- Samsung Galaxy Tab vs iPad, Compare & Review
- Samsung Galaxy Tab Review
- Entropia Universe Game Online Review
- Nikon Coolpix P100 10 MP Digital Camera Review
- Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera Review
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Posted: 15 Nov 2010 11:20 PM PST
Samsung Galaxy Tab vs iPad, Compare & Review
Price: $ 599.99
The best way to experience the web, email, photos, and video. Hands down. All of the built-in apps on iPad were designed from the ground up to take advantage of the large Multi-Touch screen and advanced capabilities of iPad. And they work in any orientation. So you can do things with these apps that you can’t do on any other device. A large, high-resolution LED-backlit IPS display. An incredibly responsive Multi-Touch screen. And an amazingly powerful Apple-designed chip. All in a design that’s
List Price: $ 829.00
Price: $ 819.00
Samsung Galaxy Tab vs iPad, Compare & Review
The Android vs Apple battle has officially made its way into the world of tablets.
Samsung took the wraps off its new Samsung Galaxy Tab Android tablet on Thursday. The Galaxy Tab is a 7-inch slate built to complete with the current tablet king, Apple’s thus-far-unchallenged iPad.
Sure, there have been a couple other Android tablets on the market already (see Streak, Dell), but the Galaxy Tab is the first that truly qualifies as a contender.
So how exactly does Samsung‘s Galaxy Tab differ from the iPad? Check out this comparison chart for a side-by-side glimpse at the two devices’ specs and see for yourself. (Click image to zoom.)
In a nutshell, the Galaxy Tab is smaller and lighter (though rumors suggest a couple of larger editions will debut before the year’s end). It has the same speed processor but twice the RAM. Like the iPad, the Galaxy Tab comes with different options for internal storage. It also, however, supports up to 32GB of expandable storage; Apple’s device is limited to the internal space only.
The Galaxy Tab has two cameras — a rear-facing 3.2-megapixel camera and a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video chatting — while the current models of the iPad have none. Samsung claims up to 7 hours of video playback for the Galaxy Tab; Apple says its iPad can last up to 10 hours.
In terms of software, the Galaxy Tab‘s Android 2.2 operating system gives the device a number of selling points Apple’s iPad can’t claim, including full-featured multitasking, support for Adobe Flash, and unrestricted access to applications (Apple is notorious for censoring all sorts of material — ranging from political satire to swimsuit-clad women — and also for banning apps that provide functions such as free tethering and customization of the operating system).
Samsung’s Galaxy Tab is set to launch in Europe within the next few weeks, then in the U.S. shortly thereafter. Pricing and carrier information for the States is not yet available, though rumors suggest the Galaxy Tab could end up on Verizon.
Posted: 15 Nov 2010 11:12 PM PST
Samsung Galaxy Tab Review
Price: $ 599.99
Samsung Galaxy Tab review
It seems like a long time since Apple’s iPad propelled tablets headfirst into the mainstream consciousness. In fact, it was released in the UK only five months ago. Since then, we’ve been bracing ourselves for the inevitable tsunami of rival tablets from other manufacturers. The first offering to appear on the crest of that mighty wave is the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which runs version 2.2 of Google’s Android operating system.
The Tab will be released on 1 November. Pricing for the Tab, which will come in 16GB and 32GB versions, is far from certain, but Carphone Warehouse is offering a model with unspecified memory for £530 unlocked and SIM-free, or £500 on a contract with TalkMobile, as part of which you’ll pay £10 per month for 1GB of data on a 30-day rolling contract. By way of comparison, the 16GB iPad with 3G and Wi-Fi costs £530.
Can the Tab duff the iPad up good and proper? Let’s find out.
Lucky number seven
Measuring 120 by 191 by 12mm, Samsung’s 7-inch tablet is significantly smaller than Apple’s 9.7-inch device. There’s only a couple of inches between the screen sizes of the two machines, but it actually makes a huge difference — the Tab is about half the size of the iPad.
On the whole, the Tab’s design is good. It’s well-built and, at 380g, reassuringly weighty. Unless you have the weak arms of Mr Burns, you’ll find holding the Tab up with one hand perfectly comfortable.
On the Tab’s right-hand side, you’ll find two slots, for a SIM card and microSD card. The Tab comes in 16GB and 32GB flavours, and you can expand that out-of-the-box storage by up to 32GB if you’re prepared to shell out for a microSD card. That means you can potentially have a total of 64GB of storage. Also on the Tab’s right-hand side are mechanical volume keys and a button that’s used to lock the device or wake it up when you’re ready to start using it again.
