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Mirrorless boss is back & better than ever



(Pocket-lint) – The long-standing Fujifilm X-T series has in the past set the benchmark for being the mirrorless camera to beat all others. Indeed, the X-T3 won Best Camera in the 2019 Pocket-lint Awards.

Now there’s a new kid in town: the Fujifilm X-T4. But does this latest camera add enough extra to warrant its purchase? We got to play with a pre-production camera ahead of its official announcement, followed by using the final camera on some car shoots. Here’s what we make of it.

X-T4 vs X-T3: What’s new?

  • X-T4 adds:
    • New in-body stabilisation unit (IBIS)
    • New shutter unit (15fps mechanical)
    • Dedicated movie mode
    • New battery system

At a glance the X-T4 looks a lot like its X-T3 younger brother. But there are some clear differences. The newer camera is a little larger and heavier, on account of a new battery system that’s designed to last longer.

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Some weight has been shed elsewhere, to avoid it getting altogether too heavy, by introducing a newer, smaller in-body stabilisation system, which is said to be capable up to 6.5 stops (up from the 5 stops of the X-H1, where in-body was first introduced by Fujifilm).

In tandem with the stabilisation system is a new shutter mechanism, capable of up to 15 frames per second (15fps) burst shooting. It’s also tested to 300,000 shutter cycles, doubling the durability over the X-T3.

Other little tweaks should make a big difference for movie users: a dedicated movie mode, with its own Q Menu on-screen settings (useful for silent adjustment), and even a removable SD card door, should you be shooting from a rig. The rear LCD screen is also a little higher in resolution than before (1.62m-dot compared to 1.04m-dot).

Elsewhere the specification is built around the same core as the X-T3. This means the X-T4 has the same sensor and processor combination, same on-sensor autofocus capabilities (albeit with some algorithm tweaks to improve tracking and face/eye-detection). So if you’re looking for higher resolution or advances in quality in that area, then the two cameras don’t differ.

How does the X-T4 perform?

  • New magnesium alloy body footprint: 134.6mm x 92.8mm x 63.8mm / 607g
  • 3-inch tri-adjustable LCD touchscreen, 1.62m-dot resolution
  • 0.5-inch, 3.69m-dot OLED electronic viewfinder
  • Improved autofocus algorithm
  • 425 selectable AF areas

The X-T4 is made primarily from magnesium alloy, which gives it a robust feeling in the hand. It’s also weather-resistant, so paired with a suitable lens you needn’t worry about splashes and rain. We’ve been using the lovely 16-55mm f/2.8 for the majority of this test.

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The X-T4 is larger than the X-T3 given its new battery system, but that extra little bit of bulk and 10 per cent weight increase is worth it on account of longevity. The new battery is 2,200mAh in capacity, which is a big increase over the 1,260mAh of the X-T3’s cell. Despite having two batteries on hand and shooting across multiple days, we didn’t even drain the first one to zero – meaning the 500 shots per charge quote seems on point. 

There’s also a new vertical grip, which can house two additional batteries, and comes with a dedicated switch to flick between normal, boost and economy performance modes. The X-T3 grip won’t fit onto the X-T4 due to the new battery system and different camera footprint.

Recharging takes place via USB-C, much like an Android phone, but you’ll need to use a 15W charger at the wall for the fastest possible recharge times. It’ll take about three hours to recharge the one cell, which isn’t especially quick, but use a low power USB port and it’ll take three or four times longer than that!

The X-T4 has the now staple rear LCD and OLED viewfinder setup. The vari-angle touchscreen is easy to use, benefits from that added resolution, while the OLED finder is the exact same as found in the X-T3. That means it’s got all the resolution you’ll need, complete with a high refresh-rate, deep contrast, and a massive 0.75x equivalent magnification size – which makes for a formidable finder scale to this eye.

If you’re familiar with the X-T3’s autofocus – which we found did a great job at the Goodwood Revival motor show – then it’s much the same with the X-T4. The camera uses a massive 2.16-million phase-detection pixels embedded across its sensor’s surface, designed to cover the full width from edge to edge. That means you can focus anywhere in the field of view, as far vertically or horizontally as you wish, and still acquire the same focus ability as you would in the centre.

The autofocus system is pared down to 425 areas maximum, which can be further reduced to simplify operation as you wish. The AF point can be adjusted between a variety of point sizes, too, by using the rear thumbwheel. There’s still no Panasonic-style Pinpoint mode, however, which we always miss when using other brands’ mirrorless cameras.

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With a decent lens on the front and the X-T4 is a formidable shooting machine. From its 15fps burst, to the various custom settings (much like you’ll find in a pro DSLR, in a scenario-appropriate format), mirrorless system cameras don’t really get any better than this.

What’s the X-T4’s image quality like?

