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Nikon D5000 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens Kit (12.3MP) 2.7 inch LCD
Nikon D5000 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens Kit (12.3MP) 2.7 inch LCD

341 of 344 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Stunning !, 23 July 2009
With a holiday to southern Ireland coming up that'll probably be the last family holiday before my eldest wants to start going away with friends instead, I wanted to be sure I come back with some great photos. My 8 year old Nikon Coolpix & much older still F601 just don't cut it anymore and I've fancied getting back into photography with a decent digital SLR for some time now.

Many evenings of trawling through reviews, spec sheets and sample photos, and I settled on the D5000. I chose it over the D60 because of some significantly better features (such as the 11 area Auto Focus and more flexible D-Lighting), and in preference to the D90 because I wanted some spare cash for accessories like a graduated ND filter kit. Other makes such as the Canon 500D just didn't match the Nikon for picture quality and that's the prime criteria for me.

I'm absolutely over the moon with my choice. Although the almost absurd array of features and settings was daunting when I first switched it on, after reading the manual (all 200 pages of it, I made a rare exception in this instance and it proved to be time well worth spending) I very soon found the D5000 to be surprisingly quick and easy to use. Changing any setting such as the ISO, metering, exposure compensation or AF area etc takes a split second. All of the key settings are displayed on the LCD during normal operation and a quick press of the "i" button lets you tab through them and make adjustments (it even remembers the last one you accessed which is really handy if, say, you want to change to spot metering for 1 photo then back to centre weighted afterwards) so it's rarely necessary to go into the menu itself.

I've always found Nikons to be solidly built, my Coolpix was dropped onto a solid floor on a couple of occasions with not even the barest hint of a scratch let alone significant damage, and the D5000 feels equally robust (not that I'm intending on doing a drop-test on it !)

Power up is instantaneous and there's no noticeable shutter lag, it's just as quick as my old non-digital F601 when it comes to grabbing it off the table and taking a quick snap (in fact the AF is vastly quicker and more reliable on the D5000 with the 18-55 VR lens than my old F601 was), and with a SanDisk 20MB/s SDHC memory card it rattles off continuous RAW shots at a rate faster than I'll probably ever need it to

Picture quality is fantastic, razor sharp detail and bright vivid colours. I just wish computer monitors came in 4288 x 2848 native resolutions because the camera produces way more detail than even my 27" 1920 x 1200 monitor can display and I have to zoom out to 44% to fit a whole photo on screen !

At it's default setting exposure was a tad dark for my liking, but a quick adjustment to the exposure compensation sorted that, in fact there's more than enough scope to tweak just about anything to suit your own individual taste. After going through all of the menus to familiarise myself with what was available I was staggered at the range of features crammed in to this camera. To give just 1 example - I used to have an 8 point star filter for an old camera, you don't need one for the D5000, it's available as one of the in-built filter effects called "cross screen", not only that but you can choose from 4,6 or 8 points, 3 different filtering amounts, 3 different angle settings, and 3 different point lengths. It produces a very effective result too.

Only very slight downside I have found is a bit of blooming creeping in to shots that are fairly over-exposed, but I doubt it would have been noticeable printed at A4 size and I'm sure a bit more care with exposures would eliminate that.

I've read that pictures are even sharper and more detailed still with the Nikon 50mm F1.4 prime lens, that's something I just have to see so it's been added to my future shopping list

I can't comment on its video capability because I haven't tried it and don't intend to (it doesn't auto focus in video mode for starters which makes it pretty much pointless in my view). That's my only real gripe actually - I have a Camcorder that takes excellent HD video with the added ability to take photos that are ok but not fantastic (so I don't take photos with it), and now a camera that takes excellent photos with limited video facilities bolted on. I really wish manufacturers would leave these pointless gimics off because no doubt we're paying extra for it. Please just concentrate on the specific area that the thing's designed for !!

All in all, I'd recommend the D5000 to anyone looking for a decent dSLR for under a grand, if it proves as reliable as my Coolpix has been then I'll be getting plenty of enjoyment out of it for many years to come.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 4, 2011 7:07 PM BST


Tony Iommi [DVD] [US Import] [NTSC]
Tony Iommi [DVD] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Tony Iommi
Offered by examdots uk
Price: £13.96

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, 25 Dec. 2008
I bought this as a stocking filler for my son who plays electric guitar and loves Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden.
The whole point of learning to play licks is so that you can play along to the songs, and you'd think the best person to learn from would be the guy that plays the originals, but not in this case.

Take the first lick as an example, from Neon Knights, Tony plays it through at normal speed, then slowly, then the extract from the actual song is played and it's blatantly different in the song to how he's just shown you, what's the point of that ??

Tony even says "I play it something similar to this . . .", if I'd wanted "something similar" I'd download the close but not quite exact guitar tabs off the internet, when I bought this DVD I was expecting him to teach them properly !

