Thursday, May 7, 2009

Panasonic announces pricing, availability for Lumix GH1

In a press release this morning, Panasonic has spelled out purchasing details for its long-awaited addition to its Micro Four Thirds line.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1

Announced at PMA 2009, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 will be rolling out to retailers in early June. As expected based on previously announced European pricing, the new HD-capable model will command a hefty $1499.95 kit price when it hits stores next month.

The GH1: A refresher course
Based on Panasonic's original Micro Four Thirds concept, the Lumix DMC-G1, the GH1 adds the ability to capture 24 fps full HD (1920x1080) video, or 60 fps 720p (1280x720) movies as part of the camera's live view functionality. Built around the same full-time live view platform that powered the G1, the GH1 uses DSLR-style interchangeable lenses, but eliminates the traditional DSLR's mirror and optical viewfinder – reducing the camera's size and optimizing it for full-time live view.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1

A 12.1 megapixel sensor provides capture for both stills and video, and like the original G1, the GH1 features an articulating 3.0 inch LCD with a very fast 60 fps refresh rate.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1

To support the needs of video (i.e. near-silent focusing, quick AF response), Panasonic also announced a video-specific 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 Lumix lens with the GH1. Providing coverage equivalent to 28-280mm in 35mm terms, the new Lumix G Vario HD lens will be available in June as well as part of the GH1 retail launch.

For more info on the GH1, have a look at our original launch announcement as well as our hands-on preview of the new camera and lens combo.

Retail details
The GH1, packaged in kit form with the new 14-140mm video-ready lens, will be up for pre-order before the official retail launch on Panasonic's website. Per Panasonic, the new camera will only be available in black.

Nikon D5000 Review

On the surface, the arrival of the D5000 was only a matter of time. According to figures released from Nikon, sales of the entry-level D40, D40X, and D60 cameras account for roughly 80 percent of all Nikon DSLR sales. It's no wonder that Nikon was so eager to take the new high resolution sensor and video mode from their mid-grade D90 and put it into a lower-priced entry-level DSLR ... the new Nikon D5000.

Nikon D5000

We'll explore the D5000's video performance at length, but rest assured, if you liked the video quality from the D90 then you'll feel the same way about the D5000.

The D5000 features the same 12.9 megapixel (12.3 million effective pixels) APS-C (or DX format, in Nikon's nomenclature) sensor and Nikon's latest generation EXPEED processor found in the D90. It also inherits the 11 point AF system with color and distance tracking as well as optional viewfinder gridlines from the D90. The viewfinder magnification is slightly smaller than the one in the D40X/D60, but the extra AF points and viewfinder gridlines make for a superior user experience.

The most noteworthy feature on the D5000 is the all new tilt and swivel LCD display used for a standard status display as well as live view and image/video playback. The only other new features of note are the new higher-capacity EN-EL9a battery and the optional MC-DC2 remote cord. Overall, the total package is pretty impressive for an advanced consumer camera like the D5000.

The D5000 shares the same 200 to 3200 nominal ISO range (with ISO 100 and 6400 options available), and the ability to use "Active D-Lighting" (Nikon's proprietary feature that boosts shadow details and helps prevent overexposed highlights so you don't have to spend as much time editing your photos after you take them).

There's built-in image sensor cleaning, a continuous shooting rate of "up to" 4fps, and live-view with contrast-detection auto focus. In addition to the typical DSLR manual exposure modes, there are five advanced scene modes that can help ease the transition worries of folks coming into the camera from more fully automatic compact digitals. The D5000 also has automatic and selectable D-Lighting to provide a wider dynamic range, 3D Color Matrix Metering II with scene recognition exposure system, a built-in flash, and a shutter tested to more than 100,000 cycles.

The D5000 uses SD/SDHC memory media and Nikon includes a rechargeable li-ion battery, quick charger, eyepiece cap, rubber eyecup, USB and A/V cables, camera strap, monitor cover, body cap, accessory shoe cover, and CD-ROM of software with each camera.

