Category Archives: Cameras

The Gadget Man – Episode 87 – Drones. Should they be licensed?

I was back on air this morning with Mark Murphy and James Hazell to talk about drones and the immense rise in their popularity.

With popularity comes a degree of public worry and a much larger degree of press coverage. Should drones be licensed? Should people need to take a proficiency test to use them? All of this was covered on BBC Radio Suffolk this morning along with interviews with The Civil Aviation Authority and local pilots.

Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles come in all shapes and sizes and can range in price from £10 to literally thousands. Many of the more expensive semi professional drones have ‘Geo Fencing’ which stops the drones from flying in banned areas or ‘No Fly Zones’.

Of course it is possible to build your own drone. Kits are widely available and many people have built their own drones from scratch using light weight computers such as the Raspberry Pi. In this case, no licensing is going to stop the production of these kinds of drones and increasingly advanced techniques such as GPS ‘way point’ route planning means that the pilot does not need to be in radio contact during the flight and therefore distances of 7km possible before battery charging is necessary.

Currently in the UK, I can’t see how any ‘proficiency’ testing can be brought in being, it would be far too costly and reliant of the purchaser of the drone. Tracking the drones is equally difficult without elaborate (and expensive) tracking transmitter/receivers being added to the drone.

Consequently, it lays with the manufacturers of these devices to ensure that their equipment is safe, easy to use, legal and abides by any global no fly zones.

I will be reviewing the Parrot Bebop 2 camera drone very soon, so stay ‘tuned’.

 

The Gadget Man : Parrot Bebop 2 Drone with “Follow Me Bebop”

I‘ve finished testing the Parrot Bebop 2 camera drone. A fully review is coming up shortly. In the meantime here is a selection of footage I have taken over the last couple of weeks.

DSLR Your iPhone with Pictar

cam front_whiteMost of us use our smartphones to take pictures instead of carrying around a camera. Miggo have spent over a year researching and developing Pictar – an iPhone grip enclosure that brings the control of a DSLR right to your fingertips. With features that marry a traditional DSLR with your iPhone, Pictar gives you the ability to take your iPhone photography to the next level.

cam all_whiteDesigned to replicate the familiar feeling of holding a camera, you can comfortably use Pictar to take photos with one hand without worrying about dropping your phone whilst taking a photo. It is coated with anti-slip material, and can be connected to either a wrist strap or neck strap. The Pictar has been designed to fit most existing models of the iPhone, and the expanding design means it should fit future models too.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mymiggo/pictar-probably-the-best-iphone-camera-grip-ever-b

Features include:

· Zoom ring – no longer do you need to pinch the screen to zoom in and out. Use the rotating zoom ring to zoom in and out with just one hand.
· Selfie button – switch between front and back camera
· Multi state shutter release – half press to lock focus and exposure, or full press for immediate shutter release
· Exposure Compensation Wheel – quickly and easily control the brightness level before taking a picture
· ‘Smart’ wheel – in default mode this control 7 preset modes to let users easily adjust the iPhone to any situation while focusing on taking the shot. Preset modes are auto, portrait mode, landscape mode, sport mode, snow mode, selfie mode and video mode. For the more advanced photographer you can choose between 3 advanced modes – shutter priority, ISO priority and manual.
· Virtual wheel – control different modes such as flash mode, shutter speed and more.
· Cold shoe mount to attach LED lights
Tripod attachment

The Gadget Man – Episode 82 – Gadget Review of the Year

Its my last broadcast of the year and I so talk about my top 5 gadgets of the year. Listen to the stream to hear what I thought of the following :-

These are all products I’ve reviewed in the past, so you can click on each of them to take you to it’s relevant feature.

 

The Gadget Man – Episode 79 – Motorola Moto G (3rd generation) from Three

This morning I talk to Mark about the Motorola Moto G (3 gen) handset. At £169 sim free it represents fantastic value for money with excellent build quality and specification. To hear more about the phone, listen in to the audio recorded today on BBC Radio Suffolk.

Thanks to Three for the loan of the device, they always go above and beyond the call!

The Gadget Man – Episode 78 – Fujifilm Finepix S9900W Bridge Camera

Matt Porter, the Gadget Man reviews the Fujifilm Finepix S9900W
Matt Porter, the Gadget Man reviews the Fujifilm Finepix S9900W

One of my favourite pastimes is photography, although very strictly on an amateur basis. I’ve have been very lucky indeed to have been able to test out a wide range of cameras from Fujifilm this year.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been testing the Fujifilm Finepix S9900W Bridge Camera. This is a true bridge camera and it ticks most of the boxes for me with it’s 50 times zoom lens and inclusion of viewfinder.  One thing I didn’t mention on the radio was it’s wireless compatibility which allows for almost instant uploading of photos and remote control from your smart phone.

Listen in to the stream and enjoy some of the photo’s I’ve been able to take with this lovely camera over the last few weeks.

Thank you to Jeannie at Fujifilm as ever!!!

