Photography

12 Photos Taken Using the Samsung Galaxy Note 8

As an everyday iOS user, I have always admired the kinds of photos that are produced using Android phones — at least within recent years, anyway. For me, it all started with my first Android phone, the LG G4. Watch my review here.

So, what's special about the cameras on Android phones? In my experience, they tend to capture photos with great attention to contrast and overall sharpness. iOS devices, on the other hand, go for a softer, more natural look. Both styles of photography are great for different reasons. It simply comes down to personal preference and the results you are looking to get.

Focusing on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, I am happy to say that my fascination with Android phones continues. I have been having an absolute blast with the cameras on the Note 8. Combine them with Snapseed, my favorite mobile app for editing photos, and you've got yourself an incredible experience that all creatives are sure to enjoy.

Below are 12 photos that I shot using the Note 8. All edits were processed in post using Snapseed.

One particular quality I've noticed with the Note 8 is its ability to capture an impressive amount of detail in low-light situations. This certainly cannot be said for all phones, so props to Samsung for pulling this off. It's also worth noting that the Note 8 uses a dual-lens camera system on its rear, with each lens supporting optical image stabilization.

I plan to delve deeper with the cameras on the Note 8 in the coming days. In the meantime, feel free to check out my "8 Things I Like About the Samsung Galaxy Note 8" video below.

The Ultimate Canon 80D Bundle

Thanks to the success of my Patreon campaign, I was finally able to buy myself the Canon 80D — a camera that I have long thought about. After all, I have been using the Canon T4i (watch my unboxing) for more than four years. In the world of technology, that can feel like a lifetime. Needless to say, I was definitely due for an upgrade.

But to make my Canon 80D purchase a little more interesting, I thought I would try something different. Why not opt for a bundle and save some money in the process? Doing so would also allow me to get my hands on a variety of accessories that I would normally not buy. Well, that's just what I did.

I bought this exact bundle on Amazon: Canon EOS 80D Digital SLR Kit with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Image Stabilization STM & Canon EF-S 55-250mm Lens + Polaroid .43x Super Wide Angle & 2.2X HD Telephoto Lens + Memory Cards + Accessory Bundle

Considering everything that came bundled with the Canon 80D, I am more than happy to have paid $1,399. But what exactly is included? Obviously there's a large number of accessories in the image above, and not all of them are necessary, but some are certainly worth your attention. Below is a list of each item included in the bundle and its proposed purpose.

Canon EOS 80D Body (Buy on Amazon)
First and foremost, the bundle includes the Canon 80D body. Normally selling for $1,199 by itself, this is essential if you want to enjoy anything that the Canon 80D has to offer. I know, this information is obvious... but it needs to be said. It's also the most exciting part of the bundle, aside from the included lenses.

Canon EF-S 18–55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens (Buy on Amazon)
Often referred to as a kit lens, the Canon EF-S 18–55mm is perfect for getting any photographer started. It's nothing fancy, but the lens is certainly capable of producing some truly remarkable shots — and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. If you understand the basics of composition, then there's no reason why you cannot use this lens to its full potential.

Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens (Buy on Amazon)
The Canon EF-S 55–250mm is an excellent starter lens for photographers who are looking to zoom in on their subjects. And because this lens has built-in image stabilization, you can assure your shots (even when zoomed in) will come out sharp.

Polaroid Studio Series Pro Slave Flash PLASF18 (Buy on Amazon)
You want to hear something crazy? I've gone through a variety of cameras in over 10  years of creating video content, but I've never actually owned an external flash. Thanks to this bundle, now I do. I may have a lot to learn in regards to using the flash correctly, but at least I have it in my possession. I'm looking forward to taking advantage of it the best I can.

Polaroid Studio Series TeleWide Travel Kit (Buy on Amazon)
This travel kit from Polaroid includes two lens adapters that can be mounted to existing compatible lenses. Each adapter produces a different effect — one being wide-angle and the other being telephoto. Also included in the kit are attachments that can make lenses macro and infrared capable. This kit is intended to be used with 52mm and 55mm lenses.

Polaroid RC6 Wireless Remote Shutter Release (Buy on Amazon)
Polaroid's wireless shutter release does exactly what its name suggest. Pressing the button on the wireless remote allows you to shoot photos and videos with your Canon 80D without having to physically touch the camera. This can be very useful in a variety of situations, particularly time-lapses.

Polaroid Universal LCD Screen Protector (Buy on Amazon)
Personally, I am not a fan of screen protectors, but many people are. And if you're one of them, then you will enjoy the fact that the bundle includes protection for the Canon 80D's display.

Polaroid 50-inch 127cm Tripod PLTRI50 (Buy on Amazon)
Everyone needs a tripod, right? Of course! While the Polaroid PLTR150 isn't anything fancy, it can certainly get the job done. It's the perfect starter tripod to enable you to properly use the Canon 80D as soon as possible.

