Cameras

By June 12, 2015 Read More →

Sony’s RX100 IV and RX10 II Professional Grade Cyber-shots

sonySony has announced two of the most advanced, versatile Cyber-shot cameras ever to come to market, the compact RX100 IV (model DSC-RX100M4) and high-zoom RX10 II (model DSC-RX10M2) cameras.

The two new models both feature the world’s first 1.0 type stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor with advanced signal processing and an attached DRAM memory chip. The high speed signal processing and DRAM memory chip work together to enable more than 5x faster readout of image data and are responsible for a variety of standout features that have previously been available in only a select few professional-level video cameras. These impressive capabilities include 40x super slow motion video capture at up to 1000fps, an ultra-fast Anti-Distortion Shutter with a maximum speed of 1/32000 second, high resolution 4K movie shooting and more.

Up to 40x Super Slow Motion Shooting

A first for Sony consumer cameras, the new RX100 IV and RX10 II both have the ability to record super slow-motion video at up to 40x slower than the standard rate, allowing users to capture and replay fleeting moments of action with incredible detail, resolution and clarity.

Prior to shooting, users will have the ability to choose among 1000fps, 500fps and 250fps frame rates and among 50p and 25p playback formats to optimise the recording to fit the speed of the moving subject, with the option to use the movie record button as a ‘start trigger’ to begin recording once button is pressed or ‘end trigger’ to record footage up until the button is pressed. The ‘end trigger’ mode lets shooting begin 2 to 4 seconds before the movie button is pressed, enabling shooters to capture the decisive moment with much more consistency and accuracy. For reference, two seconds of movie footage shot at 1000fps and 25p would take about 80 seconds to play back.

High Speed Shutter, High Speed Shooting

The impressive speed and power of the 1.0 type stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor with an attached DRAM chip allows the new RX100 IV and RX10 II to perform exceptionally well while capturing fast-moving subjects.

Specifically, it’s fast processing capability results in continuous speeds at up to 16 fps on the RX100 IV and up to 14 fps on the RX10 II for an extended period of time.

Additionally, the ultra-fast readout of the image sensor is responsible for the high speed Anti-Distortion Shutter (maximum speed of 1/32000 second), which allow the new cameras to capture sharp, crystal clear images with a wide open aperture at brightness levels up to EV19. It also minimises the “rolling shutter” effect commonly experienced with fast moving subjects. This allows photographers and videographers to capture beautiful content with sharply focused subjects and defocused backgrounds under some of the most difficult, bright lighting conditions.

High Precision Direct 4K Movie Recording

The new RX100 IV and RX10 II models are the first Cyber-shot cameras to offer the advantages of 4K (QFHD 3840×2160) movie recording. The cameras utilise full pixel readout without pixel binning to ensure that all the finer details of 4K video are captured with minimal moire and ‘jaggies’. These high-quality results are achieved through use of the XAVC S codec, which records video at a high data rate of 100 Mbps during 4K recording and 50 Mbps during full HD shooting.

The capacity for shooting 4K differs slightly on each of the two cameras, as the more professionally styled RX10 II can shoot 4K video at extended lengths (up to 29 minutes in Europe), while the more casual, pocket-friendly RX100 IV can shoot 4K clips at up to about 5 minutes in length. Additional professional calibre video features on both of the new cameras include Picture Profile, S-Log2/S-Gamut, and more.

Both cameras also have advanced dual video recording functionality, allowing shooters to capture 16.8 MP still images during 4K video recording in any of 11 different composition patterns simply by pressing the shutter button.

Versatility in Design, High Speed AF

The new RX100 IV maintains the compact, pocket-sized design of the RX100 family, and has a ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar T 24-70mm (35mm equivalent) F1.8-F2.8 lens, while the new RX10 II maintains the same body design as the original RX10 and has a ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar T 24-200mm (35mm equivalent) F2.8 lens.

