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Cullmann Magic ChestPod Body Tripod for Video including B and S Head with MX445 QR Unit
Cullmann Magic ChestPod Body Tripod for Video including B and S Head with MX445 QR Unit

4.0 out of 5 stars Good arm saver, but not suitable for moving shots, 1 Oct 2013
This chest tripod (or in practice, belly tripod) is great for hands free camera handling (when changing lenses etc) and allows you to hold the camera at eye level for extended shots without getting your arms tired, and without requiring space for setting up on the ground like a tripod would. So far so good.

However, a steadicam it is not: if you try to walk smoothly like a dancer, the rigid pole will actually transfer shakes to the camera much worse than holding the camera in your hands would. The chestpod is at its best when you have to stand still and make long shots (which would make your arms ache if it were handheld), but need to change positions frequently.

Comfortable, lightweigt, does the job, although has a tencency to swing sideways a bit. Just don't expect this to be a steadicam solution.


Camera Pistol Grip/ Handle For Canon, Casio, Fujifilm, Hewlett-Packard, Kodak, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic
Camera Pistol Grip/ Handle For Canon, Casio, Fujifilm, Hewlett-Packard, Kodak, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic
Offered by Dragonfly Optical
Price: 6.40

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Firm enough, but spike gets in the way, 21 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is your basic pistol grip useful for cameras and camcorders. Some have complained about the screw being too long. I have not yet encountered this problem, but be warned. You can work around that with a washer.

However, what I do have a problem with, is the alignment spike that sticks out behind the screw (it's barely noticeable in the picture). The spike is too thin to actually firmly align the camera with the alignment hole found on many cameras. Worst of all, it doesn't retract into the handle with a spring (like they often do), so if your camera doesn't happen to have a hole to accommodate this spike, you're going to have a bad time.


Sony AKASF1 Action Mount without Waterproof Case for Camera
Sony AKASF1 Action Mount without Waterproof Case for Camera
Price: 24.80

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful, addresses some old problems, 19 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This new skeleton frame addresses the loudest critiques the Sony HDR-AS15 received: its utter unmountability on its own, and the inaccessibility of the (actually pretty good) external microphone input if the camera is mounted with any of the previously available accessories.

This frame lets the camera stand on its own, and leaves the inputs accessible. You can insert the camera in the frame either way, and also upside down if so desired. Mounting can be done with the L-frame which makes the camera stand off-center (making it assymmetrical, but granting access to the ports), or from the side with the side bracket. All these are inter-changeable and can be clipped on in either side, and in both orientations. Also, what many don't immediately realize is that both the pad and the L-bracket can also be clipped to the bottom of the frame, allowing centered or 90 degree mounting. Versatile!

It's all plastic, so it's a bit wobbly and not very tough, but it's firm enough once the camera is inside and the lock is secured.

Definitely not meant for high impact and dirty off road action use. For that you should use the waterproof housing instead.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 4, 2013 8:26 AM BST


Sony HDRAS15 Sports Action Camcorder with Full HD and Wi-Fi - Black
Sony HDRAS15 Sports Action Camcorder with Full HD and Wi-Fi - Black
Offered by Picsio
Price: 199.99

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Action cam for hi-fi enthusiasts, 12 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The main bias of this action camera seems to be in camera technology, at the expense of usability. Whether you want to go for this depends on your priorities. The GoPro Hero3 Black may out-perform this camera in some areas, but do keep in mind the cost difference between the two.

I personally prefer the elongated form of this camera. Someone else may prefer the box form factor.

NOTE: I'm not an action man - I'm using a pair of these to shoot ultrawide FOV stereoscpic footage. I don't have insights on the action/field usage of this camera.

Pros:
+ Sharpest image in the market, with up to 170 degrees FOV
+ Best, least noisy low light performance in the market thanks to the back-lit sensor
+ Very clean high quality stereo sound (by action camera standards), both from the internal microphones and the external input (which also takes stereo!). The noise floor is fair enough - for an action camera.
+ With the latest firmware update, it can shoot 1080P at 60 frames per second. 720p 120fps slow motion mode also available (this requires daylight due to short exposure).
+ Surprisingly good digital image stabilization (limited to 120 degrees FOV) - among the better ones I've seen.
+ Smooth white balance / exposure adaptation. No sudden jumps. Works well for long time lapses too.

