Mevo Review by Livestream

Mevo Review

If you’re hosting your own live raw foods cooking show or DIY watch repair series on the web, you’re going to need a quality video streaming device. Makers, artists, thinkers, and tinkerers have started capitalizing in on the power of live video to bring their audiences into their studios and into their minds.

Mevo Review

As the in-house social video producer here at WIRED, I’ve used livestreaming to showcase our editors testing new games, nerding out about new headphones, and following established artists.

Most live video producers these days use a smartphone rig, which involves cables, mounts, mics, and a handheld stabilizer. The Livestream Mevo ($399) makes the experience simpler, primarily because it’s a dedicated camera made just for broadcasting live video. You can set it in the room, pair it with the app on your phone, turn on auto-editing mode, and stream straight to the websites it supports. For now, that list includes Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, and the company’s own web-based platform, Livestream.

While the Mevo has a bit of feature catch-up to do, it’s a great tool for the blooming solo artist or entrepreneur—mostly because it’s an all-in-one package.

With the Mevo, Livestream is clearly pushing the boundaries of how a camera should look and feel. It’s a rather un-camera-like cylinder under three inches tall, making it perfect for hiding within a scene and for getting people to forget a camera is watching them. The sleek black exterior is made of a sturdy, water-resistant material which encases the camera lens, so you don’t have to worry about dropping the camera, shooting in drizzle, or getting the lens dirty. A colored light around the top rim of the cylinder indicates the camera modes: charging, recording, low battery, Wi-Fi status, on and off. You can place the camera anywhere, or slot it into the included mount that screws onto a tripod.

The Mevo is very simple to use. Once you connect the camera to your phone and your social media profile, you can start streaming within minutes. The app allows you to cut between medium and close-up shots, and it even smooths out pans and zooms. This is the perfect introductory camera for those who want a straightforward livestream setup.

While this was a great first iteration, Mevo will definitely benefit from updates. The camera itself can capture a 4K video image, but the streaming video image maxes out at 720p. The image also has a slight fish-eye effect, and doesn’t look as good as an image from my iPhone’s camera. The Mevo is also outperformed by the iPhone in low-light situations. The audio, unfortunately, is also not great. The sound can be improved, but only with additional devices.

The Mevo app must be running at all times in order for the livestream to function. This is extremely limiting. If you exit the Mevo app, it will stop your livestream. Unfortunately, I learned this from experience.

The camera is battery-powered and rather efficient—it lasts about an hour per charge—but the Mevo app will guzzle up your iPhone’s battery. The app will also make your phone very hot; during shoots, the iPhone grew uncomfortably warm in my hands.

Because the quality of the video, I am still using my iPhone over the Mevo. Also, while the Mevo works best when stationary, a smartphone on a hand-held stabilizer allows me to move fluidly within a scene and to go in for a close-up. However, I would still recommend the Mevo for its ease of use. Beyond connecting it to the app, there’s little technical savvy required to stream live video to a global audience.


Canon’s latest compact puts a big zoom in your pocket

PowerShot SX730 HS

In a bid to prove compact cameras can still do some things smartphones can’t (namely zoom in without sacrificing too much image quality) Canon has revealed the PowerShot SX730 HS. The main attraction of the pocketable shooter is a 40x zoom lens which lets photographers get close to a subject in a way smartphone cameras simply can’t. Also announced is a new macro lens for Canon DSLRs which features built-in LED lights around the front element of the lens.

PowerShot SX730 HS

The Canon EF-S 35-mm F2.8 Macro IS STM is designed for use with Canon’s APS-C DSLRs The two lights on the front of the Canon EF-S 35-mm F2.8 Macro IS STM can be controlled independantly The rear monitor on the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS can be tilted upwards for easier selfie shooting The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS uses a 20.3-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor
Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

The compact PowerShot SX730 HS appears to be designed for photographers who are generally happy with the image quality from their smartphone, but want the ability to zoom in, too. It offers the focal range equivalent to a 24-960-mm optic on a full frame camera, and uses a relatively small 20.3-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor.

As with its SX720 HS predecessor, this big zoom camera is going to let users get close to the action, but isn’t without compromise. It has a variable F3.3-F6.9 maximum aperture, which limits the amount of light you can use when at telephoto focal lengths. An ISO range of 80-3,200 is also quite limited by modern camera standards.

That said, use of a DIGIC 6 image processor enables a top shooting speed of 5.9 fps (frames per second) and Full HD 1080p video recording at 60 fps. This means that while the camera isn’t going to suit pixel-peeping enthusiasts, it could do the job for a parent who just wants to get a better photo from their kids’ sporting event, without having to invest in an interchangeable lens system.

Other factors which will help the PowerShot SX730 HS appeal to these users include the compact 110 x 64 x 40 mm (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.6 inch) size and 300 g (10.6 oz) weight. The camera also boasts a tilting rear monitor, and improved wireless connectivity compared to previous models, which now includes Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth for quick and easy sharing.

