Is the Honor Magic4 Pro a cinematographer’s dream?

After it spun out from Huawei, Honor wanted to make a splash with its first flagship, the Magic3 Pro. One of the biggest features the company boasted about was the camera, saying it was good enough to shoot a proper movie with. Armed with one, we’d all be turned into miniature Tom Cruises, shooting TikToks as if they were destined for the multiplex. Unfortunately, the phone never left its native China, but Honor is using the same pitch for its successor, the Magic4 Pro, which has arrived in Europe.Certainly, Honor distinguished itself with the spec list, which reads like the company threw the kitchen sink, then the kitchen, then the dining room at the handset. The Pro model has a 50-megapixel primary camera paired with a second 50-megapixel ultra-wide camera with a 122 degree field of view. On top of that, there’s a 64-megapixel telephoto with 100x digital zoom and an 8×8 Direct Time of Flight sensor, giving it whip-fast focusing.The “IMAX-enhanced” phone’s cinematic credentials go further: Honor enlisted the help of a professional colorist to devise specific hue palettes for video. Bryan McMahan created a series of Look Up Tables (LUTs) for the phone which act like an Instagram filter for your video. These range from a Sunny mode that makes your footage look like it was shot at the height of summer, and a Gloomy mode which makes everything look like it’s been through a bleach-pass. One of my favorites was Focus, which dials down all the colors except for skin tone, at least for my caucasian limbs, making everything look like an ‘80s music video.But the phone’s real point of interest is its claimed ability to shoot in Log, which is the standard that most Hollywood movies are shot in. Now, technically, it’s a custom format – MagicLog – which Honor designed to work with mobile devices, but the point remains the same. Log is short for Logarithmic, and it’s a way of filming something that preserves as much of the dynamic range and tone as possible. It’ll preserve scenes in high contrast, as well as shadows, highlights and whites that a conventional digital camera might try to smooth out or just straight-up fail to capture properly.Unfortunately, it has not been plain sailing by any stretch of the imagination – some of the takes I shot for my piece to camera were plagued by strobing. Which was odd, since my LED bulbs shouldn’t be strobing, and the camera only seems to pick up on it every now and again. The sound, too, leaves a lot to be desired and I had to record all of my audio on an external microphone. (Yes, this is common for most professional cameras, but the point here is that people are going to be using this as the camera for their vacation videos, right?)Being able to shoot Log means you could also hand over your footage to a colorist and get perfect footage. In theory. The first test shots I took were very flat, and it was hard to pull out a lot of the detail and dynamic range that should be there. Now, I’m not a professional colorist but my colleague, Engadget’s Steve Dent is, so I sent him the phone, and all of my footage, for him to run his trained eye all over.He said that there was a significant amount of clipping, which means that there’s a lot of detail in the footage that can’t be accessed. This is likely a consequence of compression since MagicLog is designed to be mobile-friendly, after all. But it means that my clips couldn’t, after treatment, get the good pops of color that we were hoping to tease out. Not to mention that Honor doesn’t appear to offer a standalone LUT for editing software, which meant that Steve couldn’t simply run it through the standard model (which is table stakes for other pro cameras).Shooting with the Magic4 Pro is also, in Steve’s words, difficult for a couple of other fairly big reasons. First, because it clips highlights, you have to expose for them and not the shadows, which means that there’s some guesswork involved. Then there’s no easy way to tell if you’re shooting safe footage as there’s no built-in Display LUT to give you an idea of what’s coming. There’s also no video level display, so shooting in MagicLog involves a lot of hitting and hoping.Now, that’s not to say that the Magic4 Pro is terrible, awful and a general waste of your money – because it isn’t. Shooting in the standard mode is easy enough and the results were good enough for me to use as a pro-quality video for Engadget. But fundamentally it feels like until Honor really finishes building out the Log offering, with a display LUT, video level display and making it easier for non-pros to color-correct afterward, this isn’t something novices should be playing with and expecting good results.

UK’s antitrust watchdog investigating Microsoft and Activision megadeal

Microsoft will have to satisfy more than just the Federal Trade Commission to complete its $68.7 billion deal to buy Activision Blizzard. On Wednesday, the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority announced it would investigate the proposed merger. The watchdog says it seeks to determine whether the agreement would create a “substantial lessening of competition” within the UK. The CMA could announce a decision on whether it will move forward with a probe as early as September 1st. With today’s announcement, the public has until July 20th to submit comment.Microsoft was most likely ready for the deal to be intensely scrutinized, and in recent months it has made moves seemingly designed to placate regulators. In June, for instance, the company announced a labor neutrality agreement with the Communications Workers of America, the organization that seeks to represent the quality assurance workers who recently voted to unionize at Activision’s Raven Software studio. Just how effective such gestures will be is hard to say. At the start of the year, NVIDIA abandoned its proposed $40 billion deal to buy chip designer ARM after the FTC sued to block the purchase. At the time, the agency called the outcome “signifcant” because it represented “the first abandonment of a litigated vertical merger in many years.”

