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Customer Reviews: 213
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Chris Zee Shutterbug RSS Feed (Baton Rouge La)

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Black and Decker CM3005S 12-Cup Tea and Coffeemaker
Black and Decker CM3005S 12-Cup Tea and Coffeemaker
Price: $61.73

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Attractive, sturdy, some quirks, I like it. Long review., October 17, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Yes this is a very attractive coffee pot (fits right in inside a stainless trim kitchen), and despite a large array of convenience features, it can be as simple to operate as pushing one button to brew (the on-off button) coffee. I really like the safety feature of the power button being near the top, as my old coffee maker had it on the base, such that anything that was slid on the counter, quite often inadvertently turned on the power, and it was only the vaguely hot burning smell that alerted you to the event. This is further enhanced by the auto one or two hour turn off, the beep which alerts you that the brew cycle is finished and the timer that shows how long since the brew cycle completed.

The enclosure is fairly large, it is 14" tall which extends to 23" tall with the cover open. I had to slide it out from under the cabinets to fill with water. While pushing it back under the counter I sloshed some water out from two holes in the back of the unit which prevent you from overfilling the reservoir. Note that on my unit 12 cups as measured on the carafe was a little over 10 cups as measured on the side gage of the coffee maker. If you use the side markers and fill to 12 cups, you WILL overflow the carafe (voice of experience).

Brewing comments; For the coffee enthusiast, the temperature of the water dripping on the grounds is about 195 deg F. This is on the low side of recommended (195-205) for best extraction, but assures that you will not get any burned taste. This was confirmed by taste which was medium strength. There is a "strong" option button (has to be tuned on prior to main power button to engage) but this button only seems to extend the brewing time 50%. For example four cups took exactly four minutes to brew under regular and six minutes under strong setting. This appears to be the same function as the 1-4 vs 4-12 cup setting, the coffee gets more time to brew.

Programming is very easy. You do everything before turning on the main power. IE push program, set the start time, push auto. The "strong" and the "auto off" (one or two hours setting) have to be used before the on button is pushed, they will not have any effect once the brew cycle is started.

The sneak a cup function simply closes a drip valve to the carafe when the carafe is removed. It has a fairly strong spring in it and about half the time I put the carafe back in place, it pushes up against the spring which in turn pushed up on the coffee basket container which in turn popped open the top lid of the maker (some steam escaped).

The tea function does truly remove the coffee basket from the water path, so you will not get residual coffee flavor in your tea if you brew both. The tea reservoir is moved into the pot, and the pot cover seals the leaves in the basket (mostly, if you pour the tea without removing the basket you may get some leaves in the cup). The tea brew time is 5 minutes PLUS the time to run the drip cycle (~1 min/cup), so for 12 cups you will have up to 15 minutes total brewing time, which may be too strong.

The blue clock backlight is bright enough to serve as a nightlight in the kitchen. The manual recommends to unplug the unit when not in use. This will reset the clock.

It is definitively better than average due to the features, looks and sturdiness. What keeps it from getting a perfect score is inconsistent volume labels, and the lid intermittently popping off when the carafe is moved. If you have the space under the cabinets, or on the open counter this is a good mid priced coffee maker.

Maxtek Rechargeable Replacement Li-ion Battery For Canon LP-E6 LPE6, Fits Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 7D, 60D. Made with Info-Chip, Fully Compatible, Use same as original OEM. Shows time on LCD and charges by Canon Charger!
Maxtek Rechargeable Replacement Li-ion Battery For Canon LP-E6 LPE6, Fits Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 7D, 60D. Made with Info-Chip, Fully Compatible, Use same as original OEM. Shows time on LCD and charges by Canon Charger!
Offered by YoKool
Price: $13.99
2 used & new from $13.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Review after two years of use, October 15, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Totally dead after 23 months and maybe two dozen charge cycles. Worked well for about a year then the capacity dropped to about 50 percent when compared to the Canon. Today I put it in the charger and it was totally not registering as inserted. Put it in the camera, the camera would not turn on. So my initial joy at having a great low cost battery is very much diminished. My original five year old Canon battery still has about 70% capacity, although battery info shows recharge performance as a red bar

Bushnell 6MP Trophy Cam Essential Trail Camera with Night Vision
Bushnell 6MP Trophy Cam Essential Trail Camera with Night Vision
Price: $109.00
76 used & new from $99.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great daylight photos, good nighttime, so so video (long review), October 9, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Bushnell Trophy Cam Essential

Intro Note: I got one of the updated firmware cameras out of the box. Serial numbers less than B140610000 will need to be updated due to a date/time bug. The camera will now keep the date and time even when turned off. If you remove the batteries though, the settings will be kept, but the date and time will have to be reset. Regarding the batteries, my camera worked just fine with the Eneloop rechargeable batteries (which are not recommended, manual suggests Alkaline or Lithium). With 8 Lithium batteries, potential run time is up to a year.

