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Tenba 638-374  Messenger DNA 11 Camera and Laptop Bag  (Dark Copper)
Tenba 638-374 Messenger DNA 11 Camera and Laptop Bag (Dark Copper)
Price: $139.95
17 used & new from $132.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Near perfect in every way, May 27, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've been commuting and traveling with this bag for several months, and it is one excellent bag. It's near perfect in my Goldilocks search for not too big, not too small, everyday carry. When it's on commute duty, I remove the camera insert, and it holds my lunch bag, noise-canceling headphones, water bottle, iPad, notepad, and a book. When it's on amateur photographer duty, it holds my DSLR, a standard zoom, a telephoto zoom, iPad, batteries and charger with room to spare. When it's time to hop on a plane, carefully considered packing will allow the DSLR, 2 lenses, plus a Panasonic GM1 and its 2-3 lenses; an iPad, filters, batteries, and chargers, and assorted small stuff. Regardless of its configuration, it carries well and rides comfortably, even when stuffed. Zippers are easy to pull in either direction with one finger. There are enough pockets and slots for pens, etc., for the organization freak in me to have a dedicated place for every item. The padded camera insert has a good amount of padded dividers to handle 2-3 primes and zooms - though not a super zoom - and APC-sized DSLR with a battery handle. There is no provision for mounting a tripod, but this is a hardly a compromise for the type of shooting I do when using my standard kit. A favorite feature is the zippered opening on the top panel: it allows quick one-handed access to the main compartment, and it's big enough to pull even my camera. Other likes: smooth tough bottom panel doesn't pick up dirt and debris, seems waterproof. I've not had to use the rain over, even in a downpour. The bag always stays upright. It doesn't look like a camera bag. Although initially skeptical of the magnetic clasps for the flap straps, once in place, they stay put and need only one hand to hook or release. So far, no signs of wear and tear, loose stitching, etc. I get compliments on it regularly.

Some quibbles: the top handle is offset, so the bag isn't exactly balanced, especially when fully loaded. While the grippy pad on the shoulder is functional, easy to adjust, and stays put, it isn't wide enough to spread the load when carrying the bag messenger style. Lastly, while Tenba gives instructions for how to quietly open to the hook-and-loop flap (pull downward), it still makes noise -- as in, a kind-of-loud-in-church way. Lastly, the top panel is not padded, so no protection should your bag fall off the desk. I'm not as concerned now, as the Tenba always stays upright, so just something to keep in mind.

All in all, a durable, well thought-out and well-executed piece of kit. I look forward to years of reliable, faithful service.


Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2KK 16.05 MP Live MOS Mirrorless Digital Camera with 3-inch Free-Angle Touch Screen LCD and 14-42mm Lens (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2KK 16.05 MP Live MOS Mirrorless Digital Camera with 3-inch Free-Angle Touch Screen LCD and 14-42mm Lens (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Offered by Electronics Basket
5 used & new from $429.99

75 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best M4/3 camera yet., January 11, 2011
**First off, I have given the GH2 five stars because of its general excellence and how much I love using this camera, but that is not to say it's without fault.**

I am a huge fan of the micro 4/3 format. Point & shots are fine as such, but the lack of manual controls frustrates me as does image quality beyond a 5"x7" print. On the other hand, a full size DSLR feels too bulky in my hand and to carry around often. I learned basic photography using a 70's vintage Nikon FM, so the G-series size is more familiar to my hands than today's full size DSLRs. And with taking candids and street shots, it doesn't feel nearly as intrusive as a 1.5+lb DSLR kit does to me.

So this is my third G-series Panasonic camera. Without a doubt, this is the best one yet. The G1 & G2 are great cameras in their own right, but the GH2 advances the M4/3 format to whole new level. I wanted a faster camera but had too much invested in this format to look elsewhere. The GH2 is faster in every respect over the G2. AF is noticeably quicker, and better yet, very accurate. I've yet to see it really tripped up. Shooting rate is very quick; much, much faster than the G2. Unfortunately it seems Panasonic didn't bump up the buffer size to keep up with the frames per second the camera's capable of. So after about 10 shot burst, the camera freezes up for 5-10 seconds or more, especially if you're shooting RAW -- and I'm using a class 10 8g card. Shooting in jpeg helps some. Don't think of using anything less than a class 6 card, even shooting jpeg. This is a shame as it keeps the camera from being a decent sports/action shooter

Handling is one of my favorite things about the GH2. It feels good in my average-sized guy hands. If you're used to a DSLR, it may feel too light and lacking heft. Coming from point-and-shoots, it feels pretty solid and stable in hand. The thumb grip, while adequate, could be a bit bigger and stickier. The body does have a little too much of a plastic feel and sometimes seems a shade too light. Still, I never have the feeling of it slipping or squirting out of my hand.

