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Sony DCRSX30EB Handycam Camcorder With 4GB Internal Memory (2h 55mins) - Silver
Sony DCRSX30EB Handycam Camcorder With 4GB Internal Memory (2h 55mins) - Silver

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Much, MUCH better on the market., 20 Feb 2011
I have a youtube account where I post acoustic covers of songs, and will occasionally make a vlog with my friends for fun so I asked for a video camera for Christmas 2009 (all I had been using previously was the video function on my regular camera). My parents, not knowing anything about the vlogging market, bought me this, and at first I thought it was pretty cool - it has a touch screen, rechargable battery pack, and it's recording quality is ok. The problem is the quality is simply ok at best, it cannot do HD (480p at max) and the resolution on my youtube videos is still grainy - the microphone is also very shoddy. However, like I said, it was an improvement on my current camera.
But recently I've seen an advert for an UltraHD Flipcam for around £100+ and was confused as to how a camera so much better (apparently) and easier to use can be that much cheaper than the one I have. The HD Flipcam is more compact, requires no USB leads, comes with its own editing software and records in full 720p HD - PERFECT for youtube. When I showed my parents they refused to believe that my camera was worse (probably because they'd spent so much money on it in the first place) but I have yet to read anything that contradicts what I'm finding.
This camera does have an epic zoom on it - perhaps that is why it's so expensive. You can zoom in like it's a telescope - but after explaining what I use it for you can understand that this is of no use to me. Perhaps if you are looking for a camera with a good zoom consider this one - 60x optical and 2000x digital - but it is of absolutely no use to me to be able to zoom in this much. Plus, with HD quality you can see objects in the distance with greater clarity anyway, without having to zoom in.
The editing software (well it's not editing software, let's be fair, it's an upload suite that allows you to trim and convert videos) is ok but the format the videos upload in causes my computer to crash if I have too many in one folder so have to constantly delete files or else move them to a folder I will never open after uploading them to youtube. Also if you want to actually edit more than one file together you have to convert to WMV (if you use Windows Movie Maker, again this may work better if you have another, higher standard editing suite) which reduces the quality EVEN FURTHER.
Maybe it's partly my computer, maybe I'm just crazy, but it seems totally insane for a camera of this quality to be sold for so much more than the Flipcam. In my books you're paying about £80 more for a much better zoom and a larger storage space (though as I worked out, because the quality of the videos is so much worse the storage space is probably actually smaller than the HD Flipcam's). It's up to you to gauge if you really think it's worth that. I can only offer my experience to someone who wants to be able to record videos of their family and friends and edit them easily and efficiently and then upload to youtube with genuine ease.
I shall write a review for the Flipcam if I purchase it confirming or denying my suspicians that it is a much better, cheaper video camera. Go to my profile to find out.


Memento Mori
Memento Mori
Price: £10.06

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Operatic, Biblical and Apocalyptic, 20 Feb 2011
This review is from: Memento Mori (Audio CD)
Flyleaf are a curious band - originating from Texas with a distinctly grunge-metal feel yet held together by a thin-voiced ex-drug addict singer who laces an indisputable pop vibe to their sound. Their debut self-titled album certainly got me talking - short, punchy songs with raw, screaming vocals and a running theme of real-life stories tying the album together. There was no denying their Christian influences, but what has always been impressive about Flyleaf is their ability to take a story with links to their faith and make it applicable to anything in life. Telling the stories of other people's, and their own, tragedies was expertly done but in a way that still sounded as raw and intense as they no doubt wanted it to seem. They were a metal band with a message.
Their second album was widely anticipated by their fanbase, mostly because of the wait they had had to endure - but let me tell you, it does not dissapoint. Most critics repeatedly talk of bands' "sophomore slumps", pinpointing the second album as the most difficult, and perhaps that is why they took so long making it. Each song has a definite place here and each song is as epic (actually, even more epic) than the songs on their last album.
What strikes most about this album is its huge feel - it feels like the world is ending during the recording of some of these songs. It is truly a biblical sensation, and although a lot of that does come from Christian-driven lyrics that lead singer Lacey Mosley writes these songs could just as easily entail a modern day fable. This album is a concept album to much greater effect than Green Day's last effort "21st Century Breakdown", which had no tangible themes and little recurrance throughout, and it's not even noticable whether it was intentional.
Firstly the title of the album itself, reminding to be aware of your mortality, is something that immediately adds a sinister feel to this album. Then there's the crashing army of guitars plowing down through Drop-D tunings with pinch harmonics and tremolo palm-muting, with the equally heavy crunch of the bass. Add solid drumbeats and Mosley's astonishing vocals and you're got an amazing album.
Mosley herself displays a wide variety of sounds to a once one-dimensional voice - from the screaming the fans loved on their debut, to the Texas drawl in parts of songs like Again and This Close, the quiet and thinly voiced breakdowns where she's barely whispering her lyrics and finally the huge operatic belting found in songs like the cataclysmic Circle and Arise.
The album moves through different scenarios, such as worship, disgust, love and , again, that end of the world theme. Songs like Tiny Heart, Treasure, Again, Missing and Set Apart This Dream will please the more mainstream audience they have picked up, while old school fans will be left drooling at the sheer horror of numbers like Chasm, The Kind, In The Dark, Swept Away and the 2 finale tracks to the album (Uncle Bobby being a bonus track). There is a lot to be loved about this album, and is a definite must-have for not only Flyleaf fans, but for fans of other metal-pop outfits like Evenescance and even the odd Paramore fan who isn't looking for pure pop-rock.
A definite and rare improvement from their first album.


