Saturday, 31 October 2015

Happy Halloween

Whether you're going to a party, going trick or treating, not really doing anything, or spending the day watching Michael Myers do his thing like I am...I just want to wish you all a happy Halloween!!!


Ian

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Review: Meike MK-D5200 Battery Grip For The Nikon D5200

*Before I get into my post, please note, there will be pictures of the grip as soon as I get them sorted. I had some on my iPad, which I am posting this from, however, it doesn't seem to want me to show you them. I've spent quite some time arguing with my iPad about this, sadly however the pictures are still a no go, but I'm winning the argument...now I've turned Siri off.*


I've never used a battery grip before, if I'm honest I never really saw the benefit of them. If I wanted my camera in portrait mode, I'd reach that extra couple of inch to the shutter release. If one battery ran out of juice, I'd switch it out. That said, when I saw the Meike MK-D5200 on Amazon for £24, I thought I'd give it a go...and oh how my views have changed.

Nikon don't make an official battery grip for the D5200, I'm not sure why, but after a quick Google search it appears that Nikon brand battery grips generally start at around £150. I think it's relatively safe to say that if Nikon made a D5200 battery grip, you'd be saving well over a hundred quid with the Meike grip, which is nice, especially considering it works so well.

Build quality on the MK-D5200 is very good, it feels very similar to the build of the D5200. I know with some Meike grips people have mentioned their disappointment that the build is all plastic, however, considering the D5200 is a fully plastic construction, I don't find this to be an issue. Unlike some of the other cheaper grips on the market the MK-D5200 has rubber sections. These sections provide more secure handling, as well as making the grip appear like part of the camera instead of a totally separate piece just stuck on...and helps provides the 'pro' look that is expected of us.

The MK-D5200 attaches to the camera snugly, held in place by a screw that threads into the cameras tripod mount (which is replaced by one on the bottom of the grip). I find with the grip attached it's easier, and safer for me to hold my camera. I can be somewhat of a klutz at times, especially holding smaller items, the added surfice area alleviates this issue for me, so far anyway...I hope I haven't just jinxed myself! The grip features two battery slots, giving the life of two batteries without the need to swap them out. Despite the two battery compartments, it does work with just one battery inserted. With the grip attached and battery inserted the camera is powered, however, if you want to use the built in shutter release you need to attach the supplied cable. The cable for the shutter release fits comfortably from camera to grip without much excessive overhang, which is good if like me you find long wires a hazard to your health, and the health of your electronics. The shutter release has all the bells and whistles the camera's built in release has...half press to focus, fully press to take your shot. Whilst the release feels a little cheaper and not quite as smooth as the camera's, it's certainly smooth enough and works well.

Overall the MK-D5200 is a great piece of kit. It's cheap, looks the part, doubles shooting time eliminating the need to disrupt the flow of a shoot, makes shooting in portrait mode a little easier, and most importantly for me, lowers the risk of my clumsiness destroying my camera. As Nikon don't make an official grip for the D5200, and I've never used a battery grip before, I've nothing to make a final comparison with. What I can tell you though is, of all the third party grips I looked at before making my purchase, this was hands down the most loved...and I love it too.


Ian

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Flash Back Fri...Oh, It's Saturday

If you read my previous post you will know I am currently testing some bits and writing reviews. The process is taking a little longer than planned, having only written action figure reviews before, so for now, I thought I'd share with you some of my older photographic works.

As winter is fast approaching, I thought I'd share some shots that were taken the past couple of summers...I can't remember exact dates, my filing system wasn't as rigorous then as it is now, anyway, these few I thought I'd share are some of my smaller wildlife (bug) shots..so be warned, there is a spider!








Ian

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Saturday, 10 October 2015

I Am Finally Writing & Shooting Again

I just wanted to post a little update, show I'm still around and explain what's going on...

Although my knee is still giving me problems (it dislocated a little bit the other week), I'm not on the strong pain killers now, this means I can type and shoot again...yay! Over the coming days, or week, or possibly weeks, I'll be writing reviews of; an Amazon Basics DSLR backpack, a third party battery grip, a third party speedlight, third party ND filters. As you can see, I like trying third party products. After all third party versions often cost less than half the price of the 'named' versions but work very well, sometimes as well as the named version, sometimes better. As well as the third party camera accessories, I'll be reviewing some named camera gear in the form of the Nikon 35mm and 50mm F/1.8 primes. As well as the camera gear reviews I will also be writing some 'geeky' reviews, reviews of stuff like action figures, iPad games, films and the like.

As well as all the reviews I am currently/planning on writing I'm hoping to get out shooting, so I'll be posting some of my shots, and sharing a little information about how I got them. I may also share some of my older shots, depending on my level of embarrassment over them.

I think that pretty much covers what I have planned. I should imagine some weird and wonderful ideas will randomly reveal themselves to me, and they'll end up on my blog at some point. Anyway, as I mentioned at the start I just wanted to say, I'm still around and I am currently creating content.


Ian

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Lack Of Blog This Week...I'm Hopped Up On Pain Meds

You may have noticed a lack of posts this week. Truth is, I tried writing one the other day, but when I read it back, it was jibberish...thank you pain meds!

The reason for my absence, if you haven't seen my Facebook or Twitter, my knee crapped out on me on Monday. I was standing on one leg (as you do) sorting some bits, got knocked, heard an almighty pop, then had a meeting with the floor. Since then I've found myself in a knee brace, and hopped up on pain meds. I've never really needed pain meds in the past, so I'm a light weight when it comes to them. Most of the time since my incident I've found the world moving not quite right, fun, but not quite right...this has made going out shooting, photographing products for review, and writing posts, very difficult...hence my absence.

Anyway, the pain is becoming more manageable now, granted I need to rest my knee for a few weeks, but I can shoot and write again now...hopefully!


Ian.