There are seven primary shooting modes:

  • Auto: An automatic "point-and-shoot" mode with virtually all camera settings determined by the camera according to conditions; flash will fire automatically if the subject is poorly lit. The Picture Control (PC) menu, which provides a wide range of sharpening, contrast, brightness, saturation and hue adjustments, is disabled in this mode.
  • Program: Camera sets shutter speed and aperture for optimal exposure
  • Aperture Priority: User selects aperture, camera determines shutter speed
  • Shutter Priority: User selects shutter speed, camera determines aperture
  • Manual: User selects shutter speed and aperture
  • Scene: The D90 offers portrait, landscape, close-up, sports, and night portrait scene presets in which the camera optimizes settings according to the mode chosen
  • D-Movie: HD video capture is available at up to 720p (1280 x 720 pixels) and 24 fps in Motion JPEG format; we'll go into more detail about the D5000's video in the "Image Quality" section of the review

With regard to the close-up mode in the list of scene presets, this option adjusts camera settings and sets the AF point to the center of the image, but does not otherwise invest this camera with any particular close-up capability: it takes a lens to do that. Fortunately, many Nikon zoom lenses have reasonably impressive close focus capabilities, and the 18-55mm VR and 24-120mm VR lenses used during this review did a pretty impressive job ... allowing me to get close enough for some simple flower shots.

Nikon D5000

Nikon D5000

The design of the D5000 looks strikingly similar to the D40X/D60, but the D5000 is noticeably larger than the D40x (seen below) since the new camera has to make room for the tilt and swivel LCD. It's not as large as the D90, but if you enjoy the size and weight of the D40X/D60 then you may find the D5000 just a little too big.

Nikon D5000

Nikon D5000

Styling and Build Quality
While not as physically small as the entry level D40/40X/60 models, the D5000 features similar plastic construction and is obviously less rugged than the D90 or D300.

Nikon D5000

Although I did complain about the increased size of the D5000, it's worth mentioning that the larger size of the camera makes the camera grip more comfortable to hold for people with larger hands.

Nikon D5000

Ergonomics and Interface
Despite being more compact than the D90, the D5000 is packed with plenty of controls on the top and back of the body, even adding a few extra buttons compared to the D40X/D60.

Nikon D5000

The button layout is extremely similar to what was used on the D40X/D60, so anyone familiar with those cameras should have a relatively easy time learning the control interface on the D5000. Live view (using the monitor to compose/capture still images or movies) can be accessed quickly via the live view button.

Nikon D5000

The deep handgrip provides a firm hold while at the same time maintaining acceptable clearance from the lens barrel, the thumb rest at the rear of the body is a little small for cradling the thumb, but it gives you a place to keep your thumb near the controls. The index finger falls naturally onto the shutter button.

Nikon D5000

The D5000 features a 2.7 inch, 230,000 dot monitor with the first tilt and swivel mount used on a Nikon SLR. The monitor offers 100 percent frame coverage and is adjustable via internal menu for seven levels of brightness.

Nikon D5000

The screen is a pleasure to use for image review in good lighting conditions, and the adjustable brightness settings help when using the monitor for composition outdoors in direct sunlight. Live view can be used for still image capture and must be used for movie capture, but if the monitor had a higher resolution it would be easier to confirm focus using the monitor.

The viewfinder is something of a disappointment on the D5000. The viewfinder offers the same 95 percent frame coverage used on the D40X and D60, but the magnification is now only 0.78x compared to 0.8x on the D40x and D60. The diopter adjustment for individual eyesight helps you see through the lens in correct focus if you're wearing glasses and shoot without them.

The D5000 is intended to replace the D60 on the consumer end of Nikon's SLR offerings. That said, the D5000 features several performance improvements over the D60 that make the D5000 closer to the mid-level D90. Is the D5000 really good enough to challenge a "prosumer" camera like the D90? In the right hands ... yes. The D5000 has most of the features seen in the D90, and if you're willing to use only AF-S lenses and can handle 4 fps burst shooting instead of 4.5 fps then the D5000 is essentially just a cheaper D90.

