Keyboard review & website server being slow

This is just a quick post to say my Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard Review is now live.

Also, the webserver seems to be incredibly slow today, I’m not sure why. I can’t see any high CPU usage or net usage, so it’s probably something with my provider. I am in the middle of making a website for my interior photography and I will be using amazon web hosting. I am considering switching to amazon web hosting, for this as well but it will be kind of costly for me so I don’t know.

I have also had some theme ideas for this site which I will one day get around to doing (probably no time soon, I want a bit of a break from coding after I’ve done my other site, haha).

Wireless keyboard for travel – Samsung Galaxy Note 10, android & apple

I find smartphones in general quite difficult to type with, and I’ve been thinking it’d be cool to write more while travelling. Especially as I’m considering photographing some stuff in Scotland as soon as I can afford it.

I bought the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 smartphone upon release and I’ve been really happy with it. I wanted a water resistant smartphone with USB 3 speeds for backing up photographs with my Sony a7rII mirrorless camera, and it’s served me well. I can never get along well with a touchscreen for typing a lot though.

Things like the Dell 9380 13inch XPS laptops are obviously incredibly nice but they’re also incredibly expensive and quite heavy to hike with for long periods. I can probably get by with a little keyboard for my phone, I think. The screen is fairly small but obviously most of that is taken up with the on screen keyboard anyway. Using a wireless keyboard, you effectively get twice the screen space and I think it moves into the realm of doable. For something like the smallest Apple iPhone, it might be too small but for larger phones like a Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Google Pixel 3 XL, etc. I think it should be okay.

I’ve seen a few models… The Microsoft Universal Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard catches my attention the most. Interestingly, it’s sold slightly cheaper here in the UK than in the states–that’s pretty rare for anything electronic. None of them seem to be waterproof but some have splash resistant keys. At £44.99 here in the UK, it’s cheap enough that you can break it without it ruining your life; nonetheless, it’s expensive enough I don’t really want to break it either. I have a folding case already, which I can use to prop up the phone screen.

There’s quite a few keyboards available and the microsoft is the more expensive model, but I typically really like microsoft hardware. I thought I’d mention these keyboards because it’s hard to keep track of technology and perhaps it’s something you might want to consider. If I get one, I will let you all know what I think of it. I have a few questions: are there delays when typing, does the gap in the middle of the keyboard matter much, and are the keys nice to type on? etc. so on. I currently use a topre, for my PC and I’m a bit spoiled.

I’m not sure how much these keyboards weigh in actuality either. For any travel bloggers hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2019, you might just have time to grab one! Haha. I think it’s definitely something a backpacker should take a look at.

To my knowledge, the microsoft universal foldable bluetooth keyboard works with all phone operating systems that have bluetooth.

 

Hike in Scotland & photography & portfolio site

Hey,

Last year I went to Canada and it was my first time travelling alone, I loved it! I now have the travel bug, but I can’t really afford to go anywhere expensive. I’m from the UK and I’ve been to all of England but not Scotland.

When I went to Canada, my photographs were compromised because I hiked many, many miles each day. I don’t regret my trip at all and I can’t express how much I enjoyed parts of Canada. However, I’d like to take more professional photographs and I have a different goal in mind for my next adventure. This time I’d actually like to hike a bit one day, camp, take photographs the next, and hike the day after or something like that. Whatever I do, I want to make the trip more about photography and less about the hiking. Taking photographs at 2pm? Yeah, not cool (especially with a bear nearby).

Do you have any experiences hiking in Scotland? Are there any places you recommend where I can float around the area and no one mind if I camp there?

Portfolio site update

I have another update regarding my new site I’m creating. I’ve made a cool menu system I’m pleased with. I should probably get some screen recording software and show it on YouTube, but hopefully it’ll be done soon. It’s kind of a 3D effect :). You can see it if you follow my instagram and view the story (if you follow me, let me know and I’ll follow you back. I don’t pay an awful lot of attention to instagram).

When my new website is done, I can go back to taking photographs. At the moment I’m coding day and night, haha. I feel a bit ashamed with this site, because it’s a bit sloppy.  After a while, I would really like to make a new theme for it but obviously income comes first. When I make the new theme, I’ll completely remove the portfolio page from it and use my other site to display my photographs. This has a lot of bugs in general, although it displays okay on a 1920 x 1200px screen.

My absolute dream would be to get good enough at landscape photographs such that I can sell them in an online store, and then travel for half of the year, haha. I think I’ve been watching too much YouTube.

 

Business website update & instagram & Godox X2T Trigger

I’m just making a small update regarding my business website. For those unfamiliar, I am in the process of coding a second website for my business side of things. This website has been a bit of an experimental process.

I’m a lot further to completing the theme, and it looks a lot more professional than the theme I’ve made on this website. I think that once it’s complete, I might look into changing the theme here as well. We’ll see.

If webdesign interests you at all and you’d like to see what I’ve been making, I post updates on my instagram story fairly regularly.

Godox X2T Transmitter

On a completely unrelated note, I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a second flash transmitter for a while now. For one thing, it’s always a good idea to have redundancy (especially as I had a pair of batteries leak acid inside–it’s lucky they didn’t break it) but it’s actually for something unexpected. For interior photography, normally I tilt the camera screen up, so that when the camera is next to a wall I can still see the screen. The Godox X1T screen (the Godox X2T Transmitter screen location will be the same) doesn’t have that luxury. The result is that when the camera is pushed up really close to a wall, it’s almost impossible to see the flash settings.

