Life & Technology – 2GB 18th October, 2014

This week on Life & Technology we've done something a bit different, we've put together a camera workshop looking at some of the best cameras and related gadgets for all your photography needs!


While Toshiba announced their Camileo X-Sports Action Camera earlier in the year, it's just become available in Australia. What's great about it is that it comes with all of the mounts you could ever need, right in the box – helmet, bike, surfboard and snowboard – making it a versatile little action camera. It's available now for $399.


There's so many different cameras out there that it gets pretty overwhelming, especially if you're new. I had a chat to Brendan Maher, Canon Australia's  Product Marketing Manager for Cameras & Lenses to get a few recommendations. Brendan recommended the EOS700D for those looking to get into DSLR photography – it's not their very entry level product, but it's one of Canon's best-selling DSLRs. It has a good range of automatic features, but has manual shootings mode, giving you more power as you get better. For comparison, the EOS70D and the newly EOS7D MK II are upgrade models – while they offer you features such as better low light imaging, they probably won't be the first DSLR you buy.


A relatively new camera category is micro-four-thirds. Panasonic is one of the leading manufactures of micro-four-third cameras, so I sat down with Doug Campbell, Panasonic's Product Marketing Manager for their range of LUMIX micro-four-third cameras. While micro-four-third cameras and DSLRs have a lot in common, including interchangeable lenses, micro-four-thirds camera don't have any mirrors, making them a lot smaller while still retaining their quality. It's possible to use DSLR lenses with a micro-four-thirds camera through the use of an adapter, but you'll lose the biggest benefit of a micro-four-third camera: portability. Panasonic have 23 lenses in their LUMIX range, giving users plenty of options. Doug recommended the new LUMIX GM5 for those interested in micro-four-thirds photography, a camera so small that it can fit in your jacket pocket! It will be available in Australia in November.


We can't forget that every smartphone is a camera too, and HTC has announced a new smartphone, the Desire Eye, featuring two 13 megapixel cameras – one on the front, and one of the back. Other devices have claimed to be the "ultimate selfie phone", but this might just take the crown. HTC also have announced another device for photography – the oddly named Re. The periscope like Re is meant to be an "action cam" for the rest of us, a small camera for those who are more GoSlow rather than GoPro. It's a bit odd, but I'm definitely keen to try it out!


I also got in touch with Bradley Mifsud, Harvey Norman's National Product and Marketing Manager for all things photography, to talk about the camera landscape in a bit more of a general way. Given the vast number of different models and makes available, ranging from DSLR to micro-four-third to point and shoot, Bradley suggested that customers need to work out what features are important to them, and what they're hoping to get out of their camera experience before they set foot into a store.


Over 200,000 photos and videos shared using Snapchat service have been posted online, apparently by the same people responsible for the nude celebrity phot leak in August. Snapchat issued a statement denying any photos were taken directly from the company's servers, and confirmed that they were obtained through a third-party application that was compromised. Almost half of the Snapchat's users are under 18, and as such, it is believed the collection could include child pornography.


And to finish off the week, Apple announced its new iPads yesterday – the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3. The iPad Air 2 is even thinner than iPad Air at just 6.1mm, and features a powerful new processor. Unfortunately, the iPad mini 3 is exactly the same device as the iPad mini 2, it just features a Touch ID sensor. Both are available for pre-order from today, but you should maybe think twice about buying the iPad mini 3 when the mini 2 is still available.