Profile for Michael J. Edelman > Reviews

Browse

Michael J. Edelman's Profile

Customer Reviews: 1942
Top Reviewer Ranking: 77
Helpful Votes: 24845


Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Michael J. Edelman RSS Feed (Huntington Woods, MI USA)
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Ivation Universal Smartphone Camera Lens Kit for iPhone 6/6 plus & All Smartphones,10x Telephoto Lens,Fisheye Lens, Macro Lens, Wide Angle Lens(Black)
Ivation Universal Smartphone Camera Lens Kit for iPhone 6/6 plus & All Smartphones,10x Telephoto Lens,Fisheye Lens, Macro Lens, Wide Angle Lens(Black)
Offered by DBROTH
Price: $29.99
3 used & new from $28.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use, fun, good quality optics., July 3, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The first good quality digital camera I owned was a Nikon D70 with a bit over 6 megapixels of resolution. Now I'm carrying around both a phone and a tablet with cameras that deliver 8mp resolution, and while you can't compare the tiny sensors in a phone with the sensor in a DSLR, the image quality is startlingly good- good enough for any sort of web use, and probably good enough for magazine pages. I'm told people who had been buying point-and-shoot digital cameras are not relying entirely on their phones, and why not? Unlike your camera, your phone is probably always with you, and you can transmit photos you take directly to your friends, or to a web page. There's just one drawback to using your phone as your camera, and that's the lack of interchangeable or zoom lenses. The focal length chosen for most phones is a sot of compromise between traditional "normal" focal length for cameras and a wide angle view.

And so not unexpetedly the market has responded with a number of add-on lenses, some dedicated for use on one particular camera, and some, like this one (which I received as a review sample) designed to be used with just about any camera or tablet. The package consists of a clamp and three screw-in lens assemblies. One that delivers a true 180 degree fisheye view, one that widens the camer's view by a factor of 0.67X, and a telephoto assembly that multiplies magnification by a factor of 10X. Lens caps are provided, along with a little cloth bag for carrying everything.

Mounting the lens holder was easy. Loosen the screw, clamp the holder in place, adjusting it and the sliding mounting ring to get it centered over the phone's camera lens, and lightly snug up the screw. The fisheye lens was my immediate favorite, delivering classic fisheye views with plenty of barrel distortion and vignetting. The wide angle lens is useful for indoor shots, getting everyone at the table in frame. It does have a significant amount of barrel distortion, but this can be minimized by keeping the phone level and keeping straight lines (room boundaries, etc.) away from the edge of the field.

The telephoto was the trickiest of the bunch. You need to make sure the mount is centered, and then adjust the manual focus on the lens to get it into a range where the phone's autofocus mechanism can cope. Then you need to find a way to brace the camera on some fixed object- I wasn't able to get sharp, blur-free images unless I did this. With some care you can get pretty decent images, but none I took were as sharp as with the other two lenses. As I like to keep my phone and tablet in a protective case, I also tried using the lens adapter with the phone in the case, which adds a few exa millimeters to the camera-to-lens distance. I got good results with the fisheye lens, but significant vignetting with the wide angle lens. I wasn't able to get the telephoto lens to focus at all with this configuration.

All in all, this is a fun, easy to use lens accessory that doesn't cost a fortune and should work with just about any phone or tablet.


Griffin Black/Black Survivor All-Terrain Case for iPad mini, iPad mini 2, & iPad mini 3
Griffin Black/Black Survivor All-Terrain Case for iPad mini, iPad mini 2, & iPad mini 3
Offered by Express Goods
Price: $34.99
12 used & new from $21.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent protection., July 3, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I purchased this case for my new iPad Mini 2 based on my experience with the original Griffin Survivor for my iPad: It's probably the most rugged case made for these tablets, and as far as I know, the only one that meets Mil-Spec standard for shock and water resistance. This smaller case feels just as rugged and protective, and is significantly easier to install- although curiously, mine was lacking instruction! All you have to do is make sure you completely disassemble the case into its three component parts. Place the iPad in the inner plastic case, and stretch the rubber outer case over. Make sure both the iPad screen and the clear cover are clean and dust free, and snap the clear cover on. Takes all of a minute to do it.


