Nikon AW100 – Waterproof Camera Released in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at KLCC

There is a NIKON store at KLCC in Malaysia that has a black, camouflage, and an orange Nikon AW100 model for sale NOW. I played with it for 10 minutes and then tried to figure out a way to get more money to KL fast enough – and failed. So, there are still 3 there as of 1400 hours today. The map function is pretty cool. The camera feels very solid and well put together… not cheap like the Olympus I tried 2 years back. We’ll be buying one as soon as possible.

Breaking a little news… this highly sought-after camera wasn’t to be officially released until September 22nd, 2011 I think it is. These guys are a big store and got some early versions. They already sold one today.

Release date for Nikon AW100 is today… go get it!

Price in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at KLCC – about 14,500 Thai Baht.

Price at Amazon.com – $349 (about 11,000 Thai Baht).

You can pre-order the Nikon AW100 at Amazon here:

Want to see the ultimate point and shoot underwater video footage? This Nikon AW100 has the best in its class by far…

 

Is the Nikon AW100 the Best Point-Shoot Camera for Thailand Photography?

Available in white, black, orange, blue and camouflage.

Years ago I was a photographer in New York City (some photos here). I shot with Canon equipment. I didn’t shoot with Nikon until the late 1990’s. I have to say that after a couple years of using Nikons – I prefer Nikon equipment.

I had a Nikon D70s for a couple years, and it was decent for a mid-range camera. Some of my Thailand photos at this page were taken with the Nikon D70s. The Hawaii photos were taken with an old 4MP Sony DSC-s85. Higher megapixels do not make a camera great, as you probably know.

I’ll likely get the Nikon d7000 for a high-end camera, but on the low-end there are a whole lot of options I needed to look at before deciding which one was right for me, and right for living in Thailand since I don’t foresee us leaving anytime too soon.

I think we really should get an underwater camera this next time.

I’ll use this next point-and-shoot camera for video at YouTube (channel here), and photos at my websites. Any photo you find on this blog or video found at my YouTube channel were probably shot with with the Sony DSC- xxx line of cameras. I’ve used the DSC-90 , DSC-s85, the DSC-H10 and DSC-H20 cameras. Recently we bought a real piece of shite – the Sony DSC-W230 or something like that – just junk compared to the DSC-H10 or H20. We had gone without a camera for too long and just bought the W230 to be able to shoot video when we needed to. It’s absolute junk. That said, I like the other smaller Sony cameras I’ve used for a couple reasons.

  • small, lightweight, easy to pack
  • cheap (5,000 THB to 12,000 THB)
  • features like macro, and vivid color scenes options that make the images pop
  • 720p or 1080p video that’s good enough for YouTube
  • great sound on the Sony cameras – even though mono and not stereo
  • simple enough for wife to use without worrying about in-depth settings

As nice as the Sony cameras were to use – they were only functional for a limited time in Thailand before they died. Two of my DSC-90’s, my DSC-85, my DSC-H10’s (2), and my DSC-H20 have all succumbed to Thailand’s harsh environment – humidity and heat. We have thrown away all but the latest two – H10 and H20’s, and we’ve sent those to an authorized Sony repair shop and were quoted 7,000 and 7,400 THB for fixing each of them.

I don’t know about you – but, instead of paying 7,000 THB to fix a used 2 year old camera, I’d rather just find a new one. So, over these 7 years we’ve bought new, what have amounted to disposable Sony cameras that cost 10,000 to 13,000 THB each. Finally one reaches a point where it’s getting ridiculous to replace cameras every 2 years and so some other alternative must be found.

I think I’ve found it – but, I’ll need to see more reviews and samples before I buy it… the Nikon AW100 Underwater Camera.

The next point and shoot camera I buy in Thailand must have:

  • waterproofing, or a high degree of weather sealing that can withstand the high humidity
  • macro – I shoot a lot of bugs and reptiles, I cannot do without macro
  • stereo sound or input jack where I could add a stereo mic
  • decent low-light capability, at least as good as the Sony DSC line was
  • exceptional color reproduction for photos and videos
  • panorama shots – I got to like these a lot with my current P.O.S. Sony W230

Nikon’s new AW100 camera is waterproof to 33 feet submerged. It is drop proof from 5 feet. It’s good in the cold weather (so I assume the warm, but they said nothing about that in the specs sheet).

It has a good macro capability, stereo audio for video captures, it offers super slow-motion (240 fps), and a good optical zoom – 28mm to 200mm. The battery is a bit weak, capable only of 250 photos and 95 minutes of video shooting. It does everything and more when compared to the current crop of underwater cameras like the Olympus Tough TG810 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 . It gives 16MP images and is supposedly great in the low-light realm. This is good because it already needs to overcome a very slow f3.9 lens at the fastest wide-angle setting.

