Category Archives: Amazon.com

Rosetta Stone French Discount Codes & Coupons

You can finally learn French the easy way before your next trip to Paris or Saint Tropez. With five different lesson plans, Rosetta Stone French makes reading, writing, speaking, and understanding French a piece of cake (now with iPhone or iPad capability). But before you get your copy, see below for our favorite 2012 Rosetta Stone French coupon codes and discounts now available at some of the top resellers. We update this page anytime any new offers are released so be sure to come back if you can’t find the deal or promotion that you are looking for today.

 

 

 

Save up to 50% on Rosetta Stone Spanish versions now on sale at eBay. Software is software whether it’s new or used so why not get a deal on eBay? There are a number of sellers that now have Rosetta Stone Spanish levels 1 through 5 on sale for up to 50% off the listed retail price. Just be sure to take a look at the sellers review and feedback before bidding. Prices and discounts can vary across sellers or versions.

 

Get up to 20% off and get free shipping with no sales tax charge (in most states) on new Rosetta Stone now at Amazon. Even Amazon that is known for some of the best deals on software doesn’t usually have discounts on Rosetta Stone. However, they have free shipping on most orders and don’t charge sales tax in most states (which can save you up to 9% over purchasing at your local store). See site for details and sale prices.

 


Our review of Rosetta Stone language software – French:

Ever thought of going to France? With airline tickets more and more affordable, you now have other things to worry about, such as where, when, and the language? Fortunately there is an ample choice for those studying foreign language these days and Rosetta Stone software is one of the most prolific choices on the market.

Rosetta Stone French edition is a very comprehensive and intuitive product helping to work and hone your speaking, writing, listening, pronunciation, and comprehension abilities. The software is very easy to use, one of its biggest strengths mentioned by most of the reviewers. At any given moment, you can see your progress and how you scored on a particular section. You can easily find where your deficiencies come from and focus more on those areas.

One of the advantages of the product is that you can work on different aspect of a foreign language at your own speed and if you still find certain topics challenging, you can sigh up for a session with a native speaker. Each session is run by a teacher and usually includes another student. The teacher asks questions related to a particular lesson and alternates asking questions to the participants of the session. Depending on the level, the teacher might stimulate a conversation between the two students and correct errors.

One shortcoming of the program is the lack of focus on grammar and explanation of rules. You learn it by association of words and sentences but without any explanation. At the end you might know if something is said correctly or not but you won’t be able to say why. It is up to you to study this aspect on your own and apply the grammar rules to what you learn. Even though Rosetta Stone French edition might not answer all your questions regarding the language, it helps to overcome the biggest problem most students face as they study languages: speaking. The software helps you open up and get over the speaking hump.

Top Ten Reviews ranked the software # 4 in the 2012 Best Learn Language category and mentioned the ease of use as one of its biggest pros. On the flip side, you won’t find any cultural information in the software and will have to go somewhere else to understand that aspect better. The weakest category according to the reviewer is Word Tools that scored only 1.5 out of 4 for the lack of built-in dictionary and translator. This is related to the teaching techniques of Rosetta Stone (no notes or memorization required, just association of words with pictures) and for students who look for more intuitive learning, this product is “exactly what you want.”

One last feature that makes this product very compelling is the abundance of ways in which you can learn and practice with others. Whether it’s on-line games or engaging in communication with other fellow students or teachers, this product has something for every taste in its arsenal.

Rosetta Stone Spanish Discount Codes & Coupons

Learning Spanish doesn’t have to be difficult thanks to Rosetta Stone Spanish language software.  But you don’t need to pay full price to get an a good deal on your copy.  See below for all our favorite Rosetta Stone coupons and discounts for all the levels, from 1 through 5.  We also list some of the best deals at Amazon and other resellers, including any promotions for students or teachers wherever available. This page is updated daily for offers for both Mac and PC, but if you happen to run across a coupon before we do, then let us know in the comment section below.

