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thedarkfighter

thedarkfighter
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Member since: 16.10.2011

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    • Sony HVL F58AM / Camera Flash / 10 Readings / 7 Ratings
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      11.02.2012 18:33

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      A worthwhile buy for Sony Alpha photographers!

      When you first open the pouch the flash comes in (which is good quality) you will be pleasantly surprised! The flash, although incredibly plasticy, feels relatively sturdy! On inserting a set of batteries and pressing test, you will get a nice, high powered flash of light to greet you! I find the rear interface a little clunky at times but with a bit of work you can easily get great results! There is a small diffusion window that slides out above the actual light lens itself and this works adequately although I'm not sure what level of diffusion it is equivalent to. The flash head movement is firm and strong. On the horizontal axis, the head moves smoothly without being loose and on the vertical axis, it offers a reassuring level of resistance that doesn't hamper you as a user. My pet peeve which is applicable to all Sony hotshoe mount products is the utterly ridiculous Sony hotshoe mount but there is no way round this since Sony made their own standard. Overall I rate this flash highly, and if bounced off a surface, produces beautiful quality light.

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      11.02.2012 18:17
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      More than worth owning on Bluray! A feast for the eyes!

      This is a favourite of mine! I have seen this both in DVD format and Bluray Format. The cover is simple and well laid out. It doesn't feel cluttered or badly designed. It was also well printed, making it easy to read the synopsis and running details etc. The discs fitted in the case well enough and were also very well printed. The Disc Menus are simple to follow and the disc even comes with a Bluray Player and Television setup tool which although of little use to me, could potentially be very useful for people who do not understand how to calibrate those devices. The Bluray disc provides a beautiful quality level to the footage which I personally believe is noticeable over it's standard definition DVD format. The extra detail from the 1920x1080 picture means that the colours pop more and the detail in the coats and feathers of animals is much more obvious! The inclusion of a behind the scenes segment at the end of each episode is lovely for me as I am a videographer and seeing the behind the scenes side of things was fascinating for me. Overall, I rate this above the DVD and the documentary itself is absolutely brilliant! BUY THIS!

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        11.02.2012 18:06

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        Great product once you have the hang of it!

        I received this product for my birthday in January and was very glad to see it! The first point to make is that on opening the box I discovered the device needed a 16 hour charging cycle before use. I found this greatly inconvenient as my hair was already a bit long for my liking. The trimmer came with batteries in the box which was a great help to me and it also came with an adjustable guard. Once the main device had charged, I attempted to place the adjustable guard on at number 1 which I had a bit of trouble with at first but once I'd gotten the hang of it, it was no problem. They recommend oiling the blades before each use which I agree with as the cutting is rougher otherwise. Make sure you use good technique! My first attempt didn't go all that well and wasn't all that even. I then made another attempt the next day to even it out which did in fact work out and provide me with much more even coverage. Once the hair is short its incredibly easy to maintain! Overall, I recommend this product to anyone who wants to save money on their hair!

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        11.02.2012 17:51

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        A good magazine to buy occasionally but not one I would subscribe to!

        Firstly, the cover of the magazine is pretty weak and flimsy. Magazines of higher quality have covers that bend and rip less easily whereas the covers of Amateur Photographer easily bend, rip and look dog-eared. The pages within are also of a similar low quality compared to other magazines. There is a reasonable degree of reader interaction encouraged, with a poll, letters page and places where reader images can be published and appraised by the magazine. The news section often brings up issues photographers are having surrounding law and the magazine rightly champions the rights of photographers to take their photos. Their tutorial segments are relatively clear and useful and provide good pictorial examples. The image appraisal segment is relatively good however the appraisal is done by only one person, the editor Damien Demolder, which means that it is quite biased and subjective to the views of one person. This section would benefit from having three photographers appraising images. I do however have one major bug bear with the magazine: The sheer volume of advertising! It seems like almost all of the second half of the magazine is advertising then there is even more throughout! I would rather pay slightly more per issue to get less advertising personally!

