Friday, November 27, 2009

Digital Camera DSC-W220 Sony Cybershot

Sony Cybershot DSC-W220 12.1MP Digital Camera with 4x Optical Zoom with Super Steady Shot Image Stabilization (Black)

Brand Sony

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Product Details
* 12.1-megapixel Super HAD CCD image sensor
* Carl Zeiss 4x optical zoom lens; Optical SteadyShot image stabilization
* BIONZ image processor delivers speed and precision
* Face Detection; Smile Shutter technology
* 15MB built-in memory; capture images to Memory Stick Duo/PRO Duo Media (not included)

# Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 0.9 x 3.8 inches ; 1.1 pounds
# Shipping Weight: 2 pounds

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W220 combines point-and-shoot ease-of-use with advanced features in a sophisticated, compact body. Smile Shutter technology allows you to capture a smile the moment it happens, and the Carl Zeiss 4x optical zoom lens, Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, and 12.1 megapixel resolution deliver crisp, clear images.

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Reviews Digital Camera DSC-W220 Sony Cybershot

The controls are easy enough that anyone in my family can use it, from a preteen to a grandfather. Most of the time, you can just leave it on the Auto setting and the camera will adjust settings automatically. There are separate buttons for Playback/Review, Menu, and Home next to the LCD screen. The On/Off button on the top of the camera is a bit hard to press (sometimes you have to use your nail), but it's understandable because otherwise it'd be easy to accidentally turn the camera on/off. There is a light that comes on from the front so the subjects know when the picture is about to be taken. The Smile Detection automatically takes up to 6 photos, and has a smile meter showing scale of smile(s). Scene Detection detects scenes such as snow, beach, etc automatically and adjusts settings accordingly.

Digital SLR Camera EOS Rebel T1i Canon

Canon EOS Rebel T1i 15.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3-Inch LCD and EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens

Brand Canon

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Product Details

* New 15.1-megapixel CMOS sensor with DIGIC 4 Image Processor
* Includes Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens
* Full HD video capture at 1920 x 1080 resolution; HDMI output
* 3.0-inch Clear View LCD; Live View Function for stills (Quick, Live and Face Detection AF modes) and video
* Capture images and video to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)

15.1-megapixel effective recording * EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens (35mm equivalent focal length: 28-90mm) * 3" color LCD screen (920,000 dots) with two Live View modes * HD movie mode with up to 1080p resolution and mono audio * Auto Lighting Optimizer with three settings to maintain detail in bright and dark areas of your pictures * Highlight Tone Priority for preserving highlights in very bright, light areas of a photograph * Peripheral Illumination Correction mode to counterbalance lens vignetting * DIGIC 4 image processor for extremely responsive handling * EOS Integrated Cleaning System (for cleaning image sensor) * wide-area 9-point autofocus *

# Product Dimensions: 8 x 12 x 7 inches ; 1.6 pounds
# Shipping Weight: 4 pounds

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Reviews Digital SLR Camera EOS Rebel T1i Canon

1. 15.1 megapixel sensor. Yes, the high megapixel count is impressive, but keep in mind that, as you approach higher resolutions, you need to ensure the lens on the SLR can resolve that much detail. Sadly, the included 18-55mm IS lens is functional, but the high resolution really shows the so-so quality of the lens. Even if taken at the proper focus, pictures can appear soft with this kit lens. Shots I have taken with Canon EF-S 17-85mm and EF 70-200mm L lenses are crisp. I don't have any gripes on image quality. There are some issues with noise on the higher ISOs that don't seem to show up on the Nikon digitals, but overall, the quality is amazing for the price. Skin tones, textures, colors are reproduced very accurately.

2. Digic 4. The Digic 4 processor appears to process/save the 15 megapixel images in the same time (if not faster) than the Digic III processor on the XSi (even in RAW+Jpg mode). I have also noticed that at higher ISOs, the sensor and the Digic 4 produce images with less overall noise compared with its predecessors.

3. LCD. The 920,000 pixel LCD screen is large (3"), crisp, vibrant and fully visible even in bright sunlight. In comparison, the Canon XSi SLR (which the T1i replaces), also has a 3" LCD, but with 230,000 pixels. The viewing angle is great as well and the LCD can easily be seen nearly 180 degrees around.