  • 26-megapixel X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor
  • ISO 160-12,800 (80-51,200 ext)
  • New: Eterna Beach Bypass filter

Just like the X-T3, the X-T4 features Fujifilm’s fourth-generation X-Trans CMOS sensor. This sensor is backside illuminated, with the copper wiring placement beneath the photo diodes in the sensor, in order to create a cleaner signal path.

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That all worked a treat in the X-T3 and it’s much the same here: image quality is exemplary. Although, as we always say, a lot of that comes down to the lens on the front of the camera. And Fujifilm’s range of optics means there’s something for more or less every situation.

The 18-55mm we’ve used for this review is fine, but not the hottest ticket, we’ve found the 40-150mm f/2.8 and 50mm f/2.0 to impress us much more – especially those wider aperture lenses.

We’ve shot with the X-T4 in and around Fujifilm’s House of Photography in central London, where there’s a variety of light sources and situations. That’s given a broad scope to test out the baseline ISO 160 sensitivity, right through to the higher ISO 12,800 setting when shooting a vase of flowers in the dim-lit (off public limits) basement at the property.

Low-light will show some grain, of course, but it’s not overwhelming by any measure and even the four-figure ISO settings are really clean looking. But daylight is where things really shine, those lower settings giving real clarity.

We’ve always praised Fujifilm for its image quality prowess, a trend that the X-T4 continues. It’s done our various car shoots a treat in terms of exposure, colour balance, scale and detail.

No, it’s not more resolute or more advanced than the X-T3, which some will see as a downer, but as that camera was already accomplished you’re really looking to buy this newer model for its better battery, faster burst rate and improved image stabilisation (although it’s a marginal improvement in that regard).

The X-T4’s new video capabilities

  • Dedicated movie mode, via physical switch dial
  • Dedicated Q Menu with silent mode selection
  • 4K 60fps maximum, 1080p 240fps slow-mo
  • Can fix crop to 1.29x for all modes

The X-T4 has also clearly been engineered with the videographer in mind. Not only on account of the better battery and removable SD card door, but also the dedicated movie mode, which is activated via a physical switch beneath the shutter speed dial atop the camera.

Moving this switch over to ‘Movie’ means you get a dedicated Q Menu, which is accessible during shooting and means silent adjustment of modes is possible using the touchscreen. The physical dials will also work, but if you want to avoid the physical motion and clicking sounds then this is one way around it.

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The frame-rate possibility has also increased, with Full HD (1080p) now available at up to 240fps. Some would call that slow-motion to one eighth the speed of a normal 30fps capture. The X-T4 is also 4K capable, offering 60fps in this Ultra-HD mode (just like the X-T3).

All this adds up to a much more accomplished and movie-focused device, in an attempt to outsmart the Panasonic and Sony options on the market. That said, with the likes of the Panasonic Lumix S5 now available, we think the competition has a slight edge.

Verdict

The Fujifilm X-T4 might rely on the same sensor as the X-T3 before it, with an autofocus system that’s much the same, but its variety of feature boosts make it an altogether more considered camera.

The addition of a faster burst mode, better battery life and improved image stabilisation make for a more rounded camera. Plus its dedicated movie mode sees a boost that could lure in a wider audience – although Sony does have that market largely wrapped up.

Stand the X-T4 up against any camera of its type in the same price bracket and it’ll more than hold its own. Whether for stills or video, this is Fujifilm showing it can still set the benchmark in this category.

Also consider

Fujifilm X-T3

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If you’re looking for a stills camera and can pick up the predecessor model then you’re not sacrificing any image quality potential, which might make this a veritable bargain.

Panasonic Lumix S5

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If you want a small-scale but full-frame image sensor to step things up a notch, Panasonic’s fairly priced entry in this space is rather special.

Writing by Mike Lowe.





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Amazon Announces Eero 6 Mesh Routers That Support Wi-Fi 6  


During its hardware event today, Amazon announced the new Eero 6 and Eero 6 Pro mesh Wi-Fi routers that support Wi-Fi 6. The Eero six will start at $129.99 and the Eero 6 Pro will start at $229.99. With a mesh router system, you’ll have one router along with multiple additional devices throughout your home, […]

Source: Amazon Announces Eero 6 Mesh Routers That Support Wi-Fi 6 | Cord Cutters News



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SSD, expected a further price drop for next year


SSD prices have fallen over time, and according to industry analyst TrendForce , that trend will continue throughout the holiday season and beyond. Storage Newsletter today published an article in which it indicated that the average price of NAND flash memory, the main component of SSDs, will drop by another 10% by the end of the year , and then decrease by another 15% in the first quarter of 2021 .

The main causes of this price fluctuation are to be found in the high amount of chip stocks already available and the large production of NAND wafers

SSD Guide Cover

The main causes of this price fluctuation are to be found in the high amount of chip stocks already available and the large production of NAND wafers, which lead to an imbalance between supply and demand. At the same time, the demand for SSDs is decreasing in the server market. All in all, this should cause average prices to drop by 10% in the fourth quarter of 2020. At the beginning of next year, this trend will continue as NAND flash inventories become more abundant.

