At the weekend I visited Cotehele House which is a National Trust property. Cotehele House is a lovely place with beautiful gardens.
Below are a selection of photos taken with my iPhone 7 Plus, showing the house, the flowers and some of the smaller insects found there.
The best views of the house are from the rear.
Here you get a glimpse of the garden.
From inside the house, looking out.
Some close up of the little things found feeding on the flowers.
The gardens at Cotehele have such an amazing range of flowers and plants. Well worth a visit if you are visiting Cornwall, UK.
Welcome to my review of the Belkin Classic Leather Apple Watch Strap with a comparison with the Nike Sport Band.
– The classic Apple watch strap is made from genuine high grade Italian leather
– Custom designed fittings ensure a secure fit and easy band exchange. That is black metal to match the Apple Sports Watch frame!
– 3 mm thick band and extra holes for maximum comfort and fit for your wrist
– Fits 42 mm Apple watch, Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch Edition, Apple Watch Nike+, Apple Watch Hermès, series 1 and 2
– Available in three different colours black, tan brown and grey
– A lot cheaper that the Apple Leather Strap.
Available from Amazon UK.
The new iPad Pro 10.5 is a powerful beast. But can it act as a pro video editing machine? How much more powerful is it than the iPad Air at 4K video rendering. Can the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar with top graphics and a Core i7 beat the iPad Pro 10.5 rendering a 4K video. What are the differences in 4K video rendering?
In addition, my iPad Pro 10.5 is going to be used to create a pro movie with many cool features, including video in video, flashy titles and more. Instead of using iMovie, a powerful video app called Luma Fusion was used. Luma Fusion works beautifully on the iPhone 7 Plus too. Finally, iMovie is compared with Luma Fusion.
The 4K video footage was filmed using my iPhone 7 Plus. I could also have used the iPad Pro 10.5 as the cameras are the same as the iPhone 7!
The 4K Pro Video Test – Created on the iPad Pro 10.5
Luma Fusion for iPad & iPhone App Store link
Amazon’s iPhone Store & Shop on Amazon UK
A short video walking along the high street in the historic market town of Tavistock, Devon, UK. Tavistock has some really ancient buildings. Make sure you change the YouTube video quality to the maximum 3K.
For this 360 degree video the titles, music and all the editing was done on my iPhone 7 Plus using Luma Fusion app which supports 360 degree footage.
iOS 11 Public Beta 1, my experiences so far using my iPad 10.5 and iPhone 7 Plus.
So yesterday I backed up on my MacBook and iPhone 7 Plus to iTunes on my Mac, and then archived the backup. Then it was full steam ahead and installed the 2 iOS 11betas, one on my iPad 10.5 and the other on my iPhone 7 Plus.
So what is iOS 11 like? In one word, awesome. The extra functionality and features, the new visuals and faster speed is incredible. The iPad is a new machine. The iPhone has improved features in the camera. Live Photos take on a new purpose with loop, bounce and long exposure effects. These are such good fun to use.
It’s so easy to make the water silky now using the Live Photo long exposure mode. Too easy really. The control centre takes some getting used to, but at least it’s customisable. However, there are some things I don’t like but it’s early days and it’s the first Public Beta.
So should you install iOS Public Beta. My advice is no. Any 32 bit apps and games you have won’t open now unless the developer updates them. In reality many won’t get updated or the developer may offer a new version that you might have to purchase. In my case I lost about 20 games across both devices.
Next several installed apps don’t work properly. Insta360 has issues with exporting the video. WordPress has suddenly stopped working full screen. It only works on a split screen. Very weird. There are random oddities. Apple’s own apps have bugs too.
However, I’m ok with running the Beta due to the wealth of new features. There are so many new features!
So the OnePlus 5 has arrived. There is a lot of noise on the internet regarding the camera. Well I am sure to take a few shots with it over the coming days but here is a huge surprise. Portrait mode. I truly expected the iPhone 7 Plus to walk over the OnePlus 5. Except it didn’t. I took 5 portrait shots on each phone, and every OnePlus 5 Portrait mode photo was better than the iPhone 7 Plus on every shot.
Above is the best shot I could achieve from the iPhone 7 Plus in portrait after 5 attempts.
And above is one of 5 decent portrait shots from the OnePlus 5. Incredible and a surprise.
More to follow.
So last night Apple held that keynote speech for WWDC 2017. The keynote speech lasted nearly 2 1/2 hours and in that time Apple revealed an incredible amount of new hardware and software.
So what did I think of all the new announcements made last night. Firstly with all the new Macbook, MacBook Pro, iMac and iMac Pro hardware improvements, it was clear Apple was addressing gripes of not having the most powerful processors and or enough ram/graphics. The new iMac Pro can be configured with 18 cores. 18 cores! Incredible. So if Apple was looking for a complete refresh of the range it now has a bit of time to enable any future updates to the happen because most people should be very happy with the latest hardware improvements. Even the MacBook air got a slight tweak in the hardware improvements.
