Profile for Steven Brys > Reviews


Steven Brys' Profile

Customer Reviews: 13
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Helpful Votes: 511

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Reviews Written by
Steven Brys "Koala Lover!" RSS Feed (New Jersey, USA)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very effective, August 27, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was looking for an alternative to prescription medications to help control stress and allow me to fall sleep. Most I have tried, like tryptophan and melatonin work OK. They will help me to relax, and they will help me get to sleep. But then I find myself waking up within an hour or so, leading me to feel that this is not the solution I am looking for. I came across this product in my research and it seemed worth a try. It is pricey, that's for sure. I could buy Ambien for less, but then again, I have many concerns about this medication. It will all of a sudden made me very, very hungry and I will have to satisfy my need for food before I can sleep. One day I woke up and found an open can of soup in my oven. I am sure I must have put it there, but thanks to Ambien, do no recall specifically doing so. This episode was benign, but give much credibility to the stories of people driving "asleep".

Anyway, getting back to this product, last time I took it at bedtime, on a relatively empty stomach. About 15 minutes later, I was asleep. The next thing I new, the alarm was going off. But I was still very, very tired. I should have taken much less. The tablet or "bar" can be broken into 4 pieces which gives you nice control over the dosage. Now I know why. Next time, I will use much less. And I recommend to newbies, start off small.

Overall, this is a great product with the capacity to help you relax and fall asleep. Definitely does as it advertises. As far as the comparison to Xanax, I really cannot say as I have never taken Xanax. I'd more compare it to ambien on steroids.

Maximal Power DB OLY BLS-1 Replacement Battery for Olympus Digital Camera/Camcorder - Black
Maximal Power DB OLY BLS-1 Replacement Battery for Olympus Digital Camera/Camcorder - Black
Offered by digi-power
Price: $8.89
6 used & new from $2.22

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Warning if you decide to buy this battery!, June 27, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It got stuck in my E-PL1 and I had to bang the camera on a table to dislodge it. Pay the extra money and buy an Olympus battery, or carefully check some of the other battery substitutes. It is not worth damaging your camera to save a few dollars on a battery. At best, it suggests poor quality control on the part of the manufacturer.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 12x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3.0-Inch LCD - Black
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 12x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3.0-Inch LCD - Black
8 used & new from $97.00

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very nice camera but beware image quality, November 27, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I own way too many cameras as I love to try them out to see if a particular one is "it" - the perfect small camera. There are a lot of nice things about the ZS7. Like many have mentioned, it sports a terrific range in a small form factor (25-300mm). It offers complete manual, automatic, or anywhere in between shooting options. There are a host of nice scene modes that are fun to experiment with ranging from common ones like beach, snow, candlelight to more artistic ones such as dynamic range and pinhole photography. Just about every bell and whistle on the market, are on this camera and then some.

For me, however, the bottom line is image quality. Now you must have realistic expectations. After all, this is a small point and shoot camera with a small sensor and there is no way it is a substitute for a dslr, or a micro 4/3 camera. The trade off is you don't have to change (or pay for) expensive lenses, the camera is tiny and can go everywhere. Basically your investment of time or money ends at the purchase price. But I gave this camera 3 stars because I felt even within the peer group, the image quality is noticeably poor. Noise is evident even at the lowest ISO setting of 80. Because of this, the noise reduction within the camera is heavy and the details get smeared and hence, lost. You can lower the noise reduction setting but you cannot shut it off. And shooting Raw is not supported, so there is a limited ability to even work around this issue.