This trail cam is truly an "essential" model. It does the basics very well and the rating is relative to its cost and intended purpose. The photo quality is much better than I expected. The range of the motion detect, with the added bonus of taking interval based photos will work very well for a game trail. The video capture is basic quality only, and the glowing night vision led's may give the camera away.

Out of the box setup was truly intuitive, (I did not have to read the manual first). I do wish the labels on the setup buttons were more legible, or that the buttons were oriented as described in a cross pattern, rather than all in a row. Each time I wanted to change the setup, I had to bring the camera into bright light. I used the camera with both a tripod and the included strap, both worked well.

Performance: The daylight photos have great detail and color, at the 5mp (850k size) and 6mp (950k size) resolution (look much better than my GoPro Silver 3+ at 10mp). Even the 3mp (625k size) pictures look very detailed. I could easily tell the difference say between a raccoon and an opossum at over 100ft. That is probably due in part to the fairly narrow 50degree field of view. In very bright light there was substantial washout of highlights. Night photos are susceptible to motion blur. The lens is specified as f3.1 but the camera Exif data reports it as f2.8. I don't know if I would trust the Exif data all that much as it always showed ISO 100, and 1 second shutter speed no matter what. Every brand of SD card I had worked just fine, and the camera will accept up to a 32GB size.

The camera switches to night mode with a click and does so at an early dusk. The IR night vision LED's glow red similar to a small portable heater red when they light up. So if you are looking in the direction of the camera you will see them. On the other hand they did have a good range, I would fully agree that they are good out to 60 feet, compared to black led's which are spec'd out to only 45 feet. The flash does not seem to throttle down a lot, and images of objects at less than 5 feet will be very washed out.

The motion detect trigger range is very interesting. Based on heat difference of moving body compared to the background it could be as little as 15 feet (human body against a warm sunlit background), to 45 feet (same body against a shady background, or as much as 150 ft (lawn tractor against shade). I usually set it to capture 2 consecutive photos on trigger (one second apart, this pretty much assures one good one) then set it to wait 10 sec before next trigger (both settings are adjustable. There is a sensitivity setting, which includes an auto mode, which worked well. The camera is aware of the outside temperature to shift the sensitivity. It can record this temperature (photos only) along with date and time (both photos and video) on the display.

The video resolution is adjustable from 320x240 up to 720x480. Even at the highest 720 resolution (6.5mb per 5 seconds) the picture is not great. Its usable, but if you are at all interested in video, I recommend that you buy one of the trail cams that offer 1080 HD video, it will have six times better resolution.

The field scan (taking photos at predetermined intervals of every 1 to 60 minutes) works very well. If there is something just outside of motion detect range, you will now have an opportunity to see it as well.

In summary this trail camera fits its purpose and price very well. Unless you need high quality video and have no tolerance for any IR glow (in which case I suggest Trophy cam HD Max Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD Max Black LED Trail Camera with Night Vision, twice the price though) it should suffice for both game and surveillance.

Kobi Electric K8L6 6-watt (40-Watt) Straight Tip Candle LED 2700K Warm White Indoor Candelabra Light Bulb, Dimmable
Kobi Electric K8L6 6-watt (40-Watt) Straight Tip Candle LED 2700K Warm White Indoor Candelabra Light Bulb, Dimmable
Price: $13.69
4 used & new from $12.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good color, great efficiency, quick payback, October 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Kobi K8L6 Led bulb.

If user images are back up, please take a look at my photo comparing the Kobi K8L6 bulb to a Sunbeam 40 watt and 60 watt incandescent bulbs. As you can see at 455 rated lumens, the Kobi brightness falls about exactly half way between the 350 lumen 40 watt, and 560 lumen 60 watt bulb. So do check the light output of any bulbs you are considering buying. All of the bulbs I looked at were rated at 2700 degree color temperature, and indeed they all looked "warm white" similar. The dimmable part of this bulb works well, no flicker, but if you do not need it there may be a cost saving available if you buy it without that feature. (Yes the K8L6 bulb I received clearly states 455 lumen 6 watt vs 350 lumen in the above description). My chandelier has glass panes above the bulbs that reflect light. such that despite these bulbs directing the light upwards, the overall table illumination was pretty much the same.

