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Sony a6300 review

The a6300 is Sony s latest and greatest compact system camera (CSC), and an update to the Sony a60001. Back in 2014 I wrote that the a6000 hits a home run for quality, performance, features and price , so the a6300 has big boots to fill.

There are quite a few similarities. They both use a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor – the same size that s found in consumer SLRs – and they re virtually identical to look at, too, with a slim, rangefinder-style design that s common to all Sony CSCs. There s just enough room for an electronic viewfinder, flash hotshoe, integrated flash, mode dial and command dial along the top plate.

Power, shutter release and a custom button are mounted on top of the handgrip, which is big enough for a secure fit in the hand. The rear is home to a tilting 3in screen, a wheel and a small collection of buttons. All of this matches the a6000, but with two years of development and a price that s around 400 more than the a6000 cost at launch, the a6300 needs to do a lot more to justify its existence.

The big news is an upgraded autofocus system with 425 phase-detect points on the main imaging sensor. It s hard to quantify the performance of an autofocus system in absolute terms as there are so many variables, but on balance I d say this is as good as I ve seen from a CSC.

Subject tracking was extremely responsive, and the 9fps burst mode with continuous autofocus produced a decent proportion of pixel-sharp shots when shooting moving subjects. Best of all, this 9fps mode includes a live view stream with minimal blackout for each frame. The experience was much closer to shooting with a professional-grade SLR than most CSCs manage.

There s a decent-sized buffer, allowing 48 JPEGs or 23 RAW frames to be captured before continuous shooting slowed down. Shooting in the single drive mode wasn t so impressive, averaging 0.7 seconds between shots.

This sensor has a higher maximum ISO speed, up from the a6000’s 25600 to 51200. This is only useful if the sensor has the noise performance to back it up, but in this instance the a6300 delivers the goods. JPEGs at ISO 1600 and above exhibited cleaner, sharper fine details than the a6000, particularly in subtle textures such as hair and skin. In fact, the a6300 wasn t far behind the full frame Sony a7R II2 for noise levels, although the a7R II established a clear lead at ISO 12800 and above.

The other significant advance is the introduction of 4K video. It may be a while before we re all using 4K TVs, but it makes sense to shoot at this resolution now. Footage will stand the test of time better, and 4K footage invariably looks sharper than 1080p even when scaled down to fit a 1080p screen.

The a6300 s 4K footage looked excellent, with precise details and little evidence of noise at ISO 3200. 4K videos also had a pleasingly neutral colour palette that’s a good starting point for colour grading in editing software. Autofocus was decisive, too, thanks no doubt in part to the phase-detect autofocus points.

However, the lack of a touchscreen is a baffling omission. It’s an extremely useful feature for moving the autofocus point when taking photos, and the only practical way to do so while recording videos. Some videographers will prefer to focus manually, but it seems daft not to allow touchscreen-controlled autofocus as an option.

The 3in LCD screen has a widescreen aspect ratio that suits video better than photo capture. However, as with other recent Sony CSCs, it was too dim to use outdoors. A Sunny Weather setting significantly boosted the screen’s brightness to help resolve the problem, but for some reason this Sunny Weather setting is bypassed when recording 4K video. Perhaps colour accuracy is better without it, but that’s little comfort if you can barely see the picture at all when shooting outside.

A microphone socket is included a feature that was noticeably absent from the a6000 but it s not a huge amount of use as there s no headphone socket for monitoring. It’s also frustrating that memory cards must be reformatted in order to switch between NTSC and PAL frame rates. Admittedly, it’s not a setting that gets changed often, but it’d be pretty annoying to have to choose between shooting at the wrong frame rate or deleting all your existing photos and videos.

References

  1. ^ Sony a6000 (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  2. ^ Sony a7R II (www.expertreviews.co.uk)

HTC Desire 530 now available at T-Mobile

LetsGoDigital1 Digital Cameras2 Digital Camera Ratings3 New Digital Camera4 Digital Camera Reviews5 Camera Reviews6 Nikon SLR Reviews7 Camera Housings8 Digital Camera Compare9 Digital Photo Gallery10 Mobile Phones11 Banner Advertising12 Photography News13 Camera Reviews14 HTC Desire 530 now available at T-MobileIlse Jurri n : July 25th 2016 – 08:30 CET HTC Desire 530 smartphone available in the US : The recently launched HTC Desire 530 is now available in the US. The Android smartphone is currently being sold by the manufacturer itself and through T-Mobile. The smartphone lets you stand out with a unique micro splash dual-color design, impressive audio and great cameras front and back.

