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Customer Reviews: 12
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Helpful Votes: 407


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Jonathan High "jonhigh4" RSS Feed (Minneapolis, MN)
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Canon VIXIA HFS100 HD Flash Memory Camcorder w/10x Optical Zoom - 2009 MODEL
Canon VIXIA HFS100 HD Flash Memory Camcorder w/10x Optical Zoom - 2009 MODEL
4 used & new from $404.48

7 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By FAR Best Camcorder I've Ever Seen!, April 15, 2009
This camera is hands-down AMAZING. Video quality rivals much more expensive professional cameras, easy-to-use, full of great features and options, 8 megapixel lens...

I really can't say enough about this great camera!


Canon PowerShot SX200IS 12 MP Digital Camera with 12x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3.0-inch LCD (Black)
Canon PowerShot SX200IS 12 MP Digital Camera with 12x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3.0-inch LCD (Black)
9 used & new from $87.95

274 of 291 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Bag: Not for beginning point and shoot users, April 15, 2009
UPDATE
A lot of people are comparing this to the Panasonic DMC-ZS3; I just bought one so I have both. After spending some time with each I've come to the conclusion that, despite the similarities, they are different camera for different audiences. Here's where each excels:

PANASONIC

* For a very powerful point-and-click / don't think about it camera, it can't be beat. The Intelligent Auto almost always takes great pictures under almost all conditions. The Canon Auto doesn't even come close and esp for indoor pictures you have to select specific scenes - or use manual controls - to get a good picture.

* Video: True optical zoom + AVCHD video format support. IMHO the Canon's video really is toy-like without optical zoom.

* Features: Here again the Panasonic runs circles around the Canon:
- Much faster burst mode
- Takes 3 aspect ratios at once (e.g Normal + Wide Angle)
- Twice as many scene modes
- Focus locking (e.g. a moving animal)

CANON

* Manual Camera Controls: (e.g. ISO settings) I honestly have never used these before, but I'm disappointed the Panasonic doesn't include any, as I'd like to start to learn more about them. I can see how this is a big omission if you're a semi-professional photographer.

PICTURE QUALITY

* Auto Point-and-Shoot: Panasonic. I've taken pictures with high motion, low-light conditions, etc. I never thought possible (for me). If you know very little about ISO, etc. This is the camera for you.

* Manual and Best Possible Pictures: Looking at a LOT of samples, it's clear the Canon has a slight edge over the Panasonic here. I'm sure this is because Auto still can't quite take a picture the way a professional photographer would. I've always always been very partial to Canon cameras (until now) because they do seem to have the best picture quality, and the samples I've seen seem to show this is still true.

Realistically though, most of use won't take the time to adjust manual controls for every picture - in which case I'm confident the Panasonic will often take better pictures than the Canon (esp indoors or low-light conditions).

So overall, even after owning maybe 5 canons over the years, I'd recommend the Panasonc hands-down, with one exception:

If you're looking to learn more about professional photography and manual camera setting - but not ready for a real professional camera yet, the Canon might be a really good place to start, as the Panasonic doesn't have these.

I'm keeping both - but thee Panasonic will be the one I use 95% of the time.

*** INITIAL REVIEW ***
I've owned a half-dozen Cannon digital cameras over the years, this is the first one I'm not entirely impressed with.

PROS
* The 12x optical zoom
* Wide angle pictures
* HD video recording (digital zoom only)
* New features: Blink detection, etc.

CONS
* Auto Mode: Maybe I have a faulty camera; if not Auto mode is useless for indoor photos. Auto mode seems VERY aggressive with setting the shutter speed, etc. The problem with this is its settings usually mean you have to hold the camera rock-steady or you'll get very blurry pictures.

Also (with Auto Mode) indoor pictures are soft, include lots of noise, and the colors are off.

Doing some experimenting, you can get around these problems by switching to another picture mode, like Indoor. But, IMHO that defeats the entire purpose of Auto Mode. Yes, it's a simple turn of a dial to get the right mode - but I think even that disqualifies this as a true "point and shoot" camera.

