Q: I’m researching cameras as a Christmas
gift. What can you tell me about DSLRs?
A: There are those who are happy taking photos on
a compact point-and-shoot digital camera—or, dare
we say it, a mobile phone—and then there are those
who want more.
Once strictly reserved for pro photographers,
digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLRs) have now
caught on with consumers who demand better quality (thanks, in part, to the larger sensor), faster start-up times (and shutter speeds) and more versatility
(including support for interchangeable lenses).
But you already knew all this, you say? If it’s
been a while since you’ve picked up one of these
cameras, you might not be aware of many new features not found in DSLRs even just a few years ago.
• Smaller and lighter bodies make these cameras easier to carry and use.
• Higher ISO, which indicates the sensitivity of
the image sensor, means better shots in low light.
• High-definition video recording lets you shoot
movies and snap photos (even at the same time).
• Better image stabilization compensates for
• Handy tutorials for novices can be viewed on
the camera’s LCD touch screen.
• In-camera creative filters help turn your photos into works of art.
Personally speaking, it’s the photo quality that
keeps me coming back to my DSLR. I often remind
myself that all the memories I’m digitally capturing
aren’t just for my wife and me to enjoy now: They’ll
be viewed by my three young kids—and their kids,
and their kids’ kids—long after we’re gone. With this
in mind, I want them to be as good as they can be to
withstand the test of time.
Q: I just bought an Android phone, but I’m
afraid there aren’t as many useful apps
available on this platform. Your thoughts?
A: If you have an Android phone or tablet, there’s no
shortage of awesome apps to download at the
Google Play store. In fact, there are now more than
one million Android apps, believe it or not—the
most of any app store.
Need a few free suggestions? Music lovers
should download Songza, which lets you stream
The Costco Connection
You’ll find a wide variety of electronics, including
cameras, smartphones and their accessories, in
your local Costco warehouse and at Costco.ca.
Question for Marc?
Send your technology and
computer questions to:
or mail to:
Q&A with Marc Saltzman
The Costco Connection
415 West Hunt Club Road
Ottawa, ON K2E 1C5
or fax to: 425-427-3019
“Marc Saltzman Q&A”
in the subject line. Marc
will answer selected
questions in his column.
He regrets that unpublished
be answered individually.
Marc Saltzman, a leading high-tech reporter,
contributes to dozens of leading publications,
appears on radio and TV, and is the author of 15
books, including his latest, Siri for Dummies
(Wiley). He’s on Twitter @marc_saltzman.
We’re planning to buy a
new TV during the holidays. How do I determine the right size?
THE OPTIMAL size of the
television depends on the
distance of the viewer
from the screen, which in
turn is tied to how big
your room is.
With older standard-definition televisions, the
was to sit back about
three times the diagonal
length of the screen.
Under this formula, a
viewer would be about 2
metres ( 6 feet) away from
a 27-inch TV for comfortable viewing. This was
because of visible scan
lines on older TVs.
With today’s modern
shows and movies, however, you can sit closer as
you won’t notice any
experts suggest sitting
back 1. 5 to 2. 5 times the
diagonal size of the HDTV
screen. Therefore, for a
50-inch television you’ll
want to sit 2 to 3 metres
( 6 to 10 feet) away.
hand-picked playlists to suit your mood, as well as
TuneIn Radio, which gives you access to more than
70,000 radio stations from around the world.
For work, Kingsoft Office is a Microsoft Office
alternative that supports Word, Excel, PowerPoint
and PDF files. I also use Evernote for creating, organizing and synchronizing notes and to-do lists
among my computer, phone and tablet.
You can use a secure cloud service to store
and access all your photos, videos, music, documents and so on. Popular picks include Google
Drive, Dropbox, SkyDrive, SugarSync and Box.
Finally, don’t forget about games (be sure to
try Candy Crush Saga), Skype for video calling
and social networks such as Facebook, Twitter,
Instagram and You Tube. C
Photos for the
test of time
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