Now, many people will not notice or care. If you are looking for a snap shooter, convenient, latest technology, and that long zoom range this camera deserves serious consideration. But for me the poor image quality overwhelms the many positive aspects of this camera.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 3, 2011 7:34 PM PDT

Canon G12 10 MP Digital Camera with 5x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.8 Inch Vari-Angle LCD
Canon G12 10 MP Digital Camera with 5x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.8 Inch Vari-Angle LCD
Offered by Electromax
Price: $599.99
35 used & new from $217.50

320 of 335 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feast your eyes on an upgraded G series digital camera!, October 5, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
First, let me say I own or have owned a G10, G11, and G12. I am not really sure why anyone expect the G12 to be a major upgrade to the G11. The title of this review is the first line of Canon's marketing material on the Canon USA this is what I personally expected, and Canon delivered, as far as I am concerned. I am not a professional, so my observations are from the viewpoint of an average guy with a serious camera addiction. I took photos side by side using my G10, G11, and G12 and I have to be honest, I could not tell much difference, though a slight nod would go to the newest camera. They are all great, however, and suit an average user like me perfectly. My tests were not scientific and not comprehensive - I have to work for a living after all. I am very pleased with the image quality, but is it a major upgrade from previous G series cameras, I do not think so. If I were forced to choose one, I would probably go for the G12 because the photos look slightly nicer to me, and the camera is easier to work with but only if I am forced to choose!

Build quality is also as you would come to expect from a Canon high end compact camera that costs $500. It is excellent just like the G10 and G11. They all feel and look pretty similar. There is an extra rubber grip on the back for your thumb which is kind of nice. Overall, and I have smallish hands, I find the G12 the easiest of these 3 cameras I have been comparing, to hold.

Probably the most important new feature is employment of Canon's HS (high sensitivity) system (combination of sensor and processing engine) which migrates from the EOS line. Does it deliver on its promise to improve image quality and allow shooting at higher ISO? I think the answer is yes it does, but not very much. The camera maxes out at 3200 ISO marked on the dial and you can bump it up to 12,800 albeit at lower resolution using the Low Light mode. Again, this is how it looks to my not professional rapidly aging, eyes. Whether it is worth running out an upgrading from a G11 is totally subjective and I cannot answer this for anyone. The camera also has the Hybrid IS system a la the updated 100mm Canon macro lens which compensates for a greater range of camera shake type. It looked to me like the camera did a more effective job at obtaining sharper photos at the same speeds as my G11. This is important to me as my hands do shake and I enjoy macro and cannot always use a tripod. Nor would I expect people buying a carry along point and shoot camera to carry a tripod with them.

There are additional new shooting modes like HDR that takes several photos then combines them for greater detail, better exposure. FYI, this feature was available in Ricoh cameras for sometime already, so Canon and Nikon are just catching up here. But I think it works a bit better on the Canon than it does in my Ricoh. The photos do look a bit richer, more detailed to me. Canon offers a level adjuster with this camera so you can keep your photos looking, well more level. Another feature that has been available elsewhere for years.

There are other niceties about this camera. Like you can pre-set the maximum ISO level (I like because a lot of cameras seem to default to a higher ISO than I would set for myself), there is a front dial to control settings (another inheritance from the EOS line), you can control the dynamic range (just like on Sony cameras from the past) for improved highlight clipping control, and you can shoot in a 1:1 aspect ratio (square which I personally like however, you guessed it, Canon is late to the party on this feature too) to name a few.

I will not comment on the video. I never use it and if I were able to trade video capability for say, a slightly bigger or better sensor, or a faster lens, I would do so in a heartbeat. But I have no idea if such a thing is even possible or practical. This is only my opinion and reflects my personal set of priorities. If it were up to me, I would dispense with most of the shooting scenes and the video if it meant a lower price or a camera with better image quality.

I share the findings of many that this is an incremental upgrade of the G11 as Canon's own literature seems to suggest. Higher expectations than this may be met with disappointment. But in my opinion, the G12 raises the bar, if only a little, of one of the best compact cameras available. I think as long as you keep what the G12 is, (an upgrade) in perspective with what it is not (evolutionary) you will not find yourself regretting your purchase.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 19, 2012 11:49 AM PST

Nikon D90 Compact Battery Charger - Premium Quality TechFuel Battery Charger
Nikon D90 Compact Battery Charger - Premium Quality TechFuel Battery Charger
Offered by Battery Heads
Price: $16.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice extra charger, April 26, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this product because I wanted an inexpensive second charger, that also did not have a power cord to deal with. At $14, this charger is a great bargain. It has indicator lights to tell you that the product is charging (red light), and when it is done (green light). Charges quickly and fully. Took me 2 hours to fully charge my EN-EL3a but your results will vary depending on how much charging you need. Although I do not use it, you get a cord that allows you to charge in your car too. Not only does Nikon not make an equivalent product - ie a travel charger that plugs into the wall - but if they did, I am reasonably certain they would charge a lot more for it. Keep one in your bag. You won't regret it.

