Archive for April, 2010

Useful Accessories for Cellphones

April 26, 2010

The Otterbox Defender case: Three tough layers warp around a BlackBerry Bold 9700 keeping everything out but your calls and messages. It's the bulkiest of all three case designs.

Checkout these quality cellphone accessories which were shown at the recent CTIA convention in Vegas. I have been trying them out in Edmonton, and although pricier than others, they offer value to consumers wanting the best in protection for their cellphone investment and screen  “analog” privacy in airplanes and close encounters elsewhere.

Otter Box cases: they come in several types for many phones.

In contrast, Otterbox Commuter case, is slimmest case, featuring a thin silicon layer and an included optional flex plastic casing that keeps the rubber one snug in all the right places. This is the best model for pockets.


The Otterbox Impact is the second thickest one-piece flex protection for the BlackBerry Bold 9700 with re-enforced corners. It works best on slippery surfaces including moving cars with its jet-black silicon rubber.


The 3M Moblie Privacy Filter available for most BlackBerry models sticks on your cellphone screen which looks dark from anyone looking at it next to you. It works better for larger screens, as the embedded texture for doing the darkening is noticeable in smaller screens. 3M tells me screens will be available for the iPhone, the ideal size screen for these filters, availabe this summer.


Check out my feature on the newest smart phones with cool messenging features at


Sanyo Shrinks Cameras One More Time

April 1, 2010

Sanyo's Dual 2010 VPC CS1P is tiny, with reasonable quality and mega features found in larger Dual still/HD video models.

Sanyo Canada invited a small group of influential journalists in Toronto to show off its new line of super slim full HD Dual cameras. We got to play with the new product and meet with Sanyo Canada’s General Manager, Digital Imaging, Bryan Asa and Sanyo’s specialist for corporate communications Aaron Fowles. They also showed us some interesting eneloop products, one of which being the two sided hand warmer and battery charger, a gem of an accessory.

You might have noticed an increased market presence of Sanyo cameras in the Canadian market.

It’s about time. Although niche stores have carried Sanyo, now Future Shop is also stocking these smartly designed and engineered cameras. I have been using Sanyo for several years now; my world-wide tech travel videos have been shot on Sanyo’s workhorse HD1010 and now on the HD2000.

But let’s talk about the new camera line. These new Dual function cameras all shoot Full HD1080 / 60i  and feature varying degrees of impressive smallness, still keeping the big picture in mind. I have attached the press release in the bottom for you perusal.

Let’s take a closer look at the VPC-CS1 model I took back from Toronto and have been playing with for the past several days. This is an unbelievably tiny camcorder/camera, the size of today’s popular pocket cams, but much better quality in stills and video, not to mention extensive menu features like onboard editing and splicing, image stabilization and more. The CS1 features a generous 2.7-inch LCD multi-swivel screen, 8 megapixel stills (4 MP interpolated to 8 MP) 10X Advanced zoom and a “Sound Zoom” function, allowing several modes to help focus the sound recording on a specific subject being zoomed on.

Can a camera this small compete with the rest? At $439, you are paying for tiny. Like tiny buttons that take some getting used to, when in the middle of a shoot. Performance was sometimes slightly under par with the rest of the Sanyo camera clan. Not that the camera doesn’t meet the specs. It’s just so small and light, you have to be extra careful when shooting in anything but perfect light conditions.

I had mixed feelings with my first try…more “bad” still pictures than I would care for, but the HD video was surprisingly acceptable from the get go.  Once I got used to the camera’s delicate personality it came through. Its biggest Achilles Heel is the LED light, replacing traditional flash, due to the cameras small size. It’s only good for up to one meter so if you plan to do lots of indoor family stills, look into one of the other Sanyo real-flash models.

The processing, like on-camera edit and splice functions where faster than the Sanyo semi-pro HD2000 and the almost endless control of image and video exposure settings make up for the camera’s awkward personality. The Zoom-Sound definitely adds to the overall video shooting impression, but is awkward to get to in the menu.

Bottom line? A good average-quality camera, easily runs circles on past DVD cams, with occasional mood swings, but small, small, small and a real looker, especially the hot pink version.

For more information, please go to:

Press Release:

SANYO Canada brings super slim, full HD Dual Cameras to market 

Woodbridge, ON, March 30, 2010 SANYO Canada Inc. (SANYO) today announced it has shipped to stores five new Full HD Dual Cameras that also offer between eight and 14 megapixel still image capability, in an affordable, stylish slim body.

Truly fitting into small pockets or purses, the super slim (27 mm) vertically formatted VPC-CS1 boasts Full HD1080 / 60i video, 8 megapixel stills, 10X Advanced zoom, a 2.7 inch LCD screen and iFrame compatibility. Its horizontally formatted sister, the VPC-SH1, sports Full HD1080 / 60i video, 10 megapixel stills, 30X Advanced zoom, 2.7 inch LCD, iFrame, and a thinness of 43mm. Both cameras also feature a new “Sound Zoom” function, allowing several modes to help focus the sound recording on a specific subject being zoomed on, or clear channel separation to record the ambient environment being filmed in. MSRP on these two models are $439 and $549 respectively.

High resolution product images are available at 

SANYO is also offering three new compact, affordable HD dual cameras. The VPC-CG102 offers Full HD1080 / 60i video, 14 megapixel stills, 5X optical zoom with a 12X Double Range zoom, 2.7 inch LCD, HDMI mini terminal and is compatible with Eye-Fi wireless SD memory card that offers a way to quickly and easily upload images to a computer. Its horizontally formatted sister is the VPC-GH2, which offers the same features. Both have an MSRP of $329. Finally, the SANYO Dual Camera VPC-CG20, in vertical format only, offers Full HD1080 / 60i video, 10 megapixel stills, 5X optical zoom with a 12X double video zoom 2.7 inch LCD, HDMI mini terminal and Eye-Fi compatibility. MSRP is $299.

“These cameras offer an awful lot of technology in beautifully designed bodies for an affordable price,” says Bryan Asa, General Manager, Digital Imaging, SANYO Canada Inc. “The fact that these cameras offer 1920 x 1080 Full HD video as well as super high resolution for photos, means you can record high quality photos and videos using only one small camera that is both lightweight and easy to carry in a pocket, purse or wear simply on your belt.”

All of the new models output seamlessly to Windows 7, which recognizes MPEG4s without the need for conversion. All models store the video and images onto SD flash memory cards.

These five new models join four of SANYO’s previous models that will continue into the second half of 2010. They either offer high performance (the HD2000A and FH1A) or full waterproof functionality (the CA9 and WH1).

These new cameras are available now at Canadian retailers including Centre HiFi, Henry’s, Bay Bloor Radio, Brentview Electronics, Golden electronics, Audio Warehouse, Krazy Kiley’s, PA Soundworks, The Camera Store, Best Buy, Black’s Photo,, Future Shop, and other selected retailers. 

*About SANYO *

SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. is a global, multi-billion dollar leading

company for energy and environment, providing solutions for environment,

energy and for lifestyle applications. SANYO Canada Inc. (a subsidiary

of SANYO Electric Co., Ltd.), is based in Woodbridge, Ontario (a suburb

north of Toronto). SANYO Canada is a service and sales company that

markets and sells a variety of commercial and consumer solutions

including rechargeable batteries, solar modules, HVAC, digital

projectors, dual cameras, digital still cameras, home appliances,

security video equipment, audio systems, portable and mobile

electronics, and weatherproof monitors. For more information, please

visit or