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iPhone 12's camera beats even the iPhone 11 Pro. Here's proof – CNET

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The iPhone 11 Pro packed one of the best cameras around, being able to take such great shots that it replaced my DSLR on a road trip around Scotland. Apple’s latest iPhone 12 may be one of the more affordable of the new lineup — which includes the smaller iPhone 12 Mini and the more premium 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max — but its camera is even more formidable.

I’ve taken the iPhone 12 for a spin around my home in Edinburgh, and I’ve been super impressed with how it stacks up against the previous 11 Pro. Sure, it doesn’t have the 2x telephoto lens, but the images it can capture with the standard view and the super-wide lens are superb. 

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iPhone 11 Pro, standard lens


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

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iPhone 12, standard lens


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

On this first scene in Dean Village, both cameras have captured an excellent overall exposure, but the iPhone 12’s shot has a richer blue sky and more contrast and detail on the buildings, resulting in a better-looking shot overall. 

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iPhone 11 Pro, super-wide lens


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iPhone 12, super-wide lens


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Switching to the super-wide view, both phones have been able to capture a huge amount of the scene in front of them, but again, the iPhone 12 has a bit more punch to the scene. Some of the buildings look a bit darker, however, which may not be to everyone’s tastes. 

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iPhone 11 Pro, standard lens


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iPhone 12, standard lens


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

While the overall exposure is great on both shots, the bright sky on the iPhone 11 Pro appears to have caused some haziness around where the buildings meet the sky. The iPhone 12’s shot has a clear distinction between the areas, which looks much nicer.

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iPhone 11 Pro, standard lens


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

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iPhone 12, standard lens


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Although the sky doesn’t cause the same haze in this scene, there’s a noticeable difference in the contrast between the two images. The iPhone 12’s shot has richer colors, which helps add some punch to the shadows on the church, as well as help distinguish the various trees from each other further down. 

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iPhone 11 Pro, standard lens


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iPhone 12, standard lens


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

In this example, however, I can see almost no discernible differences between the two images. Both are pin-sharp with accurate colors and great contrast. 

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iPhone 11 Pro, standard lens


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

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iPhone 12, standard lens


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Up on Edinburgh’s Calton Hill, I prefer the look of the shot from the iPhone 11 Pro. It has a warmer white balance to it (which may only be caused by the tiny shift in shooting angle) that I think gives a more pleasing tone to the scene and has allowed it to maintain some of the sunset colors in the sky. 

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iPhone 11 Pro, standard lens


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

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iPhone 12, standard lens


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Looking at the increasing sunset from another direction, both phones have captured the tones and the exposure extremely well. The iPhone 12’s shot does have more contrast and clarity on the buildings further in the scene, as well as making them a touch brighter, which I think makes for a superior image. 

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iPhone 11 Pro, standard lens


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iPhone 12, standard lens


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

As the sunset deepened, the phones had to fight harder to keep that bright streak of orange in the sky under control, while still capturing plenty of detail in the foreground. They’re both great shots, but the iPhone 12’s image again shows brighter details in the building and foreground foliage. 

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iPhone 11 Pro, standard lens, Night mode


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

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iPhone 12, standard lens, Night mode


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

As night began to fall I headed further into the city and found this scene. The 11 Pro has captured a great image overall, but it’s clear to see that the iPhone 12’s is brighter, with more detail on the cobblestones and on “The Arches” sign. 

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iPhone 11 Pro, super-wide lens, Night mode


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

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iPhone 12, super-wide lens, Night mode


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The situation is much the same with these beautiful Christmas decorations, shot using the super-wide lens and the Night mode. The iPhone 12 Pro’s shot is brighter, with much more visible detail to be seen. 

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Detail crop, iPhone 11 Pro


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Detail crop, iPhone 12


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Cropping in to the top of the building on that same super-wide shot, it’s clear to see that the iPhone 12’s image is both brighter and sharper.

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iPhone 11 Pro, standard lens, Night mode


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

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iPhone 12, standard lens, Night mode


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Taken using Night mode at 10 seconds, both shots have captured an impressive amount of detail in what was such an incredibly dark nighttime scene. The iPhone 12’s shot is a touch brighter, however.

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Crop detail, iPhone 11 Pro


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

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Crop detail, iPhone 12


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Cropping in on the corner of the same images, it’s possible to see that the iPhone 12 has been able to capture significantly better detail in the edges of its frame when using Night mode.

The iPhone 12 takes better photos

In almost every example in this test I prefer the look of the images from the iPhone 12 over those taken on the iPhone 11 Pro. Details are clearer, shots are brighter and more vibrant, and Night mode images have seen huge improvements. It’s not such a significant upgrade that it’s worth moving from an iPhone 11 Pro to the iPhone 12, but the 12 is the phone to go for if you’re looking at upgrading from an earlier handset. 

