REPLAY VIDEO EDITOR

One of first things you’ll want to experiment with on your new iPhone is the brilliant camera and video recorder that comes as standard. Just load up your device’s Camera app and head to the Video panel and you get some fantastic ways of recording video, such as the SloMo mode, which records in a staggering 120 or 240 frames per second. There’s also the Time-Lapse feature, which takes a still to a pre-defined time scale and stitches them together to create an impressive reel of eye-catching footage. To make the most of this, you’ll want to get your hands on the Replay Video Editor app, which does an amazing job of inspiring you to make great movies. Everything promotes creative thinking when editing together the stuff you’ve shot. Once you’ve selected the clips that you want to edit together, Replay will apply a series of eff ects, music and fi lters to your sequence automatically and editing is done with a thumbnail view of all of your clips. Footage can be trimmed down and ordered as you like. Just don’t forget to export it and share with all your friends on social networks!

OiPhone+ | iOS 8.0 | Free

WOLFRAMALPHA

Wouldn’t it be nice to know everything. Well, with WolframAlpha you can move some way closer to that dream by asking it any question you like. It actually takes some time to get used to because it is so natural to use thanks to its ability to understand naturally typed questions, photos and even your voice, but it always performs as you would want it to. You can ask a question in the most convenient way and you will receive a series of answers which should cover every possible part of the subject matter, and these answers can be text-based, simple numbers or even graphs. An emphasis has been placed on making sure that you receive complete information and once installed, you will soon wonder how you managed without it. Of course studying is not just about knowing facts, but when they are presented in such an obvious way you can retain them quickly and save a lot of time in every other aspect of your learning. Standard search engines are very useful, but in education there surely is no better resource than WolframAlpha for getting work done.

OiPhone+ | iOS 7.0 | £2.29/$2.99 O Android | OS 2.1 | £1.86/$2.9

BRILLIANT.ORG

One skill that is useful in all aspects of education and which is not a natural skill for most people is the ability to problem solve those diffi cult questions. You have to simultaneously keep various pieces of information in your head while maintaining a view of the entire situation to come up with the correct answer, but it can take a lot of time to learn how to do this without mistakes and a lot of time to work out the problem itself. With the Brilliant.org app you get access to a huge database of questions from a variety of subjects and with some careful selections, you should be able to fi nd examples which are truly benefi cial for your coursework and exams. Even better, the layout of the app and the questions included make the entire experience fun and more engaging than you may expect. We found ourselves immersed from the very fi rst questions we tried and over time we started to feel that the app was truly increasing our problem solving abilities. If you can fi nd specifi c questions related to your subjects you will be onto a winner, but even if you don’t, it will help you in a variety of important ways

OiPhone+ | iOS 8.0 | Freemium O Android | OS 4.0 | Freemium

MUSIC-MAKING APPS

The rise of streaming music services and the social media revolution have made it simpler than ever to discover songs by as-yet-unknown artists. Anyone can put their tracks in the ears of the masses through YouTube, SoundCloud and other online outlets. Mobile devices have made this process more accessible still and allowed many indie artists to fi nd an audience. All you need is a way with words, some musical talent and the right apps.

1 Name that tune Song ideas come when you least expect them. Download Songwriter’s Pad so you can capture lyrics on-the-fly. Tap the + sign to create a song and name it. Then tap +Block and choose whether you’re writing a verse or the chorus.

2 Find your voice Tap Ideas on Songwriter Pad’s composing screen to search for words or phrases based on mood. Select Audio if you’re ready to record someone singing your lyrics. When you’re ready to print, e-mail or save them to Dropbox, choose Export.

3 Strike a chord Simple Songwriter will help you get your lyrics in tune. Tap different combinations of major, minor and extra chords to find something that works for your song. With the full version of the app you can save chords and record vocals.

4 Cue music GarageBand is a great music-making app for pros and novices because it’s easy to use. Swipe to choose an instrument. Then tap on the down arrow in the top left to bring up a menu. Pick the option at the bottom to refine your selection.

5 Mix it up To record a track, tap the red dot at the top of the screen. When you’ve got something you like, tap the square icon near the top left to go to the editing screen. From there you can add loops and mix in other virtual instruments

6 Hit the charts Once your recording is ready to share, tap Select in GarageBand’s My Songs screen, pick your song and tap the Share icon in the top left corner. Select SoundCloud or YouTube, log in to your chosen service and make your song public.

