When you think of a card with well-rounded benefits and flexible points, easy ways to redeem for travel, a healthy welcome offer, and generous hotel and insurance perks, American Express is often top of mind. While still not as widely accepted as competitors bearing the Visa or Mastercard name, the American Express Gold Rewards Card still stands out as one of the most flexible points cards in Canada, featuring a strong earn rate fit for frequent travellers looking to maximize their rewards.
Winter is always a great reminder to get outside and enjoy Mother Nature, but capturing those memories is certainly different from taking photos in the summer.
I was recently at Lake Louise in Alberta, soaking in the action of Canada’s favourite game, a pond hockey tournament set in the most Canadian of backdrops, while having a chance to sled with dogs in Canmore.
While using the iPhone 11 Pro Max on this trip, the temperatures, lighting, contrast, exposure, and action, were all factors when trying to capture the perfect shot. Whether you’re a novice or a professional, here are five tips to help you capture optimize outdoor winter photos on your smartphone.
Keep your phone warm
While your smartphone is designed to deal with some pretty cold temperatures, you want to make sure you use the right protective gear for the elements. This means having a good case to keep it insulated, or a protective and shockproof housing if you’re going to be in water, ice, or snow.
Use the video stabilization
The triple-camera lens array on iPhone 11 Pro brings 4K video recording to a whole new level with vibrant dynamic range and cinematic-quality video stabilization. For high-action events, like sledding with dogs in Canmore, Alta., this means you can capture fluid video, while still having handy access to the shutter button to snap still photos for use on social media.
Swipe below to view video of stabilization shot on iPhone 11 Pro Max
HDR is a setting you want to make sure you have turned on. This can be done via your camera preferences, and this ultimately helps you capture the best of high-contrast settings. This takes multiple rapid photos and stitches together the best part of each image. What you get in the end is darker shadows and more vibrant, visible brights in one shot.
iPhone 11 Pro’s HDR can be used across front- and rear-facing cameras as appropriate.
Lighting and exposure
Think about lighting and exposure when shooting outdoors. Daylight can be your friend, but can also overexpose your images, too. Many photographers opt to shoot in cloudy settings as variables are easy to control, but if you do find yourself in the daylight, when tapping on your photo’s subject to gain focus, make sure to double tap and slide the exposure slider up and down to gain the appropriate and desired level for the current environment.
Animate your memories with Live Photos
Finally, Live Photos are a fun way to animate your memories, especially when there’s a lot of action in your surroundings. Tap the Live Photos icon when taking your photos, and iPhone 11 Pro will capture a short clip before and after the main photo.
When viewing the shot in the Camera Roll, you can long-press to bring the moment to life where the video clips are stitched to the photo along with the audio—fun for triggering memories of the moments that happened around when the photo was taken.
What are some of your favourite iPhone photography tips? Leave them in the comments below.
One of the largest travel rewards programs in Canada, Air Miles is affiliated with a wide variety of everyday retail partners, from grocery stores and gas stations, to liquor stores and travel outlets, where members earn points on their purchases. Savvy collectors know they can boost their earn rate by using the right credit card—and with its wide selection of partners and recently enhanced redemption options, the BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard is one of the best Air Miles credit cards in Canada, made even better with an annual fee rebate if you have the BMO Premium chequing account. Rounded out with airport lounge access, travel insurance benefits, and purchase protection, this BMO credit card gives other premium travel rewards credit cards a run for their money.
You’ve finally decided that it’s time to start looking for a new TV. The cost of a new set has gone down significantly, but there’s also more new technology to consider before making a final decision. The cycles of TVs vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and there are often great deals to be found online.
From premium brands like Samsung, LG and Sony, to more affordable labels like TCL and VIZIO, we’ve compiled some tips on when to buy a new TV as well as what to look for when you’re comparison shopping.
When is the best time to buy a new TV?
Right now! January/February: The beginning of the year is one of those times you can find blowouts on previous-year model TVs. These come packed with some of the latest technology. As retailers like Amazon, BestBuy, and Walmart try to clear out holiday inventory for the newest editions announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, you can find some great markdowns on premium labels. Plus, as returns come in after the holidays, you’ll find some excellent open-box products that are being sold at a discount.
July: If you’re a fan of online shopping, Prime Day is another day where you can find deals on Amazon. There, you’ll find plenty of TVs the online retail giant is looking to sell cheap. If you’re an Amazon Prime Member, you’ll have access to exclusive sales, preferred rates, and more.
November/December: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Boxing Day are also great opportunities to look for a new TV. Online and brick-and-mortar retailers love advertising deals, and the increased competition on flyers and on Amazon means you can find quick deals with limited inventory. Planning with the right tools and comparison shopping will help you nail down the perfect set for your home.
Websites to find the best TV deals
Amazon, BestBuy and Walmart are often home to great sales and last-minute deals all year round. Download the Flipp app to comparison shop specific TV models across multiple flyers, plus, bookmark Yahoo Lifestyle Canada as we often round up top tech deals, among fashion, lifestyle, and more.
