lens, even a telescope! It does not matter what kind of lens you use because as long as the lens itself is focusing well, the image will come out the way you expect.

You can also use macro lenses, and since you’re looking through the lens itself, the image you see is exactly what you will click.

The same goes for fisheye lenses which can let you capture a much wider field of view.

SLR camera cons

Wide angle lenses not as good as rangefinders

Wide angle lenses tend to be flatter, and because the lens needs enough space inside to avoid the mirror mechanism, manufacturers have to use something called a retrofocus system to get these to work. As a result, SLR wide angle lenses will experience a lot more distortion.

More mirror problems

The movement of the mirror also results in a very minor but sometimes noticeable vibration, especially in low-light shots with slower shutter speeds.

What’s more, because the mirror has to get out of the way once you click the button, there are actually two mechanisms taking place: first, the mirror has to move, and second, the shutter has to open and shut. There’s a tiny fractional-second lag, which may be an issue for some applications.

Size and weight

Rangefinder cameras are really nice and sleek, whereas SLR cameras are quite bulky. One of the main reasons I don’t take my SLR everywhere is because it’s just too much of a hassle to carry!

Especially if you are using bigger lenses, they can get quite cumbersome to transport, especially in tight spots.

Excessive features

While not exactly a con, the huge number of settings on the dials of most modern dSLR cameras can be overwhelming and if you find yourself shooting in auto mode or manual mode most of the time, all the settings in between can seem superfluous.

Difficult to focus in low light

Most SLR cameras have a little LED light that helps you focus in low light. This is because you really can’t see much in low light to be able to focus your shot correctly, and this is also why autofocusing takes longer in low light than in bright daylight.

Electricity consumption

SLRs and indeed dSLRs are quite power hungry and you’ll drain a battery within a few hours of shooting. To last a whole day on the job, you’ll need a few spare batteries too.

Rangefinder cameras on the other hand have very few electrical components and a single battery can last for a really long time.

Why you should get a rangefinder camera

If you’re concerned about weight and portability, rangefinders are definitely better.

Landscapes, wide angle shots, and nature shots(not animals) are best shot with rangefinder cameras.

They’re also really handy to just throw into a backpack or suitcase for traveling.

Why you should get an SLR camera

SLR cameras are really versatile, and they’re ideal for shooting fast objects and action(sports, kids, your kids playing sports).

They’re also really good at taking macro and extreme zoom photographs, as the composition is aligned with what you see in the viewfinder.

And if you’re shooting in a studio, SLRs are great too.

Good SLR and rangefinder cameras

Obviously, the two cameras are very different and the applications are also quite different.

However, you can shoot good landscapes with SLRs, though perhaps not to a ridiculous degree of professionalism, unless you use a really stable tripod.

In todays market, I think that the wider availability of SLR cameras and accessories designed for SLR cameras makes them a better bet for the average consumer/prosumer.

The only time I’d recommend getting a rangefinder camera is if you really know what you are doing and have a very specific use for it.

Plus, digital rangefinder cameras are super expensive and can burn a serious hole in your wallet. You can find second-hand 35mm rangefinders in decent condition, but with each passing day, developing and indeed finding 35mm film is getting harder and harder.

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  • Electronic shutter maximum speed of 1/32000 sec and a focal plane shutter with a top speed of 1/8000 sec. with flash synchronization of up to 1/250 sec.
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Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR Camera Bundle with Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 is II Lens + 2pc SanDisk 32GB Memory Cards + Premium Accessory Kit
  • This Camera Bundle Kit comes complete with all manufacturer supplied accessories and includes:
  • The EOS Rebel T6 DSLR Camera from Canon is an APS-C format digital SLR camera with an 18MP CMOS sensor and the DIGIC 4+ image processor. With 14-bit Analog/Digital conversion, an ISO range from 100-12800 (expandable to 25600), and Multi Shot Noise Reduction, it offers sharp details, accurate colors and low-noise imaging in both bright and low-light shooting situations. The Rebel T6 can continuously shoot up to 5 fps.
  • Canon 18-55mm II Lens - a standard zoom compatible with Canon APS-C format cameras. It features a focal length range of 18-55mm which is equivalent to 29-88mm in the 35mm format
  • Also includes - 2 x SanDisk 32GB SDHC Memory Cards + Deluxe Camera Case + Flash Light + 3pc Filter Kit + Extra Battery Pack + AC/DC Car & Home Charger + High Speed USB Card Reader + 50" Camera Tripod
  • Commander 0.43x Auxiliary Wideangle Lens - it conveniently mounts to the front of your fixed or zoom lens, and allows you to capture a wider field of view, Commander 2.2x Auxiliary Telephoto Lens - brings you twice as close to the action. Perfect for long-distance photo situations such as sporting events
Bestseller No. 8
Canon EOS 4000D Digital SLR Camera w/ 18-55MM DC III Lens Kit (Black) with Accessory Bundle, Package Includes: SanDisk 32GB Card + DSLR Bag + 50’’ Tripod+ Inspire Digital Cloth (International Model)
  • CAMERA BUNDLE KIT Includes: 32GB Class 10 SDHC UHS-I Memory Card - FLASH - 2.2x Telephoto Lens - 0.43x Wide Angle Lens - Filter Kit 58mm
  • 50" TRIPOD - Case - BLOWER - LENS CAP KEEPER
  • USB Card Reader- Wrist / Hand Grip Strap - LENS CLEANING PEN
  • Memory Card Wallet - Microfiber Cleaning Cloth -Inspire Digital DEALS Kit
Bestseller No. 9
Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Camera Bundle with Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 is II Lens + 2pc SanDisk 32GB Memory Cards + Accessory Kit
  • This Camera Bundle Kit comes complete with all manufacturer supplied accessories and includes:
  • The EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Camera from Canon has a 24.1MP APS-C CMOS Sensor and DIGIC 4+ Image Processor. It has a 3.0" 920k-Dot LCD Monitor with Full HD 1080/30p Video Recording capabilities. It offers sharp details, accurate colors and low-noise imaging in both bright and low-light shooting situations. The Rebel T& can continuously shoot up to 3 fps.
  • Canon 18-55mm II Lens - a standard zoom compatible with Canon APS-C format cameras. It features a focal length range of 18-55mm which is equivalent to 29-88mm in the 35mm format
  • 2 x SanDisk 32GB SDHC Memory Cards + Deluxe Padded Camera Case + Flash Light + 3pc Filter Kit + Extra Battery Pack + AC/DC Car & Home Charger + High Speed USB Card Reader + 50" Camera Tripod
  • 0.43x Auxiliary Wideangle Lens - it conveniently mounts to the front of your fixed or zoom lens, and allows you to capture a wider field of view, 2.2x Auxiliary Telephoto Lens - brings you twice as close to the action. Perfect for long-distance photo situations such as sporting events
Bestseller No. 10
Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera with AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR and AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED
  • SnapBridge Bluetooth Connectivity
  • 24.2MP DX Format CMOS Sensor
  • EXPEED 4 Image Processor.Magnification Approx; 0.85 x (50 millimeter f/1.4 lens at infinity, 1.0 m(*1))
  • No Optical Low Pass Filter
  • Native ISO 100 25600; 5 fps Shooting; Compatability information: C firmware v; 1.10 and later ( released August 31, 2016 )

Best Macro Point and Shoot Camera(9 cheap and high end picks)

Macro photography is extremely fun and some of the most phenomenal photographs ever taken are macro photographs. You don’t need an expensive dSLR camera to take great macro photos. There are plenty of great macro point and shoot cameras that take fantastic macro shots.

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
cfimvtbl-table__imageOur Top PickOur Top PickPanasonic Lumix DC-ZS70
  • 20.3 megapixels
  • dSLR features
  • 30x optical zoom
VIEW ON AMAZON →
cfimvtbl-table__imageSony RX-10 Mark III
  • 20 megapixels
  • Adjust focus after taking shot
  • 2/3 cm macro focus
VIEW ON AMAZON →
cfimvtbl-table__imageRicoh WG-50
  • 16 megapixels
  • Super macro mode
  • Shockproof and waterproof
VIEW ON AMAZON →
cfimvtbl-table__imageOlympus Tough TG-6
  • Can shoot RAW images
  • Great macro mode
  • Waterproof and shockproof
CHECK BEST PRICE →

Best Macro Point and Shoot Camera: 9 picks

1. Ricoh WG-50

Ricoh WG-50 16MP Waterproof Still/Video Camera Digital with 2.7' LCD, (Orange)

The Ricoh WG-50(and its newer brother the Ricoh WG-60) are two compact point and shoot cameras that sport really awesome specs.