Spotify

With more than 25 billion listening hours since our launch seven years ago, we’ve become obsessed with fi guring out how to bring music into every part of our users lives, wherever they are, whatever they’re doing, whatever their mood. Using this data, we’re now able to off er our users the right music for every moment – on computers, mobiles, tablets, home entertainment systems, cars, gaming consoles and more.

It’s important to note that Spotify does not pay artists directly but instead pays the labels, collecting societies and publishers who own the rights to the artist’s music. Once Spotify has paid those royalties the rights holders are responsible for paying royalties to the artist. This takes into account the individual commercial deal the artist has with their label and publisher. Spotify aims to help artists get paid fairly for their work, and we are as transparent as possible in sharing the revenues we pay out.

Spotify is becoming more than music. We know there are times in the day you want to switch between music to catch up on the latest news, listen to your favourite podcast or simply watch something fun. So we are rolling out other content for diff erent moments of your day, alongside music and curated playlists, to keep you entertained wherever and whenever you are. We also know that millions of our users lace up and hit the road to Spotify, which is why we introduced the Running feature. Spotify can now detect your tempo, matching the perfect music in time to your step, to help improve your motivation and your run eff ectiveness.

Nikon 1 J5

If you’re after a good level of control in a truly portable body, the Nikon 1 J5 could well be for you. At just 231g (body only), this camera comes with many manual features to help photographers get the right result, while being small enough to fit into a handbag or large pocket.

Nikon has opted for a very in-fashion retro design for this version, with a plastic construction that still looks the business. To give you quick access to manual settings, the manufacturer has gone with a mode dial on the top plate and dual dials for easy settings changes, giving DSLR users familiar controls. You can, of course, also control the camera through the three-inch touch-sensitive screen. This is a 1037K-dot LCD screen that can flip 180 degrees, during which Selfie mode and face detection automatically come on to help with self portraits.

There’s no viewfinder, however, so you’ll have to rely on the LCD even in harsh sunlight. There’s a built-in flash if you need to add in some light – especially useful for illuminating backlit subjects such as portraits. However, there’s no hotshoe or accessory port for add-ons such as flash guns. Inside the body you’ll find a 20.8MP CX-format one-inch sensor, which is smaller than the APS-C sensors you’ll find in some competitor CSCs.

However, image quality is still decent, with good colour saturation and dynamic range. There’s no optical low pass filter present either, which ensures images stay sharp and finer details are well resolved. The top ISO has also been improved from the J4’s 6400, with a new range of ISO 160-12,800, meaning it’s much more capable in low light. A big thing that is quite impressive about this model is that the EXPEED 5A processing engine allows a continuous shooting rate of 60fps using a fixed focus, or 20fps using continuous autofocus.

This is an impressive speed that will help you to capture even the fastest action. Its electronic shutter lets you shoot as fast as 1/16,000sec and it’s near silent for discreet shooting for things like wildlife or street photography. Another tool for capturing action is the Hybrid AF system with 171 AF points, 105 of which are phase detection points, to help with more accurate focusing. Video enthusiasts will also benefit from options of 1080p at 60fps or 4K recording at 15fps, and you can share your shots quickly and easily using built-in Wi-Fi and NFC.

Technical Data

Price £430/$500 (with 10-30mm lens)

Web www.nikon.com

Megapixels (effective) 20.8

Max resolution (pixels) 5568 x 3712

Sensor information 13.2 x 8.8mm CMOS CXformat

Lens data Nikon 1 mount

Zoom Lens dependent

Focus/macro Lens dependent

Shutter speed 30-1/16,000sec, bulb

ISO sensitivity A, 16-12,800

Exposure modes Scene auto selector, P, A, S,M

Metering options Matrix, Center-weighted, Spot

Flash modes A, A+RE, FOn, FOn+SS, RE, RE+SS, RCS, RC+SS, FOff

Connectivity Hi-Speed USB, HDMI, Wi-Fi, NFC

Weight 231g (body only)

Dimensions 98.3 x 59.7 x 31.5mm

Batteries Rechargeable Li-ion

Storage MicroSD, microSDHX, microSDXC

LCD 3”, 1037k-dot TFT, tilting

Viewfinder: None

 

Nikon D3300

The first thing that strikes you about the D3300 is how compact it is – it isn’t far off the size of some Micro Four Thirds cameras. Inside, however, it packs a 24.2MP DX sensor and EXPEED 4 processing engine, which delivers impressive image quality in addition to Full HD movie footage at up to 60fps. One of the biggest changes from the D3200, however, is the removal of the low pass filter, which is used to control anti-aliasing issues. Removal of this filter enables more detail to be captured and is something that we had only seen higher end DSLRs like the D800 before.