The handset has a 5″ HD screen, to keep you up to date with personalized feeds through HTC BlinkFeed. The HTC Desire 530 comes with a high quality amp that boosts volume and bass to impressive levels without distorting the sound. Coupled with the HTC BoomSound Dolby Audio Profile, your music sounds crystal clear – no matter what ear-phones you’re using. Photography with the Desire 530The Desire 530 features a 8 megapixel main camera that also records HD video, while the 5 megapixel front-camera includes Auto Selfie and Voice Selfie modes.

For little touch ups, there s the Photo Editor, a suite of tools that help you come out looking sensational every time. HTC Desire 530 price at T-MobileT-Mobile currently sells the Desire 530 for $159.99. In addition the carrier offers various subscriptions, like 24-months contract for $6.67 a month and a free phone. Soon the phone will also be available through Verizon.

New device purchase requires a SIM Starter Kit which will be added to your order automatically. HTC Desire smartphones15 HTC Desire LTE smartphones16 HTC Desire 51017 Previous ZTE ZMAX Pro Android phone18 News by brand:HTC19 News by category:Smartphones20 News by brand and category:HTC Smartphones21

Latest HTC announcements HTC 10 smartphone22 HTC One M9 Prime Camera Edition23 HTC Desire Android phones24 HTC Vive virtual reality system25 HTC One X9 beautifully crafted smartphone26 HTC RE Camera receives design Award27 HTC One E9+ Dual SIM handset28 HTC One M9+29 HTC Desire LTE smartphones30 HTC One M9 4K smartphone31 HTC One M932 HTC Desire 32033 HTC Desire 826 photography features34 HTC Desire 826 smartphone35 HTC Nexus 936 Latest news headlines37 HTC Desire 530 now available at T-Mobile38 ZTE ZMAX Pro Android phone39 Nikon Monarch Fieldscopes40 HTC 10 smartphone41 Nikon Monarch binoculars42 Apple iPhone SE smartphone43 Samsung removable flash memory cards44 Sony Full-Frame 50mm lens45 Canon PIXMA All-in-One home printers46 Fujifilm X-T2 mirrorless digital camera47 Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Limited Edition48 Samsung Galaxy S7 unlocked versions49 Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 smartphone printer50 Sandisk iXpand for Apple smartphones and tablets51 Hasselblad X1D medium format camera52

References

  1. ^ LetsGoDigital (www.letsgodigital.org)
  2. ^ Digital Cameras (www.letsgodigital.org)
  3. ^ Digital Camera Ratings (www.letsgodigital.org)
  4. ^ New Digital Camera (www.letsgodigital.org)
  5. ^ Digital Camera Reviews (www.letsgodigital.org)
  6. ^ Camera Reviews (www.letsgodigital.org)
  7. ^ Nikon SLR Reviews (www.letsgodigital.org)
  8. ^ Camera Housings (www.letsgodigital.org)
  9. ^ Digital Camera Compare (www.letsgodigital.org)
  10. ^ Digital Photo Gallery (www.letsgodigital.org)
  11. ^ Mobile Phones (www.letsgomobile.org)
  12. ^ Banner Advertising (www.letsgodigital.org)
  13. ^ Photography News (www.letsgodigital.org)
  14. ^ Camera Reviews (www.letsgodigital.org)
  15. ^ HTC Desire smartphones (www.letsgodigital.org)
  16. ^ HTC Desire LTE smartphones (www.letsgodigital.org)
  17. ^ HTC Desire 510 (www.letsgodigital.org)
  18. ^ ZTE ZMAX Pro Android phone (www.letsgodigital.org)
  19. ^ HTC 2016 (www.letsgodigital.org)
  20. ^ Smartphones 2016 (www.letsgodigital.org)
  21. ^ HTC Smartphones 2016 (www.letsgodigital.org)
  22. ^ HTC 10 smartphone (www.letsgodigital.org)
  23. ^ HTC One M9 Prime Camera Edition (www.letsgodigital.org)
  24. ^ HTC Desire Android phones (www.letsgodigital.org)
  25. ^ HTC Vive virtual reality system (www.letsgodigital.org)
  26. ^ HTC One X9 beautifully crafted smartphone (www.letsgodigital.org)
  27. ^ HTC RE Camera receives design Award (www.letsgodigital.org)
  28. ^ HTC One E9+ Dual SIM handset (www.letsgodigital.org)
  29. ^ HTC One M9+ (www.letsgodigital.org)
  30. ^ HTC Desire LTE smartphones (www.letsgodigital.org)
  31. ^ HTC One M9 4K smartphone (www.letsgodigital.org)
  32. ^ HTC One M9 (www.letsgodigital.org)
  33. ^ HTC Desire 320 (www.letsgodigital.org)
  34. ^ HTC Desire 826 photography features (www.letsgodigital.org)
  35. ^ HTC Desire 826 smartphone (www.letsgodigital.org)
  36. ^ HTC Nexus 9 (www.letsgodigital.org)
  37. ^ Latest news headlines (www.letsgodigital.org)
  38. ^ HTC Desire 530 now available at T-Mobile (www.letsgodigital.org)
  39. ^ ZTE ZMAX Pro Android phone (www.letsgodigital.org)
  40. ^ Nikon Monarch Fieldscopes (www.letsgodigital.org)
  41. ^ HTC 10 smartphone (www.letsgodigital.org)
  42. ^ Nikon Monarch binoculars (www.letsgodigital.org)
  43. ^ Apple iPhone SE smartphone (www.letsgodigital.org)
  44. ^ Samsung removable flash memory cards (www.letsgodigital.org)
  45. ^ Sony Full-Frame 50mm lens (www.letsgodigital.org)
  46. ^ Canon PIXMA All-in-One home printers (www.letsgodigital.org)
  47. ^ Fujifilm X-T2 mirrorless digital camera (www.letsgodigital.org)
  48. ^ Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Limited Edition (www.letsgodigital.org)
  49. ^ Samsung Galaxy S7 unlocked versions (www.letsgodigital.org)
  50. ^ Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 smartphone printer (www.letsgodigital.org)
  51. ^ Sandisk iXpand for Apple smartphones and tablets (www.letsgodigital.org)
  52. ^ Hasselblad X1D medium format camera (www.letsgodigital.org)

