Sunday, 7 July 2013
1. Sony RX100:
As recently mentioned, my iPhone 5 is now serving as my main camera. Its main advantages are its immediacy (the fastest to draw, the fastest to process), it always being there, and it being socially acceptable in places proper cameras aren't (for example, armed security people with minimal wit are found not to care for mobile phone cameras yet care too much for SLRs). However, one thing the iPhone's camera cannot be blamed to have is quality, at least when compared with any proper camera.
So, how could I bridge the gap? One potential answer is through a pocket camera, especially one able to compete - and under some conditions beat - my current SLR. That camera is the Sony RX100, the [big] pocket camera with a large sensor for its size. Sony has now released a Mark II version with better low light performance to sell along the original model, but alas: price is still a thorny issue. My plan is to still rely on my SLR for the demanding stuff and use the Sony for the rest of my planned photography assignments.
Alas, there are plans and there is reality. While the original can be bought for $600 on eBay, the II will probably require $750.
2. Sennheiser Momentum:
I really should write a proper review for these headphones, but for now allow me to say this: I consider the Sennheiser Momentum to be the best headphones ever. Sure, there are better sounding headphones around. But under real life listening conditions the Momentums are the best.
It's quite simple, really. Better sounding headphones are designed to be used with a headphone amp; the Momentum are happy with a mobile phone driving their flat and undemanding impedance curve. Better headphones tend to be of an open design because of that design's potential for low distortion, but the Momentums manage to provide excellent performance in a public (read: background noise) friendly closed design.
Their only problem? Price. I tried to get them through a Hong Kong/Australian online shop for $332 but found myself entangled in deceit. Two months later I'm still dealing with that. Although I got most of my money back, since I have been burnt with such gray imports before I'll be looking for someone I can trust instead. Apple is such a company, and they sell the Momentums for $400.
3. iPad Mini.
4. Gaming PC:
I severely doubt ever getting to the point of buying one, but I am trying to get a grip of what's going in the field of gaming PCs.
The first question is whether to go with a desktop solution or a laptop. Desktops have the potential to be much more powerful and are definitely cheaper, but they lack portability. Given I don't see the attraction of playing by my desk, it appears portability wins.
So, which is the gaming laptop should I go with? The usual suspects make stuff that is suitable for gaming, but there are specialists like Clevo with its Horize and Metabox brands (mainly sold in Australia by LogicalBlueOne and Affordable Laptops). But then there's the drool inducing gaming ultrabook from Razer, the Apple of the gaming laptop world.
But the cost... A good gaming laptop comes north of $1500, and that figure is way beyond anything I could remotely justify while still residing firmly in Console Land.
Image by Ariel Zambelich/Wired, Creative Commons license