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Alan Montgomery RSS Feed (Durham, NC)
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Nikon D7100 24.1 MP DX-Format CMOS Digital SLR (Body Only)
Nikon D7100 24.1 MP DX-Format CMOS Digital SLR (Body Only)
Price: $1,046.95
72 used & new from $859.00

356 of 384 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Upgrade from D5100, March 16, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
***UPDATED 3/18/13 TO INCLUDE SOME MEMORY CARD BUFFER BENCHMARKS IN MEMORY CARD SECTION***

This review is aimed at people who are relatively new to photography (~couple years), as I am in the same boat. There will be much more thorough reviews on Amazon for people who are already serious photographers, written by people who are actually serious photographers.

General Impression:
A wonderful upgrade from my D5100 after 2 years of heavy use. This camera is obviously aimed at a different person than the D3x00 or D5x00 series as it offers quick access to advanced features without having to go through tons of menus.

Construction/Feel:
This camera feels like a series camera. Coming from the all plastic D5100, this thing is built like a tank. It is noticeably larger than my old camera, which is due to the fact that it has more knobs and wheels.

Controls:
One of the main reasons I wanted to upgrade from an entry level dSLR was so I can quickly change settings without having to hunt through menus to do so. This camera fits the bill very well and has a few major upgrades from my point of view. Fistly, the U1 and U2 settings are invaluable. Being able to have a group of settings stored such that I can revert back to them by turning one knob is major. Several times in the past I have been trying to compose one shot only to have a completely different shot appear that required different settings altogether. This takes a while to do on the more entry level camera and has been very annoying. Something that may not seem that important but I love already is the depth of field preview button. I enjoy being able to see what the aperture setting will actually look like without having to take a shot and review on the LCD. The final feature that I love are a collection of buttons/knobs/wheels that allow me to change things like shooting mode (continuous, timer, etc), AF mode, ISO setting, etc without having to get into a menu. I haven't quite committed their location to memory but once I do I won't even have to take the camera away from my face to make the changes. Again, this section here is really the reason I wanted to upgrade and I am not disappointed.

Auto Focus:
The 51-point AF on this camera has been a dream to use. I almost always keep the camera set to single point servo autofocus so I can select the point I want it to focus to. As long as you have some contrast, it is very quick and accurate to focus. A big positive in this camera over the lower level ones is that it DOES have a built in AF motor which means it will autofocus on lenses that do not have a built in motor. I do have the Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 which lacks a motor, so I was stuck manually focusing it on my previous camera. I notice this camera has a much faster focusing speed compared to the D5100 and also is able to focus in low light better, I believe its supposed to be a 1 stop improvement.

LCD Screen:
I do/will miss the rotating/articulating screen the D5100 had. I can understand why on a semi-pro/prosumer camera they would remove it (it could fairly easily break off and does seem like somewhat of a gimmick), but I mainly enjoyed it because i could turn it around to protect the screen while transporting. This screen is definitely a better quality though and shows much more information.

Noise:
Wonderful sensor, great signal to noise ratio. With my D5100 I would start to see things go down hill around ISO1600-3200. With this camera, I will be bumping that setting up to 6400 which gives me 1-2 stops of slack to play with. A little noise reduction in editing software makes the images completely usable. Very happy with the noise. I'm guessing the full frame bodies do a better job in this category, but this camera does all I need it to. Also, still waiting for Lightroom to update their camera compatibility.

Image Quality:
I'm not a pixel-peeper nor do I have the extensive experience to really discuss the image quality. It takes good pictures if I compose good pictures.

Battery Life:
No complaints. I have gotten a couple hundred shots off and still have half battery life. I do expect to buy another battery at some point for times when I might be taking a couple thousand shots over a weekend.

Memory Card:
I enjoy being able to put two SD cards in here and plan to always use them in the backup mode (in case one should sheet the bed). VERY IMPORTANT, BIG DEAL HERE: The memory you put in is very important. From my D5100 I had a few Transcend 16 GB Class 6 SDHC Flash Memory Card TS16GSDHC6E. When I got the D7100, i felt the camera was not shooting as fast as it should. I then bought one SanDisk Extreme Pro 32 GB SDHC Class 10 UHS-1 Flash Memory Card 95MB/s SDSDXPA-032G-AFFP and would like to explain the results of my tests. So i set up on a tripod the same shot with each card at 14bit RAW uncompressed, as many as the camera take in 30 seconds. The only difference was the cards. The results are astounding and are not a typo. I got 68 shots with the sandisk and 23 with the transcend. That's right, almost 3x as many. Additionally, but unrelated to the camera, when copying 30 pictures (at 23mb a piece) to my MacBook Pro, the Sandisk took 13 seconds and the Transcend 41 seconds. If you aren't getting high performance out of your memory card, definitely look into upgrading.