On top, there’s only one feature — a 3.5mm socket for plugging in your headphones. We approve of the Tab’s barren bonce, as your headphones’ jack won’t get in the way of anything else you might want to connect, such as the Tab’s 30-pin charging and PC-connection port, which is located on the bottom of the device.
Also along the bottom, you’ll find four touch-sensitive buttons (menu, home, back and search) that will be familiar to anyone experienced with Android devices. Each button glows white while you’re using the Tab. We were initially wary of these touch-sensitive buttons — often they turn out to be less responsive than physical keys. But the Tab offers haptic feedback, so you feel a vibration with each button press, which helps in terms of responsiveness. The lack of physical buttons also means that the front of the Tab is completely smooth.
Thin it to win it
The Tab isn’t as slender as we’d hoped, at just shy of 12mm at its thickest point. It’s not disastrously podgy, though, and Samsung has given the Tab a curved back, so it’s slimmer at the edges, which is where you’ll be gripping it.
The second design hiccup is the bezel that surrounds the Tab’s 7-inch display. Between the very edge of the display and the edge of the Tab itself there’s about 14mm of black plastic. When you first fire up the Tab’s display, you’ll probably be taken aback by how small it looks inside that bulky surround.
This wide bezel and the Tab’s thick dimensions combine to make a device that feels rather chunky. On the bright side, that gives the Tab a sturdy feel. On the other hand, you can’t help but feel that an expensive tablet should feel more like an After Eight than a Yorkie.
The 7-inch TFT LCD screen has a maximum resolution of 1,024×600 pixels, which isn’t particularly high. Text and icons are rendered clearly enough, but the resolution didn’t blow us away — if you’re used to something like the iPhone 4′s ‘retina’ display, you’ll notice the slight blurring around individual icons and characters.
Resolution aside, there’s much to like about this panel. At maximum brightness, it’s suitably vibrant, and there are options to adjust the contrast and even saturation, if you like your tablets positively drenched in colour. We spent plenty of time watching movies on this panel, and found it very comfortable. We thought we’d suffer agonising eyestrain, but we didn’t.
Watching video on the iPad is a more comfortable experience, though. That’s to be expected because the iPad has a much larger screen. But the software used to control video on Apple’s device is also considerably smoother and more intuitive than the Tab’s offering.
Still, there are some definite advantages to watching video on the Samsung device. For instance, thanks to its expandable memory, getting videos onto the Tab is a simple and speedy matter of dragging and dropping, and the device supports a broad range of video formats, including DivX, Xvid, MPEG-4, H.263 and H.264. Even if it’s not via the most beautiful and elegant process in the world, the Tab makes it easy to load up new episodes of your favourite show before hopping on the train.
The same goes for audio — the Tab’s on-board music player isn’t a patch on the iPod software you’ll find in iOS, but, if you have a vast music library already, getting those tracks onto the Tab is simple, with no need to go through iTunes. As with video, the Tab supports a huge range of audio formats, including AAC, OGG, FLAC and AC3.
The Tab runs Android 2.2. That software was developed for smart phones, and it shows — some menus even refer to the Tab as a ‘phone’. But, despite that and our fears Android wouldn’t translate well to a larger screen, we were actually impressed by the software. For the most part, the operating system is intuitive and easy to use.
Beyond the lock screen, you’ll find five customisable home screens, which you can fill to the brim with widgets and app shortcuts. Along the bottom of the screen are dedicated shortcuts to the Web browser, email and the full application menu.
How quickly you’re able to navigate to the item you want will be largely down to you. If you make a habit of pinning your favourite apps to a home screen, you’ll never be too far from the application your heart desires. If you decide not to customise the Tab, you could end up spending a few extra seconds clicking around menus, hunting for what you want.
We’re big fans of Android. It’s simple, powerful and customisable. But it does lack the buttery smoothness of iOS. Swiping through menus on the Tab proves swift and there’s noticeably little lag, but it still doesn’t feel quite as responsive as the iPad.
Switching from portrait to landscape orientation automatically, via the built-in accelerometer, is also less elegant than it is in iOS. Switching often takes a while, with the screen disappearing before reappearing a moment later in a different position. There’s also no hardware button to lock the display in one particular orientation, as there is on the iPad. That’s a feature you’ll quickly miss if you want to read something on the Tab while lying on your side.
