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Sherlock_Holmes

Sherlock_Holmes
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Member since: 28.06.2012

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    • Sennheiser HD 595 / Headphones / 9 Readings / 9 Ratings
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      29.06.2012 14:54
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      Sonically superb - very low bass may test their metal however

      I have owned these headphones for a seemingly long time now, and they sit by my side on their hanging cradle for those times when I feel the need to really hear the music I am listening to.

      Their visual design is pleasant, if a touch brittle-plastic. The ear pads are replaceable, which is good because due to their texture, they are magnets for hair product and dust! Now I have often been told that I am blessed with a large cranium and a generous supply of ear. I am, however, pleased to say that the head adjustment on these is more than ample for my head and they can in fact be adjusted to be on the large side! Likewise the ear cups fully surround my ears. I would approximate the cable at 2 metres long and is perhaps my one gripe with them, in that is it a little short. When wearing, the head band sits slightly forward but feels stable. It sits lightly atop your head with what I would describe as the perfect amount of pressure.

      Sonically, these phones are excellent. Mids and highs have an airy feel and are crystal clear. I am less impressed with the very lowest end of the bass frequencies, so if you are an avid electronic music fan who likes earth-shuddering bass the likes of which can be detected by orbiting satellite, they may leave you slightly disappointed. However the bass on offer is beautifully clear and airy, and for the vast majority of music, these are utterly superb phones. Nowadays the price is substantially less than my purchase way-back-when, and so I believe they represent rather excellent value.

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      • Samsung Galaxy S / Mobile Phone / 15 Readings / 14 Ratings
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        28.06.2012 13:58
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        Great phone, as long as you have daily access to some form of charger

        I have owned this phone since it released and can say that it has been largely superb. As with all phones of this generation, the battery life leaves a lot to be desired, however this is partly down to the Android OS still being relatively new and going through constant tweaks. I suspect there are 2 other culprits of draining the battery. One is that big screen, which you can adjust the brightness of, and the other is when Android is searching for 3g+ networks. Simply setting the phone to use 2g only, makes a large difference to battery life and is ample for apps to auto-update themselves in the background, whilst also being a simple toggle away when you know you are in an area with faster coverage for web browsing and such-like.
        The graphic performance of this phone is excellent, as is the image on the screen. The brightness in full sun is sufficient to continue to use it, for example to read a GPS map or text message/email, however for critical viewing you would need some shade. Volume levels are good and can be turned up to what I would class as too loud.
        I have read many times about people having problems with the GPS. Well I can say I have had no problems with mine. Admittedly it can be slow to pick up satellites compared to a standard in-car nav, but when you look at the size of the device, it is hardly surprising. I now use it as my only GPS device.
        The phone is surprisingly durable. When I initially saw the flimsy looking plastic case, I was dubious about how long it would last. And as for the big screen, I handled that with care. I do not keep mine in a extra casing and it is still in one piece and looking smart, if a touch "used". I have dropped it many times including on tile floor and tables, and it has been lightly rained on, and carried in a pocket with a set of keys, and the screen is still unscathed. Truly impressive for such a light-weight product.
        The worst part about this phone is the software that comes with it for backing up contacts and files, and updating the firmware.

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      • Canon EOS 1D Mark IV / Digital Camera / 7 Readings / 6 Ratings
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        28.06.2012 13:30
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        Fantastic camera, best I've had, but try the 5D III first. Remember 1D X also due soon.

        As the Canon flagship DSLR until the 1D X releases, I expected a lot of the 1D Mark IV (1D4), and was not disappointed. With a crop sensor at 16.1mp it weighs in at around 8mp less than Canons 5D II and III, but handles beautifully and feels significantly weighty. It also has the now-usual Canon video modes tucked away in the menus.

        Speaking of weight, I would not recommend this camera if you are of a frail disposition or suffer from neck or back pain. I say this as a fairly average 30-something who has mild back issues. I have invested in a sling-style strap which has made a world of difference to the comfort of carrying this for longer periods. I certainly would NOT recommend carrying it round your neck.

        It has a 1.3x crop factor sensor, which means when using a 100mm lens, the lens will have an effective focal range of (or field of view equal to) a 130mm lens. While some may consider this a downside and prefer a full-frame camera such as the 5D series, having a camera with a crop factor means that the outer edges of the glass on your lens will not be used. This means the camera sensor is utilizing the sharpest centre area of the lens over a greater area of your shot. However when purchasing lenses it is "easier" if a 50mm lens is in fact a 50mm lens when in use and so if this is important to you, I would recommend looking at the 5D line or new 1D X. Also of note is that although this camera has a cropped sensor, it is NOT compatible with Canons EF-S lens mounts. You can only use the standard Canon EF mount.

        The 1D4 is certainly expensive, so what do you get for that money? Weather sealing, very solid construction, numerous autofocus adjustments, 10 frames per second for taking in-motion images of a moving subject and knowledge that you have the premium Canon camera. You are able to customise many settings which you cannot on a lesser model, for example your auto-ISO level, which shooting modes are available, and max & min shutter speeds. Regarding noise levels, I shoot RAW 100% of the time and as such noise is noticeable on a desktop screen at 100% zoom from around ISO 800, however it is minimal and not unpleasant to look at, and still provides superb image quality all the way up to ISO 3200. I have my auto ISO limited to 12800 due to advances in current software which can very effectively remove noise. I feel the ISO modes above this level are superfluous.

        One thing which I should mention is the autofocus settings. They are complex and should be looked at in detail in conjunction with Canon's guidance which can be found here: http://www.canon.co.uk/Images/EOS%201D%20MK%20IV%20AF%20guide_tcm14-721275.pdf
        One particular autofocus feature of note is the ability to switch the servo mode to enable the camera to continue to track an object (for example a bird in flight) while it passes behind random obstacles such as trees or fence posts. Although this sounds very impressive, in practice I find the autofocus to be more accurate with this disabled, however other users may find a use for it. Another feature of note is the ability to tweak the autofocus settings for individual lenses. For example if you have a 50mm lens which consistently focusses in front of your intended target, you can tweak the lens micro adjust in the cameras menus, to tell that particular lens to focus further back. This feature is found on some of the lower end Canon cameras too so is by no means a make-or-break feature, but can be very useful. Another feature I will just mention is the dual memory card slots. Very useful. You have 1 x CF slot and 1 x SDHC slot. You can switch between the two or run from one on to the other when full.

        Let me just say in conclusion that this camera is the best DSLR I have ever owned. It feels great in the hands and I suspect I will struggle to ever switch away from a 1D series body now. However...
        With the event of the new Canon 5D Mark III, and the 1D X on the horizon, which both appear to have autofocus to better this camera, plus a higher mega pixel count (thus greater cropping ability in post-processing), and full-frame sensors, I have a hard time recommending this camera right now, because quite simply the 5D III appears to do it all for less money. If however you need the rugged build quality and weather sealing as part of your job or hobby, with advanced autofocus adjustments, or you are perhaps a wildlife enthusiast and likely to be out shooting in poor weather, then I cannot recommend it enough. Just keep in mind that the 1D X is on the horizon.

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