B&H Pulse Weekly News Roundup: October 19th, 2012


This week in the news: GoPro announced their highly-anticipated HERO3 camcorders; Canon issued a new product advisory; Sony has a giant tablet for you, and more.

This is your B&H Photo Pulse News Roundup for October 19th, 2012. Be sure to follow us on Twitter for the latest news as it breaks.


Acer's A110 Tablet is Mini

CNet reported on Acer's new mini tablet, the A110. Coming in at 7 inches, it has specs comparable to the Google Nexus 7. With that said, the new device has:

- 7.5-hour battery life

- Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor

- 1GB of system memory

- Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)

- A MicroSD Card port

and much more. It will be priced at around $229.99 when it ships.

Canon 1D X Firmware Update Brings f/8 AI Servo Focusing

Canon Rumors let us know about the latest firmware for the Canon 1D X, the company's flagship DSLR camera. In summation, the camera can now autofocus at f/8 in AI Servo mode, and focusing-point illumination in AI Servo mode is also possible. Here are the updates straight from the press release:

AF Point Illumination During AI Servo AF
To support the needs of wedding, portrait, sports, wildlife, and theatrical-performance photographers working in low light, the new firmware allows AF points in the EOS-1D X’s viewfinder to be illuminated in red when the shutter button is pressed halfway during AI Servo AF, for easy viewing of the selected point. This valuable feature will enhance the photographers’ ability to aim the camera accurately in low-light conditions, and when photographing dark subjects. To preserve exposure-metering accuracy, illumination is intermittent, not continuous. Three choices will be selectable from the menu system
Non-illuminated, Illuminated (Normal) and Illuminated (Brighter).

Cross-Type AF Support at f/8
The EOS-1D X is equipped with an innovative 61-point High Density Reticular AF System featuring up to 41 cross-type AF points, depending on the lens in use. The cross-type AF points recognize a wide variety of subject matter, making them highly desirable for maximum autofocus performance. Until now, cross-type AF on the EOS-1D X has been limited to EF lenses and lens/extender combinations with a maximum aperture of f/5.6 or larger. The new firmware allows cross-type autofocusing with the center AF point even when the maximum aperture of a Canon EF lens/extender combination becomes as small as f/8. Ideal for wildlife photographers and others who often use EF super-telephoto lenses with extenders, this new feature greatly expands the range of EF lens/extender combinations that support autofocus when used with the EOS-1D X.

If AF point expansion is selected with an f/8 maximum aperture lens/extender combination, the four AF points surrounding the center point will act as AF Assist points. This option effectively expands the size of the AF detection area to enhance autofocus performance with subjects that are small in the frame and difficult to track, such as small animals and birds in flight. AF points above and below the center will be sensitive to vertical contrast, while points to the left and right will be sensitive to horizontal contrast.

If you're a 1D X user, you can download the firmware update here.

GoPro Hero3 Black and Silver Raise the Bar

Some of the biggest news this week comes from the company that makes the little camera that can. The GoPro Hero3 camcorder was rumorized for weeks, with nary a sign of any leaks on the specs. The company has announced three versions: black, silver and white. The Black Edition is the king of the hill, with the ability to shoot 4K video and 2.7K video for creatives that want a bit more freedom in the editing process. All editions of the camera feature an f/2.8 lens which is said to be sharper than previous versions, and still remains wide angle. The company decided to keep the slightly distorted look to the lens, because it has become a trademark look of their camcorders.

The Black Edition's major features are in its shooting modes. Which are:

- 4K (12 fps)
- 2.7K (30, 25, 24 fps)
- 1440p (48, 30, 25, 24 fps)
- 1080p (60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24 fps)
- 960p (100, 48 fps)
- 720p (120, 100, 60, 50 fps)
- WVGA 480p (240 fps)

Whereas the Silver version is:

- 1080p (30, 25, 24 fps)
- 960p (48, 30, 25 fps)
- 720p (60, 50, 30, 25 fps)
- WVGA 480p (120 fps)

You can read more about the new cameras over at B&H InDepth

Logitech's New Wi-Fi Cam is a Mini Studio

Gizmodo reported on a new webcam designed specifically for Macs. The Logitech Broadcaster Wi-Fi Webcam is unique though, adding some extra functionality that the built-in webcam doesn't have.

According to Gizmodo, "Its most notable feature is wireless functionality and the ability to stream a signal directly to Ustream with accompanying software. It also works with Skype and iMovie, and iOS devices through a custom app, providing a crisp 720P signal even when connected over Wi-Fi."

The package comes with a $199 price tag, which puts this item in the range of enthusiast videocasters, such as those who cast online video game matches.

Microsoft Xbox Streaming Music Targets Your Current Music Streaming Service

Already committed to Pandora or Spotify? Well, Microsoft will try to tempt you over to their service. This week, the company launched their Xbox music streaming service, and they weren't subtle about going after the likes of Spotify, Pandora and iTunes. 

According to Boy Genius Report, "There will be two versions of Xbox Music: a free version that will provide unlimited music streaming to Windows 8-based tablets and PCs, and a $9.99-per-month Xbox Music Pass subscription that lets users use Xbox Music on their smartphones and Xbox 360, download songs, and gain access to tens of thousands of music videos on Xbox 360."

The new system comes installed with Windows Phone 8, but Microsoft says that it will eventually be released for Android and iOS.

Canon Product Advisory on Their Wireless Grip

Remember all of those previous product advisories that Canon put out? Well, it seems that they are continuing, and that similar issues are happening to other products.

Canon Rumors reported on the rubber on the top surface of some WFT-E7B Wireless File Transmitters being subject to discoloring.

The solution? Canon will replace the rubber parts free of charge for the customer. Canon's official product advisory page has more info.

Sony Announces 20-Inch Tablet

Want an ultra non-portable tablet? Well, Sony has announced a VAIO tablet coming in at a massive 20 inches, and weighing 11 lbs. The behemoth runs Windows 8, and is battery powered, lasting approximately two hours (which also means that the screen drains a lot of battery life.)

The really cool part: The device has 10-finger touch support. You can read all about it on Geek.com.

Lomography's New Belair X 6-12 Is the Company's Latest Addition to the Medium Format World

In a shocking announcement, the Lomography Company released details on their brand new Belair X 6-12 camera. This camera is an unusual move away from the other cameras for which they have been so well known. First off, this is a medium format camera with a collapsible bellows system. The camera can shoot in the 6x6, 6x9, and 6x12 formats. There are two interchangeable lenses, with another on the way. The lenses have a maximum aperture of f/8, and have zone focusing on the lenses.

It comes in three different editions as well—one is made of plastic, while the others are made of metal.

You can read much more about the exciting new camera on their Microsite.

And that's your news for October 19th, 2012. Be sure to follow all the consumer electronic news you care about, on B&H Pulse.