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Dorothy Gray's Profile

Customer Reviews: 11
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Helpful Votes: 105

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Dorothy Gray RSS Feed (Atlanta, GA USA)

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Pentax K-01 16MP APS-C CMOS Mirrorless Digital Camera Kit with DA 40mm Lens (Black)
Pentax K-01 16MP APS-C CMOS Mirrorless Digital Camera Kit with DA 40mm Lens (Black)
9 used & new from $349.99

30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone, but definitely for me, March 22, 2012
Without getting into too much boring detail, I have damaged eyesight, and I have a tough time using DSLRs because of their reliance on tiny flashing numbers in the viewfinder, along with the annoyance of having to dig through various menu screens to get anything done. As a result, I am primarily a film shooter. I like my cameras straightforward. I like to think about getting the shot, not worry about the camera.

Enter this little gem. It has Pentax's intuitive menu system, simple and easy exterior button design which calls to mind an old film camera, and a nice big LCD screen. It is mirrorless, so there's no noisy thing causing camera shake, but it has the same size sensor as most DSLRs on the market, and it takes Pentax's K mount lens line and older M42 glass via adapter. If you want you can get it with a nice 40mm ultra-thin pancake kit lens, which is of excellent quality; or you can get the standard kit with a couple of zooms, or a body only if you already have a set of Pentax glass.

It has a nifty feature called "focus peaking" to aid with focusing when using those wonderful older lenses.

Its video capabilities are very nice. I am not a videographer so I cannot go into a lot of detail on that.

Certain review sites have complained about its ergonomics; but I tend to think these reviewers have never held film cameras and I wonder how they think a camera is supposed to be held.

For me, the biggest drawbacks have been: 1) the rubber flap covering where the SD card slot goes: it's not intuitive, learning how to properly close it. It should not be closed like a door. If you do try to close it like that, it will keep coming open, or your finger will get caught on it, or some other such annoyance. The proper way to close it is to slide it back into place, then press down on it. 2) The LCD screen can be difficult to see in certain types of glare or very bright sunlight. I'm looking for the right kind of removable shade for these situations.

But overall, I am extremely satisfied with this camera. I think it's going to last me a good long time and I'll be getting more Pentax/M42 lenses for it.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 28, 2012 3:50 PM PDT

Opteka NS-7 Tripod Mounted Swivel Camera Neck Strap System for DSLR Cameras (Black)
Opteka NS-7 Tripod Mounted Swivel Camera Neck Strap System for DSLR Cameras (Black)
Offered by 47th Street Photo
Price: $9.95
2 used & new from $9.95

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, especially at the bargain price, December 30, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The swiveling strap attachment that screws into the tripod mount - and includes its own tripod mount, so you don't have to remove the strap to use your camera with your tripod - is of excellent build quality. The swivel works great, and the mounting screw is made of a tough rubber (I think) that is easy to get a good grip on for fast tightening and loosening.

One star dinged for the size of the strap. It's a high-quality strap to be sure, but it's so short it's better suited to my 6-year-son. Of course I have another strap to put on it but I'm still puzzled at being sent a miniature strap. Perhaps that's why these are on sale at such a deep discount? Overall though, I'm very happy with this purchase.

Lomography Sidekick Standard Bag (Olive)
Lomography Sidekick Standard Bag (Olive)

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the price, the best camera/gadget bag available, hands down, May 19, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I first want to address something stated by the reviewer above about the detachable small camera bag. She says that it seems to meant to be a handbag; however, the strap on the main bag can be taken off and snapped on to the small bag's strap, and presto! instant shouldler bag. Also, the smaller bag can be attached to your belt. This last sentence, I feel, is extremely important, because no one seems to mention it, not even the Lomographic Society itself.

But on to the main part of this review/commentary. Simply put, this bag system is a beast for serious hobbyist photographers or, really, anyone who finds him or herself out and about a lot with a lot of gadgetry. The lack of a lot of interior foam padding and such is actually a plus because you are not restricted to any particular kind of item. You supply the cases and the bag conforms to your needs.

