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Gadgets:: Organize and transfer content with SanDisk 3.0 Ultra Dual USB Drive 3.0

By Gregg Ellman - #greggellman @greggellman

SanDisk Dual USB Drive 3.0San Disk’s new plug-n-play Ultra Dual USB Drive 3.0 has the typical USB connection on one end, as expected from a flash drive. But this one stands out because the other end has a microUSB connector which makes it ideal for moving content on devices including OTG enabled Android smartphones.

To organize and transfer content, you must download the free SanDisk Memory Zone app in Google Play. Consider that app your file cabinet to access files and move content on or off a device.

This includes photos, music, movies and contacts. You can also access and use anything on the drive without first moving to your device.

For example, if the memory of your smartphone is full and you want to watch an HD movie, plug in the Ultra Dual drive and watch it without having to transfer it.

SanDisk Dual USB Drive 3.0 2The standard USB works with any Windows or MAC computer (no driver needed). It measures just 0.43-by-0.78- by1.44-inches, has a slider to expose the connection you want and is available in 16GB ($13.24), 32GB ($18.49) and 64GB ($34.24) capacities.

Check the SanDisk for a complete list of compatible devices. The USB 3.0 port is back-wards compatible with USB 2.0.

www.SanDisk.com
The Oregon Scientific Ssmart Dynamo 2 plus activity tracker does everything you would want from a wearable

fitness device.

Ssmart Dynamo 2 plusIt’s super easy to set up and get going along with the free Smart Fit for Android (version 4.3 and above) and iOS (version 7.0 and above) devices.

It works 24/7 or as long as you wear it to track sleep patterns, fitness activities and even stay connected with friends and family.

The latter happens after the tracker is paired with your cellphone to receive or reject (Android only) calls, caller ID and displays text messages and email. It also allows you to share fitness results on social media.

As for the fitness aspect, which is the main reason to have an activity tracker, it tracks heart rate data, the distance you go and how many steps it took to go that far. It also estimates how many calories burned.

It also features Find My Phone, which if you ever have to use it, you’ll understand the value.

Within the Smart App, everything is displayed in simple pie-charts, not complicated graphs. Many features and displays can be customized to your liking, including the wristband button and the display.

Up to seven days of information can be stored on the tracker. http://ssmart.oregonscientific.com/ $99.99

TrackR bravoThe new TrackR bravo is a coin-sized device you easily attach to a valuable item and it helps you locate it if lost or the most popular, misplaced.

When you get separated from whatever you attached it to, you’ll get notified through the TrackR app in seconds. Through the app, the device connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0 and has a 100-foot range.

It uses the Crowd GPS network to find the TrackR and displays the distance between you and the item on the App. If you ever played the game hot or cold, that’s how this works to let you know if you’re on the right track to find it.

It’s ideal for keys, mobile devices and even suggested for pets.

The rounded item measures 1.2-inches in diameter and is just .13-inches. It easily attaches to a key chain, camera strap, bicycle or a pet’s collar.

Register up to 10 TrackR Bravo devices on the TrackR app for simultaneous tracking. Also, within the app, many of the alert sounds and notifications can be customized.

https://www.thetrackr.com $29.99
Contact Gregg Ellman at greggellman@mac.com. Follow him on Twitter: @greggellman.

Gadgets:: SkylinkNet alarm system simple and secure

By Gregg Ellman - #greggellman @greggellman

Skylink 2The SkylinkNet alarm system kit is nothing fancy but it’s easy to setup and works well for a simple home security system.

Like any other smart-home system, it has to be connected to a home Internet system and works with an iPhone or Android smartphone (not included).

What is included in the kit is an Internet Hub, motion sensor, key chain remote and a pair of window/door sensors.

Where you connect the sensors is your choice, there’s no right or wrong. The kit is designed to start off with the basics and then add on from there.

Window, door or garage sensors, cameras for indoor or outdoor security, water sensors for detecting leaks and even a telephone dialer can be purchased and added on.

