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Hilary (United Kingdom)
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Olympus SP-820UZ Compact Digital Camera - Black (14MP, 40x Wide Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD Screen
Olympus SP-820UZ Compact Digital Camera - Black (14MP, 40x Wide Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD Screen
Offered by eHome
Price: £159.98

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A downgrade from its predecessor, 23 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this camera to replace my Olympus SP800UZ which got damaged after being used hundreds of times. This camera is similar but there are some differences.

The camera starts up quicker, which is a plus. Hopefully I won't lose so many 'moments' while the camera starts up. The camera was cheaper than the previous camera, which I suppose is a plus, though I would rather pay for quality and robustness.

Unfortunately, there are more minuses than pluses.

The camera feels cheaper and more plasticky, flimsier. I don't like the change from lithium battery to 4 x AA batteries. In a test, I was only able to take half the number of photographs on 4 AA batteries than I could take on a fully charged lithium battery. This means carrying more batteries around and more recharging. It used to take me seconds to replace one battery while I was out. Now I need to find a flat surface and it takes minutes to get the 4 old batteries out, figure out which way to put the new ones in and get the awful battery door closed.

The battery compartment is awful, really badly designed. I haven't (yet) had the problem others mention of the door opening, but I wouldn't be surprised as it is fiddly, cheap and nasty.

The camera has new gimmicky stuff, like punk shots, that I can't imagine anyone ever using once the novelty has worn off, but my biggest gripe is that the birdwatching mode, which I used constantly on the SP800UZ is gone. It appears to have been replaced by doubling the number of "pet modes" so that there are now separate modes for photographing dogs and cats. I just can't imagine what anyone thinks is the difference between photographing a dog and a cat. I don't photograph either, so this is a major irritation. I assume it is still possible to reproduce the birdwatching setting by changing some functions, but I know little about photography and was very happy that the camera did it for me.

The camera still takes good photos and is a decent compact size and pretty easy to operate. It just seems that, in order to make the camera cheaper, it has gone a bit downmarket.

The company that supplied the camera did a sterling job in getting it to me quickly, but overall, I wish I hadn't bought this camera. I bought it thinking it would be the same as the SP800UZ. When this camera needs replacing, I will not make that mistake again and will look at alternatives to the Olympus.


Corel PaintShop Pro X5 (PC)
Corel PaintShop Pro X5 (PC)
Offered by London Photo
Price: £39.99

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Painful to use, 10 May 2013
I used PaintShop Pro 7 for years and it was perfect for my purposes: the browse function was wonderful and it was simple and fast to use. All I need is to crop photos, resize them, get rid of red-eye and occasionally make adjustments. Although PaintShop Pro could do much more, that I never wanted or needed to do, it could handle simple tasks beautifully. Then I got a new computer and downloaded a trial version of PaintShop Pro X5. I'm sure it can do many wonderful things, but it has evolved beyond use as a very simple photo editor. Now pictures take ages to load. I can't see the pictures in my albums the way I used to and everything is ten times more difficult. I used to crop a photo in about 2 seconds, now it takes ages fiddling about with the grids. I can't figure out how to do the simplest things. Yes, there are tutorials and courses, but what I want to do ought to be intuitive. I won't be buying PaintShop Pro X5 as it is somewhere in the stratosphere, while I am down here just trying to do simple things easily and quickly. PaintShop Pro 7 was brilliant, but PaintShop Pro X5 is not the tool for me.


Fifty Shades of Grey
Fifty Shades of Grey
by E L James
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh my! What a load of (un)holy crap, 9 July 2012
This review is from: Fifty Shades of Grey (Paperback)
I was absolutely determined not to read this book because none of the novels of this genre I have read before have been anywhere near as good (for me) as my own fantasies! To my mind, an orgasm that elicits "Oh my" wasn't worth the bother. I decided to read it because young members of my family were reading it. I am devastatingly disappointed that they are wasting their money and their time on such drivel.

I would have liked to give the book no stars, but you can't do that. It is badly written (the author doesn't seem entirely clear that a sentence needs a verb), endlessly repetitive, dull as ditchwater and about as sexy as being slapped round the head with a wet cod.

I simply cannot understand what merit anyone could find in this offensive trash. I mean offensive in a literary way, not a moral one. There is no originality here, the language is ludicrous (I can't imagine where anyone talks like this) and I have seen trees that were less wooden than the characters in this story. The so-called contract looks as if it were downloaded from the Internet.

