If you've got someone on your gift list that needs a new point-and-shoot camera that also takes great video, we'd like to recommend checking out the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7. This is the point-and-shoot that we've been using for the past 8 months or so, and the quality is great. Video recordings look superb in high definition, recorded in AVCHD Lite. You've got a 25mm ultra wide-angle lens with 12x optical zoom, facial recognition, and other bells and whistles. What we love about this camera, though, is that it has GPS built-in to geotag your photos and videos automatically, on the fly, as you take them. The ZS7 retails for $349.95, but Amazon is currently selling them for just $257.82 - a savings of $92.13!
Read More | Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7
We're big fans of what Powermat has to offer here at Gear Live HQ, and that's why we think it's appropriate to feature them in our 2010 Holiday Gift Guide. What you've got here is a little panel with a built-in battery pack that lets you wirelessly charge your mobile devices. It folds up and is small enough to throw in a bag, and won't take up much space at all on a desk. On a full charge, you can charge an iPhone five times. The Powermat Travel Mat comes with adapters that allow you to charge any USB device, Nintendo DS, a few proprietary phone connectors, and iOS devices. The cool part here is that you just set your device on the mat, and it starts charging.
They typically sell for $130, but Amazon's got 'em for $69 right now.
Read More | Powermat Travel Mat
Okay, let's keep it real for a moment with this next entry in our 2010 Holiday Gift Guide. We know more and more people are using DVRs these days, whether it's something like a TiVo, or one of the ones leased from a cable company. The one thing that we hear time and time again is that the hard drives inside these things are simply too small to hold any substantial amount of programming, especially when dealing with HD programming. That's where the My Book AV DVR Expander comes in. You simply connect this bad boy to your DVR (it supports a ton of them from TiVo, DirecTV, Dish, Scientific Atlanta, Motorola, and the list goes on) and give it a few minutes to get calibrated, and you've instantly added 150 hours of high definition storage to your setup. If you know any TV buffs, we'd recommend something like this for the holidays.
The Western Digital My Book AV DVR Expander usually sells for $127.60, but Amazon's got it for $119 right now, a savings of 7%.
As evidenced by the fact that we saw holiday decorations up at a major retailer the other day, it seems that It's that time of year again where we dig deep and give you our daily recommendations on what you should get your loved ones in our 2010 Holiday Gift Guide. This year, we're kicking it off with the Sonos S5. If you're unfamiliar with Sonos, it's basically the best way to get music from just about any location (your computer, your iPhone, the web, the cloud, etc.) to play in any room in your house. It's super intuitive, and even years after using Sonos, the technology still blows us away. The Sonos S5 is a wireless all-in-one music system that lets you jump right into the Sonos experience. If you have an iOS or Android device, you can download the Sonos remote control app, and you can also control the system with a computer using the Sonos Desktop Controller. Here are some other Sonos products that go nicely with the Sonos S5, which itself you can get for $399 from Sonos:
Oh, and if free shipping is something you appreciate, just enter the code FREESHIPSONOS during checkout!
Casio rocks it this year with the Exilim Zoom EX-Z280 digital camera, and we like it enough that we are recommending it in this years gift guide. It sports a dedicated Easy Mode, making it easy enough for pretty much anyone who enjoys pressing buttons to operate, while still maintaining the advanced features for more experienced pros, including ones that you don’t typically find on budget-priced digital cameras. One such feature is mechanical (instead of digital) image stabilization, giving you nice clear shots while you stumble around during a holiday party after one-too-many eggnogs, as well as a 4x optical zoom lens. In addition, it shoots video in 720p, so it can even take the place of your Flip-style camcorder. You can grab one now for $173 on Amazon.
Read More | Casio Exilim
The Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player allows you to attach any external hard drive or USB flash drive to the device, which lets you watch videos, listen to music, or even create your own slideshows from your photos, right on your television. The WD TV HD Media Player can accept up to two external drives at once, and supports Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 sound, making it ideal to play movies stored on those devices in glorious 1080p. They typically sell for $129, but Amazon has them for $99.
Read More | Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player
This Sony Alpha A330 DSLR camera is lightweight, and pleasing to the eye what with it’s copper-and-black finish. This one hits 10 megapixels, and sits nicely in the space between uber-cameras for the pros and the dead-simple point and shoots. The Sony Alpha A330 boasts a 2.7-inch pullout LCD display that is posable (great for working with difficult angles,) and the image stabilization and autofocus are there to help with getting the perfect shot. Even cooler? You can get short tutorials of the different settings and effects right on the screen itself. A camera that teaches you, so you can learn as you go. The Sony Alpha A300 with 18-55mm lens sells for $599, but Amazon has it for just $549, a nice $50 discount.
We love how inexpensive it’s gotten for people to attain the ability to record high definition video, and we think this category is set to explode this holiday season. Based on this, and you know how much we love video, we’ve got to recommend the Kodak Zi8 handheld camera. Why? Well, the Kodak Zi8 records full 1080p HD video at 30 fps, and can also take 5 megapixel still images. It incorporates image stabilization as well, which helps avoid that whole Blair Witch shaky cam effect that none of us enjoy, and in a rare move, it even has a microphone jack so you can connect a nice, high quality audio device, if you so choose.
It’s definitely a great value for such a small device that packs a nice punch. The Kodak Zi8 typically sells for $179, but you can find it on Amazon for a little less than that.
Flip Mino: It isn’t HD, but it’s about $60 cheaper than the Kodak Zi8.
Read More | Kodak Zi8 pocket video camera
Ever since the HP DreamScreen arrived on the scene, generic digital photo frames have seemed so passe. I mean, the DreamScreen is a digital photo frame on crack, essentially. It’s available in 10- and 13-inch sizes, and aside from simply displaying your digital photos, it can stream Pandora (or up to 10,000 Internet radio stations,) set alarms, display your calendar, show you a five-day weather forecast, and even give you a look at your Facebook account so you can see what’s up with your peeps. Plus, it incorporates touch into the bezel, and we like touch.
The HP DreamScreen typicalls sells for $250, but Amazon currently has it for $205, a full 18% off.
Read More | HP DreamScreen 100 on Amazon
If you, or someone you love, is a big movie buff with an HDTV, we have to recommend the VUDU Christmas Special that is going on right now. The VUDU set-top box normally sells for $299, but for a limited time it can be had for just $99. Now, you also have to buy $50 in movie credits, so the total cost would be $149, but that $50 is would go towards rentals and purchases of VUDU content, including their fantastic HDX 1080p movies. Rentals cost from $1-4 dollars, and purchases are obviously higher.
We recently reported on a lot of the Internet content that has also just made its way to the VUDU service, so all in all, we think this would make a nice gift - either for someone else, or for yourself. Our only complaint with VUDU remains that their speeds are limited, which provides a very, very poor experience if you want to rent HDX content. No matter how fast your Internet connection is, VUDU caps downloads at 4.0 Mbps. That means that my super fast 50.0 Mbps FiOS connection means absolutely nothing, and I still have to wait hours before I can watch an HDX flick. If they got rid of that, it would unleash HDX, their flagship offering. A personal niggle for sure, though. If you don’t care, pick one up!
If you miss the sale, you can typically find some nice VUDU deals on Amazon.
Read More | VUDU Store