Category Archives: deals

Cheapest possible Hackintosh Mainboard and CPU

Here is some advice for penny pinchers and bargain hunters: the cheapest possible motherboard and CPU available for hackintosh (apple replica computers) out there.

Price in Europe: 69,47€
Price in the USA: $86.40

Mainboard: Gigabyte GA-H61M-S2PV

Screenshot 2013-12-12 14.11.45
41,48€ on Amazon Germany
$51.27 on Amazon US

CPU: Intel BX80637G1610 Celeron Dual-Core 1.6GHZ

Screenshot 2013-12-12 14.11.59
27,99€ on Amazon Germany
$35.13 on Amazon US

The iGPU (internal graphics card) is a Intel HD2000 iGPU which can be used with hackintosh kexts. There are only small modifications to be done, which are outlined in this forum post.

Android Mini HDMI Sticks: HDMI, Android 4 for $30 – Google ChromeCast Replicas

There are a lot of cheap HDMI sticks that offer on-board RAM, Storage and Android 4 support, everything in a small case and with very competitive pricing around $35 including free worldwide shipping.

cnx software compared the MK802 II Mini PC to the raspberrrypi, the cheap android sticks even beat the raspi in price (and features, since the come with 4GB NAND SSD).

Here are two sticks worth consindering. They might be CheapCast compatible, though nanofunk has not tested this yet (we ordered two sticks though, so stay tuned.)

f735de91-e496-4793-a291-3623a13be5a9

 

S1674901-4

Update: Here is a super-cheap HDMI Android 4 Cortex A9 Stick with 8GB NAND for $30 free international shipping: Bluetooth Android 4.1 Mini PC TV Box Stick MK808B Dual Core 8GB RK3066 Cortex A9

Optibay replica for $12 and free international shipping: SSD or HDD extension for your Macbook (Pro)

As the title suggests, here is a recommendation for an Optibay (2nd HDD SSD SATA Hard Drive Caddy Bay for Apple MacBook Pro Unibody SuperDrive) that adds an additional drive slot to you Macbook Pro. The replica is the same as the original (nanofunk already tested it and can confirm that it works perfectly) – though the price is much cheaper: you can get the optibay replica for $12, including international shipping. Highly recommended!

Apple Macbook Pro Optibay drive SSD hdd extension replica cheap with international free shipping

Sapphire Launches Radeon HD 7950 Mac Graphics Card: Upgrade your Mac Pro or your Hackintosh!

Sapphire recently announced the Radeon HD 7950 Graphics Card that is an “Exclusive Mac Edition with AMD GCN architecture”. The Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 Mac Edition is compatible with Apple Mac Pro models from 2010 and later with an available PCI-Express x16 slot. Two six-pin power cables required are supplied with the card.

The card is said to boost GPU performance of existing Mac Pro models by up to 200%, which is especially interesting for people doing video and photography work on Apple Mac Pro machines.

The Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 Mac Edition is currently available for $479,00 in the US.

sapphire_radeon_7950_mac

Exclusive to SAPPHIRE, the HD 7950 Mac Edition is based on AMD’s latest Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture. This highly acclaimed architecture delivers a significant graphics performance boost for Mac Pro users in a wide range of applications including gaming, audio or video editing and content creation. For example, gaming frame rates are increased by over 200%, general benchmark performance increased by around 30% and graphics intensive benchmarks increased by as much as 300% compared with the NV 8800GT commonly used in these machines (SAPPHIRE internal data).

The SAPPHIRE HD 7950 Mac Edition is equipped with 3GB of the latest GDDR5 memory, and its Dual Asynchronous Compute Engines (ACE) deliver up to 2.87 TFLOPS Single Precision compute power. It provides hardware support for Open GL 4.2 and Open CL 1.2 as well as AMD HD3D technology and APP acceleration.

While this is not so big news for Hackintosh owners, it is for people that have to work on an original Apple Mac Pro from 2010. For Hackintosh still the EVGA GeForce GTX 680 Classified, 4GB GDDR5, 2x DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort is the fastest card to get, featuring a chip clock of 1111MHz, shader clock of 1006MHz and RAM clock of 1502MHz.

evga_geforce_680_overclocked_hackintosh_fastest_card_available_apple_mac_rebuild_build_diy

AMD Radeon 6970 GPU working in Lion, Intel HD4000 and other Kext Updates for Hackintoshing

netkas reported success in getting a AMD Radeon 6970 working in his hackintosh using Mac OSX 10.7 Lion. Besides that news the Nvidia Geforce gtx6xx among Intel HD4000 drivers are also working, as well as USB 3.0 kexts for Z77 based mainboards.

This is all due to the MBP 2012 release adding some drivers (kexts); but the 11G15 Mac OSX Lion 10.7.5 beta update also adds those drivers, so chose whatever way you want to get your 6970 up and running.

We can recommend the Radeon XFX HD 6970 2GB GPU for use with hackintosh. If you are unsure or want some customac built, there are some recommended people setting up hackintoshes in europe.

New Nikon D800 and D800e stock available shortly, according to Nikon and various online sources

30,000 Units of the D800 and D800E are produced per month. Demands are still more than can be produced.According to Nikon USA and to various sellers, the next bunch of D800 cameras will be released by end of the month, since the production volume of the cameras (D800 and D800E) is 30,000 units per month. I am also on various waiting lists for a D800E (which is actually even harder to get hands on, since it is produced in smaller quantities), such as Amazon and B&H Photography – and I can recommend you do the same, if you are really interested in getting any version of the D800 camera.