Each of the cameras is equipped with a new high-contrast XGA OLED Tru-Finder™ with approximately 2.35 million dots of resolution, ensuring true-to-life image preview and playback functionality. The RX100 IV maintains the convenient retractable EVF with ZEISS® T* coating from the RX100 III model that debuted last year.

Both of the two new models feature an upgraded Fast Intelligent AF system that enables high-speed, high-precision contrast detection of a moving subject in as little as 0.09 seconds. Sony’s proprietary AF algorithm allows them to recognise and lock-in on a subject with a simple half-press of the shutter button at a much more efficient rate compared to previous models. The new cameras are also Wi-Fi® and NFC™ compatible and can access Sony’s growing range of PlayMemories Camera Applications. Learn more at www.sony.net/pmca.

Aesthetically, both of the new models feature a variety of customisable controls and buttons to fit any shooter’s style. The RX10 II adds dust and moisture resistance as well.

There is also a new stylish soft carrying case for, model LCS-RXG, that has been introduced. Made of quality natural leather and available in brown and black colours, it is an ideal complement to the sleek designs of all the RX100 series cameras including the new RX100 IV model.

The RX100 IV and RX10 II will start shipping in Europe in summer 2015. The RX100 IV will be priced at approximately €1,150 and the RX10 II will be priced approximately €1,600.

Posted in: Cameras, News
By March 29, 2015 Read More →

Unboxing Kitvision Escape Action Camera

vlcsnap-2015-03-29-15h50m47s166The Kitvision Escape Action camera is a cheap GoPro alternative. Costing as little as £35 on some websites the Escape is more than capable of capturing the action with little to worry the user if it were to be lost or broken.

In addition to the camera Kitvision also includes several useful add-ons to make mounting the camera easier. Included are a Bicycle mount, Helmet mount, Adhesive mounts, Tripod adaptors and Camera adaptors.

 

Specifications
Video: HD 720p, 1280×720 pixels
Lens: 120 A+ HD wide-angle lens
Video Resolution: 1280 x 720 / 30fps, 640 x 480 / 30fps
Still images: 1.3MP
Video format: AVI
Photo format: MJPEG
Screen: 1.5 inch LCD
Micro SD card slot: Yes, up to 32 GB
Built-in rechargeable battery: Yes – 900mAh
Photo Modes: Single shot / Timed / Continuous
Frequency: 50 Hz / 60 Hz
USB Interface: USB 2.0
Power Consumption: 260 mA @ 4.2V
Recording Time per charge: About 90 minutes (based on highest settings)
Operating System: Windows XP / Vista or Above / Win7 / Mac OS
Dimensions (mm): 59.27 x 41.13 x 29.28
Weight: 58 g

Posted in: Cameras, Videos/Unboxings
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By March 19, 2015 Read More →

Unboxing the Piper NV from iControl

vlcsnap-2015-03-18-18h12m11s186Piper are a high end home security system innovator. The Piper nv is their latest hardware combining an attractive design with simple accessibility to make you and your home more secure. Priced at roughly £217 this camera features night vision, easy to installation and a clean and intuitive control software. The app is only compatible with iOS or Android and there is no Mac or PC interface, not to mention Windows Phone. Check the video below as I set this up and have a play with some of the features including the bundled Z-wave plug adapters.

 

For more information about Icontrol Networks and Piper visit icontrol.com and getpiper.com.

Posted in: Cameras, News, Wearables
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By March 17, 2015 Read More →

Samsung LifeLIVE bring parents together

Screenshot 2015-03-17 11.39.20As we all know, babies are dropped by storks down the chimney late at night to annoy an otherwise happy couple and throw their life into turmoil for the next 18-36 years. However, Samsung’s latest video uses the craziest of notions that babies are actually born of a physical person and they are using this fairytale to offer another reason for prospective customers to think about picking up a VR headsets. In the video one man is able to see the birth of his child in 360-degrees. The emotionally charged video popped up on Samsung Australia’s YouTube channel showing a poor bloke, over 2,485 miles away, attend the birth of this child using the Samsung Gear VR headset. Samsung has been calling this the world’s first “live virtual reality birth” using the Samsung Gear VR. This can be employed from the golf course and will give fathers everywhere a better, if not water tight, solution to avoiding the whole birth thing.

 

Posted in: Cameras, News, Wearables
By March 12, 2015 Read More →

Meet the of Piper nv the all-in-one home security system

image001Icontrol Networks, a leader in connected home technology and innovation, today announces general availability in Europe for Piper nv, the only security system that can be easily tailored to what matters most. Building on the launch of the original Piper last year, the all-in-one home security, video monitoring and automation device has been engineered for reliability and built frustration free, making it easier than ever to connect via mobile device for peace of mind.

Over the last year, Piper has ushered in a new approach to home monitoring, security and automation and continues to deliver users a new and smart way to interact with their homes. With the DIY smart home market projected to reach $7.8 billion in the US alone by 2019, according to NextMarket Insights, the connected home is becoming more easily accessible to consumers than ever before and Piper continues to be at the forefront of the movement with Piper nv. In addition to the already comprehensive Piper feature set, Piper nv boasts:

●        Night Vision: Featuring the widest field of view available in the market, Piper nv’s 180-degree day/night vision offers a clear and complete view of your home no matter the time of day. Night vision kicks in automatically once the room starts getting dark.

●        Advanced camera resolution: The 3.4 megapixel camera sensor ensures you don’t miss any details!

 

“Being aware of events in your home has never been easier with Piper,” said Russell Ure, creator of Piper and an executive vice president and GM at Icontrol Networks. “Piper nv provides homeowners with unsurpassed visibility into their homes and ensures places and loved ones are always protected and safe. It sets a new standard for the optimal video experience in the smart home marketplace.”

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Piper has been recognised for its innovative technology and broad consumer appeal, and is powered by Icontrol Networks, a leader in the connected home marketplace.

 

In addition to night vision and advanced camera resolution, Piper nv has been designed for maximum customisation and includes the core Piper features:

●        Security: Customise three security modes (home, away and vacation), motion detector and piercing, 105-decibel siren.

●        Automation: Integrate Z-Wave accessories into Piper’s security modes, control them remotely, on a schedule, or using environmental data.

●        HD Panoramic camera: 180° fisheye lens, electronic pan, tilt, and zoom, 1080p camera sensor.

●        Customised alerts: Phone call, text message, email, and push notifications to users and their trusted circle when security rules are triggered.

●        Environmental sensors: Monitor and control home temperature, humidity, ambient light and sound.

●        Elegant Design: Simple, intuitive app. Stunning, compact, two-toned form with brushed metal legs.

●        Smart Hardware: ARM processor, battery backup, internal memory for video storage, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi.

●        Android & iOS support: Available on Android and iOS smartphones and tablets.

●        Two-way audio: Talk directly to occupants through Piper through its app on your mobile device.

●        Multi-Piper functionality: Support up to five different Pipers within a home so you always have visibility and control over your different spaces.

●        Bedside mode: Featuring an active panic button, Bedside mode lets users manually turn on a siren in case of an emergency. Easy to reach and quick to access for fast action, users can now set Piper to Bedside mode before going to sleep for a more secure environment at night.

Piper nv can now be purchased at getpiper.com starting at €299.00 (£217.00) and Piper will continue to be sold for €199.00 (£145.00)*. The free Piper application is also available for download in the iTunes App Store and in the Google Play Store. 

