Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop now Learn More Shop Women's Shop Men's
Profile for Robert Poulsen > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Robert Poulsen
Top Reviewer Ranking: 19,265
Helpful Votes: 608

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Robert Poulsen "Alright Sally" (England)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-14
pixel
YKS Adjustable Adult Non-Fogging Anti UV Swimming Goggles Swim Glasses (silver)
YKS Adjustable Adult Non-Fogging Anti UV Swimming Goggles Swim Glasses (silver)
Offered by GNWE
Price: £2.80

2.0 out of 5 stars Made in China, Delivered from China - Dishonest Seller., 8 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Made in and delivered from China - no where on 'RSE-shop' (the supplier) does it state where they are based.

As you'd expect, these are cheap for a reason. Inferior Chinese tat - don't waste your money or time (over 2 weeks delivery).

Sure, they're mirrored and can fit thanks to the band but the delivery and general crappiness from the seller means they're just not worth it.

Amazon really needs to crack down on this sort of thing, at least most of the other Chinese sellers display their marketplace information.


Plantronics 86050-05 Gamecom 380 Gaming Headset
Plantronics 86050-05 Gamecom 380 Gaming Headset

3.0 out of 5 stars 380 Spanks of the Plank?, 1 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Introduction
In 2013, a good friend had finally worn me down into getting a proper PC. Weighing up the benefits of being able to use intense hardware straining software combined with ultra spec games, I'd been working long enough to get a very decent one indeed - a custom built one that said friend put together himself. After thinking I had purchased all the necessary items to construct such a technological mammoth, he then informed me that I should throw more money at 'variables' like this headset in order to communicate with him and others without needing a webcam, mic, Skype or whatever. Urghh jus thinking back to it makes me see how nerdy it all was. This kind of item is truly the mark of someone whose turned their bedroom into some kind of masturbation furnace with only the likes of World of Warcraft giving the meat a rest. Having some sense and dignity, WoW never managed to get its talons on me (boring AND monthly payments? No thank you). So here's a rundown of just what you can accomplish with this headset from Plantronics ...or is it GameCom? and what the hell does 388 stand for anyway?... No, I've never heard of them either.

Features
Wearing the headset, you'll need to obviously be hooked up via the 2 cable inputs but also (depending on your operating system and hardware) communication software. Personally, I've never used the most common (Skype) with this and have exclusively used TeamSpeak as it fulfills most of my needs. Granted, I'll let my mate set it up but you can assign a button to speak on the keyboard, auto-detect speech and sort out volume and privacy etc. The best part is that if somebody in your channel just won't shut up, you can mute the noisy so n so, plus if you are said noisy bugger, you have a switch to mute your nattering self. Cables a bit short for those who want to wander around the room, so it's likely the creators had overweight neck beards, slouching in their spinny chairs in mind. The mic is so flexible despite being a material you'd expect to have no give. A lot of the parts swivel in place too so you have a bit of freedom. Whilst the audio clarity is just fine and the snug fit doesn't bother me, I'm certain it'll bug others and is best left for the less aurally endowed.

9 Stage Adjustable
90° Swivel Ear Pads
Flexible Mic
Mute Switch
2 Metre Cable (Just Under)
Volume Wheel
Headphone Jack (3.5mm)
Microphone Jack (3.5mm)

Design & Comfort
There's a half n' half look to the appearance of the '388' - on the downside, some of the materials feel a little cheap, plastic and fluffy but on the other-hand there is exposed linkages and cables in the headband which makes it look purer from an engineering viewpoint. All the chinsy feels this gives off though is nigh-on irrelevant when it comes to the individual wearing this - in my experience, this can be worn for around 3 hours and still not give one earache, put a strain on your lobes, but the most common problem with headsets is averted here as the cushions contain zero leather or synthetics - no greasy slipping or nothing. The rounded square shape of them however may prove troublesome for those with large ears (unlucky on 2 accounts) For me, they are slightly snug and there's not a way to alter this outside of modifying them yourself. The materials are a mix up of shiny and scratchy plastics, dust gathering fluff, grippy wire and cold steel.They're almost entirely black and grey - which is fine for slick looking gear but this is neither here nor there. Little flecks of red for markers but the big surprise is that there's no gaudy logo or hideous branding making you look an even bigger twonk - the name is only slightly shiny on the mouthpiece and headband.