Flash:
The built in flash is pretty puny, which seems to be par for the course. It does provide some nice fill lighting if you're outside taking pictures where there are some shadows on your subject, but for shooting inside it's marginal at best. I bought the very reasonably priced Nikon SB-400 AF Speedlight Flash for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras and have been very pleased with the combo. The external flash adds the ability to bounce light off the ceiling and not waste the camera battery while doing so. This camera does have the Nikon flash commander ability which I will no doubt take advantage of at some point.

Conclusion:
If you're starting to outgrow your lower tier DX camera, get this one - you won't be disappointed. I already have quite a few DX lenses and don't feel like replacing them with FX lenses and I actually prefer the crop factor (1.5x teleconverter in effect) on my big nasty 70-200 2.8.

Highly recommended.
Comment Comments (20) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 9, 2013 9:15 AM PDT


Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Deluxe Bundle Scanner for PC (PA03656-B015)
Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Deluxe Bundle Scanner for PC (PA03656-B015)
Offered by MegaRetailStore
Price: $457.99
38 used & new from $425.70

96 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Upgrade From Previous Fujitsu Scanners, January 16, 2013
I'll start out by saying that I've been the proud owner of a Fujitsu S1300 scanner for the past two years. I have gone almost completely paperless at home through a combination of scanning to Evernote and Dropbox and haven't looked back since. The quality and convenience of my previous scanner was unmatched over the last couple years, but there had always been some items on my wish list.
Enter the iX500

I really believe this to be the end-all-be-all as far as scanners is concerned. I'll try to go through this review in a logical fashion.

Purchase/Install
I actually received this unit on the first day it was released due to a connection I had (always love to be one of the first to have something). Bringing it home and unpacking it was familiar as this is my 3rd Fujitsu scanner (s1300 and s1300i for my parents) and setup was straight-forward. The install file on my MacBook was large, as usual, but took little time and was up and running. One of the main features/draws for this product was the wireless ability which I'll go into more detail later, but was easy to get setup. Overall took less than 10 minutes to start scanning. Nothing exciting.

Initial Impressions
This thing is FAST. I never had a complaint about the speed of my s1300 or especially the s1300i, but holy cow, this thing scans documents like it's going out of style. Even at full resolution color on both sides it is hard to keep up with it.
Secondly, this is by far an improvement over the s1300 in the aesthetics category. It looks like a very high end piece of AV equipment or something. So far my wife has not even attempted to make me move it off the kitchen counter where it currently resides. When folded up it is very unobtrusive and is very unassuming.
I have to reiterate that I truly enjoy the fact that, now that this is 100% wireless, I don't have to keep it in my home office or attached to another computer (with 2 USB ports like the s1300s).
Build quality is similar to the previous generations of Fujitsu scanners - superb.

Testing
Speed - I was easily able to get the 25 pages per minute claim and even hit 32 pages while doing my latest mortgage refinance documents.
Reliability - I put several documents through that either had a business card taped to them or a post-it note to see how it would handle them. All fed through perfectly fine and showed up as desired.
Wireless - This is honestly the main reason for my upgrade. Having the ability to detach this device from any and all computers and allow for the scanning of incoming mail directly to Evernote is a godsend. The iOS app worked flawlessly to get the scanner to do whichever type of scan I wanted and instantly made available my documents. This means not having to pile up my mail on a weekly basis and batch scan it when I take everything up to the office. It also means I'm far more likely to scan a document before trashing it, ensuring that nothing is overlooked. In the past I've shied away from wireless peripherals like printers as I've had bad luck with them, but with the rigorous testing I've done this far I have yet to break this.
Quality - As good as the S1300/S1300i as far as quality and OCR accuracy. This is somewhat secondary to main my needs but works well.