4. ISO 12800. Canon and Amazon are correctly identifying that the T1i maxes out at ISO 3200. Some less reputable dealers are listing an ISO 12800, which you should disregard. The ISO 6400 and 12800 settings are expanded ISO settings. The pictures taken on these two settings are ISO 3200 images pushed to ISO 6400 or 12800 by the Digic 4 chip before saving to the memory card. These pictures are extremely grainy and contain a lot of noise to the point of only being usable as for snapshots or adding an artistic effect to certain compositions.

5. Penta-mirror. That Canon is still using one in the T1i is disappointing. The penta-mirror viewfinder image is functional, but still noticeably darker than that of the penta-prism viewfinder in the Nikon D90 (which is the T1i's main competitor). I really would have preferred if Canon had kept the XSi's 12.2 megapixel sensor, forgone 1080p video altogether, and maybe upped the cost of the camera slightly to cover the production cost of using a penta-prism in the T1i. Honestly, unless you are massively cropping your images, or creating large photos, the difference between 12.2 and 15.1 megapixels really is negligible.

6. Size. This is the same body as the XSi, and therefore a bit on the smaller side compared to other digital SLRs. I have small hands, so the T1i is comfortable for me. If you have big hands, I can see this being a very difficult camera to use over an extended period of time. If you haven't handled a Canon XT, XTi or XSi, I would suggest you go to a store and hold the T1i yourself before purchasing it online. (I will upload a picture of the T1i in my hands to the user gallery for a size reference.)

7. HD Video. Yes, the Canon marketing department made a horrible marketing decision and pushed the T1i onto shelves limiting the 1080p recording to 20fps (frames per second). Recognize this as a marketing gimmick that allows them put a 1080p sticker on the camera box. The 1080p @ 20fps is fine most times, but seems a choppy if you have a lot of action in the frame or are panning quickly. The T1i's 720p video is recorded at 30fps and is clean, smooth, and sufficient for all but the most discerning consumers. One major criticism though is that the sound is recorded in mono, AND there is NO input for an external microphone.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Digital Camera Canon SX20IS PowerShot 12.1MP

Canon PowerShot SX20IS 12.1MP Digital Camera with 20x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.5-inch Articulating LCD

Brand Canon

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Product Details
* High-powered 20x wide-angle optical zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer
* Capture 720p HD movies with stereo sound; HDMI output connector for easy playback on your HDTV
* 2.5-inch Vari-Angle System LCD; improved Smart AUTO intelligently selects from 22 predefined shooting situations
* DIGIC 4 Image Processor; 12.1-megapixel resolution for poster-size, photo-quality prints
* Powered by AA batteries (included); capture images to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)
# Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 3.5 x 3.4 inches ; 1.2 pounds
# Shipping Weight: 3 pounds

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Reviews Digital Camera Canon SX20IS PowerShot 12.1MP

Decided to go with Canon for a few key reasons:

#1. The articulating LCD (pull out, tilt/move) was a key factor, as I wanted to be able to shoot from many different angles. It came in handy very soon--the second time I used the camera--I was able to whip out the LCD and get some decent shots at a football game when I had to raise the camera high over my head to shoot over the folks standing in front of me.

#2. The ability to easily share video files. The .mov file format is a more widely accepted format, which can easily be shared (without processing/conversion). The files are accepted on sites such as You Tube. The files can be played with Quicktime and other media players (e.g. VLC). Although the Panasonic camera uses a format which is more compressed and allows more data to be stored on an SD card, the file format is not as wide spread and not as easy to share with others, without converting the file.

#3. Consumer Reports rankings for last year's model: Canon #1, Pana #5 (SX10 IS & Pana DMC-FZ28). I suspect the SX20 IS will follow the same trend this year when Consumer Reports releases their test results for 2009.

#4. Canon takes AA batteries. This makes the camera slightly heavier, but you'll always be able to get economical batteries in a pinch, without the need for buying a proprietary lithium ion battery. May I recommend Sanyo Eneloop rechargeable batteries. I bought some new on Amazon. They are excellent. I haven't charged them yet and I've taken 120 pictures and 40 minutes plus of 720p video. I've also played back the pictures and movies on my TV/Projector and transferred all files to my computer, using the same batteries, without charging them.

