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M. Bhangal "S" (Somewhere in Northern England)

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1234-Buy 70
1234-Buy 70

5.0 out of 5 stars Bargain for small cameras and cheap if you can bear the plastic head for larger cameras, 9 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: 1234-Buy 70 (Electronics)
Costs less than a fiver and the monopod leg sections are very sturdy, so has to be top marks for that alone.

The head however is a different matter and where the saving is being made - its plastic, which limits what you can put on it without feeling a little squeamish.

Its ok for my small Panasonic LX7 and Olympus Stylus 1 (both advanced compacts), and actually seems to be fine for my Micro 4/3rds and Sony Alpha A77 APS-C (the latter of which is a large heavy camera with a full magnesium body, and with many of my lenses, as heavy as a 5D) as it looks like the head can take it... but I really worry about a hairline crack on that plastic costing me dear!

The worst thing is that you can't even replace the plastic head for a better metal one: the plastic is molded on and there is no screw thread for a replacement. If they'd sacked the plastic head off completely and just put a screw thread on it I could have turned this into an absolute bargain video tripod by putting one of my pro fluid heads on it, as that was my original plan. Ho-hum.

In the end I decided to go totally the other way and stop being a cheapskate, and have gone for this much more expensive monopod: Benro Video Monopod with Twist Lock Legs, S2 Head and 3 Leg Base (Black)

The Benro might be x20 the price, but the leg section on it is not 20 times better (more like twice as good), but is actually x3 the weight, so the cheapo monopod still gets used with my Advanced compacts for long walks.

So, fine for small cameras, and probably fine for most enthusiasts on occasional use, but that plastic head is really off-putting if you have an expensive lens hanging from it, irrespective of weight!


1.0 out of 5 stars The science or usability just isn't there on this, 9 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I assumed this would emit a signal that is too high for adults to hear, so it would do the double job of keeping the mossies and next door's noisy kids at bay, but unfortunately its not that high pitched: I can hear it as well!

Anyway, on that bombshell I decided to Google up on how effective sound is for getting rid of mosquitoes (to gauge how much of this blasted noise I should put up with). The results are not good... Google 'Ultrasound mosquito repellents: Zapping the myth' for a BBC news article on it.

That article appears to reduce this device to ornamental status only, so 1 star. I'm afraid I'm going to have to buy some sort of chemical instead, preferably one I can spray on the next door's kids as well.

On the plus side, I now know the plural of mosquito is mosquitoes and not mosquitos and have the wonders of web autocomplete to console me!

Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog (Smashing Magazine Book Series)
Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog (Smashing Magazine Book Series)
by Thord Daniel Hedengren
Edition: Paperback
Price: 22.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Has pretty much everything, 9 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book has pretty much everything you need if you are an existing WordPress blogger who has

- sufficient traffic to move away from the free site and towards a self-hosted blog you have more control of ( which, in particular, gives you the ability to make money from advertising revenue), or
- a new blogger who wants fine control of the look-and-feel of the blog (possibly because it needs to tie in with an existing website), or
- a corporate user, looking to make a company site using WordPress

This book caters for all these users. It is well written and up to date. You can tell how up to date a WordPress book is by flicking through it and see if it has screenshots of this year’s default theme (it’s called ‘twenty fourteen’), and I can confirm that this book does have it.

For what its worth, I’m the first reader type in that list. My blog is currently a free WordPress site called howgreenisyourgarden (no spaces, Google is your friend), and it’s starting to get enough traffic for me to consider moving to a self-hosted site for my next blog, and I feel this book provides all the information I need to do that.

The only slight issue you may have is that the book assumes a little knowledge of PHP and mySQL. You don’t need much, just enough to get by (i.e. the ‘you know what you don’t know enough to be able to Google the answer and implement it with online guidance’ stage). Other than that, this book has everything you need: WordPress as a blogging platform or site CMS, plus the usual stuff about themes and plugins, etc.

