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Vacation Product Reviews

During the cruise, I brought along the new digital camera, the newish MiniDV camcorder, and a Jimi wallet. Here's my impressions of how they fared.

Canon A610 digital camera

This 5 megapixel compact camera continues to impress me. I'm still on the original pack of four AA batteries that came packed with the camera. Considering that you usually assume the batteries that come with a device are half dead to begin with, this is very impressive. I've taken over four hundred photos on one set of batteries, plus a few short videos just to test it out.
I tried out the whole gamut of options on this bad boy last week. The series of cameras of which the A610 is part is the first group of consumer-level cameras equipped with the Digic II chip. The difference in speed from the Digic processor is amazing. I had a high-speed 1 gigabyte SD card and hit the "motor drive" mode to shoot still images continuously in full resolution (2,592 x 1,944). It never hiccuped, even after a series of 30 images in a row. Of course, this is without flash. Flash recycle times are the norm you expect.
Anyway, if you want to see the images, just go to the gallery and check 'em out. I didn't do any retouching of the cruise photos before uploading them.


The camcorder is pretty much what you expect from a $300 miniDV camcorder. It works well, but it's nothing magical. The low-light exposure is not very good, but no worse than any other in its class. Fortunately, Adobe Premiere is great at post-production - I use the level processing frequently. I picked up a 3 hour battery for under fifty bucks at the post-Thanksgiving sales, and it didn't need to be recharged during the trip. I used the viewfinder more than the external LCD, so that affects battery life a lot. I'm getting footage together for a year-end "Best of Alex" DVD. Yes, I'm a geek.

Jimi Wallet

I got one of these in teal, to keep my cards and money out of my pocket when I was on the beach and such. It's not waterproof, just splash-resistant. It was perfect for a cashless week, but I can see a major problem if I tried to carry more than a few bills in it. The Jimi fits in the front pocket of your pants, not the rear - some folks would probably have issues with that. For the cruise, it was much better than a normal wallet. Now, to get a replacement for the worn 8 year-old eelskin wallet I bought in Korea. Anyone have any of those lying around? :-)

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 12th, 2005 04:12 am (UTC)
I was stationed in South Korea in '85-'86, so my eelskin wallter went to its reward a long time ago.
Dec. 12th, 2005 12:51 pm (UTC)
My last posting there was 95-97, and I bought three wallets on my way out of country. This one was put into service around 2000, so it's certainly well past its expected life span. Any Korean eelskin wallets online cost about as much as I spent on all three of them, though, so I may have to change wallet styles. Change...bad...
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )