Tag - Cameras
In part one of our feature pitting the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge against the iPhone 6s Plus, we took a look at the design, displays and performance of the two devices. Although the Galaxy S7 Edge has arguably the better design aesthetic when compared with the iPhone 6s Plus, its vaunted double-curved edge display has questionable practical value. Similarly, the S7 Edge's excellent high resolution quad-HD display offers a great VR experience, thanks to its additional pixel density -- but in general use, the still-decent 1080p resolution of the iPhone 6s Plus is going to deliver much better overall efficiency and frame rates in games. Samsung might have also taken a lead in multi-core performance, but the iPhone still has an substantial advantage in the key single-core performance metric. So how do the two stack up when it comes to cameras, software, ecosystems and the overall end-to-end user experience?
Sony has added another mirrorless camera to its Alpha camera line, this time as a follow-up to the A6000 announced almost two years ago. The A6300 bears a similar resemblance to its predecessor, with the new model including a slightly smaller 24.2-megapixel APS-C Exmor sensor with a BIONZ X image processor, with the combination allowing it to record 4K video in Super 35mm format, namely capturing footage without pixel binning.
Canon has unveiled a new version of its EOS-1D X digital camera aimed at the professional market, one it initially released four years ago. The EOS-1D X Mark II is an upgraded version of the original, housing a new 20.2-megapixel full frame CMOS sensor with dual DIGIC 6+ image processors, giving it a boost in terms of speed and image quality, as well as allowing it to film 4K and 1080p video at 60 and 120fps respectively with a "Dual Pixel" CMOS autofocus.
Apple's ad campaign for the iPhone 6s line has continued with three new TV ads released this weekend, continuing the "only thing that's changed is everything" theme and expanding the role of actor Jamie Foxx, who had a brief cameo in an ad released earlier this month. The earlier ads focused on the new abilities of the iPhone's 3D Touch feature, currently a true distinguishing feature from other smartphones. The latest ads feature Foxx interacting with Siri, and highlighting the iPhone's new cameras.
Red Camera has launched the latest in its line of high-specification cinematography cameras, this time with a slightly cheaper model that aims to offer a similar specification set to the higher-priced models but at a lower price point. The Red Raven weighs 3.5 pounds, making it the lightest in the Red stable, with its compact size making it extremely useful for filming from drones or for filming situations where weight and space are at a premium.
GoPro has launched a new entry-level version of its action camera, which provides many of the functions expected from the rest of its range but at a lower price. The Hero+ takes a similar form to the existing Hero camera, but the manufacturer has added Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity to the device, giving users the ability to frame up their shots and remotely monitor what the camera is recording via the GoPro app and the Smart Remote.
[Updated with shipping date and price for the United States] Sony has unveiled a second generation of its existing Alpha A7s, with the successor adding 4K video to the full frame mirrorless camera, without the need for an external recorder. The Alpha A7s II uses a similar 12.1-megapixel sensor with BIONZ X image processing, and matches the original's expansive ISO range of 50 to 409,600, but its video capabilities have been boosted to offer 4K video at 30 frames per second and 1080p video at up to 120fps, allowing it to be used for slow motion recording.
Panasonic has introduced its own action camera that is designed to be worn for point-of-view videos. The HX-A1 is a cylindrical HD camera that weighs a light 45 grams (1.5 ounces) and is capable of surviving a few knocks and elemental challenges without an extra housing case, including being shockproof from drops at a height of 5 feet, waterproof to a similar depth, dustproof, and able to work at temperatures as low as 14F (-10C).
CNBC is reporting that Apple has acquired camera technology company LinX, which creates camera sensors utilizing multi-aperture imaging alongside image processing tech to improve general performance in cameras, including low-light capture, color fidelity and more. The Israel-based firm has been successful at creating sensors that can pack more information into images (allowing for some refocusing, similar to the technology used in Lytro's "light field imaging") in smaller cameras.
Canon has unveiled a pair of video cameras capable of capturing 4K footage, but are located on two different ends of the market. The XC10 is a high-end video camera that will cost $2,500 when it goes on sale, while the EOS C300 Mark II Digital Cinema Camera is aimed at cinematographers, and is estimated by Canon to carry a hefty price tag of around $20,000 when it ships later this year.
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WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R