Top iPhone and iPad Accessories

10 September, 2012 Play No comments
Top iPhone and iPad Accessories

The iPhone and iPad: They’re not just for making phone calls anymore! Then again, they never were. As long as iOS devices have been on the market, there has been a healthy demand for accessories to beautify iPhones and iPads. Moreover, creative engineers have discovered ways to draw these life-altering devices even further into our daily needs and routines through some of the best iPhone/iPad accessories ever devised. 

Did you know you can use your iPhone or iPad to take enhanced pictures, control your home temperature remotely, or even prod you into healthier living? Here are five of the best and most useful iPhone and iPad accessories currently on the market. 

HEX Code Wallet – Are your pocket seams groaning from the weight of your iPhone, wallet, and business cards? Simplify. The Code Wallet is a nifty invention that simultaneously acts as a folding screen protector for your iPhone while leaving space for credit cards and more. A strap secures everything in place, and your headphone jack, lock button, and dock port remain naked and ready to use without having to open the wallet. 

Olloclip – The iPhone camera isn’t a photographer’s dream, but an accessory or two can drastically improve its shooting performance. The Olloclip snaps onto your iPhone 4/4S and lets you shoot pictures with a wide-angle, fisheye, or macro lens. 

Freedom i-Connex 2 Mini Keyboard – You can actually get an impressive amount of writing done with your iPhone or iPad, but some people that were reared on the dependable clickety-clack of a real keyboard cannot get the hang of the average iDevice’s virtual keyboard. The i-Connex Mini Keyboard is a highly portable input device that is compatible with iOS devices as well as Android phones and tablets. Type away!   

Nest Thermostat – Imagine waking up on a bitter winter morning. The temperature has dropped overnight, and the house is freezing. Time to “tough it out,” throw off the covers, and run—or you can warm up your house remotely with your iOS device and the Nest Thermostat. Plus, the Nest Thermostat app helps you monitor your household’s energy use, which should help you initiate a conservation push. 

Jawbone Up – Sounds like the kind of message you’d receive after leveling up your stats in a role-playing game, doesn’t it? However, the Up accessory from Jawbone is all about helping you live an active, healthier life. It’s a bracelet that works in tandem with an app that tracks your exercise, meals, and sleeping patterns. When it’s time to get moving, the bracelet vibrates as a reminder. 

For more great iPhone/iPad accessory suggestions, visit: 

Best iPhone 4S Accessories at CNET

Best iPhone Apps, Accessories and Tips at Engadget

Best iPhone Accessories at Geeky Gadgets

Digital Camera and Video Camera Buying Guide

Digital Camera and Video Camera Buying Guide

Even when you try to do your research before buying a piece of electronics, often you end up learning more about what you should have been looking for well after the purchase has been made. In this digital camera and video camera buying guide, we’ll attempt to walk you through some of the key functionality you should be looking for when deciding which device is right for you. Keep it in mind when shopping to ensure you get the best price, product and features for the money.

Megapixels

A pixel is but one dot in an image file, and a megapixel represents a million of them.  So while even a camera that has offers pictures of 1 megapixel or 2 megapixels may seem like a lot, the truth is they are so tiny that you need to get above 5 megapixels to even have a snapshot that is a decent resolution.  

The amount of megapixels a camera claims to have is the maximum – it doesn’t mean you have to take pictures that use all of them.  The more megapixels in your picture, the higher the resolution, and the higher the resolution, the bigger the file.  While cheap memory and large memory cards are making this less and less of a concern, large files are still difficult to share online as they take longer to upload and download. 

So if you’re looking to make physical prints of photos at all, or simply want to be able to be some detail while zooming in, we recommend a camera that has at least 8 MP, and if you have a need for larger prints, then go for something bigger than that.

Zoom

A camera’s magnification capabilities are represented by a number followed by an X.  This essentially means that from the starting point to the zoomed-in endpoint, that is how many times more magnification you are getting.  For example, a camera with a 20mm to 200mm range has a 10x zoom because 200mm is 10x 20.  Although it’s tempting to get caught up in the “X range” of a camera’s zoom, it’s actually not even one of the two most important things to consider when looking at zoom.

The most important you should note when looking at zoom is to look at the low end of the camera’s zoom range.  If a camera has a zoom range from 24mm to 240mm, it means that at its most zoomed out setting, it will take a picture at 24mm.  Other cameras that can shoot at 18mm or 15mm will be able to provide a wider view of the setting, and thus contain more information.