Very disappointing and a complete waste of money in my opinion, obviously just a lazy way of making extra cash from fans


Tony Iommi [DVD]
Tony Iommi [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tony Iommi
Price: £12.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing to put it mildly, 25 Dec. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tony Iommi [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this as a stocking filler for my son who plays electric guitar and loves Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden.
The whole point of learning to play licks is so that you can play along to the songs, and you'd think the best person to learn from would be the guy that plays the originals, but not in this case.

Take the first lick as an example, from Neon Knights, Tony plays it through at normal speed, then slowly, then the extract from the actual song is played and it's blatantly different in the song to how he's just shown you, what's the point of that ??

Tony even says "I play it something similar to this . . .", if I'd wanted "something similar" I'd download the close but not quite exact guitar tabs off the internet, when I bought this DVD I was expecting him to teach them properly !

Very disappointing and a complete waste of money in my opinion, obviously just a lazy way of making extra cash from fans


Magicbox Touch DECT Twin
Magicbox Touch DECT Twin

1.0 out of 5 stars ADSL Broadband users BEWARE !, 30 April 2008
I bought a set of these and had to take them back because of a very loud crackling noise on both handsets. The replacements were exactly the same and the helpdesk advise me they're very sensitive to broadband signals.
Of course they blamed it on my broadband filters, but my old BT cordless phones are crystal clear so I don't accept that excuse !

Sadly I've had to change them for BT Freestyle 350's, which is a shame because aside from the crackling (which rendered them pretty much unusable) they were very nice and extremely easy to use / program.


Live: Architecture & Morality & More [DVD] [2008]
Live: Architecture & Morality & More [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ O.M.D.
Offered by FREETIME
Price: £14.83

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As brilliant as ever, if not even better. . . ., 29 April 2008
I was lucky enough to get to see OMD perform again during this latest tour and it was, as always, a fantastic show. It's brilliant to have a DVD to remember it by, it brings back all those emotions experienced during the live concert - I really hope they do another tour so I can take my kids next time around !

They haven't lost any of their old magic and remain one of my 5 all-time favourite groups.

If you like OMD, then I definitely recommend getting this DVD.


Black Boots On Latin Feet
Black Boots On Latin Feet
Price: £7.43

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome and very unique, 29 April 2008
I first saw Ezio play as support group to Big Country many years back, and despite being a huge Big Country fan I have to say that Ezio were the highlight of the evening.
I've seen them live twice more since, and intend to again.
This is a brilliant album, I especially like Angel Song but they're all great, I've played it to loads of people and no-one yet has disliked it !!

Their "Live at Shepherd's Bush" album is also a must have, probably even more so than this one.

Definitely a "must have" album


Creative ZEN 4GB MP3 Player
Creative ZEN 4GB MP3 Player

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very impressive, I want one for myself now !, 19 Dec. 2007
Having bought one of these for my son for Christmas I thought I'd charge it up and transfer some files across so it's ready to go when he unwraps it. Of course I had to have a quick play, and wow was I impressed !

I should say at the outset that I bought a pair of Sennheiser CX300 headphones to go with it (£15.99 on Amazon - if you pay less than that you'll almost certainly be getting fakes which sound terrible) because bundled headphones are never great - I haven't tried it with the included headphones.

Some have mentioned the lag navigating through the screens, I haven't experienced that at all, but then it did update the firmware to the latest automatically so maybe they've resolved that in the latest firmware updates.

Sound quality through the Sennheiser's is extremely good, nice clear treble and very impressive deep bass, and the 5 band EQ is a useful inclusion.

I did a quick video conversion of a uTube clip that my son's addicted to (FunTwo's Canon Rock) which played perfectly and the picture is much clearer than I was expecting. Being a uTube clip I was expecting the audio to be a bit naff, but I was pleasantly surprised there too, it sounded really good.

Build quality is also excellent, it feels infinitely more solid than the Zen V I bought my daughter last year ! The ability to be able to add extra memory via an SD card is pretty nifty too.

My son initially wanted an iPod but I refuse to buy one of those for reasons I won't go in to here, suffice to say that the Creative Zen was definitely the right choice, I'll be buying one for myself in the very near future.

Only thing that wasn't obvious was how to restart the video clip you're playing, if you go out to the menu and re-select it, it resumes playing from where it left off, I guess we'll be needing the manual to check on that, but all other functions were easy enough to figure out.

If you want a great sounding mp3 player with an excellent screen and decent video quality then you can't go wrong with one of these. I was hoping someone would create a solidly built player that had better sound than the iPod, Creative have definitely achieved that in my opinion.


August DA110CD 11" Freeview/Analogue LCD TV & DVD/Video/Music/Photo Player - August Portable Freeview TVs have won a number of awards from leading magazines & voted Top 3 Small Screen TV by Channel 4.
August DA110CD 11" Freeview/Analogue LCD TV & DVD/Video/Music/Photo Player - August Portable Freeview TVs have won a number of awards from leading magazines & voted Top 3 Small Screen TV by Channel 4.

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive for a portable LCD TV, 18 Dec. 2007
I wasn't sure what to expect when I bought one of these for my wife as a present, especially as I'd never heard of the manufacturer before, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Because I'm so close to our local transmitter I'm within the "shadow" area and have to use a good rooftop aerial, none of my prior TV's have obtained a decent picture from either an inbuilt aerial, or even one of the custom wall-mounted types connected through a booster, so I wasn't at all surprised to find I needed to connect this to the external aerial as well. For that reason I can't make a fair comment about the inbuilt aerial. No doubt I'll find out how good that is when I next go camping, but if we can't get a signal it's easy enough to take a few films along with us instead !

That aside, picture quality is very good, whether for analogue TV, freeview, DVD, or plugged into the Sky box. DVD in particular was much better than I was expecting for such a compact unit.
Sound is fairly decent too, obviously it's nowhere near as good as a hi-fi when it comes to audio cd's, but good enough to play music on in the kitchen, bathroom or a tent if you just want something playing in the background while you get on with other things.

The flexibility of the unit is what impressed me the most, it'll handle just about anything you can throw at it. The only thing it doesn't have is an HDMI input for my HDV camcorder, but then it's not a High Definition TV so I knew that wouldn't be an option....

I'd definitely recommend it as a kitchen or bathroom TV that will also double up as a personal DVD player to keep the kids occupied in the car on a long journey, or a wet evening at the campsite.

My only complaint is that the controls can seem somewhat sluggish in responding, I'm not always sure if it's registered the button presses or not.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 9, 2008 4:42 PM BST


Sennheiser Eco Ear Canal Headphones - Black
Sennheiser Eco Ear Canal Headphones - Black

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Usual Sennheiser Excellence, 18 Dec. 2007
Firstly a quick note in response to the many reviews that make comments like "I bought these for £5 and they're rubbish, I'm never buying Sennheiser again" - Simple logic dictates that if you get something for under a tenner when the rrp is £30+ it's blatantly obvious you're buying a fake, I bet the less scrupulous eBay sellers love you !

Please please please Amazon clamp down on the fake sellers, and remove feedback that is slating Sennheiser for products they quite clearly haven't been responsible for making, it's extremely bad publicity for a company that has always produced very high standard headphones. If people want to shoot themselves in the foot by "saving money" and buying blatant fakes the genuine manufacturer shouldn't suffer as a result, nor the buying public be mislead. <end rant>

I'm extremely fussy when it comes to the quality of my music. I've had a pair of Sennheiser HD590's for several years now (bought for £150) and they've been fantastic (in fact, such is Sennheiser's quality - I was even proud to flash about the very smart and solidly build "free" watch that came with them in public), their cordless headphones were similarly impressive (although a bit extra volume on those wouldn't go amiss), so when it came to buying a proper pair of headphones for my mp3 player it just had to be Sennheiser again, no question. Ok so my HD590's sound great even with the cheapest mp3 player, but because of their size I look stupid wearing them out in public !

The CX300's haven't disappointed, sound quality is brilliant as usual and the sound deadening is perfect, they completely block out those irritating people on trains who think the entire carriage want to hear their mindless chatter (even if you've been unlucky enough to have had one of them sit right next to you !)

Comparing them with the considerably more expensive HD590's is a little bit unfair, but nevertheless although the midrange and treble of the CX300's don't match up to the HD590's, the bass is extroadinary for such tiny speakers, I've never heard anything quite like it, if I could have the bass of the CX300's with the treble and midrange of the HD590's it would be an unbelievable combination.

There's only 2 downsides - firstly I couldn't cope with these in my ear canals for very prolonged periods because I find they start making my ears ache, but for an hour or so they're great, and a very good match for the Creative Zen MP3 player I'm using them with. Secondly, my wife keeps nicking them off me - she says she's never heard music sound like it does through these, and that's really saying something because she's never shown any appreciation for my audio kit before, despite having had some very good high-end Hi-Fi setups.

I've just ordered another 2 pairs for my son and daughter - these CX300's have further reinforced my view that when it comes to headphones, there's 1 company that are head and shoulders above the competition. Nice one Sennheiser :-)


Maxtor OneTouch III Hard Drive 750GB (7200rpm) FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 16MB 3.5 inch (External)
Maxtor OneTouch III Hard Drive 750GB (7200rpm) FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 16MB 3.5 inch (External)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 18 Dec. 2007
I knocked one of these off my desk while it was running, it hit the floor with an almighty bang and tripped the main circuit breaker. I thought that was the end of it, but all it needed was a new fuse in the plug and away it went again, not a single file corrupted - if that's not superb build quality I don't know what is !!

I will be buying a 3rd external drive soon and it'll be a Maxtor again, I wouldn't even consider buying from another manufacturer because among the 8 or more hard drives that have gone faulty and ended up in the bin, not one of those has yet been a Maxtor drive, they're brilliant.


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