Less than three weeks ago, Samsung teased a brief glimpse of its next smartwatch, promising more information at the IFA electronics trade show in Berlin, Germany on September 3. Today, the Korean giant is jumping the gun and offering a few more details about the new Gear S2. We already knew that the Gear S2 featured a round watchface with a rotating selection dial and was powered by the Tizen operating system, Samsung’s home-grown software that’s separate and distinct from Google’s Android Wear smartwatch platform. But now it turns out that the Gear S2 won’t be one watch, but three — each of which has slightly different features and designs. (That’s hardly a surprise from Samsung, which already has five high-end Galaxy smartphones so far this year, and more TV models than you can count.) And Samsung is pledging battery life of two to three days; if true, that’s far better than Apple Watch, which often struggles to make it through a single full day. The details come hot on the heels of Google’s announcement earlier today that its Android Wear smartwatches will now work with Apple’s iPhone. That opens the potential for a whole new market of tens of millions of users to Google and its hardware partners — such as LG, Huawei, Motorola and Asus — that had previously been limited to only Android phone owners. By contrast, Samsung’s smartwatches have — to date — only been compatible with Samsung smartphones. For Samsung, the stakes couldn’t be higher. The company beat the Apple Watch to market by a good 18 months with its first smartwatch, 2013’s Galaxy Gear, and went on to release five additional smartwatch models before the end of the 2014. But the Gear S2 will be its first model of 2015, a year that’s seen Apple reportedly become the wearable market’s second most popular vendor in less than five months. The Gear S2 is actually a family of watches available in two different styles, both 11.4mm thick. The main model — called simply the Gear S2 — has a modern, minimalist bent, while the more traditional Gear S2 Classic boasts a black body and leather band. The former model is slightly larger and heavier — 42.3 mm wide by 49.8 tall, and weighing 47 grams — versus the 39.9-by-43.6-mm dimensions of the Classic, which tips the scales at 42g. The watches will be rated at IP68 dust and water resistance, which is towards the top of the scale — though Samsung still needs to specify the depth and duration for water immersion. On the inside, the specs of the two models are largely the same. The 1.2-inch (30.5 mm) 360×360-pixel display uses the same AMOLED technology found in Samsung’s winning phone screens (versus the...
Samsung’s latest metal-framed Galaxy Tab S2 tablet comes in two familiar sizes, 8 and 9.7 inches, and is slimmer and lighter than its predecessor, the Galaxy Tab S. The Korean electronics giant claims its slates are the “thinnest and lightest tablet of its size ever,” and certainly, the tablet impressed me with its build quality and light weight during my hands-on session with both versions. The tablet is out now in Singapore and will be available in the US starting September 3rd, with pre-orders starting today. Below you’ll find the retail pricing for both models in Singapore and the US, which should give you a good indication of what the tablets will sell for when it hits markets in Australia and the UK (these are approximate converted amounts). Editors’ note: This post was updated to include US pricing and availability, as well as video and new photos. Design The Tab S2 eschews the large 10.5-inch screen of the original and opts for a more familiar size with 8- and 9.7-inch screens instead, the same as the iPad Air and iPad Mini. The home button has also shifted to where the iPad’s home button is and unsurprisingly, the Samsung home button is also a fingerprint scanner. Familiar button layout and screen sizes aside, the Tab S2 does look different from the iPad. It’s unabashedly a Samsung product, beautifully designed and you’ll not mistake the design of the tablet for anything else. The slate is just 5.6mm (0.22 inch) thick, and weighs either 389 grams (13.7 ounces) for the 9.7-inch version and 265 grams (9.3 ounces) for the 8-inch model. It’s incredibly light, especially the 8-inch Tab S2, and the weight is evenly distributed, so I hardly felt the strain even when holding it with one hand. The rear sports a patterned texture, which makes for a good grip. While it’s plastic, it doesn’t feel cheap and helps when you’re holding up the tablet for a long time while reading with it. Both tablets use Samsung’s own Super AMOLED display, and the resolution of both screens match Apple’s iPad at 2,048×1,563 pixels. Samsung has also added a few software tweaks to enhance the user experience with the tablet. The Tab S2 features an adaptive display that’s capable of adjusting gamma, saturation and sharpness as well as color temperature based on the app running and the ambient lighting. There’s also a special reading mode that helps to keep the eyes comfortable and avoiding eye strain by adjusting the brightness levels. Other software features include multitasking and Quick Connect, which works with Samsung Smart TVs to let you easily watch TV on the tablet. The tablets run Android Lollipop 5.0.2 and like newer Samsung devices, such as the Galaxy S6 and A8, come...
