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A. D. Clift (Bromley Kent UK)

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Garmin External Battery Pack Charger for VIRB and VIRB Elite
Garmin External Battery Pack Charger for VIRB and VIRB Elite
Price: 20.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Did Not Need It All, 10 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The fact that Garmin no longer provide mains chargers with their kit is sensible as they are standard USB and many people that buy the kit will already have them. Those that don't can easily buy them if they don't want to rely on computer USB for charging. I wish they extended that common sense to this item.

I wanted to be able to charge one battery on my Virb camera while using another so needed a separate charger. All I wanted was the dedicated tray that the battery fits into so although this does the job perfectly I wish Garmin made the battery tray available as a separate item as the charger and plug adapters have already been relegated to the cupboard in the back bedroom together with all the other chargers that I will never use.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 26, 2014 10:09 PM BST

AmazonBasics USB A to Lightning Compatible Cable (4 Inches / 10 cm)
AmazonBasics USB A to Lightning Compatible Cable (4 Inches / 10 cm)
Price: 10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, 10 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When we motorcycle tour my wife and I carry iPhones and iPads and all need to be charged. Using an Anker charger with 5 USB sockets everything gets charged together during an overnight hotel stay but carrying metres of cable is pointless which is where these come in.

Many of these charger cables get bad reviews with complaints varying from break easily to don't work. These have all been flawless. They do the job and we don't have metres of cable to untangle every time a phone needs charging.

Gerber  Suspension Multi-Plier
Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier
Offered by Leon Limited
Price: 22.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Value, 10 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought one of these when they first came out as they were a lot cheaper than Leatherman tools. It has had heavy use over the years and served me very well. Recently I used it in a way that twisted the pliers in a way they were not intended to go - and they broke. No criticism here as I was using the tool in a way never intended so I looked around the market for a replacement. Final decision was buy the same again. It does the job and is very good value for money.

Garmin Virb Elite HD Action Camera with GPS and Wi-Fi - White/Black (16MP) 1.4 inch LCD
Garmin Virb Elite HD Action Camera with GPS and Wi-Fi - White/Black (16MP) 1.4 inch LCD
Price: 255.11

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GoPro Killer?, 10 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have been a GoPro user for some years, mainly so I can take video and stills while motorcycling around Europe, and have experience of GoPro 1, 2 and 3 Black edition. I also use a DSLR with a GPS add on so I can remember where the shots were taken and the ability to record location with my videos prompted the purchase of the Virb Elite. I love my GoPros so how does the Virb match up?

Firstly I am not going to waste time with a long list of features. Just download the manual from Garmin's website and read that.

First impressions when taking it out of the box were positive. It feels a solid piece of kit that should be able to take some punishment. Second impression was not so good as the limited mounts provided would not allow an easy fitting to my helmet. Then I noticed the GoPro adapter and with this I could easily use any of my large stock of GoPro bits so soon found a combination of Virb and GoPro to make a mount. I have since ordered some extra Virb bits for two reasons. The Virb base plate is screwed on to the mounts which I think is better than the “push and click” method employed by GoPro (I had one drop off while riding in Germany) and the arms have click stops to hold them in position,. GoPro uses friction and any user will know that without the use of a spanner or multitool to tighten the screws they slip easily. More than once I have recorded miles of video of the road as the GoPro mount has slipped. This should be a thing of the past with the Virb. Maybe Garmin designers had a good look at the GoPro before they came up with the Virb.

Having mounted the Virb on my helmet I had nowhere to go but my wife had bought me a day on Quad bikes so I took my own helmet to that so the Virb could be tested in a rougher environment than it ever would be on road trips. After a day’s use I decided that Garmin definitely got some GoPro experience before designing the Virb.

Turning on a GoPro with gloves on while riding on a public road has always been hit and miss. First press one tiny recessed button to turn the unit on. Then press another tiny recessed button to start and stop recording. Then either set the unit to auto turn off after a timeout or press and hold the tiny button for six seconds. This has taken four lines to write. Now the Virb instructions. Slide the big switch forward to turn on and back to turn off. That’s it. One big, easy to find slider on the side both turns on and off and controls recording. There is a separate on/off button which leaves the unit on all the time so it can record GPS data while not recording video but if you just want video you don’t need it. Having it on also means that when you start recording it will immediately have GPS lock which may take a few seconds if the quick on/off method is used. To be fir to GoPro, their cameras can be set in the menu to “one touch record” but that does not get around the tiny very glove unfriendly buttons.

