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

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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 Top Auto Gadgets
Price: $89.95
3 used & new from $89.95

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)
Offered by Fox electronics
Price: $319.99
89 used & new from $220.00

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: $499.99
68 used & new from $390.00

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 1080x 720 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


LOWEPRO Format 120 multi-device shoulder bag - Black
LOWEPRO Format 120 multi-device shoulder bag - Black
Offered by MG SuperDeals
Price: $22.95
18 used & new from $19.75

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: $34.95
8 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: $46.00
26 used & new from $29.99

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.


Lowepro LP36440-0WW Dashpoint 20 (Galaxy Blue)
Lowepro LP36440-0WW Dashpoint 20 (Galaxy Blue)
Offered by style from Japan
Price: $17.57
41 used & new from $12.73

5.0 out of 5 stars This is great for the EOS M, with the F2 22mm, July 17, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Great bag for carrying around the EOS M with the pancake lens, which is what I use it for.

This bag would easily fit a nice size point and shoot, but don't expect to fit our mirrorless camera in there, with anything but a slim prime lens.

It is made very well for the price. I have no gripes about it.


Canon EF-M Lens Adapter Kit for Canon EF / EF-S Lenses 6098B002 (New White Box)
Canon EF-M Lens Adapter Kit for Canon EF / EF-S Lenses 6098B002 (New White Box)
Offered by WholeSaleAV
Price: $33.30
7 used & new from $29.90

5.0 out of 5 stars This makes your EOS M more useful, July 17, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This allows you to make use of your other canon EF and EFS lenses, as well as a new lens like the EFS 10-18mm, which I find excellent for the EOS M, although it destroys the small form factor of the camera...

This is available now for a FRACTION of the previous cost, so you might want to pick one up her on Amazon.

The efs 10-18 is about half the cost of the EFM 11-22mm, and you can't use the 10-18 without this piece of hardware...

It came in a simple white box. Not what I am used to, but looks, and works like genuine Canon.


Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens
Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens
Price: $269.00
32 used & new from $249.80

4.0 out of 5 stars I find this lens to be an excellent addition to the EOS M, July 17, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I needed a wide angle lens for the eos m. I have the 22mm Prime, but that doesn't cut it in some situations.

I find that this lens works well with the EOS and the EF to M adapter. So far the lens has sharp focus, and believe it or not, it seems better than the 22mm EFM that was made for the EOS m in focusing speed, and accuracy.

The Good :
The lens is sharp, accurate, focus is quick, and silent. The Image stabilization works very well. I can't tell you how many stops, because I have never needed to use IS for still photos. I use the IS for video, and it seems to help keep down vibrations, and jarring.

The Bad:
No focus number window! One reason I wanted this was for long shutter night time shots of the stars....

Summary:
For the price, this lens is a great addition to our EOS M, along with the adapter. It is MUCH cheaper than the 11-22 EFM that is made for the EOS M camera. I am very satisfied with my purchase. It slightly defeats the purpose of why I bought the EOS M in the first place, but it isn't that much more to lug along. I plan to use this lens just for the EOS M, as my other camera has a full frame sensor.

Other lenses and cameras in my kit: 70-200 F4L, 17-40 F4L, 35mm Prime, 50mm Prime. Canon 5D, Canon 20D, 300HS, Hero 3 + Black, Hero 4 Black

I could talk about vignetting, and barrel distortion, and edge to edge sharpness, but the only one I have ever really cared about is Chromatic Aberration which is VERY well controlled on this lens. The lens is also very sharp.

You can easily fix vignetting, and a lot of the times, you crop out barrel distortion, so that isn't a big deal to me.

P.S, I am not going to try and act like I am some sort of nuts and bolts photography expert, but I do know a little about photography. If you care to, check out some of my work below to decide how much weight to give my review...

http://www.pbase.com/markcas


Playlist of the Ancient Dead
Playlist of the Ancient Dead
by Aaron Frale
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.99
13 used & new from $7.13

4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent, imaginative story with some minor grammatical, and logistical errors., July 12, 2015
I was asked to review this book.

I find this story to be a very unique, original, and enjoyable read, with some minor flaws.

The flaws:
There are numerous grammatical errors sprinkled throughout, the book, but not so that it is too distracting from the story. There was a line that read something like, "Jasputin felt like he was in a room of physicists discussing particle physics" There is no way Jasputin could feel that way. He is a dog... "Jasputin might as well be in a room of people discussing particle physics" or something like that would work.

Problems in Character Development:

I understood Caroline, but I didn't get why she was the character that was so important. What in her background made her so smart? So willing and able to take the lead?

Lucian was kind of like a ghost character. I didn't get why he was there at all. His character didn't really make sense.

Dr. Fourer was another one that wasn't all that important to the story.

The Good Character Development:
Most of the characters are rich, and easy to empathize with. All the main characters, like Caroline, are people you can relate to.

As I said, Caroline was well developed, although maybe a mismatch.

Rashid was well developed.

Erin was a rich character.

Aaron Sr, was very vivid.

Murphy was the kind of person you would expect.

Cody is someone I understand, and don't like...Which is the way it was intended I think...

The ending:
Everything is wrapped up well enough for me. There is a part in the end that is just a little over the top, but the book wrapped up nicely. It didn't leave me with questions, or irritation.

Overall, I found this a very imaginative, well executed story, besides the few flaws. It was very enjoyable, and I can recommend it to sci fi fans looking for something new and original.

It was a satisfying read.

Mark :)


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