Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lytro Light Field Camera: A Revolutionary Way to Take Photos

Since the 1800s, cameras were built to capture light from a specific focal point to create a flat 2D image. Here comes the camera that would dramatically change everything: Lytro Light Field Camera.

This is the first camera that, instead of capturing a flat image focusing on a single point, records the rays of light travelling in every direction through a scene – ‘light field’ as they call it. The focal point of the image produced is not fixed in any way, making you change focus or even slightly shift perspective after you've taken the photo.

Light field photography, or Plenoptic photography in Scientific jargon, has a bunch of benefits aside from the ability to refocus. First is speed. You don’t need to wait for the lens to focus, just grab the camera and shoot away! Then, there’s low light capability. Since the opening of the aperture is bigger than that of normal consumer point-and-shoot cameras, it can capture light better and perform great in low light conditions. And lastly, because you can slightly shift perspective, you can create 3D images using a 3D rendering software. With these benefits, the Lytro camera unlocks the creative potential in every image you take.

Here are some of its technical specifications:

Tech Specs:

Sensor size: 4.6 x 4.6mm
Pixels per microlens: 100
Megarays: 11 (the number of light rays captured by the light field sensor)
Light Field Engine: v2.0
Aspect ratio: 1:1
Resolution: 1080 x 1080 pixels
File type: .lfp (Light field picture file)
Constant f/2 aperture
8x optical zoom
43–344mm (35mm equivalent)
8 elements in 5 groups
1.52 inch (diagonal) back-lit LCD display
Glass touchscreen
Full Auto
Full Manual
Shutter Priority (1/250–8 seconds)
ISO-Priority (80–3200)
Exposure Lock
4-stop ND Filter
Wi-Fi Protected Access® (WPA2)
16GB or 8GB Internal Storage

As you notice in the specs, we don't see the usual measure of MP or 'megapixel'. It is measured instead in Megarays -- the number of the light rays captured by the sensor. It shoots images at around 1.1MP (1080 x 1080 pixels) resolution at 1:1 ratio, which you can view using its touch-sensitive screen before sharing to your friends in Instagram or Facebook.

The weight of the camera is just right for its size, considering the number of lenses it has inside. You can also feel that its anodized aluminium body would hold up for quite some time.

Many would ask if it is worth owning one. I say, there is always a price for early adoption. Even if this camera technology is almost two years old to date, many of us Filipinos are still seeing this for the first time. So if you are the kind who doesn't want to be the center of attention because you are holding a camera that shoots 'living pictures' and looks like a flashlight, then go ahead and buy that digital SLR.

This is available now from www.mobile1.com.ph for P29,990.

Monday, March 1, 2010

New Job!

March 1, 2010 -- a new chapter in my career. Since I graduated, I've been looking for a company that can harness my love for technology.

Thanks to Microwarehouse for accepting me as a Product Manager for BlackBerry.
Today is my first day. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The 13-inch Macbook Pro Unibody

Apple has always been known as a company that charges a premium on superb design and outstanding engineering. But ever since the world depression hit, it is slowly losing its grip on the market. To remain competitive, they did a remarkable move by bumping-up hardware specs of their products while at the same time, lowering their prices. And because of this, we’ve seen a crossover we always wanted to have – an ultra portable MacBook Pro! This is one notable move that made the 13-inch Macbook one of the best contenders in its price range.

It is as portable and handy as a netbook, yet it packs a massive punch under its solid block of aluminium shell. This is the new 13-inch Mac Book Pro from Apple. This handsome laptop runs an Intel Core2Duo P8400 @ 2.26Ghz and 2GB DDR3 memory which open up programs and files saved in its 160GB SATA hard drive in a snap.

Physically, the 13-inch Macbook Pro resembles its bigger and more powerful siblings. It comes standard with a built-in SD card reader, Firewire800, DVI out, two USB slots, and audio in/out port -- all laid out ergonomically on one side. From now on, typing in the dark is a thing of the past thanks to its backlit full-size keyboard. The ambient light sensor beside the iSight camera detects low light and automatically turns on the keyboard lighting.