Overall Thoughts
This isn't the cheapest scanner you can buy but I honestly believe it to be the most convenient and well equipped. Aside from the cost savings of having to purchase filing cabinets, the psychological benefits of nothing have paper-clutter around the house and being able to find any document you need in an instant are huge. The iX500 has lived up to all my expectations and more so far.

Future Updates
I do plan on updating this review in the future with a few items. First, I am trying to get a video of the insane speed of this device uploaded. Secondly, I'd like to give some more insight into the reliability/long-term build quality of it. Perhaps in 3-6 months the latter will come. Please comment with any questions and I'll respond ASAP.

Thanks
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 18, 2014 12:55 PM PST


FUJITSU ScanSnap iX500 FI-IX500
FUJITSU ScanSnap iX500 FI-IX500
Offered by Japan Electronics
Price: $438.00
32 used & new from $382.71

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Upgrade From S1300 Scanner, January 15, 2013
I'll start out by saying that I've been the proud owner of a Fujitsu S1300 scanner for the past two years. I have gone almost completely paperless at home through a combination of scanning to Evernote and Dropbox and haven't looked back since. The quality and convenience of my previous scanner was unmatched over the last couple years, but there had always been some items on my wish list.
Enter the iX500

I really believe this to be the end-all-be-all as far as scanners is concerned. I'll try to go through this review in a logical fashion.

Purchase/Install
I actually received this unit on the first day it was released due to a connection I had (always love to be one of the first to have something). Bringing it home and unpacking it was familiar as this is my 3rd Fujitsu scanner (s1300 and s1300i for my parents) and setup was straight-forward. The install file on my MacBook was large, as usual, but took little time and was up and running. One of the main features/draws for this product was the wireless ability which I'll go into more detail later, but was easy to get setup. Overall took less than 10 minutes to start scanning. Nothing exciting.

Initial Impressions
This thing is FAST. I never had a complaint about the speed of my s1300 or especially the s1300i, but holy cow, this thing scans documents like it's going out of style. Even at full resolution color on both sides it is hard to keep up with it.
Secondly, this is by far an improvement over the s1300 in the aesthetics category. It looks like a very high end piece of AV equipment or something. So far my wife has not even attempted to make me move it off the kitchen counter where it currently resides. When folded up it is very unobtrusive and is very unassuming.
I have to reiterate that I truly enjoy the fact that, now that this is 100% wireless, I don't have to keep it in my home office or attached to another computer (with 2 USB ports like the s1300s).
Build quality is similar to the previous generations of Fujitsu scanners - superb.

Testing
Speed - I was easily able to get the 25 pages per minute claim and even hit 32 pages while doing my latest mortgage refinance documents.
Reliability - I put several documents through that either had a business card taped to them or a post-it note to see how it would handle them. All fed through perfectly fine and showed up as desired.
Wireless - This is honestly the main reason for my upgrade. Having the ability to detach this device from any and all computers and allow for the scanning of incoming mail directly to Evernote is a godsend. The iOS app worked flawlessly to get the scanner to do whichever type of scan I wanted and instantly made available my documents. This means not having to pile up my mail on a weekly basis and batch scan it when I take everything up to the office. It also means I'm far more likely to scan a document before trashing it, ensuring that nothing is overlooked. In the past I've shied away from wireless peripherals like printers as I've had bad luck with them, but with the rigorous testing I've done this far I have yet to break this.
Quality - As good as the S1300/S1300i as far as quality and OCR accuracy. This is somewhat secondary to main my needs but works well.

Overall Thoughts
This isn't the cheapest scanner you can buy but I honestly believe it to be the most convenient and well equipped. Aside from the cost savings of having to purchase filing cabinets, the psychological benefits of nothing have paper-clutter around the house and being able to find any document you need in an instant are huge. The iX500 has lived up to all my expectations and more so far.

Future Updates
I do plan on updating this review in the future with a few items. First, I am trying to get a video of the insane speed of this device uploaded. Secondly, I'd like to give some more insight into the reliability/long-term build quality of it. Perhaps in 3-6 months the latter will come. Please comment with any questions and I'll respond ASAP.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 9, 2013 9:17 AM PST


Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Scanner for PC and Mac (PA03656-B005)
Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Scanner for PC and Mac (PA03656-B005)
Offered by MegaRetailStore
Price: $423.99
55 used & new from $385.49

439 of 449 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Upgrade From S1300 Scanner, January 14, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'll start out by saying that I've been the proud owner of a Fujitsu S1300 scanner for the past two years. I have gone almost completely paperless at home through a combination of scanning to Evernote and Dropbox and haven't looked back since. The quality and convenience of my previous scanner was unmatched over the last couple years, but there had always been some items on my wish list.
Enter the iX500

I really believe this to be the end-all-be-all as far as scanners is concerned. I'll try to go through this review in a logical fashion.

