Need for Speed: Shift

Posted: September 27, 2009 in Games Corner

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Need for Speed: Shift is the 13th installment of the long-running racing video game franchise Electronic Arts. It was announced in January 2009. Shift was developed by Slightly Mad Studios—who, under their former name Blimey!In the new franchising model for the series adopted by EA, Shift takes its place focusing on simulation racing and realistic drifting rather than the arcade racing of previous titles in the series. It abandons the street racing formula of previous games and focuses on simulating the “true” driver experience.

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According to an interview from Shift’s producer, Geever, the game has been in development for two years. He also mentioned that the game will feature a new “Driver experience”. G-force will play an important role in the game, as it will affect both the player and the AI. The in-car view will also return, making its first appearance in aNeed for Speed game since Porsche Unleashed. The in-car view will be highly detailed, and it will be possible to see the driver changing gears and moving his head to get a better view of the mirror. The crashes will affect the players visuals. While crashing, there will be a temporary blur on screen. The sound aspect will have detailed car crash sound, as well as a sharp gasp of breath from the driver before a collision.

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Requirements

Windows

Operating System

Windows XP (Service Pack 3) or Windows Vista (Service Pack 1) / Windows 7

CPU

Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6 GHz or faster

Memory

1.0 GB (Windows XP)

1.5 GB (Windows Vista/Windows 7)

Hard Drive Space

6 GB of free space

Graphics Hardware

ATI RANDON X1800 XT 512MB or greater,NVIDIA GFORCE 7800 GT 256MB or greater.

Sound Hardware

DirectX 9.0c compatible

Network

512 Kbps or faster

Input Device(s)

DualShock 3, Xbox 360 controller
keyboard, mouse, Wheel

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PCI Express 2.0 Support

Designed for the new PCI Express 2.0 bus architecture offering the highest data transfer speeds for the most bandwidth-hungry games and 3D applications, while maintaining backwards compatibility with existing PCI Express motherboards for the broadest support.

NVIDIA® PureVideo® HD Technology1

The combination of high-definition video decode acceleration and post-processing that delivers unprecedented picture clarity, smooth video, accurate color, and precise image scaling for movies and video.
Dynamic Contrast Enhancement & Color Stretch
Provides post-processing and optimization of High Definition movies on a scene-by-scene basis for spectacular picture clarity.

HDMI Output

Integrated HDMI™ connector enables sending both high-definition video and audio signals to an HDTV via a single cable.

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Lets you switch from the GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics card to the motherboard GeForce GPU when running non graphically-intensive applications for a silent, low power PC experience.

Quad NVIDIA SLI® Technology3

Industry leading Quad NVIDIA SLI technology offers amazing performance scaling by implementing 4-way AFR (Alternate Frame Rendering), for the world’s fastest gaming solution under Windows Vista with solid, state-of-the-art drivers.

Enthusiast System Architecture

The new ESA-enabled NVIDIA control panel provides a state-of-the-art interface for performance tuning and monitoring of your GeForce 9800 GX2-based graphics card on NVIDIA nForce 790i platforms.

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Features the revolutionary second generation NVIDIA PureVideo® HD engine, it delivers astounding Blu-ray and HD DVD movie picture quality on a PC.

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Why PCI Express? PCI Express is the new standard that will replace PCI. The new PCI Express interface effectively quadruples the amount of available computing bandwidth, resulting in faster music downloads, smoother streaming video, and lightning-fast access to mass-storage devices. The Belkin USB 2.0 5-Port PCI Express Card offers the perfect solution for users who want to add Hi-Speed USB 2.0 ports to their computers. The Card is designed to take advantage of the additional bandwidth and features provided by the new PCI Express I/O interconnection standard. Now you can transfer fi les to the hard drive, download images from your camera, and scan images all at the same time-without worrying that your computer will freeze, crash, or slow down to a trickle. USBG-2-5-PCIThe PCI Express Card future-proofs your computer with technology so advanced that it exceeds the processing-speed capability of many devices currently on the market. Installing the PCI Express Card now will give you device-upgrade expansion room for many years to come.

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Canon PowerShot SD780

Posted: August 30, 2009 in All about Camera

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The Canon PowerShot SD780 IS is less than 0.75 inch thick, but manages to squeeze a 12-megapixel image sensor and 3x zoom lens into this very small package, with a sticker price of $280. While not heavy on the manual controls, the camera does have a few 2clever features, especially during playback.In our testing, the SD780 generally did well. It came up short in color accuracy, but otherwise had very sharp pictures, low image noise, and good video quality.