The Ricoh WG-50 has a 16 megapixel 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor that can capture JPG images. There is no capability to capture RAW images, unfortunately.

Macro mode is available on this camera which decreases the focus distance down to just 10cm to 60cm, and you can even get into super macro mode which decreases the focal length further to 1cm to 30cm.

Think about that! Just 1 cm is amazing!

For regular shooting, the zoom distance is 28mm to 140mm, and the lens will come out up to 20mm from the body of the camera. In normal conditions, the focal distance is 50cm up to infinity.

Finally, the build of the Ricoh WG-50 is super rugged and strong, as it is both shockproof and waterproof. There are also six built-in lights that will let you take better photos in lower light.

Ricoh WG-50 16MP Waterproof Still/Video Camera Digital with 2.7" LCD, (Orange)
  • 16 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor offers plenty of image detail. Wide angle 5X internal optical zoom lens (28 140millimeter equivalent)
  • Waterproof to 46 feet perfect for use when submerged
  • Shockproof, ruggedized design protects from drops up to 5 feet
  • Capture video in Widescreen 1080P HD at 30 frames per second
  • Enhanced digital microscope mode uses 6 macro LEDs for perfect focus and smooth, even lighting; Instant illumination enhance feature; Max Resolution: 4608 x 3456

2. Olympus Tough TG-6

Olympus Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera, Red

The TG-6 by Olympus is a rugged waterproof point and shoot camera that can take great images in whatever conditions you can imagine. Take this camera skiing, scuba diving, into the desert, heck, you can even climb a mountain through a blizzard and get good shots with this camera!

The guts of the camera contains a 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor that can capture both JPG and RAW images, which is a step above the Ricoh camera above.

Of course, this camera made our list thanks to the amazing macro mode, which allows you to focus from 1cm to infinity.

This camera is also specially designed for underwater photography and has a variety of underwater modes as well as specialized white balance for underwater photos.

Video quality is OK, but I feel like that is more than compensated for by the superb photo quality in nearly all conditions. If you are the adventurous type, this camera is perfect to take with you into water, snow, sand, or whatever else you can imagine.

And of course, it shoots superb macro photographs.

Sale
Olympus Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera, Red
  • Waterproof (50 feet /15 meter), dust proof, shockproof (7 feet / 2.1 meter), crush proof (100kgf), freeze proof (14 degree Fahrenheit / -10 degree Celsius ), anti fog
  • High resolution F2.0 lens, maximum 8x zoom, true pic VIII, back illuminated CMOS image sensor
  • Variable macro system comprised of 4 macro shooting modes, magnified shooting up to 1 centimeter from the end of the lens
  • 5 underwater shooting modes including underwater microscope, 3 underwater white balance modes
  • 4K movie and full HD 120 fps high speed movies can be recorded. Battery life - Approx. 340 Images (using Toshiba SDHC UHS-I Card Exceria with IS ON, based on CIPA test standards). Approx. 50 minutes (under standard JEITA testing). Approx. 110 minutes (when zoom and other operational functions are not used). When repeatedly recording at the maximum time of 29 minutes

3. Sony Cybershot DSC-W800B

Sony DSCW800/B 20.1 MP Digital Camera (Black)

The third choice in our list, the Sony Cybershot DSC-W800B is slightly different from the first two cameras we reviewed as this camera is much more budget friendly. However, the cheaper cost is due to the fact that this camera is nowhere near as rugged as the Ricoh and Olympus.

However, if you’re not planning on taking it into extreme weather or geographic conditions, then this point and shoot camera really shines for everyday use.

It has a built in macro mode that can take respectable macro photographs(minimum focal distance is 4.8 cm), though not as close up as the Ricoh and Olympus. Still, considering how much more budget friendly this one is, we recommend it.

The biggest aperture this camera can manage is f/3.2 which is not too bad. If you zoom all the way, it falls to f/6.4.

As a simple point and shoot camera with a respectable macro mode, you can’t really go wrong with the Sony Cybershot DSC-W800B.

Sony DSCW800/B 20.1 MP Digital Camera (Black)
  • MP Super HAD CCD sensor for beautifully detailed images. Blink Detection
  • Sony Lens w/ 5x Optical Zoom and 360 sweep panorama
  • Reduced blur with SteadyShot Image stabilization.Recording Format:Still Images: JPEG , Movie: AVI (Motion JPEG)
  • Capture your videos in 720p HD Movie mode
  • Simplify camera menu with Easy Mode; Digital Zoom- Still images: 20M approx.10x, 10M approx.7.1x, 5M approx.9.9x, VGA approx.40x, 2M(16:9) approx.13x, Movies: Digital Zoom approx. 10x (*1)

4. Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70

Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS70S 20.3MP 4K Digital Camera (Black) with Battery and External Charger Travel Pack Bundle

I don’t even know where to start with how amazing the 20.3 megapixel Lumix DC-ZS70S is. If you were to ask me to summarize in one phrase, I would say that this camera is a dSLR in a compact camera body.

Even though it is a point and shoot camera, it has a special system called focus stacking which lets you take really nice macro photos(this generates a larger field of view than usual to make focusing easier), letting you focus as close to 3mm to infinity.

That’s for shooting up really close, and if you’re really far away, the optical zoom magnifies up to 30x! In dSLR terms, thats 27-720mm.

Here’s where things get really cool: on the lens, there is a control ring which lets you manually (!) change the zoom, aperture, and a variety of other settings. There is also an image stabilization system which comes really handy when you shoot in low light conditions or when you’re making use of the 30x zoom.

At such a high zoom, even very tiny shakes will start becoming really visible, so the stabilization goes a long way.

Aside from the regular LCD screen, there is also a viewfinder(not optical, but digital) which comes in super handy when the sun’s glare prevents you from seeing the screen. You can still compose your photos using the viewfinder.

Finally, did we tell you that you can shoot 4K videos at 30fps?

Sale
Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS70S 20.3MP 4K Digital Camera (Black) with Battery and External Charger Travel Pack Bundle
  • BUNDLE INCLUDES: Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS70S 20.3MP 4K Digital Camera (Black) with Battery and External Charger Travel Pack Bundle
  • MOS SENSOR: The Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS70S has 20.3-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS sensor and records high-quality images in incredible detail. The sensor works in tandem with the Venus Engine to ensure stunning pictures even in dimly lit environments with minimal image noise
  • TILTABLE MONITOR: With a 180-degree tiltable monitor, you'll always get the perfect selfie. Whether it’s of you, a group, party moment or overactive dog, you'll get your shot in 4K quality. LUMIX 4K PHOTO lets you catch the best moment at 30fps
  • 4K VIDEO: With the clarity of 4K video, the LUMIX ZS70 makes it easy to record every journey in up to 3840 x 2160p detail - four times the quality of Full HD
  • PANASONIC AUTHORIZED DEALER: Includes USA Manufacturer Warranty

Related

5. Nikon COOLPIX w300

Nikon W300 Waterproof Underwater Digital Camera with TFT LCD, 3', Orange (26524)

Number 5 on the list is another tough, rugged, all-terrain camera sporting a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor.

You can zoom all the way from 24-120mm(translates to 5x), and the image is quite clear on the LCD screen. There is a small stabilization system built in as well.

As far as macro photos are concerned, the focus distance starts at 1 cm so you can get really up and close to your subject. There are also built-in lights for a little extra boost in low light conditions.

You can also shoot timelapses and stunning 4K videos.

It’s waterproof up to 100 feet, shockproof, and dustproof, making it a very viable competitor to the Olympus and Ricoh cameras above.

Finally, there’s a GPS chip built in, as well as an altimeter and depth gauge which will help you track your progress during your adventures!

Nikon W300 Waterproof Underwater Digital Camera with TFT LCD, 3", Orange (26524)
  • Waterproof, freeze proof, shockproof and dustproof adventure camera with extra capabilities
  • Stunning high resolution photos, 4K Ultra HD videos, Time-lapse videos, Super lapse videos and music montages
  • 5x optical zoom NIKKOR lens with telephoto power and Hybrid VR image stabilization
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, eCompass, altimeter, depth gauge and more
  • Operating environment: Temperature: -10 to +40°C (14 to 104°F ) for land use, Temperature: 0 to 40°C (32 to 104°F) for underwater use

6. Sony RX10 Mark III

Sony DSCRX10/B Cybershot 20.2 MP Digital Still Camera with 3-Inch LCD Screen

Departing from the typical point and shoot design, the RX10 Mark III by Sony looks like a dSLR camera but is in fact a point and shoot system.

Sporting a 20 megapixel sensor that shoots RAW and JPG images, it can take some really fantastic photographs. A really useful focusing feature is called digital focus, which actually lets you make small adjustments to the focus after the photograph has been taken.

The lens is quite impressive at 24mm to 200mm. You can’t zoom manually, though, so you’ll have to use a toggle on the camera body to zoom in and out. In macro mode, the focus distance is about 2/3 cm, which is really respectable.

There’s also a high quality LED viewfinder you can use if you don’t want to use the screen(which can tilt, too).

If you’re into videos, you can take slow-motion videos up to 960 frames per second.

Sony DSC-RX10 III Cyber-Shot Digital Still Camera, Sony 64GB 94MB/s, 2 Spare Batteries + Charger
  • BUNDLE INCLUDES: Sony Cyber-shot RX10M III Digital Camera with SanDisk Extreme PRO 64GB 95MB/s UHS-1 SD Memory Card and Wasabi Power Battery 2-Pack and Dual Charger for Sony NP-FW50 Batteries
  • SUPER SLOW MOTION: The stacked CMOS sensor enables shooting at an extra-high frame rate up to 960fps (40x) high-speed shooting of exceptionally clear, smooth close-up action, all the way up the ultra-telephoto range, at sports events, etc.
  • 4K RECORDING: Full pixel readout without pixel binning collects approx. 1.7 times as much information as is required for 4K (QFHD: 3840 x 2160) movie output. A high-speed front-end LSI helps the BIONZ X image processing engine reduce image skew, smear and wobble (resulting from rolling shutter phenomenon) that can otherwise distort how fast-moving subjects look in 4K movies.
  • CYBERSHOT RX10M: The Sony Cyber-shot RX10M III is an amazing choice if you want a camera that does basically EVERYTHING. Seriously, this camera is jam-packed with technology to cover almost any photo and video desire you may have, and with the Sony name behind it, you know you are getting the best quality product possible.
  • SONY AUTHORIZED DEALER: Includes USA Manufacturer's Warranty

7. Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10

PANASONIC LUMIX LX10 4K Digital Camera, 20.1 Megapixel 1-Inch Sensor, 3X LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMILUX Lens, F1.4-2.8 Aperture, POWER O.I.S. Stabilization, 3-Inch LCD, DMC-LX10K (Black)

The Lumix DMC-LX10 is a spectacular point and shoot camera that has a large 20.3 megapixel sensor. Focus stacking technology allows you to take much sharper pictures, and you can even adjust the focus points right on the camera after shooting the image.

For low light photography, the F1.4-2.8 aperture will let you really open the lens wide and let a lot of light in.

You can focus up to 3cm away for amazing macro photographs.

A really cool feature the Lumix has the ability to extract 4K still images. Suppose you are shooting a 4K video(max is 30fps). You can shoot the video and pull out the exact frame from the video which you want to use as a photograph, and in an instant, you’ll have a 4K photograph.

The lens has an aperture ring you can use to adjust the aperture manually, giving a really tactile feel. You can also use the ring to adjust shutterspeed.

For the slo-mo fans out there, you can shoot up to 120fps for dramatically slowing down footage in post-processing.

Overall, the Lumix DMC-LX10 is a compact point and shoot camera with features that rival many leading dSLR cameras.

Sale
PANASONIC LUMIX LX10 4K Digital Camera, 20.1 Megapixel 1-Inch Sensor, 3X LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMILUX Lens, F1.4-2.8 Aperture, POWER O.I.S. Stabilization, 3-Inch LCD, DMC-LX10K (Black)
  • POINT-AND-SHOOT CAMERA: Large, 1-inch 20.1-megapixel MOS sensor plus 3X zoom LEICA DC VARIO-SU millimeter ILUX lens (24-72 millimeter) and POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) delivers brighter, more colorful photos with fewer image artifacts
  • TILTING SELFIE DISPLAY: Rear touch-enabled 3-inch LCD display (1040K dots) tilts upward 180 degree for easy selfie photos
  • 4K VIDEO CAPTURE: 4K QFHD video recording (3840 x 2160), plus exclusive LUMIX 4K PHOTO and 4K Post Focus with internal Focus Stacking allows you to record photos up to 30fps and set your desired focus points after the photo has been taken
  • LENS-MOUNTED CONTROL RING: Manual lens-mounted control ring brings DSLR-like exposure control to a compact point-and-shoot camera body
  • USB CHARGING AND WI-FI CONNECTIVITY: Enjoy travel ready technologies like USB charging and Wi-Fi connectivity to your mobile device; micro-HDMI type D (3) and USB 2.0 micro-B provide additional connectivity to your favorite devices

8. Panasonic Lumix DC-Fz80

Panasonic Lumix FZ80 4K Digital Camera, 18.1 Megapixel Video Camera, 60X Zoom DC VARIO 20-1200mm Lens, F2.8-5.9 Aperture, Power O.I.S. Stabilization, Touch Enabled 3-Inch LCD, Wi-Fi, DC-FZ80K (Black)

Like the Sony camera we reviewed above, the Lumix DC-FZ80 looks like a dSLR but is in fact a point and shoot camera. It has an 18.1 megapixel sensor and you can compose your photographs using the LCD screen or the electronic viewfinder.

Like most Panasonic cameras, this camera sports focus stacking, letting you shoot really crisp images.

By default, the minimum focal length is 20mm and goes up to 1200mm. If you turn on macro mode, you can focus down to 1 cm. When you’re up so close, the optical image stabilization does a great job of keeping the shot steady for you, negating any shakes in your hands.

Like the Lumix we reviewed just before this one, you can spot focus an image after capturing it.

For the distance photographers out there, the 1200mm focal length means you can zoom all the way up to 60x! That is ridiculous and greater than most consumer telescopes!

In fact, if you mount this camera on a steady tripod, you could probably take great photos of the moon and planets, too.

The videographers amongst you will enjoy shooting 4K video at 30fps.

As far as ergonomics go, the camera is very comfortable to grip, easy to handle, and you won’t get tired even after carrying it around all day.

Sale
Panasonic Lumix FZ80 4K Digital Camera, 18.1 Megapixel Video Camera, 60X Zoom DC VARIO 20-1200mm Lens, F2.8-5.9 Aperture, Power O.I.S. Stabilization, Touch Enabled 3-Inch LCD, Wi-Fi, DC-FZ80K (Black)
  • Point and Shoot Long Zoom Camera: 18.1 megapixel MOS sensor plus 60X zooms DC Vario lens (20 1220 millimeter and Power O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) captures far off moments
  • High Resolution View Finder & LCD Display: High resolution 1,170K dot view finder and rear touch enabled 3 inch LCD Display (1040 dots) are clear even in bright sunlight.Lens:14 elements in 12 groups
  • 4K video Capture: 4K QFHD video recording (3840 x 2160) with three unique 4K ultra HD video pause and save 4K photo modes extracts individual high resolution Photos from 4K ultra HD video filmed at 30 frames per second to capture split second moments
  • Low Light Performance: Low light capture lets you enjoy photography during your nightlife again with impressive results; Note: Refer to user manual PDF attached below in technical specification for trouble shooting steps are on page 54
  • USB Charging and Wi-Fi Connectivity: Enjoy travel ready technologies like USB charging and Wi Fi connectivity to your mobile device; HDMI D (Micro), Micro USB and USB 2.0 provide additional connectivity to your favorite devices; Max resolution: 4896 x 3672

Note: the ability to do so much post processing even after the image has been captured is one of the main advantages of digital vs film cameras.

