Jonathan Takiff: Season’s gadgets

BABE MAGNET: We’re hearing buzz about digital cameras going “bye-bye” (the newly discontinued Flip camcorder line being a sore case in point) because people are content taking digital stills and video with . Yet a dedicated digi-camera with the right features set still deserves attention.

 

Take, please, the Samsung DualView ultracompact series, boasting a second LCD screen on the front that displays whatever is being captured by the lens. In effect, that second screen serves as a mirror for the subject – great for attracting a baby’s attention. A front screen’s also good for getting a glum teen or grown-up to perk up, after noting, “Eew, I look awful!” Or to help the shooter get properly framed in an arms-length self-portrait.

 

The latest Samsung ST700 Dual View ($199 after savings at Best Buy) also boasts a super-high-resolution 16 megapixel image-capturing chip, five-power optical zoom (far better than the digital zooms in phones), image stabilization, special effects and intuitive touch-screen control.

 

THE “NO-BRAINER” BACKUP: For all those who do use an iPhone (3G, 3Gs, 4) or current (fifth) generation iPod touch as their preferred digital shooter, there’s a handy-dandy item to back up your images and contact list. It’s the Iomega SuperHero Backup & Charger ($69.99 at Target and http://www.iomega.com). Download the free Iomega SuperHero app to the Apple. Whenever you dock the product in the spiffy Iomega base, your contacts and still photos (not videos) are automatically saved to a 4GB SD card while the device recharges.

 

Of course, these same (and more) backup burdens can be achieved by connecting to a computer. But Iomega’s solution requires zero thought or effort.

 

KINDLE WITH BENEFITS: What’s the difference between a conventional Kindle eReader tablet with Wi-Fi and the new Kindle with Special Offers? The latter costs $25 less (a mere $114) but is “ad-supported.” Instead of delivering an opening screen image of a famous author, you might see a monochrome advertisement for a new car, bank card or skin cream.

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