One chapter I particularly liked was the section on turning a WordPress site into something that allows you to do limited e-commerce. WordPress can be used for this if you don’t have that many things to sell (i.e, there are better systems if you have a large catalogue), but if you are, say, a band or self-publishing author, this is the sort of thing that may make this book worth its weight in gold for you!

Griffin Compact Dual USB Car Charger for Mobiles, MP3 and Others, 1 Amp
Griffin Compact Dual USB Car Charger for Mobiles, MP3 and Others, 1 Amp
Offered by Mayflower Stores
Price: 7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, but make sure you buy an original, 29 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Perfect, but just be aware that only Amazon will send you the branded version. The branded version comes in a six inch by six inch by half an inch box.

If you buy from sellers offering you this for a fraction of the Amazon price, then you can safely disregard this review, as what you get is totally up to the honesty of your seller. The cheaper the price over the amazon price, the less satisfaction you can expect. Important to bear in mind that the cigarette lighter circuit in your car is capable of providing a good few amps, and you really don't want to put a shoddy no-name plug into it!

I use mine as a replacement for the moulded-on connector that comes with tom-tom, as buying the Griffin plus a separate USB cable works out cheaper than a replacement tom-tom cable (as well as allowing me to charge my phone on the way to work every day).

Overall, the Griffin looks sturdy and built to last. It sits tight enough inside the cigarette charger slot that it doesn't pop out when I unplug a USB cable, doesn't rattle aroudn when driving, and it looks good enough to stay fitted. It actually fits in well with the dashboard and makes my car look more up-to-date than it actually is. Result!

Delamax Soft Leather Hand Strap for All SLR and DSLR Cameras
Delamax Soft Leather Hand Strap for All SLR and DSLR Cameras
Price: 8.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for the DSLR video shooter, 29 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have a branded handstrap (Sony Alpha), and the Delamax is just as usable, has the same build quality and uses the same materials, but costs a fraction of the price. I guess the same applies to CaNikon and other brands.

I prefer handstraps to neckstraps because they are better when shooting hand held video (one reason why camcorders come with handstraps), and although a handstrap is less utilitarian than a neckstrap for carrying your DSLR around, it leads to a far more stable camera when you take a shot. A handstrap is also more useful than a neck strap if you use a monopod.

So, in conclusion, if you are not a 'labels' photographer and will be shooting video or using a monopod a lot, its a no-brainer: this strap is perfect. Cheap and just as good as the more expensive options.

Ultrasport Boxing Gear-Series Boxing Set incl. Vinyl Punching Bag 27.5 x 12 ins (70 x 30 cm) filled, 8 oz Boxing Gloves and Jump Rope
Ultrasport Boxing Gear-Series Boxing Set incl. Vinyl Punching Bag 27.5 x 12 ins (70 x 30 cm) filled, 8 oz Boxing Gloves and Jump Rope
Price: 56.28

5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a contender, 29 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My partner is recovering from cancer treatment, and wanted a punch-bag to (a) get fit again and (b) get some aggression out. This punch bag fits the bill perfectly. You do need a wall bracket or frame to hang it off (you don’t get either), and some basic sparring mitts (which you will probably be wanting to replace soon if you use the bag regularly). She does yoga, running and boxercise.

Physically, the bag is thick vinyl and has a dense cloth filling that is fairly heavy and makes the bag useable for an adult (the previous punch bags we have tried have been pretty insubstantial by comparison and have fallen apart, probably because they are aimed at occasional use or for a teenager). The bag has a 27cm diameter and is over a metre tall. It looks like it will last a long time. Oh, and the fact that you get free delivery is also a selling point as the bag is fairly heavy.

Finally, for anyone looking to get fit, its worth noting that although boxing is out of favour as a keep-fit sport, don’t discount boxercise: you don’t hit anyone but you do get to take out a lot of aggression Punch bag training is very good for your upper body – far better than weights because you have to twist and flex *all* the muscles if you are hitting a punch bag properly, rather than the couple of muscles weights concentrates on.

As I mentioned above, the bag seems like it is built to last. I’ll update this review if anything untoward happens with it.

