Profile for Ay B > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Ay B
Top Reviewer Ranking: 327,663
Helpful Votes: 19

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Ay B (London, England)

Page: 1 | 2
No Title Available

3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not without its limitations, 4 Oct 2012
This screen protector is a good idea, mainly for people who prefer to keep their LCD screen open and use their D5100 like a DSLR with a fixed screen. The cover is a very good fit, it clips on to the top and bottom tabs of the LCD as well as the groove that runs around the edge of the screen. because it's a thick piece of plastic you won't be able to close the LCD screen while the protector is on but, like I said if you prefer your screen open all the time this doesn't affect you. There are a few issues with this protector, however:

While this helps to minimise scratches on your camera's LCD, the cover itself isn't very resistant to scratches. It's a hard cover but it's not THAT hard. If you keep your camera by your side for a day or so you will start to notice some very fine scratching appear where it rubs against your clothing. Over time this will "cloud" the cover and affect its clarity. I've lessened this by applying a cheap protective sheet on top. Counter-intuitive perhaps, but effective.

There is no spongy/rubbery-type seal around its edge, so dust and dirt WILL inevitably make its way between the cover and your LCD screen. The biggest problem with this is that the cover and your camera's LCD can rub against each other (if you press on the cover the back side easily touches your LCD). It's not a huge amount of movement but the dust trapped between the 2 surfaces will act as an abrasive and create dot scratches on your LCD screen. Fortunately for me I was using a Vikuiti screen protector before applying this cover and I didn't remove it, so the dots that have developed are on that foil, not my camera's screen.

All in all it's an okay product. It does what it's supposed to do, but in the long run it might end up causing a few more problems despite solving the ones it was made for.

Belkin IEEE 1394 S400 Cable - Gold 4Pin/6Pin, 28Awg - 1.8Meters
Belkin IEEE 1394 S400 Cable - Gold 4Pin/6Pin, 28Awg - 1.8Meters

5.0 out of 5 stars Super-cheap and branded, 16 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
What more can I say? Price is fantastic, and it's a Belkin product.

Okay, so I purchased this to connect an old DV cam to my computer (which has a 6 pin input). I didn't want to spend much to do this. I couldn't find a relevant 4 pin to 6 pin adapter (which I was looking for so that I could just use the 4 pin to 4 pin cable I already have), and when I did find one it was actually more expensive than this cable. So I bought this cable. A no-brainer.

When plugged in the plug ends glow orange. That's probably the most unique thing about it. Everything else is just standard IEEE/firewire stuff. It works as a firewire cable, I dunno what else can be said about it...

You also get a bunch of small stickers labeled "camera", "computer" etc., and some blank so you can label the ends if you want but they are pointless if you use the cable on anything other than what you've labeled it. Blah.

The title says it all, really.

Lenspen NLP1 New Lenspen Original 
Lenspen NLP1 New Lenspen Original 
Offered by Camera Shop UK
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars I should have bought one sooner, 16 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is my first original Lenspen, after owning an Amazon Basics clone for a few years (which was modelled on the old Lenspen), so that's the only comparison I can make.

The twist cap is something sorely lacking on my clone (and I believe the old Lenspen too). If I put my old non-twisty one in my bag the cap would easily come off on its own. This new pen obviously doesn't have that problem. The twist cap also makes sure you never forget to coat the pad with carbon.

The carbon compound works and works well. My old clone had little to no carbon in the cap that I remember, so I guess that after a while I was just wiping smudges over and over with a bare pad. With this new pen it only takes 1 or 2 firm wipes to clean a lens surface.

When retracted the brush tip is open to the elements like my old clone, but that's not really an issue for me (I keep a clean camera bag). It does shed the odd bristle now and then like my clone (especially fresh out of the packaging) but again, not really an issue for me. It would only matter if I was using the brush on my camera's CCD sensor, and that's just silly. Prior to first time use just give the brush some attention with a few good flicks to work away the loosest of hairs.

My old clone had a reversible tip with a second smaller, triangular pad (meant for cleaning small elements like compact zoom camera lenses or viewfinders). While this 2-in-1 solution was a good idea in theory, in reality the reversible tip unit (like the cap) didn't have a twist-to-close feature and would work its way off the main pen in my bag, often with the cap still attached.

Other reviewers have already commented on best practices so I don't need to go into detail as to how to use this, but generally to clean a lens surface my flow would be as such:

1) Air blower - Blow away any big particles which may scratch the surface.
2) Lenspen - Brush away particles that blowing didn't remove. Wipe smudges, fingerprints etc., with the pad.
3) Microfibre cloth - wipe away any carbon that may be left, or blow it away with a blower (optional).

