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Andrew Jones

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Eye-Fi Pro X2 8GB Wireless SDHC Memory Card
Eye-Fi Pro X2 8GB Wireless SDHC Memory Card

4.0 out of 5 stars Simple solution for wireless tethering, 26 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Apologies for the oxymoron in this review's heading!

I've had this card for a couple of weeks now, and finally used it in earnest in a studio shoot today, and I have to say that I'm very impressed with this card. It does exactly what it says on the tin! A little info about my setup:

The Eye-Fi card is configured to create its own Wi-Fi hotspot, and I have configured my Windows laptop to connect to the Eye-Fi card. I have also configured my iPhone to connect to the Eye-Fi card by using the app available on iTunes. My camera has two memory card slots, one CF slot and one SD slot. I have configured the camera to write RAW files to the CF card, and to write a small basic quality JPEG (the smallest filesize) to the Eye-Fi card in the SD slot.

My main motivations for shooting tethered in the studio is to check the lighting levels/ratios on a bigger screen than that available on the back of the camera, and also to assist in identifying any problems with the model's expression or clothing - it also allows my MUA/stylist to be a second pair of eyes to check the clothing/hair/make-up etc. whilst I'm shooting.

I purchased the Eye-Fi card as I would previously shoot tethered to my laptop using a 5 metre USB cable and I was fed up with being constrained by a physical cable which would quite often get tangled or become disconnected. This setup transfers a copy of the raw file to the laptop as well as writing it to the card inside the camera. As my main motivation for tethered shooting is to check lighting and clothing I'm not concerned about not making a copy of the raw file to my laptop. I edit on a different system, not on the laptop.

Now back to the review. The card was simplicity itself to setup, I inserted into the laptop's built-in SD slot and it was recognised straight away. As other reviewers have noted, it is necessary to create an Eye-Fi accoutn for the setup to work. I went through the instructions and everything worked first time. I then place the Eye-Fi card in my camera, changed the camera settings as described above and took some test shots. It took about 20 seconds for the laptop to recognise and connect to the Eye-Fi card's Wi-Fi hotspot and begin the file transfer, but the files files themselves transfer from camera to laptop in about 4 or 5 seconds. This is comparable to the time it used to take to transfer the RAW files by USB, although obviously the raw files are much larger than the JPEGs. It is worth noting that the Wi-Fi hotspot is only created when new files are written to the Eye-Fi card. I assume this is to preserve camera battery life, but it means there will be a short delay once you start shooting again. In practice this is not a problem though.

To sumamrise:

Low cost
Easy setup
Works well, doesn't slow down shooting

Photographers whose cameras only have one memory card slot and want to shoot raw will have problems - the transfer speed will be too slow. I don't think it is possible to configure the card to only transfer the JPEG file.
Need to create/register an account with Eye-Fi
It doesn's seem posible to transfer the images to more than one device. If you have two devices connected to the Eye-Fi card it seems random as to which one will get the images. I only discovered this when I noticed some JPEGs were transferred to my laptop and some to my iPhone when I first started testing the card.

Jack Vettriano: A Life
Jack Vettriano: A Life
by Jack Vettriano
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £30.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great collection of Vettriano's most popular paintings, 26 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Jack Vettriano: A Life (Hardcover)
This book contains a great collection of Vettriano's most well-known paintings. The quality of the paper and the colour reproduction are excellent, however the layout could be improved, as some of the images are split across the spine of the book.

The book also includes a limited amount of historical information on Vettriano's life, but this does not have a great deal of depth. The book is primarily intended as a collection of Vettriano's paintings however, and so I do not feel that the relative sparseness of information detracts from the book.

B + W Filter 77mm UV Filter With Multi Resistant Coating
B + W Filter 77mm UV Filter With Multi Resistant Coating
Offered by Koester retail
Price: £55.80

5.0 out of 5 stars B+W UV Filter, 16 Feb. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Using a UV filter is essential if you wish to protect the front element of your lenses. This B+W filter is one of the best available, with high quality glass which doesn't degrade image quality by intrducing distortions or glare. You can continue to use your regular lens cap with this filter in place.

The mounting ring is a little thick when compared with other filters such as HOYA's HD range, but I haven't noticed any vignetting issues when using it with my Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 zoom, not even when shooting wide open at 24mm.

Nikon Camera Control Pro 2
Nikon Camera Control Pro 2
Price: £172.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nikon Camera Control Pro 2, 16 Feb. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This software does exactly what you would expect it to. It allows full control of your Nikon DSLR and flash from an easy to use interface, and when coupled with View NX2 allows for a full screen view of your photos as soon as you've taken them, rather than relying upon the camera LCD. It is perfect for when you have the camera setup on a tripod for macro photography or product shots and want to experiment with different settings without disturbing the camera position even slightly.

If you just want basic tethered shooting however it may be worth considering Adobe Lightroom instead, although Camera Control Pro seems to support a wider range of Nikon DSLRs.

Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques for Photographers Using Photoshop (Voices That Matter)
Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques for Photographers Using Photoshop (Voices That Matter)
by Scott Kelby
Edition: Paperback
Price: £26.18

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Professional Portrait Retouching, 7 Nov. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A superb book, which covers everything necessary to enhance portraits. Each technique is broken down into small, easy to follow steps. Using Scott's techniques has allowed me to dramatically improve to quality of my editing, and save a considerable amount of time as well.

Humanity's Rage: Or How to Stop Blissful Ignorance and Start Worrying
Humanity's Rage: Or How to Stop Blissful Ignorance and Start Worrying
by Sierra Ernesto Xavier
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Stand up and be counted, 21 Nov. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Stand up and be counted. Protest. Examine your own actions. Don't look the other way. All of these sum up this left leaning diatribe of this book. Powerful in places. Aphoristic in style. You cannot get away from the seething contempt the author has for many in this world, summing it up in the quote: `I was blind once, I did not question it - I allowed myself to be blind...and when I began to see - I closed my eyes'. This is the reaction most people will have when reading this book. They will read it and then put it down like the `mugs of coffee... on the papers whose headlines we want to remain detached from' as the author predicts. Why, when we see things in front of us do we not act?

From the outset Xavier endeavours to illustrate how we intentionally or unintentionally cause harm to others: a fly becomes a subject matter of how we harm others. We may pull the wings off of a fly, perhaps as children, but what would happen if someone pulled your (equivalent) legs off. How much psychological problems would you have? Would it then be compounded if was done out of boredom?

This is where the author tries to bring some literary elements to his arguments and it compels you to read it as we do not know what will arrive next. But we do know that as the book progresses we move from comments about ourselves to others to our governments and to society.

The author illustrates the poverty of capitalism by reducing money (cash) to paper. Inferring people are willing to kill and seek sex for money. But when re-phrased - people are willing to kill and have sex for paper. He reduces and ridicules the motivation for money by viewing everything as paper. He then slaps the reader with the statement `Don't you just love capitalism? To earn money in killing'.

The central chapter depicts the narrator as a god-awful character whom we wish harm. But that is exactly the point Xavier makes - we at some point will wish harm on others and thus debase our humanity.

Towards the end the authors begins to describe what happens when we forego our humanity `our lives are like cobwebs... we just cling from one wall to another... waiting for a creature to come...[to make] an impression on our lives'. Throughout the book powerful imagery is used to demonstrate the arguments.

There are so many elements to this short book to like or dislike, but too many to delve here. This book might be a case of marmite - either you will like it or you won't. Either way, it is short enough to form an opinion.

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