Vivaz

If you've been wondering what's next on Sony Ericsson's agenda for release from their "communication entertainment" portfolio, wonder no more, for the first quarter of 2010 will bring their new Vivaz handset to the market. 

The Vivaz promises HD video capture and direct upload via pre-loaded applications for the shoot-and-share generation, coupled with the 'human curvature' ergonomics introduced with the Xperia X10. Operating on the Symbian S60 5th edition system and featuring an 8.1-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi connectivity, Media Player and 3.2-inch wide touchscreen, the Vivaz aims to offer an intuitive and spontaneous user experience. The handset will be coming to you in four out of this world colour options - Moon Silver, Cosmic Black, Galaxy Blue and Venus Ruby.

Check out LateMag's Tumblr for Sony Ericsson's Daniel Sandblom giving a video presentation on the Vivaz. 


Sony Ericsson Satio

Sony Ericsson has garnered quite a reputation over recent years for successfully cornering the snap-happy handset market, upping the Megapixel stakes with enough regularity to stay top of the game. Unsurprising, then, that their new Satio model is packing quite the shutter-punch of a massive 12.1-MP. However, this megapixel mammoth expands mere cameraphone kudos with its smartphone multi-media functionality running on the Symbian S60 OS. But does Sony Ericsson’s much-anticipated market competitor live up to the hype or is it just a pretty interface? 

Satio

Hands-On And Aesthetics

When you initially handle this surprisingly lightweight model you might well be of the thinking that the overall feel is somewhat marred by the slight extra bulk of the camera. However, as we shall come to see, once you’ve got to grips with testing out the camera functionality all will be forgiven. The 3.5-inch touchscreen is aided only by the call, end and menu hard keys on the upper face, with the sliding keylock, connector and camera control buttons located to either side. All this culminates in the Satio being a pleasingly clean and minimal handset to hold and behold. 

Usability And Functionality

The sliding lock mechanism and resistive touchscreen may be a little trying on the patience of some people who are accustomed to other methods, however, this issue is really one of personal preference. For me, even with my low-level patience, I still prefer to press with intent rather than deal with the hyper-sensitive capacitive option which I find can be massively aggravating when it takes it upon itself to do what you’ve not asked it to do, particularly when you’re in the middle of something else. Similarly, the lock mechanism is actually pretty handy once you’ve learnt to pay attention to it, especially when dealing with almost entirely touch-sensitive commands. If you’ve got sausages for fingers and are worried about getting your digits round the digits, fear not for the stylus is on hand to aid your dexterity.

Once on the home screen, several major feature icons help you access the main functions, so making your way around the handset is pretty self-explanatory. Basic phone functions are easy to use, although lack of hard QWERTY keyboard may take some getting used to if you’re not touchscreen familiar. 

Multi-media functionality is good, thanks largely to the 16:9 screen which makes viewing a pleasurable breeze. Likewise the net, accessed via Wi-Fi, is pretty speedy and when you tilt to widescreen it’s a lot less straining to scan. Movies can be downloaded at Sony Ericsson’s PlayNow arena, and if the demo video quality is anything to go by the resolution is high enough for excellent quality entertainment on the go. Musically, the downside is the lack of 3.5mm headphone jack, although Sony Ericsson fans will know that traditionally, if you’ve opted for the cameraphone, that’ll take precedence over Walkman functionality (their W series has that covered.)With an adaptor, though, you’ll be able to enjoy the FM radio, TrackID and player shuffle capabilities. (Point to note here, though, is that onboard memory is not massive at 128MB, although since Sony have done away with their proprietary memory stick in favour of the microSD card format, that’s easily overcome.)

Satio

Camera

And so to the Satio’s true selling point, the mighty 12.1MP camera. As a cameraphone, this is where Sony Ericsson is, of course, seeking to take the leading edge over the competition, but how does it actually fare? Really pretty fantastically, actually. Picture quality coupled with camera functionality is as superb as you’d expect from the people who uphold  the reputation for excelling in this particular field. For a handset camera, this is as near as you’ll get to digital quality at the moment. Pics are crispy gorgeous, with truly impressive clarity in the natural light that’ll delight any roaming snap-fanatic (please see my flickr stream of snowy captures as examples.) Uploading is simple via USB connection, and Picasa and Facebook links are already included to directly share your lovely adventures, which you can happily whizz through with the handy scroll function. Indoor pics will appear a little grainy, though, if you’ve not enough natural light, but with the Xenon flash employed to work its magic, this is much improved. 

