Profile for brabason > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by brabason
Top Reviewer Ranking: 7,788
Helpful Votes: 190

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
brabason (UK)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
pixel
Olympus XZ-2 Digital Camera - Black (12MP, 4x i.Zuiko Wide Optical Zoom) 3 inch Touch LCD
Olympus XZ-2 Digital Camera - Black (12MP, 4x i.Zuiko Wide Optical Zoom) 3 inch Touch LCD
Offered by Shop J
Price: £229.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expensive but good, 10 Oct 2014
Many detailed reviews about the functions etc. included so far. Not repeated here save to say that it is a very good camera. So expensive on Amazon, I bought a new one on eBay for half the price.
A few items that I did not see in the many reviews.

1) The manual included in the box is a total waste of time unless you want to say XZ-2 in 28 languages. There is a full manual on the Olympus web site: you pick your language and download a pdf file. I changed its name to 'XZ-2 Manual' from the gobbldigook numbers and letters name it comes with. The XZ-2 comes with an amazing number of features, without the manual you will not get anything much out of this camera. Don't bother printing the manual (108 pages), most of us only need some of it.

2) When you switch it on, the Olympus lens cover pops off automatically. Great but if you don't catch it (and miss that photo) then you will loose it / forget to pick it up. There is an alternative lens cover, the Olympus LC-63A sold separately. This does work. I use a squeeze blower to ensure that there is no dust in the mechanism. No room for a lens protecting filter as with dSLRs.

3) The LCD screen is very good. Unfortunatly when the sun shines on it all you see at best is your own refection. The solution is a viewer that fits onto the hot shoe. As usual this is an extra. I have a VF-3 (smaller, older, less costly and XZ-2 compatible). What it shows is the LCD screen complete but not the touch screen features. There is also a VF-4 which is Olympus' latest viewer. Gives a bigger image, is much larger than the VF-3 and considerably more expensive. Remember that in some parts of the world harmless tourists have 'point and shoot' cameras. When you stick the viewer on some may think of you as a 'professional' taking iffy photos.

4) I shoot RAW / Manual all the time. Note that RAW photos are much larger than the jpeg ones: about 19-20 Mb each. Not an issue but you will need a much larger and faster memory card: mine is a 32GB Sandisk Extreme 4; yet another sold separately item. RAW images include very fine detail not available on 'cooked' jpg ones: the combination of a good lens and a good sensor is very good on this camera. No experience of Olympus software, I use Lightroom 4 (which I already had).

5) For those very sunny shots, there is a Neutral Density Filter option in the menu (NB on/off it is called). Two further options: 1. it prevents the sky from being a blown out highlight and 2. by slowing down the speed you can do other things with the apperture / depth of field.

6) This camera is ISO sensitive. I use mostly 100 ISO, 200 ISO when needed. More than this and there is noise in the photos and loss of detail. I never use the auto ISO, no control and strange results. This is not a high end dSLR that can take high ISO pictures in its stride.

7) There is digital zoom beyond the lens zoom. It works by expanding the central part of the sensor. Two items here: 1. It causes loss of detail in the photos and 2. To use this amount of zoom hand held, make sure the speed is fast (see above for ISO).

8) The lens is good. However, used wide open (f2.8 etc.) it causes the photos to be a bit soft (most people will not even notice this). Close the apperture by a couple of points for very sharp results. On a wide zoom setting there is quite a lot of barrel distortion. This can be corrected in a good software editor.

9) I always have a spare battery with me. The spare Olympus batteries are very expensive. The third party Ex-pro one is very good. Works just like the Olympus one that came in the box and lasts as long. Yet another item sold separately.

10) If you want a bag to carry this camera about, it will have to be large. I settled for a Lowepro Format 140. This has room for the camera with the neck strap, the VF-3 viewer, spare battery, tripod detachable head (the bit that fits onto the camera) plus a few pockets not yet used. Not that large, a good dSLR needs an even bigger one.

Conclusion: Very good camera but expensive and all the extras are additional costs. More expensive than a dSLR? Maybe a cheap one and you will still need the extras. At least the XZ-2 is smaller and easier to carry about.


8 Pack of R63 ES (E27) Fitting low energy saving reflector spot light bulbs. 11w 300 Lumen Standard Edison screw 27mm Diameter screw fitting 240v
8 Pack of R63 ES (E27) Fitting low energy saving reflector spot light bulbs. 11w 300 Lumen Standard Edison screw 27mm Diameter screw fitting 240v
Offered by Dependable Trading LTD
Price: £26.11

5.0 out of 5 stars Very bright lights, 30 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Delivery was fast. Bright white which suits me but many people prefer a warm white (actually a colour temperature thing). Not an excessive delay at starting up. Best left on until you don't need the room for a while.
Amazon also change the item picture, currently wrong and very confusing.

Later: two bulbs failed in fast succession. Contacted the supplier and replacements sent out overnight arriving in morning post.


GEM Anti-Shock Camera Case for Olympus Models SH-21, SZ10, SZ11, SZ-12, SZ-30MR, SZ-31MR iHS, XZ-1, XZ-2 iHS
GEM Anti-Shock Camera Case for Olympus Models SH-21, SZ10, SZ11, SZ-12, SZ-30MR, SZ-31MR iHS, XZ-1, XZ-2 iHS
Offered by GEM Bags & Cases
Price: £18.69

2.0 out of 5 stars Too small for XZ-2, 9 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As described, will take my XZ-2 with automatic lens cap LC-63A, just; fit is tight but this may be because the bag is new. It will not take the Olympus neck strap, there is no room for it. So I have bought a smaller wrist strap from a third party, still to see if this was a good idea. Room for a spare battery in the front pouch but not for my VF-3 viewer.

Later

The wrist strap helped but not completely. The camera remains a close fit, probably because of the LC-63A lens cap. The wrist strap had to be squeezed in for the zip to work. I have since replaced the original Olympus neck strap and am not using the Gem bag. Conclusion: if you have a basic XZ-2 without any straps and with the original lens cap, this product might work. On the other hand, if your XZ-2 is this basic it is only a matter of time before you drop it.

Later

Returned for a full refund OK


Ex-Pro High Power Plus+ Lithium Ion Digital Camera Replacement Battery for Olympus SH-50 iHS/Tough TG-1 iHS/TG-2 iHS/XZ-2 iH
Ex-Pro High Power Plus+ Lithium Ion Digital Camera Replacement Battery for Olympus SH-50 iHS/Tough TG-1 iHS/TG-2 iHS/XZ-2 iH
Price: £8.83

5.0 out of 5 stars Works well with my XZ-2, 9 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this low cost battery because of the good reviews and because the Olympus original was so expensive.
My previous experience with Canon replacement batteries was poor, I always bought the original Canon batteries (which are not as expensive as the Olympus ones).
So I expected the same sad experience with this low cost third party battery.
Well, so far, so good. The battery charged in the usual way and it has lasted longer than the original Olympus one that came in the box.
I am impressed. I always keep spare batteries when I go on holidays, this time I will buy a spare one or two of these.


Ernest Charles AE01003 3Kg Peanut Kernels
Ernest Charles AE01003 3Kg Peanut Kernels
Offered by Capital Stores
Price: £15.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Great quality peanuts for birds, 4 Aug 2014
Definitely not the only supplier of peanuts for birds. These ones are good quality, which is important because poor quality /old ones can be toxic. Fast delivery.


Renata 357 Mercury Free Battery SR44W SILVER 1.55V SWISS MADE
Renata 357 Mercury Free Battery SR44W SILVER 1.55V SWISS MADE
Offered by Birch Jewellers
Price: £1.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Effective replacement for SR44R, 4 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Cateye Solar cycle computer had SR44R (rechargeable) batteries. These are no longer made, probably because of their toxic contents.
The 357 replacement for SR44W fits exactly. They are the same size as the rechargeable ones, only not rechargeable. Time will tell how long these will last in this use. Expensive only by comparison because the rechargeable ones lasted for years.


Bayer Garden Super Strength Glyphosate (6 Sachets)
Bayer Garden Super Strength Glyphosate (6 Sachets)
Offered by E 4 Emporium Limited
Price: £8.38

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unsure about this general purpose product, 1 Jun 2014
I am looking for an ivy killer. The issue is that ivy leaves (and others) do not absorb general spray products, which is why some reviews are one star and others think it is the best thing since sliced bread: it depends on the weed.
There used to be specific products for ivy; my guess is that some faceless bureaucrat has decided this was too much fun. The current lot are only a method for getting hold of your money.

Some suggest pulling the ivy out. Be careful, many people (including me) get poison ivy; it will go through rubber gloves with thick garden gloves. Never burn the removed stuff, you do not want to get poison ivy in your lungs unless you do not want to share the experience. Best to kill it first then physically remove it several weeks later when the poison has dried up.

Ivy is like most weeds, it keeps coming back. The stuff you kill is the old stuff. Within two weeks there are new shoots.


Plugable USB Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy Micro Adapter (Windows 8 and Linux Compatible; Classic Bluetooth Compatible)
Plugable USB Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy Micro Adapter (Windows 8 and Linux Compatible; Classic Bluetooth Compatible)
Offered by Plugable Technologies
Price: £12.12

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Windows XP installation, 25 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Other reviews tell how good this very small Bluetooth dongle is. I agree with this, it is good.
This review is about Windows XP installation hopefully to save some grief. If you know how to do this read no further.

