Product Promotion Network

Sony

Reference Library – Mobile Phones – Sony

Samsung, LG, Panasonic and Sony reveal TV line-ups for 2018

The leading TV manufacturers have revealed their hand for 2018, and Sony has even released a few of its TVs (the 55, 65 and 75-inch[1] versions of the XF90 series). We haven’t got full reviews yet, but there’s plenty we can consider before our experts fully examine them. The size of these tellies and the technology inside them all give an inkling into where the market is heading in 2018. Rivalries and partnerships are forming around the displays these TVs use and the HDR formats they support, with all the brands seeming to agree that 43-inch 4K TVs just aren’t worth making anymore.

Let’s delve deeper into what these trends mean for TVs in the years to come. Samsung[2], LG, Panasonic[3] and Sony’s 2018 TVs revealed[4]: everything you need to know about the new models to help you choose your ideal set.

Don’t expect much choice below 49 inches

We published a story recently about the death of the 32-inch TV[5]. This time next year we may be writing something similar about 43-inch models, too.

Sony’s 4K range has only two 43-inch TVs. It’s the same with Samsung and Panasonic, while LG’s 2018 line-up has just one 43-inch option. It’s possible we’ll see variants of these 43-inch sets available in different colours or with slight design tweaks, and there may be one or two more released later in the year.

But when you consider that Samsung has 11 different series in its 2018 line-up and only two of them have a 43-inch option, it’s clear that these TVs aren’t top of the priority list. It’s no secret that you can see more of the detail in 4K content on larger screens and, as Ultra HD video becomes more widespread, the demand for bigger displays that show it off to its fullest will increase. TV manufacturers may already be pre-empting this by nudging people towards 50 and 55-inch TVs, but there’s good reason to upgrade to something larger if you currently have a 32 or 43-inch TV.

With so few 43-inch 4K TVs available in 2018, it’s possible that in 2019 they will be relegated to the Full HD TV graveyard along with 32-inch sets.

HDR10+ and Dolby Vision go to war

There are five HDR formats that TVs from the various manufacturers support in 2018. You can read our extensive guide on HDR[6] if you’re curious about how the technology works and how they differ. HDR10+ and Dolby Vision are two formats that are butting heads in an attempt to become a new industry standard adopted by all TV manufacturers and all content creators.

HDR10 is the current standard and every HDR TV supports it, but it has its limitations, which are addressed by both Dolby Vision and HDR10+. You’ll find Dolby Vision on LG and Sony TVs, while Panasonic and Samsung TVs use HDR10+ instead. Both formats improve HDR in the same way, which you can read about in our guide.

So why have two? Will either of them become the new standard adopted by all manufacturers? HDR10+ was developed by Samsung and is supported by Amazon Prime Video and 20th Century Fox.

Interestingly, Fox is now owned by Disney, which supports Dolby Vision. Samsung has been creating the format for years and, unlike Dolby Vision, it’s free to use. For a manufacturer to add Dolby Vision support to its TV, and for content creators and studios to use it, they must pay a licence fee to Dolby.

Since HDR10+ is free, you would expect all these companies to flock to it, but it’s who broadcasters flock to that may matter more. One of the key features of Dolby Vision is dual-layered data transmission, which can send SDR and HDR video at the same time, which makes it easier to broadcast. If TV stations around the world use Dolby Vision over HDR10+, then even the mighty Samsung may need to admit defeat.

That’s not something Samsung likes to do. It has always blazed its own trail, including with the displays it uses.

Samsung thinks LCD is better than OLED, but develops similar technology to it anyway

Of the big four, only Samsung is yet to release an OLED TV. OLED is synonymous with premium, high-end TVs, and Samsung knows that.

Samsung still extols the virtues of LCD displays and the quantum dot technology it adds to its QLED range, which it believes offers better brightness and more vibrant colours over OLED sets. But that hasn’t prevented it from developing new display technology that works just like OLED. ‘The Wall’, Samsung’s enormous 146-inch TV, is arriving some time this year, and will be the first TV to use Samsung’s new micro-LED tech.

Where LCD displays use an LED backlight to create the images on screen, the bulbs in a micro-LED display can be switched on and off individually, just like on an OLED panel, allowing for deeper blacks and a greater overall contrast. The Wall is more of a showpiece than anything else, but in the years to come we should see micro-LED trickle down into Samsung’s more affordable sets. Samsung clearly understands the benefits of OLED displays, but it has also sought to improve on it with micro-LED.

The O in OLED stands for organic, which refers to the material creating the light. Samsung says this material is susceptible to burn-in (when a faint image appears on screen and can’t be removed) and that it can’t reach the brightness levels of the inorganic material used in micro-LED displays.

What else can you expect?

  • Samsung is doing its own thing but Sony and Panasonic are doubling their OLED output in 2018, and with five new ranges LG shows no signs of slowing down. OLEDs are here to stay.
  • Get used to talking to your TV because Alexa, Google Assistant and Bixby will be the easiest way to navigate through the settings and content available on your TV.

    We don’t think they will replace traditional remotes anytime soon, though.

