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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 4K QFHD/HD 16X Long Zoom Digital Camera (Black)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 4K QFHD/HD 16X Long Zoom Digital Camera (Black)
Offered by FumFie
Price: $1,099.00
6 used & new from $897.99

36 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So close... if only this were horseshoes., August 6, 2014
The Panasonic FZ1000 is a camera that claims to do it all. A 20-megapixel 1" sensor, 4K video output, and a 25-400mm equivalent (37-592mm in video mode) f2.8-4.0 zoom lens in a relatively compact body for $900 seems too good to be true. Is it?

I've debated, written, and rewritten this review several times. This isn't because it's hard to find things to like and dislike about the FZ1000. Rather, it has been hard for me to decide what is reasonable to *expect* from the FZ1000, and whether the camera meets those expectations. I don't think anyone expects this camera to offer razor-sharp, distortion-free, images with 35mm noise performance through the entire 25-400mm equivalent zoom range at a $900 price point. On the other hand, I *do* think Panasonic has marketed the FZ1000 to be a camera that advanced amateur or even professional photographers could take on a trip, in a single package, without feeling like they were leaving too much performance and image quality behind - and to some extent I think it is reasonable to expect the FZ1000 to be that kind of camera. This, then, is the approach I'll be using in this review: how does the FZ1000 stack up against the ideal of delivering reasonable image quality for an advanced amateur, in a single, compact package at a $900 price point?

UPDATE based on feedback: My main concern in this review is with how the FZ1000 performs *as a camera*. I recognize that video is becoming an increasingly significant part of what people buy cameras like this to do, but my personal workflow involves far more photography than videography, which, among other things, means I don't consider myself competent to speak to whether this is a good camera for video work.

A couple of other notes that aren't strictly review-related, but do, I think, influence my view of this camera: First, I feel like I should point out that I did not spend *my own* money on the FZ1000, but rather purchased it for work, for a specific purpose (high-speed video). I suspect I might feel differently about the FZ1000 if my own $900 had been used. Second, most people view the FZ1000's main competitor as the Sony RX10 - and certainly the two cameras are very similar. In truth, though, I think the main competitor for both of these cameras are the flood of inexpensive DSLRs on the market, which broadly speaking offer higher image quality at a lower price (though also with less convenience). All that said, on with the review.

The Good:

There are many things to like about the FZ1000. A few, in no particular order:
* The control layout is excellent for a camera in this class and price range. Indeed, the control layout will feel familiar to anyone who has used one of Panasonic's high-end Micro FourThirds ILCs, such as the outstanding GH4. In particular, Panasonic should be commended for the intelligent placement of the on/off switch, the Single/Burst/Timer knob, and the MF/AF toggle switch, all of which are direct carryovers from the GH4. In addition, the FZ1000 has five programmable function buttons, each of which can be assigned to over 40 (!) functions.
* Along these lines, the general "feel" and responsiveness of the FZ1000 are, on the whole, quite good. The focusing speed is quick, and overall operation is snappy. The one place where this doesn't hold true is the speed of the zoom on the lens, which takes almost three seconds to go from its most wide to most telephoto setting. This isn't an SLR, nor is it as responsive as one, but in general the shooting experience does feel like you're using an ILC, not a point and shoot.
* The (supposedly) Leica designed lens does offer reasonable quality across the range, within appropriate expectations. As noted above, there are going to be compromises with any camera that attempts to span such a large zoom range, but Panasonic has handled the job as well as can be expected. I suppose the best way to sum up my experience with the lens is that I didn't see any pictures in my testing where I thought the image quality was significantly impacted (negatively) by lens distortion or lack of sharpness. In terms of the zoom range itself, 25-400mm offers more flexibility than you're going to find in almost any other package, and does so without forcing you to switch lenses.
* The electronic viewfinder on the FZ1000 is one of the best I've ever used, along with the Panasonic GH4. The display is sharp, clear, and updates very quickly. True, it's not as sharp or vibrant as looking through an optical viewfinder, but it does offer a wide range of useful functionality that you can't get in an optical viewfinder - things like highlight and shadow clipping can be overlaid on the image, for example. All in all, this is not your granddaddy's (or daddy's) EVF from a video camera in the 1990's - the FZ1000's viewfinder really is a pleasure to use.

