Tuesday, 27 September 2011

What is next for DSLR’s?


First off if you haven't seen the new EVIL(electronic viewfinder interchangeable lens) cameras you should check them out pretty soon, they are amazing. By using a smaller sensor than dslr’s and by forgoing the viewfinder, you get a camera that is as small as fairly large compact but with interchangeable lenses and some really cool features. Things like burst fire mode of 60fps, full hd video and decent low light performance. As a keen rock climber a rugged EVIL camera could be the idea solution, balancing the performance of a dslr with accessibility of a compact, and those video and burst features. In fairness the features I have just mentioned come on the nikon V1 and it costs about £850 but it is a first generation, the prices are going to come down.

So the DSLR has some competition, the question now is what can it do in response? I am aware that DSLR’s don’t really have any self interest, they are a product made by several companies and if there is no demand they will not be made. But I feel that another leap is due for DSLR’s as a few years ago they gained hd video and excellent low light performance and now the next generation of processors is coming at around the same time that these new EVIL cameras are arriving. They are bound to of incorporated some of the features from the new challengers.

So the 5D mkiii, even better low light performance, smoother video, live-view only superburst mode? I’m excited by the possibilities.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

My tablet experience

So I got my hands on a HP touchpad, it was a hell of a lot of work. Apparently £89 tablets sell quick. Anyway back to my point, I now have a tablet. Admittedly its a tablet that I had to devote an afternoon to modding to make it work as well as its competition, and it runs an unsupported OS. Neither of these things really bothered me, firstly I like tinkering so having to modify the kernel and OC the cpu was fun for me, and having a really good android phone I know that you really don’t use that many apps.

So I’ve had it a while now and something has dawned on me or at least re-dawned on me(I have never been a fan, but a fire sale made me forget), tablets suck. They are in their current iteration in an unhappy middle ground between something portable and really productive(laptop) and something really really portable and completely unproductive(smartphone). The only thing tablets have going for them and it’s a pretty big thing is that they are really cool, but is it just me or is something that relies entirely on cool also know as a fad?

To talk specifically about the issues with the form factor a little: first off a 10.1inch screen that seems to be the most popular makes using two hands to type really hard, and typing with one hand slow, its still not possible to make a device that size light enough for comfort but also sturdy, its also quite large fine to carry if you have a bag but not really pocketable. In other words it’s harder to type on than a decent smartphone and less easy to hold, there is more screen estate though and it is a nicer experience than my phone but not by a lot.

Tablets also run OS’s that really are designed for phones and happen to be able to scale up. Apps are great and all but to be honest most of them don’t give anything over what a decent webpage can give you, there a definitely a few that give novel features to your hardware but these are typically for very specific things that are used occasionally.

So how would I make tablets good? Well I would do what I think Microsoft's doing. essentially instead of beefing up their phone OS they are shrinking down their desktop OS to fit on a tablet. So next year we could have tablets with a touch orientated interface for “tablet mode” and the option to use a keyboard dock or a a wireless keyboard and have access to a full windows experience. So a device that can be very mobile and very productive, I’m looking forward to it.