There are some usability areas in which the Tab really excels. Despite Steve Jobs’ recent claims that 7-inch tablets are too small for human hands, we found typing on the Tab extremely pleasant. That’s because, when held in portrait orientation, it’s easy to grip the sides and tap out text using your thumbs. The 1GHz processor lurking inside this tablet also keeps the keyboard feeling responsive. Throw in haptic feedback and you’ve got an on-screen keyboard that’s more comfortable than the one you’ll find on the iPad.
Another neat feature is the ‘active applications’ widget on the Tab’s home screen. It will let you see every app that’s currently running, as well as how much memory each one is eating up. You can shut apps down from this widget too — something it’s not always easy to do with the vanilla version of Android. Shutting down memory-gobbling apps will also stop them sucking up all the Tab’s juice.
One of the iPad’s fortes is Web browsing. Thanks to multi-touch zoom and its big display, cruising around websites is great fun. The Tab doesn’t offer as much space or speed, and zooming in and out of websites doesn’t feel as smooth. But it does have one huge advantage over the iPad — Flash support.
Yes indeed, thanks to Android 2.2, the Tab supports Adobe’s Flash player. That means you’ll get access to the vast majority of online video. We expected Flash to deliver an ugly and slothful experience in the Tab’s small browser, but, in fact, we were impressed — video loaded and played smoothly, and pausing and skipping around online footage caused no problems. If your favourite sites rely heavily on Flash video, consider the Tab’s ability to handle it as a serious mark in its favour.
On the back of the Tab is a 3-megapixel camera with an LED flash. Now, if you’re thinking that, in this day and age, 3 measly megapixels doesn’t sound like a great deal of camera, well — you’d be right. Still, in our tests, the Tab took reasonable pictures. Crucially, the software itself is snappy, so you won’t miss the moment waiting for menus to load. Another bonus is the camera’s ability to capture video at 30 frames per second. Our test footage looked silky-smooth.
Provided you’ve whacked in a functioning SIM card, the Tab also serves as a phone. Our thorough testing revealed that you will indeed look like a total berk holding a 7-inch tablet up to your face, but, thoughtfully, Samsung has bundled a set of headphones with an in-line mic and call-answer button, so you can bark commands to your stockbroker wirelessly.
You can also make video calls over 3G, thanks to a tiny camera just above the Tab’s display. Sadly, though, video calling is only supported from one Galaxy Tab to another. If you want to use this feature, you’ll have to persuade your friends to buy Tabs too.
The camera and phone capability (both lacking in the iPad) are just two things that make the Tab an excellent choice if you want a tablet to take on your travels. Chuck in Google Maps Navigation, and the whole bundle becomes an appealing prospect for those who want big-screen Web access on the move.
A decent tablet needs apps. It needs many thousands of apps, it needs them to be easily accessible and it needs them to be intelligently organised.
Thanks to the Android Market, Tab users will indeed have quick access to thousands of downloadable apps. Once you’ve found an app in the Market, you’re only one button press away from downloading it, and, once installed, it’ll appear, as if by magic, in the applications menu.
It’s on the organisation front that things go slightly awry. Samsung has seen fit to include its own app store, distinct from the Android Market, and a second store for games. The aptly titled ‘Samsung Apps’ is pretty barren at the moment, and its layout is far from intuitive. This division of the Tab’s app offering into several separate stores will only confuse and annoy users.
Well, two out of three ain’t bad.
Knowing we’d be able to have a whole bunch of apps running at the same time made us think the Tab’s battery life would be short and brutal, like an enraged dwarf. Samsung reckons you’ll get around 7 hours of video playback, which is just about the most intensive task you can set the Tab. In the few days we had the Tab in for testing, we didn’t notice the battery draining too quickly, despite Samsung telling us that our particular review sample suffered from an abnormally weak battery.
We reckon you’ll get a couple of days of normal use out the Tab before it needs a recharge. We want tablets that last for weeks on a single charge, but, nevertheless, the Tab’s battery life is far from disappointing.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab is a great device that packs neat hardware and well-integrated software into an appealing little bundle. We’re not going to say the Tab is better than the iPad, because it isn’t. But it isn’t any worse either — it’s just different.
The iPad is undoubtedly slicker and simpler. If you’re looking for a tablet to keep on your coffee table, and let you browse the Web on the sofa, the iPad is king. But, if you’re a gentleman or lady about town and want something more nimble yet more feature-packed, the Tab will make a fine companion.
