Profile for Andy Craven > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Andy Craven
Top Reviewer Ranking: 730
Helpful Votes: 354

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Andy Craven
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
pixel
GoPro HERO3+ Silver Edition Camera/Camcorder
GoPro HERO3+ Silver Edition Camera/Camcorder
Price: £219.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Undecided between a Hero4 and this? Have a read..., 26 Feb. 2015
Given the Hero4 model has been out for a couple of months now, I’m guessing you’re looking at the 3+ because like me, you’re not sure whether to stump up the extra cash. I’m a self-confessed gadget geek and not going for the latest model normally doesn’t sit right with me. I only use the GoPro for filming so the still image quality was something of no concern to me. My main requirement was that the camera filmed in 1080 at either 30fps (frames per second) or 60fps to ensure I had a really good image. I also needed an external microphone jack so I could get good quality audio. The 3+ meets these requirements so that was my starting point.

Looking at the Hero4 Silver, the built-in touch display was no use to me, as the 3+ has wi-fi built-in – this means I can view the camera angle and change settings through the GoPro app on my iPhone. The Hero4 Silver also shoots in 4k, which if you’re wanting to future proof could mean it’s a smarter investment. But, I won’t be getting a 4k TV for a long time and decided I wasn’t willing to wait delaying the purchase of a GoPro until I get a 4k TV. Both the Hero4 Silver and Black have adjustable settings for ISO, exposure, colour and an improved processor, which for me was the biggest issue I had in choosing a 3+ over a Hero4.

I use my GoPro to film my car both inside and outside and that’s it. I don’t jump out of planes, ski, board, or any other wild activities. I’m also certainly not a professional and chances are would only end up making my videos look worse playing about with the adjustable settings on the Hero4. 1080 at 60fps is good enough for me was what I thought in the end. And I think I made the right decision. The Hero3+ is amazing in good lighting conditions and terrible in low light conditions. And I do mean terrible. If you do a lot of shooting in low light this is not the camera for you, my videos were full of motion blur, dull and no amount of post-production would sort it out. I’ve still gone with 5 stars for this because low light conditions are not an issue for me.

Setting up the built-in wi-fi to create a network for the GoPro app is a doddle, as is using the camera itself to video. Power on, press the wi-fi (if you want to check angle or change settings) and press record, that’s it. The real fun comes in editing your videos and have to say, the GoPro Studio is very easy to use, producing great quality edits. The Hero3+ comes with the waterproof housing, which means the camera is just that but has a big impact on audio quality. I needed the skeleton housing, which has a gap in the casing to attach a USB so you can charge whilst using, or as in my case, attach the external mic. I also bought the official GoPro suction mount, but will eventually buy the mounts for my pushbike too.

So am I happy with not spending the extra £50 for the Hero 4 Silver or the extra £120 for the Hero4 Black? Yes. GoPro say that the Hero4 cameras are aimed at professionals, which I know what they mean but think this is a bit misleading. Unless you’re shooting for an actual film that will be released in the mainstream, the Hero3+ produces an image quality that is staggering. My folks still can’t believe something so small can produce such crisp quality. Apologies for the lengthy review, but hopefully will help those undecided between this and a Hero4 before parting with their hard earned.


Gliptone Leather Cleaner & Conditioner 250ml Complete Car Seat Kit
Gliptone Leather Cleaner & Conditioner 250ml Complete Car Seat Kit
Offered by Monza
Price: £17.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best..., 23 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I’ve tried several different leather cleaners and conditioners and this is hands down, the best one. The leather in my car has always been kept clean so I wasn’t expecting this to lift off a significant amount of dirt…and it didn’t. But, the longevity of the product and the smell it produces is better than anything else I’ve tried. The conditioner in particular really does seem to soak into the leather and give it that new look, as well as having that ‘new leather’ smell, although be warned it can be quite overpowering for the first few days.

As both the cleaner and conditioner are gel based, this is a real bonus for me due to my car also having alcantara inserts on the seat. As this stuff is thick, I can take care and ensure it doesn’t run onto the alcantara, which has been a problem with some other leather treatments I’ve previously used. Postage and packaging was quick and had great service from the seller.


