Leica Q Review: Welcome To A Beautiful World Of Photography

_IGP0462Leica cameras have always been paragons of image quality, but to attain such quality was usually a hassle, fraught with sacrificing many modern technologies. The Leica Q essentially brings Leica into the complete 21st century of camera technology, all additional bells and whistles included, rather than sticking to the core “expert photographer” toolbox. Things like an EVF (electronic view finder), touchscreen, WiFi, a companion app and the like.

And of course, being that this is a Leica camera, a full frame sensor and a high price tag are also coming along for the ride. So, how is this ride, exactly? I had a week to find out.

Sony A7R II Is The 4K, Full Frame Monster Of A Camera

sony-a7r-2At the humble price of $3,200 considering the specs, Sony’s A7R II is the camera of dreams. The first camera to sport backside illumination, at a full-frame size 42.4 megapixel sensor. The other first that the A7R II sports is an ISO up to 102,400 and an insane 399 phase detection AF points — this supplements the capture of 4K video using the full width of the sensor, a first for a 35mm-format interchangeable-lens camera. Which of course, is insane.

Oh, and the body is made of magnesium alloy with 5-axis image stabilization. Who said your camera couldn’t have everything?

Via: Sony

Leica Q Announced: A Full-Frame, 24MP Camera With 10FPS Shooting

_IGP0538Today, Leica is unveiling the Q, a full-frame camera with a 24 megapixel sensor, full 1080p HD video recording at 60 fps, shooting at ten frames-per-second, an f1.7/28mm Summilux lens, integrated WiFi and remote shutter control via a dedicated Leica Q app on iOS and Android, an ISO range of up to 50,000, a 3″ 1.04 million-dot LCD screen, and finally, a high-res EVF that has a built-in sensor which automatically switches to the mode when held up to the user’s eye. Built in Germany and using aluminum and leather as build materials, the Q is a quintessential Leica, as well as being a modern camera capable of some serious shooting.

Asking price? $4,250, available starting today. Leica will also be producing a variety of accessories to accompany the Q, including an external grip accessory and a cross-body carrying case.

Press release after the break.

Samsung Unveils It Has Mirror And Transparent OLED Displays

Samsung-Display]-55-inch-Transparent-OLED_1_1Straight from the future, indeed.

Showcased in Hong Kong, Samsung’s new mirror and transparent OLED displays are less a thing of concept and more a preview of the company’s plans to come. The displays are going to be integrated with Intel’s RealSense technology, meaning that the mirror display, for example, can be used as a “virtual fitting room,” made possible by Intel’s own 3D cameras and an “automated library of stored perceptions” — basically, a user can try on clothes, and jewelry before actually trying them on, to see if they fit.

The transparent OLED displays? Well, Samsung has plans for that also: interactive ads, again making use of Intel RealSense technology and gesture control.

It will take Samsung time to bear fruit of this cutting-edge tech, bu tit will happen; after all, this is Samsung we’re talking about here: a paragon of screens across all ranges.


Microsoft Debuts 1TB Xbox One with New Controller, Ships The 16th For $400

XboxOne_Controller_620Microsoft is keen on making the Xbox One a resounding success, no matter the shaky month-by-month sales figures or the intense competition that the PS4 assails the platform with.

Today, the company at Redmond continues the mission with the announcement of a 1TB (1,000GB) Xbox One, as well as the debut of a revised wireless controller that (finally!) uses a 3.5mm headset jack for audio (a la PS4), with revised bumpers that offer increased performance along the entirety of the button(s). Also, wireless firmware updates, because no one wants to connect a controller to a console for an update — it’s 2015.

The new 1TB Xbox One is shipping in the US on June 16th for $399, with Halo: The Master Chief Collection as a bundled game “for a limited time”.

Meanwhile, the existing 500GB One got a price cut, to preppy $349.

Via: Xbox Wire

Next Version Of OS X: El Capitan, Coming This Fall To Mac

osx-el-capitanAvailable to developers via a preview today, and to consumers in the Fall, OS X “El Capitan” is the next iteration of Apple’s desktop operating system and changes are coming. An overhaul to the Safari browser for one: you can pin tabs, set tabs to startup, and mute audio from specific tabs as well. Spotlight search has been improved to support natural language, so as asking it to find “documents I worked on in June” will net you the intended documents, including the weather, stocks, and games scores.

New Notes app as well as an improved Mission Control interface for better window management, including a Split View, which splits the screen into two halves: one for each app.

System-wide the font has been changed to Apple’s San Francisco, which will also be extended towards iOS 9 and unify the font used across Apple systems. A 40% increase in rendering is also being integrated into El Capitan, allowing for games (usually an afterthought on the OS) to run better than ever before.

Via: Apple (Businesswire)

Apple Music: The $10 Monthly Streaming, Radio, And Social Service

apple-musicToday at Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference, a new app made its long-awaited (?) debut: Apple Music. Besides a regular music streaming service for 30 million iTunes songs, there’s radio curated by actual humans. Unsigned artists can also share music through Apple’s Music app, so they’re not left out of the fray.

Pricing is as follows: starting June 30th, you can trail Apple Music for free for three months, with $10 a month following. There’s also a family plan that allows up to six people access for $15 a month, through iCloud Family Sharing

Also, the app isn’t iOS exclusive: it’s headed to the Apple TV and Android, this fall.

Via: Apple

ASUS Zenfone 2 Review: A Compelling Replacement

L1010549ASUS gathered worldwide media to Gotham Hall of New York City for three things: minor festivities, free devices, and for the various attempts of ASUS CEO Jerry Shen being funny and quotable. By selling the Zenfone 2 online through third-party retailers, a flagship smartphone sporting an Intel Atom processor can come to market without being assailed by American carriers. Thus, ASUS is attacking two fronts: the mobile smartphone market in North America, and the use of Intel chips in mobile devices.

Oh, and of course, a third: if the Taiwanese company can produce a phone capable of some critical acclaim.