Saturday, December 4, 2021

Quake Receives A Fresh Update With Machine Games Providing A New Horde Mode

Quake, which was re-released for modern consoles and PC back in August, is receiving even more love from the devs at Bethesda and Wolfenstein developer Machine Games with a new mode and content added with Update 2. Out today on all platforms, Update 2 brings a host of big fixes, but most importantly, an entirely new Horde Mode. Developed by the team at Machine Games, Quakes Horde Mode pits teams of 1-4 local or online players (or bots!) against swarms of AI enemies on four brand new horde maps. Every third wave of baddies will include a boss which coughs up a silver key which can be cashed in to collect more weapons and items, bolstering your arsenal for further battles. Click here to watch embedded media Also included in Update 2 is an add-on called Honey where you'll "delve deep into the darkness to conquer a deadly plague infecting the land." It's a new Quake experience authored by senior level designer Christian Grawer from Machine Games. Quake is making its Epic Games Store debut today, as well. Pick it up there if EGS is your PC game launcher of choice. You can find the full contents of Update 2 here.  Are you going to squad up with friends and take on rounds of devious Quake hordes? Let us know in the comments!
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    The best gear to give to the photographer in your life

    If your favorite person has a love of video or photography, a camera may be the best gift they’ll ever get. Some may want to capture their adventures with an action camera, while others may desire a mirrorless camera for portraits, movies or artistic shots. The technology is better than ever as camera makers try to stay ahead of smartphones with faster shooting speeds, sharper video and incredible autofocus. We found the best models for budgets ranging from $400 to $2,500, along with top accessories to complement their existing gear.GoPro Hero 10 BlackWill Lipman Photography for EngadgetFor the adventurer on your gift list, there’s no better action camera than the GoPro Hero 10 Black. It bests the previous Hero 9 Black model in a number of key ways, thanks mainly to the faster GP2 processor. That helps it deliver improved image quality, with higher resolution at up to 5.3K/30fps instead of 5K as before. It also offers improved noise reduction, smoother stabilization, more faithful color reproduction and better handling.Buy GoPro Hero 10 Black at Amazon - $499Buy Hero 9 Black at GoPro - $350Sony Alpha A6100Will Lipman Photography for Engadget / SonySony’s A6100 is a great gift idea for budding photographers, as it offers the best features of its APS-C mirrorless camera series at the best price. Chief among those is the incredibly reliable autofocus system with eye-detection and other AI tricks. Even with fast-moving action, the A6100 will nail focus for video or photos most of the time thanks to the extremely rapid tracking system. It also offers accurate colors, good low-light performance and a flip-up display that allows for selfies and vlogging, with sharp video capture at up to 4K. It’s also one of the best mirrorless camera deals around at $748, or $848 with a 16-50mm kit lens.Buy Sony Alpha A6100 at B&H - $848DJI Ronin SC gimbalDJIA gimbal is a great gift idea for video shooters, helping them boost production value with smooth tracking, panning and other shots. If your loved one has a mirrorless camera, the best option is DJI’s Ronin-SC model. It weighs just 2.4 pounds, 41 percent lighter than DJI’s original Ronin-S — making it easier to use for longer periods. It can stabilize just about any type of video as well, thanks to the ActiveTrack 3.0 mode and AI that can lock onto and track human or other subjects.Buy DJI Ronin SC at Amazon - $439Panasonic GH5Will Lipman Photography for EngadgetIf your gift recipient is into making YouTube videos, the Panasonic GH5 has been the vlogging camera of choice since it first came out . The 20-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor delivers pin-sharp 4K video downsampled from the full sensor at up to 60fps, with a 10-bit high-color option that makes editing easier afterwards. It also includes other necessities for vlogging like a flip-out display, in-body stabilization and dual high-speed card slots. With the arrival of the $1,700 GH5 II, the original GH5 is cheaper than it’s ever been at $1,300, giving your loved one a lot of camera for the money.Buy Panasonic GH5 at Amazon - $1,300Magnus VT-4000 TripodEngadgetIf your giftee is starting to get serious about video, the Magnus VT 4000 is the best budget tripod option out there. It’s lightweight at 8 pounds, but the anodized aluminum construction is strong enough to handle a mirrorless camera and accessories weighing up to 8.8 pounds. The lack of heft makes it practical for travel, while the fluid head allows for smooth tilts and pans. Other features include a middle spreader to keep things steady and legs that extend up to 64 inches so you can match the eyeline of your subjects.Buy Magnus VT-4000 tripod at Amazon - $199Canon EOS R6Will Lipman Photography for Engadget / CanonFor a serious camera gift that’s around $2,500, Canon’s 20-megapixel EOS R6 is the best hybrid model out there. It delivers up to 20 fps burst shooting speeds while the Dual Pixel AF nails focus on nearly every shot, whether in bright sunlight or dim lighting. It’s also a solid pick for video, letting you