In fact, although the D5000 is limited to only 4 fps in continuous/burst mode, it can capture up to 63 JPEG images or 11 RAW files while the D90 is limited to just 25 JPEGs or 7 RAW files.

Timings and Shutter Lag
Like most current-generation Nikon SLRs, the D5000 is ready to go as soon as you hit the power button. Likewise, shutter lag and auto focus lag aren't an issue. Here are a few figures showing the timings in our lab:

Shutter Lag (press-to-capture, pre-focused)

Camera Time (seconds)
Nikon D5000
Canon Rebel XS
Pentax K2000
Sony Alpha DSLR-A200
Olympus E-420 0.05

AF Acquisition (press-to-capture, no pre-focus)

Camera Time (seconds)
Sony Alpha DSLR-A200
Nikon D5000
Canon Rebel XS
Pentax K2000 0.32
Olympus E-420

Continuous Shooting

Camera Frames* Framerate*
Nikon D5000
30 3.9 fps
Olympus E-420
10 3.4 fps
Pentax K2000
5 3.4 fps
Canon Rebel XS
3.0 fps
Sony Alpha DSLR-A200
9 2.9 fps

* Note: Continuous shooting framerates are based on the camera's fastest full-resolution JPEG continuous shooting mode, using the fastest media type available (300x CF, SDHC, etc.). "Frames" notes the number of captures recorded per burst before the camera stops/slows to clear the buffer.

We were favorably impressed in our lab testing with the D5000's continuous shooting capabilities. While it hovered just under the advertised 4 fps mark regardless of burst length, we were consistently able to exceed the stated buffer limit of 25 fine JPEG frames – getting a full 30 at all times with a fast card. It should be noted, though, that you'll have to disable the built-in Distortion Control function to get more than five frames per burst.

Overall, the performance of the D5000 seems strikingly similar to the D90 and is a reasonable step up for D60 users.

Auto Focus
The D5000 uses the same version of the Nikon Multi-CAM 1000 AF Module found in the D90. Its 11 focus points include the "rule of thirds" locations in the frame for folks who practice that form of composition. Single-point AF is suggested for static subjects, dynamic-area AF for moving subjects, auto-area AF for spontaneous shooting, and 3D-tracking (11 points) AF when changing the composition after focusing on a subject. This is a huge step up from the 3-area TTL Nikon Multi-CAM530 AF module in the D60.

I found auto focus performance extremely good in bright lighting conditions, and most of the time the D5000 even managed to acquire focus rapidly under dim light. The timing numbers seen in the previous section suggest just how rapid the system is – right at the front of the pack for a non-pro camera.

The dynamic-area AF in the D5000 performs pretty well on moving subjects. Again, this is essentially identical to the D90, so holding focus on moving subjects like athletes or wild animals should be extremely easy for even novice photographers.

Lens Mount
The D5000 uses the same modified Nikon F bayonet lens mount used on the D40/D40X/D60 cameras, which means about 40 million Nikon lenses dating back to 1959 will mate to the camera. Unfortunately, like those other entry-level Nikon cameras, there is no AF motor built into the body, meaning only lenses with autofocus motors (such as Nikon AF-S lenses) will AF on the D5000.

The D5000 has a built-in flash that is virtually identical to the one used in the D60 and D90 with a range of about 17 feet at ISO 200. Additionally, the camera is equipped with a hot shoe to accept more powerful flash units should the user so desire. Color rendition was good, and flash recycle times were speedy – the flash was ready to go almost instantly in normal conditions and within 4 seconds after a full discharge. With flash enabled the D5000 won't let you take another photograph until the flash is fully charged.

Nikon D5000

When shooting in auto mode and some scene modes the flash will enable automatically should addition lighting be needed; manual deployment of the flash is required in all other shooting modes. Nikon cautions that lens hoods should be removed when using the built in flash.

Image Stabilization
It's a Nikon, so image stabilization is built in specific lenses that carry a "VR" designation, like the 18-55mm kit lens supplied with our review D5000.