The other important thing to note about zoom is the Optical Zoom setting vs. Digital Zoom setting.  The Optical Zoom is the key indicator – it’s what is actually being done by the camera’s lenses.  Digital Zoom is all done electronically, and doesn’t offer any enhanced picture quality or focus.

SLR

Perhaps the most common question many camera-buyers wonder about is whether they are ready for a SLR camera.  SLR stands for single lens reflex, and  it means that your camera only has one lens that it has to worry about, so you can quickly and easily alter your shooting angel.  One of the other great advantages that digital SLR cameras (dSLR) offer is nearly instantaneous digital photos to be taken and your camera is quickly ready for another shot.

SLRs will cost additional money over standard point-and-click cameras, but if you take a lot of pictures of sporting events or nature, you may covet the versatility and speed that SLRs offer.

3D and HD Cameras

While even most camera and many phones now shoot in HD, you’ll want to check the specs of your video recorder to see what kind of HD video you’ll be shooting.  You’ll be looking at not only the resolution (higher numbers offer more detail), but also the type of HD, either 720p, 1080i or 1080p.  1080p. The “p” and “I” in these numbers stand for progressive and interlocking, and it indicates whether each line of refresh from a TV image (or recording) is renewed from every scan on top to bottom, or whether every line is refreshed at a time.  Progressive scanning is preferred as it means that for every frame of video you have a new line of data for every part of the image, and since 1080 is higher than 720, it means more lines of info.  So 1080p is the preferred HD format for most video aficionados.

You’ll also need to decide whether or not to invest in a camera that does 3D videos.  It’s a feature that will cost extra money and may not provide much extra bank other than the novelty effect which will wear off.  Plus, you’ll need to make sure you’re playing any 3D recordings back on a 3D enabled device.

When To Upgrade To a DSLR Camera

When To Upgrade To a DSLR Camera

You’ve tinkered with your compact point and shoot digital camera, and while it’s great because it can fit in your pocket and even take some basic HD video, you’ve noticed that the pictures don’t contain the same visual quality as those of your friends with a fancier camera.  If you’re ready to take the next step beyond your basic point-and-click camera, here’s information to help answer the question of when you should upgrade to a DSLR camera.

What is a DSLR camera?

SLR stands for Single Lens Reflex, referring to the fact that SLR camera uses only one lens that can be changed for different purposes.  Because of the use of a single lens, the camera doesn’t need to adjust your view to sync it with the camera’s view – you are seeing what the camera sees. This also allows for larger photo sensors and the ability to take many pictures rapidly.

The D simply stands for Digital, meaning that instead of using film, the camera creates digital images.

Why is a DSLR camera considered better?

One of the mainstream appeals to DSLR is the speed with which you can take pictures.  Because there is only one lens in the camera and a physical mechanism to open to open the shutter as soon as you push the button to take a picture, it moves much quicker than cameras that rely on a sequence of electronic events once you push the button.

The other main advantage of DSLR camera is the ability to switch to different lenses.  Here you can see that upgrading to DSLR is going to require a bit of a chance over the standard compact digital camera in which you have to not only buy separate lenses, you also have to have a way to carry and store them.

A third advantage of DSLR camera is that they are built to be able to take better pictures in low light situations, even without the flash.

How much more does a DSLR camera cost?

Although the price of DSLR’s continues to come down, they are still decidedly more expensive than a standard compact camera.  For around $600, you can get an entry-level model from Nikon, Canon or Sony, which provide the camera body and usually one lens.  More feature-rich camera will cost around $1,000 or more, and then you still need to buy lenses which can start at $200 and also be even more expensive.  The move to a DSLR camera is not a cheap one.

When is it time to upgrade to a DSLR camera?

Here are a few times when you may know you’re ready for a DSLR camera.

–          If you find yourself more than just casually taking photo, or are focusing more on specific subjects or action-oriented events, you may want to consider a DSLR camera. 

–          If you’ve ever wished your camera would move faster, both when taking a picture and getting ready for the next one, you may be ready for a DSLR camera.

–          Additionally, if you have ever wanted to get a wider field of view, or zoom in very far to capture a faraway shot, you may ready for a DSLR camera that lets you switch lenses on the fly to accomplish these two very different tasks.