 

 

Save up to 20% on Rosetta Stone Spanish editions now on sale at Amazon.  In Amazon’s marketplace, you can find several resellers offering the Spanish edition of Rosetta Stone software on sale for up to 20% off the listed retail price. Some orders will also qualify for free standard shipping and/or may not be charges State sales tax (this depends on the reseller that you buy from and where you ship to).

 

Save up to 50% on Rosetta Stone Spanish level sets 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 now on eBay.  Why pay full price for a new box when you can buy the license used from someone who completed the course and no longer needs it. Prices tend to vary from the different sellers and across the bundles or versions. Be sure to check the seller ratings and reputation before bidding.

 

Save up to $200 on Rosetta Stone packages now on sale at Buy.com.  Similar to Amazon, Buy.com carries a number of different sets (v5, v4 or v3). Select from the complete package or just the beginners versions. They also offer free or discounted shipping on most items. No coupon code is needed to take advantage of the sale or discounted price.

 


Our review of Rosetta Stone language software – Spanish:

Rosetta Stone language software is among the most successful programs available on the market helping you to learn a foreign language. It is built on the idea that practice makes perfect and that the best way of learning a new language is by speaking. Not everybody learns the same, some people respond better to visual, hearing, or writing aids and for this reason Rosetta Stone prepared games and learning opportunities based on those concepts. This also helps to break a monotony of studying a language in the same fashion, engaging and developing all senses and areas of knowing the language.

The world has become a smaller place in the past decades is a sense that it’s easier than ever to travel and interact with foreign cultures. There are constant migrations often caused by work opportunities leading to more diverse populations. One obvious motivator to learn Spanish is that there are some 50 million Spanish speakers in the US, according to Census Bureau 2012, and almost 8 million who are now learning the language. Aside from that, the language is spoken is the greatest number of countries.

Rosetta Stone Spanish edition doesn’t stress grammar as much as it does speaking and pronunciation, reading, writing, and listening comprehension helping you to see results relatively fast. The most basic element of a lesson is learning vocabulary and expressions and connecting them with appropriate pictures. Learning is supposed to be intuitive where you don’t just sit and try to memorize vocabulary; it is more active and effortless. As you progress, the words are combined into expressions, that later form dialogs, until you feel confident enough to use them on your own.

Rosetta Studio is a feature that allows practicing new skills with a native speaker. Some topics are more challenging than the others and nothing helps you get over the bump as practice that’s why once you complete a class you can schedule a session with one of Rosetta Stone’s many native speakers. You will practice a material closely related to what you learned most recently. Any mistake you make can be immediately corrected so you don’t develop a habit of repeating them, and you will be exposed to correct pronunciation throughout the. Each session, lasting 60 minutes, may be individual or with another student, depending on how many people sign up.

Another tool to help you speak Spanish is on-line games. It’s important not to lose contact with the language so Rosetta Stone provides plethora of games to keep you speaking, reading, and writing. You can choose from memory games where you see a picture and you have to match it with the appropriate description read to you. You also hear a description of a stack of pictures and you have to choose the correct one. Another game that helps you writing skills requires you to type answers to questions based on a hypothetical agenda.

Once you complete the appropriate course, you can continue learning by joining the online community of other students and native speakers. You can participate in forums and chat with others, preserving the skills you acquired. One more feature worth mentioning is a phone app, which allows you to study even if you’re away or traveling.

Rosetta Stone Spanish edition received a “Very Good” score from the editor of PCMag who underscored the ease of use of the program. There are very few instructions, mainly because they are not necessary. The software is designed so that you don’t have to spend time guessing what to do next but to learn the language. It works just as good on a mobile device and the online tech support is “strong.” On the negative side, the editor mentioned the cost of the software comparing to competition and the lack of cultural insight, you only learn the language without the context.

Bear in mind that learning languages is a marathon, not a sprint. Even though Rosetta Stone gives you great tools to succeed, it still require you hard work and study of grammar to help you better express your ideas.