9. Honorable mention: macro lens attachment for smartphones

Xenvo Pro Lens Kit for iPhone, Samsung, Pixel, Macro and Wide Angle Lens with LED Light and Travel Case
  • ✔ COMPATIBLE WITH ALL SINGLE AND DUAL-CAMERA PHONES including ALL iPhone models, Samsung Galaxy and Note, Google Pixel, Huawei and more. CONTENTS INCLUDE: TruView 0.45x Wide Angle Lens, Clarus 15x Macro Lens, TruGrip Lens Clip, GlowClip Mini Rechargeable LED Light + Charging Cable, Quick-Release Lanyard, DuraCase, EasyClip, Cleaning Cloth and LIFETIME WARRANTY.
  • ✔ TRUVIEW 0.45x WIDE ANGLE LENS - CAPTURE 45% MORE PICTURE WITH EVERY SNAP: Shoot stunning photos of people, pets, travel scenery, landscapes, architecture, selfies and more. NO DARK CORNERS (vignetting) like cheaper lenses. Crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum and premium optical glass for durability and clarity. Multi-element, coated glass lenses minimize ghosting, reflections, lens flare, and other artifacts. Xenvo cell phone lens attachment is ideal for hobbyists and photography pros alike.
  • ✔ CLARUS 15x MACRO LENS - MARVEL YOUR SENSES. MAGNIFY NEARBY SUBJECTS FOR BREATHTAKING, SUPER CLOSE-UP PHOTOS: Capture all the intricacies and details with precision-focus for razor crisp macro photos every time. (For best results, position macro lens approximately 1/2 inch from subject. Not designed for zooming in on distant subjects.) THE TRUGRIP LENS CLIP offers SUPERIOR GRIPPING POWER to fasten your lenses to your cell phone when you're in action mode, framing your next perfect shot.
  • ✔ GLOWCLIP RECHARGEABLE LED FILL LIGHT - The GlowClip LED light clips ANYWHERE on your phone to instantly illuminate your subject and surroundings with warm continuous light. The warm and natural LED light is superior to your smartphone's built in flash—which can be blinding and unnatural—especially in darker settings and venues. FEATURES 3 BRIGHTNESS SETTINGS: Low, Medium and High. Say goodbye to frustrating photo "retakes" and hello to brilliant photos the first time.
  • ✔ QUICK-RELEASE LANYARD AND TRAVEL CASE - TRANSPORT AND PROTECT YOUR LENS KIT: Perfect for taking your Xenvo lenses with you on the fly. The travel case stores and protects all lens kit components snugly and safely while the quick-release lanyard is the perfect way to carry your lenses on your next outing. Just drape the lanyard and lens around your neck. The quick-release lanyard head makes it a cinch to access your Xenvo lenses in a flash so you never miss another photo moment.

Macro point and shoot camera buying guide

With our 8 favorite macro point and shoots(and one smartphone lens) out of the way, let’s talk very briefly about some of the main things to consider when buying a macro camera.

Point and shoot or dSLR?

When it comes to choosing a point and shoot or dSLR, it really depends on how much space you have and how much flexibility you need.

Of course, a dSLR is the most flexible camera as you can use the same camera you are used to and comfortable with for a wide variety of applications just by switching around the lens.

dSLR cameras also offer the most customization and often will have much better sensors than even the best point and shoot cameras.

However, we’re at a point where if you’re not a professional photographer and you just need something that’s easy to use without having to fiddle too much, point and shoots are great, and many of them have features to rival dSLRs.

The only downside is you’re stuck with the feature set of the point and shoot and the only way to upgrade is to get a new camera altogether.

Another alternative is to use a mirrorless camera, which is almost as compact as a point and shoot but still has the flexibility of changing lenses.

Related

Price

There’s quite a wide price range in the cameras we’ve listed here, but it seems like $300-400 is the sweet spot where you can pick up a really rugged camera that can take a beating and capture some really nice photographs.

If you’ve got money to spare and don’t mind the bigger form factor, the two cameras which look like dSLRs will obviously take better photos thanks to the bigger sensors and more advanced features.

Focus distance

Since we’re talking about macro photographs here, the main question is that of focus distance. Most of the cameras listed here have very small focus distances in macro mode so you can get really nice and up close to your shots. This is great to capture subjects like insects, small birds, flowers, and water droplets.

The possibilities are really endless. Once you get up close to your subject, there are so many more things you can highlight in the photo.

example macro photograph of water droplets on a leaf

Ruggedness

Quite a few of the cameras on our list are all-terrain/all-condition cameras that are waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof.

Indeed, some of the most stunning macro photos can be shot off the beaten path, so if you’re into the outdoors and into photography, those can certainly do the job well.

In those situations the more expensive dSLR-style cameras won’t cut it because you’ll have to worry about keeping them safe from the elements!

9 Best Canon FD Lenses(including zoom lenses)

Canon FD lenses are amazing lenses that have withstood the test of time. Even though some Canon FD lenses are over 30 years old, they still do an amazing job and take fantastic photos. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best Canon FD lenses currently available.

Now more than ever, FD lenses are a steal to pick up considering that purchasing a new set of lenses can cost quite a lot of money. You can pick up some second hand FD lenses for far cheaper and if you get a bundle of lenses, you’ll have a huge array of photographic opportunities in front of you.

There are quite a few types of FD lenses so we’ll check them out, and also talk about what to look for when getting a lens.

Why buy a Canon FD lens?

FD lenses are really easy to use and great for shooting video as the aperture adjustment and focus rings are fully manual. This gives you the greatest level of control, and if you’re shooting video, you can change the aperture and focus as you are shooting.

This is not possible to do with modern lenses.

However, this means there is a trade-off as well: since these are older lenses, there’s no autofocus, you’ll have to set the aperture manually every time, and there’s no image stabilization.

Additionally, because they’re older lenses, you’ll need to buy them second hand, and that means the body or the lens may have scuff marks and you’ll need to give them some TLC.

Best Canon FD Lenses: 9 to choose from

1. Canon 1:2.8 28mm lens

Canon Lens FD 28mm 1:2.8

The Canon 1:2.8 lens is a fairly simple, straightforward lens. It’s not too fancy, but does the job really well. It’s made of a hard plastic called polycarbonate. Even though it is plastic, the construction is still very solid and when you hold it in your hand, it does not feel low quality in any way.

The tough construction makes the lens suitable for use in tough environments and it can easily survive a ding or drop here and there.

You should be aware though that the center of the subject will be extremely sharp and crisp, but the edges tend to lose a little bit of the focus and may appear softer or blurry.

2. Canon f/1.4 50mm Lens

Canon 50mm f/1.4 FD Manual Focus Lens

Canon’s 50mm FD lens shoots really clear and crisp images and because of the manual focus and aperture, it’s ideal for videography. You can get an indie film effect really easily if you use this lens.

The aperture can go really high on this lens, all the way up to f/1.4, but at that point, the image will start to go soft. Even though you can go so high, try keeping it a little lower in the f/2 and f/3 range for ideal shooting.

It’s a little bit on the heavy side but that actually adds to the quality feel of it. Just be mindful of the weight when you attach it!

Canon 50mm f/1.4 FD Manual Focus Lens
  • Compatible with all Canon FD-Mount Manual Focus Cameras such as AE-1
  • Manual Focus Only. It will not auto focus on any camera.
  • Fast f/1.4 aperture
  • Comes in either breech mount or bayonet mount

3. Canon 100-300mm FD Zoom

Canon Zoom Lens FD 100-300mm f5.6 for Canon A-1 AE-1 AT-1 Film SLR

Number 3 on our list is an FD lens with zoom capability. The closest it can focus is 2 meters, which is quite impressive. Additionally, the magnification makes a huge deal.

Even though it looks quite imposing, it is in fact quite light and you won’t really notice the extra weight any more than you would on a similar sized lens.

The zoom is all the way from 100 mm to 300 mm. That makes it ideal for shooting really awesome portraits and even for wildlife photography.

Canon Zoom Lens FD 100-300mm f5.6 for Canon A-1 AE-1 AT-1 Film SLR
  • Quality Canon Telephoto Zoom Lens with FD Mount
  • For Film SLRs such as F-1 A-1 AE-1 AT-1 AV-1
  • Powerful Zoom from 100-300mm
  • Great for portrait to wildlife photography

4. Canon FD f/4.0 70-210mm Zoom

Canon FD 70-210mm f/4.0 Zoom Lens

The next lens on the list is another zoom lens, but this time, the zoom is from 70-210mm. The above lens had a minimum focus distance of 2 meters, whereas this one can focus up to 0.44 meters close. The effective zoom is 3 times (70 x 3 = 210).

At 70mm, this lens is really good at capturing macro photographs, much more so than the 3rd lens on our list. As such, this FD lens falls in a sweet spot between something that’s capable of up close shots and can zoom quite a bit too.

The one issue is that in some cases, you’ll experience some aberrations.

