Author:
• Monday, June 25th, 2012

Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 (Blue) (New Model)

Kodak EasyShare is an extreme sports camera. This means that you can take your camera with you literally any where you go. You don’t have to worry about the weather. You can easily capture under water photos or even your favorite sport in the rain.

Kodak EasyShare is a cost effective sports camera. In fact, this camera offers many more features than any other camera in its bracket. Not everyone can afford a high end camera. If you are a high school student then you cannot afford to buy a professional sports camera and this is where Kodak EasyShare fills the gap.

Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 Product Description

The Kodak EasyShare is among the best cameras in its category. When you see all of its features you will understand why. Here are some of the cameras best features:

• It’s pocket size. It is just 6.2 ounces in weight which makes it very light and easy to carry. Moreover its physical dimensions include 3.6×1.2×3.6 inches. Overall it is a small and light weight camera which you can keep in your pocket and carry any where you want.

• It is available in many colors; the new model blue is by far the best.

• Be it any kind of adventure sport, from hiking, rock climbing to under water diving. This tiny little camera can survive it all. Moreover its light weight makes it easy to carry with you anywhere you want. It will be there to capture all of those extreme moments.

• It is a 12 Mega Pixel Camera with 2.4 inch LCD and comes with face detection technology.

• Includes AA batteries which are very powerful and last for quite some time.

• It allows you to easily share pictures with friends and tag them in the photos taken by the Kodak EasyShare. You will be happily sharing you pictures with all your friends by use of the simple sharing feature.

• Smart capture adjusts the settings to capture the perfect picture.

Share Button

The Kodak EasyShare comes with a unique share button feature which enables you to share your pictures on any social networking site. All you have to do is press the sharing button and choose your favorite social networking site like Facebook, Twitter etc. Your photos will be automatically uploaded and shared with your friends on that particular social networking site. You can even tag your friends in these photos and make them aware of the images you uploaded.

Smart Capture

This feature will automatically adjust the camera settings to give you the best picture possible. It will detect what type of scene the camera needs to use. It will automatically adjust to give you sharp pictures. It will also clean up the picture to give you true to life colors.

Waterproof and Dustproof

The Kodak EasyShare allows you take images underwater as well as many other extreme conditions. It can take pictures as well as record videos up to 10 feet under water. It is also dust proof and therefore can be taken on hiking trips to capture pictures there without risking the photo or video quality. The dust proof feature allows you to shoot with this camera in any kind of natural surroundings. It also has the underwater white balance that helps to make the blue tones of underwater images unnoticeable. The pictures will be lively and have true colors without the usual blues that disrupt the quality of images taken under water.

Pros

• Highly waterproof.

• Highly dust proof.

• Can survive any kind of environment and therefore can shoot in extreme conditions.

• Produces clear underwater pictures by removing the blue effects of water.

• Sharing feature allows you to share pictures and automatically tags them in Facebook.

• Face detection software is also available.

• Very affordable price.

• Good for kids.

Cons

• It is not a digital camera and therefore does not have all of the technical features of a digital camera.

What Customers Say

Customers give this camera a four star rating on Amazon.com. Most users feel that at the price it is available it offers way more than one can ask for. Many customers agree that the camera gives good quality under water photos. It is great for every day use and it also holds up well in salt water. One customer was unhappy about the battery life saying that it was extremely poor.

Recommendation

All in all this is an inexpensive camera that takes decent pictures in any environment. If you are looking for a camera for a kid then this is highly recommended as it is the best camera for rough usage and adventure sports. You can purchase this camera online at Amazon.com. You can typically save about 20%. Plus this product is available for free shipping as well.

Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 12 MP Waterproof Digital Camera (Blue)

  • Waterproof up to 10 ft underwater
  • 2.4 in. 112K TFT color LCD display
  • Equipped with Kodak’s Smart Capture feature
  • Amazing HD quality pictures
  • Lets you simultaneously share to multiple social networks, e-mail and PULSE Digital Frame

Splash! Whether it’s a dunk in the pool, a downpour on the hiking trail, or a spilled drink at the restaurant, life can catch you off your game. Be ready with the Kodak EASYSHARE SPORT camera. Take a dip and take your best shot – up to 3 m underwater. Check out the great outdoors without worrying about dirt, dust, and sand. Plus, wherever you go, your friends will wish they were there. With Kodak’s Share button you can tag pictures directly from your camera for e-mailing to friends. The dustproo

 

Click here for more info and the best price:

List Price: $ 79.95

Price: [wpramaprice asin="B004FLL5C2"]

Customer Reviews

221 of 229 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great camera for the price!, April 29, 2011
This review is from: Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 12 MP Waterproof Digital Camera (Blue) (Camera)

We recently purchased this camera for our Disney Cruise. Our seven year old son was scheduled to snorkle with stingrays on Castaway Cay and we wanted to capture that experience. We were able to take photos and video of him with the stingrays, some of it underwater. The camera took clear pictures and video. The only drawback was it is hard to see the screen (so you know what you are photographing) and there is no viewfinder but that problem was easily outweighed by the price. We are very pleased with our purchase!

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108 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
nice camera for the price!, June 14, 2011
By
willie “roadie” (pineapple park, FL, USA) – See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)
 

 

Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

UPDATE: Kodak’s bankruptcy and exit from the digital camera business probably means that these cameras will be gone forever! I have the updated C135 in pre-order, but I’m not holding my breath. Amazon says it’s ‘unavailable,’ but my account’s order status has the C135 shipping in April. Who knows? All I know is that I’m glad I own a backup C123 in the box. The C135 is supposed to have digital stabilization, as opposed to no image stabilization in the C123 – but the C123 still takes great pics for its intended purpose.

although it’s more orange than red, i like my new c123… i carefully read every review, and although i can understand why some folks are disappointed, i am more than happy with this camera after playing with it, taking indoor, outdoor, and yes, even close-up shots!

the controls are fairly intuitive, but i found that i had to set up the camera before it would take acceptable pictures (specifically, the ‘sharp’ selection under ‘Sharpness’ on the Capture menu; you may also want to manually select an ISO if you’re going to be in the same lighting conditions for your picture session – see below)

this camera works with my version of iPhoto on an older iMac, so i’m grateful – the kodak setup was fairly easy: plug in the camera, turn it on, install the resulting kodak.pkg from the Desktop, etc. … i use ‘Other Application’ for the ‘Computer Connection’ item under the Setup menu…

UPDATE: i have since found that there is no reason to use any Kodak software with my C123 and iPhoto, since iPhoto recognizes the C123 and imports pictures with no problems – and especially since i can (if i wish) send iPhoto pics straight to facebook if desired (something i rarely do)

this camera’s firmware is deceptively sophisticated, but honestly, these were all the initial settings i used…

you *will* have to hold this camera steady! it does NOT have ‘shake reduction’ featured in most higher-end cameras…

that said, anyone who knows photography knows that it’s not the camera that makes the best pictures, but the photographer’s eye (and to a degree, technique)

i was a bit apprehensive about the lack of macro shots, but tried a 24″ flash pic of some stuff on my desk – the picture came out perfectly sharp and acceptable, considering this is an inexpensive camera

i next tried to take pictures indoors, with no flash, use the digital zoom about a third out… first, i tried the ‘Auto’ ISO mode; next, i set the camera to ISO 80… carefully bracing the camera, i squeezed off one shot each of a stack of books about 20 feet away in the living room…

the results were as i expected: the ISO 80 picture was noticeably ‘sharper’… so there is a some manual control available to the picture taker…

i have no intention of going snorkeling with this camera, but wanted something that will be impervious to dust, dirt, or sand at the beach – in this regard, this little kodak will fit the bill perfectly… it’s compact, uses AAs, has simple controls, tripod socket, and accepts an SD or SDHC card (although it did not like my 16GB Adata, but worked fine w/a 4GB microSDHC in an SDHC carrier taken straight from my Canon A570is and stuck in – even the Canon’s pictures showed up under the C123′s preview! w00t!)

five stars for this camera for me – i look forward to an improved model or firmware… i also recommend going to kodak’s web site to get the ‘extended c123 user guide’ – there are more hints and tips in the manual

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161 of 167 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
performs exactly as I expected, great for the pool!, May 31, 2011
By
Jynna (New Jersey) – See all my reviews

 

Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 12 MP Waterproof Digital Camera (Blue) (Camera)

Customer Video Review Length:: 0:16 Mins

Have only had this a couple of weeks but this camera is turning out to be great for the pool.

A great price for a camera I can re-use and not have to worry about getting wet.
Takes great pics in/under the water and you can also record videos (no zoom when in video mode).
When turning on it is ready to take pictures very quickly.
So far it has not eaten batteries, which is good because it does not appear to turn off automatically.
Has other modes if you want to use the camera for more than taking pictures in the water but we have not really tried them out.

ETA:
Soon, I am going to attempt to upload a video taken in our pool. Also, wanted to add one great thing about this camera – we left it out side overnight and it rained. It was really a relief to know that my camera didnt get ruined simply because I forgot to bring it in after swimming!

Kids are having a great time using this camera, so much so I may have to go ahead and pick up a 2nd one! It is really holding up to being roughly handled.

added a very short clip of my dog. my son uses the camera 1st above the water then underneath and then above again. I have also noticed that when in video mode, the camera is picking up sound underwater! it’s pretty cool, I wasn’t expecting that.

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Author:
• Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

Strider PREbike Balance Running Bike Review

This little bike from Strider has been designed to help kids develop the skills for riding a proper bicycle. The size means that kids as young as 1 year are able to get on and start scooting around.

Features Of The Strider PREbike

* Adjustable seat and handle bars,

* Light weight,

* No pedals mean kids can focus on learning to balance,

* Integrated foot rests,

* Puncture proof tires,

* Designed for ages 1 – 5.

Is The Strider PREbike Worth Buying?

The Strider PREbike is very small, with a minimum height of just 11 inches from ground level. This means that even very young children are tall enough to get on, making it a great way to teach kids how to balance and steer from an early age. No rival producers offer a bike this small, meaning that the PREbike lets you start your child earlier than any other product.

A key feature of the PREbike is the lack of any pedals. By removing the pedals, the bike is much simpler for children to understand. All they do to move forward is push themselves along, which allows them to focus more on the important and sometimes difficult skill of balancing. As an early-age balance-training device, the PREbike is hard to beat.

One small downside of the PREbike design is the lack of a steering limiter. Whilst the PREbike makes learning to balance much easier by removing the pedals, it actually makes steering a little harder than most tricycles. Turning the handle bars too sharply can cause the bike, and your child, to fall. It’s not far to the ground, but it may make your child a little less sure of himself at first.

Fortunately, the bike is very lightweight. This means that if tumbles do happen, there shouldn’t be any serious injuries. The bike is actually so light that many kids of 2 or 3 are able to carry it around for themselves, and it also means that if you’re out and about and they tire of it, you can easily carry it back.

Another of the PREbike’s great features are the puncture proof tires. They are made of foam with a rubber coating, which means they don’t need to be pumped up and can never be punctured. Even a nail in the tire won’t stop your kid from scooting!

The simple design enables kids to pick up how to ride the PREbike very quickly, and once they do they have great fun! Gliding along with their feet on the footrests can be really exciting, and children feel liberated by the speed at which they can coast along.

The build quality of the bike does seem a little low. The wheels, seat, and headset are plastic, and the foam hand-grips damage quite easily. However, despite this the product remains durable even after extensive amounts of play for months and months. And, if there are any problems, Strider offer great customer service.