The Not-so-good:

* Size - The FZ1000 is not a small camera. Indeed, it is comparable in size to the GH4 with a 12-35mm f2.8 lens attached, though with a much wider lens barrel. It's still smaller than an equivalent low-end SLR with two kit lenses, but not by much. To some extent, this may be a "feature," and if you have particularly large hands, you may appreciate the extra size. But said a little differently, it's not really a camera that would fit easily in a small purse, though it would probably be fine in a larger one, or a small-to-medium sized camera bag.
* Build quality - One reason you might not want to throw the FZ1000 in your large purse is that it doesn't feel like a particularly sturdy piece of equipment. It doesn't feel "cheap" per-se, but it doesn't feel particularly durable either. There is a definite "plastic" quality to it. I do say this as someone who is notorious for being rough on my gadgets (hey, accidents happen, right?), but I would be worried about the long-term survivability of the FZ1000 if I were going to be using it on a frequent basis - especially as compared to a low-end DSLR like the Nikon D3300.
* Noise performance - The FZ1000 uses a 1" sensor with a 20-megapixel resolution. Simply put, this is not a recipe for fantastic low-light performance, and in this regard, unfortunately, the FZ1000 lives up to expectations. Through ISO 1600, the performance is actually quite good, and nothing to be concerned about. At 6400, however, several of my shots showed a distinct loss of detail, and, in those shots where I had to correct the camera's underexposed metering in post-processing, showed what I consider to be a rather high amount of noise, even viewed at screen resolution. Properly-exposed shots at 6400 didn't show as much noise, but even then they bordered on what I would consider only "acceptable." A special note about video: 4K video at ISO 6400 showed significant noise across the scene, particularly when compared to the GH4. The FZ1000 may be technically capable of capturing low-light 4K video, but the results may not have the level of quality you expect.
* Aperture woes - The FZ1000 does offer a wide aperture lens, but it suffers from two notable shortcomings. First, the maximum aperture of 2.8 falls off very quickly, almost as soon as you start to zoom. By the time you're at 41mm, you've already lost 1/3 of a stop, and have a maximum aperture of 3.2. At 175mm, you've reached a maximum aperture of 4.0, which remains constant all the way out to 400mm. A 200-400mm f4 lens is still very impressive, but it is worth noting that you get f2.8, for all practical purposes, *only* at 25mm. The bigger issue, perhaps, is that f8 is the smallest aperture the FZ1000 offers, even at 400mm. This, coupled with the quick aperture falloff, means that for most of the zoom range, you have only 2 stops of effective aperture control (i.e. f4.0 max, f8.0 min), which is debilitating for anyone who uses shutter priority as their main shooting mode.

The So-so:

* Metering - In my testing, I noticed several shots which were significantly underexposed (i.e. by 1 stop or more). I probably wouldn't mention it, except 1) as mentioned above, correct exposure is critical at high ISO on the FZ1000 and 2) the scenes where this happened don't seem to be scenes that should particularly challenge a competent light meter. I reserve my right to change my opinion on this one, particularly if a software update addresses the issue, but the large number of shots where the camera just missed the exposure is troubling to me.
* Exposure compensation - Among the many excellent decisions Panasonic made with regard to the control layout, the one baffling decision is their implementation of exposure compensation. The FZ1000 has only one control dial, which is not in itself problematic. To change the exposure compensation on the FZ1000, you "click" the control wheel, which toggles between shutter/aperture control, and exposure compensation control. This would be acceptable, if Panasonic allowed you to remap the F1 function button to also control exposure compensation, but while there may be over 40 options for the F1 button, inexplicably exposure compensation is not one of them. Combined with the metering issues, I found this implementation frustrating.
* Image stabilization - The FZ1000 does have a 5-axis image stabilization system, but subjectively the system does not seem to work as well as the excellent 5-axis system on Olympus' OM-D series of cameras, or the Power O.I.S. system on Panasonic's higher end lenses, or the IS/VR systems I have used from Canon/Nikon. This isn't to say the FZ1000's system is worthless, but it does not seem to do as good of a job at holding the frame steady at similar focal lengths (e.g. 200mm, and certainly 400mm equivalents).