I’ve looked at other waterproof cameras and none of them were right for me. I do want very good sound and very bright, snappy images – I want the colors to pop. The other waterproof cameras I’ve used – didn’t have these things (Sanyo, Canon, Olympus). On paper the Nikon AW 100 does everything I need it to do. In the real world I don’t expect it all to work as expected, but hopefully it does just enough to give me an alternative camera that lasts more than 2 years.

If you’re looking for a camera that will last more than 2 years in Thailand’s humidity and heat – a waterproof camera, or an environmentally sealed Nikon d7000, d3s, d300s, d700 or Canon’s 5d or 7d models is what you’ll have to get.

The Nikon AW100 is supposed to be priced around $380 – 400 USD. Update – it is now at $350 at Amazon. To me, that’s reasonable if it lasts 3 years, just a year longer than my Sony cameras did.

Update – I just found some amazing sample video shot with the Nikon AW100. It is absolutely the hands-down winner in underwater point-shoot video. No question!

In the specs below – from Nikon – they forgot to mention a few crucial bits…

They left out that the camera has a built in:

  • GPS
  • compass
  • map feature

One site mentioned that the GPS was functional, and plotting your course – even as the camera is turned off and not in use. It actually tracks where you’ve been on a map. Is that something we want? Not me. I’m sure it can be disabled entirely in the settings. At least I’m hoping Nikon isn’t so clueless as to make that a feature that is permanently on.

Release dates for southeast Asia is anyone’s guess. In the USA they said early September. Thailand might get it quickly, or it might be a couple months wait. Bangkok’s electronics stores will probably have it by September but maybe selling at a premium price.

Nikon AW100 Video with full technical specifications below:

Nikon AW100 Specifications:

 Type
Compact Digital Camera

Effective Pixels
16 million

Image Sensor
CMOS

Sensor Size
1/2.3 in.

Lens
5x optical zoom, NIKKOR ED glass lens

Lens Focal Length
5.0-25.0mm (angle of view equivalent to that of 28-140mm lens in 35mm [135] format)

Lens f/-number
f/3.9-4.8

Lens Zoom
5x

Digital Zoom
Up to 4x (angle of view equivalent to that of 560mm lens in 35mm [135] format)

Vibration Reduction
Lens-shift VR

Autofocus (AF)
Contrast-detect TTL AF

Autofocus (AF) Focus-area selection
Auto (9-area automatic selection)
Center
Face priority
Manual with 99 focus areas
Subject tracking

Focus Range
[W]: Approx. 1 ft. 8 in. (50 cm.) to infinity
[T]: Approx. 3 ft. 4 in. (1 m.) to infinity
Macro close-up mode: [W]: Approx. 0.4 in. (1 cm.) to infinity

Focus Lock
Yes

Maximum Autofocus Areas/Points
99

Monitor Size
3.0 in. diagonal

Monitor Type
TFT-LCD

Monitor Resolution
460,000-dots

Monitor Frame coverage (shooting mode)
98% horizontal (Approx.)
98% vertical (Approx.)

Monitor Frame coverage (playback mode)
100% horizontal (Approx.)

Storage Media
SD memory card
SDHC memory card
SDXC memory card

Internal Memory
Approx. 83MB

Storage File System
DCF
EXIF 2.3
DPOF compliant

Storage File formats
Still pictures: JPEG
Audio files: WAV
Movies: MOV (Video:MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, Audio: AAC stereo)

Movie
Audio file format: AAC stereo
Movie file format: MPEG-4 AVC H.264

Voice Memo Function
Yes

Image Size (pixels)
4608 x 3456 (16M)

ISO Sensitivity
ISO 125-3200
Auto (auto gain 125-800)
Fixed range auto (ISO 125-400)

Exposure Metering
256-segment matrix, center-weighted

Exposure Control
Programmed auto exposure
Exposure compensation (-2.0 to +2.0 EV in steps of 1/3 EV)
motion detection

Scene Modes
Back Light
Beach
Black and White Copy
Close Up
Dusk/Dawn
Fireworks Show
Food
Landscape
Museum
Night Landscape
Night Portrait
Panorama
Party/Indoor
Pet Portrait
Portrait
Snow
Sports
Sunset
Underwater

In-Camera Image Editing
Crop
D-Lighting
Filter Effects
Glamour Retouch
Quick retouch
Skin softening
Small Pic