The Gadget Man – Episode 76 – Transcend DrivePro Body 10 Bodycam

Transcend DrivePro Body Cam 10
Transcend DrivePro Body Cam 10

This week I talk about a new wave of devices aimed at both Police and private security firms. Body Cams allow for the collection of video evidence which is aimed at reducing the time wasted by conflicting opinions from police and witnesses to crimes.

I have been reviewing the Transcend DrivePro Body 10, a really excellent example of such a device, which is easy to set up, extremely simple to wear and operate and produces excellent 1080p video in both daylight and nighttime. The device has an excellent F2.8 160 degree wide angle lens and comes with a 32GB micro SD card included.

Video is split in to manageable sized files which means that en entire video file does not need to be viewed or copied to other media for use in court. It is also time and date stamped with the option of adding additional text to the file which is displayed on the resulting video.

The device is weatherproof and also includes a ‘snap shot’ button for taking 3.3mp image files. Operation of the video is simple and only requires the power button to be depressed to start recording and pressed again to stop.

Don’t forget to listen in to the stream to find out more about the Transcend DrivePro Body 10.

Many thanks to Transcend for providing me with a demo unit.

Kodak PixPro SP360 4K Unveiled at IFA

Earlier in the year, we reviewed the Kodak PixPro SP360, we thought it was a superb camera capable of recording YouTube compatible 360 movies, so we’re really pleased that Kodak have announced an upgraded SP360 which is now capable of recording in 4K.

The original SP360 was capable of capturing video in up to 1440×1440 HD, this video was then unwrapped to product scrollable 360 video which could be uploaded to YouTube and viewed interactively.

There has been a great deal of excitement concerning the KODAK PIXPRO SP360 Action Camera and it’s been popular in the tech press and TV, this has placed Kodak at the forefront of this technology.

Kodak SP360-4K
Kodak SP360-4K

The SP360 4k Camera captures 360-degree field of view in multiple directions via its dome shaped lens design and can be panned not only 360-degrees horizontally, but also up and down with a host of different vantage points and views for playback post capture.

At the official press launch, Mariame Cisse, Marketing Manager of JK Imaging Ltd said “The KODAK PIXPRO SP360-4K revolutionize video recording and how you see and experience the World All Around You. This is the next step to Evolution for 360 degrees Cameras. You can now create the most pristine videos and photos in 4K and Direct and Act your own Virtual Reality movie”.

SP 360 4K – Features

  • 12 megapixels, BSICMOS sensor
  • Fixed focus lens (F.2.8) that takes 360° spherical images
  • Viewing options: Dome (235°), Front, Global (360°), Ring, Segment (180° front and 180°rear) or Panorama mode
  • High speed videos 1280 x 720 (120fps); plays back with normal 50fps speed.
  • 4K HD videos in 2028 x 2028 (50fps)
  • Dimensions/weight: 46.5 x 50 x 53 mm/121 g

The KODAK PIXPRO SP360-4K will be sold with varying accessory bundles depending on geographical region. It will be available in October this year in Europe. For more information, please visit: kodakpixpro.com/SP360

Hopefully we will have a chance to try out the new features soon including the live broadcast features.

The Gadget Man – Episode 65 – Transcend WiFi 32GB SD Card

People who know me will know that it isn’t easy to render me speechless, but after trying out my gadget this week, I can honestly say I was! I’m talking about the Transcend WiFi SD Card, a very impressive exercise in both miniaturisation and usefulness.

Transcend Wifi SD Card
Transcend Wifi SD Card

Most of us will be aware of SD Cards, we use them everyday in our cameras and they are an established way of transferring photos and videos from these devices to our computers, which is kind of where the main problem lies. SD Cards can be very fiddly, more so if you are an active photographer. There is definitely going to be an occasion when you drop or worse still lose your card during handling.

It seems as though Transcend have come up with a very elegant solution to this problem by embedding WiFi technology into the card itself! This is an astounding feat of engineering and works very nicely. Users are able to browse their photos using either an iPhone or Android handset via a downloadable app or if using a computer can connect directly to the card and download the photos using a web browser.

The only stipulation is that your digital camera is supported (click here to view the list) and that the camera is kept powered up during the process.

During the recording of this weeks episode I took a photo of presenter Mark Murphy live on air using the card and shared it on Facebook.

At around £35, the card is in my mind a bargain and I would heartedly recommend it to budding photographers who want to share their memories both quickly and smoothly.

Thank you very much again to Mickaela Noone from Transcend for her assistance.

The Gadget Man – Episode 64 – LG G4 from Three

This week those very kind people at Three have again supplied us with a gorgeous LG G4 Smart Phone.

The G4’s stand out feature is it’s screen. It improves the QuadHD screen from it’s predecessor, the G3 but brings improvement in colour and brightness. It has a nice loud speaker and the phone controls are on the back of the phone under the camera lens which makes controlling it surprisingly easy.

Both cameras are excellent on the phone, with the rear facing main camera sporting a F1.8 sensor which makes low light photos really clear at it’s 16 megapixels. Coupled with LG’s clever ‘Laser focus’, this is a seriously cool phone.

Find out more about it by listening to the stream, more detailed review is coming soon!!!

Thanks again to Jocelyn Medhurst at COW PR who is super helpful indeed!!