Ultimate 3-In-1 Color Tool: -- 24 Color Cards with Numbered Swatches -- 5 Color Plans for Each Color -- 2 Value Finders Red & Green
Ultimate 3-In-1 Color Tool: -- 24 Color Cards with Numbered Swatches -- 5 Color Plans for Each Color -- 2 Value Finders Red & Green
by Joen Wolfrom
Edition: Misc. Supplies
Price: 9.18

3.0 out of 5 stars Not sure what these cards are calibrated to, but its not compatible with web design, 8 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review has been amended now that I have checked it against two correctly calibrated sources.

I'm not sure what colour profile these swatches are based around, but they are far too dark when compared against a correctly calibrated normal gamut screen (Windows PC screen, calibrated for Gamma 2.2, 6500K) that has also been cross checked against a professional (and therefore calibrated) printed photographers colour swatch (X-Rite ColorChecker passport).

Its probably not even really a fault, but more down to the difference in what constitutes a standard color space between digital and fabric (although to be fair the color space should be specified somewhere on the color tool, as it's pretty fundamental).

So, good for matching fabrics and other physical colours that you have in front of you, but not so good for matching to a digital screen (either calibrated or uncalibrated) because there is a significant gamma difference. Shame really, because the swatches looked really useful and a bargain until I tried to match the web designer's #hex values!

Sennheiser G4ME ZERO PC Gaming Headset - Black
Sennheiser G4ME ZERO PC Gaming Headset - Black
Price: 199.96

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good quality but expensive, issues with bass, 20 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This has been a difficult review to do since everywhere I have read, the Sennheiser Game Zero is concluded to be the top of the pile for gaming headphones, and the only downside is price (something which most reviews downplay as `if you are buying these, then cost is not a concern').

However, I have ignored every such review and gone by my own results, which are significantly different. I have also NOT ignored cost, and have compared against a number of other headphones on the basis that the Game Zero MUST compete on price against at least one other classic audiophile headphone set, as well as wiping the floor with more standard gaming headphones from the likes of Creative and Logitech.

I have reviewed on the following points:

1. The headphones must be able to handle gaming audio frequency ranges, and in particular be able to bring out explosions without blotting out other sound such as soundtrack and other special effects.

2. Stereo separation should be good enough to give good directional cues.

3. The headphones should be good enough for general audio such as music and occasional sound editing.

4. Usability and look-and feel.

5. Price vs features

I buy new headphones at the same rate most gamers change their graphics cards (!) so am lucky to have a full selection of headphone sets that encompass the available price range, and will compare them to the Game Zero for each of the points above. The line-up includes:

Old, last gen headphones (Creative Fatality). These go for about 20-30 nowadays and are probably the low end quality headphones a serious gamer would consider.

Current gen headphones with audio processing hardware (Logitech G430). These are a traditional two speaker set, but come with a hardware dongle that digitally emulates a 7.1 sound-space. They are a step up from the Fatality, and you are looking at the mid 50s for one now.

Audiophile headphones. The Sennheiser HD25's are a classic. A music industry mainstay, and their lightness and durability makes them very useful for gaming, assuming you can live without the microphone. You can pick them up now for around 100. I would have liked to have tested against the Sennheiser Amperior rather than the HD25 as the former are in the same cost ballpark as the Game Zero, but I don't own the Amperiors.

And of course, finally, the Game Zero.

For all the tests, I am outputting via a Creative SB X-Fi (and am certainly NOT using the motherboard audio to test such an expensive pair of headphones!). I am using a fast gaming rig that is in the top 10% of all PCs according to its 3DMark results (Alienware i7 12 core, recent graphics card, 24GB, dual SSDs, Windows8).

Ok, on with the 5 test areas!

