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The best economic printers to buy during COVID-19 lock down


An affordable economic printer offers several features and technologies, with the option of printing, scanning, and copying with USB or Wi-Fi connectivity. Here are the best.

The printer is one of the most important devices despite the digitization of modern services, a machine to always have available both at home and in the office for any eventuality. Obviously the most advanced models are particularly expensive, however for limited needs you can find excellent peripherals proposed at a price of less than 150 euros. In this guide to the best cheap printer we have collected the most popular economic printer models of the moment, perfect products to print, scan and photocopy easily and without spending a fortune.

affordable printer offers several features and technologies, with the option of printing, scanning, and copying

The best economic printers on the market

There are several printer models on the market, with a wide choice of inkjet, laser and multifunction devices. Here is the ranking of the best cheap printers to buy now, proposed in order of price all with a value of less than 150 euros.

Canon Pixma TS3351

A great budget printer is the Canon Pixma TS3351, an inkjet multifunction model with print, scanner and copier options. The machine features a practical 1.5-inch LCD display , can be controlled via the Canon Print app and ensures a maximum resolution of up to 4800 × 1200 DPI. The device can connect to Canon cloud services, has the energy saving function to optimize consumption, is compatible with Windows PC and Mac, has the Wi-Fi module for connection to wireless networks and offers a compact structure with a weight of just 1 Kg.

HP LaserJet Pro M15a

The HP LaserJet Pro M15a laser printer is an excellent laser model with a very affordable price, a reliable device with a light and fairly compact structure. The machine works only via USB cable connection , ensures a print speed of up to 19 ppm with a container that can accommodate up to 150 sheets. The configuration of the print specifications can be done from the LED panel , it is compatible with Windows PCs and offers a rather simple but functional technology, perfect for those who want to buy a very efficient economical printer. Buy it now on Amazon .

Canon Pixma TS5350

Among the best-selling affordable cheap printers on Amazon is the Canon Pixma TS5350, a highly regarded multifunction device for home use or work. In particular, the design is modern and elegant, with a black coating and a rather compact structure to optimize space. The printer offers a 1.44-inch LCD display , wireless connectivity with integrated Wi-Fi module and management via the Canon Print app compatible with Android and iOS devices. The operation is traditional inkjet, with printing, scanner and copier services , with maximum resolution up to 4800 × 1200 DPI and double-sided printing function.

HP Deskjet 2630

One of the best budget printers under $ 150 is the HP Deskjet 2630 , a multifunction model equipped with a scanner, print and copier for maximum versatility. This device integrates a Wi-Fi module for connection to the home or office wireless network, with the Wi-Fi Direct option and configuration via the HP Smart application, compatible with Android and iOS devices and downloadable for free. The printer can hold up to 60 sheets, or work on 20 sheets of photographic paper, has a 512 MB memory and guarantees a maximum resolution of 4800 × 1200 DPI, working with Windows PC and Mac. Buy it on Amazon .

HP LaserJet MFP 135a

Proposed with the black and white contrast design, an ideal ink multifunction printer for those on a budget is the HP LaserJet MFP 135a , equipped with a USB cable connection with energy-saving technology to optimize consumption. The device is capable of printing, scanning and photocopying, has a speed of up to 20 ppm and a maximum resolution of 1200 × 1200 DPI. This HP model is really simple to use, has a handy LCD display with 12 options for configuring functions, with support for up to 150 sheets and compatibility with standard A4 size. Buy the printer on Amazon .

HP OfficeJet 5220

A great budget printer is the HP OfficeJet 5220 , ideal for both the office and home use, an inkjet multifunction machine with scanner, fax, copier and print options. The device is equipped with the Wi-Fi module for connection to wireless networks, has the quick Wi-Fi Direct configuration and includes 2 months of subscription to the Instant Link service. This printer from HP is quite fast and quiet, supports A4 format and up to 35 sheets can be loaded together, with ecological operation and energy saving option, in addition to the dedicated HP Smart app downloadable on the Google Play Store for Android and the App Store for iOS devices.





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The best point-and-shoots to buy



(Pocket-lint) – There are lots of things to think about when choosing a new compact camera – what do you want to use the camera for? Perhaps you want a versatile, all-rounder for a vacation or travelling. Maybe you want a camera with a bonkers-long zoom?

Here at Pocket-lint we’ve been cutting through the abundance of compact camera releases over recent years, including the creme de la creme of last year’s models and earlier, as relevant.

We’ve broken down our list of great compacts into sub-headed categories to make things easier to digest. You name it, we’ve got you covered. So without further ado let’s guide you through the top compact cameras to save you time when it comes to buying one from your local shop or online.

Best do-it-all compact

Pocket-lint

Panasonic Lumix TZ90 / SZ70

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Panasonic’s TZ-series has long been a favourite and the Lumix TZ90 (SZ70 in the USA) is one of its top-end do-it-all compacts (although it has been replaced by the altogether similar TZ95). It even has a built-in electronic viewfinder to the rear, which is helpful to see an image direct to the eye when sunlight makes the rear screen tough to see.

The TZ90’s premier feature is its 30x optical zoom lens, which encompasses wide-angle (24mm equivalent) for those group shots, or can zoom right in (to a 720mm equivalent) to make far-away subjects appear large in the frame. There are more advanced cameras in this TZ series (the TZ200 springs to mind) but they tackle different feature sets.

With decent autofocus, excellent image stabilisation, a tilt-angle LCD screen for selfies, and a whole roster of other top features, the TZ90’s aspirations make it the one-stop shop for all things. The only downside, really, is limitations to low-light image quality and. 

Read our full review: Panasonic Lumix TZ90 review

Pocket power

When it comes to something small and pocketable, but where image quality needs to be a step above a conventional small-sensor compact or smartphone, there are various models to choose from. Such cameras tend to have shorter zoom lenses in order to retain best sharpness and clarity, while offering more advanced optical features such as wider maximum aperture for better low-light shooting or creating that pro-looking, soft-focus background effect. 

Pocket-lint

Canon PowerShot G7 X II

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The big sell of the G7 X Mark II is its larger-than-typical sensor. It’s called a 1-inch sensor (note: not a physical measurement), meaning larger on-sensor pixels that can better digest light for clearer image results.

Although the G7 X II doesn’t opt for the smaller scale of the Sony RX100 series (further below) and there’s no viewfinder, there’s still a lot to enjoy about Canon’s revamped take on the 1-inch market. Plus the price is within reach rather than super-high like Sony’s advanced offerings.

This G-X series camera outshines the slender G9 X, is more pocketable than the earlier G5 X and others in the range, without compromising on the performance front.

Read our full review: Canon PowerShot G7 X II review 

Pocket-lint

Panasonic Lumix LX15 / LX10

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The Panasonic Lumix LX15 is high-end, but comes minus the highest-end price point. It’s a significant chunk of cash less than the Sony RX100 (further below), and competitive against the Canon G7 X Mark II (above) too.

Crucially the LX15 comes with a best-in-class lens: a 24-72mm f/1.4-2.8 equivalent, which will help to open up creative possibilities. That wide aperture at the wide-angle setting means plenty more ability when it comes to low-light conditions.

There’s even an aperture control ring, a nod to the earlier LX7 model from years gone by, to simplify controlling the camera. Add a touchscreen, great autofocus abilities and a stack of other top-end features, including 4K video capture, and there’s almost nothing we don’t like about the LX15… except its odd name (we’d have opted for LX10, as it is called in the USA). 

Read our full review: Panasonic Lumix LX15 review

Superzoom without the scale

Pocket-lint

Panasonic Lumix TZ100 / ZS100

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Now here’s an odd one out, as you can probably tell from looking at the TZ100’s small scale (or ZS100 in the USA). Superzoom, you say? Well it kind of is, kind of isn’t. This pocketable camera combines a large 1-inch sensor, similar to that of the FZ2000 (further down the page), but condenses the lens to a 10x optical zoom with a more limited aperture range, in a body that’s more akin to the TZ90 (further up the page).

Now while that combination doesn’t mean it’s a stand-out camera for shooting almost everything under the sun, if you’re after top quality and a decent zoom range then there’s not really anything else on the market just yet that can match it – except, that is for the TZ200 and it’s 15x optical zoom lens! – so long as you have expectations in check with what the lens can achieve due to its aperture limitations.

Read our full review: Panasonic Lumix TZ100 review

Best advanced / enthusiast compact camera

Here’s where compacts step up a gear. Whether it’s all the bells and whistles in the form of hands-on controls, a built-in viewfinder, or a large sensor for optimum quality, there are all kinds of advanced compacts to suit different tastes and purposes. But these typically bigger wedges of camera are not only larger, they tend to demand a more considerable asking price too.

Pocket-lint

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V

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The Sony RX100 series has gone from strength to strength and in its Mk5 format it’s a camera that, at this size, pretty much has it all.

It’s small scale enough to be pocketable, yet has a premium build, a pop-out built-in electronic viewfinder and stacks of features – not to mention great image quality and 4K movie capture from its 1-inch sensor and 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 equivalent lens.

If pocketable is priority then this is one of the best options out there. It’s a tour de force. And can be found for pretty reasonable prices lately too.

Read our full review: Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V review

Pocket-lint

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI

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We’ve left the Mk5 model (above) in this mix as it’s quite a different beast to the RX100 Mk6. This newer model breaks the mold for the series by extending the lens yet further for greater versatility.

You’ll need deep pockets though – and not on account of its size, simply because its £1,150 asking price is mega. It’s a great camera that’s worth it for the right buyer. Although there’s now a Mk7 model available too, the VII, which brings the series even more up to date.

Read our full review: Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI review

Pocket-lint

Panasonic Lumix LX100 MkII

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The original Panasonic LX100 was like the company’s LX15 (further above) on steroids. It was the first compact camera to feature a large Micro Four Thirds sensor – the same size you will find in top-of-the-line interchangeable lens models – for exceptional image quality. That’s a bigger sensor than the Sony RX100 series (also above), delivering equal or better quality overall, more similar to a mirrorless system camera.

The second-generation model here isn’t massively different to the first, meaning it maintains those physical retro dials, giving that chunky metal body plenty of personality. There’s an autofocus system that will see off a whole range of compact camera competitors, a fast 24-75mm f/1.7-2.8 equivalent lens, and brilliant electronic viewfinder. Although there’s no tilt-angle screen, which we think is a shame, it does offer the power of touch control.

Read our full review: Panasonic Lumix LX100 M2 review

Pocket-lint

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III

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Canon’s answer to the Panasonic LX100 (above). The G1 X Mark III crams in an APS-C sensor – which is the same size as you’ll find in the company’s DSLR cameras – for the utmost in image quality.

In one sense, we love the G1 X III. Considering the sensor is that big, the camera itself is small – far smaller than the Mark II model (which had a smaller sensor!). It’s hugely capable when it comes to image quality.

But there’s a caveat: the 24-72mm f/2.8-5.6 equivalent lens quickly drops down the aperture range, so you’ll often be shooting at higher sensitivities when using a little bit of zoom. Sometimes that can counter some of the quality that can be extracted from this otherwise great camera. Plus the autofocus, while decent, isn’t as advanced as the Sony RX100 series.

Read our full review: Canon G1 X Mk3 review

Best superzoom

When normal compacts just aren’t enough and you want to zoom in on those far-away subjects to make them appear large in the frame, a superzoom – sometimes called bridge camera – is just the ticket. Safari, bird spotting and so forth are well matched to a superzoom camera.

Pocket-lint

Panasonic Lumix FZ330

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Typically as a zoom lens extends the amount of light it lets in drops, which potentially means image quality can suffer in low-light conditions. Not so with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330: its wide-angle 24mm lens extends all the way through to a 600mm equivalent, all the while maintaining a maximum f/2.8 aperture. And that’s been managed without significant impact to the model’s relatively trim scale.

This f/2.8 aperture means more light can enter, which is ideal for faster exposures to capture action or to avoid using those less desirable higher ISO sensitivities.

As the replacement for 2012’s FZ200, the FZ330 adds a touchscreen and ups the ante in the viewfinder resolution stakes too. It’s still dependent on a 1/2.3in sensor size, however, so don’t expect complete and utter miracles in the image quality department – for that you’ll want a larger yet sensor, as found in something like the FZ2000 (see below).

Read our full review: Panasonic Lumix FZ330 review

Best premium superzoom

If you want that little extra from image quality, while achieving significant zoom, then you’ll need to fork out some extra cash for a larger sensor model. The current range is a fight between Panasonic with its FZ1000 and FZ2000 models and Sony with its RX10 Mark III and Mark IV.

Pocket-lint

Sony RX10 III

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The earlier RX10 II was by no means a disappointing camera, but the RX10 III takes its only real flaw – its lack of zoom reach – and tosses it out the window, thanks to its 24-600mm f/2.8-4.0 equivalent optic.

The result is a bridge camera with a 1-inch sensor that offers a stunning level of flexibility and versatility all from the one lens. If you’re ok with the body’s big scale, anyway.

Many bridge cameras feel like jacks of all trades, masters of none, but Sony has produced one that truly masters most areas of stills and video photography.

There’s also an RX10 IV, which enhances autofocus capability, if you want to stretch even further and spend a little more cash.

Read our full review: Sony Cyber-shot RX10 Mark III review 

The camcorder-beater

Pocket-lint

Panasonic Lumix FZ2000

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The FZ2000 is certainly a big and pricey superzoom, but its premium position is justified for the right kind of user. And with its significant push towards video features, including 4K capture and an abundance of high-end features, that will be for both photographers and videographers alike.

When a normal superzoom won’t cut it, the FZ2000’s has two things that stand out: enhanced image quality from its 1-inch sensor and an internally focusing lens, which means the optic doesn’t physically move throughout its 24-480mm equivalent range.

If you’ve been looking for a do-it-all body and aren’t fearful of a DSLR scale, then as a stills camera there’s plenty on offer in the FZ2000. If video is more your thing then we think the FZ2000’s considerable capabilities paints a red cross on the door of the enthusiast camcorder market too.

Read our full review: Panasonic Lumix FZ2000 review 

Best fixed-lens compact cameras

When money is no barrier and quality is everything, there’s a camera for that. DSLR sensor sizes in compact bodies and, typically, a fixed lens (no zoom) that’s matched up to its respective sensor for best possible image quality. Here’s where the compact goes pro – and these special specimens don’t just match DSLR quality, they often better it.

Pocket-lint

Fujifilm X100F

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Fujifilm has stormed the high-end compact market with the X-range, and the X100F keeps the bar high, upping the resolution and design compared to the previous X100T model.

The X100F isn’t going to be suitable for a huge audience as there’s no zoom and its retro aesthetic is a specialist thing in itself – but that, in some regard, is all part of what makes this high-end compact so appealing.

It’s not the model to pick if you’re into close-up macro shooting by any means, as wide apertures render soft images in such situations, but what really sells the X100F is the unique-to-Fuji hybrid optical and electronic viewfinder. And now that comes with a fantastic “electronic rangefinder” option for even more accurate manual focus.

That may all sound bonkers, but it’s not: think of a wider-than-100-per-cent optical viewfinder with all the bells and whistles of an electronic overlay and that’s what the X100T delivers. You can see beyond the frame’s edges to help capture the shot at that decisive moment.

Image quality from the fixed 23mm f/2.0 lens – that’s a 35mm equivalent when paired with the APS-C sensor – is so crisp from f/4.0 and below, in part thanks to Fujifilm’s own special colour array design and the fact there’s no low-pass filter to bypass light diffusion for heightened sharpness. It’s perfect for those candid street photography snaps.

Read our full review: Fujifilm X100F review 

Pocket-lint

Fujifilm X70

As much as we’ve got a lot of love for the X100 series, the smaller-scale Fujifilm X70 actually pips it in terms of preference for us. This 28mm (equivalent) fixed lens compact is like a more pocketable, wider-angle, slightly more consumer focused aid to the X100T. 

Although we’d like a more detailed and faster autofocus system, and are in two minds about the lack of viewfinder, the X70 is otherwise a champion addition to the X-series. It’s really all about the image quality, which is why we suspect X100T fans and, to some degree, newcomers will be rushing out to buy this wide-angle wonder.

If you’re looking for something more flexible then the Panasonic LX100 (further up the page) is probably the route to go down, not that both models are distinctly comparable.

Read our full review: Fujifilm X70 review

Best full-frame compact camera

Pocket-lint

Leica Q / Q2

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Originally it was the Sony RX1 which held this spot, as the original fixed-lens full-frame compact camera. Ok, so the Leica Q isn’t particularly “compact” and its £2,900 price tag certainly isn’t small (if you can find one – they’re sold out almost everywhere), but its 28mm f/1.7 lens is so out-of-this-world that it has to take the crown.

It’s not a compact for everyone, of course, with that price tag indicating so. But its huge full-frame sensor, which is the same size as found in pro-spec DSLR cameras, is paired with a lens so sharp that its results are incredible. Nope, there’s no zoom, but in-camera 35/50mm crop modes go some way to help.

There’s a built-in electronic viewfinder (a 3.86m-dot LCOS one, no less) which is wonderfully high resolution, but it ought to activate a little quicker for street work. Add surprisingly speedy autofocus with touchscreen control and  this is every bit the Leica for a new generation.

Sure, it’s not a mass market product, as is the case with any fixed-lens camera. But whether you’re a staunch Leica fan, or simply a photography fan, the Q is that rare Leica that will transcend users old and new. There’s also a follow-up Q2 model, which we’re yet to review.

Read our full review: Leica Q review

Writing by Mike Lowe.





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Top VR and 360 video cameras to buy



With virtual reality headsets becoming more popular and platforms like Facebook and YouTube supporting 360-degree photos and videos, it’s no surprise to see more 360 cameras coming to market. 

There is now a range of capable cameras available at wildly different budgets. Each has their own appeal, so the choice really comes down to budget and what you want the camera for. Something small you can slip in your pocket and take on a jaunt or an action camera that can survive being dropped, bashed and used underwater? 

Take a look at our list of the best VR and 360 cameras available to buy, whatever your budget. 

Best 360 camera for video capture

GoPro

GoPro Max

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  • 6K spherical video capture capabilities
  • Voice control and live-streaming
  • OverCapture user-friendly video editing system
  • 1,600mAh battery
  • Hypersmooth video stabilisation

When it comes to video, especially action-cam footage, GoPro has always managed to produce incredible results. The GoPro Max is another camera from GoPro making waves. 

Video capture capabilities

This device possibly offers the best 360 video capture capabilities of any device we’ve seen. Likely because it’s capable of capturing 6K video at 30fps. Where the GoPro Max really shines though is in usability. GoPro’s OverCapture video editing system allows users to easily create brilliant footage from their recordings. 

This OverCapture tech even offers the ability to flatten 360 videos to make them viewable on any device – including TVs and create a “tiny planet”-like view or make sharp transitions at certain points. 

The results are something pretty special and set this 360 camera apart from the crowd. 

Durability and flexibility 

Like other cameras in the GoPro range, the GoPro Max is a flexible and durable camera. This device is waterproof up to 16 feet and can be used underwater and with some abuse – making it suitable for use with watersports.

A removable 1,600mAh battery and a USB-C port that supports fast charging make it pretty flexible too. A touchscreen even lets you see what you’re capturing and widens its appeal. 

360 video makes a lot of sense in extreme sports areas and with the sort of footage GoPro fans will be capturing. It’s therefore easy to see why GoPro created the Max (itself a soft reboot of the older Fusion camera) and where it sits in this market. As such, it’s well worth considering.

The GoPro Max offers some of the best results we’ve seen in terms of capture quality. It’s also easy to use with the OverCapture functionality on a smartphone. It boasts a great feature list and impressive specifications, but it does come with a pretty hefty price tag. 

Conclusion

GoPro’s expertise when it comes to action cameras has come to bear brilliantly on the Max — it’s great for filming whatever activities you’d want it to, and is also adaptable. When you need 360 footage, it’ll produce the goods, but can also film all sorts of other quality video. 

Pros:

  • User-friendly video editing system
  • Tripod mounting as standard
  • Waterproof and durable build
  • Excellent footage results
  • Touchscreen so that you can see what you’re capturing

Cons:

  • One of the more expensive 360 camera options

Most feature-rich 360 camera

Pocket-lint

Insta One R

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  • 5.7K 360 capture or 4K wide-angle
  • H.265 encoding with “advanced image processing”
  • FlowState Stablisation” – offers “gimal-like” stablisation

The Insta One R is one of those devices that tries to offer you the world on a stick. It’s a feature-packed camera that comes in various editions with bundles that include different lenses or attachments and extras. There’s even an aerial edition that’ll fit certain Mavic drones.

It comes with an “invisible” selfie stick and a multitude of capture options that make things interesting. Everything from night shot capabilities to HDR mode, bullet time, starlapse, timelapse and more. It has a compact frame that can be made waterproof with the accompanying housing.

Capture quality

  • 360-degree field of view
  • Upto 5760 x 2880 at 30FPS
  • HDR and standard video modes, timelapse, timeshift, bullet time and more
  • 100Mbps video bit rate

The Insta One R offers some impressive capture quality. Considering all the recording options you get, it seems to do a lot of things and does them well. 

It also has swappable lenses and different mounting options meaning you can use it to capture all sorts of footage, whatever you’re planning on recording. Whether action shots using a helmet mount or chilled out strolls through the country with a selfie stick. 

We enjoy interesting modes like “bullet time” where you swing the camera around your head like you’re wielding a mace, capturing a surrounding view of yourself and the environment. Other capture options include everything from HDR footage to timelapses.

Video and image sharing

You can edit it all within the app or the Insta 360 Studio and there’s a detailed guide explaining how to do that. From there you can then easily share it on your favourite social media platform without much fuss. 

In the free video editor, you can add keyframes and move between various views including tiny planet, fish eye, standard view and more. The software isn’t as powerful as something like DaVinci Resolve, but it’s good enough to allow for editing, speed ramping, tweaking and even cutting out background noise from your audio. 

Conclusion

The Insta One R manages to pull off being a jack of all trades without much in the way of compromise. A brilliant little camera with a lot to offer and plenty of highlights too. 

Pros:

  • A multitude of capture modes and footage options
  • Easy to use free editing software
  • Swappable lenses and mounting options

Cons:

  • Some elements of the software and UI can be a faff

Most affordable 360 cam

Pocket-lint

Samsung Gear 360 (2017)

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  • IP53 (Dust and Splash-proof)
  • Various capture modes including video, photo, time-lapse, looping video and landscape HDR
  • 1,160 mAh battery
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth v4.1, USB 2.0 (Type-C)

The Samsung Gear 360 is part of the company’s “Gear” range of smart products designed to accompany the various Samsung flagship phones available. As such, this 360 camera works well with both the Samsung Gear VR (to view the photos) and the latest Samsung phones via the accompanying app

Despite this, the camera is actually pretty capable, easy-to-use and boasts a number of specifications that make it interesting. It’s also one of the most affordable 360 cameras available. 

Capture quality

  • 360-degree field of view
  • 4K video capture (up to 4096 x 2048 at 24FPS), 15MP photos (5472 x 2736)
  • Micro SD card slot compatible with upto 256GB 

The Samsung Gear 360 uses two 360-degree lenses to capture either 4K video or 15MP images through a variety of capture modes including video, photo, time-lapse, looping video and landscape HDR. The results are fairly good, especially for the price of this camera. 

However, like many of the other 360 cameras out there, the fully stitched images are quite clear close-up, but distant objects are fairly blurry. The stitching itself though is well done and the split between the two images is often barely visible. 

This camera pairs with a range of Samsung phones and will also work with Apple iPhones, but frustratingly won’t work with other Android devices. If you have a compatible smartphone you can access a live view of the camera for capturing purposes, as well as access to a wide range of different settings and tweaks. 

You don’t need a phone to capture images or video if you don’t want to though. A small monochrome screen on the device allows you to easily power on the camera and switch between the basic capture modes as well as settings to snap photos on the go. 

We also like the addition of the tripod mount underneath which allows you to put the camera to more adventurous uses if you should feel the need. 

The Samsung Gear 360 is IP53-rated, making it dust and splash proof, but not fully waterproof like the GoPro Max. It is compact and ergonomically well designed though, making it easy to take with you. It’s small enough to fit nicely in your pocket and pop it out when you need it. 

Video and image sharing

  • 130-minute battery life when recording 2560 x 1280 at 30fps
  • Sharing via connected Samsung phone

The Samsung Gear 360 captures images and video that can be shared via the app on your smartphone. It can also be accessed, processed, edited and shared on PC or Mac with the accompanying Action Director software.  

Thanks to a USB-C connection, it’s not only easy to quickly charge this camera, but also to easily download the images captured on the MicroSD card. The software can then be used to stitch the captured images into a 360-viewable photo or video and shared from there. 

If you’re using the Smartphone app, you can share directly from there. You can also start a live broadcast via Facebook or YouTube too, though obviously the latter requires passing the data from the camera to the phone and then onwards, which results in lower-quality resolutions. 

The Samsung Gear 360 is an easy-to-use camera. Although the photo and video results aren’t necessarily the best, the price point of this device and flexibility of its features and settings make it pretty appealing.

Conclusion

The stitching of images and videos is also surprisingly impressive and a much speedier process than the Acer Holo 360 – especially when using the Action Director software on PC.  

Pros:

  • Quick image and video processing via Action Director software
  • USB Type-C charging/interface port
  • Great ergonomics and compact design
  • Includes tripod mount

Cons:

  • Only compatible with Samsung phones and Apple iPhones 

Most premium 360 camera

Pocket-lint

Garmin VIRB 360

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  • Tripod mounts and grips included
  • Four microphones for spatial audio recording
  • Single and dual lens capture
  • Various photo modes including single shot, burst, timelapse, 360-degree front and back
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC connections
  • Waterproof to 10 metres
  • Built-in sensors for G-Metrix data overlays

The Garmin VIRB 360 is simultaneously both one of the most expensive and most interesting 360 cameras on our list.

This camera is an impressive little box of tricks. Packed into the fat little body is some high-end tech. This includes not only two 360-degree lenses capable of capturing 5.7K footage and 15MP photos but also a mass of other tech too. There’s GPS, GLONASS, barometer and accelerometer sensors designed to capture data as you record and four microphones for spatial audio recording too. 

This gives you the power to create some pretty impressive footage using this camera, not just in quality, but also in the information you include. Videos look pretty awesome with speedometers and other G-Metrix data overlays visible during playback. Especially if you’re planning on doing something sporty with the camera. 

The Garmin VIRB 360 is also designed to be rough and rugged. This 360 camera is waterproof to 10 metres, though Garmin doesn’t reveal what, if any, IP-rating the body supports. Still, it shows it’s capable of recording in wet environments and will stand up to some abuse. 

In the box, Garmin has included two attachments which allow you to connect a tripod using the usual screw mount. A small and capable, hand-held tripod is also included which allows for some nifty and steady shooting if you can find somewhere to stand it. 

This camera also includes another attachment which allows you to connect the camera to GoPro style mounts – opening up a world of possibilities for attaching to helmets, suction cups, handlebars and much more besides. 

Capturing is as simple as pressing a button on top to take photographs and pushing a slide on the side to record video. An LCD screen on top gives you easy access to change basic settings and flip between capture modes too. The result is an easy-to-use camera that’s a joy to play with. 

Voice control is also an option saying “OK, Garmin” allows you to give verbal commands. You can then ask the camera to start/stop recording, take photos and more besides. 

Capture quality

  • 5.7K/30FPS, unstitched or 4K/30FPS, stitched
  • 15 MP photo capture
  • Automatically stitched photos and videos

We were suitably impressed with the capture quality of the Garmin VIRB 360. It’s not surprising that with such impressive specs under the hood, this camera is capable of not only capturing high-quality video but images too. 

As well as recording 360-degree video at a maximum of 5.7K, the Garmin VIRB 360 also has a number of other capture options that include standard stills from either lens, burst mode, timelapse capture and slow-motion too. 

It’s easy to grab imagery and video footage with just a couple of clicks and the camera automatically does all the legwork in processing what you’ve snapped too. 

We did experience some minor issues with stitching occasionally with photos (people missing parts of their heads) but this is fairly common on these sorts of cameras and is often forgivable. Otherwise, the quality of the footage and imagery is pretty reasonable. 

None of these cameras is yet mind-blowing in terms of the end results. Despite the specifications, the technology is not quite there yet and you can easily see the degradation in quality the further into the distance you look, but this camera still has a lot going for it. 

The Garmin VIRB includes spherical stabilisation capabilities and footage can be edited to reduce shake and wobble with a simple couple of clicks. The results are remarkable too. It’s the ease-of-use, brilliant capture capabilities and flexibility where this 360 camera really shines. 

As if that wasn’t enough, the camera is also capable of recording for up to an hour on a single charge. Spare batteries and dual chargers are available to purchase to keep on recording if you so wish too. 