Looks-wise I prefer the plain old straight style over these new cola bottle curves and gold printed rings which make it look less like a camera accessory and more like a cosmetics item. Lenspen's website URL is printed on the barrel, but it was so poorly printed and embarrassingly tacky (Times New Roman-esque in faded silver? Hideous.) that I gave it some attention with a cotton bud and paint remover. The printing in general is really sloppy. Of course it doesn't affect the performance of the product, but it does cheapen its looks a little (imagine your favourite supercar with pink flames hand-painted down the side... *shudder*).

Overall it's a fine product, does what it was designed for and is something that I should have purchased a long time ago.

Pacsafe CarrySafe 100 Anti Theft Camera Strap
Pacsafe CarrySafe 100 Anti Theft Camera Strap
Offered by bagandbaggage
Price: £15.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well made, secure, great for piece of mind, 23 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've now used this on 2 different cameras (A Panasonic DMC-FZ45 and Nikon D5100), so here are my thoughts after a few months of good use on both.

The build quality of this strap is great and has a reassuring thickness to it, without feeling too heavy or overly bulky. As others have said it's not as flexible as a stock strap, so packing it into a bag isn't as easy, though not impossible, just a little creative coiling is needed. And unlike a stock strap there's no obvious branding, unlike my 2 stock straps that scream "LUMIX"!!! and "NIKON"!!! to the world. The neoprene sleeves are good, covering the exposed metal clips and thinner nylon connectors well, but they add a little bulk. Being closest to the camera body these tend to get in the way of the camera the most, but you get used to them after a while.

One thing I like about this strap (besides the security aspect) is the ability to adjust the length from short (to wear on one shoulder or over the neck) to really long (to wear over the shoulder like a sling). The free-moving padded section is soft with a grippy rubber underside, which doesn't slip when wearing on one shoulder. It could have been a little wider to help spread the weight of heavier camera setups but that probably would have just made the strap really bulky. It also sometimes ends up sliding down to my back when worn as a sling as I bring the camera up to my eye and bring it back down to my side, but that's really a minor annoyance.

When using it on my Panasonic I connected the nylon connectors with the included chrome split rings, as the slots for the strap were just too narrow (the nylon connectors are approximately 13mm wide and 2mm thick). On my Nikon I tried the split rings but abandoned that idea after less than a day when I noticed that the weight of the camera caused some flaking of the rings as they rubbed against the strap holes (the rings are actually copper underneath). DSLR and fine metal flakes = an absolute No-No! The connectors are just a tiny bit snug on the D5100 strap holes and the nylon has started to wear slightly on the edges. However they are so dense and well made that I don't feel like they'll rip apart or wear down completely, at least with normal everyday use.

The reassurance this strap gives you is great. It feels good with a small bridge/superzoom camera, and also quite secure when carrying a weightier mid-range DSLR. Okay, so if someone _really_ wants your camera and they threaten you with a knife then this strap won't help, but that's not the point. Maybe you're distracted for a second, maybe you're in a crowded area being jostled about. This would stop a would-be thief cutting through your strap from behind you, or an opportunist from easily unclipping a cheaper exposed plastic buckled strap. It does its job as a strap and deterrant and does it well.

Jays a-Jays T00074 Three Heavy bass Earphones - Black
Jays a-Jays T00074 Three Heavy bass Earphones - Black
Price: £38.15

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice sounding earbuds, however..., 15 Jun 2012

I bought a pair of these buds to use alongside my Cowon J3, as well as to replace a set of Sennheiser CX150's. First thing you notice is that they are quite heavy, at least compared to the CX150's. You'll need to pick the correct silicon tip (of which there are 5 sizes) to comfortably fit your ears without being too tight whilst at the same time not being too loose that the weight of the cable pulls them out. Although described as "bass heavy", again compared with the CX150's they pale in comparison. They are however (IMO) a more balanced sounding bud across the frequencies and (unlike the CX150's) the mids and highs don't get lost within the bass. Having an EQ function on your player is an advantage and initially I used it to bump up the bass somewhat. However with more use I've become more accustomed to their sound and now I keep my J3 EQ set to "normal" (I generally listen to hip-hop, with a little dance/jungle/electronic thrown in for good measure).

