Archive for August, 2009

By August 31, 2009 Read More →

Get Excited! New Palms on the horizon?

thumb_450_p100-120-c40

Following up on the word of Palm devices appearing in Verizon’s database, we’ve been sent the above screenshot of a Sprint inventory management system, showing not one, not two, but three plot-thickening Palm devices. The first is the 100 we already know – the Palm Pre at $549.99. But after that are two more models we haven’t seen: the 120 and C40. Interestingly, the 120 is quite similar to P121VZW we saw in the Verizon screens (like the P100 for Sprint mirrors the P101VZW for Verizon). Both the 120 and C40 have placeholder prices of $1.

Posted in: Phones
By August 31, 2009 Read More →

Vodafone mobile broadband to hit top HSDPA speed

vodafone-logo Vodafone has begun upgrading its mobile broadband network to a theoretical maximum download speed of 14.4Mbps, the operator announced on Thursday.

The move makes Vodafone the first British operator to roll out the highest specification for high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA).

HSDPA, a variant of 3G technology, is expected to be superseded by HSPA Evolved (HSPA+), then by the long-term evolution (LTE) of 3G — with each upgrade providing speed boosts.

Posted in: Phones
By August 31, 2009 Read More →

Panasonic Lumix TZ6 Review

I reviewed the Lumix FX500 and I must say that I was impressed. Now I have the Lumix TZ6 from Panasonic’s ‘Super Zoom’ category to check out. Hopefully it will impress us as much as the other cameras in the Lumix range have.

TZ6 The Panasonic Lumix TZ6

 

What’s in the box?

  • Panasonic Lumix TZ6 camera
  • Battery (3.6V 895mAh 3.3Wh Li-on)
  • Mains charger
  • USB cable (proprietary connection to camera)
  • Composite AV cable (proprietary connection to camera)
  • CD (software and drivers)
  • Manual

For more information check out Matt’s Panasonic Lumix TZ6 Unboxing Video

 

Panasonic Lumix TZ6 specification:

  • Zoom: 12x optical
  • Resolution: 10Mp
  • Sensor size: 1/2.5in
  • Sensor type: CCD
  • Max. image size: 3648×2736
  • File type: JPEG
  • Sensitivity: ISO80-1600 (ISO6400 in High Sensitivity mode)
  • Media type: SD/SDHC, built-in
  • Focus types: Normal, macro, continuous AF, Tracking AF, Quick AF
  • Normal focusing: 50cm-infinity
  • Close focusing: 3cm-200cm
  • Metering types: Intelligent Multi, centre-weighted, spot
  • Exposure compensation: +/- 2EV in 1/3 step increments
  • Shutter speed: 8-1/2000sec (max. 60sec in Starry Night mode)
  • Flash: Built-in, 0.6-5.3m (Wide at ISO Auto), 1.0-3.6m (Telephoto at ISO Auto)
  • Monitor: 2.7in TFT LCD (230,000dot)
  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Power: Li-Ion battery
  • Size: 103.3×59.6×32.8mm
  • Weight: 206g (excl. battery and card)

 

General:

FRONT – On the front of the camera is the flash, the lens and the AF lamp

TZ6_front Panasonic Lumix TZ6 – front view

 

TOP – from the left, the four holes is where the speaker is located and the next set of holes is where the microphone is. Next is the on/of switch. The the zoom slider can be seen next with the shutter button located in the middle of it. Lastly is the mode dial.

TZ6_top Panasonic Lumix TZ6 – top view

 

BOTTOM – The battery and SD card compartment can be seen in this picture. There is also a standard tripod hole.

TZ6_bottom Panasonic Lumix TZ6 – bottom view

 

CONNECTIONS – This side view shows the single proprietary connection. The wrist strap loop can also be seen here.

