Verbatim says they can stand the rain

November 11, 2009 by  
Filed under All Gizmos

Here’s the situation of use for this puppy. You travel around for months at a time with no computer, but need to blog or off load pictures from your adventure camera (link) at local internet cafe’s and want to keep them with you. Still not a very practical situation given all the free internet “cloud” space out there lately (Dropbox being a personal favorite). Maybe you can find a practical use and let me know.

Material: ABS plastic
Waterproof:  Yes
Length: 2.9″
Width: 0.9″
Depth:  0.45″
Weight: ~2 oz
USB 1.1 or 2.0 compatible
OS: Windoze, Mac, Linux

4GB $30
8GB $50

Happy trails you niche market maker you.

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Helmetcam designed for X Games…price says so

October 7, 2009 by  
Filed under All Gizmos, Helmet Cam


To meet our yin/yang quota, our friends across the pond have developed a camera targeted directly at you my extreme sports friend. The Predator VX360 hits what might be the very top of the line for the helmet cam category. Once sticker shock has settled, you’ll see why Predator Technologies priced this bad boy close to $900. Predator claims a three meter submersion (that’s almost 10 feet for us stateside folks) which is nothing to scoff at. Let’s be honest though, for most uses of a helmet cam with extreme sports, would you really ever need more than 3 meters? We didn’t think so. The rugged outer shell is superior to any other design that is currently on the market allowing you to be clumsy without regrets.

In a design paradigm shift, the cam has two separate parts for the video camera and the recording mechanism. Not all together bad, but around here we like simplicity and when the website mentions “cable management” it makes us gag. The nifty side of the coin is that you can check the mount angle of the camera on the LCD screen after it’s set up and with the playback functionality you can also watch the sick move you just pulled right after you land it. It has it’s use. The camera can rotate 360 degrees and is easily adjusted on the mount.


Specs for the camera and LCD screen are straight from the horses mouth below:



Aside the cheesy A-Team music playing in the background (really guys…really) the video below is pretty rad. The video quality is good enough for youtube but where the Predator really stands out is the stability of the image which tromps the competition. Don’t take my word, peep the vids yourself.

Lots more videos can be found here via YouTube and Vimeo.

Overall a great, light, waterproof rugged helmet cam…but just too expensive to be feasible. C’mon guys, it’s a recession…

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VholdR CountorHD 1080p…same form factor

September 30, 2009 by  
Filed under All Gizmos, Helmet Cam


GoPro isn’t the only kid on the block pumping out a 1080p updated product this week. Given the totally rad temperatures most of the US is experiencing right now, we’re all itchin to get this noose (ahem: tie) off our necks and get a whiff of the great outdoors.  This is a much needed update for VholdR to maintain their market share and keep those youngsters happily youtube’n. The package dimensions are dang near identical to the 720p version that VholdR dropped on the market in the not so distant past. The frame rates for HD are the 30fps average for the output resolution.


Button layout here is key and done very well with the audience in mind. The bonus for winter sports nuts is the ability to keep your gloves on and hit (slide) the larger than life record button atop the device. Nice touch guys…our warm fingers thank you.


Besides the wind noise from the mic, this camera is lightweight, several mount points, descent battery life, up to 16GB storage, great hardware layout/design, and throws out HD quality for a list price a penny list $300….what else do you want? Careful with the winter or water sports though, this device isn’t waterproof (only water resistant). Whether or not the camera can take your compound cranial crash is yet to be tested. At least your helmet is on. Specs are below.


