So, you don’t care about the iPhone 7? Here are 10 reasons why you should

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The iPhone 7 has a newly designed 12MP camera with a six-element, optically stabilized lens. As well as stills it can shoot 4K video at up to 30p, and the iPhone 7 Plus offers a twin-lens camera providing 28mm and 56mm focal lengths.


Another year, another iPhone, the usual chorus of Internet commenters going to great lengths to tell the world how little they care. But we’d be foolish to ignore the world’s most popular camera – and so would you.

1: 12MP is good enough

Ok, most DSLRs and high-end compacts offer 20MP+ but if we’re being honest, 2MP is good enough for Facebook, 3MP is good enough for a magazine cover, 6-8MP is good enough for a large-ish wall print and anything more than that is a bonus, most of the time. In short, the chances are that 12MP is good enough for you.

2: It shoots Raw

It was only a matter of time before Apple added a Raw capture option to its iPhone series, and the day has come. As such, the iPhone 7 and 7S are arguably more enthusiast-friendly than the majority of low-end zoom compact cameras, and almost all tough cameras.

Adding Raw capture to the iPhone gives photographers a lot more creative freedom, and should allow them to mitigate – if not entirely overcome – some of the limitations of shooting with a control-limited device and a small sensor format. Raw shooting is coming to older iPhones soon too, with the upcoming release of iOS 10.

3: The iPhone 7 Plus has a proper zoom. Kind of.

The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus feature 12MP imaging sensors – most likely a 4.9 x 3.7mm BSI-CMOS which gives an equivalent crop factor of around 7X. The 7 Plus has two of them, which form twin cameras shooting at 28mm and 56mm equivalent. Their F1.8 and F2.8 apertures are equivalent in depth of field terms to ~F12 and ~F22 respectively.

The iPhone 7 Plus features a twin-camera design, which comprises 28mm F1.8 and 56mm F2.8 equivalent prime lenses. A forthcoming update will enable a computationally-derived bokeh simulation effect.


A 28-56mm two-step zoom might not set your heart ‘a flutter, but for the average beginner, or keen smartphone photographer, the added versatility of a proper choice of optical focal lengths is a serious selling point of the iPhone 7 Plus over every other phone on the market. A true optical zoom would be hugely complicated, but Apple’s approach makes sense. One lens for landscapes, one for portraits.

5: The iPhone 7 Plus can do bokeh. Kind of.

We’ve seen attempts to blur out backgrounds using software before, but they don’t tend to end well. Typically, in the devices which offer some kind of algorithmic background blur feature, the effect is inconsistent. Even when it works, it doesn’t hold up well to critical examination.

We won’t be able to properly test the iPhone 7 Plus’s bokeh simulation effect for a while, but early samples look very encouraging indeed.


Apple seems to be doing two things a little differently. The first is that the feature only works in ‘Portrait’ mode (when the iPhone 7 Plus’s 56mm equivalent lens is employed), and the longer focal length probably gives it a bit of a head-start in terms of baseline background blur for portraits compared to a bog-standard wideangle cellphone lens.

The second is that rather than just identifying your subject, making a mask, then blurring everything which looks like it probably isn’t your subject, the iPhone 7 Plus’s software makes a very complex depth map of the scene, and selectively applies blur based on the calculated distance of the background from your intended subject. For now, we only have Apple’s sample images to go by, but it seems to work impressively well.

6: It’s optically stabilized

Here’s an exploded view of the iPhone 7’s camera, showing its six-element construction.


This is old news in the mainstream camera market, but optical stabilization still isn’t included in some fixed-lens cameras. Optical I.S. will make the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus cameras more useful in poor light, extending the potential of the products for social and environmental photography.

7: It’s quick, and powerful

Modern smartphones incorporate an incredible amount of processing power, and compared to most cameras they’re capable of churning through much more data. With the cameras activated, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are constantly sampling a scene in preparation for exposure. So effectively, when you tap the shutter button, they’ve already taken the picture. On-sensor phase-detection autofocus using dedicated pixels means there’s virtually no hunting for focus, either.

Apple claims that the iPhone 7/Plus’s imaging processor manages more than 100 billion operations every time a picture is taken. Think about that the next time you take a photo of your cat.

8: It shoots 4K

Maybe you think you don’t care, but trust us – even if you’re not a filmmaker, the ability to capture 8MP frames at up to 30fps can be pretty handy.