Digital SLR Camera Nikon D3000

Nikon D3000 10MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens

Brand Nikon

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Product Details
* 10.2-megapixel DX-format imaging sensor for prints up to 20 x 30 inches
* Includes 3x 18-55mm Zoom-Nikkor VR Image Stabilization lens
* Nikon EXPEED image processing; in-camera image editing and Active D-Lighting
* 3.0-inch color LCD screen; 170-degree wide-angle viewing
* Capture images to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)
# Product Dimensions: 5 x 2.6 x 3.8 inches ; 2.5 pounds
# Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds

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Reviews Digital SLR Camera Nikon D3000

First time DSLR users will enjoy the Guide Mode. It literally walked us through different shoot scenarios via the fixed 3" LCD screen. An excellent tool, its step by step instructions allowed my niece to move from the operating booklet in no time. After a few more runs, I am sure that she will feel quite comfortable shooting in the manual mode. The quick shutter release was a nice surprise.

Upon completing two days of shooting with the Nikon D3000, I walked away impressed. In manual mode, indoor shots were a balanced and perfect mix of shadow and color. As usual with shooting in low light, noise will make an appearance. However this system can be tweaked to deliver some outstanding indoor photographs. The bottom line is proper settings.

A basic fix is the VR (Vibration Reduction) feature located on the lens. This should be activated, especially indoors. A tripod will certainly help. In auto mode, just set the camera to night portrait and sit back and enjoy the rest of your flight.

Outdoor shots were vibrant, sharp and rich in color without editing. The onboard flash system was more than capable in meeting fill flash requirements. Without a doubt the overall performance of the camera, features and image quality is excellent.

With 10.2 megapixels to work with, I easily blew up a personal favorite my niece had taken to 16" x 20". Even though I don't see myself trading in my Nikon D300 for this model anytime soon, this camera is by far an upgrade over any of the souped up point and shoots out there.

Its easy to see that the real jewel in this model is the auto focus system. With six auto mode settings (Landscape, Sports, Child, Closeups, Portrait, and Night Portrait) each and every photograph can be a keeper. Onboard editing tweakers won't be disappointed with this model. It covers the basics. The D3000 operates with both SD & SDHC cards.

* Everything you need is in the box (flash, lens, camera body, camera strap, manual, etc.) -except- for a memory card. You'll need to get an SD or SHDC card to use with your camera. These are quite affordable. Of course, you may WANT more lenses, etc., later, but the kit lens is very nice, and offers a decent amount of flexibility. I would suggest, however, get a lens filter to help protect the lens,

* The D3000 comes with a "Guide" -- it helps you choose what effect you're looking for (freeze motion, blur background, etc.) and then helps you pick the right settings. But even just on "auto" mode, it takes some really fabulous pictures.

* Even as a relatively small DSLR, it's definitely bigger and heavier than most point-and-shoots. This wasn't a big issue to me, as I mostly plan to use it at home, but if you want something you can stick in your pocket, a DSLR may not be for you. (I plan to keep my old point-and-shoot as a backup for times when I want something I can just stow in my purse.)

* The D3000 does not have "Live View," where you can frame your shot in the LCD screen. I was a little concerned about this at first, but surprisingly, I've found that I really don't miss it at all. It also does not have video mode (which I find I don't miss, either, because I've always hated taking videos with a camera! They come out all shaky for me.)

Camera Kodak Zi8 HD Pocket Video

Kodak Zi8 HD Pocket Video Camera (Black) NEWEST MODEL

Brand Camera

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Product Details
* Record High Definition video (1080p at 30 fps with 16:9 aspect ratio)
* Easily upload recorded footage to YouTube with built-in USB and software
* Expandable SD/SDHC card slot up to 32 GB; Rechargeable batteries and charger included
* Vibrant 2.5-inch viewfinder; Watch footage on HDTV with included cables
* Edit and share videos with included software

# Item Weight: 1.4 pounds
# Shipping Weight: 2 pounds

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Reviews Camera Kodak Zi8 HD Pocket Video

The following things:

-The built in microphone is OK now that they fixed the whining noise, but it's still not amazing.