Posted: 15 Nov 2010 10:24 PM PST
Entropia Universe Game Online Review
Entropia Universe is a massive multiplayer online virtual universe designed by the Swedish software company MindArk, based in Gothenburg. Entropia uses a micropayment business model, in which players may buy in-game currency (PED – Project Entropia Dollars) with real money that can be redeemed back into real world funds at a fixed exchange rate. This means that virtual items acquired within Entropia Universe have a real cash value, and a participant may, at any time, initiate a withdrawal of their accumulated PEDs back into real world currencies according to the fixed exchange rate, minus transaction fees, the minimum amount for a withdrawal is 1000 PED. As a result, revenue of the business is largely generated from activities within the virtual universe.
Entropia Universe Game Online Review
Video Games Developed in Sweden: Icy Tower, Hattrick, Entropia Universe, Ballistics, Battlefield Heroes, Xiii
Chapters: Icy Tower, Hattrick, Entropia Universe, Ballistics, Battlefield Heroes, Xiii, World in Conflict: Soviet Assault, Troddlers, Bionic Commando, Battlefield 1943, Harvest: Massive Encounter, Just Cause 2, Spring, Mortal Online, Headhunter, Penumbra: Black Plague, Penumbra: Overture, Gtr 2 – Fia Gt Racing Game, Deathrow, Switchball, Thehunter, Fortress, Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3d, Codename Eagle, Attack on Pearl Harbor, Gt Legends, Race Pro, Kula World, Race 07, Clean Asia!, You Have to
List Price: $ 33.12
Price: $ 33.12
Entropia Universe Game Online Review
Project Entropia, Money scam?
Project Entropia has been an ever updating game since 1995. It will have continued updating every month, and this game is free if you want it to be. You don’t have to pay any monthly bills to keep playing this game online. It’s all free if you are willing to work harder, but you can deposit money into the game which will make the game progress much faster and make everything much easier. The money in the game is called PED’s (Project Entropia Dollars). These PED’s can also be exchanged back into real money (yes, it does sound like a plan to make money off of a video game doesn’t it?). The game is like other MMORPG’s, you start off with nothing, build your way up, level up in many different categories. You first collect sweat which is a measly way of making money but it’s one of the few choices you have. You can also be a runner for a hunter who needs some distraction on the animals that they hunt. There are many things you can do in this game, you can become a Mindforce user, a Hunter, a Tailor, or a Miner with sub-categories within each of them as well. The object basically seems to be that you HAVE to make money.
There isn’t an exact story to this game but, it is still building it seems. There are animals, creatures, mutants, and robots that co-exist in this world alongside the humans. Some humans are a part of a society or protection force that helps protect others by battling robots that attack. There are alarms in some forts and cities that will go off if there is an attack, but I have not experienced this yet. This game is mainly based around what you want your character to be, and what you want to do. In the end, everything comes back to how you make money.
Audio / Video
The game’s video quality is actually quite good, it needs a video card that can support DX9 or is fully compatible with it. It is in 3D like Everquest, and I think the graphics are really close as well. The music in the game can be sometimes monotonous or just annoying, but you can go to some bars in the game and choose which songs you want to hear from the game. The graphics are pretty good, but many games now surpass it.
Of course, like all other MMORPG’s, this game’s replayability is up there, as long as you have the money, but you could play forever and still not complete what you were set out to do. You get one Avatar (character) per account. This game will eat up a lot of time and if you don’t have it, don’t plan on getting very far very fast. You will get addicted to this game and eventually, feel as though you have to deposit money in. Again, this game is all about what you want to do with your life inside this game. Everything is your choice if you have PED’s.
I think that this game just tries to scam you out of your money. I have heard many things about how long it takes to actually take money out of the game. I have also heard things where people who have made over $10,000 on the game, weren’t allowed to withdraw the whole amount but only a fraction of it. This game is good and all, but it it’s too much about money, that people start turning on other people because of it. If you like money and have always thought of yourself as an entrepreneur, then this game is for you. Otherwise, find some other online RPG even if it means paying monthly.