As an example, I'm not a typical "Lomographer", even though I do use one of their cameras, What I do use are a variety of vintage and plastic cameras. I have a 70's-era metal 35mm SLR with a compact 50mm lens which fits easily into the smal camera bag along with its rather bulky aftermarket Optech strap. If I wish, I can close up the bag into its two secure compartments and put another small to medium small camera in there; my Lomography Diana F+ with a lens attached goes in without a problem, and so does a Holga 120SF. I can also choose to open the two compartments into one large compartment if need calls for it. There are mesh pockets lining the back; these are large enough for items such as an iPhone or extra rolls of film or wallets of SD cards or whatever.

I did a test, and fully loaded this small bag with an old-school metal SLR, lens and strap, the Diana camera and an extra lens and its flash unit, an iPhone, my ID, debit card, keys, headphones, and some extra rolls of film, then looped it securely through my belt. The thing was crammed and fairly heavy, but it felt nice and balanced and did not impede walking. I also attached the strap from the larger bag and adjusted it to my height to be a shoulder bag; this worked OK, too. It's all in your preferences. For a long day of shooting, I'd probably prefer the belt-loop method and having my hands free.

The large bag is minimally padded on the inside, very deep, and has one shallow pocket at the top of the inside and two deeper, wider zipped pockets on the outside, which I have been using to store things like lens wipes, a notebook and pens, electrical tape and small scissors for my Holga, etc. On longer outings the larger bag will transport my two TLR cameras, which I would not want to carry in the smaller bag; and also the various extra lenses, flash units, etc. If needed, this bag could carry a small to medium-sized laptop and accessories as well. I haven't done the "cram-it-full" test on this on yet, although I have gotten as far as packing my Rolleicord and the flash units with the nearly-crammed small bag attached to the large bag.

This bag was made for people who don't want to have to have a closet full of bags for every single camera and gadget they own, each costing $25 - $150 and with minimal and restrictive space, and screaming "CAMERA BAG". I can actually carry this baby around, especially the small detached bag, as an everyday bag and no one will be the wiser.
Cannot recommend highly enough.
Comment Comment | Permalink

Synology DS108j DiskStation 1-Bay Network Attached Storage Server
Synology DS108j DiskStation 1-Bay Network Attached Storage Server

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not recommended, at least for Mac users, November 12, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
(this is Dorothy's husband writing, we share an Amazon account)

I have had endless problems with this thing.

Getting it up and running was a 2-week process. First, the software disk that came with it wouldn't extract its files, so I went to download the software from Synology's poorly organized and rather Engrish-y website (they are headquartered in Taiwan IIRC). I wound up having to download a freeware app just to extract the software as the archive was set up in such a way that if you let the Mac OS extract it all the way, it doesn't work. Then when I ran the Synology Assistant setup program from this archive, it finally saw the device. However, repeated attempts to actually format the drive only produced errors and a status light indicating a problem with the disk.

After a lengthy email back-and-forth with Synology, they agreed to take a look at the unit at their facility if I shipped it to them at my expense, and determine whether the problem was with the unit, the HD I installed in it, or both. I have no idea what they did, but they got it to work, claiming to have used the same version of the same setup software that I did, which I don't believe.

So the thing worked fine for a couple weeks, and then the power supply came unplugged. The power supply consists of a large power adapter that has the cable connecting to the unit at one end, and a socket for a desktop computer power cord (I kid you not) at the other end. The latter decided to unplug itself this morning. So I plugged it back in, the unit turned back on and appeared to be checking the disk judging from the activity lights, and now is back up. Except I can't connect to it. The status lights say everything's fine, my router sees it and has given it an IP address, but I can't actually map to it or communicate with it at all, either using the Synology Assistant or by navigating to its IP address.

I tell ya, it's almost enough to make a person give up and pay for online file hosting instead.

The only reason this got two stars instead of one is that Synology were prompt, helpful and sympathetic in their email correspondence. I wish I could take half a star off for having to ship it to them at my expense, though.

