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13 steps to perfect snapping

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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Veeam passes $1bn, prepares for cloud’s ‘Act II’

Leader in cloud-data management reveals how it will harness the next growth phase of the data revolution, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

Veeam Software, the quiet leader in backup solutions for cloud data management,has announced that it has passed $1-billion in revenues, and is preparing for the next phase of sustained growth in the sector.

Now, it is unveiling what it calls Act II, following five years of rapid growth through modernisation of the data centre. At the VeeamON 2019conferencein Miami this week, company co-founder Ratmir Timashev declared that the opportunities in this new era, focused on managing data for the hybrid cloud, would drive the next phase of growth.

“Veeam created the VMware backup market and has dominated it as the leader for the last decade,” said Timashev, who is also executive vice president for sales and marketing at the organisation. “This was Veeam’s Act I and I am delighted that we have surpassed the $1 billion mark; in 2013 I predicted we’d achieve this in less than six years. 

“However, the market is now changing. Backup is still critical, but customers are now building hybrid clouds with AWS, Azure, IBM and Google, and they need more than just backup. To succeed in this changing environment, Veeam has had to adapt. Veeam, with its 60,000-plus channel and service provider partners and the broadest ecosystem of technology partners, including Cisco, HPE, NetApp, Nutanix and Pure Storage, is best positioned to dominate the new cloud data management in our Act II.”

In South Africa, Veeam expects similar growth. Speaking at the Cisco Connect conference in Sun City this week, country manager Kate Mollett told Gadget’s BRYAN TURNER that the company was doing exceptionally well in this market.

“In financial year 2018, we saw double-digit growth, which was really very encouraging if you consider the state of the economy, and not so much customer sentiment, but customers have been more cautious with how they spend their money. We’ve seen a fluctuation in the currency, so we see customers pausing with big decisions and hoping for a recovery in the Rand-Dollar. But despite all of the negatives, we have double digit growth which is really good. We continue to grow our team and hire.

“From a Veeam perspective, last year we were responsible for Veeam Africa South, which consisted of South Africa, SADC countries, and the Indian Ocean Islands. We’ve now been given the responsibility for the whole of Africa. This is really fantastic because we are now able to drive a single strategy for Africa from South Africa.”

Veeam has been the leading provider of backup, recovery and replication solutions for more than a decade, and is growing rapidly at a time when other players in the backup market are struggling to innovate on demand.

“Backup is not sexy and they made a pretty successful company out of something that others seem to be screwing up,” said Roy Illsley, Distinguished Analyst at Ovum, speaking in Miami after the VeeamOn conference. “Others have not invested much in new products and they don’t solve key challenges that most organisations want solved. Theyre resting on their laurels and are stuck in the physical world of backup instead of embracing the cloud.”

Illsley readily buys into the Veeam tagline. “It just works”. 

“They are very good at marketing but are also a good engineering comany that does produce the goods. Their big strength, that it just works, is a reliable feature they have built into their product portfolio.”

Veeam said in statement from the event that, while it had initially focused on server virtualisation for VMware environments, in recent years it had expanded this core offering. It was now delivering integration with multiple hypervisors, physical servers and endpoints, along with public and software-as-a-service workloads, while partnering with leading cloud, storage, server, hyperconverged (HCI) and application vendors.

This week, it  announced a new “with Veeam”program, which brings in enterprise storage and hyperconverged (HCI) vendors to provide customers with comprehensive secondary storage solutions that combine Veeam software with industry-leading infrastructure systems. Companies like ExaGrid and Nutanix have already announced partnerships.

Timashev said: “From day one, we have focused on partnerships to deliver customer value. Working with our storage and cloud partners, we are delivering choice, flexibility and value to customers of all sizes.”

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‘Energy scavenging’ funded

As the drive towards a 5G future gathers momentum, the University of Surrey’s research into technology that could power countless internet enabled devices – including those needed for autonomous cars – has won over £1M from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and industry partners.

Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) has been working on triboelectric nanogenerators (TENG), an energy harvesting technology capable of ‘scavenging’ energy from movements such as human motion, machine vibration, wind and vehicle movements to power small electronic components. 

TENG energy harvesting is based on a combination of electrostatic charging and electrostatic induction, providing high output, peak efficiency and low-cost solutions for small scale electronic devices. It’s thought such devices will be vital for the smart sensors needed to enable driverless cars to work safely, wearable electronics, health sensors in ‘smart hospitals’ and robotics in ‘smart factories.’ 

The ATI will be partnered on this development project with the Georgia Institute of Technology, QinetiQ, MAS Holdings, National Physical Laboratory, Soochow University and Jaguar Land Rover. 

Professor Ravi Silva, Director of the ATI and the principal investigator of the TENG project, said: “TENG technology is ideal to power the next generation of electronic devices due to its small footprint and capacity to integrate into systems we use every day. Here at the ATI, we are constantly looking to develop such advanced technologies leading towards our quest to realise worldwide “free energy”.

“TENGs are an ideal candidate to power the autonomous electronic systems for Internet of Things applications and wearable electronic devices. We believe this research grant will allow us to further the design of optimized energy harvesters.”

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