While not for those who want manual controls on their camera, the SD780 IS is tiny, good looking, and reasonably priced.3
In our color accuracy testing, the SD780 did unusually poorly, as Canons tend to have high color accuracy. Our color accuracy test looks at how far from known color values the camera deviates, under 3000 lux illumination. We photograph the X-Rite Colorchecker chart, and use Imatest image testing software 4to see measure the color error in our test images. Click here for more on how we test color

The SD780 has a large number of color modes, of which the most accurate was Vivid Red. It’s unusual for a Vivid mode to be more accurate than others, but we also found this with the Canon SD970. On the SD780, Vivid Red mode was very accurate for greens, light blues and oranges, but understandably over-saturated reds and cyan.

sd780specs p289330971-3

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Sony unveiled its second full-frame digital SLR in the shape of DSLR-A850. It offers almost all features of the company’s flagship full frame DSLR A900, but at a more affordable price. It is built around the same 24.6MP CMOS sensor and incorporates A900’s 3.0 inch 921k LCD, sensor-shift image-stabilization and Dual Bionz processors. The only compromise is a 98% viewfinder coverage against A900’s 100% and slower continuous shooting. To complement the A850, Sony has also announced a mid-priced 28-75mm constant F2.8 SAM lens to fit with the A850’s affordable full-frame ethos. The A850 will start shipping from September 2009 with the 28-75mm lens available from November 2009.

Features
Full-frame 24.6 effective megapixel Exmor™ CMOS sensor and dual BIONZ processors for detail-packed, low-noise images with high sensitivity up to ISO 6400 (with expanded ISO range)
Bright optical glass pentaprism viewfinder with 98% coverage
SteadyShot INSIDE™ offers up to 4.0 steps anti-shake performance with all lenses
Photo quality (921k dot) 3.0-inch Xtra Fine LCD
Fast, high-accuracy 9-point AF with 10 focus assist points
2 Price (body only)
• US: $ 2000
• UK: TBC
• EU: € 1999
Price (with 28-75mm SAM lens) • US: ~$ 2800
• UK: TBC
• EU: € 2688
Body material –Magnesium Body

Sensor

• 35.9 x 24.0 mm CMOS sensor ‘Exmor’
• RGB Color Filter Array
• Built-in fixed low-pass filter
• 25.7 million total pixels
• 24.6 million effective pixels
• On-chip Column A/D Conversion & NR

Image sizes [Still]

• 6048 x 4032 (24M 3:2)
• 4400 x 2936 (13M 3:2)
• 3024 x 2016 (6.1M 3:2)
• 6048 x 3408 (21M 16:9)
• 4400 x 2472 (11M 16:9)
• 3024 x 1704 (5.2M 16:9)
• 3924 x 2656 (11M APSC)
• 2896 x 1928 (5.6M APSC)
• 1984 x 1320 (2.6M APSC)

File qualities / formats

• RAW (.ARW 2.0)
• Compressed or uncompressed RAW option
• RAW + JPEG Fine
• JPEG Extra Fine
• JPEG Fine
• JPEG Standard

Dust reduction

• Charge protection coating on low-pass filter

• CCD-shift dust reduction mechanism
Lenses • Sony Alpha lenses
(also compatible with Minolta A-type bayonet mount lenses)
• Can be used with DT (1.5x crop) lenses in APS-C mode
FOV crop 1.0 x

Image Stabilization

• CCD-Shift ‘ SteadyShot INSIDE’ system
• Five level LED shake indicator in viewfinder
• Claimed equivalent to 2.5 EV- 4 EV steps in shutter speed

Auto Focus

• TTL CCD line sensors (9-points, center dual cross types + 10 assist sensors)
• EV 0 to 18 (ISO 100) detection range
• Predictive focus control for moving subjects

AF area selection

• Wide AF area
• Spot AF area (center)
• Focus area selection (any of 9)

Focus modes

• Single-shot AF
• Direct Manual Focus
• Continuous AF
• Automatic AF
• Manual focus
• AF micro adjustment (+/- 20 steps for up to 30 lenses)
AF assist

illuminator

• Yes (built-in LED lamp)
• Range approx 1m – 7m

Eye-start AF No

Shooting modes

• Auto
• Programmed Auto (with shift)
• Aperture priority AE
• Shutter priority AE
• Manual
• MR (memory recall) / Custom

Sensitivity

• Auto (200 – 1600) – upper/lower limit selectable *
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
• ISO 3200
• ISO 100,ISO 125,ISO 160, ISO 4000, ISO 5000, ISO 6400 (expanded range)

Metering modes

• Multi-segment (40 segment Honeycomb pattern)
• Center-weighted
• Spot

Metering range

• TTL metering
• 40-segment honeycomb-pattern SPC
• EV 0 to 20 (Multi-segment / Center-weighted)
• EV 2 to 20 (Spot metering)
(at ISO 100 with F1.4 lens)

AE Lock

• AEL button (customizable)
• Half-press shutter release

AE Bracketing

• Single or continuous bracketing
• 3 or 5 frames
• 0.3, 0.5, 0.7 or 2.0 EV steps*
*2.0 EV steps for 3 frames only

Exposure compen.

