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Reviews Written by
The Suburban Hippie Experimentalist "Gadget Guy" RSS Feed (Westminster, MD)

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Eken H3 Wifi Action Camera (Silver) + 4K25/1080p60 + 170 Degree Lens + Free Selfie Stick + Free Charging Dock + Dual Screen
Eken H3 Wifi Action Camera (Silver) + 4K25/1080p60 + 170 Degree Lens + Free Selfie Stick + Free Charging Dock + Dual Screen
Offered by EKEN
Price: $74.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The three stars is compared to GoPro cameras. By itself, as compared to others in its price range it is easily 4 stars, June 22, 2016
Length:: 5:30 Mins

PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE TIMESTAMP IN THE ACCOMPANYING VIDEO. I NEVER SET IT! I THINK IT CHANGES BECAUSE I CHANGE MICROSD CARDS BACK AND FORTH FROM A FASTER, HIGHER CAPACITY ONE, TO A SLOWER, SMALLER CAPACITY CARD!

I was sent this camera for review. I like it for the price. It produces very good video in a small package, and has features like Wifi, and a built in view screen.

Since this looks like a GoPro, and has comparable features, I will start with a comparison of a GoPro camera:

A. The video in this is good, but the dynamic range, and color balance really do not hold a candle to even my Hero 3+ Black.

B.This camera is very light, and does not have the solid feel and weight of the GoPro cameras. I am doubting it is as rugged, but it does come
with basically the same water proof case. Although the lens on the case, scratches very versus a gopro lens case, that is really hard, and does NOT scratch or scuff easily.

C. This camera comes with MORE accessories than a Gopro. It also has a very neat handle that it comes with so you can carry it around.

D. This camera comes with TWO batteries also.

Video Quality:
Really not bad. In fact very good for the price! It has very good resolution, and okay dynamic range as compared to other cameras in this price range! The white balance is off, and it is tipped toward the cooler(blueish tint) color scale, like to many cameras. Especially less expensive ones.

Heat:
This camera gets very warm when shooting in the water proof case, even when shooting for just a few minutes, and even shooting 1080p

Auto Off, and auto screen off:
You can set the auto off for the camera to 1 minute, 3 minute, and 5 minute. The back screen goes into power save mode while shooting video and the screen will go dark. To turn it back on, you can simply tap the power button once.

4K video:
This camera can do 4K video, but I do not have enough processing power to edit it... I shot my videos in 2.7K, and rendered them down to 1080P. Now if someone wants to do 4K video, they are going to need the processing power to edit them. If someone cares about video quality so much that they need to shoot 4K, then they are also going to have the expensive computers with the appropriate processing power. If they are going to spend money on the appropriate, expensive computers, they would be foolish not to by the BEST 4K video device they can. As action cameras go, the GoPros ARE better. Better clarity, better detail, and better white balance. Of course the GoPros are much more expensive as well!

2.7k Video:
This camera shot fine 2.7K video, with the exceptions of the issues with white balance as I stated above.

Inside Video:
Inside video I shot at1080p is fantastic, with rich colors, and good detail even in lower light!

Issues I have with this camera:
I do NOT like the battery door. It takes a small tool to pry into it and get the door off, to get the battery out.

I do NOT like the non spring loaded microSD slot. It also takes a fine tool to pry the card out.

Summary:
This is well worth the money! For the current prices as of this review of less than 80.00, it is a GREAT value! I personally prefer my GoPros, but they are a LOT more expensive! Of course, I am a camera person, and I have stringent requirements for my cameras!

I will pay more for something, just to get the finest optics, and best picture.

If you want a cheap vacation cam, that you can not worry about, one to mount on RC vehicles, or one to take underwater, without worrying about, then I think this might be your camera!

Even with the two about negatives, this camera is well worth the price! I think you might be pleased! If you want the BEST video, spend more money, and don't cheap out, and expect to get the finest video you have ever seen....

PS, the video for Amazon is rendered to 480. If you want to see better quality, go to youtube, and type "the suburban hippie photographer", and look for my review of this camera there!


GRV T10 921 194 24-5050 SMD LED Bulb lamp Super Bright Warm White AC/DC 12V -28V Pack of 2
GRV T10 921 194 24-5050 SMD LED Bulb lamp Super Bright Warm White AC/DC 12V -28V Pack of 2
Offered by GRV-LED
Price: $28.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice, June 20, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I just put these in my trailer. I will say I like them. There is one issue, but it is easily fixed. I find these lights to be suitable! They are plenty bright enough, and they the "warm" ones don't have that sickly bluish color.

Quality of illumination:
I would say these are ALMOST as bright as the 12 volt, 15 watt incandescent bulbs they replace. They don't have that bluish tint to them that LEDs and Compact fluorescent bulbs can. They are certainly suitable for my needs. I find them bright enough, without making me feel like I am at work under the fluorescent tubes...

Quality of the light itself:
The light feels sturdy enough. You will find complaints of them being fragile. I think those complaints largely are because the base on these it a little too wide. If you try to jam them in as they are, depending on your socket, I can see how someone would break one... I had to take a file and slightly file mine down. You really shouldn't have to do that, but for roughly 10 bucks for two, I don't mind..

The light is sturdy enough, but you want to try to push it in from the socket at the end, and NOT from the end of the circuit board at the far end.

As of right now, I have no long term experience with these, but I am pretty happy with them. If I have any issues, I will come back and update this review.

I have also read a complaint of these getting hot. I am SURE they can, as I had a much smaller, less bright and less illumination LED bulb from Sylvania in my camper and accidentally left that on for a few hours. It was quite hot, but it did not burn up or anything...

Summary:
I like the light they provide very much, and when we are boondocking, we will be able to have plenty of light, without running the battery dead.


Funlux® NEW Outdoor 720P HD Smart Wireless Surveillance Camera System -- Set Up in 2 Mins
Funlux® NEW Outdoor 720P HD Smart Wireless Surveillance Camera System -- Set Up in 2 Mins
Offered by EZoomTek
Price: $150.00
2 used & new from $109.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great hardware, good app for android, but lots of app permissions, June 19, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
UPDATE
After reviewing these cameras, and sending the review to them, they have given me some information on why the app needs so many permissions. Because of that, I have increased the review by one star, and I will include the companies email response in this review at the bottom.

They have also asked me what the model Iphone is and operating system, so they could fix the app for iphone.

I was sent this device for review

I would give this 3 stars. There are two reasons it lost 2 stars, which I will explain below. I had the opportunity to try this with both an android device, and an iphone

The Hardware:
The hardware is actually rather fantastic. These are quality outdoor/indoor cameras, with weather sealing, solid metal construction, and provide excellent, clear video at up to 720p in full light, These cameras also are able to see in a dark environment, as they have infrared illumination leds mounted around the camera lens.

The mounting Hardware:
Solid metal construction, with a ball and socket interface. Three screws are provided for each mount, along with inserts for drywall

Range:
I found these cameras would connect to the wifi anywhere in the house the house, but when I went outside, where I could still get a low level wifi signal with my phone, the cameras would not sync up. It is understandable though, as to broadcast live video, you need a good signal to transmit the large level of data.

Setup:
This is where this product looses it's first star. These are extremely easy to setup if you are using an android device, but for Iphone, it was a bit of a nightmare...I tried about 6 times to get this setup with the iphone, but it didn't work. Then I installed it on an android device using the same user name and password. It synced up with the Android app almost instantaneously. It really couldn't have been easier...

Then for some reason I don't understand, while I was still connected to the cameras with the android app, the iphone app started to work... Strange, because it had give me a fail message every time I had tried to connect, and had timed out. Later, it just started working..

The App:
This is a simple interface that is easy to use, if it works. You can snap a picture, or record a video, etc. You can change between low definition video and high definition video. The app couldn't be more intuitive, straight forward, and easy to use.

Where the app is a problem, is why this product loses one more star. This is in all the invasive permissions that you have to give the app. Permissions that I am not sure why this app needs, like your contacts, your location, your phone camera, your microphone,your , location, etc. As far as I am concerned all those permissions make me a little nervous for a company to have that I have never heard off..

Summary:
Solid hardware, with an app that works great on Android, but is very difficult on Iphone, for no apparent reason.. Since I was able to test both an android and iphone, I could live with the fact that it works better for android. However, if all I had was an Iphone, I would have been very unhappy. This would have been a 2 star review.

Where this really looses out, is in the App permissions, which I do not like. A less invasive app would bump this review up another star. If it was at the same time easy to install on an Iphone, it would be a 5 star review. As it is, it is just a 3 star review. It is okay..