9: It’s water-resistant

You can take the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus out in the rain, or drop them in the bath without worrying. How many photographers can say the same thing about their ‘proper’ cameras?


Supposedly, the iPhone 6S was almost water-sealed, but not quite. With the removal of the headphone jack, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have been made fully water resistant, and are both capable – apparently – of being submersed for up to 30 minutes without damage.

10: Good iPhone cameras lead to better ‘proper’ cameras.

Even if you’re one of those people who has an almost religiously-held indifference to cellphones (and I know you exist because I get emails from you), consider this:

The greater the public’s expectations of the cameras in their cellphones, the more they expect of ‘proper’ cameras, if and when they buy one. There is certainly an argument to be made that the only reason we have things like beautiful high-resolution touch-screens, wireless connectivity, GPS and 4K video in cameras now is the iPhone. That ten years ago, Apple kicked off a smartphone revolution with the original iPhone which lead to the inclusion of these features in cameras becoming an expectation on the part of smartphone upgraders.

Habitual smartphone photographers won’t put up with laggy low-resolution touch-screens on DSLRs, or the omission of features like 4K video and wireless connectivity that they’re used to from their phones. This drives camera manufacturers to add more features to their products, and we all benefit. Right?

10.5: It’s an iPhone camera.


This is an obvious point, but bear with me. Remember what I just wrote about this being the ‘world’s most popular camera?’ Apple has been phenomenally successful when it comes to putting its devices in people’s pockets. More people are taking photographs now than ever before, and the iPhone, in its various versions, is the most popular picture taking device (or strictly speaking, series of devices) in the world.

What that means is that like it or not, when Apple does something, even if it didn’t do itfirst, (and several of the features I’ve listed here are not unique to the iPhone 7) it tends to have a certain significance. It’s safe to assume for instance that there are a lot of people talking about the words ‘Bokeh’ and ‘Raw’ today who had never heard the terms before Apple’s launch event this week. Maybe I’m just a misty-eyed optimist, but I think that’s kind of cool.

Ricoh Theta M15 Takes 360 Degree Photos

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Rico Theta M15 Camera


Ricoh’s Theta M15 is a small, pocket size camera able to take seemeless 360 degree photos in a single snap. These photos don’t just take a wide image, but include an entire 360 degree sphere, top to bottom as well. The resulting images can be viewed like other images, and Ricoh smartly provides some associated software with the camera allowing users to edit the images on a PC, Mac, Android or iOS device.

This is the second generation of the Theta that Ricoh has released with the most significant upgrade in this model being the ability to take short videos with a 360 degree view along with still images. The videos can be up to 3 minutes each, and the videos can also be edited with the included software by modifying the image itself with your finger on touch screens or your mouse.

Ricoh has also announced that they are providing an SDK for the camera so that developers can create custom applications integrating the Theta M15. The Ricoh Theta M15 is available on Amazon for $299.

Instagram brings pinch-to-zoom functionality to iOS

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Instagram brings pinch-to-zoom functionality to iOS

Lately, Instagram has been rolling out a significant number of changes and new features. From changing up its app icon to keep things on the fresh side to rolling out a new stories feature that seemed to borrow heavily from another popular social media app, Instagram has been making a large number of tweaks and firing them out the door quickly. Today, the features list is growing once again with the addition of a small yet frequently requested feature: pinch-to-zoom.

Instagram has announced that it has added pinch-to-zoom functionality to its iOS app. This new feature doesn’t apply just to pictures, however, as Instagram says that users can also pinch to zoom in on the videos that are in their feeds, hosted on profiles, or appear in the Explore tab.

Unfortunately, you Android users will have to wait for this functionality to go live on your end, as the feature is only coming to iOS today. Never fear though, because Instagram has been working on the feature for Android and says it should be ready to roll out in the coming weeks.

From here, Instagram says it will continue to improve the “core parts” of the service, so it sounds like there are more updates on the way. We’ll keep an ear to the ground for any news on new features coming down the pipeline, but in the more immediate future, we’ll be on the lookout for pinch-to-zoom on Android, so stay tuned.

SOURCE: Instagram

Apple made wireless headphones called ‘AirPods’ for iPhone 7

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Apple made wireless headphones called 'AirPods' for iPhone 7

Something quite unexpected might be announced alongside the next iPhonemodels on 7 September.

