徳島 英会話教室 

Product Reviews

Samsung Galaxy S2

After some considerable research on the subject of smartphones, I recently became among the first in Japan to own the Samsung Galaxy S2!  Released by Docomo in Japan on June 24th, 2011 and in my hands the same day, this phone is amazing to say the least!  It features a 4.3 inch Super AMOLED screen which is incredibly crisp.  The back of the phone has a 8 megapixel camera with an LED flash.  The phone takes great looking pictures and can also record HD 1080p video.  There is an additional front facing camera that is great for video calling with specific applications.  The Samsung Galaxy S2 runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread with a 1.2 GHz dual core processor.  This phone is fast, ultra slim and sets the bar very high as far as I’m concerned, it will be interesting to see how the iPhone 5 counters later this year!  I’d expect Apple to be a little concerned…  it’s quite possible the days of Apple holding back features on their products for future generation upgrades maybe over…  if Apple has any tricks up their sleeves this time, I’d suggest they not hold back, because the Galaxy S2 ain’t playin’.  Having initially launched in Europe and South Korea, and last month in Japan, the company has already sold a record 3 million phones in 55 days!  The U.S. launch is expected soon…

Product Review Grade: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

A very bad boy


Along the Shinmachi River (video)

Recently I was in the market for a video camcorder, and after some extensive research on the various formats – I bring you a condensed conclusion of my findings. I hope this saves you some time if you’re in the market for a video camcorder. Admittedly, I’m hardly an expert, but here’s what I’ve learned in a nutshell. There are three major formats in the video camcorder market making waves these days and worth considering: Mini-Digital Video (DV) camcorders, DVD camcorders, and Hard Disk Drive (HDD) camcorders. Mini-DV camcorders are tape based camcorders and have controlled the market for some time and continue to be the industry standard. In my opinion, this technology still provides the most bang for your buck and continues to be the model for comparison. However, all the companies in this market are of course looking to make money, so there will continue to be new designs even if the perceived new benefits limit other previous standards. DVD camcorders were the first serious alternative to Mini-DV camcorders, and many people jumped to the format because of its easy shoot and play capabilities. However, the recording time is limited on the DVD format, a big downside when recording video is the primary function of a camcorder. Recently, the Hard Disk Drive (HDD) camcorders have been making the loudest noise and appears to have some big upsides. HDD camcorders do not require tapes to record and most can record up to 7 plus hours onto a built in hard drive disk. Contrary to the other formats, transferring video from the camcorder to a computer is relatively easy and fast on the HDD format. Video quality on the lower end HDD models are not as good as those on much cheaper priced Mini-DV models. However, the difference may be worth sacrificing when the upside is never having to pay for another Mini-DV tape. If video editing is something you’re interested in, be aware that many hard disk cameras save to an MPEG-2 format, a video compression codec, which may cause compatibility issues. To wrap this up, I ended up buying the Sony DCR SR 40, Sony’s entry level camcorder in the HDD format. I packaged it with Sony Vegas Studio Platinum 7 for editing purposes, which works fine. Check out my first run at making a video with this camcorder! “Along the Shinmachi River,” a look at the city I’m living in…