Conclusion

So where does this leave us?

In the right hands, and in the right situations, the FZ1000 is a camera that has the capability to produce high quality images. If it was the only camera I had available, I feel confident that in most situations, I could use it to produce perfectly acceptable pictures.

At the same time, the FZ1000 is also a camera with some significant shortcomings, some of which can be mitigated in the hands of a skilled user, and others which cannot. From a photographic standpoint, the minimum aperture of f8 is particularly troublesome, especially when shooting on bright, sunny days. For any photographer who uses shutter priority as their preferred shooting method, this design decision is practically a dealbreaker.

The key point, however, is that the FZ1000 is *not* my only choice of camera, and isn't yours either. And in a universe of different options, I'm hard pressed to think of situations where I would recommend this camera over another solution. For people concerned with size and weight, the FZ1000 *is* smaller and lighter than an entry-level DSLR kit, but not so much lighter that it's in a completely different class. As an example of an alternative solution, another camera with a 1" sensor, the Nikon 1 J3, when paired with a 27-270mm equivalent lens is smaller, lighter, offers comparable image quality, and is $200 cheaper. For those who are fine with the FZ1000's size/weight, and are looking to upgrade to a more serious camera than their point and shoot, entry-level 2-lens DSLR/ILC kits from multiple manufacturers are cheaper, and offer significantly better image quality, not to mention a clear upgrade path in the future. For a person in this situation, a 2-lens D3300/T5i kit is 50 dollars cheaper than the FZ1000, and offers the potential to upgrade either lenses or the camera body in the future. Kits from the previous generation (e.g. a D3200) are almost $350 cheaper, and offer the same benefits in terms of improved image quality as their latest generation counterparts, at significantly lower cost. And for professionals looking for an alternative to carrying their bulky SLR and pro lenses, the FZ1000 just leaves too much on the table in terms of image quality to be a viable replacement.

The FZ1000 is an ambitious camera, and Panasonic deserves to be commended for getting so much right. Unfortunately, for me, it's a camera with too many compromises. Most people, in my opinion, would be better served choosing an option better suited to what they are really interested in, rather than buying a camera that tries to - and comes ever so close, but ultimately falls short of - doing it all.
Comment Comments (39) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 17, 2014 10:30 PM PDT


Panasonic H-HS35100 35-100mm Lens for G-Series Lumix Cameras
Panasonic H-HS35100 35-100mm Lens for G-Series Lumix Cameras
Price: Click here to see our price
4 used & new from $1,149.99

101 of 104 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Expensive, but good., January 5, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Background:

While in grad school, I shot weddings as a second source of income, and by the time I was through I'd amassed quite a collection of Nikon gear. These days, I'm shooting far fewer weddings (none), but I am doing a fair amount of consulting work that requires high quality photographs, but also requires hauling photo equipment across the country. It took me exactly one trip to realize that toting my SLR gear through airports was not going to fly (literally). I tried various mirrorless systems (Sony, Nikon 1), but I was consistently disappointed by the quality of the images - and specifically the quality of the lenses.

Within a period of a few months, Panasonic announced the 12-35 f2.8, the 35-100 f2.8, and Olympus announced the 60mm macro lens for the micro-4/3rds mount - three lenses that would, in theory, cover 99% of my shooting needs. Combined with rave reviews received by the Olympus OM-D E-M5, I decided to bite the bullet and try the system out. No regrets.

The Lens:

If you own the Panasonic 12-35 f2.8, you'll feel right at home with this lens.