In Europe (UK and Mainland), there are some sellers that actually have the Nikon D800 in stock, although for a slightly higher price than Nikon’s recommended price tag, but what about the USA? I tweeted yesterday, that the Nikon D800 is available for $2750 in the US, but the stock of this particular shop seems to have been completely sold in only 3 hours. There are some people selling their factory sealed D800 cameras in the USA, so if you really want one, you have to pay the price of some few extra bucks.

But according to big resellers and to Nikon, the next batch of units will be available soon in Europe and in the USA: end of the month/beginning of next month, another big amount of preorders will be fulfilled.

With the current 1,600 workers, the factory is producing one unit of camera per minute on a daytime shift with each unit of the D800 variant produced every four hours and the D4 variant every five hours.” (source: nikonrumors)

But this is not the whole deal: according to techradar, “Some components for camera production are sourced from overseas factories including Nikon China, with around 1600 component parts required to produce both the D800 and D4.

All this hype and lots of work go into the D800, which already received the Camera GP2012 Camera of the Year and Readers Awards, and still the demand is very high.

Recommended SSD Solid State Drives for your Apple Mac, MacBook Pro and your Hackintosh

Since the SSD technology already matured a lot and the drives are mostly more stable than Hard Disk, the only question remains on which drive to choose. Actually, the answer is more simple than you might have thought: go for the longest warranty.

The OCZ Vertex 3 is a very cheap and awesome piece of hardware (read the benchmarks here: OCZ Vertex 3 vs. Intel 520 SSD) but the Vertex 3 has one major problem: it features only 3 years of warranty. So what drives are currently offering more than 3 years? The OCZ Vertex 4 and the Intel 520 SSD drives, both the cutting edge of speed and durability offer 5 years of warranty.

OCZ Vertex 4 features the best 4K random performance, so this is the drive to look out for! highly recommended!

OCZ Vertex 4 features the best 4K random performance, so this is the drive to look out for! highly recommended!

Both drives feature a 5 year warranty, which shows us that the drives are really high quality.

The Intel 520 Cherryville Solid State Drives are built with duarbility in mind: Intel has a very good reputation when it comes to Solid State Drives - nanofunk can highly recommend this SSD for Hackintosh or Apple usage!

The Intel 520 Cherryville Solid State Drives are built with duarbility in mind: Intel has a very good reputation when it comes to Solid State Drives - nanofunk can highly recommend this SSD for Hackintosh or Apple usage!

Canon BG-E11 Battery Grip for Canon EOS 5D Mark III is finally available

Finally, the battery grip for the Canon EOS 5D MKIII is available and can be ordered starting from $358 in the USA. In Europe the Canon BG-E11 is not yet officially available but can be pre-ordered for €379,99.

The Battery Grip for the Canon EOS 5D MK3 MKIII is finally available and provides longer shooting and filming time

Besides the obvious possibility of shooting more images (the battery grip can handle two extra LP-E6 battery packs or six AA Batteries with included battery magazine), the grip also offers more comfort for vertical shooting.
Canon describes the power-gain with “double-length shooting time”. Also, the Canon BG-E11 Battery Grip adds operating controls such as shutter button, Main Dial, multi-controller, AF point selection button, AE lock/FE lock button, AF start button, and multi-function button.

Overall, the grip looks solid and can not only bring a longer time for shooting photos or video, it can also make the camera more solid and provide a better image stabilisation, because of the added weight of 10.93 oz (310g) without batteries.

Samsung Galaxy S3 Smartphone has already 9 Million orders – beats iPhone on preorder volume

The Samsung Galaxy S3 (SIII) is one awesome piece of hardware: not yet available (but can be preordered for $774) it already beat Apple’s iPhone in preorders: over 9 million people already ordered Samsung’s Smartphone

“Samsung’s new Galaxy S3 phone has been pre-ordered by more than 100 global carriers, who expect to sell at least 9 million devices at launch.” (via telegraph).

I am still deciding if i go for the Samsung Galaxy SIII Gt-i9300 or the much cheaper Samsung I9250 Galaxy Nexus, which already sells for $389.99. I am not sure if I really need the quad-core CPU and the larger screen; also the battery standby and talking time seem to be quite similar. Anyone can help me make my decision? ;)

Return to product information 	 SAMSUNG GALAXY SIII GT-i9300 16GB PEBBLE BLUE FACTORY UNLOCKED GSM i9300 S3 (3G HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100) - PRE-ORDER

Nikon D3200 is already shipping, 1 week after announcement

The just recently announced NIKON D3200 DSLR camera is already shipping via Amazon in the US, people in europe have to still wait, since you can only pre-order for now (but the camera should be available soon, according to Nikon). The D3200 features a 24.2 MP DX-format CMOS sensor (crop factor of 1.5) and has EXPEED III image processing. It is an entry level DSLR but it can shoot 1080p HD video – still the problem is that it won’t output clean HDMI signal (which could be fixed by a firmware update theoretically).

Nikon D3200: cheap, nikon quality.

After all, we got a nice new cheap camera to chose from when shooting low budget video or just want to take casual fotos. While the Nikon D3200 should be superior in terms of photography compared to the Panasonic GH2, still in video the Lumix GH2 is the top of the class. We will see if there will be a firmware hack for the D3200 – it is quite possible since there is some hacking done with Nikon cameras, but it will take time for sure. Maybe we can order the D3200 to sweeten the long time of waiting for the D800 which is still only available via preorder.

Dropbox Cloud Storage increases Free Accounts to 16GB (maximum), increased Referrals from 250MB to 500MB

dropbox backup cloud storage save files safe online download upload extra extend more space free extra referral backup vaultDropbox increased the maximum space for Free Users to 16GB: referrals were upped from 250MB to 500Mb per invited user, for “Pro” Account holders, the referral space was even upped to 1GB per accepted invitation. If you sign up to Dropbox with this link, you get an extra 500MB for your signup – that means you will start with initial 2.5GB free cloud storage. A maximum of 16GB is possible, if you invite some more people.

I mainly use Dropbox for Backups and Syncing my data between devices – the Dropbox application/client is available for almost all platforms. We can recommend using the free service as long as possible, since Google plans a new service that will be a strong competitor: the Google Drive Service (GDRIVE) could force Dropbox to lower prices drastically.

Canon EOS 5D MKII MK3 is here and can be pre-ordered on amazon. But: no clean HDMI makes D800(E) a strong competitor

Canon EOS 5D MKII MK3 official photo foto
The long awaited Canon EOS 5DMKIII is here, as correctly predicted by canonrumors and the best news: it can be pre-ordered on amazon. This means that we won’t only have to see if the Canon 5D MK3 will be hackable and can use Magic Lantern, it also has to face a direct competitor: the Nikon D800.

Why would anyone switch lenses and go down the Nikon Road when the new Canon EOS 5D looks so promising? Well, it has one small but serious flaw: it does not support clean HDMI (uncompressed HDMI) output.

This small fact means, that external HDMI recorders (see the RAW VIDEO comparison on nanofunk) such as the Black Magic Hyperdeck Shuttle or the Atomos Ninja will not work with the Canon EOS 5D MK3. Still, if the camera gets hacked by the Magic Lantern Project, or a firmware update gets released by Canon, the situation could change. After all, the 5D3 is a very capable camera, and in some points even superior to the Nikon D800.

What are the new features of the Canon 5D MKIII for filmers/videographers?
The new 5D3 produces 90mbit h264 files out-of-the box. This is a significant improvement over the previous 5D2. Also, the negative rolling shutter effect is reduced by half, as outlined by a japanese blog. ISO performance is almost clean at ISO 3200, and much improved at 6400 and 12,800. Aliasing and moire are reduced. There is less false detail and the codec improved a lot.

improvements roundup (via eoshd)
* 91Mbit high bit rate video support
* possible “movie crop mode” (similar to the Panasonic GH2 Extra-Tele Video Mode)
* Audio controls and on screen meters
* Clean ISO 12,800 and full resolution JPEGs

EOS 5D Mark III ISO 12800 MOVIE

EOS 5D Mark III ISO 12800 MOVIE from SAIKA on Vimeo.

Please add your comments below. It looks like with that specs, we might not even need the 5D MKIII to be hacked, as it performs quite well out-of-the-box. Still the Nikon D800 is a worthy competitor and we have to wait for both cameras to be delivered, so we can crown the future king of DSLR Video. Until then, why not get both cameras? :)

How to get 5GB of free Dropbox space extra for free, using the beta client

[Update 2012-03-11] with the Experimental Forum Build 1.3.21 the total of free space was reduced to 3GB and the import of 3gpp files was added.

Dropbox: 5GB of free permanent extra space - extend

I just confirmed this and got some 5GB of free permanent extra space on my dropbox account: using the Experimental Forum Build and being part of the beta test concerning the new foto/video upload feature. The beta client is available for mac, windows and linux.

What’s new?

The “Dropbox Camera Import” feature automatically uploads your photo and video content, when plugging in a SD-card or connecting your smartphone. The autostart of the Dropbox importer did actually not work when I tried on Linux and Mac OSX 10.4. On Windows, you’ll need to have Autoplay enabled to get the automatic uploader working.

Dropbox Camera Import Photo Video 5GB Extra Free Permanent Extend

During this beta period, we are also offering additional free space to test automatic uploading of photos and videos. For every 500MB of photos and videos automatically uploaded, you’ll receive another 500MB space bonus, up to 5GB total. The Dropbox space you earn is permanent. You can use it for the life of your account.

[Update 2012-2-22] the latest version of the Experimental Forum Build is 1.3.17 that fixes a lot of bugs and issues. I updated the links accordingly. If you are getting started with Dropbox, use this referral link to get 250MB of extra free space on signup.

Rode VideoMic HD Brings Serious Audio to HDSLRs: NTG3 technology, SD card and Blimp!

Thanks to photography bay I just read about the upcoming Rode VideoMic HD (not availale yet). It sounds like a dream come true: the technology used is from the Rode NTG-3 (even the NTG-2 kicks ass and is highly recommended), furthermore it has a wind and shock-protection as well as integrated SD-card recording (!).

There’s no way to know just how much of NTG-3 tehnology is going to show up inside this new VideoMic HD; however, if it’s anywhere close to the quality and isolation that it delivers, we could be in for a real treat.

* Integrated digital recorder (microSDHC)
* RF-bias, true condenser shotgun microphone (based on RØDE NTG3 technology)
* Line and Mic (mixer) inputs (with ‘plug-in’ power)
* High level headphone amplifier for monitoring
* Three-level High Pass Filter (0, 75Hz, 150Hz)
* Integrated Blimp wind protection and shock mounting
* Multi mode outputs (Dual mono/split 0db and -10db for auto safety/dual mono + 20dB)
* High frequency ‘boost’ switch for increased intelligibility at distance miking
* Utra-lightweight metal casing
* Quick release mounting system

Amazon Warehouse Deals has -10% until 31.12.2011: some items are really cheap! (-60%)

Amazon Warehouse Deals has an offer of -10% of the existing “warehouse deals” until 31st of december 2011. Warehouse Deals are B-ware, such as opened boxes or refurbished items, all with full warranty. The different amazon country-stores offer different products, so make sure you check Amazon Germany, Amazon UK, Amazon US (or the other partner programs), as they have different offers.

