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Graham Mccarthy "gmccarthy15" (Cheshire)
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Camera, 22 Jan. 2009
I bought this camera for my parents because the somewhat unsophisticated Fuji Finepix is a camera perfectly suited to taking snap shots. It's neat, well made, feels robust and ideal for everyday point-and-click use. 8MP is an ideal image size; it ensures that pictures can be enlarged to 10x8 whilst the file size remains manageable. It works well enough in low light levels although the image does become a little speckled at higher ISO settings. The LCD screen on the back is clear enough but there's no optical viewfinder and using it in bright conditions can get tricky. The flash works well enough and the results are really very satisfactory. You will need to purchase an SD memory card and I'd suggest a protective case (it doesn't come with one). All told, a good camera that should serve you well.

So why only three stars? Well, good as this camera is, and it is very good, it isn't doesn't compare too well with the Sony W130. The W130 has an optical viewfinder, true image stabilisation, and when the images are placed next to each other the Sony's are a little sharper and seem more vibrant and this for only about £10 more. So this is an excellent camera but is in my opinion, a little overpriced when compared to the rest of the market.


Peep Show: Series 1-5 [DVD]
Peep Show: Series 1-5 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Robert Webb
Price: £9.69

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Office Squared, 22 Jan. 2009
This review is from: Peep Show: Series 1-5 [DVD] (DVD)
Whether you find Peep Show funny will depend a lot on your taste and sense of humour. If you like The Office and Extras then there is a very strong possibility that you like that brand of excruciating humour that has you thinking of excuses to look away or leave the room; if you do then you really should take a peek at Peep Show. The humour comes from the uninhibited, politically incorrect, and uncensored internal narrative of Mark (David Mitchell) and Jez (Robert Webb), as the two immature, social misfits inhabit a sequence of excruciatingly embarrassing, self-inflicted situations. Watching Peep Show is like watching a motorway pile-up, you'll want to look away but really can't.

David Mitchell managed to infuse every word with sarcasm and irony and Robert Webb is outstanding as the selfish, talentless and inadequate Jez, they both live the characters and never once look as if they're acting. Peep Show is The Office with its sleeves rolled up and spoiling for a fight - you have been warned.


Sony Cyber-shot W130 Digital Camera - Silver (8.1MP, 4x Optical Zoom) 2.5 inch LCD
Sony Cyber-shot W130 Digital Camera - Silver (8.1MP, 4x Optical Zoom) 2.5 inch LCD

56 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really Excellent All-Rounder, 12 Jan. 2009
The Sony W130 looks and feels more expensive that it is with its all metal case and sleek, uncluttered good looks. It may not be the easiest camera to get to grips with and there are certainly easier cameras to use, but it makes up for this with some of the features on offer.

Key amongst the features that differentiate this from most of the competition is the optical viewfinder. This I think is far more intuitive to use than the LCD screen on the back. It is very small but helps in bright conditions where the screen can be difficult to see. The W130 also has image stabilisation, which really helps to keep the image sharper in low light conditions.

The image may not be best-in-class but it has to be close, only really suffering when images are blown up above A4. It also yields better results than most at higher ISO settings and used at a concert the quality of the images taken at 1600ASA are excellent.

The internal memory won't get you very far (about 4 photographs) and you'll need to buy one of Sony's proprietary memory sticks for storage, these used to be over priced but are now relatively inexpensive.

The x4 zoom lens is another excellent feature and sets this camera apart from the majority with a x3 zoom. This takes the Sony lens from 32mm-128mm, a wider angle than just about any similar camera but this doesn't get you any closer to the action than the average zoom lens. If you need a compact camera with a longer zoom I'd be inclined to look at the Panasonic LZ8.

I recommend that you order a case, like just about every camera in this bracket; the W130 doesn't come with one. I ordered the Sony soft case and this (as you would expect) fits the camera just fine and affords it some protection from the elements.

In conclusion, a very good camera for the price, very possibly the best, compact and well made with good picture quality, movie mode, and crucially an optical viewfinder. Well suited to point-and-click applications and for use in low light conditions.


Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ8 Silver Digital Camera 8MP 5xOptical Zoom
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ8 Silver Digital Camera 8MP 5xOptical Zoom

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Camera - Great Lens, 12 Jan. 2009
Panasonic has something of a reputation for quality and if the LZ8 is anything to go by, this reputation seems set to continue. This camera feels well made and has a host of features that one might expect to find only on supposedly higher specification models.

This is probably one of the larger `compact' cameras, which lets face it, unless you're in the habit of keeping your camera is your skintight jeans pocket, is probably an advantage. The additional bulk will be required to accommodate the remarkable 32-160mm x5 optical zoom lens, way out ahead of any of the competition in flexibility. 32mm is unusually wide (and useful) and 160mm is an unusually long local length on this class of camera. The find the two in one camera is remarkable. The lens also has optical image stabilisation and this is really useful (if not essential) for taking sharp pictures in low light conditions or at full zoom.

Picture quality is, as you would expect, excellent and at 8mp will scale up to A4 size without a problem. My experience of compact cameras is that they don't produce such good results at high ISO settings and the Panasonic is no different here and shots taken much above about 400ASA do not enlarge quite so well.

I do prefer optical viewfinders to the LCD only cameras such as the LZ8, the even here the LCD screed has a higher resolution than most at this price, making it very useable.

This is a really good camera and I have no hesitation recommending it. Is it better than the similarly priced Sony Cybershot W120? That's a tough call. If you need the greater focal length zoom to get closer to the subject, then I'd go for the LZ8, if you don't, I think the Sony W120 would shade it.

Seemingly, as with all compact cameras, the LZ8 does not come with a case, I got the Lowepro Rezo 40, that seems to do the job. You'll also need an SD card, 1GB will take around 300 photographs.


Panasonic DMCLZ8 Digital Camera - Silver (8.1MP, 5x Optical Zoom) 2.5" LCD
Panasonic DMCLZ8 Digital Camera - Silver (8.1MP, 5x Optical Zoom) 2.5" LCD

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Camera - Great Lens, 12 Jan. 2009
Panasonic has something of a reputation for quality and if the LZ8 is anything to go by, this reputation seems set to continue. This camera feels well made and has a host of features that one might expect to find only on supposedly higher specification models.

This is probably one of the larger `compact' cameras, which lets face it, unless you're in the habit of keeping your camera is your skintight jeans pocket, is probably an advantage. The additional bulk will be required to accommodate the remarkable 32-160mm x5 optical zoom lens, way out ahead of any of the competition in flexibility. 32mm is unusually wide (and useful) and 160mm is an unusually long local length on this class of camera. The find the two in one camera is remarkable. The lens also has optical image stabilisation and this is really useful (if not essential) for taking sharp pictures in low light conditions or at full zoom.

Picture quality is, as you would expect, excellent and at 8mp will scale up to A4 size without a problem. My experience of compact cameras is that they don't produce such good results at high ISO settings and the Panasonic is no different here and shots taken much above about 400ASA do not enlarge quite so well.

I do prefer optical viewfinders to the LCD only cameras such as the LZ8, the even here the LCD screed has a higher resolution than most at this price, making it very useable.

This is a really good camera and I have no hesitation recommending it. Is it better than the similarly priced Sony Cybershot W120? That's a tough call. If you need the greater focal length zoom to get closer to the subject, then I'd go for the LZ8, if you don't, I think the Sony W120 would shade it.

Seemingly, as with all compact cameras, the LZ8 does not come with a case, I got the Lowepro Rezo 40, that seems to do the job. You'll also need an SD card, 1GB will take around 300 photographs.


Panasonic DMC-LZ8K Lumix - digital cameras (auto, Cloudy, daylight, Shade, beach, Candlelight, Children, Fireworks, Night portrait, party (indoor), Portrait, self-portrait, Su, black&white, Sepia, 1/2.33", 5.2 - 26 mm, Red-eye reduction)
Panasonic DMC-LZ8K Lumix - digital cameras (auto, Cloudy, daylight, Shade, beach, Candlelight, Children, Fireworks, Night portrait, party (indoor), Portrait, self-portrait, Su, black&white, Sepia, 1/2.33", 5.2 - 26 mm, Red-eye reduction)

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Camera - Great Lens, 12 Jan. 2009
Panasonic has something of a reputation for quality and if the LZ8 is anything to go by, this reputation seems set to continue. This camera feels well made and has a host of features that one might expect to find only on supposedly higher specification models.