Purchase/Install
I actually received this unit on the first day it was released due to a connection I had (always love to be one of the first to have something). Bringing it home and unpacking it was familiar as this is my 3rd Fujitsu scanner (s1300 and s1300i for my parents) and setup was straight-forward. The install file on my MacBook was large, as usual, but took little time and was up and running. One of the main features/draws for this product was the wireless ability which I'll go into more detail later, but was easy to get setup. Overall took less than 10 minutes to start scanning. Nothing exciting.

Initial Impressions
This thing is FAST. I never had a complaint about the speed of my s1300 or especially the s1300i, but holy cow, this thing scans documents like it's going out of style. Even at full resolution color on both sides it is hard to keep up with it.
Secondly, this is by far an improvement over the s1300 in the aesthetics category. It looks like a very high end piece of AV equipment or something. So far my wife has not even attempted to make me move it off the kitchen counter where it currently resides. When folded up it is very unobtrusive and is very unassuming.
I have to reiterate that I truly enjoy the fact that, now that this is 100% wireless, I don't have to keep it in my home office or attached to another computer (with 2 USB ports like the s1300s).
Build quality is similar to the previous generations of Fujitsu scanners - superb.

Testing
Speed - I was easily able to get the 25 pages per minute claim and even hit 32 pages while doing my latest mortgage refinance documents.
Reliability - I put several documents through that either had a business card taped to them or a post-it note to see how it would handle them. All fed through perfectly fine and showed up as desired.
Wireless - This is honestly the main reason for my upgrade. Having the ability to detach this device from any and all computers and allow for the scanning of incoming mail directly to Evernote is a godsend. The iOS app worked flawlessly to get the scanner to do whichever type of scan I wanted and instantly made available my documents. This means not having to pile up my mail on a weekly basis and batch scan it when I take everything up to the office. It also means I'm far more likely to scan a document before trashing it, ensuring that nothing is overlooked. In the past I've shied away from wireless peripherals like printers as I've had bad luck with them, but with the rigorous testing I've done this far I have yet to break this.
Quality - As good as the S1300/S1300i as far as quality and OCR accuracy. This is somewhat secondary to main my needs but works well.

Overall Thoughts
This isn't the cheapest scanner you can buy but I honestly believe it to be the most convenient and well equipped. Aside from the cost savings of having to purchase filing cabinets, the psychological benefits of nothing have paper-clutter around the house and being able to find any document you need in an instant are huge. The iX500 has lived up to all my expectations and more so far.

Future Updates
I do plan on updating this review in the future with a few items. First, I am trying to get a video of the insane speed of this device uploaded. Secondly, I'd like to give some more insight into the reliability/long-term build quality of it. Perhaps in 3-6 months the latter will come. Please comment with any questions and I'll respond ASAP.

Thanks
Comment Comments (52) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 25, 2014 9:17 PM PST


Mobee Technology Magic Numpad - Customize your Apple Magic Trackpad with 3 Transparent Calculator Mode Layouts (MO6210)
Mobee Technology Magic Numpad - Customize your Apple Magic Trackpad with 3 Transparent Calculator Mode Layouts (MO6210)
Price: $27.08
26 used & new from $22.00

22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Product - Should Be Included With Magic Trackpad, November 7, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
As soon I saw this product I thought it sounded like such an obvious upgrade to Apple Magic Trackpad. I couldn't wait to order it as I use the Trackpad as my main pointing device on my Mac Mini.

Initial Impressions
It arrived a few days ago and was even better than expected. The packaging was very reminiscent of Apple brand products and included the three different layouts, a cleaning cloth, a card with scratch-off serial number, and a pen to be used for the programmable keys on the layouts.

Install
A quick 8MB download later and I was up and running the included app. It has a very simple, user-friendly interface that starts off with a demo of how to switch on/off the keypad feature and lets you choose which layout to start with and setup the programmable keys in no time. Honestly, there was nothing annoying about getting this going.