Here is a roundup of the best deals:

Amazon Germany
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2EG-K 577,58€
HP LaserJet P4014N 456,61€
Kindle Keyboard, eReader, Wi-Fi, 15 cm (6″) 109,90€

Amazon UK
Nikon D7000 Body Only for £783.08
Apple iPod touch 32GB for £130.58

Amazon US
Canon EOS Rebel T3 12.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with 18-55mm IS II Lens for $417,05
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 with 14-42mm Hybrid Lens $832.35
Apple MacBook Air MC969LL/A 11.6-Inch Laptop (NEWEST VERSION) for $990,92
Apple MacBook Air MC506LL/A 11.6-Inch Laptop (OLD VERSION) for $753.69

I am still going through all the offers and I will make myself some late christmas presents ;) happy shopping to you all!

 

 

Last Minute gift options: all things digital.

Maybe this is obvious – but since I am always very late in buying christmas presents, here are some options for you people out there that have (like me) not all gifts together yet:

#1: Give awesome games and help charity: The Humble Indie Bundle #4 includes these Games (even with Steam coupons to import the games to your Steam account): Super Meat Boy, Shank, Jamestown, Bit.Trip Runner, NightSky, Cave Story+, Gratuitous Space Battles,
Crayon Physics Deluxe, Cogs, VVVVVV, Hammerfight, And Yet It Moves.

#2: Give some digital stuff, such as Kindle eBooks, or Steam Gifts to gamers.
You would need to know for sure, if the person already got that present, though. There’s nothing worse than getting digital content twice.

#3: Order something online and print out the picture of it.
I know, this is cheesy, but after all you can all blame it to the parcel service: “The shipping time was more than a month!”. Make sure, if your item is from ebay, that the real purchase date can not be found out.

To all Nanofunk readers: merry christmas! Hope you have nice and relaxing days.

Canon announces new flagship DSLR: 1Dx with improved Video capabilities

Canon announced the company’s newest flagship professional DSLR today, the 18 megapixel full-frame Canon 1Dx. The 1Dx will sit atop Canon’s model line as an update to both the Canon 1Ds and the 1D Mark IV, and is expected to debut for $6800 body-only in March 2012.

The 1Dx will feature dual DIGIC 5 processors, which Canon claims offer approximately 17 times more processing power than the previous generation DIGIC 4s.

Those looking for an upgrade to the 5D Mark II for video capture may find a friend in the 1Dx, as it is capable of 1080/30p/25p/24p HD video capture, with options for 720/60p/50p as well. The image sensor has been designed with video in mind, meaning that downsampling errors and the resultant moire effect should be significantly reduced. The file system’s 4GB limit has also been worked around, with an automatic file splitting functionality enabling up to 29 minute and 59 seconds of continuous video capture.

The camera also supports two methods of SMPTE-compliant timecode embedding, Rec Run and Free Run, to ease syncing up multiple cameras in post. The 1Dx will also support both intraframe (ALL-i) and interframe (IPB) compression, to aid post-production and editing workflows, depending on need. The camera also offers manual audio level control both before and during video capture with the internal monaural mic or an external stereo microphone.

Canon’s all new full-frame CMOS sensor ensures that video footage captured on the EOS-1D X will exhibit less moiré than any previous Canon model, resulting in a significant improvement in HD video quality. A desired feature for many documentary filmmakers using Canon DSLRs was to enable recording beyond the four gigabyte (GB) file capacity and the EOS-1D X is the answer. The new camera features automatic splitting of movie files when a single file exceeds 4GB. The new file splitting function allows for continuous video recording up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds across multiple 4GB files; no frames are dropped and the multiple files can be seamlessly connected in post production, providing filmmakers the recording time they want in the same convenient DSLR form factor. The camera records Full HD at 1920 x 1080 in selectable frame rates of 24p (23.976), 25p, or 30p (29.97); and 720p HD or SD video recording at either 50p or 60p (59.94). SD video can be recorded in either NTSC or PAL standards.

The Canon EOS-1D X also includes manual audio level control, adjustable both before and during movie recording, an automatic setting, or it can be turned off entirely. A wind filter is also included. Sound can be recorded either through the internal monaural microphone or via an optional external microphone through the stereo mic input.

The Canon 1Dx offers USB transfer, but will also sport a wired gigabit Ethernet port for stable wired transmission of video and still images at up to 1000BASE-T transmission speeds. That should allow not only faster transmission of files, but longer, more practical connection solutions for professionals. For on-camera storage, the 1Dx will eschew SD storage in favor of dual Compact Flash cards.

The low-light capability of the EOS-1D X is evident in its incredible ISO range and ability to photograph in extremely low-light conditions. Adjustable from ISO 100 to 51,200 within its standard range, the new model offers a low ISO 50 setting for studio and landscape photography and two high settings of 102,400 at H1 and 204,800 at H2, ideal for law enforcement, government or forensic field applications.

(via usa.canon.com)

Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens +Mount for MFT m43 (Micro Four Thirds) for $48,99

A great bargain for m34 (Micro Four Thirds) users (Olympus, Panasonic, etc): the Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens +Mount for MFT m43 (Micro Four Thirds) which sells for $48,99 including free worldwide shipping. We just ordered two of them, so expect photo and video examples soon. In the meanwhile, you might want to take a look at some youtube example footage.

