Archive for March, 2009

By March 2, 2009 Read More →

Nikon P80 review

Nikon’s P80 superzoom digital bridge camera, is it a viable alternative to a DSLR?

The Nikon P80 Digital Bridge Camera 

The Nikon P80

The P80 was introduced in April 2008 and was Nikon’s first look at the true superzoom market. It features a massive 18x zoom and 10 megapixel resolution; this joined a number of models from other manufacturers in an increasingly competitive market. It is rumoured that Nikon plan to launch the P80 replacement, the P90, in March 2009. This will apparently boast an even greater 24x superzoom Nikkor lens and 12 megapixel resolution. But back to the P80; let’s see how it performs and whether or not it fulfils its promise?


What’s in the box?

  • Nikon Coolpix P80 Super Zoom Digital Camera
  • EN-EL5 Rechargeable Battery
  • Nikon EH62A Battery Charger
  • AV and USB Cables
  • User Manuals and Software CD
  • Strap


Nikon P80 Specification:

  • Image Sensor Type CCD
  • Sensor Size 1/2.33/
  • Total Pixels 10.7 million
  • Effective Pixels 10.1 million
  • Image Area (pixels) – 10M
  • LCD Monitor Size 2.7 in. diagonal
  • Lowest ISO Sensitivity: 64
  • Highest ISO Sensitivity: 6400
  • Storage Media Internal Memory: Approx. 50MB; SD/ SDHC
  • Storage System: Jpeg
  • Image Stabilization: Optical
  • Lens Zoom: 18x
  • Lens Specification -equivalent 35mm format picture angle 27-486mm) f/2.8-4.
  • Viewfinder Frame Coverage Approx. 97
  • Maximum Autofocus Areas/Points 9
  • Scene Modes: Portrait, Night Portrait, Sports, Landscape, Party, Beach/Snow, Sunset, Dusk/Dawn, Night Landscape, Museum, Fireworks Show
  • Exposure Compensation Plus or minus 2 EV in steps of 1/3
  • Built-in Flash Yes
  • Self-timer 2 sec. or 10 sec.
  • Approx. Dimensions, Height: 3.1 in. (79mm) Width: 4.3 in. (110mm) Depth: 3.1 in. (78mm)
  • Approx. Weight, 365g



The rear of the camera is dominated by the large 2.7 inch LCD, with the eye piece for the viewfinder directly above this. There are two buttons alongside this, one to change the LCD display to show picture taking information and the other to switch between the viewfinder and the LCD rear screen. To the left of the display screen is the D pad, offering flash, exposure compensation, self-timer and macro modes. Three buttons are positioned around this; one to operate playback on the LCD, one to access the menu and one for deleting images.

Nikon P80 Back View

Nikon P80 back view

On the top plate we have the on/off button positioned just behind the shutter release button. This in turn has the zoom ring positioned around it, move to the left for telephoto and to the right for wide angle. Nearer the middle of the top plate is the control dial offering a number of modes including video, fully automatic point and shoot, continuous sport, AP, SP, P, M, scene selection and access to the set up menu.

Nikon P80 Top View

Nikon P80 top view


To the front of the camera we have the self timer lamp and the pop up flash which is operated by a button to the side. A CCD sensor is used and processing is achieved by using Nikon’s Expeed processor similar to the one used in their DSLR range, which is proven to achieve bright, high quality images. Somewhat surprisingly the P80 only captures images in Jpeg format with no RAW option being offered. Nikon also includes in the package a clear, well written instruction book and a CD rom software suite for image manipulation. The unit itself is uncluttered and easy to operate, including accessing menus and is ergonomically designed to feel comfortable in the hands.

Nikon P80 Front View

Nikon P80 front view


On the right hand side of the P80 (right hand side if you are holding it) there is a rubber cover over the small A/V connector.

Nikon P80 right side view

Nikon P80 right side


On the bottom of the Nikon P80 is a screw thread for mounting on a tripod and a fairly secure cover over the battery compartment. The placement of the two means that you’d have to remove the camera from the tripod mount in order to gain access to the battery.

Nikon P80 bottom view

Nikon P80 bottom view



I have carried and used the Nikon P80 for two weeks now for a variety of tasks, including work relating to my occupation and for general family and hobby photography. First of all it is light and compact, so there is no excuse for not carrying it with you most of the time. When you switch the camera on you encounter my first criticism – the lens automatically moves forward pushing the lens cap off which locates on the camera body not the lens itself. Not a major problem you might think but the lens cap cannot be refitted until the camera is switched off. I always make a point of refitting the cap when not taking a photo, to avoid dust and other contamination, but this design makes it impossible.

The performance of the camera is very impressive, the 18x zoom being a major plus point ranging from a true wide angle (27mm) to a mighty telephoto (486mm). The wide angle has often been overlooked by manufacturers on other models in favour of ever increasing telephoto length, with many starting at a not-so-wide 38mm. This makes a camera quite limiting if you enjoy taking architecture or landscape, so the 27mm of the P80 is a very useful addition. I would have preferred a manual zoom operation instead of it being motorised, as I feel this gives better control, but the bridge cameras offering this tend to be much larger and heavier, which may have compromised the appeal of the P80. Nikon have included vibration reduction, using a shifting CCD sensor on the P80, which is very useful on a camera like this and makes a noticeable difference to image quality, particularly when zoomed in.

The picture can be composed by using either the electronic view finder or the 2.7 inch LCD screen on the rear of the body, both offering about 97% scene coverage. These can also be used in playback mode which is a welcome addition when reviewing your images in bright sunlight.

