Saturday, 28 April 2012

Lightroom 4 with Google Drive Part II

I just published the second part of how I plan to use Lightroom 4 with Google Drive, over on CraigDoesPhotography. (:

Thursday, 26 April 2012

How I Plan to Use Lightroom 4 with Google Drive

I just published a post on how I plan to use Lightroom 4 with Google Drive, over on CraigDoesPhotography. (:

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Manfrotto MMC3-02 Monopod & 234 Head Review


I was recently doing some video work, a kind of vlog/interview type thing, for a community garden project in North Dublin. For the better part of 10 minutes, I was holding the combined 1.4kb of my 60D, 17-85mm, and Rode Videomic to near eye level. Sadly, this hurt my scrawny arms like hell and over the course of the video you can see the gap between the guy's head and the top of the frame close several times before I realise I have to readjust.

So, it was pretty obvious to me that I needed a monopod (tripod is too bulky for my needs), and spent a ridiculous amount of time looking for one that had what I wanted. As I rarely do any paid video work, I couldn't justify (or afford) to spend too much money. On the other hand, I'd had a poor experience in the past buying crappy cheap tripod off ebay, so I wanted it to be a brand I could trust.

I eventually settled on the Manfrotto MMC3-02 Compact Monopod and Manfrotto 234 Monopod Tilt Head, which I purchased off Amazon UK for about £33.50. I couldn't find any comprehensive reviews of the monopod, but knew Manfrotto to be a well recommended brand.

Build Quality and Usability

The MMC3-02 is well built for the most part, but certain aspects of the build quality reflect its price. Weighing in at 290g, 39cm when collapsed and 145.5cm when fully extended, the monopod has a maximum   load capacity of 1.5kb.

The metal seems quite strong, and I can't imagine any situation where it would bend or dint besides letting it fall of a cliff (which has actually happened to me with a tripod). The plastic connecting the different aluminium sections on the other hand feel like quite a light plastic. They hold the tripod in place steadily enough, but this is not a monopod I'd let dangle from my backpack when hiking, or in any other situation it might repeatedly bang off anything. The grip is textured to provide friction when holding, although it does not have any grooves for fingers. Although I'm not sure if that would be standard for monopods, it is a feature I would personally like. There is also a wrist strap with a cover for the camera mount (1/4-20 screw) attached.

 The 234 Monopod Tilt Head feels sturdy enough to survive a fall, but mechanically it is not particularly well made. I find loosening the adjustment knob a little bit will make it be able to tilt (though with some effort), but loosening it any more will not make it any easier to tilt. It's more on/off than a gradual loosening. It's also not smooth in tilting, so anybody looking to tilt while filming should give this one a miss.


For the most part, I'm pretty happy with my purchase. It's a fair bit short of being perfect, but for my needs I think it was quite good value for a fairly low price. For others, the monopod is a fairly simple question of how rough are you with your gear. The head should be fine for photographers, and videographers who don't plan to adjust the tilt while filming.

Monday, 16 April 2012

BK3001 (Apple Wireless Keyboard Clone) Unboxing & Review

About the Device

I bought two of these keyboards a couple of weeks ago off of Amazon for use with my hackintosh, as I didn't have the €70 for an original Apple keyboard, and couldn't find any reasonably priced second hand ones in the Dublin area. I expected beforehand to be disappointed, but figured it would be at least a step up from the Windows keyboard was previously using which was driving me crazy with differently configured buttons.

There are three different models according to the packaging (BK3001, BK3002, BK3012), available in silver, black and white. The one I purchased (BK3001) cost about £13 on Amazon, but can be found on a myriad of different websites for different prices. It's primarily shown for use with an iPad, but works with any bluetooth enabled device.


At this kind of price, you can't expect much quality control. Still, I was slightly concerned that of the two I purchased, both the boxes seemed quite a bit worn and torn around the edges. Also, one of the boxes came wrapped in plastic, while the other was simply sellotaped shut. would suggest anybody purchasing to ensure their keyboard is working before throwing away the packaging.

Inside, there was just the keyboard itself (wrapped in a kind of soft plastic I usually see on furniture), and the user manual. For both keyboards the user manual appeared to be for the BK3012 model (but made no mention of this), as it contained diagrams showing a micro USB slot. No batteries were included, but it take two AAA size.


I'll admit straight away that my main reason for purchasing this keyboard, besides price, was aesthetics. I had recently changed my room, and wanted something that looked attractive and matched my Apple Magic Mouse. In this regard, this keyboard gets major points.

Doubtless it's not near as high quality as the Apple keyboards, but it fills in well at this price point. It's made from plastic very light plastic, but the finish on the silver looks almost identical to the underside of the Magic Mouse. The keys are equally attractive, set into place well and with a nice colour to the letters.


For most people, comfort and responsiveness of the keys will be by far the most important factor in the decision of which keyboard to buy. This is the most disappointing aspect of this keyboard.  I don't do a lot of typing at home, apart from using Facebook chat, so the little annoyances are usually not so obvious to me. However, in typing this review it has become painfully obvious how frustrating this keyboard can be for any significant amount of typing.

The keys require very hard clicks dead on center to register anything, and writing anything without making a conscious effort at this will leave a lot of red lines. For me, this starts to make my hand start to cramp after a few minutes and I imagine most people will be the same. For people like me who will use it for mostly light use,or with an iPad, will probably find it sufficient for their needs.

Another point of note for people using this with a hackintosh (I presume this doesn't apply to Macs), is that you will require another keyboard plugged in to your PC. Most, if not all PCs will go past the BIOS without a keyboard connected, and a bluetooth keyboard does not connect until the operating system stars.

These two issues probably make this keyboard more effort than it's worth.

So, introductions are in order...

My name is Craig, and I’m from Dublin, Ireland. I’m 21, and an intern .Net developer at a small company specialising in the food sector. Something I imagine is pretty unusual for a .Net developer, is that at home I am currently transitioning to use Mac OS X on a personal build. This blog will cover some of my experiences in that, but also focus on more tech reviews, thoughts, and opinions.

Every time I have 5 minutes to spare in work, there’s usually a list of technology websites I make my way through. Obviously, I’m hardly unique in this regard, but I hope to provide my personal perspective and reviews on hardware and software, here and on YouTube, in the hope that someone finds them interesting. I am by no means a professional or expert however, and welcome comment and critique.

I’m also an enthusiastic amateur photographer, with a toe dipped into videography. I hope to be covering photography gear, and post screencaps of Premiere, Lightroom, and Photoshop edits.

Hope someone out there enjoys,

Craig. (: