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Mr. Rik John Wells "Rik" (Bucks, UK)

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Samsung SM245B 24" Widescreen 5ms Black LCD Monitor TFT with DVI 3000:1, Windows Vista Premium Ready
Samsung SM245B 24" Widescreen 5ms Black LCD Monitor TFT with DVI 3000:1, Windows Vista Premium Ready

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Splendid value; good quality, 19 Nov. 2007
I finally plumped for this monitor due to its price and the consistency of the reviews I found and I am very pleased with it. It comes with a sturdy stand and two cables (aside from the power lead), each with DVI at one end, one with a mini-D-range VGA connector and the other with another DVI at the other. There are 2 power switches, which gave me some concern initially, as I forgot to check the rocker under the back of the unit when installing! The other switch is circular with a nice blue led in the centre which flashes when the monitor is "resting".

It is light, smart and performs well. As has been mentioned elsewhere, the default settings are very bright and it is difficult to adjust to match another monitor, but I reckon that is seldom of critical importance: with the large display area available you are only being greedy wanting to use it with another monitor! Having said that, I would rather like to marry it with an identical unit ... The on-screen menu is not difficult to navigate so much as awkward, and pressing the "Auto" button (which is next to, in line with and is almost indistinguishable from the navigation buttons) by accident can be an annoyance!

I have had some trouble, albeit temporary, with what I suspect is some kind of synchronisation problem leading to hroizontal yellow streaking on some white areas on images such as a Win2k logon screen. This may be a problem with my display card rather than the monitor, however, as it was solved by resetting the display resolution from Control Panel -> Display -> Settings.

I have used the monitor for non-games oriented uses such as code development, word processing and a little image processing, revelling in the available viewing area, and still more would be even better, especially on the code development side: the more I can see, the better. Image manipulation can also benefit from plenty of space, so who knows, when I have made some more room on my desk ...

The package is not perfect, however, and the stand at least gives the impression that it was designed to allow for rotating the display to portrait attitude, as a few degrees of rotation is "available", but I haven't managed to get it to turn yet. This means that there is some unnecessary play in the mounting, but the monitor doesn't move by itself, so it's not much of a problem! There is some degree of tilt, which is useful as the range of viewing angle is not very impressive. Personally this is of no concern to me, but for potential purchasers who may wish to use the monitor as a multimedia display, it could be a significant disadvantage. The base of the stand is large and provides a sturdy support but, at the same time, takes up a generous amount of space! Clearly this is a delightful improvement on a similar CRT (I have a huge old Belinea 23" CRT which is on a wall-mounted arm) but is worthy of consideration.

Joby GorillaPod SLR-Zoom Tripod for SLR Cameras
Joby GorillaPod SLR-Zoom Tripod for SLR Cameras
Offered by MP3 Accessories
Price: £29.30

107 of 112 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bulky but often very useful, 15 Oct. 2007
The Gorillapod devices are alternatives for tripods or supports, only enabling a camera's attachment to and positioning on all sorts of things such as railings and trees as well as more conventional use as a miniature tripod, if considerably more adjustable for uneven terrain. The light grey sections of the legs (including the "feet") are grippy soft synthetic rubber-like material which help to prevent slippage. This definitely helps confidence when relying on it to safely support your thousand-pounds-or-more-worth of equipment! The joints are ball-joints and are quite stiff, which also helps with stability and the "safety" aspect. I do wonder how long the stiffness will last, but they are likely to last quite a while as they "share" movement. The stiffness does provide good stability for long exposures, excepting conditions where vibration may interfere with the way it has been mounted.

As has been mentioned in other reviews, the SLR Zoom version is essential for heavy camera/lens/etc. combinations, but it is rigid enough to support my Nikon D80 with 18-200mm zoom, weighing in at 3.3kg although finely adjusting where the camera is pointing is usually awkward without an additional tripod head. The smallest version (bought for my partner for use with her Coolpix 7900 and found to be very useful indeed) has a "neck" so you can wrap the legs around whatever and then bend it so that the camera is aimed perfectly at the subject. As this version is intended for use with considerably heavier equipment, there is no neck, so either you should bear the subject matter in mind as you apply the legs or use an additional tripod "head" as well. Without the separate adjustment, it can be very difficult to frame the subject. A head which allows for easy release of the camera would help, too, as the legs do add substantially to the awkwardness of carrying a camera! They can be "moulded" into a "single" leg to help support, though.

The light grey sections are susceptible to staining, especially as they are so soft, but IMHO, that's simply a sign that the item has been used!

The unit is very light, but quite bulky. Carrying it around in a camera bag is expensive in terms of space unless you are sure you're likely to use it. However, it is so versatile that I would make sure I took it on holiday, for example. I suspect everyone would have their own opinion of when and for what they might use it, but I would err on the side of taking it, certainly if self-portraits or long exposures are planned!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 5, 2010 11:31 AM BST

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