Some people may think that having an internal battery is an inconvenience, but with an estimated lifespan of 1000 charge cycles, the internal Lithium Polymer battery will last for at least three years even if you charge it every day.

The LED-backlit screen is just stunning! It spews out rich and vibrant colors with improved contrast and deeper blacks. One downside though is that its glossy screen surface increases the amount of reflection making the screen annoying to use in certain situations. The touchpad is a large multi-touch surface with no separate touchpad buttons which you can use to manipulate objects in the screen by using predefined finger gestures. Clicking action is through a clicker button under the touchpad, which allows the entire surface to be pressed.

And of course, a computer is only as good as the operating system it runs. Well, this comes shipped with, what Apple claims, to be the fastest, most efficient Mac OS ever, The Mac OSX Snow Leopard. Oh, and by the way, you can also install a Windows operating system on a Mac if you’re not comfortable with Snow Leopard yet.

With its simple interface and usability, it’s more than just a piece of engineered hardware; the 13-inch Macbook Pro is actually more like a work of art.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sony Extends Help to Typhoon Victims

I haven't posted anything for a long time after Ondoy wreaked havoc on us. We still don't have internet connection since! Thank you Globe Broadband for the outstanding service (*sarcastimode off).

Well, here's good news from Avvy of Virtusio (Sony Philippines' PR firm) re all Sony products bought here:

Good day!

We would just like to tell you the good news!

In light of the recent calamities brought by the typhoons, Ondoy and Pepeng, Sony Philippines expands its services as they now also extend their Service Support Project to all Sony product users of in and out of warranty units.

For In-warranty covered units (from September 27 to November 30, 2009):

- Free labor, check-up and cleaning of all Sony products sold by Sony Phillippines, Inc.
- 40% discount on all parts charged (as quoted by the Sony Service Center)

For Out of warranty covered units (from November 3 to 30, 2009):

- 40% discount on labor, check-up and cleaning of all Sony products sold by Sony Phillippines, Inc.
- 20% discount on all parts charged (as quoted by the Sony Service Center)

Please see attached poster for more information. Thanks so much!

Again, this only applies to Sony products issued by Sony Philippines. No PS3s or PSPs. Sorry guys!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Crocodile Skin Laptops!

Sony has once again stunned its competitors with the release of the new premium line of VAIO portables called the Signature series. Basically, the Signature series laptops are upgraded versions of current models like the VAIO P and the T line of portables. We’re not really sure if there are people clamoring for animal-skin laptops, but Sony aims to fill that void by releasing a new portable computer with a croc skin finish – the Sony VAIO CS36GJ/J.

Targeted at sophisticated women and women-at-heart, this reptile of a laptop comes in two colors: red and pink. It’s powered by a Core2Duo P8700 running at an ample 2.53GHz which you can use for browsing the web, light photo and video editing, and everything in between. The pre-installed 64bit Windows Vista and 4GB out-of-the-box will surely boost all your online and offline chores. A three hundred and twenty gigabyte hard drive comes standard to save all your personal files and apps, and if space becomes limited, you can easily back it up using the 8x DVD writer.

If you wish to easily transfer files to and from your phones, cameras, or PSPs without the need for cables, it has a built-in Bluetooth 2.1 technology which complements the memory stick and SD card reader upfront. People on-the-go need not worry because it supports all the WiFi technologies for fast and reliable access to the internet. And with that reliable connection you can use the 1.3 megapixel web camera to chat with your friends or to even check if lipstick is stuck in between your teeth.

If your favorite pet is a crocodile, or if you never missed an episode of the Crocodile Hunter, the new Sony VAIO CS36GJ/J is a looker for P89,999. But if you’re not into fake animal skin, or simply want value for your money, don’t fret, you can buy the simpler-looking, non-croc version for P17,000 cheaper. All in all, it is a superb laptop with speedy hardware and tons of features; but honestly, I just don’t think the 17,000 peso premium for the fake leather is worth it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The PS3 Slim: The Real Deal