The Godox X2T transmitter will have bluetooth amongst other things, but I may not use it (I honestly don’t know). For this reason, I am considering an X-Pro2 instead. It’s a tough call to make because if the bluetooth feature is well implemented, I might be able to then use my phone more. Selecting between controlling the camera with my phone and controlling the flash might be a bit awkward so I’m back to considering a transmitter with the screen on top. Interestingly, for portraiture I’d prefer it in the same location as the Godox X2T transmiter. It’s pretty nice us Godox users have options.

 

Godox V1 Round Head Speedlight

Godox have officially announced the Godox V1 Round Head Speedlight. I’d like to buy one, depending on the price, and I will review it. It uses the same diameter head as the Godox H200R Round Head–an optional accessory available for the Godox AD200. This is great news because all of the magnetic accessories in the Godox AK-R1 will fit the Godox V1 flash.

From the looks of things, the Godox V1 Round Head Speedlight has a stronger hotshoe compared to previous models and it uses a quick release system instead. The user interface has been improved dramatically as a flash commander. As a slave, I don’t know if we will notice much benefit to the Godox V1’s revamped user interface.

The Godox V1’s hardened hot-shoe mount will probably benefit news, wedding and event photographers the most but I do not use speed lights on top of my camera. Nonetheless, things like this show Godox has listened. Personally, I’d prefer to see a portable off-camera flash the size of a Godox V1 but with a tripod screw thread instead of a hot-shoe mount; however, I’m probably in the minority. The Godox AD200 shown above has this but obviously it’s not as small as the Godox V1 Round Head Speedlight.

The flash power of the Godox V1 Round Head Speedlight is unlikely to be much different when compared to the Godox TT685S but recycle times will be considerably quicker.

Godox V1 prediction

There are three heads available for the Godox AD200. After various testing, I noticed the Godox H200R Round Head is the most colour stable head and it’s generally superior to the others. My theory here is that the bulb and perhaps the electronics are slightly different with the round head. The Godox H200R was released long after the rectangular fresnel head, so it makes sense. I believe the Godox V1 Round Head Speedlight will follow suit and surpass previous generation Godox speedlights in every aspect. These are things I will comment on when I buy a Godox V1 and review it.

Another thing to note is that round heads aren’t just marketing hype. You can read about that at my Godox AD200 review page.

Godox V1 new lithium ion battery

My main complaints or concerns are with the battery. Generally speaking, companies like Broncolor, Profoto, etc. buy Panasonic  or other branded 18650 lithium batteries, they then put them inside a cheap, plastic case, and they charge the earth for them. Sadly, loyal people who follow those companies tout the build quality or justify the cost, but really they are just a bunch of 18650 lithium batteries with a high price tag. Take the Profoto B10 Li-ion Battery pack for example. Judging from the weight, it’s about 6, 18650 batteries yet it costs £180. Each cell costs about £5; £5 * 6 = £30. Yet somehow they tax you £150 for a cheap bit of plastic we all know costs about £2 to make. I’m guessing they get a cheap deal on the cells too, lol. The electronics for this kind of thing aren’t that complicated either and if we saw as many disassembly photographs of flashes as we do lenses, people would stop this “Profoto build quality is amazing!!” rubbish.

The Godox V1 uses two 18650 lithium batteries housed in a proprietary case; I presume they’re made by panasonic. There’s nothing up with these cells, but personally I’d prefer they were separate–like AA batteries. Godox isn’t in the habit of ripping people off like Profoto and Broncolor do but I’d still prefer buy the batteries myself for £10.

The positive; however, is that they will get charged an equal amount. It’s never a good idea to have two lithium batteries with a different state of charge. Another negative is that with proprietary batteries comes a million and one chargers.

My little rant over, haha. The flash looks amazing though, I’m sure I’ll buy one at some point.

Available for pre-order

It is now available for pre-order.

Website news, blogging, breakthrough photography and stuff

Hey,

Running this site has been a bit of an experimental process for me. Writing reviews has taught me that it requires a lot more effort than I realised, and as much as I’ve discovered what I want to do, I’ve also discovered what I don’t want to do.

I had a lot of fun adventures and experiences in Canada last year but I never really wrote much about them. I don’t want to make the same mistake again. Unfortunately, I kind of turned this site into more about reviewing equipment rather than actual blogging. That’s what happens when you don’t have a clear plan, I guess. At the time of making it, it was to write a bit about the Pacific Crest Trail in America. I wish I recorded audio notes while travelling in Canada or had a laptop with me and wrote a little each night (I should have done that), and then left my laptop at hotels / friends, when hiking. I’m quite good at writing stories and whatnot, so I think I’d be okay at it. I am terrible when it comes to writing reviews though, haha. I guess reviews are structured differently and I’ve had education regarding writing stories but not when it comes to writing reviews.

I’m currently working on a business website, for interior photography. I’ve learned it’s something that comes to me way more naturally than other types of photography. For now, my goal is to complete that website and create a portfolio for interior photography only.

When I’ve done that, I’d like to change the direction of this website a bit. I will start to write actual blog posts when I travel but I’ll keep on writing reviews. I’ve gradually been improving their quality but they need to improve a lot more also.

Lastly, unrelated but a while back I bought a Breakthrough Photography 6 Stop 52mm X4 ND filter. I was really impressed with it. I have recently ordered a Breakthrough Photography X4 82mm CPL filter. I’ll let you all know what I think of it :).