D-Link Boxee Box on Sale at Amazon

dlink boxee box on sale at amazon

The new Boxee Box by D-Link is now on sale at Amazon for up to 10% off!

 

Amazon now has the Boxee Box on sale at about $35 less than anywhere else, along with free standard ground shipping with most orders.  Most states can also avoid the sales tax so you can count this as an additional $15.00 off or so depending on where you live.  Details & specs on the D-Link Boxee Box are posted at dlink.com.

With the Boxee Box you now can easily bring all your favorite shows, movies, and more from the internet to your HD television – In full 1080p high definition. Forget about trying downloading content onto your hard drive or burning a DVD/Blu-Ray to then replay on your TV.  The Boxee Box lets you easily bring this content to your television just by using the provided remote control (which includes a full qwerty keyboard).  But if you have a new smart TV, then I would recommend you read up on all the features built-in on your TV before you make your order.

With the D-Link Boxee Box, you have access to thousands of TV shows for free from your favorite networks such as CBS, ABC, NBC, and more.  Forget having to miss your episodes or subscribing to TiVo, watch when you want to watch with fewer commercials. You can also signup for premium movie services (like a Netflix) and stream the latest Hollywood hits in full 1080p (best if you use a wired, high-speed internet connection, but it’s not necessary). Moreover, you can choose from hundreds of apps like CNN, Showtime, Pandora, YouTube, and more. For the family, the Boxee Box also plays all of your personal videos and photos on your television.  You can simply play videos, songs, pictures, and any non-DRM content from your computer or home network.

When searching for the best deals on the new D-Link Boxee Box you usually cannot beat the prices on Amazon.  Currently the Boxee Box is on pre-order with a $30 discount (13% off), free shipping, and no sales tax (for most States).  No additional coupon codes or D-Link mail-in rebates are needed to take advantage of this sale price. As Amazon’s discounts and sale prices change daily, be sure to act quick if you see an even better discount.  Amazon also has a large selection of accessories on sale for your Boxee Box, including HDMI cables, ethernet cords, and AV cables.

So what’s typically included in the box?

  • The Boxee Box by D-Link unit with language support for English, French (FR), German (DE), Italian (IT), and Spanish (ES).
  • 1x HDMI Cable.
  • 1x AC Power Adapter (power cord).
  • 1x Remote Control with Full QWERTY keypad build-in.

The packages can vary depending on the resellers so be sure to look at the specs posted before completing your order (some packages may include mail-in rebates).

If you’re looking for a full review of the new D-Link Boxee Box HD media player, we recommend you take a look at the review posted on cnet.  You can also search their HDTV forums for other user reviews and the differences between the Boxee Box, Roku HD XR player, and the TiVo HD XL Digital Video Recorder. The Boxee Box may also be available at Costco, Fry’s Electronics, and Best Buy. Be on the lookout for special Christmas, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday camera offers coming in the next few weeks from Amazon and D-Link.

 

Rosetta Stone German – Coupon Codes, Discounts & Promotions

If you don’t speak German or could never learn it well using the other so-called “language” programs out there, then Rosetta Stone V4 TOTALe is your best choice to learn once and for all! It doesn’t come cheap, so that’s why we are now monitoring the web for some of the best promotions and coupon codes for Rosetta Stone. It’s not easy to get a deal on their software as they are super tight on any sort of discounts, but you should be able to at least save on shipping and possibly avoid the sale tax charges (depending on where you buy from).

 

 

Save up to 50% on used versions of Rosetta Stone German on sale at eBay. Software is software whether it’s brand new or whether you buy it from someone that’s already completed the course. As Rosetta Stone is one of the most popular programs to learn German, you’ll find a number of different copies on sale on eBay. Just be sure to check the sellers feedback and reviews before you bid. Final prices will vary.