Build quality is perfectly acceptable, though the lens is markedly less dense than the 12-35. Only about 50 grams separate the two in weight. As a result, the 35-100 doesn't *feel* quite as solid, but the build quality is still a step up from, say, the Panasonic 45-175. It certainly doesn't feel "cheap", even if it doesn't feel like a tank - and to be quite honest, when the main benefit of the micro-4/3rds system is size and weight, I'm not sure "tank" is what I really want. In terms of size, the 35-100 is almost exactly the same size as the 12-35 when fully extended in the 35mm position. The 35-100 does not extend telescopically, maintaining a constant size through the zoom range.

Image quality is very good, though not up to the standards of some of the newest 70-200 designs from Nikon and Canon. In general, it seems to be about on par with the previous generation of Canon/Nikon 70-200 2.8's in terms of sharpness and color saturation, which is certainly nothing to complain about. Indeed, if this lens had been released 2-3 years ago, reviews might have been amazed at how close the lens came to the (then) top of the line products from major manufacturers. It is, of course, worth noting that you don't get quite the image separation you would on the larger formats with this lens, due to the effective f-stop really being more like f5.6 on a full frame camera, in terms of depth of field. Nonetheless, the lens exhibits a fairly pleasing bokeh, and in some cases having a slightly wider depth of field when shooting at f2.8 can be rather useful (like, say taking pictures of children running around indoors, if you want to have their entire face sharp and in focus).

Focusing is sharp and fast, particularly in good light, though it does seem to be slightly slower than the 12-35. The image stabilization worked well for me down to about 1/6-1/8th of a second at 100mm, handheld (picture of text was sharp and readable), though your results may vary. I haven't experienced any significant issues with flare, though I also haven't had the lens in situations where I would really expect it yet.

If I had to nitpick, it would mostly center on two things:

First, from a usability perspective, the physical moving distance of the zoom ring is very short - less than a quarter of the circumference of the lens. This is a small thing, really, but it feels a bit short, particularly compared to most other professional-level zooms.

My bigger complaint, though, would be the minimum focusing distance. Recent 70-200 f2.8 designs have tended to have longer minimum focusing distances than their older counterparts, which in general is a good trade-off for the increased sharpness you get across the zoom range. The Panasonic has a minimum focus distance that is about what you would expect from one of these newer lenses, rather than the older models. In general for portrait work, this shouldn't be a problem, but if you're taking pictures of babies or (small) pets, it might become an issue. It is worth noting that the minimum focus distance is not constant across the zoom range, and seems to be shortest at about 75mm. For most people, this won't be a major issue, but it is something to be aware of, particularly if you're planning on using this lens to take pictures of small things.

Conclusion:

All in all, I'm pleased with the lens. For my purposes, the bottom line is that I can carry a camera, two f2.8 zooms, and a macro lens with less weight and bulk than my single 70-200 f2.8 zoom. To me, that is the value of the system, and it is worth the price I paid.

In terms of objective quality, both with respect to build and image, this lens is not the equal of the newest designs from Canon and Nikon. Of course, it is also about $1000 less. At the same time, this lens *is* the best option in terms of image quality for a telephoto on the micro-4/3rds mount. It will produce sharp, high contrast images across the range, and do so in a compact and well built package.

In their review of the OM-D E-M5, dpreview.com made a statement similar to the following: "In the past, there was a significant gap between micro-4/3rds cameras and their APS-C counterparts. This camera closes that gap significantly, enough that for most purposes, it is not important. If you are *really* unwilling to sacrifice *any* image quality, then you'll need to spend significantly more and get a full-frame system. But for the difference in size and weight, most people would be served better with this."

I think in many ways, that statement applies to the Panasonic 35-100. In the past, there have not been any mirrorless lens options that came anywhere close to providing the quality and convenience of a high-end zoom lens. Solutions revolved around taking real APS-C or full-frame lenses and using adapters to mount them to mirrorless bodies, with the inevitable compromises resulting. The 35-100 is a lens that, for all practical purposes, eliminates the gap between the micro-4/3rds system and an APS-C system in terms of a high-speed telephoto zoom.

