Canon EOS 70D

Canon EOS 70D picture

It’s pretty amazing how advanced DSLR cameras have become in recent years, and brands like Canon keep pushing the envelope. Canon recently introduced the all-new Canon EOS 70D which they are describing as a game-changer. It’s isn’t their most expensive camera of course, but for just under $1,000 (body only) it’s impressive how many advanced features you have available.

- 20.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor, 14-bit A/D conversion, ISO 100-12800 (expandable to H: 25600) for shooting from bright to dim light and high performance DIGIC 5+ Image Processor for exceptional image quality and processing speed.

This camera will deliver stunning images.

- Canon’s innovative Dual Pixel CMOS AF enables you to shoot video like a camcorder with smooth, fast, and accurate autofocus; lets you enjoy instant and precise autofocus even when shooting stills from a variety of angles with the freedom provided by the Vari-angle LCD. 19-point all cross-type AF system (including a high-precision f/2.8 dual cross-type AF center point) with a wide area arrayfor exceptional autofocus performance and greater compositional freedom when shooting with the viewfinder. Intelligent Viewfinder with superimposed LCD display provides approximately 98% field of view, and Multi-Aspect ratio in Live View broadens your choices in composition.

This camera is intended for users who want to shoot professional-quality video. Some customers who reviewed the camera complained that the autofocus didn’t work well with some lenses, so pros will want to do their research. But overall the video capabilities are impressive.

- Built-in wireless technology allows you to wirelessly transfer your images to social networking sites through CANON iMAGE GATEWAY, share your images with wireless-enabled Canon cameras, or upload virtually anywhere on your iOS® or Android(TM) smartphone* with the free download of the EOS Remote app.

This aspect probably got the most negative reviews. Some complained that the wireless didn’t work when shooting video. If this aspect is important to you you’ll need to do more research. If wi-fi isn’t important you may even want to consider the less expensive 60D which is still an excellent camera.

For most users, this camera will have more features than they will ever use. It’s great for hobbyists, semi-pros and many professionals as well. If you’ve been looking for a new DSLR and want to shoot a lot of video, then you have to check this one out. It’s also obviously a great gift idea if it’s in your budget range.

  

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2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

As gadgets and electronics become a bigger part of our lives with smartphones and tablets, gadget accessories are becoming more popular as well. We’ve assembled a few cool products that fit the bill, as well as other stocking stuffers you can consider for everyone on your holiday list.

Click on the image next to each item to purchase it online, and for more gift ideas, check out the other categories in our Holiday Gift Guide.

Phiaton PS 210 BTNC Bluetooth 3.0 Active Noise Cancelling Stereo Earphones with Mic

That’s a pretty long name for a set of headphones, but this item from Phiaton is loaded with features. What’s unique is that they combine both Bluetooth 3.0 and noise-cancellation in one half-in-ear headset. They also make it easy to plug in the audio cable to bypass wireless mode/battery operation when needed. Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity provides increased bandwidth, longer battery life and wider range, while making music sound more natural and thus improving the sound quality dramatically. The Noise Blocker Active Noise Cancellation technology blocks out up to 95% of ambient background noise, which is great for commuters and travelers. Finally, Phiaton’s Echo-Off technology eliminates most background noise while on a phone call. These earphones will be great for anyone on your list looking for quality and versatility.

Cobra CXT 545 28-Mile Range Walkie Talkie

Here’s the ultimate gift for kids of all ages and anyone who loves the outdoors and activities like camping, hiking, the beach, road trips etc. Walkie talkies are also great for safety purposes, as well in a wide variety of situations. The Cobra units performed very well for us and are loaded with features, including rubberized grips and belt clip, micro-USB charging, digital display, 22 channels combined with 121 privacy codes, water resistant, built-in LED flashlight, dedicated weather button and rechargeable NiMH batteries and a two-port charging dock. It’s amazing how advanced these units are compared to what we had years ago. You can’t help but have fun with walkie talkies, but they also have tons of practical uses as well.

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2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Guy Stuff

Guys are pretty easy to shop for. Most of the time you can just get stuff you’d buy for yourself. Yet sometimes, when you’re shopping for your dad, brother or any other guy on your shopping list, you have to cast a wider net as tastes obviously vary. But at least you can pick up some stuff for yourself as you’re browsing.

Click on the image next to each item to purchase it online, and for more gift ideas, check out the other categories in our Holiday Gift Guide.

Watches

A nice watch is the ultimate accessory for men, and the right watch can make any man look good.

Tendence Gulliver Round Urban Men’s Watch

Here’s a slick and trendy new watch featuring a black silicone band and a black, round face with stylized white numbers. It’s a trendy look that’s not too extreme and should appeal to a wide variety of consumers. It’s great for a night on the town but also for everyday use. It’s the kind of watch people will notice, and you can check out other round watches from Tendence for other colors and styles.

Leather Strap Watch from Calvin Klein

If you’re looking for something elegant but with beautiful understated design, check out this Calvin Klein Stainless Steel Case Leather Men’s Watch. The silver, stainless steel face of the watch contrasts nicely with the black leather band. The watch is also water resistant up 100 feet. It’s a perfect watch for business or evening attire.

