Friday 26 March 2010

iPhone 3Gs in India

The iPhone 3Gs has been introduced. Finally! At the moment it looks like Airtel and Vodafone will be selling it. But in time other service providers might, too.

A cursory look through the FAQ at Airtel shows up these details.
  • The iPhone 3Gs will be available at Airtel dealers from 26th March.
  • No exchange offer with old phones or old iPhones
  • The warranty link on the Airtel iPhone 3Gs is linked to Apple's warranty page. So its Apple's warranty for the iPhone 3Gs in India.
  • Prices (before taxes are)
  • iPhone 3G 8 GB (Black) for Rs 29,500
  • iPhone 3GS 16 GB (White & Black) for Rs 35,500 
  • iPhone 3GS 32 GB (White & Black) for Rs 41,500
  • You can use any airtel SIM with the iPhone 3Gs
  • But you cannot use the iPhone 3Gs with another service provider
At these prices, the iPhone 3Gs in India will sell for US$ 790 for the 16 Gb and US$ 1010 for the 32 Gb. I wonder how it will compare with the iPad when it becomes available from Apr 3, 2010. 

For the moment though, it appears that in India the iPad may sell for less than the iPhone. And if you've got yours earlier from the gray market, or from HongKong, it looks like  you probably got a better deal.

After I wrote this piece, my good friend Prabhat Garg at Autsun wrote and informed me that the iPhone 3Gs is also available at autsun.com.

Links here

From Autsun in India...
iPhone 3Gs 16 Gb
iPhone 3Gs 32 Gb
Shipping is free anywhere in India.

What this means is that wherever you buy your iPhone 3Gs in India, it will work if you pop in your Airtel or Vodafone SIM. The one from autsun.com will work with any Airtel SIM.

SIMs from other service providers may not work by just inserting them. You may need to do some work to make them work.

Sunday 7 March 2010

The Canon 5D MkII does 24fps

Canon announced a few days ago that firmware to enable the Canon 5D MkII to shoot HD at 24 fps and 25 fps will soon be available. For those who don't yet know, the Canon 5D MkII introduced a year ago, heralded a new means of shooting high quality HD movies.

What was revolutionary was that a trusted source of shooting high quality digital still images now began shooting movies. Many film-makers embraced this new medium and nearly half a lakh cameras (50,000) were sold in a few months.

Then came the Canon 7D which could shoot '24fps', 25fps, and '30fps' movies. But this camera had a smaller sensor so less depth of field than the 5D Mk II. Then came the Canon 1D MkIV which could shoot is extremely low light also at '24fps', 25fps, and '30fps'. But this camera too had a small sensor.

Now, finally with this new firmware, the 5D MkII with its 'full frame' sensor will do '24fps' and film-makers will achieve that depth of field, and colour fidelity that only the 5D can provide.

Two small asides.

'24fps' in all these cameras is actually not 24fps but 23.98 or 23.976 fps. In the NTSC world its no matter because they use 23.98 fps more often than 24fps. Because 23.98 fps converts to their TV's 29.97 fps more cleanly than does 24fps.

But in the PAL world we use 'real' 24fps only for film. Our TV is 25 fps. This small 23.98fps vs. 24fps difference is no real problem. You can shoot 23.98fps and use CinemaTools to make it 24 fps.

The other thing is about depth of field. Even though the Canon 7D and the Canon 1D MkIV have a smaller sensor than the so-called 'full frame' sensor of the Canon 5D MkII, this small sensor is still as large as a 35mm movie frame. So the 7d and the 1D MkIV will give you depth of field equivalent to that of a 35mm movie camera.

The Canon 5D MkII has a sensor that's the same size as a 35mm still film frame not 35 mm movie film frame (like in a Arri 535/435). So, it actually delivers depth of field far shallower than any movie camera can provide or movie cinematographer is used to seeing. Few know or realise that a 35mm still film frame is twice the size of the 35mm movie film frame.
36x24mm for 35mm film still frame vs 24x18mm for a 35mm movie film frame (Super35 or Academy).

So, just to get more technical...
36x24mm has a diagonal of 43mm
while
24x18mm has a diagonal of 30mm

And since, diagonal dictates 'normal' focal length, and focal length decides depth of field, a 35mm still frame has a shallower depth of field than 35mm movie frame.

The point is, those who lamented about the depth of field of the 7D vs the 5DMkII while pining for 24fps in the 5D, can now have the best of both with the 5DMkII with '24fps' firmware. Coming soon to a Canon near you. What will be interesting is how this affects the sale of the 7D and 1D MkIV vs the 5DMkII.