Canon FD 70-210mm f/4.0 Zoom Lens
  • Medium telephoto to full telephoto
  • Offers more than above average optical performances and easy portability
  • Compatible with all Canon manual focus film cameras that accept FD-mount lenses
  • Zoom ratio of 3X and closest focus distance is 0.44 meter

5. Canon FD f/4 200mm

Canon FD 200 mm F/4 MF Zoom Lens(S/N:103852)#47903

This FD lens from Canon is another awesome piece of equipment in an already awesome lineup, partly due to the 7 elements inside. It focuses smooth, fast, and the focus ring allows you a high degree of accuracy

The glass used in this lens has a very high refractive index. It is ideal for shooting fast-paced action, such as sports or following a subject in a documentary.

Aperture wise, the lens performance is quite adequate and you’re able to capture a decent photograph even if light is a little scarce.

Canon FD 200 mm F/4 MF Zoom Lens(S/N:103852)#47903
  • Canon ZOOM f=200 mm
  • FD MF LENS MADE IN JAPAN φ52
  • MPN:Canon FD 200 mm 4

6. Canon FD 35-105mm Macro Zoom

Canon FD 35-105 mm F3.5 MF Macro Zoom Lens

Even for second hand lenses, you may find that the Canon FD Macro Zoom lens is a bit on the expensive side. Perhaps this is because this lens was just more expensive in general, or that it is now harder to find.

Either way, sporting a wide range of aperture and a fast shutter speed, it shines amongst zoom lenses. Wherever you’re shooting photographs and in whichever situation, this lens will not let you down.

Overall, it’s well built, solid, and you have two rings to adjust the zoom and the focus.

The macro mode can leave a little bit wanting some times, but on the whole, it’s great value and performance.

7. Canon f/2.5 135mm Zoom

CANON FD 135mm F/2.5 S.C. MF Zoom Lens(S/N:64435)#47275

This lens has been going strong for nearly 50 years! Even though the lenses are so old, you’ll still find most of them to be in great shape. This is one of the earlier lenses to be made of plastic, but even so, the build quality is really solid.

Plastic is light, so you can actually use this to your advantage as the lesser weight will let you carry it around with more comfort.

The manual focus ring is really accurate and you can fine tune as you wish, but at really high apertures, you may sometimes experience slightly softer pictures. For best results, you’ll need a more mid-range aperture.

CANON FD 135mm F/2.5 S.C. MF Zoom Lens(S/N:64435)#47275
  • 135 mm f/2.5: introduced in 1971 as one of the first lenses in the new Canon FD mount.
  • Like all of the very early Canon FD lenses, it does not indicate the type of coating on the front lens ring. All lenses from 1971
  • (indeed, from the very early 1950s forward) were coated in one form or another.[1]
  • 135 mm f/2.5 S.C.: The marking for Spectra Coating (SC) was added in 1973.

8. Canon f/5.6 100-200mm 11150 lens

Canon 100-200mm f5.6 FD 11150

This Canon FD lens is a classic “budget” FD lens. It’s pretty standard by most respects, but you’re getting an FD lens for a pretty decent price that has a small degree of zoom functionality.

The maximum aperture only goes up to f/5.6, so if you’re shooting a lot of indoor or low light shots, you may struggle if you don’t use a flash.

It’s a pretty big lens (though not to the point where it is difficult to carry around).

Really, the only reason we’re recommending this lens is that it’s super inexpensive compared to the others and it’s FD after all.

Canon 100-200mm f5.6 FD 11150
  • 100-200mm
  • 1:5.6
  • Aperture: 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22, 32
  • No.: 178548

9. Canon f/4 FD 35-70mm

Canon FD 35-70 mm F/4 MF Zoom Lens(S/N:172187)#47900

Finally, the last lens we’d like to bring to your attention is the Canon f/4 FD 35-70mm lens. It’s a pretty old lens but it’s still going really strong even after all these years.

The max aperture is f/3.5 at 35mm, and f/4.5 at 70mm. While this is fine for most well lit indoor areas, in darker areas or at night, you’re not going to get good performance out of this.

Overall, it’s a really light lens that does the job well.

Canon FD 35-70 mm F/4 MF Zoom Lens(S/N:172187)#47900
  • Distance scale: (m) 0.5 (35mm at 0.5m, 0.08X magnification) (70mm at 0.15); 10 OO (ft) 2 - 30.OO
  • Focusing mechanism: Rotation of front lens group
  • Zooming: Rotation of zooming ring; Minimum aperture: f/22 . A
  • Diaphragm: Automatic; Filter size: 52mm; Hood: W-62
  • Length x max. diameter: 85.5mm x 68mm; Weight: 315g

Related

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need an adapter to mount this lens?

In most cases, yes. Since these are older lenses, they will not work without an adapter on newer cameras.

How much do Canon FD lenses cost?

Canon FD lenses can be found for quite cheap. Since you’re buying second hand, many of the lenses you’ll find will be quite a steal compared to brand new lenses with similar specs.

However, since they are older lenses, you’ll be giving up some of the advanced features like autofocus and stabilization.

What is meant by aperture?

Aperture means the amount of light being let into your lens. A smaller aperture number means the lens is open more, and a higher aperture number means the lens is less open, letting less light in. This is a point of confusion for many photographers!

Zoom lenses or prime lenses?

Zoom lenses and prime lenses are two different types of lenses. Which one should you get really depends on what and how you are shooting.

If you’re shooting closer subjects, a prime lens will do the trick just fine, and you’ll also be able to get bigger apertures. Zoom lenses are great if your subjects are far off and you need to get in close, but you will sacrifice the aperture a little bit. The more you zoom, the less the aperture will get.

Are FD lenses well built?

Back in the day, manufacturers used to build things to last! Most lenses had metal housing which was incredibly durable and could survive years and years. Ironically, newer lenses don’t have such a long lifetime because manufacturers use rubber and plastic parts to cut costs. Oh well!

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that Canon FD lenses are extremely high quality lenses and great for shooting video. If you use your SLR camera to shoot video, then an FD lens will give you a lot of flexibility and let you get really creative with your shots. Plus, with the wide variety available, there’s no limit to the kinds of shots you can create.

Zhiyun Smooth 4 Review: An awesome smartphone gimbal

When it comes to smartphone gimbals, there are plenty of cheap options out there. But two companies really stand out: Zhiyun and DJI. In this post, we’ll talk about and review the Zhiyun Smooth 4 gimbal. Is it a viable competitor to the DJI Osmo? Let’s dive in and have a look in this review.

Zhiyun Smooth 4 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer YouTube Video Vlog Tripod for iPhone 11 Pro Xs Max Xr X 8 Plus 7 6 SE Android Cell Phone Smartphone

Why do you need a smartphone gimbal?

Gimbals are essentially mechanical stabilizers for cameras. With a gimbal, you can take silky smooth video in which your hand movements and vibrations are completely invisible. The gimbal works with 2 (or sometimes 3) motors than compensate for any sudden movements.

Gimbals have long been used in filming and cinematography, and since smartphone cameras are getting better and better and more capable of taking stunning photographs and recording 4k video, in many cases, you no longer need bigger cameras to take great photos, especially on the go.

Once you start taking videos with a gimbal, you’ll never want to take videos by hand again. The Zhiyun Smooth 4 has three axes: pan, tilt, and roll. These are the three directions your camera can move in: tilting up and down, tilting side to side, and tilting back and forth.

The motors will spin just enough to negate any movements you make, resulting in smooth video free of any shakes and vibrations.

Stabilization is especially useful when you’re walking and filming at the same time. Holding the camera in your hand will show all the movements from your walking, but if you use a gimbal, it will look really fluid and smooth.

Overview

When you receive the Zhiyun Smooth 4, you’ll get two accessories with it: a USB-C charging cable and a small, folding tripod. If most of your stuff is USB-C, you’ll be a happy camper. However, if you still have stuff that uses micro USB, then you’ll need to carry an extra cable.

However, it’s not that big of a deal 🙂

Upon first glance, the handle of the Zhiyun Smooth 4 may seem a little intimidating given the myriad buttons there. Most gimbals including the DJI Osmo are quite simple in terms of controls, and just 2-3 buttons do everything.

There is a LED battery indicator and the gimbal arm locks into position when you want to store it, so it doesn’t swing around everywhere like other gimbals do when they are not powered on.

Overall, the construction is plastic, which is not all that bad considering it cuts costs and keeps the device quite lightweight.

Related:

1. Pan and follow

In pan and follow mode, the camera will maintain the horizon. This means that any up/down shakes and movements will be canceled out by the gimbal, but if you turn the camera left or right, the camera will move with your arm.