Kent Car Care Sponger Finger Applicator Mitts (Pack of 2)
Kent Car Care Sponger Finger Applicator Mitts (Pack of 2)
Offered by Roaduserdirect
Price: £2.49

3.0 out of 5 stars No good for me..., 23 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought these to try and save my fingers and knuckles from being shredded to bits when applying wax to the wheels on my car. A well-known detailing manufacturer also makes these, but at a much higher price so thought I’d give these a whirl. They’re very thick and in fairness, the wheels on my car are of such a design that it’s virtually impossible to apply wax to them so no good for me. I’m not sure why you’d use these for waxing the car itself either, as a circular pad would be better suited. I’m perhaps being a bit harsh, if you’ve got wheels with 5 or 6 spokes these would be very useful but if your wheels are multi-spoked, get a good supply of plasters and be ready for your hands to hurt.


KabelDirekt 3m Pro Series Stereo Jack Extension Cable 3.5mm Male > 3.5mm Female
KabelDirekt 3m Pro Series Stereo Jack Extension Cable 3.5mm Male > 3.5mm Female
Offered by KabelDirekt
Price: £6.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Very good..., 23 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this to use with my GoPro, suction cup mount and an external microphone. It’s a really good quality cable, feeling more expensive than it actually is and cheaper than the Rode cable. I guess that any stereo jack extension cable would do the job, but given the quality of this one I’m sure it will last a lot longer than others that bit cheaper. Excellent service from the seller and it arrived within 3 days of ordering, even on the super saver option.


GoPro 3.5mm Hero 3 Mic Cable
GoPro 3.5mm Hero 3 Mic Cable
Price: £15.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Expensive...but worth it, 23 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Stick with me on this please...I bought a cheap skeleton housing so I could plug this cable into it and record audio for when I mount my GoPro on the outside of my car. The skeleton housing wasn’t bad quality when I first opened it, so thought I’d saved a few quid that justified going for the official cable rather than one of the £4.99 ones kicking about on here. Unfortunately, the cheap skeleton housing opening is too narrow for this official cable to actually plug into the GoPro and requires some DIY on the housing for it to fit.

So why am I telling you about a cheap skeleton housing when the chances are you’re reading these reviews to see if the official cable is worth the money? Well, if you’ve bought non-official GoPro accessories, the chances are you’ll buy the non-official cable. The non-official cable will probably fit your non-official housings and mounts too. I tried to save a few quid by buying a non-official skeleton housing and this official cable, which resulted in me having to modify the housing to get this cable to fit. Lesson learnt, you get what you pay for and this cable is no different. It’s ridiculously expensive for what it is, but if you need one and have other official mounts and frames, you can be comfortable that it will work and fit.


BOYA BY LM20 3.5mm Clip External Lavalier Microphone + Mini USB Adapter for GoPro Hero 4 3+ 3 2 Camcorders
BOYA BY LM20 3.5mm Clip External Lavalier Microphone + Mini USB Adapter for GoPro Hero 4 3+ 3 2 Camcorders
Offered by glück-express
Price: £9.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great value..., 23 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having just purchased a GoPro Hero 3+ Silver, I was disappointed with the sound quality from the internal mic. I use the GoPro on the outside of my car and as expected, the audio quality is terrible. So having invested in a skeleton housing, 3.5mm audio cable and a stereo jack extension cable, I opted for this mic due to the price. With the GoPro mounted on the drivers’ door and rear engine lid, the mic was attached to the centre of the rear bumper just above the number plate. I also wrapped the first 6 inches or so of the cable in some foam, which protected my paintwork from the cable and also helped to shock mount the mic.

I used the windscreen supplied with the mic and for the first run out, was quite impressed with the results. The 3+ doesn’t have audio settings, so you’re limited regardless of how good the mic you buy is. Although this can be improved in post-production, you’ll need software to do this and the GoPro Studio doesn’t enable advanced audio editing. You can still hear a bit of wind noise and the mic is over compensating for the lack of audio settings in the camera, but for the price it’s not bad. Clearly, my use won’t be what most people buy this for(!) and having tried it in the car and clipped to my clothing, happy to report that for voice pick-up this is absolutely fine.

A windjammer is likely to improve the audio quality for my use so this will be my next purchase. Overall, I don’t think you can complain for the price and as I say, considering I’m using this for purposes it probably wasn’t even designed for, it’s a good purchase.


