In an ongoing effort to provide you with advice on what gadgets to check out, Digital Journal looks at several products you should bookmark for your next shopping spree. Not every gadget enjoys a positive review, though, so read on to get a sense of what toys you might want to gift yourself.
Digital Journal was lucky enough to get a review unit of the highly sought-after FinePix X100, introduced last year at Photokina in Cologne, Germany. Despite its old-school retro look, it’s a high-quality digital camera featuring an APS-C CMOS sensor, a Fujinon 23mm fixed focal length lens and a newly developed Hybrid Viewfinder.
Fujifilm’s objective was to create an exceptionally sturdy, compact digital camera aimed at the professional photographer community. They didn’t disappoint: The picture quality is extraordinary thanks to the fixed prime F2 lens, made by Fujinon and manufactured to match the APS-C custom sensor.
The key feature on the FinePix X100 appealing to our inner shutterbug is the bright hybrid optical viewfinder combined with the electronic viewfinder. By integrating a prism for the 1,440,000-dot LCD panel image on the viewing screen in the reverse-Galilean optical finder, the Hybrid Viewfinder can show both the shooting frame and a variety of shooting data; it can instantly switch between optical and electronic viewfinder images with a simple one-touch control.
The FinePix X100 will set you back $1,200 but if you’re passionate about photography, it’s worth it.
For more info on the FinePix, click here.
If you’re looking for an affordable but robust all-in-one printer, Brother’s MFC-J6510DW could be for you.
Brother consistently delivers quality devices in this space, and the company is no stranger to our best-of lists because of its ability to consistently deliver.
The MFC-J6510DW prints, faxes, scans and and copies, printing up to 11″x17″ (ledger) size pages. It works as a useful add-on for small businesses looking for a beast of a machine housed in a smallish body.
Features include two-sided printing, a 35-page document feeder, an 8.3cm colour LCD tilted to suit your viewing angle, and direct photo printing from digital camera media cards or USB drives. All functions worked seamlessly and the print mode was speedy.
For more info on the MFC, click here
Digital photography gives everybody the ability to shoot, adjust and improve images, and the cameras for these enthusiasts are improving all the time. Now anyone can be a master of the digital arts, as we saw with Epson’s V700 photo scanner (it’s not new but often flies under the radar).
The V700 is ideal for any printed photographs and negatives, including 35-mm framed transparencies. This flatbed scanner offers the highest optical scan resolution (6400 dpi) available for professional applications. We also like Epson’s “Digital ICE” technology, which automatically removes dust and scratches from photos.
Kudos to Epson for allowing users to batch scan up to a dozen 35mm framed slides at a time. Definitely a time saver, and it helps that the unit takes up minimal space.
To complement this scanner, we recommend the latest update of the Google-owned Picasa software, which will allow you to polish, tag and share your images with friends and family, without too steep of a learning curve.
For more info on the V700, click here.
In a press release, Olympus Imaging America boasts its new Full HD Pocket Cam is “magical with its pristine audio recording to create movies that look and sound like professional productions.”
In reality, it’s as magical as a manila envelope. In our view, this is an ill-conceived product. The product looks like a remote control with the lens on the front between two microphones, and the screen laying flat on the top of the unit. The design reminds us of photographing with Kodak’s Box Brownie by looking straight down on the miniature screen. Not very impressive.
We found the video quality to be satisfactory, but lacking a true “wow” factor.
The audio quality, despite Olympus’ hype, is poor. The unit also lacks ergonomics with its many buttons and switches. For example, recharging the battery isn’t a simple procedure of plugging a power cord into the unit. Instead, you have to scroll through the menu and select the recharging mode. Weird.
For more info on the pocket cam, click here
A fan with no blades? Dyson, best known for its high-tech vacuums, developed the Air Multiplier to do just that –push air without any blades. Expelling 405 liters of air every second, the unit is silent and deadly impressive, especially since everything can be controlled with a remote.
The Air Multiplier looks like a sci-fi innovation, designed with a circular head and cool silver base. It functions perfectly, keeping rooms breezy during these hot summer months. But the price range is eye-popping; at more than $400, it’s not likely to sell-out like a Wal-Mart spring special.
Dyson’s foray into multiplying air (wow, that sounds weird) is a bold move, creating a want for people who think they’re fine with their blade-ful fans. This gadget might not appeal to everyone, but if you have hundreds of dollars to spare on something that will look fashionable and work nicely in any room, the Air Multiplier could be for you.
Price: $380 to $550
For more info on the Dyson fans, click here