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        11.02.2012 17:37

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        Worth buying, fast and powerful, comes highly recommended!

        As I am a photographer and videographer, I often put external hard drives under pressure due to the need I have for them to be fast. The Western Digital Mybook Studio series hasn't let me down yet! This is the second hard drive in the series I've bought. It is quite a well built hard drive system With a nice, strong, grey outside coating. The white vents aren't all that tough however and can be a bit bendy and flimsy. The power button on the back sometimes moves in halves rather than as a whole which could potentially cause an issue in the future. The status LCD on the front is brilliant, allowing me to identify which of my drives is which as both are the same physical size. The read/write status light gives a good, easy to understand communication of what the drive is up to. Oddly, the drive came with two Firewire 800 to 400 cables and no 800 to 800 cable which was inconvenient, although I already had two of those which made that OK.

        In use, the hard drive responds quickly with no noticeable lag in data and communication with my Mac. The 7200rpm drive within is as fast as it says, allowing me to do special effects editing and colour grading on the fly straight off the disk which makes it extremely convenient. The USB and Firewire interfaces both work properly and quickly and the power supply plugs are a snug fit. The only real gripe I have with these drives is the WD Smartware backup software they come packaged with which is clunky, annoying, inconvenient and must be turned off from within itself.

        I would definitely recommend these drives to anyone!

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        29.10.2011 00:26

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        Worth playing if you are an Assassin's Creed fan

        I bought this game due to the love I developed for the series after Assassin's Creed 2. I wanted to play as one of the assassins whilst I was on the move. For a PSP game, the graphics are half decent as is the gameplay although it is not quite as smooth to play as any of its big brothers. It still offers counter kills and swordplay and assassinations galore and is a great jump back to the life of Altair. I was incredibly disappointed to hear Altair speak in this game! The voice actor was switched to a more authentic one but after the original game with a completely different accent, it just sounds horribly wrong. The draw distance is pretty reasonable on this game although yet again, is nothing compared to it's big brothers. When you get high up, you really start to see the let down part of the graphics as the high places aren't as real and the sky looks rather bad. Overall, the game plays well and it was nice to see some expansion on the narrative arc of Altair. A fun game and worth a play but there isn't much replay value.

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        29.10.2011 00:18

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        Definately worth the money! Prince of Persia fans will love this!

        This boxset is a great idea! The main reason for this is it allows you to ensure that the series is easily playable if you haven't got a PS2 or yours breaks. This was a no-brainer for me as it was once my favourite game series. When I put the disc in I thought the switching system between each game was kind of clunky but definately worth it. The colours in the game look better than ever and although the graphics haven't been overhauled you can still see the difference between the standard and the HD. If you have a HD tv then you already should know how good an idea this is. I also love the fact that trophy support is in the box set. It was nice to have trophies available for the game and it meant that there was another reason as well as nostalgia to play the games. The games aren't new in any way really, just interpolated the graphics to make them HD which has in turn slightly improved colour rendition and made the game look a tiny bit better. A great thing for major Prince of Persia fans to own and even better for people who never played the series back in the day!

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        29.10.2011 00:09

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        A pretty average game, if you are a hardcore PoP fan get it and if you want a cheap game, try this

        When looking at a Prince of Persia game, the glory of the Sands of time trilogy is bound to pop into the heads of most people. In that series we watch a young prince grow from an arrogant, immature, angry man into a much wiser man. In this game, we don't know if its the same prince or a different one although he looks similar and has the sands of time. The graphics are alright but hardly a benchmark in graphical performance like the Assassin's Creed series is. The whole dynamic of the gameplay has been changed. This game is almost attempting to balance the Sands of Time with Warrior Within in it's mechanics. I can't totally hate the mechanics but I also can't love them. Fighting no long feels smooth or rewarding, it feels too mechanical. The fighting hordes of enemies thing is an interesting dynamic but it loses appeal over time. the Djin abilities the prince learns add a fun dynamic to the game and makes some free running puzzles into a real challenge. I relished the return of awesome free run puzzles that actually test me and being able to die again was nice after Ubisoft's last effort at resurrecting the franchise. Overall, the game is pretty average and goes nowhere near to touching the sands trilogy but now its cheap its worth a go for people.