The ergonomics are very good. Frequently used settings have manual adjustments. If not, there are now 3 function buttons to customize, as well as 3 custom modes. Or you can drive through the menus. The touchscreen initially struck me as kind of superfluous: I could adjust everything without it. But after awhile, I found myself using the touchscreen much more than I thought I would. It adds another level of control. Sometimes I can't remember where to find setting, but often within two taps of the screen I'm adjusting what I want. It's very helpful in getting the focus point(s) just so on a tricky composition, setting white balance (see below) and reviewing shots.

I always will miss an optical viewfinder, but the GH2's EVF is about as good a substitute as it gets. Smearing and rainbow effect are negligible and only appear in very poor light conditions, as does, not surprisingly, a lot of noise. Otherwise it does fine, even during a fast pan.

I've never been much interested in shooting video, but in the little experimenting I've done, the image quality is absolutely amazing. A number of GH2 owners have posted vids on youtube. Some of these really got me salivating, even though I'm not a video guy. I suspect this may be the camera's better/stronger half.

As for still images, Panasonic is closing in on DSLR quality. The dynamic range and low light speed are much, much improved since the G1, especially daylight, high contrast scenes. Blown highlights are just about a thing of the past. Low light image quality is now quite good at ISO 1600. I can get usable shots up to about ISO 3200, at which point noise is really becoming prevalent. Image stabilization is fine, I suppose: I've not noticed it one way or the other. The new Venus engine seems to render colors closer to their true values than earlier G-series were able to. Images out of the camera (once the WB is properly set, see below), seem sharper and more vivid than the slightly soft look Panasonic cameras I've owned tended to produce.

However, there are two image related issues. First is the auto white balance. It's the camera's greatest weakness. AWB does a pretty good job in ordinary outdoor light, if on occasion a little bit off. Indoors, it's middling at best. In general, inside AWB is too warm, yellow actually, for indoor photos. Moreover, the preset modes, ie, cloudy, incandescent, etc, are quite off and are all but useless. I either set the balance myself -- this is where the touchscreen is very handy -- or use my custom presets. This bothers me less than it sounds. I've learned what to expect and adjust accordingly.

The second issue is really more an issue of preference than a problem. When I'm feeling slow on the draw or just lazy, I'll select the full-on point-and-shoot mode, aka intelligent auto. Shots are consistent and just fine. However, here again, AWB can be a little off. ISO 400 seems to be the default daylight speed when 100 or 200 would be much better, and images once in awhile are little underexposed. Most of which can be addressed post process. But in semi-auto modes where the camera selects the ISO, having it default to ISO 400 when 100 or 200 is warranted, is annoying. But to be fair, in full iA mode, the camera will almost always choose the correct scene -- portrait, children, landscape, etc -- that you're trying to capture and produce pleasing results. Perhaps a firmware update will correct the WB issues and have a better algorithm for the auto ISO.

I can't say I'm enamored of the the kit lens. It's the same lens my G2 came with. I didn't care for its particularly plasticky feel and look. One good bump and it looks like the plastic casing will crack. In operation I think it felt a little cheap too. Given I already had several M43 lenses, I had no need for a kit lens so I ordered the body only. BTW, if you're thinking of a zoom, skip the Pany 45-200mm --it's slow without giving that much zoom -- and go for the 100-300mm. Also, I highly recommend either of the Pany pancake lenses: the 14mm f2.5 or the 20mm f1.7. Both bring out a little something extra from the camera that I can't describe. Images just seem to have a depth, clarity, and tone that other lenses seem to miss. Plus fitted with a pancake lens the camera is small enough to fit in a large coat pocket.

Print-wise, this is where the camera really rewards effort. The rare times I've gotten everything just right have yielded a large print or two I'm proud of. The focus modes and various metering modes are spot on, that is, of course, if the dummy at the controls has configured the camera properly.