By March 10, 2015 Read More →

Nikon Coolpix P900, a thing of beauty

2101510734Recently Nikon announced a new mid range entry to their catalogue, an updated bridge camera with the focus on the zoom lens. A particularly bonkers 83x zoom to be exact. Modestly priced at around £500 the P900 has an 83x, 24-2000mm equivalent lens a superzoom like no other on the market. On paper at least, we can’t imagine a scene that this lens shouldn’t be able to handle. From the a weed on the top of a build to a gazelle leaping across the Serengeti, this camera will be able to handle it. To keep things steady, the camera has an advanced image stabilization system that offers 5 stops of shake reduction. The lens is so long that the flash has to pop up noticeably higher over the barrel, as you can see here.

If you’re a keen photographer of wildlife or the night sky, the 16-megapixel COOLPIX P900’s incredible 83x optical zoom lets you capture details not visible to the naked eye. Shoot instantly with rapid AF and a reduced shooting time lag, while 5.0-stop Dual Detect Optical VR enhances blur reduction.

Enjoy flexible composition with the vari-angle monitor and built-in electronic viewfinder, for shooting detailed stills at super-telephoto and Full HD movies. Built-in GPS/GLONASS/QZSS support pinpoints shooting locations and images can be shared instantly with built-in Wi-Fi®¹ and NFC² support.

Styled for comfortable shooting, the COOLPIX P900 brings you closer than ever to the beauty of nature.

 

P900_sample-photo_05

Posted in: Cameras, News
By March 10, 2015 Read More →

Zano is a versatile drone

pjdhUQCDones are here and they are getting more versatile by the week. They are becoming more affordable and a various sizes are available. The Zano is an ultra-portable, personal aerial photography and HD video capture platform and mall enough to fit in the palm of your hand. One of the biggest features is that the Zano boasts to be intelligent enough to fly all by itself! Zano connects directly to your smart device (iOS or Android) via onboard WiFi and enables you to instantly begin capturing and sharing moments.

A size of the drone is 2.5 x 2.5 in (6.5 x 6.5 cm), which is one of the smallest out there. A collection of sensors work seamlessly together to allow Zano to avoid obstacles, hold its position and know exactly where it is in conjunction with your smart device, at all times.

This means Zano operates on a virtual tether connected to your smart device. Tilting your phone or tablet left or right, forward or backward will control the Zano. Zano can also be adopt a “Free Flight” mode, using on-screen Joy Sticks. Screen slide bars control altitude and rotation. The device will hold its position unless instructed otherwise and this allows for maximum control and freedom without the fear of piloting Zano, if Zano senses it’s strayed too far from your smart device or is running low on battery, it will automatically return to your smart device.

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Additionally there is a “Follow Me” feature. When activated the Zano locks the drone at a certain distance from the user’s smart device to capture all the action. The Zano has an infrared sensor that is claimed to already be providing prototypes with adequate obstacle avoidance.

The drone is 55 g (1.94 oz) in weight and the battery can either be charged via Micro USB while inside the drone, or externally through a special adapter. Photos are snapped at 5 megapixels, while video is captured at 720p. The company says this is limited by Wi-Fi bandwidth and the Zano is technically capable of 1080p at 60 fps, leaving the door open to higher resolution video by way of future software updates.

You can pre-order a Zano drone at their official website for £169.95

 

Posted in: Cameras, Gadgets, News, Phones
By February 12, 2015 Read More →

What Celebrity would you would most like a selfie with this Valentine’s Day?

Caggie Dunlop 28As Valentine’s Day comes sweeping into the hearts of the public HTC would like focus their attention on those loving moments between couples, however they have noticed that the British public might just be wishing they could have a celebrity to cuddle this year. 

The male and female celebrities Brits would most desire a Valentine’s Day selfie with are David Beckham and Jennifer Lawrence according to research carried out by leading design and technology company HTC, to promote its Desire 620 handset. Beckhams are top male heartthrobs. Unsurprisingly David Beckham topped the league of most desirable men to have a selfie with, but the main talking point is a new rival for the crown in the Beckham household with Brooklyn making an appearance on the most desired list.  Brooklyn Beckham beat out competition from celebrity heart-throbs including bad boy Justin Bieber and One Direction’s Zayn Malik who came ninth and tenth respectively. Combined the Beckhams achieved a fifth (19%) of the 2000 18-30 year olds polled, indicating the father-son duo could be one of the most sought after selfie opportunities possible.