The 11-point Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus sensor module does a good job of picking fast and accurate focus in most lighting, only hunting slightly in much lower light situations. It comes with 11 AF points (one cross type) and focusing modes are selected according to the shooting mode selected: spot focus for macro, area focus for landscape and so on. The controls of the D3300 have been kept simple, as the three-inch rear LCD offers easy access to all the information required. The LCD also gives Access to the various filter options and a guide mode, but is fixed and not touch screen. The biggest thing missing is Wi-Fi, however, which is disappointing given its target market at the entry-level user.

Technical Data

Model Nikon D3300

Price £489/$650 (with 18- 55mm VR lens)

Web www.nikon.com

Megapixels (effective) 24.2

Max resolution (pixels) 6,000 x 4,000

Sensor information 23.5 x 15.6mm CMOS DXformat

Lens data Nikon F mount

Zoom Lens dependent

Focus/macro Lens dependent

Shutter speed 30-1/4000sec, bulb

ISO sensitivity A, 100-12800

Exposure modes Auto, P, A, S, M

Metering options Matrix, Center-weighted, Spot

Flash modes A, RE, SS, SS+RE, FF, RCSS, RCS

Connectivity Hi-speed USB, HDMI, 3.5mm Stereo mini-pin jack

Weight 410g (body only)

Dimensions 124 x 98 x 75.5mm

Batteries Rechargeable Li-ion

Storage SD, SDHC, SDXC

LCD 3”, 921k-dot TFT, fixed

Viewfinder: Eye level pentamirror SLR

Nikon D5500

The Nikon D5500 is the company’s higher entry-level camera, sitting above the D3300. It shares many of the same features as its beginner brethren, but offers users the opportunity to add on extras for its slightly higher cost. To start with it comes with a 1037k-dot touch screen that’s vari-angle, helping you shoot from unusual perspectives. As well as using touch controls to operate the camera, traditional buttons are stil there; it is, however, a streamlined camera aimed at beginners, so the back isn’t too cluttered up by physical dials – most of the controls can be accessed by tapping the i button. It’s a small camera, so perfect for those not looking for anything too bulky; it weighs just 420g (body only), yet Nikon has stil managed to include a pronounced grip.

Inside it packs a 24.2MP DX sensor without a low pass filter for extra sharpness, and an EXPEED 4 processing engine that helps the camera shoot at 5fps. A big advantage over the D3300 is its built-in Wi-Fi, allowing you to easily share your shots as well as shoot remotely. The maximum ISO setting of 25,600 is also a step up that lets you shoot in really dark environments and the 39 AF points with nine

cross types gives more focus accuracy than offered on the D3300’s nine AF points.

 

Technical Data

Model Nikon D5500

Price £640/$900 (body only)

Web www.nikon.com

Megapixels (effective) 24.2

Max resolution (pixels) 6,000 x 4,000

Sensor information 23.5 x 15.6mm CMOS DXformat

Lens data Nikon F mount

Zoom Lens dependent

Focus/macro Lens dependent

Shutter speed 30-1/4000sec, bulb

ISO sensitivity A, 100-25600

Exposure modes Auto, 16 scene modes, 10 special effects, P, A, S, M

Metering options Matrix, Centre-weight, Spot

Flash modes Auto, auto+RE, AutoSS, AutoSS +RE, FOn, RE, SS, SS+RE, RC+SS, RCS, FOff

Connectivity Hi-Speed USB, HDMI, 3.5mm jack, Wi-Fi

Weight 420g (without battery)

Dimensions 124 x 97 x 70mm

Batteries Rechargeable Li-ion

Storage SD, SDXC, SDHC

LCD 3.2”, 1037k-dot TFT

Viewfinder: Eye-level pentamirror SLR

Nikon D7200

 Sitting at the top of the DX range, you’ll find the Nikon D7200. This came as an upgrade to the D7100, sharing many of the same features. Its sensor stepped up marginally from 24.1MP to a 24.2MP and still comes without an anti-aliasing fitler for improved sharpness and finer details. Its body design remained the same too, but it’s a design that works well, with a lock button on the mode dial to stop settings being shifted and a useful separate dial for drive modes. The top and rear covers are made from tough magnesium alloy and its textured body is easy to grip, as well as being dust, weather and drop resistant. This tough body comes with a 3.2-inch, 1,229k-dot LCD screen, which is fixed and not touchsensitive, so it can’t help you out at awkward angles. The eye-level pentaprism optical viewfinder offers 100 per cent coverage, though.

