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Posts by Shehab

We’re Back

Finally We’re Back.
We’ve been struggling with so many difficulties to keep this site live and up to date due to so many obstacles.

Expect all updates about everything TECH.

Apple releases a new iOS Update

Today Apple released a new update for iOS devices.
This might be the fastest update ever which has been issued by Apple.


This update should fix the problem of being able to bypass the pass code while dialing the missed calls which are showing on the lock screen, plus some other fixes as well.

iOS 7 Problems – iCloud



Yesterday 18th of September 2013 iOS 7 has been released worldwide. Apple servers have been hammered by the update requests received from millions and millions of Apple devices.

Unfortunately the new fancy update is having its own problems and issues, which we will try to tackle one by one.

Now we will be tackling iCloud issue on iDevices, where you will be getting an error message while starting iCloud saying “Unable to connect to Server”.

This problem is happening because you have to agree on the new License Agreement.

One trick will be fixing this to you. You have to start “Find My Friends” application and sign in using your Apple ID.

After signing in you will be notified to agree on the license agreement.

Once you agree on it and your “Find My Friends” application starts, go back to iCloud settings and you should be able to connect now.

Hope this trick will be fixing your problem.

Later on we will be talking about the fix for iMessage and FaceTime on iOS 7.

Apple reveals iOS 7… Bring it on Android

Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled a completely redesigned iOS 7 operating system for the iPhone and iPad at his company’s annual software developer conference on Monday, including a long-rumored iTunes Radio music service.

“It is the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone,” Cook said to a standing ovation from a crowd of Apple fans and developers.



New Look

iOS 7 is a radical departure from every generation of iOS that came before. Designer Jony Ive’s influence is clear. All of the 3-D elements and natural textures that have given iOS its signature look over the years are gone. That means no wooden bookshelf in iBooks, no felt tabletop in Game Center, no leather-bound calendar and so on.

The new operating system has a much more modern look thanks to cleaner lines, more use of white space, modern fonts, and a different color palette. There’s no denying that it is a big departure, but Apple was sure to keep many of the platform’s elements the same, such as the home screen layout and icon shape.

Sliding Gestures

Apple added a new sliding gesture to a number of apps, including Safari, Messages and Email that make it easier to move between messages, in-boxes or open tabs. The gesture is activated by swiping to the right or left when viewing messages.

Further, Apple added a new control screen that is accessible via swiping up from the bottom of the screen. This control screen provides quick and easy access to the wireless radios, brightness settings, a flashlight and music controls. (Users of Google’s Android platform will likely find it familiar.)

Lock Screen Notifications

The lock screen has a new look and feel to match the rest of the operating system. More important than the appearance, however, is the new support for notifications. iOS 7 allows users to see more notifications directly on the lock screen as well as to take action on those notifications. Further, notifications will sync across devices, so if you mark something on an iPad or Mac computer, it will be marked read on the iPhone as well.


Apple has made significant improvements to the way multitasking functions within iOS. Chiefly, multitasking is now supported by all apps available to the operating system. Previously, only select apps could function in the background while users were off doing other things. In addition to expanded support, iOS 7 is smarter about multitasking. It uses a new set of parameters to define when it should and shouldn’t update calls in the background, all of which are meant to help maximize battery life while also making sure users have the most up-to-date information.

Car Integration

Apple showed off new integration between the iPhone and in-care infotainment systems. Beginning with 2014 model-year vehicles, iOS 7 will be able to fully connect with cars. Apple demonstrated how it would look to use iOS through a car’s screen to make phone calls, play music or navigate via maps. At least a dozen car makers pledged support for the feature, including Chevy, Jaguar, Mercedes, Tesla, Ferrari and others.


Siri will be able to do a lot more than before, thanks to new integration with Microsoft’s Bing search engine and Wikipedia. Siri is better at understanding natural language requests, and can interact with more applications on the iPhone or iPad. For example, users can request that Siri play back voicemails or read SMS messages. Siri also gets a new voice, both male and female, with support for both in French and German.


