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.
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
With Super Bowl Sunday quickly approaching, chances are you likely don’t have a ticket to see the 49ers take on the Chiefs in Miami. Like millions of people around the world, watching the action go down on TV is the next best thing.
Many are using this as an opportunity to shop for a new TV, upgrade their home theatre, all in time before kickoff at 6:30 p.m. EST.
With TVs being an infrequent investment, if you’re a sports junkie, here are some of the best models in the market right now for watching live sports.
50-inch or larger TVs
For a 50-inch TV, not only does this come with 4K Ultra HD LED resolution, but the High Dynamic Range (HDR) means colours appear more vividly on your screen. Dark hues appear richer, while vibrant hues like grass pop out on your screen. Multiple inputs and easy configuration make it easy to switch between streaming devices with a handy voice remote, and to round out this pick, it has Amazon Fire TV built in so you can download your favourite sports apps and get even closer to the game and analysis.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $599.99
This TV, currently on sale for $700 off, features OLED technology providing perfect black and infinite contrast. In sports, this brings out every shadow and every detail, especially in poorly lit areas. LG’s α7 Gen 2 Intelligent Processor means every image, action, and colour is enhanced, while built-in AirPlay means you can stream content straight from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
60-inch or larger TVs
For those looking to splurge on an investment in a premium-brand 4KTV, Samsung’s Q60 offers a vibrancy that stands apart from competitors. They note over a billion shades powered by their Quantum Dot technology provides the most realistic picture, while Ambient Mode allows you to blend the technology to any home environment be it the colour of the wall behind, or work from your favourite artist.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $1,698
Finally, I like including a budget-conscious option on the larger end of the TV spectrum. If you’re not looking for a premium brand like Samsung or LG, TCL makes a great 65-inch TV that’s fit for any sports fan’s living room. This LED set offers High Dynamic Range (HDR) which means you get better clarity and contrast, crisper colour and detail, ultimately providing a more lifelike image quality. Built in is the Roku streaming platform, which means you can download your favourite local, regional, and national sports apps and never miss a minute.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $599.99
Don’t forget the sound. A sound bar can easily enhance the experience and bring you to the heart of the action. The Bose Soundbar 700 is touted one of the best performing sound bar from the company, designed to easily blend in with your TV and furniture, with unmatched sound quality. It features Amazon Alexa built in, as well as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity, and Apple AirPlay 2 so you can stream all of your favourite audio content.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $874 (regular $999)
If you’re looking to upgrade your existing TV and bring Amazon’s Fire TV capability, including its apps, Alexa voice assistant, Amazon Prime Video, and more, the Nebula Soundbar is a cost-effective solution that also amplifies your audio quality. 2.1 channel cinematic sound along with dual built-in subwoofers produce great frequencies, filling the room with every action and every call. For those with a 4KTV, 4K Ultra HD streaming is available at up to 60fps, Dolby Vision, HDR, and HDR10+, with a built in voice remote allows you to access the Alexa voice assistant and Fire TV controls.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $269.99
As more Black Friday flyers start to surface, technology is one area you can see lucrative deals from TVs to laptops, smartphone accessories smartphones and everything in between. Whether you’re hitting the lineups on Black Friday or jumping on the steals come Cyber Monday, here are some dos and don’ts on buying technology, especially when on sale.
Technology and what you’re using it for
How you plan on using a gadget will ultimately determine how much money you should spend. Whether that’s a TV, a multi-purpose Lenovo Thinkpad, or smartphone, you can go the budget route and buy something that’s low cost or heavily discounted, or you can invest with the intention of keeping it for a while. For something like a TV or a computer, most people ideally plan to keep it for several years, while smartphones can be replaced with a carrier every couple years.
How often you plan on using a piece of tech matters, too. If you watch or stream a lot of TV, you may want to spend more on a smart TV that includes internet capabilities to your favourite services or has built-in features like Chromecast so you can share content off your mobile device. If you’re watching live sports, perhaps you want something more heavy-duty like a Sony 65″ 4K UHD HDR LED that has Google Assistant and Android Smart TV built right in. The more action your content has, be it sports or gaming, the higher the hertz refresh rate you want. That will ultimately come at a cost.
Where you buy it from does matter
A great deal can lure you in, but you do want to consider where you buy a product from. Online retailers like Amazon not only have great laptop deals, but will offer an easy return or exchange process should you not be happy or something doesn’t go right. In store, Best Buy can also offer a holiday return policy that extends the amount of time you have to return a product. The retail guarantee in conjunction with the warranty from the manufacturer will ultimately determine support for your purchase—so be wary of shopping with third-party retailers that could void any limited or extended warranties that come with your investment.
Does it matter if I’m buying older-generation or refurbished tech?
This is a popular question. Older-generation devices are a great way to save as stores and manufacturers try to sell their inventory to make room for newer tech. Cycles for each product varies, so doing your homework in that area is smart so you’re aware whether you’re about to buy something that’s about to get refreshed—if that’s something that matters.
Inspect the tech if you’re buying an open-box item to see if it’s been used, or if something’s being sold as refurbished, take the time to ask if it comes with additional support should something malfunction earlier than expected that could take away from the investment of your gadget.
Consider the compatibility of what you’re buying. There are so many services and products out there now, so make sure they’re designed to work with your tech. For example, the Ring Video Doorbell is optimized to work with Amazon Echo and Alexa, while the Nest Smart Thermostat is part of the Google Assistant and Nest family, so combining a Ring Video Doorbell with a Google Nest Hub Max might trigger some compatibility issues. In this example, a Nest Hello Doorbell might be a smarter investment, or if you have an Amazon Echo, purchase a Ring Video Doorbell. Your best bet is to pick an ecosystem and stay in it.
You credit card can have your back
Finally, purchase protection is a great blanket for your technology. Many premium credit cards like Mastercard offer purchase protection that can extend warranties, or even cover for damage or theft. Every card is different, so be sure to look into the terms of your credit card so you’re aware of coverage before you shop, remember to checkout securely using “https” webpages, and review your statements regularly.