As for the starter kit, it really couldn’t be any simpler to get up and running in just a few minutes. You need AAA and AA batteries (not included) to run the sensors and to put in the hub as a backup in the event of a power failure.

Skylink 1I’m always a fan of gadgets, which are so easy to use that you don’t have to read instructions.

In this case, since security is involved I would I highly recommend using the quick guide. Set up is well explained starting with downloading the free SkyLink app, creating an account and adding on the sensors.

The sensors have different alarm settings for when you are home or away and a panic setting. Push notifications can be set to alert you when a sensor or alarm is activated. Each step within the app is straightforward and easy to understand to get the system to do what you want.

The hub is your mission control device and has to be connected to your router at all times. It connects easy and also has a siren inside.

www.skylinkhome.com $149.99 for the starter kit

BoogieThe Boogie Board Sync 9.7 eWriter looks like a tablet, feels like a tablet but is essentially a digital 3-ring binder without the paper.

You take notes on the screen with the included stylus and save them as PDFs. From there you can transfer them to computers, smartphones or tablets wirelessly (Bluetooth).

Your notes are saved with the push of a button as high-resolution vector PDF files.

It measures 11.1 x 7.5 x 0.2-inches, which includes the body around the writing screen and has a slot to store the stylus. The writing area is about 9.7-inches diagonally.

The included stylus worked very well, I tried a few other stylus brands I have on my desk but they didn’t work nearly as well as the original. Extras can be purchased separately for $19.99 each.

As noted on their website, the VDC software is compatible with Mac OSX 10.8 and above, Windows Vista, 7, and 8. Also, the saved files can be edited with most illustration programs such as Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW, as well as image editing programs such as Adobe® Photoshop

The internal battery is good for about a week, but that can vary depending on usage. A microUSB cable is included for charging.

According to the company, over 5,000 PDF files can be saved in the internal memory.

There are endless ways this can be used including home, office or classrooms. For me, I wish the Boogie Board existed when I was in college.

www.myboogieboard.com $90.82

BlackBelt2ndKensington’s BlackBelt 2nd degree rugged case is well named.

It’s made with military drop protection (MIL-STD-810G testing protocols) and is about as durable as a case can be.

A polycarbonate X-frame has a comfortable feel with cushioned rubber layer around it for protecting your iPad from drops, bumps or just about any potential damaging contact.

All of the tablets ports and controls are accessible for charging, volume or using the cameras.

A screen protector is included and the case has a built-in kick stand and hand strap.

www.Kensington.com $49.99 for the iPad Air 2 case, $44.99 for the iPad mini model

Gadgets:: Ring Video Doorbell, OWC Thunderbolt Dock 2

By Gregg Ellman - #greggellman @greggellman

Video Ring 2Once the Ring Video Doorbell button is pressed, a one-way video is activated along with two-way audio so you can see and talk to who’s at your entry way.

Access the audio and video on a smartphone or tablet from anywhere you have Wi-Fi Internet access.

The most appealing feature, but far from the only one is the built-in camera lens, is the lens. It provides 180-degrees of wide-angle view of the doorbell area.

Everything you need for the simple installation is included. It takes only a few minutes from start to finish, assuming your Wi-fi signal is within reach.

Like most any smart-home accessory there is a free app (Apple App Store or Google Play Store) with simple account setup. The next time the doorbell rings, the app will send you a push notification telling you someone is at the door.

You will then see a live video recording of who is ringing the bell. You can have a conversation, too. What I really like is that you can hit the decline option if you want to ignore it all. They will have no idea you were even there.

As a bonus multiple users can be setup on the app letting them also know who’s at the door.

A great feature about the doorbell is it also acts as a security camera, even without the bell being rung. There is built-in motion detection with a choice of activation settings that can be customized to record the 180-degree angle within a 30-foot range of the doorbell.

The audio/video recordings can also be saved into a cloud storage for just $3 per month or $30 per year.