Apple’s mobile browser sees a wide number of changes, many of which reflect changes being made in Apple’s OS X Mavericks desktop operating system. The browser is much faster at rendering Java, and has a new look that lets people see more of the content on Web pages. It supports better keychain access for storing passwords and credit card information across devices, as well as better parental controls for managing content. Last, it has a new user interface for interacting with multiple tabs. It supports more than eight open tabs at a time, and lets users reorder and close tabs with the flick of a finger.

Music and iTunes Radio

Apple updated not only the iTunes store, but the general appearance of the music player with iOS 7. It has a cleaner, simpler look, but still offers plenty of features. Perhaps the biggest new feature is support for iTunes Radio, a new streaming service that will allow iOS device owners to create and listen to radio stations based on artists, songs and so on. iTunes Radio is ad free to subscribers of iTunes Match, but shows ads for those who don’t. Apple has created hundreds of its own radio stations, but also lets users share their own.

iOS 7 will be made available to registered iOS developers later Monday. The full operating system won’t be available to consumers until the fall, probably closer to when Apple launches the next version of the iPhone. Apple typically offers a new iOS beta every few weeks leading up to the final release.

Happening Now… Apple Event – iPhone 5S revealed!!

OK.. the news are true. iPhone 5S is finally announced.

iPhone 5S is coming in three colours, CPU is twice faster than A6 which is in iPhone 5 and it runs 64bit applications with backward compatibility with 32bit applications.

More details will be posted later.

Iphone2013 0140

Happening Now… Apple Event – iPhone 5C revealed!!

Currently the Apple event is still going on and so far they have revealed some of their new products which we will be posting about gradually.

The new member in Apple’s family is the iPhone 5C which will be similar to iPhone 5 in hardware capabilities but with more colourful design.


Iphone2013 0131

Apple’s iCloud services including iMessage is returned to normal after short outage.

Steve Jobs Introduces iCloud Storage System At Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference

Apple’s iCloud is encountered some issues today’s morning. Users said that they’re having difficulty accessing iMessage, the Apps Store, the Game Center, and possibly more. The company’s system status webpagehas confirmed this saying that they are investigating and will update as it has more to report. This outage is the second one affecting the system this week.

With over 190 million usersand continued growth in the future, any downtime can affect a lot of people. This problem is affecting people across all of Apple’s iOS devices, including the iPad, iPhone, and even computers since iCloud is used on all its platforms. Apple first noticed and logged this issue on its site at 2:15pm PST today.

Currently, Apple’s system status confirms that iCloud, FaceTime, iMessage, and the Game Center were affected by this outage.

Snap 2012 10 30 at 16.01.46 520x274 Apples iCloud services including iMessage appear to have returned to normal after short outage

The iOS 6 Features everybody’s keeping quite about!!!

iOS 6, your cup runneth over. The new future brain of your iPhone and iPad is lovelier than ever.

A new Share screen

In iOS 5, when you tap to share a photo, you get a long list of sharing actions to choose from—whether it’s posting to Twitter, sending an email or iMessage, or some other option. iOS 6 adds Facebook sharing as an option, along with sharing to various Chinese social networks. But Apple decided against cramming more buttons into that panel.

Instead, iOS 6 presents you with a new, icon-based sharing screen. It uses icons to represent the apps and services that you can share your content with and looks quite a bit like the iPhone’s home screen.

New Siri functionality

Flagship features added to Siri include the voice-driven personal assistant’s arrival on the third-generation iPad. Siri also gains the ability to answer questions about sports and movies in iOS 6, and it will be integrated with turn-by-turn directions in Maps. But the virtual assistant gains several other new features as well that might have escaped your attention.

