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New DJI Osmo smaller, but more stable

DJI, a world leader in creative camera technology, has announced the latest addition to the Osmo series: The Osmo Mobile 3. It is a portable, foldable mobile phone stabiliser for videos, and is smaller than its predecessor.

Click below to read about the video stabilising device.

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Building on a long tradition of creating class-leading gimbals for both aerial and ground purposes, Osmo Mobile 3 is the next iteration of DJI’s technology packaged into a thoughtful design. 

The device is described as a lightweight companion for life’s adventures. Users can capture ultra-steady video footage and photo content using intelligent features programmed into the latest version of the DJI Mimo app. An intuitive design meets functionality, and it features simplified operation and adjustments.

“When we began designing Osmo Mobile 3, we went back to the drawing board with the goal of creating a portable yet intuitive product that uses the latest DJI technology,” said Paul Pan, Senior Product Manager at DJI. “We are excited to introduce DJI’s first gimbal with a folding design and hope it inspires our customers to imagine new ways of recording content with their mobile phones.”

The new Osmo Mobile 3 has been redesigned to be smaller, so one can pack it away without taking up too much space. The ultra-compact device has been redesigned, and its locking mechanisms ensure more compact transportation. With the ability to quickly unfold and mount a mobile phone, plus 15 hours of battery, users are able to capture more stable video than the previous generations.

The new design also makes for efficient operation, featuring vital controls manageable with one hand. Thanks to buttons on the handle, users can control the gimbal’s movement and access useful features more easily. Quick Roll rotates the orientation from portrait to landscape by pressing the Mode (M) button twice without the need to remove the mobile device. 
The redesigned form no longer obstructs the charging and audio ports, allowing for connection to charge the device or use external mics. A trigger helps manoeuvre the gimbal by locking orientation, rotating the gimbal for selfies, and re-centering when tracking a subject. By using ActiveTrack, users can tap the trigger once, and Osmo Mobile 3 will begin tracking while keeping the subject centred within the frame. Zoom in and out with the dedicated zoom slider on the side of the stabiliser without needing to touch the screen of the mobile device, making content capturing less complicated. Users also have the option to customise zoom speed based on personal preference.

DJI has provided the following information on features:

  • Story Mode: Bring creative editing to your video with a host of pre-set music, video transitions, and filters. Choose one of 13 fun templates and Mimo will handle the camera movement for you. After shooting, Mimo automatically generates your own professionally edited short video, ready to be shared.
  • Gesture Control: Snap a selfie without pressing any buttons. Once Gesture Control is enabled, show a “peace sign” or put up your palm and Osmo Mobile 3 will begin a photo timer countdown.
  • Sport Mode: Similar to the useful feature from the DJI Ronin series, Sport mode increases the response speed of the device to keep up when shooting fast-moving scenes.
  • ActiveTrack 3.0: DJI’s image recognition and deep learning algorithms allow Osmo Mobile 3 to recognize and follow subjects of your choice, perfect for capturing family moments easily with a tap.
  • TimeLapse & MotionLapse: If you’re looking to turn minutes into seconds, Timelapse is perfect for capturing unique content with the effect of the world moving faster around you, while Motionlapse adds the dynamic element of movement to your Timelapse by setting points for the camera to move to.
  • HyperLapse: Take the appealing visuals from Timelapse and add movement by manually moving Osmo Mobile 3 with you. Additionally, HyperLapse not only supports real-time Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) but also ActiveTrack 3.0.
  • Panorama: Get a wider perspective with panorama mode. Users can choose between 3×3 and 180° panorama modes.
  • Slow Motion: Slow down the world around you with 4X or 8X Slow Motion.

Price and Availability

Osmo Mobile 3 is expected to be available in South Africa by mid-September. The standard version, which includes Osmo Mobile 3, wrist strap, storage pouch and anti-slip pads, will retail starting at ZAR1,895. The Osmo Mobile 3 Combo, which adds the Osmo Grip Tripod and Osmo Carrying Case, starts at ZAR2,255. 

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Acer launches new Predator Triton 500

The new Predator Triton 500 features a 10th Gen Intel Core processors, the latest Nvidia GeForce RTX Super and GTX GPUs, and fast display refresh rates of up to 300 Hz.

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Acer has unveiled the new Predator Triton 500 gaming notebook, with the latest 10th Gen Intel Core processors and newly-announced Nvidia GeForce RTX Super and GTX GPUs. 