NASA reestablishes communications with its wayward CAPSTONE satellite

It's been a wild 48 hours for NASA's Capstone mission. Following the lunar satellite's successful launch on Monday, ground control lost contact with the spacecraft shortly after it escaped Earth's gravity well and separated from its Electron rocket carrier. But after nearly a full day in the dark, NASA announced on Wednesday that its engineers have managed to reopen a line to the 55-pound satellite.Dubbed, the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE), this spacecraft will continue to orbit the planet for nearly another week, building up enough momentum to sling it on a trans lunar injection (TLI) route over to the moon. Once the Capstone reaches the moon, it will match the planned Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit of the Lunar Gateway to verify its path.Developing…

Marriott suffers at least its seventh data breach since 2010

Marriott confirmed it was the target of yet another data breach after attackers recently breached the company's systems. The company said hackers used social engineering techniques to gain access to an employee's computer. After obtaining around 20GB of data, the person or group behind the attack tried to extort Marriott, but the company refused to pay up. The hackers had access to Marriott's network for less than a day. The company told CyberScoop it was already investigating the breach before it received the extortion attempt. The incident is said to have taken place around a month ago, but it only just came to light. Marriott has informed law enforcement and it will notify between 300 and 400 unspecified individuals and regulators as required.According to DataBreaches, which first reported on the attack, the hackers gained access to a server at BWI Airport Marriott in Maryland. They provided the publication with screenshots that appear to show reservation documents for flight crews, along with ]corporate credit card numbers for an airline or travel agency.Marriott said most of the information was “non-sensitive internal business files regarding the operation of the property.” It's unclear what kinds of other customer and employee data was included. Engadget has contacted Marriott for comment.This is at least the seventh data security incident involving Marriott since 2010. One of the more notable cases emerged in November 2018. The company said hackers gained access to the reservation database of its Starwood subsidiary and obtained personal details of as many as 383 million guests (though some of those were believed to be duplicate records). The data included 5.3 million unencrypted passport numbers. The UK's Information Commissioner's Office fined Marriott £18.4 million (around $21.9 million at today's rates) over the incident.

Ubisoft is killing online support for 15 games on September 1st

If you have fond memories of older Ubisoft games with online components from the early 2010s, you might want to check in on them soon. That's because on September 1st 2022, Ubisoft is dropping support for online services in 15 different games including Assassin's Creed Brotherhood.In a post on Ubisoft's website, the company says it's decommissioning online services in some of its older games in order to “focus our resources on delivering great experiences for players who are playing newer or more popular titles.” Depending on the title, gamers will no longer be able to access multiplayer modes or even download and install additional content (DLC). Affected games are spread across various platforms including the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, HTC Vive, Oculus and Wii U, with notable titles including Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, the 2012 release of Assassin's Creed 3, Anno 2070 and more. And in some cases like Space Junkies, which is a multiplayer-only title, the game will be completely unplayable. Meanwhile, for others such as Ghost Recon Future Soldier, you'll need to put your console in offline mode just to play the solo campaign. While most of these games enjoyed 10 to 12 years of support since their release, it's still a bit sad to see Ubisoft drop support for online services for some of its most iconic franchises — especially in titles where DLC will no longer be accessible. For a full list of games that are being decommissioned on September 1st, please visit the company's help page here for more information. 

Toyota runs out of federal EV tax credits, pushing prices higher

Toyota is the latest automaker to run out of US federal tax credits and it will join Tesla and GM in losing access to the $7,500 subsidy. The company surpassed the qualifying sales threshold for EVs and hybrids in June, as Bloomberg reports.The government limited each carmaker to 200,000 EV tax credits, though Toyota and other companies have been lobbying for that cap to be lifted. Toyota says losing the credit will mean its EVs are more expensive for consumers, which will slow the transition away from combustion-engine cars to EVs.However, Toyota and Tesla have pushed back on a Biden administration plan to grant extra credits to unionized carmakers. GM, Ford and Stellantis (the parent of Fiat and Chrysler) have unionized plants. The Build Back Better Act, which passed through the House but stalled in the Senate, also included extra credits for cars made entirely in the US.As things stand, Toyota's tax credits will be phased out gradually over a one-year period. Bloomberg notes that the value of the subsidy will be halved twice before it expires. However, Toyota will still be able to take advantage of incentives at the state level.

