Cameras

By July 31, 2015 Read More →

The Canon camera with an ISO of 4,000,000

aoeinopkgkx09pchnjuaCanon has recently announced a new multi-purpose camera known as the ME20F-SH. This specificaly designed camera has a novel featuring allowing the user to capture full HD colour video in pitch black conditions using an ISO of 4,000,000. An ISO of this scale is off the chart for current cameras, utilising a full-frame 35mm CMOS sensor packing just 2.26 megapixels. In addition to this the camera also increases the size of each pixel up to 19μm (5.5x larger than a high-end DSLR) to allow more light to be captured.

The potential for Security, a wild life photographer, explorer and even deep sea diving is extreme. This will allow shooting in persistently dark conditions.

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By July 24, 2015 Read More →

Polaroid iE826 Unboxing

vlcsnap-2015-07-23-08h18m33s991Picking a compact camera on a budget should be a simple task if there wasn’t such a huge number on the market. No matter your budget there is always a model for you however there is a slightly nicer feature included for a couple of pounds extra on a different model. Limiting yourself to a budget is a difficult thing as one can very easily see the line drawn becoming blurred when you try to get the best value for money.

The Polaroid iE826 has received some negative press of late with a couple on Honeymoon having dropped a whopping £80 on the snapper and expecting the world from the output. The outlet purchased from merely deflected the issue with a “you get what you pay for” excuse.

Oddly, in the case of the Polaroid iE826 we see a camera that obviously suffered from a price conscious feature set yet also a victim of shrewd pricing from some retailers. QVCuk sell the camera of £44.88, the couple claim the the camera was reduced from £80, you have to wonder if they are more annoyed that the camera was available cheaper elsewhere and if they would have kicked up quite a stink if the price had have been as low it is on QVC’s website.

The camera is however not as bad as the couple has made out. Certainly it won’t take home any prizes however if does take some workable images in the right light. Everything is almost good here. Not quite good, but getting there.

The camera looks nice, the colour array available is very attractive and that is the best thing it has going for it right now. The fascia is bright and popping. Aside from the colour scheme the setup is very much standard, the layout of these compact cameras is so tried and tested that it is impossible to get wrong.

The build is quite light and plastic. Whilst solid it would not survive a few night of brutality in a nightclub and a couple of drops would likely have a detrimental effect on something inside. This is a disposable camera, you won’t be dusting this off next summer to capture those treasured moments taking the kids to Disney.

The optics inside are where we are let down, the crucial part of the camera. Whilst serviceable in daylight the camera ISO of 400 really leads to less than acceptable low level light shots, the flash only adding to the disappointment. Just avoid using this indoors and forget about taking it to a nightclub.

Outdoors the images captured are pretty good, nothing pops but at the same time we have seen worse over the years. Setting everything to Auto isn’t the best idea, if you stay on top of the settings you might be able to salvage many of the shots and produce something quite commendable. Fast action also leads to disappointing results, sports days and skiing will become a blurry memory.

There is in built social networking tools allowing the user to share directly to YouTube, Facebook and MySpace. Yes, MySpace.

Perhaps because the battery was new the charge didn’t last too long. Having charged the camera for an hour before use the battery had dropped to three quarters taking the test pictures and video content for the unboxing video before. There is a lot of motor noise coming from the lens as the auto focus attempts to ‘lock on.’ This likely drains the battery quite a bit so ensure you have a spare or a charging solution before you go on a full day excursion.

It is amazing cameras at the bottom end aren’t improving like the modern Smartphone. For the very little extra you might be able to get a better camera built into a smartphone however this bleeds into the budgeting conundrum of not wanting to spend a penny more than £44.88.

I couldn’t recommend the Polaroid iE826 to anyone unless they are back into a corner, the Daily Mail may have covered the camera with a more negative light then the camera is due however that’s the modern media, it is bad but not THAT bad. 

Thanks to QVCuk for the review sample. When purchased from QVC an Essentials Kit is provided, we will be having a look at this tomorrow.

Technical specification: 

  • Camera type: Compact digital camera
  • Screen: 2.4″ LCD
  • Resolution: 18 megapixels
  • Sensor Type: CMOS
  • ISO sensitivity: AUTO, 100 – 400
  • Image stabiliser: Digital
  • Optical zoom: 8x
  • Digital zoom: 4x
  • Self-timer: 2 seconds / 5 seconds /10 seconds
  • Exposure modes: Auto, Landscape, Backlight, Portrait, Sports
  • Effects: Vivid, Sepia, Monochrome, Night Scene
  • White balance: Auto
  • Photo file formats: JPEG
  • Video file formats: AVI
  • Memory card: SDHC
  • Battery: Lithium-ion battery
  • Battery life: approx 90 – 110 shots
  • Camera (l x w x d): 6cm x 9cm x 2.5cm (2.4″ x 3.5″ x 1″)
  • Weight: 140g
By July 23, 2015 Read More →

KitVision Rush Action Camera HD100W Unboxing

youtu.be-HHpUbHTU1Q8A GoPro is a pretty expensive item and whilst they are designed for high octane action there is no getting past the idea that there is always a knock that would kill the camera regardless of the housing, skin or durability of the build. A GoPro is for a serious enthusiast, but what if you are looking to dip your toe in the water of extreme sports and don’t know if you would use a camera very much, or don’t want to risk destroying a £400 GoPro?

The Kitvision Rush feels good right out the box. It’s well weighted, features a brushed steel finish and looks the business when attached to a helmet, handlebar or just in hand. There are a large amount of features that one cannot ignore and the potential for use it immense. I was full of great ideas looking through the different mounts.

