Archive for April, 2011:
Nikon is naturally keen to build on the success of recent Nikon DSLRs, and the company understands that in order to compete in today’s competitive market an SLR has to be much more than just a camera. It must be a complete imaging system that allows images (or movies) to be captured in a range of styles and adjusted without having to connect to a computer.
A DSLR must encourage its users to experiment and educate them about their hobby. Since the advent of the compact system cameras, there’s also increasing pressure for DSLRs to be made smaller and more portable despite their incredible specification.
Excellent photo quality with a good noise profile, a streamlined shooting design for both photo and video, and a broad, practical feature set contribute to the Nikon D5100‘s strengths.
Tamron’s newest and most powerful “All-in-One” lenses, the 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD is the worlds lightest and most compact 15x optical zoom lens for dSLR cameras. Significantly smaller and lighter than their previous 18-270mm lens, it was designed specifically for use with ASP-C sized sensors and if used on a full-sized sensor, vignetting will be noticeable. Tamron has chosen this lens as one of its first to include the new Piezo Drive motor. This allows for faster and quieter autofocus, which is great for candid and nature photography.
This is a well built, light and very compact lens, making it easy to pack into a bag and a pleasure to use while out walking around. It has a 35mm equivalent of 28 – 419mm. Also included on the lens is Tamron’s VC (Vibration Compensation) to fight camera shake. It is available for both Canon and Nikon mounts but not Sony at this time. Along with this lens you will also get a flower-shaped lens hood and 6-Year Limited warranty.
ViewSonic is still trying to get some traction in the tablet space with their Android 2.2 Froyo powered ViewPad 7, but the manufacturer renowned for producing displays is pushing ahead with their latest creation – the ViewPad 10. Now this isn’t simply just a rehash of the ViewPad 7 with a larger display, oh no, but rather, it’s able to differentiate itself from most things out there since it’s dubbed as the “world’s first” dual-boot Windows 7 and Android tablet. Considering its plentiful productivity aspects, the $599 starting cost of the ViewSonic ViewPad 10 just might seem attractive enough to stand out with most things.
Even though the ViewPad 7 was neither galvanizing or mundane in design, the ViewPad 10 is just one stale looking tablet. Honestly, it’s by no means slim (0.65” thick) in any way, especially when you factor in its netbook like components, but its monotonous and straightforward design approach doesn’t contribute in its cause in being original. Of course, the cheap black plastic and somewhat fake feeling aluminum rear cover supplements to its overall tasteless embodiment, but we’re not digging its sheer chunky size over other comparably sized Android tablets. Furthermore, its straight angled bezel doesn’t particularly sit too well in making it ergonomic – especially when we feel its sharp edges pressing against our palms as we hold it.
For a manufacturer known amongst the industry in expertly crafting wonderful looking monitors and displays, we’re rather dismayed in finding a low caliber one utilized by the ViewPad 10. Sizing up with a 10.1” LCD capacitive screen with LED backlighting, it’s more than plentiful in real estate, but its resolution of 600 x 1024 pixels blatantly uncovers its pixelated appearance. Horrifically, you easily lose focus of what’s on-screen since its ridiculously poor viewing angles distort colors when you slightly move it away from a 90 degree angle. Moreover, its overall color production is distinctively on the dull side – which makes you really wonder how ViewSonic is even able to accept its display as tolerable.
The Panasonic HM-TA1 is a pocket-sized HD camcorder for the Web 2.0 blogging set. Dubbed a “multimedia mobile camera”, the Panasonic HM-TA1 can be used to shoot video, snap digital photos or even as a webcam. It boasts Full HD video recording, an 8-megapixel still image mode (via interpolation) and inbuilt software that lets you upload your creations directly to Facebook or YouTube.
The Panasonic HM-TA1 is an enticing proposition for casual videoographers. Its video output is very impressive for the asking price, with a reliable low-light performance. On the downside, it lacks the advanced features found on some budget HD camcorders, such as the Kogan Full HD 1080p Deluxe Touchscreen camcorder and Millennius Memmoir Gold.
The Panasonic HM-TA1 is basically a high-def pocket camcorder in the mould of Cisco’s trend-setting Flip Mino HD. (Sony and JVC have also entered the pocket cam market, with the Bloggie MHS-PM5K and GC-FM1 respectively.) Measuring 104x52x17mm and weighing a mere 110g, the Panasonic HM-TA1 is smaller than most digital still cameras. However, it remains easy to shoot with thanks to its large, tactile buttons. Like most pocket cams, the controls are limited to basic functions, such as zoom, record, playback and photo mode.
In terms of design, the Panasonic HM-TA1 is pretty hard to fault. The version we tested sported a glossy black finish with silver edging (white and red variants are also offered).
The HM-TA1′s 5-megapixel CMOS sensor captured some attractive looking video, with accurate colours and sharp detail. We noticed some minor ghosting during fast camera pans, but this is a common issue with pocket camcorders (after all, they are designed primarily for blogging, which is a stationary activity for the most part). We were particularly impressed by the HM-TA1′s performance in low lighting, with less noise than we are typically used to. Panasonic has also included an inbuilt camera light — something that most pocket cams lack.