TAIPEI — Asus has further added to its now extensive lineup of Zen-branded products with a new Zen all-in-one PC range. Asus has a long history of all-in-one products — monitors with PCs built-in — but this is the first to bear the Taiwan tech giant’s premium Zen brand. The Zen AiO series will initially have two models, the top-of-the-line 23.8-inch Zen AiO Z240IC and the 21.5-inch Zen AiO Z220IC. Both have a slim unibody shell made from a single block of anodised aluminium and an edge-to-edge glass cover over the display. The specifications will differ from model to model, but at the top specs, you’re looking at a quad-core Core i7 Intel processor with 32GB of RAM, 512GB of PCIe Gen 3 x4 SSD storage and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M graphics card. The Zen AiO will also feature the latest USB 3.1 Generation 2 ports — running twice as fast as USB 3.0, according to Asus, although not with the cool new Type-C reversible connector. On the home entertainment front, the AiO has six speakers, with three on each side of the unit in a combined 8-watt stereo channel. The 23.8-inch Zen AiO will also have Intel’s RealSense 3D camera built in. The RealSense camera can be used to add motion-sensing capabilities as well as functioning as a 3D scanner. Additionally, Asus has added some microphone enhancements designed to clear ambient noise and optimise speech recognition, all in aid of improving the experience of Cortana, Microsoft’s voice-activated digital assistant. No pricing or availability has been announced for the Zen AiO range at present. See all our coverage of Computex 2015 here Asus also revealed the ProArt PA329Q monitor, a 32-inch Ultra HD (3,840×2,160-pixel) monitor aimed at the professional market. The monitor has a 16:9 aspect ratio IPS display with a wide 178-degree viewing angle to eliminate colour shifting. Again, no pricing and availability details at the...
The first-generation Chevrolet Volt is an oddly divisive car. For some, it makes perfect sense. With regular charging, it’s an electric vehicle (EV) most of the time but with the safety net of a gasoline range extender for longer excursions. For others, offering just under 40 miles of electric range per charge keeps the Chevy in the shadow of pure electric cars with bigger batteries. For the 2016 model year, the Volt is back and while it’s still not the perfect car for everyone, Chevrolet has improved it in many ways that continue to appeal to fans of the first generation and expand its niche to a wider audience. What’s more, the 2016 Volt is also cheaper than its predecessor, starting at $33,995. The Chevrolet Volt will go about 53 miles under pure electric power before its gasoline engine kicks in to extend that range. The heart of every EV is its battery. The 2016 Volt’s 18.4 kWh battery pack boasts 20 percent more capacity than last year’s despite simultaneously shaving about 20 pounds of mass. The T-shaped pack’s internals are also composed of fewer lithium-polymer cells (192 versus the old 288), so it’s simpler in construction with fewer potential points of failure. What that means is that the new Volt can now silently roll on pure electric power for up to 53 miles on a full charge — that’s a 40 percent increase in EV range over last year. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates the Volt’s electric motors’ efficiency at 106 mpge (miles per gallon gasoline equivalent), again an improvement over the previous model. During my testing, I ended up fairly close to those estimates, reaching 52.6 electric miles and 103 mpge. Like before, the Volt combines its electric powertrain with a gasoline range extender generator. It’s a direct-injected 1.5-liter engine that is able to better supply power for the electric motors when the battery is depleted, extending the Volt’s cruising range to about 420 miles total (up from last year’s 380 miles). When the gasoline engine is running, efficiency drops to 42 mpg, which is still very respectable for a car of this size. Real world efficiency is a loosey-goosey combination of the gasoline and electric numbers and is highly dependent on how far you drive between recharges of the Volt’s battery pack. During my 178-mile journey from San Jose, California down to Big Sur, I averaged 58.1 mpg for the trip. A person whose daily round-trip commute is less than 50 miles and who recharges every night may see 100 mpg on the dashboard at the end of the week. According to Chevrolet’s figures, most current generation Volt drivers see an average of 900 miles of driving between fill-ups and it expects that average...