MyStudio® MS32CYC Professional Tabletop Photo Studio Seamless Cyc Background for Product Photography, 32x32x16 inches
MyStudio® MS32CYC Professional Tabletop Photo Studio Seamless Cyc Background for Product Photography, 32x32x16 inches
Price: $239.90
3 used & new from $239.90

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MyStudio works well, April 26, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I had been looking for a review of this product for some time but found very little first hand experiences shared on the net. Therefore, I was on the fence about spending $250 for a piece of plastic. But since Amazon is the seller and will take it back if it doesn't work, I decided to go for it. I am an active seller of cameras and other small items on auction sites. My goal was to be able to easily make professional looking presentations of my items for sale. Up to now, I had been using a product called d-flecta, which is a seamless white background made by some kind of coated paper.

MyStudio is one big seamless piece of plastic. It arrived in a huge box. You get nothing else, no instructions, no nothing - just the background. I must say that in only a few minutes, I was getting very pleasing results. The d-flecta always had plenty of hot spots from the flash, or other distractions that were a pain to have to work around sometimes. But MyStudio seems to work much better. Usually all I have to do is maybe turn up the exposure a little bit when I do my edits, and I am done. The MyStudio32 is plenty big enough for my purpose - cameras surrounded by their accessories and packaging. It seems durable enough to last for years. If you are creative, there are probably a million fun things you can do with this product. But for me, it is a great time saver, and makes my product shots look professional and pleasing. Well worth the money. I recommend this product without hesitation.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 4, 2009 3:00 PM PDT

Kindle Wireless Reading Device (6" Display, U.S. Wireless)
Kindle Wireless Reading Device (6" Display, U.S. Wireless)
6 used & new from $58.05

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting closer to perfection, March 18, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The Kindle 2 is my very first foray into Kindledom. So I cannot make any comparison to Kindle 1. I commute long hours and often carry several books with me because I never know what I will be in the mood for. Now, I can feel comfortable that I will always have something of interest to read at read at all times. On that score, Kindle 2 is a home run and I highly recommend it for this purpose.

I must shamefully admit, too, that I do not read the newspaper nearly as much as I think I should, and frankly often do not even watch a TV news broadcast. Thanks to the Kindle, I now am beginning to feel more aware of what is going on in the world, and don't have a puzzled look on my face when someone asks, "Hey, did you hear about......?" This is also a huge benefit to Kindle owners.

I love the fact that I not only always have something great to read, but instant access to thousands of books and periodicals since you can buy anything you like at a click of a button anytime, anywhere. What an amazing place we have come to in the world! Let's not forget the trees being saved in the process too. Slightly offset by the future landfills full of old Kindles.

It reads to you! Don't underestimate this fine feature. Sometimes when I am feeling my eyes are too tired to read, this comes in handy. The electronic voice needs to be improved. It sort of sounds like someone who was just fitted with a device, and it sometimes mis-pronounces words, but it works. Good also if you don't have enough light to read or to free up your hands for multi-tasking.

Personally, I would love for the Kindle to also become my walk around link to the internet. How great it would be if I could surf while on the bus, or subway, waiting for my doctor appointment. Right now you are quite limited to shopping for Kindle books, and a few limited links. Color would be nice too for photos and such. How about letting me know when the new edition of a book I have on Kindle is available and letting me have it for free (I mean pay for the book once and the cost includes all future updates).