Price, Availability & Variants
The 7th of August, 2013 was obviously a better time to purchase this, that or the brand has somehow taken off in gaming circles and enhanced its reputation because back then this was £19.65 Come 2016 however and the price is £24.37 marked down from £34.99 thanks to Amazon's usual hi-jinx. Used ones are harder to come buy as eBay only has one (auction) at the time of writing this but it hasn't breached a tenner so as rare as they might be second hand, you might snag a bargain provided the listing is accurate an the gear isn't damaged etc. As for the Plantronics brand, they also offer several other kinds - judging by an image search, many are more lightweight with smaller ear buds that make them look closer to bluetooth earpieces and the kind of stuff call centres wear - yeesh, not a good look and the prices are staggering too reaching upwards of £100 and averaging around the £75 mark. They appear to be big on wireless ones right now too although I'm certain hardcore gamers and PC dorks will decry pretty much all wireless hardware as inferior to wired as the connection is weaker and thus dubbed feeble to the PC master race.


Logitech K360 Wireless Keyboard - Black, UK layout
Logitech K360 Wireless Keyboard - Black, UK layout
Price: £24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Quality, Quirky, Querty Keyboard, 1 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Introduction & First Impression
Once I had built my PC, I needed the smaller essentials - a mouse and a keyboard. Whilst Amazon was awash with cheap brands all claiming to be 'hardcore gamer' gear - something despite being a gamer, I find grotesquely childish. All I needed was for a keyboard to be black (dark), cheap, QUERTY and wireless. So it was at the massive online seller that I found this - from Logitech - a commonly known brand amongst technology buffs and your average office drone. When I got this it was clear that it is meant for comfort rather than durability because it is very light and the marks on the keys look like cheap stickers. Plus 2 of the rubber grips that keep the board in place had come loose - 2 downsides right away. Time however would prove to be a great ally as everything else I have to say is either a positive or information based. Responsiveness is surprisingly swift considering it is wireless. In other words, it's a lot tougher than it looks.

Design & Features
Because it's quite dark, you don't hugely notice the ugly, loopy pattern (looks like scribbles) that adorns the plastic - but it does help you distinguish the keys a little better as opposed to viewing black on black with only a white letter/number/symbol etc being an indicator. It has a goldish yellow colour for the multi-keys - hit 'FN' and you can make use of 16 additional buttons that include shortcuts to home, email, music, windows,'My Computer', calculator, lock computer, power-off, print screen etc. There is a handy on/off switch at the top right which means you can preserve battery life - although the board does 'sleep' when there is no signal from the USB wireless adaptor - again, handy. Speaking of the wireless capabilities, the usb plug in is simple, small and can be stored inside the battery compartment when not in use. It even comes with 2x AA batteries which is nice. Battery life is very very long which is a major plus - its almost akin to that of a watch's life. 6 additional oval buttons are a fairly nice feature that control both volume and media/song control - not essential but certainly a shortcut. By the way, it is just over 15cm tall and about 36cm wide and it's really thin. Not Mac Keyboard thin but varying from 1 to 1.5cm thick.

Specifications
Wireless USB Receiver
2x Leg Stands
Volume Control
Rewind, Play/Pause & Forward
User documentation
2x AA batteries
3 Year Warranty

Price & Availability
DO NOT search for this exact model though! Because you will only find it for prices upwards of £60! Instead, merely search 'Logitech keyboard K360' - in fact the website shouted this at me - 'You purchased this item on 7 Aug 2013.' It's currently available for £24.99 but if you want to sacrifice style and a bit of dignity, you can always get the cheaper Victorian Wallpaper variant which is just £18.99 - fair warning, it's hideous. eBay will display some equally disgusting looking models for even cheaper - one was only £9.99 (plus P&P) but had an extremely feminine oriental pattern on it, others were indigo and some just had terribly dire Photoshop brushes on them. I wouldn't want to have to stare at a distracting bit of clumsy design when trying to focus on typing. Choose wisely.


MET-Rx Pure Creatine Muscle Force and Endurance Capsules - Tub of 240
MET-Rx Pure Creatine Muscle Force and Endurance Capsules - Tub of 240

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pure Creatine or Pure Poppycock?, 1 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
What The Bottle Says
MET-Rx PURE CREATINE >>> 700 mg CAPSULES <<<
INCREASE IN - PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE FOR: >> Short Term >> High Intensity >> Repetitions
Food Supplement, 240 Hard Gel Capsules
"Enhances the ability of muscles to produce higher muscular force, especially during short bursts of maximal exercise. Creatine is an excellent supplement choice for athletes and those performing short term high intensity exercise. Each capsule contains 700mg of Creatine Monohydrate resulting in 4.2 g per day. (6 capsules) Produced from the finest raw materials under our stringent quality control standards. Our state-of-the-art manufacturing and packaging facilities ensure you receive the highest quality nutritional supplements money can buy."