Before you start this, you should be in an Administrator account. If you are the only user on your system, you are the Administrator. If there are several user accounts on the system, you need to change yours to be an Administrator or make use of another account that is already on your system.

First you need to check if there is an existing Bluetooth service on your machine, not every body has one. Look at 'Control Panel', 'System' icon, Harware tab, 'Device Manager' button. This shows a list of all the harware and services on your computer. If there is a Bluetooth line already there, this must be removed. Click on the + box to open the lines under the heading. Assuming you have not tried to implement the dongle before this, what you see are the existing Bluetooth services which must be removed. Right click each Bluetooth line below the heading and select 'Uninstall'. Be patient. Repeat this with any remaining lines. Click the red X at the top of the screen, OK on System Properties, red X on Control Panel. Reboot your system and check that the unwanted Blutooth items are gone by repeating the procedure.

This Bluetooth USB dongle and the associated software need to be installed on a clean boot machine; any application that gets in the way and the installation is not complete.

To achieve a clean boot is technical but not that difficult. You need to simplyfy your system configuration for a short while and return it to the original configuration afterwards. This is done using MSCONFIG.

On Windows XP, click 'Start' to open the programs window. In the right column there should be a link that says 'Run'; click this once and a small window will open for you to type into. Type msconfig (caps not necessary) and click OK. This will bring up a strangely technical window with many tabs. Select the 'Services' tab by cliking on it. At the bottom of this window is a box with the words 'Hide all Microsoft Services'; tick this box then click on the 'Disable All' buttton: this will disable all the services except the Microsoft ones that you need. Remove the tick on 'Hide All Microseft Sevices' to bring them back. Then click on the 'Startup' tab; this shows a list of applications that start up when you log into your system. If all the lines are ticked, then just Disable All. Alternatively, if you may have carefully selected a few necessary items previously (perhaps with other software), the rest being blank to speed up your sytem: in this case write these items down so that you can find them later before the 'Disable All'. Finally press 'OK' once at the bottom of the window; it will be slow to respond, just be patient. It might give you a message to remind you that you need to be an Administrator to do this; provided that you checked this out before hand, ignore this window and carry on. It will open a window giving the option to retart; select this.

After the restart, log into the Administrator account that you had used earlier. You should get a strange warning window about changes, click the box not to show the msconfig window again and OK. You are ready to install your Bluetooth. Follow the procedure as shown on screen, it will tell you when to fit the dongle. Use a USB port at the back of the PC / laptop and do not use a hub even if it has its own power. Note that this little dongle is a tight fit; get it the right way up and push hard so that it is fully in; once in don't ever think of removing it. When the installation is finished, leave you PC / laptop for a few minutes for windows to recognise all the hardware configurations that have been implemented. When all this has finished (basiclly Windows has stopped recogising hardwares), reboot your system for the end of the Bluetooth install.

When the Bluetooth installation is finished it is time to reset the system configuration using MSCONFIG. Basically you will repeat the procedure above but this time you will 'Enable All' the 'Services' and the 'Start Up' tabs. If you had a subset of start up items, use the list you wrote down earlier. Just tick the selected items. This time they are all in alphabetical order so you will have to seach for them; note that some items occur several times, make sure they are all ticked. The Bluetooth and Broadcom items should already be ticked but check this, no need to press the 'Enable All' button in this case. Finish with the OK button and reboot your system again.

Enjoy.


Minx Air 200 Wireless Music System with Airplay, Bluetooth & Internet Radio
Minx Air 200 Wireless Music System with Airplay, Bluetooth & Internet Radio
Offered by Cambridge Audio
Price: £349.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good and now cheaper, 18 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I agree with all the other reviews that say how great this product is.

I bought this as a present to my wife for Christmas. In those days it was £429. Now it is £80 cheaper. I feel so sick that I may buy myself another one at this greatly reduced price.

Why are you waiting? They wont give it away.

A month later

Still an excellent system. Most of the other radios in the house all of a sudden sound 'tinny'.

I have Bluetooth on my laptop. Definitely works well with the Minx. Unfortunately, when I select Bluetooth services on the Minx it just waits for my laptop output.

When I have finished with Bluetooth, the Minx must be shut off first, there is no separate disable function.


Brixton Hats Hooligan Flat Cap - Grey/Black Herringbone Grey X-large-62cm
Brixton Hats Hooligan Flat Cap - Grey/Black Herringbone Grey X-large-62cm
Offered by Hats and Caps
Price: £34.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Great hat but expensive, 28 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Excellent hat and excellent range of sizes including XL62 which is rarely available. But the price is very high, I only bought it because I received an Amazon voucher for my birthday.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5