Apple also announced new iPad Pro with a 10.5 inch screen and slimmer bezels. The new iPad will really benefit from iOS 11 when it comes out of beta and is made as a free updates in the fall. iOS 11 brings a ton of new functionality to the iPad and makes it look more like macOS. In fact I think this is the first step and unification of macOS and iOS. Whilst there are heaps of new features with iOS 11 the biggest change is the refresh rate going up from 60 Hz to 120 Hz. This makes ultrasmooth display refresh rates and strolling and in my mind is a game changer. Of course the new iPad Pro is more powerful with a new chip and has all the latest cameras found from the iPhone 7. Obviously there is a new update to the iPad accessories so Apple also makes some more money with those as well. Due to the new screen tech the Apple Pencil latency is the lowest ever and now makes the pencil even more productive with the iPad.
WatchOS had a number of updates as well which will just take Apple’s lead in this field even further. macOS High Sierra had a ton of new features and refinements but also insures the possibility of using your Mac to create the VR media as well as AI.
iOS 11 had tons of new features and functionality too, but what was evident is Apple’s push for AI with their new AIKit APIs. The new iPhone is clearly going to feature AI technology and this could be a game changer.
Apple also showed off the new HomePod, a blend of Siri and high-tech speakers. The proof in this new product will be in use and how well it works, so until it comes out later in the year it will be one of those let’s wait and see before casting any verdicts.
Overall I thought Apple announced an awful lot of hardware and software. On the software side there will be a ton of functionality and features that never got mentioned at all. All these will take time to be uncovered over the coming weeks and months.
So what do you think?
Insta360 Nano Review and Insta360 Air Review. The Nano works with your iPhone and the Air on an android phone. Both are 360 degree cameras that take photo, video and live stream to many places e.g. Youtube and Facebook.
The Insta360 cameras come with the best mobile apps that are ahead of that provided by Samsung for their Gear 360 (2017). Why? Find out in my video review.
The video review provides a practical in depth review of both cameras. The main review include some sample footage that I could embed however there were many modes that were not included and consequently are shown below. My review also includes a DIY way to attach the Insta360 Nano to an iPhone whilst it is still in a case.
Finally, I have also provided a comparison between the two Insa360 cameras along with my views using these with the Samsung Gear 360 (2017). At the end of this post, I have all the useful links.
360 Degree Photos – Normal and then HDR
360 Degree Video – Normal and then Low Light
360 Photos made into Animations (several options and all very cool)
360 Live Stream Footage using Facebook (if you can’t see this, turn off your ad blocker)
Both cameras are excellent, versatile and solve the key issue, how to share the footage in a fun and easy way to nearly every social media platform.
More info and the latest pricing on the Insta360 Nano and Insta360 Air at Amazon UK
More info and the latest pricing on the Samsung Gear 360 and 360 (2017) at Amazon UK
iPhone 7 Plus Extension Dock on Amazon UK
Samsung Gear 360 (2017) – My review with every mode tested
Samsung Gear 360 2017 Review. This is my review of the Samsung Gear 360. I used it on my Samsung Galaxy S8, iPhone 7 Plus and MacBook Pro. The review covers all modes, the pros and cons, the differences using it on a Samsung S8, iPhone 7 Plus or Mac.
Plus there are sample footage of all modes below, with links. This page will get updated as more 360 footage is captured and or any updates arrive that impact the experience good or bad.
The Blockbuster Review of the Samsung Gear 360 2017
Samsung Gear 360 2017 Live Broadcast Sample Footage
Below is a sample of the footage from a live broadcast using the Samsung S8. This was at max quality. Unfortunately the duration is shorter than expected as I lost cell signal.
Samsung Gear 360 2017 4K Video Sample
Samsung Gear 360 2017 Video Looping Mode Sample
Samsung Gear 360 2017 Time Lapse Mode Sample
Samsung Gear 360 2017 Photos
I have embedded the photos below with full 360 and VR headset support. Just click play. If you are wearing a VR headset press the icon top right. I have also uploaded these to my Flickr and Google Photos accounts. Links are at the end of the review.
Landscape HDR photo mode
Normal Photo Mode
Normal Photo Mode HDR on
Low Light Photo
The new Samsung Gear 360 2017 is a win. Much easier to use than last years, easier to hold and good quality output.
Samsung Gear 360 latest pricing and more info on Amazon UK
Samsung Gear 360 2017 First Impressions
The original Samsung Gear 360 review and help guides
My Flickr Gear 360 2017 Album
My Samsung 360 Album on Google Photos
Samsung Gear 360 (2017). First Impressions.
First up it’s new design over last years ball style is vastly improved in terms of holding it instantly.
The Samsung Gear 360 (2017) is currently only compatible with a number of Samsung flagship and Samsung A series along with the iPhone. Other android phones don’t work with this. I will cover off more of the what does and doesn’t in my full review.
There are 2 apps for the MacBook to install. One is a gallery photo and video app that stitches the media on your MacBook. Samsung recommend a core i7 processor. Then there is the Samsung Gear 360 iOS app.