TZ6_connector Panasonic Lumix TZ6 – connections view

 

BACK – The 2.7 inch screen is shown here. At the top left is the switch to change between record and playback modes. Below this are the navigation keys for the menu. When in record mode these also work as shortcut keys to the self timer, exposure compensation setting, flash settings and auto focus. At the bottom is the display button which changes the on screen display in both record and playback modes, and the last button is a quick menu button in record mode and a delete button in playback mode.

TZ6_back Panasonic Lumix TZ6 – back view

 

 

Highlights:

  • High quality 10.1MP
  • Video recording quality is good (and the zoom also works with this)
  • Easy to use

Lowlights:

  • Chunky build – not aesthetically pleasing as many other Lumix cameras
  • Mode dial turns too easily

 

Review:

I was somewhat disappointed when I first saw the Panasonic Lumix TZ6 as it’s not one of Panasonic’s nicest looking Lumix cameras. I suppose I was expecting a more sleek and compact design as it is after all, a compact camera. But then, I had to remind myself that the TZ6 is part of the ‘Super Zoom’ category and not the ‘Stylish Compact’ category.

The Lumix TZ6 is available in this silver colour and also black.

TZ6_3 The Panasonic Lumix TZ6

 

The camera switches on and is ready to take pictures pretty quickly. This is quite a good point as some cameras can take a while from being switched on to being ready to take a photo.

The iA mode which has been featured in the Lumix range makes the camera do all the fine tuning for you (ie. exposure, aperture, white balance, auto focus (AF) tracking, etc.) Definitely a great feature as it makes it such a simple point-and-shoot camera.

The LCD screen is clear and bright, and at 2.7 inches it’s a nice generous size to use as a view finder and for reviewing your photos on.

The normal mode (next to the iA mode on the dial) is a basic auto mode which will adjust some setting such as AF and exposure. You can also take photos with your own custom settings which means a bit more work has to be done in order to take the best picture. I generally don’t use manual settings on compact cameras as I find it too fiddly and time consuming as you have to go into menus in order to change all the settings. You’ll probably miss the shot you wanted or your friends will get fed up of standing there waiting for the picture to be taken if you’re using this mode!

It’s a 10.1 MP camera and the lens is great! It’s a Leica-branded lens with a 12X zoom. This is the equivalent of a 25mm-300mm range. For those who aren’t so familiar with different zoom lens sizes I took these photos to show illustrate how good this zoom lens is!

P1010121 Wide angle (zoomed right out) – the blue outline in the picture shows the area I zoomed in on for the next picture.

P1010122 Taken using 12x zoom. Pretty good zoom huh!

 

Of course, the two photos above are of distant subjects. Here is a macro shot to show you the detail that the TZ6 captures.

P1010083

I’ve reduced the size of these photos to put onto tracyandmatt.co.uk so the quality has also been reduced. The original photos show off the Lumix TZ6′s high quality capability. The detail that it has captured is brilliant.

The video recording mode on the camera records at the following specifications:

[4:3]VGA: 640 x 480 pixels, 30fps (Motion JPEG) QVGA: 320 x 240 pixels, 30 fps (Motion JPEG)

[16:9]WVGA: 848 x 480 pixels, 30 fps (Motion JPEG)

The quality of video is pretty good. What’s even more impressive is that you can also use the zoom! The movement is steady when zooming in an out. The microphone which is located on the top of the camera seems to pick up sound quite well and the inbuilt speaker (again, on the top) means you can play back your videos on the camera. It doesn’t offer HD recording but is definitely a good lower end video recorder.

There was one thing that annoyed me about the camera. The mode dial seems too easy to turn. Sounds silly I know, but it didn’t seem to stay locked in place. You could touch it quite lightly and it would move. This became annoying if you put it down, or in your pocket. The next time you wanted to use the camera you couldn’t just switch it on quickly and take a picture. The dial would have made its way round to where there were no modes! Never mind.

 

Conclusion:

The Panasonic Lumix TZ6 is a brilliant Zoom camera. The picture quality is brilliant and it takes pretty good video footage too. Being able to use the zoom when recording video is a definite plus.