Motorola VerveOnes True Wireless Earbuds Review

The Bluetooth wireless movement for earbuds was not without a bit of contention. If they still have a cable, albeit not having to attach to a mobile device, are they really wireless? Fortunately, some manufacturers also asked the same question, and they were hot on the heels to deliver a truly wireless earbud (no wire, whatsoever). Years ago, the Bragi Dash1 was the first imagining of a completely wireless earbud device, but fast forward to today and there s other key players, including Earin2, who don t want to miss out on the fun. Many consumers probably don t know that Motorola is now part of the action. Its new earbud is called the VerveOnes and we re reviewing them for you today.

Overview

Price: $199 on Amazon3Available: July 2016Model: Motorola VerveOne/SH001

Summary: The Motorola VerveOnes is no where near perfect, but it does a couple things very right. The carrying case looks and works great, and the earbud ergonomics is spot-on. We just wish that the audio delivery was more refined, which will likely keep it off our list of best headphones for working out4.

What We Liked

  • Well-thought-out carrying case, which doubles as a battery pack
  • Easy to use
  • Snug and secure fit, even while working out

What We Didn t

  • They re fairly large
  • Right earpiece would sometimes cut off
  • Audible hiss is present
  • Audio quality leaves to be desired

VerveOnes Specs

Frequency Range Unknown Impedance Unknown Bluetooth Standard Version 4.1 Bluetooth Range 33 feet Battery Life 3 hours of playback (12 hours total with periodic charging from case’s battery) Weight 68 grams Rechargeable Battery Carrying Case Eartip Sizes S, M, L (single and double flange) Price $1995

Design

On the surface, there s not a lot to the VerveOnes earbuds. That s the point after all, to minimize how much you have to carry around to get your tunes. However, because all you get are earpieces, handling needs some extra thought. Motorola s solution is a snazzy cylindrical capsule that greets you upon opening the packaging. There s nothing spectacular about the hard plastic build, but it s obvious that the case s appeal is in the simplicity and efficiency. As I saw the earpieces lay nicely nestled in their dedicated pockets, I questioned, What s to keep them from falling out?

I then quickly noticed that the ridged part of the case is actually a twist-able knob. When you turn it, the inner plastic rotates and the earpieces become hidden within the unit. Great idea, Motorola.

The case design makes it effortless to remove/place the earbuds. A snug fit ensures they won t easily fall out. The opening rotates to completely enclose and protect the earbuds.

You hear a satisfying click when they re 180 degrees around, which means that there s a little bit of force opposing rotation (to help against inadvertently opening the case and potentially losing the earbuds6). My only complaint is that there s no clearance between the case s housing and the top of the earpieces when they go under, resulting in a plastic-to-plastic rubbing that may cause chaffing over time.

You d be correct to expect the earpieces to be a little on the large side. After all, everything is packed into them (Bluetooth radio, sensors, battery, etc.). Design-wise, Motorola also aims for simplicity/effortlessness here. The earpieces are essentially fat, oval capsules, split between hard plastic on the outer half and a rubbery, silicone-like material on the inner half. There s a distinct button on the outer surface, which is garnished with a silver ring.

The VerveOnes aren t necessarily lookers, but they re functional and easy to use. Rather than have their on microUSB port for charging, the earpieces charge through the case. A set of five connector contacts on the belly of the earpieces line up with pins within their slots in the case. The shape of the slots don t allow you to orient them incorrectly, and you get a satisfying snap when you push them in.