Whether you are a snap-and-go pro or less sure of finding your way around a high-spec cameraphone, Sony Ericsson has put in massive effort to ensure you have all you need at your fingertips. There is a vast range of features available to help you make the best of your photographic efforts, including Smile Detection for capturing your less miserable friends and BestPic which is ideal for capturing moving objects in quick succession at an interval speed set by yourself so you may pick the best photo, as the title suggests. Panorama, also, is handy for the great outdoors as it will fuse a triptych seamlessly as a single wide photo. Video shoot/playback/upload follows similar lines and a side button gives the option to move easily and quickly between photo and video.

Overview

Despite some minor niggles, much of which can be open to personal preference anyway, the Sony Ericsson Satio really is smartphone/cameraphone combo well worth investing in. Whether or not the Satio will encroach upon the iPhone market really is a moot point when you consider the steadfast brand loyalty. However, for those open to life outside the Apple brand, the Satio, with its superior camera and smartphone capabilities, doubtless has the edge on its rivals, such as the Nokia N97 and Samsung Pixon 12. Absolutely ideal multi-media phone for those who seek the integration of near-digital quality snaps.  

Sony Ericsson Satio


VAIO X Series From Sony

For ultra-slim, sleek productivity on the go, Sony's VAIO X Series is the business. With a starting weight of 655g (making it currently the world's lightest notebook with a screen size of 10" and above) and measuring no more than 13.9mm thick at any given point, X marks the spot for elegantly durable and easily portable notebook super-mobility. This light luxe technology is available in a choice of 3 colour finishes (gold, black and premium carbon) and customers in certain European countries can personalise their specification to suit via Sony's 'VAIO by you.'

VAIO X Series From Sony

VAIO Everywair WWAN lets you stay connected with high-speed access to 3G HSPA mobile broadband networks at download speeds up to 7.2 Mbps, and with a standard usage of 8 hours battery life doubling to 16 hours with the optional extended X battery accessory, the X Series is not only seriously mobile, but seriously dependable, too. A mic, headphone jack, card slot for memory stick and SD media, built-in Motion Eye camera and Solid State Drive make this an executive must. Optional accessories are also available, to include a leather slip case, external USB DVD drive and uniquely stylised wireless mouse.


MHS-PM1 HD Snap Camera From Sony

Calling all snap-happy web-lovers, this one's for you...

Sony's MHS-PM1 HD Snap Camera is not only the thing of compact, highly portable and aesthetically pleasing loveliness, but it's big on handy functionality, too. With the ability to shoot impressive 1080/30p HD footage for up to 25-minutes on one battery charge, the MHS-PM1, compatible with both Windows/Mac OS*1, is designed for quick and easy upload to personal computer folders or websites of your choice. Connectivity via the supplied USB cable will transfer the content directly to video sharing sites such as YouTube and Dailymotion, with the addition of a 'Sharemark' button to pre-select your favourites.

But if you have a preference for still photos, you won't be disappointed as it also features CMOS Sensor technology to produce crisp 5-megapixel pics. Add to that a 270-degree rotating swivel lens with 4x digital zoom that flips over for that increasingly popular pastime of snapping one's self at any given moment (handy if, like me, you're a huge Tumbr fan,) this palm-sized gadget is a must for fans and newcomers alike to the capture-and-share revolution.

www.sony.co.uk


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  • Bill Nighly by Jillian Edelstein
  • Hayley Atewill by Jillian Edelstein
  • Simon Pegg by Jillian Edelstein
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"To celebrate the launch of the new Sony Ericsson Satio handset on Vodafone (UK), photographer to the stars Jillian Edelstein has been commissioned to embark on a unique mission to capture the undeniable beauty and individuality of 121 eyes in only 12.1 hours.

Jillian Edelstein is one of the world’s most influential and celebrated portrait photographers, having captured the likes of Woody Allen, Nelson Mandela, Helena Bonham Carter, Blur, Bill Nighly, Hayley Atewill and Simon Pegg to name but a few. Eyes Wide Open takes her gaze from the world of famous faces, and looks to delve into the realm of visual communication through the exploration of eyes."

Sony Ericsson Satio

Sony Ericsson's Satio handseta 12.1 megapixel camera, Xenon flash and 12 x digital zoom and a 16.9 nHD widescreen and 3.5 inch screen.