In iOS 6, you’ll be able to compose new tweets and Facebook status updates with Siri—and both capabilities appear to be implemented smartly: If you link your friends’ Twitter usernames to their Contacts entries, Siri automatically translates their real names as you dictate. That is, if I say, “Tweet ‘Excellent dinner last night with Shahim Khan, Shahid Shaikh, and Maged Ragaei,’” Siri will automatically compose a tweet like “Excellent dinner last night with @skhan, @sshaikh, and @maged.”

On the new iPad, Siri can answer questions about weather and stocks, even though Apple hasn’t (yet) ported its Weather and Stocks apps to the iPad. Apple did show a glimpse of a new default Clock app for the iPad, so we won’t be shocked if Stocks and Weather finally make the leap to the big screen before iOS 6’s official release, too.

Spotlight tweak

If you have lots of apps, sometimes it’s hard to figure out precisely which homescreen they’re located on. In iOS 6, Spotlight makes that at least a smidgen easier, by listing the name of the folder a particular app is nestled inside when it appears in the search results.

Reminders improvements

Apple introduced the Reminders app in iOS 5, and it looks to score some helpful updates in iOS 6. Apple says that you’ll be able to set location-based reminders from the iPad. Even better, you’ll be able to tap in addresses where you’d like to be reminded manually, a feature currently missing from Reminders; at present, you can only set reminders for locations linked to addresses for your existing contacts.

Also new in Reminders will be the ability to reorder your tasks as desired. And Apple told developers that iOS 6 includes a new Reminders API, which should make it possible for third-party apps to integrate with the Reminders database. That means that you could use Siri to set Reminders which would in turn be visible in your third-party task management app of choice.

Call rejection

Sometimes, you can’t take a call when your iPhone starts ringing. You can already quickly send a call to voicemail by tapping the Ignore button, but iOS 6 adds more powerful options for when you’re too busy to answer. When your phone rings, you’ll see a button on the screen akin to the new camera shortcut on the lock screen in iOS 5.1—a switch that you slide up to trigger.

When you do so, you’ll see options to send the caller a message, or to remind yourself to call the person back later. If you choose to send a message, iOS offers several default options; you can also save custom responses. Your iPhone will then attempt to iMessage or SMS the caller with your note, while also sending them straight to your voicemail.

Other features

Near the end of the iOS portion of the keynote, Apple showed a slide listing a host of other features included in the iOS 6 update. Among those were Game Center challenges, the ability to connect Game Center friends from Facebook, VoiceOver improvements, personal dictionary in iCloud (for adding your own terms to the dictionary, which can sync between devices), and per-account signatures in Mail. Also on the list was improved privacy, which—as a new option in Settings—will let you control which apps can access which bits of personal data, like your Contacts, Calendar, or Photos. Other features on the list included autocorrection for every keyboard, Bluetooth MAP support (which is commonly used to help cars better offer hands-free communication with Bluetooth devices), kernel ASLR (which aims to make data even more impervious to snooping from malicious attackers), custom vibrations for alerts, redesigned stores (for the App and iTunes stores), IPv6 support for Wi-Fi and LTE, word highlights for speak selection, improved keyboard layouts, alarms with songs, and faster JavaScript in Safari. Apple also says iOS 6 includes a global HTTP proxy option, which would supplant the current approach, limited as it is to per-connection proxy settings.

Other features for developers include audio and video sampling during playback, Pass Kit (for interacting with Passbook), VoiceOver gestures, the ability to control camera focus and exposure, a Web Audio API, Game Center in-app experience, game groups, video stabilization, frame drop data, pull-to-refresh on Table views, a means of supporting in-app purchases of iTunes Store-hosted content, in-app Bluetooth pairing, remote Web Inspector, rich text on label fields and text views, CSS filters, crossfade with CSS animations, and a face detection API.

But what about the unsung stuff? Here are the coolest quiet additions.

