Seagate portable external hard drive (1TB)

Here’s the slightly thicker but otherwise very similar 1TB version of the small external hard drive I reviewed below. After some months of use I continue to be very pleased with these small external hard drives – excellent value for money and nice and light and portable to carry about.

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Seagate Slim 500GB Portable Hard Drive

Seagate STCD500204 Slim 500GB USB 3.0 2.5 inch Portable Hard Drive - SilverSeagate STCD500204 Slim 500GB USB 3.0 2.5 inch Portable Hard Drive – Silver

Perfect solution for ‘on the go’ people – backup your photos, documents, videos from your laptop or use as a portable super slim and cool external portable hard drive.

Watch my video review here

Use in combination with the RAVpower 5 in 1 wifi SD Card reader and hotspot device for a truly portable wifi-based solution to expanding the capacity of your iPhone, iPad or other mobile devices.

RAVpower 5 in 1 SD card reader, power bank and wifi hotspot

[5 In 1] RAVPower FileHub Wireless SD Flash Card Reader USB External HDD / SDD Reader with Built-in 3000 mah External Battery Pack and Portable Wifi Hot Spot

Get a cool black case to put both devices and leads in:

Black Case Logic QHDC-101 Hard Drive CaseBlack Case Logic QHDC-101 Hard Drive Case

Watch my video review here

Filed under: Reviews

New Photo Store

Looking to buy a new camera or equipment – check out the reviews and the product information so you can make an informed buying decision information at Found what you want – just one click to find the best price. Try it out now!

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DXO Optics Software for Photo Post Processing

Most photos, despite the best efforts of the photographer at the point of taking the picture, have defects and problems with them. For this reason, unless you are content with them as they are, it is necessary to carry out some post-processing. Often, this means simple editing functions like manipulating the exposure, contrast or cropping the photo. For the enthusiast, however, the post processing need extends to dealing with flaws such as distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberrations, and lack of sharpness.

Did you know that even if you buy expensive cameras and lenses, and despite the amazing technological advances of modern digital SLR cameras, a number of photo defects arise from the physical limitations of the equipment and are not any reflection on the skills of the photographer. This is why, for example, straight lines can come out as curves and people can end up looking fatter than they really are ?

Here’s an example of a picture I took with a Nikon D7000 DSLR with an 18-200mm Nikon zoom lens (at 60mm focal length):


Notice the leaning building in the foreground.  The ‘leaning’ effect is caused because I was taking the photo from  ground level looking up and could have been avoided theoretically if I had been taking the photo from a higher point – which of course wasn’t possible as I didn’t have a helicopter to hand! (and if I was in a helicopter it would have blown the tree about and that would have caused another set of problems).

So, I could have just cropped the photo to cut out the building in the foreground which would have made the photo look better but actually there’s similar but less obvious leaning of the building so that’s not really the best solution.

Now there are many options for post processing of photos including use of the photo applications that come with, or you can buy, for your Apple MAC, Windows PC, laptop or tablet computer.  However, I use a software application (available on PC and MAC) called DXO Optics Pro to post process all my photos.  It’s an amazing piece of software that eliminates the inevitable distortion that any lens has and just makes all my photos (whether RAW or JPEGs) just so much better. It even allows me to straighten up buildings that tend to slope because of the angle at which they’re taken. Even photos from my extra wide Tokina 12-24mm lens end up straight as if they’d been taken ‘face-on’.

Here’s the same picture as above after using DXO Optics Pro:

DXO Optics Pro processed image

DxO Optics Modules are created using a calibration process exclusive to DxO Labs, based on close analysis of every supported camera and lens combination under different shooting conditions. This allows DxO Optics Pro to automatically apply optical corrections for such flaws as distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberrations, and lack of sharpness in a way that is all perfectly suited to each photographer’s equipment. Several thousands of shots, along with the processing and analysis of an enormous amount of data, go into the development of each optics module. DXO support a very large number of camera / lens combinations and the software improves even unsupported combinations.

The DXO application software provides a fantastic complement to using high performance DSLR lenses such as the Nikon 18-200mm F3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR DX which are prone to complex distortion. It really works like magic and it’s just as if the camera body / lens combination was optically perfect. I can thoroughly recommend DXO Optics Pro.

And by the way, what I’ve shown here is only a simple example of what DXO Optics Pro can do. I use it as the first step in my workflow as it automatically improves my photos as well as allowing me to apply a whole range of different effects and colour corrections.  It’s easy to use but also includes a lot of sophisticated features to suit all types of photographers and their different needs.

You can download DXO Optics Pro online so, for example, you could buy it from here (free upgrade from V7 to the latest V8) or from Amazon UK here.

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Flash Memory Card – my recommendation

Looking for a super stocking filler for Christmas…

4.9 out of 5 stars




Here are some REAL customer reviews:

“As good as ever”

I always prefer to stick with what I know and having seen a few reviews on other products that describe failure and loss of data I run a mile and head back to the good ole Sandisk products, I wouldn’t normally opt for such a large card as I shoot…Read more

“Top card”

This is hands down my preferred brand and choice of card for my high end compact.As previous reviewers have mentioned not all class 10 cards are equal and this one absolutely flies along. No lag between shots or during HD video…Read more

“Sandisk 32GB Extreme SDHC 30MB/s Memory Card.”

Does exactly what it should.A very reliable card with a vast memory. I use it with a Canon EOS 550D and it means I can shoot in RAW and use the HD video without having to worry about running out of space.Read more

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Photo Opportunities at Christmas

Christmas is a special time for family and friends and often a time to capture those magical memories – young ones opening their presents, funny moments, taking photos or video of family or friends perhaps you haven’t seen for a while.

Don’t forget to have your camera or video (or iPAD) to hand and make sure you’ve got space on your device.  Backup your photos / videos before Christmas so you don’t miss those magical moments.  It’s also a good idea if you can set your camera to ‘burst’ mode or equivalent – ie a setting where if you hold the shutter down you can take photos in rapid succession – that way you’re more likely to capture those fleeting moments where someone smiles or laughs in just the right way to create a treasured memory.  Make sure you have your flash to hand and that it’s charged up ready.

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Christmas Gift Ideas

Well Christmas is fast approaching. Have you finished all your Christmas present shopping – or not yet started ? Are you still thinking of present lists for you or struggling what to buy for family and friends ?

If you or those you are shopping for are looking for stocking fillers (or at least presents that don’t cost an arm and a leg but will be appreciated gifts), how about these ideas:

  • Memory cards (it’s always handy to have some extra space on digital cameras and camcorders for taking photos / video at Christmas)
  • Batteries (eg rechargeable batteries for the camera flash)
  • Magazine subscriptions (you can often find special offers eg 3 for 1 on digital photography or camcorder magazines)
  • Camera bags
  • Camera filters
  • Camera cleaning pens / blowers (to keep the dreaded dust away)

Filed under: Blog Posts