I should have known better than to attempt to read such a hyped book. In my experience, to become a best seller, authors have to sink to some sort of lowest common denominator. The only thing that distinguishes this book from other unoriginal, poorly written, worthless best sellers is that it sets a new record for the lowest lowest common denominator.

To be fair, I gave up less than half way through the first book, but please don't tell me that it improved after that because I wouldn't believe you. This author does not have better in her. I can understand the people that found the book unintentionally funny because it is laughable, though the joke is on anyone who parted with their money and wasted their life on something so worthless.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 12, 2012 6:01 AM BST


Brookite Union Jack Hot Air Balloon
Brookite Union Jack Hot Air Balloon
Price: £15.80

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun 2012 item, 24 May 2012
= Durability:1.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:1.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Unusual and fun item to celebrate 2012 - Golden Jubilee, Olympics, or being British. As stated, it revolves in the gentlest breeze. I think the Union Jack (or Flag) is a design icon and it is lovely to see it on so many fun things. I am pleased with this purchase.


The Folded Earth
The Folded Earth
by Anuradha Roy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than An Atlas of Impossible Longing, 16 May 2012
This review is from: The Folded Earth (Paperback)
Having read, and enjoyed, Anuradha Roy's first book, I was looking forward to reading this one, and I was not disappointed. I thought The Folded Earth was even better than An Atlas of Impossible Longing, and that Anuradha Roy is growing in confidence as a writer. Hopefully, we can look forward to much more from her.

The Folded Earth covers similar ground to the previous book, but in a totally different location. Place is a very important concept in A. Roy's books and her descriptions are marvellous. This book contains a lot more humour than the previous one. Even though the location is so distant and so different than the one I find myself in, the characters are recognisable types. I found it easy to engage with the story, or the stories, as every character has a story. There were parts of the story that I found less credible than the rest (the Maya-Veer romance, for example), but I just accepted what Anuradha Roy told us and enjoyed her depiction of place, events and characters. I was sorry when the book ended as I would like to know more about what happened to these people. I look forward to Anuradha Roy's next book.


An Atlas of Impossible Longing
An Atlas of Impossible Longing
by Anuradha Roy
Edition: Hardcover

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting, 16 May 2012
I had never heard of Anuradha Roy when I picked up this book, but I am glad to have found her. Reading the book is like being transported to the India she describes, with all its sights, sounds and smells. The story alludes to the effects of many old Indian customs (which may well still exist) and, while the impact of these often blights people's lives, this is not a dreary book. The tone of the book is gentle and sympathetic. I believe Anuradha Roy likes her characters, despite all their idiosyncrasies and failings. I liked them too. This is a writer I will look out for in the future.


Before I Go To Sleep
Before I Go To Sleep
by S J Watson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.86

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unoriginal, 16 May 2012
This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Paperback)
Christine may not have been able to remember anything, but from page 1 onwards, this story reminded me more and more strongly of the film Memento, and the short story by Jonathan Nolan (Memento Mori) that the film was based on. It's a wonder Nolan has not tried suing for plagiarism. Where Memento is taut, suspenseful, enigmatic and compelling, Before I Go to Sleep veers between the implausible and the impossible. The time scale is ludicrous; after suffering anteretrograde amnesia for years, Christine resolved everything in a week or two. This reminded me of the Da Vinci Code, where the mysteries of millennia were solved in a very short space of time. Unfortunately, credibility is usually sacrificed for the sake of a fast-paced plot. In Memento, the time scale was as much of a mystery as everything else, which added to the suspense. I find it difficult to fairly review this book as, for me, it was a pale imitation of something a lot better. I did read it to the end to see what happened, but thought the resolution was preposterous. Glaring inconsistencies were ignored as the story raced to its unlikely end. The book was not particularly well written. The historical present tense used throughout was quite irritating. I suppose my eventual feeling about the book is resentment that it presents itself as an original story, yet is so derivative.


Bumbag - Jeep - Fuchsia Pink
Bumbag - Jeep - Fuchsia Pink
Offered by BPSALESDIRECT
Price: £6.49

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I needed, 10 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I took note of the previous reviewer's dissatisfaction with this product, but still ordered it because I needed a next day delivery and this was the only one I could find where that was available. I am pleased to report that what I received looks exactly like the picture, I think what the previous reviewer received must have been a mistake. It's not a fancy product, but is just what I need when I do the Moonwalk the day after tomorrow. It's nice and light, roomy enough for the few things I plan to take with me, and it's a fun colour. The express delivery was fantastic. I didn't order until mid afternoon yesterday and had already received it by 10.30 am this morning.


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