The only downside to keep in mind is that the iPhone 12 doesn’t have the 2x telephoto lens. As a photographer, I love using the zoom on the phone as it allows me to get some really interesting angles on subjects that you can’t do with a wide-angle lens. If you’re a really dedicated photographer then it’s worth considering spending the extra and going for the iPhone 12 Pro or 12 Pro Max, both of which offer the telephoto lens as well as the standard and super-wide views.

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Report: The MacBook Air is getting a major redesign, too – Ars Technica

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There’s been on onslaught of Apple leaks out of business publication Bloomberg over the past week, and the latest goes into a little more detail about an upcoming MacBook Air redesign.

Like the others, the report cites anonymous people familiar with Apple’s plans. It claims a newly redesigned MacBook Air (presumably with either Apple’s M1 chip for Macs or a successor to that chip) will “be released during the second half of this year at the earliest or in 2022.”

But buried in this MacBook Air report is perhaps equally big news for a certain set of Mac users: it claims that Apple plans to reintroduce the SD card slot in new MacBook Pros—a detail that was left out of a story on those computers earlier this week.

The current M1 MacBook Air will remain in the lineup, while this new MacBook Air will be a “higher-end” alternative that will be sold alongside it. Why is it higher-end, you might ask? Well, Bloomberg’s sources claim that it will be even thinner and lighter than the model that’s available now.

Further, the footprint of the laptop will be smaller because the bezels will be reduced, but the screen will still measure 13 inches. This is a different approach than Apple has taken before (and is expected to continue to take) with its MacBook Pro line. In November of 2019, Apple launched a 16-inch MacBook Pro to replace the prior 15-inch model, but the footprint was the same, while the screen occupied much of the space that was previously bezel, bringing the display size up.

The report also says the new MacBook Air will have MagSafe—something that was stated by the same publication a few days ago about upcoming MacBook Pro models. MagSafe was a key feature of Apple laptops of yore, but Apple gradually removed it from the product line over the past few years before reintroducing it in the iPhone 12 in 2020.

In the Mac, MagSafe is a power port and accompanying cord that lightly, magnetically attach. The cord is easy to slot in, but if the cord is pulled on, it will pop out gently rather than tugging the laptop with it. The goal was to prevent situations where an owner of the device might trip on the cord and accidentally yank the laptop off a desk or table, damaging it.

Finally, today’s Bloomberg report says that Apple “considered” making a MacBook Air with a 15-inch screen, but that plan won’t happen this generation after all.

The reports earlier this week claimed that Apple plans to introduce a new iPhone in 2021 with an in-screen fingerprint reader.

They also said we should expect a 14-inch MacBook Pro with a larger, better display to replace the current 13-inch model, as well as faster graphics and CPU performance. Also coming is a successor to the 16-inch MacBook Pro, which would also have a better screen and which would bring Apple’s own silicon to that product.

Finally, the leaks predicted that an iMac redesign is coming, with Apple Silicon and a new design, as well as a cheaper alternative to Apple’s ProDisplay XDR monitor aimed at consumers.

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Looked out your window lately? There's bound to be something wild – CBC.ca

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In a drawing that stretches 35 feet long, B.C. artist Sarah Ronald has sketched a ghostly night-time universe. In this inky landscape — which is comprised of 14 connected scenes — nocturnal creatures come out to play: bats, coyotes, bears … and a garden gnome.

Let it be a reminder: there’s a whole world outside your window if you take the time to look. And from Ronald’s house in the Vancouver suburbs, all those animals (plus garden statuary) are a common sight.

“That panorama is about the [animal] activity that’s come and gone through my backyard,” says Ronald. And it appears in Territory, her current solo exhibition, which is on now at the Gibsons Art Gallery to Feb. 7. 

Installation view of Panorama, a 2020 drawing by Sarah Ronald, at the Gibsons Public Art Gallery. (Sarah Ronald)

The show includes paintings, animation and several more of her drawings — many rendered in white pencil crayon and pastel to mimic the eerie blur of animals caught on security cams. 

Animals have long been her favourite subject matter, and while researching another project several years ago, she was struck by the incredible wildlife footage that people were getting by rigging cameras in forests and front decks. She loved the blown-out, night-vision aesthetic. “It’s so dreamy and haunting,” says Ronald.

But another aspect was even more intriguing: there was something powerful about seeing an animal in such a candid way. “These [images] exist because we’re not there,” she says. “It really got me thinking about how to incorporate this into my work.”

Sometime in 2019, Ronald began mimicking the look of this found footage in her art. She has her own cameras installed outside her house, actually — though her home security system pre-dates this project. “I know there are a lot of critters out there,” she says, even though the yard itself is not especially big. She estimates it’s roughly 30 feet deep — so a little shorter than the panoramic drawing in Territory. But she’s observed a sort of “wildlife corridor” between her street and a townhouse complex up the hill. 