1. Gaming Frequencies.

I tested with Crysis 3. The HD25s produced the best bass, with the Fatality and G430 coming second. I was gobsmacked that the Game Zero came last for bass. On investigation, I found that the Game Zero could be made to sound as good as the HD25s if I pressed the heads down into my ears a fraction. It looks like the foam on the Game Zero lifts the drivers too far away from the ears, and also absorbs some of the bass in the process. However, the Game Zero also uses memory foam, so maybe they will settle with time. If I don't update this point, then assume it's a design fault, and the Game Zero really is not seating properly for optimum sound. However, I must say that one of the major points with top quality headphones is that they must seat properly and consistently. The Fatality headphones also sound deeper when you press them towards your ears, but the G430s do it much less, and the HD25's don't do it at all (and never have).

For the clarity at the high end, the Fatality started showing its true colours: the separation between the bass and highs get a bit muddy when you have explosions going off, and it gets a bit indistinct. The 430 is better, but doesn't go as deep to start off with, and the HD25 and Game Zero are about the same: close to perfection. Proper frequency separation across the board, and no muddiness

The HD25s win, with the Game Zero second because it fails on the low frequencies. G430 third, and the Fatality last.

2. Stereo separation

For this test I used a game that relies a lot on sound for cues (ARMA3). You have to know where the incoming bullets are coming from in a flash, because both the AI and online players are merciless!

I thought the G430s, with their emulated 7.1 would win this but even though they are stereo only, the Game Zero really shows its quality on this one: stereo separation is excellent and far beyond the others. The Fataility was too muddy, the HD25s were good and probably as good as it gets for traditional non-gaming headphones, but I think they miss out a little on the extended sound-scape that gaming audio requires. A better result for the Game Zero: an easy first place.

3. General Audio and occasional sound editing.

For this, I listened via Spotify on both my gaming rig and a decent laptop (Sony Vaio i7 in the office at work), and also used my gaming rig for video editing using Adobe Premiere CC. Without a doubt, I expected the HD25s to win, and the Fatality and G430 to be no hopers in comparison (which was the case). The issue was how close the Game Zero came to the HD25s: the HD25 is practically an industry standard for DJing and audio production, so how close do the Game Zero come to them?

Well, pretty close, but the bass issue reared its head again. The Game zero just doesn't sit well enough to pass bass properly to the ear unless you press the cups down, so it comes second to the HD25.

Special mention comes for the G430s, which exhibit a slight crackle at times from the hardware dongle (typical Creative: great hardware, occasionally suspect software!), so for the discerning audiophile, they probably fail overall. Incidentally, they also seem to crackle a bit for certain very specific games. It's down to the hardware dongle (remove that and the headphones don't crackle).

4. Usability and look-and-feel.

Let's be honest here: the Game Zero oozes quality, and looks good packed in its dedicated hard molded carrying case. Once you take them out and are wearing them though, I think the G430s actually look the best, with the Fatality looking its age, and the HD25s looking a little cheap and fragile (although looks can be deceptive - the HD25s last forever, I've had mine since 2007 and not a mark!).

In terms of wearability, it is between the Game Zero and HD25s, with the G430 coming a close second.

For durability, I expected the same from the Game Zero as I got from the HD25s. The HD25s are built to last, and every part is replaceable and the whole thing can be taken apart into its separate pieces: it has no `design life' - its all replaceable and built to last longer than you do! None of the others look to be in the same league, although the Game Zero comes closest.

One really cool thing about the Game zero is that it has a easy to get at volume dial on the right speaker cup. The Fatality and G430 both have the volume on the wire, but that decision seems backward and archaic once you use the Game Zero.

The Game Zero also has the ability to turn the mic off simply by retracting it upwards (a feature shared with the G430, the HD25 doesn't have a mic, and for the Fatality you have to physically unplug the mic to turn it off).

One negative about the Game Zero is that it comes with dual 3.5 inch jacks only (one for audio, one for mic). These are standard connectors for desktop/laptop computers, but not compatible with some consoles without an adapter - which you don't get in the package. So the Game Zero is aimed at computers rather than consoles (but then, the headphones cost as much as a console!).

5. Price vs Features.

For the price, I would expect the Game Zero to beat the HD25 for everything except perhaps the 'General Audio' test, where it would have to come a very close second. The Game Zero fails on bass, so doesn't meet this high expectation. Short and sweet result on this one, and a bit of a downer for the Game Zero.