The issues with the white balance and the small buffer keep me from giving the GH2 an unqualified 5-star rating. 4 stars is too few for its overall excellence, so read the 5 stars as being 4.5.

On a final note, I wouldn't say this format is for everyone. There are compromises, which become less with each new model, but you pay extra to lose the weight and bulk of a full-size DSLR. For less money you can buy a DSLR with better specs -- on paper at least. I get a kick out of using this camera, in a way like none other I've owned. Its size, its good handling and ease of use, and the way it rewards when you put it to work all justify the extra dollars out of my wallet.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 14, 2011 6:37 PM PDT


DLO HipCase Leather Folio Case for iPod touch 1G, 2G, 3G (Black)
DLO HipCase Leather Folio Case for iPod touch 1G, 2G, 3G (Black)
Offered by Unino
Price: $14.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For those waiting for a touch 2G case..., September 24, 2008
This one works just fine. I couldn't wait any longer for a case made specifically for the 2nd generation iPod touch, so I gave this one a shot based on other reviews.

A very well made product, the DLO folio holds the touch 2G well enough once it is completely seated. However, to insert headphones or the connector cord, you have to put a finger on top to hold touch in place. Still, it passes my acid test: turning the case upside down and shaking: the touch didn't move at all. So I can easily overlook having to use a finger when inserting headphones.

The leather is soft to the touch but feels strong enough to resist normal wear and tear. Holding it up to my nose, there's a faint whiff of gasoline smell, but nothing like the objections made in other reviews. The stitching is even and no loose ends. The belt clip is very sturdy and not likely to tear the leather or come off anytime soon.

There's only one place it's apparent the case was designed for the 1st generation: no cutout for the volume controls. A piece of leather sits right over the volume buttons. No biggie, I still can adjust the volume through the leather with a firm push of my thumb or fingernail.

The inside of the flap has a slot for a cleaning cloth, a nice touch for the touch (sorry).

So five stars for its sturdy construction, fit and finish. Even though it's designed for the 1st gen, it is exactly what I was looking for.


Etymotic Research ER4P MicroPro Noise-Isolating In-Ear Earphones (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Etymotic Research ER4P MicroPro Noise-Isolating In-Ear Earphones (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
9 used & new from $259.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good sound & noise isolation; design not so, November 16, 2007
I bought these to replace a lost pair of Shure 2e's. I liked the Shure's sound but wanted to try something different. I use this style of headphone mostly for noise attenuation while travelling and sometimes exercising. I'm not an especially demanding audiophile, but I like a clean, balanced sound that delivers clear bass and crisp treble. The Etymotic's sound is pretty much what I wanted: bright but not too; and nice, clean bass. The sound they recreate from my 3G ipod Classic's rock, jazz, classic, & electronica is warm and spacious. Sometimes I have to adjust the EQ settings to keep the music's "presence" focused. Those wanting thumping low frequencies should look elsewhere.

Having worn earplugs for a lot of activities, I'm comfortable using in-ear earphones. The Etymotics have to go in deeper than Shures for best performance, so some may find these in particular uncomfortable to wear. Once in, they stay put. One thing to note: for me at least, they require micro-fine adjustment once in to get the sound balanced ear-to-ear.

Travelling, the Etymotic's noise isolation is very, very good: jet noise pretty much disappears and screaming children in the row behind you are reduced to dim background noise. On the other hand, I have to pull one out to hear and talk with someone; I wouldn't dare use them biking or rollerblading. I used to use Bose noise-cancelling headphones, which were very comfortable, but I found they only took the edge off crying babies and cellphone shouters. In-ear 'phones are superior for reducing these kind of aural assaults.

What keeps me from giving them five stars is their design and questionable long-term durability. The Etymotics don't seem to be designed to be worn with the wires wrapped over the ear like the Shures. So the wires move around some, sending movement noise into your head. The cord is long enough though for sticking your player in an airline seatback pocket. The wires to the earphones look delicate; I'd be concerned if I used them daily. More points off for how easily they tangle; I've yet to find a method to keep them untangled when stored. I understand that Etymotic Research was probably wanting to minimize weight, but the braided wires to the earpieces look cheap and tacky; they remind me of the white plastic mono earplug that came with cheap transistor radios years ago. No retro style points there. Also be aware the silicone flanges and foam eartips in the box come in one size only.

