Ok, so you’re all packed and about to go for a holiday. Comfortable shoes? Check. iPod? Check. Sun glasses? Check. Trusted Blackberry and charger? Check. Camera? Wait…isn’t your phone good enough to capture your precious memories? I think not. Let me tell you why you need a digital camera and why the camera on the back of your phone is just not good enough.
But firstly, what is a digital camera? It’s a device that captures or records still or moving subjects and stores the memories for later viewing on a digital medium such as a memory card. So wouldn’t you be happy if the memories are captured in higher quality so that when you play back your photos or videos, you can truly relive the moment?
The best picture quality comes from the best combination of lens, engine, and sensor. These three elements are crucial to any digital camera and in capturing the best possible image. So why do you need that camera, again?
Well, firstly the sensor in your still camera is around nine times larger than the sensor on your mobile, which means much more light falls onto the sensor. Generally speaking, the larger the sensor, the better the likely hood of getting clearer stills and videos, even in low light conditions.
What about the lens? The lens on a mobile phone is way too small and does not have the aspherical coating to give you distortion-free images. Sounds a bit technical, but again the better the lens, the better the image, which means straight lines appear straight and the color reproduction is faithful to the actual color of the object. And with features like image stabilization, you can ensure you get blur free images and sharp, bounce-free videos, even if shot while you were walking.
When it comes to expressing your creativity these days, mobile phones – particularly the smartphones – are equipped with quite a few art filters or apps so that photos of objects can be made to look interesting. However, you still cannot beat the clarity and the capability of your still camera. Shoot a photo in RAW format, and you have complete flexibility to change the image to your liking, which you just can’t do with an image shot by a mobile phone. What’s more is that if you are traveling and you want to capture photos or videos of distant objects, your mobile phone with limited digital zoom capabilities will be beaten hands down by your friend’s camera with an optical zoom lens. These days very compact cameras offer extremely high zoom ratios so you are never too far from the subject you want to shoot.
Ok, so let’s say you are still not convinced. The main reason to have your phone with you is to get in touch with people and communicate, right? So imagine you are out in the wilderness with your phone battery flat out and no way to capture the scenic sunset. Wouldn’t you be better off had you carried your camera with you? I don’t want to say it, but it sounds like an ‘I told you so’ moment. Or what about when you see your favorite celebrity, the burst shooting mode on your camera will allow you to show off your professional side by capturing multiple images in a short period of time, ensuring that there is at least one image that captured the moment in all its glory. But because your phone can’t shoot in burst mode (with the exception of very new models) you may end up not being able to take the photo in time. Once again, your digital camera comes out on top.
For picture quality, clarity and detail, the digital camera is your best friend for your holiday – the tiny camera at the back of your mobile phone may be good, but it’s just not good enough.
Home Theaters come in different shapes and sizes- from the 4 Tall Boy speaker configurations (4 Tall floor standing speakers) to a Sound Bar (a bar that gives you 2.1 channels or 5.1 channel virtual output). Buying a new Home Theatre there requires several factors to be considered and below, I highlight some of the factors that I recommend you consider before making the payment.
Home Theaters have made their way to TV lounges primarily because of their aesthetic appeal. Therefore, a design matching your flat screen is recommended to add to the aesthetics. And if aesthetics is high on your list, then I suggest to go for the Sound Bar option which looks incredibly sexy and delivers high quality sound with a simple connection. Sound Bars are wall mountable and can be mounted below your flat panel TV.
Panasonic has 2 Sound Bar models- the HTB500 and the HTB10. The BT500 offers dynamic and powerful bass sound from the Kelton Subwoofer, while the HTB10 offers a simple and clean solution. Both these models provide you with clear and crisp vocals thanks to the Bamboo Cone Speakers on-board. Connecting these to your TV is through a simple HDMI cable.
If you prefer a more elaborate configuration, then I suggest our PT980 boasts stylish and glossy design speakers. These slim-sized speakers offer powerful and rich sound with heavy bass performance to bring out the best in cinematic experience. The PT980 goes a step further by allowing you to use it as a docking station for your iPods and iPhones as well.
