Monday, September 10, 2012

Hot September Tech

September is a good month for tech. I haven't seen such an exciting month in tech in a long time. Let's get this party started...

Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Paperwhite
Just the other day, Amazon announced its new Kindles. It's not so much that they're great (the spec sheet sure looks awesome, by the way). It's that they're great for such a low price. Apple has its work cut out for them.

The Kindle Fire HD comes in 7-inch and 8.9-inch versions and is $200 and $300 respectively. The Kindle Paperwhite is a traditional e-ink screen reader which is frontlit and promises paper-like performance. It's just $112. These prices are nuts!

iPhone 5 and iPad Mini?
September 12, boys and girls. That's when Apple unveils whatever they're going to unveil. There's been no shortage of rumors. All bets are on iPhone 5 and a smaller iPad, and probably updated iPods. Personally, I'm praying for an updated Mac Mini running on Ivy Bridge. Is that too much to ask for?

New Cameras and Lenses
It's Photokina! That big old camera festival promises to give us loads of new camera announcements. Rumor has it that we'll be seeing new Micro Four Thirds cameras such as...

Ye olde Panasonic GH2. It's a classic!

Panasonic GH3
THE hybrid stills and video camera gets an upgrade. The big question is if it's getting a new sensor to go up against the Sony sensor from the Olympus E-M5, and if it is, how good will it be?

Olympus PENs
The PEN line could be getting the fancy new sensor from the OM-D line, and if it does, these cameras will be of killer value. Cheap with an awesome sensor. But probably no built-in viewfinder.

Also there's been word about a 60mm macro lens for micro four thirds. Yummy.

And more cameras!
Meanwhile, a number of camera makers have already jumped the gun and told the world their new camera lineups. On the top of the list is…

Fuji X-E1
I actually dreamt I bought this camera. It is that desirable. Basically, it's your Fuji X-Pro1 in a smaller package with better autofocus and without the hybrid optical viewfinder. What's the big deal about the X-Pro1 you ask? It's a mirrorless camera with an APS-C sensor like Sony's NEX cameras but it promises even better image quality because it doesn't use an AA filter. The words "Full Frame image quality" have been thrown around. Them's fighting words. And now you can get basically the same thing in the X-E1 for around a thousand dollars, which is roughly the same price as the Olympus E-M5 and Sony NEX-7.

Sony NEX-5R
Could this be the future of cameras? It's got Wi-Fi and apps just like your phone. To camera nerds, it's also got hybrid phase detection/contrast detection autofocus. No idea how well that works.

On the top of my list is Ben Folds Five. Completely surprised by their upcoming release and the first track sounds awesome.

Cat Power also released her latest album in six years. And it's her best one yet, by my reckoning.

No Doubt, The Killers, Green Day, Dave Matthews Band, Mumford & Sons, and Tori Amos are also releasing new albums this month. It's the month of the comeback!

XCOM Enemy Unknown
On the video game side, there's XCOM Enemy Unknown. Alright, it's coming out in October, but that's not too far away. I'm really excited about this game. Take my money. Please.

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