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Product Reviews

19 (100% helpful)

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  1.  Shamefully poor.


    Considering the Wii will happily play a 6 year old copy of Burnout 2 for the Gamecube, this is a truly shameful effort. A graphical mess and dubious vehicle handling seals the fate for this 'arcade racer'. One of the laziest, poorest Wii games I have ever played.

  2.  Great for general use. Not great for photos.


    If wireless functionality is useful to you (E.g. To print to a single printer from a number of separate desktop PCs and laptops) this is a bargain. There are still very few wireless printers on the market, particularly at this kind of price.

    The default 'normal' quality print setting is perfectly acceptable for everyday home / college usage, though note this printer is slower than average when printing documents which include images.

    However, if you're primarily looking for a photo printer, look elsewhere. The prints from this unit show banding and poor close-up detail and do not justify the expense of photo paper. There are much better budget photo printers available from both Canon and Epson.

    Overall, a bargain unit except for photo printing.

  3.  5 Stars for the frame itself, 2 stars for the software...


    ...so please read this as a 3.5 star review!

    The frame is excellent for the money, with qvga (320x240) resolution, a powerful backlight and smart, modern look. Other frames of this size can offer an image resolution as low as 128x128 so it pays to look at the specification. The 3:2 screen ratio is also closer to the ratio of most digital camera images than the 16:9 frames which either stretch or crop your images.

    Sadly, as is often typical of 'unbranded' product, the software supplied is very limited. It's not possible to drag and drop images onto the device directly so you have to use 'PhotoViewer' as supplied. Strangely, this software assumes you'll always be viewing your images in portrait format and there's no way I can find to to change this. It's not a problem as such but you'll need to tilt your head to help crop any landscape images. This is even more bizarre when the frame displays the current time at the bottom right in landscape format, and the controls on the frame are also laid out for holding it in landscape format.

    This said, the software does do what it claims and it evens syncs the time from your windows clock automatically - an unexpected minor bonus.

    If you can ignore the software frustrations, this is an excellent value frame and comes recommended.

  4.  Excellent zoom, good video and audio, easy to use...


    ...and for 27 pounds more you can 'solve' its low light issues.

    There's very little not to like about Canon's first generation of flash media camcorders. Initial impressions of the FS100 are very positive - It's compact but not too small for the average hand, very easy to set up and operate, and offers a number of manual features you wouldn't expect on an entry level device.
    There are plenty of reviews elsewhere on the web already, so for general points about video and audio quality, feel free to google. I'll focus on specific areas which have received little attention so far:

    If you're concerned about the lack of a viewfinder, you'll be pleased to find the screen is perfectly adequate for normal daylight shooting conditions, and you can boost the brightness with a single press of the 'disp' button on the side of the unit. For me, this is enough to keep shooting even in the full glare of the sun, but be aware the battery life takes a hit in this mode.

    In normal use the battery life is fantastic. Over 3 hours with the included cell puts it at the top of the class for the 2008 ranges. It's nice to know a 'spare' battery won't be a required purchase for a lot of users. As a reference point, an 8gb SDHC card will store around 1 hour 50 minutes of video in the highest quality mode available (9mbps).

    Sadly, low light performance on this unit is poor. This could have been a dealbreaker for me, but if you already have editing software and are prepared to pay around 27 pounds, track down 'neat video' on the web and you'll be amazed at what it can do with noisy footage. I tested a dusk scene from the FS100 and the results were very, very impressive. A free demo is available.

    Finally, this unit is capable of 1 megapixel still images , saved in jpeg format. Though these won't challenge any dedicated stills cam, they're of acceptable quality and the unit offers a number of options you wouldn't expect including exposure bracketing and histogram information (on playback only).

    In all, an impressive first generation effort from Canon at a very sensible price. If you're looking for a simple, good quality, consumer video solution, this is a good place to start.

  5.  Possibly the best DS arcade racer outside Mario Kart...


    Combine the tracks of F Zero with the car combat of Burnout, then throw in additional stunt moves. Bingo - Speed Racer. It's technically impressive on the DS with loop after look of rollercoaster-style tracks spiralling ahead of you, and, once mastered, the car combat is very well balanced and effective when used correctly. No single-cart play or online play means it drops a star, but up to 6 can race with separate carts.

    A surprisingly enjoyable racer that's well worth the May 2008 asking price of 17.99.

  6.  Beautifully built with class-leading features. Enjoy!


    The best thing about the TZ3 is it actually makes you WANT to get out there and take photos. You can spend hours on the web poring over sample images and discussing sensor noise if you like, but when you get it in your hand you'll find you'd rather be out taking pictures than talking about taking pictures!

    The combination of wideangle lens, 10x zoom, 3 aspect ratios (including 3:2 - finally!) and a decent stabilisation system provides far more flexibility than the competition, and if you can cope with a drop in megapixels you can extend the zoom even further without resorting to the pixel hell of 'digital' zoom.

    Low-light stills are noisier than the current crop of Fujis (I have the F20) but the stabiliser mitigates this to some extent and you'll get very good results at ISO 400 and arguably ISO 800 as long as you're not planning on making large prints.

    The lens is not as sharp as the razor-edge Fuji compacts but considering the zoom range this is acceptable and a bit of unsharp mask in your favourite imaging package will see you right.

    Finally, the video mode is worth a mention as it provides 848x480 widescreen recording (though you have to fix the zoom first) and the clips are perfectly watchable on a standard 32" TV as long as you don't expect them to match a dedicated DV / HDD camcorder. Sound quality is average at best, however.

    Overall this is an inspiring camera with the ability to take excellent outdoor and good indoor images. As long as you can do without manual control (shutter/aperture priority etc) you're unlikely to find it wanting.

    Panasonic has raised the bar for (reasonably) compact digicams!