5 Megapixel Sensor
Codec: H.264 (AAC audio)
File Type: .mov


Internal Microphone
AAC Audio Compression


135° – 960p and 720p
110° – 1080p and WVGA


Removable MicroSD
SDHC compatible
Capacity: 16GB (2GB included)

Easy Edit Software

Compatible with:
Mac (10.4, 10.5, & 10.6)
Windows (XP, Vista, Windows 7)
Videos Download via USB 2.0

What’s In the Box

ContourHD Camera
MicroSD Card (2GB)
Goggle Mount
Flat Surface Mount
Rechargeable Battery (3hrs)
USB Cable

Battery & Power

Removable Lithium-Ion Battery
Record Time: Up to 3 hours
Chargia via USB to Computer
or chargers (sold seperately)
Charge Time: 4 hours (average)


Water Resistant
Aluminum and Fiberglass Body
Compatible with TRail Mount System

Full product specs here.

Engadget also has a pretty sick inside/pre-release review here.

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GoPro’s Hero wants you to say “hey ya’ll watch this”

September 30, 2009 by  
Filed under All Gizmos, Helmet Cam


GoPro is at it again, this time with some major PR heading up their Helmet Hero 1080p camera push. This one eyed monster is placed in the totally worth it category if you don’t already have a helmet cam. This isn’t an essential upgrade if you’re already sporting a semi-useful waterproof helmet cam though, save your bones for a new Waterproof Adventure Camera. They have our hearts with all the videos found here which are totally treacherous and worth a few moments of your time. There’s also a full PDF press release that can be found here. Starting price right under two Benjie’s.

What’s Included:

  • 5 Megapixel HERO Wide Camera with 170º Wide Angle Lens
  • 1 Shockproof/Waterproof Quick-Release Housing
  • 1 Headlamp-Style Head Strap
  • 1 Vented Helmet Strap
  • 2 Curved, 3M™ Adhesive Mounts
  • 2 Flat, 3M™ Adhesive Mounts
  • 1 Three-Way Pivoting Side Arm Assembly
  • 2 Quick-Release Buckles
  • 1 USB/RCA Combo Cable
  • Warranty: One Year

SD card not included

The camera itself is a bit bulky but GoPro provides a whole schlew of mounts for a car, hadlebar, roll bar, head, grab bag, surf board, rc car, kayak, etc. Replacements parts seem plenty and fairly priced on their website if you happen to break/lose a part. Here’s the listed specs for this beast:


Model Number: GHHW5170

Resolution: 5 megapixel (2592×1944) photo, 512×384 video

Sensor: CMOS

Video Format: MJPEG, 30 fps, saved as .AVI file

Optics: glass lens, f/2.8 aperture, with ultra-wide 170º angle of view

Modes: video, standard photo, photo every 2 or 5 secs, 3x photo burst sequence, self timer, upside down photo/video flip

Exposure Control: auto

White Balance: auto

Self Timer: 10 seconds

Microphone: built-in with adjustable recording/input level

Audio Format: 8kHz, mono

Memory: 16 MB internal, expandable to 2GB with SD card (not included), expandable to 4GB with SDHC card (not included) via free software download from GoPro website—available soon

Capacity: 56 minutes video (incl. audio) or 1,945 photos with optional 2GB SD card. 1hr 52min video (incl. audio) with optional 4GB SDHC card—available soon

Power: 2x AAA batteries (not included), lithium batteries highly recommended. 3hrs. video recording with lithium, 2hrs. with NiMH

TV Out (with RCA cable): NTSC or PAL

PC Connection: USB + RCA combo cable

PC Compatibility: Windows ME, 2000, XP, and Vista; Mac OS X 10.2 and later

Waterproof: rated to 100 feet/30 meters

Dimensions: 1.75″ x 2.30″ x 1.25″/4.45cm x 5.84cm x 3.18cm (H x W x D)

Weight: 4.9 oz/139 g

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iPhone solar charger…finally

September 27, 2009 by  
Filed under All Gizmos, Solar Powered

Novothink Surge, we’ve been waiting on you. Any time saving the environment comes into action, we want to throw in our part. Picture this, you’re out on a weekend hike and get totally lost or turned around. Alls you have in your possession is your iphone and your Surge iphone solar charger (shame on you for not taking a SPOT).  Give your iPhone 3G or 3GS 2 hours in direct sunlight and you’re got yourself 30 mins of talk time or GPS functionality…if you can weed yourself out of the trees (spelunkers, you’re screwed in this situation, so always know where your’e going). Novothink has an awesome planner you should check out for those longer adventures:

Bottom line, it’s bulky but totally worth it for 7 Hamilton’s (that’s $70 for you Aaron Burr lovers). Peep here to see how it works.