The price seems a bit much at first for a product that doesn’t feel all that well built. But it quickly becomes clear that there aren’t any other decent rivals for teaching young kids the skills and confidence they need to progress on to proper bikes. Over all, the PREbike is certainly worth buying.

Strider PREbike Balance Running Bike (Blue)

  • PREbike for Toddlers
  • Assembled bike weighs just 6.9 pounds!
  • Patent-Pending frame design has integrated Launch Pad FOOTRESTS for gliding and learning advanced riding skills
  • Never Fill, Puncture-Proof, all-terrain tires with sealed bearings and 5/16-Inch steel axles
  • Sizing: Adjustable handlebar and seat height to fit riders from 30-Inch to 44-Inch tall (saddle height adjusts from 11-Inch to 16-Inch from ground)

If your toddler can walk, your toddler can ride a Strider Sports PREbike. The Strider Sports PREbike teaches your child balance and coordination, developing glittering confidence.Trikes and bikes with training wheels simply can’t do this.Traditional bicycles place too much focus on learning to pedal – skimping on developing your child’s motor skills. And these bikes are heavy, clunky and difficult for toddlers to control. The Strider Sports PREbikeTM is the natural progression from a ride-

 

Click here for more info and the best price:

List Price: $ 110.00

Price: [wpramaprice asin="B0018N77TK"]

Customer Reviews

639 of 657 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Great Bike, questionable quality, December 9, 2008
By
P. Lundberg (Minnesota) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
 

 

First off, let me say that I am an avid biker, having spent thousands of dollars on my own bikes which have accumulated thousands of miles.

This bike is a great idea. The basic design is good. The quality seems to be questionable.

The Strider I bought brand new came with flaking paint and stickers peeling. The plastic and foam wheels wobbled a bit. The headset is plastic, and it’s stiff and doesn’t turn well. The flimsy plastic seat is covered with a very thin and soft vinyl and attached with a single small bolt. The handgrips are also very thin and soft, prone to tearing and exposing the sharp bar ends. Both seat and handlebar clamps are flimsy, cheap, and don’t work well.

I do like the foot rests and the basic design. As far as I know no other bike fits smaller riders. The foam tires are great for indoor use but I would prefer real tires for outdoors. The optional foot brake is a much better idea than a handbrake for kids to use. The concept is excellent. My 19 month old took right to it. But…

Basically, every part of this bike is made as cheap as possible, typical of what I would expect of a $40 Wal-Mart bike. This is priced around $100. Now, I don’t expect top quality at this price. Nor do I think a toddler needs top quality. But I do expect it to at least be comparable or better than full-size bikes in this price range (which still isn’t saying much). The Strider is not.

After spending a few days with this bike I was simply unconvinced it would hold up to one kid, much less two. That’s not to say it can’t. I ended up taking it back and getting a KinderBike. The KinderBike was actually cheaper but of much better quality with alloy wheels, real tires, quick release seat clamp, 4-point adjustable angle seat, proper steel ball-bearing headset, aluminum stem, durable handgrips that are not easily torn, a handbrake, 50% greater weight rating (75lbs), and a three-year warranty. Downsides are it’s 3.75 inches taller, doesn’t have any kind of foot rests, and doesn’t offer a foot brake. But I have found the last two items really aren’t as important as you might think.

Update: The minimum seat height of the KinderBike is claimed to be 13.5″, however I measured it at 14.75″. This is a considerable difference, making the Kinderbike too big for most two year olds and even many three year olds. So we returned it and went back to the Strider. But if your kids are tall enough, I highly recommend the KinderBike, there is no doubt it is built to last longer. At a lower cost, it’s really a no-brainer. But again, only for taller/older kids with an inseam of around 15″ or more.

I would add a star back if I could, for the sole reason that the Strider gets your kid on a bike sooner than any other metal balance bike I’m aware of. I guess I’m willing to sacrifice quality for that, but I’m still not happy about it considering the price.

***UPDATE 4/09***

Well, not surprisingly, my son’s Strider handgrips tore almost immediately, exposing the sharp bar ends. I also started hearing a clicking sound in the rear wheel like a bearing was going out. I contacted Strider about this and they sent me out a new wheel and handgrips immediately, no questions asked. I believe it was even the owner himself that responded. The new handgrips they sent are similar to the ones on the Kinderbike, reinforced on the ends to prevent tearing out. Much better. The foam tires have also held up fine so far and the convenience of not having to air them up is nice.

My son really loves this thing and is still too small for the Kinderbike, so it was worthwhile to buy this despite the problems. Hopefully Strider Sports is learning some lessons and will improve future models because it truly is a great idea.

***Update 6/10****

I do think my initial concerns were overblown. After hundreds of miles this Strider has held up just fine and is ready for the next kid. I still think it’s overpriced for what it is, but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anybody due to the light weight, low seat height, easy (basically no) maintenance, and how much fun our son has had on it. Striders do come with good handgrips now. I see you can update your rating now so I have changed it to 4 stars because my son has gotten much more enjoyment out of this than anything else we have bought him.

I have contemplated removing much of my negative review, but I still feel they are still valid comparison points. At a lower price point they would not be.

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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
love this bike!, June 30, 2008

My son loves this bike. We got it for him a few months after he turned 2 and he took to it almost immediately. The only thing I had to teach him was to sit on the seat.

I recommend this over the wood bikes as it is more durable, and the foam tires are maintenance free, no flats. We leave it outside except for when it rains (and occasionally when it rains if I forget) and it has held up well.

This is ideal for young or shorter kids as it has the lowest seat height (11 inches is the min height) of all the ones I researched. My son tried out the scutt bike at a toy store, and he was too short for it at 2 1/2, and he’s between the 75th and 90th percentile for height. If your kid is a little older/taller, you might also look into kinderbike (13.5 inch min seat height). They look similar and are ~30% cheeper. I’m only going by the website though, don’t know anyone who’s owned one before. Balance/running bikes are just awesome overall as most kids don’t figure out pedals until they are at least 3 years old and they can go alot faster (= more fun) on balance bikes than tricycles.

You can get replacement hand grips from stridersports.com. If your son/daughter is rough on his bike like mine is, you will need replacements at some time. They are cheap though.

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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Makes learning to bike easy, March 30, 2008
By
Heath (Wichita, KS USA) – See all my reviews

 

As a dad I bought this little bike hoping it would help my four year old and maybe even my 7 year old learn to bike without their training wheels and without the trauma of crashing. My seven year old already had the balance, but lacked the confidence. This Strider fit the bill perfectly! My seven year old barely fit on the Strider, but still had a blast running then sitting and gliding on the bike. She did it indoors a few times, then for about thirty minutes with it outside. It was fun to watch her quickly learn to balance and glide further and further each try. Literally within thirty minutes and even trading off with her brother, she had figured out how to balance and glide down our short driveway and out into the street. While she was playing I took her training wheels off of her other bike. She hopped on it, and with a bit of a push she was riding! She giggled as she rode and said “this is just like the Strider!” Too easy! My four year old is progressing quickly too. On our second day out with the strider we went to a large parking lot with little traffic. While my seven year old had a blast tooling around the lot without her training wheels, my four old made longer and longer glides on the Strider. After an hour he could glide over twenty feet on a gently downward sloped part of the lot. It won’t be long until he is ready to try his bike. Good thing too because he’s almost too big for the Strider already. What a great teaching tool! The Strider seems well constructed for what it is. It is light and easy to assemble. It has tread spots on the back fork where the kids can put up their feet. It is low to the ground. My four year old is 42 inches tall and is really too tall for it already, but he manages just fine by bending his knees and stepping out to the side a bit. I paid $78 shipped and feel like it was worth it. My kids confidence level went way up when I outfitted them with knee and elbow pads and gloves to go along with their helmets. The gloves have saved their little hands from painful road rash more than once. Bell sells a package that has all the protective gear together for a reasonable price.

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Author:
• Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Step2 Up & Down Roller Coaster Review

It isn’t always easy to find a fun activity that’s suitable for use indoors. Thankfully, the Step2 Up & Down Roller Coaster is just as fun indoors as it is outside. It may not look like much to adults, but kids aged between two and five will love the gentle ups and downs of this ride!

Features Of The Step2 Up & Down Roller Coaster

* Fun indoor roller coaster track,

* Made from brightly-colored plastic,

* 10 foot roller coaster track made from 3 pieces,

* Includes 2 non-slip steps,

* Car has a high back, handrail and foot rests for safety,

* Snap-together assembly means it can be put together without tools,

* Dimensions: 123 x 30.5 x 14.75 inches,

* Holds up to 60 lbs,

* Recommended for children aged between 2 – 5 years.

Is The Step2 Up & Down Roller Coaster Worth Buying?

The Step2 Up & Down Roller Coaster is well designed and made to be durable. Thanks to the fact that the pieces simply snap together, you can quickly put it together and take it apart again when you need to store it away. The finished product is very solid: the manufacturers state that it’ll hold a child of up to 60 lbs, though some parents have confessed to riding it too! It is long, however, so make sure you have enough space for it.

The recommended age for this product is from 2 – 5 years, and a number of safety features help to stop children from hurting themselves. For a start, the ups and downs aren’t too steep (but they’re steep enough to be fun), and there’s also a bar to hold onto in the cart.

Despite the built in safety features, it’s still important to supervise children when using this toy. You may need to make sure that they do hold on to the handle bar, and the younger children may need some help getting up the two steps and inside the cart correctly.

An indoor roller coaster is going to be welcomed by any child, though there are other uses for this toy which help to increase it’s value. The cart itself is fun for playing in without the track, and the roller coaster track makes an excellent place for rolling cars or other toys. That said, some parents have complained that their child didn’t use Step2 Up & Down Roller Coaster as much as they would hoped. A toy like this isn’t something that’s going to be in constant use: more of a toy that will be brought out every now and again.

In short, consider carefully how much use this toy is going to get. Some parents have been disappointed, and others feel it’s worth the purchase for giving their children something fun to do indoors. It all depends on how your kids like to play!

Step 2 Up & Down Roller Coaster

  • 2 non-slip steps lock securely into 3 piece track for access from both sides
  • Recessed retainer well keeps car in place during mounting
  • Car has high back, handrail, and foot rests for secure ride
  • Snap-together design assembles without tools

Let your child experience the up-and-down thrills of a roller coaster in the safety of your living room or driveway with the Up and Down Roller Coaster from Step2. The colorful snap-together track reaches 10 feet long and comes with two sets of non-slip steps that lock onto the track for added safety. The coaster car features a high back, handrail and foot rests for a secure ride. Measures approximately 123″L x 30.5″W x 14.75″H. Comes with track and coaster car. Holds up to 60 pounds. Adult supe

 

Click here for more info and the best price:

List Price: $ 119.99

Price: [wpramaprice asin="B00005KBVD"]

Customer Reviews

284 of 286 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Most thrilling indoor toy ever with some drawbacks, February 22, 2005
By
Rob Houser (Suwanee, GA USA) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
 

 

= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars = Educational:1.0 out of 5 stars
This review is from: Step 2 Up & Down Roller Coaster (Toy)

As you might imagine, there are a few drawbacks to this toy. I’ll list them before the praise.

First, kids under 3 are going to occasionally hurt themselves. It’s recommended for children 2-5, but, let’s be honest, if you have an 18-month-old that can walk, you’re going to put them on it. They can ride it and will love it, but they will need help getting on; they have to learn to hold their feet up on the car or out to avoid the wheels; and they occasionally forget the need to hold on to the bar. We use a loader and a catcher (mom and dad) for anyone under 3. Even a three-year-old will occasionally just fall off while getting on or run into another kid, if more than one kid present. But the toy is designed low enough to the ground that injuries should be more tears than actual bruises (unless you use it outside on your concrete driveway).

