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To The Last Detail: Fujifilm SL100

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It's easy to see why, despite the entry of mirrorless cameras and dropping DSLR prices, super zoom cameras are as popular with consumers as ever. And now, there's a new breed of super zooms in town, packing in 50x optical zoom capabilities. Yes, 50x! I take the first of these, the 16-megapixel Fujifilm SL100, for a spin.

Design wise, the SL1000 looks and feels every part the digital SLR that it isn't. The generous hand grip, a large built-in electronic viewfinder coupled with the tilt-angle high-resolution LCD, external flash capabilities and RAW recording ensure that the SL1000 is not only easy to hold and operate but has enough to keep advanced beginners interested. The ribbed rubber lens housing might even tempt you to use it like a digital SLR (twist to zoom). Instead, zoom is entirely controlled electronically via the control around the shutter release button plus a rocker switch positioned on the side of the lens barrel near where your left thumb will be.

But it's really the effect of this monster zoom that interests me more about the SL1000. In 35mm camera terms, it goes all the way from a respectable 24mm at the wide end to 1200mm at the long end, stuff that will cost a DSLR owner a fortune to buy in equivalent lens. And the results? At full stretch, the image stabiliser struggles but does manage to push out pretty detailed images. Pair it with a decent tripod and you will get shots that most others will miss with an older super zoom. However, take the zoom out of the discussion, and the SL1000 takes rather average every day pictures.

So while the zoom is great to have, buy the SL1000 only if you're sure you regularly need all that range.

Rating: 7/10
Price: Rs 29,999

 Window To Fun
If there were one word to describe the Nokia Lumia 620 phone, 'fun' would be it. Available in a wide variety of colours and swappable snap-on glossy and matt finish colours, you can buy a new shell when you tire of the existing one and give your phone an instant makeover! Bear in mind that at 11mm, the 620 isn't exactly thin, but the compact frame sits well in the hand.

In daily use, there is much to like about the 620. The 3.8-inch touchscreen display with a 480 x 800 pixel resolution and Nokia's ClearBlack technology makes for great outdoor use. The 1 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor and 512 MB of memory ensure that the Windows Phone 8 experience is as fluid as they come, but opening apps does take longer than higher-end devices. What sweetens the software deal are the excellent Nokia-produced apps for maps, photos and music.

At its price point, it compares to a number of Android mid-range phones, which arguably may have it beat for sheer specs, but cannot match the 620 on either build quality or in terms of fluidity and responsiveness of the user interface. A good choice for a mid-range phone, if you're okay with boarding the Windows Phone 8 train.

Price: Rs 14,515

An Impressive Feat
It's unlikely you've played a game quite like Bioshock Infinite. Set in the floating city of Columbia, you play Booker DeWitt, and your mission is to rescue a girl by the name of Elizabeth Comstock in order to wipe away your debts. Of course, it's never that simple, and you get more than what you bargained for Elizabeth's secret - and very dangerous if not controlled — power.

Once you steal yourself away from the distractingly beautiful Columbian scenery and acquire some basic skills, you're thrown head first into the belly of a civil war. Elizabeth and you must use your weapons to fight the bad guys, who come in some somewhat comical and certainly scary avatars. All of this crescendos into a mind-blowing end, one that you won't be forgetting any time soon.

Possibly one of the greatest compliments that can be given to a game is that it comes across as a labour of love, an achievement so impressive that it should serve as an example to the rest of the industry. It's that damn good!

Rating: 9/10
Price: Rs 2,499

technocool at kanwar dot net
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