Use
I mainly purchased this for working in Excel/Numbers (which I do a lot of). After choosing layout Num20 I opened Excel and was almost instantly entering long numbers without having to glance down at where my fingers were. I was very pleased that there is a matte texture to the plastic that goes over the Trackpad as I enjoy that tactile feel - very glad it was not a high gloss surface that would attract fingerprints and eventually start becoming sticky. With the Trackpad sitting just to the right of my wireless keyboard I am working just as efficiently as I do with a full layout keyboard.

Overall Impression
Before purchasing this I was considering the Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, USA because I really wanted a numberpad for all the number entering I do. Having this has proven to be an even better alternative, offering several additional keys to be used to perform other actions that I choose.

Could not be happier with this purchase - will definitely purchase a set to go with any future Magic Trackpads I buy.

Highly Recommended.


Nikon COOLPIX AW100 16 MP CMOS Waterproof Digital Camera with GPS and Full HD 1080p Video (Blue)
Nikon COOLPIX AW100 16 MP CMOS Waterproof Digital Camera with GPS and Full HD 1080p Video (Blue)
Offered by Electronics Basket
Price: $292.49
12 used & new from $200.00

20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Camera for Outdoor Use, September 21, 2011
I have had this camera a few days now and have been very impressed with the tests I've put it through thus far. This camera does everything Nikon says it will and does them all wonderfully.

Overall Build
This is a small camera in your hands which is a good and bad thing. It's great because it means it's easy to slip in your pants or shirt pocket and always keep with you. It weighs little enough that you hardly notice it's there. I see where some people could see this as an issue because the buttons on it are very small in order to have the back LCD as large as possible. It does not feel cheap even though it's made out of plastic and although I don't plan on doing a drop test, I am confident it would survive a drop from chest high.

Picture Quality
With an 8GB SD card I don't see a reason to shoot at any other setting than the highest resolution, so all my playing around with it was done at this setting. The JPEGs that come out look great. The images are sharp, have good color and the auto whitebalance has done an amazing job. The main thing I was worried about was having to do difficult WB corrections after the fact if it wasn't right on with the WB, but so far it has been spot on in full sun shots, shady shots, indoor with incandescent and indoor with fluorescent lights. I honestly think the 16MP is a little overkill, but will keep shooting at full resolution as I don't know when I'll need those extra pixels. Lastly, low light shooting has definitely exceeded my expectations. I thought with a sensor as small as this one there would be lots of noise in the final result but even at the higher ISO levels the pictures are very clear and useable.

Video
I don't really plan on using this for video too much but have tested it out nonetheless. It is very smooth while shooting at 1080p and looks great when run to my TV to view it. The microphones pick up the noises very well and even have a setting that reduces wind noise (I tested by blowing on the microphone while recording). To shoot video you don't have to change modes or anything - you just press the red circle button on the back and you're off.

Button Placement/Menu
Everything seems to get in the right place as far as buttons go. Most can be reached with either your right thumb or right index finger while you're holding it up to shoot without adjusting, although if you are a lefty you will need to get used to holding it in your right hand. I also shoot a Nikon d5100 and had no trouble figuring out what everything did without looking at the instruction manual, so if you've used a Nikon in the past few years this should be a breeze. The menu is fairly uncomplicated and not overloaded with useless features. It is quick to get to the setting I want without too many annoying clicks. This is important to me as I had missing shots while I fumble with the buttons.

Vibration Reduction
I tested this out by holding the camera at arms length with one hand while shooting some test shots. Even from the LCD I could tell the image was doing a lot less shaking than my hand was, and was very impressed by the pictures when they came out. This will definitely come in handy on the boat.

Auto-Focus
Having not used a point and shoot in a few year, I was very pleased with how far the autofocus has come. It quickly locks on to an object, highlights the object and will keep it in focus even if you start swinging the camera around. Going from objects ~1 foot away to 30 feet away has been focused quickly and accurately. No complaints here.

Water-Proofness
The main reason I got this camera is so I could take it out with me when I go fishing. This means the first chance I got, I took this camera in a pool to start testing it out. It worked as expected, shooting at the 10 foot deep end of the pool with no problem. The color correction for shooting underwater was also quite effective. After taking some test shots, I put the camera in my pocket for the rest of the time in the pool just to keep it submerged for as long as possible. After a quick towel off out of the pool, it looked good as new. The battery/SD card door has a foolproof way of shutting and remaining watertight so unless I puncture something I'm not worried about water getting in there.

GPS
I have loved the performance of the GPS even when indoors. This is something that will be very useful when I either go fishing or go out in the woods and want to take a picture of something that is in a location I want to come back to. The GPS data is written to the metadata so I can punch it in googlemaps after I get home to see where things were. It also has an electronic compass which is handy for a few reasons and has worked great so far.

Flash
It works and it lights things up. I've sort of grown to love to hate flashes for snapshot while using my dSLR so I try not to use it often. It is significantly better than some of the old point and shoots I've used, so in a pinch I will rely on it.

Battery Life
Don't let the tiny battery fool you - it lasts a long time. After the initial charge, I've spent close to an hour just going through all the menus playing with things, testing out the GPS, taking dozens of pictures and videos and reviewing them on the camera after the fact and am still above 50%. I couldn't imagine a situation where I would feel the need to purchase or bring a second battery along unless I was going to be out of civilization for a week or so.

I would highly recommend this camera to anyone who is looking for an outdoor/waterproof camera, or someone who needs a slightly more durable camera due to butterfingers.


Nikon COOLPIX AW100 16 MP CMOS Waterproof Digital Camera with GPS and Full HD 1080p Video (Black)
Nikon COOLPIX AW100 16 MP CMOS Waterproof Digital Camera with GPS and Full HD 1080p Video (Black)
Offered by Electromax
Price: $299.99
11 used & new from $175.00

46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Camera for Outdoor Use, September 21, 2011
I have had this camera a few days now and have been very impressed with the tests I've put it through thus far. This camera does everything Nikon says it will and does them all wonderfully.

Overall Build
This is a small camera in your hands which is a good and bad thing. It's great because it means it's easy to slip in your pants or shirt pocket and always keep with you. It weighs little enough that you hardly notice it's there. I see where some people could see this as an issue because the buttons on it are very small in order to have the back LCD as large as possible. It does not feel cheap even though it's made out of plastic and although I don't plan on doing a drop test, I am confident it would survive a drop from chest high.

Picture Quality
With an 8GB SD card I don't see a reason to shoot at any other setting than the highest resolution, so all my playing around with it was done at this setting. The JPEGs that come out look great. The images are sharp, have good color and the auto whitebalance has done an amazing job. The main thing I was worried about was having to do difficult WB corrections after the fact if it wasn't right on with the WB, but so far it has been spot on in full sun shots, shady shots, indoor with incandescent and indoor with fluorescent lights. I honestly think the 16MP is a little overkill, but will keep shooting at full resolution as I don't know when I'll need those extra pixels. Lastly, low light shooting has definitely exceeded my expectations. I thought with a sensor as small as this one there would be lots of noise in the final result but even at the higher ISO levels the pictures are very clear and useable.

Video
I don't really plan on using this for video too much but have tested it out nonetheless. It is very smooth while shooting at 1080p and looks great when run to my TV to view it. The microphones pick up the noises very well and even have a setting that reduces wind noise (I tested by blowing on the microphone while recording). To shoot video you don't have to change modes or anything - you just press the red circle button on the back and you're off.

Button Placement/Menu
Everything seems to get in the right place as far as buttons go. Most can be reached with either your right thumb or right index finger while you're holding it up to shoot without adjusting, although if you are a lefty you will need to get used to holding it in your right hand. I also shoot a Nikon d5100 and had no trouble figuring out what everything did without looking at the instruction manual, so if you've used a Nikon in the past few years this should be a breeze. The menu is fairly uncomplicated and not overloaded with useless features. It is quick to get to the setting I want without too many annoying clicks. This is important to me as I had missing shots while I fumble with the buttons.

Vibration Reduction
I tested this out by holding the camera at arms length with one hand while shooting some test shots. Even from the LCD I could tell the image was doing a lot less shaking than my hand was, and was very impressed by the pictures when they came out. This will definitely come in handy on the boat.

Auto-Focus
Having not used a point and shoot in a few year, I was very pleased with how far the autofocus has come. It quickly locks on to an object, highlights the object and will keep it in focus even if you start swinging the camera around. Going from objects ~1 foot away to 30 feet away has been focused quickly and accurately. No complaints here.