Second, the toy takes a lot of space if you use it indoors, or even if you just plan to store it someplace when it’s not being used.

Third, this type of activity can often be short-lived. Don’t buy this and expect it to be used every day for hours. My kids didn’t play with it every day, so I started keeping it in the garage and bringing it out for special occasions like rainy days and visiting friends. They kids will play with the coaster for about 15-20 minutes each, at the most.

Fourth, you’ll need to closely supervise the use of this toy, especially if there’s more than one kid playing with it. For kids under 4, you may be doing a bit of work yourself in getting them on and pushing them back to the top. For the older kids, you may just referee and make sure that nobody stands in front of the track.

Now that may sound like a lot of negatives for a toy that I rated a 5, but you simply cannot have this much active fun inside the house without a trampoline or a really big ball pit. For children ages 2 and 3, this toy is more exciting than most adults would expect. The coaster is a solid construction and easy to put together and take apart in seconds. It even holds an adult should you want to test it out for yourself. Even older kids 5-6 love it, but you have to watch them a little as they try to increase the fun by doing more daring things like going down backwards. Finally, the editorial review was exactly right-the car does get used separately from the track and (when I kept my track out all the time) the kids played on it with matchbox cars and balls on a daily basis (it just took too much space in our play room). I wish they made toys like this when I was a kid.

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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Exceptional Toy!, April 26, 2002
By
T. T. Barney (Morgan Hill, Ca) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
 

 

= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars
This review is from: Step 2 Up & Down Roller Coaster (Toy)

I bought this Roller Coaster for my niece’s first Christmas. It took less then a couple of minutes to set up using no instructions. My niece was 11 months old at the time and could just hold on while we walked along side her. She loved it!!! Now almost 5 months later, it is still in perfect condition. She can now ride it by herself, she pushes the coaster back up the track climbs on and goes again. She still loves it!
Good for up to age 7 or 8. My friend tried it and liked it and she weights around 130+ pounds. The older ones can ride on it and enjoy it as much as the younger children. The track is also fun to roll things down such as balls and toy cars. The car can be used without track also. As a side note the car makes a clicking sound as you push it back up the track which sounds like a real roller coaster. (its darling) Well worth the money and the amazing thing is that it is so durable it will be something that can be used for years.

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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
All kids love this toy, June 26, 2004
By

 

= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars
This review is from: Step 2 Up & Down Roller Coaster (Toy)

I work at a day care center and all the kids I watch love this track. They giggle when the ride ends and the are still coasting on the wood floor. One of the more easy toys to put together. I also like that you can use the car to ride on without the track. Great item for all kids under 80ish lbs.

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Author:
• Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Step2 Naturally Playful Big Folding Slide Review

How much fun can a child really have with a slide? It may not seem like it to us adults, but kids will willingly climb up and slide town this ride for hours on end. There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing which slide to get for your child: it has to be safe, fun, and big enough for them to grow into. The Step2 Naturally Playful Big Folding Slide aims to fulfill all three requirements.

Features Of The Step2 Naturally Playful Big Folding Slide

* Folds up easily for storage,

* Includes high side rails and handles to help little ones get to the top,

* Maximum weight of 50 lbs,

* Dimensions: 17 x 64 x 41 inches,

* Weight: 30 lbs,

* Made from durable double-wall resin,

* Minimal assembly,

* Recommended for ages 2 – 8.

Is The Step2 Naturally Playful Big Folding Slide Worth Buying?

If you’ve got the space for it, a slide is a natural addition to your yard. The Step2 Naturally Playful Big Folding Slide is just one of many slides available for young children, and there are a few reasons why you might choose this slide over other options on the market. The first is the design. Instead of bright, bold primary colors, this slide is designed to blend in with nature with its green and brown color scheme. This also helps to make the plastic wood textures look more realistic.

Another important factor in any slide is that it holds up when kids are constantly climbing up and sliding down. The Step2 feels extremely durable and sturdy, so you can feel safe knowing it won’t topple over on your child, and the handrails will keep your child sturdy as they climb the steps. The build quality also means that this slide is going to be in use for many years to come.

As for the shape of the slide, the angle makes it fun for younger kids. Because it curves near the bottom, it doesn’t shoot them down to the ground with too much force, but it’s still fast enough to be fun! There is a little drop at the end, which some parents are concerned about, but most kids will quickly learn the right way to slide at the end.

The size of the slide means that it’s big enough for little ones to grow into, and the manufacturer recommends it for ages 2 to 8. Of course, the size does mean you’ll need more room in your backyard (or a large space inside your house), but thankfully it folds up easily for storage if you need it out of the way for any reason.

The only real downside to the Step2 Naturally Playful Big Folding Slide is the fact that it does cost more than similar slides out there. However, for a slide that folds up, requires no assembly, and is made to a very high standard, it’s a great price to play for something that will be used over and over again.

Step2 Naturally Playful Big Folding Slide

  • Conveniently folds for easy storage
  • Features high side rails and sure grip handles to assist your little one to the top
  • Durable, double-wall resin construction
  • Maximum weight 50 lbs.
  • Minimal adult assembly required

786900 Features: -Slide.-Sturdy slide combines outdoor textures.-Slide opens for play or conveniently folds for storage and transport.-Suitable for 2 to 5 years. Assembly Instructions: -Assembly required.

 

Click here for more info and the best price:

List Price: $ 114.99

Price: [wpramaprice asin="B001639Q50"]

Customer Reviews

114 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Whoosh, June 30, 2009
By
Jason C. Dean (South East USA) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
 

 

= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Step2 Naturally Playful Big Folding Slide (Toy)

Here is the scene at our house since we opened the box for this slide. My daughter climbs it, slides down while saying “weeeee”, lands perfectly on her feet, runs around to the steps, and starts all over again until she is too tired to continue… which can go on for hours.

We got this slide for her 2nd birthday. Up until we got this we got hints that she wanted a slide when she started making ghetto slides out of cardboard boxes. After doing a bit of research we settled on this slide for a few difference reasons.

1. Its big! She can grow and grow but this slide should last her for years.

2. Its solid – Out of all the reviews I could find, this slide was the most sturdy and solid of the bunch. It never feels like its going to tip over, we weighted down the base with sand as well, and the rail on the slide keeps my little princess safe.

3. Angle of the slide – Most people might not think about this but the angle at which the child slides down is important. The other similar slides we looked at had a slide that almost was a straight shoot down. This is rough on a little childs legs and gives them a huge force of impact. However this slide has a little cruve at the end which softens the impact and pushes them away from the slide. This was the tipping point for us in our decision!!!

Other nice features but not deciding factors was how you can pull the slide together to put it away and the steps have a nice grip on them for bare feet children.

The only con we have so far is that it was expensive but no more than the others in this class or similar toys. We are concerned about how much bending the plastic will do in prolonged direct sunlight but so far have had no issue there… just a watch and see deal.

In any event my daughter loves this slide and we do too. I highly recomend this to anyone for their kids!

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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Step2 Naturally Playful Folding Slide vs Little Tikes version, June 9, 2010
By

 

= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Step2 Naturally Playful Big Folding Slide (Toy)

My brother has had this Little Tikes EasyStore Large Slide for quite a few years now, with his 3 daughters using it all summer long. It has held up very well and all his girls still love it. (Ages are 7, 4, and 2.) In the summer months, they will put the end of the slide in a little pool for some water fun. The slide is very stable and large enough for even their very tall 7 year old.

While I really liked this slide, I had been comparing it to the Step2 Naturally Playful Folding Slide and trying to see which was better based on reviews. Very difficult as they are very much the same.

I ended up ordering the Step2 version and I’m very happy with it. There are a few differences that I have noticed.

Little Tikes stability wings at the bottom of the stairs is somewhat flat, but enough for little ones to trip when not paying attention racing to the stairs. The Step2 version has angled wings that have to be put together with the staircase with a couple of screws – it says to screw them in with a screwdriver, but I was unable to do this. The wings slide on and stay there unless you lift up the slide to move it, but I’ll leave putting the screws in to my mechanically inclined husband so I don’t wreck it.

Little Tikes steps seemed to give a little more than my Step2 slide. This may be due to the fact that my brother’s Little Tikes version is a few years old and my Step2 is brand new, I’m not sure.

Little Tikes top of the stairs handle is a little shorter than the Step2 version, but not a big deal.

Little Tikes slide has a slight curve/bump in the slide halfway down, while the Step2 version has the curve/bump right at the beginning.

Little Tikes end of the slide has a slight lift, but my nieces and daughter would still fall forward on a fast slide down. The Step2 version has a lot more lift and my 2.5 year old daughter really appreciates it and doesn’t fall forward nearly as much.

The Little Tikes dark brown and burgundy is nice as is the Step2′s medium brown and grass green. I think I like the brown and green better, but that’s just my opinion.

The Little Tikes version seems to be a little lighter in weight than the Step2 Naturally Playful one. I had a harder time lugging the Step2 around than I did the Little Tikes.

They both fold easily and can store on the wall in the garage when not in use which is awesome. Being able to store it somewhere out of the way will definitely keep the slide in great condition for years!

Overall, both great slides and lots of fun. The slide length for both is about 58 inches long. They both stand about 40 inches high (top of handrail to the ground).

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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Worth it, October 22, 2009
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Step2 Naturally Playful Big Folding Slide (Toy)

I had been eyeing this for a while and finally found a great deal on amazon [...] It was between this slide and the Little Tikes Easystore Large Slide. After reading reviews regarding the difficulty assembling the Little Tikes Slide, ths seemed the easy choice. So far no complaints! We bought it for indoor use, so the kids can exert some energy during the months when its too cold or too hot to play outdoors.

Here are some of the perks:
1. Large enough to actually be fun.
2. Folds up for storage
3. NO ASSEMBLY REQUIRED!

Here are some of the cons:
1. Large
2. Folds up for storage
3. Our 3 1/2 yr old likes to hang on the plastic black bar you see in the picture. I’m concerned it might break.

You get the good with the bad on this purchase. Fortunately, the bad really isn’t so bad. It IS large, and since I bought it for indoor use we really have to open up a space in the room when we bring it out. If your plan is to use it outside then this won’t be an issue for you.

I’d say its about 5’5 when folded up. It fold ups easy and narrow. It really is meant to be hung when folded, because its doesn’t stay together. There aren’t any safety clips or anything. We have yet to hang it, so when its folded up against the wall we have to make sure its leaning or wedged in between something big so it won’t tip over.

I’ve read some complaints about the drop at the end of the slide. Yea, there is one, but I think it depends on the child how they handle it. My 1 1/2 year old doesn’t seem bothered by it. You can always slip a little pillow underneath to help.

Our only safety concern was the ladder, and this was when we first bought it 8 months ago. Our baby wasn’t yet a year and so we’d have to watch her carefully when she climbed up. All in all, this has been one of our better large toy purchases. I’m pleasantly surprised at how much use our kids have gotten out of it!

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Author:
• Monday, June 18th, 2012

Canon SX30IS 14.1MP Digital Camera with 35x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.7 Inch Wide LCD

Canon SX 30IS is one of the best digital cameras available in the market. It provides you extreme photography capabilities. High picture quality and awesome video recording will give you an amazing experience when it comes to photography. The images taken are picture perfect and give you a real to life feel. It has many features which makes it worth a buy. This is one of the best digital cameras in the market. If you love to take photos then Canon SX30IS is the way to go.

It is rich in features and has variety of functions which include intensive zooming ability, high definition video capturing, and dynamic mode. This is a camera that will give you an extremely high quality image for moving objects or low light surroundings.