Video and image sharing

  • Spherical stabilisation capabilities
  • Free desktop editing software
  • Mobile app for settings tweaks and sharing on the go

For us, one of the highlights of the Garmin VIRB 360 is almost certainly the way it handles stitching of images and videos. This processing is done automatically on the device meaning it’s almost seamless.

You can choose to use the iOS or Android app to share content while you’re out and about or use the free desktop software to edit footage once you’re back home. But even importing photos and videos from the device onto your PC or Mac you’ll find their already stitched and ready for viewing or sharing to Facebook, YouTube or wherever else you wish to use them. 

There’s a Google Cardboard functionality built right into the app too, meaning you can pop your phone into a VR headset and view footage you’ve captured in full 360-degree glory. 

There’s a lot of flexibility here. Apple users can even live stream via the smartphone app, so there are plenty of different ways to capture and share content.  

The Garmin VIRB 360 is one of the best 360-degree cameras we’ve seen. It’s flexible, capable and powerful. We loved the automatic stitching and the easy-to-use accompanying app and software that make it a breeze to easily create and share your content. 

Conclusion

Stand-out features include powerful video stabilisation, brilliant G-Metrix data overlays, easy editing and spatial audio recording. 

For us though, the best feature is likely the one you’ll take for granted – the automatic stitching and processing. This is seamless and results in content that can be viewed and shared as soon as it’s exported. This means it can be seen without any dull waiting around for the camera to process the footage beforehand like we experienced with other cameras we’ve tested. 

Pros:

  • Automatic on-camera stitching and footage processing
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Simple pairing and controls via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC
  • Free app and desktop software makes editing and sharing a breeze
  • Waterproofing and rugged design
  • Flexible mounts and adapters mean you can potentially stick it to anything

Cons:

Most durable 360 camera

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Nikon KeyMission 360

  • 1,050mAh Lithium-Ion battery
  • Approximately two hours of charging time
  • 198-gram bodyweight
  • Bluetooth 4.1/IEEE 802.11b/g Wi-Fi
  • microSD/microSDHC/microSDXC memory card compatible
  • NIKKOR 1.6 mm f/2.0 lenses

If an action camera and a 360 camera got together and had a baby, this would be the result. The Nikon KeyMission 360 features a rugged, durable and robust body housing some capable NIKKOR 1.6 mm f/2.0 lenses and the ability to capture UHD 4K footage or 23.9MP 360-degree stills.

If you’re into extreme sports or want a 360 camera that’s capable of functioning underwater, in snowy/freezing conditions or just stand up to rough handling then this might well be it. 

The Nikon KeyMission 360 is IP6X and IPX8 rated meaning this camera is capable of withstanding a multitude of environments and rough handling. It’s dustproof, shockproof, weatherproof and waterproof too.

The camera’s durable body allows it to be dropped up to two metres, used underwater up to 30 metres for 60 minutes and resist temperatures ranging from -10°C to 40°C. All these specs certainly make it an ideal candidate for extreme sports use or a great alternative if you’re a bit of a clumsy buffoon.  

There are multiple accessories available including everything from suction cups to chest mounts, selfies sticks, grips and more. Meaning you can use this 360 camera for pretty much anything you can imagine. It also supports a standard tripod mount, making it flexible and easy to use with a variety of mounts and attachments. 

This camera also comes with a build-it-yourself cardboard headset you can use with your smartphone to view the images and videos in VR – for a more immersive view of the footage you’ve captured too.

Capture quality

  • Standard, timelapse, looping and superlapse video capture
  • 7744 x 3872 still images (approx 23.9MP)
  • MP4 (Video: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, Audio: AAC stereo)
  • 2160/24p, 1920/24p, 960/30p, 640/120p, 320/240p video capture

The Nikon KeyMission 360 captures images up to a resolution of 7744 x 3872 (approx 23.9MP) and video at a maximum of 2160p at 24 frames per second. The results are fairly impressive and comparable with the other high-end cameras on this list. 

This 360 camera offers a number of capture modes including standard, timelapse, looping and Superlapse video capture. It also supports a self-timer which allows you to set up the camera ready for photographs or video and capture footage just the way you want. 

Built-in Vibration Reduction technology uses information about the camera’s position in the world to counter camera shake and stabilise imagery. This, in theory, should result in smooth video performance and clearer photos. Our experience during testing shows video performance that isn’t quite as stable as we’ve seen with the Garmin VIRB, but this camera is a lot more affordable. 

Like the Garmin VIRB, this camera has separate buttons for video and photo capture, making it easy to ensure you’re pressing the right button for the results you’re after. The video button doubles as the power button, which can make things a bit fiddly at times but otherwise it’s fairly user-friendly.  

Video and image sharing

  • Automatic in-camera stitching
  • Self-timer capable
  • Auto-download options

A highlight to the design of the Nikon KeyMission 360 is the power under the hood. This camera supports automatic in-camera stitching that processes photographs and videos seamlessly.

You can then use the accompanying app to download captured footage directly to your smartphone or plug it into a computer to access it from there. 

The Nikon KeyMission 360 is compatible with the SnapBridge 360/170 app for iPhone and Android devices. This app allows you to connect to the camera to access and tweak settings, download images and work the camera as a remote control. We found the app could be a bit flakey and not as user-friendly as others we’ve tried, but automatic pairing via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth is a breeze. There are some occasional connection issues, but nothing that prevents you from using the camera manually. 

We had some issues with video capture during our testing. Some experimenting combined with a thorough reading of the manual revealed that you need a microSDXC memory card with an SD Speed Class rating of 6 or faster in order to properly capture video footage. Lesser rated cards lead to recordings stopping unexpectedly. 

The app allows you to manually or automatically download images and videos from the camera to your phone. They can then be shared from your phone straight to social media. This sharing is fairly easy, but sometimes held back by the problems with app connectivity. 

