Waterproof Cameras Reviewed by PCMag

11 09 2009

Another waterproof technology article popped up last week on PCMag, this one a review of Cameras You Can Swim With by Zack Honig. The subjects of scrutiny are true waterproof cameras — no normal cameras stuck in waterproof cases, no disposables.

Canon PowerShot D10The best review goes to the Canon PowerShot D10 ($329.99 list, pictured), which is rugged and easy to navigate and offers excellent image quality.  As the only camera  in the test group with an external lens, it’s also the bulkiest.

Other models reviewed include:

Check out PCMag’s side-by-side comparison to compare features.

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Waterproof Your iPod Shuffle 2nd Generation

7 09 2009

SwimMan Waterproofed Apple iPod ShuffleJust came across a post on on Markus Weickenmeier’s blog about a new waterproof technology solution from a company called SwimMan.  For $250, they will sell you a genuine new 2nd Generation Apple iPod Shuffle which has been treated with SwimMan’s proprietary internal waterproofing technology, plus a waterproof headset manufactured by SwimMan which clips onto the strap of your swim goggles.  The waterproofed iPod Shuffle is available in silver or colored versions, and the package includes the original iPod packaging and accessories: charging dock, non-waterproof headphones, foam earbud pads, manuals, etc.  (SwimMan will also sell you the waterproofed iPod Shuffle without the waterproof headset for $150, or the waterproof headset alone for$100.)  This is not the first iPod Shuffle solution for swimmers, but it appears to be the only one that actually waterproofs the gadget rather than putting it in a waterproof box.

If you already own a new or nearly new iPod Shuffle 2nd Generation (1GB or 2GB), SwimMan will waterproof it for you for a fee of $100 and offer a one-year limited warranty from your purchase date if you can provide your original receipt.  This service does come with a warning that your buttons will work a little differently than they used to:

Please note that due to the waterproofing process, the on/off button and the shuffle button will be stationary.  The functions of these two buttons are controlled either by iTunes on your computer (shuffle feature), by simply disconnecting your waterproof headset (Off), or pushing the center button of the wheel for On.  The forward, reverse, volume increase and volume decrease, as well as the On center button will be slightly stiffer than your non-waterproofed iPod, but still fully functional—and completely waterproof!  Guaranteed.

On reading Markus’ post I immediately headed to SwimMan’s site to see what other products they might be able to waterproof for me, but unfortunately they seem to specialize just in the 2nd Gen Shuffle at present.  I’m no closer to my waterproof laptop, but hopefully I can be of help to fellow swimmers whose heads are actually the right size and shape for the swimming goggles these waterproof headsets attach to.

Interval Waterproof Headphone System from H2O AudioAnother all-in-one waterproofing solution for the Shuffle is the Interval Waterproof Headphone System ($80, pictured at left) from H2O Audio, which consists of a waterproof case for the Apple iPod Shuffle 2nd Gen and attached waterproof headphones (5 sizes of earplugs provided), all designed to clip to your swim goggles.   Waterproof to a depth of 12 feet, the Interval system also includes a  carrying case.  Unlike SwimMan, which actually waterproofs your player, H2O Audio simply provides a waterproof case for it, which adds a little more bulk.  However, the control pad on the outside of the Interval case allows push-button operation of the Shuffle’s existing controls, which should allow a little more functionality.iS2 Waterproof iPod Case by H2O Audio (See a full review at iLounge.)

If you already have waterproof headphones or are looking for a less expensive solution, you might try H2O Audio’s  iS2 Waterproof iPod Case (Shuffle 2nd Generation) ($40, pictured at right), which attaches to an included  armband and allows you to use the control pad on your player by pushing through a flexible case.  This product does not include earphones, but is compatible with any 3.5mm set and at the moment is being offered free with the purchase of Surge Waterproof Headphones ($60).  (See full iS2 review and Surge headphone review at iLounge.)

Note that all three solutions offered above are only compatible with the 2nd Generation Apple iPod Shuffle.  If you own a more recent Shuffle, a different model iPod, or another brand of MP3 player, there’s still hope: H2O Audio offers a whole line of waterproof armbands and cases for various sizes of MP3 players.  Another company worth checking out is OtterBox, which offers protective gear for your iPod, iPhone, BlackBerry, GPS or PDA.  Although most of their products are geared more toward the accident-prone non-athlete than the serious swimmer, their Armor Series cases are waterproof to a depth of 3 feet.  OtterBox would also be happy to sell you a set of H2O Audio’s H3 Waterproof Headphones (review at iLounge).

SwiMP3 (v2) by FINISAnd for the ultimate in swimming technology?  The SwiMP3v2 player by FINIS ($150, pictured at left) throws headphones to the wind and instead uses the sound conduction of bones. Wear this player on your cheek (clipped to your goggle strap) and your cheekbone transmits the vibration to the fluid of your inner ear.  Cool.  (See a full review at PCMAG.com.)

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Turtle Talk #1: No Issues

5 09 2009

The first episode in the webcomic adventures of Michaela the Turtle. 001NoIssues

Squinting?  Click on the strip to enlarge.

Click here for the full Turtle Talk comic strip series.

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Who knew technology could bring turtles together?

16 08 2009

Well, I did it.  I got up the guts to reach out and make my first virtual friend.  Tiny’s blog said he was waiting for an underwater computer to be invented, so as the perhaps the world’s best-educated turtle in all matters technological, I emailed to share my research on the total liquid submersion computer.  After a few sleepless nights wondering whether I’d hear back  — or rather,  listening to my human pitter-patter away on the keyboard at all hours — I got an email from Tiny thanking me for the  technological advice and telling me he liked my video.  I think that counts as the first official critique I’ve gotten on my performance, so it was great to hear.  Also learned that Tiny and I blog from the same log….I love having something in common with someone for a change!

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“Total liquid submersion” sounds waterproof to me!

11 08 2009

ReactorAs my followers know, I’ve been scouring ebay for a submersible laptop with wifi to make posting easier.  Still no luck with used machines, but I just found this blog post about a PC that uses total liquid submersion technology to keep cool.  The way I see it, if they intentionally wrap it in liquid, it has to be waterproof, right?   You can get it with wireless, and the thing is gorgeous, but there are a few issues to work out…

  1. Not a laptop, therefore I’d have to find a submersible monitor
  2. Can’t find the dimensions of the case on the website, but guessing this is too big for the tank, so would probably have to move into it instead of moving it in
  3. Will need to star in a few more films before I can afford it

I promise you, one day I will own one of these beauties!

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