Home projector offers great picture, color balance, falls short in gaming, features
Trying to find the perfect projector for a home theater can be tricky, as there are bountiful options on the market from a large number of manufacturers. Name brand aside, trying to find the right options for the based on room size, necessary features and functions can still leave consumers scratching their heads. Epson is attempting to give buyers a one-shot option to build their home theaters around with the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 projector. But does the projector keep up with the needs of film, television shows and gaming, or would consumers be better served elsewhere? Find out in our review.
Support ending for original Dropcam, Dropcam Echo prompts replacement program
Owners of older Dropcam camera will be able to upgrade to a newer version at no charge, due to an impending lack of support from the company. The Nest-owned manufacturer will be providing a Dropcam HD as a replacement for earlier models, as the company will be dropping support for original Dropcam and the Dropcam Echo from April 15.
Photos web app gets zoom, quick email sharing
Apple has upgraded the iCloud.com Photos app with a couple of new features, users note. The first is a zoom slider for uploaded content. People can also more easily share photos via email, using a new pop-up window on the site. Access to Photos requires activating the iCloud Photo Library beta through iOS' Settings app, and will remove any images on a device that were synced via iTunes.
Turn your favorite photos into digital oil paintings
There's a good chance that everyone reading this, at one point or another, has seen those "turn a picture into a painting or sketch" apps that were making the rounds a few years ago. More often than not, these ended up looking like nothing more than poorly-Photoshopped images -- which was essentially what they were. We checked out Brushstroke by Code Organa to see if it managed to improve on the technology.
Extremely good watermarking app for all platforms
This is impressive. Watermarking your photographs so that at least you have your name on them if they get used online is not precisely the most thrilling job in the world, but iWatermark+ comes pretty close to making it enjoyable. There are limits: you'd rather be creating the images than sitting around putting copyright notices on them, but that's the thing about iWatermark+: it does what it does so quickly, and so well, that you can get back to your proper job sooner.
Range increased in Seek XR thermal camera to 2,000 feet
Seek Thermal has introduced an updated version of its existing thermal camera for smartphones. The Seek XR keeps the majority of the functions of the original camera, launched last year, but has been given a new lens system that allows for the camera to see objects from twice as far away, as well as being able to focus on objects as close as 8 inches from the lens.
Defocusing, Slimming modes included in 16-megapixel Lumix GF7
Panasonic's latest addition to the GF Lumix line introduces more functions to help with self portraits. The Lumix GF7 mirrorless camera automatically turns on a Self Shot mode when its 3-inch 1040K-dot touchscreen is flipped 180 degrees, with it also offering selfie-friendly Soft Skin, Defocusing, and Slimming Mode shooting and editing options.
Intuitive painting app turns your iPad into an art studio
The iPad is a slick device for browsing the web, accessing social media sites, and conducting all manner of business right from the comfort of your hand. Of course, the iPad is also a great tool for both artists and doodlers alike, provided you have the right app. We checked out MyBrushes Pro by developer effectmatrix, to see how it stacked up in the realm of art apps.
Partnership between GoPro, Vislink creates transmitter for live TV broadcast use
GoPro will soon be providing broadcasters a way to use its camera line during live television broadcasts, while consumers will gain some extra features on their own devices in a future firmware update. A partnership with Vislink has produced a compact transmitter that can be connected to GoPro cameras, providing a live HD video feed from the action cameras.
Fujifilm X-A2 has 175-degree flip-up display, 0.5-second start-up time
Fujifilm has revealed an upgraded version of its entry-level X-A1 mirrorless camera, along with a new compact snapper. The X-A2 has an improved flip-up display, with the screen able to move up 175 degrees vertically, while the XQ2 compact camera combines distinctively modern features with premium styling in a compact case.
Reports initially claimed patent was Apple invention
The reassignment of a Kodak-held remote control camera system patent to Apple has been blamed for a 12.17 percent drop in GoPro shares on Tuesday. The patent is credited to three people -- Keith Stoll Karn, Marc Krolczyk, and Kazuhiro Joza -- who reassigned it to Kodak in 2012. Apple acquired a variety of Kodak patents that year, however, as part of one of two consortiums that raced to snap up some of the bankrupt imaging company's intellectual property.