Company response about permissions

" I would like you to know that you should only receive the permissions of your contacts,your phone camera, your microphone. Here are the reasons that you need the permissions of them.
You contacts: Via this, you can share your videos to your families and friends.
You camera: You can use it to upload your profile photo. Also you can share your videos on twitter, facebook and other social platform.
Your microphone: Actually this is designed for our other cameras and the doorbell which have the audio function. They can speak to others via APP.
However, the app should not visit your location or your phone call records. So could you please send us a picture of them so that we can check it?"
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 21, 2016 7:38 AM PDT


Giottos Rocket Air Blaster Air Blower, Large
Giottos Rocket Air Blaster Air Blower, Large
Price: $9.75
20 used & new from $9.75

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I would rather pay more for it, and have it NOT made in China, May 26, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It works the same as my old one of the same brand, but the material it is made out of is different, and I DON"T like it!

I have had one of these for years, and loved it! However, I used that old one for something I shouldn't have, and had to throw it away as it was no longer good to blow off my sensor!

I think I paid 30 dollars for the original one and had it for at least 10 years I think. It smelled mildly of rubber, and it never degraded. It had a nice dry feeling to it and I never had to worry about inadvertently squirting in some weird chemical or compound.

All though this one functions the same as the old for the time being, it has that "Chinese Plastic" smell that i hate so much!

When you use it, you get an oily feeling in your fingers that will stay there until you wash them, and some times slighly stay on even then! I have also read horror stories of the new models degrading and blasting camera sensors with something after some time.

So this review is based on what these USED to be as compared to what they are.

You can type in "Chinese plastic smell" into google and read all about it. Apparently they use different chemicals to make the compounds of plastic and rubber in China than we do in the US.

From experience, I can tell you that smell really never goes way!

You can take my review with a grain of salt... If you aren't a person that is sensitive to smells, and have allergies, this may not bother you at all. You will still get the oily feeling on your hands when you use it, but it may not bother you!


Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite for Canon Nikon Sony Panasonic Olympus Fujifilm Pentax Sigma Minolta Leica and Other SLR Digital SLR Film SLR Cameras and Digital Cameras with single-contact Hot Shoe
Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite for Canon Nikon Sony Panasonic Olympus Fujifilm Pentax Sigma Minolta Leica and Other SLR Digital SLR Film SLR Cameras and Digital Cameras with single-contact Hot Shoe
Price: $32.99
16 used & new from $19.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for what I wanted, May 26, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I wanted a second hot shoe flash that i can set up as a photo slave. I never use ttl flash anyway and if I use my Canon Speedlite, I always use it in manual mode...

This flash fits the bill for about 1/10th of the price. That is not to say it is as good as a Canon Speedlite, but for what I wanted it for, it will work ALMOST perfectly for me.

Power Recycle:
I find power recycle after a flash to be really quick, and it seems quicker than my speedlite, although that may be because it is not as powerful..

Ease of use:
The optical slave does not work outside as there is too much light(background noise) for the receiver to get a signal apparently, which is something I should have known, or suspected...

Inside however the optical stave works perfectly.

The controls couldn't be easier. There is a mode button that switches between manual, Slave mode 1, and Slave mode 2. I just used slave mode 1

What this is missing:
A swivel head would be nice, but for 30 dollars I don'think that would be reasonable to expect....

Two things this has over my much more expensive canon 430Ex: The mount that comes with this has a brass insert for the tripod mount. My canon is plastic... Also, the 430ex does not have an optical slave...

I would buy this again. I am satisfied.

I am going to attach two macro photos I just took with it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 30, 2016 2:06 PM PDT


Heavy Duty Photography L Bracket with 2 Standard Flash Hot Shoe Mounts
Heavy Duty Photography L Bracket with 2 Standard Flash Hot Shoe Mounts
Offered by Fancier Studio
Price: $14.99
13 used & new from $5.69

3.0 out of 5 stars Made well enough to justify the price, but not useful as it is, May 26, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got this bracket for macro photography I wanted to move the hotshoe flash as far from the lens as possible while still having it attached to the camera so I can carry it all together.

I should of just listened to other reviews that said it wasn't as big as it looks. The only thing I can see this is good for is being able to possibly put two flashes on it at once, but I am not sure what that will do as it will cast even rougher lighting.

Moving your hot shot from the top, 4 inches away isn't going to do much to keep the harsh flash off of peoples faces....

Later this same night I wrote this review, I first cut all the cheap chinese rubber off, to get rid of that "chinese plastic smell" as my face will be right there, and I don't want those fumes clogging up my sinuses the way they do...