I also found it was easy to remove the Virb from the helmet mount one handed while wearing the helmet and just as easily refit it. I could then quickly check battery and remaining recording time. I did not need to change batteries either as the capacity is about double GoPro. If I did need to change batteries it is simply a case of lifting off the battery cover and swap the battery as the Virb does not use a separate waterproof case. The Virb is sufficiently waterproof for anything except use under water but does not have the water resistance of a GoPro. Garmin claim it is resistant to the international standard IPX7 which means it should be OK for half an hour at 1 metre depth. This is the same standard as Garmin use for their motorcycle and outdoor satnavs and I have both and have never had a problem.

Now the important question. How does the video compare? I think my GoPro 3 has the edge but only just. The Virb images are very good indeed but I agree with some other reviews I have read that they are a little over saturated. On balance though I think I prefer the idea of reliably recording useful footage rather than find when I got home that the mount had slipped or I had not pressed the little button on the GoPro enough to start recording. I had one GoPro trip where one missed press resulted in turning it on when I though I was turning it off and off when I thought on. The result was lots of recordings of rubbish and all the action missed, That should now be a thing of the past. If the image over saturation is a problem it could be corrected in decent editing software which brings this review to Garmin’s free Virb Edit software.

When the Virb records the result is three files. One standard video file plus a related gpx file containing all the position, speed, height, etc. data. A third gpx file is made of all data between turning the unit on and off, regardless of whether any recordings are made. This third file cn be loaded into Garmin Basecamp (free program) and the data viewed graphically or on a map. In order to relate the video to the data the recordings need to be loaded into Virb Edit. The program is very intuitive and once the files are imported the video can be viewed next to a Bing or Google map showing the route taken. It is also possible via a number of overlays showing speedos, height gauges, G force metres, etc. to overlay data onto the video. very similar to the clever TV pictures from Formula 1 showing data from the cars. If the video is edited with other software such as Final Cut or Premiere the data is lost but it is very easy to make a copy in Virb Edit with the data and then use that in other edit programs. I started off by just copying the bits where I wanted data but its easier to just copy it all and then have both data and non-data copies to play with. Virb Edit does offer some very basic edit options. It is possible to cut the footage, change playback speed, add VERY simple titles and music and then output it in different video standards or upload to Youtube. The program is free so no real complaints but it is not as good for editing as the GoPro option. The GoPro edit program is free and can be used with Virb video but not, of course, with the data files. My preference is to do my main editing using Final Cut but for Mac users iMovie would do the job just as well.

So what else? Both GoPro and Virb have remote control options via a Smartphone and there is nothing to choose between them. Both show similar output and both require a dedicated wi-fi link to the phone. Both cameras also have dedicated remote controls. I have the GoPro version and rarely use it as the battery life is poor and it requires a special charging lead (stupid). It works OK and has a small screen showing some data from the camera. I have not tried the Virb option but note it has no screen which could make it less useful. The Virb can also be controlled via some Garmin satnavs. I have tried it with my Montana and it works very well. As this uses the Garmin ANT+ system it does not need a wi-fi link first. ANT+ also allows the Virb to read data from Garmin’s other dongles so other data can be added to videos such as heart rate and temperature.

Is it a GoPro killer. At present probably not but I use a lot of Garmin kit and they are in the habit of adding and updating with new software so time will tell. The early reported freezes seem a thing of the past and there is now a PAL output setting which did not appear on the original software and is not mentioned in the manual yet. It is without doubt very user friendly to operate, it is very well built and the limited range of mounts seem to be well thought out although they are just bits of plastic so it would have been nice if Garmin put a couple more in the box and most important of all, the resulting video quality is good.

And finally. I have been using Garmin kit for some years and my early experience was that their back up service was hard to beat. They exchanged my first Garmin satnav for a new one free of charge after I dropped it and broke it (my fault). They exchanged a two year old satnav when the on/off switch got sticky and a few weeks back I phoned them as my 5 year old motorcycle satnav crashed and would not reboot. Their immediate answer was send it back and two days later a courier delivered a new one free of charge. I guess their Virb service will be the same.