Downloading to your computer and sharing from there is also easy and the fact the stitching is automatic really makes life a lot simpler. There’s also a desktop utility for basic editing and tweaks available to download for free

The Nikon KeyMission 360 is an interesting option for those looking for a durable and rugged 360-degree camera. It’s built to withstand all sorts of punishment and weather situations making it perfect for extreme sports in all manner of conditions. We found the video capture to not be quite as good as other 360 cameras we’ve tested. Video stabilisation isn’t as good as the Garmin VIRB, for example, but the price of this camera makes it far more accessible. 

Conclusion

This camera is also flexible and able to work with a wide variety of accessories and mounts. Meaning you can put it to use in whatever activity you’re planning on. It takes pretty impressive 360-degree imagery and is a really capable device for the money. 

Pros: 

  • Automatic in-camera stitching of photos and video
  • Ability to download images directly to your phone
  • Durable design that’s dustproof, shockproof, weatherproof and waterproof too
  • Affordable price point compared to other 360 cameras on this list

Cons:

  • No live streaming capabilities
  • Smartphone app connection is flaky and unreliable
  • In-app settings are somewhat limited





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Ring Video Doorbell 2 vs. August Doorbell Cam Pro: Which should you buy? 


With Ring in the news more and more these days, many are looking for smart home security alternatives. Makers of acclaimed smart locks, August, also have a solid video doorbell product, but will it be enough to beat Ring at their own game?

Source: Ring Video Doorbell 2 vs. August Doorbell Cam Pro: Which should you buy? | Android Central



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How to buy the right printer for you



Printers aren’t the sexiest of gadgets. We know this. But the fact remains that more and more people are choosing to print out their digital photos as well as using the things for letters, contracts and other documents.

So, if you want to know how to avoid the pricey ink trap and make sure you’re getting the most beautiful snaps for your frames then read on.

Rule 1: Work out how much you’ll use it

This is both the hardest thing to figure out and also the most important at the same time. In fact, if you get this bit sussed, you’re pretty much home already. The trouble is that it’s a hard thing to estimate because it’s not worth paying attention to while you do it.

In fact, you’re most likely only going find out the answer after it’s too late and you’ve already made your purchase. So, as dull as it might sound, if you can have a good estimate at this now, it’ll save you a fair bit of money and trouble in the long run.

Rule 2: Cheaper printers have more expensive ink

You might have paid a good price for the hardware in some sale or other but chances are that a cheap printer will cost you more in ink cartridges over time whereas replacements on a more expensive piece of kit will work out better as time goes on.

So, based on the calculation of how many pages you think you’ll be printing each month, you’ll have some idea of how often you’ll get through cartridges. Lots of brands these days say on the packaging just how many sheets they’d expect you to get out of them.

Combine that with your printing frequency and you’ll have some idea of how much you’d expect to pay in refills over each year. Factor in the initial cost of the machine and you’ll see at what point it might be worth going for a higher spec printer.

Rule 3: Lasers are not necessarily the best

Most home user probably would opt for an inkjet anyway but even if you really want to spend some cash or you’re a small business trying to make the right choice, don’t just presume that you’ll get more for your money with a laser printer. The major advantage of them is that they’re fast.

Many inkjets will beat laser models for startup time if you’re just printing a page or two. On the other hand, if you’re going to be calling for 20 sheets at a time, then a laser’s probably the right call.

Another issue is that lasers won’t necessarily offer more accurate colours over all parts of the spectrum as a high-end inkjet might. So, if printing photos is the reason for your purchase then make sure to read the reviews carefully if you really are sold on the idea of these bigger, faster machines.

On the cartridge side, you won’t have to shell out for a new one quite so often but you will be looking at a fair old wedge when you do. Quite a good compromise if you’re unsure of which type to go for are often the prosumer type inkjet printers. They’re generally quicker and more economic with the ink provided you use them on a regular basis. But they cost more initially. 

Rule 4: Use the right refills

One option to make your ongoing printer use cheaper is to go for non-brand printer cartridge replacements or even have your empties filled back up again. By all means, give this a crack but get them from a reputable supplier rather than somebody selling a supply from an unknown source. Some non-brand replacements are reliable but many aren’t. 

Another thing to keep your eyes out for are extra large cartridges and printer packs. It’s just a question of a buying-in-bulk mentality. These deals will offer you a lower cost per page but obviously need you to spend more up front. 

Rule 5: Use the right paper

There’s a holy trinity of printing between the machine, the ink and the paper and if any one of them is out, there’s a chance that you won’t get good results. Fortunately, you don’t have to be quite as specific with paper as you do with the ink.

Photo quality paper is the one to pay most attention to. If you are going to print your snaps, it’s not really a place to scrimp. That said, they often come in grades equivalent to “good”, “better” and “best” so try a few and see which reaches the right price/quality point for you.

One piece of advice for all printing is to make sure that your paper is 80gsm thick or over – if you require your documents to have an aesthetic value, that is.

Rule 6: A printer is a subscription

Most dissatisfaction over printers is caused by the bill shock of the cartridges. The problem is that people just aren’t in the right mindset when they buy them. You’ve got to see the purchase of a printer much like a mobile phone where there’s an initial outlay to consider as well as an equal, if not more significant, running cost.

Pick the subscription model that suits you the best. Are you happy paying little and often or would you prefer to shell out in bursts? You might consider a cheaper printer more like a 12 month contract whereas a better model you’ll need to keep for a longer period of time to really reap the economic benefits.





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How to decide which Samsung Galaxy S10 is the best to buy | It’s a Gadget


Samsung has revealed few weeks ago a new line of devices entitled Galaxy S10. Together with this lineup that includes the flagship Samsung Galaxy S10 with 3 variants, they also announced a foldable Samsung Galaxy Fold and a couple of wearable devices.

Samsung Galaxy fold is the phone for tomorrow, but Samsung Galaxy S10 is the polished phone the market demands today. The most expensive variant, the S10+ has a slim chance of being the best seller, but it will attract a lot of people who love a big battery and display. A lot of information, but which device you should chose?

The S10+ does not only get the extra power of a 4100 maH battery, but also it has a highly power efficient chip. We have already seen the effects of 7nm chips’ power efficiency in the Huawei Mate 20pro and a similar performance can be expected from the new S10 phones.

