Category Archives: Review

Part of the reason Apple are Apple is because they do not feel the need to follow the crowd. But with the iPhone 6, that’s exactly what they’ve done, followed the recent trend to increase the size of phones. Is that a good thing? Sales will no doubt show it is. But here’s my perspective. I’m a heavy user of my iPhone. I spend a lot of time standing around at gigs and sitting on trains. So I’m always using it for viewing websites and updating Facebook and Twitter. I do use my phone to take photographs. But as I usually have a camera with me, I tend to use it for quick captures and for days when I feel like ‘filter photography’. Last year I lost my iPhone on Old Street. Luckily it was found and returned to me a few days later. But in the few days without…

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Every year I go to a lot of gigs. Not only do I enjoy the music, I also enjoy photographing the performances. I’m not taking about ‘holding the camera above my head’ type photographs from the back, I’m usually down the front in small venues across London trying to take interesting photos (though not always successful). As you might be aware, due to the low lighting at many venues, gig photography stretches your camera’s abilities. Flashes only have a limited range and if you’re close enough for it to be effective, then using it may annoy the band. So I’m always on the lookout for the best low-light camera I can afford. One essential for me is a good quality compact camera that can fit in a pocket for times when I can’t use a interchangeable lens camera. My last camera review was of the excellent Olympus ZX1. A camera…

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I'm going away later in the month and will be faced with the difficulty that all smartphone owning travellers have, that of keeping my phone charged. Usually I'm careful not to overuse my phone if I'm likely to be away from a charge point. But I'm heading to SXSW and twitter is a good way to keep track of what's going on. So I've picked up a New Trent IMP120D iCarrier 12000mAh heavy duty external battery. I was expecting the product to feel cheap. But it's light and well built and comes with a small soft carry case to protect the surface of battery. It comes with two ports. A 2A port for charging your tablet and a 1A port to charge your phone. The big 12000mAh battery should be enough for charging an iPhone six times and it has just about enough to fully charge the new iPad. So…

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Cameras for me, are like handbags are for many women. You need the right camera for the occasion. An iPhone for everywhere, a compact for gigs, a mirror less camera for times when I’ve got a small rucksack with me, and a SLR for quality. (I’ve recently upgraded my SLR to a Sony A77). For the last 3 years my I’ve been using a Panasonic TZ-5 as my compact of choice. I bought it because it was a super zoom and I thought it would be great for capturing the stage from further back in the audience. But after three years it was showing it’s age. The image quality in low light was very poor. The max ISO is a very noisy and muddy ISO 1600. Although it’s good to have the extra zoom, the maximum aperture would drop to 4.9, not great for low light use. So often, I’d…

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Sony recently released a new camera that may turn out to be a game changer, the Sony A77. This new 24 Mega pixel APS-C camera is a DSLT camera. Instead of using a standard mirror like a DLSR. DSLT cameras use a fixed semi-translucent mirror. 70-80% of the light passes through the mirror while the rest is bounced up to an auto focus sensor and because there’s insufficient light for an optical viewfinder, the main sensor is used to generate a live view on an Electronic Viewfinder. Many existing DLSR users will immediately be turning their noses up at the idea of using and EVF. As an existing Sony Alpha user, I have to admit I was unsure of this change. ‘Proper cameras have an optical viewfinder’. Also, like many camera users I’m insatiably hunting for better ISO performance and loosing 30% of the light isn’t going to help improve…

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Like many, I have found that I really enjoy digital photography and over the last five or six years developed from using ‘point and shoot’ camera to ‘using’ SLRs. My current SLR is a Sony A700 accompanied by an ever expanding and ever improving range of lenses. (28mm f/2.8, 30mm f/2.8 macro, 50mm f/1.4, 70-300G, 28-300, 90mm macro). But there are times when an SLR isn’t convenient, or in the case of gigs, allowed. So it’s useful having a more pocketable camera and for this reason I also use a Panasonic TZ5. Next year I’m going to SXSW for the first time and plan on taking most of my camera kit with me. But I’m not sure I want to drag a camera bag around all day and I’m not sure what the policy will be on using SLRs at some of SXSWs venues. I’ve used my Tz5 at numerous…

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I’ve just bought a new 17” Macbook Pro. My 2006 15” MacBook Pro had started to show it’s age. First impressions? Well it’s a Mac, and we all know they are good at first impressions and this one is no different. The unibody design gives is the laptop a solid feeling. The HD screen is bright and although this isn’t the first laptop that I’ve owned with a glossy screen, they are an acquired taste, so it’s worth checking out in store if you’re uncertain whether to pay extra for the matt screen. The new touch pad takes a little bit of adjusting. I’m finding the extra multi-touch gestures a little bit annoying (I keep zooming instead of scrolling). This laptop is much quieter and quicker than my 15” model. I hadn’t been sure about switching to the larger laptop. Previous 17” models were ‘big’ but this one though doesn’t…

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7/7