When I first got the Google Phone (the G1 through T-Mobile) I was rather impressed with it. Fitting in the palm of my hand, it made me think that if the iPhone was “Mac,” then the G1 is definitely PC. A little wider, a tad boxier. Clunky by comparison, but at first glance, it’s just as effective as a phone and even having some advantages over the sleeker iPhone. But as you use it, the picture begins to change.
Up front, you need to know that the Canon 5D Mk II is expensive. VERY expensive. Professional expensive. At nearly $3,000 for just the body, it’s not even an early adapter camera and is more for the wedding photographer or professional who’s looking to push the boundaries of their artistic skills. But for the money, photographers will find that the 5D Mk. II puts “every dime on the screen” and then some.
As Nat mentioned a few days ago, the launch of the Flip Mino represents the next step in pocket camcorders that provides more on-board memory and decent quality video for the YouTube set. Easy to use, easy to upload. Very low cost. But I can tell you this, the Flip is dead. Killed and buried. With extreme prejudice. By the Kodak Zi6.
With the great success of the Flip Video Ultra selling more than 1 million units, the anticipated launch of the latest product from Flip Video is now just around the corner. Boasting to be up to 40% smaller than the Ultra, have faster image processing and an omni-directional mic, the Flip Mino also has a few other tricks up its sleeves.
As a ‘point and shoot’ revolution the Mino comes in either black or white, is sleek and slim with a 1.5-inch glare-free screen to enhance the notion of its stylishness. The operation of the Mino is simple, literally all you need to do is turn it on, point, press record using the red central button and then play back, but the simplicity of the product does not lose the overall quality. The touch-sensitive buttons glow when that particular function can be used and they are surprisingly easy to use and I rarely had problems with touching buttons that I didn’t want to be touching as the pad is quite spacious. The functions offer advanced playback options: the ability to pause, rewind, and fast-forward movies as well as settings available to lock the delete button for those ‘just in case moments’ and mute the sound for those instances to be sneaky when capturing that perfect video.
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Coosh headphones and headsets boast comfort and wear-ability along with full-bodied sound so it was time to test them out.
Contained in a reusable jar, the Coosh headset already looks promising and when removed, the soft flexible silicone earrings certainly strike you. The original silicone design is durable and is so light weight that I hardly feel as though I’m wearing a headset at all. For the fashion conscious out there, the silicone earring is detachable and interchangeable so if you want to change the colour of the earring or just use the earbud by itself, then the choice is there. Not only are the earrings detachable and interchangeable but they are wearable all day long and actually fit securely, whatever activity you may be doing. The Massive Monkees, a dance crew crash test them to prove the security.
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When we broke the news at Coolest Gadgets of the AudioVox Homebase at CES last year, I thought this was perhaps the coolest home kitchen idea to make family life easier. The idea was simple. A digital frame wrapped around an acrylic base which also serves as a whiteboard for notes and digital recorder for voice messages. The LCD screen looked to show pictures from SD cards and promised slide shows and other options that would make looking at digital stills quite enjoyable.
Then I got the real McCoy to test last week. By the end of the afternoon, I was ready to pack it up and send it back. Not because it’s easy to use, which it is, or that it’s design is a lost cause – which it isn’t. But because the parts AudioVox used in building the Home Base are just plain disappointing. The LCD screen resolution is around 1st generation digital frame quality and the microphone which is used to record the digital memos makes playback sound like the drive-through at Jack in the Box. And on top of that, AudioVox seems to think that using sponge tape to affix a three or four pound electronic device to an refrigerator door that opens and closes is going to be a secure system for protecting it from falling and breaking into thousands of pieces. Well sorry, but that’s a recipe for disaster. These kind of shortcomings only prove the old adage that designers don’t work on their own cars.
But in this case, designers don’t use the stuff they design. And they should, if they plan on charging $200 for them. If AudioVox is willing to put a little more into this design to make it both safe and high quality, even if it costs $10 –20 more, I’m sure people would pay the difference to get what Audiovox first promised. And therein lies the hope, because it’s just a great idea for digitizing people’s busy life.
There are many accessories for a camera that are considered must haves. The extra set of batteries, the backup memory card, a Skylight filter for protection, a tripod and even a long range flash for those zoom shots in low light. But if you told me that I’d make the Storm Jacket one of those must have things for the camera bag should the weather go south, I’d look at you like you grew a third head. A raincoat for a camera? But it makes perfect sense.