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        28.10.2011 23:59

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        Buy it! A beautiful point in the history of gaming and still enjoyable even now!

        This game gets its share of mixed reviews by people my age who grew up with the series. I have no idea why! The game drops you into Link as he has just left Hyrule and you are catapulted straight into a tense, moody, dark and symbolic plot as things to start to go wrong for him. This journey is beautiful to play because if you look past the superficial playing, you start to see some beautiful parallels to life and impressive, realistic characters. From a young and naive child that makes a fateful mistake to a dying hero who failed his quest and a man who has been turned into a boy and hence fears rejection from the woman he is soon to marry. Characters and story weave together to create a beautiful plot that you will remember for life. The game is very fun to play! It is also shorter than Ocarina of Time though in terms of main plot and is slightly less difficult. You do however get side quests galore with a lot of non essential things you can do. The mechanics of the game are very interesting with Link being able to take other forms using masks. It just offers a nice variation from the Ocarina of Time with a different pace and feel and extra bits of gameplay mechanics.

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      • Hoya HMC UV(0), 55 mm / Camera Lens / 1 Reading / 0 Ratings
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        28.10.2011 23:46

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        Great for lens protection but optically pointless if you shoot digital

        I currently run UV filters on my lenses and i spend a lot of time wondering why! This filter is pretty well built with both a front and rear thread which is very helpful, allowing the stacking of filters. For example, a circular polarizer could be put in front, as could an ND. The ring is tough as anything and won't break easily but the glass is far from being super high quality. It doesn't cause too many artifacts at all and any it does are correctable but to be fair you don't even need to do that as the pictures are usable straight out. As always with UV filters though, remember you are adding another piece of glass to the equation so it WILL lower the quality of your pictures even though only slightly. These make great protection filters and have stopped me from damaging lenses a number of times but don't believe the shop keepers and salesmen that say they still have a major optical function! Digital sensors don't really have much UV sensitivity compared to film so its pointless in optical terms. In the end, if you want to protect your filter ring and front element, this is great though but all the coatings still don't stop quality deterioration.

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        23.10.2011 22:59

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        Buy it! That simple!

        So you must be wondering, what is the point in this game? Its just another Ezio game. STOP WONDERING! This game is worth owning! Firstly, the gameplay has somehow been improved since AC2 although how they managed to improve on that I don't know because AC2 was great to play. The combat system now flows beautifully and you can knock up huge kill chains if you are a brave soul. Being able to score a counter then move into 1 hit kills then back to counters without sacrificing the kill chain is brilliant and makes play much more fun. The story arc is the usual Assassins Creed rollercoaster ride with a brilliant narrative curve. The big villain Cesare Borgia is brilliantly crazy, evil and power hungry which is what makes for a perfect enemy. The rebuilding Rome side mission is pretty cool and not to be sniffed at. The addition of being able to ride horses inside the city is incredibly useful as well, allowing for easy chase scenes and very fast travelling. The multiplayer is also incredibly fun. The games feel fast and crazy and are incredibly enjoyable. This is one of the few games that I still enjoy going online with. The graphics are also spectacular with Ezio still looking great. All in all, a great game that will keep fans of both this series and fans of all period narrative games very happy.