 

Get free shipping and, in most cases, pay no sales tax on orders from Amazon. Amazon is an authorized reseller of Rosetta Stone and like all resellers NEVER offer any of the versions for a discount or coupon. However, all orders qualify for free shipping and if you’re lucky and you’re shipping your order to one of the many states that Amazon does not collect sales tax in, then you can save here to. Usually these two combined can save you up to $50.00 vs. ordering elsewhere.

 


Our review of Rosetta Stone language software – German:

It’s hard to determine what has had the biggest impact on people’s desire to study foreign languages: the Internet, affordability of travel, or the need to uncover family roots. Regardless of what the answer is, people want to study languages and it is behind so many product offerings form numerous companies. It is difficult and onerous to comb through so many options, but one that comes up on the radar a lot is Rosetta Stone.

Rosetta Stone German edition is a fitting product for those who want to see the results fast and be able to say words and expressions after just a few sessions. The product is designed to help you learn the language the same way children learn it, naturally and intuitively, by repetition, and without the need of memorization or translation. You learn by association of words with pictures and there is little focus on grammar and language rules, the emphasis is on speaking. You are supposed to experience the language and learn it while enjoying it. You first learn a single word, then some adjectives that describe it. This random and uncorrelated group of words then turns to sentences and later to conversations, just like when you were a kid. One more advantage of learning the language Rosetta Stone way is that you not only learn how to speak the language but more importantly how to think in the new language. Those of you who had some experience learning new language know that people first tend to translate everything literally and many times the translation makes no sense. It is only logical if the correct sentence structure is followed and that’s what Rosetta Stone is striving to achieve. The learning process is designed around those structures and called Dynamic Immersion.

Rosetta Stone German edition has earned 4th spot on TopTenReviews.com for German learning software and received “Very Good” score. Besides from scoring “Excellent” on ease of use and help and support, the product received very high marks for its features, fundamentals, and effectiveness. In order to improve the effectiveness of Rosetta Stone German edition, “this program would be best used with a second program” that emphasizes on grammar. The reviewer finished by saying that this product is a very good choice for learning new vocabulary and reviewing the language skills you might have acquired before, but perhaps isn’t the best choice for those looking to master the language.

Some reviews express doubt in the usefulness of Rosetta Stone, especially its methods, claiming that because of the lack of cultural insights the teaching is completely out of concept and focuses on few useful words. This is only partially true as it’s impossible to determine what vocabulary you will find useful in the future. Additionally, one of the most important parts of learning a foreign language is actually speaking it and Rosetta Stone does a great job at helping individuals with it. No single program or method is perfect and Rosetta Stone requires additional studying of concepts that you consider important or necessary. As someone who has studied foreign languages, I can say that once you start speaking everything else comes easier.

Although Rosetta Stone is one of the costliest language software on the market, you have to take it into perspective and compare its price to taking a course at school. The cost of a semester course at a local college or university plus books can easily overshadow what a one or a bundle of Rosetta Stone courses cost.

Office Mac Home & Student 2011 on sale at Amazon

Get up to 30% off plus free shipping & no sales tax charges in just about most states when you get Microsoft Office Mac Home and Student 2011 at Amazon.com.

 

See all the features of Microsoft Office 2011 now posted at Microsoft.com. The all new 2011 edition of Office Mac Home and Student Family Pack includes new Apple Mac versions of Excel 2011, Word 2011, and PowerPoint 2011.  Unlike running the PC version of Office by using Parallels, the Mac version ensures 100% Mac OS compatibility.

There are a ton of great new features in this updated version of Office Mac Home and Student 2011.  If you’re working in PowerPoint, you will enjoy the new photo editing feature that lets you do basic editing without needed to use a separate program (like Photoshop CS5). With the Presentation Broadcast feature, you can present your PowerPoint decks online live to your clients or collaborators – Even if they do not have PowerPoint 2011 installed on their computer. For Word 2011, you also have new coauthoring tools that let you simultaneously edit reports and files over the web. Office Mac Home and Student 2011 also includes Microsoft Remote Desktop for Mac 2 which lets you control your Windows-based PC from your Mac computer.

