Take better photos with your smartphone – Lumia action in Australia

Matt Glastonbury is a mobile phone photographer.  To clarify; that doesn’t mean he takes photos of mobile phones, instead he is an expert in taking photos with mobile phones.

Matt started snapping away on an iPhone in Hong Kong a number of years ago.  He began to specialise in photos that could be used by tourism businesses to promote themselves on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook.

Before long he graduated from iPhones to Lumia devices, having heard that the quality of the camera and importantly, the power he had over the controls, gave him more flexibility to achieve great shots.

We met Matt earlier this month on a fact finding trip to Sydney, facilitated by Microsoft Devices.  Over two days Matt showed the assembled media how to better use their Lumia devices in order to get professional quality photos.

It’s often said that the best camera is the one you have with you, but using it correctly is an advantage.  For example we were shown how to take better food photos.  One tip -take the camera off of auto and using manual focusing to ad depth of field to your food photos.

Another top tip was to look for ways to play with water and light, using the reflective power of water to enhance the composition of your shots.  And of course with the Nokia Camera app in the Lumia phones, it was easy to adjust the exposure controls to add saturation.

Matt also gave us tips on using Nokia’s living images which add a touch of animation to an image, and the Storyeller app to build a short video from your still images.

But enough with the writing, let’s have a look at the proof; here are some of the photos Matt took on a Lumia 930 during our two day tour of the Blue Mountains.

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That’s what a professional’s shots look like.  Meanwhile, here are some of the pics I took using a loan phone (including the best #animalselfie featuring Bandit the horse and yours truly – I’m the one on the right).

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About the Lumia 930:
Running on the latest Windows 8.1 operating system, the Lumia 930 offers a seamless experience across your phone, tablet, Windows PC and Xbox devices – making it easier to access your favourite shared files in more places – as well as Live Tiles so you can quickly and easily stay connected to the things that matter most.The new addition to the premium Lumia line-up brings the best of Windows and Lumia including:

Stunning screen – the crystal clear 5-inch Full HD OLED display lets you watch your favourite shows, movies or video clips in any condition, and thanks to a 2420 mAh battery and built-in wireless charging, there is no need to worry about running out of battery.

More from every moment – integration of the new Microsoft Enterprise feature pack, Microsoft Office, OneDrive, Nokia Camera, and HERE Maps and Drive+, all of which work seamlessly to make the Lumia 930 a great tool for work and play.

Your apps, your way – The apps you want, all certified by Microsoft in the only app store that learns what you like and makes suggestions based upon what’s most important and personal to you.

Best for business – With the world’s most popular productivity tools, like Office and Outlook built-in, coupled with a host of new enterprise features like; VPN, SMIME and MDM support, Windows Phone is built for both personal productivity and enterprise deployment.

Class leading imaging – an advanced 20MP PureView camera with optical image stabilization and high quality ZEISS optics makes capturing and reliving amazing images and videos fast and easy.

More from your memories – with the enhanced Nokia Camera with Living Images, it’s easy to add movement and emotion to static pictures, while imaging apps such as Nokia Storyteller, Nokia Creative Studio and Nokia Refocus bring even more levels of creativity to any photo.

Incredible directional audio, HD video – with four high-performance microphones and Rich Recording, the Lumia 930 captures HD video like never before, with support for surround sound capture and playback.

Processing even faster and richer – A 2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor to enhance activities like Xbox gaming, image capturing and video processing

Low power motion sensing – The new SensorCore helps people track their activity all day without using up the large 2420 mAh battery – perfect for exercise and exploration using apps like Bing Health and Fitness.

The Nokia Lumia 930 is available exclusively through Vodafone for an RRP of NZ$999.

Is this the Swiss Army Knife of computers? At the Asus Transformer Book Trio Launch in Sydney

When it comes to buying a computer, there are so many decisions you have to make.  Should you buy a full featured desktop computer or a more portable laptop? Then of course if you’re after something portable, should you go for a laptop or a tablet?

Well, Asus have come up with something that should solve those decision making issues – a machine that functions as laptop, tablet and a desktop all in one.

The Transformer Book Trio is a revolutionary hybrid computer that works as a laptop,  but you can also detach the 11.6 inch screen and use it as a tablet.

However, that’s not where the fun stops.  Unlike other hybrids, the keyboard doesn’t then become just a dumb device,  you can continue to use it as a powerful machine.  Simply connect it to a monitor with a mini display port or micro hdmi cable and hey presto, the keyboard becomes an Intel Core i5 powered desktop PC.

The other trick the Transformer Book Trio has up it’s sleeve is that it runs Windows 8.1 and Android 4.2 and you decide which system to use, when you want to use it.  With the display docked, Transformer Book Trio can switch instantly between Windows 8 and Android 4.2 by pressing the dedicated ‘Trio’ key on the keyboard, with data shared between the two operating systems via the tablet’s storage.   (Full specs are included at the end of this article).

Asus are yet to confirm pricing or distribution details for the device in New Zealand but hopefully it will make it here before the end of the year.

One device that has been confirmed however is the Transformer Book T100 and this is an incredibly well priced hybrid proposition.  The T100 is an ultraportable laptop with a detachable HD screen that can be used as a Windows tablet.

Tantalisingly, the machine comes pre installed with Microsoft Office, Home and Student edition.  Given that you can pay $240 for Office in store, this makes the T100’s  $699 price tag almost ridiculously low.  It’s great news for consumers and I can see this device being snapped up by students or parents of students. It’s light too at just over 1kg.

Asus also gave us hands on time at the event with the new glass encased Asus Zenbook, a powerful ultra premium laptop pitched at the corporate road warrior.  Again, we are waiting to hear when this desirable device will make it to New Zealand.