There are a number of scene modes accessed through the menu system, (portrait, night portrait, sports, landscape, night landscape, party, beach/snow, sunset, dusk/dawn, museum, fireworks), and these give the operator a wide choice of point and shoot programmes. All the ones used produced excellent results. The macro mode works well but does have some difficulty in achieving sharp focus below 3cm. I had the opportunity to try out the snow scene mode a number of times during the recent wintry weather conditions, and exposures and autofocus remained controlled even in driving snow.

Nikon’s D lighting system is also included, only at one level and only in playback mode, but even so this is a more than useful feature allowing the operator to lighten details even in dark shadows. As well as these, the more advanced operator has the choice of programme, aperture priority, shutter priority and fully manual modes.

Added to this Nikon has also included a continuous sports mode offering shooting speeds of up to 13 fps, which will enable you to keep up with the action. This is often the best one to use as there is some shutter lag when used on single shot, although in fairness this is not as bad as on some other bridge camera models.

Flash is catered for with a built in unit, again offering a number of options such as automatic, red eye reduction, slow sync. and combinations of these, and it also offers video capability with sound at around 15 fps. Once the image is captured, the P80 has a range of options when it comes to viewing and managing it, including viewing thumbnails (16 on a screen at a time), zoom in/zoom out up to 10x, view a slide show and the usual delete, protect, rotate etc.

So the specification is comprehensive and the optical performance excellent for a camera of this type.



My first impression of the P80 after unpacking, was that it would not be my type of camera; it felt too light and small for me and not very comfortable in my hands. It’s not that I dislike bridge cameras as I have owned several and use them for my work all the time.

However, having used the P80 for the past two weeks my opinion has changed. The camera is light to carry, easy to use and produces clear sharp images in a wide variety of situations. More importantly two of my work colleagues were impressed enough to consider purchasing one. Now the question is should you buy this or wait for the forthcoming P90? Rumour suggests the P90 will be priced considerably higher than the P80, possibly around the £350 to £400 mark. So, unless you really need the extra top end zoom and another 2 megapixels, I would seriously consider buying the P80 now. You will not be disappointed.


Review by: Ian McKenna

Posted in: Cameras, Reviews
By March 1, 2009 Read More →

Mobile browsing market share

image In the mobile browsing arena, Net Applications reported that it had taken its first detailed look at market share and pronounced Apple’s iPhone as having a "commanding lead" with 66.61 percent of the market. But, Net Applications noted, "Android and BlackBerry are rapidly gaining market share. This does not mean that iPhone web browsing is shrinking, because the overall market is growing rapidly." Android, which Google released in October 2008, came in fourth with 6.15 percent, following No. 2 Java ME’s 9.06 percent and No. 3 Windows Mobile’s 6.91 percent. Interesting point to note, the leading smartphone OS, Symbian makes up 6.15% of the mobile browsing figure which is really low if you consider the amount of Symbian handsets throughout the world and just proves the point that most users of Symbian maybe don’t use all the features available to them.

via Cnet

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Posted in: Phones
By March 1, 2009 Read More →

Asus P835 video tour

image The folks over at have got hold of the recently announced Asus P835, you know the one with the 3.5” touchscreen that runs at WVGA (800 x 480 pixels) resolution, has the Asus Glide overlay and a trackball similar to what you find on the Blackberry devices. We have the video after the break and it looks like a lovely device. Take a look for yourself .

Posted in: Phones
By March 1, 2009 Read More →

O2 sell their 1 millionth iPhone in the UK

image O2 has announced that it managed to shift its millionth iPhone onto the UK public last quarter, helping it achieve positive year-on-year revenue growth. In its quarterly results, the network showed a 5.9 per cent growth in revenue, which was squarely in the middle of what was expected.

BlackBerry devices have also fared well for the network, which has twice seen queues around the block for a new device when it launched both iterations of the iPhone in the UK.

While the company is also a relative minnow in the broadband market, it has seen some strong growth in that area too, with a four-fold increase in the customer base.

via Techradar

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Posted in: Phones
By March 1, 2009 Read More →

Sony Ericsson W302 Walkman Phone unboxing

Continuing our look at music phones, this week we’re looking at the Sony Ericsson W302 Walkman Phone. This is an entry level phone from Sony Ericsson but still has some nice features such as the FM radio and supplied M2 micro memory card.


The Sony Ericsson W302

Once again Nick will be putting this handset through its paces over the next few weeks and we’ll have his review here online soon. For now, have a look at the quick unboxing video, not as detailed as normal but I have laryngitis so kept it brief!


Sony Ericsson W302 Walkman Phone unboxing video


Sony Erisson W302 Walkman Phone specification:

  • Dimensions – 110 x 49 x 11.7 mm
  • Weight – 99.8g
  • Screen – 240×320 pixel – 2.2 inches
  • Music – Walkman Player – PlayNow™
  • FM Radio
  • Bluetooth stereo (A2DP)
  • Camera – 2 mega-pixel
  • Networks – GSM 850, GSM 900,GSM 1800, GSM 1900
  • Messaging – Email, MMS (Multimedia Messaging)
  • Memory – 20 MB memory – Memory Stick Micro™ (M2™) support (512MB included in box)
  • Bluetooth 2.0


The Sony Ericsson W302 is packed with impressive Walkman™ features in a no-compromise 10.5mm slim, aluminium front handset. The W302 comes complete with an impressive two megapixel camera, FM radio, TrackID™ and 512MB Memory Stick Micro™ (M2).

The W302 allows users to discover and experience music on the go. Play songs randomly or create your own playlists and listen to them anywhere, whether it’s on the bus, walking to work or at college. Listen the radio on the go and if you’re not sure who the artist is, the W302 has TrackID™ music recognition which will give you all the answers.


Posted by: Matt

Posted in: Videos/Unboxings