Video Ring 1Other features coming down the pipeline for the product includes on-demand viewing as well as a personal weather station built-into the doorbell bracket.

Video is recorded with a 1280×720p resolution. The unit contains an internal rechargeable 5,200 mAh battery, good for up to a year, depending on usage. A microUSB cable is included for charging.

The product is certified for outdoor use and even includes the proper drill bit and screwdriver for installation on wood, stucco and cement.

Ring has also announced the Ring Chime, which is a Wi-Fi speaker that sounds within the home when the Ring Doorbell is pressed. It will be available June 1 for $19.95.

www.Ring.com $199 available in finish choices of satin nickel, venetian bronze and antique or polished brass

OWC Thunderbolt 2 DockThe OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock is far from just another dock. It’s really an incredible  accessory, which will amaze any Apple computer power-user.

All you have to do is connect a single Thunderbolt cable from your computer to the dock and then you’ll have an additional Thunderbolt port to use from the dock.

With that Thunderbolt port (20 Gb/s), up to five addition Thunderbolt devices plus a display can be connected through the single port with addition Thunderbolt docks or via a daisy chain.

But it far from ends there. You also have five USB 3.0 ports (5 Gb/s), one FireWire 800, one Gigabit Ethernet, one HDMI 1.5b with 4K display support, one 3.5 mm audio input/mic and a 3.5 mm audio output/headphone port.

Three of the USB ports are on the back and two are on the side. They can be used for powering up USB accessories or charging/syncing an iPhone or iPad.

The FireWIre 800 port can support a daisy-chain connection of up to 63 devices.

The dock (9.05 x 3.54 x .98-inches) is listed on the MacSales.com site to work with any Thunderbolt equipped Mac running OS X 10.9.5 or later. Windows is not supported.

PR_TB2DOCK_LIFESTYLE

On the bottom/front of the dock there is a pair of LED lights. The blue one indicates the dock is powered while the green LED lights up when there is an active data connection from the computer through a Thunderbolt cable.

While it doesn’t effect the performance, Apple fans will love the Thunderbolt 2 Dock’s appearance since it’s built to cosmetically match Apple products with it’s aluminum finish.

A DC power supply is included and the OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock driver is on the product website and installs in seconds.

www.MacSales.com $249

Gadgets :: April 20, 2015

Pegasus Wheeled Backpack 1

Iris Irrigation Timer

By Gregg Ellman - #greggellman @greggellman

 

If you forgot to turn on your sprinklers while you are out of town, or it rained overnight but you left for work without turning them off, neither is a problem to control with the Orbit 12-Station Indoor/Outdoor Irrigation Timer.

The system is the second accessory I’ve tried from Lowe’s to work with the IRIS wireless smartphone system (the first was the smart garage door controller).

First, a little about the Iris/smartphone system; it has add-on’s to control alarms, security cameras, thermostats and even electric pet doors. Each must be connected to the wireless IRIS Smart Hub (sold separately $99).

The hub connects to you’re home router with the included ethernet cable.

That might sound complicated, but it takes just minutes with the quick start guide and the web-based instructions.

You must have an in-ground sprinkler system and this system replaces your existing one, with the addition of being able to control it anywhere.

It works on the Z-Wave system, which is a protocol for smartphone remote control systems. Control is done through the IRIS app on smartphones and tablets.

Now on to the sprinkler system; I had the hub installed so that step was completed.

The quick-start guide makes it simple; I would advise reading the short instruction before the actual installation. If they seem complicated just call a friend who is the handy type to install it.

Each of the first six steps is for connecting the timer box to the wires which went into my existing box. The only electrical step was plugging in the AC power cord.

Step #7 is connecting the sprinkler controller to the IRIS hub, which is easily done by following the steps while logged into your Iris account at lowes.com.

If it all sounds simple, that’s because it is, just like the garage controller was.

As for the sprinkler box, it has everything you would expect; 12 stations, can be mounted indoor or outdoor, programable by day/times, lithium battery backup and has a connection for a rain sensor (not included).