Posted: 15 Nov 2010 10:11 PM PST
Nikon Coolpix P100 10 MP Digital Camera Review
Nikon Coolpix L110 12.1MP Digital Camera with 15x Optical Vibration Reduction (VR) Zoom and 3.0-Inch LCD (Black)
Nikon Coolpix L110 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 15x Optical Vibration Reduction (VR) Zoom and 3.0-Inch LCD (Black) – 26194
List Price: $ 279.95
Price: Too low to display
Nikon Coolpix P100 10 MP Digital Camera Review
The 10-megapixel Nikon Coolpix P100 is the successor to last year's 12-megapixel P90 model. That's right, Nikon has reduced the pixel count, if only by a little. The big news is that the new, slightly lower-resolution sensor is of the back-illuminated CMOS variety, which promises a better signal-to-noise ratio and offers faster read-out speeds. Indeed, the P100 can capture a whopping 10 frames per second at full resolution. Other notable improvements include a 26x zoom lens, a stereo microphone, Full HD movie recording at 30fps and slow-motion video at up to 240fps, as well as a new 460,000-dot rear screen. The Nikon Coolpix P100 is available now priced at £349.99 / $399.99 in the UK / US, respectively.
Ease of Use
Weighing in at 481 grams, the Nikon Coolpix P100 is somewhat heavier than its forebears, but its design is only minimally different. Like most high-end superzooms, the Nikon P100 has the typical bridge camera look, with a chunky hand-grip, large lens barrel, pop-up flash and an eye-level electronic viewfinder. The deep grip is moulded to fit comfortably into your right hand, and is rubberised for added comfort.
The other dominant camera part is of course the lens, which on the P100 goes from a very wide 26mm to a massive 678mm in 35mm terms. Considering that with an SLR, you would need at least 3-4 lenses to cover the same focal range, the single, fixed-mount lens of the Nikon P100 can be described as remarkably compact, even if it does extend quite a bit when zoomed to full telephoto. For its size, the P100‘s lens is impressively fast, with maximum apertures of f/2.8 at 26mm and f/5 at 678mm. Note that the lens cap has to be removed before turning on the camera – failing to do so will result in an error message being displayed, and you’ll have to turn off the camera before you can turn it on again, which is a bit annoying -, although if you only want to review what’s already on the card, you can also power on the P100 by holding down the Playback button, in which case the lens won’t extend.
Thankfully Nikon has included Vibration Reduction (VR) to help prevent camera-shake, an essential feature on a camera like this. Interestingly, while VR is lens based in the Nikon SLR system, it is of the sensor-shift variety in the P100. I have found that Vibration Reduction makes a noticeable difference to the sharpness of the images, as shown in the examples on the Image Quality page. You can hear a slight mechanical whirring noise when it is turned on, but otherwise you don’t really notice it, except that that you can use slower shutter speeds than normal and still take sharp photos. Sadly, there isn’t a dedicated button to turn VR on and off – but at least leaving it on did not seem to negatively affect the battery life, with the camera managing around 250 shots using the supplied Li-ion battery. It’s still a good idea to turn VR off (via the menu) when the camera is mounted on a tripod, lest the system itself cause blurring by trying to counter camera shake that isn’t there.
Zooming is done by way of a conventional zoom lever that encircles the shutter release button sitting atop the right-hand grip. It is of the dual-speed variety: rotating it all the way in either direction will adjust the focal length quickly, while rotating it partially will cause the lens elements to move slower, enabling you to set the desired focal length more precisely.
There are two different ways of composing images with the Nikon Coolpix P100: you can use either the eye-level electronic viewfinder (EVF) or the rear screen. Unfortunately, there are no eye proximity sensors that would allow the camera to toggle between the two automatically – you need to press a button every time you want that to happen. The EVF is a bog standard affair with 230,000 dots and average magnification; nothing to write home about, especially in 2010. The three-inch rear LCD screen is much nicer to look at, thanks to its resolution of 460,000 dots. Even more importantly, it’s articulated and able to tilt up or down, giving you some added flexibility in composing your shots. A truly free-angle LCD, which can also be rotated out to the side, would have been even nicer though.
The layout and number of external controls haven’t changed much from the P90. You still get a traditional, top-mounted mode dial with P, A, S and M shooting modes – perfect for the photographer who wants to take full control – as well as pre-programmed scene modes, Scene Auto Selector, full auto and Sport Continuous modes, plus the new Smart Portrait and Subject Tracking shooting modes. There is also a User (U) setting you can use to quickly retrieve a combination of your most frequently used settings. The shutter release, the zoom lever and the power button are essentially in the same locations as on the P90.
The rear controls are also laid out very similarly to those of the preceding model. There is a well-positioned control wheel in the top-right corner (when viewed from the back), which makes it easy to change the aperture and shutter speed in A and S modes respectively, but there’s still no second dial on the hand-grip which would have made operating Manual mode much easier. The familiar multi-selector with its centred OK button appears identical to the P90, down to the individual functions that are mapped onto the Up, Down, Left and Right buttons. These include the flash and focus modes, the self-timer and exposure compensation, respectively. There is still no shortcut key to ISO speed, which is still only accessible from the menu (as is white balance); a major design flaw in my opinion.
