Recently and number of friends have been looking at some big consumer electronic purchases. I wanted to quickly jot down my picks here:
- TV: gotta go LCD. My pick in the $2,000 range is the Samsung LCD 650 in the 52" size. Great 50,000:1 contrast ratio, 120Hz rate, low 4ms response time, and even support for 3D glasses. If you want to go high end, hit the LCD 950 which uses LED back lighting for 20x better contrast. If you're looking for budget, the Samsung LN-T5271F still offers 120Hz and can be found for around $1,500 on sale. The LN-T5265F is around $1,200 but lacks the 120Hz feature which is nice especially for sports and video gaming.
- Camcorder: for 2008 I was in love with the Canon VIXIA models, specifically the HF10 and HF100. Full 1080p, 24 or 30 FPS, and solid state recording up to 64MB. However, the release of the Panasonic HDC-HS300 has me thinking this may be the new king of the hill with touchscreen controls, hybrind 120GB HDD/SD slot, 5.1 audio recording, and reportedly excellent low-light performance--all for a $1,200 street price when it's available next month.
- Still Camera: Many are starting to consider digital SLRs with modular lenses, but honestly you can learn a lot about photography and create some stunning images with amazing Canon PowerShot G10 which offers tremendous flexibility and fantastic picture quality in a point-and-shoot format. For a night out on the town, I always go with the ultra-slim Casio EX-S10 with 10MP stills and mp4 videos that have a dedicated button to start the camera and immediately begin filming.
As the economy slows, these items will certainly go on sale. Watch for them!