• -3.0 to +3.0 EV
• 0.3 or 0.5 EV steps
Shutter Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane Shutter

Shutter Speed

30 to 1/8000 sec
• Bulb

Flash X-sync

• 1/250 sec
• 1/200 sec (with SteadyShot INSIDE on)

Aperture values Depends on lens, 0.3 EV steps
DOF preview Yes, dedicated button
White balance

• Auto
• Daylight
• Shade
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Flash
• Color temperature (2500 – 9900 K)
• Manual (Custom) – 3 memories

White balance fine tuning

• Auto (none)
• Preset WB: -3 to +3
• Fluorescent WB: -2 to +4
• Color temperature WB: G9 to M9 (19 step Magenta / Green compensation)

White balance bracketing

• 3 frames
• Hi or Lo steps

Dynamic range optimizer

• Off
• Standard
• Advanced Auto
• Advanced
• DRO advanced bracketing (3 frames, High/Low selectable)

Color space

• sRGB
• Adobe RGB

Color modes

• Standard
• Vivid
• Neutral
• Clear
• Deep
• Light
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Sunset
• Night view
• Autumn Leaves
• B&W
• Sepia

Image parameters

• Contrast (-3 to +3)
• Saturation (-3 to +3)
• Sharpness (-3 to +3)
• Zone Matching (-1 to +2 steps)
• Brightness (-3 to +3 steps)
(Available in all color modes)

Noise reduction

• Long exposure for exposures longer than 1 second (User controllable: On / Off)
• High ISO NR High/Normal/Low/Off at ISO 1600 or higher
Viewfinder
• Eye-level fixed optical glass pentaprism
• Spherical Acute Matte focusing screen (interchangeable)
• Magnification approx. 0.74x
• 98% frame coverage*
• Dioptric adjustment (-3 to +1.0)
• Eye-relief 20 mm from eyepiece
• Eyepiece cup removable
• Eyepiece shutter built-in
• Viewfinder info bar

LCD monitor

• 3.0″ ‘Xtra Fine’ TFT LCD
• 921,600 pixels (640 x 480 x 3 (RGB))
• 100% coverage
• Brightness setting -/+
• Anti-reflective coating

Flash compensation -3.0 to +3.0 EV in 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 2.0 EV steps
Flash Mode Auto, Fill-Flash, Rear sync , High Speed Sync
External flash (optional) • Sony HVL-F58M

• Sony HVL-F56M
• Sony HVL-F42M
• Sony HVL-F36M
• Macro Twin Flash Kit HVL-MT24AM
• Ring Light HVL-RLAM
• Off camera flash shoe FA-CS1 AM

Drive modes

• Single-frame
• Continuous (H/L selectable)
• Self-timer (10 or 2 sec)
• Mirror-Up
• Continuous bracket
• Single-frame bracket
• White balance bracket
• DRO bracket
• Mirror Lock-Up
• Remote Commander

Continuous-shooting

* Approx 3 fps max
• RAW: Up to 16 frames
• cRAW (compressed): Up to 18 frames
• RAW+JPEG: Up to12 frames
• cRAW+JPEG : Up to 12 frames
• JPEG (XFINE): Up to 34 frames
• JPEG (STD/FINE): 593/384

Self-timer

• 10 sec
• 2 sec
• Mirror up function (optional)
• Remote control

Orientation sensor Yes, for shooting, playback and control panel display
Connectivity

• USB 2.0 Hi-Speed (mass storage, Multi-LUN or PTP)
• Video out (NTSC or PAL)
• HDMI type C mini jack
• DC-IN
• Remote terminal
• PC control (with supplied software)

Remote control

* • Wired: with optional RM-S1AM or RM-L1AM
• Wireless: with optional RM-DSLR1)

Video out

• AV (Selectable NTSC or PAL)
• HDMI (1920 x 1080i, 1280 x 720p, 720 x 580p, 720 x 576p)
• ‘PhotoTV’ HD settings applied with BRAVIA.

Storage

Compact Flash Type I/II, UDMA Mode 5 compliant
• Memory Stick Duo / Pro Duo, PRO-HG Duo
• Supports FAT12 / FAT16 / FAT32

Power

• NP-FM500H Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (1650 mAh)
• CR2025 Wireless remote
• Battery charger included
• Optional AC adapter
• Battery life Approx 880 shots (CIPA standard)

Vertical grip

• Vertical Grip VG-C90AM
• One or Two NP-FM500H batteries with auto switchover for power (additional battery is optional).
Dimensions 156 x 117 x 82 mm
Weight (body) 850 g

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