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Mr Baz
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35-70mm F3.5-4.5 AF MINOLTA MAXXUM DYNAX ZOOM LENS
35-70mm F3.5-4.5 AF MINOLTA MAXXUM DYNAX ZOOM LENS

4.0 out of 5 stars Super budget lens that's sharp... useful for full frame users, 18 Dec 2014
The 35-70mm lens here is the "kit lens" which was sold with numerous bodies since it's release in 1993.
Like most Minolta lenses this is screw driven, and as expected for a kit lens a plastic mount.

This isn't the same lens as the earlier 35-70mm F4 (which has a more solid build and faster aperture a constant F4 even at 70mm) but it is almost as sharp and on a full frame camera a fairly handy focal length albeit lacking a real "wide angle" The lens can be used on all A mount Minolta AF bodies (film and digital) as well as all the Sony Alpha bodies since the A100.

For APS-C users the focal length is a bit strange giving a 52mm-105mm equivalent possibly of some use at the telephoto end, but the angle of view at the wide end might be a problem, really depends on what you are shooting.

Some details on the lens:
Min focus/magnification isn't anything to get excited about at 1:6.6 (0.15×) it might pass for casual close up shots but it can't get as close as newer lenses or kit offerings.
This has 5 contact points so isn't a D type lens
Filter size is 49mm a common one for A Mount users
There is a hood for this but it's frequently sold without one though you can pick up a third party offering or a screw in type
Unlike most modern kit offerings this does have a focus distance scale on the lens barrel

Optics wise it's better than you expect as the lens covers a more modest zoom range it's quite a sharp offering a good copy being quite usable wide open at the tele end, and stopped down a bit very passable at the 35mm mark. There are some weaker points, flare being an issue with the sun directly in the frame, and CA can be an issue at faster apertures. Contrast and colours are typical Minolta as in very good and likely to please most users. Rendering isn't bad (this isn't really an ideal lens for blurred backgrounds)

The reason it's proven popular is for the price it's a bit of a deal really. Whilst it might seem silly to mount a cheap film era plastic kit lens on a modern full frame digital body, this lens will surprise you with it's sharpness. If you've overdone it a bit on the full frame body cash wise and are looking for a sleeper lens that has some punchy contrast and delivers impressively sharp images for a silly low price this should be one of the first lenses to consider.


Running Belt for iPhone GaiaZon Carrera Multifunctional Splash Proof Twin Pouch Money Belt Waist Pack, Fanny Pack, Bum Bag for Running, Walking, Sprinting, Hiking, Cycling and many other outdoor activities or traveling. Compatible with the iPhone 6 Plus and many other smart phones. Highly flexible polyester material, which is durable and easy to keep clean. Free from bounce whilst running. Elastic and adjustable waist band for 28"-51" waists. (Black)
Running Belt for iPhone GaiaZon Carrera Multifunctional Splash Proof Twin Pouch Money Belt Waist Pack, Fanny Pack, Bum Bag for Running, Walking, Sprinting, Hiking, Cycling and many other outdoor activities or traveling. Compatible with the iPhone 6 Plus and many other smart phones. Highly flexible polyester material, which is durable and easy to keep clean. Free from bounce whilst running. Elastic and adjustable waist band for 28"-51" waists. (Black)
Offered by GaiaZonDirect
Price: £24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Well designed comfortable "running belt", 18 Dec 2014
Note: The supplier sent me a review sample for evaluation, the opinion of the product is my own personal view

This "running belt" isn't just for runners but can be used for cyclists, hill walkers or anyone else who needs to hold a few "small items" like a phone/keys/card and bank notes without bulking out pockets on trousers or jackets.

Putting on the belt it's apparent someone sat down and thought about the design of this belt, there is a strong plastic locking clasp at the back, both sides can be adjusted to get a good fit, no signs of them slipping either once set they are in place and don't move. For comfort the straps at the back are elasticated which allows some movement without the belt digging into your waist, but firm enough that it doesn't move around.

Moving onto the front part there is a small "reflective section" this is nice to see as an additional safety feature, on each side there are two pockets that can expand out to take a smart phone, card, keys or anything else you need to keep in the pocket. As there are two of them you can avoid getting your phone scratched with coins or keys putting those parts in the other pocket is a good idea.