The mysterious PS3 Slim is a mystery no more. Yesterday, Sony finally announced the existence of the shrunk version of the old PS3. Well, this confirms the rumors and the Philippine sighting of this beautiful slab of plastic and silicon -- at least we could all sleep peacefully for now.
New Slimmer and Lighter PlayStation(R)3 to Hit Worldwide Market This September

Lower Price to Further Accelerate Expansion of the PlayStation(R)3 Platform Along with Extensive Software Title Line-up for Upcoming Holiday Season

TOKYO, Aug. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) today unveiled the new PlayStation®3 (CECH-2000A) (body color: charcoal black) computer entertainment system, featuring an extremely streamlined form factor with a 120GB Hard Disk Drive (HDD). The new PlayStation®3 (PS3®) system will become available in stores from September 1, 2009, in North America, Europe/ PAL territories and Asian countries and regions at a very attractive recommended retail price (RRP) of US$299 and euro 299, respectively. The system will become available in Japan on September 3, 2009, at a RRP of 29,980 yen (including tax). With the introduction of the new PS3 system, SCE will also reduce the price of the current PS3 with 80GB HDD to a RRP of US$299 from August 18 and euro 299 from August 19. Also in North America, the price of PS3 with 160GB HDD will be reduced to a RRP of US$399 from August 18. By launching a vast library of exciting and attractive software titles for PS3 this holiday season and offering customers a line-up of hardware models and pricing to match their preference, SCE will build on the momentum and further accelerate the expansion of the PS3 platform.

The internal design architecture of the new PS3 system, from the main semiconductors and power supply unit to the cooling mechanism, has been completely redesigned, achieving a much slimmer and lighter body. Compared to the very first PS3 model with 60GB HDD, the internal volume as well as its thickness and weight are trimmed down to approximately two-thirds. Furthermore, power consumption is also cut to two-thirds, helping to reduce fan noise. While inheriting the sleek curved body design of the original model, the form factor of the new PS3 system features a new meticulous design with textured surface finish, giving an all new impression and a casual look. With the compact body and casual appearance, the newly introduced model will appeal to a wider audience who are looking to buy the best entertainment system for their home.

Concurrently with the release of the new PS3 system, SCE will modify the PS3 brand name from "PLAYSTATION 3" to "PlayStation 3", and introduce a new "PS3" logo, which is engraved on the surface of the new PS3 system. By unifying under the familiar "PlayStation®" name, which represents the entire PlayStation family, PS3 together with PlayStation®2 and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) will further expand the PlayStation business, and will continue to enhance the entertainment experience along with the ever-growing PlayStation®Network.

The new PS3 continues to offer the cutting-edge features and functions of the current models, such as the ability to enjoy high-definition Blu-ray disc (BD) movies and games, as well as various content and services downloadable through the network. The new PS3's storage size has increased from 80GB to 120GB, and with the extra capacity users will be able to store more games, music, photos, videos as well as various content and services available through PlayStation Network. Having more than 27 million registered accounts around the world, PlayStation Network offers more than 15,000 pieces of digital content, ranging from game titles, trailers, and demos to more than 15,000 movies and TV shows via PlayStation Store(*1). PlayStation Network members can also download free applications, such as PlayStation Home, a ground-breaking 3D social gaming community available on PS3 that allows users to interact, communicate and share gaming experiences, as well as Life with PlayStation, which offers users various news and information on a TV monitor in the living room by connecting the PS3 to the network.

Since the launch of PS3 in November 2006, the number of BD-based titles has reached more than 1,000 titles and downloadable PS3 games to 1,400(*2) titles worldwide, with the support from a broad range of third party game developers and publishers. In addition to this extensive software title line-up, exciting and attractive new titles are to be released from SCE Worldwide Studios, including Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, EyePet, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, Heavy Rain, God of War 3, MAG, ModNation Racer, Gran Turismo 5 and more.

Other features of the new PS3 include:

PS3 system software update version 3.00

Concurrently with the release of new PS3, system software will be upgraded to version 3.00 on September 1. The update adds various user-friendly features such as the "What's New" screen, where users can quickly browse the new items available in PlayStation Store as well as their recently played games directly on the XMB(TM) (XrossMediaBar), with short cuts to each piece of content. PS3 will evolve continuously with the system software updates, further improving the operability and enhancing the user experience available through the network. PS3 owners will be able to enjoy new features by simply updating the PS3 system software to version 3.00 via the "System Update" function on the XMB(*3).