Nikon D5000

Nikon claims up to a 3 stop advantage for VR lenses (a few others, notably the VR18-200, have the VR II system for which Nikon claims up to a 4 stop advantage). VR may be disabled on the lens by the user, but the camera automatically enables VR lenses when set for D-Movie mode.

The D5000 uses a revised version of the battery from the D40 and D60. It's backwards compatible and can be used in the older cameras and with the same charger. The new EN-EL9a has an increased capacity of 7.8Wh, compared to the 7.2Wh rating of the old EN-EL9.

Nikon rates the D5000's EN-EL9a lithium-ion battery for 510 shots ... which is more than what the old battery delivered in the D60, but considerably less than the D90's 850 shots using the EN-EL3e. Battery life looks to be in the CIPA ballpark based on my experience with this camera, but it's always prudent to carry a spare battery for all day shooting treks.

Nikon doesn't offer a multi power battery grip for the D5000, but if history is any indicator then various third-party manufacturers should develop a battery grip for the D5000 before the end of the year.

Although I use cameras and lenses from a number of different manufacturers, Nikon SLRs consistently deliver images with solid color, good white balance, and excellent metering. Since the D5000 packs essentially the same sensor as the D90 and D300, it's easy to assume you'll get similar image quality out of all these cameras.

Images made at default settings with the D5000 were pleasing to my eye in terms of accurate color reproduction, contrast, and sharpness. Granted, sharpness and brightness could have used a little boost, and I often found myself using a minimal increase in exposure compensation (+0.3EV). The only other change I made to the camera settings was to increase the saturation in some of the flower images. Overall, the Picture Control menu offers fantastic control over sharpness, contrast, brightness, saturation, and hue. The Active D-Lighting feature (which is on by default) does a fantastic job of bringing out shadow detail while preserving highlights. That said, if the Active D-Lighting feature is on, you cannot adjust contrast and brightness in the Picture Control menu.

Video Quality
If you just want a quick overview of the D5000's video quality, rest assured that the video capability of this camera is quite good. If you're used to the video quality in a compact point-and-shoot camera, then the D5000 will certainly impress you in terms of color, smoothness, and detail.

The D5000, like its big brother the D90, can capture movies at 1280x720, 640x424, or 320x216 sizes, all at a 24 fps (the same speed as theatrical film). The fact that many different Nikon lenses can be used with the D5000 to shoot video means that the D5000 actually has a substantial advantage over consumer-grade video cameras. Zoom lenses can be zoomed while capturing video, fast prime lenses allow you to shoot in extreme low light, VR lenses function to reduce camera shake.

The only major limitations to using the D5000 as a video camera are that videos are limited to 5 minutes in length or a maximum file size of 2GB and you can't use auto focus. That's right. The camera won't auto focus while shooting video – you use the AF sensor to lock focus before you start recording video and you hope that the camera-to-subject distance remains constant ... otherwise your video will be out of focus. Of course, you can manually focus, but most average consumers don't enjoy using manual focus.

The other thing to keep in mind is that video has to be done via Live View mode (using the monitor). This isn't inherently good or bad. Folks who've shot video with compact digital cameras may feel right at home (at least until they have to go to manual focus). Still, it's a safe bet that at least a few seasoned SLR users will want to shoot video with this camera using the viewfinder.

The next potentially negative issue about the video performance of the D5000 is the effect of what's known as rolling shutter when capturing video. The "rolling shutter" effect essentially causes vertical objects to take on a distorted tilt when a camera is panned across a field of view, such as tracking a running subject against a stationary background.

Here are some sample movies taken during a recent trip to the Cincinnati Zoo. The second video of the polar bear shows some obvious effects of rolling shutter during the beginning of the video. Again, the video quality is pretty impressive, but the need to pre-focus or use manual focus might be a little frustrating for some users.

The D5000 can produce high quality video, assuming the camera-to-subject distance remains relatively constant (or you use manual focus) and avoid situations that give rise to the rolling shutter effect. Bottom line, if video is your primary concern, buy a video camera. If you want a still camera with a video capability, the D5000 is the most affordable Nikon solution currently on the market.

