First, the good news. Unlike Lloyd, which does connect to and work completely with the headphone ports of the iPod nano 4G, 120GB iPod classic, and iPod touch 2G, but was really made to fit only the iPod nano, ThumbTacks not only fit all three of these models, but even work with many iPod cases. On the 120GB iPod classic in particular, but really on all of the models, the addition of this stubby little microphone looks surprisingly natural; SwitchEasy has come up with a seriously cool way to design an office- or school-ready microphone, and it feels well-built, besides. Assuming you’re not prone to losing small things, you’ll be pretty impressed by the ThumbTacks concept.
Given the low price, even the bad news doesn’t seem so bad. We did direct comparisons between the microphone in ThumbTacks, the one in Lloyd, and the one in Apple’s latest Remote + Mic equipped headphones—the reference version given that it’s the company’s “official” solution. At the same 10-inch distance from one’s face, there’s no doubt that Lloyd is the best of the mics in offering a balance of natural sound and intelligibility, with ThumbTacks sounding comparatively a little less intelligible either from a slight decrease in treble or more muffling of the mic behind plastic, and Apple’s mic offering the least natural and most treble-sharpened sound of the bunch. We’ve posted one of our ThumbTacks comparative audio testing samples here so that you can hear the differences for yourself, and while the differences between Lloyd and ThumbTacks aren’t huge, we’d definitely pick Lloyd first. The sonic results were basically the same on other iPods.
One other reason that users might prefer Lloyd, and even Apple’s microphones, is something missing from ThumbTacks: previewing capabilities. Plug Apple’s headphone and mic combos in and you can listen instantly to a playback of whatever’s been recorded; use Lloyd and there’s a passthrough audio port for whatever you might want to connect. With ThumbTacks, the headphone port’s stuffed only with the microphone, a fact that prevents the iPod touch 2G from playing audio through its integrated speaker, and limits your ability to hear what you’ve recorded on the other compatible iPods, as well. The solution is simple—unplug ThumbTacks and connect other earphones—but it’s not as convenient.
I'd call it the best camera for that price. I'd go for it.
FYI, Downsides are:
* Limited lens compatibility (no autofocus motor, so many Nikon lenses won't work)
* Autofocus is slow enough to be completely useless in live view mode (try it in a store)
* Video mode isn't up to par with Canon and friends. You get limited resolution, awkward frame rate, horrible audio (11kHz with low quality built-in microphone, and no microphone input, and the kit lens will give you lots of image stabilizer noise).
Stepping up, Canon 550D is an amazing camera (albeit without the pivot LCD)