While everyone is focused on built-in hardware features for the so-called iPhone7, Russian regulatory trademark filings spotted by seem to confirm that Apple is readying standalone hardware for its upcoming phones. The filings, which were published by the Eurasian Economic Commission on 29 August, refer to wireless headphones called AirPods.

This has been a long-rumored brand name for Apple’s wireless headphones foriPhone 7. The next iPhone is thought to ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack, leaving customers with either the Lightning connector or Bluetooth technology for connecting audio devices like headphones. These AirPod headphones are likely a first-party accessory, as there is no indication they’re a Beats product.

It’s also unclear if Apple will bundle them with the iPhone 7 or sell them optionally. Other reports have claimed Apple made a Lighting version of its existing EarPods, and if that’s true, maybe we’ll see those bundled instead. Either way, we’ll know for sure soon.


New Macs expected in October, iPad Pro enhancements in 2017

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New Macs expected in October, iPad Pro enhancements in 2017

Apple’s fans have been bemoaning the lack of new devices from the company’sMac portfolio but, if insider sources are to be believed, that languishing will soon come to an end. Apple’s new Macs could start hitting stores as early as October, starting with new MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros, followed by new iMacs as well as a new standalone monitor from LG. And it doesn’t stop there either, as Apple is also said to be working on software improvements that will make the Apple Pencil a lot more useful and widespread on iPad Pro apps.

The new MacBook Pro has already been leaked to death, especially the feature that is, according to sources, internally labeled as “Dynamic Function Row”, though its commercial name has yet to be revealed. This is basically a strip of touch-sensitive OLED display replacing the function keys but providing even more “buttons”, depending on the program being used. It could, for example, display browser controls when using Safari, music controls with iTunes, and the like. It isn’t known yet whether that display is actually user configurable.

The MacBook Air is also up for a refresh, but in less sensational ways. In particular, it will be getting the same USB-C port found on the new MacBook, further blurring the boundaries between the two laptop lines.

Another Mac that’s due for an upgrade is the iMac with its built-in 5K panel. Details on what the new iMacs will bring are still slim, save for one interesting tidbit. There will supposedly be models which offer a dedicated AMD graphics card inside, bringing it in line with the likes of Apple’s Mac Pro and the highest end MacBook Pro model.

Although a relatively newer device, the iPad Pro is set to get an update as well, but one that will come in two waves. First will be a software update, possibly together with but more likely after iOS 10. The software update is expected to enhance the use of the Apple Pencil by spreading its features to more apps, especially Apple-made ones like Safari and Mail. A new iPad Pro tablet is also expected to come later on, one with an odd 10.5-inch screen.

While Apple has already set a September 7th press event, that will revolve primarily around the new iPhone 7 and iOS 10. Sources claim that Apple will hold another event, probably in late September, to debut the new MacBooks. The iPad Pro updates, on the other hand, isn’t expected until 2017.

First Programmable Shirt

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What if the technology used in the gadgets we’ve seen so far could be integrated into our work attire thereby displacing all the gadgets you intended to invest in? Arrow, a brand well known in the space of formal wear, has done just that. The new Arrow smartshirt is a wearable in the truest sense of the word.

The shirt connects to your phone with a compliant app. Through this app, the smart shirt can perform a myriad of functions in a simple yet discrete way. By tapping the cuff, users can share their Facebook, LinkedIn profiles or even their digital visiting card. The shirt does all of this using NFC tagging technology that most payment gateways employ. For those looking for some respite on a busy day, the shirt can also act like a controller for music on your phone. So, all your favourite songs are now one tap away.

But the most useful feature of the shirt remains its meeting mode, which is a unique do-not-disturb mode for your phone that comes in handy for meetings. Could the shirt do more? If there’s demand for upgrades, Arrow can also scale up the functionality of the shirt with software updates in time.

Does all this technology affect the shirt’s primary function of making you look good? Offered in 12 different colours, its safe to say that the Arrow smart shirt continues the brand’s tradition of well-fitting, quality shirts.

So why is this shirt a great offering? With the digital overload our lives are currently witnessing, here’s a product that combines simple features to ease a few situations in the lives of the constantly on-the-run working class. Looking to temper down the surplus technology in your life without affecting your productivity? The Arrow smartshirt is your answer.