The earbuds easily connect and snap into place in the case. The shape of the openings don t let the user insert the earpieces the wrong way.

Function

I was surprised at how short the ear nozzles are on the VerveOnes. The stock ear tips are also short. I immediately knew that I wouldn t get an appropriate seal out of the box. And earphone users know, seal is of the utmost importance. Fortunately, Motorola not only includes differently sized ear tips in the packaging, but double-flange ones too. These extend further and gave me a sufficient seal.

As suggested earlier, expect that the large earpieces stick out of the ear somewhat. Thankfully, the fit is snug and the earpieces stay in place. This is largely due to how lightweight they are. Part of the appeal of completely wireless earbuds is the convenience for workouts, and the VerveOnes can take it on without falling out.

Despite being large, the rubbery material and lightweight construction ensure an appropriate fit. It s reasonable to expect somewhat of a learning curve to get started with an earbud that just has a single button. Motorola of course packs multiple functions into it.

But getting up and running is actually as simple as it can be. The earbuds know when you remove them from their silos and place them within your ears; they start up right away. In the first use, you re greeted by a voice that tells you to pair them with your mobile device, and viola. However, the playback controls are a different story. You ll need to read the manual for that part. It s important to note that the VerveOnes don t utilize a touch sensor, like on the Bragi Dash, for instance. Control is only through button presses.

Therefore, you won t get as many functions or intuitive controls (like swiping up or down to adjust the volume). It s interesting that although both earpieces have their own button, they both do the same thing. In contrast, the Bragi Dash puts different controls on each earpiece. Motorola s priority may have been that of simplicity.

Each earpiece has the same single button on top, which has a nice, tactile click. Underneath is an LED indicator that blinks red when the earbuds are low on battery. You actually can t change the volume from the earpieces. It can only be done through the mobile device.

The only playback controls you get with the button are play/pause (single press) and next/previous track (double/triple presses). Motorola also thought about incoming calls. A dual-microphone system allows you to effortlessly take calls, and you can toggle voice command functions through your mobile device (Apple s Siri or Android s Google Now). It s important to know that the carrying case doesn t just hold and charge the VerveOnes, but it has its own battery. So you can keep the earbuds charged up even on the go. And the case s battery can be charged separately, like a power bank. That said, you d be correct to expect that the earbuds have a lackluster playtime from full to empty, at only about 3 hours.

There s just only so much space in the earpieces for a battery. The case s battery pack is Motorola s mitigation for this concern, in which there s enough for 4 full charges. So not taking into account the charging time, that equates to about 12 hours of playback.

The Bluetooth range is at a healthy 33 feet. But we must mention that we observed the right earpiece cut off at times. We couldn t figure out what caused it. When it happened, it would struggle to regain a stable connection. We figured out that pausing and restarting the music would fix the issue, so it was just a minor annoyance.

Sound

Audio enthusiasts may not expect much audio prowess from such an ambitious earbud or from a company that doesn t have much of an audio portfolio, but the VerveOnes do come with the promise of deep, rich HD sound . To that, I d say it depends what your reference is. As an audiophile, I m not overly impressed. Despite being on the balanced setting (Motorola provides 6 different EQ profile options), the spectrum is overtaken by a warm, bassy presence. And speaking of which, the bass bloated nature makes for a muddiness that significantly takes away from the promise of HD reproduction. It s not all bad, though. The mid-to-high frequencies come through equally as well.

I appreciated that vocals are realistic and that the mid-range didn t just feel 2-D. Although the perceived soundstage isn t very wide, the sounds fill out the space that they have quite nicely. Detail captured in the treble region is sufficient, but the drivers can t grab those upper frequencies. It s honestly hard to recommend the VerveOnes from an audio perspective. I just feel like $199 should get you clearer and better defined sound quality. Then there s also the issue of hiss. All true wireless earbuds seem to suffer from noticeable background hiss, and the VerveOnes is no exception.

The music can drown it out, but it ll rear it s head around when the audio gets silent.

Final Thoughts

Like most of the completely wireless earbuds on the market right now, the VerveOnes is also a mixed bag. Although, we must keep in mind that this concept is new territory. First-gen devices are never perfect. That said, Motorola did a few things excellently. We loved how simple and efficient the carrying case is, and how easy it is to use the earbuds.

We weren t too impressed with the audio quality, but if you mostly care about the convenience, then the $199 price tag isn t too shabby.

References

  1. ^ Bragi Dash (www.gadgetreview.com)
  2. ^ Earin (www.gadgetreview.com)
  3. ^ $199 on Amazon (www.amazon.com)
  4. ^ of best headphones for working out (www.gadgetreview.com)
  5. ^ $199 (www.amazon.com)
  6. ^ earbuds (www.gadgetreview.com)
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