Thursday, January 15, 2009
The package contains the phone, a charger, a battery, a handsfree, a CD rom & manual plus a USB data cable. The package is pretty standard, which is to be expected of a budget phone.
The right-most column of keys have some special functions in web browser. From top to bottom: bring up the URL box, favorites, home, and zoom. The purple backlight is turned on automatically when the browser is launched and it looks cool in dark area. Perhaps Sony’s engineers have better eyesight, but to me the icons are too small to convey any meaning, they all look like a tiny purple spots to me.
The back of the phone has the usual metal finish. It feels quite cold in the hand (especially in winter!) but it looks tough, too. The 3.2MP camera features geo-tagging, instant upload to blogs, and a LED flash but not auto focus!
More M2 card device! The Sony-designed M2 cards continue to plague Sony Ericsson phones with its high cost and capacity limitation. Of course, M2 cards have gotten cheaper in recent times but I am puzzled by Sony’s continuous support in this dying format.
The Sony Ericsson G705 has aGPS, Wayfinder Navigator and Google Map installed. Sony Ericsson’s move to include an aGPS appears to be an imitation of what Nokia had done on their middle-to-high end phones. Don’t get too excited though, since the screen will be too small for showing the next three streets, the aGPS is confined to finding out shops around you.
Web browsing is the strongest selling point of the phone. The screen is bright and crisp and the browser loads web pages reasonably fast. It has no difficulty in displaying complex web pages (e.g.: www.plemix.com) and I like the zoom feature a lot. The zoom feature “zooms out” first, and a red box appears on the screen. You can move it with the joystick, press the central button to “zoom in”. Everything originally inside the red box will be loaded in full size to the screen. The web page is rotated automatically depending on whether it is held in landscape or portrait mode.
The web browser is fitted with a lot of features to help you read the web pages more efficiently. Reading a 800 x 600 pixels web page naturally involves a lot of panning and zooming on the 240 x 320 pixels screen of the phone, so the Sony Ericsson G705 has various methods to help you achieve that.
The Sony Ericsson G705 has the hardware of a smartphone (HSDPA, aGPS, and Wi-Fi), media capability of an entertainment/music phone, and a price tag of a mid-range phone. While it packs a hefty set of features, not many of them are truly useful. The web browser is nice for some emergency browsing, but I would certainly not want to surf the net often with a 2.4” screen. The camera is strong on the software side, but the lack of auto-focus is a big disappointment, I imagine it was sacrificed in favour of the thinner design. Instead of seeing it as a smartphone, or even a mini-computer, it is best to view it as an ordinary phone with some nicely added features.
Sony Ericsson G705 Video Review
Sunday, January 11, 2009
The package includes the camera, a battery pack, a battery charger, a data cable, an AV cable, a strap, a CD-Rom and a user’s guide. There is no camera case included.
Being part of the IXUS family, the Canon Digital IXUS 980 IS refuses to be another brick. The curved design and the gold/black color schemes fit nicely together.
The “cyber green” on/off button looks surprisingly well on the black surface
Turn the dial to change between different camera modes and movie mode. Although Canon promises full manual control, it doesn’t mean you get the same aperture-priority and shutter-priority mode in the Canon A-series camera. I have a hard time understanding why a “for-style” camera cannot have the proper exposure controls.
The wheel also serves as a 4-way D-pad. You can change the ISO settings, flash, focus mode and drive modes with the D-pad. The wheel provides an intuitive way of changing various settings without the need to look at the screen.
The 3.7X zoom lens has an effective focal length of 36-133 mm. At the tele-end of the lens, the aperture is just f/5.8, luckily the camera has optical image stabilisation to minimize the blurring effects
As you can see, the Canon Digital IXUS 980 IS is not the slimmest IXUS camera ever made. The curves do a nice job in “mitigating” the effect of the thickness, so that the camera still looks very nice despite its thickness.
The battery is locked securely by a locking mechanism. The camera supports MMC, SD and SDHC cards (none included).
Unsurprisingly, the camera possesses face detection focusing, AF-Point zoom and Servo AF (continuous auto-focus). The screen is a relatively modest 2.5” screen (230,000 pixels), which is barely enough for the 14.7MP pictures!
You can customize the button to the top left of the wheel to 1 of the 12 possible functions. I think the “Display Off” and WB functions are urgently in need of a separate button, of course you are entitled to think otherwise.
The Canon Digital IXUS 980 IS excels in pixel count and body design. The manual exposure mode is a nice addition, but the lack of aperture/shutter priority modes leave us something to be desired. The zoom range is a meager 3.7X zoom, which is hardly a perfect match for the powerful 14.7MP sensor.
Back when the Canon EOS 5D was announced, it created quite a stir. A full-frame, high pixel count dSLR at an affordable price was simply too good to be true! The next generation of the 5-series continues to give us the same awe: 21 MP, HD movie shooting ability, built-to-last construction at a reasonably expensive price. I expect a lot from this body, let’s find out how it performs!
The package is by no means deficient. You can find the body, 1 eyecup 5b, neck strap, video and USB cables, a battery, a charger, a CD rom (EOS digital solution) and a manual. There is no HDMI cable, however.
The outlook of the new Canon EOS 5D Mark II is almost identical to that of the old one, but don’t let this fool you: the underlying construction is a lot more weather resistant. Theoretically that should give you more peace of mind when you take it to a dusty/rainy place.
As you can see from the close up, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II does not look like a plastic toy. The magnesium alloy provides a cold, metallic, sturdy feeling while the carefully placed rubber provides a good grip.
Being a professional camera, it doesn’t have (and shouldn’t have) any scene modes. The creative automatic (plain English description of what you will get with the current setting) and auto mode (CA and green square respectively) provides a bridge to professional photography for those who are still learning the art. As users learn more about photography, they will probably use the Custom Modes (C1 -3) more often.
The rubber covers will stay at where they are and not get into the “cable’s way”. All the ports (PC Sync, Communication Terminal, microphone input, AV out, USB 2.0 and HDMI) are located in one place so you don’t have to flip the heavy monster to find the right socket. The HDMI port and microphone input are newly added to complement the HD movie capability of the camera.
Same size but more juice, the new LP-E6 battery pack will get you more shots before demanding a recharge.
The 3” screen has 920,000 pixels and a lot of anti-reflective layers to give the best viewing experience.
With full-frame sensor, you don’t have to trouble yourself with fish-eye lens or EF-S lens to shoot wide-angle. Of course, the extremely high pixel count (21MP) will expose any defects in your lens, so only the best lens (e.g. the high-end Canon “L” lenses) are worthy to accompany this fantastic camera.
I doubt if there is any meaningful difference the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and the much more expensive Canon 1-series cameras in terms of focus speed and shutter lag. The Canon EOS 5D Mark II may have less AF points, but it still manages to perform as a pro-body. It is a solid, speedy performer that gives little head room for improvement. Besides, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II has the advantage of a lighter body (because of the optional vertical hand grip, as opposed to the mandatory one found on EOS 1-series camera), and the ability to shoot HD (1920 x 1080) for 12 minutes is a nice addition. To a true photographer, that might mean very little, but for a journalist, being able to film the whole event may mean a world of difference!
Subscribe to Posts [Atom]