If you are absolutely unwilling to compromise on image quality, you'll need to step up to the newest, most expensive designs from Canon and Nikon, and carry around a significantly bulkier, heavier system. If, on the other hand, you are someone who wants to maintain very good quality, but size and weight are now more important to you than having the absolute best image you possibly can, this lens will not disappoint.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 2, 2014 7:48 PM PDT


Nikon 1 J1 HD Digital Camera System with 10-30mm Lens (Black) (OLD MODEL)
Nikon 1 J1 HD Digital Camera System with 10-30mm Lens (Black) (OLD MODEL)
Offered by Electromax
Price: $279.99
27 used & new from $149.00

823 of 850 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's great, for what it is., October 27, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
There's been a lot of talk about Nikon's new 1 Series cameras, and a lot of disappointment over the CX sensor size, and the perceived lack of quality compared to Sony's larger APS-C NEX cameras. Many enthusiasts have been understandably frustrated by this move, wanting the best of all worlds - D3 quality in a point and shoot body. The J1 doesn't quite hit that mark, but if you understand what you're buying and play to the camera's strengths, it's a great piece of gear for the beginner, enthusiast, and the pro alike.

For clarification, I am primarily evaluating the J1 for its use *as a camera* - I won't touch much on the video or motion snapshot modes.

The Good:

* As a part-time professional, I bought this camera primarily because of its size, and the ability (hopefully) to use my collection of F-mount lenses in the future. In this respect, the J1 is fantastic. My first mirrorless purchase was a Sony NEX-3, and I was overall very happy with it, but the size of the lens still made carrying it around a real chore. Unfortunately, this really comes down to physics - there are physical constraints on how small you can design a lens with a 55mm focal length (concretely, it can't really be much less than 55mm in length). Fundamentally, this is where the CX format helps the J1 significantly. Due to its smaller sensor size, it is possible to construct equivalent lenses which are significantly smaller and lighter than for the APS-C format. The promise of being able to use standard-range high-quality zoom lenses (think a 17-55 f2.8, for instance) as mid-range telephotos is certainly intriguing. There is no such thing as a free lunch, and obviously the wide end and depth of field suffer here, but I am hopeful that Nikon or third party manufacturers will address that concern as much as they can. At the moment, however, the J1 with its kit lens is a camera that is, while not pants-pocketable, certainly coat-pocketable.

* The autofocus system is fantastic, especially in good light. I've been particularly impressed at the ability of the J1 to track a subject around the frame. I've been a big fan of Nikon's 3D tracking AF since I first saw it in action on the D300, but the J1 really takes it to a new level. The subject tracking mode is fast and very responsive, and once you've locked it on something, it does a very good job of staying with your targeted subject. Nikon claims that the J1 and V1 focus faster than the D3, and while I haven't used a D3 in a while, the J1 focuses fast enough (in good light) that I wouldn't doubt the claim.

* Image quality is actually quite good. I was fearful of how bad the noise would be on a smaller sensor, but I've been reasonably impressed with the results so far. JPEG results out of the camera are not stellar at high ISO - there's certainly some aggressive noise reduction going on - so you will certainly want to switch to RAW for best results. At present, ACR will not open J1 files, but Capture NX2 will. The ACR 6.6 beta results posted on dpreview.com are encouraging, being close to on-par with previous generation sensors (D90, D300, etc). Without access to the files in my normal workflow (Lightroom), it's hard for me to make a direct comparison on how much you can eek out of a RAW file on the J1 compared to other cameras, but so far I've been pleased.

UPDATE: Lightroom version 3.6 (beta) is out, and I've had a chance to play around with several of the images I've taken over the past few weeks. Again, I've been reasonably impressed. This is not a D3. With standard noise reduction in LR, I think the image quality is easily better than my D200 was, which given the size of the sensor is quite impressive. It is certainly better than the higher end point and shoots I've owned (Panasonic LX-2, Canon S90 - which to be fair are a couple of years old).