Or as sirodar says "Its like hulk hogan in a jar!!! Roaaaaaaarrrrrr!!!!!!!" ..wish I thought of that.. and from now on, I did.
Specific Criteria

Taste
Seeing as these are capsules, I've left this slider as OK as there is no 'Non Applicable' option. However, the next sense would be smell and these smell something awful. Almost like a urine soaked ally that had just been painted. This is probably due to the beef gelatine capsule. The pills themselves are fairly large, so I need a glass of water handy to down em. They're over 20mm in length so are longer and fatter than your average Lemsip pill. The shell is clear and you can see the white powder within. They have some leeway inside as you can squeeze and indent them so they aren't likely to burst.

Effectiveness
The most important aspect of the product and review, yet the single hardest thing to accurately describe. You can't exactly expect vein bulging adrenaline and instant testosterone from taking a legal pill. These ain't steroids, they're supplements, something worth remembering. So here it is: It's subtle, but I've noticed a slight increase in strength when lifting and better endurance for general exercise. I also feel that the recovery time for my muscles is aided too with less lactic acid problems. I experienced this from taking ONE pill when the directions state you should take SIX "3 before and 3 after exercise" which is a hefty dose, one that shouldn't be exceeded which is strange as I've never seen a direction that is the same as the maximum dose.

Price Level
Available through Amazon and it's marketplace sellers for (currently) £23.95 - bit steep as it has increased from £16.99 over nearly 2 years. I'd recommend searching eBay as I spotted some on there for under £15 (minus P&P). I purchased these in July 2013 so they seem to have a shelf life of around 2 and half years which really isn't too shabby for the price - of course you'd need to use them - regularly to make the most of them.

Why Did You Buy It?
I had been spending a lot of time indoors and felt the need to build up some muscle tone and generally get my appearance to a better standard. But being the lazy sod I am, needed a boost of willpower and although there's probably a psychological element to it, I saw these pills a push in the right direction. That and I heavily dislike having to make and chug down a drink of a chunky 'shake' of disgustingness that's been artificially made to taste like chocolate, strawberry, banana, you name it. The bottle looks fairly badass and excessive as if it were straight out of an 80s action film. Bright red labels with literal lightning yellow text and metal gradients, all inside a thick, red, transparent tube.


Anker® C200 Full-Size Ergonomic Wireless Mouse with 6 Buttons, 3 DPI Adjustment Levels and 2000 DPI (Black)
Anker® C200 Full-Size Ergonomic Wireless Mouse with 6 Buttons, 3 DPI Adjustment Levels and 2000 DPI (Black)

3.0 out of 5 stars I Drew a 'W' on the Logo :), 1 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Intro
What kind of brand name is 'Anker' anyway? 'Anchors' don't have much in common with PC Mice - sure they're steady but they're heavy and get all gross and barnacled - not something I'd appreciate happening to my mouse. The company currently look like they prefer manufacturing other gadgets like external batteries and chargers. Hey, it's not like I cared at the time of purchase anyway - I had just caved in and bought and built a custom PC and wanted a decent mouse - with a pleasant feature such as being wireless. Dishing out over £600 on the gear already, I wasn't overly keen to spend big on the smaller essentials - including a keyboard and microphone. So I found this online and used it for several months, maybe even a year - here's some specifications and what I have to say about it:

Features
Traditional 2 Click Mouse
Red Scrolling Wheel
Power/Sleep Button
2 Side Buttons for Custom Mapping
Wireless Capability
USB Connector + Storage
Thumb Rest
Infra-Red Laser Sight
1x AA Battery Compartment
18-Month Warranty
Lifetime Technical Support

Design
The appearance of the Anker is very sharp and stealthy, as if it were designed via aerodynamics in a wind-tunnel. It's mostly a shiny plastic but has a nice, grippy rest on the left side. However its amount of extra features and buttons means it ventures into an area of technology where it isn't quite yet ready to enter - PC Gaming. It has an air of controller/gamepad about it thanks to two additional buttons that are above the thumb rest - good for scrolling through in game items or mimicking bumpers. If you aren't gunna use it for gaming, (or you're not an avid PC gamer) you'll find those 2 side buttons irrelevant - but not so much that they get in the way. The reason it can't really be called a gaming mouse though is because it's a limp wristed, half hearted effort compared to the more hardcore variants that include real highly customisable parts that add to the mouses weight, comfort and functionality. At least it doesn't look hideously childish and dramatic like the aforementioned mice. The main issue with it's dabbling in gaming being misplaced is a big one...