Canon SX30IS 14.1MP Digital Camera Product Features

The Canon SX 30IS has many cool features which makes it one of the most desirable digital cameras in the market. Some of the important features are:

• It weighs about 1.3 pounds and is 4.2×4.8×3.7 inches in dimensions.

• It has a great optical zoom feature of 35x which is wide angle of 24 to 840 mm along with the much required optical image stabilizer.

• Optical image stabilizer can also be used for recording high quality videos giving 720p High Definition video quality along with great stereo sound.

• It can implement memory card, MMC Plus card, Multi Media card, and much more. Multimedia and a memory card come with it.

• It is a 14.1 Mega Pixel Digital Camera and has 2.7 inch long LCD with color vary angle facility.

• It is high speed camera capable of operating at USB 2.0 Hi-Speed.

• It is able to automatically adjust camera settings so that you get the best picture.

All in all these features make it a great product which you will not regret buying especially if you are a photo fanatic.

Dynamic Mode

This Canon digital camera is famous for its newly introduced dynamic mode. It allows you to record high quality videos even under poor conditions and moving objects. The blurred images or videos that you get while shooting moving objects in motion will be overcome by this dynamic mode feature.

HDMI Output

This camera allows you to take some extremely good high definition videos and pictures at a resolution of 1280×720 pixels. It produces some high quality images. It also comes with a HDMI connector which can connect your camera to any high definition television where you can view the videos and images captured by your Canon SX 30IS.

Auto Smart

The Auto Smart feature makes it easy for you to take your picture free from any kind of technical issues. You do not have to worry about focusing and settings every time you decide to capture an image. Just line up your photo and the rest of the technicalities will be dealt by the camera itself with the help of its Auto Smart feature.

Rechargeable Batteries

It has Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries which are extremely convenient to use and simple to handle. Moreover they are pretty powerful too, and this camera can stay on for several photo shoots until the battery is fully drained.  You do not have to constantly worry about charging it or changing batteries as some cameras would have you do.

New Zoom Framing Assist Button

Capture subjects at a very far distance with the framing assist button. It will automatically zoom out and find what you want to video and then will keep it in focus for you. Just press and release a button and you are good to go.

Pros

• High definition video recording

• Resolution of 720 pixels

• High quality image

• Point and shoot

• Capture moving images in high quality with dynamic mode

• Optical zooming of 35x with a wide angle range of 20 to 840 mm

• High power rechargeable batteries

• Auto Smart makes it easy to use

Cons

• Small LCD screen

• No printed manual

What Customers Say

Most customers are very happy with their purchase of the Canon SX30IS digital camera. It takes high quality pictures and excellent HD videos. The lens on this camera far surpasses other point-and-shoot camera lenses, which is a plus. The chargeable battery is great and makes the camera even lighter to carry around. The zoom feature is amazing as well as Canon’s image stabilization.

Recommendation

Overall, if you are looking for a high quality digital camera that will give you HD videos and high quality pictures with all the bells and whistles then the Canon SX 30IS is the best camera in its category. You can purchase this camera online at a discounted price on Amazon.com. It is also eligible for free shipping so you can save even more.

Canon SX30IS 14.1MP Digital Camera with 35x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.7 Inch Wide LCD

  • 35x wide-angle optical zoom (24-840mm) with Optical Image Stabilizer
  • Improvements to Movie modes: use the Optical Image Stabilizer in the wide-angle setting;Optical Zoom is now available while shooting video
  • 720p HD video with stereo sound; HDMI output
  • New Zoom Framing Assist button; DIGIC 4 Image Processor and 14.1 megapixels
  • Capture images and video to SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card, MultiMediaCard, MMC Plus Card, HC MMC Plus Card (not included)

Canon’s 4344B001 PowerShot SX30 IS 14.1MP Compact Digital Camera has got you prepared for your next extreme photo opportunity. This point-and-shoot digital camera comes with a massive 35x wide-angle (24-840mm) optical zoom lens – a first for any PowerShot. It also comes with a 2.7-inch Vari-angle LCD, 14.1 megapixels, Zoom Framing Assist and much more. Shoot superb 720p HD video with stereo sound and then view them with an HDMI output connector for easy playback on your HDTV.

 

Click here for more info and the best price:

List Price: $ 429.00

Price: [wpramaprice asin="B0041RSPR8"]

Customer Reviews

946 of 962 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
I traded an EOS 7D for this!, May 8, 2011
By
coolreviewer1 “coolkayaker1″ (Fox Valley, Illinois USA) – See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)
 

 

Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Canon SX30IS 14.1MP Digital Camera with 35x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.7 Inch Wide LCD (Camera)

I’m a just a fellow who wants to take nature photos, and my kid at soccer and stuff for eBay and such. I owned a Canon EOS 7D with fancy lenses, the whole works–about $3000 worth of Canon stuff. all I needed was this camera.

The EOS DSLR is heavy, “fixy”, and not good for nature walks and plenty of mobility at sporting events. Rarely would I use the 8 frames per second shooting rates. I watched the DVDs on EOS 7D, and played with it and took some pretty artsy photos that I blew up and put in my office. It’s a great camera, the pricey EOS DSRL. But it had plenty of drawbacks: price, size, bulk, complex attachments, battery life, compact flash rather than SDR cards, and on and on.

But for what I need, this Canon here is stellar, and I sold all my EOS stuff, and extra lenses on eBay!! I’m totally thrilled with the size, build, and photo quality of this camera. Frankly, it’s one of those situation where, to get the highest level of quality you have to pay exponentially more (the EOS 7D), with plenty of limitations (bulk, attachments, multiple lenses, etc.), when for most of us who just want to take quality photos, this is plenty enough. I pop this into a Lowepro camera fannypack and I’m good to shoot and walk and hike all afternoon. I adore the zoom, and as the reviewer below me states, when I zoom, of course there’s less light entry into the camera and the images will be “hazy”. So, you must select a very bright subject at top zoom. I can easily take my son on the bench across the entire field in soccer, and it’s amazing.

I wish the lens wouldn’t move in and out whenever you turn the camera on, but rather just when you need zoom. With every “on” cycle, the lens does it’s silent grinding in and out like it’s adjusting itself, even if I want to just taken a normal photo. Battery drain, unnecessary mechanical movement, in my opinion. I wish it’d do it only when I want zoom.

Other than that, for me, the guy who might submit a photo to my local newspaper photo contest once in a blue moon, but mostly want to take excellent photos at the family barbecue, this camera is the best I have every owned. And I’ve owned a lot (including SONY HRs, and Fuji hand helds, and on and on). The movie capability, the size, the zoom, the battery life (very good), and the price (I paid more than this for one Sigma lens) makes this camera a winner. I will mention that this particular camera is hard to find: I think Canon may know that it’ll hurt the sales of some of the more pricey, entry level interchangeable lens DSLRs they sell because, spec for spec, they are very similar.

Have a wonderful day

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628 of 641 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
The pros and cons – mostly pros, October 19, 2010
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Canon SX30IS 14.1MP Digital Camera with 35x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.7 Inch Wide LCD (Camera)

I purchased this camera as a replacement for my Panasonic FZ-35. After having taken a few hundred pictures – including some side-by-side comparisons with the FZ35, here is my impression.

The canon image processor is much better at color balance and overall image capture than the FZ35 – images are brighter and so capture more details otherwise lost in shadow or just a tendency the FZ35 has towards gray-scale processing in order to get the excellent sharpness the FZ35 is known for.

Having said that – I would not recommend using the Auto setting on the Canon. Its choice of focal point within an image tends towards creating images where the background is just as likely to be more in focus than the subject. Typically the camera tries to focus around the edge of the subject rather than the subject itself. Sometimes this can work to improve clarity by improving depth of focus a bit, sometimes it creates an image where nothing is in focus and sometimes it causes the camera to focus on “edgy” subjects that may not really be the subject at all – like a lamp post in the background, tree trunks in the background, etc. In the playback mode you can select a display which shows you the cameras focal point – which can help explain why some of your images look they way they do in Auto. Auto mode will also adjust the color of an entire image when it senses facial recognition to improve skin tones, but honestly the color balance of the Canon is so good anyway this is almost unnecessary and sometimes tends towards overcompensation so your entire image takes on a sickly green/brown hue.

However, if you switch from auto to P – or in fact any other of the SCN or mode selections on the dial, these annoying Auto features are disabled and you can get some really great photos. At this point the camera uses a single center focus frame (the size and position of which can easily be manually adjusted to fit your subject if you like) and you start getting pictures more like you expect. In addition, the customization options of the Canon such as magnifying the focal frame, color options, easy adjustment of just about any shooting function, combined with the superb zoom range still make this camera best in class. My only complaint for SCN settings is I wish they had a “sunset” but that is easily created in the color menu where you can select to emphasize reds.

The canon normally produces very clear images, however Canon generally processes to keep color balance as opposed to edge distinction at higher ISO speeds so sometimes the images become a bit more fuzzy than what those of us used the the FZ35 might like – on the other hand red stays red rather than turning black. You can manually limit the ISO to whatever maximum you prefer with the easy to use ISO button.

If you want to add a lens filter protector, polarizer, etc. you will need to purchase the 67MM adapter to do so (Canon FA-DC67A) – and good luck finding one!

This camera, like all of the others in this class, struggle with poor light conditions due to their small sensor. However unlike the competition, canon allows you to mount an external flash and that pretty much clears up this issue if you’re willing to pay the expense. The way I look at it its a cheaper option than a $1,000-$3,000 DSLR which can go up to ISO 6,000 for low light conditions.

Overall the Canon is definitely a step up from anything else that was out there – but it does have its quirks you need to be aware of and work around. The opportunity for creativity on one camera/lens is really unrivaled by anything else out there. The ability to go from 1 cm away macro to 35x superzoom at the pull of a switch just can’t be found on any other camera, combined with the scene options such as fisheye not normally found on other such cameras, and wide range of color options also not found on the Canon competitors in this class, you have a great tool for creative photography. So while the SX30 is certainly not perfect and image quality will sometimes be less than your $3,000 DSLR+lens (although for some pictures you’d need large magnification/blow-up to tell the difference) – on the whole it’s worth putting up with the limitations for the other factors. One caution – if you’re looking for a simple to use point-and-shoot this may not be your best choice due to the often poor intelligence in Auto setting. If not for this it would have gotten 5 stars.

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1,021 of 1,055 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
The best superzoom digital camera so far., October 10, 2010
By
Joseph Ogiba “jogiba21″ (Hillsborough, NJ United States) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
 

 

This review is from: Canon SX30IS 14.1MP Digital Camera with 35x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.7 Inch Wide LCD (Camera)

Customer Video Review Length:: 0:31 Mins

First handheld test of my Canon SX30IS with 35x optical + 4x digital zoom (140x) 3360mm (35mm eqiv) on a windy day at sunset.

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Category: Electronics  | Tags:  | Leave a Comment
Author:
• Sunday, June 17th, 2012

Squier By Fender Mini Guitar Review

There are all kinds of mini guitars available to help your kids learn music from a young age, but not all of them inspire practice. If your child is really serious about learning the guitar then you may want to consider a model like the three-quarter size Squier by Fender Mini Guitar. It looks and feels just as sleek and cool as the full-sized version, and will really encourage your child to get practicing!

Features Of The Squire By Fender Mini Guitar

* Three-quarter size version of the Bullet,

* 22.75” scale length,

* Ideal for children or as a travel guitar,

* Three single-coil pickups,

* Five-way switching,

* Maple neck with 9.5” radius rosewood fingerboard,

* 20 medium frets,

* Laminated hardwood body with gloss polyurethane finish,

* Hard-tail 6-saddle bridge,

* Master volume and master tone controls.