This is probably one of the larger `compact' cameras, which lets face it, unless you're in the habit of keeping your camera is your skintight jeans pocket, is probably an advantage. The additional bulk will be required to accommodate the remarkable 32-160mm x5 optical zoom lens, way out ahead of any of the competition in flexibility. 32mm is unusually wide (and useful) and 160mm is an unusually long local length on this class of camera. The find the two in one camera is remarkable. The lens also has optical image stabilisation and this is really useful (if not essential) for taking sharp pictures in low light conditions or at full zoom.

Picture quality is, as you would expect, excellent and at 8mp will scale up to A4 size without a problem. My experience of compact cameras is that they don't produce such good results at high ISO settings and the Panasonic is no different here and shots taken much above about 400ASA do not enlarge quite so well.

I do prefer optical viewfinders to the LCD only cameras such as the LZ8, the even here the LCD screed has a higher resolution than most at this price, making it very useable.

This is a really good camera and I have no hesitation recommending it. Is it better than the similarly priced Sony Cybershot W120? That's a tough call. If you need the greater focal length zoom to get closer to the subject, then I'd go for the LZ8, if you don't, I think the Sony W120 would shade it.

Seemingly, as with all compact cameras, the LZ8 does not come with a case, I got the Lowepro Rezo 40, that seems to do the job. You'll also need an SD card, 1GB will take around 300 photographs.


Music Composition For Dummies
Music Composition For Dummies
by Scott Jarrett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.48

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Journey of Discovery, 23 Dec. 2008
A really good way to learn about how musical pieces are constructed is to try and write a piece yourself. If like me you're less than fully accomplished at this, you probably need all the help you can get and if like me you've never done this before the task seems daunting, but only because it is.

This book explores the whole process from the basic motif and melodic phrase, how to join them up, vary them and set them in the right scale, mode and mood and then to develop them. It then proceeds to flesh out the process still further delving into the harmony and structure of your piece and finally on to arrangements and musical forms. Music Composition for Dummies attempts to take you on a journey from the embryonic idea you have into a more traditionally constructed and well formed piece of music. Of course, it will require no mean effort on your part, but the sense of achievement when you play your own piece is wonderful.

There are several examples of each stage of writing, but I would have liked to have seen more and would like to have seen at least one idea taken from basic motif through to completed piece. So it's not perfect and is probably not of much benefit if you are already an accomplished musician/writer. But if like me you're still learning, would like to set your knowledge of music theory in context, or fancy performing your own pieces, then Music Composition for Dummies is a great start.


No Title Available

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellend All-Rounder, 15 Dec. 2008
The Sony W120 looks and feels more expensive that it is with its all metal case and sleek, uncluttered good looks. It may not be the easiest camera to get to grips with and there are certainly easier cameras to use, but it makes up for this with some of the features on offer.

Key amongst the features that differentiate this from most of the competition is the optical viewfinder. This I think is far more intuitive to use than the LCD screen on the back. It is very small but helps in bright conditions where the screen can be difficult to see. The W120 also has image stabilisation, which really helps to keep the image sharper in low light conditions.

The image may not be best-in-class but it has to be close, only really suffering when images are blown up above A4. It also yields better results than most at higher ISO settings and used at a concert the quality of the images taken at 1600ASA are excellent.

The internal 15Mb of memory won't get you very far (about 5 photographs) and you'll need to buy one of Sony's proprietary memory sticks for storage, these used to be over priced but are now relatively inexpensive.

The x4 zoom lens is another excellent feature and sets this camera apart from the majority with a x3 zoom. This takes the Sony lens from 32mm-128mm, a wider angle than just about any similar camera but this doesn't get you any closer to the action than the average zoom lens. If you need a compact camera with a longer zoom I'd be inclined to look at the Panasonic LZ8.

I recommend that you order a case, like just about every camera in this bracket; the W120 doesn't come with one. I ordered the Sony soft case and this (as you would expect) fits the camera just fine and affords it some protection from the elements.

In conclusion, a very good camera for the price, compact and well made with good picture quality, movie mode, and an optical viewfinder. Well suited to point-and-click applications and for use in low light conditions.


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W120 pink Digital Camera 7.2MP 4xOptical Zoom
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W120 pink Digital Camera 7.2MP 4xOptical Zoom

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellend All-Rounder, 12 Dec. 2008
The Sony W120 looks and feels more expensive that it is with its all metal case and sleek, uncluttered good looks. It may not be the easiest camera to get to grips with and there are certainly easier cameras to use, but it makes up for this with some of the features on offer.

Key amongst the features that differentiate this from most of the competition is the optical viewfinder. This I think is far more intuitive to use than the LCD screen on the back. It is very small but helps in bright conditions where the screen can be difficult to see. The W120 also has image stabilisation, which really helps to keep the image sharper in low light conditions.

The image may not be best-in-class but it has to be close, only really suffering when images are blown up above A4. It also yields better results than most at higher ISO settings and used at a concert the quality of the images taken at 1600ASA are excellent.

The internal 15Mb of memory won't get you very far (about 12 photographs) and you'll need to buy one of Sony's proprietary memory sticks for storage, these used to be over priced but are now relatively inexpensive.

The x4 zoom lens is another excellent feature and sets this camera apart from the majority with a x3 zoom. This takes the Sony lens from 32mm-128mm, a wider angle than just about any similar camera but this doesn't get you any closer to the action than the average zoom lens. If you need a compact camera with a longer zoom I'd be inclined to look at the Panasonic LZ8.

I recommend that you order a case, like just about every camera in this bracket; the W120 doesn't come with one. I ordered the Sony soft case and this (as you would expect) fits the camera just fine and affords it some protection from the elements.

In conclusion, a very good camera for the price, compact and well made with good picture quality, movie mode, and an optical viewfinder. Well suited to point-and-click applications and for use in low light conditions.


Sony CyberShot W120 Digital Camera - Silver (7.2MP, 4x Optical Zoom) 2.5" LCD
Sony CyberShot W120 Digital Camera - Silver (7.2MP, 4x Optical Zoom) 2.5" LCD

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent all-rounder, 12 Dec. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Sony W120 looks and feels more expensive that it is with its all metal case and sleek, uncluttered good looks. It may not be the easiest camera to get to grips with and there are certainly easier cameras to use, but it makes up for this with some of the features on offer.

Key amongst the features that differentiate this from most of the competition is the optical viewfinder. This I think is far more intuitive to use than the LCD screen on the back. It is very small but helps in bright conditions where the screen can be difficult to see. The W120 also has image stabilisation, which really helps to keep the image sharper in low light conditions.

The image may not be best-in-class but it has to be close, only really suffering when images are blown up above A4. It also yields better results than most at higher ISO settings and used at a concert the quality of the images taken at 1600ASA are excellent.

The internal 15Mb of memory won't get you very far (about 5 photographs) and you'll need to buy one of Sony's proprietary memory sticks for storage, these used to be over priced but are now relatively inexpensive.

The x4 zoom lens is another excellent feature and sets this camera apart from the majority with a x3 zoom. This takes the Sony lens from 32mm-128mm, a wider angle than just about any similar camera but this doesn't get you any closer to the action than the average zoom lens. If you need a compact camera with a longer zoom I'd be inclined to look at the Panasonic LZ8.

I recommend that you order a case, like just about every camera in this bracket; the W120 doesn't come with one. I ordered the Sony soft case and this (as you would expect) fits the camera just fine and affords it some protection from the elements.

In conclusion, a very good camera for the price, compact and well made with good picture quality, movie mode, and an optical viewfinder. Well suited to point-and-click applications and for use in low light conditions.


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