Exposure Compensation
± 2 EV in steps of 1/3

Exposure Lock
Yes

White Balance
Auto
Cloudy
Daylight
Flash
Fluorescent
Incandescent
Manual

Shutter
Mechanical and CMOS electronic shutter

Shutter Speed
1/1500-1 sec. (when ISO sensitivity set to Auto)
4 sec. (when scene mode is set to Fireworks show)

Top Continuous Shooting Speed at full resolution
Up to 3 shots at approx. 7.1 frames per second

Continuous Shooting Options
Best Shot Selector
Continuous H
Continuous L
Multi-shot 16
Single

Aperture
Electronically-controlled ND filter (-2 AV) selection

Self-timer
Can be selected from 10 and 2 seconds duration

Built-in flash Range (approx.) (ISO sensitivity: Auto)
[W]: 0.3 to 3.5m (1ft. to 11ft.)
[T]: 0.5 to 2.2m (1ft. 8 in. to 7 ft. 2 in.)

Built-in Flash Control
TTL auto flash with monitor preflashes

Built-in Flash
Yes

Interface
Hi-speed USB

Video Output
NTSC
PAL

HDMI Output
Can be selected from:
Auto
480p
720p
1080i

I/O terminal
Audio/video (A/V) output
Digital I/O (USB)
HDMI Mini Connector (HDMI output)

Supported Languages
All

Power Sources
One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12 (supplied)

Battery / Batteries
Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12

Battery Life (shots per charge)
Still pictures*: Approx. 250 shots
*Based on Camera and Imaging Products Association (CIPA) standards for measuring the life of camera batteries. Measured at 23(-/+2)°C (73(-/+4)°F); zoom adjusted with each shot, flash fired with every other shot, image quality set to Normal, image size set to 4608 x 3456 (16M). Battery life may vary depending on shooting interval and length of time menus and images are displayed.

Tripod Socket
ISO 1222

Approx. Dimensions
Height: 2.6 in. (64.9mm)
Width: 4.4 in. (110.1mm)
Depth: 0.9 in. (22.8mm)

Approx. Weight
6.3 oz. (178g)

Operating environment
Temperature: -10 to +40°C (14 to 104°F ) for land use
Temperature: 0 to 40°C (32 to 104°F) for underwater use

Supplied Accessories
AN-CP23 Strap
UC-E6 USB Cable
EG-CP16 Audio/Video Cable
EN-EL12 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
MH-65 Battery Charger
UR-E23 Filter Attachment
NikonView NX 2 CD-ROM
Reference Manual CD

 

You can now order the Nikon AW100 at Amazon here. They don’t ship to Thailand – but you can have it shipped to your home country address if that makes any sense for you.

 

Thailand Technology – Moving Files From Computer to Iphone – VLOG 7

My Thailand video blogging is still going, and it has been a week. As long as I keep coming up with something vaguely interesting or entertaining, I’ll keep it up. I’ve already done video for vlog 8 and 9, and they’re pretty good. If you have any topics you want to see made into a video – let me know.

Buying an iPhone in Thailand was the smartest thing I’ve done in years. Now, when I’m away from the notebook computer and WIFI at home, I get a push email – and I respond to it instantly, just like I usually do at home. The iPhone makes it easy to do things – it makes me more productive outside the home, and as a result – I feel like I can go out more.

Last night I finally tackled my main peeve with the iPhone, not being able to transfer files from computer to iPhone. I’m talking about video and music files. There are a number of circus tricks you have to perform in order to do something that should be as easy as drag and drop.

Anyway, I show in the video how to do it. Here are the two programs you’ll need:

FileApp – downloadable at the iTunes store – free.

DiskAid – for your computer (for PC, but I think they also have a MAC version). This is a 14 day trial version, so copy everything you want quickly so you don’t have to buy the full version.

On the video I also show you how to easily download many Youtube videos at the same time – in mp4 format, which will work on your iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc.

More Mobile News

Supposedly (I’ll only believe it when I see ‘3g’ on my phone) 3G is being rolled out in Thailand. AIS and DTAC have it. Expats in Phuket are reporting faster speeds than their ADSL connections for the most part, but some are getting just over EDGE (EGPRS) speeds at 300 Kbps.

Does the iPhone 3GS have 3G?

That’s how clueless I am about the whole iPhone craze.

Video – How to Transfer files from notebook computer to iPhone (works in Thailand):

Using iPhone in Thailand – VLOG 6

There are some negatives to using the iPhone in Thailand, but the positives outweigh them by a great deal.

I’ve ignored the iPhone for the past how many years. I played with them a couple times at the store. My wife’s nephew had one I played with a bit a year ago (iPhone 4). I just wasn’t interested in the things because I hate what Apple has done with their proprietary BS.