Everything you need to know about Amazon Prime Day 2022

With Amazon Prime Day less than a week away, it’s a good time to start thinking about the things you’ll want to look for once the deal wave hits. Everything from gadgets to clothes to household necessities will be on sale during the 48-hour event, and if you’re a Prime member, you’ll have access to all of the deals on Amazon’s site. Engadget will be surfacing all of the best tech deals we can find – both on Amazon and elsewhere – but there are some important things to know ahead of time so you can get exactly what you want out of this year’s Prime Day.When is Amazon Prime Day?Amazon Prime Day 2022 will begin at 12AM PT on Tuesday, July 12, and it will end 11:59PM PT on Wednesday, July 13. The two-day shopping event will surface exclusive deals for Prime members, which means you’ll have to be a Prime subscriber on Prime Day to take advantage of any of the savings. Amazon still offers a 30-day free trial to new Prime subscribers, so you can start your free trial now and participate in the event.If you don’t pay for Prime and have no intention of doing so, you should still check out Amazon on Prime Day for sales that are available to all shoppers. Plus, other retailers like Walmart, Best Buy and Target will have their own competing Prime Day sales during that time frame, too.Amazon Prime Day dealsAmazon Prime Day may officially be only two days, but for the past few years, the company has started pushing out deals well before the official event kicks off. That’s true this year, too. You can find a number of items on sale right now as part of early Prime Day sales. Unsurprisingly, some of the best early deals are on Amazon devices like Eero routers, Fire TVs and more.Speaking of, Prime Day is the best time of year to pick up Amazon gadgets. You can safely bet on things like Echo speakers, Kindle e-readers and Fire TV devices to be at record-low prices for Prime Day, so if you’ve had your eye on one of those items, now’s the time to get it. Prime Day is only matched by Black Friday in its discounts, so while that means you will likely have another chance to get that smart speaker for dirt cheap, it probably won’t be until the holiday shopping season.Make no mistake, Amazon gadgets will not be the only items discounted on Prime Day. You’ll find clothes, shoes, household items, appliances, accessories and more on sale, but here at Engadget, we’ll naturally be focusing on electronics. We expect this year’s Prime Day to be like last year’s, in that it will bring big discounts on headphones, earbuds, gaming accessories, SSDs and microSD cards, robot vacuums and more.jetcityimage via Getty ImagesIt’s also worth mentioning the types of deals you can expect to see on Prime Day. Some deals will be live for the entire 48 hours, while others will be day one- or day two-only sales. Those are the hardest to predict, since Amazon usually does not give any indication how long a given sale will last. Our recommendation is to buy the things you’re most keen on as soon as you see them drop in price – that will ensure you get it while the discount is available, and while the item is still in stock.You can also expect to see some flash sales happen during Prime Day. Thankfully, these are typically clearly labeled with the amount of time remaining to grab the deal noted on the product page. In our experience, only a handful of these flash sales are actually worth your money, but if you see something that’s been on your wishlist drop in price for the next few hours, it’s in your best interest to grab it immediately.How to prep for Prime DayWe’ve alluded to this already, but it’s best to go into Amazon Prime Day as prepared as possible. That essentially means knowing exactly what you want to look for so you stay focused and avoid distractions. The whole of will be overwhelming on Prime Day, so the less time you spend aimlessly browsing, the more your wallet will thank you later.Two simple things you can do ahead of Prime Day are make a list and bookmark a price tracker. For the former, take note of the most important items you want to pick up on Prime Day. You can either do this the old-fashioned way on a sticky note, or you can use Amazon’s wish list feature. For the latter, add the items you want to buy on Prime Day to your wish list (or, even better, make a dedicated wishlist with only your Prime Day desirables) and return to that list during the shopping event. Not only will you have everything you want all in one place, but you’ll also be able to see which of those items are cheaper on Prime Day than they were when you originally added them to your list.As for the price tracker, sites like CamelCamelCamel let you monitor the price of specific items on Amazon. You can check out price history charts on the site and you can make your own price drop alerts, receiving emails when something you want gets a discount. CamelCamelCamel also has some browser extensions you can download so you don’t have to navigate away from a product page to check its price history.We know that not everyone – not even every Prime member – will be flocking to Amazon during Prime Day. Whether you find such blatant displays of consumerism off putting or you simply don’t want to give Amazon more of your money, there are plenty of reasons why you might be skipping Prime Day all together. But that doesn’t mean you have to skip all of the sales that will be happening on July 12th and 13th. Retailers like Walmart, Target, Best Buy and others will all have competing Prime Day sales and many of them will match sales you’ll find on Amazon. We recommend checking them out if you want to pick up a couple of things for less without spending money on Amazon.Engadget will be covering both days of Prime Day, so if you have a lot of tech on your to-buy list, be sure to check back here on Prime Day for the best tech sales we could find. We’ll be sure to include gadgets from across the board – from headphones to robot vacuums to gaming gear – plus the best “anti-Prime Day” deals you can find from other retailers. You can also follow the @EngadgetDeals Twitter account and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter to stay up to date on the latest discounts. The volume of deals will be daunting, but we sift through them all and pick out the best ones to make Prime Day a bit easier for you.