I fully expect that the system can pay itself off with water savings along with keeping your lawn nice and green.

www.Lowes.com $129

Cyntur JumperPack miniSmartphones, like most any other portable electronic gadget, can be charged on the fly and now with theCyntur JumperPack mini, you can jumpstart your car on the fly.

It has an internal 12,000mAh lithium-ion battery for jumpstarting vehicles with up to eight cylinder engines. This includes cars, trucks, SUV’s and boats.

What’s even great about large amount of power is it’s small enough to fit in a glove compartment (6 x 2.2 x 1.3-inches and 0.9 lb.)

Back to the beginning, if your smartphone’s battery is dead, the JumperPack has a 2.1amp USB port. It’s good for most phones, tablets, GPS units or most any other portable electronic gadget.

The JumperPack has a 200 lumen LED flashlight and comes with a zipper storage bag.

The battery holds its charge for up to a year and is advertised to be used for up to 25 times before it needs a charge itself.

It also has an IPX3 weatherproof rating and comes with an AC wall charger.

https://www.cyntur.com $99

Pegasus Wheeled Backpack 1The Pegasus wheeled backpack from ECBC is listed as a 2-in-1 bag on the ECBC website, but I really think thats wrong.

I think it’s at least a 3-in-1.

My three are a rolling suitcase, which can be converted to a backpack and it has a front padded TSA friendly computer bag.

Additionally there are compartments inside of compartments and extra padding enabling it to hold just about every accessory you would want.

Soundmatter DASHaAs for the backpack, just unzip the back panel to get the backpack straps out.

If you carry a laptop (up to 15-inches) in the bag, keep it in the front part and just unzip it and lay it flat on the security X-ray conveyer without taking the computer out.

Included is a portable battery pack (4500mAh) for charging gadgets on-the-go.

After loading your electronics, there’s the main compartment for a few day’s worth of clothes.

The bag measures 22 x 14 x 10-inches and weighs 9 lb.

www.ec-bc.com $399.99, available in five colors

 

Gadgets :: April 6, 2015

By Gregg Ellman #greggellman @greggellman

Panoramic Pod

The Panoramic Pod has the line “picture perfect panoramas every time!” on the front of its box and after just one try I can confirm that statement is accurate.

Cell phones produce great images – but only if you hold the phone steady and horizontal for wide shots. The Panoramic Pod takes care of the later.

It takes 25 seconds to take the image with excellent image quality and just a little longer than that to set it up.

All you do is place the included tripod on a flat surface, attach the pod, attach your phone, and wind the spring-loaded (no batteries required) device.

The pod then rotates taking a perfectly level panoramic image.

With the summer travel season approaching, I consider this a must-have for iPhone-ographers, especially with its compact size of just 8.6 inches long by just under 2 inches in diameter.

The clamp to hold your smartphone works with most iPhone and Android smartphones that are panoramic compatible.

www.shopmixology.com $28

Monster DNA PRO 2Monster headphones always sound great so it was no surprise when I tried the company’s latest flagship headphones, the DNA Pro 2.0, which include Pure Monster Sound Technology.

They are built with a great-looking futuristic design that includes comfortable  triangular padded earbuds and dual headphone ports.

As I often do, I tried them on a recent flight and let’s just say I was happy to be on the ground but I could have kept the headphone playing in my ears for another few hours.

I can only speak for my classic rock, but according to Monster, the “DNA PRO 2.0 brings out the very best performance for all types of musical genres, from rock to country, pop to classical, hip hop to alternative and everything in between.”

To assist the listening experience, Head Monster Noel Lee personally created an app (free at iTunes, Android is in development) with the help of Monster engineers to customize your sound listening to exactly how you want for any music genre.

The app has profiles you select that have been “tuned to iconic reference recordings which define the sound signature of a particular era, genre or artist,” according to Monster’s website.

While the app development might have been complicated, using it is simple. Just use the sliders to choose a profile.

The headphones feature dual-port inputs, which allow up to five headphones to be connected simultaneously for music sharing.