Continuing with the integration, If you have a Panasonic display, then using out VIEra Link technology, you can have complete control over the Home Theatre, or for that matter other AV devices connected by HDMI cable to the TV, using the VIEra TV remote control. Also, the the new ARC feature lets you enjoy the TV channel sound from your Home Theatre speakers without the need for any addition cables.
If your TV is a Full High Definition TV (1920 x 1080p), you will want to invest in a Blu Ray Home Theatre so you can enjoy the Full HD Blu Ray Movies. Again, Panasonic has two Blu Ray Home Theaters to suit different room sizes. The BT735 is a 4 Tall Boy speaker model, while the BT235 is a 4 Satellite Speaker model. Both these models playback Blu Ray movies and offer a myriad of exciting features to match your Blu Ray experience.
Like always, do plenty of research to ensure that you are happy with the picture, sound and networking solutions on offer from the Home Theatre you are thinking of investing in. Panasonic has on offer a variety of Home Theatre models to suit from large lounge rooms to small bedrooms and with a bank of features to maximize your cinematic visual and audio experience. For more details on Panasonic Home Theatre models, visit panasonic.com.me or visit your nearest electronics outlets.
Before we get into what to look for in a camera, let me briefly explain how a digital still camera works. In simple words, a digital still camera (DSC) records still pictures and videos. Essentially what happens is that the light passes through the lens and falls onto the sensor. When the shutter is pressed, it captures a picture.
The first thing that customers look for, when buying a digital still camera is, ‘how many megapixels does the camera offer’? But the question you have to ask yourself is whether you are going to print the pictures? As more people have now started to realize that to print a standard 6 x 4 picture, all you need is a picture taken in 5 to 6 megapixel resolution.
It’s not all about megapixels. The sensor size and the optics have an equal importance on the final picture quality. That means, you can have the same number of megapixels in sensors with different sizes. The camera with the larger sensor generally will produce better pictures.
Most customers out there a looking for a simple camera that looks stylish and when the shutter button is pressed, it takes a picture. These cameras are broadly called ‘point-&-shoots’. Point-and-shoot cameras require plenty of light and often product better images when used outdoors, particularly during daytime, as compared to indoor shoots or shots in low-light conditions.
If you are in the market for a ‘point-&-shoot’, look for one with a good ‘Auto mode’. One of the highly recommended DSC with a good ‘Auto mode’ is the Panasonic LUMIX with the Intelligent Auto mode. With the LUMIX, once you set the dial to the Intelligent Auto mode, the camera activates up to 6 functions and automatically changes its settings to suit the shooting object and conditions.
The limitation with the point & shoots is that camera does it all for you. That means, it decides where the focus point will be, how much light will fall on the sensor and at what speed the shutter will capture the image.
Larger, and generally more expensive than the point-and-shoots camera’s, are known as ‘bridge’ cameras. As the name suggests, these cameras act as a bridge between the point and shoots and Digital SLR’s. Bridge camera’s generally offer higher optical Zoom (18x Optical Zoom or more) and allow the users to manually change the settings for better control, that is, the ability for the user to be able to control the aperture and shutter to suit the artistic picture a user wishes to capture. However the limitation of a bridge camera is that you are limited to the capabilities of the lens mounted.
When looking for a camera with interchangeable lens option, look for one that best suits your needs. Many interchangeable lens cameras now offer ‘All Time Live View’ that allows you to frame your shots onto the LCD screen, rather than having to look through a tiny view-finder, which is perfect if you are up-grading from a ‘point-&-shoot’ or a ‘bridge’ camera. You would also want to look into a brand that offers a good selection is optional lenses to choose from. Also look for one that is compact and lightweight so you can carry it where-ever you go.
Finally, look for a camera with a good video recording capability. Certain Panasonic LUMIX models offer the flexibility of video’s being captured in AVCHD or Motion JPEG formats. AVCHD offers better picture quality and the user can record footage twice as longer as compared to footage captured in Motion JPEG on same sized SD Card. On the other hand, Motion JPEG is suitable for PC applications for playback on a PC and or uploading to websites such as You Tube.
The bottom line is that users should do as much research as possible and buy a camera that suits you style, needs and photographic requirements.