Water-Proofness
The main reason I got this camera is so I could take it out with me when I go fishing. This means the first chance I got, I took this camera in a pool to start testing it out. It worked as expected, shooting at the 10 foot deep end of the pool with no problem. The color correction for shooting underwater was also quite effective. After taking some test shots, I put the camera in my pocket for the rest of the time in the pool just to keep it submerged for as long as possible. After a quick towel off out of the pool, it looked good as new. The battery/SD card door has a foolproof way of shutting and remaining watertight so unless I puncture something I'm not worried about water getting in there.

GPS
I have loved the performance of the GPS even when indoors. This is something that will be very useful when I either go fishing or go out in the woods and want to take a picture of something that is in a location I want to come back to. The GPS data is written to the metadata so I can punch it in googlemaps after I get home to see where things were. It also has an electronic compass which is handy for a few reasons and has worked great so far.

Flash
It works and it lights things up. I've sort of grown to love to hate flashes for snapshot while using my dSLR so I try not to use it often. It is significantly better than some of the old point and shoots I've used, so in a pinch I will rely on it.

Battery Life
Don't let the tiny battery fool you - it lasts a long time. After the initial charge, I've spent close to an hour just going through all the menus playing with things, testing out the GPS, taking dozens of pictures and videos and reviewing them on the camera after the fact and am still above 50%. I couldn't imagine a situation where I would feel the need to purchase or bring a second battery along unless I was going to be out of civilization for a week or so.

I would highly recommend this camera to anyone who is looking for an outdoor/waterproof camera, or someone who needs a slightly more durable camera due to butterfingers.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 18, 2012 10:08 AM PDT


Nikon COOLPIX AW100 16 MP CMOS Waterproof Digital Camera with GPS and Full HD 1080p Video (Orange)
Nikon COOLPIX AW100 16 MP CMOS Waterproof Digital Camera with GPS and Full HD 1080p Video (Orange)
Offered by TECH BUY
Price: $277.98
39 used & new from $139.00

771 of 790 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Camera for Outdoor Use, September 21, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have had this camera a few days now and have been very impressed with the tests I've put it through thus far. This camera does everything Nikon says it will and does them all wonderfully.

Overall Build
This is a small camera in your hands which is a good and bad thing. It's great because it means it's easy to slip in your pants or shirt pocket and always keep with you. It weighs little enough that you hardly notice it's there. I see where some people could see this as an issue because the buttons on it are very small in order to have the back LCD as large as possible. It does not feel cheap even though it's made out of plastic and although I don't plan on doing a drop test, I am confident it would survive a drop from chest high.

Picture Quality
With an 8GB SD card I don't see a reason to shoot at any other setting than the highest resolution, so all my playing around with it was done at this setting. The JPEGs that come out look great. The images are sharp, have good color and the auto whitebalance has done an amazing job. The main thing I was worried about was having to do difficult WB corrections after the fact if it wasn't right on with the WB, but so far it has been spot on in full sun shots, shady shots, indoor with incandescent and indoor with fluorescent lights. I honestly think the 16MP is a little overkill, but will keep shooting at full resolution as I don't know when I'll need those extra pixels. Lastly, low light shooting has definitely exceeded my expectations. I thought with a sensor as small as this one there would be lots of noise in the final result but even at the higher ISO levels the pictures are very clear and useable.

Video
I don't really plan on using this for video too much but have tested it out nonetheless. It is very smooth while shooting at 1080p and looks great when run to my TV to view it. The microphones pick up the noises very well and even have a setting that reduces wind noise (I tested by blowing on the microphone while recording). To shoot video you don't have to change modes or anything - you just press the red circle button on the back and you're off.

Button Placement/Menu
Everything seems to get in the right place as far as buttons go. Most can be reached with either your right thumb or right index finger while you're holding it up to shoot without adjusting, although if you are a lefty you will need to get used to holding it in your right hand. I also shoot a Nikon d5100 and had no trouble figuring out what everything did without looking at the instruction manual, so if you've used a Nikon in the past few years this should be a breeze. The menu is fairly uncomplicated and not overloaded with useless features. It is quick to get to the setting I want without too many annoying clicks. This is important to me as I had missing shots while I fumble with the buttons.

Vibration Reduction
I tested this out by holding the camera at arms length with one hand while shooting some test shots. Even from the LCD I could tell the image was doing a lot less shaking than my hand was, and was very impressed by the pictures when they came out. This will definitely come in handy on the boat.