A good feature of all these phones is that they are equipped with reverse wireless charging technology which was first seen in Huawei’s Mate 20pro. Unfortunately, Huawei also brought the hole punch designed front cameras to the market earlier than Samsung. This hole-punch design of the front cameras is also one of the key features of all the new Samsung Galaxy S10 devices.  Even though it may feel like the new Samsung Galaxy S10+ is the best phone, it is not going to be in everyone’s shopping list.

There are some key differences that separate the buyers of the different variants of Galaxy S10. Therefore, the question remains. Which of these devices are for you? Here are the details of all the devices released in the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2019 event.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

This is the biggest Galaxy S10 variant except the 5G version.

It comes with a 6.4 inch quad HD+ display which is of course curved around the edges in the traditional Galaxy S fashion. It is equipped with triple cameras among which two have OIS: one is wide angle, one is telephoto and the other one is the first ultra-wide angle camera from Samsung in the S series.

The bells and whistles are there in the hardware specifications department. It is equipped with the latest Snapdragon 855 chip which should place the Galaxy S10+ one of the most powerful and battery efficient phones in the world even though the Sony flagship is providing a higher benchmarking score with the same processor. It also offers 1TB of storage space if you are ready to increase your exceeding budget even further. If you want a big phone with big battery and budget is no issue for you, Samsung Galaxy S10+ is the right phone for you. I would recommend this to business guys or people that need to have big screens in their life.

Samsung Galaxy S10

This is the variant with no compromises except the screen, an extra depth sensor front camera and battery size.

The screen is reduced to 6.1-inch and the battery is reduced to 3400mAh, but this should still make it an all day phone as it is still powered by the same 7nm chip running the newly optimized One UI from Samsung.

The number of camera lenses are same and the curved edges are still there. The only reasons to choose this phone over the S10+ can be its size and price, so for a normal person like me, this would be the phone to buy.

Samsung Galaxy S10E

Despite being the cheapest in the bunch, this is the most talked about by the reviewers and for justified reasons. This is the $750 iPhone XR competitor that makes less sacrifices to reach this comparatively affordable price point. It loses the telephoto lens, but the ultra-wide lens is still there. It loses the curved edge, but the AMOLED smoothness is still there.

The S10E also comes with a full HD display unlike the iPhone XR. It is expected by the analysts that the Samsung Galaxy S10E is probably going to be the best seller among the three variants. The downsides of this phone also includes a smaller battery (3100 mAh) compared to the other two versions.

Many users also prefer not to use the curved edges at it is harder to get compatible and long lasting screen protectors for those. Therefore, losing the curved edges can be a blessing for many potential users. I would recommend this to those that don’t afford S10 and that don’t care that much for impressive screens, photos or amazing performance.

Samsung Galaxy S10 5G

This is the biggest phone announced of Samsung Galaxy Unpacked. The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is a 6.7-inch quad HD+ display with the same curved edge AMOLED display.

There is an extra camera at the back which includes a 3D depth sensing camera along with the other three cameras of the other variants. This is also the phone with the biggest battery in the S series (4500 mAh). Although the guests could try all these new phones in the demo, the S10 5G variant was not one of those. This may not be the answer to which phone you should buy, but many heavy users are choosing this phone just for its battery and screen size. So I’m not sure exactly for which kind of person is this phone, but for sure is for someone that affords spending more and that 5G and big size really matters.

Samsung Galaxy Fold

The Samsung Galaxy Fold was the most hyped phone of the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2019. In the competition to release the first foldable phone in the market, Samsung had to accept defeat, but the delay was worth it.

It is a more polished product than any previous release of foldable phones as it has the foldable display and one small display which can be used when the device is folded.

The cover display is a 4.6-inch Super AMOLED display and the main foldable display is a 7.3-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED display even though Samsung could not avoid the notch in the main display. There is one selfie camera on the cover and three rear cameras similar to the S10 releases, but Samsung does not stop there. There are two more cameras at the front situated at the notch when you unfold the phone.

Samsung Galaxy Fold comes equipped with 12GB of RAM. That’s why it will cost you $1980 which may not seem too ridiculous when you will look at the Huawei Mate X folding phone with a $2600 price tag. So those who want to buy this will have to really love this type of phones or afford spending nearly $2000 for a phone.

Now let’s have a small look on the accesories as Samsung also recently introduced Galaxy Buds, Galaxy Watch Active and Galaxy Fit/Galaxy Fit E fitness trackers.

Samsung Galaxy Buds

Samsung Galaxy Buds are the cord-free earbuds that puts the Apple Airpods under serious competition as the Galaxy Buds offer many features the latter ones do not have. The charging case can be charged wirelessly and it works great with the reverse charging technology used in all the Galaxy S10 phones. The buds also use dual microphones to provide a clear voice quality in noisy environments. The touch sensitive controls are also very intuitive. The Galaxy Buds are provided free if you preorder any of the Galaxy S10 phones.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active

For the fitness aware people out there, Samsung also released the Galaxy Watch Active. It can be used for blood pressure monitoring, workout tracking and also stress tracking along with many basic features. These wearables can be used with third party apps from Spotify, Strava and Under Armour. The Buds also have Bixby integration.

Samsung Galaxy Fit and Galaxy Fit e

For a more comfortable fitness wear, the Galaxy Fit and Galaxy Fit e are lightweight and slim. These two do not have the similar third party support of Galaxy Watch active, but you can record up to 90 different types of fitness activities using them along with Samsung Health app on your phone. The features are also less in number including basic tasks like notification, clock and reminders. These devices are also water resistant.

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2019 had almost all the flagship products of Samsung mobile division apart from their Galaxy Note lineup. It was also very significant for Samsung since all the major competitors in the mobile market are dealing with a decline in the overall demand. As an event it was almost perfect except the absence of a usable 5G variant of Samsung Galaxy S10.

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