Author Archives: Chip
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Intel and AMD six-core CPUs to come in May

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I knew this will be happening eventually, but that kind of speed certainly exceeded my expectations. Apparently six-core CPUs will be flooding the market before the year has been halved. AMD and Intel both have plans of releasing those so regardless of your preferences it might be a good time to start saving.

According to DigiTimes Intel will hit first in march with its Core i7-980X. Read more »

Canon keeps its promise, releases firmware update for EOS 1D Mark IV

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Canon have shown in the past that they know how to take care of their best paying customers. Firmware updates have always been released promptly when an issue arises so we are hardly surprised that the EOS 1D Mark IV gets yet another of them, only several weeks after hitting the shelves.

Canon EOS 1D Mark IV

The new firmware version 1.0.6. enhances the AF tracking performance for receding subjects and for subjects that are approaching the camera at a low speed. Read more »

Apple iPad overview: The good, the bad and the ugly

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You might be aware that Apple just announced a certain little (or not so little depending how you look at it) gadget called the Apple iPad. One only needs a quick glance to realize that it looks like a vastly oversized iPod Touch but what are its main strengths and its greatest disadvantages? Here is the way I see it:

Apple iPad
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Apple iPad goes on video, behaves nicely

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So after we have all the specs covered it now comes the time to see the Apple iPad in action. A a few videos are quite in order here, demonstrating the interface and performance of Apple’s new gadget. Not that the iPhone OS 3.2 is that much of a mystery, but the home-backed Apple 1GHz CPU is raising quite a few questions.

Apple iPad
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Apple’s tablet is finally official: meet the Apple iPad

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It’s finally here folks! After no less than a few years of speculations the Apple’s tablet was finally unveiled. Here comes the Apple iPad to fill the gap between smartphones and laptops. Equipped with a large touchscreen and what seems to be a pretty snappy CPU it runs what seems to be a sized-up version of the iPhone UI.

Apple iPad
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Opera report reveals some interesting trends in mobile web usage

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Did you know that Twitter and Facebook are respectively the fastest-growing and the largest social networks in the world? Oh, you did… Well, nonetheless, there are some other pretty interesting facts to be learned from the mobile web report that Opera just published.

According to the report in December 2009, more than 46.3 million people used Opera Mini, marking an 11% increase compared to November 2009 and 159% increase compared to December 2008.
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Four FujiFilm FinePix cameras leak, three turbo zooms and an ultra compact

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The guys over at LetsGoDigital have got some pretty detailed info (not to mention some downright official looking footage) on four upcoming FujiFilm digital cameras. The company will reinforce its superzoom portforlio with three new offerings and will throw in an affordable ultra-compact in the mix.

The FujiFilm FinexPix S2500HD, as the name suggests will record 720p HD video and will come with 18x zoom lens, covering the range from 28 to 504mm in 35mm equivalent. Read more »

Panasonic extends its compact camera lineup with five new models

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Panasonic have just introduced five new additions to their compact digicam portfolio. The GPS-enabled TZ10 (or ZS7 in the US) and the TZ8 (ZS5) are the most interesting of the bunch but we also have the rugged FT2 and the budget-minded ZX3 and FX66.

Panasonic TZ10 and Panasonic TZ8

The flagships Panasonic TZ10 and TZ8 are near identical with their 12x zoom (25 – 300mm in 35mm equiv.) LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens and 1/2.33” 12 megapixel sensors. Read more »

South Korea reveals the Ecorium project – one of the most amazing natural reserves you will ever see

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South Korea has just announced its Ecorium project – a huge natural reserve, similar to the Eden project in the UK. The country most popular with its electronics manufacturing is going to invest 80 million euro in a series of interlinking domes, stretching over 30 090 square feet.

The Ecorium project

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High-tech hotels warm up rooms with a waterfall, use iPhones as keys

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If you are already running out of ideas where to spend your holidays than you might want to check this out. The guys from the popular Men’s website have come up with a list of the top ten high-tech hotels in the world. I don’t know about you, but they all made it on my “Things to see before I die” list.

