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Yaesu FT-60R (++++) May 24, 2007

Posted by Chief in .
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…coming soon…

Yaesu FT-60R

Website: www.yaesu.com
Model Tested: FT-60R
Specs: download pdf brochure

Ease of Use: +++ (there are a lot of features to this radio)
Comfort: ++++
Design: +++++
Quality: +++++
Features: +++++
Accessories: +++ (expensive)
Value: ++++
Support: not tested

Best of it: The battery lasts longer than expected.
Worst of it: You need a cheat sheet to remember how to do everything. There is no indicator on the charger or radio that it is charging.

Overall Rating: ++++

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Canon SD700IS Camera (+++++) May 24, 2007

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…thought this was interesting: currently ranked in the top 20 out of over 120 Canon cameras on flickr.

See it here: http://www.flickr.com/cameras/canon/powershot_sd700_is/

This rugged little metal bodied camera is so well designed that I’ve switched brands. For those that know me and my brand-loyal fanatics, this is a huge deal. I previously bought only Minolta Cameras. I loved them. They used great lenses. They were metal bodied (the one’s I bought), and took exceptional pictures.

But, now I’m sold on the Canon PowerShot SD series of cameras…

SD700IS

So, what changed my mind? This little Canon is compact, but with large-camera features. The functions and menu items are easy to get to and easy to understand. The lens has an automatic lens cover (which has saved it from possible damage at least twice). The metal body is well put together with excellent fit. My last two Minolta’s had the battery doors crack. This one doesn’t have any slop in it’s fit, or any pressure on the door that would cause any damage.

Oh, and the main reason – the battery lasts forever. No kidding. I took 418 pictures on the Oahu Bike Tour, and never got a low battery indicator. I cycled the zoom practically every other shot, and the LCD was on the entire time. I reviewed the pictures several times, and even accessed the menu functions half a dozen times. I’ve taken over a hundred pictures since the tour and still haven’t charged the battery.

Based on a similar experience earlier this year, I took the camera up for a flight around the islands in a Cessna 172SP, and took over 800 pictures over the six hours (we stopped for gas on the big island). No low battery indicator the entire time.

Check out my pictures taken with the Canon PowerShot SD700IS on flickr. Keep in mind that the pictures you are seeing have been optimized in PhotoShop for web viewing (I believe 1200×900 @ 96dpi for most), and are not original quality. I would have used all my monthly bandwith uploading the original photos.

Overall, I wholeheartedly recommend this camera to anyone but an SLR user. The battery life is excellent, the camera is easy to manage and easy to learn, and has enough options to satisfy a first-time user all the way up to an advanced user. The image quality is at least as good as my last Minolta, and doesn’t suck down batteries like that same Minolta. I’ve switched to this line of Canon cameras, and encourage you to try one, too.

Website: flickr–> Canon–> PowerShot
Model Tested: Canon PowerShot SD700IS
Specs: Yahoo–> Canon–> Specs

Ease of Use: ++++
Comfort: +++++
Design: +++++
Quality: +++++
Features: ++++
Accessories: not tested
Value: +++++
Support: Unable to reach Canon for permission to use their stock photos of the camera. I received an email, after sending several, stating that I would need to contact their corporate headquarters in writing by letter. The email stressed that I would be unable to talk to anyone by phone or email. I hope I don’t ever have a problem with the camera and have to test their customer support.

Best of it: Battery lasts forever
Worst of it: Some pictures need lightening-up occasionally

Overall Rating: +++++

Body Geom. Milano Saddle (+++) May 24, 2007

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Coming Soon…

Website:
Model Tested:
Specs:

Ease of Use:
Comfort:
Design:
Quality:
Features:
Accessories:
Value:
Support:

Best of it:
Worst of it:

Overall Rating:

Kingston Forte Shoes (++++) May 24, 2007

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Website:
Model Tested:
Specs:

Ease of Use:
Comfort:
Design:
Quality:
Features:
Accessories:
Value:
Support:

Best of it:
Worst of it:

Overall Rating:

Novara Gloves (++) May 24, 2007

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This was a fairly easy review to write. I didn’t like them. I wear XL, but these felt too tight to be XL’s. They are difficult to get on and off. When on, my fingers don’t bend as comfortably as in other gloves. The finger sleeves are a tad too long. If they were trimmed back about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch, they would be just the right length.

Novara biking gloves at REI

I understand that they can’t build a glove for every hand, or a glove for every use… but I think they got this one all wrong. If they built the XL for a guy who is bigger everywhere, and not just long and skinny, then they would have a better glove.

Other issues, the padding feels out of place. The glove feels padded in the wrong areas. My fingers get tingly after about 30 minutes of riding, though that may be a combination of tight fingersleeves and poor padding.

Overall, I can’t recommend these to anybody. Hopefully, someone tries a smaller size and finds that it works for them, but if you are a big guy (6’4″, 240#), then go with something else.

Website: http://www.rei.com/product/734988
Model Tested: Novara Tradition
Specs: http://www.rei.com/product/734988
Price Paid: $19.99

Ease of Use: +
Comfort: +
Design: ++
Quality: ++++
Features: n/a
Accessories: n/a
Value: ++
Support: n/a

Best of it: They were only $19.50
Worst of it: They didn’t fit

Overall Rating: ++

CygoLite 10W Halogen (+++++) May 24, 2007

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Cygolite Nitro XM

Website: www.cygolite.com
Model Tested: CygoLite Nitro XM
Specs: www.cygolite.com/2-Products/6-NitroXM.htm

Ease of Use: +++++
Comfort:
Design: +++++
Quality: +++++
Features: +++++
Accessories:
Value: +++++
Support: not tested

Best of it: I love the remote mounted thumb button.
Worst of it: No big warning sign on the charger that says “Make sure you turn the light ON before unplugging it from the battery and plugging the battery into the charger so you don’t leave it plugged in all night charging just to find out at 0510 that it didn’t charge at all and you have to bike to work in the dark.”

Overall Rating: +++++

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Update: 1/31/2012

I’ve had the CygoLite now for 5 years. It’s been on two bikes. It still works.

Battery life has been reduced some. It doesn’t last as long as it first did.

Did I mention, it’s been 5 years!?

This light has been a GREAT investment. There are newer, lighter, more expensive options out there now. However, the CygoLite has been going strong for me and I don’t intend to trade it in yet.

Long-term Rating: +++++