Brits prefer American women. Jennifer Lawrence’s leaked obsession with selfies may have made her the most desirable female, but the biggest surprise was that the highest placed British woman was only number four. Selfie queen Helen Flanagan, was also beaten out by Rihanna and Katy Perry, indicating that most of the UK prefer American women.  The next highest ranked Brit was Kelly Brook in sixth.

image002 image010

The Autograph is dead. The data also shows that the autograph is dead. Over half of Brits (55%) reveal they would choose a selfie with their favourite star over anything else, while less than a quarter would want an autograph with their celebrity crush. (22%)

Blokes would also be most bold, with a third of blokes most likely to ask their celebrity crush on a date or for a kiss if they met them. (32%) Women are shyer, with only one in ten likely to do the same (11%).

Most popular celebrity selfies. Ellen DeGeneres took the most popular selfie of the last year with her shot of herself by a who’s who of Hollywood actors, topping other famous selfies of the last 12 months including Kim Kardashian’s famous ‘belfie’, Lukas Podolski’s picture of the German World Cup winning team and Cara Delevingne’s ‘ugly’ shot.

Why do we care about celebrity selfies? We check up on our favourite celebrity’s twitter feeds between two and three times a day (2.51), with nearly a third of us looking at celebrity selfies to get a glimpse into their private lives (29%) or to get a behind the scenes look at what they have been up to (31%). Over a quarter of British females also check celebrity selfies to get fashion inspiration (29%) and a fifth to get beauty tips (22%).

Celebrities are inspiring us to be more selfie obsessed than ever, with the estimated 11 million 18-30 year olds in the UK posting a total of more than one billion selfies in 2014. The average 18-30 year old in the UK is posting over 100 selfies a year with nearly half (49%) now posting at least one selfie a week to social media. To cater for the huge interest in selfies and the desire to make ourselves look our best on our social networks, HTC has now created a range of hardware and software designed specifically for the selfie generation.

The HTC Desire 620 features best-in-class camera tools with a large 5” screen and quad-core processing power. The 8MP main camera has auto focus technology to deliver crisp shots every time, and the 5MP front-facing camera features a built-in countdown mode so you’ll never miss a selfie pose again.

Face Fusion is a tool that allows you to merge your face with that of a friend or celebrity for a completely original look and Live Makeup allows you to set the desired level of skin smoothing and preview the effect in real-time before the image is captured.

Voice Selfie also removes the need for awkward hand contortions by enabling you to trigger the shutter release with a simple command. Simply say “cheese” or “smile” as soon as you’ve struck the perfect pose or trigger the video recording with “action” or “rolling” commands.

Ben Walsh, Head of Marketing UK and Ireland at HTC, said: “There were some great celebrity selfies in 2014 and it’s clear that we’re more interested than ever, with the average person checking their favourite celebrity’s social postings multiple times a day. It is also inspiring us to imitate them, so we’ve created a suite of new features in our Desire handsets which allow HTC customers to get creative with their own selfies.”

HTC Desire 620_PerRight_SantoriniWhite

For more details on HTC’s Desire range, visit www.htc.com/uk/ The HTC Desire 620 is available in Santorini White exclusively from Three or in Tuxedo Grey on O2 or Vodafone from Carphone Warehouse. HTC EYE Experience features are also available on the following models: HTC One (M7), HTC One (M8), HTC Desire Eye, HTC One E8, HTC One mini, HTC One mini 2, HTC One max, HTC Desire 816, HTC Desire 820.