Coolpix S3700 offers 20MP sensor, 8x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, NFC
Nikon is expanding its Coolpix range with three more compact cameras in the United Kingdom. The Coolpix S2900 and the Coolpix S3700 pack a 20-megapixel CCD image sensor inside their small and colorful casings, while the Coolpix L31 is a cheaper model with a 16-megapixel CCD sensor, powered by easily-replaceable AA batteries.
Quickly add text and logo images to photos
It's a different world. You might be the sort who would never take photo from a website and use it in your own book, but today if an image is online, it's as if the world sees it as fair game. Maybe that's a peek into our base immorality and the ultimate cataclysmic self-destruction of humanity, or maybe it's just that cut and paste is easy. Whatever it is, though, it's happening and you cannot stop it – not even with an application like this: but if PhotoWatermark can't prevent the copying of images, it can help photographers and artists considerably by adding identifying text to your image.
Camera phones, despite limitations, replacing point-and-shoot
Flickr has updated statistics for 2014 in its "Most Popular Camera" and "Most Popular Mobile Camera" categories, with the combined models of iPhone taking second place in the general "camera" category -- beating out DSLR maker Nikon and popular point-and-shoot maker Sony for second place. While Canon remains the most popular overall camera, the built-in cameras on smartphones from Apple and Samsung have -- despite inherent limitations -- steadily risen in popularity.
HTC adds YouTube streaming to RE Camera for Android today, iOS later this quarter
HTC has added the ability to stream from its Re Camera to YouTube. An app update for the camera will enable the live streaming to the video service while it is paired to a smartphone, with users able to sign into their YouTube account from within the app to create public and private live streams. While Android users can download the update from today via Google Play, iOS users will have to wait until later this quarter to be able to stream from the action camera.
Consumer and commercial-grade technologies demonstrated at CES 2015
Yesterday at CES, ViewSonic released its newest line-up of products. On hand for demonstrations at the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas are new 4K displays, "price-competitive" digital projectors, Virtual Desktop Interface (VDI) solutions, and commercial-grade digital signage displays. Included in the announcements was a new 3,200-lumen projector; 27- and 28-inch 4K monitors; a curved 34-inch LED and 27-inch gaming monitor, and some large-format signage displays.
New Cintiq pen displays joined by updated standalone Windows tablet
Wacom has added more items to its Cintiq and Cintiq Companion ranges for artists and designers. The Cintiq 27QHD and 27QHD touch are pen displays with 27-inch screens, while the Cintiq Companion 2 is a revamped version of the company's standalone Windows tablet, which can also be used as a pen display when connected to a PC or Mac.
Wirelessly project streaming images over LAN with Air Scanner
Say you need to share the image of something with a group of people, either in a meeting or on campus, but you don't have an overhead projector handy. Instead of passing around documents, photos, or items for people to look at one-by-one, what if you could simply broadcast the images over a LAN? It's a surprisingly simple solution to a common problem. That's exactly what Air Scanner, by Qrayon, does.
Upgraded thermal imaging for mobile devices
FLIR has introduced a new thermal-imaging accessory for mobile devices, as reported earlier. The new FLIR One attaches via Apple's Lightning port or to an Android device's Micro USB port, rather than integrating the thermal camera into a custom iPhone 5 case. Electronista checked out the upgraded model at CES to see how it stacks up against its predecessor.
Nikon adds a touchscreen for the first time
Every year, CES acts as a launching ground for a range of new products, and this year is no different. Nikon decided to use the event as an opportunity to officially unveil its new D5500 DSLR, which acts as an evolution of the existing D5300. While the newly-announced D5500 advances upon its predecessor in a number of ways, the most significant change is the introduction of a touchscreen. While the show floor isn't really an optimal ground for testing a new camera, we managed to get our hands on the new Nikon, and spent a little time checking out just what this new product has to offer.
Tech improvements have reduced size, cost of laser-based 3D printing
Printer manufacturer XYZprinting today announced its Nobel 1.0 3D printer, what the company calls "the most highly approachable and value-driven high-resolution stereolithography (SL) Laser technology 3D printer to-date." The plug-and-play printer with the new technology is designed to keep user costs down, minimize technical problems like jamming, and improves print accuracy. Printing dimensions with the Nobel 1.0 reach 5 x 5 x 7.9 inches, with print resolution of 0.3mm (300 Microns) on the X/Y axis, and 0.025mm (25 Microns) on the Z axis.