Then I heated the bracket up with my propane torch and twisted the bracket using one pair of vice grips and a large crescent wrench so it would aim the flash more toward the lens so I can use the flash with a softbox for macro work...

In summary, I am not really sure what this bracket it good for... It needs to be about 3 inches longer from the base where the screw goes in so that you can get your flash off and to the side of your camera.
Comment Comment | Permalink


The Gambler
The Gambler
DVD

3.0 out of 5 stars Decent way to pass the time, with enough good acting and gritty scenes to keep you entertained, May 26, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Gambler (Amazon Video)
I ended up satisfied with this movie. I enjoy most of Mark Wahlberg movies. Mark's character does get old quick, but the movie is not a total let down.

I understand this is basically a remake, but I have never seen the original, so the movie works for me.

Pacing:
Sure it is slow, but it kept me interested enough. All the characters were richly developed, and the acting was good enough, with gritty scenes to keep me interested.

The Plot:
Not one I would normally entertain. I do not enjoy watching people destroy themselves. That point ends up being most of the movie. Mark's character just keeps making the same mistake over and over again for most of the movie, which I think it probably close to the reality of a gambler.

The ending:
I don't want to say much and give it away, but It was a satisfying ending.

Is this worth watching?
Sure. If you are bored, this will fill the time!


Movo Photo AF Macro Extension Tube Set for Canon EOS DSLR Camera with 12mm, 20mm & 36mm Tubes (Metal Mount)
Movo Photo AF Macro Extension Tube Set for Canon EOS DSLR Camera with 12mm, 20mm & 36mm Tubes (Metal Mount)
Offered by Movo Photo
Price: $59.95
2 used & new from $52.46

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These are great, but after getting these, I am glad I didn't pay more for the other brands!, May 20, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These extension tubes have a nice solid feel for something so light, and flimsy. After putting these on my camera, and seeing these particular ones are suitable as extension tubes, and learning all the little intricacies of the problems associated with extension tubes, I am so PLEASED I bought this set, and not the other much more expensive ones!

How do they work on the camera?
These work exactly as they are supposed to. The Auto Focus works, and the Aperture works.

How do these fit on the camera?
I would say perfectly. They have a nice solid lock and feel. Not too tight and not sloppy.

What are these like in use?
Well, I have never had extension tubes before, and I can see I am going to have to practice and learn a whole new skill set! Your depth of field becomes EXTREMELY shallow with these, as you might expect. We are talking about maybe a millimeter i depth creating the difference between in focus and out. That is with an F-Stop number of 22, which means you have to turn the ISO upto like 2500...

Tips:
If you have never used extension tubes what you will want to do, is before even trying to focus, look through the viewfinder and move the camera closer to and farther away until you start to see the subject in focus.

Once you get that, then try to either auto focus, or manual focus to crisp up the image.

So some things to know...

1:1(which is what you will be shooting for) means that the subject you are shooting, say an ant, will be the same size in the image, as if the ant where crawling on the sensor. meaning it will be blown up large, so you will get all the detail you can see.

In order to get 1:1(basically, you can say fill the frame), you will likely need to move your lens really close to the sensor. When you do that, you will see all sorts of depth of field issues you are normally used to seeing at much longer distances from the camera.

You might think, well I will just use a longer lens. Not so fast. The formula for magnification is (Extension tube/lens focal length), so that you can see if you use a normal 100mm lens, and divide it by a 36mm extension tube, you will be able to be farther away from your subject, but the image will be much smaller in the frame.

That would be 36/100=.36, which is just 36 percent of the frame, or that you are using just 36 percent of the area of the image sensor.
Focus stacking will probably be your best bet, if you have a subject that is completely still.

So that means that if you want to blow up a bug or something really large, you need to get VERY close to the subject, with a shorter focal length lens.

So lets say you use the 24mm pancake lens. The formula would be 25mm/24mm would give you a reproduction ratio of 1.041.

However to do that, you need to move your lens almost on top of the subject. When you do that, two things are going to happen.

One, if it is a bug, it is probably going to buzz off....

Two, you are going to get a change of focus in a mm or less distance on the subject. For example, I was taking a picture of a Red Rose tea figurine. I could make the nose in focus, but not the eyes. Or the eyes, but not the nose. This was at F22...

For the static figurine, it isn't a big deal as you can focus stack, since your subject will not move.