EPRANCE® New Skeleton Protective Housing with Lens for Gopro Hero 3 Hero 3+
EPRANCE® New Skeleton Protective Housing with Lens for Gopro Hero 3 Hero 3+
Offered by Hudson&Rhodes
Price: £15.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Needs some DIY..., 23 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Like others, I bought this to use an external microphone and didn’t really want to pay the price for the official GoPro skeleton housing. Unfortunately, the housing doesn’t actually accommodate the official GoPro 3.5mm audio cable, as the USB end of the cable is too big to actually plug into the GoPro when using the housing. I had to file away quite a lot of the housing for the cable to fit, which isn’t great as the shards of plastic then fall into the lens protector no matter how much you cover it. I managed in the end to get the cable to fit, not sure how others haven’t had this problem unless they’re using a cheaper version of the 3.5mm audio cable.

The build quality of the housing itself is OK, the snap clip is flimsy and constantly falls off the casing when opening but once closed it feels secure. The fixing supplied with the housing is very poor and you can see in the picture that the long screw catches on the housing, meaning it is impossible to tighten it as securely as you’d probably want. As I use my GoPro for the outside of my car, this is a problem and I had to revert to the screw supplied with the GoPro, which is longer and doesn’t catch the housing.

I’m fairly new to the GoPro scene, but have already learnt that you do get what you pay for. Trying to save £25 on the official skeleton housing, has cost me £15 for a housing that I had to do a DIY bodge job for it to do what it’s supposed to, doesn’t securely fasten to attachments and isn’t the best build quality. The hassle and time spent getting this to work doesn’t justify the savings for me, so official GoPro items from here on in. They might be expensive for what they are, but you have the comfort that they have been designed correctly and you won’t need to ‘modify’ them to get them to work.


Knight Rider - The Complete Box Set (2011 Repackage) [DVD] [1982]
Knight Rider - The Complete Box Set (2011 Repackage) [DVD] [1982]
Dvd ~ David Hasselhoff
Price: £26.75

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant..., 27 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was lucky enough to get this before Christmas for under £20, which for that price was a steal. The presentation is superb and is a lot smaller than you'd think considering the number of discs included. All episodes are included, the pilot for some reason is on disc 4 rather than disc 1...can't figure out why that is, but no big deal really.

I'm in no position to critique the acting skills of the legend that is the Hoff, but this brings back some great memories and is easy to return to even after you've watched it all.


Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 - UK layout
Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 - UK layout
Price: £26.42

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just be careful..., 27 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this for two reasons - firstly, I've just got into video editing and found it difficult to use both a keyboard and mouse and thought this would help. Secondly, I've got a HTPC so this also serves as a large remote control. Overall, I'm very pleased with it, really easy to connect with the supplied USB adapter. I'm on Windows 8.1, just slotted the adapter in and bob's your uncle!

I've only given this 4 stars, as the trackpad can be very sensitive at times. On several occasions, I've ended up moving files by accident or loading programmes when I was simply moving the cursor. The problem is that when you get to the end of the trackpad, you have to move your finger/thumb back to the bottom to keep scrolling. The trackpad is sensitive and can easily select a file (as it can sometimes double click when you return your finger/thumb to the bottom of the trackpad), which can then end up being moved when you don't want to!

I've adjusted the sensitivity of the trackpad and it's a lot better, but something to be mindful of. I'm sure a larger keyboard wouldn't suffer the same problems, but I guess that defeats the purpose of buying this then.


The Muvipix.com Guide to Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12: The tools, and how to use them, to make movies on your personal computer using Sony's amazing video editing program
The Muvipix.com Guide to Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12: The tools, and how to use them, to make movies on your personal computer using Sony's amazing video editing program
by Steve Grisetti
Edition: Paperback
Price: £26.73

3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but too much..., 27 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My review might be a bit unfair perhaps, as I guess it's based on my own personal choice of how I like to learn. There's no doubt that everything you need is in here, but that's the problem. By the time I've found the right section, chapter and associated chapters, I could have gone online, found the information and be editing!

If you don't mind sticking your nose in a book and going end-to-end (and believe me, I do enjoy that), this is a great buy if you're wanting to get into video editing. If you're wanting a pick up and show me quickly learning tool, the internet is king here I'm afraid.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4