Is The Squire By Fender Mini Guitar Worth Buying?

The first thing you need to know about this guitar is that it’s been designed with quality in mind. It really isn’t a “toy” guitar designed for very young children. In fact, it’s best given to children from around the ages of 6-8 and above, so you know that they’ll take care of it.

The materials used to make this guitar are the same as you’d find on the full sized version, but designed for smaller hands to get to drips with more easily. As such, it holds its tune well, and feels very solid as you play it. It also means, however, that it is going to cost you more than some other child-sized guitars out there. You’ll also need to spend a little extra money on some picks and a strap.

The price you’ll pay is more than worth it given how “cool” this Squier by Fender Mini Guitar looks. And, let’s face it, this matters a lot in the mind of a child! Buying them an electric guitar will encourage them to practice as they imagine themselves turning into a real-life rockstar. Nothing can beat the allure of a sleek Fender!

The only complaint that some parents have had is the fact that this guitar does require a little set-up before it sounds quite right. You’ll also find that the strings frequently come out of tune in the beginning. This is perfectly normal for a guitar, however, and well worth the effort when you hear the results in the way this guitar sounds.

Remember, the Squier by Fender Mini Guitar isn’t a toy for kids. It’s perfect for young people to learn on, but it’s just as popular with adults as a traveling guitar, too. This is the perfect guitar to buy for kids who are really serious about their music.

Squier by Fender Mini Guitar, Torino Red

  • Laminated hardwood body with gloss polyurethane finish
  • Maple neck with 9.5 in radius rosewood fingerboard with 20 medium frets
  • It has 3 single-coil pickups
  • It has hard-tail 6-saddle bridge
  • Master volume and master tone controls with 5 position selector switch

The Mini is the 3/4-size version (22.75″ scale length) of the Bullet and makes an ideal travel guitar for players of all ages and a great first guitar for young beginners. Featuring three single-coil pickups and five-way switching. Now available in Pink.

 

Click here for more info and the best price:

List Price: $ 179.99

Price: [wpramaprice asin="B0002F75KG"]

Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Couldn’t start with a better instrument, September 25, 2010
By
TP mum (Takoma Park, MD United States) – See all my reviews

 

This review is from: Squier by Fender Mini Guitar, Torino Red

We bought this for our 8 year old daughter over a year ago. It is well made, with a rosewood fretboard, and a hardtail bridge. The instrument was the perfect size for her. It has a good strong tone and consistent notes from low to high strings. The saddle is solid and the strings stay in tune well. I did a lot of research into this and after a year of playing it, am still convinced that this is the best instrument for a child, or anyone with smaller hands, to learn on.

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Unbelievably great., February 22, 2011
This review is from: Squier by Fender Mini Guitar, Torino Red

I have had my red Mini for about 6 years now. And I still am in awe over how fantastic it is for a small-scale Fender. In fact, I get a richer tone out of it than I do with my standard size Ibanez, which is just collecting dust. I don’t think the Squier Mini is just for kids or students at all. I am 38 and have been playing guitar for 22 years. It is ideal for anyone with small hands, or someone who just finds the neck and action of large guitars too hard or uncomfortable to manage. I would suggest you compare this to a standard guitar in person. But for the price, this guitar can’t be beat.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
An excellent guitar–incredibly playable, July 3, 2011
By

 

This review is from: Squier by Fender Mini Guitar, Torino Red

Wonderful starter guitar. I recently sat down with one, played for most of twelve hours, and felt no pain at all. The action is extremely low, but there’s no fret buzzing. If I ever want one to travel with, I’d buy this mini without hesitation.

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Author:
• Friday, June 15th, 2012

Schoenhut 30 Key Fancy Baby Grand Review

Music plays an important role in a child’s development, and instruments give them a way of expressing themselves and developing new motor skills. Products such as the Schoenhut 30 Key Fancy Baby Grand have been loved for years as a way of encouraging this kind of development in an elegant, well-made and durable toy.

Features Of The Schoenhut 30 Key Fancy Baby Grand

* Designed to look like a real piano,

* Made to be durable in the hands of kids,

* Features 30 full-sized keys,

* Chime-like sound,

* Dimensions: 19.2 x 19.8 x 20.5 inches,

* Recommended for ages 3 – 8.

Is The Schoenhut 30 Key Fancy Baby Grand Worth Buying?

The first thing any parent will notice about this piano is how stylish and realistic it looks. It comes with a glossy finish, curved legs and a bench that’s just the right height for your toddler (though check the dimensions carefully, as some parents claim it’s a little too small for ages 5+). Thankfully, however, it’s made to be durable, which means that it’ll probably be used by many generations of children.

This elegant design does come at a price, however, as you might expect. This is more than some parents are willing to pay, especially given the fact that this baby grand doesn’t sound like a real piano. As the manufacturer states, the keys make more of a “chime” sound, and are not completely in tune (nor can they be tuned like a regular piano).

In general, however, most parents are happy with the quality of the piano when they understand that Schoenhut 30 Key Fancy Baby Grand is a toy. It’s more stylish than most other toy pianos you’ll find on the market, and you get a number of useful accessories, too. These include the bench as well as a color co-ordinated strip to teach children the notes and an accompanying songbook.

Schoenhut claim that the keys on their baby grand are the same size as you’ll find on a regular piano, however many parents have stated that they are, in fact, smaller. This can lead to some concerns about the usefulness of learning on a keyboard and then moving onto a full-sized piano, where the finger stretches etc. will be different. However, this really shouldn’t be a concern. Pianists will know that it’s possible to learn on smaller keyboards and move on to full-sized keys later on: it just takes a little adjustment.

The 30 note, 2 octave, span on the keyboard gives children more than enough room to come out with a variety of different tunes, giving them an excellent basis for future musical study. Even if they’re not yet at the age where they can play something recognizable, many toddlers have hours of fun making noise with the keys, or “playing along” to other music.

In short, the Schoenhut 30 Key Fancy Baby Grand is an extremely well put together toy piano. You can’t expect it to sound to like a real piano, but it does a great job for what it is. It’s also very easy to put together, and will look great in any play room! This is a product that your family will be able to treasure for generations.

Schoenhut 30-Key Fancy Baby Grand with Bench

  • Never needs tuning
  • High-gloss finish
  • Promotes hand-eye coordination and development of musical creativity
  • Bench Dimensions: 9.25″ high x 11.75″ wide x 5.75″ deep

Schoenhut

 

Click here for more info and the best price:

List Price: $ 139.99

Price: [wpramaprice asin="B0006PJOW4"]

Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Perfect for a 3 year old, January 2, 2011
= Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Schoenhut 30-Key Fancy Baby Grand with Bench (Toy)

After reading the reviews for this item, I was nervous to purchase it, but it was exactly what I had hoped it would be. It’s an absolutely beautiful TOY and my daughter loves to play it. It looks just like a baby grand piano and it’s just her size. It was easy to put together; my only complaint is that one of the keys all the way to the right is stuck and you have to push it harder than all the rest. Does it sound like a toy piano? Yes. Is your child going to magically sound like Schroeder from the Peanuts? No. Most of the complaints in the reviews were that it sounded like a toy, but I’m not sure what people expect from a toy. As a musician myself, I would obviously prefer a richer tone more in tune, but for a 3 year old toy, it’s absolutely perfect for playing and sitting at. It will make her more comfortable should she choose to play a real one in the future. So as a toy, 2 enthusiastic thumbs up.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Move over, Jerry Lee!, December 29, 2009
By
B. Padgett (Georgia) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
 

 

= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars
This review is from: Schoenhut 30-Key Fancy Baby Grand with Bench (Toy)

We bought this piano as a present for our daughter for Christmas – it was going to be the big Santa gift. The first one arrived incorrect, with parts missing, in the manufacturer’s packaging (made in China). We contacted the seller – JouJou Baby – and they responded right away, and got a replacement shipped out in time to make our Christmas surprise. When we got the corrected one, it worked wonderfully.

My daughter, who just turned one right before Christmas, LOVES this piano! Anytime her daddy starts playing his, she will run over to hers and start playing. Her daddy even comes over to play hers sometimes, and as a pianist, he says it plays pretty well for the toy that it is. The sound is a little different, since the strings are elastic, and it’s not perfectly in tune, but this is meant to be a toy, and she thoroughly enjoys it.

We are thrilled with it so far!

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Schoenhut Child’s piano, March 11, 2010
= Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Schoenhut 30-Key Fancy Baby Grand with Bench (Toy)

I actually am very disappointed in the piano. Too small for 3-5. My twin granddaughters fall constantly off the seat. The sound coming from it is so piercing and tinny, was really surprised how horrible it sounds.

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Author:
• Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

PlayStation Vita Review

The PlayStation Vita is Sony’s brand new entry into the handheld console market. With more power than either the PSP or the Nintendo 3DS, the PlayStation Vita offers unrivalled graphics and a more console-like gaming experience.

Features Of The PlayStation Vita

* 5” high resolution OLED screen,

* Touch screen display,

* Touch pad on rear,

* Front and rear VGA cameras,

* Dual analog sticks,

* GPS,

* 4 core CPU,

* Six-axis motion sensor.

What Makes The PlayStation Vita Worth Considering?

Before you even touch a PlayStation Vita, the first thing you’ll notice is its price. Retailing at $249.99 for the Wi-Fi only version, or $299.99 for the Wi-Fi and 3G version, this isn’t a cheap toy! So, with this in mind, does the PlayStation Vita justify its price?

When you take the PlayStation Vita in your hands you’ll immediately notice its size and weight. It’s a little larger than the PSP, making it the biggest handheld gaming device on the market. This can be a little off-putting, as you’ll probably think twice about trying to carry it around in your pocket. On the other hand, tablets like the iPad have shown that there is a place in the market for portable devices that are too big for your pocket, so this certainly doesn’t rule the PlayStation Vita out.

An advantage of the size is that it gives room for a large screen. In this case it’s a 5” OLED touch screen with rich colour and great resolution. The detail is fantastic and viewing angles are great. The touch features are very responsive, rivalling many smartphones for usability.

Vita OS, the specially designed touch-based operating system, works very well. It’s clear and intuitive, and runs very smoothly. Some similarities can be seen between this operating system and the ones found on both PSP and PS3, but the Vita OS is greatly improved. The only criticism is that, in comparison to smartphone OS’s, the Vita OS is a little ugly.

It seems that no portable device is complete without a camera these days, and the PlayStation Vita is no different. The Vita comes with not one, but two cameras, both VGA, which means that the quality isn’t great. With one front-mounted camera and one rear-mounted camera it’s possible to take photos as well as use the device for video chat. Whilst not currently supported, Sony promises that there Skype will soon be available on the Vita.

Once you get to gaming, you’ll notice that the graphics are excellent. They truly exceed anything available on any other portable device, including tablets and smartphones. However, for some, the graphical differences may not seem that big compared with top-end smartphone games like Dead Space. Regardless of this, it’s impossible to deny that the games look fantastic.

Of course, fantastic looking games are worthless if they don’t also play well. Fortunately the major innovation of the PlayStation Vita, as far as portable gaming devices go, is its dual analog sticks. For the first time in gaming history, a portable device offers the same basic control system as a home console – with two analog sticks, a d-pad, face-buttons and shoulder buttons.

The control system has been well designed and feels comfortable. It’s not quite as ergonomic as the PS3 or Xbox 360 controllers, but is still a great achievement and makes playing games like Uncharted a possibility on portable gaming devices for the first time.

