14 September 2008

Canon EOS 50D

On 26 August 2008, Canon New Zealand has announced the brand new Canon EOS 50D digital SLR camera locally. No surprises to hear, but still very exciting news. The EOS 50D is the replacement for EOS 40D that was announced August last year. EOS 50D is the model sitting between 450D and 5D. It’s not as expensive as 5D, but definitely has better performance than 450D. Why am I excited? Because this is the model that I’m going to upgrade to.

Let’s take a look at the highlights of the Canon EOS 50D and my comments:
  • 15.1 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C sensor) – It’s the highest resolution APS-C size sensor DSLR on the market. Although I don’t really care about pixels now, still the higher the better
  • DiG!C 4 Image Processor – Wow, it’s already 4th generation of the Canon’s DiG!C processor and 50D is the first model to use it. Why DiG!C4 is good? Because they always say the new version is faster processing, producing finer detail and natural colour reproduction. But who knows? It should be better though
  • ISO speed 100 – 3200, expandable to 12800 – Do you hear it? Up to 12800! But don’t know how good the image quality is at this rate
  • 6.3 frames per second with continuous shooting up to 60 shots in a single burst – I’m not a sports shooter, so don’t really care about shooting speed, but of course, the faster the better
  • 3.0” Clear View VGA LCD with Live View Mode and Live Face Detection AF Mode – Most DSLRs now carry Live View and many compact digital cameras have Face Detection function, so no surprises here
  • 9-point wide area AF
  • HDMI output in full High-Definition for high quality viewing and playback on a High Definition TV
  • Tough magnesium alloy body, with environmental protection
  • EOS Integrated Cleaning System including the improved Self Cleaning Sensor Unit with a new fluorine coating
  • New Creative Auto mode and Quick Control screen – What’s this? Well, it’s not something groundbreaking. Just for users don’t know technical terms such as aperture and exposure to adjust settings and shoot images as they visualise them. For example, you can adjust images to be a little brighter or make the background more blurry in Creative Auto mode, rather than by understanding how to change the exposure or aperture
  • Automatic image correction technologies including:
  • Auto Lighting Optimizer – analyzes brightness and contract automatically before making adjustments to achieve optimal images
  • Auto correction of lens peripheral illumination – lens peripheral illumination fall-off is automatically corrected to suite each lens when shooting in JPEG mode
  • Full compatibility with Canon EF and EF-S lenses and EX-series Speedlites
  • Software – the EOS 50D should come with the following software package:
  • Digital Photo Professional Software – provides processing of lossless RAW images
  • EOS Utility – provides essential support for Live View remote shooting, camera configuration and image transfers
  • Picture Style Editor – allows users to create individual Picture Styles that fit with their personal requirements
OK, are you ready to get one? I’m pretty much ready to sell my current camera and go to grab one when it hits retail stores late September in New Zealand. The price is still TBC at the time of writing, but I think it will be close to 40D’s price tag. It will be available in Body only, as an Enthusiast Kit with EF-S17-85mm lens, and as a Premium Kit with EF-S18-200mm Lens (this is the kit I’m going to grab!).

Nikon D90

Honestly speaking, I’m a Canon guy more than a Nikon guy. However, I have to admit that Nikon has been doing some decent jobs and have some really impressive models. My friends who bought the D300 all said it’s a brilliant camera and super happy about it. My dad is using a D3 which is sponsored by Nikon and likes it very much, although he also bought the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III for lens compatibilities. OK, what does Nikon bring us this time? It’s the D90, which is the successor to its popular D80. It’s the world’s first digital SLR with a movie mode. Let’s take a look at what it offers:
  • Newly designed Nikon DX-format CMOS image sensor with 12.3 megapixels
  • Wide ISO sensitivity range of ISO 200 to 3200
  • D-Movie – the world’s first D-SLR movie mode allows you to shoot HD720p movies
  • Scene Recognition System integrated with Face Detection System
  • 3” LCD with Live View mode
  • 11-point AF system
  • Continuous shooting at up to 4.5 frames per second
  • Compatible with HDMI output

SanDisk Extreme III 30MB/s Edition SDHC

In the digital photography age, we don’t need films anymore. But memory cards become essential. SanDisk is always the brand I trust for memory cards. Recently, it has introduced the Extreme III 30MB/s Edition line of SD High Capacity cards. As the name states, it can read and write up to 30MB/s, which is 50% speed boost from the previous fastest 20MB/s cards. This world’s fastest SDHC is helpful for complementing the new range of fast speed DSLRs.

The new cards are available in 4GB, 8GB and 16GB capacities. The RRP for the 4GB card is US$65 (NZ$100), 8GB card is US$110 (NZ$165) and the 16GB one is selling at US$180 (NZ$270).

09 July 2008

Netconcepts Searchme Stack

The stack concept from Searchme for sharing your favorite sites is quite cool.

18 March 2008

BBC Launches Mobile Version Website

Have you ever used your mobile phone to access websites? I do use it quite often and love it, although there are not many good mobile websites yet. But I believe the mobile world will definitely be the future of Internet sooner or later.