Auto-Focus
Having not used a point and shoot in a few year, I was very pleased with how far the autofocus has come. It quickly locks on to an object, highlights the object and will keep it in focus even if you start swinging the camera around. Going from objects ~1 foot away to 30 feet away has been focused quickly and accurately. No complaints here.

Water-Proofness
The main reason I got this camera is so I could take it out with me when I go fishing. This means the first chance I got, I took this camera in a pool to start testing it out. It worked as expected, shooting at the 10 foot deep end of the pool with no problem. The color correction for shooting underwater was also quite effective. After taking some test shots, I put the camera in my pocket for the rest of the time in the pool just to keep it submerged for as long as possible. After a quick towel off out of the pool, it looked good as new. The battery/SD card door has a foolproof way of shutting and remaining watertight so unless I puncture something I'm not worried about water getting in there.

GPS
I have loved the performance of the GPS even when indoors. This is something that will be very useful when I either go fishing or go out in the woods and want to take a picture of something that is in a location I want to come back to. The GPS data is written to the metadata so I can punch it in googlemaps after I get home to see where things were. It also has an electronic compass which is handy for a few reasons and has worked great so far.

Flash
It works and it lights things up. I've sort of grown to love to hate flashes for snapshot while using my dSLR so I try not to use it often. It is significantly better than some of the old point and shoots I've used, so in a pinch I will rely on it.

Battery Life
Don't let the tiny battery fool you - it lasts a long time. After the initial charge, I've spent close to an hour just going through all the menus playing with things, testing out the GPS, taking dozens of pictures and videos and reviewing them on the camera after the fact and am still above 50%. I couldn't imagine a situation where I would feel the need to purchase or bring a second battery along unless I was going to be out of civilization for a week or so.

I would highly recommend this camera to anyone who is looking for an outdoor/waterproof camera, or someone who needs a slightly more durable camera due to butterfingers.

I've been nothing but impressed with it so far and will update this review after a few months and a few fishing trips.
Comment Comments (12) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 4, 2013 3:25 PM PDT


Philips Sonicare HX9332/05 DiamondClean Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush, White
Philips Sonicare HX9332/05 DiamondClean Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush, White
Price: $189.95
16 used & new from $185.54

94 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Electric Toothbrush on the Market, August 19, 2011
I have been using electric toothbrushes for more than 10 years and this thing is hands down the best one on the market.
I purchased this toothbrush a few weeks ago and even upgrading from my older Sonicare, I've noticed a huge difference.

I never thought I had sensitive teeth in the past - I just thought the feeling I had after brushing was normal. Using the sensitive setting on this toothbrush gives a better clean than I got in the past and doesn't leave my teeth feeling like they vibrating afterwards. Also, about once a week I would have some gum sensitivity where there would be redness and or bleeding which has gone away.

The 30 second interval timer is great as I like to zone out while brushing and this makes sure I move from each section of my mouth when needed. With my old school Oral B toothbrushes I would sometimes go over the two minute timers as my teeth didn't feel super clean but I haven't come close to experiencing that with this brush.

My wife also uses and love this toothbrush. As of now we have been two weeks without recharging this thing - we are trying to see how long it will really go. It comes with a travel charger which is super nice, but really, if the battery lasts this long when would you really need it? If for some reason you do need to charge it it comes with the handy charging glass to keep in your hotel room.

This is really the top tier toothbrush, as silly as it sounds. They have a 30 day guarantee so there really is no reason not to try it if you're considering it.

I really do look forward to brushing now and I've been using electric toothbrushes for over a decade - that's saying a lot.

Highly Recommended.
Comment Comments (9) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 26, 2012 2:59 PM PDT


Omron HJ-112 Digital Pocket Pedometer
Omron HJ-112 Digital Pocket Pedometer
Offered by Regal Quest LLC
Price: $61.95
19 used & new from $52.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accurate, Tiny Pedometer, August 18, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My wife and I were both curious how much walking we actually did at work. We bought a cheap pedometer at Target which did a horrible job of counting steps for either of us. I then found this one on Amazon for the same price and it had great reviews so I got it.

This has been very accurate if I compare a known number of steps to what the screen reports so I've been very happy with it. The batteries have also lasted an extremely long time - about 8 months now and are still going strong.

If you need a little thing to tell you how many steps youve taken and dont need heart rate or any of that other stuff, get this one.

Recommended.


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