Till late last year, two names…nay, the biggest two names in the camera business were conspicuously absent from the compact mirrorless interchangeable lens camera market — Nikon and Canon. But even though Nikon’s entry was expected the 1 Series that it launched took a lot of folks by surprise. Rather than going with the flow and packing in a large digital SLR image sensor, Nikon fitted the J1 and the higher-end V1 camera with a sensor that was about 30 per cent the size of those found in its entry-level dSLRs. Will this choice hurt the V1’s chances? Let’s find out.
Made of aluminium with magnesium alloy parts, the Nikon 1 V1 is heavier when you first pick it up than you would think. With a grip-less design, you’re forced to hold the camera in two hands, balancing the weight and the lens in one and operating the camera with the other. Of course, that isn’t a bad thing if you want to get better, more stable shots.
The V1’s standout features, those it shares with the J1 as well, are the autofocus and continuous shooting capabilities. Both cameras feature a ‘hybrid’ autofocus system that combines both Phase and Contrast Detection methods which allows them to keep track of fast moving subjects much in the same way as SLRs can, and more importantly, other mirrorless cameras can’t.
And then there’s the spectacular maximum shooting speed of 60 frames per second at full 10 megapixel resolution — boy, you have to hear the camera go at full trot! Both features mean you have a camera that’s better placed to get you that one shot you may just end up missing with the competition.
The question is — will you be happy to trade off resolution, image quality and low light performance for speed? Parents and action photogs may be happy to trade but for the most of us, the V1 disappoints on image quality and lacks a slew of standard modern in-camera features when compared to its competition. Lens options are limited, and while you can buy an adaptor to fit Nikon dSLR lenses onto this, that’s defeating the point of buying a camera this size. In possibly trying to avoid cannibalising its digital SLR siblings, Nikon’s V1 hasn’t done enough to warrant a strong buy in this segment.
• Rating: 7/10
• Price: Rs 43,950 with 10mm-30mm kit; Rs 53,950 with D-ZOOM kit (10-30mm+30-110mm)
• URL: http://bit.ly/IrLCJw http://bit.ly/IrLCJw
Tired of the cleaning lady calling in sick yet again? You could consider the LG Hom Bot robotic vacuum cleaner, if the price doesn’t scare you away. This home gadget has a ton of smarts under the hood, which allows it to navigate through your house without bumping into furniture or going over the same place twice. With two cameras and five ultrasonic sensors and some basic intelligence to boot, the robot can map out a room and go about a cleaning schedule without you needing to do anything. When the battery runs low, after about two hours, the Hom Bot can automatically return to its docking station for a recharge and pick up where it left off. How much better is it than the maid? At 9cm in height, the Hom Bot can get under just about any furniture in the house, and even makes the effort to find those impossible-to-reach corners. Try asking that of most help!
• URL: http://bit.ly/HBAhHi http://bit.ly/HBAhHi
With wireless hotspots now commonplace in most phones, getting a laptop online piggybacking off your phone connection is a no-brainer. But what if you’re travelling abroad, and the only Internet connection you have is a wired connection in the hotel room? Or if the hotel limits the number of devices you can connect to their Internet? You can get your phone and tablets online too — all you need to do is to open your browser of choice and navigate to www.virtualaccesspoint.com. You’ll need to grant permission to run the application, enter some basic details such as the name of the access point and the password, and then click on the “Turn On Soft AP” button to start the access point.
All you need to do now is to head over to your Windows Control Panel Network settings, and open the properties for the new wireless connection just created. Click on the Sharing tab and check the box labelled “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection”. Select “Local Area Connection” from the drop down box and click OK. And that’s it — your laptop is now a wireless hotspot, and you can connect all your wireless devices to this hotspot.
• Price: free
• URL: http://bit.ly/HPsXWF