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Canon unveils new flagship

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Canon has recently release its EOS M5 mirrorless camera, its new flagship device and the first in the EOS range to feature the DIGIC 7 processor.

Canon has unveiled a new EOS M mirrorless camera, the EOS M5, as its new flagship mirrorless camera. The first EOS to include Canon’s DIGIC 7 processor, it includes a 24.2 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and Dual Pixel CMOS AF for sharp, precise photos and dynamic, cinematic movies. It is intended to be a compact companion for high-end photographers, or an alternative to mid-level DSLR cameras.

At the same time, Canon has introduced the EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM, an “all-occasion lens” for EOS M cameras, with a versatile 8.3x optical zoom and 4-stop Image stabiliser for sharp, handheld shots. At just 300g, the lens offers high-end performance in a small body.

Canon supplied the following information:

Nuance of colour and delicacy of light are captured beautifully with the EOS M5 thanks to DIGIC 7, which offers boosted image processing power for lower noise, more detail and richer tones. When combined with Dual Pixel CMOS AF, spontaneous moments can be frozen thanks to DSLR-level AF speeds and accuracy, while sophisticated recognition and subject tracking of DIGIC 7 helps the camera lock onto subjects for longer and more precisely in both movies and stills. With improved clarity and performance, whether you’re on a family holiday or a professional shoot in pursuit of that stand out shot, DIGIC 7 offers the best photography experience.

Bright moments, from summer days to backlit subjects, can be shot with ease using the

24.2 Megapixel sensor, which includes gapless micro lenses to maximise the sensor area, increasing pixel light sensitivity while making the camera less susceptible to digital noise. The sensor – which includes similar technologies to the esteemed EOS 80D – also improves dynamic range and editing latitude for beautiful shades and contrasts.

For situations where shallow depth of field is a must, like portrait photography or moments of creative expression, the EOS M5’s large APS-C sensor makes the effect stand-out and easy to achieve. Whether it is manipulating light or simply shooting in unusual conditions, with the ability to select ISO up to a massive 25,600 with no expansion needed, the EOS M5 is the camera to be carrying for unique, well composed photographs.

While you can make the settings work for you, you can’t always control your subject. From an animal on the move to a moment of sporting brilliance, the EOS M5 comes to life in just one second, and can continually shoot at 7 fps, or 9 fps with fixed AF. For Full HD 60p movies that stay steady even when you don’t, the camera’s five axis-stabilisation keeps frames still even when using non-IS lenses, enhanced even further when using a lens equipped with Dynamic IS.

Designed to be yours

The EOS M5 was created from the inside out, to work for you. The in-built, large electronic viewfinder is centrally placed, for DSLR–like handling, as well as high resolution and fast 120 fps refresh rate for maximum comfort. When using the viewfinder, the LCD touch screen – your portal to every setting – can be turned into a touch pad, letting you use your thumb to change the AF point or zone, mimicking the Multi-controller ‘joy stick’ function of a DSLR. For full control, the premium finish body has several customisable external buttons, including a new thumb operated dial for easy exposure control. For true versatility, the EOS M5 can be used with over 80 EF lenses using the Mount Adapter EF-EOS M with no loss in performance or quality.

Get connected, stay connected

Alongside Wi-Fi and NFC, the EOS M5 offers Bluetooth® connectivity[1] – which creates a constant connection between your smartphone and camera. From there you can view and transfer images without taking the camera out of your bag, as it automatically shifts to Wi-Fi when needed. The feature can also be used to turn your smartphone into a simple, low power remote control for prolonged remote shooting or capturing scenes that require a fast shutter release, such as wildlife shoots.

Perfect quality in every scene – EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM

The EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM is a versatile 8.3x optical zoom range lens that offers the freedom to go wide, or get close, without needing to change lenses. With four stop Image Stabilizer, camera shake is minimised in lowlight – even when shooting handheld, perfect for capturing night time cityscapes or festival fun. Dynamic IS ensures steady footage on-the-move and it works seamlessly with the EOS M5’s in-camera 5-axis digital stabilisation, ensuring every clip is crisp and clear.

