Tag Archives: Gadgets

You can’t get this Otter wet.

I have been hunting for the right case for my iPhone 6 plus from the moment I got it a few months back, and since my most favourite cases (being the Lifeproof kind) have yet to hit Australian shores.  I’ve had to make do with the limited cases available.  I didn’t want to bend my phone and the only one I’ve found in this narrow market that is capable of stopping that so far, is the Otterbox Defender.

It's a huge bitch!

It is a VERY bulky case, it doubles the phone thickness at the very least and probably a smidgen more.  My children laugh at my when I’m on the phone, and ask if I’ve mistaken my iPad for a phone.  But Otterbox is known for ruggedness not style. Seriously though, I’ve got no pockets this thing will fit in.

It features a tough polycarbonate plastic shell that covers the whole phone, then a rubbery outer synthetic slipcover wraps around that to absorb shocks. It comes with a belt clip holster that swivels from landscape to portrait, and doubles as a stand which you will use more than you think.

In Australia it comes in black and black (my white phone looks a bit silly in it), unless you pick up a grey market one on eBay, or pay big bucks in postage to get a coloured skin direct from Otterbox. 

It will survive a drop, and has done so on many occasions now, and it has a built in screen protector. Which is probably essential to the whole protection deal, but the one or two millimetre gap between the screen and the protector drove me insane. I made SO many mistakes just trying to type one simple message, I end up ripping the screen cover out.  I’m not kidding that screen cover made being accurate near on impossible.  

If you remove your phone from the case, the fingerprint recognition will not work anymore, the sticky of the film membrane that covers the home button doesn’t appear to be designed for more than once use. So I had to take that out too, because I also use that feature on my phone a lot. I removed the phone to clean it (prior to any modifications), because despite its all encompassing appearance you can still get sand in the case. Given the nearly $100 price tag Australians enjoy for this case, I’m not impressed, it works (with these slight modifications) but no longer providing the protection I want.

When I look at this case next to the hubs iPhone 6 sitting all snug and sleek in it’s new LifeProof case, I’m pretty sure my Plus blushes.  I think it’s back to the drawing board with this one please Otterbox, rushed to market and not tested enough.  Also if it is named after a water habituating creature why isn’t it waterproof? Just wondering.

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Filed under Complaints Dept, Reviews, Technology/Gadgets

Action Mum…

Invested in a #GoPro for our adventures. Which we tested on the school run, as you do.

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by | December 18, 2014 · 3:23 am

Review – the Olympus Stylus Tough TG-2

I got my hands on the Olympus TG-2 Stylus Tough series digital compact camera.  This is Olympus’s flagship tough waterproof camera, so this baby is definitely going to see some action in this messy family, and with any luck won’t see me having to get sand cleaned out of lens threads.

Waterproof to 15 metres, 2.1m shock proof (didn’t test that out though) and 100kg crush proof (also not testing that out, unless the Husband sits on it). Also freeze proof to -10 which doesn’t help those enduring a polar vortex right now, but still good to know I can take it skiing. But most importantly for me is its dust proof.  Keeping dust out of my larger DSLR set up really gets to be a pain in the arse when you are down on the ground trying to get ‘that shot’.

You can pretty much charge and go with the Tough, beginners can just leave it on auto and the iHS technology on the inside will figure out the settings for you.  If you put the camera on auto and just stand in one spot and move the camera around, and up and down, you will see the settings change from portrait to macro to whatever you need for the shot. It does this very quickly using tech from its big DSLR brothers, and its low light shots will surprise you with their clarity. It focuses in a heartbeat, with a 4x wide angle lens and an effective 12 megapixels.

We took it out for its first run, on a miserable day over the coast.  I can imagine that if the sun was out these shots would’ve been even better.  It also has a built in GPS, giro and compass which I’m yet to use to its full capability, but from first impressions it looks to be a useful traveling tool.   I forgot to mention it has a macro, an advanced super macro to be precise.  This has to be the best macro I’ve ever come across in a compact, especially a waterproof one.

There is software onboard for special effects, pop art (great to bring out colour in a hazy looking landscape), pin hole, fish eye (this effect looks very good, almost like you have the actual lens for it), soft focus, punk (which is a weird one that just makes everything hot pink), water colour, reflection (you can get very arty farty with this one, people will think you rock at photography after seeing this shot), miniature and dramatic.

It doesn’t have a secondary viewfinder or a shoe for a secondary flash, but it’s a waterproof camera so you can appreciate why not.  Actually I’ve rarely needed the flash because the bright lens copes with low light so well.  Battery life has proven itself to be good so far, specs say it’ll do 350 shots before a charge. The only little annoyance for me is the pictures are only saved in one format being jpeg, I’d like a RAW option.  I’m still looking into the FlashAir card option that apparently makes it so I can bluetooth pictures to my smartphone, which sounds awesome if I can get it.

