Category Archives: Photography

Honor 8 Pro – Awesome Camera Shots from the Honor 8 Pro

I have been testing the Honor 8 Pro for a short while and am putting it through its paces. This phone really is a fine piece of technology but so is its dual rear camera lenses.

I will be doing my usual review, but for the meantime, check out these photos –

Mystic Dartmoor Rock #honor8pro

Above shot taken in wide aperture mode. Really cool photo.

Courtyard Scenes - Shot on the Honor 8 Pro #honor8pro

Lovely close up of the blue bells.

Courtyard Scenes - Shot on the Honor 8 Pro #honor8pro

Another wide aperture mode shot for a superb final product.

Water droplets #magical #honor8pro

The detail on the water droplets is excellent.

Dreamy Eyes #honor8pro

Not so sure Tiggy wanted her face in the frame, but she is still super cute.

Deep Pink #macro #honor8pro

Truly stunning.

I will be testing the video quality in my full review which will be coming soon.

If you have any questions that you would like covered off in my review, please let me know.

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Samsung Gear 360 (2017) – Review – Every Mode Tested on iOS, Samsung S8 & Mac

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

Conclusion

The new Samsung Gear 360 2017 is a win. Much easier to use than last years, easier to hold and good quality output.

Useful Links

Samsung Gear 360 latest pricing and more info
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 on iOS & mac

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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.

Useful Links

Latest pricing on Samsung Gear 360 2017 on Amazon

Samsung Galaxy S8+ vs iPhone 7 Plus vs LG G6 vs Huawei P10 Plus – Camera Comparison by Ellie

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.

Final Words

As you can see a very close call in terms of camera performance. So which are your favourites?

Merrivale Stone Circles on Dartmoor National Park – Shot on an iPhone 7 Plus – Slow Motion & 2 Movies

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

Useful Links

Shopping for anything on Amazon

Shot on an iPhone 7 Plus – Princetown to Hexworthy – The Old Road – Dartmoor National Park

Desolation #dartmoor - nothing for miles

On Saturday, I walked from Princetown to the Forest Inn at Hexworthy on Dartmoor. The route is 5 miles easy way across Dartmoor National Park. The above shot is one of the views you will see en route. All the photos were snapped using my iPhone 7 Plus.

After about 40 minutes, this is the view from behind of the North Hessary Mast at Princetown in the distance. The path starts off in great condition. To start the route from Princetown, walk down Tor Royal Lane, all the way to the end. After a mile, you will get to Tor Royal Farm. Walk down the road, with the farm on your right. Just continue following the path/road.

Of course, like all good things, the condition of the path deteriorates and becomes a bit boggy. So good walking boots are a must.

Rocky Road to Hexworthy #dartmoor

In fact, along one section of the route, the path is lined with large chunks of rocks/granite, so be careful. Also the path occasionally fades out but it is still visible for the entire route.

Racing along the road from Princetown to Hexworthy #dartmoor

My 3 labradors were having a blast along the route too.

After about 3.2 miles the path narrows and you will pass the Blowing House ruins. This section was particularly muddy in places and had a lot of muddy surface water. You boots will get wet and muddy at this point no matter how hard you try to avoid everything.

Above is Blowing House itself, well the ruins.

Fairy Bridge #dartmoor

Fortunately, Fairy Bridge has been replaced with a new structure, otherwise you would have had to cross the river getting extremely soaked! The goal was to reach the Forest Inn at Hexworthy. The last part of the walk is a little tricky in terms of directions, but you eventually reach the end of the path, and come to a country lane. Cross straight over and walk down the road to the farm house entrance. As you get near the entrance, you will see a downhill path, take this, walk down until it becomes road, turn left, walk 15 yard, turn right downhill in-between the farm buildings. This will make sense when you are there. At the end of the downhill part, you reach another road. Turn right and walk 50 yards uphill to the Forest Inn. Job done.

Enjoy the food and drink at the Forest Inn (make sure you book as its always busy), and then prepare yourself for the return journey.

All photos shot on my red iPhone 7 Plus.

