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S. P. Hall "Searat" (Tonna, South Wales UK)
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Panasonic SD60 Full HD Camcorder With SD Card Recording, X35 Intelligent Zoom, X25 Optical Zoom, Wide Angle Lens, iA + Face Recognition - Black
Panasonic SD60 Full HD Camcorder With SD Card Recording, X35 Intelligent Zoom, X25 Optical Zoom, Wide Angle Lens, iA + Face Recognition - Black

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value compact HD camcorder, 10 Aug. 2010
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Bought a Panasonic SD60 to take on our 2010 family summer holiday to the Greek islands. Very simple to use, in either full auto or manual mode. Sound quality especially good and the HD picture quality looks superb on our 36" Sony Bravia TV. Image stabilisation works very well, but wind noise suppression is poor - as usual with camcorders. Note that there is no capability to add an external microphone or lamp as no accessory jacks. The auto light balance didn't always give the optimum colour realism with skin tones washing out so sometimes I would select white balance manually, depended a lot on the brightness of the sky. With the right settings the colour quality is very good indeed.
Low light picture quality is good compared with my 5 year old mini DV Canon MVX330i with useful LED light if required, however autofocus can start hunting in low light situations. I took two 16GB class 6 SD cards and each held 2 hours 20 minutes of HD video at one down from the highest quality setting. Battery life was good for about 2 hours intermittent filming.
There is no viewfinder, just the flip-out screen, so if you want to film anything without being noticed it's hard to do as the camera won't operate with the screen closed.
The only thing that I would change at this price is to add remote control functionality. When you watch the images on your HD TV via HDMI lead you have to manually get up and down to press play, fast forward etc. I believe that if you happen to have a Panasonic Viera TV the camera can be operated via the TV's remote control. Note that if you want to charge the battery detached from the camera (for example if you've bought a spare battery and want to charge the other one while the camera's in use) you will have to buy a separate charger - Amazon sell a good value accessory pack for the SD60 with spare battery, charger and carrying case which is cheaper than buying these items individually.
Overall a very good choice as a point and shoot holiday camera offering excellent video and sound quality in a compact, simple to operate package.
4 stars rather than 5 due to lack of remote, battery charger or accessory sockets but still very good indeed.


Aqualung Sport Pro Snorkeling Set (Blue Large 9-12 UK)
Aqualung Sport Pro Snorkeling Set (Blue Large 9-12 UK)

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compact set ideal for travel, 6 Aug. 2009
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Wanted a snorkeling set to take on my summer holidays to Greece, chose this one because it included a bag and shorter than normal fins so easy to fit in my main luggage.
The DVD included in the pack gave useful safety tips for my teenagers.
Use - once in the sea the short fins were very comfortable to wear and more than adequate for gliding around the coastal waters off Corfu. The snorkel tube has a bright dayglo top which is helpful when there are boats and jetskis operating in the same area as swimmer. Facemask is good quality and fitted me well.
Good value, works well.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 4, 2010 10:14 AM GMT


Ex-Pro High Power DMW-BCG10E, DMWBCG10E, BCG10E, DMW BCG10E - 2 Year Warranty Replacement Lithium Li-on Digital Camera Battery for Panasonic Lumix
Ex-Pro High Power DMW-BCG10E, DMWBCG10E, BCG10E, DMW BCG10E - 2 Year Warranty Replacement Lithium Li-on Digital Camera Battery for Panasonic Lumix
Price: £8.95

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works with TZ7, 5 Jun. 2009
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Wanted a spare battery for my excellent Lumix TZ7 (which is a battery hog if you use the HD video a lot) but nervous about buying non-Panasonic because the TZ7's standard battery has a chip in it, so most non-Panasonic batteries will not work with the camera. Pleased to say that this one does work exactly like the standard battery that comes with the camera, for a good saving on the branded part.
Only 4 stars because still a lot of money for a small, low capacity lithium ion battery, but much cheaper than the branded version. TZ7 by the way is a superb little camera - my DSLR is now hardly used!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 4, 2010 2:49 AM GMT


Panasonic Lumix TZ7 Digital Camera - Brown (10.1MP, 12x Optical Zoom) 3.0 inch LCD
Panasonic Lumix TZ7 Digital Camera - Brown (10.1MP, 12x Optical Zoom) 3.0 inch LCD

