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13 steps to perfect snapping

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LG’s latest flagship smartphone, the G5 gives users the opportunity to fully experience the joy of photography. Here are 13 ways to get you snapping like a pro.

Cartier-Bresson is widely regarded as one of the greatest photographers of all time and once said, “To photograph is to hold one’s breathe, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.”

Here are 13 ways to get you snapping like a pro, provided by LG:

1. Accessing the manual mode

One of the best ways to start capturing those significant moments with the LG G5 is by accessing the manual mode.  To access the manual mode, you’ll have to tap the 3-dot icon at the top-left of the screen, which brings up the three main modes: Simple, Auto and Manual.

The manual mode allows you to control the white balance, focus, exposure, ISO, shutter speed and AE-L.  The white balance allows you as the user to alter the colour tone, compensating for unnatural lighting or to create skewed colour effects.

The purpose of the ISO is that it determines the sensitivity of the sensor. When choosing darker environments to take pictures, you will need to use a higher setting. The AE-L, locks the exposure, letting you use the light level as a creative effect, making shots either much brighter or darker than the G5 would normally use.

2. How to use manual mode to get noise free shots

All you’ll have to do is set the ISO to 200 (it goes down to ISO 50), then use the shutter speed control to see how slow you need to go for low-noise results. The benefit of using the G5 is that it has optical image stabilisation (OIS), you can make the shutter go fairly slow and still get sharp photos.

3. Shooting RAWs

RAW files are what you get when you take the ‘raw’ information from a camera sensor, before reducing the noise level and smoothing things out. Using RAWs allows you to do your own processing, often ending up with a finer detailed image.

The G5 allows you to shoot RAWs by simply accessing the manual mode and tapping the second icon from the bottom of the screen, over on the left column. This will allow for the shooting of RAW and JPEG files, rather than just JPEGs. RAWs come out as a file known as DNG (Digital NeGative file).

4. Using the second camera as “zoom out”

The G5 has dual cameras (16 MP f1.8 main camera has 78-degree angle view and the 8MP additional camera captures a 135-degree super wide-angle image) to take your digital photograph to the next level. It has a new, unique feature like pop – out photo, capturing more with the zoom out.

In the camera app you can switch between lenses via a button, and when using the digital zoom the camera switches seamlessly between the two modules. The autofocus is assisted by a laser that measures the subject distance.

5. Use the main camera for the best image quality

The 16MP wide angle camera of the LG G5 is the best Android camera on the market giving users a fish-eye effect in every shot. What it means for the users is that the camera allows you to fit much more of the scene into a single photo.

6. Changing photo and video resolution

Should users want to play with different size images for that perfect selfie, they can switch to 4:3 or 1:1 images by tapping on the cog icon at the bottom-left of the screen and selecting the top option in the menu that pops up.

As well as changing the shape of photos, they can also alter the video resolution.  The G5 normally shoots 1080p video users can level-up to UHD (the exact resolution of ‘4K video’).

7. Video stabilisation

For that perfect steady shot users can find the option for video stabilization near the bottom of the camera settings menu, which you access by tapping the cog icon. Tapping on this flicks between SteadyShot stabilisation and OIS, if you’re using the standard camera lens in Auto mode.

The former is what most phones use, a digital enhancer that uses the edges of the frame as a buffer to smooth-out any movements. This leaves you with a slightly more ‘zoomed-in’ view than you get when taking photos. That’s one reason why you might use OIS instead, which uses the little camera stabilisation motor to keep your footage smooth.

8. Simple mode is great for simple photography

Simple mode is found by tapping the 3-dot icon at the top-left of the camera app.

Simple mode takes away almost all custom features you get with the other options. All you do is tap on the object on which you want to focus and the LG G5 camera app both focuses and takes a shot as quickly as possible.

9. Shortcut key for instant photos

In the main phone Settings menu, go to the General tab and then select Shortcut key. In here you’ll see a flick switch for Quick Shot. Make sure it’s switched on. This lets you press the volume down button twice quickly when the phone is off to fire-up the camera and take a photo.

10. Timelapse + wide-angle camera = cool movies

The G5 has several ‘creative’ modes in its camera app and Time Lapse is one of the more interesting ones. This shoots video, but at 1/15 the normal speed. That means it takes two frames a second rather than the usual 30.

Use this with the wide-angle camera and you’ll get footage that resembles some of the stuff GoPros are used for in action sport footage.

11. Use the grid display for landscape photography

The G5 has a grid option to stop those uneven photos and help you align or center pictures properly. What it means for the user is that you get another reference point of where to line-up the horizon, as well as helping you work out what you want the focus of the picture/image/photo to be.

You’ll find Grid at the very bottom of the camera app Settings menu, accessed by tapping on the cog icon.

12. Use 30sec exposure to make something special

The G5 can keep its shutter open for up to 30 seconds.  What it means for the user is that it merges all the light information from that half-minute stint into a single image.