Impressive connectivity, little else known about monitors at this time
In keeping with the goal of accelerating the adoption of 4K Ultra HD standard, 4K television manufacturer Seiki today announced its entry into the desktop monitor segment with 32- and 40-inch 4K Ultra HD displays. The new Seiki 4K displays will be branded Seiki Pro, and are being featured at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show.
Upgrade to D5300 gains touch capabilities on flip-out display
Nikon has introduced its consumer-grade follow-up to the D5300 DSLR camera, one which includes a touchscreen display on the back for the first time. The D5500's main upgrade compared to its predecessor, the rear 1037K-dot 3.2-inch display can be used to alter camera settings directly, with the screen still being able to flip out to the side and rotate around like in previous models.
Dropzone and Control Room intended to add value for existing, new customers
Wacom, makers of digital input tablets and other devices for artists, have announced two new free cloud-based services for their customers. These two services, which allow content and device settings to be stored and shared across platforms, are the first in a series of services planned for release over the course of 2015. The Dropzone service allows an initial 2GB of free storage, while the Control Room service lets existing users upload device settings so that they can retrieve the settings when using the device on a different platform.
Startling photography app for making fine edits and filters easy
The cameras in our iPhones are so good that they are destroying the point-and-shoot digital camera market. We all have high-resolution lenses that create vibrant, brilliant images -- and then we slap a sepia filter over every photo. Even if you would never apply iOS 8's Chrome or Transfer filter, however -- even if you have never heard of Instagram -- take a look at Exposure. It's one of those apps that is genuinely unexpected and new.
Sony pushing heavily into 4k video with new line of visual products
Sony's launch keynote to the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show has concluded, with the manufacturer announcing a big push into 4K for the year. A total of 11 new 4K Bravia LCD TVs will be brought to market across three series in the year. Additionally, the company is refreshing its Action Cam line, with its newest 4K Handycam -- which is 30 percent smaller and 20 percent lighter than the model that is being replaced.
Curved gaming monitor to retail for under $800 this spring
At a pre-CES event in Las Vegas, Westinghouse showed off a widescreen (21:9 aspect ratio) gaming monitor that also happened to be curved, and thereby make for a more immersive gaming experience. The resolution is said to be 3K, so about 3440x1440 pixels, and offering both HDMI and MiniDisplayPort inputs. Also on hand was a 42-inch 4K LCD flatscreen, and the rep on-hand said that it's part of a new range that will include top-tier specs but be aggressively priced, as is the Westinghouse tradition. Smaller and larger models will also be part of the lineup.
Nano-crystal semiconductors used in higher-tier Samsung televisions
Samsung has outlined a new higher tier of Ultra HD televisions for 2015, which it is giving the SUHD designation. The JS9500, JS9000, and JS8500 ranges each include televisions in nine screen sizes ranging from 48 inches to 88 inches, with the screens said to be using Samsung's nano-crystal semiconductors to produce a higher-quality image.
Company shows new 4k televisions, sound base, display
Display manufacturer Sceptre will be celebrating its 30th anniversary at the Bellagio in Las Vegas this week, during CES. New and highlighted this year are an 84-inch 4K UHD television, a 49-inch 4K UHD touchscreen computer monitor, and a wireless soundbase for use to bolster sound from the flat panel televisions.
Flagship CX850 pairs Firefox OS with voice commands
Panasonic has revealed its 2015 lineup of 4K TVs, including several models powered by Mozilla's Firefox OS. The company's Ultra HD lineup has expanded to nine different models in the CX850, CX800, CX650 and CX600 families, adding an upgraded flagship series and new midrange options. Aside from the software features, Panasonic's latest 4K display panels are claimed to bring improved picture quality with brighter presentation and a wider color gamut.
New display allows for parallel usage of two devices side-by-side
At the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, Philips has unveiled a massive curved computer display. The new 34-inch Philips Brilliance Curved UltraWide LCD Display offers 3440x1440 resolution at 60Hz, with a panoramic 21:9 cinematic aspect. The expansive display features an ultra-narrow bezel, and comes with a pair of 7W DTS sound high-quality stereo speakers built into the display.