Wake up to a song

Marimba gets a little stale. Now you can select any song on your iPhone as an alarm from within the Clock app. Ride of the Valkyries works well, as does anything by Waka Flocka. Beach House and Fiona Apple aren’t quite as conducive to getting your ass out of bed. There have been apps offering this for years, but now it’s built in, and built in is better.

Power privacy

This one’s simple: there’s now a list in settings of all the apps that have requested access to your location, contacts, calendars, reminders, and photos. Turn on or off access as you see fit.

Your (weird) words saved in the cloud

If you repeatedly use a word that’s not in Apple’s standard dictionary—like “basketball face,” or calling your girlfriend “squeezybooty,” your phone will stop trying to correct you and just add it to the list of real words. Now this list of all your slang, inside jokes, and abbreviations, will be stored on iCloud forever, across devices.

A modern iPod

The Music app ditched its old skin for a darker, simpler, monochromatic getup. It functions the exact same, but steps closer to OS X in appearance. Maybe you’ll like it more than the old look—if not, you’ll quickly forget what the old look looked like, anyway.

Bonus: Remodeled iTunes/App Stores

Talk about stale! The stores on your phone were never easy to get around: too many lists, too many sections, too much scrolling. In iOS 6 they get a chic makeover, highly reminiscent of the glamorous Apple TV storefront. The new stores also add clever horizontal scrolling through lists and categories, which is less of a pain and allows for a more digestible spread of information on a non-television screen. Featured albums, apps, videos, and the like are all sorted together with big eye-easy graphics. It won’t cost you any less, but you’ll spend less sanity on your downloads.

Tons of new emoji

All emoji are good emoji. And the old iOS 5 set was pretty great. But just look at the artistry and detail in each of these teeny tiny animals. Notice the chicken’s softly shaded feathers. The poodle’s regal pose. That blow fish! Now return to your old iOS 5 emoji animals—they basically resemble balloon animal heads with beaks.

App update history

As part of its total overhaul to the App Store, The Big A is introducing a complete history of updates for every app, so you can see, for example, precisely when the Orange Bird was added to Angry Birds Seasons.

New app banners


Your iOS Home screen now wraps a dashing “New” sash over recently downloaded apps, reminding forgetful features editors to actually, you know, play their newly purchased games.

Pull to refresh in mail

A tiny bit of UI magic, made popular by Twitter apps. To refresh your inbox, just drag the list down and then ping it back. Developers can borrow the feature for their apps.

IPv6 support

The IP address tap has almost completely run dry, so the web is anxiously moving to IPv6 – a system with 340 trillion trillion trillion addresses to share. iOS 6 adds support for these new 128-bit locators.

Custom signatures

You can now set a separate email signature for each account on your device. Plus, use bold, italic, and underline to really emphasise that this email was sent from your iPhone.

Retina shutdown spinner

Okay, one more. A bonus, for the most pedantic of the pedants. For the most eagle-eyed observer. The little spinning icon that appears when you shut down your device is finally Retina enabled. Best. Feature. Ever.

New Clock app

The iPad now has a new Clock app of its own.

Sony NEX-5N Review

This is an in-depth review of the Sony NEX-5N mirrorless camera that came out on August 24, 2011 along with the Sony NEX-7 flagship mirrorless camera and three E-mount lenses. I had a chance to test the Sony NEX-5N, along with its kit 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens while reviewing the Nikon 1 camera system. My initial intent was to only use this camera for lab tests, to see how it would fare against the new Nikon mirrorless cameras. But after just a day of pleasant shooting with the NEX-5N, I realized that I wanted to take it for a real spin and do a full review instead. In this Sony NEX-5N review, I will talk about my experience with the camera and provide some feedback on its features and capabilities, along with comparisons to Nikon 1 V1 and Olympus E-PL3 cameras.

Sony NEX-5N

The NEX-5N is Sony’s fourth mirrorless camera, which replaced the Sony NEX-5 that was released back in 2010. While the added letter “N” might make it sound like a slight update, the similarities between the cameras are only in external appearance – the guts of the camera, as well as some of the functionality went through major changes. From a higher resolution superb 16.1 MP sensor, to touchscreen LCD and fast 10 frames per second shooting rate, the Sony NEX-5N is a whole different animal.