The processor has been updated from EXPEED 3 to EXPEED 4. The frame rate it’s capable of producing remains at 6fps at full resolution or 7fps in 1.3x crop mode, however its buffer capacity has improved, meaning you can keep shooting for longer. Nikon states it’s capable of capturing up to 100 JPEGs or 27 RAW files in one burst. As well as being able to get faster frame rates using the crop mode, it will also help you to get closer to your subject, almost doubling the telephoto effect, and it allows the focus points to cover the whole of the frame.

The Nikon D7200 has now inherited the Multi-CAM 3500 II 51-point AF system that focuses down to -3EV for lower light shooting, with 15 cross-type sensors in the centre. It now also has a native ISO range of 100-25600, up from the D7100’s top end of ISO 6400, helping you to shoot even in extremely dark environments. Movie enthusiasts can really get stuck into1080p footage at 30/25p, and you can also shoot at 60p/50p when using the 1.3x crop mode. There’s a dedicated menu just for movie options, making selecting settings a breeze and there’s also a useful Zebra mode that allows you to see whether any highlight areas are blown out.

More and more cameras are coming with built-in Wi-Fi now for easy image sharing, and the D7200 is no different. However, it was also the first of Nikon’s DSLRs to benefit from NFC. This lets you pair your camera with an NFC compatible device so you can simply touch them together to transfer images

 

Technical Data

Model Nikon D7200

Price £940/$1200 (body only)

Web www.nikon.com

Megapixels (effective) 24.2

Max resolution (pixels) 6,000 x 4,000

Sensor information 23.5 x 15.6mm CMOS DXformat

Lens data Nikon F mount

Zoom Lens dependent

Focus/macro Lens dependent

Shutter speed 30 – 1/8000 sec, bulb

ISO sensitivity A, 100 to 25600

Exposure modes Auto, 16 scene modes, 7 special effect modes, P, A, S, M

Metering options Matrix, Center-weighted, Spot

Flash modes A, A+RE, AutoSS, AutoSS+RE, FF, RE, SS, SS+RE, RCSS, RCS, FOff

Connectivity Hi-speed USB, HDMI, 3.5mm jack, Wi-Fi, NFC

Weight 675g (without battery)

Dimensions 135.5 x 106.5 x 76mm

Batteries Rechargeable Li-ion

Storage SD/SDHC/SDXC

LCD 3.2”, 1229k-dot TFT, fixed

Viewfinder: Eye level pentaprism SLR

 

Nikon Df

The Nikon DF stands out from Nikon’s DSLR range with its pronounced retro stylings. This is a model designed for the photographer who wants to return to the roots of film photography, but retain the high-end advantages the digital world has to offer. Its angular body is Nikon’s smallest FX camera at just 710g, and it features metal dials that control ISO,  shutter speed, exposure compensation, exposure mode and release mode. It can be a lot to get used to if you’re not familiar with this type of system, but it offers precision, allowing you to slow the process down and take more control. Its build incorporates magnesium alloy so it feels rugged and is also dust and weather resistant.

There’s also a large and bright glass pentaprism optical viewfinder that offers approximately 100% frame coverage and a 921K-dot 3.2-inch LCD monitor reinforced with glass to reduce reflections.

Other highlights include an EXPEED 3 processing engine that allows 5.5fps continuous shooting for up to 100 shots and an ISO range of 100-12,800 (extendable up to 204,800 equivalent). The16.2MP FX-format sensor isn’t the highestresolution and there’s no movie function, which allows the camera to be more streamlined.

Technical Data

Model Nikon Df

Price £2,049/$2,750 (body only)

Web www.nikon.com

Megapixels (effective) 16.2

Max resolution (pixels) 4,928 x 3,280

Sensor information 36.0 x 23.9mm CMOS FXformat

Lens data Nikon F mount

Zoom Lens dependent

Focus/macro Lens dependent

Shutter speed 30-1/4000sec, bulb

ISO sensitivity A, 100-12,800 (expandable to 50- 204800 equivalent)

Exposure modes P, A, S, M

Metering options Matrix, Center-weighted, Spot

Flash modes PCS, SS, RCS, RE, RE+SS, slowRCS, Auto FP High- Speed Sync supported

Connectivity Hi-speed USB, HDMI

Weight 710g (without battery)

Dimensions 143.5 x 110 x 66.5mm

Batteries Rechargeable Li-ion

Storage SD, SDHC, SDHC

LCD 3.2”, 921k-dot TFT, fixed

Viewfinder: Eye-level pentaprism SLR