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Category: Travel

Sony’s a7C Is Full Frame For Travel

The Sony a7C is a misunderstood camera. It’s currently the smallest full frame camera on the market with a lot of the internals of the three year old a7III but the a7C is a step up, depending on the direction you’re coming from. A lot of other reviews focus on how the a7C compares to other full frame cameras but if you’re using another sensor altogether, Sony’s developed a very nice step up.

You can watch my full review in the video here or read on.

A Little Basics

So what’s the big deal about full frame? The term full frame comes from film cameras and refers to the sensor in the camera. Light comes in through the lens and hits the sensor, then magic happens and there’s a photo or video. Full frame is a big sensor. Big sensors have more surface area to capture light. There’s also other types of sensors, like micro fourth thirds (1/4th the size of full frame). Smaller sensor means less light. More light typically results in better photos and video. Then why would you ever get a smaller sensor?

Smaller sensors mean smaller cameras and lenses that also weigh less. Smaller sensors are usually less expensive too.

The a7C though is beginning to change that equation.

Minimizing Form Factor

Although it’s not a particularly petite camera compared to a smartphone or point and shoot, the a7C body is 12.4 x 7.1 x 6 centimeters and weighs 509 grams. It is weather and dust resistant, shoots 4K (up to 30fps with a 1.2x crop or 24fps without one), and has a screen that flips to the side. The latter, I point out because Sony’s have traditionally used flip up screens, making it hard to vlog if you’re using an external microphone.

sony a7c

The auto-focus is amazing in every way, colors are rendered nicely, and you can trust all of the auto settings if you want to use them. Auto white balance is especially accurate but for times you want to adjust the ISO or heavily color correct during editing, there is S-Log3.

Customizing Experience

To cut down in size, Sony’s moved the viewfinder off to the left and it’s so small, it’s practically useless. A variety of custom buttons have also not been included (like some of Sony’s larger full frame cameras) but you can map the buttons on the back to anything you want. Sony’s also included a quick function menu as well so you can change the settings you most frequently adjust fast on the fly.

These are all tradeoffs though that narrow the gap between power and portability. With the tiny 28-60mm kit lens the a7C is designed to be as customizable as possible in a smaller form factor. The grip isn’t as big as it could be but for most people, it won’t be a deal breaker. A large battery gives you an impressive 740 shots or 3 hours of video recording.

Additionally, the a7C can save you from bringing a number of accessories thanks to what the USB-C port can do. Charging the camera directly from your laptop and being able to live stream without an Elgato Cam Link is incredibly useful. And that equation I mentioned earlier? Well, the a7C is small, light, and less expensive than previous entries into full frame. It won’t replace your larger Sony camera but if you’re moving into the full frame world, the a7C is a great first step.

Not Wanting To Exercise Is Normal, Here’s Why

There are a lot of myths about fitness, including the notion that our ancestors were hulking super-humans who were always on the go. It turns out according to Harvard professor of human evolutionary biology Daniel Lieberman, hunter gatherers do a lot more sitting than you think.

Dr. Lieberman is the author of Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do Is Healthy and Rewarding and recently joined me on a recent episode of the foXnoMad Podcast to discuss common myths above movement. We also talk about the Paleo diet and why eating from a Stone Age menu might not be ideal.

You can watch a clip of my interview with Dr. Lieberman in this video or listen to the full foXnoMad Podcast episode here.

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro Are Great But Not For Every Phone

The Galaxy Buds Pro are the active noise canceling wireless earbuds we want every competitor to learn from but unfortunately it’s best features are limited to Samsung phones. Still, the Galaxy Buds Pro are physically small with a big battery at heart to power some of the best noise canceling at this size.

You can watch my full review above or read on for the highlights.

Limited Galaxy

The Galaxy Buds Pro have been a quiet release for Samsung but don’t let the name fool you, these are well designed earbuds audio enthusiasts will enjoy. Music and podcasts are crisp, the sound rich, and around 4-5 hours of battery life are average for earbuds this size. What Samsung gets right isn’t one single great feature but instead solidly above average across the board.

Bluetooth 5.0 connections are quick and reliable no matter which phone you’re connecting with. Fast charging gives you an hour of use with a 5 minute top off and the case has wireless charging in addition to USB-C. Waterproof for up to 30 minutes, the Galaxy Buds Pro pack a lot into the best wireless earbuds case on the market right now.

samsung galaxy buds pro

Not For Everyone

Sadly though, the features that really make the Galaxy Buds Pro special are limited to Samsung devices. Take automatic device switching between your phone and tablet – it’s only works with Samsung devices. Charging up the case through your phone’s wireless coil? Samsung devices only. Adjusting the active noise cancelling from ambient mode all the way up to maximum? The most nuanced features are limited to Android devices.

Perhaps none of this is surprising. Samsung is clearly hoping the Galaxy Buds Pro give you reason to keep or upgrade to a Galaxy device, much like Airpods for with Apple. Samsung’s made the best wireless earbuds with ANC of the year so far, it’s a shame not everyone can enjoy the full feature set.

The Narrowing Gap Between Power And Portability

There used to be a time when you had to make significant tradeoffs between power and portability. That was an ancient time known as the early 2010s. Now, a decade later, the narrowing gap between power and portability means we might be closer to understanding the importance of global tourism.

You can watch my video here or read on.

Shrinkage

2020 was the year most everyone couldn’t travel but tech marched on and brought us a few new eye catching leaps forward. The Sony a7C became the smallest full frame camera on the market with a tiny kit lens to match. Apple’s new M1 chip Macbook Air takes leaps toward the rest of the Macbook lineup. I could go on… but the point is these products aren’t stripped down versions of the full sized thing.