Exposure, Processing, and Color
The D5000 is now the least expensive Nikon to offer the 3D Color Matrix Metering II with Scene Recognition System found on higher-priced Nikon cameras. The 420-pixel RGB 3D Color Matrix Metering II system works with the Scene Recognition System to evaluate various elements of the scene to produce a near perfect exposure. This isn't as good as the 1005-pixel RGB 3D Color Matrix Metering system found in high-end Nikons, but it's identical to what is used in the D90.

My experience with the D5000 suggests the camera is prone to slight underexposure in difficult, high contrast situations in order to preserve highlight details. This is essentially the opposite problem that the D90 had, which tended to overexpose slightly during our tests. For those photographers who don't want to use the 3D Matrix metering, center weighted and spot metering options also available.

In addition to the standard Picture Control menu options for changing the way the camera processes images, the D5000 also offers a Retouch Menu, including D-Lighting, red-eye correction, trim, monochrome, filter effects, color balance, small picture, image overlay, quick retouch, straighten, distortion control, fisheye, and NEF (Nikon Electronic Format) processing – Nikon's RAW file format. The in-camera NEF processing is particularly valuable if you're using non-Nikon software to edit your images. NEF processing allows the user to make a JPEG copy of these files in camera while retaining the original NEF files for later editing.

As previously mentioned, color reproduction is good in the D5000. The following are examples of standard, neutral, and vivid color options; each has more modifications available via sub menus.

Nikon D5000

Nikon D5000

Nikon D5000

White Balance
Auto WB worked well under a variety of lighting conditions with the exception of incandescent, which shot quite warm.

Nikon D5000
Auto White Balance, 3200K incandescent light

The D5000 offers 12 dedicated WB settings along with auto, plus the ability to set WB according to color temperatures in a range from 2500 to 10000 degrees Kelvin or a custom WB established by the user. As if that isn't enough, the D5000 also offers WB bracketing ... a feature where the camera takes three different images set to different color temperatures in the hope of capturing the perfect white balance.

Sensitivity and Noise
The studio shots from the D5000 look unsurprisingly like the D90 and D300 – low ISO noise through ISO 800 with obvious detail loss at the expense of noise at ISO 1600 and 3200. ISO 6400 is still usable when there's no other way to get the shot, but don't expect to capture much fine detail.

Nikon D5000
Lo 1 (ISO 100)
Nikon D5000
Lo 1 (ISO 100), 100% crop
Nikon D5000
ISO 200
Nikon D5000
ISO 200, 100% crop
Nikon D5000
ISO 400
Nikon D5000
ISO 400, 100% crop
Nikon D5000
ISO 800
Nikon D5000
ISO 800, 100% crop
Nikon D5000
ISO 1600
Nikon D5000
ISO 1600, 100% crop
Nikon D5000
ISO 3200
Nikon D5000
ISO 3200, 100% crop
Nikon D5000
Hi 1 (ISO 6400)
Nikon D5000
Hi 1 (ISO 6400), 100% crop

Overall, the D5000 does pretty well in the ISO department. Current D60 users may notice some improvement, but the signal-to-noise ratio seems largely identical to the D90 and D300.

Additional Sample Images

Nikon D5000 Nikon D5000
Nikon D5000 Nikon D5000
Nikon D5000 Nikon D5000

When Nikon released the D90 consumers quickly fell in love with the video capability built into a full-featured DSLR. Unfortunately, the largest market interested in shooting video with a DSLR is the entry-level consumer market ... and the D90 is just a little too large and expensive for entry-level enthusiasts. Considering that entry-level DSLRs make up about 80 percent of Nikon's DSLR sales, the D5000 is an obvious evolution. That said, the minor size, weight, and price increase over the D60 might be enough to prevent potential D5000 owners from making a purchase.