When you buy Office Mac Home and Student 2011 or Microsoft Office for Mac Home and Business 2011 from Amazon, you not only get up to a 20% discount from the retail price but also free super saver shipping.  There are almost never any Amazon coupon codes that you can use on your order but at rare occasions you can find certain mail-in rebates listed direct on the order page when available. Be sure to see Amazon’s bundle offers as well – Including software discounts when you purchase a MacBook Pro or Air laptop. We expect to see some good deals or coupon codes also posted around Black Friday/Cyber Monday right in time for Christmas shopping.

Battlefield 3 – Coupon Codes & Discounts

Now on Sale! Get up to 20% off on Battlefield 3 for Playstation 3, XBox 360 or PC at Amazon.

The all new Battlefield 3 by Electronic Arts is a first player shooter game, where you’re a U.S. Marine soldier engaging in urban and open spaces warfare in Europe, Middle East, and North America. The game allows for co-op missions, multiplayer matches, built-in blog and voice communication to stay in touch with other members of a squad, and taking on different roles. To your disposal you have one of the biggest maps that makes the game fresh and interesting.

The game takes place in Iraq in 2014 where the American soldiers are supposed to disrupt People’s Liberation Resistance (PLR) operations. PLR later gets involved with the Russians and portable nuclear devices. The action switches to Paris and New York where the two missing nuclear devices are supposed to be detonated. Along the way there are Russian arms dealers and CIA agents, but in the end, the goal is to prevent the nukes from being deployed. All together, there are 13 different maps to enjoy, most of them in the Middle East.

DICE Team created vast range of guns you can use as well as army vehicles you can control. In your arsenal, you’ll find: assault rifles, sniper rifles, shotguns, personal defense weapons, machine guns, carbines, pistols, and rocket/grenade launchers. During numerous missions you can fly jets, helicopters and get on and steer tanks, naval transports, Jeeps and Buggies and Armored Vehicles.

At the heart of Battlefield 3 is team play and the game allows for several ways to engage in it:

  • Team up with friends – up to 64 players in your squad (on a PC) and 24 players on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3; form platoons with them and work towards the stats you are later compared to other teams.
  • Take on different roles: Assault (frontline combat medic), Support (heavy suppressive fire), Engineer (RPG and repairs), and Recon (intelligence and sniping).
  • Co-op campaigns.
  • Tactical communications – use a new battlelog to chat and strategize with friends, plan missions and exchange sensitive information; this new social platform also keeps vital statistics about your play and displays rankings, keeps the scores you receive for different roles you take on, shows your ranking and compares it to others; all this information can be accessed through the console, web, or a mobile device.
  • Team support by defending bases, assisting your team with provision of ammunition and vehicle repairs, or spotting and attacking the enemy.

Battlefield 3 is powered by Frostbite 2 that has further improved audio and visual effects. The technology has impacted areas such as animation, scale, destruction, rendering, and audio. Thanks to Frostbite 2, soldiers and their movements are more natural and smooth, designers are able to create bigger maps to open up the battlefield even more, effects that accompany destruction’s are more precise and detailed, displaying larger objects coming down as well as their smaller parts falling into pieces. Finally new lighting effects combined with supreme sound effects makes Battlefield 3 a top notch product.

The game received very warm reception and is already topping the charts with its high scores. There are few negative comments about the game and they mostly focus on a single player experience where the missions feel like a different game. On the flipside, the biggest accolades came from the multiplayer missions, which are great delivering a whole new level of excitement. Gamerankings.com has a current 89% score for Battlefield 3, metacritic.com gives it 90 (out of 100), and ign.com calls it “Amazing” with a 9.0 (out of 10) score mainly for the sound and lasting appeal.

Dark Souls – Video Game Review & Coupon

Now on Sale!  Get Dark Souls by Namco on sale for up to 20% off now at Amazon.