This CCTV Lens is a high quality lens with alloy casing. It is ideal for use in bars, shops, parking lots, houses and warehouse, etc. It gives you the widest field of view image avaialble with a C mount lens. This CCTV Camera Lens provides ultra clear vision for your camera. Incorporates advanced optical elements to ensure all-around sharpness and efficient light conductivity. Its iris can be manually adjusted according to available light levels.

Specifications Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens

Mount type: C mount
Focal length : 35mm
Aperture:F1.7-C
Iris/ Focus operation: manual
Angle of view: 13.8
Object distance: 30cm -infinite
Compatible with cameras including:
Panasonic: G1, GH1, GH2 GF1, G2, G10
Olympus: E-P1, EP-2, E-PL1 fits C Mount Movie Lens

C mount M4/3 Camera lens Adapter to EP1 EP2 GF1 GF2 GH1 GH2

With a C Mount Lens to Micro 4/3 Adapter you can use C Mount lenses on your MFT system. You can use this camera adapter ring in conjunction with the camera adapters to complete the connection to a digital camera supporting a filter thread.

Reworked Camera Lenses for Canon EOS, Nikon, Leica M, Sony NEX, Kodak and Micro Four Thirds!

The eBay reseller jieying-usa ist selling custom reworks of lenses for Micro Four Thirds,Canon EOS, Nikon, Leica M, Sony NEX, Kodak and others.

Among the lenses, a reworked Rodenstock 50mm f/0.75 for Micro Four Thirds, that fits on your camera without the need of an adapter. The lens focuses from 3ft to infinity. Wide open, images are very soft but unlike C-mount lenses the circle covers the full m43 size. Here are some flickr examples.

Rodenstock50  1

Comparison: Canon Camera Roundup for Pro-DSLR Video

Since lot of people ask me, which (photo) cameras to buy which also work for filming, here is a short roundup of cameras that I find worth mentioning. All of the cameras mentioned will work with Magic Lantern:

  • On-screen audio meters
  • Manual gain control with no AGC
  • Zebra stripes (video peaking)
  • Custom Cropmarks for 16:9, 2.35:1, 4:3 and any other format
  • Control of focus and bracketing
  • (among other changes, such as Video-Bitrate setting)


    Price/Value/Feature Comparison

    Canon Rebel T1i
    Canon EOS 500D

    Canon Rebel T2i
    Canon EOS 550D

    Canon Rebel T3i
    Canon EOS 600D

    Canon EOS 60D
     
    Canon EOS 5D MKII
     
    500d 60d 550d 60d 5dmkii
    USA: $579.90

    Europe: 449.00€ (used)
    USA: $629.00

    Europe: 549.99€
    USA: $699.95

    Europe: 646.99€
    USA: 1,029.00$

    Europe: 879.00€
    USA: 2,499.00$

    Europe: 1,890.00€
    The Revel T1i was a great camera, although we cannot recommend it, since its successor is the 550D and the 600D. If you can get a cheap second hand alternative at ebay, you might get a deal, though. (Seen on ebay for $199 used) The 550D is a great camera, although the 600D beats it in price/value. If you can get your hands on a cheap second-hand 550D, you might be able to even save some more bucks. (Seen on ebay for $399 used) The 600D is our definite winner in price/value: feature-rich, reasonably priced, enjoyable to use and, most importantly, takes great pictures. It’s relatively small, but is fully supported by Magic Lantern and you should be really happy with that camera if you use good lenses and fast Compact Flash Cards. The 60D is a great camera, although almost in the same range as the 7D (which has no Magic Lantern support yet). If you are only shooting photos, go for the 7D – if you are doing video, save some bucks and go for the 600D. Invest the spare money in good lenses. The best of all the cameras compared, if we leave out the price. While this is also the most pricy camera, it certainly gets beaten by the 600D when it comes to price/value. The Canon EOS 5D MKII is the best camera for digital video out there, although with the 600D and with fast enough SDXC cards, you will almost match the quality of the 5D MKII.

    Conclusio: get the 600D if you need to save money, get the 5D MKII if you have some spare 3000$. Invest in good lenses, such as the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM, even if you are using it on the 600D (it will get converted to a 38-168mm, though). The Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS is a cheap but quite good alternative. Make sure you get a really fast SDXC card, since you will want to increase the Video Bitrate with Magic Lantern to make your videos quality increase as well. Recommendation: the Lexar Media 64 GB SDXC Flash Memory Card LSD64GCRBNA133 stores 64GB (!) and is blazingly fast.

  • Canon 5D MKIII (MK3) Announcement Imminent?

    Canon EOS 5D MKII MK3

    Taking the rumors from canonrumors.com and some forum posts seriously for at least a bit, it seems that an announcement for a possible Canon EOS 5D MKIII is imminent.

    Random Info via canonrumors:

    • Canon Australia has sent CPS management to Singapore for product training. [CR2]
    • Any Canon announcement will come after Nikon’s announcement on August 24, 2011. [CR2]
    • 5D Mark III’s are in the wild and an announcement is imminent [CR1]
    • 1D Mark IV’s are out of stock or hard to come by in certain countries. A retailer in New Zealand actually said they won’t be getting any more. [CR1]
    • 1Ds Mark IV resolution correction, I’m told it will actually be 36mp.