Solar Panel

  • State-of-the-art solar panel allows continuous charging from the sun
  • Custom designed and engineered solar panels outputs 5.5V at 100 mAh in full sun
  • 2 hours of direct solar exposure provides about 30 minutes of talk time on a 3G network or 60 minutes of talk time on a 2G network


  • Integrated rechargeable 1500 mAh 3.7 V lithium-ion polymer battery offers 120% capacity of iPhone 3G
  • Advanced lithium-ion polymer battery cell technology prevents overcharging and provides protection from extreme temperature


  • Custom engineered USB 2.0 cable provides high capacity charging and data exchange
  • Powerup and sync with iTunes without removing iPhone 3G or 3G S from case with the provided USB cable
  • Compatible with standard USB charging ports


  • Optimized power management system provides continuous charge to iPhone 3G’s or 3G S’s internal battery
  • Durable, lightweight hard-shell construction with soft-touch grip side sections
  • Integrated 4 LED battery status indicator
  • Built-in Apple certified 30 pin connector
  • Compatibility: iPhone 3G and iPhone 3G S
  • Model No: NT01


Surge solar charger dimensions: 4 7/8 inches X 2 5/8 inches X 7/8 inches Product package dimensions: 7 1/4 inches X 5 1/8 inches X 1 1/2 inches

Package Contents

Surge solar charging case USB cord User manual Novocord
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Samsung has the concept right…that’s where it ends

September 27, 2009 by  
Filed under All Gizmos, Helmet Cam

We like where Samsung is headed with the SC-X300L…and then we saw this baby reviewed by engadget and totally lost interest. The form factor is just clumsy and hard to strap on, which sorta defeats the whole point of a “wearable” camcorder. For $449.99 there are many many other options.

Peep their review here and prepare to be underwhelmed.

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Be like Samsung…harness the sun

September 27, 2009 by  
Filed under All Gizmos, Solar Powered

Ring ring…hello…it’s for you electronics makers, you were suppose to have already had this solar thing tackled by now! Yes, we consumers are extremelly disappointed but at least some companies are still trying to do the right thing. Plus, this might help when that bear traps you up in a tree for days on end. The bad news is that you would be aiming this dog at the sun for an hour before you could get 5-10 mins of talk time…better make sure it’s a special person. We think the iPhone Surge is a much better but…but if you’re anti-Apple (you windows weenie) then this is your next best bet at the moment.

The specs below are snagged from GSMArena

Also known as Samsung Solar Guru

GENERAL 2G Network GSM 900 / 1800
Announced 2009, June
Status Available. Released 2009, July
SIZE Dimensions 105.2 x 44.2 x 16.4 mm
Weight 77 g
DISPLAY Type CSTN, 65K colors
Size 128 x 128 pixels, 1.52 inches
SOUND Alert types Vibration; Downloadable polyphonic, MP3 ringtones
Speakerphone Yes
MEMORY Phonebook Yes, up to 500 entries
Call records 30 dialed, 30 received, 30 missed calls
Card slot No
DATA GPRS Class 10 (4+1/3+2 slots), 32 – 48 kbps
3G No
Bluetooth No
Infrared port No
Browser WAP 2.0/xHTML
Radio FM radio
Games Yes
Colors Black
Java No
- Flashlight
- Organizer
- Voice memo
- T9
- Mobile Tracker
BATTERY Standard battery, Li-Ion 800 mAh
Stand-by Up to 570 h
Talk time Up to 8 h
Solar cell battery, 1 h charging
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Aiptek PenCam HD portable camcorder…but not outdoor rated

September 27, 2009 by  
Filed under All Gizmos, Cameras


Nothing screams outdoors about Aiptek’s PenCam HD except portability. Which in itself is alot when you just want to grab your stick and float some powpow.  This tiny pack boast some nice specs (listed below) but is only rated for your average adventure.  However, Aiptek has over-engineered this little peeper to handle some tougher environments and at a Lincoln under $170 it’s hard to pass up.