Amazon now have some of the best deals we have seen since the release of Dark Souls.  Get for XBox 260, Playstation 3, and PC.

So what’s new? Dark Souls is a role-playing action-adventure game that takes you into a grim and dark fantasy world battling creatures and monsters, navigating through dungeons and mythical world to become the Dark Lord. Even though the game is very challenging, taking lots of time to master, it was very well received and got many positive reviews. The game is available as a single payer or multiplayer (online).

Your character is an immortal called Undead on his way to become a Hollow (not a desired outcome). In order to avoid that, you have to ring the Bells of Awakening. By ringing the bells, you become the Chosen Undead and learn that you now have to remove the curse of the Darksign that turns humans immortals, by bringing the souls of four Lords. In the final battle, you fight a dark lord, Gwyn, and by replacing him, you gain control over other creatures and can become the Dark Lord or choose death for the price of liberating the world from the Darksign.

Battling creatures in Dark Souls is intimidating and at times impossible to leave victorious. The bosses are the biggest enemies and oftentimes they are significantly greater in size than you, leaving you no option that scramble for safety. Facing variety of opponents requires constant adjustment to fighting strategy, which consists of switching weapons and armor. You can carry unlimited number of items and by switching weapons you also switch a character, from unarmored thief to heavily protected soldier. Aside from weapons, you can also cast spells that you receive at the bonfires.

Online option allows teaming up with other players and helping each other along the way by leaving messages on the game world floor or joining other worlds. You join other worlds as a phantom, which proves to be a very rewarding decision. It gives you a chance not only to gain souls but also experience that can later prove invaluable. Similarly, you can enter other players’ world and fight them for their souls. This online collaboration is also vital to get through many stages because you can share tips and trick with other gamers, becoming more skilled and being able to find different artifacts faster.

The intensity and focus required by the game as well as hours of practice to achieve respectable skills make this game addictive and earned it the highest grades. Gamespot.com gave it a score of 9.5 out of 10 mainly for its online capability as well as plenty of targets to face in high quality combat scenes. Ign.com ranked it as “Amazing” with a 9 out 10 score, grading it in all categories either 9 or 9.5. It especially praised the game for sound, lasting appeal, and presentation. To complete the reviews, metacritic.com gave it 89 out of 100 points and gamerankings.com ranked it at 89%. One final comment appearing among all the above reviewers was that Dark Souls is not much of a game enjoyed during leisure time because of the skill it requires. It is for serious players who are eventually rewarded by the overall quality the game presents.

Canon 8d on Sale at Amazon

canon-8d

 

Look for the Canon 8d on sale at Amazon!

8d details & specs posted at Canon.com.

 

The upcoming Canon 8d is the next expected addition to Canon’s top of the line professional D-series DSLR cameras in the 2012.  It is expecting to be replacing the powerhouse Canon EOS 7D 18 MP CMOS digital SLR camera. With the Canon 8d, expect to find one of the most advanced CMOS Sensors along with dual or quad DIGIC 4 Image Processors for higher image quality and speed.  The Intelligent Viewfinder is expected to continue providing 100% field of view; 19-point, all cross-type AF system equipped with dual diagonal cross-type sensors. Then with a click of the switch, go into HD movie mode with either automatic or manual exposure controls or fully selectable frame rates. And all these images and video captured on CF Card Type I and II, UDMA-compliant CF memory cards. We’re talking about up to ISO 12800 and speeds of up to 8 fps with continuous shooting up to 126 Large/JPEGs with UDMA CF card and 15 RAW. Wow!

When you purchase your 8d at Amazon, not only can you can enjoy significant savings off the full retail price but also free standard ground shipping. Because the Canon 8d is not yet released or available for pre-order, there are no coupon codes or Amazon promo codes available that we could find at this time. Amazon also has a large selection of Lithium-Ion battery packs and camera lenses available for the Canon 7d and 6d digital cameras.  Remember, some Canon 8d cameras will include combo packages can include extra accessories and lenses so be sure to check the details before purchasing for the best deals.

