Friday, October 03, 2008


Canon EOS 50D Unboxing Review

Since their announcement, the Nikon D700 and D90 had withheld the spotlight for sometime. Of course it didn’t take Canon too long to come up with its own innovation: Canon EOS 50D and EOS 5D Mark II. Besides the leap in pixel count (10.1MP to 15.1MP), the 50D does have some minor improvements here and there that make it one-step closer to the high-end EOS cameras. Is it a good buy? Let’s find out now.

Inside the hefty package there are the camera, a battery, a charger, a data cable, an AV cable, a CD-Rom and a user’s guide. The camera strap, which has red linings, indicates the 50D’s alignment to the high-end sector.

Like the 40D, the body is fortified by a magnesium frame inside. Canon claims that the 50D’s body is more dust-proof than the 40D due to better construction and smaller gaps.

It’s got a silver dial! This is probably the most significant cosmetic difference between the 40D and the 50D. Also new to the 50D is the Creative Auto mode that allows you to specify the depth of field and auto-exposure compensation and let the camera decide the rest.

The top of the camera is a bit crowded with 4 small buttons and a secondary display. The secondary display provides a lot of useful information at a glance so you can safely turn off the main display most of the time.

Compact Flash (CF) or Secure Digital (SD)? I like SD cards more since it can offer the same capacity and speed as the CF cards with less space and weight. Unlike the 1D/1Ds Mark III, you can’t choose the storage medium on the 50D and you are stuck with CF cards.

The live view is a bit clumsy to use, you need to turn on live view mode with the live view shooting button and then press the AF-ON button to focus. There are three modes of focusing in live view mode: live mode, quick mode and face detection (upto 35 faces). Focusing under live mode takes about 1 second, which is pretty long compared to the snappy focus speed under normal mode.

With the EF-S 60/2.8, the EOS50D makes a lightweight, compact macro kit that takes very sharp pictures.

The new 3” TFT display has 920,000 pixels and 160 degree viewing angle, making it very ideal for live view and picture preview. Images are sharp, clear with accurate color on the new display.

The new and old connectors at a glance: the PC Sync flash terminal, video out, standard USB 2.0 port and wired remote control connectors are still there. HDMI port can also be found for exporting your masterpiece photo collection to your HDTV at home.

Here are the test pics taken with the new Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens, detailed commentary can be found on the lens review page.

Sample Photo

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The EOS 50D fits squarely in the high-end sector. The excellent sensor found in the 50D demonstrates Canon’s prowess of keeping noise level down while increasing pixel count. Canon added some high-end features such as light fall-off correction and auto-focus correction for lens. These features allow you to fine-tune the lens to achieve the best results and are absolutely necessary for a camera with “that” many pixels. If you have decided to buy this killer camera, don’t forget to check out our high-quality lens selection at Plemix!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Want a High Quality Radio? Sony Ericsson R306 Phone Unboxing Review

Want a high quality radio? Go for Sony! Sony’s radios have a long history of excellent clarity, durability and speed. The R306 Radio integrates the excellent radio and packs a lot more features in a compact body. Is it for you radio lovers? Read on!

The package contains the phone, a battery, a handsfree, a charger and a user’s guide. The R306 Radio has a pretty long battery life (9 hours talk, 410 hours standby) so there is no need of a secondary battery (at least for most of us).

When it comes to design, the R306 Radio is not the type that can instantly inspire the wow’s but its design is not too bad either. The body has a moderate 15.8mm thickness, which is about average for a budget flip phones. The phone is also large enough to fit in your palm securely.

The interior design is simple with a lot of black and silver. The 1.9” screen does not have the most vibrant color or highest resolution, but it does a decent job for displaying text.

The keys have a nice tactile feeling with about the right softness. The keys are about the size of your fingertips. I believe Sony Ericsson could have made the keys larger by using square instead of rounded keys.

The camera has 1.3MP with no flash or autofocus. Photo quality is comparable to other 1.3MP, or some 2MP cameras with accurate exposure but suffers from noise and inaccurate focus.

See the AM word on the handsfree? Most phones or MP3 players can’t handle AM frequencies but the R306 Radio has no problem with them! You need to have the handsfree plugged in to use the radio function.

The front aluminum plate has 5 buttons for controlling the FM/AM radio. Beneath the plate lies a hidden display that can display the channel you are on.

Besides the usual phonebook and organizers, it can record a section of the music and return the track title to you through the TrackID feature.

The biggest selling point of the R306 Radio is the design and the high-quality radio. Battery life is pretty good and the external keys and display are very convenient. The only real complaint is the mediocre feature set, which is the common problem of budget models.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


LG KM500 Unboxing Review

This time we have KM500 on hands. It is the first music phone of the company and the first product from their new “M” line. For us, with regular phone functions, KM500 is nothing special, a typical device, really. However, for LG phone it could even be considered a breakthrough with its new added music feature which is teamed with Audio legend Mr. Mark Levinson to deliver superior sound quality.

Standard stuff: a Battery, a Charger, a USB cable, a handsfree, CD and Manual.

It is a basic slider phone which resembles the Chocolate series, feels solid, compact and pretty sturdy.

Below the display, you will see two concentric embossed circles, and the slider's music controls are activated when pushing the 4 specific parts of the circle, just like the usual D-pad.

The keypad layout is clean and clear just like the previous LG device.

The 3.5mm audio jack is located at the bottom left of the phone, and when headphones are connected the wire dangles on the side awkwardly. It is a bit inconvenience.

And the charge or cable synchronization is located at the upper part of the left side of the phone.

KM-500 will display some interesting light effects when you playing the music.

We have tested that the music really sounds quite good, with good battery autonomy and it’s really nice in design, as a low budget phone you will not expect too much, right? KM500 may be a good choice, if you don't mind the small screen and you're looking for an economy music phone.


Samsung i8510 INNOV8 Unboxing Review

Is it N96 again? Nope, this time is Samsung i8510, a genuine Nokia N96 rival. It looks very similar to N96 but with more advanced in every aspect. Just when you thought they can hardly squeeze much more features in a single mobile phone here come Samsung to disprove that. It comes with more powerful features like 8 megapixel autofocus, Symbian 9.3 OS with S60 UI… which lives up to what we do for living with its high-tech. I can’t wait to share it with all you guys.

The phone is packed into an elegant packing box.

Standard stuff: a Battery, a Charger, a USB cable, a handsfree, CD and Manual.

It is about the size of Samsung G810 but slightly longer. And it is close to those dimensions of Nokia N96. Ingenious combination of metal and plastic make it looks masculine.

8 megapixel auto focus camera with flash located at the back of the phone.

There are two versions which are with 8GB and 16GB internal memory. And this is 8GB of built in memory onboard.

Here’s the D-pad below the display which is comfortable to use and the optical touch pad, seems like the one is used in Omnia i900, allow you to make your selection on each item by sweeping your thumb across the touchpad.

Under the touchpad, it hides the alphanumeric keypad which is flat however the keys have sensitive feedback.

8 megapixel camera closed up. You may see a large rim around the lens. When you start the camera you may hear the distinct click of the automatic lens cover opening up. It also equipped with a Power LED flash, however it’s not a xenon one unfortunately.

On the left hand side, you will see the volume rocker, the 3.5mm audio jack, and the standard microUSB port.

Here’s a slider that changes the camera mode among camera, camcorder and image gallery.

And it is the microSD memory card slot on the right hand side of the phone.

It is slightly thinner than Nokia N96.

Here’s the Menu layout of the Feature Pack 2 of the Symbian OS S60 UI. It is very novelty that many handsets don’t with it available.

Another standard Samsung Menu layout. It is surprised that the auto screen rotation feature can even work in the menus.

It offers all kind of goodies such as automatic panorama shooting, face detection, smile detection, and even blink detection to prevent photos of people blinking.
Here’s face detection in action.

It also offer you with different shooting modes, such as single shot, multi shot, frame shot, mosaic shot, panorama shot and smile shot.

Several resolutions settings are available for you.

Actual photo shot by the phone in an indoor office lighting environment. Great picture! Isn’t it?

Another shot with flash on. Compare with the pictures taken by the N96, I8510 is absolutely in excellent performance. I may say that the camera modes beat anything else on the cameraphone market.

After the Samsung i900 Omnia, i8510 should be another phone that you don’t want to let go of. Since the superior 8 megapixel camera of the phone is going to close the gap between cellphones and dedicated digital cameras. It is such a great multimedia monster. However, the only downside of it is a bit long when it is opened. Still it is acceptable. Am I so picky?

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