    Since I was planning on getting a 5D Mark II these days, I hope to see increasing price drops on the camera kits very soon – since there are already visible price drops around the globe. On Amazon.com the price for the Body still is $2499,00. Canon Australia already lowered the price for the premium KIT from $4899 AU$ to 4499AU$, so we can hope for price drops on the international market as well. On the German Amazon Marketplace, the currently cheapest price for the 5D MKII Body (new) is 1924,90 EUR, while the Premium KIT (EF 24-105mm L IS USM) is at 2619,99 (a light price drop is already visible).

    Commenting on the current question, if it is still a good idea to buy a Canon 5D MKII: YES. Why? The Canon 5D MKII is a great camera and also there won’t be any new Lenses coming up so fast (at least when we talk about EF 24-105mm L IS USM), so if you need one now, go and get one. Also, if you are in DSLR-Video, “Magic Lantern” is a great and stable system, which will not immediately run on the MKIII. Some people even suggests that there might be a 1000$ price difference (at least) for an upcoming 5D MKIII.

    Conclusion:
    Still the 5D Mark II is a good buy, when compared to the Canon EOS 7D, since an announcement for a Canon EOS 7D MKII won’t be around the corner until end of 2011, if we believe the rumors. A 5d MKIII won’t be available instantly after release, so one way or the other, before 2012 you won’t be able to get your hands on a 5D MKIII – and if so, then for sure not for a reasonable price. The current price difference for the 5DMKII to the 7D is 700$ – if you are into DSLR Video, that’s a clear GO for the 5DMKII.

    [Update] Canon Rumors has a new Blog post “5D Mark III & The Rest [CR2]” which indicates, that there could be a 5D Mark III announced in October 2011

    Bliptronic 5000: the $39.90 Monome Rival

    The Bliptronic 5000 is a great and super-cheap rival to the $500 Monome although not with such a great chassis and quality. But: it is chainable and has its own built-in sound engine (chiptunes-style, sound similar to the tenori-on or the casiotone)

    createdigitalmusic posted some hacking tips, including information on how to build your own MIDI clocking and how to create a “switchonome”. Another post by runagate describes how to Turn A $50 Bliptronic 5000 Into A Monome Controller [update: Bliptronome conversion kit for $68 USD].

    Information via ThinkGeek:

    Product Features
    4595
    * Unusual retro synthesizer is played with a grid of glowing buttons
    * Create looping patterns and change them dynamically while playing
    * Chain multiple units together and create more complex melodies
    * One octave range. 8 notes can be played simultaneously
    * 8 different old-skool synth sounding instruments to choose from
    * Sounds created using FM waveform synthesis
    * Set the BPM (beats per minute) from 60 to 180 in 20 BPM increments
    * Built in speaker with headphone jack and line-out jack
    * Front panel is constructed from brushed aluminum
    * Includes, manual and 2 link cables for connecting additional Bliptronic units
    * Requires 4 x AA batteries (not included)

    C4e1 bliptronic 5000 led synthesizer add1 embed

    Cheapest Hackintosh configuration: 235$ (145$ without monitor!)

    We compiled a list of the cheapest hackintosh configuration with the cheapest currently available Hackintosh compatible hardware to date.

    This is the configuration that makes most sense if you have a small budget. Graphics are Intel GMA 950 and the set is complete with monitor, mouse and keyboard. The drive is a 7200RPM 500GB HD. Here is the URL to the complete list: The cheapest Hackintosh shopping-list.

    19.99$ Kingston ValueRAM 2 GB 667MHz PC2-5300 DDR2 DIMM Desktop Memory (KVR667D2N5/2G)
    29.99$ GIGABYTE GA-8I945GZME-RH Intel 945GZ Socket 775 micro-ATX Motherboard w/Video, Audio & Gigabit LAN
    89.99$ HP L2045w – LCD display – TFT – 20.1″ – widescreen – 1680 x 1050 / 60 Hz – 300 cd/m2 – 600:1 – 5 ms – 0.258 mm DVI-D, VGA (Refurbished)
      9.99$ SilenX IXM-2014 IXTREMA Pro 200W MicroATX Power Supply
    32.99$ Hitachi Deskstar P7K500 HDP725050GLA360 – Hard drive – 500 GB – internal – 3.5″ – SATA-300 – 7200 rpm – buffer: 16 MB
    16.00$ Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive – Bulk – IHAS124-04 (Black)
      4.80$ Masscool 90mm CPU Cooler for Intel Socket LGA775
    14.99$ Processor – 1 x Intel Celeron D 330J / 2.66 GHz ( 533 MHz ) – LGA775 Socket – L2 256 KB – OEM
    14.50$ ATX Mid Tower Aluminum Desktop Computer Case
      1.99$ I Concepts PC Trio Kit

    The price for the complete set is 235$ (145$ without monitor!). We don’t think you will find a cheaper Hackintosh configuration out there.
    Ah, one more thing: a very cheap mobile hackintosh notebook costs 229.99$: the Asus Eee PC 900A WFBB01 Refurbished Netbook.

    Promise Pegasus Thunderbolt RAID system for high-speed data demands: 6x3TB for a total of 18TB (mod)

    [Edit 23.12.2011] CAUTION! People trying the below mentioned modification of the Promise Thunderbolt reported issues and data loss. Please consult the Promise Support if you are planning to do modifications or already did!

    [UPDATE] with the announced Hitachi Deskstar 7K4000 4000GB(4TB), 5K4000 as well as the 4TB Seagate Barracuda XT a total of 24TB could be reached when modding the Promise Pegasus just replacing the 2TB drives it comes with. 5TB HDDs are reported arriving in January 2012. Read our updated Article: Caution with Promise Pegasus Thunderbolt RAID 6x3TB (18TB) or 6x4TB (24TB) modification. 6x5TB (30TB) possible as of January 2012?


