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All posts tagged "reviews"


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

DCRP Reviews the Canon PowerShot SX200 IS

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 10:00 AM

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/c...iew/index.shtml

"The Canon PowerShot SX200 IS ($349) is a compact ultra zoom camera with a 12X wide-angle zoom lens, image stabilization, full manual controls, HD video recording, and a 3-inch LCD display. That sounds an awful lot like Panasonic's ultra-popular Lumix DMC-TZ5 -- easily the best camera in this class in 2008 -- though that camera is soon to be replaced with the even more impressive DMC-ZS3 (also known as the TZ7). Regardless, the SX200 is a pretty nice step-up from the SX110 that came before it. Some other features of note include a "Smart Auto" (scene detection) mode, face and blink detection, automatic redeye removal, and an HDMI port. Is the PowerShot SX200 a good choice for a go-anywhere ultra zoom camera? Find out now in our review!"

Wow, I wasn't expecting a review of this camera quite so soon! Jeff Keller got his hands on this new point and shoot camera from Canon and puts it through its paces. Boasting 12x optical zoom, 12.1 megapixels, and 720p video recording using h.264. This a very thorough review and revealed a show-stopping weakness in this camera: the optical zoom doesn't work when you're shooting a video! I'm amazined that Canon couldn't make that work (or chose not to) because my Panasonic LUMIX can accomplish that. It's also a bit bizarre that the flash pops up when you turn on the camera, regardless of whether or not it needs to fire it, and won't go back down until you turn off the power. Still, it might be a good choice for some people - but be sure to consider the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS3 as an option.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Two Great Netbook Accessories

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 05:50 PM

This is a video review of two great accessories that I recommend every netbook owner get: a USB-powered DVD burner, and a shorter power cable. The DVD burner in question is a Samsung SE-S084B/RSBN External Slim USB DVD-Writer - it requires two USB ports to function, so as I explain in the video, you'll need a USB extension cable to reach two USB ports on most laptops. The power cable is a 1ft. Notebook / Laptop Power Cable C5 Cloverleaf Plug from Cyberguys - it's great for shaving off some bulk from your travel bag.

Jason Dunn owns and operates Thoughts Media Inc., a company dedicated to creating the best in online communities. He enjoys photography, mobile devices, blogging, digital media content creation/editing, and pretty much all technology. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his lovely wife, and his sometimes obedient dog.

Do you enjoy using new hardware, software and accessories, then sharing your experience with others? Then join us on the Thoughts Media Review Team! We're looking for individuals who find it fun to test new gear and give their honest opinions about the experience. It's a volunteer role with some great perks. Interested? Then click here for more information.


Monday, March 9, 2009

Nikon D3X Reviewed: What Can $8,000 Buy You?

Posted by John Lane in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 06:00 PM

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond3x/

"Ever since the simultaneous announcement of the Nikon D1H and D1X back in 2001 Nikon's professional D 'single digit' series has been split into two - the X series designed for high resolution applications such as fashion or landscape photography and the H series for high speed sports type photography (lower resolution but faster continuous shooting). When the Nikon D3 was announced in August 2007 it did not carry an 'H' in its name but was clearly designed for speed. So the question wasn't if, but when, Nikon would launch a high-resolution counterpart. It arrived, after more than a year of eager anticipation, in the shape of the Nikon D3X in December 2008."

The review is in and the Nikon D3X is everything it was expected to be. Dpreview.com gives the camera its vaunted Highly Recommended tag. And, Luminous Landscape says "that by just about any measure (except price) this is the most outstanding 35mm format DSLR yet. Build quality, image quality - you name it." But the drawback is that it costs $8,000 USD. For that reason, I can only see a well-heeled professional studio photographer buying one. Most amateurs would be better served buying a Nikon D700 as it does low light better. But if you want the best, here it is. Click the read link for the full review.


Saturday, February 28, 2009

SixRevisions Highlights Ten Photo Editors

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 12:30 PM

http://sixrevisions.com/graphics-de...s-to-photoshop/

"Adobe Photoshop is a given in any designer’s wish list, and it comes with a host of features that allow for excellent and professional photo editing. The biggest obstacle to any designer who wants Photoshop is the price, which can be prohibitive. Fortunately there are a number of open source (and completely free) programs out there that do much of what Photoshop can, and sometimes more."

So you're just getting your feet wet with tweaking photos and you're finding that the handy online photo editors aren't cutting it and you're not quite ready to invest in the more expensive programs. Fortunately, there are a a wide variety of free programs you can use, and SixRevisions has rounded up 10 editors that won't cost you a dime. While the list contains many worthy contenders you should consider, I would not of included Photoshop Express owing to its online nature. The wonderful Picasa is also notably absent. Still, it's a good list and I'd suggest you try at least two or three of these programs to find the one that fits you. It won't cost you anything, and like any collection of programs, each have their own benefits. Anyone use a free photo editor that isn't on the list?


Thursday, February 26, 2009

UMPC Portal's Long-Term Impressions of the HP Mini Mi

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 07:00 AM

http://www.umpcportal.com/2009/02/l...p-mini-1000-mie

"It has definitely been an interesting testing experience with the Mini 1000 MIE. The netbook, as you have probably read, runs a custom Ubuntu interface designed by HP. They call it the Mobile Internet Edition of the Mini 1000. I am anything but a Linux pro, so I approached this as a newcomer to Linux. Luckily, HP is marketing the Mini 1000 MIE to less experienced computer users and not Linux pros. I gave you my initial software impressions not too long ago, but I'm ready to give you some more detailed information."

I've been using the Mini Mi for a couple of weeks now, and I have mixed feelings about it, some of which are echoed in this article. It's definitely a slick interface, but underneath it's still Linux, which isn't the most usable operating system in the world. I'm continuing my tests, and will probably do a video review of what HP has done with the Mobile Internet Edition software. One of the issues I've seen, mentioned in this article, is performance. The "common wisdom" is that Windows is bloated and slow, while Linux is lean and fast. You'd never know that using the HP Mini Mi - there are screen redraw issues galore, and a general feeling of sluggish performance - and this is with 2 GB of RAM installed. Now it may be that the target market for the Mini Mi - general consumers who want an Internet-focused device - might not notice these issues, but I can't shake the feeling that the software wasn't designed for the hardware.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Stardock Lets You Fence In Your Icons

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 12:30 PM

http://www.neowin.net/news/main/09/...stardock-fences

"Stardock's Fences exactly addresses this issue. It allows you to organize your desktop icons and create fences. Visualize fences as blocks of icons (shaded areas) grouped together. Now it becomes very easy to organize my icons using Fences according to the categories I had arranged earlier!"

Neowin has put up a quick review of the community preview of Stardock's Fences which is available free directly from the Stardock website. Fences is for all you people out there, you know who you are, whose desktops are all a flutter with icons. Instead of your desktop being one big open free for all, Fences corrals all your pictures, documents, shortcuts and who knows what else into neat little groups. The concept is simple, but Stardock looks to have made handling fences really easy. I'll admit that I keep my desktop very spartan so Fences may not be for me, but it grinds my gears when I see friends whose desktops look like a troop of 2 year olds have gone through it. Now I have at least one program I can suggest to them to clean their act up.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Phenom II's Overclocking Value

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 07:30 AM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...ii,2119-10.html

"In light of a new competitive challenge—Intel’s Core i7—AMD is revamping its Spider platform with a new processor and the addition of software able to tie all of the hardware together. As you no doubt already know from reading Bert’s story, this latest effort is called Dragon. But we’re not here to rehash the details of Phenom II. Rather, in light of significant enhancements to the CPU architecture’s overclocking capabilities (and indeed, confirmation from AMD that all of the "magic" that went into its ACC [Advanced Clock Calibration] technology is now baked into Phenom II), we’re eager to compare the value of AMD’s fastest 45 nm chip to Intel’s entry-level Core i7 920—the one most enthusiasts would be likely to eye as an overclocking contender."

Tom's Hardware puts the newly released Phenom II through its paces with attention paid to the overclocking market. The results are hardly surprising with the Phenom II showing remarkable overclocking value. However, when compared against the Core i7, the decision between CPUs gets a bit muddier. The Core i7 represents leading edge technology with powerful performance, topping the Phenom II in overclockability. However, the Core i7 also means a large investment in purchasing new hardware. On the flip side, the Phenom II can be a drop in replacement, working with many existing AM2+ motherboards. Unless you're willing to drop some serious change for a new rig, the Phenom II is a sound upgrade path.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Myth: Flash Hard Drives Improve Battery Life

Posted by Tim Williamson in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 04:00 AM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...ttery,1955.html

"Flash-based solid state drives (SSDs) are considered to be the future of performance hard drives, and everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon. We are no exception, as we have been publishing many articles on flash-based SSDs during the last few months, emphasizing the performance gains and the potential power savings brought by flash memory. And there is nothing wrong with this, since SLC flash SSDs easily outperform conventional hard drives today (SLC = single level cell). However, we have discovered that the power savings aren't there: in fact, battery runtimes actually decrease if you use a flash SSD."



Raise your hand if you thought Flash Hard Drives improved the battery life of your laptop. I fell for the same myth and am slightly disappointed, but Tom's Hardware has run a few SSD (solid-state drives) through the paces, and their results show that, even though these drives don't have moving parts, the battery life isn't any better compared to old-fashioned spinning hard drives. Their review is extremely thorough, so if you're wanting to get the low-down on SSD performance and battery life, check out the linked article!


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