One thing I hate is that they make their products so you yourself cannot upgrade things like the battery, RAM on a computer or iPad. WTF? They want you to spend more money with them to do it – and it’s inconvenient as all hell. I hate that.

Another thing is that to get music or video on the iPhone you need to UPLOAD it to the Apple  iTunes store first, THEN download it to your own phone. WTF? The USB cable they give you that attaches to your computer (PC or MAC) is only good for transfers from your iPhone TO your computer. Not the other way.

Anyway – so I went to the store, needing another phone. My Nokia xpress music tricked out phone from 3 yrs ago must have dropped out of my back pocket on the motorbike.

I stopped by a BIG C phone outlet where we bought the Nokia because the guy was very helpful and spoke English well enough that I didn’t need to speak Thai.

He had all sorts of phones – and an iPhone 4 (his) and an iPhone 3GS – his friend’s he was trying to sell.

I played with many phones there that day. When I started with the iPhone 3GS and he showed me what could be done – I couldn’t be ANYTHING but sold. I don’t know why anyone buys any other phone. The iPhone is faster, the display is sharp, the interface is intuitive, and if you are in Thailand – most everything works just like it should. I put SKYPE on my phone in minutes by just downloading the free app and signing in. Bingo – I can call mainland USA for 1.9 cents per minute – paid with PayPal by buying blocks of $15 in minutes.

So, today’s VLOG (video blog) is about the iPhone I bought. Keep in mind, I have the old one – iPhone 3GS. The software though, is the same as the iPhone 4. It will be the same the iPhone 5 has as well, they’ll update the software sometime soon after the iPhone 5 comes out – which is, some say – about September 7th.

I have the factory unlocked phone, meaning, it was unlocked by True Network originally and there is no problem updating it with the latest software. I didn’t need to jailbreak it. I suggest you get one of the same – not the iPhone which is tied to a network like AIS, TRUE, DTAC or any other Thailand mobile provider.

In this video I just run though a bunch of things I do with the phone so you can see how easy it is. The iPhone works in Thailand quite well and there is no need to buy another phone. It would be ridiculous to buy another phone – really.

iPhone 3GS in Thailand Video:

3 Baht Per Minute International Calls on AIS Mobile from Thailand

There is a promotion for 3 baht per minute (10 cents at the moment) calls from Thailand to Canada, USA, Singapore, China.

Dial 00500 from your phone when using AIS SIM cards in Thailand.

Then the number, as usual.

0050018134492100

00500
1 – country code for USA
813 – state area code for florida
4492100 – number in florida

Many other AIS 1-2 Call services are listed at the AIS home page here:

http://www.ais.co.th/12call/en/service.html

You can transfer money from one phone to another, block calls, and do other cool things you might not have known about.

So, 10 cents per minute is pretty cheap. You can also call by SKYPE on your computer if you have either built in microphone and speakers on your notebook or desktop computer, or you can buy a headset with mic and plug into the proper ports on your computer.

Using SKYPE is something like 1.9 cent per minute to call back to the USA. You can call someone’s home phone or mobile phone for that.

Using SKYPE is free if you call from your computer to the other person’s computer. Meaning – you talk to them on a headset and they too are using a headset. You just both login to SKYPE at the same time and befriend each other and you’ll see them in the Skype program. Click them to initiate a phone call. If you have good internet connections the calls are VERY good quality.

You can add money to your SKYPE calling account with PAYPAL instantly, so it’s very easy to manage.

Google Chrome Checkboxes, Radio Boxes Disappear? Here’s a Fix

I’ve had disappearing checkboxes all over the place with Google Chrome’s browser. I don’t use the beta version – just the regular, supposedly stable version.

It isn’t stable – the damn buttons are gone about every 30 minutes for me. They come back sometimes after I close the browser and re-start. Sometimes not. They come back after a reboot – I think always-  at least for a short time.

Today I looked up again for answers.

I found one – not sure how long it works for – but, it’s better than putting a fish through your screen.

Using windows – right click your taskbar at the bottom and choose “properties”.

When another window opens – click OK at the bottom.

That’s it. You might need to refresh your page, you might not – the buttons might just show up like magic – same as they disappeared.

I love Google Chrome for nearly EVERYTHING compared to Firefox… it is superfast and works with all sorts of things that FireFox and Opera choke on.

As I type this in WordPress I realize my fricking checkboxes are gone again on the right side column where I need to choose a category for this article.

Fuckme Chrome – Google – fix this mess, please…

Ok, still having problems – and the google rep doesn’t know what the hell to do either – calls it “flaky”. Yeah, no shit – I’m reverting to FireFox browser until Google gets Chrome’s shit straight. Ridiculous a hundred billion dollar company can’t get things to work like Mozilla’s firefox can.

