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The Suburban Hippie Experimentalist "Gadget Guy" RSS Feed (Baltimore, MD)

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Dark Was the Night
Dark Was the Night
DVD
Price: $12.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Blue was the day, greenish was the night, and flat were the characters..., August 14, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
What a silly movie. I was hooked by the dark scenes in the trailer, and choose to ignore the negative reviews so I could waste time on this.

The story:
Yes, the same old tried and true formula, but the formula of something unknown is hiding in the woods, is still around because well, it works.

The acting:
Most of the actors do a good job, with exception of the deputy sheriff. I don't look at him and see a law enforcement man at all.

The scenery:
Well this one of the parts that the director really blew.

When someone does a horror movie, they generally shift the white balance toward the cooler(blue side) of the white balance to invoke a scary, slightly foreboding mood in the viewers mind. However, in this movie the cool white balance was pushed WAY too far, and everything came out looking way too blue, and way too flat. This may seem too nit-picky, but the blue tinge was distracting.

Inside scenes during night were okay.

Execution of the "horror film formula":
1. A depressed main character that just went through a tragedy, CHECK
2. A somber, blue tinged feeling, Partial check(this was way overdone)
3. The main character is having relationship problems, due to depression over a recent tragedy, CHECK
4. The main character that is supposed to protect everyone is having doubts about his abilities, CHECK.
5. The main character that is doubting himself has an opportunity to test himself, to rediscover his purpose, CHECK.
6. Plenty of startle moments, where you get a dramatic, quick music score, and a quick glimpse of something you can't make out, CHECK
7. The creature finally is revealed in all its horrific glory at the end, BLANK
8. The typical horror movie ending where the characters think everything is okay, but there is a lead in to a sequel, CHECK

Summary:
If I hadn't paid nearly 5 dollars to rent this, I would have been okay. As it is, I am dissapointed I wasted my money on this poorly done, low budget video. All though most of the check marks are in place, parts are done poorly, or overdone. The character development is pretty vacant. I didn't really care about anyone in the video. I didn't really hate the loudmouth character. I didn't really feel for the sheriff. I didn't believe the deputy was in law enforcement at all.

I would wait for this to come out free in prime. If it doesn't make it, I will be surprised...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 21, 2015 8:32 AM PDT


Filtrete Allergen Defense Odor Reduction Filter, MPR 1200, 16 x 20 x 1-Inches, 2-Pack
Filtrete Allergen Defense Odor Reduction Filter, MPR 1200, 16 x 20 x 1-Inches, 2-Pack
Price: $31.98
3 used & new from $25.70

1.0 out of 5 stars They are poorly constructed, and give off an off putting smell., August 12, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I use filtrete filters exclusively for my furnace. I also use the identical size in my sears whole house air cleaner. I just fold the filter at the top.

I did not like these filters at all!

I thought the idea of having carbon in them would be great to remove odors, but in actuality, the filters stank(I mean smelled), and when I ran them in the air cleaner, it made the room have a strange chemically odor, and bothered my sinuses.

In the AC/Furnace, the one I took out after a week had little fibers coming off of it, and it was collapsed in parts.

I am pretty displeased, and am actually wondering if it is ethical to send a two filters back that I actually did use for a week, but that don't meet my needs, and cost me 30 dollars.

I replaced each filter with their new 2200 filters.

Sigh...


Good Kill
Good Kill
DVD
Price: $3.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the .99 Amazon special price, August 8, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Good Kill (Amazon Instant Video)
I will ask you kindly, not to vote this review unhelpful just because you may not agree with my opinion. That doesn't make this a bad review because you may disagree with me... Thanks for being an adult!

I love a good war movie. I even liked this one. The five stars are because Amazon had it on a .99 special.

Interesting movie. I wonder how true it is?

It is a decent drama, and worth the .99 cents. I don't think I would have minded paying 5.99 for this movie even.

I hesitated to watch this because I don't like the whole "make peace not war" mentality. I try to avoid movies that are trying to ram their political views down my throat like for example, Jarhead. I hated that pointless, politically motivated movie!

This movie is a decent drama, with a good fantasy ending. It doesn't leave you in the mood that "everything is pointless" such as Jarhead.