1) Sony NEX-5N Specifications

Main Features:

  1. 16.1 MP Exmor™ APS HD CMOS image sensor
  2. Updated BIONZ® image processor
  3. Full HD movie shooting 60p/24p
  4. Object Tracking AF via Touch LCD
  5. 11 Picture Effect modes
  6. Regular and 3D Panorama Modes
  7. HDR Capability
  8. Phase Detect AF for E-mount bodies w/ adapter
  9. Extended battery life for up to 430 shots
  10. Tiltable 3.0″ Touch LCD with 921K dots
  11. Optional XGA OLED viewfinder with 2.395K dots
  12. Intelligent Scene Recognition and Face Detection
  13. In-camera “SteadyShot” Image Stabilization
  14. Electronic First Curtain shutter
  15. Up to 10 fps continuous shooting at full 16.1 MP resolution
  16. World’s shortest release time lag of 0.02 sec
  17. Peaking AF display for precise manual focusing
  18. 25-point Auto Focus with wide coverage
  19. Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO) technology

Detailed technical specifications for the Sony NEX-5N are available at

2) Sony 16.1 MP Exmor Sensor

One of the most important attributes in a digital camera is its sensor – the heart of the camera that is responsible for capturing images. The Sony NEX-5N features the excellent APS-C sized 16.1 MP Exmor sensor, which in my opinion, has a great balance of resolution and noise (the same sensor is also used on the lower-end Sony NEX-C3 mirrorless camera). While the latest generation high-resolution sensors on Sony A77, A65 and NEX-7 cameras have their advantages, sometimes less can be more. For the type of the camera the NEX-5N is, which is positioned as a mid-level mirrorless camera by Sony, 16.1 megapixels is more than plenty for most photographers that will be looking into buying it.

The biggest advantage of the Sony NEX-series mirrorless cameras compared to other mirrorless cameras on the market such as Micro 4/3 and Nikon 1, is the physical size of the sensor. The 23.5×15.6mm APS-C sensor is currently among the largest sensors used in mirrorless cameras, with the exception of the expensive Leica M9/M9-P rangefinder cameras that have full-frame sensors. Large sensor size means larger pixel size, which translates to better low-light (high ISO) performance and better dynamic range. Sony picked the same 1.5x crop factor APS-C sensor size that is used in their “SLT” camera line, which is bigger than Canon’s APS-C sensors with a 1.6x crop factor and about the same as Nikon’s DX sensors. Here is a chart that summarizes sensor size differences (courtesy of Wikipedia):

Image Sensor Sizes

Another big advantage of a larger sensor is smaller depth of field, which translates to better opportunities to isolate subjects from the background – an important factor for many photo enthusiasts and pros out there. Coupled with fast prime lenses like the Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS, one could capture creative photographs with beautiful bokeh – something that is hard to achieve on small sensor cameras.

From small sensor to large – Nikon 1 V1 vs Olympus E-PL3 vs Sony NEX-5N:

Nikon 1 V1 vs Olympus E-PL3 vs Sony NEX-5N

At the same time, a larger sensor requires a bigger image circle from lenses, which negatively impacts the size requirements of both lenses and the lens mount (read more on this below).

