Review: Canon G11

Post by Mark

I’ve had the Canon G11 for just over a month now and after using it practically on a daily basis. I did a lot of research before choosing to go with the G11 and I don’t regret my decision. I have mostly great things to say about this camera and will go through the different categories one by one.

Battery Life
I got my Canon G11 on December 11th and I charged it that same day. Its now January 15th and I still haven’t charged the camera since then. Not only that but the battery meter is still showing that the battery is full. This is perfect because it means when I travel I don’t need to pack the charger or buy an extra battery.

Usability and Feel
The camera doesn’t fit in my pocket so I spend most of the time either carrying it in my hand or in my bag if I am carrying one. It comes with a strap but it isn’t long enough to wear across the shoulder just around the neck which isn’t practical for me. The camera feels very solid and it’s also a bit heavy so it gives it a very durable feel. I love the dials on top and I use them a lot. I always keep the camera on “P” (Program Mode) which automatically adjusts the aperture and shutter speed but control the exposure (make the shot brighter or darker) I use the dial on the left to control that. On the right there are two other dials, one for the ISO which I also use a lot and the second to swap between the different programs. Other than the regular programs which you find on most cameras like aperture priority, shutter priority, automatic mode etc.. there are two custom modes called C1 and C2. These two positions contain your custom camera settings. For example I have C1 set the camera to “P”, change the format of the image to JPG, the dimensions to wide shot and the color setting to vivid. That’s the mode I use mostly when taking shots for my blog. C2 on the other hand sets the camera to “P” but then changes the image format to RAW+JPG and at full resolution (not wide). I use that setting in case there is a beautiful shot I want to capture at the highest quality. There are a ton of other settings you could also set for each mode as well but I won’t get into them here. I really wish my Nikon D90 had a custom mode feature and dials on top to control the iso and exposure.

Image Quality
It’s great for a point and shoot camera but no competition next to a good DSLR. The noise at fairly high ISO’s is pretty decent and I find myself often using ISO800 with no worries about the image coming out noisy with ISO1600 also being very usable. The only issue I have is with the white balance. Sometimes when indoors the images come out a bit too cold for my taste and that’s actually the only issue I have with the camera.

Swivel Screen
One of the coolest features in the camera for me is the swivel screen. It allows me to take pictures without having to hold the camera up to my face. I also like the fact that when the camera is not in use I fold the screen to face inwards which protects the screen while in my bag. For people who don’t like the swivel feature they can rotate the screen towards them and fold it in and keep it that way like a regular camera.

So overall I really love this camera. There were a lot of occasions where I wished I had purchased the Panasonic GF1 but in the end I realized the reason I got the Canon G11 is to use for my blog and when I travel and the GF1 although a great camera isn’t as practical (and also twice more expensive). I highly recommend this camera to anyone that is looking for small highly controllable and fully featured camera. I am going to give it a 4.5 out of 5, it looses points for the white balance issue I faced and the fact that it doesn’t fit in my jeans pocket.

If you’re interested in this camera it’s available in Kuwait for KD228 but I purchased mine from Amazon for just KD127.
Here is the link to the Canon G11 on Amazon [Link]


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Panasonic GF1

Post by Mark

When I was looking for a new travel camera the Panasonic GF1 was one that looked very interesting but sadly out of my budget. Now someones just posted a field test of the camera after using it for 16 days on a trip to the Himalayas. The pictures look great and the camera sounds even more interesting now after reading his review. Kinda makes me wish I got the GF1 instead of the Canon G11, the bright 20mm f1.7 lens seems excellent. Check out the review and great shots [Here]

The camera is selling for $999 on Amazon. [Link]

Update: The camera is now selling for cheaper at $899! [Link]


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First Impression: Canon G11

Post by Mark

I have a ton of cameras but recently I noticed I had a gap in my collection. I didn’t have a digital camera that fit between my Nikon DSLR and my Sony point & shoot. It’s not really a problem but since I love cameras it gave me an excuse to buy a new one. After a bit of research I had two options, the Canon S90 and the Canon G11. I passed by the local Canon dealer in Kuwait City to check them out and right then on the spot decided to go for the G11. The S90 is a great camera but it felt flimsy and it was too similar to my Sony W300 as in they’re both pocket cameras. If I got the S90 it would compete against my W300 and I wanted a camera that would compliment it instead. The G11 on the other hand was love at first sight, it felt indestructible and I loved the way it looked.

