While shopping for a digital
camera for a vacation and for my website here at MH, we stumbled
on a device that lets the ordinary shutterbug transfer images
from any type of solid state memory device like SmartMedia, CompactFlash
or IBM MicroDrive for transfer to your PC for later use.
Big deal you may say? Me too.
But, what you may not know is this nifty little device works
all by itself without any computer! No need to lug around a laptop
or find a digital cafe in Paris, just take as many pics as your
little camera can hold then upload your images to the device
in seconds almost as fast as using a USB cable to transfer the
images from your camera to the PC.
The standard memory wafer device
that comes with a new digital camera is 8mb. The most popular
wafers are SmartMedia, CompactFlash or Sony's Memory Stick. You
can take about 16 1600x1200 high quality JPG images with any
of these. Extra wafers come in 8, 16, 32 or 64 mb. New 128 and
196mb wafers are just appearing on shelves as of this writing,
but we talking expensive here folks. Some people buy an extra
memory wafers but at $70 - $100 bucks for a 64mb (a common purchase
for most digital camera owners) this starts to get expensive
quick. Anyway, When you are done taking your pictures you have
three choices. You can stop taking pictures, transfer them to
a computer or pop in another memory wafer and continue.
You can set your camera to a
lesser quality picture mode and take more pictures but that's
not a option for me or most people. We want high quality mass
Enter the Digital Wallet.
The Digital Wallet comes in 3
sizes 3gb, 10gb and 20gb. You can store 6000 images on the 3gb
version if your camera is set to 1600x1200 JPG High Quality on
a 2.11 megapixel camera. Wow! Man Alive! That's right on the
This is the toy for toy nuts
if you want to take as many pics as you want without lugging
around a laptop or figuring out where to upload those pics.
All in all this is a cool device,
my only reservation is that I think its a bit to flimsy. The
plastic case seemed much too brittle for me and the little door
that holds the PCMCIA card for uploading your images almost broke
off my test unit.
Inserting the rechargeable battery
pack was a challenge. And to pour salt on this comment, its looks
like to me the rechargeable pack is custom made. That means when
the battery pack runs low like all other type of rechargeable
things, you'll need to get another pack from these guys. And
how long do you think they'll offer the battery pack until its
"retired" to some 3rd party parts replacement service
that'll charge a arm and a leg for it. If you get this thing,
I suggest getting 2 other battery packs right off the bat to
More salt; I also noted that
the buttons on the side of the unit were getting stuck part of
the time. I had to get a paper clip to pop the button up...
Since $550 bucks is a lot of
money, I can only give this thing a 3.5 out of a score of 5 because
of the lack of good quality design. If you need to transfer your
images while on vacation or you're a photog nut then you may
find this unit indispensable. But for me, they need to improve
on the quality of the case and the battery compartment a tad
before they'll get my money.
Don't get me wrong, this is a
cool unit, though a tad pricey and a bit to fragile for me. I
don't think it could hold up under normal travel use. I'll take
a look at it when they refine the construction in the future.