2. Follow mode

In follow mode, both pan and tilt will move(smoothly, of course). This means that you can turn the camera up/down/left/right and the motors will follow. However, if you try to tilt the camera left or right(spinning it), that movement will be counteracted.

3. Locked mode

In locked mode, the camera will hold whatever orientation it is in and you won’t be able to change its direction – any movements will be counteracted and the angle and position will be maintained. This is good for using when you’re walking or running and want to get a straight, smooth shot.

PhoneGo Mode

In PhoneGo mode, the gimbal will become more sensitive and the result is even more smooth, which is good for capturing video when there are a lot of sudden, jerky changes in direction.

To activate PhoneGo Mode, there is a little trigger on the back side of the grip.

Photos

There is a companion app for the Zhiyun Smooth 4 called ZY Play, which lets you get creative with taking photos using your gimbal.

You can take single photos using a button on the gimbal, you can take panorama shots(the gimbal can turn really smoothly to capture a lot of imagery), as well as timelapses and a special mode called Vertigo.

How to use the various controls

zhiyun-s4-control-2558851

As you can see from the image above, there are a LOT of controls for you to play around with on the Zhiyun Smooth 4. This means you can actually change a lot of settings mid shoot without having to touch your screen, allowing for even more smoothness.

The large dial on the left is for controlling focus and digital zoom. This is quite a unique feature to the Zhiyun Smooth 4 as it’s rare to find a gimbal that allows you to mess with the focus.

The lightning bolt button in the center, as you can guess, is to turn the camera flash on. As you’re taking videos, if you wish to use a bit more light, just press the flash button to activate the phone’s LED flash.

At this point, you may be wondering how the gimbal manages to control so many features across so many smartphones.

The answer is, well, that you can only use these features if you’re in the ZY Play app. This means all videos and photos must be shot using the app if you want to use these button controls.

If you’re fine with just choosing a shooting mode and then using your phone’s native camera app, that will work, but the buttons won’t function. That’s a trade-off that many folks don’t mind, especially considering that the native apps are often much more robust(especially in the case of phones like the new iPhone).

Additionally, many gimbals have a little joystick that you can use to adjust the pan and tilt of the camera from the gimbal controls itself. This gimbal, interestingly enough, does not have a joystick. It’s not a huge trade-off, but sometimes being able to make small adjustments comes in very handy.

It is not a dealbreaker by any means, but if you like to use the joystick, you’re going to miss it here.

FiLMiC Pro App

As I mentioned above, the button controls can only be used with the native ZY app. Zhiyun has opened up their ecosystem to the FiLMiC Pro app as well, and this app also integrates nicely with the gimbal controls.

What’s more, the app is a really full-featured videography and photography app that lets you shoot really good videos and photographs, so you’ll actually enjoy using it!

For example, I personally don’t like to use the standard apps that gimbals are meant to go with – I just prefer the stabilization and using my own camera app. FiLMiC Pro ticks both boxes in that it is an app of my choice and it works well with the gimbal.

How well does the Zhiyun Smooth 4 work?

From what we’ve seen, the Zhiyun Smooth works wonders for stabilization. Whether you’re walking, running, or driving down a bumpy road, the Zhiyun manages to eliminate all visible shakes and vibrations. The stabilization is really top of the line and can really be considered a benchmark to check other gimbals against.

The lithium ion battery powering the gimbal work for up to 12 hours. 12 hours is a pretty long time especially for a gimbal and it’s more than enough for a day of filming. It’s ideal for using while traveling, too. Once you get home, just charge it up and it’s ready to go the next day.

Using the Zhiyun Smooth 4

The phone clamp can turn into portrait mode and landscape mode so you can shoot selfies and portrait videos as well. Just shoot and upload to your favorite app, whether it’s Snapchat, Instagram, Vine, or Tiktok.

The tripod is really handy, too. Being able to fold it open and closed allows you to both use it as an extension of the grip, as well as place it on a surface as you film(great for filming yourself for a vlog, for example).

Final thoughts

Overall, the Zhiyun Smooth 4 is a really nice gimbal that does not break the bank. For the price point and the features it delivers, you really can’t go wrong. It does its main job really well: stabilizes video, it’s fast, it’s quiet, and if you use a compatible app, there is a myriad of options you can control entirely from the gimbal itself.

However, the buttons can also feel overwhelming, especially if you’re just looking for a simple gimbal without too many bells and whistles.

The DJI Osmo Mobile 3 really is the only thing left to compare this gimbal to, and considering it is actually a little bit more expensive, the Zhiyun Smooth 4 really gives it a run for the money.

Zhiyun Smooth 4 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer YouTube Video Vlog Tripod for iPhone 11 Pro Xs Max Xr X 8 Plus 7 6 SE Android Cell Phone Smartphone
  • 👍👍【Filmic Pro】The official APP for Smooth 4 is called ZY play. But Filmic Pro has best in class support for Smooth 4, you can use Filmic Pro as an alternative to ZY play.
  • 👍👍【Control Panel】Integrated control panel design,Focus Pull & Zoom Capability
  • ✅✅【MUST KNOW】Balance the gimbal before use: Slide the smartphoone in as close as possible to against the tilt axis motor. Loosen the Roll (Y) Axis Thumb Screw (which is on the back) to adjust the gravity center by sliding the horizontal arm.When phone stays in level in power OFF status, it is balanced.We recommend you VIEW the video tutorials, There are lots of tutorial videos on YOUTUBE that will help you master the gimbal.
  • 👍👍【PhoneGo Mode】PhoneGo Mode for Instant Scene Transition
  • 👍👍【Time Lapse & Object Tracking】Time Lapse Expert and Object Tracking available, Supports Two-way Charging with Longer Runtime

STM vs USM For Photography: Which Canon Technology is better?

On many Canon lenses, you’ll either find STM or USM written which specifies the kind of motor that the lens uses for focusing. In this post, we’ll be talking about the difference between STM and USM and which is better for photography.

STM stands for stepping motor, which is a very smooth but slightly slower way of autofocusing.

USM stands for ultrasonic motor, which is faster and what Canon used to use in most of their lenses. These motors are not as smooth or quiet, though.

Where did STM and USM come from?

Originally, autofocus systems were operated using a motor that sat in the body of the camera rather than in the lens. A mechanical gear would connect the motor to the lens, and the motor inside the camera would rotate the lens to achieve a desired focus.

Back then, there were plenty of big camera manufacturers: Canon, Nikon, Yashica, and Pentax. Of these 4, Nikon, Yashica, and Pentax used a similar design to keep the motor in the camera body.

Canon designers decided to try another method by putting the motor in the lens. As it turns out, Canon’s designers hit the nail on the head and their system was far superior to the others. Eventually, everyone else switched to a system based on Canon’s(with their own tweaks, of course).

Related:

How did we get to STM and USM lenses?

Canon lenses today use one of three kinds of motors: a STM motor, a USM motor, or a regular DC motor.

DC or direct drive motors

Even though most Canon lenses have STM or USM motors, if your lens does not specify it, it probably has a DC motor. a DC motor is the bottom of the pile in motors: there’s no smoothness of STM, no speed of USM, but it can do the job and as a budding photographer, it may not matter to you.

USM or ultrasonic motors

Ultrasonic motors are the most popular kind of autofocus motors and most Canon lenses use these. Ultrasonic vibrations are converted into rotational energy which is used to move the lens. For this to work, you need two loosely coupled rings. By vibrating one of the lenses, the other will rotate.

One ring is on the body, and the other ring is on the focusing part of the lens. USM motors have the advantage of speed. If you need to click really fast, the USM motor can keep up really well. You can also make small manual adjustments without having to turn autofocus off.

Ring USM motors

Even USM motors are of a few different types! Ring USM motors are the most common variation of autofocus motors in Canon lenses.

The motor itself is quite powerful and allows for a level of exact precision. You don’t need any mechanisms to reduce the speed of the motor. Additionally, once the motor has found a good position, you don’t need to keep applying power to it to maintain that position.

They are also very responsive, and it’s no surprise that Ring USM motors are the most common kind of motor found in Canon lenses.

Micro USM motors

Micro USM – as the name suggests – is a much smaller motor so it can fit into much smaller lenses. These are also cheaper so where micro USM motors are used, the price of the lens is less as well.

Micro USM uses a motor similar to the regular USM motor, but in this case, it’s not directly connected to the focusing rings. Instead, gears are used which actually makes it a hybrid between an old school autofocus system and the newer USM system.