Block Unwanted Mobile Phone Calls in Thailand – Using AIS (1-2 Call)

I noticed that some folks were searching my site for information about blocking mobile phone calls – or call barring.

I’ve never used this, and didn’t even know it was possible until recently when my wife started blocking calls from her brother’s nutty ex-girlfriend. Get this – the girl sewed VOODOO dolls into his pillow cases when she came to visit him!

Anyway, back to the point. If you want to block calls from someone you don’t want to talk to in Thailand – and you use AIS (1-2 Call) – go to this page and follow the instructions:

Block mobile calls with AIS

If that page is no longer there – and I expect that will happen soon, because every Thai site I’ve ever linked to – changes their page names after a short time and all my links go dead. Click the link below to get the full page screenshot as it existed before they killed the link…

AIS Call Blocking Service

You may need to click it once to see the image and then if you hover your mouse over-top and it shows a + sign, click the image again to enlarge.

 

 

ThaiPulse Logos Throughout the Years

I found this directory of some of my past logos, funny stuff. I am NOT a graphics designer, by any stretch of the imagination… this should prove it. The problem is – I didn’t know any decent and cheap graphics designers for my sites for years. So, eventually I learned enough to do it myself. Now I don’t need a graphics person – for most things.

Anybody know a good graphics guy/gal they want to recommend?

 

ThaiPulse.com/blog/ is my main Thailand site today. ThaiPulse.com has become rather stagnant – I’ve done little with it for a long time. Thaipulse.com/blog/ outranks it in most searches.

 

Dial *138*0349# For 49 THB Mobile Internet on AIS

On Thailand’s Mobile Carrier – AIS (1-2 Call)

If you’re in Thailand and wondering how you can get internet on your mobile phone – it’s easy. The code for getting 24 hours of internet for just 49 THB is *138*0349# – all over Thailand. Check email using your phone’s browser, or, many phones have built in email checking programs.

On Thailand’s Mobile Carrier – DTAC

Dial 1678 (3 THB/minute) and talk to their customer support and tell them you want 1 day of internet for your phone. There was a code to do it without talking to someone, but I can’t find it in Google. I found old codes – not sure if they work. Better to call DTAC’s customer service.

Weekly or Monthly Plans?

Yes. There are other plans for mobile internet in Thailand – you can sign up for whatever you choose. Be careful, some are recurring, and some are one-time. I never use the longer than 1 day plans because the service seems to get slower the less I pay per day. So, I pay for one day when I want it – and it seems faster. Try it and see if you think the same.

***********

Email solutions –

If you have GMAIL.com?

In your phone browser, then go to: www.gmail.com You can follow instructionst to download gmail for your phone – Android device, Blackberry, Windows, Symbian, iPhone, whatever…

If you have Yahoo mail?

In your phone browswer go to: m.yahoo.com/mail

If you have Hotmail?

Go to www.hotmail.com/m – I think. Microsoft does not give any good results when I query Google for instructions on Hotmail with mobile phones. Go figure.

Thailand Camera – Nikon D7000 – Available in Stores

Nikon D7000 DSLR camera, available in Thailand for under $2K
57,000 THB at Big Camera, Thailand. Worth it if you can't find it anywhere else?

Though you can’t find this Nikon camera at Amazon or anywhere else in the USA that I looked because they are sold-out, you CAN find the Nikon D7000 in “Big Camera” Shops here in Thailand, just sitting there on display.

Of course the price is jacked WAY up, but still – you could buy one if you wanted to. Last price I saw for the Nikon d7000 DSLR with the 18-105 VR kit lens was 57,000 THB. That equates to about $1,900 USD. But, there’s not usually any tax charged – it’s built into the price.

Buying the latest digital camera, phone, or computer technology in Thailand is sometimes difficult, sometimes impossible. Bangkok often has tech gadgets almost as soon as they are released in the USA, Tokyo, Singapore, or wherever they start out… and yet the smaller cities in Thailand don’t get good tech for a long time after that. Recently I saw iPads and Macbook Airs – new and old – in computer shops, and phone shops in smaller Thailand towns.

Big Camera doesn’t carry all the Nikons – just some of them. I haven’t, for instance, seen the D5100 at all yet. The D3100 – they have. The D3 – they have – in their catalog, but not on display.

Big Camera isn’t flexible (from my experience in trying) about selling just the camera body – without the kit lens. If it comes with a kit lens, that’s all they will sell you.

Anybody else find a Nikon d7000 in Thailand for a better price?