Targeted at folks who’re thinking about getting their first dSLR or looking for something smaller than their current entry-level dSLR, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II joins the ranks of cameras such as the Panasonic Lumix G7 and Fujifilm X-T10. This update to last year’s model brings it into parity with other current models and introduces some nice design and feature enhancements. The camera is slated to ship in September and will come in all-black or black and silver. In the US, we’ll see a body-only version for $650 or a kit with the 14-42mm EZ (power zoom) lens for $800; based on past history, there’ll also be a subsequent (or possibly unofficial) kit with the standard 14-42mm II lens priced between the two. I don’t yet have UK or Australian prices or know which configurations you’ll see in those regions, but the US pricing directly translates to roughly £415 and AU$910 for the body or £510 and AU$1,120. You can also watch for price drops on the original E-M10 through the end of the year. What’s new Although the camera has the same 16-megapixel resolution as the older model, it’s a different sensor. However, it uses the same image processing, and I don’t expect to see much of an image-quality difference. Streamlined design. It retains the attractive retro look of its predecessor, but more so. The biggest change is the placement of all three dials — the mode dial and two adjustment dials — on the right shoulder. To make room and make it usable, Olympus vertically staggered the dials higher than usual and varied the textures so that they’re easy to feel when you’re looking through the viewfinder and at better heights for the fingers you use to operate them. On the other hand, the movie record button is still in a place that’s awkward to reach with your forefinger. Olympus moved the power switch to the left shoulder, and now adds the popup flash control to it. That looks cooler, but I don’t think it will make much of a difference in day-to-day use. The biggest disappointment is that it still has a very shallow grip, forcing you to spring for the optional grip ($60, equivalent to £38 or AU$85) if you want something more substantial. Improved image stabilization. The company updates the E-M10 M2 with five-axis image stabilization, the latest technology darling for cameras that use sensor-shift stabilization. It adds roll and pitch to x, y and yaw movement for more shake compensation in broader variety of situations. As far as I can tell, this is one of the least-expensive models to incorporate it thus far. Bigger, better viewfinder. In addition to providing slightly more magnification and a higher resolution display, the electronic viewfinder and...
The new models introduced year after year, watching TV used to be about as exciting to watch the replay: no surprises. But snoozefest into a thriller in the last few years, as manufacturers began to introduce, can greatly improve the quality of new technology lineup. Now these high-tech features are present in the lining store shelves model more and more, the only problem is that you may feel you need an engineering degree just to buy a new TV.
Walk into an electronics store’s television section, you will be asked if you are looking for a 4K (also known as Ultra HD or UHD) collection, a OLED (or organic light emitting diode) set, or an old-fashioned model of HD. Oh, you want some high dynamic range (HDR) to go with your smart TV?
To help you navigate acronyms and other unknown new obstacles, of course, we have cut down the decision-making process only six basic questions:
Whether bigger is better?
Is a “smart TV” a smart move?
Should I consider a curved TV?
OLED TV is worth the price?
Is “4K” a must-have?
I want a 3D TV?
(Keeping things simplicity, we will assume that you are in the main TV in your home one that may be in the living room or den to go.) To pick one that suits you, you will answer to save time and hassle, whether you are for a new TV at an electronics store or online bargain hunting.
Once you are ready to shop, be sure to see our TV buying guide and more than 180 sets of levels. Our assessment is that the final quality of the on-screen instructions, will also serve as a road map to guide you move forward to the next TV’s most reliable, most efficient path.