The P100‘s focus modes include AF, Macro, Infinity and Manual. AF can be centre-spot, user selectable from 99 focus points or camera selectable from 9 points. In Face Priority AF mode, the camera can detect up to 12 human faces and will focus on the one closest to the camera. I have found that regardless of AF area mode, auto-focus speed was satisfactory for still subjects, but too slow for fast-moving ones. There’s a reason why most of the zoo shots in our Samples gallery are static in nature – the AF system of the P100 did not prove fast enough to capture fast action. Manual focusing is also possible, though a bit awkward: you get a rudimentary distance scale on the right-hand side of the screen, and can adjust focus via the Up and Down buttons. The centre of the picture is enlarged to aid you with checking focus, but unfortunately this is achieved by way of interpolation rather than real magnification. The whole process is pretty slow, but can still be a godsend when the auto-focus system starts acting up.
The flash of the Nikon P100 has to be popped up manually, using the button on the side of the mock pentaprism housing. You can set the flash mode to auto, auto with red-eye reduction, fill, slow sync and rear-curtain sync via the Up button on the multi-controller, but only when the flash is raised. As there is no hot-shoe or sync terminal on the Nikon Coolpix P100, and it does not offer wireless TTL flash control either, the only way to sync up an external flashgun with the camera is to optically slave it to the built-in unit.
One of the P100‘s novelties versus the P90 is its ability to shoot full-resolution stills at up to 10 frames per second (fps). Accessible via the menu, this fast burst mode is called Continuous H. Alas, the camera cannot keep up this speed for long, as the buffer fills up after six shots. In other words, you can only shoot for a bit more than half a second in Continuous H mode. Thankfully, there still remains a slower burst mode, called Continuous L, in which the frame rate drops to 2.8fps, but you can capture up to 200 full-resolution photos at the Normal quality setting. This is still 2x faster than the P90′s pedestrian 1.4fps burst mode. Note that you cannot use the flash in any of the continuous shooting modes.
The other area where the Nikon Coolpix P100 represents a major improvement over its predecessor is its movie mode. Where the P90 had a disappointing 640×480-pixel VGA video mode, the P100 can shoot Full HD (1920×1080-pixel) movies at 30 frames per second, with stereo sound and optical zoom. Nikon‘s smart designers put the stereo microphone on the top of the camera right behind the flash. A Wind Noise Reduction function is available in the Movie menu. Serving to minimise the noise of wind blowing on the microphone, it is recommended to be turned on in strong wind only, as it may also make other sounds difficult to hear. Sensor-shift VR is not available during movie recording, but you may opt to turn on electronic image stabilisation.
Recording movie clips is very easy on the Nikon P100. The new model has got an all-new Movie Record button, which is in fact the only new button versus the P90. By pressing this button, you can start recording a clip no matter what shooting mode you are in. You can use the optical zoom while filming, and full-time AF is also available. In use, I have found that zooming in or out sometimes caused the image to go temporarily out of focus, but the AF system usually adjusted itself very quickly in these cases. Maximum clip length is limited to 29 minutes.
The P100 is also capable of high-speed (HS) movie recording, albeit not at Full HD resolution. QVGA videos can be shot at 240fps, VGA movies at 120fps, and HD (720p) clips at 60fps. When these videos are played back at 30fps, they become slow-motion movies. The maximum recording time per clip is limited to 10 seconds in the HS video modes. Sound is not recorded and no form of VR is available. Given the high frame rates, these videos require fast shutter speeds, which effectively means that you need very bright conditions, especially when shooting at 240 frames per second. There is an ingenious movie mode switch around the Movie Record button that toggles between HD and HS movie recording. An elegant and simple solution, although the parameters have to be set via the menu.
As already noted, the Nikon Coolpix P100 runs on a proprietary Lithium-ion battery. The novelty here is that it can – and has to – be charged in-camera, rather than a supplied external charger. You can charge it via a computer or through the included mains adapter – but you can’t take it out of the camera and pop in a fresh spare while the depleted battery is being charged, unless you buy a separately sold external charger as well. Pictures and videos can be stored on SD and SDHC memory cards (SDXC is not supported). There is a small internal memory too, but it will only hold a few photos at full resolution, so you’ll definitely need a memory card.