I think this would be a good camera for people who want more control over their photos - without having to be a professional photographer. But I can't recommend it for someone who just wants to push a button to take a picture.
Comment Comments (14) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 13, 2010 2:03 AM PDT


Optoma EP-PK-101 Pico Pocket Projector
Optoma EP-PK-101 Pico Pocket Projector
6 used & new from $159.00

56 of 81 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't Work With Laptops!, January 14, 2009
I hope my title helps some people before you buy this - as I did - only to find out that IT WON'T WORK WITH YOUR LAPTOP! Every review I've read fails to mention this basic fact - and the Pico website only mentions it in the fine print.

I did try it with a friend's iPod; given the small size I wasn't expecting much - but the video quality even in a pitch black room (you can't see anything otherwise) is terrible - everything has an ugly blue-green hue. I'm guessing the first techo-color TVs in the 1950s looked a lot better than this.

Save your money.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 4, 2011 2:29 PM PST


The Colorado Kid (Hard Case Crime #13)
The Colorado Kid (Hard Case Crime #13)
by Stephen King
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
73 used & new from $5.26

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Self-indulgent garbage, October 31, 2005
Once a constant reader and avid Stephen King fan, I vowed never to pick up another Stephen King book after his horrid and self-indulgent conclusion to The Dark Tower saga.

But then I had a 5 hour layover and saw this book, so what the hey...

Terrible lazy and sloppy work. The other negative reviews already say it all (come on, a Blockbuster or Starbucks in 1980?) And is anyone else completely sick of "Ahuh"? Gag. Garbage like this would never see light of day except for the power of King's name and his previous works.

I won't make the same mistake in buying a Stephen King book again - or at least not until I check out the Amazon reviews!


The Purpose Driven Life
The Purpose Driven Life
by Rick Warren
Edition: Hardcover
3222 used & new from $0.01

11 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, Life-Changing Book, September 13, 2005
In many ways it is difficult to write an accurate review or even description of "The Purpose Driven Life". Some of the criticisms in other reviews are true: Is Warren's writing particularly good? No. Does he oversimplify things? Perhaps. Are his methods of using multiple translations of, and even outright paraphrasing scription, questionable? Yes. (And, being the owner of a publishing company and having a degree in Biblical Studies, I think I know a little bit about these matters.)

However, for all its faults, The Purpose Driving Life, is an amazing, life-changing book; the type that only comes around every few decades. I had fallen away from God for many years and nothing seemed to be able to bring me back on the path to God... but this book did. Furthermore, I can testify that the 2 people I have recommended to have become Christians. What greater testimony to the books effectiveness and purpose can there be?

I find it interesting that most of the bad reviews of Purpose Driven Life don't seem to be about the book at all, but seemingly about people's larger life views and issues. The bad reviews seem to fall into 2 camps:

1. People who reject the idea Christianity altogether; they hate the that we are all sinners who deserved death and hell but are saved by God's grace and his Son's death on the cross. They want God and His grace without obeying his commandments. These reviews make such references to Nazis, the Crusades, etc.

2. Modern-day Pharisees. Forget how much good this book has done, how many people it has saved or how many spirits it has uplifted. This legalistic group would rather nit-pick at how Warren quotes scripture, accuse him of giving a "feel good, new-age" message, and criticize him for not talking more about the law and hell and how we are all condemed and lost rather than how we can be saved. They emphasize man's depravity - that we are without worth and almost unredeemable (funny why God would feel the need to die for us then.) This is group that I originally belonged to and that turned me - and many others away from Christ and Christianity.

The only way I can judge "The Purpose Driven Life" is by applying the very simple WWJD rule to it (or, in my mind What Would I Imagine Jesus Being Like). The Purpose Driven Life challenged me, gave me hope, and a purpose in my life. Outside of the Bible, I can't think of another book that has done that. Thank you, Mr. Warren, for writing this.


Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos)
Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos)
by Dan Simmons
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.08
139 used & new from $0.01

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best all-time Sci-Fi book, July 16, 2005
I've read hudreds of sci-fi books, short stories, etc. - all the Hugo and Nebula award winners ever since I came across Asimov's I, Robot compliation when I was twelve oh so many years ago now.

Hyperion, and too a lesser degree, Fall of Hyperion, still stand as my my two all-time favorites in the genere. Everyone I recommend the series too, once they get past the admittedly difficult to grasp concepts in the beginning, it simply blown away by Hyperion.