Hinges allow the headphones to fold up and stored in the included travel pouch along with the coiled (tangle free) audio and Apple ControlTalk cables

www.monsterproducts.com $299.95, available in tuxedo white and black

RAVPower 15W FoldablePower on-the-go can’t be any more efficient than the 15 W Ravpower foldable dual-port solar charger.

It stores like a book (14.2 x 7.5 x 1.2-inches, 1.5 pounds) and folds out to expose three solar panels.

For charging, plug your device’s USB cable into either of the two USB ports, which have a combined 3 amp output. This enables charging of most any portable electronic gadget, including tablets and smartphones.

Two devices can be charged simultaneously as long as they don’t exceed the 3 amp total.

It’s built with iSmart technology, which allows it to be compatible with almost every device and charge at the fastest possible speeds.

The construction features water- and weather-resistant nylon and a Velcro sealed pouch for storing smaller devices while charging.

Another nice feature has eyeholes in the design for hanging it to most anything for charing.

www.Ravpower.com $49.99

 

Dan & Elmo Trash Photography Podcast November 2014

trashphotography

Dan Burkholder and Elmo Sapwater Trash Photography Podcast. Discussed: Brand New OLLOCLIP 4-in-1 lens kit for iPhone 6 and 6 plus; Moment lens; Ztylus Revolver Lens Turret kit; Camera Companies that may be in trouble; iLoome tempered glass protection for smartphones; Kingston storage and media reader. Other companies mentioned include: Apple, Sigma, Foveon, Kodak, Fujifilm, Canon, Nikon, and Olympus.

 

Take a listen and trash photography here.

PLAY NOW

Time: 23 minutes.

#danburkholder #elmosapwater #imaginginsider #snappingcat

Contact us: SnappingCat@gmail.com

Gadgets:: Jabra’s Stealth, iPad lens and a disco ball

By GREGG ELLMAN
Twitter.com/greggellman

Jabra StealthThe Stealth is Jabra’s latest Bluetooth headset in a never-ending line of amazing products.

Before you try it on, the ultra modern looks and design are impressive.

I’ve tried an overwhelming number of sound devices in my ears and there’s nothing specific to tell you about what will work and what won’t, past the comfort. But I will say the Stealth was instantly comfortable.

The next thing I noticed was an on/off switch, not an annoying button you must hold for a few seconds to put it on or off, never knowig if it’s on or off. Just hit the switch for on, hit the switch for off; it’s that simple.

Inside is Jabra’s microPOWER battery technology, which translates to a longer batter life. In this case you’ll get up to six hours of talk time after a two-hour USB charge.

Also, the press of a button gets you to Siri or Google Now, depending on you phone’s operating system. Other controls include the basics for answering, redialing or ending calls, pairing (NFC or Bluetooth) and volume.

The callers I spoke to during the weekend I used the Stealth had no problem hearing me as I did the same with them.

Jabra incorporated the latest technology in the Stealth to achieve this with Noise Blackout, which reduces background noise for a clear conversation with the dual microphone inside.

If you misplace the Stealth, load up the Jabra app (free) to help you locate using GPS tracking.

www.Jabra.com $99.99

olloclip iPadI’ve never really used my iPad’s camera until I got ahold of the newest Olloclip 4-in-1 photo lens clip.

The lens slides onto the case-less corner of your iPad (iPad Air, iPad mini and iPad mini with Retina display) and converts the existing lens into a wide-angle, fisheye (180-degrees) along with 10x and 15x macro lenses.

The lenses are grouped and all you do is screw/unscrew or flip on the one you need – it’s that easy. Included is a soft carrying pouch.

I tried the lens system with multiple photo apps and there was never an issue.

Each lens is a great improvement over the lens built into your tablet. I loved both macro’s and the fisheye made some impressive images.

