TRIEDfir TESTED

LONG TERM TESTS

Fujifilm X100S

PHIL HALL

I ‘ve had a pretty busy month I with the X100S. First off I was a trip to Sardinia and I made the conscious decision to travel light, shooting purely with the X100S.

We were fortunate with incredible blue skies every day (something that seems to have continued since getting home) and these kind of bright conditions just don’t lend themselves to shooting with a rear display. This is primarily down to the new 2.36m-dot EVF compared to the still respectable 1.44m-dot EVF on the X100. It’s lovely and clear to shoot with

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TOP HOME CINEMA

BLU-RAY PLAYERS

Sony BDP-S790

A quite remarkable device, this Sony sounds great, has a wonderful picture in 2D or 3D and is crammed with on-demand content including Sony’s own Movies Unlimited. Its trump card is 4K video upscaling: you may not need it yet. but you soon will.

£185

★★★★★

Best for ON-DEMAND FILMS

Panasonic DMP-BDT220

It’s not the most extravagantly specified Blu-ray player around (though Panasonic’s remote-control app is a joy), but the BDT-220 has the sort of picture- and sound quality to make its price look like a misprint. And that’s our favourite kind of mistake.

£130

★★★★★

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TAKE TWO

Sony’s updated RX100 gets a boost in pixel size.

When we first tried out the Cyber-shot RX100, Sony’s first compact camera with a 1-inch sensor, we were amazed at the depth of field and sensitivity afforded by its relatively larger image. With the new RX100 II, Sony manages to get even more light out of the same real estate by switching to a back-side illuminated architecture (see Inside Tech at right).

While the new 20MP CMOS sensor should pull in more light than its predecessor, Sony also added a few other ancillary bells and whistles to this update. Built-in Wi-Fi

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SONY

DWZ-B30GB

Guitar wireless system

RRP:£394

CONTACT: www.sony.co.uk

Sony’s new wireless system is optimised for guitar and bass players, offering high-quality 24-bit/48KHz linear PCM digital transmission, an eight-position ‘cable tone generator’ plus 9V, 12V and battery power options. Audio outputs include two unbalanced jacks for amp and tuner plus for balanced connection to mixers. Six channels operate in wide and narrow RF modes.

Frequency range is quoted as 10Hz-22kHz using Sony’s own RF technology and codec; the DWZ-B30GB is said to deliver reliable and secure transmission even in the vicinity of wi-fi and wireless microphones. The 2.4GHz frequency band is used

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Sony Vaio Duo 13

LAP DANCE Is it a laptop? Is it a tablet? Is it any good?

At first glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking Sony’s Vaio Duo 13 is a huge Windows 8 tablet. However, it packs a rather neat little trick up its sleeve: lift the back of the screen and it smoothly slides up and back, revealing a laptop-style keyboard and trackpad. It straddles the middle ground between tablet and laptop, but it still meets Intel’s Ultrabook laptop specifications.

When it’s in tablet mode, it’s definitely the Windows 8 device we’ve been waiting for. It’s capable of running Photoshop, Illustrator

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SONY SRS-BTX500

£280

If it’s a portable speaker you want, then the Sony SRS-BTX500 might just win you over. The compact build and sleek finish is neat and practical, and Bluetooth streaming — the unit’s only wireless streaming feature — is a hit with all smart devices. Even so, you might have to set your sights elsewhere if you’re going to prioritise audio quality over convenience…

Made for mobility

The Bluetooth-toting SRS-BTX500 boasts NFC connection, six hours of battery life, and a carrying case — all of which emphasise its portability. It’s cleverly designed to look sleek and svelte, but the sleek

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SONY RX1R £2599

The RX1R loses an optical low-pass filter, but what does this mean for serious photographers?

Released at the end of last year, the Sony Cyber-Shot RX1 caused a stir, as it is the only digital compact camera with a full frame CMOS sensor. Now the RX1 has a companion, the Sony Cyber-Shot RX1R, which will sit alongside the standard version in the Sony range.

The new RX1R is essentially exactly the same camera as the RX1, with just one key change — it has no anti¬aliasing filter over its sensor. These filters are designed to slightly blur the image reaching

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SONY CYBER-SHOT HX50 £320

The superzoom compact, or «travel zoom» as it’s often called, is one of the few remaining growth areas in the compact camera sector Its defining feature is a high-magnification optical zoom (usually around 20x) that retracts fully into the camera so that you can still fit the camera in a pocket. Sony’s new Cyber-shot HX50 breaks new ground in offering a staggering 30x optical zoom, the highest magnification available in a pocketable camera.

The lens in question is a 24 — 720mm equivalent, f/3.5-6.3 Sony G lens, which features Sony’s SteadyShot optical image stabilisation. The HX50 also sports a 20.4MP

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Sony Alpha NEX-3N

Pocket Friendly

Sony’s latest mirrorless not only breaks size barriers, it is also quite inexpensive.

The Sony Alpha NEX-3N is an update of the NEX-F3, which was an update of the NEX-C3, which was an update of the NEX-3. Confused? You are not alone. But painful naming conventions aside, Sony’s entry-level mirrorless camera has definitely come a long way.

Features

In fact, it is in this fourth generation that the entry-level NEX seems to seriously come of age. Not necessarily in terms of features—even the older models have been feature packed—but in a design philosophy that truly identifies its target

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NEED TO KNOW SONYS 4K SECRETS

You can swap your 40in TV for a 65in one

All those extra pixels mean that you can comfortably sit closer to the screen, as Scot Barbour, Vice President of Production Technology at Sony Pictures, explains. “Basically, to be able to even see 4K resolution, there’s a given distance sweet spot from the screen, one and a half screen heights away. So you’re going to want to have a bigger screen and be closer to it to actually be able to perceive 4K for what it’s really about.” What’s that? Not just a new TV, but a bigger one? OK…

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