Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I Need Your Advice

Time to test to value of the hive mind!

This summer, I'm taking my family to Disneyworld. I'm going to need two things to make the trip a success:

(1) Some kind of handheld device that lets me do email and browse the Web
(2) Some kind of pocket camera/camcorder that can take decent digital photos and video

Here are some of the parameters around my decision:
  • I'm a long-time T-Mobile customer
  • I love the iPhone for browsing the Web, but I can't stand trying to use the touch screen to write emails
  • The 2nd-generation Android phone, the Bigfoot, looks really cool, but doesn't launch until the month *after* my vacation
  • I'm a cheap bastard, so price is a *major* object
For (1), it seems like some kind of smartphone with a physical keyboard is the right choice. For (2), my impression is that it's better to get a camera that can shoot video than to get a camcorder that can shoot pictures.

So here are my questions:

1) What smartphone should I get for my long run use?

(iPhone? Blackberry? Android? Pre? Something else?)

2) What should I do for the two weeks in August that I'm on vacation?

(@dweekly has suggested that I find an Android developer who got a free G2 at Google's developer event and borrow it for the two weeks I need it--if you know someone who can help, please let me know!)

3) What digital camera will best meet my needs?

(@dweekly recommends the Canon Powershot; @PBKrissy likes the Sony Cybershot)

All thoughts, advice, and free gear welcome!

7 comments:

Karthick Gopal said...

I'd suggest the Nokia N97 just released combines everything, but after the iphone, bberry and the G2/G1 it's a step down.

For a cheap good camera I'd highly recommend the Canon SD1100IS 8MP. It's cheap and good, review at http://www.amazon.com/Canon-PowerShot-SD1100IS-Digital-Stabilized/dp/B0011ZK6PC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1245260395&sr=1-1

Bill said...

I would add the Flip Video Camcorder, which let you record 60-min of video. Not sure if you're willing to spend about $130 for it.

I agree with the previous commenter about the Powershot 8MP. I bought a 13 MP, but it's a overkill -- each image file is huge, which takes longer time to download, and more storage space. The 8MP one is about right.

Skarz said...

I got a new Canon Elpp camera based on a suggestion from a friend a few years ago. I have been a huge fan ever since and recently got some newer versions for my wife and I. I use mine for both picture and video all the time. It does a great job. Combined with a 8GB card, you can use it the whole trip without needing to offload it usually. Fit's great in the pocket. My Elph is the SD990 IS with the new Digic III proc/software, but the 14.7MP may be a bit much for some. The new SD1000 has Digic III as well and is not so overkill (7.1MP). Elph cameras do 640x480 30fps video very well. Check them out.

Jackie D said...

Re video: Think about whether you really want to spend time uploading video to your computer after shooting it. If you do, I would recommend skipping the Flip (overrated) and getting a point and shoot camera that also does excellent HD video: the Panasonic Lumix DMC FX500. This is my second Lumix (first was mugged from me in London) and I love it as much as the first. It has a 10.1mpx camera, Leica optics and just works so damn easily. (I've used a Canon PowerShot, Nikon CoolPix and a variety of other digital cameras in recent years and none compare to the Lumix.)

You are still welcome to borrow my T-Mobile compatible BlackBerry Pearl for your vacation if you'd like.

But I HIGHLY recommend the Nokia E71x (you can get it for the ridiculously low price of $99 with a 2-year AT&T contract right now). This is a super-thin, BlackBerry-like phone which has a massive battery that seems never to drain. It also runs Qik like a dream. :)

Jackie D said...

Re video: Think about whether you really want to spend time uploading video to your computer after shooting it. If you do, I would recommend skipping the Flip (overrated) and getting a point and shoot camera that also does excellent HD video: the Panasonic Lumix DMC FX500. This is my second Lumix (first was mugged from me in London) and I love it as much as the first. It has a 10.1mpx camera, Leica optics and just works so damn easily. (I've used a Canon PowerShot, Nikon CoolPix and a variety of other digital cameras in recent years and none compare to the Lumix.)

You are still welcome to borrow my T-Mobile compatible BlackBerry Pearl for your vacation if you'd like.

But I HIGHLY recommend the Nokia E71x (you can get it for the ridiculously low price of $99 with a 2-year AT&T contract right now). This is a super-thin, BlackBerry-like phone which has a massive battery that seems never to drain. It also runs Qik like a dream. :)

Autumn said...

I defiantly second the flip for video. It's a great little device for lower quality shots. I've used the Lumix as well, and if you want a little more cost but a lot more quality, it's good.

You already know my opinions on phone from work. :)

~ said...

Blackberry 8900, 9000

Good price. Blackberry has something like 55% of smartphone market