“In addition to the latest processors and GPUs, we’ve made exciting across-the-board updates to the Predator Triton 500 and Acer Nitro 5 this year,” says Glenn du Toit, General Manager & Head of Consumer Business at Acer Africa. “Most importantly, we’ve applied new thermal technology which keeps the devices cool so gamers can enjoy the performance improvements from the latest silicon technology.” 

Backing up all the internal power, the Triton 500 offers up to 7.5 hours of battery life, making the notebook an excellent choice for working professionals who want to play too. The laptop’s 300 Hz IPS panel with a 3 ms overdrive response time displays all the action in smooth and vivid detail, covering 100% of the sRGB colour gamut while supporting wide-angle views. Nvidia G-Sync technology eliminates tearing and minimizes lag. 

It also comes with a Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650i wireless controller, E3100G ethernet controller, and Control Center 2.0 to push network connection quality to the Wi-Fi 6 standard. All this power is packed into a thin 17.9 mm and lightweight 2.1 kg all-metal chassis that features narrow bezels and an 81% screen-to-body ratio. The notebook has up to 32 GB of DDR4 memory and up to 2 TB of NVMe, RAID 0 SSD storage. 

The Triton 500 features Acer’s Vortex Flow technology, a new design involving three custom engineered fans strategically placed in the chassis, working in tandem to increase additional airflow while also reducing noise. This is further enhanced by CoolBoost technology, which increases fan speed for improved performance. Users can monitor the device’s temperature and adjust the fan speed through the PredatorSense UI. 

The notebook’s innovative cooling system also features an all-metal 4th Gen AeroBlade 3D fan that’s been specially designed to maximize airflow and reduce noise. Serrated edges, winglets and a curved fin allow for up to 45% increase in airflow. Adding five heat pipes to the mix, the 2020 Predator Triton 500 ultimately gets 33% better thermal performance than its 2019 counterpart. 

The Predator Triton 500 gaming notebook will be available in North America in May starting at US$2,200. Local pricing has not yet been announced. 

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DxOMark reveals Samsung S20 Ultra audio score

The Galaxy S20 Ultra is already known for its camera, but how does its sound shape up? DxOMark’s MARIE GEORGESCU DE HILLERIN evaluates the device’s audio performance.

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The Latin word “ultra” translates as “going beyond limits”— and when it comes to Samsung’s latest smartphone, it’s a well-deserved suffix. The Galaxy S20 Ultra boasts a groundbreaking 108-megapixel main rear camera, a whopping 6.9-inch 120 Hz AMOLED display, a huge 5000 mAh battery, and an Exynos 990 chipset (Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 in the USA) with 12 GB of RAM. 

Predictably, this magnum opus also benefits from AKG’s expertise in the audio field, along with Dolby Atmos certification, Bluetooth 5.0 (which allows users to stream audio to two wireless devices at the same time), and stereo speakers. (However, wired listeners, beware: the Galaxy S20 Ultra offers no headphone jack, and no USB-C adapter either.) 

Key audio specifications: 

• AKG earphones included 
• Audio Zoom 
• Dolby Atmos 
• Bluetooth 5.0 
• No headphone jack, USB-C adapter not included 

With an overall score of 69, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra manages to hold its own through our rigorous DxOMark Audio test suite. In Playback testing, the midrange frequencies (mids) and high-ends offer precision and clarity, which contribute to accurate distance rendering, precise localizability, and good wideness. Audio played back through the speakers benefits from good maximum volume, and artifacts are very well controlled. Despite being decent, however, low-end extension could use a boost, as it impairs tonal balance as well as bass precision. Finally, the balance is slightly off-center, and at minimum volumes, high dynamic content lacks intelligibility. 

As for microphone performance, the main issue is the lack of high-end extension in selfie videos, which impairs the distance rendering, localizability, and attack of recorded audio, as well as blurring the envelope and making voices sound nasal and backgrounds less natural. 

Furthermore, in high SPL (Sound Pressure Level) scenarios, an aggressive low-end compression impacts punch and generates audible temporal artifacts. In all other use cases, the overall timbre performance is fairly good; dynamics are decently captured (average SNR ratio, well-preserved plosives in life videos and memos); loudness is good in most use cases (except for indoor scenarios); and few artifacts are noticeable. 

Sub-scores explained 

The DxOMark Audio overall score of 69 for the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is derived from its Playback and Recording scores and their respective sub-scores. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at these audio quality sub-scores and explain what they mean for the user. 

Playback 

Timbre 

DxOMark timbre tests measure how well a phone reproduces sound across the audible tonal range and takes into account bass, midrange, treble, tonal balance, and volume dependency. 