What one can do while using the 30sec long-exposure photography is shoot a road where car lights turn into streaming neon lines, and create noise-free night shots that almost look like daylight photos.

13. 360 Cam

The G5 is the only Android smartphone on the market that comes with a series of module accessories (Friends) that fit onto its bottom and one in particular where users have been raving about is the 360 Cam.

The LG 360 CAM provides 2K video and 5.1 surround channel recording on three microphones to help users effortlessly create high-quality 360-degree contents. Having secured a partnership with Google, images taken with the 360 CAM can be uploaded to Google Street View and YouTube360, adding the fun of sharing creative content with others.

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Acer gaming beast escapes

Acer this week unveiled two notebooks that take portable gaming to new extremes.

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Acer  unveiled two new Predator Helios gaming notebooks this week at the next@acer global press conference in New York. They include the powerful Predator Helios 500, featuring up to 8th Gen Intel Core i9+ processors, and the Predator Helios 300 Special Edition that includes upgraded specs from its predecessor and a distinctive white chassis. Both feature VR-Ready performance, advanced thermal technologies, and blazing-fast connectivity.

“We’ve expanded our Predator Helios gaming notebook line in response to popular demand from gamers seeking extreme performance on the go,” said Jerry Kao, President of IT Products Business, Acer. “The Predator Helios 500 and Helios 300 gaming notebooks feature Acer’s proprietary thermal technologies and powerful components that, coupled with our award-winning software, deliver unparalleled gaming experiences.”

“The 8th Gen Intel Core i9+ processor for gaming and creation laptops is the highest performance Intel has ever delivered for this class of devices; purpose built for enthusiasts who demand premium gaming experiences whether at home or on the go,” said Steve Long, Vice President and General Manager, Client Computing Group Sales and Marketing, Intel. “Intel and Acer’s long relationship has produced amazing products over the years, and the new Acer Predator Helios gaming notebooks are powerful examples of what’s possible with this unprecedented level of performance.”

Predator Helios 500 is a gaming beast featuring overclocking, 4K 144 Hz panels

Designed for extreme gamers, the Predator Helios 500 is a gaming beast. It features up to overclockable 8th Gen Intel Core i9+ processors and overclockable GeForce GTX 1070 graphics. Intel Optane memory increases responsiveness and load times, while ultra-fast NVMePCIe SSDs, Killer DoubleShot Pro networking, and up to 64GB of memory keep the action going, making the Helios 500 the ideal gaming notebook for graphic-intensive AAA titles and live streaming.

Top-notch visuals are delivered on bright, vibrant 4K UHD or FHD IPS 17.3-inch displays with 144Hz refresh rates for blur- and tear-free gameplay. NVIDIA G-SYNC technology is supported on both the built-in display and external monitors, allowing for buttery-smooth imagery without tearing or stuttering. For those looking for maximum gaming immersion, dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, and display and HDMI 2.0 ports support up to three external monitors. Two speakers, a subwoofer, and Acer TrueHarmony and Waves MAXXAudio technology deliver incredible sound and hyper-realistic 3D audio using Waves Nx.

The Helios 500 stays cool with two of Acer’s proprietary AeroBlade 3D metal fans, and five heat pipes that distribute cool air to the machine’s key components while simultaneously releasing hot air. Fan speed can be controlled and customized through the PredatorSense app.

A backlit RGB keyboard offers four lighting zones with support for up to 16.8 million colors. Anti-ghosting technology provides the ultimate control for executing complex commands and combos, which can be set up via five dedicated programmable keys.

Acer’s PredatorSense app can be used to control and monitor the notebook’s vitals from one central interface, including overclocking, lighting, hotkeys, temperature, and fan control.

Predator Helios 300 Special Edition brings a sophisticated design twist to gaming notebooks

Acer’s budget-friendly Helios 300 gaming line sees the addition of a Special Edition model featuring an all-white aluminum chassis accented with gold trim, an unusually chic design for gaming notebooks.

The Helios 300 Special Edition (PH315-51) allows for ultra-smooth gameplay via its 15.6-inch FHD IPS display with an upgraded 144Hz refresh rate. The rapid refresh rate shortens frame rendering time and lowers input lag to give gamers an excellent in-game experience. It’s powered by up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7+ processor, overclockable GeForce GTX 1060 graphics, up to a 512 GB PCIe Gen 3 NVMe solid state drive, and up to a 2 TB hard disk drive.

The Helios 300 Special Edition also comes equipped with up to 16 GB of DDR4 memory, and is upgradable to 32GB. Intel Optane memory speeds up load times of games and applications, access to information and improves overall system responsiveness. In addition, Gigabit Ethernet provides fast wired connections, while Gigabit Wi-Fi is provided by the latest Intel Wireless-AC 9560 that delivers up to 1.73Gbps throughput when using 160 MHz channels (2×2 802.11ac, dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz).