Nano USM

Canon’s latest development is Nano USM, which is a high speed autofocus mechanism that is just as good as the regular USM and just as quiet and smooth. It’s probably the best kind of lens to use for everyday photography and even video.

You can shoot good, smooth video in which your camera focus keeps up with your moving subjects. Of course, it will shoot really good photographs, too.

STM or stepping motors

STM motors as you read above are smoother and quieter than USM motors. If you’re looking to shoot videos as well as photos, you can’t go wrong with a lens that uses STM motors.

Because it’s so quiet, your microphone won’t pick up any of the internal noises in the camera and you’ll be able to capture more of the actual subject’s sounds.

Stepping motors are called stepping(or stepper) motors because they can execute very tiny movements down to 0.1mm, and they can do them really fast. In fact, stepper motors are used in 3D printers for this very reason.

The small and precise movements are ideal for keeping up with the constantly changing focal length required when shooting videos.

This system is totally electronic and there are no gears or rings involved.

Gear STM

Smaller lenses using STM motors use gears to change the focus.

Lead-screw STM

Lead-screw motors are used in larger lenses(where you have more space). Lead screw motors are even more quieter and can achieve faster speeds than gear STMs.

Which one should you get?

For professional applications and for shooting higher quality photographs, USM lenses remain the undoubted champion.

For amateur photographers who also shoot lots of video, STM lenses shine – they’re totally silent and can deliver really crisp video. The focus speed is a bit slower but that allows for more smoothness.

More reading:

GoPro Voice Commands(For Hero5, Hero6, Hero7 onwards)

By nature, the GoPro is supposed to be a very compact action camera. I have a GoPro Hero 5 Session and there are just two buttons on the whole thing, and even though there are a lot of potential settings you can tweak, it’s not always really easy to access them through the buttons, but you can do it using GoPro’s voice commands.

This is especially true if you’ve mounted the GoPro quite tightly somewhere and it is inconvenient to keep trying to access it.

The more recent GoPro models have voice commands, so you no longer need to press any buttons for most basic commands. GoPro’s Voice Commands are quite convenient to use. Let’s see which GoPros have voice control built in, and the different commands that you can use.

Check if your GoPro model has Voice Control

If your GoPro is a model older than the HERO 5, it does not have voice control. The HERO 5 and all GoPros released after it do have voice commands.

There are 12 different commands that you can issue, and the GoPro is designed to understand them in 1o different languages(wow!)

Since then, I’ve come to really appreciate the convenience of my using GoPro’s voice control. There’s no need to stop and fiddle with your GoPro anymore!

The following models will work with voice commands:

  1. HERO7 (White, Silver, & Black)
  2. HERO6 Black
  3. Fusion
  4. HERO5 Black
  5. HERO5 Session
  6. HERO (2018)
  7. Remo

GoPro is coming out with their new GoPro HERO8 soon, and all GoPro models now have voice commands as a standard feature. Even if your model is not on this list(meaning it is an older model), you can still control it remotely by other means, such as through the excellent GoPro app which you can download for iOS and Android.

Languages supported by the GoPro

  1. English (USA, UK, and Australia)
  2. French
  3. Italian
  4. German
  5. Spanish
  6. Chinese
  7. Japanese
  8. Portuguese
  9. Russian
  10. Korean

Please note that the last 3 languages on the list(Portuguese, Russian, and Korean) are not supported on the Remo.

How to use GoPro Voice Commands

If you’re comfortable using Alexa, OK Google, or Siri, using GoPro voice commands should feel really natural to you. Remember to speak clearly and loudly, and if there are other loud sounds muffling your voice, the camera may not be able to catch what you are saying.

First off, you’ll need to enable voice commands from the menu. How you access the menu will vary depending on the model that you are using.

You’ll also need to tell the GoPro which language to expect commands in, which you can also change from the settings menu.

You have 12 commands that the GoPro can understand:

  1. “GoPro Start Recording”
  2. “GoPro HiLight” (Adds a highlight tag while recording video)
  3. “GoPro Stop Recording”
  4. “GoPro Take a Photo”
  5. “GoPro Shoot Burst”
  6. “GoPro Start Time Lapse”
  7. “GoPro Stop Time Lapse”
  8. “GoPro Video Mode”
  9. “GoPro Photo Mode”
  10. “GoPro Time Lapse Mode”
  11. “GoPro Burst Mode”
  12. “GoPro Turn Off”

All the commands are really self-explanatory, so there is not much more that needs to be said. You can know for sure that the GoPro understood the command if you see the lights turn on/hear a beep.

Remember to say “GoPro” very clearly because that’s the keyphrase that gets the camera to listen.

If you have a HERO7, you can use “GoPro Capture” or “GoPro Stop Capture” to start and stop recording in whatever mode the camera is currently set to.

Additionally, there have been reports that there are two more commands that work:

  1. “Oh shit!”
  2. “That was sick”

Apparently, these will highlight the videos with a tag when you record. I suppose the rationale behind this was if whatever you did was so thrilling that you had to react like that, the camera should remember so that you can easily find the file!

GoPro Voice Commands not working?

Often, after a software update, the GoPro resets the default language back to English(USA). If this happens and you’re speaking in a different language or even accent, you may find that the voice commands stop working.

Simply head over to the menu and change the language back, and you should be good to go.

Using the app or the remote

Of course, if you don’t want to use voice commands, you can certainly use the GoPro app(my screen is broken, so I have to use the app), or you can use the remote which you have to buy separately.

Best low light action cameras: 5 picks for 2020

Looking for the best low light action camera can be a tough job since most action cameras are just not designed to shoot in poor lighting conditions, but there are a few models that really shine out of the current offerings.

In this post, we’ll take a look at those cameras and see which ones handle low light conditions the best. For what it’s worth, a low light action camera will never perform quite as well as a regular camera, but then again, there are certain situations where the only camera that will do the trick is an action camera.

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS  
cfimvtbl-table__image Our Top PickOur Top PickGoPro Hero 7 Black
  • HyperSmooth Video
  • Waterproof and rugged
  • Unmatched video quality
VIEW ON AMAZON →
cfimvtbl-table__image DJI Osmo Action Camera
  • 2 screens
  • Good slow motion footage
  • RockSteady technology
VIEW ON AMAZON →
cfimvtbl-table__image Yi 4K+ Action Camera
  • Budget friendly
  • Long battery life
  • Can record 4k/60 fps
VIEW ON AMAZON →

How does a camera handle low light?

Cameras have two ways of handling low light situations. One is to increase the aperture, which lets more light onto the sensor. The other is to slow down the shutter speed, which keeps the shutter open for longer, and lets more light onto the sensor. Back in the day, there was film, but now, there is a digital sensor which captures the image.

Because there’s not enough light coming in, you won’t be able to see as many details or colors as you would in better light.

Lately though, the processing software inside cameras has gotten very advanced and a lot of post-processing that you would have had to do on the computer is now done by the camera itself.

With that short intro out of the way, let’s get into our favorite low light cameras.

5 Low light action cameras that don’t suck

1. GoPro Hero 7 Black

It should come as no surprise that the GoPro Hero 7 is at the top of our list. GoPro are the pioneers of the action camera itself and year in and year out, their models just shoot plain better video than any other camera out there.

There used to be a time where GoPros actually had terrible low light shooting but the company has addressed the issue in their new model. The Hero 7 black has some modes that are especially designed for taking nighttime videos and photos:

  • Night Photo mode
  • Night Lapse Mode
  • Auto Low Light mode

You should be aware that low light mode will not have stabilization, so if your camera is moving very quickly, you will have rather blurry video, especially since the shutter is working slower.

Some advantages of the GoPro 7 Black is that it’s waterproof and in good lighting, the Hypersmooth stabilization does a fantastic job of recording creamy, smooth videos, and it has voice commands so you don’t need to fumble in the dark.

However, the battery life is quite low.

