Category Archives: Featured Site

LensHero is a great site dedicated to digital camera lenses.

Buying a DSLR camera can be a scary experience when one considers there are over a twenty camera & lens manufacturers with hundreds of different models, and hundreds of different camera lenses of all shapes and sizes. LensHero makes choosing your lens easy.

TWO steps are all that are needed.

The site asks you to enter your digital camera manufacturer, and as one types, a list of models appears in a drop down. Pick the digital camera and then use the slider to determine your budget. (The slider goes all the way up to £17990, a dream budget for most).

Pick the type of lens you want by selecting the style of photography you are interested in. (macro, close-up, wide angle, telephoto, fisheye, tilt-shift, portrait, sports & action, landscape, travel and wildlife or all types).

Or select the zoom tab and use the slider bar at the bottom to select the zoom range you are interested in. The two thumbnails change as the sliders are moved showing you exactly how your photograph zoom will look. (Nice).

Or click on the suggest tab, and tell LensHero what lenses you have already and then hit the GO button and it will suggest a lens for you.

Here is what LensHero suggested for me, which was spot on and one of the lenses I am interested in.

On the same page I can see the lens, the price, compatibility and even a location and price where I can get the lens (brilliant).

There is a link to a more detailed page, which contains a user review, the pros and cons, a compatibility list with other cameras, the specifications of the lens and an area for discussion. The entire information one would need, all in one place.

Finally, if you don’t want to use the easy 2 step approach, they also have a list by manufacturer, type, lens mount and by camera.

This is a great website. If you are looking for a DSLR, why not try out their sister site called snapsort. A similar idea for digital cameras.

Licorize is more delicious than pearltrees.

I just read that Del.icio.us is going to be shutdown by Yahoo. For me it’s been one of the best online bookmarking service for years, so it will be a sad day when the service is terminated by evil Yahoo. I’ve already started searching for it’s replacement and have found a few good sites already and have imported my delicious bookmarks into them for a trial out! Top of my list so far is:

  • Licorize:
    • because it allowed me to import my delicious bookmarks.
    • it is connected with the following awesome services (all of which I am already using):
      • Evernote
      • Twitter
      • Dropbox
      • LinkedIn
      • RSS
      • ReaditLater
      • Apture
      • Skype
    • There is the ability to share with everyone, a group of people or an individual,
    • it allows others to collaborate on ideas and projects and all of this can be done in real time.
    • have added integration with many browsers so you can share a website URL by simply clicking a button.
    • have added integration for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera and even via the iPhone, iPad or iPod (not that I have any of the last three iDevices).
    • They have there own blog, which appears to be updated regularly with news, new fixes, ideas etc. Check it out http://blog.licorize.com/
  • Pearltrees:
    • also allowed me to import my delicious bookmarks.
    • Pearltrees is the social way to discover, organize and share the stuff you like on the Web. Use Pearltrees to keep at hand the stuff you find everyday on the Web, to discover new stuff in your areas of interest and to drive people through your web.
    • A pearl holds anything you find interesting on the Web. Click it to open it, drag and drop it to move it… or put your pearl into the trash to delete it. Every pearl has a detail window, which gives information about its content, comments and picks.
    • A pearltree is a curation of web pages. It works like a folder for pearls. You can open it, close it, browse it, move it into an other pearltree or send it anywhere to share some of your interests.

    I’ll admit the subject of my post does not do Pearltrees justice. I signed up and didn’t quite get the concept at first, BUT having spent a good few hours of my Saturday building up my pearls & pearltrees, I must admit it’s a really cool concept and linking to other related websites is so easy and visually pleasing. I’ve embedded my pearltrees into this post, but if you are interested in seeing the bigger picture, why not visit me at pearltrees.com

Lowepro Rezo 160 AW handles the Panasonic G2 perfectly.

We needed a good camera bag for our Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2, which we recently purchased. It had to fairly compact but strong enough to protect the camera with a 14-42mm lense attached and also it had to carry the extra 44-200mm lense,  a spare battery, some lense hoods, a battery charger, power cable, memory cards and a manual. A bonus would be if the bag was waterproof because one never knows when it is likely to rain in sunny England.