There’s also a new model available for the Samsung Galaxy S4 & 5 as well as existing iPhone models.

http://olloclip.com $69.99

 The Diamond+ music and light LED lifestyle diamond-shaped Bluetooth 3.0 speaker is all you need to getDiamond  party going

Inside is a Neodymium Super Magnet speaker (3 Watts x 2) with right and left woofer tubes on the sides of the device for great sound.

What makes the speaker stand out is the beat matching LED galaxy light show it produces in 16 million colors for a disco party effect or whatever your mood.

Settings allow it to stay in one color, fade or flash or alternate into others or let it choose the pattern from the 8 RGB and 2 White LED lights.

The white light can be used as a bedside reading light. When it’s combined with the Bed-Time Social app (free for iOS and Android) the lights can be programed for waking up, going to sleep or many other choices.

Everything is controlled with the included remote for power, volume, music choices and the color LED modes.

An included USB/AC power cable charge up the li-battery battery for about seven hours of us. A velvet pouch is also included to store the 2.5 lb. speaker, which measures 13×11.9×12.8cm

www.yantouch.com $149 CHECK PRICES, available in choices of black or white bases along with the crystal top

Gadgets:: Portraiture comes to the video side

By GREGG ELLMAN
Twitter.com/greggellman

Portraiture softwarePortraiture for Video is a new video editing software to allow video enthusiasts to soften skin and remove blemishes, wrinkles, etc. during video editing.

If this sounds familiar to still photographers, there is reason. Portraiture has been used in the professional still image industry for years for softening and enhancing skin tones.

Now the company, Imagenomic has brought the same award winning features to the video world.

According to a recent press release, Portraiture for Video is compatible with Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro, Sony Vegas Pro, and DaVinci Resolve.

Video clips are simply run through the plug-in software and it automatically removes imperfections in the skin.

The software is ideal for touching up a scar, acne or other skin blemishes and runs on Mac and Windows operating systems.

http://www.imagenomic.com/ptvideo/ A free 15-day trial is available, the annual subscription rate for the software is $99

ZAGG Universal KeyboardSmartphones, tablets and even your choice of operating systems; it doesn’t matter what you pair the ZAGGKeys Universal keyboard with as long as both can be paired together via Bluetooth technology.

It’s designed and built with features for any of those devices, such the reason for the Universal name tag enabling it to work with virtually any operating system.

It measures 5.25-inches wide by 9.25-inches long with the cover attached and the curved keyboard is as slim as one-quarter inch, making it ideal for use while sitting on the sofa, working at your desk or tucking it away in your computer bag for travel.

While many of the mobile operating systems have similarities, they have more differences when it comes to short cuts and hot keys on keyboards. To help users switch between devices there’s a little switch on the back of the keyboard to switch between Apple, Android or Window operating systems.

The keyboard itself is built with an ergonomic curved design for a more natural typing and includes a versatile protective cover, which doubles as a stand for your tablet or smartphone.

Other features includes a rechargeable battery, which can be good for up to three months before another charge is needed

www.Zagg.com $69.99, available in black, berry/aqua, charcoal/hot pink, lime/charcoal and orange/indigo combinations.

iFrogz LuxeA few other cool and cost friendly products from a iFrogz (a ZAGG company) are the LUXE stereo headphones and the Tadpole.

Some headphones can cost more than a car payment and very often you get an amazing product for your money.  The LUXE are headphones, which don’t cost a lot ($39.99), are comfortable to wear and deliver what I call, “consistent sound.”

What I mean by that is you’re not going to get the great sound associated with $400 headphones, instead you get consistent, good sound with enough bass to keep you happy.

They look good and are built with comfortable padded ear cups over 40 mm driver speakers, an adjustable metallic looking headband and have an inline mic for handsfree calls.

The Tadpole ($19.99) is as simple as a Bluetooth speaker that can be, measuring just 2.67 x 0.43 x 1.38-inches. It’s pocket sized and comes with an attached carabiner clip.

iFrogz TadpoleInside is a 1-watt speaker along with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, good for about two hours of use before a microUSB charge is needed.

www.iFrogz.com Tadpole available in gray, blue, red, white and purple. The LUXE headphones come in black with your choice of blue, black, gray, red and pink highlights.