Cons:
- Very poor mountability. The camera itself is impossible to mount on anything on its own due to its rounded shape and the lack of a tripod screw on the chassis. It comes with a waterproof housing with a tripod screw - and that's it. All other mounting accessories need to be purchased separately.
- The external inputs/outputs are located in the bottom of the camera, making them inaccessible if the camera is mounted in any way (except upside down - good luck finding a suitable accessory)
- Applies heavy dynamics limiting/compression to the sound to maximize the perceived volume. This is OK for direct use but not good for post processing. It sounds pumpy and clips easily if it gets a loud signal. (most users won't care - I do)
- Inconsistent manufacturing quality - some specimens may have a slightly mis-aligned lens which can give a blurry image in one of the corners of the image (also noted by Techmoan) - this is not the Zeiss quality I would expect. Make sure to check that the camera's picture is sharp all over and if not, be prepared to return it for a new specimen.

Other points:
* The color range is a bit vivid, making the sky very blue. You may whether like it this way, or not. It's a bit 'colder' in tone than the GoPro. However these can be graded easily in post.
* Charges via micro USB. Comes with a cable, but not with a charger. The charging indicator is a tiny light in the bottom under the lid.
* With the new firmware, you can change the on-board speaker sound settings, to either get the loud feedback you want, or make it quiet for time-lapses.
* Be prepared to purchase a MicroSD (or the Sony proprietary equivalent) with this camera - it doesn't come with one. The card cradle is not designed to only allow iserting the card the right way around, which may lead to a bit of confusion. Even the right way around the camera may not always recognize the card until you try again.
* The bottom lid that protects the external inputs/outputs tends to get in the way and is flimsy. I removed it permanently by unscrewing the bottom panel.
* There is a(n expensive, bulky) cradle accessory available, that turns this camera into a tripod-mountable camcorder with a viewfinder.
* The recently introduced AKA-SF1 skeleton frame offers new mounting options, which leave the inputs accessible.
* The slow white balance adaptation is good for avoiding flicker, but if the footage frequently changes between indoors and outdoors you may have moments where the white balance is off for quite a while as the camera slowly adapts.

Possible alternative: Braun Sixzero (similar price range; similar form factor but more practical: has a viewfinder screen and a tripod screw on the body; poor sound quality, not as good picture quality; narrower FOV; comes included with a good set of mounts)
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 23, 2013 2:27 PM GMT


Braun-Nuernberg Sixzero ACTION CAM-1080 pixels
Braun-Nuernberg Sixzero ACTION CAM-1080 pixels
Offered by Hawks Photo Video
Price: 229.47

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Competent, well thought out, may lack instant appeal, 11 Mar 2013
In a nutshell, the Braun Sixzero is a lot like a Volkswagen: Reliable, does the job well, has many well thought out details, but lacks the initial sex appeal of its competitors.

In no particular order, I will list my experiences from using it so far:

- The image quality in terms of sharpness and noise is comparable to the GoPro Hero2. As in, not bad at all considering the price. The field of view is narrower than the widest Hero2 setting however.

- Handles dynamic range quite well, both in terms of over- and underexposure. The image is quite heavily gamma corrected in low light. While this helps avoid blocky / crushed blacks, the image is also noisier. Works best in outdoors daylight, like any action camera.

- Its closest competitor, in terms of form factor and price range, is the Sony HDR-AS15. However, this camera has much more practical design: there is a tripod screw on the bottom of the camera, the bottom is flat, and the external microphone input is in the rear, so you can still mount the camera even when using an external mike, unlike the Sony. (However the Sony beats the Sixzero in low light performance, high speed filming, clean stereo sound and digital image stabilization)

- The external mike input is 2.5 mm, so if you want to use some other mike than the one that comes with the camera, you'll need an adapter.

- The microphone's connector looks stereo, but this camera only records in mono. It produces a video file with a stereo audio track (two channels), but there is no stereo difference. The left and right channel have been hard wired together. Seems like a design flaw.

- Overall, the sound quality is quite poor - it's only enough for very basic use. But this is the case with almost every action camera out there. There is a constant, high pitched digital tinnitus in the sound, especially if you use the external microphone. And don't expect much sound at all if your camera is inside the waterproof case. If you want pristine sound for your action recordings, you'll need to use a separate audio recorder.

- The camera has a built in preview screen, which is a big plus. HOWEVER the screen stays lit during operation and there is no option to make it switch itself off. This can compromise the battery life. You cannot use the camera for an all day time lapse without external power, because the screen just drains too much power.