Joined by Pixma printer and Connect Station CS100
Digital imaging giant Canon has announced several new cameras at CES, spread across its PowerShot, Elph, and Vixia lines. The leading model is the $430 PowerShot SX530 HS, which has a 50x optical zoom lens -- equivalent to 24-1200mm on a full-sized camera. The unit also has optical image stabilization, and a 16-megapixel sensor. The unit is capable of 1080p video, plus a pop-up flash and high-speed autofocus. It also includes Wi-Fi and NFC support, which can be used to connect to a smartphone and various other devices.
New monitor collection includes four curved screens, 5K-resolution display
HP launched quite a few high-resolution monitors at CES, along with a few other notable displays. The HP Zvr is a virtual reality display that forms part of the company's Blended Reality ecosystem, while two 4K screens are joined by a 5K-resolution model, with the collection rounded out by four curved high-resolution computer monitors.
New camera has more connectivity options, space, resolution
So far, the focus at this year's Consumer Electronics Show appears to be wearables. Upgraded for this year's show, the Narrative life camera (which we generally liked, with some caveats) will soon be coupled with the sequel, aptly named Narrative 2. The new version of the diminutive clip-on camera sports a number of key improvements, chief among them Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wireless connectivity, and a higher-resolution sensor.
Exceptional algorithms improve nearly any picture with little assistance
Unless you are a supremely-gifted photographer with a bucketful of top camera gear, you may often find yourself wishing a shot you had taken could be sharper, clearer, or otherwise "better," and are always looking for an app that can deliver this magic to your pictures consistently. Honest to gosh, we think we've found it -- or at least, pretty darn close. The program is called Perfectly Clear by Athentech, it's available as a mobile app or a plug-in for Photoshop or Lightroom, and -- we kid you not -- it's like Windex for most photos.
Maxwell-based Tegra X1 powers Drive CX, Drive PX systems for infotainment, driverless cars
To kick off the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang took to the stage to unveil the company's newest offerings for mobile computing and in-car systems. Nvidia's newest processor, the Tegra X1, leverages the Maxwell GPU technology released last year to produce a new "mobile super chip." The invention of the new processor was necessary to power Nvidia's two other announcements during the show that look toward the future of the automotive industry, the Drive CX and Drive PX systems.
High-end monitor features Nvidia G-SYNC
As part of its pre-CES announcements, Acer has released a pair of gaming monitors. The Acer XB270HU is the world's first Nvidia G-Sync gaming monitor equipped with IPS technology, and the Acer XG270HU is the world's first gaming monitor with an edge-to-edge frameless display. Both of these 27-inch displays come with WQHD (2560x1440) resolution, and a 144Hz refresh rate.
Could be sign of impending transition
[Updated with indications of potential technical difficulties; Apple says all is fixed] The iCloud.com beta site has suddenly dropped access to the Photos web app, users note. The app first appeared last October, and until this week was actively gaining features. Its icon no longer appears in any menu, and manually entering the app's URL returns an error message.
Rename one, a thousand, or all your files in one go
It's been a long time since you came back from a vacation with just 24 or 36 photographs. These days, you're taking hundreds of shots on your iPhone, and every tourist spot you visit is trying to sell you a few more. It's not really as if it will take you another vacation in order to sort out your photos, but it feels like it, and one problem is how they're all named. If cameras could automatically label a photo as 'Great Day at Santa Barbara With Aunt Mabel 001' you'd be set and A Better Finder Rename 9 would be out of business. For ABFR--– a utility that saves you time really shouldn't have such a long name -- will help with exactly this.
Zoom video recorder, headphones, and more
Shop year-end deals at BHphotovideo.com this week, which features the Zoom Q2HD Handy Video Recorder, complete with 1920x1080p (Full HD) maximum resolution, an integrated mid-side stereo microphone, support for both USB 2.0 and Mini HDMI outputs, as well as a variety of low-cut filters and light selection options. Priced at $80, customers now save $160 off its once $240 list price, and $15 if compared to the next best deal we have seen on this model. Free US shipping is also available, but sales tax applies for residents of New York.