We opted for the Lowepro Rezo 160 AW and found Amazon to have the best price and the most reviewers (118 reviewers giving positive feedback).

The camera bag also met all our requirements:

  • It had to be lightweight and easy to carry.
  • It should have a shoulder strap or handle.
  • It must have multiple compartments or pouches for memory cards, cables, batteries, lenses etc.
  • It must offer protection to the camera in the way of padded edges.
  • Designed specifically for digital equipment.
  • Waterproof.

To give you an example of what it can hold, a reviewer on Amazon mentioned they had a Nikon D5000 DSLR. The Nikon camera is a lot larger (127x104x80 mm) than the Panasonic DMC-G2 (124x90x74 mm), and the reviewer had the standard kit lense 18-55mm + he managed to get another lense in the bag. So the bag is big enough for our camera, lenses and all the accessories.

I have a taken a whole bunch of photos of the Lowepro Rezo 160 AW camera bag from various angles, showing it with our camera and lenses in and out of the bag. They can be found in our photo gallery.

Related Websites:

giffgaff.com not quite a better deal and misleading.

giffgaff – the mobile network run by you”, according to their website. It’s a great concept whereby you can earn cash when you  bring others to giffgaff. The idea is appealing especially if you own an unlocked mobile phone and don’t want to be tied to a contract and/or use more data/texts than actual mobile calls. They offer some cool packages which are very visible on their website under the name “goodybags“. (see below – images from the giffgaff.com website).

So naturally this is something that I would consider, as I am “more” a data/text user than a phone caller.

So I signed up for the FREE sim. The sim card arrived in a timely fashion in the post in a very simple piece of paper folded in a way to look like an envelope as to not waste paper. (very green indeed, very clever). Once unfolded there was a small credit card size piece of plastic holding the sim card. It was wrapped in a cardboard sheath that showed off their logo and tag-line on the front and on the back the same price schemes for the different goodybags. So far so good.

I went to the giffgaff.com website and clicked on the Activate SIM button and was prompted for sim card code and various personal details and then it showed the following screen, which has intrigued me since this is the FIRST TIME that it tells you what you can do:

1) What would you like to buy? (I want to buy a giffgaff £10 goodybag).

  • Buy credit (why would I want to do that if the £10 goodybag already contains 100 minutes)?
    or
  • Buy credit & goodybag (I don’t want credit when the £10 goodybag already contains credit for 100 minutes).

Which brings me back to my subject that giffgaff is misleading us. No where on the site does it say you have to purchase credit before you take on a goodybag.

Even “This bit’s important…” doesn’t state that clearly enough.

edited 07/06/2010: After some clarification in my comment area from other people, I am happy to strike out the paragraph below because I have misunderstood giffgaff on what they are offering and giffgaff themselves have confirmed the clarity of the process is not very clear and will make the necessary changes to resolve this.

In a nutshell I could have purchased “credit only”, e.g. £10 and with that money purchase a £10 goodybag. If I managed to use the 100 minutes up then I would have to top up by buying more credit.

Activating with a goodybag would make more sense as there are less processes to follow. Let us wait and see if giffgaff make the process clearer.

The whole concept is a good deal if you have “only the goodybag” as shown on their website and on the packaging of the SIM card, but a rip off if one has to add “a top-up” ON TOP of the goodybag. I say “rip off” because the only saving grace between the package I am on now and giffgaff is the fact that I am tied into a contract for a year, other than that my current package with T-Mobile gives me 500 minutes, 600 text and unlimited Internet (1GB limit as per acceptable use policy) and all for £15/month with the option to bolt on extras per month, which is a better deal than giffgaff are offering.

edited 07/06/2010: I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Perhaps I have totally misunderstood giffgaff. I have posted a similar question on twitter to @giffgaff and you are welcome to comment on my post or in twitter: @lookatbowen

note: screenshots were taken using my own screen grabbing software from the giffgaff.com website and are used as reference purposes only.