The vast majority of entry-level DSLR owners use their DSLR like an advanced point-and-shoot camera with only one or two lenses, so making a larger, heavier, and more expensive camera probably isn't ideal for the entry-level market. That said, the D5000 is essentially a cheaper version of the D90 ... so if you can live with using only AF-S lenses and a smaller viewfinder then the D5000 is a great low-cost alternative to the D90.

Nokia E75 for N. America Released

The Nokia E75 began shipping in Europe last month, but a version specifically created for N. America has just been released.

Nokia E75

This Symbian S60 smartphone has a large keyboard and an emphasis on mobile messaging. It uses a slider design, with a 2.4-inch, 320-by-240-pixel (QVGA) screen and numberpad on the front, and a QWERTY keyboard that slides from the left side.

It runs Symbian S60 Feature Pack 1, and offers a host of wireless options such as Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth.

The N. American version is is a quad-band (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) GSM phone with tri-band (850/1900/2100 MHz) 3G -- UMTS/HSDPA.

This E-Series smartphone is the first to ship with Nokia's new email user interface, which includes folder and HTML email support, expandable views and sorting capability by date, sender, and size.

Overall, this device is 4.4 inches by 2.0 inches by 0.6 inches (112 mm by 50 mm by 14 mm), and weighs 4.9 ounces (139 g).

Pricing and Availability
The Nokia E75 can be purchased now at Nokia Flagship Stores, which are scattered around the U.S. in places like New York and Chicago. The price is $530.

Other stores are still just taking pre-orders for this model. is asking $460 for it, while eXpansys' price is $530.

The E75 is being sold in the U.S. as an unlocked phone, so AT&T and T-Mobile customers just have to put in their SIM card to use it.

Norton AntiVirus 2009 Review

Norton AntiVirus is one of the most well-known names in PC security. The company's AntiVirus 2009 is the base security suite that provides essential protection against viruses and spyware for home users. It updates itself every five to fifteen minutes, and includes an intelligent scanner that effectively sweeps a computer for threats in less time. Does Norton AntiVirus 2009 deliver on its claims?


Norton AntiVirus 2009 is designed primarily to protect home users from viruses and spyware. Norton's Protection System features multiple levels of virus defense, including web browser protection (Firefox/Internet Explorer), an Intrusion Prevention System, Antibot security to prevent malicious takeover, and a system recovery tool for undoing any damage from attacks that do slip through Norton's defenses. It also includes SONAR, Norton's solution for protection from unknown threats-which is to say viruses that Norton hasn't catalogued yet. AntiVirus 2009 updates itself every five to fifteen minutes, which is significantly quicker than other vendor's solutions. Norton's Insight technology allows for intelligent scanning of the system, requiring less time and less scans to maintain an effective watch over your computer. Norton AntiVirus 2009 emphasizes high performance; it is claimed to use less than 8MB of system memory on average and to install in under one minute. Norton provides free technical support to users via the Internet, email, chat, or phone.

Norton AntiVirus 2009 lacks a personal firewall, which is included with the higher-priced Norton Internet Security 2009 and 360 suites. Increased network security is also offered with Internet Security 2009 and 360. For home users, the features contained in AntiVirus 2009 should be more than sufficient.


Norton Antivirus 2009 install screen 1

We used a retail version of Norton AntiVirus 2009, which comes on CD.

Norton Antrvirus 2009 install screen 2

After clicking Install, the wizard requires a review of the license agreement and the product key to be entered.

Norton Antivirus 2009 install screen 3

The install is then completed, which does in fact take less than one minute as Norton claims. This is impressive and is faster than other security solutions I have tested.

Norton Antivirus 2009

Following the install, users can create a Norton Account which can provide subscription information and the other outlined benefits.


Norton Antivirus 2009

Norton AntiVirus 2009 has a very streamlined interface; the items listed have a clear purpose. A large icon in the upper left corner indicates protection status. The interface is organized differently than other programs I tested; all available options are displayed rather than assimilated into a menu system. Surprisingly this does not lead to confusion and the interface is very well done.

