The best camera, they say, is the one that you have with you all the time. With the advent of more powerful smartphones, better smartphone camera lenses, and stronger image processors, smartphones with good cameras are being treated as a substitute for an actual cam when going on travels.

 

Recently, I was invited to take part in the 3rd Edition of the ASEAN International Film Festival & Awards (AIFFA) at Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. I brought with me my trusty Sony Alpha Cam and borrowed a travel-sized (but still hefty) Benro Travel tripod from Unbox EIC, Carlo Ople. I also brought along my daily driver at the time, the ASUS Zenfone 3 Zoom and a generic selfie stick/ mobile tripod. In the end, I should’ve just left the camera and tripod at home as I never really got the chance to even take them off the luggage.

Pretty much the only equipment I used during my trip.

For 3 days going around Kuching, attending festivities and being in the presence of renowned TV and Cinema stars like Ms. Nora Aunor, Ms. Cherie Gil, Ms. Jacklyn Jose, Mr. Bernardo Bernardo and a host of other young actos/actresses and film makers, the ZenFone 3 Zoom became my primary camera. Armed with a dual lens setup, the ZenFone Zoom is readily equipped to handle almost any photo challenge thrown its way.

12-megapixels f/1.7 and 12-megapixels 2.3x optical zoom cameras on the ZenFone 3 Zoom

During day time, the ZenFone Zoom is comparable with any other Mirrorless or DSLR camera, it just lags a little bit during low-light instances. Still, with the proper tools, and minor tinkering (plus it recently had an update to support low-light photography better), the ZenFone Zoom does the job fine. Here are some photos of my recent AIFFA 2017 Trip.

A portion of the Philippine Contingency going to AIFFA 2017
Catch the Meowment with the ZenFone 3 Zoom
At the Sarawak River…with Mona!

The because of the Dual 12-megapixel cameras, the ZenFone 3 Zoom can also do depth-of-field macro shots with ease.

Of course the main appeal of the ZenFone 3 Zoom, as the name implies, is its 2.3x Optical Zoom and upto 12x Digital Zoom capabilities.

Like this set.

Sharp, clear and vibrant details.
This is the whole photo. Boom! THAT ZOOM! O_O

On low-light, the f/1.7 aperture helps capture better images like when I was documenting the Awards Night of the AIFFA 2017.

 

While it’s not the ZenFone Live (with the live beautification system), the ZenFone Zoom takes pretty decent selfies as well. The front camera, a remarkable 13-megapixel f/2.0 camera with a Sony IMX214 Sensor ensures that your selfies (or groufies) come out crisp and clean and fits everyone in frame.

Pre-Flight! Also, yes, that’s Ms. Nora Aunor right at the center.
Touchdown Kuching with Direk Howard Yambao, Bernardo Bernardo, and Onyl Torres

 

The best thing about the ZenFone Zoom? The size and battery life. At 154.3 x 77 x 7.9mm  and a 5.5″ Super AMOLED screen, you can easily frame your shots and keep your phone handy in your pocket or a small manbag. The 5000mAh battery got me through the entire Awards night taking photos, videos and live tweeting without even draining my phone’s power in half!

Pilipinas Represent!
Ferdy Lapuz, Marlo Mortel, Mell Navarro, Benjamin Alves, Ms. Jaclyn Jose, her son Gwen Garimond  and a starstruck moi!
AIFFA 2017 Lifetime Achievement Awardee Tan Sri Lakshmanan Krishna with AIFFA 2015 Lifetime Achievement Awardee Ms. Nora Aunor

 

While there will always be a need for an actual camera, with the advancement in smartphone optics nowadays, the gap between a digital camera and smartphone camera is growing thinner by the day. The portability factor alone of a phone came outweighs that of bringing a whole cam gear. Especially during my trip in AIFFA, where I acted as a one-man team, the ZenFone 3 Zoom is a lifesaver. If I lugged my camera and the Benro Tripod along, I probably would’ve fatigued faster.

If you’re a geek that loves traveling and documenting pretty much every little single detail of your trip (or a con), we highly recommend you check the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom. Amazing optics, great build quality and a price tag that wouldn’t necessarily empty your bank vault.

 

For a more technical review, head over to our sister-site, Unbox.ph. I believe it also won a recent poll about having the better smartphone optics against other rival brands.

The ZenFone 3 Zoom retails at Php 23,995.00

For more stories on our AIFFA 2017 Coverage (and more photos taken by the ZenFone 3 Zoom) check these out:

Purrrfect start to the Festivities! Kuching breaks World Records!

They just made the list! The Philippines Nabs 18 Nominations! |AIFFA 2017

OH YEAH! The Philippines WIN BIG at the AIFFA 2017!