To consider TV (from lowest to highest price)
VIZIO P50-C1, $ 910
This 50-inch Vizio Smart TVs using Google actor, so you need to stream mobile devices. Tablet comes set.
Whether bigger is better?
Yes, if. . . To maximize every big games and movies excitement. Screen as large as 65 inches, and now in these two stores and a common living room, the price for those larger set, once high, has declined: You can pay as little as $ 900 for 65-inch 1080p (or standard HD) group. If you want a really big TV, you should consider buying a model with conventional HD 4K set, you may see a single pixel, especially if you sit close to the screen. (Read more about 4K program.)
Not if. . . You will sit close to the screen. Avoid buying monster set, if your sofa is 6-8 feet away, otherwise you may have to go back and forth in the first pan the entire scene. In addition, the image quality is one of the most important features (well, maybe next to the price) TV. And access to the large TV does not guarantee good performance, in fact, even larger screen sizes may be exaggerated picture quality defects.
Smart TV is a smart move?
Yes, if. . . Do you want the most convenient way, from streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Watch movies. If this is the case, the smart TV, which is connected to a WiFi network, is an ideal solution. You do not need to purchase any additional decorations; you only use a typical TV do things such as adjusting the volume, switching from wired to a streaming service, or check out the program guide remote control. These days it is easy to find an affordable smart TV: Gap Intelligence market research firm, said all units currently being sold for about two-thirds of Internet capabilities.
Not if. . . The most flexible way you’re looking to stream TV programming. Instead of buying a smart TV, you can simply add a streaming media player, such as Apple TV or the Roku any settings, you can even keep the current model, if you like it. Starting up a small stick style player $ 35. Some players stream provides more content and variety than you get from a smart TV, the interface may be easier to navigate. In addition, streaming media players tend to get a new and better functionality more frequently than do the smart TV platform update.
Should I consider a curved TV?
Yes, if. . . Do you like the way television, most of the audience will see from the sweet spot, directly in front of the screen. Curved screen, there have been a few years, many people find them a refreshing alternative to flat screens. (You can curved screen wall-mounted TV, but some homeowners find that looks unattractive). In any case, the curved screen that makes sense, if you like to watch your TV as a piece of sculpture.
Not if. . . You expect it to be able to provide a better picture. Curved screens are usually positioned to provide a more realistic visual experience, but our tests show that a curved screen does not really improve the image quality. In fact, we have found that they can introduce a slight geometric distortions for those in a set of angles.
OLED TV is worth the high price?
Yes, if. . . You want to provide the best image quality and sufficient budget to indulge your delicate taste. In the past two years, the organic light-emitting diode has been in our top of the larger screen size of the television ratings. These 4K sets provide a rich, dark, make the most of LCD-based set of pale comparison terms. In addition, unlike LCD TVs, OLED has an almost unlimited viewing angle. This means that everyone in the room to get a great picture. So far, only a single manufacturer LG- offer their high prices.
Not if. . . You can not see on a decline of $ 4000 or more television, or you will be placed in to get a lot of natural light or a very bright room. LED LCD sets are often brighter than the organic light-emitting diode, so they are easier to view high-glare settings.
What is OLED?
They can also be turned off, to create a rich, deep black; pixel OLED TV is a current hit by the luminescent material through. LCD TV is LED backlighting makes it hard to really deep black. As a result, dark scenes often lack depth and size.
4K is a must-have?
Yes, if. . . TV’s most advanced country like the idea of you still hope for the future purchase. In the 4K (or UHD) TV has four times as many pixels, dots composed of a television screen, as an ordinary high-definition sets. When a television 4K UHD video, images appear sharper one o’clock, and the edge of any object on the screen will look smooth. If you look at the big TV, for example, 65 inches or more, or take a particularly close to a smaller setting would be the most obvious. Today, the greatest good, high-end TV is 4K models, so if you’re looking for a good set of ratings with great picture quality, which may be a 4K.