BBC.co.uk has just launched a new version of its website for mobile devices, including a new section for BBC Radio 1's Newsbeat with all the latest entertainment news and pictures.

The BBC's mobile website attracts 2.7 million unique users each month to its News, Sport and Weather content. It is currently the No.1 mobile site in the U.K.

Check out BBC.co.uk on your mobile devices or http://www.bbc.co.uk/mobile/web/index.shtml for more information.

16 March 2008

The New High-end - Nokia N96

The Nokia N95's successor has gone official - the all new Nokia N96. Although the N95 is still powerful, the N96 has gone further by having 16GB internal storage in addition to a microSD slot. The 5 megapixel Carl Zeiss auto-focus camera is still on N96, but now it has two LED lights doing flash and video light separately.

The Nokia N96 has a 2.8" QVGA display with integrated DVB-H mobile TV tuner and 3.5mm headphone jack. Other features include Wi-Fi and A-GPS. It works on HSDPA, but unfortunately the first version only supports 900MHz and 2100MHz. It has 128MB RAM and 256MB system memory for operating system and dynamic user data. Battery life is up to 150 minutes talk time and up to 200 hours stand-by time.

It will be available from third quarter of 2008 for about 550 euro (US$870 or NZ$1,100).

Check out more Nokia N96 product images.

Sony Launches Cyber-shot W300 Compact Digital Camera with 13.6 Megapixel

Sony launches the Cyber-Shot DSC-W300 digital compact camera with 13.6 megapixel, 2.7" LCD screen, scratch-resistant titanium-coated body, HDTV output and all Sony's new intelligent technologies including the "Smile Shutter" and Dynamic Range Optimization.

The new DSC-W300 is expected to be the industry's most pocktable, high-resolution digital compact camera with high performance. The camera has ultra-high 13.6 megapixel CCD with a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 3x optical zoom lens, 2.7" LCD screen with 230k pixels and an eye-level viewfinder all in a compact size. I like the body - the premium look and ultra-hard titanium coating makes it highly-resistant to scratches and messy fingerprints.

The intelligent shooting features include Face Detection, Intelligent Scene Recognition Mode, 9-Point Auto Focus, Super SteadyShot optical image stabilization, Sony Double Anti-Blur Solution, Dynamic Range Optimization, Convenient Photo Modes and Burst Mode.

The Cyber-shot DSC-W300 and accessories will be available in May for about US$350 (NZ$430) in the US market. But I guess it may be around NZ$600 when it launches in the NZ market.

Check out more Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W300 product images.

Intel will Release Quad-Core CPUs for Laptops in Q3, 2008

Intel confirms that it will deliver quad-core chips for laptops later this year. The quad-core laptop CPUs are most likely for desktop replacement notebooks, will be based on the Core 2 Duo micro-architecture and will ship in Q3 of 2008. The new CPUs may use the new 45-nanometer technology.

The quad-core laptop CPU will be released after Intel's Centrino 2 platform, which will be launched in Q2, 2008. The Centrino 2 platform is code-named Montevina and is an upgrade to the current Centrino mobile platform with WiMax and Wi-Fi on a single chip.

The initial launched quad-core laptop chip won't be small. So it won't fit in super-slim laptops like MacBook Air, and will require more power than dual-core chips. The target will be mobile gamers and office workers who need heavy processing power. If you're hunting for a powerful desktop replacement laptop and don't mind to wait for 6 more months, then you may want to wait for the quad-core beasts.

26 February 2008

Top 20" Wide-screen LCD - ASUS PW201

Looking for a new LCD monitor? If you have enough budget, a 24" model would be good to have. But if you don't want to spend $1,000+ on a monitor, then look at 20" models which have the best combination of performance and price at the moment. Among all those 20" LCDs on the market, the ASUS PW201 would be a good one to consider.

ASUS PW201 has good picture performance, smooth adjustments and selling for around NZ$725 (US$540). Its resolution is 1680x1050 and contrast ratio is 800:1. It also comes with a 1.3 megapixel camera and picture-in-picture function. Connectivity wise, it provides composite, S-Video, component inputs as well as DVI, earphone jack and USB ports for connecting your business and entertainment devices. Overall, the ASUS PW201 is a fine choice for work, play or both.

25 February 2008

All New Sony Digital Photo Frames

Digital photo frame is a very popular product now. It's a perfect gift to anyone and also looks great when put in your own bedroom or living room. I have bought one for my mom last year as a Christmas gift and she liked it very much. At the moment, we have the choices from Philips and Samsung and some other brands. But Sony is releasing its digital photo frame products as well. Let's have a quick look at what Sony offers.

The upcoming Sony DPF-D70 digital photo frame has a 7" 800x480 resolution and 15:9 aspect ratio LCD screen. It comes with 256MB internal memory and supports most memory card formats. The price will be US$140 (NZ$175).

Apart from the basic model DPF-D70, Sony will also release two advanced models - the 7" DPF-V700 and 9" DPF-V900. Both models come with 512MB internal memory instead of 256MB and also have an HDMI output for viewing photos in high definition on an HDTV. The 7" V700 will cost US$190 (NZ$235) and the 9" V900 will be on sale at US$250 (NZ$310).

All the models will be available from April this year.