Wireless
All true gamers know that anything wireless means a slower response time. From internet connections (Wifi vs Ethernet Cable) being the biggest and best example, the same can apply to mice and gamepads - although it isn't a huge gap. With the Anker, the wireless aspect is at first, a clean and tidy positive. No additional annoying cables to obscure behind your workstation and tower. Get a couple weeks into its tenure however and you'll start to see it's responsiveness decline - all thanks to the battery it lives on. If you use a standard AA one, you'll find you can get a good few months before it is drained, a USB rechargeable one on the other hand (which is what I use: they're cheaper overall) will deplete at a much faster rate, requiring you to have 2 or 3 charging for backup. This can be a disadvantage should you partake in online gaming because although the mouse has a little red light to indicate imminent battery death, it also likes turning itself off after set periods of time and needs waking up.

Price, Availability & Compatibility
Anker seem to have found themselves competition with countless TeckNet products usurping the search results. Weird thing is that they look VERY similar in design aside from the odd colour scheme and logo placement. Searching for this particular model wasn't easy - you can no longer type in anker and expect to find it as this model (PRODUCT NAME: Anker 2.4G Wireless Mouse MODEL: DS-2240) has been somewhat discontinued and replaced by more modern versions (one looks stupidly arty and the other toned down and simple). It has 2 colour schemes to choose from - this, the standard black with small red elements and blue which surprisingly looks really good as it's like a sparkling, mineral blue - not disgusting Man City sky blue or grotesque Mini cyan. Mine cost about £8 on Amazon when it had a small discount applied so expect it to be £10 should you find it new - I can't locate a used one. In fact, the only one I can find is in America for $10.99. For your money, the website says you get 3 million clicks worth, an optical resolution of 1000 / 1500 / 2000 DPI and compatible on both Mac and Windows systems, from OSX10 and up, Windows 8, 7 XP and 2000.


Moixa USB Cell AA Rechargeable Batteries for Camera (Pack of 2)
Moixa USB Cell AA Rechargeable Batteries for Camera (Pack of 2)

3.0 out of 5 stars Yet to be Perfected, 1 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
USB AA Batteries
I bought these on the 30th of March, 2014 when they were £6.99 for just 2x but have since gone up by a pound on Amazon and in some cases go for more ( £10.75 ) I have since bought another set due to their versatile nature of being compatible with all AA powered gadgets and gizmos. So what's the deal? Well they're just AA batteries that charge via USB port - they have a flip-top which reveals this. Once plugged in, a green LED light (a ring around the top) lights up, this slowly flashes when at 90% charged and stops entirely when fully charged. They're supposed to take 5 hours to do so which is a bit much but considering these were the very first USB rechargeable batteries I could find, some drawbacks were expected. Like most, they must not be disposed of in fires and should not be inserted at the wrong polarity. (+/-) They're only available in pairs and I could only find them on Amazon and originally in 'Argos but have since spread elsewhere online like eBay as have other manufacturers outside of Moxia like Wduk. Currently, they are only available in AA sizes but perhaps in the future their range will extend to AAA and those square ones or perhaps even the diddly ones inside watches and laser pens.

The Bad
Within minutes of being connected to my laptop, the connector part has gotten considerably warm. Give it half an hour and the whole unit gets seriously hot - to a point where it's quite worrying. I don't believe they could scold or set fire or anything but overheating in this way is generally a bad sign among technical appliances (with obvious exceptions). What gets on my nerves the most though is that you can't tell when they are charged. Sure, it claims to tell you with a little diagram on the side but this is pretty fictitious - because despite claiming the LED turns off completely when fully charged, you can simply remove them from the port, reinsert them and the light comes back on - so you're ironically, in the dark. This lack of clarity is annoying to the point where I wish I either had a dedicated rechargeable battery charger (which shows you the percentage) or perhaps better USB connectivity so that you can read them on the computer/laptop. Lastly, the materials used are kinda crappy too as the battery has a slippery sticker on it, the lid is bog standard plastic and the way it is connected is via an elasticated rope - yep, this thing is held together by a hairband.