shoot 4K supersampled video at 60 fps with 10-bit log and HDR options for maximum editing flexibility — again, with Canon’s Dual Pixel AF system that’s second to none. The caveat to that is overheating, which limits use for things like weddings and journalism.Buy Canon EOS R6 at Amazon - $2,499Joby GorillaPod 3KJobySome of the most useful gifts out there for vloggers are Joby’s famous mini-tripods, and the best one for the money is the GorillaPod 3K. Attaching your camera using the secure clip-in mounting plate is dead simple, and you can ensure that everything is even with the built-in level. The flexible legs let you set your camera anywhere to shoot or even wrap it around a tree or other object. The most common usage is as a vlogging handle, as vloggers can bend the legs forward to fit themselves into the video and steady out their shooting.Buy GorillaPod 3K at Amazon - $85SanDisk Extreme Pro SD cardWill Lipman Photography for Engadget / SanDiskYour favorite camera nerd can never have enough memory cards, but they can be a pretty pricey gift. SanDisk’s ExtremePro UHS-I SD cards are cheaper than UHS-II cards, but the 90 MB/s read/write speeds are fast enough for most types of photography and video. If your loved one needs that extra UHS-II speed, Lexar’s UHS-II SD 1667X (250MB/s) and 2000X (300MB/s) SD cards are solid picks.Buy SanDisk Extreme Pro (128GB) at Amazon - $25Buy Lexar 1667X (128GB) at Amazon - $50Buy Lexar 2000X (128GB) at Amazon - $95Rode VideoMic Go and Wireless GoRodeIf the vlogger in your life doesn’t already have one, Rode’s wireless and shotgun microphones are solid, affordable gifts. The VideoMic Go is ideal for interviews and run-and-gun shooting, thanks to the crisp directional audio and relative ease of use. It comes with a shock mount to eliminate bumps or vibrations that could interfere with sound and doesn’t require a battery, unlike past Rode models. Meanwhile, Rode’s Wireless Go is one of the most popular wireless lavalier mics out there, functioning as both a microphone and wireless transceiver. It offers a reliable connection and good audio quality, or you can maximize clarity by connecting an external 3.5mm microphone like Rode’s $40 SmartLav+, the Sennheiser Pro Audio ME2 or others.Buy Rode VideoMic Go at Amazon - $79Buy Wireless Mic Go at B&H - $199Nanlite LitoLite 5C RGBWW Mini LED PanelWill Lipman Photography for Engadget / NanliteA good light is an awesome tool in your favorite photographer or videographer’s arsenal, and a relatively affordable gift to boot. One of the best all-around models is the Nanlite LitoLite 5C RGBWW Mini LED Panel. It weighs just 4.8 ounces, but offers dimmable lighting across a range of colors, with adjustments either on the fixture or via a smartphone app. It mounts on any wall or light stand via a magnet or quarter-inch threads, has cordless operation and a battery that runs for 1.5 hours at full power (charged via USB). The most interesting feature is special effects that range from a cop car’s flashing lights, flames, candlelights, a lightning storm and more.Buy LitoLite mini LED panel at Amazon - $75Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20LWill Lipman Photography for EngadgetBackpacks are life for photographers and video shooters, so they make great gifts — if you get the right one. Peak Design’s Everyday Backpack 20L is a good choice, thanks to the stylish weatherproof design, internal dividers for laptops, cameras, lenses and more, a wrap-around zipper and a protected laptop sleeve. It offers excellent build quality and Peak Design backs that up with a lifetime warranty.Buy Peak Design Everyday Backpack at Amazon - $220Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve 17.2Blackmagic DesignAs someone who used to use Adobe’s Premiere Pro CC exclusively, I never thought I’d switch to another app. I did, though, and can’t recommend Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve 17.2 enough (either the free or $295 studio version). You get a lifetime of updates, so it’s far cheaper than Adobe’s subscription program that runs $630 per year. Resolve is slightly trickier to learn, but far more powerful than Premiere for key tasks like color grading and effects. Most importantly, I’ve found Resolve to be far, far more reliable than Premiere on a wide range of computers, which is easily the most important “feature” on an editing app.Buy DaVinci Resolve 17 at B&H - $295Engadget's 2021 holiday gift guideThe best laptops and tablets to give as giftsThe best tech toys for kidsSeven tech charities to support this holiday seasonThe home theater gear worth gifting this year (even if the giftee is you)The best smartwatches, fitness trackers and wearables to giftThe best board games to gift this holiday seasonSmall, affordable gadgets that make great stocking stuffersThe best gifts for the aspiring influencer in your lifeThe best gifts for the coffee nerd in your lifeAll the gear you need to game-stream like a proThese are the audio gadgets to gift this seasonThe best digital gifts to send your friends and familyThe books and movies we’re gifting this yearThe video games we wish someone would gift usThe best gadgets for your petsSmart home gadgets and kitchen tech that make great giftsThe best gifts for the creatives in your lifeThe best snow and winter sports gear to gift this yearAll the 'fun' gifts our grown-up staff would like to receiveThe best gear to give to the photographer in your lifeEverything in our gift guide under $100