3) Camera construction and handling

Compared to the older Sony NEX-5 that only had its front protected with a magnesium alloy plate, the NEX-5N has a sturdier build with both front and top magnesium alloy plates. Sony did a great job designing the NEX-series cameras and the NEX-5N is no exception – I found it ergonomically superior than both the Olympus E-PL3 and the Nikon 1 V1. A big part of it has to do with the grip; the large, rubber-coated grip perfectly accommodated my right hand and made it easy to hand-hold the camera. The grip is designed to have your fingers wrap around it, with your finger tips in between the grip and the protruded lens mount. Here is the view from the top:

Sony NEX-5N Top

Needless to say, the grip is a world better compared to the little bump on the Nikon 1 V1. Looking at the neatly designed top view, you can see just how thin the Sony NEX-5N really is. If it was not for the lens mount and the grip, the camera is thinner than most point and shoot cameras out there, let alone other mirrorless cameras. The angled top panel has a simple, yet elegant design with only three buttons and the on/off switch. The shutter release button is positioned ergonomically well, just like the red video record button.

Sony NEX-5N Back

The back of the camera also has a simplistic design with a rotary dial + center button and two extra unlabeled function buttons. Why unlabeled? Because their functionality changes depending on where you are in the menu. The multi-purpose dial is similar to the one found on the Nikon 1 V1. While rotating the dial is pretty smooth, the camera might lag a little in playback and other modes. I saw a similar lag when using the touchscreen, which did not seem to be very responsive in some cases.


Speaking of touchscreen, I kind of liked using it for selecting focus in AF and MF modes (especially cool for selecting a particular area when using manual focus), but found it not so useful for anything else. For navigation, I mostly used the buttons on the back of the camera. Unlike the versatile swivel LCD on the Sony A77, the LCD on the NEX-5N only swivels up and down, like the Olympus E-PL3 does. Still better than not having it at all (Nikon 1 V1/J1).

Now let’s talk about the size and bulk. While the camera itself is thin and lightweight (it weighs less than both Nikon 1 V1 and Olympus E-PL3), it has a rather large mount, which translates to bulky lenses. The standard 18-55mm zoom lens that is shipped with the NEX-5N is a massive chunk of glass, as clearly shown the below image:

Sony NEX-5N Overview

4) Camera Menu System

The simplistic approach with the buttons on the camera means that certain functionality can only be accessed from the camera menu system. This includes the PASM exposure mode selector dial, which is emulated inside the “Shoot Mode” menu. The menus are organized by large descriptive icons and you can navigate through them by rotating the dial on the back of the camera, or by touching the screen. The “Camera” menu contains many options, including Drive Mode (single, continuous, bracket, etc), AF/MF Select, Autofocus Area and Face Registration. The “Image Size” menu is for picking Image Size and Quality, Panorama Size and Direction, Movie Format, Aspect Ratio, etc. The “Brightness/Color” menu contains White Balance, Metering Mode, HDR, ISO, etc. Not sure why Sony decided to stick “ISO” into “Brightness/Color”, because it really should be under “Camera” menu instead. “Playback” menu is for configuring image playback for viewing images on the LCD. Lastly, “Setup” contains important camera setup options, such as Noise Reduction, Lens Compensation, in addition to “Peaking Level” and “Peaking Color” – two very useful functions for shooting with manual focus lenses.

While using the camera menu can sometimes be slightly laggy, I found it quite easy to use, especially when compared to the Olympus E-PL3 camera that has a horrid menu system. I still prefer the Nikon 1 V1 menu system, because it just feels less “cartoonish”, but that’s probably because I am just too used to Nikon cameras. At the same time, the Sony NEX-5N has a lot more menu features than the Nikon 1 V1 and definitely more customization options.

5) Features and Responsiveness

Unlike the Nikon 1 V1, the Sony NEX-5N has a rich set of in-camera features that can be quite useful for everyday photography. The “Lens Compensation” feature found in the “Setup” menu allows fixing len-specific issues like vignetting, chromatic aberration and distortion. Obviously, the amount of lens correction depends on each lens, so Sony included current lens profiles in its camera firmware. New lenses that come out in the future will also be supported via firmware upgrades.

