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BW Businessworld

Visual Delights

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Sony has been doing quite an amazing job with its cameras lately, not only firming up its place in the imaging market but taking forward the compact camera category by adding advanced features. 
The NEX-6 is an affordable version (if you can call Rs 49,990 inexpensive) of the NEX-7, a mirrorless camera that has been received very well by photography enthusiasts and pros who want DSLR-like features in a portable and light body. That means some high-end components. You could get an entry-level DSLR for that amount, but not always the combination of advanced features and light weight. 
The NEX-6 looks solid, rugged and is very comfortable to hold. It has a textured grainy feel which makes sure you don’t find it slippery, and a deep groove into which your fingers can curve. Facing you is a nice 3-inch LCD screen which tilts up and down and extends — but doesn’t swivel.
Built-in Wifi, 3-inch touch screen
12.1 MP with 5x optical zoom 25mm wide angle f/2.0 lens Digic 5 image processor
Additionally, there’s an electronic view finder (EVF) for precise framing. I thoroughly enjoyed using it. Right on top, the hot-shoe now lets you use more than just proprietary Sony accessories. 
The one thing you’ll find almost straight off is that the NEX-6 is Wifi-enabled. Not only can you wirelessly transfer your photos but you can use apps via Sony’s Play Memories. But the process of getting this going is rather clunky and cumbersome. 
The 16.1 megapixel large APS-C sensor used in other models in the NEX line, which got a good response from those who are not satisfied with casual point-and-shoots but need more (read portability and accessibility), is on this model as well. These sensors are usually in DSLRs. It comes with a basic lens but supports optionally available E mount lenses. Sony promises firmware upgrades for more lenses. The NEX-6 takes great pictures (1920x1280p) and HD video. There are lots of manual controls. The ISO extends to 25,600. It has a built-in flash. The zoom is mechanised so it’s easier to use. 
Canon Powershot S110
With the S90, S95 and S100, really tiny cameras went from mere automatic point-and-shoots to including better manual control and higher image quality. The S110 was launched a few months ago and is now available for Rs 29,995. Looking at the slim pocket-sized camera, you wouldn’t think it contains the features it does. The first surprise was that it has a 3” bright and vibrant touch screen — a pretty responsive one too. You can use the dials and knobs or just touch the screen for actions, including touch-to-capture, if you choose. This, of course, makes the device much more novice-friendly. The other surprise is that it has Wifi. Both these should become hygiene factors on cameras now. You can also print from this camera.
The S110 has a sandpapery feel to it to improve your grip. There are no other aids except a little raised edge on the top right. The controls, mode dial, settings ring around the lens, and the usual controls on the back, are solid and clicky. That ring can, however, be set to whatever controls you need for different modes. And because this can be selected from the touch screen, the access is quick.  The one true annoyance is a tiny hard power button that’s too close to the shutter release button. 
Check Out
Price: Rs 59,990
BenQ GP10: Watch That Wall
Take the paintings off the wall and move the cupboard aside. You need some good clean picture space. If you and your family are movie buffs, photo enthusiasts or fond of music videos, you might like to consider turning a wall into a giant screen, ready for a show anytime. BenQ, an India-based company that makes projectors and  sometimes cameras, recently launched a 720p LED HD-ready home projector, the BenQGP10. About the size of one of those tiny room heaters, this projector is designed to be portable and plug-and-play. It weighs in at 1.5kg, so it’s lighter than most laptops. So, whether you move it around at home or take it somewhere with you, this projector is meant to be very portable — though I wish it had a smaller footprint. 
You can attach it easily enough to anything, including a DVD player, which you can get optionally with it. It has the usual essential HDMI and USB connectivity and an SD card slot. Considering these tiny cards can hold 32GB, you can carry whatever content you need without feeling it when you’re on the go. There’s support for different file formats for movies, pictures and audio. 
The picture from the GP10 is nice and bright and vibrant at 550 ANSI lumen brightness. Its native resolution is 1280 x 800. The colours look rich and contrasts are good. You can move the projector back to fill the whole wall without losing out on the experience. It has built-in stereo speakers but, of course, it’s best connected to a sound system for impact. 


(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 22-04-2013)