Not if. . . You’re looking to save money is to buy a little. In the 4K TV can spend hundreds comparable over 1080 (conventional HD) television, but the difference in price is narrowing. Most people do not even see the extra detail in the image of 4K if they are from a 40 or 50-inch screen sitting a few feet back. There is still not much 4K content available even though it is increasing rapidly.
I want a 3D TV?
Yes, if. . . You are a fan of 3D genre. Hollywood is still making 3D movies, 3D TV plus a few special glasses that can bring in the experience in front of you to your home. However, only manufacturers including LG and Sony handful now offers 3D as a feature, only in the choice set. Although there are 3D Blu-ray movies to sell a decent number of streaming media business in the past few years, taking back their own 3D products. However, if you buy a 3D-capable TV, you can from services such as Netflix and VUDU streaming some 3D movie.
Not if. . . You’re like most consumers, who think 3D has been more trouble than benefit. These days, 3D TV is being used as a cautionary tale about the high-tech industry, driven by consumers do not want the product features. When Consumer Reports recently conducted research that consumers want on TV, people want to know whether there is a TV 3D, but only in order to avoid higher prices in feature makes the case later. Several major TV brands, including Samsung and Vizio companies has declined, because of lack of demand for 3D models. None of this means you will not like a 3D TV, but it does show two things: Most people do not like to wear funny 3D glasses, and they do not believe that 3D cinema experience increased a lot.Learn More
Consumers holding on to their tablet PCs, laptops and smart phones a long time, leading to all kinds of devices, Gartner projected a 1% contraction in global shipments this year in.
Gartner’s forecast, announced on Wednesday, when a reversal from the previous quarter, the research firm forecast a 1.5% overall growth in the global equipment, with respect to 2014.
“Of all the types of equipment replacement reduced activity, said Gartner analyst Ranjit Atwal,” Users are extending the life of their equipment, have decided not to replace their equipment. ”
Even smart phones no longer being used by consumers, but the smart phone shipments are expected to increase by 14% in 2015 compared to last year, Gartner expressed.
By contrast, shipments of notebooks and desktops will drop to 7.3% in 2015, compared with 2014, but Gartner also believes that other analysts do, the computer that is running Windows 10 on Intel microarchitecture chip SKYLAKE will be a sharp slowdown in 2017, Gartner expects growth of 4% this year.
Tablet PC is expected to be further from 13% in 2015 tablet user with the screen, 7 inches to 8 inches in size is also increasingly replace their equipment than the decline of PC, down, Gartner expressed.
Gartner’s forecast also showed that mobile phones, including smartphones, much higher than all other types of equipment. 2015 is expected to 2.395 billions of devices, the phone will grow a total of 1.9 billion. In 2017, mobile phones will reach 20 billion.
It has shown that the rapid growth of smart phones, because the percentage of all mobile phones in recent years, from 54% of all mobile phones, the 2013 to 2015 to jump 75 percent in 2017, smart phones are expected to make up 89% of the mobile phone market.
Growth in 2017 is expected to dwarf the PC to smart phones, as more and more smart phones powerful personal nature and cost of the decline, especially for Android models.
“Smart phones are essential and very personal computing devices, unlike in the past the computer, which is often used by more than one person, said:” Ruan TUONG Gartner analyst, said in an interview. “It’s almost like everyone has.”
Smartphone bigger screen, sometimes called phablets, it has occupied a small tablet PC sales, according to analysts.
In some parts of the world, consumers still can not afford a computer market segments, but it can afford to buy more expensive smart phones, Nguyen said.
However, the latest smart phones are not replaced quickly, because they were 35 years ago. Apple iPhone, this year has seen an increase of replacement cycles within 27.4 months from 21.7 months two years ago, according to analyst Roger Entner reconnaissance analysis.
For smartphone growth over a period of time has resulted in Apple’s upgrade program, allowing customers an installment plan to buy the iPhone on some Samsung is expected to follow suit, Entner said.
Nevertheless, leasing programs and other inducements by the device manufacturer might not encourage buyers to quickly replace the phone, unless the latest device has more than incremental improvements, Nguyen said.