If you’re looking for a full review of the new Canon 8d digital camera, we recommend you check out the reviews once the camera is released on dpreview.com. You can also search their camera forum for the differences of the Canon 7d vs 8d, and comparisons against the 50d and Nikon d90 or d300.

And remember, nothing goes better with your new 8d than Adobe Photoshop CS5 or Lightroom 4 for all your photo editing and imaging needs. Be sure to also see all our Canon Store coupon codes for a list of the current offers and coupons on Canon cameras.

For travel, the Canon 8d may be a little large so consider the more compact Canon G12 or the upcoming G13 digital camera.

Nikon D3100 14.2MP Digital SLR Review

Nikon D3100 digital camera, equipped with cool 14.2 Megapixels CMOS and video capabilities, one of the best selling DSLR’s, is now on sale at Amazon at up to $50.00 off.

I would classify it as a solid choice for your entry-level digital camera whose features allow you take quality pictures and the camera’s ergonomics make it very easy to handle and manipulate. One of the biggest draws of this camera is its price-to-features ratio. Although I do not know if such ratio really exists, the fact is that you get a very portable and light (the body weighs only 16oz.) product capable of taking 4,608 x 3,072 format pictures (in its highest resolutions). It has a very reasonable ISO range, going form 100 to Hi-2 that represents 12,800. It is capable of shooting 3 frames per second and has 11-point autofocus.

The camera comes with 18-55mm Zoom-NIKKOR VR Image Stabilization Lens. It earned “Recommended” grade by dpreview.com for its versatility and the value it offers. This lens will address the general requirement for taking pictures, and as you expend your lenses arsenal, they will most certainly be considered an asset and come handy on many occasions.

Another feature that makes this camera a competitive product is the video capability. Use the camera to shoot high quality full HD 1080 movies with continuous autofocus. When you choose recording option you can decide on the quality of video (2 other options plus frame rates). One thing I’m not a fan of is that videos are limited to 4GB, which makes the longest video about 10min long. Although the microphone is not the best and might pick up a lot of sounds close to the camera, it still provides good recording capability and if necessary you can turn it off.

Nikon D3100 offers many In-camera image editing. If you like getting to know all the capabilities of your camera, these features will keep you busy as they include: Before and After, Color Balance, Color Outline, D-Lighting, Distortion Control, Edit Movie, Filter Effects,, Fisheye, Image Overlay, Minature Effect, Monochrome, RAW Processing, Perspective Control, Quick Retouch, Red-eye Correction, Small Pic, Straighten, and Trim. The necessity and value of these functions is somewhat subjective because there are many software products (many free) that can perform these edits. Nevertheless, if you want to edit pictures on the go or don’t have access to a computer, these features come very handy. Additionally, the camera provides the following picture controls: Landscape, Monochrome, Neutral, Portrait, Standard, and Vivid. Among the scene modes you will find: Child, Close-up, Landscape, Night Portrait, Portrait, and Sports. Although the purpose of owning an SLR camera such as D3100 is to shoot pictures manually, those preset modes get you started and give you an immediate taste of its capabilities.

One more thing I find compelling about this camera is the automatic image sensor cleaning. Dust on the sensor is one of the biggest annoyances to a photographer, especially if not caught on time. Nikon D3100 uses Integrated Dust Reduction System that intends to minimize dust creation and improves its removal at all stages of picture taking. The camera is built in a manner that prevents dust sneaking into a body during the assembly process. Additionally, various camera components are built to generate less dust (such as shutter) or prevent dust adhesion.

The bundle of features mentioned above helped earn it very solid reviews. Dpreview.com classified Nikon D3100 as a camera for people just laying their hands on DSLR equipment who want to be challenged. On the other hand, it didn’t recommend this product for those who look for a camera that’s compact. Cnet.com gave it “Very Good” score emphasizing very good quality of pictures it takes and easy to access controls.