The Good
They work though! You connect them by USB, leave them for long enough, clip the tops back on and put them into whatever AA powered device. There are no restrictions either - so you can use them in literally any AA slot. Being rechargeable, you no longer have to go out and keep buying packs of batteries, rummage the battery draw or switch over used batteries in the hope that they have some juice left in them. So you're not only saving money (a lot of money) and time but to a lesser extent, the planet! (because you aint throwin' away stuff no mo) The flip-top not only acts as a crucial part to connect the positive (+) part of the battery but also as decent protection for the USB connector. The design of dark brown and light green is a strange one but at least it helps them stand out from the crowd - as does the little spherical power/sun design which is nice. It was always an idea that had floated around in my mind (as well as many others obviously) that these should hit the market and hopefully in the near future, will have faster charges, better longevity and less compromising features. A 3 star rating may seem harsh to such a possible revolutionary product, but that's just it, they are satisfactory in most senses because they pretty much do as stated - but I'd still recommend them for leisurely use. So nothing essential/professional.


Logitech M175 2.4 GHz Optical Wireless Mouse
Logitech M175 2.4 GHz Optical Wireless Mouse
Offered by Laptop Outlet UK
Price: £9.99

3.0 out of 5 stars "Her freakishly small hands make anything look big...", 1 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
"...It’s one of the reasons I love her." ~ Howard Wolowitz, The Big Bang Theory.

Design
The first thing that sprung to mind when seeing this mouse for the first time - cause it's well diddy. I had this mouse, still packaged, sitting in my desk drawer for a good few months as a back up incase either my first wireless mouse or cabled ever conked out. "Do you really need 3 of them?" YES. *taps desk 3 times* Anyway, at just 90mm long and barely 55mm wide, it's easily the tiniest mouse I've come across and it's kinda of disheartening because there was no mention of it's littleness on Amazon or on the packaging so.. yeah, in my hands, either my fingers have to protrude over the edges or I have to let the other half of my hand drag behind it and scrape the desk all the time. Despite the glaring issues, it is well compacted underneath - 3 elevating grips, a very handy on/off switch (so you don't have to yank the battery out when not using it) an invisible optic laser (no flashing red distractions) and the single AA battery compartment contains the USB connector snuggly too. The scroll wheel is rumbly, which'll probably wear down in time. Looks like its made of rubber in a black matte finish. I'm not fond of the right/left split, but at least the Logitech logo gets covered by your hand.

Use
A positive is how easy it is to start using. There's no crappy programs to install or dodgey cables - you just open the battery section, eject the connector and put it into a spare USB slot, switch it on and voila, the mouse is working fine. It includes instructions and stuff like that but there's really no need. As for the wireless capabilities, it's about as good as it gets for current standards - fine for general work and leisurely use but serious work and video games requiring precision, perfect response and stability, will still need wired alternatives. The battery life is claimed to be 12 months (says so on the box) it also says it is compatible with Windows, Mac & Linux. For those wondering what version of Windows, it has symbols for 7 & 8 and underneath, XP, Vista & RT - seeing as it is 'certified for Windows' you're probably safe whatever. What's more is it has a 3 year manufacturers warranty. The all important click is like most but sounds a little hollow because of how light and plastic-y it is.

Price & Verdict
A quick Google search shows that the M175 goes for between £7-10 but I bought it via Amazon on the 4th of September, 2014 for £9.99 but it's currently £7.99. It is very much like most Logitech products, plain and simple, lacking features or suave designs or quality materials. I don't plan to use this mouse unless my other 2 break or die which is unlikely, HENCE WHY YOU HAVE 3! 1, 2, 3! *kicks desk* In my opinion, efficient wireless technology as a whole hasn't been perfected yet and as such, wireless mice can't really rival that of one with a cable. I suppose this would be ideal for when you're on the move and prefer a mouse to use on your laptop, instead of that crappy little rubber ball that's in between the keys or the track pad that's been warn down and shiny. So all in all, it is a satisfactory mouse for an ok price, just a bit small for those of us with normal sized hands.