The Helios 300 Special Edition also includes two of Acer’s ultrathin (0.1 mm) all-metal AeroBlade 3D fans designed with advanced aerodynamics and superior airflow to keep the system cool. They can be controlled with Acer’s PredatorSense app, which offers three usage modes:

1. Coolboost mode:

For heavy loading games, rendering, streaming, and extended video consumption

2. Normal mode:

For productivity tools like Microsoft Office

3. Silent mode:

For web browsing and online chatting

Price and Availability

Predator Helios 500 will be available in South Africa in June starting at R34 999.00

Helios 300 Special Edition will be available in South Africa in August 2018. Exact Price will be communicated closer to the time.

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LG G7 arrives in SA

LG this week introduced South Africa to its latest premium smartphone, the LG G7 ThinQ, focused on bringing useful and convenient AI features to the smartphone experience.

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Powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform, the LG G7 ThinQ offers 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage to run demanding tasks and apps with. It is equipped with a 6.1-inch Super Bright Display, but the LG G7 ThinQ remains compact enough to use with one hand.

Sporting a new design aesthetic for the G series, the polished metal rim gives the LG G7 ThinQ a sleeker, more refined look, complemented by Gorilla Glass 5 on both the front and the back for enhanced durability. Rated IP68 for dust and water resistance, the LG G7 ThinQ is also awarded MIL-STD 810 c certification, having been subjected to a range of extreme temperature and environment tests designed by the United States military.

The LG G7 ThinQ has an 8MP camera up front, rendering clear and natural selfies, with two 16MP cameras at the back that deliver higher resolution photos with more detail, as well as a Super Wide Angle configuration.

As with other leading brands, LG has evolved its signature camera by including AI functionality. The AI CAM offers 19 shooting modes for intelligence-optimised shots. Users can also improve their photos by choosing from an additional three effect options should the AI CAM recommendation not suit their taste.

The new Super Bright Camera captures images that are up to four times brighter than typical photos shot in dim light. Through the combination of pixel binning and software processing, the AI algorithm adjusts the camera settings automatically when shooting in low light.

Live Photo Mode records one second before and after the shutter is pressed for snippets of unexpected moments or expressions that would normally be missed. Stickers uses face recognition to generate fun 2D and 3D overlays, such as sunglasses and headbands, that can be viewed directly on the display.

New to the G series is Portrait Mode, which generates professional-looking shots with out-of-focus backgrounds. This effect can be generated using both front and rear standard lenses as well as the rear Super Wide Angle lens.

LG G7 ThinQ offers further AI functionality with the inclusion of Google Lens features. Google Lens is a new way to search using the AI and computer vision. Google Assistant and Google Photos allow users to access more information on objects such as landmarks, plants, animals, and books. It can identify text or visit websites, add business cards to contacts, events to the calendar or look up an item on a restaurant menu.

A button just below the volume keys launches the AI functionality. A single tap of this button launches the Google Assistant, while two quick taps launches Google Lens. Users can also hold down the button to start talking to the Google Assistant without the repetition of the OK Google command.

With Super Far Field Voice Recognition (SFFVR) and the highly-sensitive G7ThinQ microphone, the Google Assistant can recognise voice commands from up to five meters away. SFFVR is able to separate commands from background noise, making the LG G7 ThinQ an alternative to a home AI speaker, even when the TV is on. Commands for the Google Assistant have been increased in the LG G7 ThinQ so users can get more done with their voice alone.

“The LG G7 ThinQ is strongly focused on the fundamentals and its launch marks a new chapter for our company,” said Deon Prinsloo, General Manager for Mobile Communication, LG Electronics S.A Pty Ltd. “Through the combination of personalised and useful AI functionalities with meaningful smartphone features, this is LG’s most convenient and in the moment smartphone yet.”

Key Specifications

  • Mobile Platform: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform
  • Display: 6.1-inch QHD+ 19.5:9 FullVision Super Bright Display (3120 x 1440 / 564ppi)
  • Memory:
    • LG G7 ThinQ: 4GB LPDDR4x RAM / 64GB UFS 2.1 ROM / MicroSD (up to 2TB)
  • Camera:
    • Rear Dual: 16MP Super Wide Angle (F1.9 / 107°) / 16MP Standard Angle (F1.6 / 71°)
    • Front: 8MP Wide Angle (F1.9 / 80°)
  • Battery: 3000mAh
  • OS: Android 8.0 Oreo
  • Size: 153.2 x 71.9 x 7.9mm
  • Weight: 162g
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac / Bluetooth 5.0 BLE / NFC / USB Type-C 2.0 (3.1 compatible)
  • Colours: New Aurora Black
  • Others: Super Bright Display / New Second Screen / AI CAM / Super Bright Camera / Super Far Field Voice Recognition / Boombox Speaker / Google Lens / AI Haptic / Hi-Fi Quad DAC / DTS:X 3D Surround Sound / IP68 Water and Dust Resistance / HDR10 / Google Assistant Key / Face Recognition / Fingerprint Sensor / Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 Technology / Wireless Charging / MIL-STD 810G Compliant / FM Radio
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