This is great news for those looking to buy a new SSD right now. High-capacity NVMe SSDs have become incredibly cheap, competing directly with SATA SSDs that were the only alternative for larger denominations.

A few days ago, Western Digital announced its first M.2 SSD on the PCI Express 4.0 interface of the WD Black gaming line : SN850 . The device promises speeds of up to 7GB / s, 1 million IOPS and is marketed in the denominations of 500GB (€ 152.99), 1TB (€ 274.99) and 2TB (€ 549.99). Like the previous SN750, the unit is initially available without a heatsink, while a new version will arrive in the first quarter of next year with a heat sink and RGB LEDs.

Additionally, Crucial recently expanded its P2 SSD range with new, higher capacity models. In fact, the low-end unit series has gained the 1TB and 2TB models, offering gamers a good compromise between good speed, high capacity and low price.





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Fujifilm X-S10 wants to makes mirrorless easy



(Pocket-lint) – One of the things that’s become synonymous with Fujifilm’s X-series mirrorless cameras is the series of classic dials present, used to take full manual control of settings. But the new X-S10 aims to change that – for this entry-level camera sticks with a single control dial to keep things simpler.

This isn’t Fujifilm having a total upheaval and changing its ways, it’s the Japanese company offering an alternative and more “easy-access” approach for those who might be a flummoxed by the presence of so many dials on other cameras. After all, the competition rarely have such complex-looking setups.

Just because it’s simplified its design ethos, however, doesn’t mean the X-S10 has cut back on its specification. This mirrorless camera – which uses the X Mount lenses – has the same 26.1-megapixel X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor as found in the very capable X-T4 camera.

It also features a very capable 5-axis image stabilisation system, can shoot up to 8 frames per second, has enhanced the company’s face/eye detection autofocus, and a deep handgrip for assured hold onto the camera body.

The Fujifilm X-S10 will be available priced £949 body-only, £999 with the 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6, £1299 with the more advanced 18-55mm f/2.8-4, and £1399 with the 16-80mm f/4.0.

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Writing by Mike Lowe.





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Alienware launches its new systems with NVIDIA RTX 30 graphics cards


In early September , Alienware announced that it would update its Aurora line of desktops and Area-51 laptops with the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 , 3090 and 3070 graphics cards. Recently the company officially presented these products, giving users the opportunity to buy them and take home some of the most powerful video game systems currently available.

Alienware RTX 30 video game systems

The Alienware Aurora R11 (Intel) and Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 (AMD) desktops , which will retain their current cases, now offer the ability to be configured with custom GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3090 graphics cards . The R11 will also continue to offer options for installing 10th Gen Intel CPUs ranging from the Intel Core i5-10400F to the Intel Core i9-10900F  while the R10 will be able to mount CPUs from the Ryzen 5 3500 to the Ryzen 9 3950X.

The allocation of RAM memory can range from 8GB to 128GB , while the devices for data storage can gofrom a single 256GB SSD to a combination of a 2TB SSD and a classic 2TB HDD .

Obviously, the most important feature is the introduction of NVIDIA GPUs based on the Ampere architecture, which are still quite unavailable on the retail market. Custom versions of Alienware can count on 10mm copper heat pipes and dual axial fans for cooling. Also, they should be 26.7cm long , but that’s all we know for now.

If you are more interested in a portable, Alienware has also updated its n otebook Area 51-m with FHD 360 Hz display . This is the highest refresh rate of virtually any other laptop on the market and even the best desktop gaming monitors today. The 360Hz refresh rate represents the big new frontier in displays, with the ROG Swift PG259QN being the first of three new 360Hz monitors this fall to hit the market when it launched in late August. Of course, the monitor was designed to take full advantage of the new GeForce RTX 3000 cards and quickly sold out, leaving machines like this laptop as one of the remaining ways to have a 360Hz display right now.

Alienware did not provide details regarding the internal components of this laptop prior to launch, so in addition to the display, there may not be many other changes. At the moment the new products can already be ordered on the manufacturer’s American website, while the Italian one has yet to be updated.





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Best camera deals Amazon Prime Day 2020: Canon, Sony, more



(Pocket-lint) – Looking for a great deal on a new camera? Amazon Prime Day is on this week between 13-14 October, with the online retailer slashing prices across its store – meaning you can snap up a compact, mirrorless, DSLR or lens deal over the two-day sale period.

We’ll be bringing you all the deals here when they’re live. 