Canon PIXMA iX6850 Wi-Fi Office Printer - Black
Canon PIXMA iX6850 Wi-Fi Office Printer - Black
Price: 164.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, 15 May 2014
When I checked some review sites this printer was getting a very average press. Then I looked in detail where it had been marked down. No card slots - never use them. No Pictbridge - never use it. No paper cartridge - don't need it. Poor text print results - that's what I have a Laser printer for. Then I looked at photo performance and it was reported as impressive.

Totally agree. The performance as a photo printer is considerably better than the price point would suggest. It's reasonably fast, even on A3 although it shows Canon's normal faffing about at start up. It was no problem to install wirelessly on either my Mac using the driver download site and my Windows 8 (yuk) laptop using the supplied DVD.

For me Canon have got it right with this one. Don't include Pictbridge, SD slots, cartridges etc. that few people need especially if you have a normal A4 office printer, just make a printer that spits out super quality photographs on A3 at a sensible price.

Nikon WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter
Nikon WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter
Price: 41.37

4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfect, 1 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It does the job it was advertised for both on my D7100 DSLR and my P7800 compact. The iPhone/iPad app works well although there is a bit of a time delay on the Live View. No worse than on similar software I use with a Go Pro or my wi-fi security camera so I guess this is the state of the technology.

File transfer can be a bit slow, especially with the large images from the D7100 but its a useful item and hardly takes up space in the gadget bag as its the size of a thumb nail.

Why drop one star. Nothing wrong with it really but it would have been nice to have a PC or Mac app available. My Mac will log on to it's wi-fi but it will not see any of the shots or operate the camera.

Apple ME710ZM/A Smart Case for iPad Mini- Black
Apple ME710ZM/A Smart Case for iPad Mini- Black
Price: 43.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Cheaper than Buying from Apple, 1 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I already had a lint blue version of this which I was very pleased with but it got dirty easily so I thought black made more sense.

It fit well, looks good and does the job. It came from Apple but the delivered price was less than buying from the Apple Store.

Nikon SB-300 Speedlight Flashgun
Nikon SB-300 Speedlight Flashgun
Price: 118.95

5.0 out of 5 stars It's Nikon so it Works, 1 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I already have Nikon SB 910 and SB 600 flash guns for my DSLR cameras but needed something a little more transportable for my Coolpix P7800. I did not consider any other makes as it seems pointless to spend money on a decent camera and then penny pinch to save a few pounds and stick a cheap flash on top.

This item has a quality Nikon feel, comes in a fabric storage bag and works well. Does not take too much space, camera stays well balanced and it offers more power than the tiny built in flash.

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Service and It Works, 1 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I wanted this for my new Nikon D7100 as Nikon decided that, unlike the earlier model, it did not need a dedicated screen protector. This product arrived within 24 hours and include the screen protector, a second small protector for the camera's control panel and a cleaning cloth. All well packaged in a card envelope.

At first I was disappointed as despite taking a lot of care I found it impossible to remove three large air bubbles but all was not lost. An email to Expert Shield was replied to in minutes and a second Shield was despatched by First Class post fee of charge and received the next day. This one fitted easily. No rubbing, no smoothing with a credit card and no bubbles. Perfect result and totally invisible.

I can live with a product failing when this sort of back up is offered, hence five stars

Nikon GP-1A GPS Unit for Digital SLR
Nikon GP-1A GPS Unit for Digital SLR
Price: 177.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Does It's Job, 1 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought the Phottix copy of this for my D7000 a couple of years ago as I holiday by randomly motorcycling around Europe and take hundreds of photographs. Later it's hard to remember where some of them originate.

The Phottix worked well on the D7000 but I discovered that it would not work on my new Nikon P7800 compact so bought this genuine Nikon version. Yes the genuine one works perfectly on the P7800 but no better or worse than the cheaper one on my D7000. In fact the cabled remote that was included in the copy works just as well on the Nikon one as well so they are very similar.

I have since upgraded the D7000 to the D7100 and wondered if the problem was Nikon changing camera software to block the copy versions from working but both copy and genuine work OK on the D7100.

There is nothing wrong with the genuine version apart from the price which is nearly as much as some compacts which have built in GPS. If you know a copy will work go for it, otherwise the genuine one offers the peace of mind that it should work with all GPS enabled Nikon kit and it has a Nikon badge on it.

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