Things that could be improved:

* The interface. The camera tries to take care of a lot of things for you, and for the most part it does an ok job. If you're trying to access things like you would on a DSLR, you may have some problems. It would be nice to see Nikon update the firmware with the ability to reassign some of the buttons to tasks that are more useful in manual mode, but as with any wish-list feature, it's not something you should plan on happening if you're buying the camera. Overall, the interface isn't worse than the NEX-3, so I'm not displeased. I'd like things to be more accessible, but the camera is perfectly usable as it is.

* The high-speed electronic shutter setting is very, very restrictive with regard to the settings you can change. Things you have no control of if you want to use the high-speed capture: Program mode only (no aperture, shutter or manual), ISO (Auto 100-3200 only), metering (matrix only), focus mode (AF-A only), and focus tracking (area mode only). I was rather looking forward to using the high-speed mode, but frankly these restrictions make it pretty difficult to use with any kind of creative control.

* There doesn't seem to be a way to turn off the image preview after you take a picture, which is somewhat problematic if you are trying to capture a string of pictures. You can take a single shot, or a burst of pictures, but in either case you can't use the camera again until the preview goes away, which generally takes 2-3 seconds. This won't be a big deal most of the time for most people, but it does make capturing any kind of action problematic. Simply adding an option to turn this off in firmware would go a long way.

Things that you might care about, but aren't strictly speaking critical to being a camera:

* Video seems to require more light than stills - at least if you are using the 720p60 and definitely if you are using the high-speed video. High-speed is somewhat gimmicky, perhaps, but don't plan on using it indoors. There simply won't be enough light. The 720p60 video is nice - certainly smother than a lot of SLR and mirrorless video out there, including my experience with the NEX-3. I don't know that you're going to get broadcast quality, but things have come a long way in just a couple of years.

* The smart selector function seems to work fairly well, but since you can't see the images it throws away, it's hard to really know. I haven't used this function extensively, but when I have, I've been happy with the pictures it's kept.

Should you buy a J1? It depends. If you're intrigued, but not completely sure you need one, I might wait for the next generation. If you want to be able to carry a small, light camera that offers fairly good image quality - especially if you have a set of Nikon lenses - this would be a good choice. If you're a parent who wants to take pictures of your kids at their sports games, when paired with a longer range zoom, the Nikon J1 will get you some great results. If you want a camera that weighs half a pound, can fit in your pocket, has a 25x f2.8 zoom, and gives you noise-free images at ISO 204,800... you'll need to look somewhere else.

At the end of the day, the J1 is a compromise, and it doesn't really pretend to be otherwise. You won't get the low light performance you would in an APS-C camera, but you won't be carrying ten pounds of gear with you either. When buying the J1, my personal philosophy was the following: if I'm in a situation where my primary concern is image quality, I'll bring my pro gear along. Otherwise, I'll carry the J1, and thereby have the possibility of capturing scenes, albeit at reduced (though still acceptable) quality, because my camera is with me, instead of sitting at home.
Comment Comments (62) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 7, 2013 7:05 AM PDT


Good News for Anxious Christians: 10 Practical Things You Don't Have to Do
Good News for Anxious Christians: 10 Practical Things You Don't Have to Do
by Phillip Cary
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.82
84 used & new from $7.20

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must read for those working with college students, June 18, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
In a fun, honest, and candid book, Dr. Phillip Cary takes aim at ten "practical" ideas that have become increasingly prevalent in Evangelical theology. If you've ever worked or interacted with college students, these are phrases you, like Dr. Cary, have probably heard repeatedly from your students - ideas that have become a part of the prevailing narrative of theology in many Evangelical churches, but which seem to be causing a significant amount of anxiety. If you've ever had someone ask you "how they know what God's will for their life is", or "how they can discern the voice of God in their hearts", this is a book you need to read.