Sony Ericsson are searching for people from all over the country and all walks of life to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of Eyes Wide Open. Members of the public can find out more and win the chance to be involved by visiting www.eyeswideopen.uk.net.  Simply upload your details, an image of your eyes and tell us why you’d like to be involved.

Jillian will be personally selecting the 61 participants from all applicants and inviting them to an invitation only Satio studio photoshoot. Taking place during the first week of December at central London Vodafone store.

www.eyeswideopen.uk.net


Music: Amiran White (UK) Winner

Commercial Fashion%3A Christo Stankulov (France)

Fashion Piotr Fajfer (Poland) Winner

Sport Julian Abram Wainwright (Canada) Winner

Photojournalism and Documentary Sport%3A Lorenz Holder (Germany)

Natural History Vincent Foong (Singapore)

Natural History Lisa Maree Williams (Australia) Winner

Music Amiran White (UK) Winner

 

Music: Josef Hinterleitner (Austria)

Conceptual & Constructed: Tamany Baker (UK) Winner

Conceptual & Constructed: Vladimir Melnik (Russia)

Architecture: David Watts (UK)

Fine Art Portraiture%3A Roderik Henderson (Netherlands) Winner

Fine Art Portraiture%3A Claire Martin (Australia)

Landscape: Giuseppe Parisi (Italy)

Landscape: David Zimmerman (USA) Winner

Commercial Advertising: Dustin Humphrey (USA) Winner

The 16 winning images from both the amateur and professional groups in the Sony World Photography Awards.

Check out the full photo galleries at www.worldphotographyawards.org

Via: www.sony-europe.com


Rolly, the new innovation from the wizards at Sony is an MP3 player with a twist, literally. In this case “twist” is a verb. Yep, that’s right folks, because Rolly doesn’t have a twist, he can actually do the twist…or the tango, or rock and roll, or maybe you would prefer him to boogie. That’s because Rolly isn’t just an MP3 player, he’s an all dancing, all flashing robot as well.

Using the latest advances in artificial intelligence Rolly is a palm sized, egg shaped portable audio device with motion capabilities, meaning he can spin and dance to the rhythm of music (you’ll notice I keep referring to him as “he” as from the moment he first arrived on my desk shaking his little eggy butt I’ve found him too cute to simply call him “it”).

Sony Rolly

So let’s talk the tech. Weighing in an 300g, Rolly packs a lot of tech in his shell (no egg pun intended). There’s 2GB of built in memory which gives storage to approximately 520 four minute songs encoded in 128kbps and also supports DRM free AAC formats. With a digital amp and two stereo speakers with neodymium magnets providing the audio, Rolly doesn’t have an earphone jack so isn’t competing in the personal MP3 market. The motion is achieved through 2 wheels, shoulders and arms, a set of each on either side, working in unison with two rings of light capable of emitting over 700 different colours. The Lithium Ion battery is charged via USB through the computer and last approximately 4-5 hours depending on the use of the motion and lights. Rolly also contains Bluetooth technology allowing users to steam music from other Bluetooth devices such as mobile phones.

Accompanying Rolly in the box is also the Rolly Choreographer software, enabling users to transfer and organise music onto the player and then either automatically assign motion or create their own custom choreography to their tunes. Motion of up to 7 minutes can be assigned to any one song.

Sony Rolly

That’s the tech out the way, so what was Rolly actually like to use? Well, the player itself is extremely intuitive albeit a little unique. The controls are motion activated so that when the device is held vertically the top wheel changes tracks and play groups depending on the amount of spin, and the bottom wheel changes the volume. The only other control, apart from the on/off/Bluetooth enable switch is a single button which activates the player in either full motion mode or playback only. The playback only option is actually extremely beneficial as it enables Rolly to really be used as a simple audio device, making him a great travel companion. As someone who regularly travels, having an MP3 player this size with built in speakers saves me having to carry separate speakers and cable to listen to music in my hotel room – a real bonus.

The sound quality is actually pretty good with clear clarity. The only thing maybe lacking is the base, but with speakers of this size this is acceptable and no different to any other comparable on the market. 

But the real “selling point” of Rolly is his motion capabilities. The supplied software allows you to automatically assign motion or use the Motion Editor to choreograph your own.

First up lets look at the Automatic feature….