Size wise the description states it will fit an iPhone 6 and it does no problem, that means smaller phones fit in just fine though the big "Phablets" won't but then I doubt you'd want to carry such a large phone with you. Size wise just about right for most users.

Each pocket it line with waterproof material so nothing can penetrate the pockets, damp or water if you're caught out in the rain. The zippers on each section are also water resistant, and in a nice touch you have the pull tabs with a plastic cover and they hold their position once pushed back they don't flap around at all. Lots of small areas here like that and the reflective pouch that puts this ahead of some other offerings I've seen.

I've given the belt to a long distance runner who so far has been very impressed with the belt most runners don't want tons of storage or items hanging off a belt, but need to keep a few things handy like keys or a bit of money at hand. I'll update the review with any additional thoughts during extended testing, but even if you're not a runner this belt is very handy to have around.


Hamburger Hill - 20th Anniversary Edition [1987] [DVD]
Hamburger Hill - 20th Anniversary Edition [1987] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Anthony Barrile
Price: £4.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Often overlooked but a very strong war film, 18 Dec 2014
No question Hamburger Hill was somewhat overshadowed by Oliver Stone's Platoon mostly down to the time of release, but this film is quite unique in it's own right and deserves some praise for it's gritty lifelike feel and solid performances. Both films share some common ground in that neither pull their punches in terms of trying to deliver a production that is devoid of the common "flag waving" glamorised productions of the Vietnam conflict. This is war and it's not pretty, graphic and likely a lot closer to what went on.

The film centres around the Battle of Hamburger Hill which took place in May 1969, an intense and difficult assault on a well fortified NVA position which required a lot more effort than initially thought, it's a good choice for a film about the conflict.

The cast is less well known though Don Cheadle is here as are Steven Weber and Dylan McDermott. Performances are very strong though despite lacking some of the bigger known names at the time of filming. This story concentrates on a platoon of the 101st Airborne Division but with the many of the platoon members "FNG" which I can't literally describe due to the F word, but it means "new guy" or "green" The reinforcements are new members with no real combat experience and are soon shaken with the grim conditions and difficult battle ahead of them.

Direction is from John Irvin and he's taken a different approach to Stone by not trying to "add drama" to the film this feels more "hands on" less cinematised and crafted possibly a little rougher at the edges the film did have the misfortune of coming out after "Platoon" and thus possibly lost some attention due to that, budget wise this wasn't a low grade production (budget was more than Platoon by some margin) and the settings and props certainly feel well crafted. If you're a fan of Vietnam war films this is certainly worth picking up both films can lay claim to relegating many previous patriotic films to history as viewers hungered for a more realistic and balanced take on a difficult and unpopular conflict.


JJC LCD Screen Protector Film for Nikon D5300
JJC LCD Screen Protector Film for Nikon D5300
Offered by PowerPlanet UK - typ. 5-7 working days
Price: £4.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Robust screen protector that doesn't scratch and won't crack if you take it off, 18 Dec 2014
You have a few choices here the usual anti scratch lcd protection, there are some good glass ones too. There are pros and cons to all of them (the thin coverings don't really protect from impact damage, the glass ones can break taking them off) this is one of the better ones I've used on various cameras. As the D5300 has a slightly bigger than usual 3.2" screen this is a good choice as the fit is perfect.

The JJC is fits onto screens with an adhesive tape around all 4 sides. Easy to apply and it can be taken off it required (and it really can as I have a few times) To remove slowly lift the edges and it comes away, but it's strong enough to stay put normally on the LCD
Visibility is very good still (really can't notice any difference or obvious loss of light with this fitted) there is no doubt some but it's not really notable at all.

The term Acrylic Glass is a name for the structure called Poly(methyl methacrylate) which is in layman's terms transparent thermoplastic. This is the stuff they make air plane window cockpits out of. Needless to say it's very durable, I've yet to mark it at all and it's extremely strong. Makers often add hardened layers to the top to ensure long term durability.

Leaving the science stuff aside, it's strong, clear easy to apply and gives a lasting longer term protection to the LCD
I've used these on a number of cameras and I now prefer them to the GGS glass simply because removal is far easier and does not destroy the protector.


