Month: December 2013

AudioQuest Carbon and Cinnamon USB cables: do they improve sound?

Listening to audio is a subjective experience. But we all have one thing in common: we all want the best listening experience possible. Some of us are music purists and for them cables are an important component of a HiFi sound system. AudioQuest is one of the suppliers of some of the best performing cables available. They also carry digital interconnects in their product range. I tested two USB cables that are supposed to improve sound and open up the soundstage in a digital audio setup: the Cinnamon and Carbon cables. The sceptic that I am, I was in for a surprise.

GoPro HERO3+ and new mounts

The GoPro HERO3+ is an improved version of the HERO3. It’s a bit better with low light, has a better lens, and a new even wider view, called SuperView. It also has better audio due to a different placement of the built-in microphones. Together with the new HERO3+, GoPro released new mounting accessories, including a clip (QuickClip), a clamp with flexible mounting pole called Jaws, a new suction cup and a far better tripod mount than the one already available.

ExpoDisc 2.0

The original ExpoDisc was an aluminium disc you mount to the front of your camera lens. ExpoDisc 2.0 has a polycarbonate ring and a spring-load mechanism for mounting. It still has a semi-opaque standardised grey surface through which you can take a white balance shot with your dSLR. It’s still the easiest and most accurate way of setting a white balance in-camera. ExpoDisc 2.0 just improves on the concept without changing the basics. As with the previous version, you can also use the ExpoDisc as an incident light meter.

Photomatix Pro 5 review. In full control of your HDR image.

It has been over five years ago since I last reviewed Photomatix Pro, the gold standard for HDR software. Photomatix Pro 5 and its associated plug-ins are more powerful than ever. Photomatix Pro 5 adds a Contrast Optimizer Tone Mapping method and an Exposure Fusion method for Real Estate, multiple settings in batch operations and the ability to create faux HDR images from one LDR image with Fusion settings.