- BRAVIA(R) Sync(TM) Feature

The new PS3 system is also equipped with the BRAVIA(R) Sync(TM) feature. By connecting the new PS3 system and a BRAVIA TV with the HDMI cable, users are able to directly operate the XMB on PS3 using the TV remote
control. Other functions include "System Standby" that will automatically turn off the PS3 system when the BRAVIA TV is turned off(*4).

- "Vertical Stand" for new PS3 (CECH-2000 series)

By utilizing the separately sold "Vertical Stand", users will be able to set the new PS3 in vertical position(*5), making it easier to place the PS3 system anywhere at home. The vertical stand will become available in Japan on September 3, 2009, at a RRP of 2,000 yen (including tax) and in North America at US$24(*6).

- Removal of "Install Other OS" feature

The new PS3 system will focus on delivering games and other entertainment content, and users will not be able to install other

Operating Systems to the new PS3 system.

Along with a vast line-up of attractive and exciting entertainment content with the new PS3 system, SCE will continue to further expand the PS3 platform and create a new world of computer entertainment.
  • 1 Number as of end July 2009. Content within PlayStation Store will differ by region, please refer to the official PlayStation.com site for further details.
  • 2 Includes PS one(R) classics and free of charge content (downloadable demos).
  • 3 Users will need to connect their PS3 to the network to use the function.
  • 4 Users will need to use BRAVIA TV that supports the BRAVIA Sync feature. For further information about BRAVIA Sync, please refer to the official Sony site in each region.
  • 5 Users will need to use the separately sold "Vertical Stand" to set the new PS3 in vertical position.
  • 6 Release date of the vertical stand for North America will be announced when available. Release date and price of the vertical stand for Europe/ PAL territories and Asian countries and regions will be announced when available.
Spec sheet:
  • Product name: PlayStation 3
  • Product code: CECH-2000A (Charcoal Black)
  • CPU: Cell Broadband Engine™
  • GPU: RSX
  • Audio output: LPCM 7.1ch, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD, AAC.
  • Memory: 256MB XDR Main RAM, 256MB GDDR3 VRAM
  • Hard disk: 120GB 2.5" Serial ATA
  • USB 2.0 ports: 2
  • Networking: Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T), IEEE 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth 2.0 (+EDR)
  • Controller: Wireless Controller (Bluetooth) x 1
  • AV outputs: HDMI x 1, AV MULTI OUT x 1, Digital out (optical) x 1
  • Resolutions: 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p, 480i (for PAL 576p, 576i)
  • BD / DVD / CD drive (read only): BD × 2 (BD-ROM), DVD × 8 (DVD-ROM), CD × 24 (CD-ROM)
  • Power: AC 220 – 240, 50/60Hz
  • Power consumption: Approx. 250W
  • External dimensions (excluding maximum projecting part): Approx. 290 × 65 × 290 mm (width × height × length)
  • Mass: Approx. 3.2kg
  • Included in box: PlayStation 3 system × 1, Wireless Controller (DUALSHOCK 3) × 1, AC power cord × 1, AV cable × 1, USB cable × 1

Best thing about this is that it retails for only $300 or P15,000! Woah!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ken Block is the Craziest Person I Want to Become!

Many don't know that I'm a big fan of the Subaru Impreza WRX STi. From wallpapers, pictures, manuals, CD catalogues, to model kits, Choro-Qs/Q-Steers, and 1:10 scale R/C bodies -- I've collected everything that I can get my hands on. Ever since college, I've been dreaming of driving (drove the 2008 Impreza Hatch and the 2009 WRX Sedan) owning one. But until that day comes, I'll drool over these for now.

Ken Block is a Subaru rally driver who is famous for his Gymkhanas and his precise drifting exhibitions. This guy is just awesome!

Block and his 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STi (530 WHP):

Block and his 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX STi (566 WHP):

Oh, and in case you didn't notice -- he owns DC Shoes!