Shot on an iPhone 7 Plus – Bellever Forest – Dartmoor National Park

This morning, I went out on a bitterly cold morning to Bellever Forest Dartmoor. The temperature never rose above 2ºC, and in the wind it was sub zero. Apart from the temperature, it was foggy and raining.

So despite the weather and visibility, I managed to capture the beauty and wonder of Bellever Forest, Dartmoor National Park using my iPhone 7 Plus.

Forest Walks, Bellever Forest, Dartmoor

Along the forest path at Bellever. Lovely views and colours.

Ancient Trees at Bellever Forest, Dartmoor

Along the path, the trees and plants look fantastic.

The Forest is Alive - Natural Colours of Bellever Forest, Dartmoor

I really like all the greens, browns and red tones.

Ancient Circle - Bellever Forest, Dartmoor

For one minute, it looks like a row of stone seating.

Up High on a Foggy Day at Bellever Forest, Dartmoor

Up high, and you can really get a sense of the visibility or lack of!

With the rainy conditions, I was so happy to have my iPhone 7 Plus which is water resistant. And I love the photos the camera captured too.

Shot on an iPhone 7 Plus – Soussons Stone Circle and Forest on Dartmoor National Park

As with all UK weather, it was fabulous during the week and come the weekend, the rain and fog descended on Dartmoor. Snow is forecasted later this week too.

Anyway, below are photos taken on my iPhone 7 Plus of Soussons Stone Circle and in around the forest on Dartmoor National Park.

Happy Hounds #Soussons #dartmoor

Above, Tiggy is very happy to be in the lead. The shot is taken in Soussons Forest, Dartmoor.

Mystic Walks thru Soussons #dartmoor

There are so great trees too. With walkways in between.

Soussons Stone Circle #dartmoor

This is the Soussons Stone Circle, comprising of 25 stones. Dartmoor seems to have many sites with stone circles.

Logs #Soussons #dartmoor

Abandoned logs. Did someone forget to collect these? Also a great place to find beetles.

Happy Hounds #Soussons #dartmoor

George happy as always.

Happy Hounds #Soussons #dartmoor

Fury, she is doing the side step dance, somehow.

Soussons Forest #dartmoor

The weather was awful during the walk around Soussons. Rain, fog and strong winds. Fortunately, the trees provided some shelter, and it times like this you appreciate having a iPhone that is water resistant!

Sunset on Dartmoor – Shot on an Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Sometimes timing is everything as well as skill of course 🙂

The below shot captured the ponies grazing just as the sun was disappearing behind a Tor. A minute before the sun was too bright and a minute later the sun had vanished.

To help capture this shot, I used my iPhone 7 Plus and Adobe Lightroom mobile to snap it in raw. When I capture photos like this, I cannot see the need of carrying a DSLR!

Cracking sunset on Dartmoor

Zecti 70 inch Travel Tripod Review – Plus comparison with Zecti 55 inch Aluminium Tripod

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Zecti 70 inch travel tripod review plus a comparison with their 55 inch tripod. I am already using the 55 inch Zecti tripod on a near daily basis, so I decided to take a look at the bigger 70 inch version. This is a different design so in my main video review, I have also compared it to the 55 inch tripod.

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The Key Features / Specifications

– Max. Height: 70 inch/176.5cm with column extended
– Min. Height: 21inch/54cm
– Folding Height: 22inch/57cm
– Converted to Monopod: 65inch
– Number of Leg Sections: 4
– Material: Aluminum Alloy+Plastic
– Leg Lock: Flip-lock
– Lateral Tilt Angle: 90 degree
– Tilt Angle: 180 degree
– Panning Angle: 360 degree
– Screw for camera: 1/4 inch
– Head Type: 3-Way Head
– Weight: 1.65kg/3.63lb
– Packing Size: 11.5*11.5*59.3cm
– Foot Type: Anti-slip Horseshoe Mat
– In the box – 1x Camera tripod, 1x User Manual, 1x Carrying Case
– 3-way Head with quick release plate are easy for you to install or remove most cameras camcorder DV and etc.
– The unique design of the horseshoe foot and bottom weight hook ensure an excellent stability of the tripod.
– Two in one design of the tripod allow you to convert the tripod between tripod and monopod easily.