The future of portable gear is a merger with power to become a new branch of electronic evolution.

Versatility Domino Effect

Sony’s a7C is immensely customizable and the M1 Macbook Air has 20 hours of battery life. Plucking out those two features shows that portable doesn’t just mean less, it can also mean more useful. Longer battery life has some obvious advantages but look a bit further and it means you don’t always have to bring chargers or extra batteries along. The domino effect is less time spend in airport security lines. Having a 4K video camera in your phone is a travel movie or moment that’s just that much more accessible.

Refocus From Tools

Ultimately, the less you have to think about what will fit in your backpack or how heavy a lens is or that you’re at 1%, the more useful your electronics become. Your focus is best spent on the places you’ll go, people you’re going to meet, and the world around you. As our tech continues to get smaller yet remain powerful (while coming down in price too) it means more of us will get to share. We’ll get to share in different and more creative ways and tell the stories of the world around us.

There’s a quiet revolution in tech that’s happening right now. In the cross-section is a world that’s potentially smaller, more understanding, and filled with more art from around the world.

Bose Built Headphones Into Sunglasses And It’s Back To The Future

The Bose Frames Tenor are sunglasses with headphones built into the frames designed so that only you can hear them. They are expensive. They are ridiculous. But they’re also a lot of fun.

You can watch my full review of the Bose Frames Tenor in this video or read on.

Hands Free

The concept of the Frames line from Bose – a series of sunglasses from casual to sport – seems indulgent but the application is thoughtful. Physically the design doesn’t reveal these are pricey sunglasses with capable speakers embedded in the frames, aside from a bit more thickness, noticeable only if you’re really looking for it. Using polarizing glass Bose didn’t cut corners on the glasses themselves which can be ordered to your prescription if needed.

The real trick of these sunglasses however are the two speakers on either frame that are positioned toward your ears.

Surprising Sound Quality

Although there is some sound bleed – others around you can hear what you’re listening to at higher volumes, from your perspective as a wearer, the audio is clear. Bose has also included two microphones in these Frames Tenor so you can make and take calls, which sound decent, considering there’s nothing dangling anywhere near your mouth.

bose frames tenor

Touch controls and gestures in the frames themselves let you swipe up/down for volume controls, left/right for forward/back, and taps for pause and play. There’s a lot to like about the Bose Frames Tenor which don’t seem nearly as frivolous once you start using them.

Limiting Sports

There are some obvious limitations to the Frames however. First, you have to wear them in bright conditions and sunglasses might not be appropriate in a lot of places (don’t be that guy in the airport or office). The Frames also have a little noise bleed so in quiet settings they might be a bit too loud for your surroundings if you crank up the sound. On the flip side, those limitations can be assets if you look at the Bose Frames Tempo – the sporty version of the Tenor.

On a bike or jog in bright conditions, sunglasses sit more comfortably than most earbuds when you start sweating. Also, having your ears free gives you the opportunity to hear the world around you, whether it be cars in traffic or a jogger passing you on a trial. The portability of the Frames line makes them a very interesting option for runners, bikers, and outdoorsy people in general. The Frames are also a look into the future where we might have headphones embedded in more products or even our ears.

Imaging the possibilities of portable audio Marty.

3 Apple TV Shows To Fuel Your Travel Wanderlust

long way up

You probably don’t need much inspiration to travel these days if you’ve been quarantining but with the world closed off, everywhere feels a bit less reachable. Fortunately we’re more connected digitally than ever and having just come out of the tech season, you might be the owner of a new Apple device. New iPhones, iPads, and Macbooks come with a free year subscription to Apple TV and the vibrancy of these three series will make take your imagination places.

Here are 3 Apple TV original shows any travel lover will enjoy.

1. Long Way Up

long way up

Part of the Long Way series, Long Way Up follow Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor’s electric motorcycle trip from the southern tip of Argentina to Los Angeles. The cinematography is stunning, the motorcycle tech evolves literally throughout the series, but the camaraderie between Boorman and McGregor will remind you of your own road trips with friends.

Long Way Round is one of the best motorcycle books you can read and is a personal inspiration of mine as well.

2. For All Mankind

for all mankind

An alternate history where the Soviet Union lands on the moon first before the Americans and how it could have pushed the space race. The real appeal of For All Mankind, which is based on the technology possible during the 60s (even calls a very recent lunar discovery), is the societal changes that result. The acting is excellent and you’ll appreciate the story on Earth and the challenges in space, leaving you with optimism for our current times.

3. Earth At Night In Color

earth at night in color

This is another Apple series where you can marvel at the tech, focus on the result, or enjoy both. Using some of the most advanced cameras available, the series films wildlife at night but are able to show it in color. You may have seen night vision – take that image out of your head – and watch the first episode. The crew are able to film the nocturnal habits of lions, migratory birds, and adorably deadly (for insects) tarsiers.

A lot of the footage is the first ever captured because of the nighttime world the cameras unlock. Weaved beautifully into each 30 minute episode is a specific message about conservationism you might not have heard before. These are stories of the lives of animals, they’re families, and their environment. At the end of each episode you’ll also get to see a bit of the lengths the crew had to go to in order to film Earth At Night In Color, giving you an appreciation of the effort involved.

One More Thing

There’s a visual quality to each of these Apple TV series that’s bold aesthetically but nuanced in a way that makes the experience of watching them fresh. Once you’ve watch these, here are 8 other series you might want to marathon before you next flight.

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About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutHi, I'm Anil. foXnoMad is where I combine travel and tech to help you travel smarter. I'm on a journey to every country in the world and you're invited to join the adventure! Read More

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