I thought at first that the camera was a bit bulky but I’ve changed my mind. It’s a camera with and amazing zoom. If it was a SLR camera the lens would be pretty big so Panasonic have done well to fit it all nicely into the TZ6.

Over all The Lumix TZ6 has impressed me.

 

 

Reviewed by: Emma

Posted in: Reviews
By August 30, 2009 Read More →

Canon EOS 500D unboxing video

I have to admit to being a fan of Canon DSLR cameras. I’ve owned a large number of them over the years and was pleased to get my hands on Canon’s latest EOS release, the 500D.

500D_front_angle

The Canon EOS 500D

 

While I have the slightly better EOS 50D at the moment the one thing that the 500D offers that the 50D does not is the ability to record HD Video. It was for this reason that I really wanted to try out the 500D as I’m sure you’ll realise by now, I do record a lot of video!

So over the next week or so I’ll be using the 500D to take photos of the products that we are reviewing at the moment and also will try using it to capture some HD video.

Have a look at the unboxing video below to see what you get with the 500D and also have a quick look around the camera body.

 

Canon EOS 500D unboxing video

 

Canon EOS 500D Specification:

  • 15.1 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Full HD movie recording with HDMI connection for viewing and playback on an HDTV
  • ISO 100-3200 (expandable to 12800)
  • 3.4 frames per second continuous shooting
  • Max. 170 large JPEG images in a single burst
  • 3.0” ClearView LCD with Live View mode
  • 9-point wide area AF with cross type centre point
  • High speed DIGIC 4 performance and superb image quality
  • EOS Integrated Cleaning System
  • Full compatibility with Canon EF and EF-S lenses and EX-series Speedlites, including new Speedlite 270EX, TS-E 17mm f/4L and TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II
  • RAW (.CR2 14-bit *)
  • RAW (.CR2 14-bit *) + JPEG Large/Fine
  • JPEG (EXIF 2.21) – Fine, Normal
  • Movie recording : 1920 x 1080 (1080P, 16:9) @ 20 fps / 1280 x 720 (720P, 16:9) @ 30 fps
  • Dimensions:  129 x 98 x 62 mm (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
  • Weight (no battery) :   480 g (1.1 lb)

 

Posted by: Matt

Posted in: Videos/Unboxings
By August 30, 2009 Read More →

DJ for iPhone released

Since version 3.0 of iPhone OS it is possible for apps to access music in iTunes in a limited way: an app can play them but cannot see contents of files. DJ app for iPhone has been just released and if you would like to have some other user interface to your iTunes files than built-in “iPod” app, then this may be something for you:

Posted in: Phones
By August 29, 2009 Read More →

Sony Ericsson S312 unboxing video

The Sony Ericsson S312 is another new handset from SE that enters at the lower end of their handset range.

The Sony Ericsson S312

The Sony Ericsson S312

 

The S312 may be entry level but it still looks the part and has some decent features. We’ll be following up the W205 review with the S312 in a few days time but have a look at the unboxing video below for more details for now.

 

Sony Ericsson S312 unboxing video

 

Want to highlight the moment with a picture instead? The two mega-pixel camera can be used horizontally and with the help of the illuminated imaging short cuts on the keypad you can change the settings and get the shot you want quicker. Not quite what you were after? Use the integrated Photo fix function to get the best picture quality in one step – picture taking has never been this easy!

Meetings, birthdays, parties … can you keep all the important dates in your head? Let the S312 remember them for you. Just add reminders and relax.

Sharing your pictures with friends is easier than ever before. Showcase them on the S312’s two inch screen or forward to another mobile phone via Bluetooth™. Share your pictures on the web with just a few clicks using picture blogging. Whatever the occasion post photos straight from the phone with just a few clicks – and don’t forget to send the web address to others to check out your photography skills.

EDIT: The Sony Ericsson S312 review is now live!.