I have to admit the ER-4P's box and carrying pouch helped sway my purchase decision. They come in a sturdy plastic box with organizing slots for each item: extra flanges and filters, travel pouch, and 1/4" adaptor. The travel pouch has an inside pocket to store adaptors and extra flanges. My old Shure's case held only the headset, so these other things were always floating around my carry-on bag and eventually disappearing.

So in all I'm very pleased with the ER-4P's sound, noise isolation, and comfort. Some design elements could use improvement, and I've my doubts about the set's long-term durability. That said, I recommend these being worth a try.

10 MONTH FOLLOW UP: Despite handling with care, one of the speakers is kind of blown: doesn't handle much bass anymore. I don't know if it's damage to the speaker itself or a broken wire. Because of that I don't use them when I want good fidelity. They've sort of become my "beater" pair for my beater ipod for when I mow the lawn, cut firewood, paint, etc.

They've served me well, even though the wires remain determined to tangle themselves. Wish I could find one of those cases that winds the cords up.


Canon PowerShot SD600 6MP Digital Elph Camera with 3x Optical Zoom (OLD MODEL)
Canon PowerShot SD600 6MP Digital Elph Camera with 3x Optical Zoom (OLD MODEL)
16 used & new from $35.00

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great ultracompact, June 25, 2006
I bought this great little camera almost two weeks ago and have enjoyed every minute of use. I bought it to sort of replace my 3 year-old Canon A80, which was getting left home more and more because of its bulk. I travel a lot and wanted a quality ultracompact that would take pictures of the same caliber (or better) as my A80, but be much more pocket-friendly. I considered a number of cameras: Canon SD4xx/5xx/6xx, Sony's T series, Casio's Z series, and Panasonic's FX01. I went with the SD600 for its photo quality, build, optical viewfinder, and being the Goldilocks for size: not too big, not too small, just right.

Thoughts so far:

The SD600 is has a nice little heft to it but is not too heavy, and felts like it's been machined out one piece of metal. For such a small device it feels nice and solid in hand, and one-handed operation is comfortable. The case is a little on the slippery side. I see I'll have to be carefull with battery/card cover: it's the one thing that feels delicate. The buttons are large enough for my average-sized male hands.

The camera starts up very quickly, and shutter lag is negligible under most conditions. Turning off the nine-point autofocus (AiFA), which leaves on the centered AF, speeds things up a little. Flash is strong in the center of the shot, but regardless of zoom, weak on the sides. Fleshtones on the whole are rendered warm and natural, but again, it can be a little harsh in the center. Redeye is present as often as not, but it's better than I expected. The flash cycles fairly quickly with a charged battery. Battery life is OK: about 140 shots in fine mode, some flash use, and heavy LCD use. Thank you Canon for making a small flat charger whose prongs fold flat!

While this ELPH's LCD is not stunning like some of its competitors, resolution and brightness are satisfactory in all but the harshest sunlight. Bearing in mind this is an ultracompact, the viewfinder is decent and a reason why I chose this over the SD630, Casios, and Sonys.

I am very pleased with the photos this little guy is delivering. There're enough scene modes, and the automatic settings produce consistent results. The camera's manual controls are somewhat limited, but it is a point-and-shoot after all. Still, there's enough manual control to improve on the some of the auto modes and get more shots. I've found the white balance modes rather useless but surprisingly have had better and even more natural results using the special color modes. In the auto modes, colors are nicely saturated and accurately rendered. Focus time seems about average. Autofocus with or without AiAF is precise, so images are crisp without looking 'hard.' Contrast and detail are very good. In the 4x6's and 5x7's I've printed out, I'm sure a trained eye would see some issues, but what counts is that my eye is delighted with the results.

In making up my mind, video quality was not a consideration. After playing around with it though, I like what I see on the LCD, but I don't have enough experience with video to comment one way or another.

This Canon is the best compromise for me: excellent photos, solid construction, and very pocket- and travel-friendly. Battery life could be better. That's true of alot of electronic products, but I can live with it because the battery charger is very compact. All in all, this camera has met my expectations and has not disappointed me at all. In fact, it's been a lot of fun to use and play around with, which I think is much of the point of this class of camera. And I'm capturing photos I never would've bothered to get with a larger camera. So with that in mind, I'm happy to give it 5 stars.


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