Canon EF-S 35-mm F2.8 Macro IS STM

Also announced is a new LED-toting macro lens, which goes by the catchy title of Canon EF-S 35-mm F2.8 Macro IS STM. This isn’t the first Canon lens we’ve seen with built-in LED lights (that was the EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM) but the fact that the new optic is designed for use with Canon’s DSLRs, and uses the EF-S mount, makes it notable.

When used on the APS-C sensor cameras it’s designed for, the 35-mm lens will give the equivalent view as a 56 mm lens on a full frame camera, making it a versatile option for day-to-day use. However, its macro credentials are the more interesting, including the ability to focus as close as 30 mm from the end of the lens, and image stabilization offering up to four stops of shake correction.

There’s also those built-in LED lights, or “Macro Lites” as Canon likes to call them. With one on either side of the lens, and with the ability to control them independently, users can turn them on or off, and adjust the intensity, to illuminate small subjects, or minimize shadows.


Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 9

Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 9

Fujifilm has announced its latest instant camera, the Instax Mini 9. Looking set to follow in the footsteps of its predecessors and be a hit at parties, festivals and weddings, the new instant shooter will boast features including a selfie mirror and a lens attachment for shooting close-up photos. It will also come in a new range of colors.

The Instax Mini 9 from Fujifilm produces credit card-sized photos The Instax Mini 9 from Fujifilm will be available in five colors when it goes on sale in May The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 features a small selfie mirror on the front to help line up shots The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is due to sell for US$70

Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 9
While it looks like we’ll be waiting a little bit longer to see the new Instax Square format which was teased at Photokina, Fujifilm is continuing to release devices using its popular Instax Mini film, which gives rectangular credit card sized photos. This means the Mini 9 will have the same film choices as its predecessors, including a recently-released monochrome offering.

However, colors are important to a lot of Instax buyers, not just when it comes to selecting film, but also when choosing their camera. As such, the Instax Mini 9 will be available in five colors; Flamingo Pink, Ice Blue, Lime Green, Cobalt Blue and Smoky White. It measures 116 x 118 x 68 mm (4.6 x 4.6 x 2.7 inch) and weighs 307 g (11 oz) before adding batteries and film.

The Mini 9 uses a 60-mm lens with a maximum aperture of F12.7 which gives the equivalent of a 34-mm lens on a full-frame camera, and focuses from 60 cm (24 in). However, it will also come with a new close-up lens attachment which can be clipped onto the lens and lets you focus on subjects from 35 to 50 cm (14 – 20 in) away. If you’re after a wider-angle instant camera, you might want to check out the Lomography Lomo’Instant Automat Glass Magellan we recently tried.

Another addition to the cutely-styled camera is a little mirror on the front, so you know where you are in your selfies. This mirror is similar to that on the Instax Mini 70 (and early cameraphones) so not as good as a flip-up monitor on a digital camera, but better than nothing, especially when every click costs money in terms of used film.

The upcoming camera promises to be as simple-to-use as its predecessor with no ISO to set, and a constant shutter speed of 1/60 second. This means users only have to turn it on, select aperture using an icon-based brightness dial (Indoors F12.7, Cloudy F16, Sun and cloud F22, and Sunny F32) and then hit the shutter button to get an instant photo.

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is due to be available in May priced at US$70.

You can check out a promo video for the Instax Mini 9 below, which also shows the close-up lens attachment.


Samsung’s Gear 360 camera can take 360-degree videos in 4K resolution

Samsung’s Gear 360 camera

In addition the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus, Samsung also launched the Gear 360 camera. The Gear 360 is a 4K camera that can take 360-degree photos and videos bridging the gap between watching VR content and creating them. In addition, Samsung also unveiled a motion-sensing controller for the Gear VR.

The Gear 360 camera comes equipped with two CMOS 8.4-megapixel dual fish eye lens with f/2.2 aperture to capture true 360 content. The camera allows for video and still shots, which users can seamlessly share, view and edit content using tools, effects and filters to create a truly immersive content. It also works the other way round. Users can also convert the 360 images into standard formats for easy sharing.

To seamlessly share the content, the camera needs to be connected to a compatible smartphone or computer and even live broadcast on social platforms like Facebook and Samsung VR. The Gear 360 is compatible with the latest Samsung flagship as well as older devices like the Galaxy S7, Galaxy S6, Galaxy Note5 and more. The camera is also compatible with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus and more.

“As consumers turn more to video to share their experiences, we want to deliver accessible and innovative products to make digital content easier to create, share and stream,” said Younghee Lee, Executive Vice President of Global Marketing and Wearable Business, Mobile Communications at Samsung Electronics in a statement. “The updated Gear 360 will continue to expand the horizons of what consumers can experience and share.”