SPECIFICATIONS – Transformer Book Trio

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SPECIFICATIONS – Transformer Book T100

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Prices and specifications are correct at the time of publication.  John Buckley traveled to the Sydney event as a guest of Asus Australia/New Zealand.

LG use the force, and Ewan McGregor, to launch their 2013 home entertainment range


LG Electronics called on major Hollywood star Ewan McGregor to launch their 2013 home entertainment range today.

At a glitzy affair in one of Sydney’s most palatial private homes, the attendees got to hear about the new technology from Obi Wan Kenobe himself.

The actor spoke about his joy at becoming a brand ambassador for LG in Australia and New Zealand.

“Some of the TV’S are so clear It’s hard to describe them without swearing. In fact look at this one, its f&%#ing gorgeous” he said while pointing at an 84 inch ultra high definition LG TV.

He also chatted about the new curved OLED TV, casually describing it as “the most colour correct TV in the world.”

And the link between Ewan and TV’s? He’s well aware his work ends up more and more in homes and he’s happy to be assiciated with a brand that can accurately represent the lighting work and cinematography they create in cinematic movies.

He’s also a dad who likes to kick back and relax and watch movies with the kids on the rare occasions he’s not away filming.

Speaking if which, he will be filming the LG ad campaign for Australia and New Zealand in Sydney over the coming week.

We chatted afterwards and he told me he’d like to make the time to get to New Zealand as he’s been told it looks a lot like hus home country of Scotland.

LG promised a few surprises and as well as the famous face they delivered a few exciting product announcements.

No longer content to be a fast follower, they are staking out a leadership position particularly in the TV space.

For the sake of accuracy I have chosen to share LG’s copy directly from their event press release. Read on to get all of the details on the new lineup. l look forward to going hands on with the TV’s in the coming weeks.

Curved OLED

On top of these announcements, LG recently said that it will begin accepting pre-orders for its 55” Curved OLED TV in South Korea, with deliveries to begin next month. More than 1,400 LG retail stores in South Korea began taking orders on April 29 from customers for the premium TV, priced at KRW 15 million (approximately USD 13,500). The announcement makes LG the first and only company to commercialize both the flat screen OLED TV, which began shipping to Korean customers in February, and the Curved OLED TV, giving LG a significant lead in the OLED segment that is expected to grow to 7 million units by 2016, according to DisplaySearch.

“Our Curved OLED TV is not only proof of LG’s role as a pioneer in next-generation displays but also a testament to LG’s commitment to bringing to market the most exciting TV technology available today,” said Havis Kwon, President and CEO of LG’s Home Entertainment Company.

The new features the industry’s very first curved screen ergonomic design, providing an “IMAX-like” viewing experience in the home. With more than five years of research behind developing the optimum curvature, the entire screen surface is equidistant from the viewer’s eyes, eliminating the problem of screen-edge visual distortion and loss of detail.

Only 4.3 millimeters at its thinnest point and weighing just 17 kilograms, LG’s Curved OLED TV produces astoundingly vivid and realistic images thanks to its proprietary WRGB technology. The unique Four-Colour Pixel system features a white sub-pixel, which works in conjunction with the conventional red, blue, green setup to perfect the colour output. What’s more, LG’s exclusive Colour Refiner maintains the colour accuracy of the image, resulting in images that are extremely vibrant, natural and enjoyable to view. As in the original flat screen OLED TV, the Curved OLED TV also offers an infinite contrast ratio for optimal contrast levels.

LG’s Curved OLED TV features thin transparent film speakers in the crystal clear stand, providing high-quality sound without compromising the TV’s beautiful design. LG’s Curved OLED TV took the top “red dot: best of the best” honour at the prestigious design competition earlier this year.

Timing and pricing of the Curved OLED TV in markets outside of Korea will be announced in the months ahead.

Ultra High Definition

LG pioneered Ultra HD TV in Australia with its launch of the 84” Ultra HD TV in 2012, with a premium price point that matched its premium large scale offering. With the announcement that 55” and 65” versions will be available later in the year, LG is making Ultra HD TV accessible to the masses by providing variable sizes and price points that compare more favorably to existing models.

All LG Ultra HD TVs feature the LG Resolution Upscaler Plus that improves lower resolution visual media content offering greater detailed content for early-adopters who want a detailed larger screen viewing experience.

Smart TV

In 2013, LG will deliver TVs that are easier to use with a new smart and expansive entertainment platform that keeps you connected.

Over 70% of LG’s 2013 TV line-up will be Smart TVs, offering access to premium content at affordable prices.

Key LG Smart TV features are:

·         LG’s new SmartShare will allow consumers to seamlessly share content between devices, for example from a compatible smartphone or tablet to a TV

·         The newly updated version of LG’s popular Time Machine (Time Machine II) feature enables consumers:

o   To record and save your favourite TV programs on a dedicated USB hard drive (minimum 40 Gb) or via the TVs inbuilt memory so you can rewind, pause, or watch recorded shows

o   The Watch & Record functionality will let you record a TV channel while watching a different channel (Available only on the LA86 series)

·         Consumers can control their Smart TV with LG’s easy-to-use LG Magic Remote

o   Everything works with simple gestures – Point, Draw, Speak & Scroll

o   The 2013 Magic Remote will recognise natural language voice for easier detection of spoken search terms

o   You can also download the LG TV Remote App onto your smartphone to use your phone as a remote control, or to watch TV on your phone in another room

o   Using Miracast to connect a Miracast enabled tablet or smartphone to a 2013 LG Smart TV, users can simply thumb through their favourite photos on their phone photo albums and pull them up on their LG Smart TV.