In use, the Nikon Coolpix P100 proved to be a generally rewarding camera. Superzooms have always had a reputation for having a high “fun factor”, and the P100 is no different. The ability to quickly go from wide angle to ultra-telephoto is something that has to be experienced in order to be fully appreciated. It certainly gives you a kind of freedom you do not feel with any other type of camera. The performance of the Nikon P100 is mostly satisfactory. It starts up in under two seconds and zooms pretty quickly yet accurately for a power zoom. As noted earlier, its AF speed is not the greatest, but you’ll only notice that when trying to capture fast action. We have found the high-speed continuous shooting mode brilliant but sadly limited by a small buffer. The only truly frustrating design flaw is the lack of direct access to ISO speed and white balance. We’d really like to see dedicated buttons for these functions. In Playback mode, the only notable quirk is the inability to magnify into the image from Histogram view – this is something that ought to be easy to address via a firmware upgrade.
Posted: 15 Nov 2010 10:01 PM PST
Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera Review
Canon PowerShot SX130IS 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 12x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom with 3.0-Inch LCD
The Canon PowerShot SX130 Digital Camera is more than up to the challenge: it’s got a 12.1MP sensor, a 12x zoom lens (28-336mm equivalent in 35mm, which goes from very wide-angle to super telephoto in a snap), and a vivid 3″ display. That’s just the basics–there’s also dazzling 720p HD video with stereo sound, fun special effects like Fisheye and Miniatures, and Advanced Smart AUTO that gives you the absolute best exposure for 28 different shooting situations like Portrait, Landscape, Kid
List Price: $ 249.00
Price: $ 199.00
Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera Review
The Canon PowerShot SX120 IS is a new 10 megapixel digital camera featuring a 10x zoom lens complete with optical image stabilizer. Successor to last year's SX110 model, the Canon SX120 IS offers a focal range of 36-360mm, 3 inch LCD screen, DIGIC 4 image processor, and Face Detection complete with Face Select & Track and Face Self-Timer modes. The SX120 IS has 20 shooting modes including Smart Auto and Easy Mode for complete beginners and full manual control for more experienced photographers. A high ISO setting of 1600, 30fps VGA movies with a Long Play mode and is power in the form of readily available AA batteries completes the SX120's headline specifications. The Canon PowerShot SX120 IS is priced at £229 / $249.99 and available now in black.
Ease of Use
We reviewed the SX120‘s predecessor, the 9-megapixel 10x zoom SX110 IS, in October 2008, and, additional million pixel boost aside, outwardly very little appears to have changed at first glance. There’s the same tactile control layout with reasonably large buttons and dials to intentionally keep things family friendly, plus that identical optically stabilized zoom range equivalent to 36 to 360mm in 35mm terms.
Though like its forebear the SX120 IS is chunky compared with the average point and shoot, it is smaller than the typical super zoom or bridge camera pitched at enthusiasts. There are no higher end features here such as a hotshoe for additional flash – merely one of the pop up variety – while power is again provided by two standard alkaline AA batteries that slot into the base of the handgripas does the 128MB SD card supplied in the box. While these features are indicative of a budget model, so too is the mainly plastic build, though it’s handily disguised by a matt black finish. Those two AAs also add weight and, as we found with the SX110, generally the camera feels substantial when gripped in the palm.
The front of the SX120 IS is dominated by that behemoth of a lens, the majority of which is hidden flush to the body when not in use, rapidly extending (in a couple of seconds) to maximum wideangle with a press of the slightly recessed but clearly labeled lozenge-shaped on/off button up top. On initial inspection the front of the SX120 and SX110 are identical, but look very close and you’ll see that the handgrip on the left is just a little wider. Three narrow slits indicate the built-in microphone nestling top left of the lens, and over to the right-hand side of the lens we find the same rounded window housing the AF assist/self-timer lamp as found on the earlier SX110.
While the above changes are largely cosmetic, when it comes to more practical considerations there’s a more important omission. As on its predecessor there’s no optical viewfinder or EVF – the space instead occupied by the built-in flash. Continuing around the slight curve of the handgrip we find a loop for attaching the supplied wrist strap and a sturdy pull-open plastic cover for the AV out, DC in and USB ports.
The top of the SX120 is likewise identical to its predecessor. The SX120 has the exact same user-friendly control grouping as the SX110, namely a shooting mode wheel, on/off button and shutter release button encircled by a zoom lever. The mode dial is almost flush with the top of the body, although fortunately the dial itself has enough of a ridged surround to be able to turn it decisively with your thumb, and there’s a cutaway portion at the camera back to allow access. It has a stiff action with a distinct click, so you’re highly unlikely to shoot past the setting you want in the heat of the moment.