I think most of the bad reviews are from people who are dissapointed that this movie might make their lives work seem less important than it actually is. Everyone wants to think they do something important, and I am NOT saying they don't. I can understand their criticism of the movie.

However, for most of us we can relax. This is just a movie

Probably almost nothing in Hollywood comes even close to telling the truth of a story.

I believe 99% of UAV pilots have never, and will never come across a situation were there was any doubt that the people they are targeting are the bad guys.

However, It isn't a far stretch of the imagination to image this type of situation coming up in today's world.

It is after all, just a movie, and nothing more. I suggest you ignore the part about this being about a true story, and just take this as a decent drama, with a good ending.


Smart Weigh High Precision Digital Milligram Scale, with Case, Tweezers, Calibration Weights, Reloading, 50 x 0.001g
Smart Weigh High Precision Digital Milligram Scale, with Case, Tweezers, Calibration Weights, Reloading, 50 x 0.001g
Offered by MeasuRite
Price: $49.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A high quality product, July 31, 2015
I was shipped this tiny scale to review. I was not expecting such a quality product.

Ease of use:
This tiny scale comes with to 20gram calibration weights with tweezers, so you can have confidence in your measurements.

Accuracy:
The scale was accurate to within 2 places to the right of the decimal using the provided weights. Why did I use the weights that were sent in the box? Because I do not have calibrated weights otherwise... I could use US coins as I did on another scale I reviewed, but once the coins are in circulation, they pick up dirt, or perhaps some metal rubs off in coin slots, to those aren't the most accurate.

Included:
The box includes one Gem50 Scale, Two calibration weights, Tweezers, and 4 AAA batteries tucked neatly into a compact zippered case.

Summary:
I found this to be a nice product. The scale is accurate, and the fact that it includes calibration weights is a big deal with me. The zipped case to carry it also makes a big impression on me. Carrying something around in the box, is just not that practical...

See it in the video review,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLlNOubJtTI&feature=youtu.be


Black Box Mobius Pro Mini Action Camera - 820mAh Battery - 1080P Full HD Mini Sports Action Dash Cam - DVR Video Recorder with WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) Large FOV, Motion Detection & Time Lapse
Black Box Mobius Pro Mini Action Camera - 820mAh Battery - 1080P Full HD Mini Sports Action Dash Cam - DVR Video Recorder with WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) Large FOV, Motion Detection & Time Lapse
Offered by S mart Gizmos
Price: $83.00
4 used & new from $60.33

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite good for video. Especially considering cost., July 24, 2015
I give this camera 5 stars based on how good the videos look, as compared to what you pay for the camera. I compared this to the 200.00 dollar(at the time) Sony AS15, and this was actually BETTER, which was both astounding, and sad to me.

Auto White Balance and color rendition:
I found the color reproduction in this camera to be excellent! Especially for the price! There generally are few errors in auto white balance, with the exception of coming out of heavy back lighting.

Video Detail:
Video detail is actually great! It is amazing that this camera that is so cheap can do such a suitable job of creating a video without major compression artifacts apparent, that ends up having great detail. It doesn't compare to my GoPros, but if you are looking for something cheap for video only, this is a good choice!

Still Photos:
I really wouldn't bother with these. Photo stills from this camera are generally very poor, with flat highlights, and few details. I guess okay if you want a record of events, but nothing people would enjoy viewing..

Sound Quality:
Nothing you would probably find useable, except as I said as a record. It is muffled, and not very good.

Summary:
For the money, and excellent camera to mount on a drone... As I said, it doesn't compare to my GoPros, but would you expect it to at this cost?

Example video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vO2IwbiTedc


GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition Adventure Camera (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition Adventure Camera (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Price: Click here to see our price
88 used & new from $230.00

4.0 out of 5 stars I recommend this over my Hero 4 Black, July 24, 2015
I have this model, and the Hero 4, Black as well as many other video, and photo cameras and have found this to be an excellent addition. I primary use this now as a drone camera to capture cloudscapes. I will include links below.

This as compared to other GoPro Hero cameras:
If an LCD is not important to you, and battery life and cost is, then get this over the Hero 4 Black.

