Review of British Airways i360, Brighton

Review of British Airways i360, Brighton

Going up the i360 is something I've been wanting to do for such a long time, I was originally going to go when it first opened but things seemed to keep getting in the way. The 162-metre observation tower has been open for almost 2 years now. 

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Olympus OM-D E-M10iii 'Real Life' Review

Olympus OM-D E-M10iii 'Real Life' Review

I have said many times that it's more important to get the photo with what you have than not getting it at all. My favourite quote from Chase Jarvis is 'The best camera is the one you have with you'. 

I've used many cameras over the years and have no real loyalty to a certain brand, I like any camera that is easy to use, portable and able to get the shot I'm after.

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Saal Digital Photo Book Review

Saal Digital Photo Book Review

Saal Digital is a name I've seen on social media a few times and when someone tagged me in a post of theirs to say they were looking for people to give their photo books a try I thought I'd reach out to them. 

They said they'd be thrilled to give me a code to create my own photo book and give my honest impressions so here they are...

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The BenQ PD2700Q 27" Monitor 'Real Life' Review

Being a photographer/vlogger/creator in 2017 isn't anything like it used to be. There's this whole other side of things that people often don't see, the editing of photos in Lightroom, the putting together videos in Final Cut Pro and other graphics in Photoshop. 

I normally run this all on my MacBook with a 13" screen, while this works well when travelling it can be a pain when in the office. Editing is often done late at night when the eyes get tired and you find yourself straining and that's not good...especially with my eyes. 

The team at BenQ got in touch and asked if I wanted to try out one of their new screens...namely the BenQ PD2700Q. Before we dive in too deep here's my preview/unboxing video. 

Firstly the stats on the PD2700Q are impressive; 2K QHD monitor with 10-bits of colour depth, Rec.709 and standard RGB colour space (sRGB), you’ll have more than 1 billion of colours to work with astonishing precision.

- 27 inch 2560x1440 QHD Resolution
- 100% Rec. 709 and sRGB with IPS Technology
- DualView Function and Darkroom Mode
- CAD/CAM, Animation Modes Enable the Detailed and Precise Design
- Display Pilot Software for Customized Monitor Settings

The colours on this screen are stunning and I edited a few HDR photos to really push it and they looked amazing. It really brought them to life and the finest of details were really enhanced. The monitor helped my eyes and I found I could work on this monitor for several hours and my eyes didn't feel fatigued or strained.  

I like to work on several things at once and when using a laptop this means having one thing on the screen at once while switching from tab to tab. When you'll looking for information this can prove to be a real waste of time. 

With a 27" monitor this really changes things, of course, you can have one giant thing showing but the way I worked it and got full use was when I had 4 things displayed at once. 

I'd have Lightroom running, while editing a video, with Spotify playing and writing on the blog or running Twitter. This was amazing and saved time where I could see things easily. You could make it work for you so email/web/pages/photoshop split into quarters and they would still look large on the screen. 

If you're looking for improve your editing skills then this is the way to go. You don't need to change your laptop or PC just connect this up via HDMI and away you go. This can also be wall mounted if you wish. 

For more information on the BenQ PD2700Q 27" Monitor have a look at their website and see just how it could improve your workflow.  At just under £370 this is an amazing price for something so impressive. 

I was loaned this for the purpose of this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

iPhone 7 Plus Camera 'Real Life' Review - Landscape + Portrait Mode

iPhone 7 Plus Camera 'Real Life' Review - Landscape + Portrait Mode

For me no cameraphone is going to replace my dSLR, that just isn't going to happen. With that said there are a few times when the only camera I have with me is my phone so ideally it's the best of the best. 

A few months ago I did a Real Life Review using the Huawei P9 which also has a dual lens and I was impressed with it. Will this iPhone 7 Plus be better than that? 

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Panasonic Lumix G7 Review - Perfect for vlogging, photos and families

For the past month I've been using a new camera in the form of the Panasonic Lumix G7. The fun facts to begin with are this is a Micro Four Thirds system, 16MP and is 4K. It takes a SDHC memory card, 49 focus points, ISO 25600 and 8fps continuous shooting which worked very well when trying to capture a bee in the flowers. 

I've used Micro Four Thirds systems for the past 2-3 years and love it. It's lightweight and allows you to take different lens with you and it won't weigh you down. I traded in a dSLR for this system and have never looked back. 

This camera has a couple of massive features for me, the first is it has a mic out which as I've started daily vlogging it's a huge thing. The other also helps with vlogging and it's a screen that flips right the way around. 

To help with this I've created a vlog to explain a few features and to talk about it. 

Every vlog I've recorded this past month has been created using the Panasonic Lumix G7 and I've really loved using it. Of course this is a camera and people will be using it as a camera so here are a few photos I've taken using it. 

It've been using this camera with the kit lens that comes with it for 90% of the time but I did also use a Panasonic 20mm 1.7 which works amazingly well. I've been struggling to think of a fault with this camera. The menu system is simple to navigate around, the touch screen is fast and responsive and the dials are placed in the right places. 

On a few cameras the dials aren't quite right and you can find yourself accidentally knocking one when setting up a photo but not on this one. I've been trying to use this camera lots and I'd say the battery lasts about 3 days. In that time I've probably recorded and hour and a half on video and taken about 100 photos. Personally I'd say that was good. 

