Shoot from the hip: Huawei P20 Pro
The buzz surrounding Huawei this year isn’t just marketing hype. It’s been a year of firsts for the Chinese brand, having recently pipped Apple out of its snug #2 spot in worldwide sales figures. This, shortly after releasing the priciest consumer smartphone available as of press time: the glitzy Porsche Design Mate RS. The really meaningful figures, however, are just now surfacing in the form of third-party benchmarks. Some of these have crowned the high-end Huawei P20 Pro (on which the RS is based) as the most powerful smartphone by inches to a mile, in terms of image processing power and photographic detail.
Of particular noteworthiness is the performance of the triple camera setup in low-light situations and night scenery. Long story short: more cameras allow more cross-referencing between multiple images, allowing a “distillate” of higher quality to emerge. Pair that with computing punch from the chart-topping processors and you’re left with a painless user experience that rewards even the most hands-off and uninformed photographers with crisp, largely true-to-life images. We’re serious, this thing outdoes the human eyeball at night.
Life of the party: LG Photo Printer 2
So you’ve already armed yourself with a trusty camera? Trump the photo-sharing game this year by handing out instant photos at the afterparty (we’d say “Polaroids” but strictly speaking, that’s a specific brand). The LG Photo Printer 2 invokes the nostalgia of committing a precious memory into immutable, physical form – while at the same time offering modern-day concessions of choosing, editing and even retaking shots.
It takes a swift 30-40 seconds for the lightweight (and inkless) printer to spit out a credit card-sized film, so you can churn out pictures even for moderately-sized groups. You could, somewhat ironically, post pictures or collages of the developed films on Instagram, or surreptitiously slip someone your phone number on the back of a selfie printout.
The super social: WiFi-ready Canon Digicams
If getting high-quality photography onto your social feeds is priority, turn to the WiFi-enabled Canon IXUS 285 HS. Its handy size and quick startup makes it ideal for reacting to fleeting photo opps, and the camera can be set up to push photos straight to your smartphone for further editing without the need of transfer cables.
If you’re looking for more precision and control, its elder cousin, the PowerShot G7 X Mark II boasts similar connectivity functions while including a more advanced sensor. Crucially, it comes with an adjustable LCD display that’ll let you frame shots even if you have to thrust your camera straight up to clear the thronging crowds.
The heavyweight: Nikon SLRs / DSLRs
Need more be said? Nikon is the most established of the SLR tripartite (Nikon/Canon/Sony), and its top-end lenses have held value over decades, speaking to their build quality and how well-regarded they are. We hesitate in dispensing a blanket recommendation here; as with a well-tailored suit, a power user should be proferred a bespoke solution, with lenses, sensors and other peripherals catered to their photography needs.
The maverick: DJI Drones
It may sound like a novel idea to snag aerial footage of the most extensive fireworks show we’ll get in 2018. And there are definitely great tools for the job. We’re prefacing those with a word of caution: it is a fairly serious offense to pilot a drone above certain heights in Singapore airspace without an issued permit (don’t mess around – it’s up to five-figure fines and a year in the clink). Moreover, even the most experienced drone hobbyists would prefer not to fly their beloved craft over a body of water and a thousands-strong crowd. Where on earth are you going to land the thing once you’ve wrapped the shoot and evaded arrest, anyway?
But if you plan to go low and only for locations where privacy is a non-issue (stay clear of private domiciles), then the DJI Mavic Pro (pictured above) is widely accepted as a safe, entry-level craft you can start snapping aerial shots from. For crisper images and 4K videos, you may have to cough up extra for the sturdy and features-packed DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter. Keep clear of the fireworks, obviously. We doubt the drones are missile-proof.