If you want an LCD, get the Hero 4, Silver, which is basically this camera, with an LCD integrated..

Still photo, and video image noise is SLIGHTLY better on the Hero 4, black. However If you don't need to shoot 4K video, or high speed 2.7K, for the price, I would go with with the 3+ black over the 4 Black as video quality for 2.7K and below is almost as good, but much cheaper.

Video Quality:
Video quality is quite good, to phenomenal in the right lighting. Where this camera suffers, is in low light environments(indoors, and at night), but the latest and greatest camera, the Hero 4 Black isn't much better, but is MUCH more expensive.

Quality of Still photos:
I will include a link, but the images are useable for personal use, but generally noisy, even in good lighting, you can see some image grain even in well light photos. These images require some cleanup, but you can get some stunning images for personal use outdoors. However, as said, they do require editing work.

Battery Life:
Battery life is not good on this camera, but is quite a bit better than the Hero 4 Black. Again cost comes into play. As compared to the Hero 4 Black, and taking cost into the equation, this camera is much better.

Summary: Over all, I have always found this camera to be excellent. Capable of some incredible video, and capable of some decent photos with a little editing work. This model is well worth the current asking price, and was worth the price I paid for it at the time, which I think was 350.00

Still image CloudScapes below: The second one from the left on the top came out quite good!

http://www.pbase.com/markcas/hero3plusblack

Below is a video sample of one I took in the fall. It was shot at 2.7K @ 24FPS one morning..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gn6MMVgJAWQ


GoPro HERO4 BLACK 4K Action Camera
GoPro HERO4 BLACK 4K Action Camera
Price: Click here to see our price
93 used & new from $384.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sorry but this is not worth the price of 499., July 24, 2015
Is this a good camera? Sure. However, it is not worth the asking price! There are several factors that go into that statement, which I will talk about below.

High speed video performance:
Sure it can give you 120FPS, and 240FPS, but it is only useable for novelty. The video quality is horrible. 1080 @120FPS will fit 1920x1080 frame size, but it is a video without good details. It looks horrible, and grainy. I should know, I do High speed video work on a regular basis. This is one of the main reasons I state this camera is not worth the asking price.

Picture quality:
I guess you can't expect much from such a tiny sensor, but you will get very noisy images, that are only good for personal use in most cases. So if you want to shoot high quality images from your drone, you may find them neat to look at, but not good for much of anything else. I doubt they will wow anyone.

Battery Life:
There is the other downfall of this camera. Battery life. I recently took this on a vacation with me, and out of all the cameras I used. Canon EOS M, Canon 5D, Canon 300HS Elph, Hero 3+ black, and this one. This is the camera that needed constant battery maintenance, and ran dead a few times. Recharging batteries is not impossible while tent camping, but still tough to do...

Focus:
Focus is always great with this camera.

Video quality:
Besides the points about high speed video that I illustrated above, the video quality is generally excellent.

How much have I used this camera?
Quite a bit, so I have enough experience to talk about it in an informed manor..

Several examples are below.

First two are examples of high speed video quality:
720, 240 FPS
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZ3cHWIbLFA

1080, 120FPS
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4Ac3TMcvcw

I took quite a few pictures with this. I will show a few:

The first is a picture I took inside. It was really noisy. I had to do extensive cleanup, and lost some details.
http://www.pbase.com/markcas/image/160124980

The image below actually turned out quite well, but of course, only good for family memories as it is missing a lot of detail. Especially in the sky.
http://www.pbase.com/markcas/image/160745230

The third ones I will show you, are just a further sampling: Not bad, but just good for your own personal use.
http://www.pbase.com/markcas/image/160745226
http://www.pbase.com/markcas/image/160745220
http://www.pbase.com/markcas/image/160745228
http://www.pbase.com/markcas/image/160745206

Finally, the below link is to a vacation compilation I made. You can tell which ones are the Hero 4 Black, by how wide the video is. The only exception to this is the Kyaking, which was taken with the Hero 3 + Black
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Al1rYnwG124

FYI, I got mine at a steep discount... If I had paid full price, I would have been disappointed.