The annual led operating cost saves you about four dollars per year on electricity, but you do have to consider the initial higher purchase cost, and then weigh in the 22 year led longevity vs 2 year longevity for the incandescent bulb. Still all things considered you may be recouping your costs anywhere between three and six years. If your home heating system is electric you have to consider that in the heating season all of the electricity that the led bulb is saving you (the waste goes into heat in the incandescent bulb) will have to be made up by your heater. So in winter the led bulbs do not "net" save as much. I measured the bulb temperatures after ten minutes, the led bulb base was 160 deg F (the dome was about 110), while the incandescent bulb glass was about 250-270 degrees.

All in all, after all of the number crunching and teeth gnashing is over, if you are going to live in your house for more than three years it makes sense to "invest" in these led bulbs as they do provide a real payback with no shortcomings.

Bose Solo 15 TV Sound System, Black
Bose Solo 15 TV Sound System, Black
Price: $449.00
12 used & new from $449.00

10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb quality, treble a bit low, almost eliminates the need for a sub, September 28, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Summary: Superb construction, Truly, short of surround sound receiver set-up, best all in one high quality super easy to hook up sound solution, better than a sound bar, and no need for a sub woofer. If you do not want the complications of a receiver and multi speakers, or if you value room aesthetics with minimal sound quality trade offs, this is the way to go. The trade offs are too mellow highs with no adjustment possible and no "simulated" surround sound mode. The THX sound test available on some discs sounds excellent. All of the speakers, including the rear, in the THX test, except the subwoofer provided output.

Details- Plusses
Looks good, solid, supports even 55" Samsung (see photo, 75 lbs is the limit), easy hookup with just two wires, power and optical sound connector.
The slight elevation from the TV siting on top helped out my viewing angle from the couch.
I did not give up TV sound (instructions suggest turning it off}, on my set you can simply turn it to zero. The combination of high end treble, and Bose low-mid range gave me the best overall sound.
The Samsung TV has adjustable SPIDF audio delay and I was able to sync TV and Bose sound perfectly with no echo. When I use both, I get a great sound stage with bass, and if I throw in some delay, it really sounds like a huge sound stage.
Turning on the cable box, TV, and Solo 15 all with one button push works great. The remote is solid, somewhat large.

You Give up TV digital control and effects such as Samsung Tru Surround Sound (it really opens up the sound stage and Solo 15 sounds narrow by comparison, when TV sound mode is set to normal they sound similar),
Auto level equalization, the TV when set to Normal does a good job of holding down overtly loud commercials, Solo 15 does not have an equivalent function
Great bass, and good midrange, so so treble
No equalizer, can use a little 5kHz-10kHz boost
By using the TV's only optical out you give up surround sound decoding in the receiver, I now use the optical from Blu-ray for that.
Should have pass thru on the digital out if you want to utilize additional speakers
The remote code for Yamaha did not work with my receiver. I had difficulty following the booklet code search instructions. The keys feel sticky and the bottom of the remote is rounded. Its the only remote I have where you cannot push a key with one finger while its lying down on the coffee table, the remote will simply flip over.

Neutral: Dialogue mode for me just sounds different, and not clearer, certainly sounds weird with some programs such as football games. The biggest effect is that it cuts out the low frequencies, where any boominess may obscure the dialogue.
In the past the Blu-ray fit between TV and the top of entertainment center. Now had to move it since it overhangs the speaker

Wish list: Speaker top on/off and volume buttons, LED volume indicator
Blue tooth connection with a possible Android/Ios app to control internal equalization.

I like it, certainly better than average, but short of five stars. With Bose this is a second generation Solo speaker (Solo 10 was smaller), perhaps with the next one they will add the app driven equalization and digital surround sound effects option for those that like them.

Philips SC1981/50 Lumea Comfort IPL Hair Removal System, White
Philips SC1981/50 Lumea Comfort IPL Hair Removal System, White
Price: $206.31

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Lumea is a light weight unit that is not bulky and has a good solid feel to it, September 3, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Tired of shaving and waxing unwanted hair, I thought I would try a new approach. Looked into hair removal via a dermatologist, but the expense involved made me pause. I have always been interested in the IPL at home removal systems which seemed much more affordable and can be used at my leisure. So I decided to give it a shot.
The Lumea is a light weight unit that is not bulky and has a good solid feel to it. After reading the directions and warnings, which have MANY exclusions as to WHO should not use it (dark skinned or blondes/redheads with light colored hair), nor should it be used on the face (I had planned to try it on my fine mustache hairs), I decided to try it on my bikini line area. Starting at power level 2, I gradually went up to level 4 before I felt a little hot stinging upon zapping my skin. I decided to leave it at level 4 for now. The light is very intense and I could see it around the unit as I zapped (probably not a good idea to keep looking at it). The entire experience was not painful at all, and I experienced no redness or irritation afterwards. This is my first time using it. I plan to add follow up comments as I continue using it. Overall its been a positive experience so far.