6) Sony E-mount Lenses

Sony has been making more and more E-mount lenses for the NEX cameras during the last couple of years, including some fast prime lenses. While the selection of lenses is nowhere close to what Micro Four Thirds has got to offer today, the available lenses do cover a broad range from wide angle to telephoto. Here is a list of all current lenses for the E-mount by Sony:

  1. Sony 16mm f/2.8
  2. Sony 24mm f/1.8 Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E
  3. Sony 30mm f/3.5 Macro
  4. Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS
  5. Sony 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS
  6. Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS
  7. Sony 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 OSS

With the sensor crop factor of 1.5x, you have to multiply the focal length of each lens by 1.5 to get an equivalent field of view of a full-frame camera. For example, the 55-210mm lens is equivalent to a 82.5-315mm lens, while the 16mm pancake is equivalent to a 24mm lens.

In general, the above Sony E-mount lenses have very good performance characteristics with great sharpness and colors – they perform similarly to Sony A-mount lenses, but without the weight and bulk. One thing you might have noticed from the above list is “OSS” (Optical Steady Shot) on the last 4 lenses, which means that the lenses are stabilized. This is a disadvantage of the NEX-series cameras – they do not have in-camera image stabilization. While it is understandable that in-camera IS might have resulted in a larger body and could have increased the cost of the camera, I still think Sony should have followed the same approach as in their SLT cameras, which is to use in-camera IS instead of lens-based IS. When working with short focal length lenses, in-camera IS is the way to go, especially when using LCD/EVF for framing shots. Those shorter focal length lenses also would have greatly benefited from in-camera image stabilization in low-light situations.

As for manual focus, unlike the Nikon 1 lenses, the Sony E-mount lenses feature a manual focus ring for smoother and more precise MF operation. Once you put the camera into manual focus mode through the “Camera” menu, you can configure the camera to automatically zoom in when the focus ring is turned. I found this feature to be quite useful, because you can combine it with the touchscreen. By selecting an area on the touchscreen to zoom into, you can quickly move the desired focus area.

The cool thing about the Sony NEX mount, is that you can use many different lenses with it, as long as you have an appropriate adapter. You can use the A-mount Lens to NEX Adapter, which will let you autofocus A-mount lenses for both stills and video, or the basic LA-EA1 adapter, which only allows MF operation. There are many other adapters available for using Nikon, Canon, Pentax and even Leica lenses on the NEX cameras.

8) Autofocus / Manual Focus Performance and Metering

Unlike the Nikon 1 V1, which uses both phase detect and contrast detect for focusing, the Sony NEX-5N only relies on contrast detect. Because of this, its AF acquisition speed is not fast enough for photographing sports and wildlife. While contrast detect works remarkably faster than most live-view contrast detect implementations on modern DSLRs, it still cannot compete with phase detect AF. In daylight conditions, the AF speed is quite good, but the performance definitely suffers in low-light conditions – the camera starts to hunt continuously, even with its bright AF assist lamp. In addition, the camera has a tendency to occasionally miss focus; you might see some out of focus images even when you thought the camera confirmed accurate focus.

9) Movie Recording

Every new camera that comes out seems to have impressive movie features and the Sony NEX-5N is no exception. It can record full 1080p HD movies at 60 fps (AVCHD 2.0) for smooth playback, which is very impressive (better than Nikon 1 V1 and Olympus E-PL3). You can also pick lower resolution MPEG-4 format and slower rates (down to 24 fps) for smaller movie files. Another advantage of the movie mode is that you can fully control the exposure while recording movies – you can easily adjust aperture, shutter speed and ISO when shooting videos in Manual mode. If the scene you are recording is too bright or too dark and you are in one of the P/A/S modes, you can also use exposure compensation to adjust the brightness level. The camera LCD will reflect these changes and you will see exactly what you are capturing. Autofocus and subject tracking both work when recording videos, but the AF speed and accuracy is not as good as on the Nikon 1 V1 camera. As for Sony’s Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, it works pretty well when recording videos, but you have to be careful when panning the camera with SteadyShot turned on, because it will occasionally bump the camera up or down. This is normal behavior and the same thing would happen if you were to pan while taking stills.

