Archive for the ‘Buying Guide’ Category

Will Consumers Go Hybrid With Their Cars?

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

Go-Reviews recently investigated hybrid cars to update how well these fuel efficient, low emission cars are being perceived by the market, and more so whether the market is ready to pay the premium to buy one.

The good news is that the technology being integrated into hybrid cars is leading edge, and is being rolled out into conventional cars also. This means that greater fuel efficiency and lower carbon emissions are working their way into standard car manufacturing processes.

But the sad news is, that whilst hybrid cars remain signficantly more expensive, there is some hesitation in the market. This is a totally unscientific claim, but the fuel saving economics just don’t stack up enough to sway the cost conscious consumer to support the planet. In most cases, it takes 12-14 years to get payback on the addtional cost.

Check out our :

Hybrid Car Buying Guide

Comparison of Toyota Prius and Hona Civic Hybrid

Masher

Most Wanted Consumer Products 7 Oct 2007

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

Top Consumer Products For Week Ending 7 Oct 2007

Cellphones

  1. AT&T Tilt
  2. Apple iPhone – 8GB (AT&T)
  3. Nokia N95 (North American Edition, Unlocked)
  4. Nokia N95 (8GB, Unlocked)

See Cellphone Reviews

Home Entertainment

  1. Samsung LN-T4665F
  2. Sony KDL-46XBR4
  3. Pioneer Kuro PDP-5080HD
  4. Samsung HPT5064
  5. Panasonic TH-50PX77U

 See Home Entertainment Reviews

Portable MP3 / Video Players

  1. Apple iPod Touch (16GB)
  2. Creative Zen (16GB) – portable video player
  3. SanDisk Sansa View (16GB)
  4. Zune (80GB, black)

 See MP3 Player Reviews

Digital Cameras

  1. Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
  2. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T100 (silver)
  3. Canon PowerShot SD1000

 See Digital Camera Reviews

Video Gaming

  1. Sony PSP (black/slim)
  2. Sony PlayStation 3 (60GB)
  3. Nintendo Wii
  4. Digital ELPH (Silver)
  5. Halo 3 (Xbox 360)

 See Game Station Reviews

Source: CNET

 Masher

Gym Wars – Battle Of The Exercise Machines

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

Had a very healthy set of reviews to do this month on exercise equipment. After many years of attending gyms in a smaller city, I found my motivation dropped once I had to tackle 20 minutes of city traffic just to get to my workout. By then my body was more tense than before I left the office, and took longer to warm up to get any real benefit from my one hour dedicated time.

So I became a home workout fan. Equiped now with a cabinet full of exercise VHS and DVD’s I can keep my programs varied depending upon the weather, my energy state and my mood. I don’t need to wear make up or trendy gear and can languish in my own shower afterwards – bliss!

My key workout equipment includes:

  • Elliptical Trainer
  • Hand weights – in three sizes
  • Large Barbell
  • Resistance Band
  • Inner Thigh Thingy
  • Hand Spring Grip
  • Yoga Mat

Not an exhaustive equipment collection but extremely adequate to give me a full body workout through flexibility, cardio and strength.

My elliptical cycle is a very compact, inexpensive model without all the programs but doesn’t need to be plugged into the wall, and is light enough to roll outside into the sun when I get the urge. It fits discretely into a main living room so I can watch television whilst working out [along with my chipping net and putting practice gear].

But it was time to upgrade my elliptical trainer so I set out to compare the options between elliptical trainers, stationary bikes, rowers and treadmills. My personal conclusions as to the best home exercices machine, in order or preference are:

  1. Elliptical Trainer – gives a full body workout, is easy on the back and knees.
  2. Rower – again a good body workout whilst protecting the body – but I wasn’t so keen with the sitting down
  3. Treadmill – rather boring and no upper body. Can still hammer the knees but does add more to helping with osteoporosis with that pounding!
  4. Stationary Bike – great for a 5 minute warm up for the lower body, but can be tough on the knees and if your feet slip during spinning – ouch! And recumbent bikes are great for those over 75 or rehabilitation purposes but you are kidding yourself if you think you are getting a good workout.

For Full Reviews on Exercise Equipment

Find Exercise Equipment on Go-Reviews Shopping

Masher

Camcorder Buying Tips From A Professional

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

After researching the latest in camcorders I was left wonder just which features of the many, many on offer really do make a difference to the quality of the video.  As I am about to purchase my first camcorder, and since I want to use it in a commercial capacity with a good quality video, I decided to consult a professional cameraman. And who else would I ask than my brother in law, Wayne Green. Wayne was a former TVNZ / TV3 cameraman who now produces and direct independent films, so knows a thing or two about video quality. Since his filming equipment would be far superior to the point and shoot camcorder I was seeking I kept my questions to the basics.

Q 1 : What basic camcorder features and production tips make a difference between professional looking videos and real amateur productions.

Answer

Size – Small handheld camcorders are very difficult to keep steady. To get a good result, without the shaking commonly seen in amateur production you really do need to invest in a tripod.

Speed Pan – the body moves at the same speed as the eyes. From a film recording perspective, this results in ‘whip-panning’. The video producer needs to train themselves to use their eyes at the same speed.

Text Content – the professional standard is that text captions need to be on screen long enough to read twice.

Menus – many cameras have too many features for the capability of the user. This makes menus complicated and menu selection longer to complete. Restrict features to those that really matter and work your way through the menus carefully. Some camcorders, like the Panasonic VDR-D150 have two menu trees – the ‘Basic Menu’ with all the quick items one generally uses in home video, and an ‘Advanced Menu’ with features that would normally be set well before video begins. This may include manual light settings, manual zoom etc.Based on the main uses for your camcorder, make sure the features you will use the most are the easiest to access.

Q 2: What advanced features help add a real professional look to the end product?

Answer

Lens Coating – lowers incidence of intra-lens reflection, flare and ghosting. Lens coating is critical to achieve very sharp focus, especially when shooting in High Definition. See Canon HD20, Canon XL2 DV

Anti-shake – helps correct camera shake almost instantly even when the camera is hand-held and in motion or the zoom is held at a long focal length. May employ gyro or vector detection, or both methods to pick up the widest range of vibrations. See Canon HD20

Anti-dust – an antistatic coating that minimises dust particles entering the camera body when lenses are exchanged. A CCD vibration function is also used to briefly shake the sensor to dislodge dust particles. This usually occurs automatically at power-off and can be manually employed from the menu. See Sony D-SLR, Canon EOS-XTi

Digital Stereo Dolby – Mini DV and Digital8 cams offer digital audio with both a 12-bit [single recording track with added dub later] and a 16-bit [CD quality] format. Digital DVD and hard disk camcorders provide digital audio in the form of stereo Dolby Digital® sound or even 5.1-channel Dolby Digital sound to give full digital enhancement capability.

Use a tripod – using a tripod gives you a steady filming platform, as well as enabling control from the remote. Using built in pan features, rather than hand forced panning helps to prevent whip panning.

Exposure – Learn to manage the exposure well. Many small sized camcorders are not good in low light. There are several ways in which low light is handled by camcorders: infra red, using LCD screen light and low light exposure lenses and settings.

Thanks Wayne – can you now tell me where to get the best video camera?  Well, I managed to answer that one on my own. After a thorough review of camcorders I selected a range of video camcorders to suit different needs and different budgets. Check them out in the Digital Camcorder Section on the Go-Reviews Product Shop.

 

The Masher