I would also recommend Asimov's Foundations Trilogy and Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead (don't bother with the later books in these series - and even Dan's Simmons sequal to Endymion isn't nearly as good as the Hyperion cantos either.)

Thanks, Dan, for such an amazing work!


Olympos
Olympos
by Dan Simmons
Edition: Hardcover
122 used & new from $0.20

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, not quite great, July 14, 2005
This review is from: Olympos (Hardcover)
I have gave the previous book, Ilium 5 stars, so 9 out of 10 stars for the series. <>

Like the previous novel, Olympos is a very imaginative and I loved how Simmons mixes historic literature (Homer and Shakespeare) with science fiction.

My two criticisms of the book are:

1) The science in Olympos, especially some of the ideas dealing with quantum theory, become increasingly implausible and look more like magic and fantasy than science fiction.

2) The ending was quite anti-climatic. I wasn't expecting a Fall of Hyperion ending (my all time favorite ending) but Olympos ended with too many loose strings and unanswered questions. As another reviewer noted, where did Moira, Sycorax, The Quiet come from? Ilium left me with the burning question who or what were these Greek gods and where did they come from? I didn't find the vague explanation in Olympos satisfactory or plausible.

Still, all in all, it's a good book and a great summer read.


No Title Available

8 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great sound... when they work, June 29, 2005
These headphone sound great, but they are FAR TOO FRAGILE and break all the time. I've had mine for 3 months and in that time I've had to replace the earphone components 4 times! (They come with 6 replacements if that tells you how often you can anticipate these headphone failing.)

Now I'm out of replacements, am in Asia where I can't easily get any, and have a 22 hour noisy flight tomorrow and a pair of $300 headphones that only work in 1 ear.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 25, 2008 12:23 PM PDT


Gypsy Passion: New Flamenco (Narada Collection Series)
Gypsy Passion: New Flamenco (Narada Collection Series)
Price: $17.29
78 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, March 18, 2005
Beautiful, utterly enjoyable listening music. To Mr. Aficionado and his completely silly review: I do not pretend by any means to be an expert on music, but I have been to Spain on a half dozen occasions and I know what music there - as well as there - moves me and my soul without having to worry about the technical aspects of it.


The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower, Book 7)
The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower, Book 7)
by Stephen King
Edition: Hardcover
363 used & new from $0.49

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Journey Ends, October 3, 2004
The long journey is finally over. I had very mixed feelings about The Dark Tower. On one hand, The Dark Tower is a great page-turner, well written (much better than the previous two books), and most of all, it gives us an interesting look at Stephen King. Immediately after finishing The Dark Tower, despite all its many flaws and problems, my first emotion was "Wow! You did it Steve." Stephen King put together what is arguably the most real and imaginative world since Middle Earth and Narnia. Seven books in all - an amazing accomplishment. It's especially difficult to criticize the Dark Tower series, as the last few books seem to be more of a personal journey and journal of Stephen King than anything - and who are we to critique that?

And yet, whether it's Misery, The Dark Half, Bag of Bones or so many other books, King has already shown us personal glimpses into the life of a writer, ad infinitum. The Dark Tower started out as a story that was very different than King's other works, but the last few books sadly make a detour back into all-too-familiar and frankly tired territory. We get to spend some time in Maine with those wonderfully captured accents; King lays on the foreshadowing extra heavy... King has always been great at telling a story, but he never seems to know how to finish one, similarly The Dark Tower ends about as badly as the story before it was good. The terrible antagonists, who have built up foreshadowed and built up for decades now, finally make their appearance with a lame "boo!" and are dispatched so easily it almost seems disrespectful. There are major plot holes, inconsistencies, so many questions are left unanswered... What started out as, and could have been, a major literary achievement turns into an enjoyable, but completely empty pop fiction series. King is a great story teller, but his works will probably always be more comfortable on a monthly New Releases stand in a book store than they would in a library, alongside Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, where they perhaps could have been.

King seems fully aware of this as well, he warns readers NOT to read the ending, because it's not so great (huh?) and then finishes the book with a very bitter and defensive afterward. Not a fitting goodbye to all his faithful readers who followed him on his journey to the Dark Tower after all these years.


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