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Canon debuts Macro Lite

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Canon has unveiled a new macro lens for the EOS M series of cameras, which includes the world’s first built in Macro Lite, removing shadow and darkness.

Canon has unveiled the EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM, a new macro lens for EOS M series cameras, which includes the world’s first built in Macro Lite, removing shadow and darkness. With class-leading magnification, the ability to focus on subjects as close as 13mm, and a body weighing just 130g, the EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM is also the world lightest macro lens for mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras.

Canon provided the following information:

The dedicated Macro Lite allows you to bring the lens as close as you need without compromising on light. Used to illuminate small objects up close, it can be controlled by a switch, letting you change the lighting intensity and direction on one or both sides of the Macro Lite, allowing you to create dramatic lighting, while the design reduces shadows cast by both the camera and lens. For photos that show the sparkle of jewellery or the intricate texture of fabric for a fashion blog post, or even close-up portraiture, the lens helps you capture photos worthy of sharing.

Magnify every detail

For one-of-a-kind shots, the lens offers both life-size 1.0x magnification and

1.2x in Super Macro mode. Bringing you closer to subjects and helping you capture intricacy and magnifying minute detail, it can focus up to 13mm.

Giving you the flexibility to shoot handheld without camera shake, Canon’s optical Image Stabilizer – which delivers sharp, blur free shots – when combined with Hybrid IS technology, also corrects angular camera shake, usually seen when shooting macro.

The EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM is the world’s first autofocus lens which is capable of focusing at both infinity and at 1.2x magnification. As well as exceptional macro performance, the EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM includes a seven blade circular aperture for smooth background blur, as well as a 45mm focal length (35mm equivalent), for the versatility to capture portrait and wider shots on the go, without having to change your lens. For beautiful, smooth movies, near silent focusing from the lens’s STM removes the worry of noise interruption as you shift focus and move through scenes.

To help you take full advantage of the AF speed capable, when shooting movies on an EOS M3 or EOS M10 with the EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM, a firmware update will be released at the end of May.

EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM Key Features:

·       Create superb macro shots with unique in-built Macro Lite

·       Get closer to bring out new levels of detail

·       Pin sharp images with Hybrid IS and unique design

·       Compact stylish design that’s an ideal match for the EOS M

·       Easily record smooth movies

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Low-cost wireless sport earphones get a kickstart

Wireless earphone brands are common, but not crowdfunded brands. BRYAN TURNER takes the K Sport Wireless for a run.

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As wireless technology becomes better, Bluetooth earphones have become popular in the consumer market. KuaiFit aspires to make them even more accessible to more people through a cheaper, quality product, by selling the K Sport Wireless Earphones directly from its Kickstarter page

KuaiFit has an app by the same name which offers voice-guided personal training services in almost every type of exercise, from cardio to weight-lifting. A vast range of connectivity to third-party sensors is available, like heart rate sensors and GPS devices, which work well with guided coaching. 

The app starts off with selecting a fitness level: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Thereafter, one has the ability to connect with real personal trainers via a subscription to its paid service. The subscription comes free for 6 months with the earphones, and R30 per month thereafter. 

The box includes a manual, a USB to two USB Type B connectors, different sized soft plastic eartips and the two earphone units. Each earphone is wireless and connects to the other independently of wires. This puts the K Sport Wireless in the realm of the Apple Earpods in terms of connection style. 

The earphones are just over 2cm wide and 2cm high. The set is black with a light blue KuaiFit logo on the earphone’s button. 

The button functions as an on/off switch when long-pressed and a play/pause button when quick-pressed. The dual-button set-up is convenient in everyday use, allowing for playback control depending on which hand is free. Two connectivity modes are available, single earphone mode or dual earphone mode. The dual earphone mode intelligently connects the second earphone and syncs stereo audio a few seconds after powering on. 

In terms of connectivity, the earphones are Bluetooth 4.1 with a massive 10-meter range, provided there are no obstacles between the device and the earphones. While it’s not Bluetooth 5, it still falls into the Bluetooth Low Energy connection category, meaning that the smartphone’s battery won’t be drastically affected by a consistent connection to the earphones. The batteries within the earphones aren’t specifically listed but last anywhere between 3 and 6 hours, depending on the mode. 

Audio quality is surprisingly good for earphones at this price point. The headset style is restricted to in-ear due to its small design and probable usage in movement-intensive activities. As a result, one has to be very careful how one puts these earphones, in because bass has the potential of getting reduced from an incorrect in-ear placement. In-ear earphones are usually notorious for ear discomfort and suction pain after extended usage. These earphones are one of the very few in this price range that are comfortable and don’t cause discomfort. The good quality of the soft plastic ear tip is definitely a factor in the high level of comfort of the in-ear earphone experience.

Overall, the K Sport Wireless earphones are great considering the sound quality and the low price: US$30 on Kickstarter.

Find them on Kickstarter here.

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Taxify enters Google Maps

A recent update to Taxify now uses Google Maps which allows users to identify their drivers, find public transport and search for billing options.

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People planning their travel routes using Google Maps will now see a Taxify icon in the app, in addition to the familiar car, public transport, walking and billing options.

Taxify started operating in South Africa in 2016 and as of October 2018 operates in seven South African cities – Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Polokwane.

Once riders have searched for their destination and asked the app for directions, Google Maps shares the proximity of cars on the Taxify platform, as well as an estimated fare for the trip.

If users see that taking the Taxify option is their best bet, they can simply tap on the ‘Open app’ icon, to complete the process of booking the ride. Customers without the app on their device will be prompted to install Taxify first.

This integration makes it possible for users to evaluate which of the private, public or e-hailing modes of transport are most time-efficient and cost-effective.

“This integration with Google Maps makes it so much easier for users to choose the best way to move around their city,” says Gareth Taylor, Taxify’s country manager for South Africa. “They’ll have quick comparisons between estimated arrival times for the different modes of transport, as well as fares they can expect to pay, which will help save both time and money,” he added.

Taxify rides in Google Maps are rolling out globally today and will be available in more than 15 countries, with South Africa being one of the first countries to benefit from this convenient service.

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