- There is a wireless radio remote, but its range is quite limited, you have to hold it quite close

- The camera comes with a good sturdy set of mounts for bike handlebars, helmets, suction cup car windshield mount and a waterproof housing. Thanks to the universal tripod screw you can mount it pretty much any way you wish using any standard camera mounting gear.

- Battery life: very good. The battery also works well in cold weather (tested this for two hours in a Swedish winter day). As a nice detail, this camera uses standard Nokia BL-5C batteries, so it's very easy to find a replacement.

- The framerate is rock solid - there are no dropped frames (I have a VIO whose framerate seems to vary very unpredictably)

- Much less rolling shutter effect than in many older generation action camera models. Excellent!

- The field of view is not as wide as in some other cameras, but it is still fairly wide and enough for most purposes.

- It appears to have a fixed white balance setting - it cannot be changed. It works well outdoors, but indoors everything gets a very yellow tint, especially in fluorescent lighting

- The camera confirms your every action with very loud onboard speaker sounds, including a very loud low battery warning. This is good when you're in action in a noisy environment and need feedback of your actions without seeing the camera, but it can get jarring if you want to do a long time lapse in a quiet place. There is currently no option to disable it, or adjust its volume. I am unaware if firmware updates will become available later.

- The camera uses MicroSD cards, which are not included. Make sure to purchase one with the camera. There is an onboard memory available for very short test recordings.

- Mini USB, wall socket charger and mini HDMI cables are included. When you plug the camera in to your PC or the charger, you need to select the appropriate option from the menu (data transfer, shut down and charge only, stay on and run on USB power).

All in all, this is a competent and well thought out action camera even though I may not initially seem like so.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 14, 2013 11:19 AM GMT


Wrap 1200 Video Eyewear
Wrap 1200 Video Eyewear

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poorly manufactured, 10 Dec 2011
I have no problem with the fact this device only has 16:9 DVD resolution (852 x 480 per eye). I knew that when placing my order. What I didn't expect however, was problems coming from poor manufacturing. Maybe I was unlucky and got a bad specimen, but only after no more than 40 minutes of test use I ran into the following issues:

- The lenses are poorly made and aberrant: the outer edges of the image (left side on left eye, right side on right eye) are fuzzy and full of bloom. Adjusting the lens focus / eye distance did not fix this.

- There is a constant 50Hz buzz in the earphones. Especially if you set your device to a low volume level.

- After a while, the right hand side earbud stopped working. First it had a bit of contact problems (pushing it with a finger fixed it), then it stopped receiving audio completely. Swapping the left and right earpieces around did not fix this.

- Using the RGB Component input adapter, there are frequent flicker errors in the screen (vertical sawtooth lines, horizontal noisy bars). Via Composite there are no problems. Just that the picture is naturally a bit fuzzier overall.

Sad to tell you this, but I do not recommend this device. I am getting a refund for mine.


LED Light Shower Head changes as the water temperature changes
LED Light Shower Head changes as the water temperature changes
Offered by Ideal Shopping
Price: 5.97

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Causes a loss of water pressure, 18 Nov 2010
While this shower LED does exactly what advertised, there is one factor many people overlook so here's a word of warning: the power to light up the LEDs is taken from the pressure of the running water, so your previously strong shower may turn into a trickle. Keep this in mind when buying this product. I ended up not using it, because I preferred a strong, properly rinsing spray over fancy colorful lighting.

But it still looks awesome.


Faringdon Collection Barbecue Fan
Faringdon Collection Barbecue Fan

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Weak construction, 29 Aug 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
You can use this fan to blow a focused, constant stream of air on barbecue coals to get them burning hotter. Should work pretty well as fireplace bellows too.

I am disappointed with the build quality of this device: all the internal parts and gears, except for a few screws and studs, are made of plastic. The blow head looks like metal, but it's actually also just chromed plastic (not that it really matters, unless you bring it very close to the coals).

The gears tend to get stuck when stopped. It takes a bit of effort to start the gears running, and the whole device bends and creaks worryingly when wound. The flimsy crank doesn't sit in its socket very well, and may come loose during operation. The gears occasionally slip, and I suspect this will get worse as the plastic parts get more worn during use. Once you've finally reached full speed, it feels like the whole thing is going to fall apart any moment.

Interestingly, the air blow works better if you remove the chrome-colored headpiece.

I certainly got what I paid for. I could have paid more for a higher quality product, but there weren't any alternatives available. They sell better ones in Amazon US, but those cannot be shipped to EU.


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