When Microsoft piled on the Xbox media channels last year, we didn’t realize just how long it would take for some of those channels to come to fruition. We’re quite possibly on the cusp of new hardware, and Machinima’s app is just now making its Xbox 360 debut. Still, it might be worth the wait for those who live and breathe gaming even after they’ve set down the gamepad. The app includes the full suite of Machinima channels and their associated videos, ranging from regular shows and specials through to game blooper reels. Machinima is available everywhere Xbox Live is active; if that isn’t enough to tide you over, Microsoft is teasing the reveal of a OneBeat electronic music app next month.
If your camera arsenal includes a 5D Mark III, prepare to get your download on. Earlier today, Canon released a major firmware update for the hit DSLR — version 1.2.1 enables clean, uncompressed HDMI output with simultaneous LCD display and recording to CF or SD cards, along with cross-type autofocus for apertures as small as f/8, bringing that aspect of AF capability in line with the EOS-1D X. You’ll be able to take advantage of improved autofocus performance even when using an f/5.6 lens with a 1.4x extender, or an f/4 lens with a 2x extender. On the video front, version 1.2.1 will let you boot an uncompressed YCbCr 4:2:2 feed to an external recorder, enabling your pick of codecs and frame rates, while also eliminating arbitrary limits on record time. The free download, available for recent versions of Mac OS and Windows, is yours for the taking at the source link below.
If you’ve been torn between Samsung’s NX300 and NX1000 mirrorless cameras, you should know the company has officially split the difference with its new NX2000. While it likely won’t sway NEX-3N lovers away from Sony, the $650 NX2000 is only a Benjamin more than Sammy’s lower-end NX1000 and packs the same 3D-capable DRIMe IV processor and NFC functionality as the pricier NX300. Of course, you still get the 20.3-megapixel APS-C sensor seen across the line. The differentiating factor from its siblings is the Galaxy Camera-like 3.7-inch, 1,152k-dot touchscreen (fixed) on the back, rather than the usual assortment of rear buttons. The 100 to 25,600 ISO range and maximum JPG burst rate of 8 fps is just like the 300′s, though this is only capable of recording 1080p video at 60 fps. Unfortunately, the autofocus is only contrast-detection, but Samsung claims that it’s one of the fastest to the draw.
As you’d expect, this shooter features WiFi (single band) for connecting through AllShare or the Smart Camera app, plus there’s a microSD slot for transferring files physically. Sure, it’s not the most exciting update to Samsung’s camera line, but it’s clearly a big leap up from the NX1000 — on paper, anyway. The NX2000 will be available soon in your choice of white, black or pink, and it comes bundled with Adobe Lightroom 4, a 20-50mm lens and a hotshoe-powered flash. Grab more looks in the gallery below and hit the press release after the break for all the technical details.
Olympus is about to add another branch to your camera-buying decision tree judging by new images and specs that leaked out showing a new PEN E-P5 model. The classically shaped Micro Four Thirds flagship was shown in leaked photos along with specs pointing to a 16-megapixel sensor, WiFi, a 1.04 million dot tilt screen, 5-axis stabilization, 5fps burst shooting and a 1/8000 shutter speed — if accurate. While an earlier teaser from Olympus suggests it’ll launch around May 11th in China, none of the tea-leaf readers have divined a price yet — though a look at the company’s last mirrorless flagship, the PEN E-P3, might give a clue. You can catch several more photos after the break.
Today marks one of the symbolically more important launches in the BlackBerry universe: the Q10, the first keyboard-equipped BB10 phone, is at last available on the company’s Canadian home turf. As promised, customers with Bell, Rogers and Telus (as well as their Virgin Mobile, Fido and Koodo sub-brands) can snap up what’s arguably the true Waterloo flagship for about $199 on a 3-year contract, or between $625 to $700 contract-free. Shoppers are largely buying the same phone no matter the carrier, although Rogers is hoping to lure the undecided with both LTE on an extra frequency as well as access to the white model. Just be prepared for a slightly longer wait if you plan to buy one in person — BlackBerry warns that it’s limiting Q10 supply to the Greater Toronto Area for the first day or two to accommodate demand high demand in Canada’s financial capital.
Update: Although BlackBerry was emphasizing Toronto, readers in other cities have mentioned getting early access. We’d still call ahead if you’re set on grabbing a Q10 at retail, however.
Our armed forces began embracing Android and iOS some time ago, and now it appears that the US Department of Defense is finally jumping on the bandwagon, too. The Wall Street Journal reports that the DoD will be announcing security approvals for Samsung Galaxy handsets, iPhones and iPads in the next couple weeks — allowing them to join BlackBerry in the government’s secure smartphone stable. Apparently, Samsung’s approval was facilitated by its Knox security platform, which has been deemed secure enough to allow it to be used to send and receive internal emails, and Apple devices running iOS 6 and up are also expected to get the go-ahead for nonclassified communications. So, people of the Pentagon, it looks like it’s only a matter of time before you can put down your BB7 handset and pick up a smartphone with a more modern OS.
HTC’s financial results released today don’t contain much good news — take a quick look at the unaudited figures we reported last month. But despite its worst quarterly profit in the last quarter, it’s banking on a substantial turnaround over the next few months. During an earnings call today referencing its audited results, HTC said that its outlook for Q2 2013 includes a revenue jump to around $2.4 billion — a huge increase from $1.45 billion registered in Q1. HTC CEO Peter Chousaid that the company was fine “in terms of cash flow,” and that it would continue to support both Android and Windows Phone hardware in the near-future. How about those recent supply woes? “We are working as hard as possible to meet the demand everywhere.” The company, however, wasn’t giving away any handset sales figures, something that the competition does enjoy flourishing.
When asked whether he was concerned with its recent hardware being copied, Chou was frank: ” In this industry, everything can be copied. I think there’s no point [in] thinking you can prevent this… but whether they would get this original quality – I think the most important [thing] is that you are first.”
Dear rig builder, before you go shopping for your next PSU, Digital Storm would like a word. The company’s new line of Vanquish PCs is aimed at gamers who want the price of a self-build, but without the worry that they’ve mistakenly jammed a 12V ATX cable into a Blu-Ray drive. The base unit offers up an AMD FX-4300 with 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, a Radeon HD 7750 and Windows 7 for $699 — just $38 more than the company claims you could snag those unassembled parts on NewEgg. Alongside the professional build, Digital Storm will provide lifetime in-house tech support and a three-year warranty, so if you’d like to learn more, there’s PR and video after the break.
The tenth anniversary of the iTunes Store is looming on April 28th, and Apple wants to do more for the occasion than treat itself to a nice dinner. It just launched an interactive Decade of iTunes timeline (within iTunes itself, naturally) to remind us how far its music service has come since 2003. While the retrospective includes the expectedsales milestones, media links and plugs for iPods, it’s surprisingly detailed: you, too, can learn that Morcheeba rocked the album charts when iTunes reached Scandinavia. Apple has fiercer competition these days that not surprisingly goes unacknowledged, but it’s good to have at least some context for Cupertino’s more recent achievements. Catch a taste of that early iTunes Store vibe after the break.
Wait, what inventory shortage? US Cellular doesn’t seem to have any issue with getting the Samsung Galaxy S 4 on its retail and virtual shelves — it confirmed to us in an email that it will begin selling the flagship device on April 30th. You’ll be able to purchase the 16GB version in either white or black for $199 with a two-year commitment. If you didn’t get in on the pre-order, now’s your chance to get hooked up.