One additional control feature offered by the Vita is a touch pad on the rear. At the moment it’s hard to say whether this is innovation or just novelty. The launch games don’t support the touch pad all that well, but given time we might see some games making real use of it. At the moment though, it feels a bit weird and awkward trying to use it and there isn’t much incentive to get better.

Drawbacks Of The PlayStation Vita

There are a few criticisms to be made of the device, besides the high price point. Firstly, some of the launch title load times are slow. This is a common problem with launch titles on any system, but with a portable device long load times really have an impact, as many users play games on the way to work. This eats into a limited amount of playing time.

The second criticism aims at the 3G functionality of the 3G model. Although it’s nice to have 3G access, at the moment it’s only possible to download files of up to 20mb, which is pretty limiting. 3G can’t be used for multiplayer either, meaning that it’s really only good for social apps.

A final criticism is that there is no internal storage in the Vita. This is a pain, as virtually all games require some kind of storage space, as does saving. You’ll also need storage space to download extra content. In any case, storage is essential for playing games on the Vita which means you’ll have to buy a memory card.

Purchasing a separate memory card can feel like a bit of a con, and is worsened by the fact that the memory card you need is a proprietary design by Sony solely for use with the Vita. This means that there are no alternatives, and you’ll have to pay anything from $19.99 for a 4GB card up to a massive $99.99 for a 32GB card.

Over all, the PlayStation Vita is an impressive piece of technology, but at the current price point it’s probably not worth buying unless you’re a die-hard PlayStation fan. There is a good selection of launch games however, so if you do decide to buy a Vita there’ll be no shortage of choices.

PlayStation Vita – WiFi

  • Revolutionary gaming experiences with dual analog sticks, front and rear cameras, front multi-touch display, multi-touch rear pad, GPS and new unit specific media flash-based storage
  • Stunning multi-touch 5-inch organic light emitting display (OLED)
  • The richest, deepest and most engaging handheld gaming lineup.
  • Network connectivity via improved Wi-Fi capabilities (Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity available in an additional Vita model)
  • Location based gaming allowing players to find and meet friends virtually for brand new experiences

Sony’s PlayStation Vita, previously codenamed “Next Generation Portable”, is the successor to the PlayStation Portable hardware series. Vita retains the familiar general form of the PlayStation Portable hardware series while dramatically improving on virtually every aspect of its use with powerful and exciting new features including: dual touch pads at the front and rear, dual cameras at the front and rear, dual analog sticks, a 5-inch OLED screen, six-axis motion sensors and a three-axis electr

 

Click here for more info and the best price:

List Price: $ 249.99

Price: [wpramaprice asin="B003O6EATE"]

Customer Reviews

159 of 172 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Game Changer?, February 22, 2012
By
A. Dent “Aragorn” (Minas Anor, GD) – See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)

(TOP 10 REVIEWER)

(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)

(REAL NAME)
 

 

= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: PlayStation Vita – WiFi (Video Game)

A few hours since delivery… I’m impressed. Just about everything about the PSV: display, controls, features, the games – top of the line. This is a gaming machine that shouts “quality” and, after the first few hours of playing Uncharted and a couple of small games off the PSN, I can say that I’ve had the best portable gaming experience ever – we currently have a PSP and a DSi in the house plus a couple of tablets and smart phones.

Briefly – and I will update my review as I experience more of the PSV – these are my findings so far.

HARDWARE AND FEATURES

I’m not going to get into details because Amazon’s page has it all. Yes, it’s quad-core this, and super-high-rez display that but what counts is that it translates into a super-smooth gaming experience with a bunch of non-gaming capabilities on top. I’m surprised how immersive playing a game on such a small screen with such tiny speakers can be. And it is so for a couple of reasons.

- the sharpest, best looking display I’ve seen on a portable
- the dual analog sticks make all the difference – Sony learned from past mistakes
- the back touch panel are something that it’s better to experience because it’s the one clear innovation on this machine and it won’t give you headaches (sorry Nintendo :) )
- games can be either downloaded or purchased and shared on physical media – like I said, Sony is learning from past mistakes (sorry PSP Go)
- seamless integration with the PS3 and the Playstation Network
- a bunch of great multimedia apps including Netflix – I’ll have more to say about these after I stop playing Uncharted :)
- cameras – more later but I heard that some games allow you to build characters that look just like you

THE GAMING EXPERIENCE

Anyone who has a PS3 or a PSP should feel very familiar with the PSV. All the PS3 controls are there although some of the buttons are smaller. Add to that the ‘touch’ capabilities on both front and back with support for gestures and the gaming possibilities are almost endless. Because of its high resolution, there can be a lot happening at the same time on the PSV’s screen and, don’t forget, you can also feel the action while playing.

I don’t feel like doing comparisons at this time but anyone who claims that the PSV is no big deal because we can play games on our phones should experience the PSV and then consider revising their statements. Vita can easily play any one-dollar game that a phone can play and I’m sure we’ll get a couple of those and Vita can do just about everything a smart phone or tablet can do and most of the time do it better, but no phone or tablet can play Uncharted and no ‘next generation’ phone or tablet is likely to be able to play Uncharted or Little Big Planet. And, let’s not forget that the Vita costs a less than most smart phones.

EVERYTHING ELSE

I haven’t had time to explore all of Vita’s features yet but, they’re all in there. Multimedia, wireless connectivity, music playback… it’s all in there. Add to that one of the best laid out, intuitive and responsive user interfaces and even non gamers should be happy to have a Vita around.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

A couple of things. The most annoying is, of course, the hyper-overpriced memory card. You can’t play ‘big games’ without one and Sony decided to make lots of money on this proprietary ‘must have’ add-on which is anything but optional. Then there’s of course Sony not making the Passport program available in the US. We have a PSP and lots of games on UMDs. Not being able to play them on the Vita is very frustrating.

Other than that… perhaps I should have titled my review ‘gamer changer’ because the Vita is likely to change me into a more active portable player. I used to prefer the PS3 over the PSP but I’m not sure this will always be the case in the future. I know that I won’t put the Vita down until I’m done with Uncharted and once I complete that there are at least half a dozen games available on lunch date that I’d like to play.

Oh and… I don’t really like sharing our Vita with the kids at this time but I have to :)

____________________________________________

NOTES OF CAUTION

Before deciding whether you want to buy a Vita and as you are budgeting for one, keep the following in mind:

* SINGLE-USER SYSTEM – or so it is meant to be at this time. Like the PSP, the Vita will recognize only ONE account. Unlike the PS3, you can’t have other members of your family or friends log with a sub-account. If you are planning to share the PSV, Sony suggests that individual users keep their game saves on separate memory cards but you will still be logged on the Vita as the one user who ‘owns’ it.

* TROPHIES – A Sony representative confirmed to me that only the ‘owner’ will get credit for the trophies, no matter who may be…

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120 of 138 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
3DS vs Vita – Multimedia Powerhouse, February 22, 2012

 

= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: PlayStation Vita – WiFi (Video Game)

**I wrote a pretty big review on the 3DS, and as I mentioned in that review, I definitely was going to write one for the vita. I usually support my reviews for a while, so I will be reading all comments and will keep updating the review over the next few weeks as I learn more and more. Please do comment with any info you have and I’ll edit the review**

In short, the Playstation Vita is an amazing multimedia device packed with tons of cool features. We all know it’s an amazing system and I won’t be talking specifically about every single feature — I’ll leave that to Sony and the Amazon description. Instead, I’ll look at in comparison to the 3DS and how it functions as a multimedia device overall (in comparison to mobile phones, iPods, etc). I also will give you a run down on what makes the Vita a great system and what limitations it has.

~~~~~~~
Pros:
~~~~~~~
1) Ridiculous hardware. Very powerful GPU and processor for a handheld system. This thing blows the 3DS graphics out of the water and don’t even try comparing it to mobile app games graphic-wise. I wouldn’t say the graphics are quite PS3 level from my time with Uncharted, but they’re pretty close. The analog sticks protrude from the system a tad more than the original PSP’s did and are a bit on the small side, but they still feel solid and having two analog sticks is a huge plus for most games.

2) Beautiful Screen. The screen is very high resolution and is very large. The screen is a 5 inch OLED and is actually very bright. On max brightness, this shuts out lots of glare that usually plague mobile devices, so you could definitely use this in bright environments.

3) Strong Launch Line-up. There are a few solid launch titles and many more in the near future.

4) Cross Game chat and Trophy support for games. The Vita finally brings cross game voice chat (something which PS3 users have been wanting for ages).

5) Huge multimedia potential. You can transfer over music or videos (you may have to convert them into the few formats that the Vita recognizes though), stream things through Netflix or a media center PC, or get content off of the PSN (Playstation Network). Combined with the gorgeous screen, multimedia on the go will be awesome.

~~~~~
Cons:
~~~~~
1) Memory cards. What you need to know: for major games, YOU HAVE TO BUY A MEMORY CARD to save your game data (Uncharted is one of these games). The memory cards are in a new Sony format that are a bit pricy ($20 for 4GB, $30 for 8GB, $60 for 16GB , $100 for 32GB). I wish Sony would have used SD cards like the 3DS or even micro-SD cards if they wanted something smaller. Maybe they did it to combat piracy (which was hugely rampant on the PSP), maybe to make a bit extra money instead of losing money to the SD card manufacturers. In any case, it’s annoying to us consumers. It’s also kind of ridiculous that after paying $250 that the system comes with no storage space. If the device had a built in 8GB of storage, it would be much more competitive. Remember, the memory card is where you’ll be saving game data for big games, music, movies, and whatever you download from the Playstation Network. Without a memory card, you’re missing out on the full multimedia potential of the Vita.

2) Mediocre / Poor Battery Life. As much as I hate to admit it, it seems like bad battery life is a trend in all of our electronics now. Sony officially claims about 3-5 hours for gameplay, which is just about as much as you’ll get with the 3DS. From personal usage, I’ve been through two charge cycles already – I timed the second one ( and from 100% to 10% while playing Uncharted in just a tad over 3 hours.

3) Not so pocket-able. This device is actually kind of big for a portable gaming device. It doesn’t fit in my jeans, but does nicely fit in my basketball and cargo shorts. For a mobile device, it’s on the large end. It will definitely be bigger than your phone. It’s kind of in an awkward zone – it’s way smaller than a tablet, but noticeably bigger than phones. Also the protruding analog sticks don’t help the portability case any.

4) Limited Backwards Compatibility. There is no UMD slot on the Vita, so you can’t play physical PSP games. There’s a big list of digital PSP games that you can play on the Vita, but not all of them. Sony claims to be expanding the list and hopefully we’ll one day see all PSP titles on the Playstation Store. Also, currently the PS-One classics from the Playstation Store can’t be played on the Vita. Sony also said they’re going to work on this, but until then, there’s no chance for me to catch up and finally beat some of those PS1 Final Fantasy titles while on the go. Also, the PS2 Games on the PSN aren’t playable on the Vita and Sony hasn’t said anything about that yet. Other than that, the Vita can play all other PSN games and minis.

==========
3DS ($170…

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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Amazing hardware and games, issues with OS and web browser, February 27, 2012
By
D. Snow (SF Bay, CA) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
 

 

= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: PlayStation Vita – WiFi (Video Game)

Overall rating is 3.5 stars, but since that’s not an option I had to go with 3 stars.

4 stars – Hardware
4 stars – Games
3 stars – Operating System and Web Browser
3 stars – Playstation Store online

<< HARDWARE >>

The Good:

The Vita is a beautiful design, and it feels very solid in your hands. It’s nice to finally have dual analog sticks, and the touch screen is very smooth and responsive. The rear touch pad has added an interesting new dimension to several games, such as Escape Plan and Mutant Blobs Attack.