TaoTronics® Pet UV Urine & Stain Detector, Blacklight/Flashlight, Find stains on Carpet, Rugs(12 leds)
TaoTronics® Pet UV Urine & Stain Detector, Blacklight/Flashlight, Find stains on Carpet, Rugs(12 leds)
Offered by Sunvalleytek
Price: $29.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Solidly built, high output., July 1, 2015
Besides the stated uses (pet urine, some counterfeit money, etc) this is useful for amateur (and perhaps professional) geologists and gemologists. It'll help find and identify fluorescent minerals and gems in the lab or shop, or outdoors in shade. It also has enough output to trigger polymerization in small amounts of some UV-cured epoxies and other adhesives. Incidentally, don't rely on UV alone to identify counterfeit money- any bill that's been through the laundry will fluoresce owing to the detergent brighteners it picked up.

I have a similar unit I purchased off a well-known internet auction sit a few years ago, but the TaoTronics seems to be better constructed, with a heavier gauge aluminum case, and it has a much higher output. Definitely worth the extra bucks.


Mackie Mix Series Mix12FX 12-Channel Effects Mixer
Mackie Mix Series Mix12FX 12-Channel Effects Mixer
Price: $119.99
18 used & new from $104.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cheesy power supply but good overall value, June 29, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've owned several Mackie mixers going back a good many years to when they were all made in the U.S., and were the standard for compact, high quality boards; I still have a 4-channel Mackie USB mixer I use for doing basic recording on my Mac. The old ones were real pro gear that could stand up to the rigors of gigging. I don't think the newer made in China boards are of the same quality, but they're certainly good enough for light gigging and more than sturdy enough for light recording.

This particular mixer has four mic preamps, four stereo line inputs, and enough sends and returns to set up a flexible PA or a good basic home recording studio. The mic preamps sound okay to my ears, noise levels are low, and the controls are quiet. Yes, it has a cheesy power supply (this can be replaced) and the outputs pop who you plug it in (what were they thinking??) but this can be dealt with in a PA or studio setting by turning on the power amp(s) or monitors *after* you turn on the board. The multiple effects consist of several reverbs and echoes and a few phaser/flanger effects useful for recording and less so for live sound. The quality is about what you'd expect from a guitar pedal, and you could probably do better with the effects in your recording software (which would have the added advantage of being reversible.)

While there are a number of annoyances,makeup in mind that with all the functionality available, this board costs less than a decent microphone, and for that reason alone it's a very good choice for a band or soloist or home recorder starting out.


AFTERPARTZ TQ600 Car Jump Starter 16800mAh 600A for Gas & Diesel Version, 5/12/16/19V Output Portable Battery Charger Power Bank for Laptop & Phone & Tablet, Smart Clamp Cable Included, Built-in Protection & LED Flashlight
AFTERPARTZ TQ600 Car Jump Starter 16800mAh 600A for Gas & Diesel Version, 5/12/16/19V Output Portable Battery Charger Power Bank for Laptop & Phone & Tablet, Smart Clamp Cable Included, Built-in Protection & LED Flashlight
Offered by Sharkoo
Price: $94.00
2 used & new from $94.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Starts cars and provides plenty of current for running and charging portable devices., June 29, 2015
I did do one test of starting my 2003 Element with this battery, and i can honestly say that it provided enough juice to start the engine up in a few seconds. I don't know that it would start an engine in the middle of winter, but it worked well enough on a 70 degree summer day. What I really find this battery useful for is recharging phones and tablets, and running my Yaesu FT-817 amateur radio HF transceiver. With almost 17 amp-hours of capacity, this battery should be able to recharge my iPad as many as 8 times, and it can run the Yaesu transceiver for over 50 hours continuously in receive mode- a lot more than the AAs or rechargeable battery pack inside. It should be great for hilltopping and Field Day use.,

The battery comes in a protective foam case with a zippered cover, a mobile charging adapter, and USB cords.output charging Volga is selectable for different devices, so it should work with a range of laptops as well as USB-powered phones and tablets. All in all a nice, compact power storage appliance with a lot of applications. (Disclosure: I was supplied with a free review sample by the distributor.)


Nature Valley Sweet and Spicy Chili Granola Bars, Dark Chocolate, 6 Count (Pack of 12)
Nature Valley Sweet and Spicy Chili Granola Bars, Dark Chocolate, 6 Count (Pack of 12)
Offered by BC Groceries and more
Price: $85.50
2 used & new from $79.95

4.0 out of 5 stars A tasty candy bar with a hit of spice, June 27, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Aztecs originally drank their chocolate with hot peppers (and no sugar) and a few years ago some clever chocolate makers rediscovered this tasty combination. A little hint of spiciness does a lot to sort pf prime the taste buds and enhance the flavors, whether it's in spaghetti or chocolate. This candy bar is a good example of that.The amount of pepper is just enough to add a tang that doesn't sit around burning your mouth and lips, but there's just enough of a bite to let you know there are hot peppers here.

Yes, Nature Valley calls it a "granola bar" but I generally assume that a granola bar is going to have a lot of fiber-rich oatmeal in, it with some sugar, some oil, and a few raisins and nuts. This,however, is mainly a chocolate-and-nuts bar with a healthy shot of palm oil and a little fiber. It's certainly a lot healthier than the typical candy bar, but it's not the kind of healthy snack you can munch on regularly without concern. I'd call it more of an "energy bar"- a concentrated package of sugar and vegetable protein that would not be out of place on a long hike. I'm going to keep a few of these bars in my car, and the rest in my bicycle's handlebar bag.


Haier ESAQ408P Ultra Quiet Window Air Conditioner, 8000 BTU
Haier ESAQ408P Ultra Quiet Window Air Conditioner, 8000 BTU
Offered by Appliances Connection
Price: $446.88
4 used & new from $383.00

5.0 out of 5 stars It really is quiet, June 25, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have whole-house air conditioning in my remodeled 1936 bungalow, but the upstairs never seems to get cool enough, with all the cold air pooling downstairs. I'd been contemplating getting a small a/c for the upstairs bedroom when this unit came my way. First: Yes, it really is pretty quiet. It's not silent- but there's none of that loud fan buzz and periodic gargling as the compressor starts and stops that I'm used to in the typical a/c. This unit is more like a good car a/c: You don't really notice the starts and stops.

Mounting was straightforward, although I did place a sort of "filler" scrap of pine in the window jamb to bring the base of the a/c unit up an inch so it didn't rest on and damage the wooden window trim. I was a bit worried about mounting an a/c in a second story window without having someone outside to support it, but this unit doesn't have as much overhang as units from 20-30 years ago and so was easier to install without that outside support. The side panels are the usual annoying sort that you have to fiddle with to get a decent seal; the last time I had a window a/c I made my own custom panels from wood and plexiglass and I'm kind of tempted to do the same with this one. Controls are straightforward, so I didn't both with the manual. I see it does have a timer function and possibly several others I'll never use ;-) I do like the idea of being able to use it as a dehumidifier, as it's the humidity in the summer that I find most uncomfortable. I don't mind an 80 degree bedroom if I'm not soaking in my own sweat. All in all a quiet, easy to use a/c that will hopefully last a few years. And if it doesn't, you'll read about it here.


MTM 2 Pistol Handgun Case Up to 8.5-Inch Revolver Barrel
MTM 2 Pistol Handgun Case Up to 8.5-Inch Revolver Barrel
Price: $13.58
30 used & new from $12.26

5.0 out of 5 stars Great value for storing and carrying large guns and scoped guns, June 23, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
While I wouldn't trust this case to keep out someone trying to get inside, it's an excellent case for storing a gun inside your safe, or transporting a gun in your trunk. I have several of the MTM one gun gases, and purchased this one for carrying my Daisy 747 and my customized Ruger Mark-III. The Daisy is a long gun, almost a foot in length, and won't fit in many cases. The Ruger sports a 6-7/8" barrel, an Ultradot sight, and Herrett match grips, and is also far too big for any standard single case. At under fourteen bucks, this case is the cheapest good protection I've found for either of these guns. I'm going to order another, so I can store both in cases in the safe.