The Automatic Choreography feature uses 12 tone analysis and beat analysis technology to analyze music on your Rolly, and then automatically creates motion that matches the music.

Naturally Rolly seems prone to laziness and it takes quite a fat tune to get him off his little eggy arse. We tried the automatic motion function with three different tunes, and despite giving him some fat beats to grove to he had a tendency to stand there like a kid at a school disco just clapping his hands, or flapping his wings in his case. The first 2 tunes, Skibadee and Nappy Roots produced a rather lame effort though he did get rather more excited with Papa Was a Rolling Stone and busted a couple of funky moves of his own accord. So despite being slightly sedate in this mode, Rolly at least seems to have quite good taste in music. I actually think the automatic function works better with slower beats as the quicker tempos don’t seem to register as well.

Next, the fun begins, it’s on to the Custom Choreography…..

My only gripe here is that the instructions are somewhat lacking and it’s more a case of trial and error to get the hang of it. Nether-the-less after a bit of playing around it’s fairly straightforward. The screen is divided into two sections, the right showing the motion editor and the left showing a 3D graphic of Rolly that simulates the movement you are creating.

Once you select a tune the software analyses the beat, provide you with beat lines that help you place the motions accordingly. By placing points on the Editor you can control the arms, wheels, shoulders and also the lights. This takes a little while to get use to, but having the 3D Rolly on the left really helps you understand how the point placement will affect the motion.

Understanding that producing the motion for an entire song could get a little tedious if you have to coordinate every move, Sony have kindly provided a library of set moves that you can use in conjunction with your own creations. There is also a lighting library to “quick create” the lighting effects as well.

Unfortunately I don’t think my first attempt did poor Rolly justice. I had him spinning and flapping like a lunatic (maybe appropriately) to Superfreak, looking more like a drunken dad at a wedding rather than the sophisticated choreographed robot he is meant to be. Never mind, there are others who have done far more wonderous things than I to show off his capabilities and I was still incredibly chuffed to see him performing my instructions perfectly. In fact I can really see there being Internet sites dedicated to “dance offs” that people have created with their little robotic Rolly friend.

Overall, Rolly is a fun gadget, a decent MP3 audio device and a one-of-a-kind that I’m sure will provide gadget-heads and kids alike with endless hours of entertainment.

Rolly dancing MP3 player at sony.co.uk 


Sony α900

The α900 digital SLR from Sony sets a new benchmark for serious photo enthusiasts who demand the unrivalled quality and creative possibilities of full-frame imaging.

The flagship of the α DSLR range features the industry’s first ever 24.6 effective megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor. Developed by Sony, this groundbreaking sensor’s ultra-high pixel count and large size – equivalent to a 35mm film frame – deliver extraordinary image detail and wide dynamic range.

Key features include: Superlative, detail-packed images from full-frame 24.6 effective megapixel CMOS sensor Exmor™. Bright optical glass pentaprism viewfinder with 100% coverage. nhanced SteadyShot INSIDE™ offers up to 4.0 steps anti-shake performance with α lense. Ultra-sharp shooting responses and flawless, low-noise images from dual BIONZ™ image processor. Review images on High Resolution 3.0-inch Xtra Fine LCD. Fast, high-accuracy 9-point AF with 10 focus assist points. 5fps continuous shooting at full resolution 24.6 megapixels

Sony a900 promo video 


 Sony's "Rolly"

Sony has announced that "Rolly"  will be available in selected European outlets this October. "Rolly" is Sony's unique palm-sized music entertainment player which spins and dances to the rhythm of music.

www.sony-europe.com 

Via: Sony Europe


Sony Rolly

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Nicko and Joe (comedians who also host the Bad Film Club at the Barbican) teach Sony's Rolly to dance to Footloose.

"Rolly is a palm-sized, egg-shaped device that rolls and spins like it’s dancing to the music.To choreograph an original routine, the unit comes with Rolly Choreographer software. Motions can either be created automatically by the software for a specific song, or for a creative twist, you can create customized choreography for your favorite music. Once choreography has been created, the software simulates how the device will move so you can preview the dance moves on a PC before transferring the routine to the unit."

Check out some of the other links below to see Rolly do his / her / its thing:

With Siamiss (DJ duo from Spain), Noel (German graffiti artist), Head and Neck Sessions (UK band who make electronic down-tempo music)

Sony Rolly - Review


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