GoPro Hero7 Black — Waterproof Action Camera with Touch Screen 4K Ultra HD Video 12MP Photos 720p Live Streaming Stabilization
  • HyperSmooth: Get gimbal‑like stabilization—without the gimbal. HERO7 Black corrects for camera shake to deliver insanely smooth footage
  • TimeWarp: Capture super stabilized time lapse videos while you move about a scene. Increase the speed up to 30x to turn longer activities into shareable moments
  • Live streaming in 720p: Share while you’re there. Live stream in 720p on social, get HyperSmooth stabilization as you broadcast via the GoPro app and save footage to your SD card to check out later
  • Rugged + Waterproof: Share experiences you can’t capture with your phone. HERO7 Black is rugged, waterproof without a housing to 33 feet (10m) and up for any adventure
  • SuperPhoto: Get brilliant photos automatically. With SuperPhoto, HERO7 Black intelligently applies HDR, local tone mapping or noise reduction to optimize your shots

2. DJI Osmo Action

The DJI Osmo Action is DJI’s response to the GoPro Hero 7 Black. Sporting a front and back facing screen, in some cases, the DJI actually records better low light video than the Hero 7 Black. Interestingly enough, both cameras have a 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor.

This is quite striking, especially considering that the GoPro has a higher maximum ISO (3200) than that of the Osmo Action (1600).

However, because the DJI is not waterproof without a case and can’t live stream, it falls to the number 2 spot instead of claiming the number 1 spot. Also, GoPro’s customer service and warranty is much better than that of DJI. It is what it is!

DJI Osmo Action - 4K Action Cam 12MP Digital Camera with 2 Displays 36ft Underwater Waterproof WiFi HDR Video 145° Angle, Black
  • Dual Screens: Osmo Action’s dual screens allow you to capture it all with the touch of a button. A vivid front screen lets you frame yourself effortlessly in any setting, while the back screen delivers a crystal-clear, hyper-responsive display. This durable, versatile action camera is jam-packed with advanced technology that lets you spend less time worrying about equipment and more time living the action.
  • The RockSteady technology combines EIS with complex algorithms, delivering stable, shake-free footage no matter how heavy the action gets.
  • Action camera with 1/2.3" CMOS Sensor, 12MP, wide-angle 145° that allows you to shoot 4K HDR videos.
  • 8x Slow Motion: Capture every epic move with jaw-dropping clarity and detail when you use 8x slow motion with 1080p resolution and 240fps. Time-lapse: Condense time and movement for stunning, easy-to-achieve results.
  • 11m Waterproof, -10℃ Temperature Resistant Sporting a watertight seal and a hydrophobic coating on the back touchscreen, Osmo Action is waterproof at depths of up to 11 meters, making it the perfect underwater companion. Versatile batteries perform well even in extremely cold environments with temperatures as low as -10℃.

3. EZVIZ Action Camera

The EZVIZ Action Camera is quite affordable compared to the pricier DJI and GoPros, which is why we wanted to include this one in our list too.

On the surface, it shoots 1080p/60fps video with a huge 150 degree wide angle lens. There’s very little that you won’t be able to capture with such a wide angle lens. Though one small disadvantage here would be that you’ll get a bit of fish-eye effect.

The reason that the EZVIZ makes our list, though, is the low-light mode. Whenever the surroundings get dark to a certain degree, low-light mode automatically kicks in.

If you use the waterproof housing(you’ll need the housing for this to work), you can take it to a depth of 40 meters underwater.

All in all, the EZVIZ is a surprisingly good camera that ticks a lot of the boxes where the DJI and GoPro fall short. It has a removable battery, takes respectable low light photos and videos, and it’s quite user friendly.

The main disadvantage though is that it’s a bit on the bigger side, and there are no mounts included in the packaging.

EZVIZ S2 Lite Action Camera 1080p 60fps 8MP 131ft Waterproof 2" Touch Screen Interface On Dash Cam 150° Wide Angle Low-Light Mode Built-in WiFi Bluetooth Pocket Size Outdoor Sports
  • ✔ 2 In 1 Waterproof Camera - With two modes available, you can easily switch between Action cam and Dash cam(Mounting accessories are not included.). It records up to 1080p 60fps and picture up to 8MP.
  • ✔ 150° Ultra Wide Angle with Less Distortion - With 6 layers of full glass lens and 150° Ultra Wide Angle, S3 covers more and prevents de-focusing. The specialized correction algorithm adjusts FOV and image distortion.
  • ✔ Advanced Low-Light Mode & WDR - Thanks to the low light mode and WDR, the S2 handles high-contrast lighting with ease and presents images with intense detail and clarity even in the dark.
  • ✔ Built-in Wi-Fi & HDMI - Edit & share your action in minutes in wireless(Wi-Fi) or wired(HDMI/AV) ways. Download the free app EZVIZ Sport on your smart phone to take full control of the camera in real time.
  • ✔ Have Fun Anywhere Anytime - Waterproof up to 131ft with Waterproof casing, 2 hours battery life in 1080p 60fps mode (varies according to video mode) lets you take pictures anywhere you wish.

4. Yi 4K+ Action Camera

The Yi is Xiaomi’s action camera. Xiaomi has burst on the scene in the past two years as a powerhouse brand that makes nearly everything under the sun.

The Yi 4K+ is a super affordable, high quality action camera. You can’t expect daytime videos like the GoPro, but for most practical usage(casual Youtube or Instagram), you won’t even notice the difference in quality once you’ve uploaded the video.

It can shoot 4K video at 60 frames per second, but if you enable the low light mode, you will no longer be able to shoot 4K. You’ll lose out on stabilization, too.

Still, you’ll get pretty decent results from the 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor and even though there will be a few traces of grains, the video will be usable.

Like the EZVIZ, the Yi falls short with no accessories being packaged with it, and it’s not waterproof without a case.

YI 4K+ Action Camera, Sports Cam with 4k/60fps Resolution, EIS,Voice Control, 12MP Raw Image
  • Impressive Video Quality - The world’s first action camera to record 4K/60fps video; Built-in Sony IMX377 image sensor captures 12MP pictures and films high-quality full HD footages.
  • Superb Image Stablization - Built-in Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) delivers spectacularly smooth and steady videos in up to 4K/30fps resolution, ensuring excellent experience in shooting fast-moving objects.
  • Intuitive UI Design - Ultra responsive 2.2” Gorilla Glass retina touchscreen shows everything crystal clearly and brightly, easy to change settings, switch shooting modes, preview and playback footage.
  • Long Battery Life - 1200mAh high capacity battery supports video recording at 4K / 60fps for up to 70 minutes; USB-C connector offers more efficient power delivery and faster data transfer.
  • Versatile Travel Camcorder - Packed with features including voice control, RAW image capture, built-in Bluetooth Low Energy and Wi-Fi, and external type-C microphone support. Note: Always update your 4K+ action camera to the latest version of the firmware(v1.3.11). By updating, you can enjoy additional features, keep your hardware healthy and system stability.

5. Polaroid Cube Act II

Polaroid Cube Act II HD 1080P Mountable Weather-Resistant Lifestyle Action Video Camera (Black) 6MP Still Camera w/ Image Stabilization, Sound Recording, Low Light Capability & Other Updated Features
  • Its brilliant – The Polaroid cube two is here to prove that the best things do indeed come in small packages standing at just about 35mm (1. 4”) and weighing just 49 grams this tiny action camera is ready to capture your most exciting moments in stunning Hi-Definition video on the go.
  • Advanced camera technology – the cube records full HD either 720P or 1080P video and can take 6-megapixel still photos. To help capture more of the action, It features a fixed 124-degree wide-angle Lens, making it the ultimate combination of performance and small size.
  • Capture every moment – The rubberized rugged body ensure you on all types of extreme conditions.
  • Advanced simplicity - no more fumbling around with buttons hold the multifunction button until the led light turns green and you hear 3 beeps. All set! The built-in rechargeable battery and advance video and image stabilization enables you to continuously record up to 90 minutes per charge without worry.

The last pick on our list is the Polaroid Cube Act II. The Cube is a super cute, small action camera that measures just under 1.5 inch on each side. It has a decent 124 degree wide angle lens that should capture quite a lot of imagery, and the internal stabilization will help keep your videos smooth even if the camera is subjected to a jerk here or there.

The EXTREMELY cool feature of the Act II is that the bottom of the camera is magnetic, so you can just stick it anywhere to get an interesting vantage point for recording videos.

It takes high quality photos and video, and the low light performance is respectable, too.

More than its low light capability, what drew us to the Cube Act II was really the super cool form factor and convenience that this camera offers.

Related

Final thoughts on the best low light action cam

Even though we rated the GoPro as number 1, we feel that the EZVIZ actually falls right between everything and strikes a nice balance between price, image quality, and usability.

If you don’t have a lot of money to spend but still want a nice action camera, The best choice is the EZVIZ.

However, if you want more expandability and flexibility and you are willing to pay the extra money, then you can’t go wrong with a GoPro or an Osmo, either.