Amazon Echo
Amazon Echo
Price: $179.99

46 of 59 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It could be a very useful appliance in any home... or a way for hackers to eavesdrop., June 23, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Amazon Echo (Electronics)
I've been playing with my Echo for a month now, and I have to say that I'm a bit... underwhelmed. Perhaps if I had a more automated house, and I could have it control lights, alarm, appliances, and that sort of thing I'd be more impressed. Or perhaps if I lived in an apartment, and the Echo could listen to me wherever I was, I'd find it more useful. As it is, my use has been limited to saying "what time is it?" when I wake up and I'm too lazy to put my glasses on, "what's the weather?" and "play <some genre or artist>." Those music requests have been the least useful; if it's something I've purchased from Amazon, it can usually (but not always) find and play it. Sometimes it tells me there's nothing available in Prime. And sometimes I have trouble getting it to understand what I'm saying, despite my mid-Midwest accent.

I keep my Echo upstairs, in my bedroom, as that's the one place I'm likely to ask it for the time, or the weather, as if I'm anywhere else in the house I'm probably up and dressed and can just look at my phone. It's also handy to be able to play music while going to sleep. If it was downstairs, I can imagine asking it things like "how many tablespoons in a cup" while my hands were covered with butter in the kitchen. If it was in the basement, in my shop, it would be useful to be able to ask "what number size drill is close to three millimeters" or things of that nature. No doubt there are, or will be, ways to network the Echo through your house, but for now it only seems to work in one room at a time. I've tested yelling up the stairs, and Echo will her me and respond from a distance, but to be able to hear it I have to have the volume up so high at it annoys everyone else in the house, and possibly the neighbors as well.

There's another issue I haven't quite made my mind up about yet, and that's the desirability of having an open, Internet-connected microphone in your house twenty-four hours a day. Sure, Amazon assures you that Echo only listens when you address her/it by name, but who's to say that some person or govnment agency couldn't hack their way in? When I demonstrated Echo to my girlfriend, her only remark was "creepy." She may well be right. Readers of 1984 often wonder how a government would be able to insert cameras and microphones in every house and apartment without protest. Maybe they could sell it as a great home appliance ;-)
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 2, 2015 3:01 PM PDT


Cap Mundo Single-Cup Coffee for Nespresso Brewers, Yrgacheffe, 10 Count (Pack of 6)
Cap Mundo Single-Cup Coffee for Nespresso Brewers, Yrgacheffe, 10 Count (Pack of 6)
Price: $29.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Very fresh, a flavor that should appeal to some palates, June 23, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The first thing you notice opening the box is that unlike most Nespresso-compatible coffee capsules, these are individually wrapped in air-tight envelopes. On opening the envelope, the smell of fresh-ground coffee fills the air. I'm not sure why Cap Mundo packages their capsules this way; perhaps they're more porous than other Nespresso capsules. Whatever the reason, the coffee inside is definitely fresh. As for the flavor of this particular roast- it's certainly interesting, but it's not for everyone. It's a light roast, with a high acidity and a very pronounced "winey" sort of flavor. I generally prefer darker roasts, and I think most espresso drinkers do as well, but I could see how this might appeal to coffee drinkers who prefer lighter roasts. My rating is based on my particular preferences, but you may well find this very much to your taste. I'm going to keep sampling it, maybe adding some cream, and give it a chance to grow on me.

Update: I've been drinking it for a few days, and it is indeed starting to grow on me more and more. I still prefer a dark roast, but I'm starting to appreciate some of the complexity of the flavor in this one.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20