Swiffer Wetjet Wood Starter Kit
Swiffer Wetjet Wood Starter Kit
Price: $22.49
8 used & new from $22.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Great mophead maneuverability, liquid leaves a dull finish, picky on batteries, September 1, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Swiffer Wetjet wood starter kit comes unassembled. Assembling it was not too complicated (but getting the aluminum handle push buttons to lock into their holes did require strength), although after putting it all together, I realized it required 4 AA batteries. This seems unnecessary, surely a pull-trigger would have worked just as well, and been more environmentally friendly. On top of that they do NOT recommend rechargeable batteries. For me the regular Ni-MH batteries did not work, but the "hybrid" pre-charged type worked just fine.
The position of the spray button definitely needs relocating, as many a time it accidentally was touched while just trying to move the swiffer to another area, and out comes unwanted spray.
As far as cleaning goes, it seemed to do an OK job although the thin plastic skirting around the edges seemed to make a grating noise against the wood floor which was very irritating to me. As I was mopping I noticed it seemed to leave a dull film on the floor. As others have mentioned, the two power spray nozzles do not spray evenly. My left one squirts about three feet in front, while the right one barely makes it six inches. The cleaning solution bottle it comes with is non refillable so if you use other liquids it will have to be hand squirted on.

All in all I can't say I was overly impressed, and there is definitely room for improvement.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 3, 2014 1:22 PM PDT

Five Star Wirebound Notebook, 5-Subject, 200 College-Ruled Sheets, 11 x 8.5 Inch Sheet Size, Teal (72458)
Five Star Wirebound Notebook, 5-Subject, 200 College-Ruled Sheets, 11 x 8.5 Inch Sheet Size, Teal (72458)
Offered by Happy Smiles Shopping
Price: $22.00
4 used & new from $21.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Durable Notebook with thoughtful features, July 24, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Five Star's notebook offers a few but very convenient advantages over other notebooks. The one thing you will notice in comparison to other notebooks is that the inside pockets are big enough to hold printer sized paper. Other notebooks can hold lined sheets just fine, but printer sized papers will have to be folded. The notebook also does have a little higher quality paper that reduces the ink bleed of very free flowing pens or fountain pens. You might not notice a huge difference, but the less ink bleed, the better.
Five Star have also reinforced the pockets and used a plastic cover. Both of these won't seem very useful at first, but prolonged use of notebooks usually result in torn pockets and bent corners, which will not happen as much with this notebook.
This is one school commodity where you can afford the best and not regret it.

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Writing on cover said Apple, June 17, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Got the full kit and all the tools fit, both the pentalobe and the Philips screwdivers. The plastic cover on the battery said made for Apple and was dated 2012. Battery came almost fully discharged. After the first charge I lost about 10% in 24 hours of standby and light usage. Whole process is pretty painless except for the grounding tab on the battery connector. You will probably need tweezers to position it back in place over the upper retaining screw hole before anchoring the battery connector down. Mine shipped from US supplier.

Nutrience Original Adult Medium Breed Dog Food, 18-Pounds, Chicken Meal with Brown Rice Recipe
Nutrience Original Adult Medium Breed Dog Food, 18-Pounds, Chicken Meal with Brown Rice Recipe
Price: $27.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taste test included Good value and nutrition See user image, June 12, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I ordered the Nutrience dogfood based on its wholesome ingredients including no wheat or soy by-products, artificial color, flavors or preservatives. Then there was the added omega-3, omega-6 glucosamine and chondroitin which can help support healthy joints. All this sounded really good- but also important- how will my dog like it? For this I decided to do an unofficial, unblinded taste test. On 1/2 of the plate was the Nutrience, on the other half the competitor. Which would the dog be drawn to ? Drumroll.... The plate was placed directly in front of her. She approached the plate and went to the Nutrience side, ate all of it first, then ate the other food. This was repeated the following day, with the foods placed on the opposite side they were placed on the day before. Again she went to the side that had the Nutrience, ate it all, then ate the other food (also a premium dog food). Coincidence? Maybe,...or maybe for whatever reason she just likes it better. My user image shows the nutritional label
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