Sarah Ronald, Territory (XI). 2019. (Sarah Ronald)

“They travel through the neighbourhood behind my fence,” she says. “I’ll go out and see a coyote pop his head around. Or, more often, it’s raccoons. Sometimes I think the raccoons just come here to hang out,” she laughs. The cameras, she explains, just confirmed what she already knew — while capturing all the fauna-drama on video. And when she experiences a wildlife encounter — on camera, or in person — she says that’s usually her cue to hit the studio. 

The panorama drawing, she says, was especially inspired by those backyard happenings. Created over November and December this past year, it actually captures a much longer timeline of her outdoor space. A detail might document specific events: a fallen tree, a visit from a family of raccoons. Other scenes are more speculative. (She confesses, for example, that she’s never seen a bear back there, though they have been known to invade her neighbour’s place.)

“You kind of get a sense of the space when you’ve been there long enough, what kind of activities happen,” says Ronald, but she explains that the image serves as more than a journal. The piece uses her yard as a stand-in for the natural world at large, a place forever churning with change. 

Sarah Ronald, Panorama (5). 2020. (Sarah Ronald)

Sarah Ronald, Panorama (7). 2020. (Sarah Ronald)

Sarah Ronald, Panorama (11). 2020. (Sarah Ronald)

With two further exhibitions planned for later this year, Ronald says that she’s continuing to add new works to Territory, and she’s especially interested in producing hand-drawn animation for the series.

A 17-minute piece (Encounter) appears at the exhibition in Gibsons, and the film aims to capture the sensation of crossing paths with a coyote. “Imagine being out in the woods in the middle of the night. Or even on the street at two in the morning when there’s nobody out there,” she says. “I’m interested in using animation as a way to almost have a one-on-one with wildlife.”

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The entire series is an invitation to connect with the wild world around us, and one could argue the pandemic’s already prompted more of that. Yard space is precious. Birdwatching is trending. A knife-wielding Toronto squirrel can capture international headlines. And prior to lockdown, was there ever a time when gawping out a picture window was such a mainstream pastime? 

Ronald was already working from home when the pandemic struck, but she understands what happens when you spend a lot of time within your own property lines. It is, after all, a driving creative force behind Territory. “When you stay in a space for a really long time, you don’t feel ownership — you feel like you’re a part of that space. So to spend time outside, you’re part of it.”

“There’s something about that — that connection — where you can just be present with [nature] instead of trying to control it. Maybe with COVID a lot more people are being present.”

Sarah Ronald, Territory (V). 2020. (Sarah Ronald)

Sarah Ronald, Nocturnal Journey (I). 2020. (Sarah Ronald)

Sarah Ronald, Territory (III). 2020. (Sarah Ronald)

Sarah Ronald, Wanderer (I). 2020. (Sarah Ronald)

Sarah Ronald. Territory. To Feb. 7 at Gibsons Art Gallery, Gibsons, B.C. www.gpag.ca

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When Can You Play The ‘Resident Evil: Village’ Demo On PS4 And Xbox? – Forbes

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Yesterday was a big day for fans of Tall Vampire Lady. Not only did we find out that she is a mom with vampire daughters, but we got our first chance to play with her in a video game—or, at least, some of us. Capcom released a special demo of Resident Evil: Village for PS5 only, giving the lucky few who have managed to snag a console another reason to feel smug. It’s me, I feel smug.

It’s got people wondering whether or not, or when, they’ll be able to play the demo on PS4 or Xbox platforms. The answer isn’t entirely clear, but it does, at least seem like you’ll be able to try this thing. According to Capcom “a multiplatform demo is coming this spring”:

The fact that the company definitely seems to be drawing a distinction between the “Maiden” demo and this other multiplatform demo makes me think that it’s going to be a different demo from this one, though hopefully with enough Tall Vampire Lady to go around. For those wondering, Spring officially starts on March 21, and the game comes out on May 7. So the demo will, necessarily, come out between those two dates.

I’ll be excited about this one. I missed Resident Evil VII, though I’m well aware that it’s a bit of a critical darling and look sup my alley, even if there’s no chance in hell that I’ll try the thing with VR goggle son, for reasons of horror and for reasons of motion sickness. This, however, seems like its going to be one of the bigger releases in what’s looking like a slower first half of the year, and I predict it’s going to be one of the more popular game sin the franchise as a result. Plus, because of Tall Vampire lady.

Between this and Monster Hunter Rise, it seems like Capcom is going to be making something of a splash this year, stealing the spotlight in a time without many other major releases. I’d watch both closely, and Monster Hunter, in particular, stands to channel the series’ strong background in portable play to major success in Japan, at least if online play performs better than the demo.

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