Wednesday, 21 January 2015

How virtual reality will change the world

virtual reality

After 25 years of a failed dream, 2015 looks to be the year we all put on headsets to explore strange new worlds. Richard Cobbett investigates why we should hope it works out this time.

Virtual reality isn’t simply a new way to look at screens. Your first experience is, admittedly, a slightly drunken out-of-body one; of reaching for things that aren’t really there – of knowing that you’re sitting with a fancy headset and tangle of wires on your head, yet your brain is convinced it’s in deep space. Or a movie. Or a cyberpunk cafe. It’s an experience that can’t quite be described, and which has little do with the very primitive first attempts that took arcades by storm and then flamed out at the start of the ’90s. This time, some of the smartest minds in the tech industry have devoted themselves to taking us to incredible new places.

Field Review: Samsung NX1

Samsung NX1

Samsung’s tech-laden flagship model might be thecamera to get DSLR users to switch to mirrorless. by JACK NEUBART

I’ve worked with mirrorless cameras in the past, but never found them quite up to the task. After unpacking the new Samsung NX1 ($1,499, body only) and 16-50mm f/2-2.8 S ED OIS lens ($1,299) and taking a closer look at the two, I thought, this could be the deal changer. I might finally be ready to trade in my digital SLRs for a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera.

On the face of it, the NX1 can go head-to-head with my Nikon and Canon gear, beginning with a 28.2MP backsideilluminated (BSI) CMOS APS-C (cropped) sensor—without a low-pass filter (for added sharpness). Add to that a crystal-clear electronic viewfinder (EVF), touch-panel display, maximum 15 fps still capture at full resolution, 4K video capture, and fast AF.

This camera is certainly loaded with enough features to attract even the most hardened among us. But performance is what counts. Is the NX1 a solid-enough performer to sway the pro or serious amateur away from DSLR-dom for good? We shall see.