I agree with another reviewer's comment about the overall package being overdesigned. The box, although not lacking in the looks-department is a pain to open and involves a pen-tip to break a paper seal and push a little plastic catch to "unlock" it (or a thin, flat edge wedged under the main lid to bypass the paper seal/plastic catch completely). As you can imagine, using the box frequently for storage would get annoying really fast. I leave my box slightly open so that the catch doesn't lock. As a means of long-term protection against bumps and knocks, the included oval/half-circle shaped travel holder is okay, but for frequent use it is too small and overdesigned. The headphone splitter and airline adaptor plugs are nice little extras to have, although I have yet to test how useful these buds would be on a plane seeing as they don't actively noise-cancel.

Okay, so on to the "however..."

I initially bought these (from another retailer) at the end of 2011. After about 4 months of normal use I noticed that the left earpiece would cut out, specifically when wiggling the wire at the 3.5mm jack end. This pair had a straight-ended jack that had about an inch or so of hard, inflexible rubber behind the jack. I normally put my player in a hoodie or outside pocket, never in a jeans pocket, yet the jack end managed to break. I put in an RMA request as they went faulty within warranty and after about a month I received a replacement. I was a little hesitant about getting a replacement set; I knew the weakness was with the straight-ended jack so getting another pair with the same straight jack would be pointless. I checked my replacement and discovered that they redesigned the jack to be right-angled and lower profile, with a nice little "JAYS" logo embossed on the top. Much better! It now sits flat against the bottom edge of my J3, rather than sticking out an inch from the bottom like before, as if I was holding one of those old mobile phones with an external aerial upside-down.

The straight-edge jack was a serious design flaw with the first revision of these buds: it stuck out WAY to far and was WAY too rigid. It would only take a little pressure in a shallow/tight pocket before the jack would give up. I assume that Jays had a lot of complaints/returns regarding them. The new revision with the right-angled jack is a much needed improvement. If you had problems with the sound cutting out on these (or dying on you completey), chances are you had the old straight jack. If you decide to try these, make sure you get the new version with a right-angled jack.

Time will tell if these fail as quickly as the old design, but my faith in the new version has paid off so far.

Update: 2013-06-22

The replacement set lasted about 14 months. They broke today, out of warranty, with exactly the same problem as the old set (left earpiece cutting out when wiggling the jack end). I've now re-rated from 4 stars to 2. Despite the much needed redesign they just didn't last as long as they should have, and the old fault still remains. I used them fairly regularly, maybe 3-5 times a week, which leads me to believe that they were constructed for style more than anything. I still think they look and sound great, it's just a shame that their durability didn't complement the design.

My run with the Jays brand is over.

Tuff-Luv Leather Case Cover and Wrap-M Cable Manager Technology for Cowon J3
Tuff-Luv Leather Case Cover and Wrap-M Cable Manager Technology for Cowon J3

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay, cheaper than the official leather case and, IMO more secure, 20 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
First and foremost, the cable wrap is awful. Don't buy this thinking it will keep your earphones tidy. I mean, it might, but it's one step up from winding your wire around the case. All it does is add unnecessary (and uneven) bulk. I tried it when I first bought it and promptly took it off and left it in the box.

The outer leather is very soft and padded. The flap and back are rigid and the flap holds down with a couple of magnets concealed in the case lining. I'm not sure if these have any effect on the player but I think they are small and weak enough not to cause any damage. With the J3 in the case, it's a reassuringly tight fit. One reviewer said his player easily slides out when the flap is open. I can only assume that his case has been stretched out or that his is a manufacturing anomaly. My player sits snugly inside the case. I can hold the case upside down by the back edge with the flap open and shake it without my J3 moving at all. And yes, the bottom of the case is held with a small strip of leather on one side, but that's only because the headphone jack, USB port and microSD slot are on the bottom of the J3. To break that leather strip you would have to be quite forceful and actually want to break it. The official case isn't really any "safer" IMO. The player in an official leather case is only held by the top and its sides, there's nothing holding the front or bottom, so theoretically if the front flap accidentally opens it could fall out front-first.

Okay! So why 3 stars?

1) The J3 is a very elegant piece of kit, adding this case effectively makes the player twice the thickness. That's the price you pay for a padded player, but if your J3 doesn't share pocket/bag space with keys, loose change, rocks, a hammer... do you need to use it all the time?

2) While the J3 is snug inside this case, it does move up and outwards when you push your headphone jack into the player, even with the flap closed. This is because there is some extra "give" in the flap hinge, which also allows the flap itself to move parallel to the front of the player. These 2 problems could have been avoided, or at least lessened by making the flap hinge a little shorter.