Logitech B100 Optical USB Ambidextrous Mouse for Windows, Mac and Linux - Black
Logitech B100 Optical USB Ambidextrous Mouse for Windows, Mac and Linux - Black
Price: £5.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hung Like A Church Mouse, 1 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Indeed. Well where to start? Let's go with my first laptop. It had a tiny, red tracker-ball that was like the eraser on the end of pencils. Imagine that: using your index finger to push and press it around to move the mouse whilst your other hand does the clicking - maddening. After that it was a trackpad. Urgh. I hate Dell, their products and all they stand for! A few years ago when I finally got myself a custom built PC, I got my first actual mouse which had a thumb rest on the left which seemed fancy at the time but looked hideous. Now, in a room of black decor, I needed an upgrade and had been using an Anker wireless mouse for a time (which I may review later) but grew tired of swapping in and out dead batteries, USB rechargeable or otherwise (those things get really hot when charging!). As much as I'd prefer to avoid accumulating a tangled mess of wires underneath my workstation, I haven't yet encountered a stable wireless mouse that has a long battery life and a responsiveness as rapid as a cabled alternative.

Your Run-of-the-Mill, Workaday Mouse (Design & Use)
The B100 his fairly basic with your default left/right click buttons and rubber scrolling wheel (which is sensitive and can also be pressed). It has a USB connection on a cable that runs to 6ft - I don't have a proper tape-measure but I'm 5'7 and held it up against me - I had to look up. I'd say that is ample, even if your PC tower isn't directly below you. Instead of those rubber balls the early mice used, this has a red laser sight for precision. This works on most surfaces - I can use it on bare desk (wood) or a mousemat. There's 4 little pads on the bottom that prevent the mouse from sliding too much but keep movement free-flowing. Logitech have their logo on top but your hand covers that so it's a win-win. These come in only 2 colours (shades) - Black and white - keeping things simple I guess. There's not really a need to offer further customisation with more colours as these are already cheap and to go with your computer set up, you're best with B&W - for example, a white one tends to suit a Macintosh computer (should you forgo their own Apple Mouse with it's wireless one click self) whereas a black mouse would look better with pretty much any computer - Grey? Well that'd blend into an office setting to match your soul.Box Claims
Optical precision: 800 DPI - No idea.
Zero set-up - Literally nothing to set up - plug in and go.
Comfort in hand - I guess.
Smooth operator - ...sure.

£££ Price & Availability ???
The standard retail price is £6.49 from the manufacturers own website but you'll have to spend at least £39 to get free delivery, otherwise you gotta pay an additional ludicrous £8.10 on shipping and tax. In other words, you're better off going to Amazon and getting one (currently) for £5.07 which includes free delivery (white is 63p more) You can go one further and find them for £4.28 but that's not including postage. The site actually tells me that I've had this mouse since 4 Sep 2014. Still going strong.


Canon 2805B003 Speedlite 430 EX II Flash Unit
Canon 2805B003 Speedlite 430 EX II Flash Unit

4.0 out of 5 stars Got a Gun, 1 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Intro
In my early days of freelance photography work, I only got 'jobs' from friends looking to document their various parties but as my skills started to rise, so did further opportunities and better occasions to actually get paid for my services. Initially, I could rely on the built-in flash on my digital SLR camera, but as time went on and its unpredictability proved troublesome (and the work more important) I knew I had to invest in a sturdier more reliable piece of kit. Enter the Canon Speedlite. Googling anything Canon related will often land you products with three or four digit price tags, even essential accessories such as a flash gun. However with the 430EX II it appears the giant Japanese conglomerate have targeted a hobbyist or poor market audience by charging a seriously cheap (considering their other models) bit of gear. It arrived in a small Canon branded box and inside it, the instructions and the Speedlite inside its own velcro pouch... and I can't think of anything else to say but this sentence alone reaches 1000 words, so there.

Use
My first proper use of this fine weapon was at a friends wedding - it was slightly rainy and grey but the church was a bit dark and the dance floor at the reception had far too many moves to let rot in the shadows with only a strobe or two lighting the embarrassment. Even the smoke machine chimed in and hid their shame. Of course, I got a little practice in first, slotting the 'hot-shoe' on top and programming the flash - mainly just setting it high and low, then finding a middle ground. I had to clear out a whole compartment of my camera bag to accommodate this thing even though it aint huge - I just prefer a handy bag that packs 3 large lenses. I put in 4 AA batteries and took another fresh pack with me just in case. I didn't rely on it, as I'm fine with manual mode etc but when I did slap it on, it took barely a minute to warm up and did its job with ease. The diffuser fell off a couple of times when removing it but at least it remained sturdy in action. When night fell and I wanted to catch some of the hysterics, later on in the evening, I set it up and half shot, half danced around the proceedings. Both shy and drunken faces adorned my screen as I snapped away at the unwitting peoples. Thanks to the adjustable top, I didn't suffer any unwanted shadows and instead of what the camera body does to pre-empt a flash (which is release a steady burst of several little flashes - which often makes people think you've taken the bloody photo or 8) it uses a subtler infrared beam to get its bearings.