Posted in: Cameras, Editorial, Phones
By February 4, 2015 Read More →

Unboxing Revealmedia Body Camera

vlcsnap-2015-02-03-14h30m03s73Gareth takes a look at the RS3-SX Body Worn Camera System from Revealmedia. This unit is typically worn by the Police to document response situations. Built for reliability and designed to be light weight the Body Worn Camera is a versatile and almost essential piece of equipment for an officer on the job.

  • Accurate positioning. Horizontal and vertical camera adjustment.
  • Front-facing screen. 2.5” screen displays footage as it is being recorded. Proven to improve outcomes.
  • Multi-use. Use camera on body, in car or standalone (eg. in interviews).
  • Secure. Files will only load and play on a computer running DEMS software; not on any other device
  • Wide field of view. 120º horizontal, 60º vertical
  • Dock and go. Automatic file uploading and battery charging via cable or docking station.
  • Rugged case. Designed for use on the front line – where you work.
  • Usage log. Encrypted log on RS3-SX. Automatically detect if a video has been tampered with.
  • Playback. On camera video and audio playback. Review footage in the field.
  • Mark evidence. Mark footage as ‘evidential’ when in record mode. Automatic filing after upload to DEMS.
  • Stealth mode. Enables recording without screen or lights.

RECORDING

  • Audio and video recording – yes
  • Recording resolution – Full HD
  • Recording speed – 30 frames per second
  • Field of view, horizontal – 120º
  • Field of view, vertical – 60º
  • Encoding technology, video – H264
  • Encoding technology, audio – MPEG-4
  • Recording activation switch – single slider switch; one action record
  • Recording capacity – >8hrs
  • Recording format – .mov
  • Date and time stamp – yes

By February 15, 2014 Read More →

Sony ACX-2 Case for DSC-QX10/QX100 and Xperia Z1

ACX2-2Having recently acquired a Sony Xperia Z1 for myself and already owning a DSC-QX10 Lens I decided to get myself a case for the Z1 which would allow me to attach the lens to the camera without the need to use the slightly chunky mount that comes with the QX10.

Sony now produce cases that will allow their two lenses to the Xperia Z, Z1 and Z Ultra in black and white finishes. The price for the Z1 is quite expensive for what is (without the lens attachment) quite a basic case at £25 from the Sony website.

http://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/cyber-shot-compact-cameras-cases-covers-straps/spa-acx2

I decided to give it the case a try anyway and when I received it I was quite pleased to note that the case actually solved one of my criticisms of the Z1 and Z Ultra, namely the glass construction and slim profile make both devices very slippery.

The fit of the case onto the Z1 is, as you would expect from an official accessory, perfect and the lens attaches quickly and effortlessly. I was really impressed and decided that the Z1 with the case would be my every day device for my week long holiday overseas.

ACX2-2a

The ease of attaching the lens to the phone made this my goto camera for the whole holiday and I found that i did not take my DSLR out of the safe once on the whole trip.

The case did have one major downside however! You may have noticed that the photos of the case and camera that I have shown so far are taken from the Sony website. The reason for this is that on the second day of my trip, whilst sitting and having lunch I heard a “crack” noise from my pocket. Upon inspecting the case, two corners had broken off and there was a crack down the back of the case.

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A quick web search reveled this to be a fairly common occurrence and that the normal response upon contacting Sony is to be offered a refund rather than an exchange.

I managed to baby the case through the rest of the holiday but I will not be seeking a refund and I will, in fact, be purchasing a second one.

The reason for this strange course of action is that during my research into the cracking problem, I discovered that many people have successfully removed the camera connection from the case and have attached it to an alternative case which is more durable. This is my plan as well and if I’m successful I will post up the results.

Here are some shots of the damage to the case and how the camera looks when it is attached. It is an exceptionally good idea that was let down by the execution.

IMG_20140213_200745IMG_20140213_200720IMG_20140213_221635IMG_20140213_221701

 

Posted in: Cameras, Phones, Reviews
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