References

  1. ^ 75-inch (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ Samsung (preview.internal.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ Panasonic (preview.internal.which.co.uk)
  4. ^ Sony’s 2018 TVs revealed (preview.internal.which.co.uk)
  5. ^ the death of the 32-inch TV (www.which.co.uk)
  6. ^ guide on HDR (www.which.co.uk)

Sony Xperia XZ2 And XZ2 Compact: UK Prices And Release Dates

Sony’s announced its new Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact phones at Mobile World Congress, phones which build on the HDR and slow motion video capabilities of last year’s line up. As well as being able to play HDR video files, the XZ2 range can also render standard video content in a higher dynamic range and shoot 1080p slow motion video at 960fps. As for when these will be available to buy in the UK, we’re starting to see details emerge.

We’ll keep this page updated with fresh info as and when we get it.

Best Sony Xperia XZ2 Deals on EE

EE’s picking up the Xperia XZ2 and it’ll be available to pre-order from the 22nd of March.

Interestingly, if you register your interest anytime between now and the 21st of March, you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win a trip to Japan, including a visit to Sony’s HQ.

The link you’ll need to follow to sign up for this competition is here[1] – but at the time of writing, it’s 404ing, so keep checking.

Best Sony Xperia XZ2 Deals on Vodafone

Vodafone has not yet posted any deals or dropped any pricing info for the XZ2, merely confirming that it’ll be selling it at some point this year.

References

  1. ^ sign up for this competition is here (ee.co.uk)

Is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G9 a Best Buy mirrorless camera?

If you’re considering a new camera, our recent digital camera reviews include some of the latest mirrorless models available. Among the cameras tested this month is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G9, available in two different configurations – the G9M and G9L. The main difference between the two is the lens bundled with the camera.

But are these Panasonic models good enough to be Best Buys? Find out by clicking through to our full reviews below. Our latest batch of cameras also includes a model that has one of the fastest continuous-shooting speeds we’ve ever seen, without any compromise in the resolution.

DSLR and mirrorless camera reviews[1] – discover the best camera for you, whatever your budget.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G9

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G9 comes in two different lens bundles – the DMC-G9L (GBP2,019) and the DMC-G9M (GBP1,669). The ‘L’ notation represents the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm lens, while ‘M’ is for the Lumix G Vario 12-60mm lens. We’ve tested both configurations to find out which is best.

Designed to compete with the Fujifilm X-T2 and Nikon D500, the G9 is Panasonic’s new flagship camera for still photography. This means that while the G9 can capture 4K video, it’s best suited to people who want to focus more on taking stills. Regardless of the lens type, both G9 models include a 20Mp micro four thirds-sized sensor, 5-axis image stabilisation, a 3-inch touchscreen display, 4K video recording and a large electronic viewfinder.

Do either of these cameras from Panasonic follow the trend of other model from the G series? Read our Panasonic Lumix DMC-G9L review[2] and Panasonic Lumix DMC-G9M review[3] to find out.

Sony Alpha a7R III

The Sony Alpha a7R III (GBP3,199) is Sony’s latest attempt at a high-end, full-frame mirrorless camera, and an update to the a7R II. It includes a 42Mp sensor in a compact, DSLR-style body, plus a large electronic viewfinder.

The a7R III is ideal for capturing fast-action shots and high-resolution still images. It also has an excellent continuous-shooting speed. If you’re not already invested in the Canon or Nikon library of lenses with your existing camera, the a7R III is worth a look to test the Sony waters.

Is this latest revision in the series an upgrade or a downgrade in terms of image quality and handling? Read our full Sony Alpha a7R III review[4] for everything you need to know.

What makes a Best Buy camera?

To receive our Best Buy rating, a camera has to excel in all our tests. Below, we’ve detailed some of the key tests that help you with your buying decision:

  • Image quality – We take photos in a range of conditions, including in bright outdoor natural light, indoors, and in low light.

    And we try the camera with different settings, using the bundled kit lens at both its wide-angle and telephoto settings, and using the camera in both automatic and manual modes.

  • Ease of use – Our digital camera testing uncovers any hidden hiccups or design flaws you might miss in the shop. We expect cameras to have quick and intuitive controls, well-placed buttons and dials, a comfortable grip for steady shooting, logical menus and a good range of features.
  • Video quality – We set each camera to shoot video of two different scenes, at a range of different quality settings. Our tests are looking for whether it can capture fine detail and colour in clothing or objects, while checking how well it handles fast movement.
  • Viewfinder and monitor – We check both carefully to see whether they provide the clarity, detail and field of view you need to help you compose your photos and make creative decisions.

    We also assess them both in low light and bright sunlight.

A Best Buy camera provides the best high-quality photos and videos, is simple to use for beginners and enthusiasts alike, and keeps the images free of blur and shake.

On the other hand, a Don’t Buy camera will provide poor-quality photos and video, is difficult to use and has treacle-like shutter speed.

References

  1. ^ DSLR and mirrorless camera reviews (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ Panasonic Lumix DMC-G9L review (www.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ Panasonic Lumix DMC-G9M review (www.which.co.uk)
  4. ^ Sony Alpha a7R III review (www.which.co.uk)

1 2 3 877