-Small form factor and weight
-HD 720p video and 5MP still
-Video review capability

-Battery life
-Video image stability

Overall it has nice specs but it’s hard to watch a video appearing to be held by someone suffering from a seizure. If you’re going on a quick trip and don’t want to risk the expensive equipment, then give Aiptek a considerable thought.

To see a sample video go to their webiste here and click on Experience at the top.


Image Sensor 5MP CMOS (2592 x 1944) resolution
Movie Mode 720P at 30 frames per second
Video Format H.264 Video Compression (.MOV format)
Still Image 5 Mega Pixels
Digital Zoom 3X
Display 1.1″ OLED w/ 160° Viewing Angle
Internal Memory 4GB Built-in Storage (Store Up to 2 Hours)
MP3 Yes
TV Out HDMI-out & Composite AV-out
Interface USB 2.0
Battery Built-in Rechargeable 950mAh Li-Polymer

Lots more info at:

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VholdR is Being John Malkovich

September 26, 2009 by  
Filed under All Gizmos, Helmet Cam

Lookin’ to do something totally treacherous? Then you should probably be wearing a helmet, and while you’re at it might as well attach an HD camera to it. Whether framing a sick move…or just making sure you catch your bud biting it…chump…VholdR’s new ContourHD is a must have for any serious endeavors. Plus chicks dig a rad video of you eating it to go along with your new tattoo. This beast hosts:

  • Tough shell of aluminum and fiberglass
  • Water resistant (not all cams are waterproof)
  • All-in-one helmet cam (i.e.: no wires)
  • HD 720p resolution (30fps)
  • Internal mic – AAC
  • 16GB memory capacity (2GB included)
  • 4.2 ounces
  • full specs

You could press 8 hours of moves on the memory but sadly the battery will only last you about 2 hrs. So until we’ve learned to adequately harness the power of the sun, bring backup batteries for those back country days. Stunning review by the crew over at Helmet Camera Central can be found here. Engadget also did a kickin review that can be found here. It can be yours now for $279 smackaroos. Check it below (wind sounds thrown in for free).

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Adventure camera

May 20, 2009 by  
Filed under All Gizmos, Cameras

I’m the first to admit that the iPhone does a lot of things well…but taking photos just isn’t one of them. Nothing ruins a could be bragging moment like the inability to differentiate between a sick grab and your grandmothers 88th birthday….oh Mr. blurry-cam, how we hate thee. For experienced photographers, nothing will beat lugging around their 15 lb bag of SLR megapixel goodness. For the rest of us, we simply want to be able to lay our heads down at night knowing we could whip out a high res shot, drop our camera a few ft into the dirt, step on it while trying to pick it up, accidentally kick it in the water, and then subject it to subzero temperatures to shoot an HD video (Murphy’s Law always gets the best of us). Is that too much to ask? Panasonic replies with a resilient, NO. And who better to turn to than the makers of the toughbook. Spanned by years of mil-spec grade experience, the “Ideas for life” folks have managed to put together quite a piece of work with little competition. And they call it DMC-TS1S Anti-yawn features:

  • 12.1 MP
  • Dustproof
  • Scratchproof
  • Shockproof (1.5m)
  • Waterproof (to 3m)
  • HD Video: AVCHD Lite (720p/1080i)
  • LEICA DC Vario-Elmar Lens

Click here for full specs. Peep the review below:

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