Sony launches impressive new Alpha A9 mirrorless full-frame camera

Sony has launched what it’s calling its “most technologically advanced” digital camera yet, and it certainly looks like a beast on paper.

Sony’s latest flagship mirrorless sits above the Alpha 7 range, and features a blackout-free viewfinder that allows for continuous shooting at up to 20fps and offers 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second.

The new A9 is a full-frame mirrorless camera that comes packing a load of features that should suit professional photographers looking for a great mirrorless offering.

It’s all down to what Sony is claiming is the world’s first full-frame stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor, which comes with a 24.2-megapixel resolution.

Sony’s sensor allows for an impressive ISO range of 100–51,200, expandable to 50–204,800, along with super-fast data speed processing at up to 20 times faster than the company’s previous full-frame mirrorless cameras.

There’s also vibration-free shooting at speeds up to 1/32,000 sec with a fully electronic and silent shutter, along with a 5-axis image stabilisation system.

Not enough for you? Well, there’s plenty more, starting with the 693 phase-detect autofocus points, covering 93% of the frame.

Meanwhile, the new high-resolution, high-luminance Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder packs around 3,686,000 dots, which is the highest-resolution viewfinder Sony has yet packed into a camera and will produce highly-detailed shots.

The hybrid AF setup is said to be about 25% faster than the Alpha A7R II, and should ensure fast-moving subjects are captured without difficulty.

Sony has also made sure the camera can shoot Full HD video at 120fps, and there’s an Ethernet port to make for easy file transfer, along with two SD card slots.

The A9 can also shoot 4K video (3840 x 2160p), using full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 6K of information – which means it oversamples the image to make sure you get super-high quality footage.

The company will release the A9 on May 25 for $4500 in the US while Europeans will have to wait until June when the camera will arrive for £4500 in the UK and €5300 in the rest of Europe.

Samsung ordered to pay $11.6 million to Huawei for patent infringements

The Chinese court ordered Samsung to pay damages to the Chinese company Huawei 80 million yuan ($ 11.6 million 9.3 million pounds sterling) in compensation for damages after the trial of patent infringement.

Huawei filed a lawsuit against Samsung in May last year, following further applications for patent violations in Shenzhen, China and California, regarding what it claims to be an unlicensed use of its 4G technology.

Huawei Device Co Ltd owns more than 50,000 technology patents and said that Samsung has implemented 20 different phones and tablets, including Galaxy S7, without permission.

In July, Samsung, which recently lost its position in the smartphone market of Huawei, acknowledged more than six alleged patent infringements.

This new implementation means that three Samsung Electronics units will have to repair the damage, while five company companies were ordered to stop violating Huawei’s copyright.

A representative of Huawei told the BBC: “Huawei notes the court’s decision on this case. Huawei believes that respecting and protecting the intellectual property of other companies allows all companies to recoup our investment in research and development.

“We believe that respect for intellectual property contributes to innovation and healthy, sustainable growth in the industry.”

A representative of Samsung told the BBC that the company will consider this decision before the full answer is issued.

The spokesman added: “For many years, Samsung Electronics has been the initiator of the development of innovative mobile technologies through constant investment in research and development to provide consumers with a wide range of innovative products.”

The victory of Huawei in China comes in the form of 4G patents.

The Chinese smartphone manufacturer received an order from the High Court of England and Wales to pay the American company Unwired Planet for the use of patents acquired from Ericsson.

Huawei is reportedly still evaluating the decision.


Panasonic’s SC-GA10 smart hi-fi speaker wants to take down Google Home

At IFA 2017 Panasonic has launched a hi-fi speaker armed with Google Assistant. The Panasonic SC-GA10 aims to supplant the Google Home by, well, sounding better.

There are two 20mm soft-dome tweeters placed at 45 degrees, which gives a full 180-degree sound field. The 8cm woofer is armed with dual voice coils for more robust bass, as well as a long reflex port. There are even manual and preset EQs. Basically, the Panasonic SC-GA10 claims to put a lot more focus on sound than the Google Home does.

It should be just as smart as the Google Home too, as it is fully compatible with Google Assistant. It supports major music streaming apps such as Spotify, Google Play and TuneIn Radio.

You can also perform basic web searches, make to-do lists, control smart home devices, and enjoy multi-room audio with other Chromecast-integrated speakers. Alternatively, you can get two Panasonic SC-GA10 units and use them in stereo configuration via Bluetooth.

The Panasonic SC-GA10 will go on sale in early 2018. No price has been announced as yet.