EightOnes Candybar 3200mAh Power Bank - Premium External Mobile Battery Charger with 2 Year Warranty for iPhone, iPad, Samsung, HTC, Moto, Google, Blackberry and Smartphones (Black)
EightOnes Candybar 3200mAh Power Bank - Premium External Mobile Battery Charger with 2 Year Warranty for iPhone, iPad, Samsung, HTC, Moto, Google, Blackberry and Smartphones (Black)
Offered by EightOnes
Price: £39.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Ultra portable power bank with a good capacity, 18 Dec 2014
Length:: 1:23 Mins

Note: The supplier sent me a review sample for evaluation, the opinion of the product is my own personal view

This "compact" power bank is very small in size yet manages to fit a decent 3200mAh capacity into an attractive black finish the outer casing is a robust feeling aluminium very solid to the touch. The power bank takes about 3.5 - 4 hours to charge from flat (this will vary somewhat a 2.0 amp USB charger will do the job quickly, less so a laptop or computer USB port)

Top part has a single button for power and checking the capacity and 4 LED "dots" give you a reasonable idea of how much power you have left in the bank.

You get a supplied long USB to micro USB cable. This is a rough idea of how much you'll get out of this power bank a few common smart phones with their battery capacity:

Galaxy S5: 2800mAh
iPhone 6: 1810 mAh
iPhone 6 plus: 2915 mAh
Lumia 920: 2000 mAh
HTC One (M8): 2,600 mAh

The power bank has enough grunt to charge even big battery smart phones from flat to full, it can also be used to top up tablets or charge other devices.

Power banks come in a lot of shapes and sizes, this one is suited more to smartphone users, but of some use if you have a smaller 7" tablet or a quick top up charge. The design and quality is very good and it's at the ideal size where you can take it around without it taking up a lot of space or weight. Look around and decide what you want the power bank for if portability is high up the list then this is one of the stronger offerings out there.

Overall an excellent power bank


Fujifilm X-M1 Camera - Silver (16.3MP, 16-50mm Lens Kit) 3 inch LCD
Fujifilm X-M1 Camera - Silver (16.3MP, 16-50mm Lens Kit) 3 inch LCD
Offered by Camera Centre UK
Price: £409.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Small camera, big image quality, 17 Dec 2014
The Fuji X-M1 sits in the entry segment of the X series models but this one has the unique X-Trans CMOS sensor (the X-A1 has a normal bayer sensor) in other areas though these models are the same (controls/functions etc)

Being an entry model there are a few compromises here, firstly the most obvious one is the lack of viewfinder, secondly controls have been streamlined over higher end models and this doesn't feature the newer on sensor phase detect autofocus of the X-T1 (contrast AF here) despite this the camera still manages to achieve a very small size (very similar to the X10/20 compacts in fact slightly smaller) and it has most of the important requirements aspiring shooter might want.

I've been testing the camera extensively for a while now and made up a quick fire list of some of the better points and weaker areas of the camera. The camera is a good one overall though like most cameras does have some areas that could be better.

Good points:
+ Excellent image quality easily as good if not better than equivalent rivals (with a similar sensor size) Tonality is very appealing and attractive (very subjective but I like it)
+ Huge latitude in raw files both highlight and shadow end with outstanding low light performance very minimal noise
+ Build is solid despite being plastic feels well put together no poor joints or creaking at the seams
+ Full manual controls quite good customisation and menus
+ Autofocus is good for accuracy in most cases (it's reasonably quick though can't match DSLR's for speed)
+ Start up is quick and the camera is responsive with no signs of lag
+ Fairly good buffer around 10 shots raw and about 31 jpegs at full resolution, able to take some advantage of faster cards too
+ Continuous shooting rate of 5.6fps is decent (note the points about AF)
+ Large clear 3.0” LCD is the same aspect ratio as the sensor (3:2) and sharp with a 920k resolution as well as partially articulated (up and down positions) option to brighten it up for daylight shooting (it's a bit reflective though quite clear in most light)
+ Battery life is quite good for a compact sized camera (I got about 390 shots per charge) flash use will shorten this
+ Q menu is well laid out and avoids trips into the main menu system for most common settings
+ Fn button can be user set, C position on the mode dial allows for a memory of settings to be stored (shame it is only one)
+ Hot shoe allows the use of dedicated flashes or other accessories, built in flash extends a decent bit though power is a little low (GN 7)
+ Consistent metering and white balance required little intervention for most shooting
+ Excellent flash exposures (though will increase the ISO if you let it a little too much)
+ Manual focus “peak” is useful though could use more colours (red/yellow)
+ Video is acceptable for a consumer level camera reasonable details and resolution and decent microphone quality, limited options though (you can set aperture before you start but not adjust it during recording) see cons on “moire”
+ Good in camera raw conversions you can adjust quite a few settings too (this creates jpegs from raw files but it's handy to have)