And while I don't have to lug 2 or 3 books with me everyday, the Kindle book selection is still far too limited for me. I am a photography enthusiast, and most of the books I want to read are not on Kindle yet. Also, I think that the newspapers reading experience on Kindle, is still not up to par with a regular newspaper from a stand.

So, I love my Kindle, and am very pleased with it. But this is only the beginning. This device has so much potential. It will be interesting to see where it goes.

Patagonia Kindle Case (Fits 6" Display, 2nd Generation Kindle)
Patagonia Kindle Case (Fits 6" Display, 2nd Generation Kindle)

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Price/Value relationship, February 27, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I agree with the other reviewers who point out that the zipper is a little tight around the corners. However, this is not a deal breaker for me in view of the other positive features of the case.

There is some extra padding which I like very much. It would certainly protect the Kindle in a "normal" sort of three or four foot drop onto a hard surface, in my opinion. Don't really think I need much more than that and certainly do not want a bulkier design.

It has a pocket on the inside for papers, some business cards perhaps.

In my opinion, it is an attractively styled, aesthetically pleasing case, that offers adequate protection, at a good price. And it does so without adding much weight or size. Believe this is one of the better choices out there in the market.

Holga Polaroid Instant Film Back
Holga Polaroid Instant Film Back
2 used & new from $165.55

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too much fun, February 13, 2009
I must admit I went back and forth in my mind before plunking down $150 for this thing. Not counting the cost of the film, of course, which is not cheap. I so far have only used Polaroid 669, and that will run you just north of $1 a shot. And it probably will not get cheaper in the future. Fuji makes instant film for this also. I can confirm that Fuji FP-3000B film absolutely works with this back as I just developed a shot 2 minutes ago. So you have other choices besides Polaroid film.

Anyway, in spite of the expense, I absolutely love it! There is just something about the quality of the photo that I cannot duplicate with my Nikon Dxxx. The colors are great and the results are as sharp or sharper than anything I get with my digital. However, this is not intended to be a film versus digital debate - you can read about that anywhere. For me, my Holga and dlsr complement each other and serve totally different purposes.

I admittedly have an addiction to acquiring camera gear, accessories, etc. that far exceed my needs. Too much of it sits in their boxes never to see the light of day. But since I bought the Holga Polaroid back, I find that I not only pick up my Holga every single day, but I do so with a renewed sense of joy and anticipation. That is the true measure, in my opinion, of the worth of any product like this.

It is as simple to use as any similar type back. It attaches via your camera's slide rails and it adds a tripod mount. Just pop in your film, don't forget to move your dark slide, and you are good to go. As is evident from the product photo, it obscures the finder, but it comes with an external finder you can attach to the top of your Holga. Works well enough.

I highly recommend this product because it adds a huge new dimension to the Holga photography experience. I rarely ever used film cameras because I simply don't like waiting for my results, having to drop off/pick up film. This product erases that substantial barrier. It can get a little pricey with the cost of film and all, so just be aware of this going in and enjoy.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 9, 2010 11:46 AM PDT

Transcend 8 GB Class 6 SDHC Flash Memory Card TS8GSDHC6
Transcend 8 GB Class 6 SDHC Flash Memory Card TS8GSDHC6
Offered by GizmosForLife
Price: $8.62
81 used & new from $3.99

84 of 91 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Let This Happen to You....., August 3, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It's great to have 8GB of memory but it is a double edged sword. Today after using this card for only the second time, it failed on me. I lost almost 200 precious images - gone forever. I am what you would call an enthusiast or hobbyist. I love photography and spend every spare minute, which is very seldom these days, pursuing my passion. So I do a fair amount of experimentation. These cards are great when they work - but if they fail you even once - the results can be catastrophic. Maybe I am the unlucky 1 of 250 reviewers with a bad experience with this product, but I feel it is my responsibility to report this to everyone. I hope it never happens to you. It is human nature for me to wonder, if I had spent a few more dollars for a better brand name, would my photos be intact today?
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 5, 2009 12:12 PM PST

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