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Cooler Master debuts the MasterMouse Pro L

Cooler Master has presented a new computer mouse designed for “all gamers”. The mouse is called MasterMouse Pro L and comes with numerous features right out of the box.

One of the main features of the new mouse is that it comes with customization in mind. This means that the MasterMouse Pro L can adapt to any and all situations as quickly as users need. The mouse comes with a custom grip configuration and features two top panels of different lengths and two sets of magnetic side panels with differing grip textures. This gives users the freedom to use the mouse grip that works best for them at a given time rather than being stuck with one grip for all genres of games and play styles.



In addition to this the Cooler Master MasterMouse Pro L comes with three illumination zones with 16.7 million colors and multiple user profiles. The mouse is powered by a 32-bit ARM processor with 512 KB of on-board memory which stores the gaming profiles users have created. The MasterMouse Pro L is so customizable you can change the mouse resolution (400 – 12 000 dpi), the button map, the colors and even the sensitivity of the keys. Moreover gaming profiles can be swapped with a single press of a button. The MasterMouse Pro L also offers eight programmable buttons plus the option to expand this to a total of 14+1 switch buttons thanks to the inclusion of the so-called Storm Tactix function.

Finally the MasterMouse Pro L features Cooler Master’s Portal software, which you can get for free from the company’s web site in case you do not have it. This will add even more options to the MasterMouse Pro L and will make it “the mouse of your dreams” as Cooler Master puts it.

The new Cooler Master MasterMouse Pro L gaming mouse is available now for EUR 59.99 or GBP 49.99, depending on where you live.

Source: Cooler Master

Casio G-SHOCK introduces Vintage Gold theme To Master Of G

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Casio is a name not to be reckoned with when it comes to two things — the calculator, as well as their range of G-Shock timepieces. Granted, these are not the only two things that the Japanese company is famous for, but this does not mean that they are darn good at the mentioned pair of areas. This time around, we will concentrate on the fact that a couple of new Vintage Gold models will make their debut under the Master of G collection.
The G-Shock range of watches have long lived up to their namesake, being tough as nails and more or less capable of surviving just about any extreme condition without missing a beat. The latest vintage-inspired black and gold color scheme would cover the new Gulfmaster model (GN1000GB-1A) and Mudmaster model (GG1000GB-1A), delivering a stylish, classic look and toughness at a price point that would not be a burden to your pockets.
The Mudmaster range of watches happen to fall within the Master of G Series that have been specially designed for land, sea and air, and are famous for their ability to withstand extreme conditions anywhere on earth — unless you decide to take a journey into the earth’s core and get burnt up along the way, of course.
With tools and machinery being the inspiration, the gold accents on both the GN1000GB-1A and GG1000GB-1A have been specially designed to arrive with a weathered look, presenting them as though they’ve gone through years of service.
For instance, the bezel on the Gulfmaster GN1000GB-1A does make one think of a ship’s porthole which has been unrelentlessly exposed to wind and rain, whereas the gold detail on the Mudmaster GG1000GB-1A happens to resemble that of tools that have been polished by digging in the ground.
Regardless of which model you select, both of them will come with Twin Sensor technology that makes them very unique. These sensors will be used to control compass bearing, not to mention to measure temperatures, while bearing memory that indicates the bearing from a starting point to a destination, so that you know you are not lost and on track. They will both feature an asking price of $320 each.

For its 50th anniversary, Best Buy unveils 50 deals tonight

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Years after the demise of competing chain Circuit City, Best Buy is still the most reliable destination to pick up HDMI cables or try out VR platformsafter more niche stores close for the evening. To celebrate half a century in business, the megastore chain is going bigger: 50 deals for specific products go live at 10 p.m. Central Time tonight for 50 hours until midnight on Saturday, with most available online.

The full list of on-sale items isn’t available yet, though the press releasenotes that it should go live on the Best Buy site’s front page at some point. The announcement does reveal a handful of deals: $150 off select Macbook Pros (with another $150 knocked down for qualifying students), $400 off a 65-inch Samsung UHD 4K TV and save $180 on Beats Studio wireless in-ear headphones, among others. It’s not clear which sales are exclusively in-store and which can be bought online, but most of the latter get free two-day shipping. Good shopping, deal hunters.