The Vita’s 5″ screen is sharp and vibrant, vastly improved over the PSP. Look up ‘mBVi3KbHPgY’ on Youtube for a comparison of Hot Shots Golf on the Vita vs PSP. The Vita blows away the PSP!

The speakers are a definite improvement over my PSP, the sounds during Escape Plan were just amazing.

Speaker volume controls are under your right index finger, the perfect position!

Attaching the Vita to a PS3: I have a wireless keyboard receiver and USB mini-B cable coming off my PS3, so there are no open USB ports up front. I use the mini-B cable to charge my PS3 controller, and to attach my PSP. The PS Vita uses a new proprietary USB cable, so I found this adapter on Amazon that allows me to attach the Vita to the USB mini-B cable:

Your Cable Store USB Female A To USB Mini Female B 5 Pin Adapter

The Not-So-Good:

No video-out capability, which given the Vita’s high resolution graphics is unfortunate.

The battery life has been decent for me so far, but a friend tells me that during an intense Uncharted gaming session, a full battery is empty in less than 3 hours.

<< OPERATING SYSTEM & WEB BROWSER >>

Cross-Platform Play & Remote Play: Most games are not compatible. Sony should change their webpage to say “Planned for Summer or Fall 2012 release”, because right now this just doesn’t work for most games.

Video file playback: The PS Vita is limited to specific MP4 and H.264 file types. Forget about avi, wmv, mkv, DVD files, etc. without doing a lengthy file conversion first.

The Web Browser — This is just not up to par for a handheld released in 2012. I expect to rotate the Vita in my hand and have the browser change from portrait to landscape mode, but this DOES NOT WORK. I went to Youtube to check the latest FPS Russia video, and look for a video review of Hot Shots Golf, but this DOES NOT WORK. The Vita does not support Youtube, PERIOD. Then I went to Amazon’s home page to check the daily Lightning Deals, and this DOES NOT WORK. Lastly, I was on movietickets(dot)com to buy some tickets to the show, and the Vita’s browser DOES NOT WORK. Maybe there will be a browser update, or maybe we can buy the Dolphin HD or Opera browser in the Playstation Store in the near future, but as of right now, the Vita browser is limited.

<< DIGITAL DOWNLOADS VERSUS PHYSICAL GAME CARDS >>

The first decision to make is how to buy the games, either Digital Download from the Playstation Store or order the physical game cartridge from Amazon.

We should support Amazon and buy the game cartridges here, for several reasons:

+game carts can be traded with friends, traded-in for store credit, or re-sold for cash. Digital downloads from the Sony PlayStation Store are locked to your online account and have zero resale or trade-in value.

+when I insert the Uncharted game cart into my Vita, in just a few seconds I have transferred 3.2 gigabytes of gaming goodness into my Vita. In comparison, the digital download might take several hours, then it has to be transferred from the PC or PS3 to the Vita using the slow USB cable. Then 3.2 gigabytes of memory card space is needed to hold the Uncharted game, memory space which is worth about 10 d0llars.

+physical game cards will naturally go down in price over time, due to normal supply & demand. For example, Pilotwings and Nintendogs were both launch titles for the 3DS, and they are now selling for HALF the price of launch day. Digital downloads may never see those kind of normal, market price adjustments. For examples of this, just look at PSP game prices on the Playstation Store, then compare to the better Amazon pricing.

Of course there are some games exclusively on the Playstation Store, but they are usually priced lower and with smaller file sizes. For example, Mutant Blobs Attack and Escape Plan are two excellent games that don’t take long to download and are a great value.

<< THE GAMES >>

I started out with Hotshots Golf, Lumines, and Rayman Origins.

I’ve played Hotshots Golf ever since the PS1 days, but this…

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Category: Electronics, Toys  | Tags:  | Leave a Comment
Author:
• Monday, June 11th, 2012

Melissa & Doug Shopping Cart Review

If you’ve got a child who loves to play shop then a shopping cart can really complete the experience. There are a number of carts on the market, all designed to house your child’s groceries and other goodies, but the Melissa & Doug Shopping Cart stands out thanks to the fact that it’s made from real metal. But is it worth the price?

Features Of The Melissa & Doug Shopping Cart

* Durable metal construction,

* Pivoting front wheels and folding doll seat,

* Safety feature stops cart rolling when children lean on it,

* Adult assembly required,

* Dimensions: 14 x 15.2 x 17.2 inches,

* Recommended for ages 3 – 10.

Is The Melissa & Doug Shopping Cart Worth Buying?

One of the main reasons why you’ll choose the Melissa & Doug Shopping Cart over other options is the fact that it isn’t made with plastic (aside from the handle and folding seat). It’s made from real metal, making it more durable and as realistic as you can get. It’s really easy to put together, and once it is you’ll find that it feels extremely durable and sturdy: this is a kid’s toy that can stand up to a lot of use.

There’s an important safety feature built into this shopping trolley to stop children rolling away on it. The legs are mounted onto rubber feet that’ll hit the ground if your child leans to hard on the trolley. These act as brakes to stop the whole thing rolling away.

The main disadvantage of this product comes from the fact that it’s so well made: because it’s made using real, durable metal, it means that kids can ram it into walls and furniture. This will eventually cause some damage, and some parents have noticed marks on walls or scratches on furniture. The rolling wheels can also damage certain floors, so this is something that you’ll need to consider if your kids are going to use the trolley indoors.

There’s not too much to be said for a shopping trolley: it’s a simple toy that can encourage imaginative play. However, an extra folding seat is a nice touch, meaning that your child can bring their favorite doll or stuffed animal out shopping with them.

The Melissa & Doug Shopping Cart does cost more than others on the market, but it’s clear to see why. The material really does make it look and feel a lot more sturdy, making it an excellent choice for any kids who love to go pretend shopping!

Melissa & Doug Shopping Cart

 

Click here for more info and the best price:

List Price: $ 69.99

Price: [wpramaprice asin="B000VO3GPG"]

Customer Reviews

106 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Finally, a steel shopping cart!, May 23, 2009
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Melissa & Doug Shopping Cart (Toy)

The Melissa & Doug Shopping Cart was an unexpected find after going through screen after screen of overpriced plastic junk.

This cart is all steel, except for the plastic handle (which has a steel core), the folding plastic “kids” seat for a doll and the plastic wheels. This cart looks like the real ones in the stores and it’s built to last! Assembly is a breeze, too.

The two front wheels rotate 360 degrees for steering and they are mounted on spring loaded “legs”. If you child leans into the cart from the front or sides, it will compress causing a rubber “foot” to hit the floor and stop the cart from moving forward or backward. There are also rubber “feet” on the left and right sides.

The only “dangerous” thing I can see with this cart is where the plastic wheels are minimally covered by steel “fenders” for mounting purposes. I can foresee a pinched finger or two in our daughter’s future, but you can’t shield your children from everything in the world that might hurt them, nor do I feel you should. In this out-of-control P.C. country of ours, we’re raising a nation of coddled kids that can’t think or fend for themselves. OK, I’m off my soapbox!

One other thing, if this cart will be used indoors (and I’m sure it will be) it will be downright hazardous to your furniture. I have used the padded shipping material to create bumpers for the cart to try and protect our furniture. A little cutting with scissors and a few cable-ties and you’re in business.

Buy this cart first, you won’t be disappointed!

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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Best of the Best, June 9, 2009
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Melissa & Doug Shopping Cart (Toy)

This shopping cart looks so much like the real thing – it’s awesome! Not surprised, coming from the M&D brand. I didn’t understand what the straight legs were for, until my dh showed that when you push down on the cart, it actually pushes down, onto the pegs, to make sure kids aren’t jumping in the cart and making a car out of it – it will just stop and stay on the legs. Genius! I love that it has the folding seat for HuggyBear or Baby, or whoever my little girl loves at the moment. PERFECT toy. My daughter is 2, by the way. Younger than recommended, but I like to think she’s a little advanced. :)Great Buy, Great Product!

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent toy, but has a few issues, November 17, 2010
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= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars
This review is from: Melissa & Doug Shopping Cart (Toy)

I love this shopping cart and my kids could play with it for hours. It is well made and is one of the cutest things in the M&D lineup. However, the metal cart scratches furniture and walls more than other plastic carts. Ours also has a place on the bottom where the steel spindle is a little rough and my kids seem to scratch their hands on it when they play with it. If you have good furniture I would opt for a plastic cart, if your furniture is beat to heck already this is a great little cart. :)

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• Monday, June 11th, 2012

Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS 12.1 MP Digital Camera (Black)

Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 is one of the best digital cameras produced by Canon. It is considered the thinnest digital cameras in the world with extremely efficient shooting capabilities even in very low lighting situations. The Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 will stand out from the crowd of the other digital cameras due to its great look and awesome features. It is the slimmest as well as the best resolution digital camera available in the market.

Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 Product Details

The Cannon PowerShot ELPH 300 weighs about one pound, so it is a very light weight camera. The product dimensions are 3.6×0.8×2.2 inches. One non standard battery is also included with it. It is a great digital camera to own. Once you switch it on you will be amazed to find out the great functionalities and features that it holds. In fact it is the slimmest point and shoot camera available in the world.

Some of its important features are:

• It is a 12 Mega Pixel Digital Camera

• It has 5x zooming features

• It has a 2.7 inch LCD

• High Definition videos

You will stand out from the crowd with this camera in hand. It delivers some picture perfect still images as well as great 1080p High Definition videos.

Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 Product Features

Some of the major features of the Cannon PowerShot ELPH 300 are as follows:

• It is the thinnest digital camera of the world and comes with a 24 mm wide angle lens.

• It has 5x zooming features.

• It also comes with optical image stabilizer which is allows you to take pictures of moving objects without any blur.

• The processor used is DIGIC 4 Image processor and it plays a major role in shooting in low lighting situations.

• The camera is 12.1 Mega Pixel strong, meaning it captures very high resolution images.

• It also accommodates high speed Burst Mode which enables you to do some high speed shooting in a point and shoot camera situation. It can capture at speeds up to 8.0 fps.

• Higher level ISO settings make it a good product in terms of noise reduction.

• The Super Slow Movie Motion allows you to watch high speed videos at a much slower rate.

• Lastly the Dynamic IS features allow stabilization of optically shot videos.

• 32 pre-defined settings for point and shoot situations.

These features are the reasons why Cannon PowerShot ELPH 300 is much better than the other digital cameras available in the market.

High Image Quality

Due to the 12.1 Mega Pixel feature it gives high quality images. All the above mentioned features and many others not mentioned here are responsible for the incredible image quality delivered by this camera. You will never regret buying this product.

Incredible Video Footage

With the optical zoom quality you can now zoom in and zoom out without any kind of noise. The video quality is that of 1080p High Definition. The optical zooming feature available in it makes it better than the other alternative products available in the market. It also reduces noise to a very considerable level.

Pros

• High image quality.

• HD video recording facility.

• Noise reduction due to optical zooming.

• Very fast booting time software.

• Computer connectivity is great.

• Comes with high quality memory card and battery.

• High speed shooting for a point to shoot camera.

• Automatically selects best settings.

Cons

• Manual settings are a bit complex to understand.

• It sensors are sometimes over sensitive, you have to be careful with that.

What Customers Say

Customers have given this digital camera a four star rating on Amazon.com. Most find this camera incredible. Its features like optical zooming, fast speed shooting and many more make it much better than the other digital cameras in its class. The high image quality and High Definition video recording make it even more worthwhile and that is why most buyers love it.