Other lens features, including STM Motor technology for near-silent focusing and 7 blade circular, make the EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM a truly all-purpose lens that won’t let you down.

EOS M5 key benefits:

·       Uncompromising EOS quality in a truly portable body

·       Supercharged to capture spontaneous moments

·       Perfect for creative videography

·       Embrace the power and flexibility of EOS

·       Share your images and movies with the world – instantly

EF-M 18-150MM f/3.5-6.3 IS STM key benefits:

·       Versatile yet powerful lens to capture every occasion

·       Keep your stills sharp and movies steady

·       Smooth, quiet STM focusing when shooting movies

·       Perfect companion for your EOS M

·       Capture stunning portraits with beautiful background blur

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Samsung S10 in lock-step with its rivals?

Tonight Samsung will kick off the next round in the smartphone wars with the S10 range, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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When Samsung unveils the new S10 smartphone at an event in San Francisco today, it will mark the beginning of the 2019 round of World War S. That stands for smartphone wars, although Samsung would like it to be all about the S.

Ever since the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4 in 2013, Samsung has held both technology and thought leadership in the handset world. Back then, Apple’s iPhone 5 was the last device from the American manufacturer that could lay claim to being the best smartphone in the world. With the 2013 launch of the iPhone 5s, Apple entered an era of incremental improvement, playing catch-up, and succumbing to market trends driven by its competitors.

Six years later, Samsung is fighting off the same threat. Its Chinese rival, Huawei, suddenly wrested away leadership in the past year, with the P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro regarded as at last equal to the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus and Galaxy Note 9 – if not superior. Certainly, from a cost perspective, Huawei took the lead with its more competitive prices, and therefore more value for money.

Huawei also succeeded where Apple failed: introducing more economical versions of its flagship phones. The iPhone 5c, SE and XR have all been disappointments in the sales department, mainly because the price difference was not massive enough to attract lower-income users. In contrast, the Lite editions of the Huawei P9, P10 and P20 have been huge successes, especially in South Africa.

Today, for the first time in half a decade, Samsung goes into battle on a field laid out by its competitors. It is expected to launch the Galaxy S10 Plus, S10 and S10 e, with the latter being the Samsung answer to the strategy of the iPhone XR and Huawei P20 Lite.

Does this mean Samsung is now in lock-step with its rivals, focused on matching their strategies rather than running ahead of them?

It may seem that way, but Samsung has a few tricks up its electronic sleeve. For example, it is possible it will use the S10 launch to announce its coming range of foldable phones, expected to be called the Galaxy X, Galaxy F, Galaxy Fold or Galaxy Flex. It previewed the technology at a developer conference in San Francisco last November, and this will be the ideal moment to reclaim technology leadership by going into production with foldables – even if the S10 range itself does not shoot out the lights.

However, the S10 handsets will look very different to their predecessors. First, before switching on the phone, they will be notable by the introduction of what is being called the punch-hole display, which breaks away from the current trend of having a notch at the top of the phone to house front-facing cameras and speakers. Instead, the punch-hole is a single round cut-out that will contain the front camera. It is the key element of Samsung’s “Infinity O” display – the O represents the punchhole – which will be the first truly edge-to-edge display, on the sides and top.

The S10 range will use the new Samsung user interface, One UI, also unveiled at the developer conference. It replaces the previous “skin”, unimaginatively called the Samsung Experience, to introduce a strong new interface brand.

One UI went live on the Note 8 last month, giving us a foretaste, and giving Samsung a chance to iron out the bugs in the field. It is a less cluttered interface, addressing one of the biggest complaints about most manufacturer skins. Only Nokia and Google Pixel handsets offer pure Android in the local market, but One UI is Samsung’s best compromise yet.

It introduces a new interaction area, in the bottom half, reachable with the thumb, with a viewing area at the top, allowing the user to work one-handed on the bottom area while still having apps or related content visible above. One UI also improves gesture navigation – the phone picks up hand movements without being touched – and notification management.

The S10 range will be the first phones to feature the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chip, at least for the South African and American markets. That makes it 5G compatible, for when this next generation of mobile broadband becomes available in these markets.