Negatives
It's missing an important add-on - a flash diffuser. Even with the flimsy piece of plastic over the flash and reduced to the lowest possible setting, the flash is disorientingly bright and powerful. Just testing it in the confines of my average sized room, it knocked me for six (which admittedly was in close proximity to my face as I had to push the shutter button, but still). The controls are a bit odd and unlike a lot of equipment, you can't just plug in and go - you need to read up and learn what the hell you're dealing with. This likes to turn itself off on occasion and at its worst, has thrown a wobbly and simply refused to flash as it hasn't warmed up. I find that when this happens, I simply need to switch it on and off again and it'll be up and running within a minute. A bit frustrating if you're in a speed related, frantic setting but otherwise a minor nuisance. Another personal downside for me is that it and its casing is a tad large to fit in my snug camera bag which is slightly small but it's ideal as I'm not lugging it around and it's neat and compact. Being prepared, I had left the necessary 4 AA batteries within the Speedlite, only to find later on that one ore possibly more had leaked battery acid inside the battery department. Whether this was because I may have use scissors or a knife to remove them from a previous device is plausible but the fact that the 430EX II takes time to warm up to utilise the double A's within it could be another contributing factor. This however would also highlight one of the products positive points...

Positives
...Despite me having to remove the devastated batteries now encrusted with dried acidic material, the Speedlite survived its corrosive ordeal with a little help from myself firmly scraping the crud out and using brand new batteries - impressive considering most electronics (top brand or no) tend to go tits-up if anything happens to the power supply or anything closely related. So it gets a thumbs up for durability from me (albeit for a solution to a problem that shouldn't exist) Just being a product by Canon is enough to put both photographer and subject at ease. There's something about a flashgun that makes the dude with the camera jump from some hobbyist to the man getting paid. Instead of having the flimsy little built-in flash pop up to highlight your subjects, you've got this tall, adjustable GUN that you can program to brighten up dark areas or cruelly disorientate people. The settings take a minute to figure out and input but for the most part, the blinding light and delicateness can be tamed when you know what you're doing. The best thing though about this Canon is that it is cheap (don't let Amazon fool you - where it is currently available new for £249.99 but in my experience it was £188.70 - you know you can shop around and shave off a few pounds. It may seem hefty but compare it to others and you find a lot of the higher end models go for just under £500. This ones name sums it up well, Speedlite - it's relatively fast to warm up (faster when ready) and of course, it is rather light to the point where you don't struggle to hold your camera body and whatever lens you've got attached.


No Title Available

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Every single one tastes like vomit, 27 Jun. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Absolutely vile. Thought I'd burnt the coil they're that bad. Bought these for a bit of a laugh and the gf likes sweet stuff but don't be fooled, she'll take one puff and pull a face like you just sharted. Took ages to get the disgusting taste/smell out of my vape. Look elsewhere, it's not worth cheaping out on e-liquids - as tempting as it is to nab a bargain of 5 bottles for a tenner. Bought from shisha juice london instead - mango and mint/grape are literal breaths of fresh air compared to this nasty, nasty gack. As for the 4/5 star reviews? I'm not calling them liars but they're either employees of the company OR they are lucky souls who happened to get a good mix as said company looks subpar with poor packaging (a haggard white cardboard box) and a logo that took 10 seconds in MS Paint.

Bubble Gum - Tastes more like a piece of chewing gum you found on the floor of the mens room, that has lost all its flavour and gained p*ss.
Fruit Salad - First it was sweet, then it was like actual salad, bland.
Gummi Bears - More like BURNT gummi bears. This stuff is probably melted down haribo and the plastic bag they came in.
Rhubarb & Custard - Creamy ash.
Rainbow Candy - I'm not that much of a glutton for punishment.

Binned the lot. Seller keeps rating down.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-14