2013: Lexy's top moments of the year

With her rose-coloured glasses on (high-resolution, of course), Lexy looks back at her top tech moments of 2013.

Lists by their nature are peculiar beasts.

For me, it's not about playing favourites (OK it is a little bit), but trying to level the playing field among so many disparate moments, especially in the tech arena. Without trying to compare Apple to apples (and other such terrible word plays), here are my picks of the top moments, products and trends from this year.

Yes, I will have 4K recording on my smartphone, thankyouverymuch Samsung. (Credit: CNET)

4K is what 3D should have been

Remember the lists of yore foretelling that 3D was going to be The Next Big Thing? Well, that didn't exactly happen. As 3D languished in the corner like some unwanted smell, we packed up our 3D lenses and displays to make way for its spiritual successor.

2013 certainly took the next video trend by the horns and ran with it. Whether you call it 4K or the more industry-approved Ultra HD, this is a technology that I actually want in my lounge room. Yes, there's very little content available, but nothing compares to that moment when you think you need an eye test after switching from a 4K screen back to a puny HD panel.

As for all those delicious high-res cameras that made their debut during the year such as the Blackmagic Production Camera and the 6K Red Epic Dragon, all that's left to say is: I'll take two, please.

I don't really listen to David Guetta. Those aren't my hands. (Credit: Spotify)

Music discovery

Music is one of those things that people often use as a means through which to identify themselves. I fall firmly within that camp. Call me an elitist if you will — I certainly do — but I'm very picky about what I listen to. Plus, I want to be able to hear anything from my collection whenever the mood takes me. Demanding, moi?

In Australia we have a glut of streaming services to choose from. It's kind of crazy given that most of them have the same features and similar price points. Even though we're saturated to the brim, what these streaming services have helped promote is the art of discovery: whether that's by resurfacing existing classics from your own music history or uncovering new releases that you wouldn't normally want to hand over cash to download.

For me, 2013 will go down in my own personal tech history as the year I tossed in subscription download service eMusic along with my old faithful 160GB iPod, and decided to go all-out for the same price per month with a music-streaming service. All the music I can handle with the added benefit of offline caching and listening on the go. Will the affair be one to remember? Watch this space.

(Credit: CBSi)

Many megapixels make great mobiles

The megapixel war is dead. Long live the megapixel war!

No handset did it better this year than the Nokia Lumia 1020 . For the record, I am totally against megapixels just for the sake of megapixels. Take, for example, the Nikon D800. Amazing camera, but try importing those 36-megapixel RAW images into Lightroom. Trust me, there will be a lot of weeping going on (not just from your computer).

The 41-megapixel sensor on the 1020 looked ridiculous on paper — until I saw the 38-megapixel still images. Sure, the image quality is not yet ready to take on the dedicated cameras of this world, but the possibilities that all that extra resolution opens up are almost endless. Who needs to zoom using your feet when you can zoom in just by cropping?

Still not my hands but I'm happy to take credit for them if I can have this camera.
(Credit: Sony)

Sony A7 and A7R

Sony certainly made plenty of photographers happy this year. All those fantasies about full-frame cameras can now be fulfilled for less than AU$2000.

The A7 and A7R were two little bundles of joy delivered by the photo stork just as everything was starting to look a little bit jaded. With 35mm full-frame sensors in a compact body, they gave the market a jolt up the backside and reignited our love affair with older lenses. After all, what's old is new again when you can grab a cheap adapter from eBay.

Not ones to be left out, Canon and Nikon's cheaper full-frame options started to edge under the magical two-grand price point later in the year. But when it comes to pure balls-out gusto, Sony takes the cake.

(Credit: Amazon)

Send in the drones

Hexacopters and octocopters did not make their debut this year. Yet 2013 became the year where the drone really began to change the tech landscape.

We can't blame the Aussie textbook delivery startup, or the paintball battle monsters for pushing these flying creatures into the foreground. It was Amazon that made the technology suddenly seem real.

For surveillance and photographic purposes, the drone seems quite out of reach of everyday life. Couple it with our irresistible consumeristic desires and, suddenly, even the least technologically-inclined is asking when we'll see these flying creatures of the sky delivering our groceries.

Also, if you ever find a spare couple of million dollars burning a hole in your back pocket, drones are now being used to sell multi-million dollar properties. The future is now.

 

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