'God of War Ragnarok' hits PS5, PS4 on November 9th

Sony has confirmed that God of War Ragnarok, the sequel to 2018's dramatic spin on the franchise, will launch on the PlayStation 5 and PS4 on November 9th. That confirms earlier rumors around a November launch date, and it should be welcome news to gamers worried about a delay into 2023. Many major upcoming titles originally slated for this year, like Bethesda's Starfield, have been pushed to next year (Just take your pick for reasons: the ongoing pandemic, rocky working conditions for developers, or the sheer difficulty of pushing out a massive AAA game).God of War Ragnarok's latest trailer doesn't feature any actual gameplay, but it delivers the usual does of super-powered butt-kicking from Kratos and his son Atreus. It's your typical father and son outing: Facing a variety of demons, a near-death fall off a cliff and a giant wolf of some kind. If anything, Atreus looks like more than just a boy, this time around.

Fitbit's Charge 5 fitness tracker is on sale for $110 right now

A new sale at Wellbots knocks the Fitbit Charge 5 down to the best price we've seen it. The GPS-toting fitness band is on sale for $110, or $40 off its usual price, when you use the code ENGDTRUN40 at checkout. If you want something more advanced, Fitbit's Sense smartwatch is $120 off and down to $180 when you use the code ENGDTRUN120 at checkout.Buy Charge 5 at Wellbots – $110Buy Sense at Wellbots – $180The Charge 5 is Fitbit's most capable fitness tracker and it earned a score of 82 from us. It's pretty similar to the Charge 4 that came before it, but it now has a full color touchscreen with an always-on mode that will make it easier to glance down at the time and activity information on your watch screen. It's also 10 percent thinner than its predecessor, making it even more low-profile than before and, more importantly, more subtle than many smartwatches.The Charge 5 is a good option for those that prefer the band style but don't want to compromise when it comes to fitness chops. It has a built-in GPS for mapping outdoor workouts, plus an all-day heart rate monitor as well. It tracks activity and sleep while you're wearing it, and it comes with Fitbit Pay as a standard feature, which means you can go out for a coffee after your run and pay using NFC tech.Bands like the Charge 5 also tend to have better battery lives than their smartwatch counterparts. In fact, the Charge 5 lasted about 2.5 days in our testing with the screen in always-on mode. That's already more than you'll get out of most smartwatches, but if you turn off the always-on feature, you'll get a total of five days of life out of the wearable.But if you're willing to spend a bit more, Fitbit's Sense smartwatch has a few extra features you won't find on the Charge 5. You'll get stress tracking with EDA sensors, plus blood oxygen and skin temperature monitoring. It's the most advanced smartwatch that the company makes, and since it typically costs $300, it's worth considering while you can get it for more than $100 off.Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

Meta's latest AI can translate 200 languages in real time

More than 7,000 languages are currently spoken on this planet and Meta seemingly wants to understand them all. Six months ago, the company launched its ambitious No Language Left Behind (NLLB) project, training AI to translate seamlessly between numerous languages without having to go through English first. On Wednesday, the company announced its first big success, dubbed NLLB-200. It’s an AI model that can speak in 200 tongues, including a number of less-widely spoken languages from across Asia and Africa, like Lao and Kamba.According to a Wednesday blog post from the company, NLLB-200 can translate 55 African languages with “high-quality results.” Meta boasts that the model’s performance on the FLORES-101 benchmark surpassed existing state-of-the-art models by 44 percent on average, and by as much as 70 percent for select African and Indian dialects.Translating between any two given languages — especially if neither of them is English — has proven a significant challenge to AI language models because, in part, many of these translation systems rely on written data scraped from the internet to train on. Super easy to do if you speak what this sentence is in, much more difficult if you’re looking for quality content in Fan or Kikuyu.Meta AILike most of its other publicly promoted AI programs, Meta has decided to open-source NLLB-200 as well as provide $200,000 in grants to nonprofits to develop real-world applications for the technology. Applications like Facebook News Feed or Instagram, for example. “Imagine visiting a favorite Facebook group, coming across a post in Igbo or Luganda, and being able to understand it in your own language with just a click of a button,” the Meta post hypothesized. You can get a sense of how the new model works on Meta’s demo site.