Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Panasonic HX-WA03

I had planned on an extensive video review on this camera, verbally listing all of the features, etc, but I found the best way to show off a camera is through normal use.

Normal is defined by the fact that I'm not the only one who uses the camera. So the video includes some taken by my kids. If you watch the video, you'll realize that it's not a paradox to say that is also how I define crazy.

The only thing that I didn't do is go for a swim with it. It is supposed to be water proof but the pool at the campground I'm staying at isn't open yet, even though we've already had a few 90°F (32.2°C) days already. I think they have a specific date in mind.

It's been dropped already, twice. It still works just fine, but now there are a few scuff marks. If you are wondering, it wasn't me who dropped it this time. Honest!

Besides the videos on product I'll be posting here, you can check This (not so) Boring Life. I will be posting family videos there. Soon.

There are some features that I miss with my old camera that this doesn't have (shown at the end of the video):
  1. The touchscreen. I miss being able to hit record when the screen is facing towards me. I now have to guess which side is "record" and which side is "picture".
  2. The extreme optical zoom. Don't tell my kids, but I used to use my camera to check what they were doing from a distance. That said, if you zoomed in too far, you lost the anti-shake feature, so I didn't record much.
  3. The shape screams CAMERA. The Panasonic screams "TOY". Although, that might be a benefit for some.
  4. Battery life. The Pansonic has only a 1 hour and 30 minute battery life - give or take a few minutes, depending on what you are doing. I guess this really isn't bad, as I usually take less than an hour of video in a day. I just plug it in overnight.

What is better in this camera:
  1. It's shockproof. I have six kids. I think that's pretty self-explanatory. That said, the Sony did last 3 years, so no complaints here
  2. High res photos. Finally, a  camera that does both well. It also takes higher res videos than depicted here, but really, it's more than you need. Same with the 16MP photos, but who buy just what they need?
  3. It fits better in my bag. The Sony is a bit "round" and it's difficult to put it in any of the pockets in my bag.
  4. It's drool proof... I mean water proof. Even though I hadn't taken it for a swim, the water proof feature has already been tested by my youngest, who's 10 months old.
Unfortunately, the price has gone up on Amazon. I paid $155 (plus insurance). It's now $215 and the Sony listed in my A-Store is $223 (supposedly too low to display, but I'm displaying it here). So they are somewhat competitive in price.

Note: The Sony that's listed below is actually 2 upgrades from my old camera. They may have a lot more features than the older one, but waterproofing isn't one of them.

Check them out here:
Sony HDRCX240/B Video Camera with 2.7-Inch LCD (Black)`
Panasonic HX-WA03 Dual Waterproof 16MP Digital Camcorder (white)

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

April 2014 Calendar

Finally, I have it finished. It took longer than usual as I've been doing a lot of updates. Unfortunately, I tried to do them all at once and, of course, that's not possible. It's not as extensive as the last one as I have been focused on migrating a lot of the content to the new domain name. As of this post, the landing page is still nearly blank.

So, now, here's the guide for April. Right-click, click on "download link as." It's in PDF format.

Download for free and enjoy.

FYI: I decided not to use for this link. So you get it straight from the host. If you find it useful enough, feel free to donate to the "encouragement fund" in the left column.

The 80/20 Principle and how it applies to You

There's a book you should check out: The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less. This goes into detail on how in life we only use 20% of what we have 80% of the time.Well, it's not exactly 20% and 80%. Sometime it's more extreme: 90% of the world's wealth is held by 1% of the population and some people only use 1% of the English language (consisting of four letter words every other syllable) 90%   of the time to name a few.

To relate this to the home (keep in mind that the percentages will vary):
  • You probably use only 20% of your wardrobe, 80% of the time
  • You use 20% of your kitchen Gadgets 80% of the time
  • You use most likely 20% of your software 80% of the time
Chances are, only 20% of your time benefits you. If you are trying to start a business, it's likely only 20% of what you do is actually useful. The rest is busy work or, what I like to call "stalling work". Something I have a nasty habit of doing. I'm still trying to break that habit.

If you are looking to streamline your life, the best place to start is reading this book, then applying the principles accordingly. If you can remember to do so, ask if what you are doing really does help you. Go through your stuff, and try to remember the last time you used it. It's likely you only used it a few times soon after you bought it, then stuff it into a drawer/closet to be forgotten about.

It might be an opportunity to make some extra cash. Check out Ebay or Craigslist to sell those unused items.

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