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DJI’s Osmo Mobile 3: Best smartphone gimbal available

For enthusiasts who are recording video with their smartphones, DJI’s Osmo Mobile 3 offers the best experience on the market for a reasonable price. BRYAN TURNER reviewed the gimbal.

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The leader in stabilisation technology has returned with the third generation of its Mobile series gimbal.  

What’s a gimbal? 

A gimbal is a stabiliser, originally used in compass technology to keep a compass steady for navigation. It works by keeping the mounted device steady wirh rings that rotate along the x-, y-, and z- axes. The result? One can shake the device without seeing that there was shaking. This is very useful for video recordings. 

DJI has improved on the gimbal technology by implementing motors within the device to make it controllable by a joystick on the front. The motors are also used to track moving subjects when shooting videos. This becomes very useful for keeping the subject in frame while the videographers are watching where they’re running. 

My Samsung phone has Super Steady so I don’t need this 

Not so fast. The technology in Samsung’s Super Steady and DJI’s Mobile 3 are fundamentally different, which also means that one of these technologies is superior to the other. Samsung’s Super Steady technology makes use of predictive models to identify how much the videographer is shaking. It then uses software and some artificial intelligence to stabilise the video.  This method is repairing the video, as opposed to preventing problems.  

The Osmo Mobile 3, on the other hand, performs stabilisation on a hardware level. This means users shoot video that’s not corrected after the fact, and rather video that’s stabilised as it is shot. This results in one of the purest forms of video. It also means users don’t have to shoot with the DJI app to get stable videos.  

The review 

We tested the gimbal under various situations with different smartphones. The main devices we used were the iPhone XR and Nokia 4.2. Before anything, users need to set the gimbal up with the DJI MIMO app, which is available on the App Store for iPhone and Play Store for Google. 

The device came with a hard-shell fabric case and a tripod stand. It folds up on two axes to fit into the bag, and notches on the gimbal guide the user about which direction to bend the arms towards. It costs around R1,900, depending on where you buy it. 

When unfolded, the front of the handle had two buttons, record and mode, with a joystick to move the mounted smartphone. On the left side is the zoom toggle, which works better on smartphones with zoom lenses as opposed to smartphones that make use of digital zoom. A trigger button on the back of the device is used for holding the video steady when shooting. On the right side, a flap covers a USB port that can be used to charge the mounted phone if it’s running out of battery.

In the DJI Mimo app, users can find the camera mode which allows for additional intelligent control of the gimbal. One can drag and drop a box around the subject in frame, and the gimbal will remain focused on that subject, whether it moves or the cameraperson moves. We were extremely impressed at how well the DJI MIMO software and Osmo Mobile 3 hardware worked with each other. Adjusting settings on the screen and seeing the gimbal do the work is really amazing.

The camera modes make this gimbal stand out, especially when used with the tripod. Neither the iPhone XR and Nokia 4.2 have wide-angle lenses, but the DJI’s wide-angle mode fixes that by stitching together 9 photos at different angles. It also features a panorama mode that works a lot better than the built-in panorama modes of smartphones.

Video – its primary purpose – is extremely stable, even with deliberately shaking the device around while recording. We were extremely impressed with the footage we recorded on the device and would recommend it to any content creators looking to up their smartphone recording capabilities.

Overall, the Osmo Mobile 3 is one of the most impressive gimbals on the market, not only in its rich feature set but also in its affordable pricing.

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Acer launches two new 4K monitors

Acer has launched two monitors for higher-end consumers who use their home computers for gaming and graphically-intensive work.

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Acer has unveiled two new monitors, CB342CKC and CB282K, which form part of its high specification range of 4K monitors.

The monitors feature In-Plane Switching ZeroFrame technology, which removes the bezel to give seamless visuals. The sharp 4K UHD display is 16:9 up to 3840X2160 high resolution.

Vesa DisplayHDR creates deeper levels of black and white contrast, giving a greater immersion through realistic image recreation. Brighter scenes glimmer with detail, while in darker scenes, details typically hidden in the shadows are enhanced for greater overall luminance.