Cary's thesis is, in essence, that many of the "practical" ideas in Evangelical theology are, in essence, pushing out the truth of the Good News about Jesus by making Christian spirituality about "we as Christians" rather than about Christ. Cary notes that this theology "works", in the sense that it makes churches grow or helps them keep their members, but that it does this by "working" in a not particularly Christian way. In his conclusion, Cary puts it simply as follows: "The new evangelical theology promises you great experiences, but what it delivers is great anxiety. It makes your Christian life all about you and your experiences, which is not nearly so much fun as it pretends to be. The result is like being trapped in a bad party where everybody acts like they're enjoying themselves, because they're convinced that's how they're supposed to feel and they don't want to let on that there's something secretly wrong with them."

This book gets an easy 5 stars for its content, but there are some sections readers may find difficult to get through. On occasion Dr. Cary can be a bit repetitive, and there are one or two spots where the writing is difficult to follow. This is not to say that the book is badly written at all, but it is enough to knock off one star. Nonetheless, there are sections where Cary's writing is brilliant and masterful, and for these sections, as well as for the insightful critique of American Evangelicalism, this book is absolutely worth reading.


Navitech Black Genuine Premium Leather Flip Carry Case With Adjustable Stand For The Motorola Xoom Google Android 3.0 Honeycomb , 10.1 Inch Tablet (March 2011 Release) 3G & 4G WI-FI 16 GB 32 GB 64 GBTM
Navitech Black Genuine Premium Leather Flip Carry Case With Adjustable Stand For The Motorola Xoom Google Android 3.0 Honeycomb , 10.1 Inch Tablet (March 2011 Release) 3G & 4G WI-FI 16 GB 32 GB 64 GBTM

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good case for the money, June 7, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I like this case. I like it a lot. When I purchased it, there weren't a whole lot of options for Xoom cases - basically this and the two Motorola offerings. There was no way I was going to pay what Moto wanted for their high end case, which basically left me with this one. All in all, I think I still prefer this to the Moto my friends have.

The leather construction is nice, and the tablet fits well. The Xoom is well protected, and the prop on the back to keep it in a reading position without holding it works nicely. All in all, no complaints there.

There are one or two little niggles, however.

First, when the Xoom is in the case, there is a strip that, unless yours fits better than mine, obscures the front facing webcam. Since I've chatted on my Xoom about three times since I got it, I haven't found this to be a major deal.

Second, you can't access the bottom ports while the case is closed. Again, my need to actually access any of the ports while the case is closed has yet to be realized. I'm sure some people will complain and say this is a deal breaker, but honestly I don't really have a problem opening the case to plug it in. It's just not that big of a deal.

At the end of the day, the case looks nice, protects my Xoom, and allows me to access everything I need to. For the price, it's excellent value for money.


Spicy World Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans,  1/2 - Pound Bags
Spicy World Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans, 1/2 - Pound Bags
Price: $36.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, June 7, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
We were running out of vanilla. I'd made my own before using vanilla beans and vodka, and the price of these was far cheaper than getting them locally. I figured it was worth a shot.

I'm not sure what I was thinking, but half a pound of vanilla beans works out to something like 50 of them. It's hard to picture 50 vanilla beans, but this would be a good order to go in halves on with someone. Or quarters.

The aroma is incredible. It's been a couple of months since we originally opened them, and our pantry still smells like vanilla, even though they are wrapped in two ziploc bags.

As for the vanilla itself, it is fantastic. If you've never tried vanilla produced yourself, you are absolutely missing out. There is a distinct and definite difference between homemade and what you buy at the store.

Do yourself a favor, hit "add to cart" and check out. You'll be glad you did.


Jawbone ICON-Series Thinker Bluetooth Headset (Black)
Jawbone ICON-Series Thinker Bluetooth Headset (Black)
Offered by Seller1ON1
Price: $49.99
24 used & new from $18.99

2.0 out of 5 stars I like it, but people seem to have a tough time hearing me, June 7, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have used a Jawbone II for quite a while, and have loved it. Since I was spending significantly more time on the phone, I decided to upgrade.