Weaker areas:
- No viewfinder, and no option to add one, no AEL button (Fn can be programmed for this)
- Continuous autofocus/tracking is weak (cannot re-focus after the first shot on cont AF) not a good choice for sports/action shooters (though with pre-focus techniques and some skill it might work)
- Raw not available for ISO 100 or above ISO 6400 (jpeg only)
- Jpegs overly contrasty by default and don't exploit the dynamic range of the sensor (adjusting the shadow/highlights to -1/-2 helps quite a lot) tendency to crush blacks
- Macro button fairly pointless (would be better to have a Fn 2 custom button)
- Battery/memory card slot is covered when on a tripod you can't change either (poor location)
- Card write light covered by your thumb
- Video shows moire and false colours when repeating patterns are in footage
- No dedicated button for ISO (you can set the Fn button to this), movie button cannot be re-programmed
- No “sweep panoramic mode” and no level gauge both are strange omissions, black and white doesn't have the filters either (red/yellow etc)
- 3 scene modes on the mode dial are wasting space, better to put them all in the SP setting (where the other scene modes are) This area would be better reserved for extra user settings
- “Top” control dial is a bit easy to move (can mean exposure compensation is engaged by accident)
- Flash exp compensation buried in the main menu cannot be assigned to the Fn1 button
- Wi-fi has limited use you can send images to devices (even a pc if the software is installed) you can Geotag images too, you cannot control the camera via the Fuji remote app which is disappointing. No option to turn this off (which could conserve battery power)
- No electronic shutter (full mechanical) though it's not obtrusive sound wise

Notes:

If you don't have any lenses the “kit” 16-50mm F3.5-F5.6 is well worth getting I've done a separate review on this lens it's very good optics wise and offers a nice wider angle field of view (equivalent to 24mm)

Unlike some compacts there is no built in memory so you'll need an SD card
Raw files average at around 24MB, which is on the large side for a 16mp camera

Video:
You have a choice of only two resolutions 1920 x 1080 @ 30fps this is for some reason limited to 14 minutes time
1280 x 720 is also @30fps but recording time is 27 minutes.
AF is available in continuous though it does fine don't expect miracles esp in lower light or tracking it's not unsatisfactory for this type of camera though. Moire and false colours are an issue so this isn't going to really suit very serious video shooters, but it does fine for quick clips.

The supplied strap is a thin “pleather” type affair it does the job (same as the X10/X20 cameras) but a fabric one is preferable.

Dynamic range modes:
There are Auto, 100%, 200%, 400%
The camera will raise the ISO levels up to ISO 800 for DR 400%, (and ISO 400 for DR 200%)
In most cases DR Auto does a good job, but DR 200% is fairly safe too the camera won't show massive noise problems at all even at ISO 800.

You do get some useful "one touch" controls if you press and hold the following buttons in:
DISP/BACK: this engages the "quiet mode" this disables the sounds/flash if raised and the AF assist light
Q Button: Brightens the LCD to high levels for use in harsh sunlight
Menu/OK: This locks the 4 buttons around the Middle Menu button (and disables the video button) to stop accidental button presses

When the X-M1 first arrived last year it was fairly expensive and that might have put people off trying one, however fast forward about to the present time it's now at levels similar to budget DSLR's. In terns of what's on offer this is a solid offering, but bear in mind that the main advantages of this are the smaller size compared to a DSLR, it can't offer the same autofocus performance and that's an important point for moving subjects, also the size advantage tends to disappear once you use larger focal length lenses (which are no smaller than their DSLR equivalents) Look at what you needs are. If you're a heavy phone user and want a big step up in quality, the sensor in this camera will destroy even the most expensive phone camera, with ease.