At this stage everything worked well, from the mac software to the iOS app. No bugs. There are limitations on a few features that are available with the Samsung Galaxy S8 but not via the iPhone 7 Plus.
These currently include –
– Live broadcast (only available using mac not iPhone )
– No live video feed
– Resolution is reduced when stitching slightly on iPhone. Full resolution can be maintained using mac software.
Then menu system is a breeze to use and there are a few tweaks to be had to improve the results.
If you have any questions on this please let me know for the full review.
NB. Photo shot in portrait mode on the iPhone 7 Plus.
Latest pricing on Samsung Gear 360 2017 on Amazon
The iPhone 7 Plus is a beast of a phone with its dual rear cameras and it might be over 6 months old now yet it can still can hold its own up against the competition, often winning. These are the same shots taken at the same time as the previous days posts covering the Huawei P10, S8+ and LG G6.
Some lovely natural details and colours.
Mainly good focus. Some shots were out of focus.
Quality is as good as the competition.
Normal lens. A really good shot of the church. Colours are well balanced. I could have used the 2 x optical zoom lens too.
Overall, the iPhone 7 Plus holds its own ground against the competition. It also has the second lens for portrait mode and 2 x optical zoom. Then there are numerous third party apps that work really well to create silky water, night trails and star lights. Then there is Live Photos and super smooth 4K video.
So have a look at the shots on the previous posts from the LG G6, Huawei P10 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S8, and ask yourself, which ones do you prefer?
Four of the top flagship phones. Left to right LG G6, Huawei P10 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S8+ and the iPhone 7 Plus.
I took 2 shots of the local church from different angles using all 4 phones. I have uploaded all photos full size. For both scenes the Huawei P10 Plus photos come first, then the iPhone 7 Plus, followed by the LG G6 and lastly Samsung Galaxy S8+.
Huawei P10 Plus Side View
iPhone 7 Plus Side View
LG G6 Side View
Samsung Galaxy S8+ Side View
Huawei P10 Plus Monochrome mode
Huawei P10 Plus Colour Auto
iPhone 7 Plus Colour Auto
LG G6 Colour Auto and then Wide Angle
Samsung Galaxy S8+ Colour Auto and Flower Shot
Conclusion and Results
Side Church Shot
I would rank the side church shot as follows. First place LG G6, then Samsung S8+, then Huawei P10 Plus and in last place the iPhone 7 Plus.
Church Colour Auto Shot
A very close call and hard to pick a winner. The LG G6 pips the post but only just. The others are all a draw. The Huawei P10 Plus monochrome shot is excellent. So is the wide angle shot from the LG G6.
As you can see a very close call in terms of camera performance. So which are your favourites?
As you know by now Gavin likes to photograph our 3 labradors an awful lot. I think they have learnt how to pose for that perfect selfie too.
One of the modes Gavin likes to use is burst mode. So Gavin asked me to perform some tests on the speed of each phone in burst mode.
So here are the results.
iPhone 7 Plus
– Time to take 100 shots in burst mode is 10 seconds.
– Maximum number of shots in burst mode is 999 shots. Holy crap. And it can save them all fairly quickly and take another 999 shots in a burst without pulling a sweat.
Samsung Galaxy S8+
– Time to take 100 shots in burst mode is 7 seconds. And 100 shots is the maximum. Also the focusing was fastest out of all 3.
– Time to take 100 shots in burst mode is 10 seconds the same as the iPhone 7 Plus. Like the S8+ , 100 shots is the maximum in burst mode. Focusing was as quick as the iPhone but slower than the S8+.
I will try and get some shots over the weekend but there’s no guarantee.
– Custom machined stainless steel acoustic pipes for more accurate sound
– High quality dynamic speaker system and enhanced attenuation of ambient noise
– Personalised fit directly into the ear canals
– Available in two variants with a three button in-line remote with an integrated mic optimised for either – Apple iOS or Samsung Galaxy smart devices
– Convenient high carrying case included
– Wearing Style Ear canal
– Transducer Principle Dynamic
– Frequency Response 15 – 22,000 Hz
– Impedance 18 Ohm
– Sound Pressure Level (SPL) 118 dB
– Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) < 0.5%
– Cable Length 1.3 m 1.3 m
– Mic Pick-up Pattern Omni-directional
– In the Box – Ear-adapter set (XS, S, M, L) / Premium carrying case
Latest pricing & more info on Sennheiser Momentum In Ear Headphones
I have just come back from walking my 3 labradors across Dartmoor, ending with a view of the Merrivale Stones and Merrivale Stone Circles.
I have created 3 movies. One is just a highlight of the slow motion footage of my 3 labradors shot at 240fps, the other movies are both created using iMovie. One is using the Trailers option and the other is a normal movie I created from scratch.
Let me know in which order you prefer the different videos.
Merrivale Stone Circles – All Footage
The Mysterious Merrivale Stones
iPhone 7 Plus – Slow Motion with 3 dogs at 240fps
Shopping for anything on Amazon