“The fact is, there is no compelling reason for the United States users to upgrade their smartphones, all of the new version is an incremental upgrade, the more megapixels, a gorgeous screen, and more,” Nguyen said. “People think,” Now, I have a smart phone, which is good enough I need it, “and for most people in the market, rather than the technology early adopters type. Manufacturers must convince us regularly replace smartphones . ”
For iPhone 6S, on Friday, Nguyen said, the new features like the touch force will have to try and developers of new applications crucible for testing.Learn More
Five years after its launch, the iPad is growing. The new iPad Pro, Apple’s media event on Wednesday launched the boundaries, blur a little bit between iPad and MacBook, with 12.9 inches of screen can not run two applications side by side any cramped feeling the slightest.
But big as it is, I feel in iPad Pro is not heavy, even for me, an open fan of iPad mini. Our two iMac and iPhone from people like the big screen with tons and tons of pixels squeezed in their lessons, which is the iPad Pro offers, and performance should allow more people to stay at home with laptop.
The iPad Pro is 1.57 pounds, it’s amazing, because my first-generation iPad is still active in my house, and it weighs 1.54 pounds. The iPad Pro so much, but I do not feel unbalanced or awkward. I can hold it easily, but I know you’ll make fun of me for that, that’s okay, I sort of wish it was like facing a kickstand.
iPad dock pro Suzy OCHS
This is the size of a large magazine, or a clipboard. But it does not feel bulky.
However, once you have it you just how to hold up in iPad Pro’s screen looks amazing. At 2732×2048 resolution, it has 5.6 million pixels, the short side have as many pixels as a long side of iPad mini. I was impressed with the iOS 9 response to the tablet, because I can easily pull out the sidebar, enter the split-screen view.
You do not need a stylus to use any professional iPad and iPad is no exception. Fortunately, Apple’s pencil is not a stylus. Its purpose is not pointing to beat something like you can reach with your fingers, thank you. Rather, it is in the application as simple as Apple’s own notes application, or as complex and professional AutoCAD birth certificate or a pressure-sensitive drawing.
Apple iPad pencil pro Suzy OCHS
Apple pencil is a $ 99 additional for iPad only professional.
From the moment I picked it up a pencil to feel great. It feels like a pencil, it is natural (though you can say the same for the other smart Bluetooth stylus on the market), and used it to feel natural. Pressure and angle sensor can detect, so it is effortlessly create lines of different thickness. Application notes and even let me draw a straight ruler. Create realistic shadows side tip using a pencil, for example, use of pencil side.
Apple iPad pro pencil lightning Interface Susie OCHS
Lightning connector for charging is hidden at the end of a pencil.
Hiding at the end of a pencil lightning interfaces, which you can turn right into professional iPad charging. Apple representative told me, it’s quick charge function, it enough juice to grab an hour or so, just a few minutes of work, a full charge should last all day. You can plug it into AC power charger adapter I did not get a look, I really hope that is included in the purchase price.
Apple has also created its own smart keyboard, similar in appearance to touch the cover, Microsoft makes the patches. It closed around Pro iPad front and back flip to form an independent, just like the Apple Smart Cover has been made for some time. But it has a built-in, the fabric surface similar to the new MacBook keyboard short key travel. You can use third-party keyboard iPad Pro smart card connector, its powers and the keyboard automatically for you – Logitech just announced one.
Apple iPad pro pencil inserted Rusu Xi OCHS
Help You can be charged directly from the iPad Pro pencil, or use the charger under (sing it with me now) adapter.
I actually did not get hands-on it, I got all the photos and videos, I need everything, and it was getting late, they were packing up the time. But that’s okay, because this week my colleague Jason Snell wrote his more colors listed in his hands time and smart keyboard, so we were lucky. (Thank you, Jason.)