Reports of unwanted internal reflections in D750 prompts Nikon response
An issue with a recent Nikon DSLR, one launched just three months ago, has prompted an investigation by the camera company. Nikon is looking into reports from consumers that a number of D750 cameras have a problem with unwanted reflections and flares for certain types of shots, caused by a problem with the camera's construction.
First Kodak smartphone launching at CES, tablet and connected camera coming soon
Kodak will be using CES in January to show off new Android-based mobile devices, it has been revealed. The Bullitt Group will be working on producing the smartphones under license from Kodak, and though there is little in the way of specifics about what will be arriving, it will apparently be aimed at people not entirely comfortable with more complicated mobile devices.
Diminutive scanner purports to allow computer-free scanning
Sometimes, people need to scan things, but having a computer at hand to do so isn't exactly feasible. Maybe it's the home of a relative that lives on the outskirts of civilization with no Internet, looking to organize family photos. Maybe it's an office filing room that's too small to set up shop. Maybe it's the cabin of an airplane, and a traveler just wants to scan a page from Skymall. In this situation, the solution is generally to move items that need to be scanned to a location that has a scanner. With DoxieGo by Apparent, users don't have to worry about transportation; they can just throw the scanner in their bag and go. But can this ultra-portable scanner really make life that much easier? Read our review and find out.
Sleek camera app helps fine-tune pictures
We often get a photo with sub-par quality when we use a cellphone or tablet as our go-to camera. One of the main reasons for this, of course, is because users have minimal control over individual camera functions like focus, white balance, and ISO sensitivity. The iPhone's camera is far more akin to a point-and-shoot than a professional model, and frequently the automatic settings can leave a picture feeling a bit lacking. There is, however, still hope -- something like Manual Photo Camera, by Rego Korosi, allows a person to take maximum control over shooting.
Increases user attachments to Messenger
Facebook has released Stickered for Messenger, an app that lets users add virtual "stickers" to photos shot on an iPhone or iPod touch. The stickers can be added after or even before a photo is taken, as well as to pre-existing images in the Camera Roll. As necessary, stickers can be dragged, resized, and rotated. As the name of the app implies, created images are shared via Facebook's Messenger service.
Curved monitor has 21:9 aspect ratio, picture-by-picture mode
Samsung has introduced another curved monitor, one that increases the size and resolution of the manufacturer's earlier release, the 27-inch SD590C in September. The SE790C curved monitor boasts a larger 34-inch size, combined with an Ultra WQHD resolution of 3440x1440, an aspect ratio of 21:9, and a contrast ratio of 3000:1.
MacNN and Electronista Deals for December 22, 2014
Welcome to Monday Deals, and let's face it, Christmas is upon us -- there's not really enough time to buy gifts online and receive them in time for the big day. Maybe you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader, want to use your leftover present-buying cash to get yourself a little or not-so-little something, for all that hard work buying for other people. As usual, prices are correct at the time of writing, but may change at a later time, so check before completing orders. Also remember to check back over the next few days, as more deals may be added at a later time.
Create trendy images in minutes
Everyone's familiar with current trends in photos that keep popping up across the Internet. One part indie-rock and one part Photoshop, their soft colors and multiple filters have become the new cool thing. Originally these images took time, effort, and at least a basic understanding of Photoshop. Now, however, something like Calista by ThinkSuit gives users the ability to make these straight from the comfort of a handheld device.
Always know exactly when photography's magic hour is
There are two facts of photography that Lumy is built to exploit for you. First, the sun is your friend because there is a time when the sheer quality of daylight helps make your photographs beautiful. The time is known as the "magic hour," or the "golden hour," but the second fact is that you're lucky if it's really 60 minutes. Wouldn't an app to help you pinpoint how much of that limited time you actually have be helpful?
Mac minis, SSDs and more
Right now at B&H.com, snap up a great deal on a Mac mini, which has seen a $80 discount -- from $999 down to $919. That discount makes this the best price we have seen on this configuration by about $20. It features a 2.8GHz Intel Core i5 Haswell processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB Fusion Drive. It is backed by Apple's standard one-year warranty on parts and labor.