The dealer was selling the G11 for KD235, so I checked Amazon and noticed they were selling it for KD127. That’s over a hundred dinars difference!! So the same night I placed an order for the G11 from Amazon with one day shipping and the total came to KD133 (I sent it to my DHL mailbox so I didn’t pay the 8% NY tax). I received the camera today and it cost me KD14 in shipping and custom fees bringing the total cost of the camera to KD147. Thats still a HUGE difference compared to the price of the local dealer. I really want to buy stuff locally but some local dealers over price their products.

I’ve been playing with the camera all day and I love it. The camera is very solid, very well built and it sits really great in the hands. I love the old fashioned dials on top which makes setting the ISO or exposure extremely easy. The camera also shoots in RAW format which is one of the features I was looking for when researching cameras. The screen on the back also swivels so if you want to shoot something over your head or from your waist you can. The only downside to the camera is that it doesn’t fit in my pocket but I knew that before I bought it.

If you’re interested in this camera it’s available on Amazon for KD127.
Here is the [Link]


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The Drobo in Kuwait

Post by Mark

Before I purchased my Drobo backup system I passed by the local dealer 3gghead and checked out their price. They were selling the Drobo for KD165 while on Amazon it was being sold for KD100. So I ended up ordering mine from Amazon figuring I would be saving a good chunk of money.

When my Drobo finally arrived to Kuwait I ended up paying KD39 for shipping and customs which brought my total to KD139. Not much of a saving compared to the local dealer but still a saving.

Then a couple of days back I get an email from the local dealer saying they wanted to give my readers a discount on the Drobo to help bring down the price difference between ordering online and buying locally. So, if anyone is interested in the Drobo you can now have it for KD150. That means for just KD11 more than it would cost you to order it from Amazon, you can get the Drobo locally with a 2 year warranty. So you guys are lucky since I got mine without warranty and had to wait a week to get it.

3gghead is located in the basement of Baitak Tower in Kuwait City. If you haven’t been to Baitak Tower before it’s an interesting small place, there is an X-Cite Electronics store on the ground floor along with Quiznos, Salad Creations and The Nut Tree.

Update: Here is a picture they sent me of the store


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Drobo Update

Post by Mark

I got my Drobo tonight and just wanted to post an update on how much it ended up costing me including shipping.

Price of Drobo: KD100
Price of shipping to DHL mailbox: Free
US Tax: None since it shipped to my DHL mailbox
Shipping to Kuwait: KD31
Customs and handling fee: KD8

Total price of Drobo: KD139

It looks very cool and the size isn’t that big. My 1.5tb hard drives just arrived to Kuwait tonight so they should be ready to pick up tomorrow so I could install into my Drobo. You don’t need a voltage converter, the Drobo adapter is 100-240v.

Here is the link to the Drobo on Amazon [Link]


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The Drobo

Post by Mark

Just ordered the Drobo backup system along with 4×1.5TB drives from Amazon. I currently have 3TB of storage that’s a combination of 5 external drives and it’s fine except for the fact if I lose one of those drives I lose everything that’s on it and its happened to me before. So I’ve been wanting to get a decent backup system and decided to go with the Drobo. The Drobo can take 4 2TB drives and the best part about it is if one of the drives fails you just swap that drive out with another one and you don’t lose any information.

The Drobo works kinda like Raid 5 except with one cool feature, you can mix match a variety of different sized drives together and expand with great ease.

I added all the stuff to my shopping cart and when I checked out Amazon was still using my Aramex shipping address and the Tax was around $70. So I swapped it for my new DHL address and poof no tax. It’s my first time shipping with DHL EasyShop so will post my review once I get the package.

The Drobo costs KD100 on Amazon, here is the [Link]

Also, here is the Drobo hard drive space calculator. Because of the way the Drobo works to secure your data, installing 4x2TB drives won’t give you 8TB of space to use, you get 5.5TB. This link will help you calculate how much space you get with a certain combination of drives. [Link]


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32inch Samsung LCD for just KD99

Post by Mark

I passed by Geant tonight since it’s become a habit for me to pass by every weekend and see what their current offer is. This weekend they are selling the 32inch Samsung LCD for KD99. Actually you pay KD147 but you get a KD48 voucher to use in Geant and a scratch and win card. On my way out I spotted a few people with Sony 32inch LCD’s in their carts so I asked one guy how much it was for and he said KD149 but you get a KD29 voucher back. The TV I want still costs over KD800 sadly…


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First Impression: Acer Aspire Revo

Post by Mark

I am a huge fan of XBMC which I believe is the best media playing software out there. I first started using it on my original xbox, then I installed it on the AppleTV and now I just moved over onto the Acer AspireRevo. XBMC on AppleTV was great except for the fact it couldn’t play 720p and 1080p videos.

Two weeks back I found an article on Gizmodo about how XBMC installed on an AspireRevo could handle 720p and 1080p video files with great ease and best of all it cost only $199. So after failing to find one for sale in Kuwait I placed an order for one on Amazon and got it via Aramex.

Installing XBMC was super easy and after I set it up I copied all my settings from my AppleTV and started experimenting. I can’t believe how easily this thing plays HD files! I have trouble playing HD files on my Apple G5 yet this little thing which is slightly smaller than an AppleTV can play it without a hitch. It has HDMI out, its small, its super silent and streams HD movies from my server with great ease, I love it.

I ordered a remote control for it but it hasn’t arrived yet so I am using my browser or iPhone to control it. Shipping with Aramex cost me KD18, no tax since computers no longer get taxed.

If you want to get one here is the [Amazon Link]
If you don’t know what XBMC is click [Here]
Here is a guide to install XBMC on the Revo [Link]

Update: This is the remote control I bought for it [Amazon Link]


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Good deal on netbook

Post by Mark

I was at Geant supermarket at 360 Mall and noticed they had a really good deal on a Compaq netbook (among other things). If you’re interested hurry up because I noticed these two guys filled up two carts with these netbooks, probably to sell them again at a higher price in Hawalli.

Update: If you don’t know what a netbook is click [here], they’re basically like laptops except smaller.

Update2: The same laptop as above costs KD95 on Amazon without tax or shipping to Kuwait so it’s a great deal [Link]


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Giveaway Day 8: Wireless DJ Music System from Logitech

Post by Mark

Today’s giveaway is courtesy of Logitech Kuwait. I posted about their online store back in July and the highlight was the fact that their prices were cheaper than the market and that they also delivered.

The giveaway today is the Wireless DJ Music System from Logitech. The device allows you control the music on your computer from a remote location around the house while also allowing you to stream the music to your sound system wirelessly. It’s gotten good reviews around the web and it will be released in Kuwait soon.

All you need to do to win the Wireless DJ Music System from Logitech is to leave a comment below and later on in the evening I will use random.org to select a winner.

Make sure you visit the Logitech online store website to check out their products and prices. Their address is logitech.com.kw
For more information about the Wireless DJ Music System click [Here]

Rules: You need to put your proper email in the email field while commenting since the winner will be contacted by email. You also need to respond to my “You Won” email within 24 hours or I will have to make another draw and choose another winner. You can only comment once, anyone caught commenting more than once will get disqualified.

Update: The post was closed for commenting at around 7:30PM.
The winner is…


[YouTube]

Comment #106, you’ve got mail!
Everyone else check back tomorrow for another giveaway.


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