Review: ELMO QBiC MS-1 Camera

Going W I D E in Pictures and Video with the MS-1.
Who could resist the Elmo (http://www.elmousa.com/ms-1) QBiC MS-1 camera? The MS-1 is a white cube, only 2.14” x 2.4” x 1.57” in size and weighing 3.3 ounces, that fits nicely in the palm of your hand. It is weather resistant, captures stills as well as HD video and even has built-in stereo microphones. But, what really sets it apart is the super-wide angle f/2.0 lens with three wide- angle settings: 185 ̊, 165 ̊ and 135 ̊. You can get as close as 0.78” to a subject.
There is no display on the camera itself. Rather, you download the Elmo QBiC app for your Android or iOS device and use that as the monitor via the QBiC’s built-in WiFi. The app lets you control all the settings from image or video capture to the wide-angle setting itself. Settings are easily selected, and include: image stabilization on/off, wide-dynamic range, white balance, exposure control, interval capture, self-timer, and burst mode.

At the time of our review all accessories were not available but were said to be so by July. They include: Quick Shoe, Sport Mount, Armor Case, Smartphone Holder, Quick Shoe, Frame Mount, Suction Cup Mount, Camera Holder, Curved Surface Mount, and Flat Surface Mount. Do note that a Smart Clip, shipping with the MS-1 does clip the camera onto the back side of your smartphone. You then use your display the same as if you are holding a point-and-shoot. All settings are as noted above quickly accessed from your touchscreen.

This small wonder also does highspeed video. Two modes are available: 240fps and 120fps.

Recently, we spent two weeks testing the MS-1 extensively. The camera was placed in puddles of water during the rain allowing it to capture drops of moisture as well as amazing audio. Photographer Dan Burkholder (danburkholder.com) and Elmo Sapwater used it to action shots in the unknowns of the Catskill Mountains.

The rechargeable battery is said to last up to 2 hours (Charging is via USB). The longest video clip is currently set to 30 minutes and everything is stored on a microSD card. To test this capability, we attached the QBiC MS-1 to our car, using a GorillaPod, as we drove around town. The video was exceptional in quality. The otherwise remarkable stereo microphones, however, picked up too much wind noise for our taste. When it comes to really checking out how good capture is, hook the MS-1 to your HDTV via the HDMI port.It goes without saying that image clarity for still images captured with a 5MP sensor was mind-boggling, perhaps because of the “wide” effect. While we did enjoy the time-lapse capabilities we were unable to find anything outstanding to demonstrate its full potential.

Was there a downside? Yes, but albeit minor ones. The curved lens cap can easily be misplaced. There are a couple of holes for a tether cord but our demo model did not have one. We can’t tell you the number of times we almost lost the cap. The other annoyance was the small square owner’s manual, making it difficult to read, although ELMO USA will provide a downloadable PDF that lets users print it out in bigger type! The still images are saved as JPEG with no Raw capability. Lastly, the camera currently only comes in a white finish. Perhaps a black model is in the future.

What’s the market for the QBiC MS-1 ($259.99)? Definitely this is for the adventurer. GoPro (gopro.com) is certainly the main one. (Do remember that there’s nothing like it from that specific company when it comes to this kind of size and wide-angle capabilities.) Can the MS-1 compete? Well, we don’t really seeing it so much a competitor as opening up new avenues. This QBiC is an absolute joy to use, so much so, that we’re going to buy our own. It truly allows you to accept those photographic challenges that have been calling you for years to do. You may get some strange looks but you’re guaranteed to go wide and get those stills and videos that separate you from the crowd. There is a lot going for this unique little package.

The QBiC MS-1 is available now. Visit ElmoUSA.com for more information.

>Elmo Sapwater is a photographer and writer for ImagingInsider.com, Photo-News.com and SnappingCat.com.