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Video Review

To really illustrate the tripod, I filmed a review which also included a comparison with the Zecti 55 inch tripod and Amazon Basic tripod. I also explain the difference in quality between the tripods and their respective features.

Conclusion

The Zecti 70 inch Travel Tripod is ideal if you need a quick release plate and the extra height. I am now using both of these tripods as they are lightweight and ideal for most of my photography.

Useful Links

Zecti 70 inch Travel Tripod
Full Range of Zecti products

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Huawei Mate 9 – More Superb Photos from the camera

The Huawei Mate 9 continues to impress and its camera is superb. Below are a range of photos.

Huawei Mate 9 – Light Trails Mode.

Night shots on Dartmoor - Shot on the Huawei Mate 9

Huawei Mate 9 – Night Mode – This really pulled extra light into the shot.

Night shots on Dartmoor - Shot on the Huawei Mate 9

Huawei Mate 9 – Church Shot – Auto mode.

Views around St Constantine Church - Shot on the Huawei Mate 9

Views around St Constantine Church - Shot on the Huawei Mate 9

Huawei Mate 9 – Church Shot – Monochrome mode.

Views around St Constantine Church - Shot on the Huawei Mate 9

Views around St Constantine Church - Shot on the Huawei Mate 9

Huawei Mate 9 – Newquay Views

Great views of Newquay - Shot on the Huawei Mate 9

Great views of Newquay - Shot on the Huawei Mate 9

Great views of Newquay - Shot on the Huawei Mate 9

Some stunning photos!

Useful Links

Huawei Mate 9 on Three UK – Click HERE.

Amazon UK – Click HERE.

Donations – https://www.paypal.me/gavinsgadgets

Zecti 5 in 1 Collapsible Multi-Disc Light Reflector – My Review

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Welcome to my review of the Zecti 5 in 1 Collapsible Multi-Disc Light Reflector. The Zecti 5 in 1 Light Reflector costs £26.99.

The Key Features –

– The light reflector comes with different reflective surfaces that can be used to fill in, reflect, diffuse, absorb or soften light
– Made with durable and flexible galvanised steel frame
– Fairly easily spread and folded into small size and it is easy for you to carry it from one location to another
– Comes with an anti-slip handle which has a 1/4″ screw hole in the handle allow it to fit most of the standard reflector holders/tripods
– Choose from five colours translucent, gold, white, silver and black

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In Use

The first time I unzipped the Zecti black carry/protective bag, I had a slight surprise as the reflector sprung open and was considerably larger than the small bag it had been stored in.

I like the fact is collapses into the bag for portability but it is a bit awkward trying to get it to fold initially. The 1/4 inch tripod screw mount is handy too.

To be honest the only way you can appreciate how compact this collapses and then how large it becomes is by watching the short video below. So now enjoy the video.

Video Review

Conclusion

I have always wanted light reflectors and I must admit the portability and flexibility of the Zecti 5 in 1 set is ideal. It is also competitively priced which is a bonus.

Useful Links

To save £4 on the light reflector use code HDKY7XLD. This will expire in a few weeks.

More information on the Zecti 5 in 1 Light Reflector – Click HERE.

Help Support the Channel when shopping on Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2i4YFEY
Donations – https://www.paypal.me/gavinsgadgets

Flying and buying a drone – stuff retailers don’t tell you and should!

I recently attended a drone session and was left gobsmacked by what I learnt. Despite witnessing what a £4,500 DJI drone can do, which is flipping amazing, I came away from the event completely certain that I would NOT be buying a drone.

Why?

For starters, you need to be aware of the Drone Code. If you haven’t seen this then have a look here – http://dronesafe.uk/drone-code/ .

I then discovered you need the landowners permission to fly a drone. I wanted to capture some drone photography of Dartmoor National Park. However, the DNPA do not grant permission. Maybe a farmer that owned some land might grant me permission but there is no guarantee.

I can fly a drone in my back garden though. But unless you own acres of land, I cannot see the point of flying a drone in your back garden, other than to fly it into a tree.

If you do own a drone, another other aspect is accidents that can occur if a drone hit a person or property. The propellers on the drone can slice skin fairly easily too.

Now I know a lot of people still fly the drones without the correct permissions. I just don’t see the point of spending a lot of money on an item that is quickly being clamped down by codes and ultimately to come will be legislation.

The Drone Code currently states –

1 – Keep the drone in sight at all times
2 – Stay below 400ft
3 – Every time you fly the drone must follow the manufacturers guidelines
4 – Keep the right distance from people and property – 150ft away from people and houses, 500ft away from build up areas and crowds
5 – You are responsible for each flight. Legal liability and responsibility lies with you. Failure to fly responsibly could end up in a criminal prosecution.

If you decide to buy a drone, just make sure you are aware of the facts.

Useful Links

More information on the different types of drones – Click HERE.

The Drone Code Website – Click HERE

Walk on Dartmoor – Shot on an iPhone 7 Plus – Edited on the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar using iMovie

I wanted to see how tight the integration would be shooting video and photos on my iPhone 7 Plus and then trying to edit it on my MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.

For starters, I got some great photos and video from the iPhone 7 Plus. Since the latest software update on the iPhone 7 Plus, the Live Photos seem to be even better quality. Below are the a few photos the walk out on Dartmoor.

Moody Face #Tiggy #Dartmoor

None of these photos have been edited in any way.

All tongue #George #Dartmoor

What a tongue!! George has a huge tongue.

Sunk in the mud - Tiggy :)

Someone has been in the mud 🙂

Fury had just bathed in mud :) #dartmoor

Because Fury is black, she disguises the fact she is lined in mud !

Ok, some firing up my MacBook Pro, and all the photos and video from my iPhone 7 Plus are already synced into the Photos app on the Mac. Open iMovie on the MacBook Pro and you can simply select the video and photos from the photos app and import them into iMovie. Next select create a movie, tweak the order of the clips, adjusts and colour corrections on the media if required, add a theme, choose from a vast selection of music and audio clips, or add your own, add a few titles and export. iMovie is relatively intuitive to use. Next save to iMovie Theater and now it appears on my iPhone 7 Plus in the iMovie app too.

The last stage is uploading to YouTube via iMovie. And below is the result. The power of the post processing speed of the MacBook Pro is stunning BTW.

Zecti Aluminum Alloy Tripod Ball Head Review – Stunning Build & Precision

Zecti Ballhead 6

Zecti is a small company, on a mission to expand into various different niches, one of which is camera tripods and mounts. I recently reviewed their 55 inch Aluminium tripod and was really impressed by the quality at a competitive price point. Link at the end of this post.

Zecti Ballhead 5

I have now have their Aluminium Alloy Tripod Ball Head, which simply oozes quality and precision. It retails for £39.99. It features separate adjustment knobs for different angle rotation adjustments and a scale to pan for 360 degree panoramic shooting. At the end of the post is a code with link to save a few pounds.

Zecti Ballhead 3

The Ball Head is made using CNC forging and an oxidisation anodised aluminum alloy body ensures the good payload performance and durability.

Zecti Ballhead 2

Other features of the ball head is horizontal adjustment locking system, levelling bubbles for precise framing, a removable quick release arca plate with a 1/4″ screw for easy and safe installation of the camera / 3/8″female screw thread for various tripods and a safety locking system. The Ball head diameter is 35mm with a max load of 15 kg.

Zecti Ballhead 4

The net weight of the ball head is 255g. When I removed it from the packaging, it felt strong and substantial. This is a beautifully made product and ideal for the keen photographer. Recommended.

Useful Links

Use the link below and enter code DSMS7835 to save 5%.

More information & the latest pricing on the Zecti Tripod Ball Head – Click HERE.
Zecti 55 inch Lightweight Aluminium Tripod Review – Click HERE.