So, I tried to use a "nifty 50" lens. Which is the cheap, 50mm 1.8 that everyone has. I stacked the extension tube up. It gave me a reproduction value of 1.36

Nice, but the problem is for that lens, I had to manual focus, as the auto focus wouldn't work on that lens.

I found the AF on the 24mm pancake will work perfectly.

Summary
I am very pleased with these! For the usu fullness, I seriously wouldn't recommend paying more. Especially since these are adequate, and will allow you to do everything the more expensive ones from Canon and Kenko will do, at half the cost, or even less in the case of the Canon.

FYI, the pictures I am attaching are just the first ones I took. These are outside in full sun, because I don't feel like setting up the flash.

They are taken with all 3 extension tubes, and the 50mm F1.8. F-Stop is 22, and Iso is turned up to between 2500 and 4000. I am using the 70D
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 21, 2016 7:55 AM PDT


LED Lantern Flashlight,Camping lantern,Rechargeable Camping Lantern For Emergency Night Out,Hiking,Outdoor & Indoor Use
LED Lantern Flashlight,Camping lantern,Rechargeable Camping Lantern For Emergency Night Out,Hiking,Outdoor & Indoor Use
Offered by Oak Leaf LLC
Price: $75.99
2 used & new from $15.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the nicest lantern I have ever seen, May 19, 2016
Length:: 2:21 Mins

I was sent this lantern in exchange for a review. I am not exaggerating when I say this is THE nicest lantern I have ever seen! It has SO many features, and for the price that this is being offered at, you really can't go wrong.

In fact, It is so nice, I am forced to actually say it is worth MUCH more than the price. I would not balk at a 50.00 or 60.00 price on this lamp. Having said that, I just got it, so I can't talk about reliability. For the price at the time of writing this review, I would say there is nothing to worry about.

Modes:
Excellent, with one caveat I will go over. It has the following modes.
Bright White HIGH. Which is as bright as my rayovac, 3 D cell LED lantern, which is an excellent light in its own right.
White-LOW-Saves battery power.
Bright Red-A bright bug light
Flasing Red-For emergencies.

The caveat is that there is no "off" mode via the soft button. The lantern turns off when you push it down in to itself.

Construction /initial quality
Fantastic. It is light weight, yet solid, and compact. It has weather seals on both the bottom battery compartment, and top.

Extra Features:
It comes with a hook to hang it up in your tent and other places, and also has a magnetic bottom so it can be stuck to any metal. I stuck this vertically to my refrigerator and it stayed there.

It comes with a separate battery compartment on the top that holds 3 AA batteries if you want to use them. You COULD put 3 batteries in there and run them in parallel with the two large 3.7 volt 2200mAH batteries if you wanted, but I personally do not recommend it as you could back charge the batteries as they run dead... Better to do either or...

Length of illumination:
I have not had the change to test this as of yet. However, with those two large 2200mAH, 3.7Volt batteries in Parallell, you should get lots of run time. That equals 4400mAH or capacity at 3.7 volts.

One negative is that the equipment comes with no manual telling you about the features. I would like to know if in fact the flashlight is listed as water resistant to a certain depth....

Even with not putting a users manual in it, for the price I can not give it any less than 5 stars!

In summary this is an excellent light. Excellent in its own right, and a fantastic bargain at the current price!
Comment Comment | Permalink


Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens
Price: $149.00
25 used & new from $105.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent lens that offers an excellent value!, May 15, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I just love this lens! It is absolutely fantastic! Especially for the cost!

Video:
It is a great lens for video production as it has a reasonably fast aperture of F2.8, and focuses very quickly and accurately with my 70D.

Colors:
The color rendition of this lens is excellent! I find the lens provides rich saturated colors.

Contrast:
I find this lens has excellent sharp contrast. I find no dull, hazy images.

Focusing:
The focusing of this lens is really why I bough it! The fact that you can focus so close is a real plus for me! I primarily use it so far with a 20m and 13mm extension

Build quality:
This lens has a very nice solid, heavy feel to it, with a metal lens attachment ring at the back of the lens.

Sharpness:
I find the sharpness of this lens to be excellent for my purposes. If you want a more in depth review of sharpness from the center of the image to the sides I strongly suggest you type in Christoper Frost Photography in the search tool on youtube and look for his review of this excellent lens.

Value:
Are you kidding me!? For 150.00 you really can't go wrong with this excellent lense

I will try to attach two macro pictures I took with this lens, and a 13mm extension tube. Check em out!
Comment Comment | Permalink


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