With Radeon FreeSync, a game’s frame rate is determined by the graphics card, not the fixed refresh rate of the monitor, which eliminates screen tearing and delivers very smooth gaming experiences. The Acer CB342CKC monitor also features 1ms Visual Response Boost (VRB), which results in a much clearer and less noticeable blur in fast-moving images.

The Acer CB342CKC monitor features a USB 3.1 Type-C port that can plug into smartphones, tablets or laptops. This provides the device that’s plugged in with data transfer and device charging capabilities, while it mirrors the display, with a single cable.

With a firm, stainless steel base, monitors can easily tilt, pivot and swivel to make height adjustments without a hassle. A quick-release design means the monitor can be separated from its stand so it can be VESA wall-mounted. Both Acer CB2 monitors also feature Acer Display Widget utility software. The split-screen feature is able to divide the screen into several regions. Users can quickly split the window with a hotkey or via the split-screen setting menu, making the workspace as clean as possible.

The Acer CB342CKC monitor will be available in EMEA in May starting at €549, while the CB282K monitor will be available in April starting at €399.

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Sophos launches AI-enhanced firewall

Cybersecurity provider Sophos has launched a firewall product that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to detect and reduce security risks associated with encrypted traffic.

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Sophos has introduced a new architecture for the Sophos XG Firewall called “Xstream”, which traffic decryption capabilities for encrypted malware connections. XG Firewall now also features AI-enhanced threat analysis from SophosLabs and accelerated application performance.

Sophos says 23% of malware families uses encrypted communication for Command and Control (C2) or for installation of the malware. Three common present Trojans – Trickbot, IcedID, and Dridex – leverage TLS during the course of their attacks. Cybercriminals also use TLS to hide their exploits, payloads and stolen content and to avoid detection. In fact, 44% of prevalent information stealers use encryption to sneak hijacked data, including bank and financial account passwords and other sensitive credentials, out from under organisations’ noses.

“As SophosLabs’ research demonstrates, cybercriminals are boldly embracing encryption in an attempt to bypass security products,” says Dan Schiappa, chief product officer at Sophos. 

“Unfortunately, most firewalls lack scalable TLS crypto capabilities and are unable to inspect encrypted traffic without causing applications to break or degrade network performance. With the new Xstream architecture in XG Firewall, Sophos is providing critical visibility into an enormous blind spot while eliminating frustrating latency and compatibility issues with full support for the latest TLS 1.3 standard. Sophos’ internal benchmark tests have clocked a two-fold performance boost in the new XG TLS inspection engine as compared to previous XG versions. This is a game-changer.”

Latency too often deters IT admins from using decryption, as seen in an independent Sophos survey of 3,100 IT managers in 12 countries. The survey white paper, The Achilles Heel of Next-Gen Firewalls, reports that while 82% of respondents agreed TLS inspection is necessary, only 3.5% of organisations are decrypting their traffic to properly inspect it.
Key new features of XG Firewall include:

  • Inspection of TLS 1.3 to detect cloaked malware: New port-agnostic TLS engine doubles crypto operation performance over previous XG versions
  • Optimised critical application performance: New FastPath policy controls accelerate performance of SD-WAN applications and traffic, including Voice over IP, SaaS, and others, to up to wire speed
  • Adaptive traffic scanning: The newly enhanced Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) engine dynamically risk-assesses traffic streams and matches them to the appropriate threat scanning level, enhancing throughput by up to 33% across most network environments
  • Threat analysis with SophosLabs intelligence: Provides network administrators with the SophosLabs AI-enhanced threat analysis needed to understand and adjust defences to protect against a constantly changing threat landscape
  • Comprehensive cloud management and reporting in Sophos Central: Centralised management and reporting capabilities in Sophos Central provide customers with group firewall management and flexible cloud reporting across an entire estate without additional charge
  • Integration with Sophos Managed Threat Response (MTR) service: Customers of XG Firewall who also subscribe to the Sophos MTR Advanced service will have deeper actionable intelligence to prevent, detect and respond to threats, as a result of the integration

Sophos XG Firewall is available in the cloud-based Sophos Central platform alongside Sophos’ portfolio of cybersecurity solutions. Sophos’ Synchronized Security approach empowers these solutions to work together for real-time information sharing and threat response.

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