There is a 27mm f2.8 pancake lens which when paired with this body makes for a very compact machine (albeit with a fixed focal length) I've yet to test that lens but it's an option for some if you want to keep the size down.

The biggest attraction is probably the sensor which is very capable and responds well to raw processing, it's certainly a huge step up from a tiny sensor compact in image quality. Even premium compacts will fall behind this, but bear in mind when paired with the 16-50mm lens you don't have very good close up ability and the lens is slower esp the telephoto end. If you shoot a lot of macro or close up photos a premium compact with a fast lens might be a better choice.

On the other hand if you are into experimenting a little you can acquire a lens adapter and though manual focus and aperture control you can mount and use many lenses (there is an M mount Fuji adapter available and lots of third party ones for other lens mounts) this means that even if you are invested in an SLR system you could find a use for this body with your lenses. For newer users or those keen to keep the size down this is a very viable alternative to a DSLR, but it's not for everyone (action shooters) Grip wise a little small here I find a DSLR more comfy to hold for longer periods, everyone is unique though small suits some better than others.

Couple of odd points firstly leaving out the sweep pano and some of the newer film effects (and B&W filters) strikes me as strange considering the target market for the camera, it's also a shame to see no electronic level gauge this featured on the X series compacts. Controls are fairly logical though would benefit from an additional Fn button to program, you also can't turn off the “guide” which might annoy some more seasoned users (this describes the scene/modes on screen) Wi-fi is under exploited and Fuji could look at this not having remote control of a Wi-Fi camera is puzzling. The rear control dial is in an unusual location and takes a while to get used to, it also can be pushed for some settings as well as rotated.

At the default settings jpegs are a bit harsh for my liking (too much contrast and dynamic range is a bit weak) adjusting the shadow/highlight tone helps no end. It's also worth experimenting with the DR settings to get the best out of the camera. If you are working with raw then the X-Trans CMOS has some impressive latitude in both ends able to recover highlights and pull shadows aggresively without a major impact on images. Either way jpeg and raw shooters will be impressed with the camera

I would like to see a few things tweaked and maybe Fuji will get around to adding a sweep pano and some more film modes. The lack of viewfinder is a shame too even a basic one would be welcomed (or the option to add one) it’s down to personal use on that with lighter smaller lenses the lack of viewfinder isn't a massive loss (it's certainly easier to hold a camera stability wise with a viewfinder), but it becomes awkward if you start to use heavier or longer focal lengths.

Overall the X-M1 is a very decent offering and certainly likely to appeal a lot more at this price level, despite the flaws it's a capable camera and more than able to hold it's own image quality is as good as you can get with an APS-C sensor.
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Kenley Electric Ice Crusher Slush Maker Machine
Kenley Electric Ice Crusher Slush Maker Machine
Offered by Smart Parts UK, Digital Lifestyle Retailer
Price: £28.90

4.0 out of 5 stars A decent compact "ice crusher", 17 Dec 2014
Note: The supplier sent me a review sample for evaluation, the opinion of the product is my own personal view

This small ice crusher is a very easy product to use, but there are a couple of minor points to note during use.
Once plugged in you need to "start the ice crusher" before you put an ice cube into the machine this is to allow the blades a second or so to "spin up" to full speed, rather than placing a cube into the machine and then starting it.

Design wise it looks similar to a squashed crash helmet when viewed from the side the outer casing is smooth white plastics and feel substantial enough for a kitchen appliance rubber pads are on the bottom to stop it slipping around. Top section has a spring loaded door where you put the ice cubes in, this also has a mirror finish on it. The opening is big enough to fit a decent sized cube in, but again it's recommended to use a single cube at a time rather than trying to "load it up" with cubes. As the stainless steel blades are well into the unit it's a pretty safe device to use.

Bottom part has a clear container section, you pull this upwards slightly and you can remove it to get to the ice or to clean it. You also get a small "shovel" to scoop out the ice once crushed.

The unit does the job well and quickly and it's possible to create a good quantity of crushed ice fairly quickly, far quicker than trying to mash up ice cubes yourself. The manual advises that you should let the unit rest a bit if you are using it for 4 minutes in order to not overheat the motor I imagine, 4 minutes can produce a lot of ice so it's really a precautionary note than something that's likely to be a problem unless you have a huge party going on.