3) This is more down to personal preference but the front flap gets annoying after a while. You can't have a padded case without one, but when it comes to using the screen, it just seems to be in the way.

For light to normal everyday use I find it a bit too much. This is great to use on long-haul flights and 3 hour road trips, but unwieldy and bulky for a 20 minute bus ride. You might also want to get a lower profile silicone or hard case to compliment this and cover all your bases.

Unique Trend - Sennheiser Cx150 Earphones
Unique Trend - Sennheiser Cx150 Earphones

4.0 out of 5 stars Good for the price, very bassy, 20 April 2012
I'm on my second pair of CX150's (not due to poor build quality or anything like that, I gave the first pair away to a cousin). The main thing you should know about these earbuds is that they are *very* bassy, and are advertised as "bass-driven". If you listen to music with a lot of bass (hip-hop, electronic and the like) these should handle them fine, but sometimes any mids and highs that do appear, or that you want to appear will feel muffled or lost in the bass. If your player has an EQ feature you might want to play around with the levels, just to get a better overall sound across the frequencies.

Build quality is fine. The jack is right-angled but not gold-plated. The earbud wires are symmetrical, so you can't rest the wire on the back of your neck, or you can but it would look weird. You get 3 sizes of silicon tip. After some time the tips can become loose and slip off the bud (it happened after a long while with my first pair). There's nothing really spectacular about the overall design, as much as the packaging would like you to believe, but for the price there's not much you can argue about.

If you are on a budget (but don't want to buy any old generic thing) and don't mind a bassier bud then these are a good choice.

Update 31/05/2012:
I should point out that these were a temporary bud while I waited for an RMA on a different set of buds by a different manufacturer from a different online store (no names mentioned). So, for the month I used these I was able to properly "re-use" them all over again (as I pointed out previously I have used these before).

They are still pretty bassy as I remember them to be, but the one thing I completely forgot about these was the amount of cable noise they produce while they bounce around and rub on your outer clothing. In short it's pretty bad. The one way to dramatically reduce the cable noise is -- believe it or not -- to actually wear them like an asymetrical set of earbuds and rest the wire on the back of your neck. It's a compromise between lower cable noise and getting a few weird looks. And while the design of the main housing isn't spectacular (as previously mentioned), it does have the effect that it creates some kind of turbulance when you walk into a breeze, and the sound of the wind rushing past your ears is just as loud as the cable noise.

Bottom line is that they are cheap and bassy, but after using a pair of more "natural" sounding buds with a better design it's hard to go back to them. I'll keep them as a backup pair.

Hoya 52mm Pro-1 Digital UV Screw in Filter
Hoya 52mm Pro-1 Digital UV Screw in Filter
Price: £18.57

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect protector for my FZ45, 21 Jun 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this to cover and protect the lens on my Panasonic DMC-FZ45. As a protector it is great. It's a solid and sturdy piece of aluminium and optical glass. Using this means that I don't have to constantly attach and detach the lens cap every time I want to use the camera. However the Z45 lens cap does actually fit on top of this filter so, if you prefer you can use both.

The filter does not appear to distort the picture in any way which is a definite must and, after reading a few reviews on other products seems to be an issue with some cheaper generic brands. As a UV filter, well to be perfectly honest I can't tell the difference with or without it. They may be something there but the differences so far are minimal. I would probably need to play with it some more in various lighting situations to give a more accurate review in terms of UV filtration.

As a UV filter I can't really judge it but as a lens cover/protector this is perfect.

DelTex Replacement Black Foam Earbuds/Earpads/Tips/Cushions For Sennheiser PX100 / PMX100 / PMX200/ PX200 Also Compatible With Most Other Headphones / Headsets (6 Pack / 3 Pairs 50mm)
DelTex Replacement Black Foam Earbuds/Earpads/Tips/Cushions For Sennheiser PX100 / PMX100 / PMX200/ PX200 Also Compatible With Most Other Headphones / Headsets (6 Pack / 3 Pairs 50mm)
Offered by DMB Direct
Price: £3.75

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not like the originals but very good as a cheaper alternative, 20 May 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought these to replace the original pads on my PX100 headphones which had crumbled away after about 4 years of fairly heavy use and a year of storage. I searched for original replacements and found some online retailers selling a pair of original pads for about £6, excluding the cost of delivery and up to 12 day shipping! That's when I decided to go the 3rd-party manufacturer route.

You get 3 pairs of pads, packed neatly in a small plastic bag.