    The Promise Pegasus is the most “promising” hardware for enthusiasts and pro users, since it offers really fast transfer speeds, even topping the OCZ Vertex 3 SATA 6Gbps internal SSD on Macbook Pro computers.

    Delivering over 800MB/s of disk performance, Pegasus is compatible with Mac systems with Thunderbolt

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    Compare the Promise Pegasus R4 (4x 2TB) and the Promise Pegasus R6 (8x 2TB). Of course, if you want to pimp your pegasus, you can replace the internal drives with different ones.

    Internally Promise uses a PMC Sierra PM8011 8-port SAS-2 RAID controller. This is an 8-lane PCIe Gen 2 controller with eight SAS/SATA 6Gbps ports. On the R6 obviously only six of those ports are functional. The PM8011 has an embedded 600MHz MIPS processor and is paired with 512MB of DDR2-533. (via Anandtech)

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    Possible replacements and hacks for the Promise Pegasus:

    * replace the internal hard drives with SSD drives: at the current date this still has stability issues. We are waiting for updated drivers or a response from Pegasus about the current freezes and issues with SSD drives. If you really have to test it out, make sure you get 6Gbps SSD drives. 2.5inch drives will also fit in the caddy.

    * replacing the internal drives with 3TB drives: this is a confirmed and stable way of pimping your pegasus drives. Pegasus comes with 2TB Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 drives, so make sure you are getting 3TB drives from the same brand. We can recommend the Hitachi 3TB 7200RPM drive, but also we can confirm the Pegasus runs with the Western Digital 3 TB SATA II Intellipower 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive and the SEAGATE Barracuda XT 3 TB SATA 6.0 Gb-s 64 MB Cache. Just keep in mind, not to mix up brands: you should get 6 times the same hard disk for the most stable system.

    * replacing the internal drives with SAS 6Gbps Hard Disks: while this would render the promise pegasus a real pro system that is rock stable, drives should be used, that offer a compatible SAS-connector. Since SAS-drives are generally compatible to SATA-connectors, we can generally recommend the Seagate Constellation ES.2 3 TB Internal Hard Drive SAS 600 7200rpm 64MB

    Conclusio: The Promise Pegasus is a fast solution for great read/write speed plus the extra feature of having the possibility to daisy-chain more Pegasus devices together, to increase the space when needed. Compared to the Data Robotics DROBO PRO System, it only offers 1-drive fail (1 drive can get corrupted, if 2 fail your data is lost) while the DROBO offers dual drive redundancy. Also, the DROBO PRO supports different sized drives, while you can only put drives of the same size (and it is recommended to also only use the exact same drive models) in the Promise Pegasus.
    Overall, nanofunk is recommending the Pegasus R4 and R6, because of its faster speed and possibilty to enhance the system. Since we had our DROBO PRO replaced twice (the unit itself was faulty) we are currently fully in favor of the Promise Pegasus.

    Desktop cable de-cluttering solutions roundup

    If you are like me, you have tons of external Hard Drives and other devices such as card readers that create desktop cable clutter. In my case, I cannot stand the situation of loose cables lying around and i always spend up to half an hour per day re-sorting the order on my office desktop.

    What are current options and solutions for de-cluttering the desktop from wires?

    1. Henge Docks (for Apple MacBook Pro and Macbook owners)

    Pro: saves lots of space

    Con: you lose an external extra-screen. I am using the extra notebook screen for debug-logs or reading email, so that’s a no-go for me with the Henge Dock.

    While the Henge Dock saves you lots of space on the office desktop, you also lose “virtual” space since you cannot use the internal notebook screen as extended desktop. The Henge Dock is cheap though, so I can recommend it for people that don’t care about the second virtual desktop.

    It looks like if you have a SPECK case mounted on your MacBook Pro, you can not use the Henge Dock. Keep that in mind.

     

    2. Bluelounge SpaceStation

    Pro: really de-clutters the desktop. Second “virtual” desktop still usable.

    Con: does not make much sense if you already own a Griffin iCurve Elevator, mStand, Notebook Riser or other Notebook Stand.

     

    3. Blue Lounge Design CableDrop Cable Management System

    I really like the idea of the small cable clips that are mounted on the table to sort different important cables and to make them instantly accessible. I just ordered eight of those clips (in different colors) to de-clutter my “cable salad”.

    Pro: keeps your cables in order and also helps protecting them (the problem of loose MacBook Power supply cables can be prevented)

    Con: not so much de-cluttering as can be possible, since the cables are still visible (to some extent)

     

    4. BlueLounge CableBox

    Not really for desktop cable de-cluttering, this can hide your power strip (powerboard) and additionally protect it from accidental soda-spilling.

    5. IKEA Signum Cable Management System

    This solution from IKEA works for other non-Ikea tables as well. It not only helps you completely hide all the power strips, you can also hide other chargers back there. Works best together with the Blue Lounge Design CableDrop Cable Management System

     

    6. DIY Home Robot Dog Cable Concentrator Box

    The DIY Home Robot Dog Cable Concentrator Box is a funny piece of geek-humor in the shape of a wooden dog. It not only de-clutters, but also makes your desktop an eye-catcher.

     

    7. DIY your own charging boxes!

    The IKEA charging box is a very simple tutorial from instructables, so you can build a charging box for all your devices that need power (smartphones, iPod, iPad, iPhone, whatever)

     

    unpluggd has more on that topic: Affordable Cord and Cable Guidance Solutions, which also covers DIY Cable Management Systems. Well worth a read!

     

     

    If you created your own solutions or maybe have other hints on good de-cluttering pieces, let us know in the comments.