Norton Antivirus 2009 live update

Updating is done automatically; I performed the process once manually to see how it is done. It is as simple as clicking "Run LiveUpdate."

Norton Antivirus 2009

Norton AntiVirus 2009 has some interesting features; did you see the CPU Usage meter on the left? Clicking on that brings up the above graph, which shows processor and memory usage of both the system and Norton. This is basically the software developers showing us with evidence that their software is well optimized and does not waste resources. Norton's CPU usage is high in this graph since I was running a full scan.

Norton Antivirus 2009 silent mode

AntiVirus 2009 has a "Silent Mode", which hides all alerts and background activities for a limited period of time. This is useful when running full-screen applications.

Norton Antivirus 2009 insight screen

Another feature of AntiVirus 2009 is Norton Insight. This feature provides intelligent scanning of your system by only scanning the files at risk.

Norton Antivirus 2009

AntiVirus 2009 has a Network Security feature, which provides details about your connection, how secure it is, and info on other computers in your network. It also lets you check the security of other PCs running Norton software.

Norton Antivirus 2009

One last section I want to touch on is the Settings page; here, everything pertaining to how AntiVirus 2009 interfaces with your system can be viewed and modified. I imagine most users will never have to alter any settings.


Norton Antivirus 2009

AntiVirus 2009 did not interfere with Internet browsing or other normal activities; its system tray icon and sidebar widget (above) provide the only indications it is present.

To test the effectiveness of Norton AntiVirus 2009, I used several virus files from, an IT security website. The four files provided for download, which have different extensions including .com, .zip, and .txt, contain viruses. Please see the test description for extensive information on the tests. Good Anti-Virus software should detect the files as threats.

Norton Antivirus 2009

Norton AntiVirus 2009 successfully identified all of the virus files as threats, before the download or immediately afterward; Norton would not let me access the files and neutralized them immediately.

Norton ANtivirus 2009 security history

Users can view the security history from the above interface.


We evaluate the performance impact and system resource usage of using Anti-Virus software in three ways:

  1. Overall system performance measured before and after installation using PCMark05, a system benchmark suite
  2. Memory footprint
  3. Time it took to perform a full system scan

Our test system is an Acer Aspire 5735-4744; it has the following specifications:

  • Intel Pentium Dual-Core T3200 (2.0GHz/1MB L2/667MHz FSB)
  • 2GB DDR2-667 RAM
  • 160GB 5400RPM Fujitsu hard drive
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit, stock install with all updates and Search disabled
  • Atheros 802.11 Draft-N wireless

Overall System Performance Impact measured with PCMark05

Our notebook had the following numbers prior to installing Norton:

Norton Antivirus 2009

After installing Norton, we ran the benchmark again:

Norton Antivirus 2009

Norton only affects system performance by 5%, which is such a small difference that it could almost be attributed to benchmark error.

Memory Footprint

Norton Antivirus 2009

Norton indeed uses less than 8MB of memory as claimed (at least according to the Task Manager). The software was clearly designed to be light on system resources, and it shows.

Time it took to perform a full system scan

Norton Antivirus 2009

Norton took 25 minutes to scan our system's hard drive filled with 37GB of data; this is slightly slower than Kaspersky and NOD32 antivirus, but by only a few minutes. Running a Quick Scan takes less than a minute, however, thanks to the Norton Insight technology.


Norton AntiVirus 2009 beat our expectations and then some. It successfully protected our computer from viruses and proved to be a proactive defender. The program interface is well organized and easy to navigate. Norton's Insight technology allowed for effective quick scans. The software was very well optimized and did not affect system performance. We liked the extra features including the network security tools and resource usage monitors.

Norton AntiVirus 2009 is an effective and well-rounded security solution, and we highly recommend it to users looking for an excellent home PC security solution.


  • Successfully detected viruses
  • Well-designed interface
  • Fast, simple installation
  • No noticeable impact on performance
  • Intelligent scanning features
  • Automatic updates every 5-15 minutes
  • Network tools and resource usage monitors


  • Full system scan takes slightly longer than comparable solutions