Let's get the good stuff out of the way: this headset is nice, reasonably comfortable, and offers good sound quality on the speaker. I suppose the software upgrades are nice if you have an iPhone, but I am an Android guy, so that doesn't really help me much.

Now for the bad part: nobody can hear me. I've talked with multiple people, used multiple earbuds, attempted to make sure there is good contact with my jaw - everything I can think of - and about 95% of the time, the person on the other end of the call asks me if there is something wrong with my phone. Switching off bluetooth and continuing the call with the phone as normal results in everything being just fine

It's a shame - I really like the product, but it just doesn't really seem to work for me.


Frontier Natural Products, Whole Cumin Seed, 16 Ounce Bags (Pack of 2)
Frontier Natural Products, Whole Cumin Seed, 16 Ounce Bags (Pack of 2)
Price: $19.71
2 used & new from $16.79

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great quality, but go in with someone else, unless you are preparing for a post-apocalyptic event, June 7, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My wife and I ran out of cumin. Where we used to live, grocery stores had bulk aisles where you could buy lots of cumin for not lots of money. Here, the same amount sets you back close to the cost of a meal at a nice restaurant. Obviously, a solution was needed.

I searched around and found two pounds of cumin on sale from Frontier. Prime shipping, no tax, why not? I clicked "order" and didn't think about it until I got home from a business trip and noticed two massive bags sitting on the kitchen table. I'm not sure exactly how much I thought I was buying, but two pounds of cumin is a lot. I'm pretty sure I won't need to be needing to buy cumin for the next two to three years. In fact, I might be able to sell some to my local grocer and supply them for the next two to three years as well.

That said, the quality is fantastic. Lightly toasted and put through the spice grinder, and there is a noticeable improvement over generic supermarket cumin. The price and quality are both fantastic.

All in all, this is a good way to go if you need some cumin - especially if you need a lot of cumin. Share some with your mother, grandmother, aunts, uncles, neighborhood watch society - whoever... you'll have plenty. But even if you keep it all for yourself, you'll be glad you ordered.


Nikon 200mm f/4.0D ED-IF AF Micro-Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
Nikon 200mm f/4.0D ED-IF AF Micro-Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
Price: Click here to see our price
3 used & new from $1,649.00

42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best macro lens. Period., April 5, 2011
There's a common theme in these reviews, and I honestly don't have much that I can add, other than to put one more vote up that this is the best macro lens I've ever shot with - and I've shot with several.

I've owned the Nikon 60, the Tamron 90, the Sigma 150, and the Nikon 105, but none of them comes close to delivering the stunning images put out by the Nikon 200. In particular, this lens has some of the most amazing bokeh I've ever seen in a lens. With a working distance that feels like a mile, you can capture some amazing shots of very skittish insects and animals, due to not having to be 2 inches away. Even though it's well over a decade old, the design is still tack sharp, and unrivaled in its optical construction.

Before I purchased this lens, I looked at the superlatives in every review and wondered if it could ever be as good as everyone said it was. After owning the lens and using it in a variety of contexts, I can do nothing less than shower those same superlatives on the lens.

Ultimately, the pictures are what tell the story on this one. My profile page contains a link to my blog, where I have several macro shots with this lens posted. Feel free to ask any questions or ask for samples of what this thing can do - it is truly stunning in every way.


Experimental Theology
Experimental Theology
Price: $0.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best blog on theology available., April 5, 2011
Dr. Richard Beck's blog, Experimental Theology, is funny, thoughtful, and deeply insightful. Tying together threads from politics, theology, art, and psychology, Dr. Beck offers his readers a wide range of material, yet blends the diverse subjects together in a masterful way. Charming, witty, provocative, and honest, his posts touch on subjects often neglected in more traditional Christian circles.

Dr. Beck generally averages 3-4 posts per week, more often than not causing the reader to laugh, think, and question themselves and their beliefs in turn. If you're looking for a honest and engaging guide through some of the thorny and problematic issues in contemporary Christianity, this is a blog you'll want to follow.


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