Polaroid 5-Piece Camera Cleaning Kit (Buy on Amazon)
This camera cleaning kit from Polaroid includes five tools to help keep your Canon 80D clean and like-new. Offered in the kit are the following: soft-tex fiber cloth, 5x cotton swabs, a bottle of cleaning fluid, soft lens tissue paper, and a blower brush

Polaroid 4-Piece Multi-Coated Camera Lens Filter Kit (Buy on Amazon)
Have you ever considered applying filters to your lenses? Doing so can produce some interesting results. Using filters is also an inexpensive way of protecting your lenses. This particular kit includes the following four lens filters: UV Protective Filter, Circular Polarizer Filter, Fluorescent Filter, Warming Filter

Polaroid Memory Card Wallet (Buy on Amazon)
It's a memory card wallet that holds a few SD cards. And it features the Polaroid logo. Simple as that.

Three Axis Triple Bubble Level (Buy on Amazon)
I'm not sure who makes this particular level, as there is no evidence of branding, but it's certainly nice that the bundle includes one. Slide the level into the shoe of the Canon 80D and you'll be shooting aligned photos and videos in no time.

Lexar Professional 32GB SDHC Class 10 Memory Card (x2) (Buy on Amazon)
Why have one when you can have two? This Canon 80D bundle includes two Lexar Professional SD cards, each with a capacity of 32GB — totaling in 64GB of storage. Both cards are Class 10, meaning you will be able to shoot and record content quickly and effortlessly.

Ritz Gear OTG USB/Micro-USB Multi-Function SD/Micro SD Card Reader (Buy on Amazon)
As an owner of many SD/Micro SD card readers, I can say with confidence that this particular reader from Ritz Gear is quite impressive. Not only does it allow the connectivity of SD cards and Micro SD cards, but it's also compatible with devices that use Micro-USB. This is especially useful for importing media on tablets and smartphones.

Ritz Gear Deluxe Premium Photo Sling Back (Buy on Amazon)
Proper protection for any DSLR is important, and that's why it is critical that you put your Canon 80D into a bag as soon as possible. This particular sling back from Ritz Gear isn't exactly my go-to choice, but it's better than nothing. If you want my personal opinion, check out any of the bags from Lowepro. I'm a longtime customer and wouldn't have it any other way.

BONUS: Canon EF-S 10–18mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens (Buy on Amazon)
Note: This lens is not included in the bundle, but I did buy it for myself.

Vloggers like myself need to pay attention to lenses like the Canon EF-S 55–250mm, because it features Canon's famous STM (Stepper Motor) technology. This means that the lens is capable of auto-focusing almost instantly and without causing any kind of distracting noise that DSLR users are used to hearing. If you enjoy recording video, then this is the lens for you.

Finally, if you want to see all the above products for yourself, check out my Canon 80D bundle unboxing video right below. I'm looking forward to learning more about the Canon 80D and providing additional thoughts over time. Stay tuned!

LG V20 Review

As someone who is primarily an iPhone user, I was excited to see a review invitation in my inbox from LG regarding the upcoming V20 — the successor to the V10, which featured a unique secondary display that could be used for app shortcuts and quickly  toggling device settings like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Like past LG phones I've reviewed, the V10 featured some truly remarkable cameras. Pair them with a beautiful display that produces some of the richest blacks I have ever seen, and I was hooked right away.

Needless to say, I enjoyed my time with the V10. It was a fresh take on what a smartphone can be. Check out my video review below for some extended thoughts.

Fast-forwarding to today, as I type this review with the LG V20 by my side, I have a lot to say about the device. Sure, it's more of the same from what we've already seen with the V10, but LG continues to push the smartphone market forward with a few innovations that are worth noticing.

Overall performance of the V20 feels snappy and responsive. For example, launching the default camera app and taking a photo takes just a second, and multitasking works well. And of course, customizing Android to your liking is very satisfying.

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Performance and freedom are two things that come to mind when expressing my thoughts on the V20. It's an incredibly powerful phone that lets you do just about anything your inner geek desires. 

Speaking of performance, can we talk about the cameras for a bit? There is something about Android phones and their rear cameras... They simply never cease to amaze me, and the V20 is no different.

The rear 16-megapixel camera produces some truly breathtaking results, as does the 8-megapixel wide-angle camera — provided you're a fan of that GoPro-esque look. Below is a handful of photos that I shot and eventually edited using Google's Snapseed app.

Another huge benefit of going the Android route when taking photos is the extensive amount of controls that are available in the default camera app. From setting a custom white balance to adjusting manual focus, the V20 is the device to use if you're serious about smartphone photography.

The secondary display on the V20 hasn't changed all that much coming from the V10, but I will say that it's noticeably brighter and easier to read. This is helpful when you want to quickly glance at the time without having to unlock your phone. It can also be used for a variety of shortcuts, including the ability to instantly turn on the flashlight.

Oh, and the build quality of the V20? It's exceptional. I'm actually surprised at how light the device feels, even with the battery installed.  Weighing in at just 6.14 ounces, the V20 feels well built and carefully thought out.

Now of course, there is so much more to talk about with the V20 (like the fingerprint sensor), but because this is such a feature packed phone, I decided to focus what means the most to me. However, that doesn't mean I am finished talking about it. Feel free to watch my video review below for additional thoughts.

If you're interested in buying the LG V20, pre-orders go live shortly. Unfortunately, pricing has yet to be determined, but I'm expecting it to cost at least $600 — which is the norm for most premium smartphones. Sign up here to receive alerts.