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ideal camera for the traveler, 24 May 2009
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Bought a TZ7 from Amazon as was looking for a compact companion for my D-SLR, which is just too large to take with me when I've traveling with business or for casual use. I chose the TZ7 because it has a wide angle lens 25mm equivalent in 35mm terms, which is great for capturing scenes. It zooms out to 300mm equivalent too, helped by a very effectiveness anti-shake system. All in a compact package that fits easily in a jacket pocket.
Panasonic have resisted the trend to squeeze more megapixels out of a small sensor and the result images are far better than I expected. I watch a jetski race at the weekend and was amazed that this little camera could freeze the action so well, zooming in to capture the race in well-focussed, vibrant colourl. The high-definition video capability is very sharp too - good enough to leave my camcorder behind if I just want to travel light. The video capability helped me choose the TZ7 over the bulkier Canon G10, which like most of the TZ7's competitors can only shoot a max of 28mm wide angle.
This camera has no noticeable shutter lag, powers-up quickly, and has a good set of custom features.
Anything I don't like? First - it isn't weather proof, you need to take care at beaches and in the rain. There's no optical viewfinder, you must rely on the excellent LCD which in fairness is viewable even in bright sunlight. Also the battery life so far isn't brilliant - especially if you take lots of video, but I would expect that to improve after a few cycles. You have to use a Panasonic battery at the moment (it has a chip in it that talks to the camera) which might be hard to find if you need a spare.
All in all highly recommended, loses a star only because of the battery life and lack of weather/sand resistance.


Essays, Perspectives, Opinions
Essays, Perspectives, Opinions
by M. Fethullah Gulen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Insights from a man of peace, 13 Feb. 2009
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Gulen shows the Western world that there is a loving, peaceful and tolerant dimension to Islam. As a translation, the book doesn't read as smoothly as one written by a native English speaker, but it does give a helpful overview of the views of one of the foremost thinkers in the Islamic world today. Gulen has a particular focus on the importance of education, and he has had a tremendous influence on educated, moderate Muslims in modern Turkey. His followers have set up schools and his works are widely read. I think he will leave a lasting legacy if his influence enables a peaceful co-existence between Islam and the West.


The Silent War: The Cold War Battle beneath the Sea
The Silent War: The Cold War Battle beneath the Sea
by John P. Craven
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insight from a key player, 13 Feb. 2009
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Craven is one of the unsung heroes in marine science and technology - he played a key role throughout the 1960's in particular, the height of the Cold War, helping to develop undersea technology. If you've ever read 'Blind Man's Bluff' you need to read this book to get the story of undersea espionage from Craven's point of view.
As a loyal servant of his country, Craven is careful to avoid giving away secrets, but allows the reader to draw his or her own conclusions. There are stories he neither confirms or denies, but he drops lots of hints.
Craven was involved in the Polaris missile project, the hunt for the lost H-bombs off Spain after the Palomares incident , and the search for the USS Scorpion off the Azores in mysterious circumstances. In retirement he continued to work on developing ocean technology, including systems for power generation and irrigation of crops using distilled seawater. A fascinating read from a brilliant man. Why not 5 stars? Only because he leaves the reader with fascinating clues but he cannot give the whole story away. I hope he leaves a memoir for after he's passed away - there are many untold stories in Craven's head...


The Manga Bible - Extreme (Bible Tniv)
The Manga Bible - Extreme (Bible Tniv)
by Siku
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Bible for teenagers, 13 Feb. 2009
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Bought a copy for my 16 year old son, who previously hadn't shown much interest in reading the Bible. Siku's fabulous artwork had him absorbed, and he kept bringing it over to show me the illustrations. The book is arranged so that you get the Manga-style section at the start, followed by a complete Bible text from Genesis to Revelation. The cartoon section tells you where to go in the Bible to read the full story.
Overall an excellent way to get younger readers to give the Bible a chance - the illustrations are dramatic and really capture the imagination. My only reservation (hence 4 not 5 stars) is that only the cover picture is in colour, all other illustrations are in black and white. If they publish a colour version it would be awesome.


The Aussie Bible: Well, Bits of It Anyway!
The Aussie Bible: Well, Bits of It Anyway!
by Kel Richards
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great re-telling of familar stories, 1 Dec. 2007
This isn't a complete New Testament, but rather a selection of some of the best-known gospel stories. They are told in a retro-Australian style, much as a farmer in the 1960's or 70's might have told them, but it works very well, helping the reader to re-imagine how the teaching of Jesus changed the lives of the people he encountered, by placing the stories in a fresh but familiar context of 20th Century rural Australia.
There are illustrations too, bearded guys in broad-brimmed hats and rolled-up sleeve shirts again looking like pictures from a bygone era, but it's all part of the charm.
The book makes a nice gift, and is helpful for non-Christians.


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