They will also be the first phones to feature Wi-Fi 6, the next generation of the Wi-Fi mobile wireless standard. It will perform better in congested areas, and data transfer will be up to 40% faster than the previous generation.

The phones will be the first to use ultrasound for fingerprint detection. If Samsung gets it right, this will make it the fastest in-screen fingerprint sensor on the market, and allows for a little leeway if one pushes the finger down slightly outside the fingerprint reader surface. It does mean, however, that screen protectors will have to be redesigned to avoid blocking the detection.

Not enough firsts? There are a few more.

Most notably, it will be the first phone range to feature 1 Terabyte (TB) storage – that’s a thousand Gigabytes (GB) – at least for the top-of-the-range devices. Samsung last month announced that it would be the first manufacturer to make 1TB built-in onboard flash storage. Today, it will deploy this massive advantage as it once again weaponises its technology in the fight for smartphone domination.

  • Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram on @art2gee

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IoT set to improve authentication

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By Sherry Zameer, Senior Vice President, Internet of Things Solutions for CISMEA region at Gemalto

As it rapidly approaches maturity, the Internet of Things (IoT) is set to continue a transformational trajectory, introducing new efficiencies in multiple fields by allowing measurement and analysis on a scale that has never been possible before. From agriculture to logistics, from retail to hospitality, from traffic to health, from the home to the office, the applications for monitoring ”things” are limited only by the imagination.

And South African (and African) businesses are showing abundant imagination in their practical deployments of IoT solutions in multiple settings, creating a better tomorrow through almost universal measurement and the introduction of new levels of convenience – including how to access locations, devices and services securely.

Any company, whether South African or international, should bear in mind that understanding consumer expectations can be the key to unlocking the full potential of IoT devices and related smart services.

According to Gemalto’s latest Connected Living study, improving the way consumers authenticate themselves to services is one of the most anticipated benefits of IoT, highlighting a desire for a more seamless and secure IoT experience.

Consumers are interested in advanced ways of authenticating themselves through automatic (based on behavioral patterns) or biometric techniques, lessening the need to have to intervene manually, all in the name of a much more streamlined authentication process. Smartphone manufacturers like Apple and Samsung have already placed fingerprint and facial recognition high on the agenda. There is also a widespread positive sentiment towards IoT’s potential for improving the quality of home life through connected, smart appliances.

Personalised services is something else that wins consumers over. In fact, a fluid, personalised and unified experience with continuity of services, together with security and privacy, is critical for the successful implementation of any technology.

And those types of services are today quite possible. With everything being connected – from small gadgets to digital solutions for large enterprises – IoT is no longer just a buzzword. That much is clear in a piece from Vodacom IoT managing executive Deon Liebenberg. Writing for IOL Online, Liebenberg provides insight into the sheer range of applications for IoT: the 20 use cases he cites range from the obvious, like transport and logistics, to the connected home and wearables; he even suggests tagging pets with IoT transmitters, for those who always need to know the whereabouts of the family cat.

Low-cost tags fitted to cats, dogs, lamp posts, shipping containers or other items are just one part of the puzzle, however. There are other two pieces; arguably the most complex part is the availability of communication networks in areas where there aren’t any WiFi networks, or indeed, anything else.

And that’s where the bigger takeaway from Liebenberg’s piece and other IoT trends articles becomes apparent. The communication networks are there, as are those tags: dedicated IoT networks (like LoraWAN, SigFox and narrowband IoT) are all available in South Africa.

So, too, is the third and final essential component. Software which is able to process the data generated by the tag and transmitted over the IoT network and into the internet. In this regard, there’s no shortage of solutions available from cloud providers like AWS and Azure; electronics giant Siemens, too, is in on the action, having recently launched a new cloud-based IoT operating system to develop applications and services for process industries, including oil and gas and water management.

This combination means it is quite possible right now to enable just about any use case. Business owners, who will know best how IoT can add value in their organisation, can now see their ideas becoming reality. Most crucial of all, IoT solutions delivering new levels of efficiency and convenience are not only possible, they are able to be offered with the simple and effective security that will drive consumer acceptance.

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