From here on everything was going to become a headache. You really appreciate a screen when you don’t have one. All the vibrations and light flashes in the world can happen however that doesn’t necessarily mean things will go the way you want them too. Especially if the bundled software is trash.

As you can see from the unboxing video the Kitvision Rush gives pretty good results when in use. The picture is clear and crisp, the audio, whilst hardly cinema quality, doesn’t offend and the camera itself impresses for the money. When it works.

The footage captures was a third attempt. The first, at the gun range, didn’t work well. Partly my fault, the camera arrived in the morning, I grabbed it on the way out the door on the way to the range after a quick unboxing expecting to be able to shoot right away. Instead I got home to a blank memory card after a confusing collection of buzzes and light flashes.

The manual was required. Not a particularly bad thing however I was a bit annoyed reading the manual to find a how to, instead of looking for extra features. I downloaded the suggested apps and got things working.

A couple of days later I figured I would attached the camera to the car for some exciting close to the road footage from various vantage points. However, this led to 30 mins of getting in and out of the car adjusting, pressing buttons, lost connections and laggy apps. On the odd occasion I managed to view the camera footage however I never managed to capture any footage.

A week later I begrudgingly picked up the camera to attach to the bike, I spent 5 minutes with manual, phone and camera and got it to work sporadically. I put the phone away and relied on what I had learned from the buttons and just recorded a bunch of footage to took a load of photos. No streaming, no clicking around the features, no ad-hoc wifi. A painless as possible left me really happy.

Most of the footage did not make the clip as it is more personal however what is there is great for a £130 camera to throw around. I have only charged it once and haven’t run out of battery yet. Documentation shows 2.5 hours however I must be approaching that soon. However, you have to take another cable with you if you are planning a trip, you cannot share with your micro USB you might have for a phone or tablet.

Specs

  • Micro SD / Micro SDHC up to 32GB (not included)

  • Auto rotation (G-sensor) 

  • Dual file video recording

  • Built-in high quality microphone

  • Rechargeable built-in battery

  • Battery life: up to 2.5 hours

  • Weight: 134.4 g

 

In a nutshell:

Pros

  • Great build quality

  • Great video footage

  • Looks swish

  • Tonnes of flexibility with the adapters

 

Cons

  • Software is pig ugly, slow and frequently doesn’t work

  • Wifi implementation is slow and sometimes non-existent

  • Uses MiniUSB in 2015.

 

Conclusion

Most of the problems with the Kitvision Rush can be fixed fairly easily and I would not dissuade anyone from purchasing one for this. If seeing what you are recording is important you might need to look elsewhere unless you have incredible patience. At £130 I would be pleased with the quality of the camera itself.

By July 15, 2015 Read More →

Unboxing 6 Axis Mini Quadcopter Drone with Camera

vlcsnap-2015-07-14-15h39m13s400Purchasing a drone is an expensive task. You can really lay out a lot of money to get something stable, smooth and will produce good results. It is probably recommended you check out a cheaper Quadcopter first for a couple of reasons.

Your ability. They can be difficult to fly. Up, down, left right and rotating are the main commands however you also have to take into account wind speed and surroundings. The more you pay the easier this becomes and enthusiasts will likely throw money at a manufacturer to have more tech no board to assist with their flight.

Your need. Curiosity is the main reason I asked to review one. On the one hand I wanted to see if I would use it, on the other I wanted to have a look at my roof without having to get out the ladders. Two reasons that hardly need to have big bucks invested in tech.

So when I noticed that Mobilefun had a little drone for £40 with a camera on-board this would cover the need. The only thing was the ability.

Flying a lower end drone is not an easy task. A smaller, no frills drone is easy to lose control of, becomes susceptible to wind and will require extreme patience to find enjoyment in.

First up is the built quality. This is going to take a beating in its first hour off the ground. It will crash into trees, walls, hedges and ultimately, the ground. This little drone will take a licking, not a massive licking but will sustain a bit of rough treatment as it collides with everything around it. It looks good, feels light in hand and will impress anyone passing by. The controller isn’t as sturdy as the drone, built from cheap plastic and the buttons are horribly clicky. The beeps from the controller are shrill, the screen is basic and I am not convinced that all the buttons work.

Secondly is the use. I am of the mindset that a more expensive drone will be easier to control with gyroscopes to assist flight. For this Quadcopter a small gust of wind can upset the flight path and depending on the quality of the pilot may send it tumbling to the dirt. Rotors can bend easily upon impact and thankfully there are a couple of spares in the box. I haven’t had to use any however the casing had needed to be clicked back into place after a meeting with an apple tree. The thumb sticks are not particularly accurate. However this is £40 alternative and the fact that is even flies is enough to impress.

Third, is the battery. Flight time is about 7 minutes. Not a lot, however the size of the battery will directly affect the performance as this needs to be light. I’m happy with the flight time as there is enough time to have some fun and charger takes little over an our. The first few time do become somewhat annoying when the battery dies as it seems to come at a point that you are beginning to understand the method behind keeping it in the air.

The camera isn’t particularly great however it’s a welcome addition. Whilst only a 0.3 megapixel offering the quality isn’t a bad as you might think as you will see from the footage in the unboxing video. Instead it appears quite serviceable, especially for checking out a roof. The drone is quite noisy and as such the microphone is a bit of a waste.

Whilst this will be considered a toy by most it’s a great learning experience. I am even more interested in drones now having played with this and will be looking for a more advanced model in the near future. I do however have a little voice in the back of my mind telling me that these might be made illegal at some point and investing money in a high end drone would be a waste.

 Grab one from Mobilefun.

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.”

image001

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
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