Curry Bible: Exotic and Fragrant Curries from Around the World
Curry Bible: Exotic and Fragrant Curries from Around the World
by Mridula Baljekar
Edition: Hardcover
44 used & new from $4.48

5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative, March 6, 2009
I have only recently been attempting to make my own curry dishes and up until being given this book as a gift, I was stumbling through internet sites looking for suitable recipes. This book concentrates good solid recipes for many Asian curry dishes. I am eating vegetable korma made from the recipe in this book tonight and it is exquisite. Highly recommended.

No Title Available

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great bundle!, March 27, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This bundle will let you hit the ground running with the D60, provided you have SD cards already, which I did! :) If you don't, select one of Cameta's other bundles which include SD cards.

Cameta ships fast. Highly recommended.

Richard Schmid Paints Landscapes: Creative Techniques in Oil
Richard Schmid Paints Landscapes: Creative Techniques in Oil
by Richard Schmid
Edition: Hardcover
34 used & new from $119.99

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the better landscape books, August 5, 2007
Some photos are black and white but there are many demo photos are in color. This is quite a substantial book for its genre; the author is very generous with his considerable knowledge, and I recommend it for serious landscape painters. It may be a little too technical for beginners and casual hobbyists.

Barbie My Scene My Bling Bling Barbie Doll
Barbie My Scene My Bling Bling Barbie Doll
Offered by TORCH-HI
Price: $49.99
8 used & new from $49.99

16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars About the tackiest thing I've ever seen, July 17, 2006
This needs to be called "My Porn Star Barbie" or "My $2 Hooker Barbie." I can't imagine letting any little girl of mine play with this. How Barbie has fallen!

Pentax *istDL 6.1MP Digital SLR Camera with DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL Digital SLR Lens
Pentax *istDL 6.1MP Digital SLR Camera with DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL Digital SLR Lens
6 used & new from $160.00

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best entry-level DSLR by far, July 5, 2006
This fantastic DSLR is not mentioned when the big electronics and photography sites reccommend cameras for those wishing to upgrade to digital single-lens reflex. Why is that? The Pentax *ist DL delivers everything that the Nikon D50/D70 and other cameras in its class do, and for hundreds of dollars less. The camera's functions are intelligently laid out so that you can begin shooting great photos right away, and the manual is well-written and organized, making it easy to learn when you're ready to explore everything the camera can do. The kit lens is better than what ships with some competitors, and the camera is compatible with most older Pentax lenses, making it possible to save hundreds by buying used lenses rather than having to sink money into new digital lenses. Another great feature is that the camera runs on AA batteries, unlike some cameras which use proprietary batteries.

The camera has the capability to shoot RAW files and Pentax includes a disc with basic RAW processing software. Photoshop CS2 is probably a better choice for those who will be shooting many RAW photos.

One thing I feel compelled to mention is that shooting in any of the auto modes yields photos that are highly color saturated, and this setting cannot be changed. This isn't a gripe as the photos are easily corrected in after-processing in Photoshop.

To sum: there's really nothing NOT to reccommend about this lovely little machine. Kudos to Pentax to bringing the world of DSLR photography within reach, and let's hope the word gets out about this amazing deal.

Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide (medically updated)
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide (medically updated)
by Janet Whalley
Edition: Paperback
124 used & new from $0.01

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thorough but Dry, August 3, 2005
The hospital where I plan to deliver gives this book out free to its patients, which says a lot. This book is very, very thorough. It barely skips a thing.

However, it's very dry and clinical - like a textbook. I found it very taxing to read; it just did not hold my interest. It's organized like a textbook, meaning the chapter transitions are a bit jarring for a newly pregnant woman who perhaps is looking for a more timeline-based presentation. The photoillustrations are dark and look like snapshots rather than professional photography, which means they're often useless.

I went back and forth over giving this book three or four stars and finally decided on four with the caveat that it is best used a pure reference. For an equally info-packed pregnancy book that is more enjoyable to read, I recommend Ann Douglas' "The Mother of All Pregnancy Books."

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