Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Samsung NX1

Digital Photography Review has published a full review of Samsung's 'enthusiast' mirrorless camera.

Snippets from the conclusion follow:

"One can almost imagine a group of Samsung engineers sitting in a conference room and having the spec sheets of every leading APS-C and four thirds camera dropped in front of them, along with a directive to outperform the whole lot."

"And to a certain extent they seem to have pulled it off. Canon 7D II for autofocus and frame rate? Check. Panasonic GH4 for video? Check. Sony sensors for dynamic range and ISO sensitivity? Check. The result is a camera loaded with features for both still photography and video, and which excels at both."

The company seems to have listened to users when designing the camera. Not only is it a well designed tool from a usability standpoint, but Samsung managed to pack it full of technical improvements that are hard to ignore, such as best in class image quality and best in class video quality.

We could probably justify giving the NX1 an award simply based on technological advancements and raising the bar for both image quality and video performance in its class. But those achievements are wrapped inside a well designed camera with a great user experience. Congratulations to the Samsung NX1 for winning our Gold Award.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Microsoft Office Lens for iOS and Android

c|net reports: [edited]

Office Lens, a scanning app that's been a hit on Windows Phone, is coming to iOS and Android. The free App allows users to take pictures of receipts, business cards, whiteboards, sticky notes and export them to OneNote, Microsoft's note-taking app, as well as Word, Powerpoint, PDF, Mail & Photo Library.

Office Lens automatically crops, enhances and cleans up images. It also enables users to search for key words in the images via optical character recognition.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Fuji X100T

Digital Photography Review has published a review of Fujifilm's large sensor prime compact.

Snippets from the conclusion follow:

"The X100 was a breakthrough camera when it first appeared: making good on the large sensor, small camera idea first pursued by Sigma. It was a potentially great camera, riddled with quirks and inconsistencies. However, Fujifilm continued to develop the camera and the X100 today is much closer to being the classic that its looks imply."

"Whether it's the addition of Wi-Fi, the provision of 1/3rd stop increments on the aperture dial or the move to dedicated directional buttons, rather than the cheap-compact style wheel on the back of the camera, there are plenty of changes that make the camera better. Equally, the addition of an electronic shutter option and a greater degree of camera customisation make a big difference.

We've been really impressed with the image quality from the X100 series, the JPEG color is excellent and the F2 maximum aperture is wide enough to give a little bit of background blur at reasonable working distances, meaning you can get images that look distinct from most other small cameras.

There's nothing else on the market that offers the same combination of image quality and shooting experience, thanks to its direct controls and clever viewfinder.

Overall, it's a small but significant step forward for the series. It's a lovely camera, and well worth considering if you've never owned one of the series before, but it's not the 'rush out and buy one now' product that we keep hoping the X100 series will be.