Ah, beautiful summer. A time for barbecues, frolicking, the sun's ceaseless rays, the resulting blistering burns, perpetual sweating, sand in crevices you didn't know you had—er, on second thought, probably safest just to wait it out indoors. Because don't listen to them; the gadgets can love you back.
The Nokia Lumia 928 may have a few quirks and flaws, but its camera—and the flash in particular—makes up for almost all of this. The flash is wonderful. The 928's prowess in low light is rightly celebrated, but that's only necessary, really, because LED flashes on smartphones are god awful. It's good, and far better than anything else on a phone, but still not ideal. The 928 has a Xenon flash for its still photos, and it's made me actually take my phone out of my pocket for photos at night or in dark rooms. The photos are warm, sharp, and represent color accurately. You can see a collection of our sample shots here. [More]
This is a terrific camera bag. Sure, it looks a bit corporate, but it's shockingly functional, with tons of varying storage with sublime structural integrity. Perhaps the best part is the zipper on top that gives immediate access to your camera without even having to tear at any velcro. The Tenba is larger than the others we tried out. We even comfortably carried a 5D Mark III with a lens. If you don't mind that bit of extra girth, it's an all-around delight. [More]
With the RX1, Sony fused compact and full-frame (two polar opposites) in a collision of photo-epic proportions. You get a compact camera with a full-frame 24 megapixel CMOS sensor and non-removable 35mm f/2.0 Carl Zeiss lens. It costs—get ready—$2800. So while it's too expensive for absolutely anyone—save the vastly wealthy—to consider, the feeling of capturing such unabashedly great looking images with such a tiny camera is wondrous. It will be interesting to see if Sony goes forward in developing future iterations of the RX1. There are many rumors swirling of Sony developing a full-frame interchangeable lens camera slated for 2014, and if that happens, the RX1 might live on only as the wonderful experiment it is. [More]
I know what you're thinking and no, the Under Armour Armour39 is not another sportswear company entering the wearable tech arena to cash in on all of you suckers. This is different, and that's a good thing. It's not an activity tracker, like a FuelBand or Fitbit, but an electronic performance aide that tells you how hard you're working when you're working it out. If your ticker isn't in the zone—based on your age/gender/etc.—then what's the point of exercising? During your workout, you'll see the stats in real time. You'll know when you're in the zone when everything that's green—your heart rate—turns to red indicating that you're in an optimal heart rate zone. If you're looking to better measure and tweak your workout sessions, then this is the monitor to get. [More]
These shoes are great for helping you maintain good form. The flatness of the shoe, plus the way it hugs your foot and lets you spread your toes really lets you feel the ground below you, and it allows you to make little micro-adjustments when you feel something is a little off. Other minimalist shoes do that too, but these do it better. [More]
The M3X is shaped like a normal torch light but much skinnier than similar-length Mag Lights, measuring just 2.5 inches in diameter. This light has a big, beautiful beam bright enough to illuminate a wall 50 feet away in broad daylight and a maximum range of about 1,700 feet at night. You normally won't have much call for seeing that far, but it's nice to know you can when investigating whether its racoons or a mountain lion that's prowling out on the edge of your property. And look, I know $80 sounds like a lot of money for a flashlight—it is. But for that extra up-front cost, you're getting a torch with ten times the Maglite's output (122 lumens) at a quarter of the weight (9 oz vs 36 oz) that can go underwater. [More]
The Best Smartphone Camera: Toodles, Nokia Lumia 920.
The Best DSLR Alternative: Don't let the door hit your lens on the way out, Olympus PEN EP-3.
The Best LED Flashlight: See ya never, Zebralight H502 Headlamp.