Once you've mushed up the ice it's ideal for use as a home made slushy drink, you could also use it for cocktails or other alcoholic drinks (though some prefer and ice cube for whisky and sprits) this makes a nice alternative though.

**Areas for improvement**

Couple of minor points whilst the design is clean and simple I'd prefer if the top round cover (which you put over the ice cube door when not using it) fitted snugly onto the unit (it fits fine but sits there with a bit of play) Also the lip section at the bottom (this holds the crushed ice compartment) were a tad taller it's adequate for holding the compartment but if it were a bit larger it would hold it even more securely.

The included instructions are just about legible, this isn't a hard device to operate but the English is poorly translated you can work it out though.

**Conclusion**

Bar a few nit picks this ice crusher works very well it's small enough to find a space in a kitchen and does the job easily and rapidly which is exactly what you want. Worth looking at if you want to make some of your own slush drinks or dabble around with cocktails a bit.


Fujifilm XC16-50 Lens X-T1 - Black
Fujifilm XC16-50 Lens X-T1 - Black
Price: £265.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent optical performance, though best bought in a kit deal, 16 Dec 2014
The Fujinon 16-50mm is bundled with various X mount camera kits but also available to purchase on it's own.
Being an XC lens it doesn't feature the aperture ring of XF Fujinon lenses (aperture is controlled via the camera control dials), and the barrel is devoid of an OIS on/off switch.

Despite being a "kit lens" a few points stand out, firstly the build is somewhat better than most kit offerings with dense more solid feeling plastics used, neither is there a hint of any wobble with the lens extended and the zooming action is smooth from wide to telephoto end. The mount is plastic, the copy I am reviewing came with an X body kit and included a hood, supplied is a push on rear lens cap, and a centre pinch front lens cap.

After testing the lens I've listed out some of the stronger and weaker points of the lens

Good points:
+ Very good sharpness across the focal range in the centre even wide open, at 16mm f3.5 edge performance is very good improving a bit stopping down, very usable at 50mm f5.6 too. Corners are a bit behind the central performance at 24-35mm but still very acceptable wide open.
+ Build is a step up from most kit lenses with decent plastics used in construction
+ Useful focal range offering an equivalent of 24-75mm on a full frame camera
+ Compact size, weight under 200 grams pairs well with some of the smaller "X" series cameras
+ Autofocus is quiet and fast to acquire focus (this will vary on the body being used) no issues with AF to report
+ Effective OIS system means slower lens speed can be compensated to a degree, I'd estimate 3.5-4 stops from the OIS
+ Fairly good out of focus rendering, quite smooth 7 blades rounded aperture

Not so good:
- Cost is high for a lens of this type when bought outside a kit bundle, for the asking price it should really have a metal mount
- Some CA at the wide end edges even with correction (not extreme by any means)
- No aperture ring or OIS switch (both are controlled via the camera body), would prefer a "real rear lens cap"
- Rather mediocre close up performance min focus distance is 0.3m (at the 50mm end) Magnification of 1:6.7 (0.15x)

Notes:

Optical distortion and vignette (darkening of the corners) and most aberrations are corrected in camera and in most common raw converters (the bundled Fuji software and well known products like ACR/Lightroom) In most cases you won't see the effects of this at all even working in raw, but you can if you use some of the lesser well known raw conversion software out there. There is a fair bit of distortion esp wide end being corrected and darkening in the corners, but it's mostly invisible to the user and likely a non issue, but worth a mention anyway just in case you use other software for your raw workflow.

Filter size is 58mm the front element does not rotate on focus or zooming, the lens extends about 3.3cm at the 50mm position
Lens zoom and focus rings are made of the same plastic as the casing

Aperture varies across the focal range the approx. lens speed is as follows:
16mm F3.5
18mm F3.6
20mm F3.8
23mm F4
25mm F4.2
28mm F4.5
30mm F4.7
35mm F5
40mm-50mm F5.6

Lens speed is typical for a lens of this class though the benefit of good OIS and the ISO performance of the X series bodies does dampen the loss of speed somewhat.