Continuum
Continuum
Offered by Sent2u
Price: £9.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Mayer sets his musical abilities in stone, 13 Feb 2011
This review is from: Continuum (Audio CD)
This is ultimately the album that made John Mayer what he is today: Hated by many for his "arrogance", and loved by even more for his astonishing guitar skills and vocals that can come across as harsh as a whisky drinker and as soft as satin in the same song. Before Continuum, his studio work had mostly been a combination of jazz, rock and pop with his debut UK release Room for Squares providing a virtually exclusive acoustic guitar feel. Heavier Things moved John forward into a sea of electric guitar, introducing more intricate guitar solos and venturing in a drifting manner towards the Blues.
Continuum maintains a lot of what Heavier Things had - a smooth, pondering, meloncholy swing through brilliant guitarwork and improving vocals - yet he utilises his ideas through the medium of a crisp blues-rock this time around. Not only does Mayer display his ever-improving guitar skills in a completely different field, racking up intense guitar solos as opposed to subtle, fiddley acoustics, he displays a vast array of pedals and sounds throughout the album. This allows for a greater crescendo feel to a lot of his songs, something he never quite established beforehand, simply by switching the overdrive on his guitar up and changing the tone settings.
Don't get me wrong, this is still the same John Mayer - on this album he's still displaying his knack for describing feelings and emotions from moments in his life without sounding soppy, and his vocals (particularly his higher chest register in songs like Waiting On The World To Change) being better than on any of his previous albums yet still maintaining their raw charm. The only difference with Continuum is that the listener finds a much greater maturity in the music; much more carefully planned, recorded and produced with a greater complexity in the song structures and dynamics.
This is the album that forced all genuine Mayer critics (as opposed to those who just read gossip magazines and have heard 2 songs by the guy but have already written him off) to admit the guy has ridiculous talent. He handles the blues in a proffessional way that most mainstream musicians would fail abysmally at, and still keeps his down-to-earth acoustic sound on songs like Stop This Train. This album is truly a spectacle for the ears.


Room For Squares
Room For Squares
Price: £6.21

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful fusion of jazz and acoustic pop, 13 Feb 2011
This review is from: Room For Squares (Audio CD)
I always find the best albums are the ones you can't immediately dive into. They need to be mulled over from various points of view, situations and moods. Mayer certainly supplies some of the instant accessability with the straight up acoustic pop numbers Why Georgia, My Stupid Mouth, Your Body Is A Wonderland and Love Song For No One, however the bulk of the album is located in the smoothed over, jazzier pieces.
Neon (as seen live) has a ridiculous guitar hook that incorporates a slap technique I have never seen any other artist do, yet still holding on to a catchy melody. City Love also holds down this same theme of a cool, crisp jazz that wouldn't sound out of place in many a smokey bar, and No Such Thing sets a brisk pace for the start of the album with its clever tongue-in-cheek wordplay and stomping acoustic guitar.
Most of the album is filled with much more casul music, pieces that do not immediately catch the ear of a listener and could just as easily be used as backing music. However it is this aspect of the album which makes it the most interesting, what makes it so easy to come back and relisten to and ultimately what made the album such a roaring success.
It is this type of album that literally caters to everyone (excluding clubbers, mindless drones who follow whatever's in the top 10 of the charts and hard rock fans - but we don't have to include these stereotypes). If you're looking for catchy melodies - look no further. Searching for some smooth vocals and soaring falsetto - Mayer's your man. In hope of finding some complex yet subtle guitarwork - this album's for you. Even if you just want to sit back and chill, this is the album to put on.
Clever wordplay and excellent musicianship are what makes this a must have for any fan of acoustic pop-rock.


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