    ICYMI: We review Samsung’s improved Galaxy Chromebook 2

    All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. This week we got our hands on Samsung’s new Galaxy Chromebook 2, and Nathan Ingraham details the ways that the new model makes significant improvements over last year's laptop. Also, Steve Dent takes another look at the Canon EOS R5 to see how firmware upgrades have fixed the cameras overheating problems. Lastly, I used an online sleep training system to see if it could help my twins sleep better, and got some pretty positive results. Nathan Ingraham / Engadget Although the new Galaxy Chromebook 2 looks much the same as its predecessor, Samsung made some internal changes that make this a better laptop for more people. The body of the Chromebook 2 is slightly bigger at 13.9mm thick and 2.7 pounds, but Nathan Ingraham said it both feels well-made and light enough to easily carry around all day. The new model eschews the previous stylus, camera on the keyboard deck, and fingerprint sensor — and Samsung changed the display resolution from 4K to 1080p. Nathan said that didn’t impact the quality of the screen, which still looked outstanding with bright and saturated colors and solid viewing angles. One of the biggest upgrades was battery life: the Chromebook 2 lasted an impressive 11 hours and 49 minutes in testing, compared to the paltry 5 hours and 11 minutes he got out of last year’s model. Still, he said he wished it would last an hour or two longer. Overall though, Nathan felt that the Chromebook 2 was much easier to recommend, and not just because of the upgrades, but also because the new model has a lower price of $699. Now if they could just do something about that giant promotional sticker on the palm rest.... Owlet Every new parent has one common question: How can I get my baby to sleep better? To answer that, Owlet — the company that makes the smart sock monitor — has Dream Lab, an online sleep training system that helps parents teach their children healthy, consistent sleeping habits. A series of assessments and questionnaires will match your child with one of three methods to use to help them learn to self-soothe. The program also offers videos that give step-by-step instructions, motivational advice and information on sleep training. I tried out the program with my infant twins, and saw some immediate improvements — even though I admittedly did not follow the system as strictly as I should have. I liked the way the system was tailored to my babies needs, and after trying the “Stay” method noticed the children sleeping more soundly, for longer periods and with fewer overnight wakings. However, I would have preferred to see the service available as part of Owlet’s existing app, as opposed to a separate, less convenient website. Steve Dent/Engadget When Canon initially released the EOS R5 and R6, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. The EOS R5 offered 8K 4K 120p video, accurate autofocus, fantastic image stabilization and sharp images. Steve Dent also liked the way the full-frame mirrorless camera handled during shoots. However, the R5 suffered from overheating issues, which disappointed many fans. In response, Canon has released firmware updates that have improved — but not entirely solved — the heat problems. Steve still experienced a few hiccups while shooting video: he was able to shoot in 8K for roughly 25-30 minutes before he needed to stop because the camera got too hot. But he pointed out that it also recovers more quickly now, so when he was able to shoot for a few minutes at a time and shut down the camera between takes, he was able to keep the camera running for several hours without issue. Despite the heat challenges, Steve said he really likes the $3,900 EOS R5 as it’s the only pure, high-megapixel hybrid camera that does both photography and video equally well.

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