10) Dynamic Range / HDR / DRO

A big advantage of a larger sensor is its ability to produce images with more dynamic range. Compared to the Nikon 1 V1′s much smaller sensor, or the Olympus E-PL3′s Micro Four Thirds sensor, the Sony NEX-5N 1.5x crop factor sensor is capable of producing higher dynamic range. DxOMark ranks the Sony NEX-5N at #14 spot in dynamic range, which is higher than any other mirrorless camera on the market, except its bigger brother, the Sony NEX-7 (which is ranked #8). As with all digital cameras, increasing camera ISO also decreases dynamic range, so shoot at base ISO of 100 if you want to preserve the most amount of information on your photographs.


Overall, I am very impressed by the Sony NEX-5N – it is a high-quality camera with excellent image quality characteristics. As you can see from the previous page of this review, the Sony NEX-5N easily beats the Nikon 1 V1 and the Olympus E-PL3 in terms of image quality and high ISO performance. Despite having the highest resolution among the three, it provides cleaner images at almost all ISO levels, especially above ISO 1600 and that’s at 100% view! Once down-sampled to 10 MP, it blows the Nikon 1 V1 out of the water and puts the Olympus E-PL3 high ISO performance to shame. True, sensor size does play a huge role here, which at the same time results in a lens size disadvantage for the Sony NEX-series cameras. However, what is more important for you – higher image quality or smaller camera system size?

The Sony NEX-5N has its share of problems. Despite its impressive image quality and high ISO performance, the camera’s biggest weakness is its AF performance. While contrast detect has gotten better over the last several years, the Sony NEX-5N is just nowhere as responsive as the Nikon 1 V1 for fast-action photography. Occasional focus errors are typical, but the worst is its low-light AF performance, where in very dim conditions the camera seems to continuously hunt for focus, even with the AF assist light turned on. These AF issues might not be a big deal for landscape and portrait photography, but will definitely be problematic for sports, indoors and other fast-action photography. Lastly, the lag that is clearly noticeable when using the touchscreen or accessing some of the menu items is rather annoying, which I very much hope Sony will address with future firmware updates.

Despite these shortcomings, the Sony NEX-5N is a great camera for those that do not want the weight and bulk of a DSLR system. While it is not comparable to a DSLR in terms of features, autofocus, speed and versatility, it certainly is comparable to some of the best APS-C DSLRs in terms of image quality. Hence, if you already own a DSLR and would like to have a smaller and lighter stills & video camera for travelling and hiking light, the Sony NEX-5N is definitely a camera I would recommend to consider.

Where to buy and availability

If you live in Kuwait, then you can get Sony NEX-5N camera with its kit 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens for 249.900 KD and with extra Sony 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 OSS lens for 320 KD, from the Sony Official Dealer in Kuwait.

Also you can find it online on Amazon for 700$ with its kit 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens and for 600$ without the lens.


Android 4 quietly rolling out to international Galaxy Note



The international Galaxy S II has already received the update to Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, leaving the sized-up Galaxy Note behind on Android 2.3. Today, several European users are reporting that their devices have received an OTA update notification that brings their phone-tablet hybrid into 2012 with the Android 4.0 update.

Of course, this is a Samsung device, and Samsung has revamped their Touchwiz UI overlay for the Note, which looks a lot more like its Gingerbread variant. Other features in the upgrade include a new and improved S Note application, a new S Memo widget, and the Premium Suite Shape Match and My Story applications. Of course, you’ll get the performance improvements that come with ICS as well.

Owners of the AT&T-branded Galaxy Note will have to wait for the update to pass through carrier testing, which tends to add 1-3 months to the process. Hopefully that process has already begun, and AT&T Note owners will be getting their own taste of Ice Cream Sandwich very soon. We’re leaning towards the update coming sooner than later, as an AT&T-branded Galaxy Note was spotted at CTIA this week.


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