- Don't use the internal mic... I use an Audio Technica lapel mic for 1 person interviews.Audio Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone For events I ordered a Sony stereo mic to use instead of the built in mic. Sony ECM-DS70P Electret Condenser Stereo Microphone . Although I wish that Kodak made the internal mic better, for the most part I am kind of excited that the Sony stereo mic will give me much better sound than any of the standard internal mics that any of the pocket cams have.

-Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) sucks a lot of juice. Also the Zi8 uses a proprietary battery rather than cheap swappable AA's. Battery life when shooting non-stop is 1hr 16min in 720p 60fps with EIS on. If you turn off EIS you get about 1hr 41min at 720p 60fps.

- Use the USB to power cable that comes with the camera in conjunction with an external battery source. This is a must if you are going to be recording for more than an hour with EIS, cause that's about what the internal battery will give you. Tekkeon TekCharge Rechargeable Li-Poly Battery You can just stick this battery pack in your pocket and connect the charging cable to the Zi8. This will allow you to record for a super long amount of time. I haven't tested to see what my total record time with the battery pack will be but it should be around 5X the standard recording time. (about 6 hours with EIS on, almost 9 with it off) This gives you the best battery life of almost any camcorder. Sure it's an extra cost, but when you're at an all day trade show you don't have to worry about running out of juice.

- Image stabilization can't rescue video you shoot while moving around. Any camera motion makes video awful.

- Accept the fact you should probably be using a mini tripod with this camera or at least stand still. Also, although it takes a bunch of time to process if you have the new iMovie the image stabilization processing you can do is light years beyond what the EIS in the Kodak Zi8 can do.

Flip MinoHD Camcorder 2nd Generation

Flip MinoHD Camcorder 2nd Generation, 120 Minutes (Brushed Metal) NEWEST MODEL

Brand Flip Video

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Product Details
* All-new MinoHD is the world's sleekest HD camcorder
* Captures 120 minutes of stunning HD video on 8 GB of built-in memory; no additional memory needed
* Convenient flip-out USB arm plugs directly into your PC or Mac to launch pre-loaded FlipShare software
* FlipShare software makes it easy to email videos, edit individual clips, make custom movies, capture still-image snapshots, and upload video to Facebook , MySpace , YouTube and other sharing sites
* Large, 2-Inch anti-glare color display to play back and delete videos

# Product Dimensions: 2 x 0.7 x 3.9 inches ; 1 pounds
# Shipping Weight: 1 pounds

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Reviews Flip MinoHD Camcorder 2nd Generation

The screen is a bit larger than the previous Flip Mino, but that's not a big deal. Image quality is better than ever, and not too shaky/bouncy. The USB connector is about the same-- still very convenient, easy to connect, and you don't have to go running to find any special USB connector cable (like my old digital camera). The audio is surprisingly good, picking up faint background sounds that I hadn't even noticed at the time of recording and picking up simultaneous music and voices, near and far, with great quality. The 2-hour battery life is more than I ever use, so it's great, but I figure people who are videotaping entire concerts or watching grass grow might complain.

*2" screen is big and clear
*Great HD video in normal to bright light
*Better sound than a personal voice recorder
*One thumb video shooting
*Easy uploads and edits - no format worries and YouTube friendly
*HDMI output directly to HD panels
*Brushed metal shrugs off fingerprints and nose prints (don't ask)
*Storage pouch doubles as lens cleaner
*Lickable packaging

*Low light shots are grainy (easily solved at price points $1,000 higher)
*USB plug is a little tight
*The wrist strap was hard to mount because of the brushed metal-solved with a toothpick

Canon PowerShot SD780IS Camera

Canon PowerShot SD780IS 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.5-inch LCD (Gold)

Brand Canon

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Product Details
* 12.1-megapixel CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality poster-size prints
* 3x optical zoom lens with Optical Image Stabilizer
* HD movie shooting capability plus HDMI output
* 2.5-inch widescreen PureColor LCD II screen; Face Detection
* Compatible with SD/SDHC, MMC/MMC Plus/HC MMC Plus (not included)
# Product Dimensions: 3.4 x 0.7 x 2.1 inches ; 4.2 ounces
# Shipping Weight: 2 pounds

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Reviews Canon PowerShot SD780IS Camera

1. The HD video capability is awesome and comparible with the SD960. It has a HDMI jack. The traditional 4:3 screen does not bother me, because the video is ultimately going to be viewed on a HD TV.(There will be an upper and lower bar on 16:9 playback through the SD780's LCD).