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        23.10.2011 22:43

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        Not a bad piece of software but Lightroom does it quite a bit better

        For photo editing software this is pretty cheap! The interface is quite nice and simple just like you expect form Apple. Labelling is clear and every button is distinctive and well labelled. All the view and recognition buttons are in the top right of the interface and well labelled and the view options are brilliant, giving you easy access to a variety of ways to view images. The loupe feature is brilliantly done and allows you to clearly zoom into the image to see exactly how sharp it is. The problems I have with the software are to do with the adjustments though unfortunately. All of the adjustments are very delicate and conservative so a lot of the time you are left wondering if the adjustment you made actually did anything. This is especially true of their noise reduction feature which is as much use as a chocolate fireguard in a forest fire. The software does however shine when it comes to printing! It makes the printing of photos very simple and offers simple options to help you do justice to images when you print them. The exporting is slightly weak however as it doesn't offer any real options past file naming and basic file format with no major adjustments like quality of file etc. Overall, if you pay the app store price this software is entirely worth it if you want to spend a small amount of money to give yourself a decent workflow for RAW files but if you have more to spend, do yourself a favour and get Lightroom which trashes this software.

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        23.10.2011 22:29

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        the perfect software for serious photographers!

        I have now been using Lightroom 3 for around 4-6 months and I have to say I am SERIOUSLY impressed! I decided to test this after using Aperture 3 because I wanted to see if Lightroom really was more powerful. The first awesome point is that you can add huge amounts of custom EXIF data to images so they have copyright protection information built into the file as soon as you import it! The interface is brilliant allowing for easy browsing of images and each image can be enlarged at any stage of the workflow so you can see whether a file is a keeper or not. Import and export speeds are really fast and Lightroom is insanely thorough at every stage of image processing. When you put it into develop mode that's when you really see how powerful an application Lightroom is! First thing on the interface panel to the right is the very first thing you need to change which is white balance and it makes it very simple to do so! It sensibly orders all the commands and changes because below that is the exposure settings, below that is basic colour settings then following that is a brilliant tone curve. All the finer adjustments like advanced colour corrections, lens corrections, sharpening and noise reduction come last which I think is dead on. After using Aperture's noise reduction I thought no software could have decent noise reduction but that assumption was entirely incorrect! Having working noise reduction is a godsend when you are shooting with low end DSLRs and creative compacts. Lightroom can save an average RAW file and make it better or make a great image perfect with minimum effort and maximum speed. This is truly the best way to edit batches of images!

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        23.10.2011 22:01
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        Not bad for the money and a great way to get extra reach, albeit none professionally.

        I used this lens on a Pentax MZ60 film camera and although the camera was underwhelming the lens was half decent. The build quality is medium with it feeling like its made of plastic although we already know it is. It just doesn't feel tough. The lens is pretty weighty but compared to a 500mm prime its a walk in the park! I could and did use it handheld at times, although in the end I used the tripod like a steadicam system to ease the weight from my forearms which to an extent worked rather well. I would advise a tripod or monopod with this lens as it lacks image stabilization. The zoom and focus rings were what I consider the wrong way round which took some getting used to but once I did I had no problem. The lens was great for catching those slightly further away moments and got decent enough results. It was a shame the film or camera ruined them really. The optics in the lens aren't too bad and the distortion is pretty minimal so all in all a pretty good investment.

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          23.10.2011 21:51

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          There are much better options on the market, buy those!

          I am currently in training as a lighting cameraman so deal with a lot of cameras and this isn't too high up on my list as a camera of choice. I borrowed this camera to take to my local nature reserve in my stills camera backpack setup in order to get some shots of otters and the mass migration of Bewicks Swans. The size of the camcorder is great with it being small and light. The level of control however is not good. I put zebra on on the camera so the camera would flag up overexposure for me and almost the entire picture was covered by zebra lines all the time and i couldn't do anything about the exposure. I tried switching to manual and changing through there but the camera is just so unintuitive. I decided to record to SD card and it was nice to have that option. The menu system is pretty confusing and the labelling in the menus isn't much good either. Getting the camera home and putting the SD card in the system I found that the video files weren't recognized by any of the three editing suites I own and had to convert and deinterlace using Mpeg Streamclip to make the video even watchable which was the last thing i needed. Watching the converted footage back I was rather disappointed! If there is image stabilization in the camera, which I severely doubt after watching the clip, it doesn't work and if there isn't there should be. I was quite impressed with the inbuilt stereo microphone oddly as it captured the nosy chaos which is mass migration beautifully well.

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