In just over a week, it will be my 30th birthday. Now, I’m told I’m a hard person to buy a present for so I usually go and get myself a present instead most years.

This year, given that you only turn 30 once (and every other year for that matter!) I wanted to get something that were timeless. I firstly thought of a watch, but I already have one that I quite like and don’t really want another one.My job doesn’t really lend itself to timeless instruments, save a stethoscope and I have a decent one of those!

In terms of my hobbies, photography, travel and technology tend to go at fast paces and apart from a Leica, I’m not sure many other cameras can be called timeless!

So I decided I’d get something that I feel is monumental. For both photography and just for myself as well. As an example, the Olympus E330 was my first dSLR and I still remember it fondly as it inspired my love of photography and travel. It was the first one to have LiveView on an SLR, something that is so ubiquitous now! My Canon 5D Mk II was nothing short of a revelation with it’s full-frame sensor which let me capture the Aurora for the first time and let me take some gorgeous videos. Is it any wonder that it revolutionised film making?

So here are a couple of things that I’m pondering that I think will have such an impact in the near future

DJI Phantom 4

Drones have been around for a few years now, but I think that they’re going to become MUCH more common place in the next few months, primarily thanks to the Phantom 4.

I watched the demos of the drone all over the internet and couldn’t help but think that this was one of those “iPhone” moments: we had smartphones for a while (remember BlackBerry and the old Windows Phones?) but the iPhone came around and made it so simple that everyone then started using a smartphone.

Watching the obstacle avoidance, tracking and tapfly features, I think DJI have made something that anyone can use and refined it to the point where it is so intuitive, that you can create what’s in your mind without needed an advanced avionics degree. Just watch the video from them below, and I’m sure if you’ve flown a drone before, you’ll be blown away by how much easier those stunning shots are going to get when this comes out next week.

You can get one for yourself over at the DJI store (affiliate link!).

Theta S/VR

I didn’t think 360 videos were anything other than a gimmick until a few months ago where I tried YouTube 360 with some Google Cardboard viewers. And OH MY GOD it was amazing!

To think that a smartphone by itself and a piece of cardboard can give such an immersive experience was something I wouldn’t have believed til I tried it. I had a look around at the comparison videos and the different options out there and for the moment, it seems that the Theta S is the best one. It’s an upgrade to the base model that adds 1080p which really helps the immersive-ness.

I think this will be the beginning of the VR/360 videos so many more cameras are surely going to come soon, but I went and ordered one so from next week, you may see some experiments on here! Until then, here are a few videos from the Theta that I found on YouTube.

Dual camera Smartphones

These aren’t even out yet, but the rumour is that the next iPhone and the next flagship from Huawei’s partnership with Leica, will both have dual cam technology.

What that means is that unlike previous attempts like that from HTC, these 2 different cameras will take the image with different focal lengths etc and combine them with complex computation to provide a high res, low noise image or add zooming capabilities.

Some examples of the tech coming soon are below:

  • Light 16 – one of the first multiple lens cameras that I had heard about
  • Huawei P9 – this is going to be the challenger to the iPhone. Can’t wait to see what Leica does with it’s first mobile partnership!
  • iPhone 7 – no leaks, but here are some potential theories