 I’m excited by the possibilities this little camera brings. This weekend we will take it camping which is always very muddy times with our lot, I look forward to the results. Oh and it can charge via the usb socket in my car, very handy.  I will update this post with more photos of the effects as I take them, which will probably be this weekend when I dare take this crowd camping. I know there is no way I have explored everything this camera is capable of yet.

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Filed under Photographic, Reviews, Technology/Gadgets

Polaroid Z2300 Digital Instant Camera – A review.

You all know that I am seldom without a camera about my person, I take around 1000 shots a month of which maybe a get 50 printed. If that.  I just lose track of which ones I wanted to do, forget, don’t have the paper or the toner, or space in the budget to pay someone else.  So you can imagine how the idea of a digital camera that you can edit and print from, was an attractive one.

My dad had an old polaroid camera, you would remember them as the kind that spat a square picture out the front and the picture slowly developed before your eyes.  I loved that camera, I still have some of the prints from it.  Polaroid is that camera brand that everyone has a little nostalgia for.  Enter the new Polaroid z2300 Digital Instant camera.  I was excited to get my hands on one.

 Yes it does look and feel like a little brick.  It does have a 10mp camera in it though, and takes fairly good quality pictures, but…

And you knew the but was coming didn’t you.  I’m not happy with it.

I will start with the good stuff.  It instantly prints 2×3 photos, which is fun and a novelty at events.  It takes 10MP photos.  The prints are stickers too, which makes scrapbooking easy for the so inclined.  You can make multiple prints of one picture, an option not available in traditional polaroid.  The photo you took was the one and only copy in those days. There is built in editing (minimal but some), framing graphics and colour hue options.  You can put an SD card in for loads more memory, it shoots video too.  It has old school switches for the functions like macro to landscape.  With a nice big LCD screen on the back.

Bad stuff… It is heavy and bulky.  I’ve nearly dropped it a few times. Awkward. It really needs a purpose built case, as the power button can be easily knocked on, even in a camera bag.  I end up carrying it with the battery out to stop this happening, as I was getting my camera out finding it on or flat.  The lens is weeny, like a mobile phone lens, sans the autofocus.   The door catch for the paper (film) loading is flimsy, I’ve bumped it open twice. The battery door rattles too, whats the story there?  The resulting prints are not that great, they are often very dark and kinda blue, yet the digital image is pretty good.  The built in frames are kinda dinky and look cheap, like I’ve used a dodgy free app on my mobile.  I can’t rate the software that came with the camera, because it doesn’t work in a mac and I haven’t been directed to a download.

Verdict… Made for fun.  Don’t expect anything more and you’ll be right.

The resulting print from the camera.

The digital image – see, not that bad right?!

The 2x3 print of Miss Georgie

The 2×3 print of Miss Georgie

The digital image, much brighter.

The digital image, much brighter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Photographic, Reviews, Technology/Gadgets

Today only, an AMAZING deal!

Dear Drivers, I’d like to introduce you to a nifty little gadget.  It’s a one of a kind, why didn’t anyone think of it before sort of invention that makes you wonder how you ever did without it before.

This innovation can save you hundreds or even thousands off your next smash repair bill, because the use of this fabulous little device can help you avoid a smash altogether. But what’s that I hear you say? You have so many buttons to push in your car already, you just don’t know how on earth you could coordinate using another one?  Well I have exciting news for you, this device can be operated with just your pinkie! How effortless is that.I know what your thinking.  Where can I obtain such a marvelous device? And just too excite you even more, for today only you can get two for the price of one.  That’s right, one for the left and right side of your vehicle, and it can be fitted to any kind of vehicle.

But hold your horses, and put down that phone, because you’re not going to believe what I’m going to tell you next.  If you have a vehicle then chances are you already own this amazing invention and didn’t know it!  Head out to your car and hop in the drivers seat and take a look behind the steering wheel, can you see two levers (I know! Where on earth did they come from?! The sales guy never mentioned those things! Maybe they appeared in the last software update?) Push the lever down and you’ll see a flashing light on the dash (it’s ok it is supposed to do that) now hop out and check out the front and back of the car.  How awesome are those matching flashing lights?  Those lights are called indicators and let everyone know where you are going, and it is the done thing to use them when going around corners.

Right now indicators are totally on trend, and now that you’ve got your own fabulous flashing indicators you’ll be on your way in up to date style.  Tell your friends, because everyone will want to know where you found yours.

Still not convinced? Then check out this amazing indicator action below, totally pimps my ride don’tcha think? And I just love to be seen accessorising 😉

Flashing fantastic!

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Filed under Complaints Dept, Rants & Stuff