Luxury Sport Watch from Tommy Hilfiger

Most guys would love to have a nice sport watch, and this Sport Luxury Chronograph and Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch from Tommy Hilfiger offers a great choice. It has a stainless steel case and bracelet, and black chronograph dial for a sporty but elegant look that can be worn anywhere. It’s water-resistant to 165 feet and features a durable mineral crystal to protect the watch from scratches. It’s a high-quality item for a reasonable price.

watches

Dakota Watches

Much like that other watch company named after a certain archeological discovery, Dakota has been providing quality wristwatches at respectable prices for several decades. Ranging from sports watches to elegant timepieces, Dakota’s unique collection has something for every personality, gender and age. One of the more popular styles – the Dakota Spider – resembles a high-end luxury watch at a fraction of the price, with 330 feet of Stingray water resistance, mineral glass crystal and a stainless steel band. (There’s even a cool Rose Gold variation that’s perfect for the special lady in your life.) The collection also includes digital watches for those who lead active lifestyles, leather bands for formal and casual settings, and an entire rainbow’s worth of eye-popping colors. But most importantly, Dakota makes great watches that you can depend on, and until that changes, you won’t find a better gift for that friend or family member whom you’re not sure what to buy.

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2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Books and Documentaries

Whether you’re shopping for someone that likes to kick back with a good book or graphic novel, or enjoys watching documentaries and other non-fiction films, you’ll find several great suggestions here.

Click on the image next to each item to purchase it online, and for more gift ideas, check out the other categories in our Holiday Gift Guide.

Before Watchmen Collections

Have you ever wondered what happened before the events of “Watchmen”? Creator Alan Moore has been pretty outspoken about his thoughts on the matter, but that didn’t stop DC Comics from enlisting some of the industry’s best writers and artists to create eight new miniseries exploring the histories of characters like Nite Owl, Rorschach, The Comedian, Dr. Manhattan, Silk Spectre and Ozymandias. Serving as a prequel to the original 12-issue series, the “Before Watchmen” comics have since been collected in four hardcover editions, and the end result is a pretty mixed bag, especially since each collection features at least two characters per book. Though that’s good news for diehard fans, those that want to read J. Michael Straczynski’s Nite Owl series but couldn’t care less about his Dr. Manhattan story, for instance, are screwed. Additionally, some of the series are much better than others, with Darwyn Cooke’s Minutemen yarn the clear standout. Still, if you know someone who loves “Watchmen” that doesn’t mind that the property’s original creators aren’t involved, “Before Watchmen” makes for interesting supplemental reading.

American Experience: JFK

The story of John F. Kennedy is one of the most fascinating in American history. Regardless of your opinion of our 35th President, he will always be an iconic figure in American history, due to both the pivotal nature of his presidency and his tragic assassination. Debates will rage on about his performance in office and the circumstances surrounding his assassination, and his prolific adventures with the opposite sex have been fodder for the tabloids for decades. His story will captivate anyone who appreciates American history, so any documentary is likely to maintain the attention of viewers. But it’s hard to imagine anyone telling the story better than the folks at PBS who produce “American Experience.” They have consistently told the story of America through its presidents and other influential Americans in a series of compelling documentaries. “JFK” easily lives up to that legacy, and it’s a must-see, as this year we marked the 50th anniversary of that terrible day in Dallas. Like other “American Experience” documentaries, this is not just a story of the JFK presidency, but also the man.

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2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Music Box Sets and Films

We must give the music industry credit: just when it appears that they have completely run out of ways to spin their back catalogs into gold for the umpteenth time, they find a way. (They’re nothing if not survivalists, those guys.) In addition to featuring a number of big box sets this year, we’ve also included some excellent concert films, as well as one The Beatles’ most famous movies.

Click on the image next to each item to purchase it online, and for more gift ideas, check out the other categories in our Holiday Gift Guide.

Bob Dylan – The Complete Album Collection V.1

Box sets often make for great gifts, and this mega-set will put a smile on the face of any serious Bob Dylan fan. The CD set contains 35 studio titles (including the first-ever North American release of 1973′s Dylan album on CD), six live albums, and a hardcover book featuring extensive new album-by-album liner notes penned by Clinton Heylin and a new introduction written by Bill Flanagan. It also includes two “Side Tracks” discs that include a wealth of previously released non-album singles, tracks from various compilations and songs from films. This set is also available as a limited-edition harmonica-shaped USB stick containing all the music, in both MP3 and FLAC lossless formats, with a digital version of the hardcover booklet, but according to the reviews on Amazon, you should probably stick with the CD box set.

The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert

Finally. After 21 years, the full April 1992 show featuring the surviving members of Queen fronted by a murderer’s row of early ‘90s rock star gods (and Liza Minnelli) is seeing the light of day, and on Blu-ray, to boot. (Inexplicably, the DVD of the set is still missing a few songs.) Extreme’s medley of Queen tracks has been added, as have sets by Metallica, Guns ‘n Roses and even Saint Bob Geldof (and Spinal Tap appears on the Blu-ray). The main show features one showstopper after another, whether it’s James Hetfield singing “Stone Cold Crazy,” George Michael singing “Somebody to Love,” Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott banging out “Tie Your Mother Down,” or Elton John and Axl Rose teaming up to take on “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The bonus featurettes from the 2002 DVD release are here as well. For the Queen fan in your life (or even the Muse fan in your life), this is a slam dunk.

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