I don't think anyone would be disappointed with this camera. I've used it for floral, portraits, product photos and video too and not once have I thought I wish it could do better. If you're looking to get something more portable than a dSLR or looking to upgrade from a Point & Shoot then this is a camera well worth considering. 

For more details check out the Panasonic Lumix G7 page and I'll leave you with some more photos. 

Prints from Wall Snaps

For me there is no point taking photos and storing them on a computer. I like to print my photos out. For example after our recent holiday I printed out every since photo we took and make a photo album full of the memories. 

Dotted around our house you'll find prints and canvases that I've had made of photos that I've taken. These include photos of the girls, leopards, landscapes and many others that I'm proud of.

I like to try out different companies to see who is the best and who provides value for money. The latest print we've received is from a company called WallSnaps. They make a few different items such as canvases from £19.99, Pano Prints from £9.99 but we decided on a Framed Print. 

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This was the photo that we decided to get printed. It's one of my personal favourite photos, it's got a splash of colour and a beautiful reflection. If printed wrong this wouldn't have the same effect so I felt it was a good test. 

We picked a 30x40cm frame with a black frame and a white mount. You can pick a number of different choices such as a white frame, different sizes and any colour mount you fancy. 

I was really impressed with way this came out. The frame came perfectly packaged which is always a concern when ordering frames. It also came with everything needed to hang the picture, I hate it when canvases and frames etc arrive without the hooks and you an never find the right ones. 

The colours and the way it's come out I'm very happy with it and would have no trouble recommending WallSnaps to people looking for a framed print. 

I was sent this item for the purpose of this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own

 

Brighten up January with Appleyard Flowers

Brighten up January with Appleyard Flowers

I am not a fan of January, no one has any money and it seems a long time till holidays. The house no longer seems festive and the weather is normally pretty rubbish. 

To help combat the January Blues and to brighten up the month the brilliant people at Appleyard London asked if we'd like to pick a bouquet of flowers to add some colour to our house. 

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Nokia Lumia 1020 Review

At times opportunities arise that even shock me, one of these was an invitation to attend something at London Zoo for Nokia and the new Windows 8 phone...those words are always going to grab my attention. To top it all off it was on a Saturday meaning I would actually be able to attend.

Over the years I’ve had many phones, from the Nokia 3210, the Palm Pre to more recent smartphones like every version of the iPhone, a few Blackberry’s the funky Motorola Razr and my latest phone was the Samsung Note 2 so I may know a little bit about phones and now it was the turn of the Nokia Lumia 1020.

Nokia Lumia 1020

Nokia Lumia 1020

You may have heard of this phone it’s the one with the 41mp camera, this is pretty much double any other phone available and is it’s big BIG selling point.

Nokia’s always used to be the go to phone, everyone wanted the latest phone and then the fruit company and electronics company entered the mobile phone market and blew everyone else out the water. Since that moment everyone else including Nokia have been playing catch up and often failing.

My first impressions are...gor blimey it’s bright and that’s just the cover, yep it’s bright yellow. The phone isn’t as large as I was expecting it to be, slightly wider than an iPhone 5 and about the same size as a Samsung Galaxy S4. It fits easily in the hand and you can hold it in one hand and use it with your thumb.

The Nokia Lumia 1020 runs on Windows 8 which takes a lot of getting used to compared to Android or iOS but the live tiles work well and are a nice feature my main issue is the app store which is lacking. It does have some of the basics like Facebook, Twitter and it also has Instagram now but most of them are basic to say the least and things like Google+ well you might as well not bother. If you regularly get notifications from a place like Instagram or Twitter then you need to enable a Livetile for this otherwise you won’t get a notification on Windows 8 mobile.

As for Dropbox well at the moment it’s not great news as they try and push you onto SkyDrive but when you’ve been using DropBox for years it’s hard to change. There is a good app called FileBox which seems to be the best DropBox app as none of the others currently preview anything you have stored, they just show a file name which when you have 1000s of photos isn’t much good.

The 1020 screen is crisp and sharp and the touchscreen is super sensitive, the panel is a 1280 x 768 AMOLED display with a pixel density of 334 pixels per inch but it’s not even close to how good the HTC One screen is but you don’t really notice.

The battery is well erm ok. It’s not great, if you just use basic apps it’s fine but as soon as you start taking photos and using Twitter and Instagram then it drains quickly so much so that mine has died by 7pm on a number of occasions and that’s without listening to music, really not ideal for a phone it you require it for more than 12 hours.

lumia1020camera

lumia1020camera

Of course it’s main selling point is the 41mp camera which is impressive and takes amazing single shot photos but not many of the shots will be taken at 41mp most will be 5mp for sharing otherwise memory and data issues come into play. There are a whole host of preinstalled apps to crop and edit the photos which are as good as any you could download. The big issue is the shutter lag which is usually around a second and this let’s it down in a big way. Taking a photo of something in the distance works very well and you hardly lose any of the detail when zoomed but the lag comes into play and you may find you’ve missed the shot. The camera is good but you won’t be selling your dslr in favor of this no matter how basic your camera is.

The verdict from me is it’s a good phone, but it won't knock Apple and Samsung from the top. It has potential to with a few tweaks especially the app store. If things like G+, Instagram and it added some other apps such as the Google based ones (which I know won’t happen) but hey we can dream.