Sony Ericsson S312 specification:

  • Dimensions: 100 x 46 x 12.5mm
  • Weight: 80.1g
  • Battery:  Talk Time: 8 hrs / Standby Time: 400 hrs
  • Display: 176 x 220 pixels/2 inch
  • Network: Quad-Band
  • Camera: 2 mega-pixels
  • Video: Video Recording (QVGA)
  • Music: Supported formats: MP3, AAC, eAAC+ & WMA
  • Messaging: SMS / MMS (with video)
  • Memory: 15MB (internal) / M2 (external)
  • Bluetooth (2.0)

 

Posted by: Matt

Posted in: Videos/Unboxings
By August 29, 2009 Read More →

Newsy video of Google vs. Apple throwdown

apple-vs-google_2Newsey has an interesting news video regarding the Apple/Google dispute regarding the rejection of the Google Voice app from the App Store. Apple recently turned down a Google-made application for it’s popular iPhone app store, but they’re not saying why. What’s next for the two companies?

[source Newsey]

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Posted in: Phones
By August 28, 2009 Read More →

LG GD910 unboxed at Tracy and Matt

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Matt takes us on a tour of the LG GD910 watchphone. Prettier and more functional that I originally anticipated and seems like a fun device. However, I wouldn’t day it would work great for general day to day use. the screen is lovely though the the limited size is obviously going to be off putting. Video after the break.

Posted in: Phones
By August 28, 2009 Read More →

iPhone lands in China!

Today, as reported by us previously, China Unicom operator has officially announced that iPhone is coming to China:

Posted in: Phones
By August 28, 2009 Read More →

LG GD910 Watchphone unboxing video

I must admit that when I first heard about the LG GD910 Watchphone a few months ago my initial reaction was that it would be nothing more than a gimmick and would have little practical use. However, having managed to get my hands on the Watchphone a few days ago I’ve changed my mind a little, I think it’s actually quite a cool and practical gadget that is going to appeal to a number of people.

LG watchphone2

LG Watchphone (LG-GD910) – Exclusive to Orange

The LG GD910 Watchphone is packed with features. There’s an excellent capacitive touchscreen, bluetooth, 2GB of internal memory for storing music and media, a camera for video conferencing, HSDPA support etc. It’s quite an extensive list and a specification that would be reasonable for any handset and even more so when you consider the size of this thing and that you can have all of that in something that can be worn on your wrist.

So I’ve been using the Watchphone for the last few days and I’ve been using it as my work phone along with the supplied Bluetooth headset. Call quality is perfectly acceptable but the downside is that signal reception isn’t great. Not a problem if you live in a metropolitan area with good coverage but not ideal if you live in a more rural area.

Battery life is impressive too. I’ve been using the GD910 for about 48 hours and so far I’ve not had to charge it. That’s despite making quite a few voice and video calls and texting as well as showing it off to my friends and listening to music. Thumbs up for battery life!

The main downside for me is that there is no email support at all. While I would not expect full Exchange email support it would be nice to have simple POP3 email. For me this would make it a more viable handset replacement. If however you are simply interested in voice and text messaging then it’s a better option.

So take a look at the video I have for you below. It’s a bit more than just an unboxing video this time. I’ve taken a tour around the Flash-based user interface and made some comments along the way.

 

LG GD910 Watchphone unboxing and demonstration video

 

LG LG910 Watchphone specification:

  • Dimensions (mm): 61 x 39 x 13.9 mm
  • Weight (g): 85
  • Screen Si1.43 inches, 176 x 220 pixels (Touchscreen)
  • Comes with a Bluetooth headset
  • Excellent sunlight legibility
  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
  • 3G with 7.2Mbps HSDPA and video-calling
  • Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP
  • 2GB onboard storage
  • Video call camera capable of making photos in VGA (640 x 480 pixels) resolution
  • Flash UI, optimized for finger usage

 

 

Posted by: Matt

Posted in: Videos/Unboxings
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