More of the same, FTW
Apple talked about how quickly the iPad Pro’s A9X how much RAM chips than A8X in iPad AIR 2, but remained tight-lipped as it typically has more details. Apple iPad application has been created with IBM for a variety of work, because you can do whatever a clipboard, an iPad can do so much better, and at the high end of the line has a laptop-quality iPad Pro can create people who need a bag big country, it is half a pound lighter than the MacBook more possibilities. I run split screen demo Microsoft Office applications is impressive, but when the developer put the pedal to the metal in the end the iPad Pro, it will be interesting to see what happens.
The new iPad Pro starts at $ 799 a 32GB models have Wi-Fi. If you want to know more storage, there is a 128GB model (no, not 64GB) with Wi-Fi as $ 949 must have cell? Your only option is to 128GB version $ 1079. Pencils for the $ 99 and $ 169 for the intelligent keyboard all vessels in November, we will have a review up, as long as we can.Learn More
Tamron is known for its affordable lenses that are never quite the first choice, but that are frequently worth the compromises given the price. The company is hoping to change that perception with its redesigned SP (Superior Performance) series of lenses, starting with a couple of fast single focal-length lenses — the SP 35mm f1.8 Di VC USD and the SP 45mm f1.8 Di VC USD — Tamron’s first non-macro primes.
While the lenses are designed for full-frame cameras, they bear an APS-C-friendly price of $600 (directly converted about £390, AU$850), an aggressive decision given their features and design. That’s intentional, since the best way to upgrade the quality of your APS-C dSLR is to dump the kit lens and attach a better, wide aperture one.
However, even paired with a full-frame, high-resolution camera like the Nikon D810 it resolved detail well, at least based on the short time I had to try it.
The two very similar lenses launch Tamron’s updated SP series with a more modern design, better build quality and better optical formula than we’ve seen before from the company. (Type geeks will also notice the new, modernized logo face on the lens cap.)
Following in Sigma’s aesthetic footsteps, they have smoothly finished metal barrels, a wide rubberized grip for manual focus, an “SP” badge declaring the brand and big and easy-to-manipulate vertical switches for focus and image stabilization.
Yes, you read that right: image stabilization. Huzzah! Most fixed-focal-length lenses only have it for telephoto models; the sole exception I could find is Canon’s similarly priced 35mm f2. Lack of stabilization is my biggest complaint with Sigma’s offerings.
In fact, if it weren’t for the big gold band around the end, you might be forgiven for confusing it with one of Sigma’s current lenses. And that’s a good thing. They feel sturdy, with a nicely damped manual-focus ring that allows for smooth, precise focus. Both have pretty close minimum-focus distances, 20.1 cm/7.9 inches for the 35mm and 29.0 cm/11.4 inches for the 45mm.
They’re moisture resistant, with fluorine coating on the front element to provide water and smudge protection.
They also incorporate Tamron’s eBand and BBAR coatings, its branded versions of nanoparticle coatings that most higher-quality lenses use to reduce artifacts from bright or bouncing light and to promote clarity.
The other alphabet-soup entry in the name is USD for Ultrasonic Silent Drive, Tamron’s branding for its ultrasonic motor, which is used to keep lenses quiet while focusing.
Going with f1.8 (rather than f1.4 or f2.8) was a smart decision; the cost of eking out that fractional stop wider to f1.4 puts you in a completely different price class, as evidenced by Sigma’s more expensive — but great values for that segment — line of f1.4 lenses like its 50mm f1.4 and other fast-prime lenses. For most people, f1.8 is sufficiently wide. It’s actually difficult to focus properly as the aperture widens, which makes f1.8 a good choice for enthusiasts; you don’t end up paying for the extra aperture that you may get frustrated using.
The choice of focal lengths is also interesting. On a full-frame camera, 35mm is a nice landscape angle of view; on an APS-C, it’s equivalent to about 53mm (Nikon) or 56mm (Canon), making it a great angle of view for street shooting.
On the other hand, 45mm is an novel choice. There really are no general purpose 45mm lenses, but I think it makes an excellent option for street shooting on a full-frame body — that little extra wider angle is useful — and on an APS-C Nikon (68mm) or Canon (72mm) it becomes a solid portrait and product-photography lens.Learn More