Tag Archives: Review

A Camera That Just Happens to Make Calls

Mom spoiled me beyond reason when I was home and got me a new iPhone 4S as a present. I was overjoyed because my 3GS was on its last legs, vibrating whenever it wanted (all the time) and taking forever to send a text. When it comes to my devices, I like to keep them looking clean, so I opted for the white 4S, as fingerprints are much harder to see on its body (the screen still needs to be wiped on occasion).

You have already read dozens of iPhone 4S reviews on dozens of blogs, so I am not here to tell you how fast it loads apps (FAST), how helpful Siri is (She is!), or how beautiful her Retina display is (Gorgeous). What I am here to tell you about though is the camera included on the 4S. It is so good, we shall hereto forward call it “the camera that just happens to make calls.”

Eight megapixels does not sound like a lot of resolution for a digital camera these days, especially when certain Finnish phone makers spew out cameraphones with 41 megapixels (Nokia, I am looking at you), however, the camera that just happens to make calls does not disappoint at all.

First, it loads several times faster than that on my 3GS, and rightly so. The A5 processor that powers the camera makes for a snappy experience that doesn’t get you caught out there missing special moments.

Second, its f/2.4 aperture and backside illuminated sensor allow you to shoot in all kinds of low-light environments that would otherwise be difficult. The flash is fast and bright, but as a die-hard Cartier-Bresson fan, I never use it. The HDR mode is surprisingly good, and it is a wonder the same thing isn’t on professional cameras. HDR processing is so tedious on a computer!

The ability to crop and make minor enhancements directly in the app preclude you from having to work on your photos in another app, however if you MUST use Instagram, the camera that just happens to make calls delivers well for 3rd-party apps as well.

I do not believe in iCloud yet, as I am a MobileMe subscriber, and have been for the past 3 years, so I can’t tell you anything about Photo Stream. I just want to tell you about the virtues of MobileMe Galleries and being able to host your website through iWeb, but alas, that deserves a post of its own.

However, what I will tell you is that the 4S is also a very capable video camera. 1080p video is something my trusty 50D can’t do (wishing for a 5D Mark III!!!), so I can’t even hate on the beautiful video it captures. Sound is bleh, but to be expected. You totally could get away with just taking video on the phone and synching it with audio recorded on another device though.

In sum, the camera that also happens to make calls delivers photos and video better than any other I can remember, and is on par with many prosumer camera on the market in terms of automated exposure. If it allowed for finer control and manual exposure somehow I would be even more thrilled, but for now, this little device is my trustiest camera that is always on my body.

There are samples here from the beach with my mom, our hotel by the beach that had deer for neighbors, the cemetery paying respects to my grandparents, and the plane ride back home. Let me know what you think!

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Official iPad Review: B. Thompson and I Call It a FAIL

My good friend, B. Thompson, and I went to the Apple Store on 5th Avenue a few days after the iPad launch to see what all the fuss was about. Apparently shoppers were smart to the fact that the 3G version that is coming out is better, and contrary to popular belief, the device was not sold out and did not merit days long lines. Gee, whoda thunk it.

Anywho, we liked the form factor, but there were too many glaring omissions and quirks that pushed our buttons. The first of which is that damn glossy screen. Fingerprints McGee. Second, the damn thing was loaded with apps that used GPS and a camera, and this particular model has neither. Third, all but a couple apps were pixellated and gross because Apple didn’t care enough to load iPads with good looking apps in their WORLDWIDE FLAGSHIP STORE. Fail, fail, fail, I tell you.

Apparently the thing gets good battery life and saves print media across the board or something like that. However, none of that is reason enough for me to buy one as it currently is. It is a large first generation iPod Touch. Fail.

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Long Name, Great Game

Demons aren't all bad.

Demons aren't all bad.

So I felt the need to come to the defense of a game that I have been playing, because yahoo felt the need to poke fun at it. The name of the game is quite long and absurd, but it is actually a lot of fun. Just like product names from Sony, Toshiba, and Samsung often have ridiculously long names, “Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army” takes the cake for needless title space.

However, after actually playing the second game (“Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon”)¬†for a while I have come to like how different it is from more traditional RPGs in that the battle system hurt my head at first, and I actually had to think about how to survive. I don’t think that’s ever happened in a Final Fantasy game for me, like ever. Even though Square Enix runs the RPG show, Atlus created a deep, immersive game that is full of traditional Japanese mythology and culture that is more than enough to keep me and my short attention span happy.

While the dialog may be a bit much during the game, and often corny, the battle system and its quirks keep me playing. You have to stay on your toes, watch your MAG points, and take advantage of enemy weaknesses to even survive one battle. Being able to summon two demons to help you sounds like a lot to manage at first, but once you get serious about progressing, it becomes addictive.

I haven’t finished the game yet, so I don’t know where all parts of the ridiculous name come into play, but I am determined to finish and figure it out, because its so much fun to play.

PLUS you get a cute Raidoh Kuzunoha plush. Bonus!

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