Archive for the ‘Gadgets’ Category

Understanding Waterproof Cameras

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Waterproof cameras are good for one thing: they’re sturdy pieces of memory-makers that can take a decent beating. Waterproof cameras are waterproof, but that is not all they are known for. They have built-in shock resistors as well as being freeze proof. So if you want to take advantage of the moment but can’t stand of getting your camera get wet or freezing to death, these waterproof cameras are your way to go.

Quality

When it comes to quality, there are a lot of reasonably priced cameras out there that just perform like they’re point-and-shoot brethren but just a little more “umph” to their features. Standard digital cameras out there already sport a 12-megapixel of quality and have built-in face-detection software to reduce blurred faces but waterproof cameras can stand up to 30 ft. underwater without getting damaged from underwater pressure. You can even take them to colder temperatures to up -10 Celsius of taking skiing or snowy trips. Waterproof cameras like the Canon  Powershot D10 aren’t just popular with people who like to take snapshots of the holidays, they’re also a great companions for nature lovers and mountain climbers who are looking for a sturdy camera that can definitely take a beating.

Waterproof Casings

Waterproof casing pretty much speaks for itself. If you already have a digital camera and don’t have the means or find it too expensive to own a waterproof variant, you can settle for waterproof casing since it’s relatively cheaper.

This casing is made from three pieces of durable plastic coating to secure a tough layer of protection that keeps water, dirt and melted snow from slipping into the camera’s insides.

What are missing of course are the other major features. You won’t have freeze-proofing or shock resistance that those waterproof cameras have. What these waterproof casings are capable of, however, is giving you a durable yet environmentally friendly container where you can put your camera in to take underwater pictures or at least keep it from being wet during those splashier camera shots.  These casings are scratch as well as snow proof, but you best make sure it’s sealed.

In contrast since these casings tend to only have a limited depth underwater since the parts themselves aren’t designed to withstand water pressure. 16 ft. at the most are the threshold of these cameras wearing these protective bags.

Casings vs. Built-in

There is no contest that built-in models are superior to digital cameras covered with a waterproofed casing. The only major difference between them is the pricing. Since casings cost a meager amount of money compared to buying a waterproof camera, they are usually the first choice. But this depends entirely on what types of photographs you are set on taking. If it’s a just a plain old holiday trip to the Appalachian  trail, then  you’ll be more in line with the casing variety (provided of course you come to the right time of the season). But if you’re a mountaineer that likes to take groovy shots on high mountains, the built-in units are a more plausible selection.

Looking into the Portable Playstation

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

The PSP is best described as a well oiled machine. Sony is perhaps well-respected in the regard of following the belief “if it aint, broke don’t fix It.”, if you had the privilege of playing a Playstation during your childhood, you’ll know doubt sink your teeth in on the game’s interface.  It hit shelves back in 2005 and had been vying for the top spot with Nintendo’s NDS handheld ever since.

The Playstation Portable has all the standard buttons, save for Wi-Fi support and a backpack where you can put a UMD in and tiny slot on the right side for the memory stick. In a lot of ways it’s Sony’s Windows. It’s a high-powered graphic machine with home brewing capabilities (given that you’ve hacked it with Halfbyte or any similar flashing software you might find) which can double as a storage device with media playback. Gaming junkies that like tinkering with software will enjoy this handheld’s capabilities.

Design                                                                             

When it comes to design, it’s pretty open and shut. You have your standard buttons as well as analog control. It has Wi-Fi capabilities, a memory stick slot and a drive where you can insert Universal Media Disks (UMDs) in although this feature has been removed in later models, favoring memory-sticks or built-in memory to store game and save game data.

There are about four models of the PSP. The first to be released is aptly named PSP-1000 (or the PSP-FAT due to being the heaviest model) followed by PSP-2000 and PSP-3000. The PSP Go also known as the PSP-N1000 perhaps is the lightest model so far is unique to its predecessors since it ditched the UMD backpack and went for a slightly brighter screen with a smaller overall size.

Perhaps one of the notable weaknesses to the initial models was the use of the UMD. Although Sony initially had high hopes for pushing the UMD as, well, a universal media disk; it failed miserably at the end of the opening batches of games that first pushed their way into the handheld. What made it significantly worse was when the homebrew community finally hacked into the handheld’s firmware, enabling certain users to load their data from memory sticks causing the UMD drive to become nothing more than dead weight until Sony scrapped it for a 16 gigabytes of built-in memory.

Games

Although it clearly has the superior graphics over Nintendo’s NDS, the verdict is pretty much still out there. To make it reasonably clear, Sony may have had its golden age during its PS1 and PS2 years but the PSP didn’t have enough games to make it a worthwhile handheld over the Nintendo DS. With only a handful of games like Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Persona 4 and Little Big Planet, it didn’t kick into the scene as compared to Nintendo’s line-up for its NDS. The Lyton, Wright and Mario franchises kept its underwhelming but innovative handheld well and above the PSP.

Final Thoughts

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