So to conclude

The Fatality is a surprisingly good set of headphones. Pretty good in everything, but sound is a little muddy so they have to be discounted for the discerning gaming audiophile. The G430s are an average pair of headphones bolstered by a clever hardware dongle that makes them sound very good. Remove the dongle and the G430s are worse than the Fatality (incidentally, use the G430 dongle with the HD25, and.... well, I'll leave that joy for anyone who has both systems to try out!). The G430s suffer from slight crackling on some games though, so for gaming audio perfection, they also fail.

The HD25s would make perfect gaming headphones notwithstanding the audiophile stereo separation (which isn't quite as wide as dedicated gaming headphones such as the G430 and Game Zero) and they don't have a mic attached. They have to be discounted for online gaming simply on their physical lack of the mic. They're good for occasional single player gaming though if your main focus is video/sound authoring and music, and would therefore satisfy a very particular gaming audiophile: one who enjoys single player and/or doesn't use a mic for teamspeak.

Sadly, I have to conclude that the Game Zero is not worth the money because the as-tested copy I have just doesn't beat the HD25s often enough, which they should given they cost x2 as much. The Game Zero doesn't cut it because it appears to have a design flaw when it should have no issues whatsoever *from day one* given it is the most expensive headphone set you can buy.

What isn't good enough? The sound drivers are certainly good enough (at least as good as the HD25), but the headphones just don't seat correctly on the head to get the bass to your ears. If you press the headphones just a touch to your head, the bass suddenly opens up and you get something closer to a `gaming version of the HD25 - slightly more emphasis on bass and wider stereo image, but otherwise clearly a device with the same audio quality. But you can't stay pressing in the headphones like that for normal use. So, either the Game Zero memory foam needs a while to `burn-in' to the user's contours, or it just isn't physically configured properly.

As I said, this was a difficult review to write. Every web review I see doesn't seem to note the issue with the Game Zero seating and subsequent bass issue. Maybe its just my copy, or the memory foam needs to burn in, or I have a really really big head, or I'm being overly picky, but as of this writing, this is my conclusion. 2 stars off for the bass issue on what would otherwise be 'a gaming version of the classic HD25'.

I'll certainly update the review if things improve (I intend to use the Game Zero exclusively for a couple of months following this review, but if I don't update this conclusion, assume this is my final view).

Thanks for getting to the end of a pretty long review, and good luck with your buying decision. If you have any questions add a comment and I'll do my best to answer.

eimo 60cm Magic Carbon Fiber Handheld Camera Stabilizer Steadycam Video Rig For DSLR DV Camera
eimo 60cm Magic Carbon Fiber Handheld Camera Stabilizer Steadycam Video Rig For DSLR DV Camera
Offered by eimo
Price: 199.99

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy steadicam to set up and use - and the cheapest!, 11 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A steadicam is a hand held stabiliser. If you've seen 'The Shining', the bit where the camera moves through corridors, stopping on the twins is done with a steadicam (it was the first time a steadicam was used in a film). The bit on 'Rocky' where he runs up the steps is also done with a steadicam. More recently, a lot of 'fly-on-the-wall, sports, and run-and-gun documentaries use them. A steadicam adds a lot of smoothness to your hand held footage. If you want to up your out-of-camera video quality, then along with a tripod with a fluid-head, a steadicam is a must-have.

I previously owned this steadicam clone: Opteka SteadyVid PRO Video Stabilizer System for Digital Cameras, Camcorders and DSLR's (Supports up to 2.26kg)). That version is prone to drift and is difficult to carry around because of its unique shape. I found myself spending 15 minutes rebalancing it before every shoot. fine for personal work, but problematic if you have people waiting, or are filming an event that will not wait.

The Eimo is all things better: lighter, easier to carry, will stay in calibration if you set it up and then put it in the boot of the car (just as long as its tied down and not bouncing around!), and most importantly, easier to use. Be aware though that getting balance on any stabilizer is difficult and far harder than using a fixed tripod. It will most likely take anyone a good hour to get it right the first time

the only slight downside of the Eimo is that it has no level indication on it - no bubble spirit levels at all. Use this instead if you're going to lose sleep about it: JJC Replacement Nikon BS-1 Hot Shoe Cover with Spirit Level for NIKON D40, D40x, D50, D60, D70, D70s, D80, D90, D100, D200, D300, D300s, D600, D700, D800, D800E, D3000, D3100, D3200, D5000, D5100, D7000. Most current cameras have a digital level indication on them now anyway so physical bubble levels are a thing of the past IMO.
You will be better off with this if you are able to spend a bit more: Giottos MH621 Quick Release Sliding Adapter Plate. The plate is a requirement rather than an option if you will be using light cameras such as the GH2, as it makes up for the camera lightness and stops your overall system being too bottom heavy for proper balance. It also has two bubble levels built in so you won't need the hot-shoe bubble level. To use it, just attach the Giottos base to the existing top plate (you will have all the required screws), then use the Giottos top plate to attach your camera.

Generally, I use a Giottos plate for all my video equipment (slider, tripods, stabilisers) as they are so much better than the plates you get on most budget equipment... and don't look like they will ever wear out through constant use! It also means that one plate fits onto all my video equipment (steadicam, slider, fluid head tripod, and perhaps later, jib), so once I attach a Giotos top plate onto my camera, my camera will fit into ALL my equipment without any need for messing about with screws because all of my equipment has its own Giotos bottom plate. A big plus when people are waiting on you to setup, and makes you look a lot more professional even though you are using hacked DSLRs and cheap nonbranded and unrelated video equipment!

Oh, and before you start using it, check the stabiliser handle and the way it connects to the stem - all the joints should move smoothly, otherwise you need to adjust it all and/or add a spot of oil. Lack of ability in stabilization is often down to something wrong with this connection, and the only real difference between an expensive and cheap model is the quality of the movement of this critical joint. I seem ok with mine (its perfect).

Get the Eimo, a hacked GH2, Tascam DR07/Zoom H1 for audio, and Premiere/After Effects (or see further down for links if you have zero cash and want freebie software), a couple of Variable ND filters (you need them for DSLR video, Google is your friend if you need to know why) and you have a full video production suite for peanuts: just add the gaming grade PC and you are off!

Finally, just to clarify a few important points, as there's lots of conflicting information on some of the older replies for this product:
1. As of May 2014 if your seller is Eimo, then you are getting the version with the carbon fibre stem. The Eimo doesn't have any branding on it - there is actually nothing on it that says *anything* never mind 'Eimo'. I also see *lots* of identical looking products on the 'bay. That almost certainly means that those reviewers who have not got a carbon fiber device have bought from a seller other than Eimo (or got an earlier, cheaper build). If you want the carbon fibre kit as described, *make sure your seller is Eimo*.

2. I can think of no reason why you would need the more expensive, longer versions of this device, as the 60cm version can take a full frame DSLR as is. You'd have to be filming with one of the bigger Sony/Canon camcorders to need the longer versions... and if you are using one of those, you'd be wanting more expensive stabilisation anyway (either that or you've stolen the camera and don't know what you've got!).

3. You get minimal instructions (one CD, in Korean, no bits of paper) and a plain cardboard box. Obviously, these are overstock product going cheap, and are not shipping in retail packaging. Fine if you know what you are getting into (because then the package is a bargain - cheap, high quality kit with no frills), but a bit bewildering for the beginner who doesn't have a clue (but youtube is your friend if you'd rather just save some cash and go with it).

4. Your alternatives are the Flycam 5000 (more expensive), Opteka SteadyVid (I own it and would not recommend it over the Eimo as it loses calibration like anything), Laing (priced same as the Flycam), or a real Steadicam (Google the price and come back when you've picked yourself off the floor!).

5. The trick to balancing any of these devices (both steadicam 'C' curve style and flycam 'I' style) is putting as little weight on the bottom as possible. If you tip the stabilizer horizontally and let it swing back to vertical (often called 'the drop time'), it should take ~2s (i.e it should do it slowly rather than swing back immediately with overshoot), and you achieve this with light weights at the bottom. The biggest mistake most beginners make is to assume more weight is better, but this results in a very quick drop time and your stabiliser becomes bottom heavy (and will tend to swing in response to sudden movements rather than stay vertical).

6. The stabilizer will not work with a heavy lens (such as a typical 24-70 full frame). Stabilizers generally work best with wide angle primes... the same sort of lenses you would use for fast street photography (such as a 28mm or 35mm, with 50mm about the top end).

There are a few other DSLR-video centric reviews I've done on Amazon. Might be of some use to anyone looking to get into DSLR video and looking for a shopping list of some good 'how to' books I own all of the items listed below, so am recommending them from experience and not as a wish list):

Best video head for cheap:
CowboyStudio EI717A or e-image 717ah (they are the exact same product, the e-image is cheaper). Once you have that, any sturdy video tripod will do - just so long as it takes a standard head such as the EI717. Search Amazon on 'EI717' as the product, as a lot of the direct product links state unavailability (its well sought after as it is pretty much a classic must-have for budget videography).

Best motorised slider:
A slider is nice, but you get the most from a motorised one. Google 'Digislider'. The cool thing about it is that you can run it vertically, so can get nice up-down pans without needing a jib. You WILL need the power pack that comes as an option (a 9v battery is not enough for smooth motion, and underpowered for up-down moves)'. Oh, its also from a British company, so you get it delivered in days rather than months from Taiwan or USA/China.

Sound (there are alternatives to the DR07, but read my review as I state the alternatives)
Tascam DR-07MKII Digital Voice Recorder

My preference is Adobe, but I get that for free from work (Im a web application developer).
If you have zero budget for software, google the following; 'lightworks free version', 'DaVinci Resolve Lite', 'audacity audio'.
The first two are free versions of mainstream editing applications as used in Hollywood films (and have good pdf manuals available, so no need to shell out on books for them). They are 'lite' versions in only as much as they allow full HD only (no 4k video), so they are fine unless you have a Panasonic GH4/Sony A7s. The third is an open source alternative to Adobe Audition.
All three are a bit of a steep learning curve, but no worse than Premiere/After Effects/Audition.

Books (get them second hand, and spend the real money on gear!)
Best software books: I find the Focal Press 'Studio' range the best books for Premiere and AE, but they assume a basic knowledge of the applications, which you can get from the web, manuals or by reading the Adobe Press (Peachpit) books first.
Best DSLR video book (must-read): DSLR Cinema: Crafting the Film Look with Large Sensor Video Cameras
Best scriptwriting book (by far): Into The Woods: How Stories Work and Why We Tell Them
For those of you wanting to get something closer to formal education in all the parts of film making that are not done using a camera or PC, search Amazon for 'basics film making'. This will bring up a four part series that is often used as coursebooks in British undergraduate courses (the fact that they are coursebooks make them really cheap second hand as there's lots of students selling up after graduating!).
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 24, 2014 3:17 PM BST

Offered by onestopdiycom
Price: 13.89

5.0 out of 5 stars One for every DIY person., 11 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought these to fix a garage side door that had split due to water damage over the winter, saving me about a hundred quid on a replacement door. Extremely pleased especially when the repaired door is actually stronger than the original door ever was! Used about six of these plates, so plenty of other jobs to go before I need more.

Perfect for fixing the odd bit of split or snapped woodwork (doors, fences, frames, posts), or a quick way to fix planks together if you build your own garden furniture or have an allotment (and the usual 'constantly rebuilt shed'!). I bought them along with Silverline 776536 Goldstar Countersink Screws Pack 780-Piece. Some of the screws in that set are too wide for the countersinking on the repair plates, but overall a very good match. I also bought a decent set of drill screw bits to make screwing the whole thing together a breeze: Wera Torsion Screwdriver Bit Extra Hard Tip Set - Pozi

That little lot should keep me out of the expensive DIY shops on a Sunday for a few years!

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