I hope this is helpful
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 29, 2015 9:34 PM PDT


LOWEPRO Format 120 multi-device shoulder bag - Black
LOWEPRO Format 120 multi-device shoulder bag - Black
Offered by ELECTRO JG LLC
Price: $25.00
22 used & new from $14.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Really 3.5 stars in my opinion, July 18, 2015
Really 3.5 stars.

This is a good bag, although it doesn't have as many useful separate compartments at the Tamrac Zoom 3 I am replacing. However, this bag does NOT have the CHINESE PLASTIC SMELL. So, five stars on that account! Don't want something stinking up my house, and car with something that smells similar to DEET bug spray...

I am using this bag for my EOS M, with the EFS to EFM adapter, and the Canon 10-18mm. There is also room for the 22mm pancake lens to sit in the main compartment with the setup.

This bag has separate padding to make different compartments, unlike the bag it replaces. Which is something I am used to...

It is more than suitable for that application. It should also fit a small DSLR, with a short zoom lens. Perhaps the size of the 18-55mm

I do find the zippered compartment that is on the top of that bag not as useful as the Tamrac as it isn't large enough for anything other than maybe a few extra memory cards, or one EOS M battery.

Also there is no quick latch for quick access to your camera, but that isn't a deal breaker for me.

Having a bag that does what I need it to, doesn't have that chemical smell, nor the oily feel on my hands though is well worth the price. I am satisfied with this bag.

Other Experiences:
I have several other bags. One Large LowPro backpack, one small Tamrac backpack, an old QuantaRay bag and one small Lowpro bag. I like all of them just fine, and have used them for years and years.


Tamrac 5513 Adventure Zoom 3 (Red/Black)
Tamrac 5513 Adventure Zoom 3 (Red/Black)
Price: $29.97
7 used & new from $19.99

2.0 out of 5 stars This is a nice bag, with one exception, July 18, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
UPDATE: I sent this back for a refund. The stink was just too much! I replaced it with a LowPro, Format 120(That does NOT stink)

I bought this bag for my EOS M with the EFS to EFM adapter, and Canon 10-18mm mounted. It is a good bag, and has just enough room for the eos with the lens and adapter mounted, and room to put the 22mm pancake lens in the front.

The bag seems well made, but the gripe I have with it, is that it has that "New Chinese Plastic" smell.

This might seem like something silly to get hung up on, but I already own several bags for all my various equipment from both tamrac, and lowpro, and not a single one of them has that smell. This smell I am taking about is very strong, and you can definitely notice it. It will really clog up your nose.

It also has an oily feel that gets on your hands. Not something I want when I am changing camera lenses...

Still not a big deal?

Well the big deal to me is I bought this more expensive bag over a 20 dollar "Case Logic" bag that I liked, but had that smell, Thinking the Tamrac is probably still made in China, but yet has better quality control, I ordered this.

" Chinese plastic smell" is a real thing. Don''t believe me? Type it into Google. You will find lots of info on it. You usually find it only in cheaper products direct from Chinese companies.

Too bad, because otherwise, it is a nice bag...

This is a little tongue in cheek, but I really wish we would go back to the American way of having our goods manufactured in Mexico....


GoPro Battery BacPac (Camera Not Included)
GoPro Battery BacPac (Camera Not Included)
Price: $49.99
26 used & new from $35.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Not much of a boon in battery life..., July 17, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Believe it or not, I don't seem to get that much run time with this on the Hero 4, over my Hero 3+ Black WITHOUT a battery pack.

Record time on the HERO 4 Black is horrible! I find when I travel that my GoPro 4, even with the battery bacpac, is problematic. I am constantly having to charge it any chance I get, were as the other cameras I am carrying, Canon EOS M, 300HS ELPH, Canon 5D, and Hero 3 + Black are fine.

In the field, I had to put a charge of at least an hour on the Hero 4 battery with the bacpac, 3 or 4 times, were as my other cameras were fine to last the whole trip.

We could debate that the cameras weren't used in the same way, but I can tell you from experience, the the bacpac, and battery don't last long on the Hero 4 Black.

I was recording at 2.7K, and 60FPS if anyone wants those details.


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