2.The weaker 3x zoom is not a big deal as this camera is for general shooting(out w/ freinds, bars, random afternoon at the beach, mountain biking, etc.)and with this camera EASLIY fitting in my jeans pocket or camelbak, the portability is what gives me the opportunity to document those moments, that would otherwise be missed. The SD960 is a little bulkier(but still small). I do also shoot with a Canon 40D, accompanied with L optics, but the weight and bulkiness do not lend to certain shooting circumstances. (as mentined above)

3. The user interface on the SD780IS is like most (if not all?) preceeding SD cameras. While there is not much control in the way of shooting settings, feature buttons like flash override, AE lock, AF lock, and exposure compensation are present on the camera body. The SD960IS has two buttons and a jog wheel, which lend to swims in the menu. I'm sure the new interface on the 960 is intuitive, but I liked the 780 due to its similarity to my old SD300.

Nikon Coolpix L20 10MP Digital Camera

Nikon Coolpix L20 10MP Digital Camera with 3.6 Optical Zoom and 3 inch LCD (Deep Red)

Brand Nikon

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Product Details
* 10.0-megapixel resolution for photo-quality prints up to 16 x 20 inches
* 3.6x optical Zoom-Nikkor glass lens
* 3.0-inch high-resolution LCD screen
* Nikon's Smart Portrait System; Red-eye Fix, Face Priority AE and more
* Capture images to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)

# Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 2.4 x 1.1 inches ; 4.8 ounces
# Shipping Weight: 2 pounds

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Reviews Nikon Coolpix L20 10MP Digital Camera

This camera is an improvement over the earlier, wonderful Coolpix, such as the great 8 megapix Nikon Coolpix L18 8MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom (Ruby Red) mainly because it has ten megapix capability. The earlier accessories such as the AC adapter, the Nikon EH-65A AC Adapter, are transferable if you have a long shoot to do in one place (like a schoolful of children, which I have done) or other reason to go off-battery. Nevertheless, a pair of Energizer® e2® "AA" Lithium Batteries For digital cameras, portable audio players, and more last in here last forever.

The built in macro mode you can jump right into that cactus blossom from two inches away and have perfect focus. Take a photo of that baby's toes and blow them up to 16x20. Come in close to that ant stealing cracker crumbs on your picnic. This strength of macro was recently unimaginable, and yet here you have this power within a humble, tiny and inexpensive package.

Fujifilm FinePix J28 10MP Digital Camera

Fujifilm FinePix J28 10MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom

Brand Fuji

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Product Details

* 10MP; 3x Optical Zoom
* 2.7-Inch LCD
* SR Auto - Face Detection with Red Eye Removal
* NP-45 Rechargeable Battery

# roduct Dimensions: 3.6 x 0.8 x 2.2 inches
# Shipping Weight: 1 pounds

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Reviews Fujifilm FinePix J28 10MP Digital Camera

This is the perfect camera for me because the camera has a mode called SR-Auto which will automatically detect 6 different scenes. It can detect if I take a photo of my kids, a flower or landscape. I love to hike and the small size makes it east to carry in my pocket. My photos are very sharp and colorful.

This is one of the easiest cameras that I have ever owned because there are only a few buttons on the back and the menu is very intuitive. There are many advanced features available if you know how to use them.

This Fuji J28 is superior for the following reasons:

1. The lithium-ion battery is longer lasting than AA alkaline batteries. I was able to take 224 pictures before the battery needed recharging.
2. J28's colors are brighter and more saturated.
3. The J28 LCD screen is slightly larger.
4. SR-Auto - (Scene Recognition Auto) Just leave it on this setting and you can't help but take a good picture.
5. Flash recycling time is MUCH shorter with the J28 than the A480 - recycling time is the number of seconds after a flash picture has been taken before the camera is ready to take another picture.
6. You can use the optical zoom while recording a movie with the J28. With most cheaper point & shoot cameras, you cannot use the zoom. But you must set the zoom before you start recording, it cannot be changed during recording.
7. The menus and buttons are more intuitive with the J28.
8. The plastic body of the Fuji J28 seems to be more durable. Just one complaint: The shiny body shows every fingerprint!