With the camera taking a couple of seconds to get going from cold, once again the action of the optical zoom is smooth and steady, though its motions are still sound-tracked by an audible mechanical buzz. More positively, with a half press of the shutter release button the SX120 is lightning fast in determining focus and exposure, while there’s no noticeable shutter delay as you go on to take the shot. Operational speed is slightly improved than before, with the new DIGIC 4 processor on-board, although current SX110 IS owners would be hard-pressed to tell the difference.
Starting at the new Smart auto mode, which automatically chooses from 18 different scenes, and moving clockwise around the mode dial are the more creatively enticing settings of program auto, shutter priority, aperture priority and manual. The chosen mode is also shown as a virtual version on the screen, so you don’t need to take your eye off your subject while making adjustments. Continuing clockwise we get a dedicated VGA-quality video mode (with a long play feature plus a further 320×240 pixels alternative), a selection of scene modes (including fireworks, snow, aquarium and an ISO 3200 mode), an optimized indoor setting mode, a dedicated children and pets mode, a night scene mode, plus landscape and portrait settings and finally the no frills ‘Easy mode’, which turns the camera into a purely point-and shoot experience, perfect for complete beginners.
The handy auto red-eye correction feature is accessible via a flash settings option that’s rather hidden away among the SX120‘s menu screens. Red eye reduction can also be turned on/off in capture mode by delving into the same menu; like the SX110 it’s not included among the options accessed via the dedicated flash switch at the rear, but at least here it’s ‘on’ that handily appears to be the default setting rather than ‘off’. The quality of the video – although disappointingly still the standard 640×480 pixels resolution, rather than High Definition – is again commendably sharp with 30fps allowing for more realistic motion, and the sound, though mono, is equally respectable. Another remaining disappointment is that the 10x optical zoom can’t be used when shooting video, though a 4x digital zoom can (albeit with a certain loss of quality).
Moving to the back of the SX120 IS, we find a 3-inch, 230k dot LCD, identical to its predecessor’s. The direct print button on the SX110 IS that was positioned top left of the screen has disappeared, presumably because most people didn’t use it. The display and menu buttons are located beneath the rather fiddly four-way control pad-come-command wheel that remains centre right of the LCD. A press of ‘menu’ in capture mode brings up two folders on screen, one with shooting options and the second with more generic set-up features. A press of ‘menu’ in playback gives access to both image review plus print selection folders, while the third folder is the same set up menu. If you’ve used a Canon camera before, the menus will be immediately familiar: their design pretty basic but easy to navigate because of it. Mirroring these two buttons above the command wheel are a dedicated face detection button (on/off) and exposure compensation button (-/+ 2EV).
Face Detection has been improved, with the DIGIC 4-powered system now capable of recognising up to 35 faces in a scene and automatically adjusting the focus and exposure settings. Face Detection includes the Auto Red-Eye Correction, Face Detection AF/AE/FE, and Face Self-Timer technologies – the latter is a new feature that waits until it detects a new face in the frame before taking the shot. Face Select & Track allows a particular face to be tracked as they move around the frame, making sure that your chosen subject is always in focus and well-exposed.
Playback again has its own button on the camera back, rather than squeezing in among the modes on the top dial. As noted in our review of the SX110, when you come to access the options set at four points around the control pad/command wheel it’s easy for your thumb to slip round to the adjacent setting. Being pre-aware of its liveliness, this time around it didn’t irritate so much, but it’s a little too easy to inadvertently change the wrong setting.
Ranged around the control dial, which additionally features a function set button at its centre, are a means of accessing ISO speed (Auto, Hi, ISO 80 to 1600), flash setting, self timer or continuous shooting, plus macro or manual focus – whereby users are presented with an enlarged central portion of the screen to check focus, its distance dialed in using the aforementioned wheel.
As you’d expect when up-ending the camera, the base of the SX120 features a screw thread for a tripod and a compartment storing the two AAs and SD memory card, opened by flicking the substantial catch and pressuring it proud of the unit. Closing it is a little awkward however as you have to press down on the two AAs as you’re sliding it shut.
In summary, the SX120 IS is far more evolutionary than revolutionary, falling into the incremental yearly update cycle that a lot of modern digicams seem to follow, with slightly faster processor times and the improved face detection system being the new standout highlights.
Posted: 15 Nov 2010 09:14 AM PST
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