The foam is a little thinner and smoother than the foam used in the original pads. They are also a bit bigger than the PX100 earpiece, so they don't sit as flat as the original pads do. Finally there is a thin seam running around the edge of the pad, as these are made from 2 pieces of heat sealed foam instead of 1. These are the 3 main differences between them and the original pads. That said, the foam is not uncomfortable on my ears. Yes, these are bigger but not so much that they'll come off during normal use. The collar is actually quite snug, it's the main flat bit that sits between your ear and the earpiece which is slightly bigger. And the seam is only noticeable on closer inspection, just reverse the pad and the seam is gone. The only people who'll notice they aren't original are probably audiophiles and Sennheiser fanatics.

These negatives (if you can call them that, they are 3rd-party after all) are really minor and don't affect the useability or sound quality of my headphones. They may not look and feel like the original Sennheiser pads but they are not supposed to. What they are is a good cheap alternative to a pricey original accessory.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 30, 2012 4:15 PM GMT

WD Elements 1TB External Desktop Hard Drive USB 2.0 - Black
WD Elements 1TB External Desktop Hard Drive USB 2.0 - Black
Offered by AOT (VAT registered)
Price: £99.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looks nice, and plays nice if you play nice, 18 April 2011
I just wanted a decently sized, reasonably priced external drive that sat flat. I had reservations about this drive, mostly about micro USB* and how easy it is to break if you insert it the wrong way, but this is the standard form factor now so there's nothing I can do about that, and to break a micro USB plug you'd have to really be impatient and/or force the plug into the socket (they really need to invent a USB plug that works either way around already). I also didn't want a Seagate. I have nothing against them (I already have 2 internal HDDs and an external from them), I just wanted a change.

On first connection I noticed there were hidden files which wanted to autorun every time it was connected. I think they were from a backup program or a drive icon. I don't really remember because I deleted them straight away. I wasn't going to use this drive for anything other than storage and I wasn't going to connect/disconnect often, so an autorunning program was useless. I also renamed it, which required a reconnect for the name change to register. Besides that the drive worked straight out of the box, it's been very consistent and I've had no problems so far, touch wood.

Windows reports this drive as 931GB, not 1000GB/1TB. If you don't know why this is, research binary and decimal numbers in disk drive sizes. Transfer speeds are fine for USB 2.0, as I typed this I copied 20GB from an old internal IDE drive and it took less than 15 minutes. I've also copied to and from internal SATAs and my external Seagate without major speed or connection issues. I've connected this drive to a rear USB port. The diagrams on the instruction sheet show the drive connected to a rear port and, while it doesn't explicitly tell you to, I prefer to do this. My computer has front USB ports which are obviously more convenient to access but I've noticed from experience that they can be slower or can intermittently cut out, especially with external/portable drives. If you have speed/connection problems with USB hard drives and connect to a front USB port, try a rear USB port and see if it makes a difference. I reserve my front ports for control pads and data cables instead.

Operation is whisper quiet. It sits on a shelf above my table and when it spins up from idle I don't hear it, unlike my Seagate which sits on a carpeted floor under the table and makes an audible "whirr... CLICK". Only when it sits on the table do I hear a faint vibration as it spins. It also looks nice, even for a simple design. It's essentially a black brick with the micro USB and power connections on the rear. The "WD" branding on the matt-finished top tells you who made it, but the glossy surrounding edge will tell you who touched it once you get fingerprint experts in.

One thing I don't really like is that the activity LED is out of sight on the rear. And once I've shut down my computer with the drive still connected, the LED flashes like a little beacon. This can get annoying if (like mine) it resides in a dark room at night. I don't really get why this feature exists. Maybe it's telling me to unplug it, but that's why portable drives exist, plus it's on the back so most people wouldn't even notice it. I compromised and covered it with a small piece of electrical tape.

Overall my experience with it has been great. I've used it for storing files (not installing, heavy read/write sessions or filesharing) and it's doing exactly that. One reviewer said that buying an external drive is like entering a raffle, and this is true. The external hard drive world seems to be very hit-and-miss. I own both Seagate and Western Digital brands of internal and external drives and have had no problems with either, but where some people find one brand excellent with consistent performance, others find it terrible. A drive with a lot of good reviews also gets it's share of bad reviews. Whether it's a lack of quality control by the manufacturer or misuse/overuse by the consumer, I don't know.


*Update (2012/09/28):
I left this error in for quite a while, but my Elements drives (I now have 2 of these) use a mini USB connection, not micro USB like I originally stated. It's a small detail but it might be important to somebody out there.

Page: 1 | 2