You can sign up for a free 30 day trial to Amazon Prime to take advantage of Prime Day deals. You can cancel anytime as there is no obligation to continue. Read more about the benefits here

Amazon Prime Day US camera deals

Mirrorless:

• Canon EOS M6 Mark II – save 27%, now $799. Canon turned a corner in its M series mirrorless line-up, with the second-gen M6 adding welcome changes that make for even greater ease-of-use, while the resolution reaches epic new heights. See the M6 II deal here

• Panasonic Lumix G7 kit – save 49%, now $597.99: This lightning deal bargain – with almost half off – is a great offer as the camera comes with the versatile 14-140mm lens. It probably won’t be around for long! Check out the Panasonic G7 lightning deal

Compact:

• Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III – save 20%, now $599. Aimed at vloggers, Canon’s small-scale compact comes with a flip-around LCD screen, 4K video capture and even a microphone input. View the G7X 3 deal here

Action Cam:

• GoPro Hero5 action camera – save 52%, now £119.98: It’s a couple of years old, but this video action camera from the best-in-the-business offers 4K capture. It’s small scale and so can go basically anywhere too.See the GoPro Hero5 deal

Amazon Prime Day UK camera deals 

Mirrorless:

• Fujifilm X-A7 mirrorless with 15-45mm lens – save 36%, now £449: The entry-level model in Fuji’s range opens the door to a very versatile system camera. Check out the Fuji X-A7 deal

• Fujifilm X-T200 mirrorless with 15-45mm lens – save 27%, now £549: A vast improvement over its predecessor, this mirrorless model makes for a solid interchangeable lens camera thanks to improved autofocus and its big vari-angle touchscreen. Check out the Fuji X-T200 deal

• Sony A7 II full-frame mirrorless camera kit – save 49%, now £839: The first full-frame mirrorless camera from Sony is a few years older these days, but in its second-gen form it’s a bargain way into the world of full-frame quality. Check out the Sony A7 II deal

Sony A7 R II full-frame mirrorless camera kit – save 50%, now £1199: The video-centric version, hence the R, is a dab hand at all things moving image. And at half price it’s a bit of a steal. See the Sony A7 R II deal

Advanced compact:

• Sony RX100 Mark III compact camera – save 56%, now £349: The best accessible high-end compact camera series is the RX100. This third-gen model pairs a 1-inch sensor size with pop-up viewfinder. And with £451 off it’s a bargain pocketable compact if you’re looking for better-than-phone photos. See the Sony RX100 III deal

• Sony RX100 Mark VI compact camera – save 36%, now £739: The sixth-gen edition to this high-end compact adds a longer zoom lens than the MkV, while retaining the small build quality that makes it such an appealing pocketable camera. The quality is great from its 1-inch sensor too. Check out the Sony RX100 VI deal

Superzoom:

• Sony RX10 III superzoom camera – save 25%, now £829: Looking for something with a bit more reach? A superzoom will be the perfect suitor. This Sony is like an RX100 high-end compact but with a much longer lens, meaning it can shoot far-away subjects as if they’re closer. It’s not nearly as small, of course, but that’s all part of the package. View the Sony RX10 MkIII deal

Amazon Prime Day 2020 quick links

Below are quick links straight to deals pages for the top retailers, just in case you’re looking for something that we haven’t covered. 

Writing by Mike Lowe.





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iPhone 12 does not come with power charger or earbuds in the box 


Apple will not include a power charger or earbuds with the iPhone 12, citing environmental reasons. Apple said it will be able to significantly reduce carbon emissions by not having to make the accessories in the first place, in addition to reducing the shipping box size of each iPhone sold. Apple claims doing this will […]

Source: iPhone 12 does not come with power charger or earbuds in the box – 9to5Mac



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GoPro Hero 9 will launch on 16 September, company teases announ



(Pocket-lint) – GoPro has announced via teaser that it will be launching the much-leaked Hero 9 camera on 16 September. 

The teaser video for the Hero 9 Black – published to Twitter and embedded below – says simply “more resolution, more everything” before revealing the launch date. 

Apart from that, all we get is a glimpse of some footage shot on the camera, and a little look at some of the familiar design elements which seem to be the same as the Hero 8 Black

As far as specs go, a lot has already been revealed thanks to a few pre-launch leakers. Key among the early leaks was the image showing the packaging, which showed off all the main features. 

This packaging showed that the camera will feature a higher resolution sensor, up from 12-megapixels to 20-megapixels. It’s also expected to record in resolutions up to 5K/30 and have a bigger battery than its predecessor. 

The one big visual change is the colour screen on the front, or at least, that’s what the leaks have indicated. GoPro appears to be shifting from its tradition of offering a basic monochrome screen for simple capture info to a proper colour screen, which likely explains the bigger battery. 

Other rumours include updated TimeWarp, 60fps 4K footage and support for HDR and RAW photos. Whether or not any of these rumours pan out is yet to be seen, but thankfully we don’t have long to wait. 

Writing by Cam Bunton.





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