 

Gadgets:: Three digital storage devices, a Bluetooth speaker and a hands-free headset

By GREGG ELLMAN
Twitter.com/greggellman

WD ProI’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Digital storage – probably the two most important words in the world of technology – is critical to everyone.

IT’S BIGGER ON THE INSIDE

Western Digital’s Thunderbolt My Passport Pro is the mother of all storage. It provides up to a whopping 4TB (yes, that is terabits) in a cargo pants pocket-sized (5.6 by 3.5 inches, 1.9 pounds) portable hard drive with RAID storage.

The RAID 1 system divides the hard drive in half to give your data a duplicate copy in the other half. It transfers at rates as high as 233 megabytes per second and if you know anything about the digital world, that’s fast.

The cable, which connects via the Thunderbolt port, powers the hard drive so no AC adapter needed. The cable is attached to the port-less drive and winds up around the cable management system.

It’s all built-into an aluminum case to make a nice looking companion to any Thunderbolt enabled computer.

Details: 4TB $429.99, 2TB $299.99; www.wdc.com

SUPER PORTABLE AND POWERFUL, TOO

Toshiba 128GB USB3.0If you want even smaller portable storage, the Toshiba USB 3.0 flash drive is available up to an incredible 128GB.

The TransMemory Pro USB 3.0 Flash Drive has secure ultra-high-speed data transferring with read speeds of up to 222 MB/s and write speeds up to 205 MB/s.

It includes built-in security software with encrypted password protection in private partitions for use on Mac and Window operating systems. There’s nothing to set up; just plug-and-play for business, personal or student use.

Details: 4TB for $129.99 and the 64GB is $79.99; www.toshiba.com/us

DIGITAL STORAGE GOES MICRO

SanDisk 128GBThe SanDisk 128GB microSDXC memory card is not much bigger than the average pinky finger nail, pretty much taking portable digital storage as small as you can get.

It’s ideal for cameras along with GPS units, computers, tablets and smartphones with memory card slots. Even if your device has a standard SD card slot, SanDisk includes an adapter to make it work.

An interesting note on the back states the memory card is waterproof, temperature proof, shock proof and X-Ray proof. Check your device to make sure it’s SDXC compatible. If it was introduced after January 2009 it probably is.

According to SanDisk, 128GB is good for 16 hours of Full HD video, 7,500 songs, 3,200 photos and more than 125 apps.

Details: $199, www.sandisk.com

PANCAKE-THIN SPEAKER FEATURES ‘TWOOFERS’

Soundmatter DASHaThe Soundsmatters foxL DASH A portable Bluetooth speaker works with any Bluetooth-enabled device, which is just about every smartphone, tablet, computer and portable media player on the planet.

This very well might be the first time you heard the word “Twoofers” which are the company’s tweeters that also woof.

The wireless sound is amazing, but if you’re in the dark ages, with a Bluetooth-less device, you can use the included 3.5mm mini stereo cable.

The pancake-thin speaker is only 0.62-inches thick with a 2.1-inch width and 7.5-inches long. You’ll get about 10 hours before a charge is needed and it also has a microphone to take a hands-free call.

Details: $149, www.soundmatters.com

HEADSET OFFERS PREMIUM SOUND, AFFORDABLE PRICE

Sennheiser PresenceI got a recent email from Sennheiser who pushed me to try out the new Presence hands-free headset, describing it as “a category killer, (with) three microphones, noise canceling, and clear voice quality.”

I couldn’t describe it any better, but one thing it didn’t mention was it’s probably one of slickest looking devices I’ve seen. And it has an intuitive user interface, unlike many other manufacturers’ versions.

Keep in mind that Sennheiser is a premier sound company – and they hit a home run with this one.

Features include Bluetooth 4.0 technology, plus Sennheiser’s unique SpeakFocus, WindSafe and ActiveGard technology. All this means to you is it sounds amazing.

Details: $142.79, http://sennheiser.us

Contact Gregg Ellman at greggellman@mac.com. Follow him on Twitter: @greggellman