Helix Hotel

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AMD introduces 5 new CPUs that offer a lot of bang for your buck

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As far as the current CPU trends go Intel is the company that provides top-notch performance for the ultimate configurations, while AMD aims at users on a tighter budget that are on the look for bargain prices. So the five new mid-range additions to the Athlon II and Phenom II lineups are hardly groundbreaking news.


The two highlights of today’s announcement are the AMD Phenom™ II X2 555 Black Edition processor and the AMD Athlon II X4 635 processor. The Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition is the fastest dual-core AMD processor to date, clocking at 3.2 GHz, yet it still maintains an affordable price of 99 US dollars.

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Nokia N900 gets Android OS through a hack, looks even hotter

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It’s still at the proof of concept stages so don’t get too excited about it but apparently the Nokia N900 is perfectly capable of running the Android OS. As proven by the video after the break the hacker has enabled the cool QWERTY-equipped side-slider to run the two open-source platforms in a dual-boot mode.

I’m not particularly sure if going from Maemo to Android is an upgrade or downgrade as they both have their advantages but Read more »

Sony TX5 waterproof digital compact leaks, looks like a million bucks

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Waterproof digital cameras have always been great fun to use – you don’t have to worry about damaging them so much and you can focus on taking photos instead. Unluckily most of them are so ugly that you’d rather not be seen carrying them in public.

Sony TX5

Luckily here comes Sony to the rescue with its TX5 Cyber-shot waterproof compact. It is not officially announced yet but the leaked press materials are of pretty high quality so it shouldn’t take too long to appear.

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BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition ends with a scandal: Winner disqualified

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This round of the annual Wildlife photographer of the Year competition, organized by BBC and the Natural History Museum ended with a scandal as the winner was stripped of his award. The judges ruled that Jose Luis Rodriguez used a trained animal to take his winning shot, without declaring it, which is against the contest rules.

The storybook wolf

A brief look at the rulebook of the contest informs us that “Images of captive animals must be declared. The judges will take preference to images taken in free and wild conditions.” What’s more interesting is how did the judges find out that the wolf in the shot was tame.
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Nikon D3S crushes the Canon EOS 1D Mark IV and 5D Mark II with a remarkable high-ISO performance

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In yet another shootout the Nikon D3S proved that there’s no better DSLR as far as high-ISO performance is concerned. Tested against the closest to direct competitor that it will ever have, the Canon EOS 1D Mark IV and the last full-frame camera that Canon released, the EOS 5D mark II, the Nikon D3S left no one wondering who is the real Lord of the Darkness.

What’s interesting to note is that despite being more than a year old and considerably cheaper, the full-frame Canon 5D mark II still performs better than the APS-H 1D Mark IV at both higher and lower ISO. Of course it’s actually making the photo that matters to 1D Mark IV potential owners and things like sturdy weather-sealed body, continues rate shooting speed and focus accuracy are enough to justify its price tag.

ISO 1600 • ISO 6400 • ISO 25600 (from left to right: Nikon D3S, Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 5D Mark II)

ISO 1600 • ISO 6400 • ISO 25600 (from left to right: Nikon D3S, Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 5D Mark II)

Back to the original topic I have to say that the Nikon D3S once again shows that its photos, shot at ISO lower than 51200 are perfectly usable for virtually anything. It gets a little messy at ISO 51200 but if you don’t pixel-peek or make too large prints it’s still pretty fine. ISO 102400 is of pretty limited use of course, but it isn’t much worse than what the 1D mark IV has at ISO 25600. So that’s almost a good two stop advantage in favor of the Nikon, which is light years ahead (in photography terms at least).

ISO 51200 • ISO 102400 (left: Nikon D3S, right: Canon 1D mark IV)

ISO 51200 • ISO 102400 (left: Nikon D3S, right: Canon 1D mark IV)

On the other hand the far better video recording of the Canon 1D Mark IV and the higher pixel count will be more than enough to earn it quite a lot of customers. The reporter’s camera segment was dominated by Canon a few years ago and people (usually) stay where their lenses are in this business so the 1D is safe for now. But maybe, just maybe, the next time Canon announce a sensor with insanely high ISO settings they should also deliver a performance that can justify its existence.