PCmag.com also commented on great image the camera can produce, small body, and a good price for what it offers. Some negative comments included: slower than competition (cnet.com), noise created by lens when focusing while recording. Finally, Ken Rockwell from kenrockwell.com stated that Nikon 3100 is a better choice than other bigger and perhaps more expensive equipment, unless you know exactly why you don’t want to get this camera.

Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS 12.1 MP – Review

The Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS, which is now on sale at Amazon at up to $80.00 off,  is a small and powerful digital camera for anyone’s budget and any occasion. Equipped with12.1 Mega Pixels High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor and lens with 5x optical and 4x digital zoom, this camera is a very good companion anywhere you go.

The camera comes with 24-120mm lens, which is a 35mm equivalent and allows capturing a little bit more scene. This comes especially handy when shooting pictures of landscape, family portraits, or at a short distance from the object. In order to provide better control of your pictures, the camera offers numerous shooting (and recording) modes. They include: Auto, Movie Digest, Portrait, Kids and Pets, Smart Shutter, High-speed Bursts, Best Image Selection, Handheld Night Scene, Low Light, Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Color Accent, Color Swap, Beach, Underwater, Foliage, Snow, Fireworks, Long Shutter, Stitch Assist, and Movie. If you simply want to snap a picture and not get bogged down with different options, Smart Auto option chooses the appropriate scene for you allowing more typical point-and-shoot experience. This is also a good learning experience as the camera picks the right setting for you based on the information it collects about the subject, surroundings, light, and the new setting is displayed for you to see.

Few other features worth commenting on are the fact that the camera allows shooting up to 8 frames per second in High-speed Burst and it has ISO range from 100 to 3200 that can be manually adjusted. Equally important is the fact the Canons’ HS technology permits taking pictures with less noise (imperfections) at any of the mentioned ISO levels. It is designed to take better quality pictures in low-light conditions without necessity of the flash. HS technology assures more details in the pictures and eliminates blur. PowerShot ELPH 300 HS allows introducing mood into the pictures by providing the following effects: Colors Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black and White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin, Darker Skin, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, or Custom Color by altering sharpness, saturation, or contrast.

Another strong feature of PowerShot ELPH 300 HS is the full 1080p HD video capability. The camera has a conveniently located button that initiates video recording. It let’s you select one of four resolutions and records up to 4GB per clip. That means the highest resolution HD 1280×720 permits for a little over 14 minutes of footage and lowest resolution QVGA 320×240 almost 2 hours of footage. You can zoom in and out while recording and Optical Image Stabilizer helps to eliminate camera shake from your recording. You can also enjoy alternative recording solutions by using a slow motion option or a fun miniature mode that captures more of the scene and makes it look, well, miniature.
Some of the shortcomings mentioned by the different reviewers are:

  • The camera is quite small and manipulating settings and changing menus can be challenging (cnet.com).
  • While shooting in wide angle, some corner distortions might occur, although other products of this class experience the same problem (digitalreview.ca).
  • Camera body has rather rough texture (pcmag.com).
  • Battery good for about 220 pictures, considered average (toptenreviews.com)

The above deficiencies are rather trivial and minor comparing to all the benefits of this camera. In fact, Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS was awarded the 2011 Gold Award by TopTenReviews.com and earned “Excellent” score. Because of the image quality for the camera of its size and compact design, this camera is “the ultimate ultra-compact” digital camera. Pcmag.com gave the camera “Very Good” rating underscoring its compact size, sharp image, video capabilities, and fast performance as the top qualities. The reviewer called it an “excellent” choice for a small-body camera. Cnet.com editor also gave it “Excellent” score and 4 out of 5 stars. Similar to other reviewers, compact size and photo quality achieved through many of the features contributed to this high score. Finally, digitalreview.ca called it “dependable” providing sharp images under all conditions and also recommended this camera.