Customers find it quite easy to use and its fast booting feature along with great computer connectivity make it a great digital camera to buy. If you are thinking about purchasing a digital camera then Cannon PowerShot ELPH 300 is the way to go.

Recommendation

If you want a compact digital camera that takes great pictures then this is the camera for you. The HD video capabilities are definitely a plus. It is highly recommended inexpensive camera for those who love to capture the moments all around them. With its extended graphic functionalities you will be able to experience various aspects of photography and take some extremely unique and incredible photos. It is a must buy product for all photography lovers. You can find this camera on Amazon.com for a lower price. This camera is also eligible for free shipping through Amazon’s free super saver shipping program.

Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS 12.1 MP Digital Camera (Black)

  • World’s thinnest digital camera with a 24mm ultra Wide-Angle lens and 5x Optical Zoom and Optical Image Stabilizer.
  • Canon’s HS SYSTEM with a 12.1 MP CMOS and DIGIC 4 Image Processor improves shooting in low-light situations without the need for a flash
  • Full 1080p HD Video for exceptional quality with stereo sound, plus a dedicated movie button for easy access.
  • Get high-speed shooting in a point-and-shoot camera: High-speed Burst Mode captures 8.0fps and
  • Smart AUTO intelligently selects the proper settings for the camera based on 32 predefined shooting situations.
  • Super Slow Motion Movie records video at high speeds to allow slow motion playback.
  • Zoom optically while shooting video and keep footage stabilized with Dynamic IS.
  • And lowers noise levels at higher ISO settings.

The Canon 5096B001 PowerShot ELPH 300 HS Black 12MP Digital Camera with 5x Zoom and 2.7 In. LCD Display has a slim profile that will not only make you stand out from the crowd, but it will also deliver incredibly brilliant still images and amazing 1080p HD videos. Once you turn on the camera, be prepared to be amazed at how much is packed into one of the slimmest point-and-shoot digital cameras on the market. So let your imagination run free and let the HS SYSTEM, 24mm 5x Optical Zoom and 12.1 M

 

Click here for more info and the best price:

List Price: $ 229.00

Price: [wpramaprice asin="B004J41T7Q"]

Customer Reviews

1,449 of 1,462 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Wonderful compact camera with hd video, March 19, 2011
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS 12.1 MP Digital Camera (Black) (Camera)

I’m a DSLR photographer who shoots professionally and has managed a camera store in the past. I wanted something I can take with me everywhere but still produces good quality shots. I also wanted a camera that could shoot good looking videos. I researched several models and after much deliberation decided on the Canon 300 HS. I’m very happy I did.

Image Quality:

I tested cameras and lenses all the time while managing the camera store so whenever I purchase a new camera or lens I always test it. The Canon 300 HS doesn’t produce the quality of images my Nikon D7000 does but I didn’t expect it to. The edges get a little soft with the 300 HS when looking at the image at 100% whereas the D7000 images are almost tact sharp.

Comparing the 300 HS to the Canon Powershot SD1000 from a few years ago, the 300 HS blows it out of the water. The SD1000 is a 7 MP camera. Shooting the same shots on a tripod with the same focal length on the lens the 300 HS uses its extra MPs well. When looking at the images from each camera at 100%, at the wide angle zoom setting and normal zoom setting both cameras have about the same relative slight softness on the edges. However the 300 HS has more MP so it actually produces much more detail in the image. I think it was smart for Canon to keep the MP at 12 because last years models while being 14 MP (SD1400) didn’t give any extra detail from what I could tell than the 12 MP version (SD1300). The SD1400 was basically just creating larger files. When zooming in the telephoto setting the 300 HS clearly produced a sharper image than the SD1000. Often cameras have sweet spots in the zoom range in which it will produce crisper images. The 300 HS has consistently good sharpness throughout it’s zoom range.

HS system and ISO:

The image processing with the HS system truly works to reduce noise at higher ISOs enabling people to produce better quality images in low light. The improvement in image quality gets more and more visible the greater and greater the ISO. ISO 400 with the 300 HS was almost as good as ISO 200 on the SD1000. ISO 800 on the 300 HS was a tad better than ISO 400 on the SD1000. ISO 1600 on the 300 HS was between ISO 400 and 800 on the SD1000. ISO 3200 on the 300 HS produced the same quality of image (noise) as ISO 800 on the SD1000. A 2 stop in film speed improvement is big.

1080p video and slow motion:

With good light, the 300 HS produces wonderful smooth 1080 videos. If you look at a lot of HD videos from compact cameras the video often looks jumpy. From what I’ve seen it wasn’t until you got to the Canon G12 or Panasonic LX5 that the video looked smooth. Both of those cameras only shoot 720p whereas this camera shoots 1080p. The video also very good detail. It truly looks HD.

If you are wanting zoom and continuous AF with your video this camera is the one you want compared to the 100 HS which doesn’t allow you to zoom. The continuous AF with face recognition is stellar with this camera in video mode. I was videoing my wife while she was driving. It focused on her face. I switched to the scenery outside. It immediately focused on that. I then went back to my wife and it found her face and focused on it right away. I even videoed her reflection in the rear view mirror and it found her face in the mirror no problem and focused on it. AMAZING!!!!

Commenting on a complaint I’ve read about the zoom being slow in video mode. If you like getting motion sickness whenever someone rapidly zooms in or out during their video this is not your camera. As smooth looking as the video is, the zoom is also. The smooth zoom creates nice looking transitions instead of warp speed ahead looks.

The slow motion is a fun feature that works well. You need to have good lighting though. In low light even with high ISO’s it produced very dark videos. In a review someone commented that it should have sound with the slow motion video. I honestly don’t know how that could work unless you want to listen to everything at 1/5 it’s normal speed. I think it’s a good thing that it doesn’t have sound with the slow motion videos.

AF:

I commented on AF partially in the video portion of the review. It does have several AF modes for various situations. The face detection works great. If you have a person in the picture but want something other than the person to be in focus you will need to change AF modes from face detection. The reviewer that had the problem with the 300 HS focusing on things he didn’t want the camera to focus on likely didn’t have the correct AF mode for the shooting situations. The 300 HS does have a center AF if you prefer that.

Areas for Canon to improve on with the 300 HS:

The camera is so well thought out that I’m surprised Canon let this slip. I love having a wide angle zoom go down to 24mm. It’s great for scenery and photojournalist type…

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389 of 395 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Awesome Point and Shoot, March 14, 2011
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

This is a point and shoot class camera, if you understand that going in, you are going to be more than impressed with it. I’m going from an SD630 and hands down, this beats it. I even had an SX210IS and these images are on par with it, if not better. I had to return my SX210IS as it had issues with dust on the image sensor and I’ve been waiting for a new P&S class to come out. I bit the bullet on this, well, the black version Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS 12 MP CMOS Digital Camera with Full 1080p HD Video (Black) and what can I say – I am happy!

300HS vs 500HS:
There is a 500HS version of the camera, which is approx $50 more. To this point, the only differences I can tell are the LCD on the back as well as aperture priority and shutter priority, while the 300hs does not. The touch screen on the 500hs can also be used to focus on a particular subject. The 500hs also has a wider aperture at 2.0, the 300hs has 2.7.

Form Factor/Display:
Small. Awesome. There is a texture on the camera, I really like this as it seems like it will help if you hands are wet (sweat, snow, etc). Easy to operate one hand and if using both hands, flash isn’t in a horrible place. Display is very bright and button seem intuitive as with other Canon cameras. Battery and SD are on the bottom door, USB and HDMI are in a covered side port. Comes with a wrist strap if you desire a little extra security.

Boot Time/Software:
Camera is ready to take photos very fast. From the time you press the button, it’s pretty much set to catch the action. Time between photos wasn’t terrible (about 1.5 seconds) and if you need it, there is continuous shot mode. Had no problem with the Canon software on Windows 7. I’ve used the Canon Photo Window import for a while, does a good job of getting photos off the camera without duplicates. I use Picasa to then manage my photo library (I skip the Zoom Browser, but it’s really not bad if you want to use it, I’m just a slave to Google/gmail)

Computer Connectivity:
I didn’t find this anywhere in the specs, so if you’re looking, the camera uses mini-USB, similar to all Canon’s that have come out over the last few years.

Optical Zoom:
You’re going to be impressed with the form factor of this camera and it’s 5x OPTICAL zoom. I immediately disabled digital zoom as 12.1MP + 5x Optical will get you very close to the action. You’re better off digitally enhancing the photos later on.

Battery + Memory Card:
This uses the NBL-4 (again, I found confusion on this and accessories) – so if you have some of those laying around keep them as they’ll work just fine in this camera. This is nice as my SD630 uses the NBL-4 so now I have 2 chargers + 3 batteries. It took my 32GB SDHC without any issues and holds thousands of images. Images have tended to be between 2 and 3mb on the highest settings.

Image Quality:
Look, I’m no photo fanatic, I don’t expect the people buying this camera are. I am looking for solid images and this camera delivers. There are a ton a feature you can delve into and I’m sure they are good. It has manual mode, so if you fancy that, you can go down that path. But I’m the type of person that knows when something looks good, OK or great. This camera consistently delivers GREAT photos. I’m happy with the low light and images aren’t blurry or grainy (within reasonable expectations).

Video:
FINALLY! Optical zoom on a Canon during video! 1080p brings this camera up to par with others in its class and it does a decent job. I didn’t notice any major noise when zooming in and out while recording video. I know this is the excuse Canon has used in the past as to why they never had this feature. It shoots nice clips for those quick moments. This will NOT replace a true DV cam, but hey, for a few minute clips here and there, you will simply not be dissapointed.

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158 of 163 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Another great Canon product!, March 29, 2011
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS 12.1 MP Digital Camera (Black) (Camera)

I currently own a 5D Mark II and was looking to replace my Canon S80 which is now 6 yrs old. While I love the S80 and the quality pics it captured, the bulkiness of this point-and-shoot (P&S) became inconvenient. My wife was adamant she wanted a more compact P&S this time around.

In addition to great pics, I was looking for a P&S with 1080p video capability so I wouldn’t have to get a separate camcorder. Let me say that the 300 HS is a quality camera packed into a sleek body that I can easily slip into any pocket on the run.

Most Canon cameras (I am a Canon loyalist) take great shots. But what most impresses me about this camera are its low-light capabilities. It obviously can not match the image quality of a DSLR, but for a P&S, I was impressed! Indoor night shots of my kids WITHOUT flash (incandescent lighting only) come out amazingly crisp with minimal noise. Autofocus is quite impressive as it tracks faces in the frame further enhancing ease of use. Menu functions are quite intuitive (if you’ve owned previous Canon models). It’s got plenty of preset shooting modes. And it’s quick between shots for a P&S (a couple seconds with flash photography).

I also compared the 1080p video vs Flip Ultra HD which shoots in 720p. The video quality is like night-and-day with the 300 HS finishing ahead by a mile. Low-light video is grainy but still watchable (unwatchable on Flip). In daylight, video looks beautiful. Video is easily imported into both iphoto and imovie. Just make sure you have a large memory card as 1080p takes up 16GB/hour of video. I bought a 32GB card.

I did purchase an extra battery after reading battery life can be short. I’ve had the camera a week and have used it for 15-30 minutes daily (including video capture) and I have not needed to recharge yet.

I’d also recommend the black body as it has a textured housing that makes holding this small camera much easier.

Also purchased a Caselogic TBC – 302 compact camera case which fits this camera perfectly. It has a small side pocket that I slip the extra battery in.

Overall, considering the excellent quality of the camera, easy portability, and great price, this camera is worth every penny.

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