     

    2011 Macbook Pro and SATA III 6Gbps, Optibay: two HD drives – setup explained

    Since we recently purchased two 2011 MacBook Pros (with lots of issues, as previously reported) we were wondering if SATA III 6Gbps drives would be supported. The short answer is YES, the longer answer is: only on the original Hard Drive port. Here are recommendations on which drive setup is best  suited for getting the maximum out of the 2011 Apple machines.

    Which type are you?

    • the collector: two 750GB SATAII Drives
    • fast, but not furious: 256GB SSD SATAIII drive + 750GB HDD in the optical drive slot
    • the caretaker: 256GB SSD SATAIII drive + 500GB SATAII hybrid drive in the optical drive slot
    • speed enthusiast: 256GB SSD SATAIII drive + 256GB SSD SATAII drive in the optical drive slot
    • humongous and rich: 512GB SSD SATAIII drive + 512GB SSD SATAII drive in the optical drive slot

    The recommended steps are to select your setup, get an OptiBay, choose an external casing for your optical drive and get your hands dirty. Read our recommendations and tell us which type you are!

    The new MCE OptiBay was created for users who want as much hard drive capacity as possible inside their MacBook Pro, MacBook, PowerBook G4, iMac, or Mac mini. Period

    Continue reading

    Save Money with replica Apple Hardware: the good and the bad.

    Apple original Hardware is very pricy. There are some items which can be bought as replica and are (almost) the same as their original counterparts. But which items should be bought as rebuilt?Good idea: Replica Apple Power Adapters (for MacBook, MacBook Pro, iPhone, iPad). Bad idea: Lithium-ion polymer battery packs.

    We recently had bad experiences with non-Apple battery packs, so we can definitely not recommend getting them from another vendor. Good news: if your Battery is less than 300 cycles and lower than 80% of the battery health, they will replace it for you (if you have Apple Care or are within your 1 Year warranty). If not, stay tuned, we will post a guide on this very soon.

    Apple replica/ rebuilt Hardware that actually makes sense to buy

    1. Apple Magsafe Power Adapters (and G4/G3 Adapters as well)

    Apple Magsafe Power Adapter Replica. Cheaper than the original, same quality.

    The cheapest versions are EUR 27,98 for a AC Power Adapter für Apple MacBook Pro MagSafe 85W( even cheaper in the USA: $25.56!) and EUR 21,99 for a 60W Power adapter for Apple MacBook ( only $19.27 in the US!)

    2. Apple USB Power Adapters for iPhone and iPod

    The Apple original USB Adapter sells for $29 on the Apple Store, while a Multicharger Set (Car, Wall and USB) sells for €4.50 in Europe and $5.47 in the USA. Be careful! I selected items that we already ordered and tested before, there are “bad” replicas as well out there (see this example and read the comments on Amazon).

     

     

    Apple Replica Keyboard. WTF is that a windows key?

    Apple Replica Keyboard. WTF is that a windows key?

     

    I will post my experiences with Apple replicas here if I have any news. Currenty, we can NOT recommend the following list of items as replicas:

    • Apple Replica Batteries. They mostly died on us too fast. (we will post a specific Apple Batteries Guide in some days)
    • Apple Replica Keyboard (not tested) – is this really available somewhere? WTF is this windows key? Although the Macally USB Slim Keyboard – ICEKEY has some good reviews, i like my keyboard to be an original. [UPDATE] the Macally Keyboard has severe driver issues. Not Recommended!
    • Apple Mouse Replicas: we ended up going hi-tech with the Apple Magic Mouse which is $67.99 – or just using the Logitech Value Optical Mouse which is $4.99, but can not be really considered a “replica”, since the Apple Magic Mouse has soo much more features (wireless, swipe, better optical resolution).

    Only in June: Native Instruments Kore, Komplete, Traktor, Audio DJ, etc. huge savings!

    via native-instruments.com: 300$ Rebate when buying Kore 2 together with NI Komplete 6 and 50% off all updates and upgrades!

    The Offers in Detail:

    • Kore 2 + Komplete 6 for 699€
    • Komplete 6 Update from any previous version: 74,50€
    • Kontakt 4 Update 64,50€
    • Traktor Scratch Pro Update , FM8 or Absynth 4 Update from 34,50€
    • Guitar Rig Update for 34,50€
    • Free Traktor Pro with Audio DJ 8 Soundcard (Free Traktor Duo with Audio DJ 2 or Audio DJ 4)
    • Kore 2 Update or Battery 3 Update from 49,50€
    • Reaktor 5 Update from 59,50€

    I got myself a Kore2+Komplete, an Audio 8 DJ Soundcard and a Traktor Scratch Pro Update. Since I already own Komplete 6, i am selling it (as well as Traktor Pro and tons of other gear) on the Audio Sellout list.

    Continue reading

    next 2 days: save 50% on tc electronic plugins

    via tc electronics: “For just two more days, today and tomorrow (June 15), you can save 50% on all TC Electronic plug-ins for PowerCore and Pro Tools – plus a few additional ones! For example, you can get the amazing M30 reverb plug-in that runs natively on your computer for only $35!”

    This offer might be especially interestin for people owning the tc powercore units. As I own the tc powercore compact (only available via ebay these days) i was wondering if the Access Virus PowerCore Plugin sounds as good as the original Virus synthesizer. The PowerCore PCI is currently priced 399€ at thomann, the TC electronic PowerCore Firewire 19″ variant is 998€ (also thomann). UPDATE: you can get my powercore compact from the audio sellout list.