There is no focus distance scale on the lens but this shows up on the camera which can be of use. Manual focus is "by wire" thus electronic response fairly good though I would prefer a mechanical focus action (which feels better in my view)

Probably the most interesting aspect of this lens is unlike some other "kit" offerings which usually start at 18mm (roughly 27mm on a 1.5x crop body) The Fuji offers a very nice wide angle equivalent of 24mm which could be of interest for scenic and landscape shooters, with the 50mm taking you up to a normal short telephoto 75mm on a full frame body. The range is without question very appealing even if the lens speed isn't fast. There is quite a difference between an 18mm lens and a 16mm one more than you would expect, the real issue with the lens has less to do with optics but price. I was pleasantly surprised by the lens resolution which is to a level few kit lenses reach, though not perfect this lens is unlikely to disappoint even fussy shooters (it compared well to a Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 when I shot both side by side)

The one let down is the max magnification which really is a bit below par compared to other lenses I've used the Fuji can't focus as close as most zoom lenses (the 16-50mm is 0.15x the Tamron 17-50mm can manage 0.22x which is quite acceptable), though it might be adequate for some types of shooting a low cost option would be to add a close up filter to bring the lens closer to the subject.

Cost wise I think Fujifilm need to look again at the lens I think most buyers will pay a bit more for the extra wide end, but it's hard to understand a price tag that exceeds £250 when you can buy an X-M1 for about £100 on top whatever way you look at it the price needs to come down to more reasonable levels (sub £200) either that or Fuji should have included the aperture ring and a metal mount (this would have offset the price to a point) Still if you do manage to pick one of these up it's a lens that offers quite a lot and is in it's own right a capable zoom lens that will find quite a bit of use as a standard zoom.
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EVGA 100-B1-0500-KR - 500w 80+ BRONZE PSU
EVGA 100-B1-0500-KR - 500w 80+ BRONZE PSU
Offered by IvoryEgg
Price: £45.88

4.0 out of 5 stars Reliable budget power supply, 16 Dec 2014
I bought one of these to replace a lower cost but moderate gaming system PSU (single card GPU)
Cost was a factor in the replacement, but fairly good power output was also needed.

The EVGA is quite nicely made, glossy finish on the unit. It can cope well with high loads and with good energy efficiency.
It's price is a little cheaper than the equivalent Corsair CX model, though quite comparable in most ways (build, cabling and output)

Pros:
+ Well priced for a budget 500w PSU
+ Fairly quiet at mid to low power outputs
+ 80 plus bronze good energy efficiency
+ Over/under voltage, temp protection (this is why it's a good idea to avod the super budget offerings)
+ 3 year warranty

Cons:
- Cables not modular
- Sleeving could be higher quality
- Fan noise more audible at higher wattage output (500w and over)

There is a good selection of connectors, 2x PCIe should be enough for most and length is just fine for even a larger sized case. If you are very fussy with cables in your case you are probably better off with a modular design, but for mainstream users this is a good cost effective solution, and a very decent alternative to the Corsair CX power supplies.

The PSU has been in the PC now for a good few months with no issues at all. If you are a heavy gamer you might want more power for a dual card set up, but for most requirements/moderate gamers this is a really good affordable choice.

Will update the review should any issues arise.


11 in 1 Multi Tool Credit Card Emergency Survival Pocket Knife Tools Army Camping Survival Kit
11 in 1 Multi Tool Credit Card Emergency Survival Pocket Knife Tools Army Camping Survival Kit
Offered by ZNU
Price: £2.19

3.0 out of 5 stars Of some use for outdoor activities/camping, 16 Dec 2014
I bought one of these many years ago and don't use it often.
Probably the most useful item is the bottle opener, next up would be the tin opener which does work but takes a bit more effort for obvious reasons.
The saw part is capable enough for cutting small branches (due to the size the saw blade is small), though do watch where you hold it esp the blade part can cut you.

It's solid enough with stainless steel so it won't rust and is unlikely to break and thanks to the compact size it's easy to carry around in a pocket or small bag, the supplied PVC case is fine though take care you don't split it with the sharper edge inserting and removing the tool.

The other functions are of limited use, but still it's not a bad item overall and the cost is tiny for what you get. If you have a Swiss army knife then it's not likely to see a lot of action


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