The Galaxy S20 Ultra offers a fairly good and consistent timbre performance across all music genres, and fares even better in movies. The overall tonal balance highlights clarity and precision in mids and high-ends. 

That said, as shown in the graph above, bass frequencies could be a little louder: up to 500 Hz, the response is clearly below that of Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro Max and Xiaomi’s Mi 10 Pro. Also, when playing games, mids and high-ends become slightly too aggressive. 

Dynamics 

Our Dynamics tests measure how well a device reproduces the energy level of a sound source. 

Predictably, the lack of low-end extension undermines the phone’s bass precision potential. Apart from that, the dynamic performance holds its head high: the clarity of timbre sharpens the attack, especially at nominal volumes, and dynamics are well preserved, even at soft volumes.  

Spatial 

The Ultra S20 has above-average spatial rendering of sound sources, ensuring that audio played back through its stereo speakers lets the listener precisely place instruments and other sound sources (localizability), and delivers good wideness. The timbre’s clarity also means that distance is accurately reproduced, thus offering a good feeling of proximity. The only cloud in the picture is the slightly off-center perception of sound sources. 

Volume 

Our Volume tests measure both the overall loudness a device is able to produce and how smoothly volume increases and decreases based on user input. 

Maximum playback volume is good, and incrementation levels are fairly consistent. By contrast, at minimum volumes, highly dynamic mixes (that is, a high ratio of amplitude from the loudest to the lowest sound) lack intelligibility. 

Artifacts 

Our Artifacts tests measure how much source audio is distorted when played back through a device’s speaker. Distortion can occur both because of sound processing in the device and because of the quality of the speakers. 

When it comes to controlling undesirable sounds, Samsung’s latest flagship ranks as second to the best of all the phones we have tested to date. No noise or temporal artifacts such as compression are audible at nominal or maximum volumes. Consequently, the clarity of loud content is well preserved. Distortion, however, shows its true colors at maximum volumes on low-end frequencies, especially when playing games and with synthetic signals. 

Recording 

Timbre 

While the S20 Ultra’s timbre performance is above average when it comes to recording life videos, it is impaired by a lack of bass extension when recording in loud environments. When recording selfie videos, treble is lacking, which results in nasal voices. 

Dynamics 

The Galaxy S20 Ultra does a reasonable job of capturing dynamics, with an average SNR (signal-to-noise) ratio in all simulated use cases. Good high-end extension in life videos and when using the memo app ensure that the plosives (sounds such as “p” and “b”) are well shaped. 

On the other hand, when filming in loud environments, an aggressive low-end compression dulls the punch. Additionally, when using the selfie camera, the shape of the sound envelope is impaired by the lack of treble, which along with the distance issue mentioned in the next paragraph, lowers speech intelligibility and attack precision. 

Spatial 

While the Galaxy S20 Ultra delivers an average performance for wideness and fairly good localizability in life videos and meeting room situations, localization and distance in selfie video recordings are once again impacted by the lack of high-end frequencies. Moreover, the memo app unfortunately records only in mono. 

Volume 

We test for both the nominal volume and the maximum level. Audio file loudness is good in most use cases, except in meeting room situations. In indoor scenarios, the overall loudness is noticeably lower. 

Artifacts 

In quiet environments, the S20 Ultra background recordings are very clean. In high SPL scenarios, apart from excessive bass compression and occasional distortion, few artifacts are noticeable. 

Regrettably, the microphones are easy to occlude, particularly when filming a selfie video or recording a memo. When the user’s hands obstruct the receivers, a noise-cancelling algorithm kicks in, introducing spectral artifacts on voices. 

Background 

The S20 Ultra does a good job of preserving the original tonal balance of the recorded background in life videos. However, when recording a selfie video, the lack of high-end is once again problematic, resulting in an unnatural background. 

Conclusion 

If the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra doesn’t outshine its strongest competitors in the audio area, it still delivers a very consistent, above-average performance. Volume is good, artifacts are well controlled, dynamics are generally respected, and timbre performance is good, whether in playback or recording. That all said, the memo app records in mono, and if you’re a fanatical selfie videographer, note that selfie videos suffer from a lack of treble, which impairs numerous audio attributes (tonal balance, attack, speech clarity, distance, natural background rendering). 

All in all, considering the phone’s spectacular spec sheet (and price), it is safe to assume that audio, despite its above-average performance, wasn’t Samsung’s top priority when designing its latest flagship phone. 

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