Our top picks — and things to look out for
4K, or Ultra HD, refers to the technology that’s four-times the resolution of standard 1080p resolution. This means you’ll get an ultra crisp picture quality perfect for high-action sports and cinematic movies, but is reliant of the content source. You’ll need content in 4K resolution from your cable or satellite provider, an Ultra HD subscription from your streaming provider (i.e. Netflix), or ability to upscale content from standard HD to Ultra HD.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $430
SHOP IT: Amazon, $1,798
HDR, Also known as High Dynamic Range, aims to improve the range of colours and hues to appear more vividly on your screen. Darker hues appear richer, while vibrant hues like grass pop out on your screen. You’ll also see this technology described as Dolby Vision, HDR10, or HLG — all are variations of the HDR technology.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $350
SHOP IT: Amazon, $600
Size and smarts
This is subjective to your space and desired functionality. TVs come in a variety of sizes, but as bezels get smaller, screen sizes grow larger. LED and OLED TVs come from as small as 40 inches to pushing 100 inches. Average TVs in a living room vary anywhere from 50 inches to 65 inches for comfortable viewing, and OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) technology is sold at a premium cost. OLED produces light without backlighting, allowing displays to be even thinner. Meanwhile LCDs (Liquid Crystal Display) are a way to reduce the cost of your investment. Most TVs today come with some smart platform built in like Roku or Amazon Fire TV, but if you already have a third-party device like an Apple TV, the platform will be less important to you.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $930
SHOP IT: Amazon, $2,198
Ports and inputs
This is where you think about what devices you’ll be plugging into your TV. Take account of your peripheral technology like cable/satellite boxes, sound bars, streaming devices, and cameras. These all take up ports on the back of your TV, and as displays get thinner, manufacturers are reducing the number of ports in favour of a more minimalist design. Make sure the TV you purchase can accommodate your devices.
Finally, think about sound. TVs are often putting less importance on sound as people invest in sound bars. Those who do emphasize on unique sound technology come at a premium cost, so you may opt to purchase a sound bar to save money but not compromise on sound. These either plug into a digital audio port, or via an ARC-compatible HDMI port. Make sure the TV supports your existing sound bar’s technology, or if you’re purchasing a new sound bar, make sure it’s compatible with your home theatre setup and expandable to include other rooms if you’d like to stream music, podcasts, and more.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $999
SHOP IT: Amazon, $499
SHOP IT: Amazon, $270
There are so many things to consider when buying a new TV—to get 4K or stick with standard HD, the size, smart capabilities, sound — the list goes on. With so many tech advancements on the market today and every brand name under the sun, balancing the buffet of options with the price tag of the TV itself is important. You don’t want to pay too much for all the bells and whistles, but you also want to future proof your investment.
With all of these considerations in mind, we’ve gone through and pulled the best TVs for every price point, keeping in mind all the tech you’d ever want so you can view all of your favourite content in virtually any space.
Five years ago, I wouldn’t consider buying a TV less than $300. I’d worry about its quality, longevity and compatibility with my existing audio/video equipment. Now, there’s incredible value to be found in the sub-$300 range if you’re looking for a high-definition TV that gets the job done. The 3-Series TVs from TCL bring all the bells and whistles of today’s technology and pairs it down to its simplest form. A simple interface that brings the much-loved Roku streaming platform to the forefront, full HD 1080p picture, easy-to-navigate Roku remote, and for those who want to get fancy, a powerful mobile app for you to search and even use for headphone listening so you don’t bother your loved ones watching TV late at night.
SHOP IT: Amazon, 269.99
Once you approach the $500 mark, that’s when you start introducing the latest technology, like 4K. This 43” Samsung 4K Ultra HD Smart TV features four-times the high definition resolution for your favourite streaming or cable content, while a built-in UHD processor optimizes picture quality—even if it isn’t in 4K. High dynamic range (HDR) enhances colours, while Samsung’s intuitive ecosystem brings a simple on-screen guide, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and AirPlay 2 support, all in a sleek and slim design primed for almost every environment.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $429.99
For most, future-proofing their TV investment is more important than buying a specific brand name. Television technology has come a long way where you can guarantee a quality display and functionality without worrying too much about the label. For TCL, they’ve built a reputation for delivering on value while not compromising on technology. The TCL 6-Series, produced in 2019, features 4K Ultra HD resolution while bringing on high dynamic range (HDR) colour performance through Dolby Vision, and quantum dot technology for more vibrant colours, local dimming for improved contrast and deeper blacks. All of this wrapped in a sleek, brushed-metal design and built in Roku smart TV capabilities not only future proofs your investment, but offers tremendous value in the sub-$1,000 range for a 55-inch model.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $929.99
LG has a track record of making great displays featuring OLED technology. You do pay a premium for OLED, which perfects black shades and infinite contrast. Colours appear extremely vibrant, bringing every detail to life, plus LG’s α7 Gen 2 Intelligent Processor refines every action. To give you better value, LG is offering one year of Disney+ when you purchase an OLED TV, plus, streaming features like built-in AirPlay means you can access content straight from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. For those who want a premium screen and don’t mind a heftier investment, there are some great deals to be found on LG’s televisions.
SHOP IT: Amazon, 1,697.99
$2,000 and above
If you’re brand loyal to a premium label and want the latest and greatest, Sony’s A8G BRAVIA OLED line is a good pla